Sunday, March 30, 2003

To say that governments are evil is on a par with saying that humans are evil. To claim that it is a necessary evil is on a par with saying that cars are a necessary evil. What we are really talking about are subjective preferences which may or may not be satisfied, not some theological notion of right and wrong. The inescapable evils of coercive behavior are not unique to government. Our government is where we choose to channel and regulate them, because the alternative (private, unregulated coercion) gives much worse results, as the history of privately owned states (monarchies, dictatorships, despotisms) and private "law" such as slavery, mafias, warlords, etc. show rather clearly. We have constructed a government that is jointly owned by all, because private ownership gives too much incentive for profit through coercion of others.
--Mike Huben

Interview Olga Sommerova: Accelerated course in the school of life

This filmmaker has shot over 80 documentaries, depicting people from across the social spectrum with remarkable sensitivity. She spoke with us about fateful encounters and the knowledge she has gleaned.
For many years you have been an observer of people's fates and problems. What do you think has changed in our society since 1989?
My friends and I have often said that we're glad that we lived through Communism. Our experiences under the totalitarian regime was very good for us, because a person's character becomes stronger under oppression than under affluence and freedom. Due to the fact that people could not travel they experienced existence more deeply, they read a lot, they were interested in art, they cultivated friendship and nature, they simply did things that I see as basic for life. After the revolution we all thought, Oh, this will be beautifula bit forgetful, that people have been the same for centuries. We felt that freedom and democracy are good for strong personalities and mature individuals. I think that there are too few people who mature enough for freedom. We experienced much bitterness and disappointment from ignorance and illusions, because society wasn't ready for big thieves, cheaters, and careerists who were capable of anything.
· Character becomes stronger under oppression [PagueTribune]