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September 20, 2005


John East

A brilliant and very original observation. Well done.
Your piece left me with the thought, "So how do we return to sanity? A world where speech and writing describe rather than define reality."

I can't think of an answer.

Paddy Carter

a bit of devil's advocacy ... like it or not there is some truth to the importance of 'the message' for political parties in a modern democracy - not sure you can lay it at the door of New Labour. It may be something that they have seized upon, but it's not really something they have created. Maybe.

There is, surely, quite a lot truth to the idea that words (narratives, world views, however you want to describe it) are important in the gestation of terrorism. I can quite understand the impulse to want to arrest the process of indoctrination into terrorism - and I'm not sure that it's a 'managerialist' impulse. How does a non-managerialist respond to the existance of extremists preaching jihad? lassiez faire?

What I don't understand is why existing laws against inciting terrorism are not sufficient. What is this thing 'glorifying' that is not incitement, but is not simply expressing support or sympathy either? But, perhaps this just shows I don't know enough about the limitation of existing incitement laws.

Paul Davies

Ah, the perils of mass communication... Locke and Hume never had to worry about this damn Internet and 24 hour news malarky... People have always "prefered to look at poses than listen to reason"*, it's just now people are listening to them in turn...

Or am I being too cynical?

*(Nietzsche, The Antichrist)


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