Monday, August 21, 2006

The President of Iran: blogger

Freedom for Egyptians points out that Iran's President Ahmadinejad has a new blog.

It's entitled, um, uh... Well, his first post is, uh...

زندگی نامه
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيماللهم عجل لوليك الفرج و اجعلنا من اعوانه و انصاره .

I can't even tell what language I'm looking at. Farsi? Arabic?

Oh well. Clearly blogging by world leaders will be a fantastic new tool for promoting international peace and understanding. In fact, the more time they spend blogging, the less time they'll have for more dangerous mischief.

Let's get Kim Jong-il, Alexander Lukashenka, and Hugo Chavez started!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Positive spin on a negative twist

World news is unpleasant right now. NYU economist Nouriel Roubini argues that the U.S. will be in a serious recession in less than a year, and will take the world economy with it. I suspect he’s right. In the middle east, the violence accelerates, and unfortunately Israel’s war on Hezbollah seems unlikely to succeed in destroying that organization, while Iran has apparently escaped the international pressure to stop its nuclear weapons program. WW III looms. In Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych has become Prime Minister. In Mexico, Obrador encourages his supporters to overthrow the rule of law. Bush and Rice continue to speak unintelligently, and even incoherently, about everything.

But on the bright side (I know, it’s a vice, trying to show that actually everything is just fine) these are just part of the birth pains that a proto-civilization must go through. In Nikolai Kardeshov's theory of the development of civilzations (the contribution of Soviet SETI I mentioned in an earlier post), we are at a crucial cusp, a short period where our evolution will be painful. In this period, we will learn how not to destroy ourselves over religion, race, and similar non-issues. And in fact, I think we humans still have a very good chance of developing a true civilization. Why?

It’s no longer a mystery that private property and free markets are they key ingredients for a successful society. Even the Chinese “communists” and Indian dirigists recognize this, and are acting accordingly (one third of the world’s population). Logic and evidence support the liberal view, and this is becoming obvious to nearly everyone, despite the denials of religionists, populists, fascists, and similar opponents of freedom.

The time is ripe to shout that reason and individual liberty offer a way – actually the only way – out of our problems. Individual liberty means respect for the rights of everyone; it means protection for Jew, for Arab, and for everyone else, and over exactly those things over which the individual has legitimate claim. It also provides for a system by which individuals can organize and exchange so as to generate mutual prosperity.

Peace and liberty and prosperity – all of these are actually attainable, for the bulk of humanity, within our lifetimes. We have to do the right things, but we have the power to make the world right.

So expect to see freedom round the world soon -- hopefully before the nuclear missiles start flying.

ADDITIONAL NOTE (18 August): I incorrectly referenced "The Rise of American Nuclear Primacy" in my reply (below) to Indigo Red. It actually appeared in Mar/Apr 2006 Foreign Affairs. Here's a link to the article.

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