A somewhat contraversial thought in recent times, but one that I think has merit and perhaps will see a resurgence as much human brain power is expended trying to understand the recent Brexit vote in the UK. People are beginning to understand that massive scale completely centralised systems actually don’t work – primarily, it seems, because they reach a scale where nobody actually cares about them! Now IMHO a centralised system can work, if it is sufficiently introspective – taking time to celebrate its efficiencies and understand and work on its failures, but the notion of centralisation does tend to work in the opposite direction.
Through a paracetamol addled haze, I am watching Sir Andrew Wood (of the Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House) giving evidence to the House of Lords EU External Affairs Sub-Committee regarding the EU and Russia.
On homogenisation of the force of application of EU law:
If you start to play by local rules, you will find out just how many local rules there are.
An interview with the President of Uruaguay who has legalised (via a strictly regulated system) use, limited possession and production of marijuana. Ignoring the underlying topic, there is much potential for discussion around the concept of freedom, the implementation of public policy (‘walk slowly’) and an example of a method of regulating a pre-existing (albeit underground / previously illegal) industry.
What is your conception of freedom?
If i have to take a drug in order to be free, I’m screwed. Freedom is here [taps his head]. Otherwise it doesn’t exist. You can’t buy freedom in little jars. That’s a brutal dependency. Then again I’m old… maybe my outlook on life is old fashioned.
José Mujica, President of Uruaguay, 2014
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BwVxmJPies – interview for Vice youtube channel
- http://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2014/08/uruguay – interview with the Economist around the President’s views on his term in office
He that lives in a college, after his mind is sufficiently stocked with learning, is like a man, who having built, rigged, and victualled, a ship, should lock her up in a dry dock
Edmund Burke – The Annual Register (A View of the History, Politicks and Literature of the Year), 1758
“We have surmounted all the perils and endured all the agonies of the past. We shall provide against and thus prevail over the dangers and problems of the future, withhold no sacrifice, grudge no toil, seek no sordid gain, fear no foe. All will be well. We have, I believe, within us the life-strength and guiding light by which the tormented world around us may find the harbour of safety, after a storm-beaten voyage.”
—Winston Churchill, Chateau Laurier, Ottawa, 9 November 1954