FIRST PRINCIPLES #2

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Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

– George Orwell

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Founding Documents #1

“I believe, as Popper does, that neither politicians nor scientists, nor entrepreneurs, nor anyone else should fall for the vain belief that they can grasp the world as a whole and change it as a whole by a single action. Seeking to improve it people should proceed with utmost caution and sensitivity, on a step-by-step basis, always paying attention to what each change actually brings about. At the same time, however, I believe – possibly differing from Popper’s views to some extent – that as they do so they should constantly bear in mind all the global interrelations that they are aware of, and should realize that beyond their knowledge exists an infinitely wider range of interrelations. My relatively brief sojourn in the realm of high politics has convinced me time and again of the need to take this approach: most of the threats hanging over the world now, as well as many of the problems confronting it, could be handled much more effectively if we were able to see past the ends of our noses and take into consideration, to some at extent at least, the broader interconnections that go beyond the scope of our immediate or group interests. This awareness, of course, should never become an arrogant utopian conviction that we alone possess the whole truth about these interconnections. On the contrary, it should emanate from a deep and humble respect for them and their mysterious order…

…it will come as no surprise that many an intellectual has done a great deal of harm to the world. Taking an interest in the world as a whole and feeling an increased responsibility for it, intellectuals are often tempted to try to grasp the world as a whole, to explain it entirely and to offer universal solutions to its problems. An impatience of mind and a propensity toward mental shortcuts are the usual reasons why intellectuals tend to devise holistic ideologies and succumb to the seductive power of holistic social engineering. For that matter, were not the forerunners of Nazi ideology, the founders of Marxism and the first communist leaders intellectual par excellence? Did not a number of dictators and even some terrorists – from the leaders of the Red Brigades to Pol Pot – start off as intellectuals? Not to mention the many intellectuals who, though they never created nor introduced dictatorships, time and again failed to stand up to them because they, more than others, were prone to accept the delusion that there was a universal key to eliminating human woes…

[But] it would be nonsense to believe that all intellectuals have succumbed to utopianism or holistic engineering. A great many intellectuals both past and present have done precisely what I think they should: they have perceived the broader context, seen things in more global terms, recognized the mysterious nature of globality and humbly deferred to it. Their increased sense of responsibility for this world has not made them identify with an ideology; it has made them identify with humanity, with dignity and its prospects. These intellectuals build people-to-people solidarity. They foster tolerance, struggle against evil and violence, promote human rights and argue for their indivisibility. In short they represent “the conscience of society”. They are not indifferent when people in an unknown country on the other side of the planet are annihilated, or when children starve there, nor are they unconcerned about global warming and whether future generations will be able to lead an endurable life. They care about the fate of virgin forests in faraway places, about whether humankind will soon destroy its nonrenewable resources, or whether the global dictatorship of advertising, consumerism and blood-and-thunder stories on TV will ultimately lead the human race to a state of complete idiocy.”

Vaclav Havel
Address, Victoria University
Wellington, New Zealand
31 March, 1995

MANIFESTO

The war is about oil
9/11 was a CIA conspiracy
Elvis is alive and running the Illumaniti
White people are inferior
Destroy the state
It should be legal to tattoo a baby
Legalize marijuana
Bill Henson is a pornographer
Bill Henson is not a pornographer
Fuck!
Ban refugees!
Ban the Chinese!
Open every border.
Meat is murder.
Tasty murder.
This is a story that will scar your mind.
This is a picture that will make you horny.
This is a tune, write whatever lyrics you like.

SPEAK FREE AUSTRALIA