The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

The world is mourning the death of South Africa's Nelson Mandela. And he deserves to be considered among the great.

In so many cases, the leader who brings a country to independence becomes a dictator. In the African continent alone, we have seen people like Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah and the still-serving Robert Mugabe of South Africa's neighbor, Zimbabwe. In the world's history, there have been very few George Washingtons — leaders who brought freedom to a colonized people and then showed, when the people brought them to power, that they truly believed in freedom and ran their governments appropriately. Nelson Mandela was one of the rare ones. And this despite being treated by the former governing class of his native land as a traitor, sentenced to life term in prison (though eventually freed), which could have made him extremely vindictive (once again, look next door, to Mugabe).

All one can say is that Nelson Mandela was one of the people that one wishes more would emulate. He was one of the great ones.

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