Duly Noted: Justice Served the UN Way


George Handlery about the week that was. “What goes around…” The UN’s biased rendition of reality. Unwelcome refugees. Noble ends and terror. Third Worlders, socialism and failing societies. Tyranny and guided economies. Strange bedfellows and odd mutations.

1. A small news item calls attention to the issue hidden behind it. The report of October 18 tells that a terrorist attack cost the lives of several Iranian revolutionary guards. Even some bosses were among the victims. We might be inclined to file away the news under the heading “well deserved,” or “ultimately we all have to swallow our own medicine,” or perhaps the reaction is “who cares, we are used to this”. While the terms might fit, the event has a significance hiding under its surface. It points to something that transcends the event itself.

Iran is a state run by a force disguised behind the façade of a normal government. Domestically, its exponents exercise and protect their access to power by the use of terror against their real enemies and all suspected opponents. The same system – the formal government and power structure is only a part of it – supports terrorist organizations abroad against persons, groups, parties and states it opposes. It will hardly present a challenge to the reader to identify, besides Iran, several other states and movements that fit the generalization. The conclusion that emerges is that wide spread application of terrorist tactics as part of an international strategy has become prevalent. This should not surprise anyone. Terrorism pays. It pays because the timidity of its past, present and future victims have make it through into a profitable enterprise. Through this toleration – extended in the hope of escaping attacks – a number of goals seem to be achievable that would not be realistic if normal means would be applied. The upshot is that the system, which regulates and civilizes the way international disputes are carried out, is tottering. Diplomacy as an instrument of solution and as a device to avoid armed conflicts is limited in its use to a shrinking number of states. They happen to be the ones that would, due to their internal order, not be likely to resort to violence as a preferred instrument to solve problems. In addition, these entities have not too many serious issues burdening their relationships.

2. Would you have guessed it? Tehran accuses the US ands the Jews – it is amazing that the “realists” there still discern some difference – to be responsible for the attack through “guided suicide bombers”. Originally, the writer intended to add in irony that next the USA will be declared responsible for bad weather, too much rain and too little precipitation. Then it downed on him that America is already made responsible for the “weather” – at least when it is not optimal and therefore it does not deserve credit.

3. Notably discouraging. The Gaza clash of Israel’s army with the Hamas terrorists has been the subject of the Goldstone Report. Whatever one might think of the result, that investigation found the IDF and Hamas equally responsible in what it alleged were human rights violations. By some standards that made the Report “impartial”. After all, while improving on reality, it condemned both parties equally for unequal deeds. Then the UN’s Human Rights Commission acted on the Report. After a split vote, it sent the resulting recommendation to the GA. Again, all this happened in the interest of twisted impartiality, conforming to the way that the concept might be understood, let us say in Tehran. Israel’s misdeeds, as in the original report were mentioned. The words wasted on the skewed Goldstone report on the Hamas’ actions were de-emphasized. It all adds up to a biased rendition of reality that then was filtered through prejudice. That made the product conform to the views those that were intent on proving not only shared guilt but also the exclusiveness of the crime of one of the parties.

4. Canadian problems. To some outsiders these terms, if connected, might appear to be a non-sequitur. Canada – but also Sweden and Switzerland – try to avoid “problems” by ducking well before the “shoe is made to fly”. The writer is convinced that such demeanor that makes a virtue of forgiving prior to the injury encourages violations. That seems to be the case with the refugee status of immigrants from some safe countries who seek asylum because, so they claim, they are being persecuted at home.

Euphemistically these souls to be saved are citizens of assorted countries even though, unofficially, they are identified as gypsies. The newest wave to reach Canada is from Hungary. Realistically gypsies, while generally not liked, are not persecuted in Hungary or in the rest of east central Europe. Evidently, however, in a poor country welfare payments will be a reflection of the gross domestic product. Given the limited means, it is also likely that access to parsimonious allocations will be subjected to more hard-nosed scrutiny than in wealthy communities. There it is easy to stuff complaining mouths by generous handouts. To be officially poor in a rich country beats being middle-class in a poor one. Regarding the Czech Republic, Canada has imposed visas. Ottawa has warned that, if the chance that is offered for immigration under a false pretext continues to be misused, similar restrictions will also be imposed on all Hungarian citizens. Anything else would be rated as discrimination.

5. The advocates and practitioners of terror have a remarkable argument justifying their deeds. Not unlike radical revolutionaries in the Western experience, they claim that the purpose of politics by violence, and persuasion through terror, have a noble purpose. It is to bring peace and virtue to those that are to be liberated from their skewed prejudices by these policies.

6. Not all revolutions fit the above observation. It can be said that some revolutions have been carried out to civilize power. For example, the Glorious Revolution as well as the American had comparable aims. Their claimed goal was the taming of government and the imposition of an order that limited and exposed to review the record of those that were given a mandate to exercise power.

7. Third worlders and classical socialists have shared roots. Both lack an understanding for the origins of the wealth of nations. Both assume – this follows from the aforementioned ignorance- that wealth is created by theft. If that would hold water then a possible implication would be that, in the interest of equality, we are all condemned to poverty. The theory fails to answer the inquiry regarding the origins of that wealth that is alleged to have been robbed. It also ignores the prosperity of communities such as that of the defeated Japanese and Germans, or of weak peoples ones such as the Swedes and the Swiss that were not in a position to extort anyone. Alas, such irrational explanations, once they are built into economic policy, guarantee failure and poverty as the reward for misguided efforts.

8. Government directed and politically inspired planning and democracy do not mix well. Those condemned by government pressure or their self-inflicted errors to drink the mixture of political power and economic dominance are likely to choke while ingesting it. The foul taste comes about because the plan will be misguided and because its correction will prove to be more than difficult. That will be because concentrated political and economic power will lack the checks and balances that the ability to correct errors presumes. Political power will be devoid of checks and balances because the difficulties of the economy to deliver its promises will create a resistance that will have to be suppressed. Furthermore, the separation of economic and political power is a precondition of lived liberty. Once this separation of powers is undermined, the resulting centralized power will become openly tyrannical. That will happen because dictatorship will be possible and, due to various deficiencies, most necessary.

@ dimitrik

Money is a document stating that the giver of the money owes the receiver something in the form of goods or services, but essentially a share of his own efforts. Money enables the indebted to put off repaying until a later time or to have the ability to repay through other channels. Money enables indirect trading of goods. It has no function or value whatsoever beyond that except for its material worth in the case of coins and its heat-spending qualities when burned in the case of paper money.

If trading partners choose to set a certain exchange ratio (3 eggs for 1 lump of meat today, tomorrow maybe 4 eggs), they, if we want to call it trading, agree on it voluntarily.

If however trader 2 takes 3 eggs for one lump of meat from trader 1 and steals one egg later we call that thievery. Or, if he is extracting eggs at gunpoint, we call that robbery even if he hands over the meat.

Now I would beg you to elaborate in what way accumulating wealth merely through trade is thievery.

Thievery in wealth-creation?

There are a few of kinds of "thievery" inherent to economic life, but all are external to the wealth creation through trade that Dimitri calls thievery. First, one people usually has to appropriate land and exclude another people, then defend it from all comers, in order to produce anything. If you are not willing to incur or inherit "guilt" for the original appropriation of some of the primary factors of production, or for their defense, you might as well shoot yourself.

Second, government policies that subsidize or depreciate the economic activities of the population can amount to theft. Tariffs force people to pay more for certain products. Immigration policy forces people to lower the cost of their labor. Forced racial integration devalues real property. Monetary and fiscal policy are permitted to devalue money, thus devaluing all labor and goods.

Third, theft occurs when a society's political and judicial dispute resolution processes fail to produce just results. Say you were defrauded but the jury doesn't like your lawyer. Too bad for you. This is perhaps a specialized subset of the second kind of thievery.

One might say the first kind of thievery is in accordance with natural law and is foundational to social life, while the second two kinds are violations of natural law, at least to the extent they represent intentional theft and not simply the costs we pay for the inevitable imperfections of human action governmental and private.

Capitão Andre: A Brief Reply to Dimitri K.

Wealth began with the first agricultural surplus.  This surplus of course, is created by the farmer who applies his labor to a section of land.  Wealth can be both created and transferred.  National lotteries transfer wealth, albeit the state is by far the main recipient.  Capitalist exchanges are not necessarily equal, but must be voluntary and free of fraud or coercion.  Of course, the value of the good or service exchanged for money may increase or decline in value shortly after the transaction.  You are in dire need of a basic understanding of economics.  I am certain the other commentators here will only be harsher with you.

wealth is created by theft

Ha ha. Wealth is created by theft. Actually, there is some point in it, as shown by Marx. According to Marx, money is only a substitute for goods, required for exchange. Consider any natural exchange between 2 people. If that exchange is absolutely equal, no one of them should pay to the other. Therefore, no wealth can be created.

The other possibility is that money is a product in itself, created independently by some process, which is not absolutely clear. And that product can be exchanged for goods. Then Marx was wrong. It only remains to discover, what is the meaning of money, and how it is created.

Capitão Andre on "Duly Noted: Justice Served the UN Way"


1. Iran and Pakistan see terrorism as an extension of their military power. However, the client terrorist groups do not see themselves as proxies of foreign powers, a complication that the United States, Soviet Union and China all learned during decades of proxy wars. Not only are Iran and Pakistan vying for hegemony in Central Asia and among Islamic countries, but Iran has more than a passing interest in Pakistan’s Shia, and visa versa. Both have attempted to mobilize Balochi nationalism against the other, and both have been burned by it as well.

2. Is this a surprise? Iran’s first nuclear weapons programme was aimed at Iraq, not the target of its vitriolic rhetoric, the “Great Satan”. If Iran has re–started the weaponization programme after 2003, it would probably be to counter Pakistan, rather than threaten Israel or American deployments.

3. As one British commentator mentioned, the IDF went above and beyond any other military in history to prevent harm to civilians and their property. Enough said.

4. The Canadian government has struck down attempts by the Czech, Hungarian and Mexican governments to transfer their “undesirables” to Canada, despite coming under considerable pressure from human rights NGOs and the EU.