Monday, 21 February 2011

On Betrayal




In situations like this the cliched quotation of E M Forster, "I hate the idea of causes, and if I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country " is trundled out but may I take the opportunity to quote Joseph Conrad, "They talk of a man betraying his country, his friends, his sweetheart. There must be a moral bond first. All a man can betray is his conscience."

One thing I, as an outsider, find contradictory in "The Land Of The Free" is the power of the House Committee hearings to subpoena citizens to attend and gaol them for contempt if they refuse, like Dashiel Hammett, to attend.

America has fought a continuous civil cold war between the libertarian and authoritarian threads that are woven together into the Star Spangled Banner since the first colonists stepped off their boats. It is because of the far-sighted genius of Thomas Jefferson that separation of religion and State was written into the Constitution.

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