The Nation-State: Violent and Exclusive
I usually call my collections of links ‘small bits,’ rather than roundups, because I make no effort to round up all of what’s interesting about a subject. But today’s subject, especially the first items, I can not call small.
- I start with the most horrific, Rebecca MacKinnon’s “Chinese activist bludgoned
to deathin front of journalist:”
Here his how the chilling account by the Guardian’s Benjamin Joffe-Walt begins:
The last time I saw Lu Banglie, he was lying in a ditch on the side of the street – placid, numb and lifeless – the spit, snot and urine of about 20 men mixing with his blood, and running all over his body.
That Guardian account is not pleasant reading should not be seen as an excuse for not reading it. China is seeking entry into the club of modern civilized nations. (It seems, since she wrote the first post, that Mr. Lu in fact survived.)
- Hossein Derakhshan talks about how…
I was born in Tehran and it’s enough for the US to treat me like a potential terrorist.
That’s mainly why I missed ConvergeSouth, the recent conference on blogging. What would you do if you were in our situation?
Hoder, I’m not in your situation. I’m in the situation of watching my government act like fools, and treat you like a suspected terrorist. At least in that, I can stand with you: Every time I go to the airport, I’m treated like a suspected terrorist. I speak out as best I know how, and try to learn to do better. My feelings are captured well by a quote that’s been on my personal homepage for slightly over four years:
The freedom which we enjoy in our democratic government extends also to our ordinary life. We throw open our city to the world, and never by alien acts exclude foreigners from any opportunity of learning or observing although the eyes of an enemy may occasionally profit by our liberality. We live exactly as we please and yet are just as ready to encounter every legitimate danger…
It’s from Pericles funeral oration, 2400 years ago.
I think we gain a lot from having folks like Hossein in our country, and it makes me deeply sad that we treat him based on his accident of birth in Tehran, rather than as a Canadian, the passport he now carries.