Friday, February 13, 2004

The dilemma

Various events over the week in the wider world have brought out another of the double binds that liberal society has to face. There's the old chestnut about not being able to tolerate intolerance; but things like the headscarf issue in France suggests the neighbouring problem of "can we allow people the freedom to give themselves into bondage?".

This is the worse when the issue is with a cultural template that worked just fine for a pre-civic (let alone pre-industrial) society of pastoralists, with a simple set of ways of telling "us" from "them" - and liberal civic society is definitely "them", and appears like a Borg-like thing that wants to assimilate everything in its path.

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