The EU

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Monday, March 25, 2013

New TV Series (The Americans) Critiqued

For John, BLUFSome murderous dictatorships are more equal than other murderous dictatorships.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is a critique of the NBC TV Series, The Americans, about two KGB (Soviet) "Sleeper Agents" in 1980s America.  Writing at the Volokh Conspiracy, Professor Ilya Somin (George Mason Law School) wrote about "Communism, The Americans, and the Nature of Evil".  Here is, I believe, the key sentence.

My main criticism of the portrayal of communism in much of Western popular culture and intellectual discourse is that it tends to ignore or downplay communist crimes and atrocities, as most recently evident in the fawning obituaries of the late British communist historian Eric Hobsbawm; a lifelong Nazi sympathizer would never have been so lionized by mainstream media and academia.
This is a problem in that it distorts our understanding of history.  We seem to hold people from different nations and different parts of the world to different standards of conduct.  The implication of such an approach is that human rights are not universal.  That is to say, a denial of the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
I rather hold all nations and all People to the same high standards, thus avoiding what has been called "the soft bigotry of low expectations."

Hat tip to the Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

1 comment:

Neal said...

I think that the second sentence of the Declaration forgot to include the provisio, ...equal (in that) they are endowed with certain unalienable rights...among those are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And to be sure, I think God provides those rights to all men....but He does not confer literal "equality" per se. Folks tend to play with the words as in ignoring the word "pursuit" altogether and declaring that God guarantees happiness in equal amounts to all. NOT TRUE. He bestows the right to PURSUE happiness.....but if a people fails to pursue it, that is on them. Same with freedom. If a people surrenders their freedom, then I suggest that they have surrendered the current exercise of that right. Freedom is not something that you just GET. You have to work for it, pay for it, even suffer greatly for it. In many of the countries that have fallen under the boot of communism, folks have surrendered personal freedom for the lure of government provided comfort, safety, and security. That was the lure of Lenin....get rid of the Tsar and the class structure will be gone and nirvana will arrive. That is the siren song of all dictatorships....."I'll make things better for you....." Except, they never do.