Thursday, 23 July 2009

Rousseau and Afghanistan

Yesterday I wrote about the problems of lowering risk. If you want to really lower your personal risk you may stay in bed but your life experience would not be great. There is a quote from Rousseau who said that “Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.” He wasn't talking about physical chains but that would work to abolish lots of crime. However this would again not lead to a great life experience. That's the point. Legislation restricts our freedom (as well as all the social constraints that Rousseau was talking about). Red tape makes life harder for us. These things affect our lives even if we have committed no crimes. War is an extreme example of social constraint but that is what it is and in the example of war it is the soldiers who are carrying Rousseau's chains.

On the ITV news there is an article about a bomb disposal expert who has been killed in Afghanistan. Captain Daniel Shepherd was killed by a Taliban bomb. He had been doing his job and by all accounts he had been doing his job very well. The sentence that caught my attention was from a friend of his who said that the war against the Taliban had now become personal. My fear is that there are many more Taliban fighters who are saying exactly the same thing.

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