Saturday, March 12, 2005

The nature of an open society

This Ben Sargent political toon has it correct. A group of mask politically activated terrorist looking Arabs are huddled in a corner conspiring. There leader is spouting the plans for the next phase of the revolution: The Caption reads:

"The Beirut Street Demonstrations went so well, brothers, we're ready for the next phase of the struggle...

* Ahmad, you'll write a stern letter to the editor...

* Karif, a hysterical phone call to talk radio...

* Farid, a really sarcastic blog... "

Yep, Mr. Sargent has it right. The ideal is a messy world with people having widely divergent ideas. The deal is that once you have millions of people actively working and developing their own little opinions of the world, you erode the potential for a central authority to dictate policy.

Occasionally one or two blogs might accidently stumble on a good idea, worth pursuing. The real value of the discordant chatter of a free press is that people think. Oddly, Mr. Sargent forgot to add a line about drawing political cartoons for papers.

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