Whither Reason?

August 24, 2009


In the light of Kenny MacAskill’s (the Scottish Justice Secretary) decision to release Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, the Lockerbie Bomber, there have been calls in America to boycott Scotland and Britain. A website entitled ‘Boycott Scotland‘ argues…

The actions of the Scottish government are inexcusable. A man who is responsible for the mass murder of 270 innocent civilians must be held accountable for such a cold blooded and ruthless act. Freeing a terrorist in order to further ties with the tyrannical Libyan regime of Muammar al-Gaddafi and to further the commercial interests of British Petroleum in that region is repulsive and sickening.

Unless the Scottish government rescinds this decision to release al-Megrahi, and if the British Parliament continues to avoid intervening in the matter, we urge all Americans to protest this action by boycotting the United Kingdom and Scotland in full. Don’t travel to Scotland or do business there (or in the United Kingdom in general) and don’t buy any British or Scottish products.

It is, of course, blatantly obvious that this whole affair was conducted with politics in mind. Nobody should be surprised that any modern government would act in it’s own self-interest regardless of the needs or wants of it’s people; Democracy has been replaced by a global Corporatic regime and America’s own gung-ho foreign policy has caused far more than it’s fair share of civilian deaths – or are the lives of non-Americans somehow less worthy of consideration? Would it be right for us to blame the American people for the atrocities committed in their name by their governments and corporations? If so then they, like Britain, would have an awful lot to make amends for.

In his speech Mr MacAskill alluded to America’s supposed Christianity by suggesting that Mr Al Megrahi’s fate was now in the hands of a ‘higher power’. The Boycott Scotland site retaliates to this suggestion with…

To those who wish to bring Christianity into this, to use religion as an excuse for the contemptible behavior and actions of the Scottish and British governments, perhaps you are forgetting something about our great country that makes it inherently different from your form of government, where you do not have separation of Church and State.

America is a secular nation.

But surely a secular nation would be governed by ‘Reason’. Edward Abbey – in his essay ‘Science With A Human Face’, from ‘Abbey’s Road‘ – said of reason…

“[Sic] I wish to stand apart, alone if need be, and hold up the ragged flag of reason. Reason with a capital R – Sweet Reason, the newest and rarest thing in human life, the most delicate child of human history. [Sic] By “reason” I mean intelligence informed by sympathy, knowledge in the arms of love. (For knowledge without conscience is the ruin of the soul, sayeth the Proverb – and the oldest wisdom is usually the most reliable.)”

And talking of ‘oldest wisdom’ Marcus Aurelius said…

“The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.”

The only way to truly defeat an enemy is not to become as they are. We prove that we are governed by secular ‘reason’ rather than religious ‘vengence’ when we show compassion where none was shown to us. The moments when ‘liberty’ – which is the personification of reason – is threatened are the moments when we need liberty the most. The only way to protect the secular ideals of democracy, liberty and human rights – from governments as well as terrorists – is to exercise them. By placing blame at the doors of citizens of Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland the ‘Boycott Scotland’ movement has forfeit any claims it may have to upholding secular ideals. Why not simply Boycott BP?

For our own feelings on the matter we’ll return to Edward Abbey…

“Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners.”


2 Responses to “Whither Reason?”

  1. charleyjk4 said

    Hah!.Scottish whiskey will bear the greatest brunt.
    There goes my tipple.

    Seriously speaking,I am quite happy that the chap has been released on compassionate grounds.He was poorly and in bad health.
    Gandhi was right when he said that an eye for an eye makes the whole world go blind.

  2. Class War - Barnsdale Brigade said

    We’re more Real Ale and Rum guys ourselves, but you’re absolutely right 🙂

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