Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Blog Carnival #3 - Text Only

Welcome to the Carnival of Conflict's 3rd Edition - Text Only

Most of the conflicts that submitters write about this month are domestic. And I think that leads to an interesting idea about the times we live in. The conflicts around us today tend to be pretty clearly political ones, in which the line between domestic and international is grey. Take one common topic for this Carnival, the war in Iraq. The fighting is completely real, but who still believes it will be resolved through force alone?

Its comforting to believe in non-political contests between rivals' brute strength. For Americans, it is a narrative structure that has served us well in the past, because it makes political questions, questions of identity and culture, much easier. If its us doing it, its right. Maybe its a tactic societies have always used. Probably binary systems of one society coherently struggling against another have never existed, despite the myth. This month's posts seem to confirm that there are not issues that only pertain to "us", an "other", or a clear conflict between these two. When Hakim Abdullah asks, Is Islam Compatible with Democracy? the answer matters to societies on every continent. When Grey Swan asks Are we too tolerant? the answer is important in inner cities as well as in the prison cells of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.

The politics of fear, Ian Welsh's topic in Ok, Once More: No Existential Threat , are useful to cast individuals into playing their parts in the old two-sided story. But as Muse points out in How about... Rebuild Sderot Underground? there is no national bunker to seal one society off from the rest of the world. No nation is an island (even those that-technically-are islands), and conflicts between nations are also domestic conflicts as well.

An old poem gives a lesson. In the Iliad , Achilles is the symbol of physical strength and there is no man, not even mighty Hector that can stand against him. But religion, embodied by the fractious greek pantheon, brings him down. It is Odysseus, the most cunning politician of the Argives that finally defeats strong-walled Ilium by tricking them into creating their own defeat. Even all those centuries ago, a poet tells us that conflict is shaped not by arms, but by thought.

I hope you enjoy the Carnival, and please join the discussion!


Is censorship right? by Pooj.

Hakim Abdullah asks, Is Islam Compatible with Democracy?

Close Guantanamo demands Anja Merret. There is no excuse, she argues, for the mistreatment of those in American custody in Cuba.


Undercover Black Man shares Songs of Negro patriotism , exploring the relationship between race, power and war.

In Is Politics Reducible to Rhetoric?" Ashok tries to untangle politics and rhetoric with help from Machiavelli, the sophists of Greece, and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
When the media hurts by Alfa King deals with freedom of the press.

Ian Welsh speaks out against the politics of fear in the United States in Ok, Once More: No Existential Threat

Muse offers a solution to calm fears of terrorism: make everyone live in and underground bunker. The article is How about... Rebuild Sderot Underground?

Partisanship in Congress and divisions caused by the immigration reform bill are Troy Stouffer's subject in Republican Backstabbing and Political Suicide .

Mad Kane targets Mr. Giuliani for parody in The GOP's in for a Rudy Awakening

Hell's Handmaiden finds what she shares in common with a soldier in Me and the Guy in the Army

Are we too tolerant? by Grey Swan discusses how society should respond to memorials to victims (who were sometimes perpetrators) of violent crimes in inner cities.

Lucinda Riley writes about executive privilege and the Bush Administration in This is shocking .

William Dvorak makes a case for anarchism in The Political Norm of Centuries .

eHarmony complaint proves once again that lawsuits are a great way to generate serious publicity for extremist silliness by Steven Silvers is about the press' response to a lawsuit about sexual orientation descrimination.

The legacy of 'Macaca' is alive and well for The Richmond Democrat in this post on YouTube politics and George Allen.

Freethought community still united by vjack


Chris finds totalitarian and Maoist tendencies in behavior on the web in Wushu and the Second Cultural Revolution

How to complain and get a good result by Paul Michael

A poem from a dead boy by Ken Nubo offers wisdom on living life in the moment.

Male v. Female Spirituality by Brandon Peele examines how people relate to spirituality and philosophy.

Sheppard Salter identifies More Scams that Sabotage the Simple Life

Thanks for coming to the carnival, and I look forward to your responses.
Find out about submitting your work to the carnival here.

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