Monday, September 03, 2007

On revolution

A nice correspondence that occurred to me while rereading Havana Dreams:
  • Dentro de la revolución, todo; contra la revolución, nada. - Fidel Castro, 1961. After the Communists took power, citizens were required to believe and act by this maxim, for fear of reprisal or death.
  • Extra ecclesiam nulla salus (Outside the [Catholic] Church, there is no salvation) - a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church, pronounced as early as the 6th century AD by Saint Gregory the Great [sic] and reinforced about once per century since the 13th century in papal bulls and encyclicals.
  • If you're not with us, you're against us. - George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld (who since resigned in disgrace), 2003. Post 9/11, this statement came from the following brilliant logic: Bin Laden and Al-Qaida have challenged the US. Bin Laden and Al-Qaida are terrorists. Ergo, anyone who challenges the US is a terrorist. This wedge has been used to slowly erode basic civil liberties by casting the Iraq war in "armageddon" terms that appeal to the religious fundamentalists who got this administration elected. (In 2003, there was an 80% approval rating for going to war among white evangelical Protestants - ironically, the same ones who aren't going to be saved due to extra ecclesiam nulla salus.)
I'm waiting to see what similar line Hugo Chavez comes up with. They're all of a piece, these guys, and the people who allow themselves to be led astray by this kind of rhetoric are pitiable indeed.

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