He hates us for our freedom

Have you noticed that you never see a picture of Osama bin Laden and Pope Ratso together?

Guess who said this:

In contemporary culture, we often see an excessive exaltation of the freedom of the individual.

I guess you can take the boy out of the Hitlerjugend, but you can’t take the Hitlerjugend out of the boy.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

7 thoughts on “He hates us for our freedom”

  1. There are many cultures that deemphasize the individual & emphasize the community. I have lived in Vietnam for extended periods–long enough to learn some of the language–& I am often plesantly surprised as a westerner by this shift. Which is not to say that the individual has no value in VN society, of course. It is a mattter of emphasis.

  2. The news story I like to makes it quite clear what the Pope meant.
    "The Pope's comments on family values were in stark contrast with new laws in Spain to legalize gay marriage, make divorce and fertility treatment easier and cut Catholic education in schools."
    Nor is it the case that the Pope is merely defending the right of a population that overwhelmingly agrees with the Church's teachings to impose them on the minority. Instead, he wants to maintain laws with which the Spanish people largely disagree:
    "Polls show around two thirds of Spaniards support gay marriage, a sea change from the 1939-1975 dictatorship when right-wing Francisco Franco banned homosexuality and divorce. Less than a fifth of Spaniards now practice their faith."
    The context Joel provides doesn't improve things, in my eyes. "Inalienable rights" is an old idea, and I think I know what it means. But what's an "inalienable duty," unless it means that we must all do as the Church says whether we agree or not?
    And yes, the Hitlerjugend remark was a nasty wisecrack, not a serious argument.

  3. Rabbi Irving Greenberg, in a fair and balanced assessment of the legacy of JPII, in Commonweal, April 2005, sheds some light on Benedict's quote. No one has to agree, but the complete context is important to understand:
    "John Paul raised his theological position to another level by developing a broad theme that his promagesterium, proauthority, profamily, prolife, antifeminist, antigay teaching was in fact the defense of a culture of life. He stood in the breach against a media-driven, escalating hedonism (turning into drugs and pornography), individualism (turning into narcissism), and liberalism (turning into relativism). The emerging postmodern culture, he argued, was growing beyond one of materialism and excess into a culture of death, despite the good intentions of those who paved its way. (John Paul also linked this stand to opposition to the death penalty and a tendency to critique the use of force in world affairs.)"
    http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/article.php3?id

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