NYTimes: email from Israel

Jeff Bone jbone@jump.net
Wed, 03 Oct 2001 01:02:56 -0500


"Stephen D. Williams" wrote:

> Primitive:
> Congo, Afghanistan  (canabalism-derived culture, genocide, abuse of
> women, death sentences for everything)

Agreed.  Add to the list:  any gov't where some particular genetic makeup or
faith-based belief structure is the basis for citizenship / full rights or where
some faith-based belief structure is the basis of justice, i.e. Iran, Saudi
Arabia, Iraq -- though interestingly Iraq is less so (i.e. more secular) than
most other Arab / Islamic societies, perhaps besides Jordan -- Pakistan, the
Balkans (who knows?), maybe Turkey (again, who knows?), Yemen, Egypt, Sudan,
Algeria, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and...  our favorite
buddy,  Israel... the list goes on.

I'm not sure whether any / all of these are borderline between your "primitive"
category and the "primitive / horrifically regressive meme disease" categories.
Having an Sbarro or McDonald's franchise does not an advanced culture (read,
less provocatively:  compatible with "Western culture") make...

The problem isn't the "3rd world" anymore:  it's the 2nd-world, 2nd-dimension
--- 2D being basis for social inclusion / exclusion...

> Medical care:
> Modern medical care vs. witch doctors vs. faith healing vs. leaving the
> injured
> (The best way to fund medicine in general is up in the air.  Is it more
> like defense or entertainment?  Very confusing.)

I would submit that judging countries on the basis of available medical care is
a bit misleading --- it's hard to have first-class medical care when all your
dollars are spent on guns, not butter...

> Owning Housing:
> The US system of mortgages/banks/Fanny Mae/investors
> simple banks/investors/mortgages
> indentured servants
> feudal systems

Perhaps controversally, I would submit that "indentured servitude" is a
qualitatively different thing than "slavery" --- it is the result of a
mutually-agreeable and time-limited contract entered into between two parties,
and I can't think of any good reason why this shouldn't be permissible if both
parties consent to it.  For instance, why shouldn't I be able to sell myself
into sexual servitude to Geege for $500k a year for four years, if that's what
she wants? ;-)

On the whole:  rational, Stephen.

jb