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Showing posts from May, 2005

The death of intimacy

A selfish, market-driven society is eroding our very humanity

Martin Jacques
Saturday September 18, 2004
The Guardian

It has become almost an article of faith in our society that change is synonymous with progress. The present government has preached this message more than most, while it is a philosophy that most people seem to live by. It is nonsense, of course. Change has never always been good. And recent surveys indicating that we are less happy than we used to be suggest a profound malaise at the heart of western society and modern notions of progress.

The findings are not surprising. The very idea of what it means to be human - and the necessary conditions for human qualities to thrive - are being eroded. The reason we no longer feel as happy as we once did is that the intimacy on which our sense of well-being rests - a product of our closest, most intimate relationships, above all in the family - is in decline. In this context, three trends are profoundly changing the nature of our …

The new barbarism

Not since the 1930s has the threat of racism and fascism been so great in the west

Martin Jacques
Thursday May 9, 2002
The Guardian

Since 1989 we have been living in a fool's paradise. The triumphalism about the future that greeted the collapse of communism has proved to be profoundly misplaced. The reason why we should fear the rise of Le Pen is not simply that fascism and an ugly racism are alive, well and in the ascendant in one of the heartlands of Europe, but rather that the world that we now live in is in a corrosive state. Not since the 1930s has the threat of the irrational, of a turn towards barbarism, been so great in the west. It has become an arrogant truism of western life that the evils of the modern world - authoritarianism, ethnic conflict, illiberalism - are coterminous with the developing world. It was telling how some western leaders, including one of our own ministers, in the aftermath of September 11, spoke of the civilised world, and by implication of the uncivil…

British military chief reveals new legal fears over Iraq war

· Forces head in remarkable 'jail' claim
· Top law officer met key Bush officials

Antony Barnett and Martin Bright
Sunday May 1, 2005
The Observer

The man who led Britain's armed forces into Iraq has said that Tony Blair and the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, will join British soldiers in the dock if the military are ever prosecuted for war crimes in Iraq.

In a remarkably frank interview that goes to the heart of the political row over the Attorney General's legal advice, Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, the former Chief of the Defence Staff, said he did not have full legal cover from prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

'If my soldiers went to jail and I did, some other people would go with me,' said Boyce.

In his most detailed explanation yet of why he demanded an unequivocal assurance from lawyers that the war was legal, he said: 'I wanted to make sure that we had this anchor which has been signed by the government law officer ...

'It may not s…