Wednesday, January 07, 2004
Disaster, The True Test Of Political Systems

Mark Steyn has written on the ability of governments to handle 'Events':

By the standards of the world, Iran, China and France are all wealthy societies. They're vulnerable to 'events' because of their organizational principles - a primitive theocracy which disdains modernity; a modified totalitarianism which thinks you can reap the benefits of capitalism without the institutions of liberty; and a cradle-to-grave welfare state that has so enfeebled its citizens' ability to act as responsible adults that even your dead mum is just one more inconvenience the government should do something about.
There are some chilling examples in this article, including:
The two images that for me sum up the aftermath of September 11 - on the one hand, the New York firemen pounding up the stairs of the World Trade Center to rescue those in the towers; and, on the other, a fire in Mecca a few months later.

Some young Saudi girls were trying to flee a blazing school, but they were prevented from doing so by the mutaween - the religious police - who beat them with sticks and drove them back inside the building to perish in the flames. Why would they do such a thing? Because the girls, in their haste to escape the inferno, had neglected to put on their head scarves. Fifteen of them died.
The entire piece is worthy of your attention.

On a side note, to those who have written me in the past month via email: I'm still getting back into the 'school groove,' and have not (as of yet) gotten around to responding. I will do so as soon as I can, but please, be patient. Thanks!
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A webjournal of ideas, comments, and various other miscellany from a Texan university student (with occasional input from his family) living in Toronto, Ontario. Can you say "culture shock?"

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