by Fritz Pointer
This time let’s begin with The Constitution for the Federation of Earth: Article 12.3 states: “Freedom of thought and conscience, speech, press, writing, communication, expression, publication, broadcasting, telecasting, and cinema, except as an overt part of or incitement to violence, armed riot or insurrection” (69). In other words, “inciting violence, armed riot or insurrection” is a crime under the Earth Constitution and should be globally recognized and adopted as such. We know, for example, that the most rigorous protection of free speech would not protect a person falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater to cause panic. Let’s dig a little deeper.
While a Professor in the Luther College Freshman Education Program (Paideia), I probably enjoyed the assigned texts more than the students. Over the summer “vacation” before their freshman year, students were to read Homer’s Odyssey and should have learned something about the consequences of hubris, as when Odysseus taunts Charybdis and Scylla; and the value of wisdom and patience as Penelope cleverly weaves and unweaves her shawl to resists the villainous suitors. The students also read The Epic of Sundiata, the West African Mande epic of Sundiata Keita, founder of the 13th century Mali Empire, which made for spirited comparisons and discussions. Also, The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli, provided a stimulating look at politics old and new. I enjoyed illuminating ideas like “the end justifies the means.” I could remark: “So, the promises made by politicians are a means to get elected: not promises to be fulfilled. It’s like a guy making promises to a girl so he can get laid, not to fulfill his promises.” This got some attention.
[The rest of this piece can be read here.]