Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Calculated Chaos, by Butler Shaffer - Book review

In developing his thesis, Shaffer examines both
the institutions that he pinpoints as responsible
for much of the violence and unhappiness in the
world, and individuals who have allowed them to
wreak so much havoc upon ourselves and our
dealings with others:
"If we wish to understand the nature of political
institutions, we must be able to observe them
with minds that are willing to abandon many of
their most cherished illusions. In so doing, we
will discover that we have been sanctioning the
greatest of irrationalities: placing our lives
and well-being at the disposal of men and women
with appetites for power over other people, and
who amuse themselves and gratify their egos while
others suffer and die. .... The political State
represents nothing more than the
institutionalization of unprincipled power and
naked force. Though we delude ourselves with
trying to measure differences between fascism and
communism, democracies and dictatorships,
conservatism and liberalism, moderates and
extremists, authoritarian and totalitarian
regimes, the fact remains that every form of
government is a police-State, every political
system is tyrannical." (pp. 117-118, emphasis in

Yet we continue with it...but not for long.

Full review.