I still don’t know what to think about current world events.

I’ve been trawling the web searching for contrasting opinions

that might help narrow down my thoughts. For example Dave Winer writes about his own attitudes to the America he lives

in and how they are changing, and contrasts this with the pulse

of anti-Americanism he feels in Europe. He and others refer to an

excellent Sunday Times article by Brian Appleyard. Appleyard quotes George

Orwell from 1941

_“In so far as it hampers the British war effort,

British pacifism is on the side of the Nazis and German

pacifism, if it exists, is on the side of Britain and the

USSR. Since pacifists have more freedom of action in

countries where traces of democracy survive, pacifism can act

more effectively against democracy than for it. Objectively

the pacifist is pro-Nazi.”_

Now this really made me think – my late father was a

conscientious objector during WWII – and although I never quite

understood why, after his death I began to realise how much this

was about his very strong sense of his values. However,

I began to realise that the key difference between Jack and the

“chattering classes” who would knock America now was

that he did contribute to the war effort, albeit indirectly. As I

wrote in his eulogy

_“This isn’t the time to recap the things he did,

except to note that in his work with the Civil Defence he did

his part to support the community he lived in, regardless of

the prejudice he often faced for his views.”_

So can our thinking be subtle enough to distinguish between

“not bearing arms” and “opposing the war” ?

The essence I think is the difference between on the one hand

supporting the society within which you live (even if you set

some barriers around what you consider ethical to do in support

of that society), or on the other reaping all of the benefits of

the society without supporting it. For all that the

“fashionable elites” (Islington or otherwise) wish to

knock America and the West in general, every aspect of their

lives revolves around being part of the Western world, from the

economic success of capitalism to the freedom under a democracy

to express their opinions.

Yes, undoubtably, there are many millions outside the West who

look at our lives (even the poorest of us) with envy, and perhaps

millions who look at us with hatred. Many of those who hate

exploit those who are envious to gather recruits to their cause.

The balancing trick our leaders have to follow is to defend us

against those who would destroy our way of life whilst ensuring

we do not create more enemies amongst the ones who merely envy.

A news article today about the background of the terrorists suggests

that they were far from being the dispossessed – so can there

really be any weight to the argument that says the West “had

this coming”?

Finally for this entry, I’d like to link to an article by

Robert Dilts, written the day after the WTC attack and simply

entitled [Reflections

on September 11]4.

Robert is one of the world leaders in NLP,

and a very gentle, thoughtful and spiritual man. In his article

he calls on us all to be awakeners, and says:

_“The job of the awakener is to shine light into

situations which are dim, not cast his or her own shadow into

the darkness that is already there. Awakeners have no

illusions about human nature so they do not have negative

surprises. But they have a strong belief about what is


So I wonder what we believe is possible?

Proactive application of technology to business

My interests include technology, personal knowledge management, social change