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When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
There is no military solution to the war in Iraq. Our troops can help suppress the violence, but they cannot solve its root causes. And all the troops in the world won’t be able to force Shia, Sunni, and Kurd to sit down at a table, resolve their differences, and forge a lasting peace. In fact, adding more troops will only push this political settlement further and further into the future, as it tells the Iraqis that no matter how much of a mess they make, the American military will always be there to clean it up.
We know the surrealist solution: concrete irrationality, objective risk. Poetry is the conquest, the only possible conquest, of the ‘supreme position’, ‘a certain position of the mind from where life and death, the real and the imaginary, the past and the future… cease to be perceived in a contradictory sense.’
Nevertheless, it is necessary to remember that a planned economy is not yet socialism. A planned economy as such may be accompanied by the complete enslavement of the individual. The achievement of socialism requires the solution of some extremely difficult socio-political problems: how is it possible, in view of the far-reaching centralisation of political and economic power, to prevent bureaucracy from becoming all-powerful and overweening? How can the rights of the individual be protected and therewith a democratic counterweight to the power of bureaucracy be assured?
Travelling as extensively as I do… the take away for me has made me very humble and very sympathetic to other people’s plight in the world and very desirous of being proactive in being part of a solution somehow and not part of a problem. It’s made me very patient and very grateful for where I live.
I think people resist freedom because they’re afraid of the unknown. But it’s ironic….That unknown was once very well known. It’s where our souls belong….The only solution is to confront them – confront yourself – with the greatest fear imaginable. Expose yourself to your deepest fear. After that, fear has no power, and fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.
The leadership knows that you cannot solve the issues of China’s future with the means of the past. The demographic consequences of the one-child policy, the build-up of the welfare state, the jobs for 7 million university graduates every year, the immense corruption: Even some Western governments would have to scramble to find solutions to such problems.