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Obama wins 2009 Nobel Peace Prize

 
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 11:41 pm
@OCCOM BILL,
In the first place I doubt that the "majority of the world" really gives much of a dam whom we elect as president. In the second, I believe that neither you nor the Nobel trustees can speak for the "majority of the world".

I think you are implying more importance or status to the Nobel prize than it or its history deserves. It is certainly a reflection of the attitudes and values of the trustees and, as well, from the European society from which it springs. Europeans generally have behaved as though they can speak for the world, however the still unsettled debris of the former European empires is a pretty clear indicator that they don't and never have.

While the election of a Black president is certainly an indicator of the progress of an evolutionary trend detectable in the history of this country, I think it is a bit much to portray it as sort of an indicator of the redemption of the American culture. Are we uniquely in need of such redemption? I think not. Shall we wait until Germany elects a Turkish citizen as Chancellor or the UK elects a Hindi or Pakistani Prime Minister ?
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 12:13 am
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

Brandon9000 wrote:
The Nobel committee just decided to award the prize to someone whose politics they happened to agree with. The praise they heaped on him for his attitude and style are purely subjective and unprovable, and indicate only that the people on the committee agree with Obama's polical opinions.

Yup. And it's their money, and they can do what they want with it.

Brandon9000 wrote:
You shouldn't get this prize unless you have done something to further the cause of peace.

Write a letter to the committee. Let's see how much stock they put in your opinion.

Alternately, you can leave a boatload of money to award prizes based on your criteria.

Brandon9000 wrote:
It's like they were saying, "We can do anything we please, so we'll just give this prize on the basis of agreeing with someone's politics." It's a total crock.

...in your opinion.

They can obviously do what they want, but it lessens the prize's validity as a peace prize.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  2  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 12:30 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
In the first place I doubt that the "majority of the world" really gives much of a dam whom we elect as president. In the second, I believe that neither you nor the Nobel trustees can speak for the "majority of the world".


I was inclined to think the same thing, that the majority of the world didn't care so much about who we elect as president - in fact I'd have thought it was ethnocentric to think otherwise -but then last night I was eating at a Bangladeshi restaurant and the proprietor who knew I was American walked over to my table and shook my hand. He said, 'Congratulations - I'm sure you're happy with the news.' I said, 'The Nobel prize, you mean', and he just smiled and nodded. I said, 'I'm really more interested to hear what you think about it Jamal.'

He was ecstatic! He thought it was entirely fitting. When I asked him why, he explained to me that when Obama was elected, the rest of the world watched with amazement and felt that the American people had elected more than just a President - we had elected a 'leader'. He said this is a very important distinction and explained to me the many Presidents or Prime Ministers of many nations have been and are called 'leaders' but they are not capable of 'leading'. He said that he and all his friends and countrymen whose opinion he's aware of feel a renewed sense of hope for the future of the world in that the strongest nation is being led by a 'good man' who is not only powerful, but capable of honest and thoughtful 'leadership'. He kept repeating that word.
And he told me when he got up the morning after the American election and watched the 10:00 am news (here in England) when the results were announced - there were celebrations and tears and phone calls to Bangladesh because as he said, 'Someone who is honest and direct and straightforward in his leadership and goals and agenda is now in a position to make a difference to the world'.
And he told me that there was a similar reaction among the people of many countries around the world. I read the paper and I had read that - but somehow it seemed more real when someone who grew up and has family from the other side of the world from America tells me face to face how very much he does care and is influenced by the decisions Americans and their leaders make to him and his family and friends.

He seemed happier about it (the award) than I know I was. I wouldn't have expected that.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 12:51 am
@aidan,
Oh, we care.


Not as you do, re the minutiae of difference re Dmes and Repubs.......but re whether you are likely in your hubris to destroy the world.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 12:57 am
@dlowan,
I was talking about Jamal and his impressions. I have no idea how you or anyone else care and you have no idea how I care.

And I myself, don't have the hubris it would take to think that I did - (know how anyone else I hadn't spoken to personally either did or didn't care).
saab
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 01:03 am
@ehBeth,
The kids get a ribbon for being at the event. They have to be there, which I guess is an accomplishment for some kids to even go to something instead of sitting in front of the TV.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 01:05 am
@aidan,
I just hate reflexive pronouns used as appositives.
aidan
 
  0  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 01:47 am
@roger,
You'll have to point out where I did that Roger and I will try my very, very best not to do it again.

0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  2  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 09:56 am
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:

In the first place I doubt that the "majority of the world" really gives much of a dam whom we elect as president. In the second, I believe that neither you nor the Nobel trustees can speak for the "majority of the world".
Fair enough... I was only referring to the portion that has both the opportunity and the desire to be informed of such things.

georgeob1 wrote:
I think you are implying more importance or status to the Nobel prize than it or its history deserves. It is certainly a reflection of the attitudes and values of the trustees and, as well, from the European society from which it springs. Europeans generally have behaved as though they can speak for the world, however the still unsettled debris of the former European empires is a pretty clear indicator that they don't and never have.
I tend to agree regarding the incredibly polite arogance... but I attatch no special weight to the prize, save it is indeed something I've been aware of most of my life. (Never could reconcile Arafat myself.)

georgeob1 wrote:
While the election of a Black president is certainly an indicator of the progress of an evolutionary trend detectable in the history of this country, I think it is a bit much to portray it as sort of an indicator of the redemption of the American culture. Are we uniquely in need of such redemption? I think not. Shall we wait until Germany elects a Turkish citizen as Chancellor or the UK elects a Hindi or Pakistani Prime Minister ?
It is my opinion that it is indeed a redemption of American culture in the eyes of the world at large (those fortunate enough to have an opportunity to care enough to form an opinion at all), but no... I certainly haven't suggested we are uniquely in need of same... though I do think it important for the leader of the free world to lead by example. Who else does this? Frankly, I think it is flat out fantastic that the world's only remaining "superpower", has demonstrated the sense of fair play incumbent in electing "a skinny black kid with a funny name." I don't think it can be overstated.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 11:47 am
@OCCOM BILL,
In the first place the world is not free. A very large part of it continues to suffer with primitive or restrictive economic, political and social/cultural systems: many developed or fast-developing nations have huge unresolved political issues involving the free chioices of their citizens and other ethnic and related issues that bear some similarity to the racial issues of our own that we are still working to overcome.

In the second place, the part of the world that is (mostly) free is not united. There is no acknowledged "leader of the free world". That might have been a meaningful appelation during the height of the Cold War when (mostly) democratic and developed nations were locked in a very serious struggle with a totalitarian Soviet Socialist system that was once bent on worldwide expansion. However, that struggle and the bipolar character of much of the world that accompanied it is now gone, and very little of the former Western unity that opposed it remains. Barack Obama is the elected president of the United States, not the free world or anything else.

If history teaches us anything it is to be skeptical of charismatic leaders who appeal to the unfulfilled wishes of those whom they use to form the basis of their political power. I am not suggesting that President Obama is a dangerous socialist or any of that nonsense. Only reminding you that Napoleon, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and the Rev James Jones were once hailed as transormational leaders who would redeem the institutions they took over and fulfill the hopes of those whom they later destroyed. Some obvious examples influence the world today, from Hugo Chavez to the leaders of Iran and others. The public reactions to which you refer, however widespread, are most certainly not a reliable indicator of the beneficial change that is hoped for.

There certainly is an important element of truth in what you described as follows;
Quote:
I think it is flat out fantastic that the world's only remaining "superpower", has demonstrated the sense of fair play incumbent in electing "a skinny black kid with a funny name." I don't think it can be overstated.
However, I think you will acknowledge there are other mor prosaic, less flattering and equally accurate ways of describing the same process. We just don't yet know which will prove accurate in the long run.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 12:24 pm
@georgeob1,
I supppose american democracy is still an ongoing experiment.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 01:14 pm
@dyslexia,
Carl van Doren called it The Great Rehearsal.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 02:03 pm
@dyslexia,
dyslexia wrote:

I supppose american democracy is still an ongoing experiment.


I think that it is exactly that.

Do you alternatively believe that it represents a new plane of human achievement from which there will be no retreat ?

Not much historical evidence to support that proposition.
Walter Hinteler
 
  0  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 02:11 pm
On a different note, I'm quite astonished how many "blame" the Swedes for the Noble Peace Prize. Since Nobel's will was enacted, it was done according to his guidelines - by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Since 109 years now.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 02:24 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Swedes, Norwegians . . . they're all a bunch a Dutchmen . . .
saab
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 02:46 pm
@Setanta,
Do you know why the Norwegians give the Nobel Peace Prize?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 02:49 pm
Uhm . . . is it because no one would pay any attention to them otherwise?
saab
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 03:05 pm
@Setanta,
No, they were pretty well known since back in the Viking times....
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  2  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 03:23 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Uhm . . . is it because no one would pay any attention to them otherwise?


Brilliant Laughing
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 03:23 pm
@georgeob1,
Quote:
Do you alternatively believe that it represents a new plane of human achievement from which there will be no retreat ?


Strictly speaking there is no going back. So it depends what you mean by retreat.

Civilisations and cultures presumably come and go. At their peaks I suppose few imagined them collapsing.
0 Replies
 
 

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