Paranoid Nations LO30093

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 04/14/03

Replying to LO30076 --

Dear Organlearners,

Michael Bremer < > writes in the rather dull
Subject: learning-org-digest V1 #3340 LO30076

>It is frightening indeed when the world's only super power, is
>paranoid. I am not certain what to do about it. In my travels
>around the US, I am amazed by how many people support
>what we are doing and that they believe the President has
>information they don't, which justifies our actions. I also think
>the President has information we don't, but the picture that
>comes to my mind is the Pentagon Papers and Daniel Elsburg(?)
>who ultimately had the bravery to speak out.

Greetings dear Michael,

The above makes me think of South Africa during the last decade of
apartheid. Many organisations whipped the paranoia up to a state of
frenzy. Enemies, crooks and devil worhsippers were expected behind every
corner. Experts droned at every possible venture how great were the forces
against our nation. But with the unbanning of the ANC, the release of
Mandela and the dialogues for an inclusive society, this paranoia
disappeared like mist before the sun. It made me think that the legalised
injustice during apartheid was responsible for this paranoia.

Another most interesting thing is that "rough wrestling shows" (not
amateur wrestling matches) were at its height during that last decade. It
was as if they symbolised the legalised violence during apartheid. But
soon after the normalisation of our nation, these "rough wresteling shows"
died away. We did not had one the last ten years up to the beginning of
this year when one was imported from the US!

It is not for me to say what is wrong in the US simply because i have no
first hand experience at all. What i do know i had to fit together from
information sources of which much are not reliable. However, inferior as
it may be, my own opinion corresponds much to your's (which does not imply
that your's are inferior too ;-) I have only one piece of advice from our
own experiences -- face up to what is fundamentally wrong, avoid judging
the wrong doers and normalise the nation as soon as possible in an open
manner as possible.

>Hopefully we have a one time guy in the White House. But
>the bigger question to me is what happens next? How can
>more people in the US become more globally sensitive? What
>can we, and France etc. learn so that the next time we have a
>significant disagreement, we don't totally ignore one another?

You are making a most important point with this "totally ignore one
another". It again makes me think of South Africa. People in power totally
ignored the well meant advice of the rest of the world during the era of
apartheid. They argued that the rest of the world did not understand the
complexity of the South African society. But i heard someone saying that a
physician need not to have suffered a disease to be able to diagnose it.
This helped my thoughts to escape from the closure of apartheid.

>Somehow, we (again American's in particular) have to
>become more comfortable with conflict (and I don't mean
>the war type). In my experience, all great teams have
>interpersonal conflict before they rise to greatness. It helps
>us grow and the differences are precious.

You have given me something to think about -- is the fundamental problem
in the US the inability to cope with conflict? I was up to now of opinion
that is is the lack of wholeness.

>Hopefully the UN can survive this spectacle and act in a
>more decisive way in the future (which does not translate
>to just do what the US wants).

I am also very much afraid that the UN may not survive recent events. The
main reason is that the UN was intended as an instrument for peace and not
to sanction wars. The original character of the UN is slipping out of the
hands of its member nations.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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