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Friday, 15 February 2008

Soft Is Better Than Hard

A new report from a thinktank in Britain argues that the UK's "post-Christian" and "multicultural" society - supposedly fragmented, without a unifying idea or belief-system - makes the nation a "soft touch" for terrorists and other attackers. Britain is a soft touch - Democracy has a vulnerable belly - and thousands have died in wars to keep it that way.

The alternative - a fortress, in mind and body (and infrastructure) might benefit those in defense or industry whose careers depend on garrison mentalities - but would not be a society that resembled the one that defeated fascism in 1945 - or resisted the darker designs of the Bush doctrine (well, some of them). Simply put, you can't have a free society and not have "fragmentation" in terms of belief. What do the generals behind this report want us to rally behind - some monolithic Orwellian creed? Secular Atheism? Theism? Militarism? Rugged Capitalism? - all of these jostle for space in the current British marketplace of ideas. The UK is still, admirably, one of the freest places on Earth. Soft touch for monomaniacs? Maybe that's because something's being done right. Nothing challenges closed minds more than open spaces.
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