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Re: <nettime> On the Dutch "No" Vote
Keith Hart on Sun, 5 Jun 2005 01:21:50 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> On the Dutch "No" Vote


>The Dutch, however, live in their own moral, not political, universe and
>increasingly so since the Pim Fortuyn murder and and neoconservatist rule
>Balkenende-style. In this small little world, there is a general fear of
>looking outwards. 

One way of expressing the alienation of most people is the perceived 
absence of morality from contemporary politics. It is true that moral 
purposes reduce the scale of effectiveness to a personal level in the 
first instance and this is often given as the reason why politicians 
can't be moral in that sense. The collective good that they allegedly 
pursue often leaves no room for decent human behaviour. But to be moral 
is not necessarily to be small in outlook. The great religions have 
always found ways of uniting personal morality with the widest social 
agendas. Surely the most powerful charge against Chirac is that no-one 
would ever suspect him of having a moral agenda. And so rejection of his 
government fits with a desire to bring the political process closer home 
than the EU could claim to be at present. These referenda on the EU 
constituion have given some people the chance to register a protest 
against 'politics as usual' and the moral energy they bring to that has 
quite broad implications, even if they start with what matters most to 
them in particular.

I have tried to explore this issue of morality and politics through the 
metaphor of the gangster in The Hit Man's Dilemma:



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