Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

100 m sprint gold medal for Oscar Biscet!

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Óscar Elías Biscet González is a human right and democracy activist in Cuba. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that it means he is sitting in prison. He has a long history of activism and therefore politically motivated punishments from the Cuban communist regime. For these huge efforts I suggest he shall receive the gold medal of 100 meters sprint!

He never ran 100 meters in a stadium? Who cares if he is a political activist, fighting for the perfect system: ours.

You find the idea idiotic? Well, it is. However it's not at all far from what's happening. There is a running campaign to nominate this guy for 2010 Nobel peace prize. No, not just some family members are behind it. Members of US, Canada and UK congress/parliament gave their support, and now the President of the EU council nominated him too.

The Nobel Peace prize was founded to reward the one who "have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses". While we can debate who did the most or best, we can without doubt can say that Oscar Biscet have done nothing in this field.

Neither did Liu Xiaobo, Barack Obama, Al Gore, Muhammad Yunus, Wangari Muta Maathai, and Shirin Ebadi. These people received Nobel peace prize in the last decade without any work done for peace or disarmament. This is 6/10! The other 4 recipients, Martti Ahtisaari, Mohamed ElBaradei, Jimmy Carter and Kofi Annan at least did something for peace.

The 6, obviously unworthy winners were human rights, anti-poverty or environmentalist activists/politicians, which are great things according to the consensus in the Western world. However such work make no one more eligible for a peace prize than a sports medal.

The above is a prime example of social thinking: peace is good, democracy is good, so a democracy activist is good for peace prize. It is the same thinking that motivates Goodwin-trolls: "this guy is bad (I believe), Hitler is bad too, so this guy is Hitler". The Turkmenbasi renamed April (the month) after his mum using the same logic. While laughing on the idiot and his country that tolerated this nonsense, don't think that the Western social "truth" is any less funny to an outsider or an a-social.

I already know who will win the 2012 Nobel Peace prize: The American Soldier. After all, who did more than him to spread democracy?!

If you want to see social thinking in its pure idiocy, check for symbolic acts. Practical acts are always limited by objective reasons or consequences, for example claiming that "love can feed you" makes you very hungry. But actually nothing in practice changes by giving out a medal to a guy, so why not give it to someone we like, even if he is completely ineligible?

29 comments:

Tazar said...

Today I 100% agree with you.

Thrid said...

Obama's nobel was awarded due to his work on nuclear disarmament and arms reduction internationally, which is one of the major qualifiers for the award.
Other than this, I do agree with your point.

MetaManu said...

it's the idea that giving the title will actually do something for peace that is the point, here. The guy has just to represent something suitably "opposianistic"

It's a symbol. You can see it's social, but still, it weirdly works! :)

For example, china was suitably (and satisfyingly) insulted by its nobel, recently.

On a side note, efficient (and couragous) diplomatics would be a lot more efficient. Imo, nobel prize exists only because the political leaders are cowards (excuse me, "realists").

Misanthrope said...

You always seem to be looking for reason and logic in things people and society do... I can't think of a bigger waste of time. Would you try teaching philosophy to the apes in the zoo?
Us few enlightened persons must just struggle through this sea of stupidy and keep our heads down, nothing we say or do will ever make a difference. World/local politics is driven by a few unknown persons with their own agenda, steering the masses as a farmer heards his sheep to slaughter.

Anonymous said...

From the Wikipedia article: "Henry David Thoreau, Mohandas Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr are major influences in Biscet's writing and motivation."

Don't get me wrong; Thoreau is one of my favorite authors. However, I feel like there is a school out there churning out these freedom fighters. Make them read enough Thoreau and MLK Jr. and have them do practice exercises in non-violence and sitting in a prison cell and you've got yourself a grade-A freedom fighter!

This guy just happens to conform to practices and beliefs that the western world (or at least America) idealizes. That's why they're considering offering him a peace prize.

Maybe I'm a warmonger or violent person, but I just don't believe that peace can always be obtained by non-violent means. Non-violence works in many western countries because of our beliefs and culture. I'd like to see someone in a war-torn African country stand there and practice non-violence against their opponents.

Give Blizzard the peace prize since they keep millions of people occupied that might otherwise do violent things.

Squishalot said...

Gevlon: "But actually nothing in practice changes by giving out a medal to a guy, so why not give it to someone we like, even if he is completely ineligible?"

This statement shows that you're ignorant about how such symbolic things influence socials. If a symbolic act influences socials to act differently, then by definition, something has changed.

Andru said...

While I agree with you, the angle they're coming from is understandable.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_peace_theory

It remains to be seen, however if democracies don't go to war with each other, or capitalistic states don't go to war with each other.

You have pointed this out in one of your earlier articles. In a rational capitalistic society, it's hard to start a war, mainly because most people don't want to get themselves killed for a pitiful salary.

There may be a casual link between capitalism and democracy, seeing as how the vast majority of democracies are capitalistic, and the vast majority of auto/oligocracies have planned economy.

The thinking is convoluted, but then again, so is Noble Peace Prize. Eh.

Anonymous said...

The great singer / songwriter / comedian / mathematician Dr Tom Lehrer (wrote The Elements and many others) said "political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Prize"

While I clearly agree with your sentiment, these people are not worthy recipients, "ineligible" is not the correct word. Their winning proves they were eligible; merely trendy, inappropriate and undeserving.

P.S. without getting too political, I would characterize Jimmy Carter as working "in the field of" world peace; working "for" world peace is perhaps debatable.

And as
http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/wealth-of-nations/2009/10/09/obama-not-first-surprising-nobel-peace-prize-winner-seven-controversial-recipients.html
points out, it is a peace prize named for the inventor of dynamite.

Jumina said...

Well I personally would give the Nobel peace prize to The American soldier. I don't understand what Jimmy Carter or Kofi Annan did for peace except stupid appeasement of M&S. Which never works.

Xende said...

They should rename the Peace Prize as "The Social-political-Change-towards-Western-ideologies-meaning-they're-gonna-be-more-democratic-and-rich-and-less-poor-because-look-at-us!-come-on-it's-not-so-bad!-Hollywood-anyone?-Well-maybe-that's-not-so-good-but-then-Arrested-Development!!!" Nobel Prize.

Hirvox said...

And as
http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/wealth-of-nations/2009/10/09/obama-not-first-surprising-nobel-peace-prize-winner-seven-controversial-recipients.html
points out, it is a peace prize named for the inventor of dynamite.


Nobel created the fund in the first place, so I say that giving the Peace Prize to Kissinger was consistent with the history of the prize itself. Despite the original intentions, it has never been a reward awarded on the basis of objectively measurable merit.

Anonymous said...

As a Norwegian, I am way ahead of you on this. The Nobel peace price has become a parody of itself, and has basically been used as a political tool to praise people whose political activism coincides with the view of our socialist government.

Al Gore got the peace price for making a few ugly powerpoint presentations and spreading fear propaganda about global warming. He did nothing to actually stop global warming and certainly did nothing to promote world peace.

Liu Xiaobo's price was mainly a tool to put focus on the fact China does not have democracy, and try and pressure them into it. Funnily, it sort of backfired because they don't want to by our salmon any more.

Of course, nothing has, and probably nothing ever will top Obama. It's been theorized that the main reason they gave him the peace price was they wanted a way to get him to visit Norway. And it's probably not far from the truth. After all, his nation's at war. And he hasn't exactly done a lot to end them. I find it slightly hypocritical to give a peace price to the leader of a nation which is at war.

Zazkadin said...

The Peace prize is very susceptible to be used for political motives. Many people have been awarded the prize because of the following logic:

- we do not like government X, because it suppresses people/hinders democracy
- person Y opposes this government and he has suffered from it
- therefore we give person Y the prize to show government X that the world wants them to change their ways

We could require that person Y actually achieves something in order to become eligible for the prize, but then don't we teach our children that trying is more important than succeeding?

The only ironical thing is that for the other Noble prizes it is only the result that counts. No writer, economist or scientist has ever won the prize for merely persisently working hard in his field. Doing a major scientific discovery purely by luck or coincidence however can still earn you the prize.

Misanthrope said...

It is amusing to see how people like to be seen as promoting peace when in reality there are many countries that rely on wars to stimulate the economy...

Permanent war economy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permanent_war_economy

war = profit = good (so long as it not happening in your own backyard)

Ðesolate said...

It is our own ignorance that states out, that the "democracy" as we practice it (elected despotism) would be the ultimate peace source.

The "officially" most "democratic" country (self declared), the USA startet most of the wars after WW2. They have startet more bloody revolutions and have killed more people by their intelligence service than any other country.

So if "demoracy" is the way of peacekeeping we will be fucked as speaking directly. Ah yes and the sweet nuclear disarmament is pretty. Anyway a fraction of the us-arsenal will be enough to turn up the whole world into the stone age. They will unlikely go beyond this in the next 100 years (until a new "doom machine" is build up).

We saw it at comunism and actually see it at democracy. No system can be realized in it's pure good as long as we human keep up our selfish ways. This will only end when we envolve or get obliberated. Last will be expected.

Anonymous said...

Some politicians in Norway stated that the prize for Obama also was proactive, as in not going into more wars / sending more troops.

Misantrhope: If nothing you say or do will ever make a difference, then you are unenlightened and just plain stupid. Enlightened people find ways to exploit the stupid.

Misanthrope said...

Anon. I think you misunderstand the meaning of the word "enlightenment", comprehension of a situation.
Name calling is a bit childish as you know nothing about me. As far as I am concerned there are far more important and enjoyable ways to spend my brief time on this planet than worrying about what the other apes are doing, so long as I an my family are doing fine I care nothing for their games.
In a way I see Gevlon is as I was 25 years ago, but now I am old and cynical and see little point in trying to change the world.

chewy said...

Thanks for the no questions asked full subscription refund I received today.

I thought I'd inadvertently found your "Shag,Marry,Snog,Kill" category when I read the content. It's not that I disagree with what you're saying it's just that it doesn't come close to your usual thought provoking ideas.

You can never please all of the people all of the time I guess.

Anonymous said...

The Nobel peace prize, was once spoken of as the most prestigious award in the world, but after it was given to Al Gore it is now about as prestigious as a porno movie award for best anal sex scene.
Further damage was done when Barrack Obama got the prize in what was basically a popularity contest.

I'm Norwegian, so i know a bit about what is going on here.

The problem is that everyone in the peace prize comity have a political background. Most of them are left wingers, and the foreman, Thorbjørn Jagland, is a former prime minister from the same party as our current prime minister, who is very much into global warming. That is why the peace prize was given to Al Gore.

The peace prize is just a tool for Norwegian left wingers to draw attention to their values now, so we should expect it to be abused to promote more left wing propaganda in the future.

China had strong political reactions on the prize, and among other things canceled meetings with Norwegian ministers planned long before the last winner was announced. The reason they reacted against Norway was that it was not just the country who happen to be giving out the prize, the comity was closely tied to our current government.

Everblue said...

The connection between democracy and peace is well established. True fact - there has only ever been one war in which both sides were "true" democracies. This was the war between the UK (of course!) and Finland during the second world war. There were no shots fired between the UK and Finland in this war.

Ðesolate said...

"The connection between kommunism and peace is well established. True fact - there has never been one war in which both sides were "true" kommunistic. There has never been any shot between true kommunistic coutrys."
/fixed the polemic statement. If democratic coutrys who start wars count as peace acts to you I am happy to prove you wrong.

Several mid-american countrys who have elected a new ruler in democratic ways have been "reorganized" by the US. Several thousands of "regiemeenemys" were killed and the despotistic troops were supported by CIA and US weapons. It is a pity the biggest democratic country itself brought up war upon new democratic countrys, just because they abandonned the US influation.

But I won't disturb you living in a rainbow.

Anonymous said...

While I agree with you on the point that his achievements have nothing to do with the original criteria of the prize, I believe that lately the prize has changed its meaning. All the other Nobels are awarded for a specific achievement in their respective field, but world peace as an idea seems to be as good as dead now. On the other hand, Western democracies seem to pursue the goal of westernising and democratising other systems, which has systematically replaced generic peace as a goal. There seems to be an understanding that this will eventually make the world a better place in all sorts of ways, including preventing wars, but I believe it's mostly an economic and defense strategy (not that I think that's wrong in itself). Now if we don't see peace in itself as a worthy/achieveable goal, then it makes perfect sense that the Peace Prize should be awarded to those that strive to make the world a better place in other ways (which are now believed to be more significant). There's no way for, say, the Economics Prize to be subverted in such a way, and I highly doubt the prize could be renamed to 'Worthy Social Undertakings Prize', even if that had a nice ring to, which it doesn't. So the comitee does what they can: they interpret the rules to suit their own ends and worldviews.

Добри said...

@ Ðesolate
Actually there were conflicts between purely communist countries. Like for example USSR - China conflict from 1969.

Ðesolate said...

@Добри:
I am totally aware of this but since no declaration of war has been made there has never been a war. Yes of course there were fights at the Sino–Soviet border conflict.

I just want to show the idiocy of focusing on only inter-"democratic" wars as a "prove" for the peacekeeping ability of democracy.

If america would be capitalistic and the wars would be payed by the companys who had interest in afganistan and the iraq wars, there would have been none of theese wars. But the wars are payed by the american people and only at a minor fraction by taxes by the gaining companys.

The modern wars are mostly about economic interest, made possible by corrupted "democratic" governments.

Daniel said...

Squishalot has a point: symbolism can be a powerful influential device...

...it's just not easy to measure.

Campitor said...

The connection between communism and peace is well established? Really? Try telling that to the thousands killed during the Stalin purges or the Chinese cultural revolution or the slaughter of thousands under the Khmer Rouge.

Every country, including the US has blood on its hands. Early in US' history they allowed the abomination of slavery. Europe enslaved its populace with serfdom and "divine" right, etc.

Finger pointing never solved anything. And the US isn't a true democracy but rather a democratic republic. Citizens dont get to vote on issues but rather their elected representives do.

The Nobel Peace prize has lost its credibility a long time ago and is widely regarded as a politicized award.

Every system of government is dangerous when it holds itself to be the only form of true government AND is willing to justify the means with the end result. Pluralism, a reasonable dose of capitalism, and an individual's right to self determination that doesn't harm another being, is what will bring peace and prosperity for most.

Ðesolate said...

@Campitor:
The difficulty of sarcasm is that many people will never get it. Well of course communism is a shit at peace keeping, same as democracy. That was what I wanted to show. You can convert Everblues statement to any politic structure by defining the details at your will.

Jumina said...

@Ðesolate:

No what you are saying is not a sarcasm but a pure ignorance. Communism was nor good or bad at peacekeeping because communism sole purpose is domination and war.
I am a little bit older and I lived in a communists state. And since the time I was born the communists were preparing us for war against western Europe. This was something no democratic government could ever do.

I am tired of all those idiots comparing communists with some elected government. You don't know what you are talking about. Communists are aggressive idiots, thieves and M&S of the real life.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sick and tired of people who act like America and other democratic countries are 'kommusnist.' People like Desolate only ever focus on the bad done by people and never ever the good. Any time a country does something in the name of peace, its automatically labels as 'warmongering' or 'communist' or some other buzz word that the user probably read in a book written by someone who is equally as closed minded. People are so convinced that the majority is always wrong or that somehow having an 'alternative' view of things makes them enlightened. I will say this as clearly as possible; every country in all of history is guilty of some form of crime or bloodshed at some point or another. Yes, countries break their own laws in some instances. Some laws that work on the domestic scale simply don't work on the international scale. THIS DOES NOT MAKE THAT COUNTRY CORRUPT OR 'COMMUNIST.' Sometimes unsavory things need to be done for the greater good. Yes, I do believe that the wars in the middle east have affected the world positively. Can I prove 100% that there were not a few corrupt people who profited from this? No, I cannot. Can you prove that 'the entire government is corrupt and their only intent was to steal resources, kill, and profit?' No, you cannot. The fact of the matter is, there will always be evil people. These people will always do evil things masked as 'good.' The simple fact that some people who hold power are selfish does NOT mean that their entire government is such.

A somewhat related question; Why is it that people who act so 'enlightened' usually have such atrocious grammar? Is typing a complete, grammatically correct sentence just a way that 'our commie overlords are trying to brainwash us into conformity?'