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Re: Colours of the Rainbow

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  • Tom
    I ll take you up on it....give me time though because it s not going to be easy. :) Tom ... From: Charles Vermont To: Existentialism List Sent: 25 August 1999
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 25, 1999
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      I'll take you up on it....give me time though because it's not going to be easy. :)

      Tom
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Charles Vermont
      To: Existentialism List
      Sent: 25 August 1999 21:26
      Subject: [existlist] Colours of the Rainbow


      Come on, everyone. I propose a bloody coup as the correct moral choice for an existentialist and no one wants to take me up on it?

      What's going on?

      Charles Vermont
      London, England, UK
    • Charles Vermont
      In response to the situation I suggested, Thomas and Gretchyn variously suggested that General Violet should: 1.. Leave the country 2.. Institute a reform
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 29, 1999
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        In response to the situation I suggested, Thomas and Gretchyn variously suggested that General Violet should:

        1.. Leave the country
        2.. Institute a reform movement, perhaps pushing for proportional representation
        3.. Break up the five families and redistribute their wealth (including his own)
        Of course, as an existentialist, I believe he is free to choose any and all of these options. However I would also comment:

        1.. Isn't this the coward's way out? Violet is head of Indigo's armed forces at a time of civil unrest. It seems to me that leaving the country is hardly taking responsibility for the situation.
        2.. Hasn't this already happened? Indigo has gone down the path of democracy and it has failed. Who would believe Violet if he suggested the problem was the method of electing officials rather than the underlying power relations?
        3.. I like this idea in theory but would suggest that the other four families are not training up their own militias because they want to lose their power and wealth. How can Violet achieve redistribution without a bloody civil war?
        I suppose the reason I wanted to share this situation with the list is because or the relationship between freedom of choice and taking responsibility. It seems to me the Blues, Yellows, Greens and Oranges are not taking responsibility for maintaining the social fabric of Indigo. In fact, they are actively trying to destabilise it, either because they want to protect what they have already or because they see an opportunity to grab some more for themselves. If they were all existentialists like Violet then they would take responsibility, sit down with him, and work out a deal that was satisfactory to all concerned. As it is they have chosen civil war. In other words, they are giving Violet very little choice in the situation. Either he sits on his hands and waits for the civil war to develop or he cracks down on the situation and tries to work towards a return to democracy at a later date.

        For me, the situation boils down to a simple question. Is it ever acceptable, in existentialist terms, to reduce the freedom of choice of other people in order to protect them from an even greater reduction? I would value the list's comments.

        Charles Vermont
        London, England
      • T Brooks
        Comrade Charles, You stated that: Of course, as an existentialist, I believe he is free to choose any and all of these options. Indeed, we can in the end
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 29, 1999
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          Comrade Charles,

          You stated that: "Of course, as an existentialist, I believe he is free to
          choose any and all of these options." Indeed, we can in the end choose any
          option but we may make wrong choices. Sartre's "Existentialism and Human
          Emotion" makes the clear the case that while a person can, in the end, do
          what they wish, they may be quite wrong in doing so.


          Thom Brooks
          Dept of Philosophy
          University College Dublin
          Dublin, Ireland
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