Sunday, December 07, 2003


My mention yesterday of the "Red" wristwatch got me a few emails. I particularly liked this one: "I read your item about the KGB wristwatch today. I must confess that I purchased a Red Army paratrooper wristwatch from the same firm last year. I like wind up watches and the design of the Red Paratrooper watch was such that you could wind it up whilst wearing thick gloves. As a mad snow sports fan, that was a big selling point for me. Unfortunately after about three weeks I dropped the watch from my bedside table and it hasn't worked since. If Red Army paratroops were equipped with watches that could not withstand a two foot fall, no wonder they lost the Cold War!"

A comment from another reader on the same subject: "The guy with the KGB watch reminds me of Jay Nordlinger's column in NRO - about the Russiahn immigrant who had a hammer and sickle and a red star displayed in his living room. When asked why he embraced symbols of oppression, he said these symbols reminded him that he was FREE OF THAT OPPRESSION"

And a reader thinks that African Christians are good conservatives: “The current traditionalist versus modernist split being played out in the Anglican Church sees the African and Asian branches of the Church firmly in the traditionalist camp. To Western modernists this is simply an indicator of the backwardness and bigotry of their rustic co-religionists. But as this article shows, the reason for the traditionalism of the African Church has more to do with lack of trust in secular authorities who are often tyrannical, corrupt, Islamist or all three. To African Christians, the idea of cooperating with the secular state, something western Christians have no qualms about, makes as much sense as proposing a reformist partnership with the mafia. The see the authority of the Church and the Bible as providing a counter-point to the undemocratic state that dominates them. This example may help explain the broader nature of conservatism versus liberalism. The conservative distrusts the state and sees the world as containing threats requiring a disciplined response; the liberal sees the world and political authority as essentially benign with conflicts being abnormal, mainly the result of misunderstanding.


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