Forget Saint Nelson. Welcome – and remember – Nelson Mandela: terrorist, communist, lover, President and flawed human being. He’s a much greater man than the one they’re talking about on the news.
Nelson Mandela has become a shell to be filled with idealised, dishonest and mendacious perspectives of opportunists. Now he’s dead, it’ll be even easier. We owe it to him and to history to make it more difficult to appropriate him for any cause, position and ideology. If we see him as a complex man, who held unfashionable and inconvenient opinions, who changed his mind multiple times, who didn’t fit into the Madiba mould of the world’s kindly grandpa, then we retain a history which is ambiguous, unresolved and much more interesting. More importantly, it’s honest - a commodity in short supply this morning.
Oh, and this, on calling him “Madiba”:
Sorry: unless you’re a black South African, a comrade or a personal friend, it’s Mr Mandela to you.
What gives the dollar value is not so much the government, but the government’s ability to tax the community which bestows power on it in the first place. This tax base represents the productive capacity of the collective wealth assets of the US community, its land and its resources. The dollar in that sense is backed by the very real wealth and output of the system. It is not just magic paper. […]
Bitcoin, however, is backed by nothing but speculative interest. Anyone acquiring Bitcoin in exchange for national currency is in reality giving up a claim to the productive capacity of that country in exchange for a non-enforceable claim over the productive capacity of a crowd that sits on financial assets rather than productive assets, and has no way to enforce those with productive assets to exchange against it.