IAAF, USA and Canada demand Russian athletes represent "no country" at Olympic games

Sean Lynch seanl at literati.org
Wed Jul 20 09:47:03 PDT 2016

On Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 4:09 PM Zenaan Harkness <zen at freedbms.net> wrote:

> So you're American, and some rogue trainers, agency guys and atheletes
> have been doping, like say your cyclists, sprinters and the odd swimmer.
> Since this doping scandal is "systemic" in North Amerika, it is
> evidently appropriate to ban all American's from participating at the
> games, unless they can prove their innocence.
> Oh, and just to teach a lesson, those atheletes that have never been
> involved in doping, if and only if they can prove they never doped their
> bodies, well they can participate in the upcoming Olympics, but they are
> not allowed to represent North America, and if the get a gold medal, the
> American national anthem will NOT be played - since Russia is hosting
> the Olympics, the Russian national anthem will be played instead.
> That is definitely fair and appropriate to the North American athletes
> who have always done the right thing - a little bit of healthy
> national and personal punishment before any trial and before any
> conviction.
> Yep, that's how a democratic world should definitely work. Just the way
> I thought of it too there Sean.

I am pretty sure I understand your position, and I'm sympathetic to it, but
as an unpatriotic (in the sense that I do not support the government and I
feel physically ill when I see people waving flags) American, I'm afraid
that swapping America for Russia helps me see it better.

I think this points out a fundamental flaw in the Olympics, and in fact in
the entire international system: Individuals do not exist as entities in
the international system. There is absolutely nothing democratic about the
Olympics. The games exist to glorify states over individuals. The Western
media do highlight superstars, but for the most part only American athletes
get highlighted in the US.

I gave up on the Olympics years ago. It is a fundamentally corrupt and
hypocritical institution. And as you can see, it's being used as a tool of
the West to try to punish Russia.

So I totally agree with you, that's not the way a democratic world should
work. But I'd add that the Olympics are not the way a democratic world
should work. In a democratic system, states exist to serve the people. They
should be at the bottom, not at the top.

> Western schooled persons (no point calling them humans) have lost touch
> with empathy, justice, don't even comprehend the rule of law and checks
> and balances, innocence until proven guilty and all that democratic
> "rubbish".

I agree, though I think most people have always just followed the herd.
Most people have always thought "rule of law" has meant "order", and that a
powerful government unconstrained itself by law, as long as it was tying to
do "the right thing" was the way to maintain "rule of law." Never mind that
precisely the opposite is true.

Which means the line has been being held by... what, exactly? Inertia,
probably. The West has been essentially coasting on the inertia of WWII and
then on the Cold War, which kept lots of people employed in a system that
is unsuited to anything but mass construction for mass destruction. The old
corporate/crony capitalist system is breaking down because the only thing
it's good for is war. The "war on terror" is the wrong kind of war to keep
it going, because high tech weapons are for the most part useless.
Terrorism requires political, policy, *human* solutions. But the system is
not evolved to put the kind of people in power who are capable of creating
those kinds of solutions.

Ironically, as undemocratic as it was, the system that existed in Europe
prior to WWI was probably better suited to small scale conflicts than our
current system. The French Revolution introduced the concept of "total war"
to Europe, and the old system was not adapted to that.

Now "total war" would likely destroy us all, but we're also pretty shitty
at small scale wars. As you've said before, we need to have a multipolar
system again. Such a system would reward diplomacy over saber-rattling.
Doesn't matter so much if there's still a lot of tension, as long as it
doesn't escalate to war. As long as individuals don't get too caught up in
the tension, because the only reason to have states in the first place is
to let individuals conduct their lives in relative stability and peace.
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