Friday, October 12, 2007

Should the Peace Nobel prize go to politicians?

I do not think so. To select a man that represents a party is never a good idea. Al Gore, some may say, defends an environmentalist agenda, not a party.

First that agenda is not based on rock but on sand. It may turn out to be solid sand or friable rock, but we do not really know for sure.

Second, Gore is still eligible to run for the US presidency. This may not be realistic, but a small window remains open. I find it less than desirable to openly support someone who may still have big personal/political interests.

Finally, it is unclear what are the real merits of Al Gore. Is he a good movie director/actor? Well then, he already got an Oscar for that. Is he making ground-breaking scientific discoveries? No we can set this aside. Is he communiticating efficaciously an important political message? Yes! And so what? That is the bread and butter of all good politicians. It does not follow that they deserve a Nobel prize for that reason


Srdjan Cvijic said...
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Srdjan Cvijic said...

Actually, The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 is to be shared, in two equal parts, between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change. I do not think their decision was politically motivated at least not in the sense of US internal politics...Do you want to argue otherwise?

This is not the first time Nobel Peace Price was awarded to a politician, it is enough to look at the to see that at least half of the laureats are politicians. Just to name few of them: 1906: Roosevelt, Theodore, 1920: The prize for 1919: Wilson, Thomas Woodrow, USA, 1856-1924.
President of the USA. Founder of the League of Nations, Briand, Aristide, France, 1862-1932.
Foreign Minister, a negotiator of the Locarno Treaty and the Briand-Kellogg Pact, Stresemann, Gustav, Germany, 1878-1929.
Former Chancellor, Foreign Minister. A negotiator of the Locarno Treaty,1930: The prize for 1929: Kellogg, Frank Billings, USA, 1856-1937.
Former Secretary of State. Negotiated the Briand-Kellogg Pact, 1971: Brandt, Willy, West Germany, 1913-1992.
Former Chancellor, initiator of West Germany's «Ostpolitik», embodying a new attitude towards Eastern Europe and East Germany, 1973: The prize was divided equally between:
Kissinger, Henry A., USA, 1923-.
Former Secretary of State;
Le Duc Tho, North Vietnam, 1910-1990. (Declined the prize.) Jointly negotiated the Vietnam peace accord in 1973.

However, in a general sense I accept your argument that in principle laureats should not come from the ranks of the politicians (I am not quite convinced why you argue so 1) because they can use this for political purposes - isn't this the point amongst other things a Nobel price is a public thing, why should someone that "did a good thing" according to Nobel be ashamed of this 2) because generally you consider the job of a politician unworthy of the cause? In this way we could even argue who cares about the very price that is given by heirs of a man who invented gunpowder, not just that it kills people but it played the role of an important vechicle of progress, thus gave man/woman the opporunity to play with nature, how ironic that they give their peace price for ecology...) I personally couldn't care less about who gets this price...

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