Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stamps and Repressive Regimes: When Seeing is Not Always Believing

Today North Korea attacked South Korea killing a number of soldiers and civilians via an unprovoked volley of artillery fire.

Repressive regimes are multi-taskers, they are capable of torturing their citizens, murdering their enemies and often producing beautiful stamps. We can, and should, lend a critical eye on their stampworks which are usually propaganda symbols and messages meant to bolster their credibility. They always fail.

In fact these failures make wonderful stamps and excellent lessons to teach new generations of the power of stamps even in the hands of wicked governments and evil men. While I would never support repressive notions I do recognize stamps are stamps and thus should be collected, studied, spoken about and displayed for all to see. This is how we learn.

If we accept stamps as artifacts of history we are also forced to accept the good and the bad and must reject, with a clothespin on our nose, the calls for destroying stamps from repressive regimes in revenge for their crimes against humanity. We have courts to deal with illegality. We, as a people, must deal with history.

Today North Korea attacked South Korea. Better stamps, maybe, but cruel hearts bound to be weighed in heaven and in earth.

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