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This is clever stuff but entirely irrelevant. J M Keynes once described one of Hayek's books as "an extraordinary example of how, starting with a mistake, a remorsless logician can end up in bedlam." This is another example.
Robert J Stove's book, "The Sleeping Eye" might offer some more perspectives to why Stalin was not replaced during those 4 days. Excellent book but it totally destroyed my appreciation of the recent movie "Elizabeth" starring Kate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush.
I wonder whether the media actually invent the political intrigue attributed to Peter Costello as another means by which to "get at Howard".
Baath Party and its philosophy
Iraq's Baath party is socialist and I suspect the opposition to the US and Oz's intervention in Iraq has more to do with Bob Hawke's et al political philosophy than anything else. Essentially solidary for socialist brothers and not the hated capitalists governing the US and Oz.
Frequent elections cannot guarantee democracy, it relies totally on respecting an individual's rights and its logical derivitative, private property. Islam as a religion has severe problems with usuary, but not, of course pragmatic oil sheiks.
I doubt Islam could be reformed, since Christianity seems to be reverting to a more authoritarian position (Jensenism - see other ppmcg op eds in SMH). I wonder if the fundamentally religious could ever be reformed, and that is the problem, and the basis for a solution.