Re: The Peace Prize


I definitely think they were doing this for political effect - in fact, they said so themselves. And it's fine by me - although the guidelines for selection don't seem to leave a lot of room for political maneuvering. It's a good thing their selection process is shrouded in mystery...

Posted by: paul | Link to this comment | 10-10-03 12:52 PM
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Another past mis-use of the peace price was granting it to Carter. To my mind, pretty clearly a "statement" award.


Posted by: Magik | Link to this comment | 10-10-03 7:35 PM
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The Peace Prize has, alas, always been totally political, in the sense that it represents, more than anything else, the desire of a bunch of Swedes to place their grace on some folks they hope will influence the future.

That's understandable, and there's nothing wrong with that, save the idea that it's some sort of vaguely objective recognition of those who have done the most good, as the other prizes are, sorta vaguely, supposed to represent. The presenters make no bones that the Peace Prize is about "the future, not the past."

That's nice. But it makes for hope, not recognition, and often dubious prizes. (Thank goodness Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho settled the Vietnam War peacefully! That worked out great! And so did the prize to this Arafat and Rabin guy. Lotsa peace available via the Prize!)

I think it be be a heck of a lot smarter to move the Peace Prize to be like the others: recognition for work done, not results hoped for. But what do I know? I don't have the Wisdom of The Swedes.

And, yes, if Vaclav Havel doesn't have one, no one should.

And, lastly, I think that condescension, in this case, though also recognizable as hope, is not something you're the only one to note or see, or because of ethnic bias.

Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 10-10-03 10:06 PM
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Bottom line: Nobel Prizes are great in your obit, but are deeply over-rated as historic awards. Sometimes the Swedish fairy hits you deservedly, and sometimes it doesn't.

Curiously, a small Swedish committee is neither omniscient nor timely nor proportional. Who knew?

Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 10-10-03 10:10 PM
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Can someone tell me, whence the great cachet of the Nobel?

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-10-03 10:14 PM
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