November 22, 2005

Decline of the West?

Spenglerian musings from Leon H over at Red State, with a stimulating comment thread.
And don't miss Paul J Cella's response.

Fairly confident we're not on the same wavelength over here, but this (from Leon H) definitely hit the spot :
"I’ve been thorougly dismayed throughout the ensuing year with the ridiculous amount of hand-holding that our society apparently requires."

Posted by CCRU-Shanghai at November 22, 2005 11:04 AM | TrackBack




like to bring two links forward. really like Kling's distinctions (serious question: are "left" & "right" currently used as fundamental attribution errors?) & Cella's Isolationism clarification.

Why People Hate Economics (Arnold Kling)
The difference between analytical and social reasoning strikes me as similar to the difference that I once drew between Type C and Type M arguments. I wrote, "Type C arguments are about the consequences of policies. Type M arguments are about the alleged motives of individuals who advocate policies." Type C arguments about policy come from the analytical brain and reflect impersonal analysis. Type M arguments come from the social brain. In my view, they inject emotion, demagoguery, and confusion into discussions of economic policy.

The Jacksonian Tradition (Walter Russell Mead)
Why is it that U.S. public opinion is often so quick—though sometimes so slow—to support armed intervention abroad? What are the provocations that energize public opinion (at least some of it) for war—and how, if at all, is this "war lobby" related to the other elements of that opinion? The key to this warlike disposition, and to other important features of American foreign policy, is to be found in what I shall call its Jacksonian tradition, in honor of the sixth president of the United States.

Posted by: northanger at November 23, 2005 04:41 AM



clarification: Cella's article links to "The Jacksonian Tradition".

Posted by: northanger at November 23, 2005 04:42 AM



northanger - Jacksonian Tradition discussion has been very interesting, agree Den Beste's take especially acute. It's partly troubling though, since 'Jacksonians' want everything done fast-and-dirty: get in, kill the bastards, then leave. While obviously preferable to New England pacifism, this doesn't make a very good platform for long-term meddling - and that's probably the only way to actually sort WWIV problems without quasi-genocide.
Anti-meddlers would do well to study more US military history - Sherman and Le May for e.g. - if they think the real alternative to counter-insurgency based interventions is some kind of tranzi utopianism - it's organized massacre.

Posted by: nick at November 25, 2005 05:21 AM



nick - never heard of Den Beste. he's at, which i just added to my feed. any specific link you're referring to? found these:

Jacksonian Foreign Policy

Strategic overview: Annotating and updating Den Beste

this Mead quote interesting (from DB's old site):
... Jacksonian America has clear ideas about how wars should be fought, how enemies should be treated, and what should happen when the wars are over. It recognizes two kinds of enemies and two kinds of fighting: honorable enemies fight a clean fight and are entitled to be opposed in the same way; dishonorable enemies fight dirty wars and in that case all rules are off.

agree. imho, i'd want to start with a jacksonian president & work towards limiting what you call "quasi-genocide".

Posted by: northanger at November 25, 2005 09:13 AM



imho, best Den Beste quote so far...

"Jacksonian foreign policy is crafted to succeed even when other people are pricks."

Posted by: northanger at November 25, 2005 09:31 AM



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