Archives For 20th century politics

The War That Never Ends

November 12, 2017 — Leave a comment

In watching The Vietnam War, a viewer, hearing American officials pondering options, is tempted to burst out “stop, no, make the other choice.” But those making decisions did not know how the story would turn out. They had to act with the experiences they had lived through, not those we have accumulated since, based on imperfect knowledge and the typical set of “all bad” options.

 

But this comes only after 100 minutes of almost unceasing negatives on the war: from a Vietnam Veterans Against the War-heavy focus on the minority of veterans who bitterly opposed to it to Jane Fonda in Hanoi, John Kerry’s Senate testimony, drug-addicted U.S. soldiers, the Pentagon Papers, My Lai, and extensive footage of South Vietnamese army (ARVN) troops retreating in Laos and initially in the Easter Offensive (although ARVN soldiers won that battle). The plurality of Americans still supporting the war, which in that period included most veterans, got little airtime. A viewer could easily ask whether Burns and Novick were describing the same country that gave Nixon an overwhelming victory in 49 states in the 1972 election.

 

But beyond Vietnam-specific lessons, The Vietnam War lays out in a non-didactic, illustrative manner strategic truths of great import, including for us today. The four that matter most are about containment, incremental versus major war tactics, definitions of victory, and the criticality of determination in conflict.

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/11/10/war-never-ends/

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Intersectionality sounds good in theory and appeals to the emotions. In practice it is no more than identity politics and ought to be fought at every turn.

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/196754/intersectionality-makes-you-stupid

I agree with the sentiments of this article and have found it to convey my personal opinions on the French election best. France is in dire straits and this presidential election is not going to solve the overarching problems which have plagued France for decades. Like in the US, France is divided and in search of an identity. Moreover it is stuck between two ideological opposites vying for control of the helm of the nation. The future in my estimations is bleak with increased possibilities of war and civil strife.

https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/04/france-is-a-broken-country#login

I agree with the premise of the article that a human society based on reason and objectivity simply isn’t feasible. Historical precedence such as the French Revolution leads me to believe this to be true. Science is a wonderful process which has accounted for the extraordinary progress by which humans have changed over thousands of years. It is not without its flaws which include human error in weighing results, inability to duplicate results, and external variables such as financial motivation. How does Tyson propose to account for the outside interests at work affecting scientific research in his governmental plan? Furthermore the scientific process does have its limitations such as not being able to objectively proclaim which human values are most important and therefore which action governments should take. In order to do so Tyson’s “rationalia” would need to be a totalitarian state. I’ll pass on the science worshiping totalitarian police state thanks.

http://www.popsci.com/neil-degrasse-tyson-just-proposed-government-that-doesnt-work

This research paper empirically espouses what I believed to be basic common knowledge which is the tendency for both conservative and liberals to be equally biased. From the study we can deduce that the myth of conservatives being more stooped in bias is largely perpetuated by liberals stranglehold on media and education institutions. Because these institutions are selective in hiring and require peer reviews to submit work they have become the perfect echo chambers for homogeneous ideological beliefs to thrive in this case liberal beliefs. The best solutions in combating scientific bias are to remove the safety blinders by seeking dissimilar fact sources, scrutinizing information from multiple sources, and to refrain from simply accepting fact on the basis that it confirms your bias.

 

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2952510

The Tragedy of the Republic

Return of the Strong Gods