Friday, September 04, 2009
Brilliant should be defined as displaying a sustained ability to correctly perceive the structure of problems that elude most people of above average intelligence and displaying an ability to craft new solutions that solve those problems and alter the conditions that produced them. Low cunning is not the same as being brilliant.
50 years ago Castro managed to seize power in Cuba by taking full advantage of NY Times cupidity, Washington's distraction and Batista's errors. He got past the second string while the Varsity was busy elsewhere so it hardly counts as brilliant. 45 years ago he maneuvered the real whack job Ché Guevera into going off to get killed in Bolivia. That showed some competence but once again in a very narrow sphere. Since then he has achieved nothing except forcing people to sit for 5 hour speeches and hanging on. While that counts for something it should not be considered brilliant. Castro has not solved the problems that enabled him to take power. He has expelled most of the productive middle class that had made Cuba a relatively prosperous society before the Revolution and he has shrunk the economy and reduced the complexity of society in an failed effort to make it more manageable. It is true that sociopaths are often possessed of above average intelligence but I do not see the evidence that Castro is in fact particularly brilliant.
Hitler was probably a man with more wires between his ears to begin with than Castro has evidenced. In his case I would give the woman a break. She was trying to draw a distinction and if she was a trained polemicist she could have said something more effective about how it honors the United States to say that we took out Satan's first string in WW-II.