Wednesday, March 10, 2010
OT and then I will try to work back towards the topic.
Rasmussen has Obama overall at 43% favorable and the strong opinions are down to a -21% disapproval. His meltdown is starting to look like one of two seemingly contradictory things. First it looks like flailing, as the media finally begins to reveal the stunning incompetence of people who never should have been allowed near power. Second it looks like a rigidity that expresses less a steely resolve than a lack of imagination and a deep distrust of all information that is externally generated, as opposed to invented internally. That later phenomenon may describe a form of mental disease where the mind relies on perceptions generated internally rather than by observations delivered by the sensory organs.
Perhaps part of the problem with the Leftists is that the are so devoted to large structures and state power that they become inflexible and predictable. That makes them good at their chosen expertise which is getting inside of their enemies OODA loops and being disruptive, to “Smash the Machine.” Unfortunately they only do so to further their dream of installing a bigger machine. That is completely contrary to the theoretical goals they espouse but there are few penalties for inconsistency.
The success of the American systems, both political and military, has been based on four things:
1. a wealth generating system that produced sufficient resources,
that is design margin, to overwhelm problems,
2. strong institutions that can marshal those resources and focus
for long enough to change the conditions that created the problems,
3. a culture of entrepreneurship or a distrust of institutions
strong enough to permit flexibility in responding when the institution
is invested in a static or inappropriate response,
4. a set of values and moral beliefs that produced leaders and a
population supportive of creating wealth, maintaining the institutions
and of honoring the rule breakers and entrepreneurs, by honoring their
The Islamists have had their advantages but they do not have a combination of these factors working for them. Unfortunately the Left has to some extent degraded our capabilities in each category.
This relates the current thread to the previous one because those qualities of informal innovation and reliance on reputation both allow the US to get inside the enemies OODA loop and serve as a firewall protecting us. Rigid systems are easily penetrated by those purporting to be in authority. There was a good illustration of that in the movie Von Ryan’s Express where the Padre dresses up in an SS uniform and bluffs his way past the Germans by threatening to send them to the Russian Front. (see 1:50)
On a completely unrelated topic last night I attended a meeting about the “Peace Process” in Nepal. The sincere process people acknowledge the failure of the Maoists to renounce violence as a core value. They also insist that there must be a comprehensive peace that includes all factions. They insist that China and India will both support a free and peaceful Nepal because they want it to. Tough luck for the Tibetans though in their perspective. The disconnect from reality was partly illustrated by the insistence that the good news for Nepal included the maintenance of high remittance levels from an expatriate community in Malaysia and Qattar. The consideration that the economic winds and the rivalries between China and India may alter their predictions simply could not be admitted. When asked if the elections in Iraq, under American occupation was a model they could emulate or if there was another such model they had no reply. There was some ranting about how all their problems was caused by the evil Americans. That was provided by an American wearing a WBAI button and produced some embarrassed looks on the part of the foreign Socialists present.
I am unaware of any case of a Civil War being peacefully ended and inclusively keeping both parties present still contesting the issues that precipitated the fight and with one totalitarian party left alive. In fact I am unaware of any Civil War resolving with a reconciliation instead of an internal victory as happened in the cases of America and England or by having a external solution imposed.