A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

American Politics: The New Cold War

I'm currently reading "We Now Know, Rethinking Cold War History" by John Lewis Gaddis. I'm only 27 pages in and the prescience contained in the book is already startling.

Here are a few amazingly relevant passages:

  • "The Western democracies sought a form of security that would reject violence or the threat of it: security was to be a collective good, not a benefit denied to some in order to provide it to others. Stalin saw things very differently: security came only by intimidating or eliminating potential challengers. World politics was an extension of Soviet politics, which was in turn an extension of Stalin's preferred personal environment: a zero-sum game, in which achieving security for one meant depriving everyone else of it. The contrast, or so it would seem, made conflict unavoidable."
  • "...Stalin's tendency, when confronting the prospect of insecurity, (was) to try to redesign the future rather than admit that his own past behavior might have contributed to the problem in the first place."
  • "...psychologists know how tempting it can be to excuse one's own actions by invoking situations, while attributing what others do to their dispositions."

I'm not going to proselytize with these quotes. People will take from them what they bring to them. I just think that this is going to be a phenomenal book.


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