Appallingly Ignorant ; Another Nail in “Bi-Partisan” Coffin, April 27, 2008
Edit to make the point that it is not just the Democratic advisors, but the Republicans as well, that are witless. Everyone is playing the “realpolitic” or the “looting” game and no one, NO ONE, is playing for seven plus future generations and a win-win for all. I am sick of this.
Edit to list the eight “tribes” that comprise the TOTALITY of the global political environment. The “market” manufactures evil because of information asymmetry and the concentration of secret power. Here are a few more books that I cannot link to. You folks that are negative on this review may not be interested in reality, but I assure, you reality is very interested in you.
Tribes: government, military, law enforcement/private security, academia, business (including off the books business in poor areas), media, non-governmental organizations, and civil societie including labor unions and religions.
Manufacture of Evil
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
Battle for the Soul of Capitalism
Crossing the Rubicon
Rule by Secrecy
How the World Really Works
I normally do not do negative reviews while seeking to understand negative votes in the comments section. In this one instance I feel that national-level remediation is required. This is where I draw the line. No more pencil-heads advising village idiots. It's time we put citizen wisdom and BROAD knowledge back into PUBLIC policy. This author is the “Paul Wolfowitz” of the Democratic Party, and just slightly less dangerous than Dr. Strangelove (Brzezinski).
Terrorism is a tactic. It has been used by the US and Israel. Anyone who does not understand that is not qualified to write about national security and the real world. Neither Obama nor Clinton nor McCain represent anything more than continuation of the two party spoils dystem that disenfranchises close to two thirds of the Nation. They are advised by people like this and Dr. Strangelove (Brzezinski) and I am coming to the conclusion we have to demand candidates that can lead national conversations and dismiss all their “old think” advisors.
Furthermore, any book that refers to natural disasters as Acts of God without realizing that their destructive power, frequency, and changing nature are in fact Acts of Man, is so far down on the intellectual pecking order as to be virtually irrelevant. See my reviews of, among others:
Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America
Catastrophe & Culture: The Anthropology of Disaster (School of American Research Advanced Seminar Series)
The Next Catastrophe: Reducing Our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters
I am increasingly appalled at the complete ignorance of both political parties and their candidates for President. I never thought I would consider Hillary Clinton the least of all evils, but there you have it–Obama is listening to Zbigniew Brzezinski with one last Dr. Strangelove attack on Russia left in him, and John McCain is dangerously open to the neo-conservatives and a continuation of America's virtual colonialism, predatory immoral capitalism, and unilateral militarism. For a sense of my concerns see, among many others:
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress
The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism
Here is what is NOT in this book:
LtGen Dr. Brent Scowcroft, with utterly brilliant pinch hitter Newt Gingrich (when he is not writing shallow books for cash flow), have given us all we need to know to reform national security. Read my review of
A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility–Report of the Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change
That extraordinary book itemizes, in priority order, the ten high-level threats to Humanity and to the USA, rapidly becoming a Third World hollow country where everything is broken:
02 Infectious Disease
03 Environmental Degradation
04 Inter-State Conflict
05 Civil War
07 Other Atrocities
10 Transnational Crime
The astute reader will note that the Pentagon is optimized for just one of those threats, and may properly surmise that the other instruments of national power (diplomacy, information, economics) are not trained, equipped and organized to “do” intelligence (decision support) on the real world, nor are the funded to “impact” on our domestic strength, much less the real world. The Cabinet Departments are optimized to protect budget share and represent every stakeholder EXCEPT the labor unions and We the People. Here are the twelve policies that must be orchestrated in the context of a balanced sustainable budget (the astute reader will see that both Congressional jurisdictions and the Executive branch must be restructured if this is to be done well):
10 Security (of ALL kinds including water and food)
11 Society (dignity and diversity matter)
It is sheer idiocy to use up water we do not have to grow grain we do not need to make fuel for cars that would be better fueled by Cuban sugar cane sap.
Finally, on a third front most academics and policy makers ignore (as well as the media): NOTHING the USA or European Union do in the next ten years matters AT ALL with respect to the future UNLESS they create an EarthGame that can compelling guide the eight demographic challengers (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, and Wild Cards such as the Congo) to achieve their growth and development goals–while saving the 60 failed states–without making our mistakes.
To treat them as anything other than partners in the future–to try to push Russia out of Syria and China out of Africa and Brzezinski is trying to do–flexing muscles he does not have in anticipation of a position he will not get–is idiocy. It's time for the old farts (less Scowcroft) to move into retirement homes–but then, that's what CSIS is, is it not?
Bottom line: I am sick and tired of pontifical myopic academics posturing for ignorant presidential candidates too stupid to fire their advisors and lead a national conversation about our future. There are MANY books I have reviewed about Epoch B bottom-up citizen wisdom and the tao of democracy, here are the ones I have enough links left for (limit of 10, see my many lists):
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, Updated Edition
You might also look for books on collective intelligence, escape the matrix, society's breakthrough, world cafe, and so on. There are two sucking chest wounds in America: one is policy makers and elected leaders that have sold We the People down the river and have no clue about why and how complex societies are collapsing or what to do about it; the other is pedant academics with insular prescriptions that have no clue how to see the whole (system of systems) nor how to address the real world beyond their narrow ken.
This author writes for the former and represents the latter. I am depressed by this author's contribution, because along with the state-centric confrontational nuclear-holocaust proxy war views of the neo-cons and Zbigniew Brzezinski (and Joe Lieberman, both of them perhaps the best penetrations of the Democratic Party ever fielded), we appear to be headed straight toward self-immolation as a Nation.