Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Illegitimati?

     I've been reading a fascinating book (borrowed from Tam's bookshelves), by John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History.

     Don't any of you tell me how it comes out -- I'm about three-quarters of the way through.  Gaddis has good things to say about Eisenhower and Truman, Reagan and the second John Paul; Nixon and most of the Soviet leadership, not so much.  A recurring theme in the book is the legitimacy of governments: how it is derived, how it is maintained, how it is lost.  Also the degree to which a government is subject to its own laws.

     It's a worrying perspective.  The Federal government of the United States these days shrugs off domestic violations far more serious than actions that were once shattering revelations -- and it passes with little comment. 

     In 1989, the Soviet Union looked as strong as ever but was, in fact, balanced on the edge.  One more tiny shift and--  It collapsed.  The United States is the last remaining Cold War Superpower -- but is the clock ticking on our own 1989?

13 comments:

Old NFO said...

Yep, we're on our last legs...

Carteach said...

"but is the clock ticking on our own 1989?"

I would not be .... shocked.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

There's nothing wrong with our government that a few nautical miles of rope and about 537 lampposts wouldn't cure.

Orwell's Ghost said...

I've read that book and it's great. One of the things about history that I love are the moments when things go from impossible to inevitable. Sadly, we have passed that point. My thinking is that it happened when Clinton allowed China to join the World Trade Organization and gave them Most Favored Nation status. China was poor as, well, any Communist nation and we had several million more manufacturing jobs. Without China 2.0, we wouldn't have had anyone to borrow ten trillion dollars from, so the government simply couldn't be near the size it is now.

JohninMd.(HELP?!??) said...

I concur with Mr. Curmudgeon, on rope and lamp posts, but I think it's too late to help. I blame Nixon. Screw Watergate, the worst thing he did in his career was take the US off the gold standard. Once that was done, it was only a matter of time and government spending before the economy goes boom, and society as we once knew it goes with it.
Praise the Lord, and stockpile the food and ammo.

John A said...

"Also the degree to which a government is subject to its own laws."

A point explicitly made in The Code of Hammurabi, albeit about the governing classes more than the government as such.

rickn8or said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rickn8or said...

"There's nothing wrong with our government that a few nautical miles of rope and about 537 lampposts wouldn't cure."

Mister Curmudgeon sir, I would point out that both rope and lampposts are re-useable. Nor would it be necessary to apply the treatment to all concerned.

Carefully selecting the honorees would result in the rest of the miscreants to come down with a serious case of encoragement des autres.

Just the tightwad / efficiency expert in me I guess...

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I was thinking about lining Pennsylvania Ave. with them. 'T'would be a festive sight.

Never make a revolution by halves. Go big, or go home.

docjim505 said...

If I was to start decorating lamp posts, I think I'd start with media figures. Even while self-righteously claiming to speak truth to power, to be watchdogs, to keep us informed, they've enabled all the idiocy and criminality the .gov has been up to for years.

Somebody the other day reminded me of a quote from "Screwtape" to the effect that the devils do their best work keeping things OUT of our minds. Sounds like the media.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I just channel Mencken at such times:

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."

"The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable..."

Roberta X said...

:)

markm said...

Fuzzy Curmudgeon: I'd reduce the requirements by at least 2 lamp posts - Rand Paul, Justin Amash, and perhaps a few others aren't like the others.

I moved into Amash's district a few years ago, and that was the first time I actually had representation in Congress rather than one of the bastards I voted against. Unfortunately, on the important issues Amash is often a minority of one.