Some people never grow up.
"Those who clamoured for a “No-Fly Zone” over Ukraine clearly assumed it was a spell from a Harry Potter book."
Hungary's Victor Orbán, whose government is working hard to safeguard the country's energy supplies from Russia, so often seems like the only adult in the room in the context of Europe's foolish, feckless governing class.
Here's how a grownup leader answers a TV presenter's question about his experience as president: “People who have little experience with power–those who are far from it–tend to regard politics as mysterious and exciting. But I look past the superficialities, the power, the flowers, the glory, the applause. I see the detention houses, the fickleness of human relationships. I understand politics on a deeper level”.
That's Xi Jinping whose father, upon release from seven years imprisonment, did not recognize his grown son. Like an adult, his father then resumed his stellar political career and guided his son's until 2002.
Conscription can certainly have some interesting psychological effects. I did my national service in the Spanish army in the 80s. After graduation you had to keep your service book and have it signed every so often for the next 25 years or so (a formality no one really bothered to adhere to, but it was there in law).
You carried on with your life without a second thought to it but the fact remained you could be called up at the drop of a hat. It certainly had some effect on me because, though Spain hasn’t suffered any serious threats to her security, there has been a couple of wars that involved conscripts that happened while I was in the reserve that made feel for my generational peers, the Falklands specially, and the Yugoslavian wars. Every time I thought, if I’d been born in the wrong country that could’ve been me.
Thanks for this excellent essay. It does explain a lot. Sadly, this will have tragic implications not just for Ukraine but so much else. Is experiencing tragedy (e.g. war) the only way we "children" can grow up?
as much as i dislike generational generalities, i think youre right...this is at least partly a Boomer phenomenon.
as a result of their more or less shared history, as well as their accident of age, and being in power right now. "Me Generation" is the name i heard growing up in the 80's north of Houston.
see: Christopher Lasch
and i dig yer blog, man
> the exciting world of purely notional electronic goods
What's interesting about this generation is not the electronic nature of their goods but that all they do is symbolic. There's a lot you can do with electronics but the likes of Zukerballs, all they do is manipulate symbols on computers. And they act like these symbols are real. Clearly cryptocurrencies are some kind of high point in this nonsense.
But bear in mind that this is not new. It is ancient. Written language was invented more than once for the purpose of accounting, i.e. for the symbolic representation of social debt. Writing gained more uses with time but the primary motivator appears to be centralized management of transferable social obligations, i.e. money.
"embraced interventionist militarism"
Demanding obedience to "the rules-based international order" is a declaration of war on all nations.
Read the MICIMATT articles, almost uniformly they assume that The USA has authority and capacity to shape the world order to fulfill The USA's interests. Of course, who sez what The USA's interests are? And who sez The USA must control-dominate the world's transactions? [The USA has neither authority nor capacity to do any of that.]
I'm looking at a significant number of nations -- including continental European -- ganging up on The USA to say, "Pi-- off," or language to that effect.
Instead of bringing the nations to heel, Nuland and Co. have brought The USA to ruin.
I think really hard times are ahead -- I mean not only financial, also legal-- for Americans on account of who most American parents and especially mothers have let loose to manage their nation's affairs. Infantile generously describes the cohort. We are going to pay hard for that parental irresponsibility. It has a lot to do with drugs. There is also an ethnic component.
Whatever, the result is hard times by way of demonic personalities with hands on powers of government. A nation doesn't just continue cruzin' along when that happens. The wound in The USA is too deep and wide now for exsanguination to be stopped. Hard times ahead in all areas of need.
It will be of the spirit which saves the flesh. Anyone who looks to any or all of the civilian nodes of the three Branches of US government for remedy is infantile.
Of the three assets of statecraft -- diplomacy, finance, war-fighting -- only The USA's Armed Forces have today a thinning distribution of maturity remaining, and that is almost entirely among field grades and their corresponding NCO ranks. Who wants to fight for, take orders from infantile decision-makers and influencers?
Mature war-fighters do not embrace interventionist militarism because that is offensive warfare, which always comes at high cost. Mature war-fighters embrace defensive warfare of the maneuver kind, as Russians do historically and are doing again today.
In any case, The USA, being an island nation, with no industrial capacity for sustained warfare -- and modern rocketry being as it is -- other than brief punitive expeditions, The USA cannot conduct successful military operations on another continent.
Vicki bluffed. Vladimir called. Game over.
She did accomplish one thing on her agenda, however: she's killed off or maimed for life half a million, at least, Nazi leftovers from WWII. She gets credit for paying them to commit suicide and ending, finally, WWII.
The U.S. Navy can sail where the nations allow her to sail. And that’s that.
Love this article. And that’s coming from someone young. The illusion among my peers is nauseous, especially ambition wise. ‘No task too big’. There isn’t a thing that can’t be done. No natural limits. Natures a sucker of course, because we know better than nature. And YouTube feeds that like fuel on a fire. It’s at the point theres only one person I speak/socialise with in my age group. I’ve always gotten on better with people 2-3x my age, and one of the reasons is because they’re the only ones cynical enough to see past the new age Instagram-quote-enthusiasm. Your posts are the highlight of my week.
I do not think that Sam Bankman-Fried is an idiot . Claiming to be one is simply his first line of defence . A claim which curiously seems to have quite a few supporters in the MSM . I do believe that he is a crook . Perhaps ,' a front man ' for individuals as yet unidentified ?
I liked this article whether I agree or not matters little was nice to read and interesting.
This essay rings so true!
The loss of reality based thinking is manifest in the US.
Hopefully I live long enough to say, "I told you so!"
My tip for reading the Guardian these days is to start from the back. Skip the sports pages and you get the business and financial sections. You can sometimes find a few interesting pieces there. But, yes, by the time you reach the picture centre-fold it increasingly morphs into a lifestyle magazine.
After reading your articles it really did give pause for thought at how western political elites are so similar, and how western values are not particularly valued by the west. Thanks and keep up the excellent work.