The Inevitable War

 

The world is being riven into two opposing camps. While some might see the distinction as between democracies and dictatorship, the reality is more complex. While the mechanisms can be skewed, Putin, Hamas, and even the somewhat meaningless Iranian president, did win elections. After all, even dictatorships wrap themselves in the cloth of democratic legitimacy. No, the dividing line between the warring parties is far simpler. It is a line between the Glory Seekers and the Pleasure Seekers.

The Glory Seekers are those countries and religious movements that are trying to recreate a glorious past (or fulfill the prophecy of a glorious future). China’s ever greater Greater China Dream is a part of recovering their proper place in the world. Russia claims ownership to Ukraine on the basis of shared roots, Ukrainians be damned. Persia lays claim to the Middle East and Turkey is making its historical moves from Libya to Syria – and beyond. For their part, Sunni Islamists pursue a futuristic vision of a truly global domination.

Those Glory Seekers that have governments often have elected dictators because playing to such claims is both popular and requires the suppression of political rights.

On the other side of the forming battlelines are the Pleasure Seekers. These countries might have had glories in the past, but they aren’t seeking to reclaim them. By and large, their citizens are too busy pursuing the ever-increasingly personal. At one point it was the building of families, but more and more it is the establishment of entirely atomic rights and pleasures. These countries, from the UK and France to the Australia and Japan, aren’t interested in conquest. They do act in their interests overseas, but their goals are often in the support of economics and rarely in the support of territorial growth. There are a vast swath of these countries

While the US has historically had its share of Glory Seekers, most interventionalists in the US aren’t seeking glory or power. Their primary goal is the spread of political freedom – almost as an inverse force to the Soviet spread of Communism or the Islamist spread of Islamism. They see a glorious future, not through their countries’ domination of others but through the spread of the ideology they support. This movement inevitably comes up in opposition against Russian, Chinese, Turkish or Persian pursuit of Glory.

Perhaps the greatest battleline between these two sides is the Taiwan Strait. On the one side the Chinese demand the territory as a baseline recovery of their old Glories. On the other, the Taiwanese have given up any claim to the government of mainland China and just want to be left alone.

At the present time, the Pleasure Seekers have the upper hand. Due to their fundamental interest in improving quality of life (and enjoying that improvement), their societies are massive technological and economic engines. However, that advantage is shrinking and the conflict-focused Glory Seekers are both building up substantial militaries and learning how to outmaneuver the Pleasure Seekers on the world stage. The pursuit of glory has won in Afghanistan, eastern Ukraine, Hong Kong and much of the Middle East.

Interestingly (with the exception of the Sunni Islamists) both sides have been undone by the combination of birth control and public pensions. The ability to depend on the mythical ‘somebody else’s children’ for support in your old age has led to the vanishing of children. At the same time, perhaps due to their ideology, those self-same Islamists have had the least success in building up their technological and military capabilities.

What does the future hold?

For my part, I hope for a future in which there is purpose without subjugation or the pursuit of glory. I hope for a future in which we seek pleasures far greater than those of the individual. Humanity has been at its greatest when it has approached just such a reality. Today, though, that is not our reality. Instead, the main body of the Glory Seekers will necessarily come into direct and violent conflict with the main body of the Pleasure Seekers. At some point, in order to survive, the Pleasure Seekers must pull themselves away from their pursuit of the narrowest of self-interests and make the pursuit of glory costly enough that its adherents will think twice before acting on their fantasies.

After October 7th, the Israeli center and left-wing Pleasure Seekers with no interest in conquest were awakened to its inevitability. The results were made clear by Asmat Mansour (a former associate and cellmate of Yahiya Sinwar). In a speech last week, he said, “[Sinwar] did not expect that the operation would lead to such complicated matters, isolate him, and become so dangerous. He gave Israel all the reasons and excuses to break all the rules… the calculations did not go as planned.”

Those driven by a desire only for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness must occasionally rise to the challenges created by the Glory Seekers. The past has shown, again and again, that Pleasure Seekers driven into a conflict they abhor make for the fiercest of enemies. The past has also shown that the longer the need for conflict is denied, the higher the price of that conflict.

I fear this is a calculus that can never be undone. Pleasure Seekers will not rise to war until forced to do so – and the seekers of Glory will not understand the monsters they awaken until their fates are already sealed.

[this post was partially inspired by my previous post: The Tabernacle and Modern Monuments)

Published in Foreign Policy
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  1. DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone Member
    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    JosephCox: While the US has historically had its share of Glory Seekers, most interventionalists in the US aren’t seeking glory or power. Their primary goal is the spread of political freedom

    Uh . . . I don’t think so.

    Or, if they are, they have a really bad track record of achieving just the opposite.

    But I don’t think they are.

    • #1
  2. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone (View Comment):

    JosephCox: While the US has historically had its share of Glory Seekers, most interventionalists in the US aren’t seeking glory or power. Their primary goal is the spread of political freedom

    Uh . . . I don’t think so.

    Or, if they are, they have a really bad track record of achieving just the opposite.

    But I don’t think they are.

    Whether or not the bureaucrats in charge have such beliefs, the domestic pitch centers on the spreading and protection of freedom. Success is indeed mixed.

    • #2
  3. DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone Member
    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Whether or not the bureaucrats in charge have such beliefs, . . .

    They don’t.

    . . . the domestic pitch centers on the spreading and protection of freedom.

    Well, sure. That’s how they pitch it. When they bother to pitch it. I’ve noticed they no longer even attempt to convince the citizens anymore. Slow Joe, for example, has never come before the American people to explain why he’s breaking the bank on Ukraine or what conditions are required for him to declare mission accomplished. The bureaucrats and members of Congress have tossed out a wide variety of desired end conditions, including but not limited to regime change in Russia and/or the assassination of Putin. I have no confidence in any of them. And I really don’t think “spreading freedom” is the goal. Enriching favored oligarchs, laundering money back to the pockets of the well-connected, and creating a make-work program for the Pentagon’s favorite industrialists . . . that seems to be the goal. I don’t think the Ruling Class gives a rodent’s hindquarters about freedom. Or why do they keep taking it from us?

    Success is indeed mixed.

    Can I have an example of where we have been successful since WWII?

    I don’t mean to be belligerent, I just don’t see the positive trends you do.

    • #3
  4. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone (View Comment):

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Whether or not the bureaucrats in charge have such beliefs, . . .

    They don’t.

    . . . the domestic pitch centers on the spreading and protection of freedom.

    Well, sure. That’s how they pitch it. When they bother to pitch it. I’ve noticed they no longer even attempt to convince the citizens anymore. Slow Joe, for example, has never come before the American people to explain why he’s breaking the bank on Ukraine or what conditions are required for him to declare mission accomplished. The bureaucrats and members of Congress have tossed out a wide variety of desired end conditions, including but not limited to regime change in Russia and/or the assassination of Putin. I have no confidence in any of them. And I really don’t think “spreading freedom” is the goal. Enriching favored oligarchs, laundering money back to the pockets of the well-connected, and creating a make-work program for the Pentagon’s favorite industrialists . . . that seems to be the goal. I don’t think the Ruling Class gives a rodent’s hindquarters about freedom. Or why do they keep taking it from us?

    How they pitch it matters. Whether neocons, the War Party prior to WWII or those calling to support Ukraine today, they are tapping into an American ideal of spreading democracy abroad. If that pitch wasn’t being made, the US would be far far less interventionalist.

    The Pentagon’s favorite industrialists could have plenty of work to do sans Ukraine. All of Western Europe is seeking to be rearmed. And of all things the US is spending money on, Ukraine isn’t the one breaking the bank. For a tiny fraction of US defense spending, the US is clipping the wings of a geopolitical rival.

    If you want to be cynical, the US is spilling Ukrainian blood on the cheap to bloody Russia’s nose. After the debacle in Afghanistan, the non-idealist Americans should be seeking  to do the same to Iran (a modern state founded on the principle of Death to America) and China (if they can afford it). This is a way in which both Israel and Taiwan can be very useful.

    But when the time comes the pitch will remain the same: freedom and democracy against tyranny.

    Success is indeed mixed.

    Can I have an example of where we have been successful since WWII?

    The article didn’t say the US was successful in its interventionalism. But there are still examples of it. Not necessarily through war, but Poland, East Germany, Czechia, Slovakia (etc….), South Korea, Taiwan, Israel, Iraq (yes, far from idea, but Sadaamland it ain’t) and Iraqi Kurdistan are all freer than they were in part due to the positive influence of the United States. 

    I don’t mean to be belligerent, I just don’t see the positive trends you do.

    If you see lots of positive trends then I don’t think you read the article I wrote :)

    • #4
  5. DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone Member
    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    JosephCox (View Comment):
    If you want to be cynical, the US is spilling Ukrainian blood on the cheap to bloody Russia’s nose.

    I guess I’m cynical, because I see this as extremely immoral. 

    But I wouldn’t call it “cynical.” I’d call it an honest appraisal of what’s going on.

    If the U.S. wants to go to war with Russia, let Congress vote to declare war, and then put American boots on the ground. To use someone else as a proxy so that they die instead of us is . . . well, frankly, evil.

    • #5
  6. DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone Member
    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    JosephCox (View Comment):
    How they pitch it matters. Whether neocons, the War Party prior to WWII or those calling to support Ukraine today, they are tapping into an American ideal of spreading democracy abroad. If that pitch wasn’t being made, the US would be far far less interventionalist.

    No, . . . and it’s why everything is still run under a nearly quarter-century-old AUMF. Because Congress has handed over its war powers to the Executive Branch.

    They don’t pitch anything anymore. They just do it.

    • #6
  7. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone (View Comment):

    JosephCox (View Comment):
    How they pitch it matters. Whether neocons, the War Party prior to WWII or those calling to support Ukraine today, they are tapping into an American ideal of spreading democracy abroad. If that pitch wasn’t being made, the US would be far far less interventionalist.

    No, . . . and it’s why everything is still run under a nearly quarter-century-old AUMF. Because Congress has handed over its war powers to the Executive Branch.

    They don’t pitch anything anymore. They just do it.

    Congress has handed almost all its power over

    • #7
  8. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    JosephCox (View Comment):
    If you want to be cynical, the US is spilling Ukrainian blood on the cheap to bloody Russia’s nose.

    I don’t know a single person, Republican or Democrat, among my friends and family members who was not outraged by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. People in the United States want to help the Ukrainians. Poland has taken in 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine; we have sent money and materiel. 

    You underestimate the goodness of the American people here. 

    There are good people in the world and in the United States. 

    • #8
  9. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    I think the dichotomy is not right.

    I agree that there are Glory Seekers.

    But I do not think the pursuit of freedom is Pleasure Seeking. Pleasure Seeking may be the path of hedonistic narcisissim, but many freedom lovers are in favor of neither.

    • #9
  10. DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone Member
    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    MarciN (View Comment):

    JosephCox (View Comment):
    If you want to be cynical, the US is spilling Ukrainian blood on the cheap to bloody Russia’s nose.

    I don’t know a single person, Republican or Democrat, among my friends and family members who was not outraged by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. People in the United States want to help the Ukrainians. Poland has taken in 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine; we have sent money and materiel.

    You underestimate the goodness of the American people here.

    There are good people in the world and in the United States.

    The good people are not in charge. Good people wouldn’t “spill[] Ukrainian blood on the cheap to bloody Russia’s nose.”

    • #10
  11. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone (View Comment):

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Whether or not the bureaucrats in charge have such beliefs, . . .

    They don’t.

    . . . the domestic pitch centers on the spreading and protection of freedom.

    Well, sure. That’s how they pitch it. When they bother to pitch it. I’ve noticed they no longer even attempt to convince the citizens anymore. Slow Joe, for example, has never come before the American people to explain why he’s breaking the bank on Ukraine or what conditions are required for him to declare mission accomplished. The bureaucrats and members of Congress have tossed out a wide variety of desired end conditions, including but not limited to regime change in Russia and/or the assassination of Putin. I have no confidence in any of them. And I really don’t think “spreading freedom” is the goal. Enriching favored oligarchs, laundering money back to the pockets of the well-connected, and creating a make-work program for the Pentagon’s favorite industrialists . . . that seems to be the goal. I don’t think the Ruling Class gives a rodent’s hindquarters about freedom. Or why do they keep taking it from us?

    Success is indeed mixed.

    Can I have an example of where we have been successful since WWII?

    I don’t mean to be belligerent, I just don’t see the positive trends you do.

    Along with other nations, we preserved the autonomy of our ally, South Korea.  Without the help of this alliance SK would almost certainly have been conquered by North Korea.  Granted, SK was a military dictatorship and individual liberty was not their highest guiding principle.  But it was a free enough country that they evolved into being a first-world country with freedom and prosperity.  More than just being prosperous in their own little way, SK is absolutely vital to the world’s economy today.  Had it not been for the United States and other allies, 51 million additional Koreans would today be living under the tyranny — and occasional threat of starvation — of the communist NK government.

    Did the U.S. fight this war strictly for the cause of freedom or was it just selfish national interest?  I don’t know.  But the net result was saving scores of millions of people from living in a slave state.

    • #11
  12. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    MarciN (View Comment):

    JosephCox (View Comment):
    If you want to be cynical, the US is spilling Ukrainian blood on the cheap to bloody Russia’s nose.

    I don’t know a single person, Republican or Democrat, among my friends and family members who was not outraged by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. People in the United States want to help the Ukrainians. Poland has taken in 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine; we have sent money and materiel.

    Me either. That said, very few want American troops involved. We want to blunt Russia without actually fighting. And we recognize that the Ukrainians have agreed to spill their own blood to limit Russia. Just because they are willing to fight and we are willing to supply them does not make it an evil act.

    Consider WWII. Up to a point, the US was happy to supply the UK with arms. We didn’t even give them, but loaned them. It didn’t make the US evil, it just allowed us to hold back the Nazis (at least temporarily) on the cheap. 

    You underestimate the goodness of the American people here.

    There are good people in the world and in the United States.

    Of course there are. But for those who see Ukraine’s many flaws the fallback defense of our supply of military aid is that Russia – an aggressive and expansionist glory seeker – is put at bay with relatively little cost.

    • #12
  13. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    iWe (View Comment):

    I think the dichotomy is not right.

    I agree that there are Glory Seekers.

    But I do not think the pursuit of freedom is Pleasure Seeking. Pleasure Seeking may be the path of hedonistic narcisissim, but many freedom lovers are in favor of neither.

    I agree. I don’t think the pursuit of freedom is necessarily Pleasure Seeking. Thus that third category of American interventionalists.

    But Western Europeans? Many Americans? What are they seeking?

    ‘Freedom’ is the ultimate nebulous word. It can mean many things. In recent times, it has increasingly become a stand-in for the endorsement and encouragement of narcissistic hedonism.

     

    After the failed attempt to spread freedom in Afghanistan and the uneven success in Iraq, those Americans who want to spread freedom have shied away from acting to do so internationally. Thus the weak response to Russia and the Houthis on the left and the pure transactionalism of a Trump on the right. 

    I’m not saying it is wrong, necessarily. Often non-military efforts yield more fruit and the US certainly has a fair number of things to work on at home.

    Nonetheless, over time, the Glory Seekers will push their boundaries as far as they think they can.

    • #13
  14. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

     

    Along with other nations, we preserved the autonomy of our ally, South Korea.  Without the help of this alliance SK would almost certainly have been conquered by North Korea.  Granted, SK was a military dictatorship and individual liberty was not their highest guiding principle.  But it was a free enough country that they evolved into being a first-world country with freedom and prosperity.  More than just being prosperous in their own little way, SK is absolutely vital to the world’s economy today.  Had it not been for the United States and other allies, 51 million additional Koreans would today be living under the tyranny — and occasional threat of starvation — of the communist NK government.

    Did the U.S. fight this war strictly for the cause of freedom or was it just selfish national interest?  I don’t know.  But the net result was saving scores of millions of people from living in a slave state.

    I would go further. South Korea is freer today than it was in the 1980s in part due to US influence. When successful, the sort of little actions that help a dictatorship transform into something better is far more subtle than open war – but it still matters. The US security shield almost certainly helped both Taiwan and South Korea evolve without the ever present argument for strength through dictatorship.

    • #14
  15. DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone Member
    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    JosephCox (View Comment):
    After the failed attempt to spread freedom in Afghanistan and the uneven success in Iraq, those Americans who want to spread freedom have shied away from acting to do so internationally.

    For good reason, I’d say. The people behind these attempts that failed suffered no consequences for their failure, and they’re still running things. One reason, I’ll wager, that we’re not meeting recruitment goals. Who would willingly submit to the leadership we currently have? When the Pentagon says that the greatest threat we face is white supremacy, when they worry more about climate change, when the battles they fight the hardest are to keep offering abortions and sex changes for recruits . . . yeah, I’m not a fan.

    If you look at the disaster of the Afghanistan pullout, and you think “gosh, I want those people running a war in Ukraine” then I submit you and I are in opposition. 

    I guess that’s obvious. 

    • #15
  16. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    I think that this is a simplified and fundamentally erroneous analysis of the state of the world.

    Part of it is almost funny:

    JosephCox: These countries, from the UK and France to the Australia and Japan, aren’t interested in conquest. They do act in their interests overseas, but their goals are often in the support of economics and rarely in the support of territorial growth. There are a vast swath of these countries

    Australia was never a serious player on the world state.  It’s population is just too small.

    To act as if the UK, France, and Japan are these wonderful, pleasure-seeking, freedom-loving places is to misread history, I think.  You might notice that these three countries ruled three of the largest empires in the history of the world in the first half of the 20th Century.

    We took them down.  We even took down the British and French empires, and replaced them, while being technically on their side.

    What we really witnessed over the 20th Century was America replacing almost all of the other colonial empires, in a new system of pseud0-empire.  Even Britain, France, Germany, and Japan are something close to vassal states of the US now.  We were absolutely ruthless in bringing this about.

    What’s happening now is not some division of good-guys vs. bad-guys, in my view.  It is the emergence of China as a Great Power for the first time in the modern era, and the restoration of Russia as a Great Power as well, though clearly in third place to the US and China.

    The truly bizarre thing about the OP, at least to me, is the idea that it is the other guys who are expansionist.  We’re the expansionist ones, folks.

    We’re the ones who’ve pushed NATO right to Russia’s doorstep.  That’s an aggressive expansion of our sphere of influence.  We’re even worse with respect to China, because we’re not at China’s doorstep.  We’re in their living room.  Taiwan is a part of China, as we have acknowledged for decades.  Indeed, one of our complaints about Imperial Japan was its conquest of Taiwan and, later, other parts of China.

    Russia and China have not been aggressive.  They have acted defensively.  They might get aggressive in the future, with China being a greater potential threat because of its greater power.

    Neither is a threat to us, meaning the United States.  They can’t get to us.  They may be a threat on the margins.

    When was the last time that Russia was truly aggressive?  I don’t mean reconquering lost territory, I mean actually expanding.  OK, Afghanistan, which was a pointless disaster for them — which we then repeated ourselves, fools that we are.  Before that, you probably have to go back to Napoleonic days.

    I realize that many of you may think that the Soviet conquest of eastern Europe was aggressive.  It was not.  It was defensive, after Germany and its allies — including most of those eastern European countries that the Soviets occupied — invaded Russia.  The Czechs, Hungarians, and Romanians were all on the side of Nazi Germany.

    • #16
  17. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    For the record, I don’t think that war is inevitable.  A true Great Power war is almost unthinkable, in the nuclear age.

    In my view, the sensible thing to do is to view things realistically, stop demonizing our competitors and adversaries, stop pretending that we are so very righteous, and go back to sensible, balance-of-power politics.  Great Powers get buffer states and spheres of influence.  We’ve had our own for about 200 years, but we should remember that our natural buffers are the oceans.  Ukraine and Taiwan are way, way outside our natural sphere of influence.

    I think that war is much, much more likely if we fail to realize this.

    • #17
  18. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone (View Comment):

    For good reason, I’d say. The people behind these attempts that failed suffered no consequences for their failure, and they’re still running things. One reason, I’ll wager, that we’re not meeting recruitment goals. Who would willingly submit to the leadership we currently have? When the Pentagon says that the greatest threat we face is white supremacy, when they worry more about climate change, when the battles they fight the hardest are to keep offering abortions and sex changes for recruits . . . yeah, I’m not a fan.

    If you look at the disaster of the Afghanistan pullout, and you think “gosh, I want those people running a war in Ukraine” then I submit you and I are in opposition. 

    I guess that’s obvious. 

    I don’t think it is obvious. I suggested two strains in the US – Pleasure Seekers and interventionalists. Pleasure Seekers are focused on abortions, sex changes etc… interventionalists support a liberal international order. 

    But neither side is running a war in Ukraine. Ukraine is – for better or worse. All they are effectively doing is supplying material and increasingly out of date training. If there was a local Afghan force that could have stood up with material and training alone (e.g. the Northern Alliance under Mansoud) then not only would the outcome have been very different, and the US would have had no problem with continuing support – just as with the West German government.

    • #18
  19. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone (View Comment):

    For good reason, I’d say. The people behind these attempts that failed suffered no consequences for their failure, and they’re still running things. One reason, I’ll wager, that we’re not meeting recruitment goals. Who would willingly submit to the leadership we currently have? When the Pentagon says that the greatest threat we face is white supremacy, when they worry more about climate change, when the battles they fight the hardest are to keep offering abortions and sex changes for recruits . . . yeah, I’m not a fan.

    If you look at the disaster of the Afghanistan pullout, and you think “gosh, I want those people running a war in Ukraine” then I submit you and I are in opposition.

    I guess that’s obvious.

    I don’t think it is obvious. I suggested two strains in the US – Pleasure Seekers and interventionalists. Pleasure Seekers are focused on abortions, sex changes etc… interventionalists support a liberal international order.

    But neither side is running a war in Ukraine. Ukraine is – for better or worse. All they are effectively doing is supplying material and increasingly out of date training. If there was a local Afghan force that could have stood up with material and training alone (e.g. the Northern Alliance under Mansoud) then not only would the outcome have been very different, and the US would have had no problem with continuing support – just as with the West German government.

    Out of date training? If the Ukes are only trained to the level of our NATO allies, they are still ahead of the level the Russians are giving their cannon fodder.

    • #19
  20. Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    iWe (View Comment):

    I think the dichotomy is not right.

    I agree that there are Glory Seekers.

    But I do not think the pursuit of freedom is Pleasure Seeking. Pleasure Seeking may be the path of hedonistic narcisissim, but many freedom lovers are in favor of neither.

    Yes, and the Glory Seekers are not seeking to spread democracy, but rather control countries using “democracy” as an excuse and “elections” as a tool.

    • #20
  21. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

     

    ….The truly bizarre thing about the OP, at least to me, is the idea that it is the other guys who are expansionist. We’re the expansionist ones, folks…..

    We’re the ones who’ve pushed NATO right to Russia’s doorstep. That’s an aggressive expansion of our sphere of influence. We’re even worse with respect to China, because we’re not at China’s doorstep. We’re in their living room. Taiwan is a part of China, as we have acknowledged for decades. Indeed, one of our complaints about Imperial Japan was its conquest of Taiwan and, later, other parts of China.

    Russia and China have not been aggressive. They have acted defensively. They might get aggressive in the future…..

    ….When was the last time that Russia was truly aggressive? I don’t mean reconquering lost territory, I mean actually expanding…..

    I realize that many of you may think that the Soviet conquest of eastern Europe was aggressive. It was not. It was defensive, after Germany and its allies — including most of those eastern European countries that the Soviets occupied — invaded Russia. ….

    This is hilarious!  Do you do Shtick?

     

    • #21
  22. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

     

    ….The truly bizarre thing about the OP, at least to me, is the idea that it is the other guys who are expansionist. We’re the expansionist ones, folks…..

    We’re the ones who’ve pushed NATO right to Russia’s doorstep. That’s an aggressive expansion of our sphere of influence. We’re even worse with respect to China, because we’re not at China’s doorstep. We’re in their living room. Taiwan is a part of China, as we have acknowledged for decades. Indeed, one of our complaints about Imperial Japan was its conquest of Taiwan and, later, other parts of China.

    Russia and China have not been aggressive. They have acted defensively. They might get aggressive in the future…..

    ….When was the last time that Russia was truly aggressive? I don’t mean reconquering lost territory, I mean actually expanding…..

    I realize that many of you may think that the Soviet conquest of eastern Europe was aggressive. It was not. It was defensive, after Germany and its allies — including most of those eastern European countries that the Soviets occupied — invaded Russia. ….

    This is hilarious! Do you do Shtick?

     

    I am waiting for that Eastern European girlfriend, Steven Seaward, do not disappoint me,

    • #22
  23. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

     

    ….The truly bizarre thing about the OP, at least to me, is the idea that it is the other guys who are expansionist. We’re the expansionist ones, folks…..

    We’re the ones who’ve pushed NATO right to Russia’s doorstep. That’s an aggressive expansion of our sphere of influence. We’re even worse with respect to China, because we’re not at China’s doorstep. We’re in their living room. Taiwan is a part of China, as we have acknowledged for decades. Indeed, one of our complaints about Imperial Japan was its conquest of Taiwan and, later, other parts of China.

    Russia and China have not been aggressive. They have acted defensively. They might get aggressive in the future…..

    ….When was the last time that Russia was truly aggressive? I don’t mean reconquering lost territory, I mean actually expanding…..

    I realize that many of you may think that the Soviet conquest of eastern Europe was aggressive. It was not. It was defensive, after Germany and its allies — including most of those eastern European countries that the Soviets occupied — invaded Russia. ….

    This is hilarious! Do you do Shtick?

     

    I am waiting for that Eastern European girlfriend, Steven Seaward, do not disappoint me,

    Ah yes, Olga, the 400-pound discus thrower with the facial hair.  She says the capitalist pigs have destroyed her Communist Paradise!

    • #23
  24. Eridemus Coolidge
    Eridemus
    @Eridemus

    What I am a little puzzled to sort out, is why the lowly populations of the glory-seekers would go along with the glory-seeking (by elites who are unlikely to reward them with any significant improvement to their own existence), although a few -as in China- may be impressed by partial change under an undemocratic system. And the majority may still be swayed by propaganda even in an age with much greater media exposure of life’s more abundant pleasures being found in the officially hated countries.

    There’s always the myth that the great “hegemony” took opportunity away from the people under the dictators, rather than having shown them the way or protected a few duing the hard transition (S.K. and others mentioned in other posts). Instead of giving credit for the fostering and protection that the U.S. gave when it could, I have read propaganda-blinded tirades disparaging Japanese and other beneficiaries for being sellouts and doormats to the U.S. (as if being dominated by China would bring any dignity).

    Although some people do figure it out. I heard today that the mass of “migrants” crossing our border is made increasingly of Chinese and other non-South Americans… I think including Russians and mid-easterners. Many of the bravest of those suffering from dictators simply would rather escape than risk opposing the oppression locally. Add to the mix the fact that the people of more comfortable countries gradually take their comforts for granted, are loudly self-critical, and are nurseries of abhorrent ideas (to traditionalists) such as the trans agenda, and the risk of conflict does seem destined to keep growing.

    • #24
  25. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Eridemus (View Comment):

    What I am a little puzzled to sort out, is why the lowly populations of the glory-seekers would go along with the glory-seeking (by elites who are unlikely to reward them with any significant improvement to their own existence), although a few -as in China- may be impressed by partial change under an undemocratic system. And the majority may still be swayed by propaganda even in an age with much greater media exposure of life’s more abundant pleasures being found in the officially hated countries.

    I live in a country with its group of glory-seekers. Drives me nuts. That said, being a part of a glorious historical project gives people a sense of value. Imagine being Chinese, one in a billion pursuing Deng Xiaoping’s slogan of “to be rich is glorious!” It is empty. It is empty for Americans and Russians and Chinese and everybody in between. Doubly difficult is when you aren’t rich and have no hope of being so. Filling that absence with ‘glory’ is a clear and easy recipe to enable people to accept hardship as part of a greater national project.

    Thankfully, not everybody pursues Greater ___ glory. Some pursue Bigger Building Glory or Moon Landing Glory or whatever. I think that those who really have it figured out, though, are those who can realize meaning without Glory. Glory is a negative sum game when reached through conquest, but even in the best of circumstances, it is a zero-sum game. More glory for one  is less for another.

    Meaning without glory, impact without the seeking of fame, purpose without superiority – I believe these are the ingredients of a far brighter reality. 

    • #25
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