March 25, 2003
Notes: What Should I Say?

From John Barnes, Earth Made of Glass (New York: Tor: 0812551613), p. 173: "...What should I say?" "What your best heart tells you to say.... [C]ompare that reality with the story, and say exactly what you would say if your honor, courage, and truth were perfect. And that is what you should always say, anyway, is it not?"...

Posted by DeLong at 07:55 AM

March 22, 2003
Grand Strategy of the United States

James Di Benedetto of the Eleven Day Empire writes: And there were certainly plenty of people [around the world] who did consider 9/11 to be the equivalent of war, and far from reprehensible... Yes. And now, after this invasion of Iraq, there are 10 times as many people around the world who will consider 9/11 to have been the equivalent of war, anticipatory pre-emptive retaliation for the civilian casualties caused as--as they see it--the Bush Administration went out of control, defied world opinion, defied world civil society, and launched an aggressive war aimed at the conquest of Iraq. That's likely to be the master narrative that people in future years will tell themselves about the chain of events in which we are enmeshed. 10 times as many people who say that 9/11 was what Americans had coming. 10 times as many potential recruits for Al-Qaeda and its successors. 10 times as many people who'll say, "I disapprove of their methods, but I don't think we should help the United States capture them." 10 times as many people who... AAUUGGHH!!! Suppose that the Bush Administration had launched this invasion after a Security Council vote of 10 yes, 2 vetoes (France and...

Posted by DeLong at 08:44 AM

Brink Lindsey Is Very Good Indeed

I've been rereading Brink Lindsey's book, Against the Dead Hand. God, it's good! When I compare it to other books that have gotten much more attention like... Ummm.... Well! Here's what I said about Brink's book on an earlier occasion: Now Brink Lindsey has written a book: Brink Lindsey (2002), Against the Dead Hand: The Uncertain Struggle for Global Capitalism (New York: John Wiley: 0471442771). The purpose of the book is to celebrate the end of one of what Lindsey sees as one of the great obstacles to human progress. The obstacle is "the dream of centralized, top-down control over the course of economic development" (p. 2). In Lindsey's mind, whether the policies were the bloody collectivization of agriculture by Stalin, Mao's command that peasants smelt steel in their backyards, French bureaucrats providing indicative guidance to enterprises for capacity expansion, the UK Labour Party nationalizing the "commanding heights" of the economy, Franklin D. Roosevelt commanding the separation of investment from commercial banking and decreeing the creation of the TVA, or Park Chung Hee offering large subsidized loans to chaebol that would successfully export--it was all one dream: the dream that government controls could successfully manage the economy. It is this...

Posted by DeLong at 08:40 AM