Thursday, March 25, 2010

This white man's burden

Max Boot, Wall Street Journal:

[W]hat happens if the U.S. switches spending from defense to social welfare? Who will protect what used to be known as the "Free World"? Who will police the sea lanes, stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, combat terrorism, respond to genocide and other unconscionable human rights violations, and deter rogue states from aggression? Those are all responsibilities currently performed by America.

I won't presume to speak for the world, but I suspect that if you asked it, quite a lot of what is described here as an American responsibility might be counterposed as an international responsibility.

However, as is customary in the human bogarting of power, those closest to a monopoly will dispute that anyone else is up to the task, while everyone else will resent them for it, eliciting hostility where with greater cooperation there might have been none -- not to mention editorials detailing the noble obligations of power in concentrate.

The upshot is that we manage to spend huge sums of money on servicing this delicate state of affairs for the mutual benefit of none!


Montag said...

indeed we do seem responsible for proliferation, terrorism, genocide and human rights violations. wait, that's not what he means is it?

Anonymous said...

yeah! who will be at play in the fields of the lard if not us?

Richard said...

it's nonsense like Boot's (and the extent that people believe it) that brings home, again, why one of my favorite book titles of all time is H. Bruce Franklin's Vietnam and Other American Fantasies.... book itself is good too.

JRB said...

Thanks for mentioning it, Richard. I will keep an eye out for it.

Fields of lard, indeed!