Wednesday, October 20, 2004
It's become an action movie; the qualities that served Harrison Ford's cinematic conception of the president (toughness, aggression) are the qualities they think are necessary to win this confrontation. But the grit and aggression that allowed Ford to triumph in hand-to-hand combat against the evildoers isn't analogous to the strategic mind, long-term view and patience required to oversee a transnational conflict. That those are the first traits Dick Cheney's mind jumps to, as if a president will, Die-Hard style, be required to run and jump and kick and swing and shoot and bleed to keep the bomb from the buildings, shows how fundamentally unprepared this Administration is to face a threat as serious as Al Qaeda.one can argue that this anti-intellectual sort of philosophy is a product of a democracy whose voters can often understand little more than emotion. i think it is not completely by accident that the installation of plebiscitarian government in the west has coincided with the rise of zealously ideological politics and parties. investing the mob with power means necessarily making base simplicity -- lust, fear and greed, most often, at the expense of reason -- the prime mover in politics. mussolini, is it said, called le bon's "the crowd" one of his favorite books (le bon wrote of the emotional irrationality of the mob), and michael ledeen himself views the fascist model of nationalist appeal as the invigorating tonic that will redeem western civilization. in such a context, the theatrical presentation of terrorism that cheney invokes seems studied.
but is it simply the disingenuous public philosophy that we're talking about -- or is such reductivism what cheney and his lot really believe?
Definitely worth some full time thinking about.
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