Monday, September 10, 2007

Swissification, War Liberals, and Fertilizer

2 Blowhards posted a very long interview with Gregory Cochran, who I'd heard of through his work on the possible evolutionary explanations for the average IQ of Ashkenazi Jews. I haven't read nearly this whole interview yet (I'm serious, it's long; and another part is forthcoming!), but at first glance I thought these two excerpts were entertaining:
2B: Under what kinds of circumstances does it make sense for you for the US to go to war?

Cochran: If someone else started to build up a power that threatened to become overwhelming, such that straight-line extrapolation said they'd be able to run all the shows in the near future, a war that put a spoke in their wheel would be worthwhile. Particularly if the gathering threat were infamous assholes, as has been known to happen. Now dealing with some country whose power was expanding solely because of their charm and efficiency -- creeping Swissification -- would raise new and intriguing questions. If that ever happens, maybe we should just surrender.

2B: You make some of the same points that the Chomskyan left makes. In what ways do your views of our military efforts differ from those on the kneejerk left?

Cochran: I'm not all that familiar with Chomsky's political views, although I do know that he has said unsound things about the evolution of language. If he thinks that we were worse than the Russians in the Cold War, I disagree. If he thinks that evil rational reasons are at the core of US international policy generally, I also disagree. I think it's more stupidity.

I probably know more about current left opinion on the Web: I hear a lot of talk about mercenary motives for the Iraq war and I doubt it. There are far easier ways to steal, if that's you want.

I think that they usually have no idea what they're talking about when it comes to facts. ... I think they were close to right on Iraq, a totally pointless war, but I think it's a coincidence. I think they, like everyone else, have not bothered to acquire the sorts of knowledge that allow to judge whether something made sense or not. I think that they, like almost everyone else, are more interested in supporting the "side" than the truth. Although, with Bush, they don't have to lie. Who knows, maybe they'll get in the habit of telling the truth.

I'm neglecting "war liberals," a separate category of chuckleheads.

As for the 'kneejerk right', at this point I think I'd bag them and sell them for fertilizer.


Blogger Dianna said...

I like this guy.

I'm in no way trying to support the far leftist's arguments that we started a war to get our money grubbing hands on some crude oil, but I've often heard that criminals are idiots, and if the people who've been designing our foreign policy for the past 6 years are as stupid as Cochran intimates, then starting a war for mercenary reasons might just seem like the thing to do. Sometimes you have to be bright to find the easy way to do a thing.

5:20 PM  

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