Disintegration

Discussion of current events
Ellen
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Re: Disintegration

Post by Ellen » Sat Jun 05, 2021 4:15 am

Foreign policy is the arena where the reputations of US presidents are made, from the viewpoint of the rest of the world, because (as NF points out) they have overwhelming authority to make decisions, and the foreign media dwell on these issues much more than on domestic policies, which don't interest or affect other people. The Congress very much plays a minimal role in foreign policy, unless the president wants to do something that is considered outrageous.

I don't think this means that presidents are more interested in Foreign policy than domestic policy. Afterall, the reason they are elected is because of the latter, not the former, in most cases.

But large foreign policy issues can magnify a president's stature for the good or bad, especially when the global media obsesses about them to the extent that they tend to drown out more mundane, but ultimately more important issues at home. The American media used to make much ado about nothing concerning Obama's popularity (initially, at least) in Europe and elsewhere. It made no difference at all in determining whether he won or lost his second term, and how he is remembered in the US. As long as a President does not humiliate himself or achieve historic agreements over a foreign issue (eg, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Iranian hostage crisis), Americans judge their presidents by their domestic achievements.

Unfortunately, that might be one of the reasons why so many foreign policies are made thoughtlessly, or based on sloganeering (eg, bring democracy to Iraq) without considering the culture of the places being bandied about, as if invading another country were like taking a walk in a rose garden. Recently, I read a Saudi commentator complain that American presidents treat Middle Eastern despots like Khameini with incredible naivete because the bad consequences of their foolish policies never end up hurting America. But, they may damage or destroy the neighboring countries. Obama's outreach to Iran's theocracy resulted in destruction and occupation of 4 Arab countries and 4 missile wars with Israel, but no matter. He made a "point", and apparently Obama's point - now being carried out by Biden to its logical conclusion - was more important to the liberal elite than the lives of people in 5 countries.

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Doc
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Re: Disintegration

Post by Doc » Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:36 am

neverfail wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 4:10 pm
Doc wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 12:06 am

Most US presidents are more interested in Foreign policy than Domestic policy.
I have long made the same observation myself Doc.

I had often wondered why. Having since become better acquainted with the inner workings of government in the USA (a little better - it is quite a complex animal and hard to understand) I have drawn the following conclusion:

US presidents are inclined to focus more on foreign policy than on domestic policy because they are allowed a freer hand in it and are therefore better able to make their mark by focusing on this policy area.

When a US administration enters the arena of domestic policy it always runs the risk of arousing forces ranged against it. This included the matter of states' rights; the Houses of Congress; your Supreme Court (often stacked by the preceeding administration :) ); the mass media and of course the wealthy and powerful corporate interests that are always prone to manipulate these others powers in the land against the executive wing of government. A real minefield!

(I do not wish to make fracking the diversionary topic of this discussion: but I was appalled back in the obama years when Obama made the quixotic, symbolic move to ban fracking on federally owned land: while leaving the frackers to enjoy a free run of private land along with land owned by state governments. It was not the actual ban that appalled me but the fact that Obama was only able to impose it on federally owned land. Obviously, considering the amount of federally owned land compared with the amount of landed property under private and state ownership the fracking ban would have been meaningless unless it had constrained fracking on these too. There must have been some law, possibly a constitutional one, that stayed Obama's hand.)

Now, multiply that by all of the other policy areas that US Federal administrations could potentially move into and you will get some idea of how much the US misses out on in the realm of improved government.

It would mean that US presidents, ever since the time of George Washington, often very likely might have come up with bright policy ideas which, had these ever been implemented would have been of benefit to the entire country: but of course these ideas, even if debated, never saw the light of day as law.

By contrast in foreign affairs matters the hands of any incumbent administration seems to be far more unconstrained. Indeed, my oft repeated complaint has been that your system of government does not hold incumbent US presidents sufficiently to account in this policy area.

In summary: US administrations are too constrained in domestic policy initiaves while conversely being too unrestrained in foreign policy moves. A very lopsided set of powers that I imagine would invite unbalanced, dysfunctional government.
Reagan concentrated on Domestic policy through his first term. It lead to him a position of strength on the Foreign policy side. With most presidents their constituents are "citizens of the world" so foreign policy is prime.

Take BIden for example He has been China and Russia first for at least a decade.
“"I fancied myself as some kind of god....It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.” -- George Soros

neverfail
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Re: Disintegration

Post by neverfail » Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:05 am

Doc wrote:
Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:36 am


Reagan concentrated on Domestic policy through his first term. It lead to him a position of strength on the Foreign policy side.
That strategy absolutely makes sense to me Doc. So why don't morte of them do it?
With most presidents their constituents are "citizens of the world" so foreign policy is prime.
Sorry, I don't understand.

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Doc
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Re: Disintegration

Post by Doc » Sun Jun 06, 2021 6:42 am

neverfail wrote:
Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:05 am
Doc wrote:
Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:36 am


Reagan concentrated on Domestic policy through his first term. It lead to him a position of strength on the Foreign policy side.
That strategy absolutely makes sense to me Doc. So why don't morte of them do it?
With most presidents their constituents are "citizens of the world" so foreign policy is prime.
Sorry, I don't understand.
My bad I wasn't clear

"Multi-national corporations, billionaires and millionaires that consider themselves "Global Citizens"
“"I fancied myself as some kind of god....It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.” -- George Soros

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lzzrdgrrl
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Re: Disintegration

Post by lzzrdgrrl » Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:03 pm

The American empire is over. ... American journalist Chris Hedges, in his 2018 book America The Farewell Tour, predicts that "within a decade, two at most" America will cease to be the dominant super-power in the world.

Last week, a black Amazon delivery driver sucker-punched an elderly white woman after the victim rejected the driver’s snide remark about the “white privilege” of getting annoyed while waiting for a package. A few months back, a Yale lecturer spoke about her “fantasies of unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way.” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot complained that too many of the journalists reporting on her are white.
https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/t ... y-n1452598
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neverfail
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Re: Disintegration

Post by neverfail » Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:04 pm

lzzrdgrrl wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:03 pm
The American empire is over. ... American journalist Chris Hedges, in his 2018 book America The Farewell Tour, predicts that "within a decade, two at most" America will cease to be the dominant super-power in the world.
Izzy, it is necessary for America to be globally the number one power in order for it to survive and prosper?

Ellen
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Re: Disintegration

Post by Ellen » Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:28 pm

neverfail wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:04 pm
lzzrdgrrl wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:03 pm
The American empire is over. ... American journalist Chris Hedges, in his 2018 book America The Farewell Tour, predicts that "within a decade, two at most" America will cease to be the dominant super-power in the world.
Izzy, it is necessary for America to be globally the number one power in order for it to survive and prosper?
No it isn't. Not at all. In fact, the best years for America were when it was NOT the global superpower - like late 19th century, or in the immediate aftermath of WWII.

But for the liberal/left elite of which Hedges is one (former NYT foreign correspondent) it is imperative for their self esteem and self importance that America be viewed as the unchallenged #1. Why? Because why would anyone listen to the PC, Woke, psychobabble, nonsense of this clique of mediocrities otherwise? As they say in real estate, location..location...location. What makes the opinions of this crowd global and noteworthy, as opposed to local and provincial, is the #1 status of the United States.

Compare to this to the standing of the Wahabi kooks from Saudi Arabia. Whoever paid a minute's worth of attention to these desert-bound fanatics before they had oil and the purchase and blackmail power that comes from that? After 1973, all of a sudden every whim or prejudice of the Saudi establishment became a subject of serious consideration and lots of UN Votes and NYTimes OpEd pieces. Now that they are losing their money and going back to being what they used to be (a retarded, preindustrial civilization), fewer and fewer people are willing to tolerate their prejudices and demands.

The same with the liberal, Ivy League elite. Who will care what their latest intellectual fads and obsessions are when President Xi is calling the shots? They will look as unimportant and trivial-minded as they actually are. Then, America will rebuild an elite that is concerned with its own well-being and its own destiny, not in ruling the world and intervening in everyone's elses affairs, largely these days to the detriment of all.

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Sertorio
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Re: Disintegration

Post by Sertorio » Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:29 am

Ellen wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:28 pm
neverfail wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:04 pm
lzzrdgrrl wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:03 pm
The American empire is over. ... American journalist Chris Hedges, in his 2018 book America The Farewell Tour, predicts that "within a decade, two at most" America will cease to be the dominant super-power in the world.
Izzy, it is necessary for America to be globally the number one power in order for it to survive and prosper?
No it isn't. Not at all. In fact, the best years for America were when it was NOT the global superpower - like late 19th century, or in the immediate aftermath of WWII.

But for the liberal/left elite of which Hedges is one (former NYT foreign correspondent) it is imperative for their self esteem and self importance that America be viewed as the unchallenged #1. Why? Because why would anyone listen to the PC, Woke, psychobabble, nonsense of this clique of mediocrities otherwise? As they say in real estate, location..location...location. What makes the opinions of this crowd global and noteworthy, as opposed to local and provincial, is the #1 status of the United States.

Compare to this to the standing of the Wahabi kooks from Saudi Arabia. Whoever paid a minute's worth of attention to these desert-bound fanatics before they had oil and the purchase and blackmail power that comes from that? After 1973, all of a sudden every whim or prejudice of the Saudi establishment became a subject of serious consideration and lots of UN Votes and NYTimes OpEd pieces. Now that they are losing their money and going back to being what they used to be (a retarded, preindustrial civilization), fewer and fewer people are willing to tolerate their prejudices and demands.

The same with the liberal, Ivy League elite. Who will care what their latest intellectual fads and obsessions are when President Xi is calling the shots? They will look as unimportant and trivial-minded as they actually are. Then, America will rebuild an elite that is concerned with its own well-being and its own destiny, not in ruling the world and intervening in everyone's elses affairs, largely these days to the detriment of all.
Amen! But don't count on it. As long as the plebs allow themselves to be manipulated by the "elite" the US will remain aggressive and will risk widespread destruction through war...

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Sertorio
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Re: Disintegration

Post by Sertorio » Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:47 am

I just finished reading "Disintegration", the book which gave its name to this thread. I can only repeat what I said on my initial post, which is: "Please take the time to read it". It will be a devastating experience but one must read it - or other books about the same problem - in order to try and stop the approaching disaster. To restore the US to some form of sanity one must realize what went wrong and why. Disaster is probably unavoidable, but you may recover within a couple of generations. At least as long as you do not push "the Button"...

Another thing which scared me in this book is that Europe doesn't come out much better than the US. But our recovering resources may be less shallow than in the US, and we may rebound faster. But we will still be very much damaged by our inability to understand the consequences of what we are doing.

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lzzrdgrrl
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Re: Disintegration

Post by lzzrdgrrl » Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:11 am

The American empire is over. ... American journalist Chris Hedges, in his 2018 book America The Farewell Tour, predicts that "within a decade, two at most" America will cease to be the dominant super-power in the world.
I think we're taking this statement a bit out of context. Implying the American empire has the impact of Rome is not the same as condoning or deploring it. The size of a tree can be determined from the girth of the stump it left behind. Chris Hedges, though a Marxist, is as black-pilled as you can get - he doesn't like anybody. He seems to be an archaiophile, a proponent of cyclical theory and of deep psychology. His distaste of the Trumpian populist revolt and anticapitalistic 'breadtube' sentiments I'm trying to look past to the deeper implications of his case....'>.....
I have a certain notoriety among the lesser gods........

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