living in another universe


Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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12 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    My basic assumption is that the US is far, far more likely to screw stuff up spectacularly than it is to make stuff better.

    Doing precious little is, once again, the best that we could possibly hope for.

    Insofar as doing precious little is the best we can hope for, I find myself somewhat thankful that we are not being inundated with news on the Iranian elections… because, I deeply suspect, such would result in The American People shouting that Something Must Be Done… which would result in The Politicians saying “This Is Something” which would result in other politicians screaming that the other politicians don’t really care, they’re just trying to use this to their own political advantage when everyone knows that we should be doing This Particular Something which would start a huge fight that would, at the end of the day, have nothing at all to do with the Persians… which would be exceptionally transparent to the Persian People themselves which might result in a whole “screw those busybodies, they’re likely to screw us up as bad as they did Iraq” situation which would result in people embracing the corrupt regime because, hey, at least they aren’t Americans.

    Which strikes me as something that would be worse.

    So… I’m sort of ambivalent on the lack of coverage.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain in reply to Jaybird says:

      I disagree entirely. The American People are not typically hyper-interventionist unless they are first hoodwinked by the political elite, which is far easier to do if we have no honest information on this or that subject. Perspective, insight, news, information – these are much more likely to predispose us to stop and think. The lack of these things leaves us vulnerable to propaganda and war-mongering.

      Ignorance is not strength.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to E.D. Kain says:

        I am not arguing that ignorance is strength.

        I am arguing that what is happening in Iran is far, far more likely to be broken by our interference than it is likely to be helped to flourish.

        Historically, our arrogance in shoving our noses into the business of others has resulted in far more things broken than in things being made better.

        I find it exceptionally unlikely that the attitude that, dude, we should totally do something would have a different result this time.

        (Though, certainly, we’d be able to say that we didn’t *INTEND* for the outcome that we got with as much earnestness as the last hundred times… In the meantime, however, I suspect that we should just comfort ourselves with the thought that those who don’t think we should interfere are really authoritarian sympathizers.)Report

      • Avatar Kyle in reply to E.D. Kain says:

        I’ll split the difference with you. Ostensibly, Americans are more likely to choose isolationism over interventionism any day of the week. Americans also don’t “react” to elections beyond the statement of applause or condemnation.

        However, widespread awareness of Iran will lead to opinions, polling, etc… which will have a narrowing effect on the options that national leaders can and will have to respond to the Iranian election. Also, IIRC, studies generally show that misinformation leads to bias in decision making that isn’t present when given less information.Report

  2. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

    Better check out Spengler at First Things.Report

  3. Avatar Judd says:

    Not necessarily. Why does everyone in the country have to be completely informed for the country to go to war? We trust our leaders to make those decisions for us so we can live our lives.Report

  4. Avatar Rob says:

    I agree. A lot of the reporting and wording by the TV media is terrible. One instance is simple omission of details. Over and over the TV media’s wording in their short sound bytes would lead a casual observer to think that Iran’s elections are comparable to the US. I think it’d be more helpful if more people realized the true structure of Iranian elections so Joe Six Pack might realize that the Iranian people as a whole may not be represented by the Government. I frankly find it encouraging that a whole 30% of Iranians have a positive view of the US given the past history, with the playing both sides in the Iran/Iraq war, accidentally shooting down one of their civilian aircraft, ect… and if more people are more aware of this then it helps more US citizens see that not all Iranians are demanding Israel be wiped off the map or call the US the Great Satan.Report