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Let it be borne on the flag under which we rally in every exigency, that we have one country, one constitution, one destiny. -- Daniel Webster

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Unbearable Cost

Today I have begun reading Unbearable Cost, by James K. Galbraith, on the cost of war in modern times.  This is a book for any time, although it would have had a particularly salvific effect when read during the Bush II Administration.  As it is now, the book recreates a time some eight years ago when the End of the Age appeared for many of us to be nigh.

We know better now, of course, for the earth still turns.  And yet it is apparent early in the book there is value for today as enduring principles are obviously behind the writing of the book.

I particularly like the analogy between the Bush Administration and a corporate structure. Comparing the Supreme Court to a Board of Directors is a master stroke.  And comparing the Supreme Court of autumn 2000 to a corrupt board is quite accurate.

Several times over the course of the history of this blog I have alluded to the importance of understanding recent history.  The history of the Bush II Administration will do as well as any.  For it was here that America took a new turn in terms of the way the democracy functioned -- or didn't.  In spite of the election of Barack Obama, the democracy -- never completely solid -- was slammed by forces in a way it has never recovered from.

Take the Iraq and Afghani wars, for example.  These were wars begun under specious pretenses, long and costly in duration, even down to the present day.  This is a cost the measure of which can hardly be taken.

But so it is with a corporate view of government.  To some the government runs best when it is conducted in such a way as to control people rather than serve them.  Yet, as Galbraith points out, even a controlling administration must at a certain point bend to popular will.  And herein lies our hope for the future.  Let us make the most of this hope.

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