Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
What micelf said, in every instance. An only too believably tendentious post from the kangman.
I seem to remember anti-war presidential candidates like Eugene McCarthy, Bobby Kennedy, and George McGovern. Even Obama would have been a kinda sorta anti-war candidate, had not the financial crisis intervened to render foreign policy almost entirely irrelevant as a political issue during his entire tenure as candidate and president. But it's fairly clear that Obama had no intention of doing anything about the military-industrial complex.
The interesting question here, posed by Cohen, is that of what happened to the "peace wing" of the Democratic Party. I can't remember ever having heard a serious discussion of America's defense budget on bhtv, or any discussion of what America is buying with its military expenditures, over time. There is an imperium. How does it work? What is it for? Is it just a self-perpetuating machine, with its own inexorable needs, desires, and logic? Even the technocratic arguments for defense budget reductions associated with Gary Hart (and Al Gore) have vanished from the scene.
In the Nov. 28, 2011 issue of "The New Yorker," there is a profile of libertarian billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel by George Packer. It turns out that Thiel is some or much of the money behind dv'er Eliezer Yudkowsky, I think I've got that right. They are close friends, at any rate. I'm not a huge Packer fan, he's OK, the basic take of the article rings true, namely that Thiel's understanding of politics is highly deficient. When the profile begins, Thiel is reading obscure essays by Leo Strauss. So I'm wondering to myself, how do I get on this gravy train, how can I ingratiate myself with this guy, he sounds interesting. By the end of the article, Thiel seems much less interesting.
My general view is that Paul is far too imperfect a vessel to allow me to say anything approbative about him. I do think someone else needs to question the American imperium within the context of a serious presidential candidacy, the sooner the better. Again, either there needs to be serious reform within the Democratic Party, or there needs to be a third party.