This

Battle Royale

Without question the best article I have ever read on why the West consistently fails to understand the politics of the developing world, and it comes from – of all places – Fox News (though I’m not sure that this should be surprising – most politicians in Asia, as I have already noted here, have a far greater intellectual affinity with Republicans than Democrats, even if they don’t particularly like either group).

Why do our “best and brightest” fail when faced with a man like Putin? Or with charismatic fanatics? Or Iranian negotiators? Why do they misread our enemies so consistently, from Hitler and Stalin to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliph?

The answer is straightforward:

Dramatic, revolutionary change in geopolitics never comes from insiders. It’s the outsiders who change the world. In the 21st century, our government suffers from the sclerosis of insider thinking that constantly reinforces itself and rejects conflicting evidence. The result is that we are being whipped by savages.

  • Social insularity: Our leaders know fellow insiders around the world; our enemies know everyone else.
  • The mandarin’s distaste for physicality: We are led through blood-smeared times by those who’ve never suffered a bloody nose.
  • And last but not least, bad educations in our very best schools: Our leadership has been educated in chaste political theory, while our enemies know, firsthand, the stuff of life.

Dramatic, revolutionary change in geopolitics never comes from insiders. It’s the outsiders who change the world. In the 21st century, our government suffers from the sclerosis of insider thinking that constantly reinforces itself and rejects conflicting evidence. The result is that we are being whipped by savages.

Above all, there is arrogance based upon privilege. For revolving-door leaders in the U.S. and Europe, if you didn’t go to the right prep school and elite university, you couldn’t possibly be capable of comprehending, let alone changing, the world. It’s the old social “Not our kind, dahhhling…” attitude transferred to government.

That educational insularity is corrosive and potentially catastrophic: Our “best” universities prepare students to sustain the current system, instilling vague hopes of managing petty reforms. But dramatic, revolutionary change in geopolitics never comes from insiders. It’s the outsiders who change the world. In the 21st century, our government suffers from the sclerosis of insider thinking that constantly reinforces itself and rejects conflicting evidence. The result is that we are being whipped by savages.

Of course, the insiders can’t accept so abhorrent a prospect as their own fallibility. So when new blood does enter — through those same “elite” institutions — it’s channeled into the same old calcium-clogged arteries. And we get generals with Ivy League Ph.D.s writing military doctrine that adheres cringingly to politically correct truisms and leaves out the very factors, such as the power of religion or ethnic hatred, that prove decisive. Or a usually astute commentator on Eastern European affairs who dismisses Vladimir Putin as a mere chinovnik, a petty bureaucrat, since Putin was only a lieutenant colonel in the KGB when the Soviet Union collapsed and didn’t go to a Swiss prep school like John Kerry.

That analyst overlooked the fact that Hitler had been a mere lance corporal. Stalin was a failed seminarian. Lenin was a destitute syphilitic. Ho Chi Minh washed dishes in the basement of a Paris Hotel. And when the French Revolution erupted, Napoleon was a junior artillery officer.

And sophisticated Germans assumed they could use Hitler and then dismiss him, while other Europeans mocked him. Stalin’s fellow Bolsheviks underestimated him, until it was too late and their fates were sealed. The French didn’t notice Ho. And Napoleon shocked even his own lethargic family. The “man on horseback” is often the man from nowhere, and the members of the club ignore the torches in the streets until the club burns down around them… (continues)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/03/13/putin-vs-preppies-and-phds-outsiders-not-insiders-change-world.html

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  1. Pingback: Trouble | hardmoshi ~

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