Saturday, February 29, 2020

#NeverTrump's Napoleon complex

In War and Peace Tolstoy captures the hubris which led Napoleon to launch his catastrophic invasion of Russia:

To his mind everything he did was good, not because it agreed with any notion of what was good and bad, but because he did it.
The Never Trump conservatives have inverted this mental and moral failure but still suffered dire consequences. failure with dire consequences.

No matter what President Trump does they oppose and deride it. They speak of principles and standards yet the only standard they seem to hold to is Orange Man Bad. They praise intellect and expertise yet their own arguments on TV and twitter are little more than “irritable mental gestures.”

Never Trump “libertarians” announce that they will support socialism with a heavy infusion of Stalinism. “Constitutional conservatives” sing the praises of nanny-staters who are eager to gut the First and Second Amendment.

What we have here is a severe deficit of "lightness of being.”

'Lightness of being,' then, is the ability, if not to find the good in bad things, then at least to remain afloat among them, perhaps to swim or sail through them, possibly even to take precautions that can keep you dry.

John Lewis Gaddis, On Grand Strategy
Gaddis sees this quality as invaluable for strategists. The lack of it among NeverTrumpers helps explain so much.

Kurt Schlichter:

From political consultants who are no longer consulted to writers who are no longer read, this is the Woodstock for conservatives who never actually conserved anything.
As FDR said “It is a terrible thing to look over your shoulder when you are trying to lead – and to find no one there.”

In defense of the M4 Sherman

He makes a good case.

US AFV Development in WW2, or, "Why the Sherman was what it was"

Thursday, February 13, 2020

This explains so much

A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business.

Eric Hoffer, The True Believer