McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby Moderator » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:28 am

Ezra Lb. wrote:The real question I suppose is not why there are people like McNamara and Cheney but how we allow them to get to the upper echelons of power? Is there some essentiel flaw in our society that encourages these people to thrive in power?

I'm of a slightly different mind than Chuck is about this. My firm belief is that these people are allowed to rise to power because, by and large, humans have the tendency to let stronger personalities take charge. As in any pack of animals, the strongest usually leads, and we have yet to outgrow this basic instinct to let it happen. I've seen this evidenced in business many times over -- and while the vast majority of upper management on companies are sound, reasoning individuals, I've also seen McNamara- and Cheney-esque personalities hold positions of power for far longer than is healthy. And I've seen companies suffer for it. Governments have no exemption, and McNamara and Cheney are excellent examples of the damage that can be done to governments by these individuals.

We have trouble telling them "No". And that's the pity, and the fault.
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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:15 am

Roll your eyes if you will, but men have souls. Souls led by a radical intelligence. I am willing to kiss my monkey ancestor any time, any day, but men and women are guided by a spirit, that spirit makes us do good, while our monkey side make us do evil. Give a monkey a brain and he does more than look cute tearing the arms off a republican.

My humble opinion, obviously, but that's how my opinion works.

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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby Lori Koonce » Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:58 am

Code: Select all

My humble opinion, obviously, but that's how my opinion works.

You have HUMBLE opinions Frank? *hugs him and gives him a big wet cheek kiss*

Frank, I don't think you can convince ANYONE that the likes of Hitler, Franco or any dictator of note had or has a good side.

Here's my opinion, feel free to ignore if you wish! Yes, humans have souls, but other than that we are just a bunch of animals. They don't call us the naked apes for no reason.

And with that in mind, Steve has it mostely right. Along with our desire to let the stronger personalities reign; we also have this tendency to like things to be rather calm. So when someone comes around to speak truth to power, we tend to beat the proverbial hell out of them, sometimes quite liteerally.

That's why I'm always amazed at the really grand things that the human race has accomplished, and is in the process of accomplishing. I'll almost always support those who deside to be the cream in the so called milk of human kindness. those who rise to the top and do the right thing, despite the odds against them are amazing to me.

*stepping off soapbox and returning you to your regularly scheduled BBS*


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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:24 pm

Chuck Messer wrote:People like that attain power because they seek it and they are so certain they are right, so narcissistic, so driven and so callous and lacking in empathy they usually get what they want. It's said a sociopath can be a very charming and persuasive individual.

Chuck, that's absolutely on target: biographies I've read or seen portray Charles Manson, David Koresh, and Adolph Hitler as charismatic, charming and either sexually or paternally attractive to others around them.

Characteristics of people with antisocial personality disorder may include:
* Persistent lying or stealing
* Superficial charm
* Apparent lack of remorse or empathy; inability to care about hurting others
* Inability to keep jobs or stay in school
* Impulsivity and/or recklessness
* Lack of realistic, long-term goals — an inability or persistent failure to develop and execute long-term plans and goals
* Inability to make or keep friends, or maintain relationships such as marriage
* Poor behavioral controls — expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression, and verbal abuse; inadequate control of anger and temper
* Narcissism, elevated self-appraisal or a sense of extreme entitlement
* A persistent agitated or depressed feeling (dysphoria)
* A history of childhood conduct disorders
* Recurring difficulties with the law
* Tendency to violate the boundaries and rights of others
* Substance abuse
* Aggressive, often violent behavior; prone to getting involved in fights
* Inability to tolerate boredom
* Disregard for the safety of self or others
* Persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social rules, obligations, and norms
* People with a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder often experience difficulties with authority figures.

The above is from that font of wisdom, Wikipedia, so the DSM-IV may have different criteria. YMMV.
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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Jul 13, 2009 6:23 pm

Ah, my dating life. ha.

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