Monday, May 24, 2010
Bill Clinton (Unintentionally) Explains it All to Us: Why the Ruling Ideology in the West is Making the World Worse by Trying to Making It Better
The Rubin Report
24 May '10
Bill Clinton, former U.S. president, spoke at Yale University and said some interesting things. There is a positive side to his remarks about international affairs—especially in terms of good intentions (a very American characteristic)—but he also revealed some of the very dangerous thinking that’s making the world worse, not better.
The globe, he said, is now “too unstable ... too unequal and ... completely unsustainable.”
I’m tempted to point out that there have been plenty of times, actually far more of the time, when the world was even more unstable and unequal. But let that go.
What’s Clinton’s solution?
“A non-zero sum game is when both parties can win….If you want it to change, you have to find a way for everyone to win.”
This is noble and very rational. It is also, in some respects, insane. No, not everyone can “win” because each individual, group, and nation defines for itself what winning means. And there are contradictions, which lead to what we call conflict and war.
On one level, what Clinton is saying is that America has to get everyone to redefine their own thinking and think like “us.” This is one of the oldest American conceptions around the world, one which liberals traditionally liked to ridicule. (One famous example was making fun of a Republican senator who said during China's pre-Communist era that this country would progress ever upward until it reached the level of Kansas City.)
And after all, if we are so “multicultural” why can’t we understand that people in, say, Bosnia or on the island of Ireland, or in Pakistan, or a hundred other places have totally different beliefs and goals?
On another level, Clinton is implying that prosperity will solve everyone’s problems, that if you stuff enough material goods into the craws of all they will be happy. That’s another concept that liberals have historically ridiculed and identified with conservatives.
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