Sunday, June 1, 2014

The case for a new Cold War...

Please, before you go any further, understand that I do not want a new Cold War. The existence of the entire planet was threatened by the last one, but it also had a few benefits.

During the Cold War the US government worked much better. A clear, easily understood, enemy helped make it possible for Republicans and Democrats to work together. The desire to one up the USSR helped promote science and education in the US. The Cold War gave a clear and obvious direction to US foreign policy and allowed American interests to be integrated with the interests of many other nations around the world. The US led the world.

The US also led the world's economy, the need for a strong military allowed President Reagan to use the classical Keynesian techniques of massive government spending to get the US out of a recession while still keeping his conservative supporters happy. The world's economy was quite globalized during the Cold War even if most of the US thinks that globalism started later. The difference was that much of the global economy then originated in the US and then spread out through the rest of the world instead of starting off all over the rest of the world and being shipped to the US.

The Cold War was a horrible thing, we don't want to go through that again. At the same time the actual Cold War, not counting what led up to it, cost a very limited number of lives and worked out really well for the US. Without a common, clear, enemy the US has become more polarized and turned its aggression and fears inward. I sincerely hope that the leaders of Russia come to their senses and end their obvious attempts to regain some level of control over former Soviet Block nations. At the same time it wouldn't surprise me to see individuals in the US trying to amp up the aggression. I can't be the only one who can see how this could be good, in some ways, for the United States.