Chaos by choice
Tom has a good analogy for the failure of Republican majority to elect a new speaker of the House.
What’s happening in the House is […] like watching a group of obnoxious (and not very bright) hot-rodders playing chicken and smashing their cars into one another over and over1.
After listening all this week to Democrats, Republicans and Independents calling C-Span, I began thinking about this latest exercise in American democracy as the mechanized equivalent of Russia’s suicidal attempts to capture territory around Avdiivka.
By the standard definition — an armed conflict between national governments that kills at least 1,000 people in a year — Russia's invasion has been the only interstate war in Europe in more than three-quarters of a century (other than the brief Soviet incursion into Hungary in 1956), and the first outside Africa or the Middle East in more than four decades. If Russia wins, it would be the only postwar instance of a recognized state being erased through conquest, and one of the few in which significant territory changed hands.
The “successful link” between Hamas and Russia refers to one supplemental request to Congress by the White House to authorize about $100 billion (opposed by MAGA extremists). Most of the money would go to U.S. arms manufacturers to replenish diminishing US arms stockpiles.
Indeed, Russia and Hamas both seek “to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy,” but the former is not at war with Ukraine, per se. Russia is waging a genocidal campaign against Ukraine. Hamas may “seek the complete destruction of Israel,” but, unlike Russia, lacks the brains and means to achieve their goal.
The amount of money Uncle Joe is asking to prevent our erasure is relatively small, considering the greater cost of failing to act.
You know, history has taught us that when terrorists don’t pay a price for their terror, when dictators don’t pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction. They keep going. And the cost and the threats to America and the world keep rising. — Uncle Joe
Notes about Joseph’s lecture included in yesterday’s post2.
If you have rules that only apply when they’re convenient, you don’t have rules.
The United Nations reached its League of Nations moment, er, in 2003.
The WTO is dead (Team USA’s strategy “to build a fairer, more durable global economic order” is a bad one.
The new liberal order based on the neoclassical economics model is a recipe for fascism.
Cruise missiles have replaced the international rule-based system.
Externalities (climate change, pandemics, technological change, wars of aggression) continue to alter endogenous preferences. This prevents us from attaining Pareto efficiency here and elsewhere (The last time I checked — and that’s almost every day — Ukraine’s economy was powered by chaos, unfettered laissez faire).
The House Mess Is What GOP Voters Wanted. This is chaos by choice, not by accident. (The Atlantic, October 19, 2023)