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  #151  
Old Jun 20th 2009, 07:46 AM
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I find Zakaria annoying the way he seems so rational and reasonable on a variety of issues, but then throws these pro-MIC/rightwing curveballs at you.

What Fareed Zakaria (and others like him) never fully explain is why the US must need to lead the world in the first place?

Defending American interests is one thing, but leading the world? Why does the world need to be led? And why is it so necessary that America be the one to lead it? No one ever talks about this part - they just seem to 'assume' it and go from there.

Interesting. I'll have to try and find passages in the book to support my claim, but I think with Zakaria, like many immigrants, America has long held the promise of "better," whatever that may mean to the individual. I assume that having some kind of leader is not just a western construct, but a human one; therefore, looking to a leader to lead (whether an individual or a nation) is not so unusual, wouldn't you agree?

In Thomas Friedman's book, Hot, Flat and Crowded, which I'm just beginning to read, the author says the problem with countries such as China is that it is following America's lead, with disasterous results. China is fast become a mammoth nation of consumers of goods and producers of waste, copying the American concepts of private enterprise and the rise of the middle class right down to choking polution and wasteful energy use. I've not read too far into this book, but by the subtitle, "Why we need a green revolution and how it can renew America," I'll assume Friedman harbors the same sentiments as Zakaria, that America must take the lead on the world stage.

I don't know, perhaps it is protectionism; after all, as China, India and "the rest" begin to consume finite resources in increasingly larger amounts, where does that leave the U.S.?
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  #152  
Old Jun 21st 2009, 08:09 AM
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Interesting. I'll have to try and find passages in the book to support my claim, but I think with Zakaria, like many immigrants, America has long held the promise of "better," whatever that may mean to the individual.
Yes, immigrants come to America seeking a better life.

How does the US military spending more than all the militaries in the world added together, or the US military occupying small countries contribute to that?

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I assume that having some kind of leader is not just a western construct, but a human one; therefore, looking to a leader to lead (whether an individual or a nation) is not so unusual, wouldn't you agree?
I'll agree that humans certainly do like having a leader, but I'm not aware of any data showing that groups of nations need leaders - or that such 'leadership' does anything beneficial for anyone. As far as I can see, 'leaders' amongst nations just tend to start wars and make demands on others.

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In Thomas Friedman's book, Hot, Flat and Crowded, which I'm just beginning to read, the author says the problem with countries such as China is that it is following America's lead, with disasterous results. China is fast become a mammoth nation of consumers of goods and producers of waste, copying the American concepts of private enterprise and the rise of the middle class right down to choking polution and wasteful energy use. I've not read too far into this book, but by the subtitle, "Why we need a green revolution and how it can renew America," I'll assume Friedman harbors the same sentiments as Zakaria, that America must take the lead on the world stage.

I don't know, perhaps it is protectionism; after all, as China, India and "the rest" begin to consume finite resources in increasingly larger amounts, where does that leave the U.S.?
Natural resources are traded in 'free markets' internationally.

If USA is the richest nation, it should have no trouble at all guarenteeing its access to resources - which always go to the highest bidder.

US military can't make natural resources cheap and plentiful for Americans except perhaps by forcefully eliminating competitors. Btw, the US military itself tends to be one of the largest resource hogs in the USA, which shows the circularity of this game.
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  #153  
Old Jun 21st 2009, 08:13 AM
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Yes, immigrants come to America seeking a better life.

How does the US military spending more than all the militaries in the world added together, or the US military occupying small countries contribute to that?
It doesn't. However in places like Eastern Europe the pro-American sentiment is strong as the fear of Russia is great. So we tend to see Eastern Europeans being supportive of American imperialism. (I think the last word before these parentheses betrays my opinion)
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  #154  
Old Jun 21st 2009, 09:37 AM
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Yes, immigrants come to America seeking a better life.

How does the US military spending more than all the militaries in the world added together, or the US military occupying small countries contribute to that?


I'll agree that humans certainly do like having a leader, but I'm not aware of any data showing that groups of nations need leaders - or that such 'leadership' does anything beneficial for anyone. As far as I can see, 'leaders' amongst nations just tend to start wars and make demands on others.


Natural resources are traded in 'free markets' internationally.

If USA is the richest nation, it should have no trouble at all guarenteeing its access to resources - which always go to the highest bidder.
Seems there are some problems in that scenario with the US now consuming far more than it produces.

Quote:
US military can't make natural resources cheap and plentiful for Americans except perhaps by forcefully eliminating competitors. Btw, the US military itself tends to be one of the largest resource hogs in the USA, which shows the circularity of this game.
As I recall the US military is the single largest consumer of petroleum products for fuel in the US, the US itself being by far the largest consumer country of oil.
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  #155  
Old Jun 21st 2009, 09:54 AM
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As I recall the US military is the single largest consumer of petroleum products for fuel in the US, the US itself being by far the largest consumer country of oil.
Since this is the "What are you reading?" thread, this issue reminds me of the Dune series by Frank Herbert - where 'spice' is a euphemism for oil - highly addictive, highly desired and comes from one big desert in one unique place.

The rise of the religious fanatics that are empowered by control of the physical place where spice comes from is also notable here. I'd say our international private oil companies represent the Guild, not CHOAM.
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  #156  
Old Jun 21st 2009, 10:28 AM
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Since this is the "What are you reading?" thread, this issue reminds me of the Dune series by Frank Herbert - where 'spice' is a euphemism for oil - highly addictive, highly desired and comes from one big desert in one unique place.

The rise of the religious fanatics that are empowered by control of the physical place where spice comes from is also notable here. I'd say our international private oil companies represent the Guild, not CHOAM.

You're correct. Been so many years since I read that series I'd forgotten about the similarities. Lots of what was considered at the time 'futurism' in science fiction writing has become reality.
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  #157  
Old Jun 21st 2009, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Currently in progress:

Mario Puzo - The Godfather

First impression. It's a great story, but better watch the movies.
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  #158  
Old Jun 21st 2009, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

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Currently in progress:

Mario Puzo - The Godfather

First impression. It's a great story, but better watch the movies.
I read that a few years back. I absolutely love the movies (even the third one is good although to a lesser extent) but I was not disappointed by the book either. It also has an extra story not in the movies that is pretty interesting.

I thought about starting Needful Things but I just don't know if I'm going to have the free time to devote to it from this point on.

Last edited by partofme; Jun 21st 2009 at 07:22 PM.
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  #159  
Old Jun 24th 2009, 08:06 AM
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Lily Lily is offline
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Default Re: What are you reading?

I've been nostalgic for my English Lit days lately. I'm currently reading a collection of Flannery O'Connor short stories and To Kill a Mockingbird, for about the gazillionth time. Good summer reading, and I just love rag-cut, hardcover novels. I don't know, just the heft of them in your hands, the smell of the paper... it's total book nerdiness.
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Old Jun 24th 2009, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

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I've been nostalgic for my English Lit days lately. I'm currently reading a collection of Flannery O'Connor short stories and To Kill a Mockingbird, for about the gazillionth time. Good summer reading, and I just love rag-cut, hardcover novels. I don't know, just the heft of them in your hands, the smell of the paper... it's total book nerdiness.
I've got a collection of quite a few 'rag-cut' hardcover books (mostly history - Toynbee & Winston Churchill's stuff). And yes, the smell and the feel of them is quite a sensory experience.
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