Best of Los Thunderlads

(The following was originally posted by Acilius on 20 November 2007)

Via antiwar.com:

In 1958, the New Left sociologist C. Wright Mills made a seminal contribution to political science in his book The Causes of World War Three by introducing the concept of “crackpot realism.” He applied the notion specifically to the intellectual outlook of top government officials, especially the ones known as the “serious people,” who have proven their capacity for dealing with important practical affairs by, say, managing a giant corporation, such as Halliburton or G. D. Searle, or a huge educational institution, such as Texas A&M University or the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Mills’s key insight was that although such people have indeed been movers and shakers, they have moved and shaken within such a constricted milieu of experience and training that in most respects they are fools. Despite having developed supreme confidence in their own judgment and a corresponding contempt for other people’s views, they are astonishingly ignorant of many workaday aspects of the world and bewildered in the face of unexpected difficulties. As government leaders responsible for matters of war and peace, they have a tendency to paint themselves into corners of their own making and, then, seeing no way out, to conclude that their only escape lies in dropping bombs on somebody. As Mills observed, “instead of the unknown fear, the anxiety without end, some men of the higher circles prefer the simplification of known catastrophe.”

From Robert Higgs (a crackpot himself, but one who is capable of writing a good column) at http://www.lewrockwell.com/higgs/higgs68.html

Advertisements
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: