Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Will 7/8/09

The McNamara Mentality

My take on George Will's latest. His column was published in the Washington Post.

Summary: Robert McNamara was Chairman of Ford Motors in the 1950's and then Secretary of Defense under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He championed the idea that elites in Washington could use principles of social sciences to manipulate populations and control events.

His failures in Vietnam was blamed on the failures of conservative ideas on military intervention rather than on the failures liberal ideas on government control.


Today, something unsettlingly similar to McNamara's eerie assuredness pervades the Washington in which he died. The spirit is: Have confidence, everybody, because we have, or soon will have, everything -- really everything -- under control.

My Views: His and his administration's failures did not just pertain to ideas but to arrogance - the arrogance of the elites towards the rest of the human race. In his later life, he denounced the Vietnam War but blamed LBJ, blamed conservatives, did everything but seriously address the very real problems with the liberal establishment's concensus of that war. He was just as much a follower of leftwing ideology in old age as when he was in power and in his prime.

That's the problem with the mentality that McNamara represented then and Obama represents today.

George Will almost didn't make it as a syndicated columnist. His style was considered too erudite for a general audience.

Whatever one thinks of his views, read his work for use of language and for how he marshals facts and uses logic.

Here's his Wiki bio.

His latest book is at the right.