System-Bound II

Nobody asked but …

The ultimate example of being hoisted on one’s own petard is in the ascendance of weaponry.  I remember being brought to a non-plus by the SALT (strategic arms limitation treaty) talks gyrations — how could limitations be regarded as allowing increases?  Being older, wiser, and more well-read, I now see the idea of the European aristocracy’s “balance of power.”  In the nuclear age, we call it “mutually assured destruction (MAD).”

Recently, a colleague here at EVC, Papa Libertarian, posted the following excellent meme on Facebook:


So, not only do we have unforeseen consequences, we have failures to learn from the lessons of history.  The course of humankind has shown a continual advancement in both the ability to kill one another and the capability of deriving wealth from the process.

What if the SALT talks had truly been about walking this back?  Such is not possible.  The wealthy oligarchy rules the process from behind the curtain.  And neither of the visible debaters could ever adopt the position of being in favor of retreat.

— Kilgore Forelle