narcasse: Sebastian Flyte.  Brideshead Revisited (2008) (dictatorial)
[personal profile] narcasse

This question actively offends me. I know that from a historical standpoint we have previously existed in an age of stark polarity between the US and Russia but that hardly made things any simpler. Unless by simpler its taken to mean that you were allowed a readily available 'enemy' to demonise. Likewise calling it a simpler age implies that everybody just picked a side and went with it, that entire nations just decided who they'd like to play with and that was all there was to it. It ignores the political climate, the advancements arising and the development of a more apparent globalization. Calling it a simpler age is like calling the Dark Ages simple with yearning nostalgia for the delightful easy with which you could clobber your serfs into submission and the perfectly straightforward manner in which you could burn down a village. The Cold War era was no simpler than the current age, all that was simpler about it was that you could have a choice of two obvious sides if you wanted to get anywhere with your international policy. There have always been more than two available sides but back then the other differentiations either sided with the two polar powers as well as an aid to getting things done.

It can be argued that the simplicity of the matter stems from a clash of ideals, namely a free market economy or a command economy structure. Which put in very basic terms would be a case of choosing between a game of every man for himself and to hell with you if you couldn't compete or a distribution of wealth structure so that resources are distributed evenly by the state. Of course the free market economy also touts representative democracy and the command economy falls into an almost Patriarcha based system but those are part and parcel of the economic package each is offering. Still, this does not imply in any way simplicity where one could choose either one or the other. Life, the universe and everything isn't cut into shades of black and white. And a lack of communication and standoffish propaganda-milling on each side hardly made the situation simpler for anybody. All it meant was the enforced necessity of careful manoeuvring and strategising, you had to duck beneath the radar if you wanted to get half of the things you wanted done. It wasn't a case that you didn't consider purchasing American or Russian products or services, depending; it was simply the case that you had to do so carefully and with a little more evident diplomatic aplomb that might be necessary in this day and age.

The Cold War era thus was only simpler in the way that you could say you supported Spurs instead of United would be simpler if there were only two teams who dominated the Premier League and to get to go to any match you had to pretend that you were devoted wholeheartedly to one. And to reduce things to a false duality like that is simply daft in a world where there are more than two ideologies and certainly an awful lot more than two countries, blocs or regions.

So do I wish things would be allegedly simpler as they once were during the Cold War days? To which the obvious answer is they weren't simple, you moron, go read some goddamn history. You might even want to try reading some Foreign Affairs articles if you think you can stretch your concept of reality that far.
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narcasse: Sebastian Flyte.  Brideshead Revisited (2008) (Default)

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