* Moose responds to Lounge Lizard.
Lounge Lizard, some very good arguments. My responses below, inline.
Lounge Lizard wrote:
I think that Western leaders have to take into account the fact that their own people are also not always rational, and this impacts on what is considered to be in the national interest. In short, and especially when you have a democracy, you cannot divorce the perceived national interest from a people's culture and as [has been] remarked, culture will out.
I think that we are in a strange transitional phase where what you say holds. I do not however consider this phase to be stable or sustainable. The ability of the West to act as a rational society is deteriorating. On the other hand, the West is the one society, or family of societies where rationality was a bedrock of culture, and informed national interest. One thing we may agree on is that the West ain't what it used to be, and that this view holds with increasing velocity. The culture of the West is changing rapidly, and the Westerner of today has precious little in common with their grandparents.
This change is not guaranteed to lead to a sustainable, secure society. Further, I am of the opinion that the state space of possible societies contains precious few stable, free, secure, prosperous societies. So any runaway trajectory is not likely to take you to a good place. Kind of like sailing in a random direction and hoping to find Moby Dick. So, either we will develop radically new instituations, tools and legislation, or the West will go the way of the dinosaurs.