Guest Post: A Roadmap For American Grand Strategy Part 3 (Of 3)

Tyler Durden's picture

Following Part 1's discussion of America's Dangerous Drift, and Part 2's succincy summation of why America needs a Grand Strategy, today's Part 3 concludes with a discussion of the 'choice' American leaders have: "A decline in America’s leadership role and the emergence of a highly unstable world is a serious possibility. In reality, decline is not a foregone conclusion but a deliberate political choice that builds from a failure to define what matters most to the nation." When we step back from the language and imperatives of grand strategy, the case for the United States to rethink its grand strategy is fundamentally simple. It is designed to meet serious threats while creating and taking advantage of strategic opportunities. To continue on the present course of "drifting" from crisis to crisis effectively invites powers to believe that America is in decline. Worse, Americans, too, might believe wrongly that the nation’s decline is inevitable. If we are to assure America’s future security and prosperity, we need a new national grand strategy that harnesses America’s spirit, sense of optimism, and perseverance to help the nation meet the challenges and grasp the opportunities of this era. When we think about the alternatives, the United States simply has no choice.


Submitted by William C. Martel of The Diplomat,

For America, Decline Is A Choice

A decline in America’s leadership role and the emergence of a highly unstable world is a serious possibility. In reality, decline is not a foregone conclusion but a deliberate political choice that builds from a failure to define what matters most to the nation.

It is imperative for the United States to articulate principles to guide its foreign policy. This is precisely what grand strategy does. The challenges are too great, and the stakes too high, for the United States to fail to articulate and pursue its core foreign policy objectives.

A number of challenges around the world pose serious risks for the United States, its allies, and partners. The goal for American grand strategy is to outline principles that guide U.S. policies, as a way to help policymakers reestablish the balance between the ends and means.

The United States has no practical choice but to align the necessity for strong leadership in foreign policy with an equally strong need for leadership at home, in order to rebuild the national foundations of power. A crucial element of America’s actions abroad will be working more with others and having a clearer sense of policies the American public will support. To implement grand strategy, the United States must carry out policies that align with the three principles outlined in my earlier essay.

Sadly, however, the disorganized approach to grand strategy is emblematic of the episodic and uneven quality of how American foreign policy operates. What the United States needs is a strategy for implementing its foreign policy in ways that respond to the sources of disorder examined earlier and help prepare the nation to confront future challenges and opportunities. The failure to advance a positive agenda for America’s role in the world will promote the belief that the nation is in decline.

Implementation at Home

A fundamental source of American influence in the world derives directly from the free-market economic underpinnings of U.S. national power. In reality, America, first and foremost, must devote greater time, attention, and resources to rebuilding the domestic foundations of its economy and power. This is the starting point to rebuilding America’s global influence.

To put this principle into practice, the United States will need to take several steps. If we consider the work conducted from the 1930s to the 1960s, the United States built a model for national success. Consider what America accomplished during those decades: a world-class infrastructure of roads, bridges, electric power grids, communications, and so forth. The result was to modernize the nation, build first-class industries, and create a more promising future for all Americans.

Meanwhile, the nation developed a world-class public education system, which gave the American people the skills to be competitive and productive members of society. Armed with these tools, the United States for decades was an uncontested economic superpower. America used to produce a higher percentage of college graduates than anywhere in the world. Now, America ranks 14th. To put it succinctly, the “American dream” looks much different than it used to. 

Today, the United States has an extraordinary and long-neglected need to rebuild our economic and social infrastructure. In truth, America's once robust system of roads, bridges, electric power grids, and mass transit systems are falling apart. To travel in the Northeast is to see a transportation infrastructure in utter disrepair. In 2012, the World Economic Forum ranked the United States’ infrastructure 25th in the world – hardly superpower status.

To implement American grand strategy, policymakers must rebuild more than the infrastructure and educational foundations of national power. Just as important is fixing the health care and retirement systems that provide a social safety net and help to ensure broad opportunities for all Americans.

Currently, annual expenditures for Social Security and Medicare exceed $1 trillion. Ominously, there are 4.6 persons for every retiree, while within 25 years, this ratio could drop to 2.7. The system, which as currently structured is not sustainable, requires immediate attention from policymakers if future generations are to be productive knowing that they will share in the benefits from economic prosperity.

The nation, furthermore, cannot afford to lose power, heat, and electricity for weeks in some of its major cities after every hurricane and snowstorm. But this is precisely what happens. When Hurricane Sandy grazed the state of New Hampshire in 2012, it left approximately 15 percent of its residents without electric power. While some consequences of natural disasters are inevitable, America’s declining infrastructure and technological capabilities must be reversed.

Another item critical to American power is advanced communications and internet systems. Just as a national telephone grid was critical to building American power in the 20th century, so too is national broadband essential to reinforcing U.S. power and influence.

Before seeking to implement principles of grand strategy that guide America’s foreign engagements, Americans need to understand that rebuilding the national foundations of power will allow the U.S. to take a much stronger international leadership role. Being strong at home will allow America to work more effectively and credibly with alliances and partners to address the world’s greatest challenges.

The next several sections detail how American foreign policy should implement its grand strategy through principles and policies that respond effectively to these challenges, or sources of disorder. As outlined in earlier articles, these sources of disorder are the product of actions by great powers, destabilizing middle powers, the rising authoritarian axis, and unexpected sources of instability and chaos.  

Engaging Great Powers

The United States should pursue a two-pronged strategy for countering the challenges posed by great powers.

Foremost, policymakers must reinforce American and democratic principles in dealing with sources of instability, chaos, and war. An important first principle is that Washington should work to dissuade China from using its growing military power to intimidate and bully states in Asia. Similarly, American policymakers need to address China’s increasingly strong relations with Russia as both states seek to exercise their influence as a counter-weight to Washington.

One primary way to use American leadership effectively is for Washington to pressure Russia to refrain from using its oil and natural gas as a weapon against its neighbors, including Ukraine and Georgia. Forming and bolstering alliances and partnerships with states along Russia’s border effectively signals to Moscow that Washington will exercise leadership when Russian behavior pushes beyond the “limits of good taste.” Another way to effectively pressure Russia is to explore potential export markets in Eastern Europe for America’s own increasing domestic sources of energy.

In parallel, Washington should work to dissuade China from using its growing military power to intimidate its neighbors in Asia. America already has developed strong alliances, both economic and political, with many states in the Asia-Pacific. We see clear signs throughout Asia that our partners increasingly fear China’s military and economic rise, which many states fear might be used by Beijing’s to pressure and coerce them.

In dealing with China, Washington should pursue a multi-dimensional strategy. China provides a great example of why America needs to balance exercising strong American leadership with working among partners and alliances. As tensions between the Japanese and the Chinese escalate over the Senkaku Islands, America needs to reinforce its alliance with Japan to show that it will lend its political, and if necessary military, support to its close ally.

Hedging China is going to involve working with close American allies in the region, including ASEAN nations, Australia, Japan, and South Korea. The essence of American grand strategy is to demonstrate that China's aggressive military and economic posturing in Asia will only help organize opposition.

Reinforcing our alliances with these nations also needs to be accompanied by stronger efforts to integrate China into the international system so that it can play a stronger and more responsible leadership role. This is going to require American policymakers to exercise effective leadership, which should begin with increased engagement with their Chinese counterparts.

A primary task for Secretary of State John Kerry is to accelerate diplomatic and political engagement with the Chinese leadership. While new to his office, Secretary Kerry has yet to travel to Asia, while he devotes much of his initial attention to America’s trans-Atlantic partnerships.

Restraining Destabilizing Powers

The United States also should pursue a multi-faceted strategy for dealing with the destabilizing actions of such middle powers as Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan. Current policies toward Syria and Iran do not provide positive evidence that American strategy is succeeding. To the contrary, these policies appear to be failing.

One strategy for the United States is to lead a coalition of allies and partners who strongly oppose the nuclear ambitions of states such as Iran. In line with reinforcing American leadership, American policymakers must restrain Iran from developing and deploying nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. America still has a number of capabilities at hand, including using already strong pressure from the international community, while leaving the military option on the table.

The situation has the potential to escalate at any moment in view of unexpected advances in Iranian nuclear capabilities and counter-moves by Israeli forces.

In the case of North Korea, it recently threatened to launch long-range rockets armed with nuclear weapons against the United States. The regime emphasizes the nation’s nuclear capabilities and ambitions, while committing atrocious human rights violations and ignoring North Korea’s already moribund economy. U.S. and U.N.-led sanctions do little to deter the provocative actions of North Korea’s leadership.

America might need a stronger approach sooner than we think. North Korea’s neighbors are central to this strategy, and the U.S. needs to persuade China to exercise stronger leadership.

As an ally of the United States, Pakistan presents a different challenge. Facing increasing civilian-military tension and the ever-present fear of terrorist attacks, Washington rightly fears the leakage of nuclear weapons and materials from Pakistan. The U.S. must use its influence to persuade Islamabad that its highest priority is secure control over nuclear weapons even in the face of convulsive political forces in the nation.

Geopolitically, Pakistan is an important nation with which the United States must build a stronger basis for engagement. As the U.S. winds down in Afghanistan, this presents serious implications for Pakistan. Furthermore, as mentioned previously with Russia, the U.S. has a strong interest in Central Asia because of the region’s oil and natural gas reserves. Both of these realities call for creative and pragmatic thinking about U.S. policy towards Pakistan, which must engage all levels of its government and civil society.

Managing the Authoritarian Axis

The American strategy for managing the various challenges that states in the authoritarian axis pose for the West rests on two core elements.

The first is to exercise American leadership to confront and restrain the growing degree of policy coordination between the authoritarian states. The problem for the United States is that it must deal with increasingly assertive authoritarian states, including Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and Syria.

Today, American grand strategy for managing the authoritarian axis is largely weak, reactive, and ineffective. The axis states coordinate their policies precisely to keep the West on the defensive. In the end, while most authoritarian societies cannot compete effectively with the West in economic terms, for now the cohesion and increasing coordination among states in the axis is moving in a worrying direction.

The second element of America’s strategy derives from the principle that calls for greater alignment with partner states and institutions to manage the authoritarian axis. The West’s grand strategy should be to identify the challenges posed by the axis, while counteracting its policies in thoughtful and deliberate ways. The West’s resources, despite current economic difficulties, so vastly outstrip that of the Axis states that their strategic position is in doubt.

The West’s countervailing strategy rests on three tactics. First, identify regularly what the authoritarian states do, say, and stand for. Transparency is a powerful antidote to authoritarianism. Second, emphasize that the values of democracy, freedom and free markets, and human rights provide the only basis for real prosperity and power. Third, be prepared to engage the authoritarian states on the “playing fields” of democracy, freedom, and economic prosperity.

Confronting the Unexpected

The United States and its allies must be prepared to deal with unexpected sources of disorder. To confront instability and anticipate problems yet to emerge, America should pursue a parallel strategy.

The first is to address the Arab Spring and the challenges posed by democratization in Egypt and Libya, extreme violence, and displacement in Syria. When dictatorial regimes lose their grip on power, America must stand firmly on the side of democracy. This calls for more than rhetoric and recognition, while recognizing that armed support can be messy.

Egypt’s experiment in democracy keeps the nation hovering on the brink of chaos and civil war. President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood struggle to legitimize their power while the constitution rolls back civil liberties and human rights. America must apply pressure by calling for democratic progress while allowing these states in transition to determine their own futures. Economic aid provides a powerful instrument to signal American interests.

America also must contend with non-state actors, such as Al Qaeda, whose ideology permits them to wage a global struggle. It has often been stated that America struggles to dominate the battle of ideas against organizations such as Al Qaeda. While we have made great progress in diminishing their power over the last decade, the U.S. can never cease to move forward on communicating its ideals, values, and principles.

If America uses its “soft power” to build with non-governmental and civil-society actors a world based on shared interests, values, and ideals, Washington can more effectively communicate and implement the foreign policy it seeks to achieve.                                     

The forces of rapid technological change and globalization effectively flatten power relationships between individuals, firms, and states. Consider cyber warfare in the hands of individuals and groups. Never before have non-state actors possessed an instrument that could, in theory, bring states to their knees.

The second element of confronting unexpected sources of disorder derives from the principle of building strong alliances and partnerships. Engagement and collaboration provide a powerful instrument for combating the corruption, poverty, and lack of hope that fuel extremism.

Consider the resurgence of extremists in Afghanistan’s impending political collapse. While the Taliban, Haqqani network, and Al Qaeda work to undermine the Afghanistan and Pakistan governments, NATO actively uses military force and works with international agencies and nongovernmental organizations to defeat the insurgency and improve the nation’s infrastructure and economy.

The consensus since 9/11—no state by itself can effectively restrain the forces that fuel extremism—compels states to work cooperatively to defeat extremism.


To be successful, American grand strategy must embody positive principles that match the circumstances of the moment, build a world based on peace and security, and are guided by the consent of the people. But simply having the right principles is only part of the equation. As most observers would expect, society and its policymakers must carefully balance how they put those principles into practice.

The first challenge involves rebuilding the domestic foundations of American power. This is the right moment for the United States to focus its efforts on domestic priorities. However, if the United States puts most of its emphasis on domestic concerns, it may appear to ignore its international leadership responsibilities. This is a prescription for self-imposed isolationism and decline.

While in an earlier era the United States could afford to disregard foreign problems, it no longer has this option. States in Asia, for example, tremble at the thought of America’s withdrawal from the Pacific, particularly with China’s increasingly assertive and aggressive actions in the near seas. A domestically oriented U.S. would signal to the world that Washington is less interested in foreign policy, which Beijing, Moscow, Tehran, and Pyongyang likely would interpret as an invitation to take aggressive action and expand their reach.

However, if the United States fails to devote significant political and economic attention and resources to rebuilding the foundations of its national power, it will find that it is increasingly unable to compete in the world.

The greater risk is an erosion of the willingness of the American people to support a leadership role for the U.S. We already are seeing deepening weariness on the part of the American people to support the costs and burdens of global leadership.

This balance applies with equal force to the principle of reinforcing America’s leadership role abroad. To build a secure and peaceful world, it is essential for the United States to play a leadership role. No other state can fill this role, since a world without leadership is fraught with perils. Getting this principle right requires a particularly delicate balancing act.

If the United States pursues a leadership role with too much involvement and reach, it will antagonize other states, which rightly believe that America does not have the right or authority to dominate the globe. For some observers, the last decade suggested that the United States exerted too much interference – that Washington overplayed its leadership role.

The principle of American grand strategy that calls for working more cooperatively and collaboratively with other states and institutions raises similar challenges. To ignore or merely pay lip service to this principle will suggest that the United States wants to “go it alone.” States will respond by isolating the United States or limiting their support for solving problems that require collective action.

What emerges is a cautionary note. The unbalanced application of any one of these principles alone will inflict significant harm on U.S. priorities and those of its friends and allies.

Worse, to put too much emphasis on any two principles also will undermine America’s grand strategy. For example, policies that emphasize rebuilding the domestic foundations of power and relying heavily on the role of cooperation will reinforce the impression that the United States is unwilling to lead in the current and future international system. States will see this as a strategy for gradually disengaging from the world – until the next crisis occurs.

A strategy that deemphasizes American global leadership and promotes cooperation will weaken the ability of the United States to foster global stability. Strictly speaking, this describes the state of American policy today.

The inherent trap with all grand strategies lies in how effectively it is implemented. Policymakers simply cannot pursue any or several principles to the exclusion of the others. To do so will be completely self-defeating.

The only path to success is to implement these principles of grand strategy in a balanced and purposeful fashion. Any other approach will weaken the United States, embolden its adversaries, demoralize friends and allies, and eviscerate the world that America seeks to build.


When we step back from the language and imperatives of grand strategy, the case for the United States to rethink its grand strategy is fundamentally simple. It is designed to meet serious threats while creating and taking advantage of strategic opportunities. To continue on the present course of "drifting" from crisis to crisis effectively invites powers to believe that America is in decline. Worse, Americans, too, might believe wrongly that the nation’s decline is inevitable.

A strategic weakness with American foreign policy is the deep and enduring political polarization in Washington that complicates, and often paralyzes, U.S. policymaking. While the United States once conducted its foreign policy on a bipartisan basis, we now see divisions on virtually all issues. Washington’s failure to move beyond this polarized environment puts at risk its ability to act with one voice on foreign policy. Essentially, it puts at risk the entire enterprise of grand strategy because a deeply divided nation cannot implement its resources and interests effectively.

By definition, American grand strategy demands that policymakers and politicians take the long view. While it is an enduring challenge for policymakers in Washington to look beyond the next election, the nation has no choice. It must build a grand strategy that addresses how the United States deals with the future that extends beyond the coming months or years. Abroad, the nation must work with other states and institutions to shape the secure international order that all states desperately need. The alternative is a world marked by uncertainty, fear, and strife.

Such a strategy must evoke a positive vision of the peace, security, and prosperity to which American policymakers should aspire and the public energetically endorses. It should express, perhaps more than any other idea, the principles that Americans are more likely to embrace, which rest on democratic and shared values that are not unique to the United States.

To be successful, America’s grand strategy should demonstrate a sense of optimism that this state, while working with others, can build a more secure, peaceful, and prosperous world. This optimism is based on the simple, yet powerful, principle that all states need to work together to confront dangers in this world. These dangers call for reinforcing the foundations of American power, strengthening American leadership, and building strong and lasting alliances that can work cooperatively in promoting a better world.

A grand strategy must cultivate the resources, ingenuity, and tools of our irrepressibly innovative and dynamic society. As importantly, it gives policymakers and the public a positive notion of what American foreign policy seeks to accomplish.

It articulates a vision of the world we want to build and the risks we confront, while reassuring the American people that their nation’s foreign policy is organized on the basis of prudent principles. With such principles, the nation can avoid the dual perils of drift and overreach or fixating on tired arguments about the nation’s inevitable decline.

If we are to assure America’s future security and prosperity, we need a new national grand strategy that harnesses America’s spirit, sense of optimism, and perseverance to help the nation meet the challenges and grasp the opportunities of this era.

When we think about the alternatives, the United States simply has no choice.

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AGuy's picture

Consider that America leads the world. If the US does become a Police state a large majority of other nations will follow. Note that the US Led the world into a stock bubble, then a housing bubble. The only option out of this is the Divided states of America. Centralization removes freedoms and liberty. Only decentralization can return them.



Bananamerican's picture

"harnesses America’s spirit, sense of optimism, and perseverance to help the nation meet the challenges and grasp the opportunities of this era...."


blah blah blah blah fucking blah....

nightshiftsucks's picture

And I thought i was the only one.

TwoShortPlanks's picture

"There's still time; are there any ship builders here?" is a completely meaningless concept when you're here......

PS. this statement, "It is imperative for the United States to articulate principles to guide its foreign policy", should read more like this, "It is imperative for the United States to articulate principles of guided munitions as a grand strategy of foreign policy"....that's the only business case America has left.

GetZeeGold's picture



How I pine for the malaise daze of Jimmy Carter....alas Jimmy we hardly knew ye. Probably because this didn't become public knowledge.

Where did this Bronco Bama guy come from again?

Does this sound familer? "With this man Jimmy Carter I don't know whether the country is having a presidential election or a religious revival."

Repeat after me.....yes we can....again.


GetZeeGold's picture



To bad the press never told us about the peanut farmer's ties the CFR.


Didn't Timmy Geithner just go to work for them? He wanted a gig with the BIS....but turned out he sucks at math.

Muppet Pimp's picture

Regarding the infrastructure falling apart in the NE, that will not be fixed until the unions and their crony politician friends are busted up.  In that part of the world there is no such thing as on time and under budget.  That is by design.  Bust up the unions before we spend any money trying to repair their infrastructure.  Reference the big dig for an example of what these goons are capable of.  The highest cost overruns of any job, any where, ever.  And the workmanship so shoddy that motorists were killed when the ceiling began collapsing less than a decade out. 

A good option for NE infrastructure improvements might be to contract with Chinese companies that provide the workers.  There are plenty of chinese co's that do this, they build stuff all over the world and supply the labor.  Trying to do any major infrastructure improvements up their under the current system is the equivelant to just setting cash on fire. Maybe the liberals are right for the NE, it is easiest and cheapest to just provide these guys their welfare and foodstamps and be done with it.  The cost to pay unemployment to the union goons while having the chinese come in and do the actual work is probably 20-50% cheaper doing anything under the current system.  The difference is the chinese want a days work for a days pay, the NE unions primary interest is in extortion, something for nothing, and 2 days worth of work for a weeks pay.  Something has got to give.

The infrastructure work could be estimated two ways:

1) Using union labor and include estimated cost overruns, frivelous lawsuits and all the other garbage they blow the taxpayers money on up there

2) With an additional line items to pay unemployment for the union goons and maybe some security to keep them away from the jobsite where people are actually working and then bid it out using international or southern US labor including expenses to build or lease temporary housing. 

(#2 method will be far cheaper & better product)

NotApplicable's picture

It's hard to imagine the level of self delusion required to write all of this statist garbage. The truly sad thing? It's an attempt to help. Childhood is obviously no longer connected to age, as childish beliefs are held by all ages.

CH1's picture

If I could save the US government, I wouldn't. It is a beast that enslaves humans.

All the other guvs are beasts, too - we're just talking about the biggest one today.

thewhitelion's picture

So many words, and so little worth saying.

Rogue Trooper's picture

Submitted by William C. Martel of The Diplomat,

... it's not a slow news day so is this a 'humorous' interlude from a Tyler to keep us amused with neo-con sarcasm/crapisim/moronism while we wait for the Jamie Dimon execution 'live' on C-SPAN?

TooBearish's picture

ya Tyler Pllllllease stop the neo con propaganda....reading this, its like waterboarding

StychoKiller's picture

Only one question springs to mind:  WHO's gonna pay for all this?!

GetZeeGold's picture



Someone's grandkids that you'll never have to meet.


Pillage with a clear conscience.

prains's picture

Pleeeeease Tyler be there NO part 4 (ever)

GetZeeGold's picture



Ohh....there's MOAR!

francis_sawyer's picture

 "If we are to assure America’s future security and prosperity, we need a new national grand strategy that harnesses America’s spirit"


A 'VIRUS', in the end... must CONSUME the host...

That's the END ~ whether you like it or not...

Kayman's picture

"harnesses America’s spirit"

Didn't the Washington/New York criminals "harness" the American Middle Class into building the nations infastructure ? Unfortunately for the criminals, today the middle class has no income to feed any more "harnessing".

lolmao500's picture

Grand strategy : put fingers in ears and sing LA LA LA LA LA EVERYTHING IS FINE!! LA LA LA LA LA!!

e-recep's picture

actually china has been a defensive nation throughout the history. not an offensive one. the real offenders are lying again, as usual.

CH1's picture

china has been a defensive nation throughout the history


All state are offensive against their own populace. "Obey us or be caged/killed."

ALL states are immoral beasts.

No exceptions. Ever.

e-recep's picture

in an anarchic milieu you would see who the real beast is. besides, nations with governments exist because they have overwhelming advantages over ungoverned ones. evolution 101.

Mr. Magniloquent's picture

Guns, communications technology, and industrialization have changed that. When factoring one's life as an expense that could be paid, production is far less expensive and more benefitial than plunder today. The State is outmoded.

disabledvet's picture

wow...and there i was thinking the only thing America was lacking was an updated "cool national anthem." Here's my vote for that... since we're moving into the realm of philosophy now's my vote for that one:

Rogue Trooper's picture

Awesome!...  speaking of Rush (much material!)

This one seems appropriate?

Or perhaps this?

A Lunatic's picture

I long for the day when Iceland Liberates the oppressed American people..........

Rogue Trooper's picture

Who knows they certainly have a stronger balance sheet.

Perhaps they could bring Bob Geldof out from retirement and hold a "Live Aid" concert in Iceland.... it all helps.

"Feed the Amerikan's....... let them know it's Christmas time..."

You all remember the lyrics :P

gwiss's picture

Blah de same blah de blah blah same bah.  Good lord.  Couldn't even make it through that whole thing.  What kind of reality do these people live in, anyway?  All I hear is "we must intervene in all things.  Why?  Because we're America, that's why."

These folks are going to continue scratching their asses and attending their same meetings and proposing their same bullshit while the country disintegrates around them.  They are the old generation, who doesn't see reality clearly any more.

I was watching some male ducks chase each other around the pond the other day, and thinking about how nature has a good plan to keep homosexuality to a minimum.  Now, I have no problem with homosexuality -- shoot, I think they're witty and fun to be around, but a tad shallow because they have no real sense of why the future generation might be important.  But, as far as nature is concerned, homosexuality is a problem, because without future generations, the whole cycle of life comes crashing down.  So, nature lets them freely pair up with each other, and thus they are like matter/antimatter -- they annhilate each other's genes.  The end.

And I realized that homosesxuality is a trait that cannot exist in isolation.  It can only exist as a parasite gene, playing around the edges of an otherwise functionally reproducing pool.

And then I realized that interventionism is just like homosexuality.  It cannot function on its own. It can only exist as a parasite, tiptoeing around the edges of an otherwise functional capitalist system.  If it begins to represent too large a proportion of the economy, the economy collapses.

That's how Atlas Shrugged works.  The solution of Atlas Shrugged is to say "Fine, I have no issue with Interventionism.  You guys go ahead and be Interventionist together."  The result, of course, is that the system is very quickly incapable of perpetuating itself.  So, thankfully, we won't have to listen to this kind of blather for that much longer.


francis_sawyer's picture

If, as we speak, EVERY SINGLE American citizen were a 'HOMOSEXUAL'... This country would probably have about the same 'LONG TERM' survival rate as it does now...

Broomer's picture

Discarding the possibility of convergent evolution for homosexuality, we can assume that it is at least as old as the latter common ancestor between birds and mammals. From Wikipedia:

"Mammals are the only living synapsids. The synapsid lineage became distinct from the sauropsid lineage in the late Carboniferous period, between 320 and 315 million years ago. The sauropsids are today's reptiles and birds along with all the extinct animals more closely related to them than to mammals."

I'm guessing that the parasites will be with us for quite a long time.

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

so the amniotes were homos? 

who woulda thunk that.


Seer's picture

"I was watching some male ducks chase each other around the pond the other day, and thinking about how nature has a good plan to keep homosexuality to a minimum."

Are these YOUR ducks?  How do you know if they're male?

I have some ducks, and only someone who knows this breed could identify males from females (though there's a bit of difference in size).

My ducks ALL run around.  The males don't run around after each other.

I guess I'm not getting what you're getting at, unless you're trying to push some religious PLAN thing past us.

To those that think that folks DECIDE to be homosexual I have one question: at what point did YOU DECIDE to be HETEROSEXUAL?

Based on the FACT that the world's population will collapse due to extremely high populations I cannot agree that homosexuality is in any way a problem.  And, really, what the hell about hermaphrodites (that's a pretty sick "plan" don't ya think?)?

You're trying to smuggle in your homophobia with economics, pretty cute.  BUT... don't ya think that perpetual growth on a finite planet is a BAD "plan?"  Interventionists might be looking to take over the planet, but never have I heard any such plot by homosexuals.

Good fucking god... ducks, homosexuals and Ayn Rand.  As a good friend of mine says: People are funny.

gwiss's picture

Decent size chip on your shoulder, buddy.


Male and female ducks are usually different colors, with the male the more colorful of the two.  Sorry, never even occured to me that to the nature illiterate that wouldn't make sense.


Homosexuality is genetic.  Thus the crime is to pretend that you are something you are not, and the sick society is the one that pretends that it is a choice.  So let's not cheapen the whole thing by making them out to be planet saving philanthropists, ok?  They are people who finally have risen above what society told them to do to walk their own path.  That's why I like them.


Not sure why you are having a hard time getting the point.  It's about the mechanics, not about saying the word homosexual out loud, which to some people violates their sense of PC.

Seer's picture

I have a chip on my shoulder over ignorance and poor logic.

"Male and female ducks are usually different colors, with the male the more colorful of the two. "

I specifically stated that it matters based on breed.  I have Indian Runner ducks, sexing by color doesn't work: a curled tail feather and vocalizations are the only way to determine [the curled feather, however, goes away after a couple of years, you you're down to only vocalization for really identifying them w/o actually picking them up and checking]).

Sorry, tossing ducks, homosexuality and Ayn Rand into one hopper just is one big pile of goo, bound to go wrong.

And no, I have no issue with homosexuality, I don't believe that homosexuals can save the planet.  I was only offering a rebuttal to those who believe that it's some sort of downfall of humankind (it is, as you correctly note, genetic [in much the same way that hermaphroditism is, which is why I mentioned it]).

gwiss's picture

hmmm... ignorance and poor logic....


So you mention your specific breed of duck, which unlike most ducks are hard to differentiate.  But I didn't say I was looking at Indian Runners, now did I?  So what type of duck did I say I was looking at? Oh that's right --  I didn't.  Yet instead of presuming that I could be looking at something common, like Mallards that are easy to differentiate, you instead chose to go off on a tangent about some obscure duck breed which has nothing to do with the point.  At least, it had nothing to do with my point.  The tangent, however, did advance your point, which was to happen across a post that mentioned the word homosexual, and instead of trying to understand what I was saying, you promptly climbed up on your soapbox because, how's this logic go again?  Indian Runner ducks can't be differentiated, therefore I must be making it up?  Isn't that essentially the logic of why you brought up your ducks?  Otherwise, what does the fact that your ducks are hard to differentiate have to do with my post?

I only mentioned the ducks I saw because that's when the thought struck me, because the males were chasing each other around like they were arguing over territory, and I had been reading about how homosexuality shows up in animals quite frequently, even in ducks, who will bond for life with same sex pairs, and was wondering what that behavior would look like in ducks.  And it was then that the thought struck me that homosexuality for creatures who reproduce sexually is a dead end.  This is in no way a criticism of homosexuality.  It only seems like a criticism to those who are so politically correct that they feel they have to protect the pretense that homosexuality is a completely viable alternative lifestye, completely oblivious to the fact that as soon as homosexuality is no longer repressed, it breeds itself out of existence.  Which is why it is just like interventionism, which only works as long as it is repressed or resisted.  As soon as it is allowed free reign, it breeds itself out of existence. 

Now, I can see how this could be "insulting" to homosexuals, but only to homosexuals who are immersed in their own religion, which is the religion of the Progressives.  The Right believes that their God has told them that homosexuality cannot be tolerated, and won't listen to logic.  Similarly, the Progressives believe that any chosen lifestyle can be functional because they are under the sway of the religion of Cultural Relativism, and to them, suggesting that homosexuality is genetic actually somehow undermines the legitimacy of their belief, which is that we can all choose to define our existence in any way we want and have these imagined worlds be just as functional and legitimate as any other.  To them, homosexuality being genetic seems equivalent to saying it is inferior, because if it is a genetic anomoly then it just becomes an aberrancy, which undercuts their argument that they can choose to be whoever they want.

It's difficult sometimes to walk the logical line between the two parties, because either side can end up taking potshots at you, as your post demonstrates.

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture



at what point did YOU DECIDE to be HETEROSEXUAL?


I remember that moment well.  It was the 1st day of school, in the 1st grade, immediately following a quick glance in Angela's direction.


Seer's picture

Angela Merkel?

No, one's brain didn't ponder it*, it was reflexive.  It's not like you went, "hm, do I like That or do I like boys?" (bisexuals are more of a mystery, more along the "choice" category, but this is too confusing for the homophobic types to deal with so they go straight for "homos")

* Other than perhaps concerns over any negative consequences of one's urges (getting caught or whatever).

WmMcK's picture

"I was watching some male ducks ..."

They now prefer to be called "drakes", you know.

pashley1411's picture

I despise this article, and its two predecesors.    The song is the same, "Give the center more power".    Power in this country used to be tempered by some notion of the common good.    That was then.

Now our political class is all about chasing unicorns.   Climate control, income leveling, rebuilding global competitiveness, fighting barbarians, changing the conduct of countries on the other side of the world.    The war on communism was bad enough, dragged in every lefty-leaning politician on the planet; now everyone has to be for us or against us, foreign or domestic, and if the wind changes, god help you, ask Mr. Qadaffi.  

Everyone has a cause that they want to spend your last gd devalued nickel on, for your own good.  Its mile-deep in wishful thinking and even deeper in bullshit.

Anusocracy's picture

World-fixers - fixing the world until it's completely broken.

In case the author of this screed reads the comments, this is for him:

"Whether the mask is labelled Fascism, Democracy, or Dictatorship of the Proletariat, our great adversary remains the Apparatus—the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier or the battlelines, which is not so much our enemy as our brother's enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this Apparatus, and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others."
— Simone Weil, Politics, Spring 1945

Manthong's picture

In order to do all that grand vision stuff, wouldn’t it help to have a legitimate commander-in-chief, and constitutionally oriented government, first?

I should think some degree of moral authority would be appropriate.

nmewn's picture

Moral authority? (we've got bureaucrats to tell us whats moral, righteous & virtuous)...constitutional governance? (we've got people in black robes who have never worked for an honest dollar in their life interpreting law)...commander-in-thief? (he has a kill list handed to him every Tuesday morning).

Demonocracy, lets all enjoy the ride ;-)

Kayman's picture

 I love how "Moral Hazard" has replaced Criminal Actions. What bullshit we are fed...

Tinky's picture

Roadmap? Who needs one? I've got GPS.

Room 101's picture

Darn!  I misssed being the first to give this less than a piece of shit a 1 vote. 

Atomizer's picture

Even Grandpa Buffet is getting the willies. While reading the Pet Goat to me last night, a tear ran down his cheek. I asked, why are you crying Grandpa? He said, he worries for my future generation.


You Are A Slave

Slave to the System

Bicycle Repairman's picture

"Currently, annual expenditures for Social Security and Medicare exceed $1 trillion. Ominously, there are 4.6 persons for every retiree, while within 25 years, this ratio could drop to 2.7. The system, which as currently structured is not sustainable, requires immediate attention from policymakers if future generations are to be productive knowing that they will share in the benefits from economic prosperity."

A little tinkering with the retirement age would fix SSI immediately and permanently.  Medicare can't be fixed without a real overhaul of the healthcare system.  But that is not what this guy is after.  He wants that 15% of your wages for the MIC.  700+ bases and $trillions in foreign aid are not enough for this guy.

Also no mention of the growing police state at home.  Who would be enthusiastic about spreading that around the world?

I gave this article a score of '1'.  I'd have given it a score of  '-1000000000', if possible.  These three articles have been among the most repugnant ever posted on ZH.

Seer's picture

"A little tinkering with the retirement age would fix SSI immediately and permanently. "

Permanently?  With massive debt, changing demographics and collapsing economies?

No, and this is EXACTLY why we're having problems with any "solution"- it's because we think that there is such a thing as "permanence" (other than in death).

The bottom of the boat is GONE.  Bailing is meaningless.  The ONLY reason why we haven't sunk to the very bottom is because we're high-speeding it on top of a bunch of other hulless boats.  The water is deep and the other boats are losing speed...  No, we're NOT "special."

Bicycle Repairman's picture

If you feel that way then perhaps you'd like to address the "grand strategy"?