[FoRK] beware inevitability! a foil to the technologicalsingularity?

Stephen D. Williams sdw
Fri Oct 14 23:36:15 PDT 2005

This is like saying that the American public believe President Bush.

Assuming that my impression roughly approximates a general gestalt of 
that era, I don't think that Americans believe that Reagan did more than 
accelerate the fall slightly.  There's the theory that Star Wars 
spending and apparently possible success caused mirrored spending and/or 
resignation by Soviet military.  There were a few interactions that 
probably lessened fear of unreasonableness (Red scare and its 
complement) in the public.  Beyond that, the general feeling is the 
house of cards and ineffective system arguments.

Imputing acceptance by the public, intellectual or not, to various 
"party lines" is fraught with error.


Justin Mason wrote:

>Hash: SHA1
>Lucas Gonze writes:
>>Robert Harley wrote:
>>>Methinks that in the end of the day, the
>>>prosperity of the EEC played a bigger hand than any threat of MAD, but
>>>that's a post for anyther day.
>>Also the fact that the USSR couldn't sustain the totalitarian economy 
>>even within Russia.  In the US this was not acknowledged, I think 
>>because anti-communist politics had choked off the flow of reality. 
>from the transcript of episode 2 of Adam Curtis' "Power of Nightmares":
>  'MELVIN GOODMAN , Head of Office of Soviet Affairs CIA, 1976-1987: I
>  think probably one of the greatest myths in America, in the political
>  discourse now, right now, is that actions of the American government
>  were responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union
>  collapsed like a house of cards because it was a house of cards. It
>  rotted away from within. The economy was rotten, the political process
>  was rotten, they had developed a central government that was no longer
>  believed by people outside of Moscow, there was total cynicism
>  throughout the Soviet system of governance, there was no real civil
>  society. But the Reagan Administration and their - the minions of the
>  Reagan Administration, will tell you that Afghanistan led to the
>  collapse of the Soviet Union itself - the collapse of the Berlin Wall in
>  1989, the collapse of the East European empire. We were saying that this
>  was entirely fanciful. And the United States missed all of this, because
>  they believed their own myths and their own fanciful notions. They had
>  become their own victims of their own lies.'
>- --j.
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