We need another Cold War: The American perspective
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13-03-2012, 07:21 AM
We need another Cold War: The American perspective
Note: I am writing this as an American to Americans, but if you are not American, please feel free to add your opinion as well. The reason I say this is because I do not know how the Cold War really affected you or your country's politics, only my own and since they always say "write what you know." Well, here it is...

Anyway, I've noticed that here in the United States, it is no secret that our political landscape has - how should I put this - polarized quite a bit. Republicans and Democrats HATE each other with venomous passion. It didn't used to be that way. Maybe it's the internet or Fox News, but from my perspective it seems to be really negative. Compromise didn't used to be considered a dirty word. Ronald Reagan for instance negotiated with Democrats and got $*it done. He also had to negotiate with the Moscow and "attempt" to balance the budget with Alzheimer's. Now that sounds like a lot on your plate.

NOTE: I say attempt to balance the budget because the deficit actually grew at a phenomenal rate under his and Bush Sr.'s terms. Ronald's record at raising the debt ceiling and contributing to the national debt makes Obama look conservative. Fiscal conservatives... Pff! Fiscal conservative, my a**.

Anyway, sorry for my minor sidetracking rant there. The Cold War did a lot of good for the world. Of course, there was always that threat of nuclear war, but neither side really wanted to obliterate the other. It was a several decade-long stalemate until 1991 and out of it came many of the technologies we take for granted today. The internet was used by NORAD and numerous other military institutions to communicate between bases at faster rates. GPS was developed for military use, and it was a heated debate bringing that technology to the private sector. The microchip was originally developed using subsidies from the Defense Department. We have had so much of our modern lifestyle that has came from that military side that I think we need that mindset back.

And on the other side we get Tetris and Vodka.

How does this relate to the modern political polarization? I think America needs an opponent to motivate us. Without an opponent, we in a sense start tearing each other apart. We had a societal consensus during the Cold War that seems to lack now. Instead of the "Free-World" vs. Communism, we have neighbor vs. neighbor because we just don't have any motivation and crave that crap that gets us going like reality TV, 24-hour news cycles, and royal weddings. I think the media has done a good job at making us paranoid of our neighbors though. Every one is worried that the guy across the street is a pedophile or that kid that sits a few tables away from your children at school is going to snap. I think that it would be in our best interests to revive a little of the culture of the Cold War. Remember the Space race? We landed a freakin' guy on the moon! And, now we can't do it because of budget cuts and again... "we aren't motivated" to play around with NASA anymore.

Granted, I know that 9/11 really changed things from where they were in the Roaring '90s, but I don't think that we can successfully have a Cold War with jihadist terrorists. Afterall, these are people who actually want to blow themselves and everyone else up, so jihadists are out as a candidate.

China on the other hand, does sound like a very good candidate. I would like to see the US in a Cold War with China because we have so much invested in each other's nations that we can't possibly eliminate each other. That is just my best scenario. The wage difference would be devastating. Sure, jobs would come back to the US if we entered a Cold War, but the US can't possibly compete with the manufacturing industry sweatshops and 1 billion+ workforce population of one of the last red nations. Realistically, no one would want to buy our expensive products if China can produce them at much lower prices. China would be beating us by our supposedly own system, Capitalism.

Ultimately, I wouldn't care if this supposed new Cold War would be a conspiracy. I wouldn't even care if a Cold War was manufactured by the world's superpowers in order to benefit their own shared interests. Invent some alien race or draw a new continent in the Pacific. There will always be some dumb citizens to ride the bandwagon. I'd hope that they wouldn't do what they did in the "Watchmen" film by destroying several of the world's major cities to unite in a false campaign to fight off Mr. Manhattan. Sorry, I'm a sucker for a good science fiction flick Wink

The premise is the same though. Just beat the war drum enough so that people are motivated. The United States and the USSR knew this strategy to always keep their populations innovative. Now that we have no opponent to compete with, we have just become lazy.

Thoughts?
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13-03-2012, 07:39 AM
RE: We need another Cold War: The American perspective
I massively disagree because I see that Cold War mentality still lingers in politics and decisions that get used to sway votes over and over again.

The idea that the USA needs an enemy is what drives up the over-reaching control of the Government agencies that have stepped over the line of providing freedom and happiness. It's what has caused 2 wars to be sprung up this decade because we needed to have the axis of evil and terrorism enemies to "unite" the nation, or so many people were told.

If America needs to get back to any moment in it's past of the 20th century, it would be the early era when they were not trying to look to have such conflict and control across the world.. or the immediate era around the WWII end when the mentality was to unite in building positively before the McCarthyism and fear propaganda got engraved in the nation.

We don't need an enemy. We need those resources to actually be looking to advancements and encouraging the scientific and creative enjoyable markets that can spring anew and influence the malaise generations.
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13-03-2012, 09:27 AM
RE: We need another Cold War: The American perspective
I would prefer your method as well ClydeLee. The advancement of knowledge is certainly a much more noble goal, but in a nation dominated by idiot swing voters who don't make up their minds until the last few hours of a nearly two-year campaign and a population considering themselves as gullible "sheep" to the Jesus Shepard, I tend to not have much faith in the voter's priorities. At least something like a Cold War is easy for them to understand, even if it is under false pretenses. Why that didn't sound a little elitist, did it? =p

I tried to avoid using the term "enemy" in my post. If I stumbled in a sentence and used that term, then I apologize for the miscommunication. The word I wanted to particularly emphasis was "opponent" in the like of a competitor which is how I see the Cold War in retrospect. It was the policy of containment that I think you are referring to, and that was what brought the US into Vietnam and the Korean peninsula, as well as numerous other troubles. Containment, in my mind, seemed detrimental and the obvious wrong approach to dealing with Communism. I feel as if the industrial-military complex was a result of Containment, and Eisenhower himself warned of those dangers in his farewell address. Unfortunately, we didn't listen because of those sheep, and sadly we probably will go into Iran because of which as well.

I'll always point to the Space race as one of the best things that came out of the Cold War because that was a major driving force of innovation. A lot of the money that was allocated to researching space technology and computing came from the Defense Departments budget at the time. And now, space is dormant and NASA is starving for funds, hitching rides with the Russians [ironic], and collaborating with other space agencies to cheapen the cost.

I would say that the US has been a bit of a bully since the Cold War [since Manifest Destiny really]. We have a Cold-War era style defense budget with no clear opponent. Now, logic would then say since there is no USSR anymore, then why not tighten the belt of the DoD a bit? We're broke anyway, and wouldn't that massive expense be better spent here? In our schools? Or funding this new healthcare thing? I think so, but if the DoD is the only outlet of innovation and if the DoD is the one with the money, then we might as well take advantage of it - preferably nonviolently.
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13-03-2012, 06:06 PM
RE: We need another Cold War: The American perspective
So I don't get it, you want to blow even more money on defense? You realize we spend more than like every other industrialized nation combined right? China, who comes in second, has a population 4 times the size of ours only spends 1/7 the amount we do on defense.

Surely you can't be suggesting increasing it....especially when our infrastructure is on the verge of collapse, and oil is becoming far more scarce.
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13-03-2012, 07:31 PM
RE: We need another Cold War: The American perspective
war is always a lousy motivator, it's strong yes, but doesn't last much and makes more harm than good to the world in general, I think the USA never completely understood that they're not alone in the world, this meaning that if they attack another country or engage in a cold war they are punching themselves in the long run. See South America for instance, it's growing to be a pain in the ass for the USA, and that's because we don't like you very much for your government intervened too much and too bad in this region.

If you want to motivate US citizens to unite to improve then I'll say that instead of looking for a common enemy, you guys should find a common ideal, that's far better and more durable imho Big Grin

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13-03-2012, 09:00 PM
RE: We need another Cold War: The American perspective
Another Cold War... you could call me an 'american' I was born in that region and have lived in the region all my life. But I would never want another Cold War, the massive threat of a nuclear war, my brothers and sisters being slaughtered across all the earth in the name of two shitty forms of government. No, I don't ever want another Cold War. Humans achieve more working together, not separately.
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