“JOURNAL: Disaster Planageddon”

For John Robb’s response to How afraid should we be?click here.

[Whether you agree with anything John and I have to say on this or any other subject, I think you’ll have to admit that our game of cyber tennis is what blogging is all about.  You can play a few sets too, if you wish.]

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One Response to ““JOURNAL: Disaster Planageddon””

  1. JRBehrmanon 24 Apr 2009 at 9:36 am 1

    Towards a Resilient Society

    Premise One — A Defensive Grand Strategy (LIND) featuring (a) robust mix of naval forces (WEBB) and (b) tactical air forces (SPREY): This would seem to call for what have historically been called “regular” armed forces, albeit optimized for small, unique wars and, probably, long, maybe perpetual, conflicts on the edge of “civilized” war and commerce.

    Premise Two — Expeditonary 3GW forces that can conduct or deter a modest number but variety of limited, including conventional or indirect wars, in support of nuclear deterrence or disarmament (GENTILE): These could be national or even multi-national “reserve” forces — in large, heavy “Guards” or small, light “Jaeger” units. The most important aspect of these would be geo-political adaptation and operational maneuverability.

    These seem like the predicate for discussing institutions of a “resiliant society”. That is something I would like to do without embracing the “cultural conservatism” or “warrior cult” of the political right. Indeed, I do not see why “socialists” in the Swiss Confederation or even “communards” in Israel may not have something to contribute to discussion of a resiliant society. Maybe Federlists and Whigs, styling themselves libertarians or conservatives or — the economists’ favorite label — “banana” do not know everything.

    Curiously, the reason to have both regular and reserve forces would be to have professional, volunteer, and even elite forces at the ready but not exclusively “long-term hire” or simply “mercenary” forces drawn from the economic “dregs”, from a self-proclaimed nobility, or from some sort of religio-cultural or tribal sub-culture or television audience that just might annoint itself a ruling class.

    To make these two layers work, they would need to be bolstered by and rest on a national, genuinely “well regulated”, militia. This would not be a home-schooled fryd with imported assault rifles and machine-pistols in umpteen exotic calibers protesting insufficiently regressive and indirect taxes or perceived slights to such religious heterodoxies as serial or parallel polygamy.

    Rather, this as any militia would be based on a uniform “barracks school”. That would include military initiation, sexual hygiene and rites-of-passage, courtship opportunities, basic civic indoctrination or remedial education, identification of latent sociopathy, dignified diversion of handicapped individuals into sheltered environments, recognition of conscientious objection to military enterprise, morally equivalent forms of national service, and, finally, strong, durable “regimental” or “cantonal” credentials supporting universal suffrage, minimum social security and welfare, as well as lifetime technical or liberal education, not to mention amateur … sports culture.

    I am not sure how to have a republican democracy otherwise in Texas, at least, given our Swiss-type religious, racial, and linguistic cultural landscape. This has positive economic potential but (a) can give rise to regional and class conflict within this state and among states and (b) does not seem to be mitigated by nationalistic jingoism or even by my state’s unique foundational myths.

    Of course, in Texas, there is some ambiguity — based on legal arrogance and ignorance — about what constitutes a “state” or a “nation”. But, I think a national militia which was not 2GW in form and function could be adapted to even the most bizarre historical legacies.