Much of America today is as addicted to bureaucratic, rule based thinking as ancient China.  The uncertainties of life in a thermonuclear world haunt us.  There must, we feel, be infallible techniques for making the economy grow, keeping inflation at bay, understanding international events and managing American foreign policy.  When there is a problem — a financial crash, a revolution in a friendly country, an attack by hostile forces — somebody must have made an obvious mistake.  They must have misapplied or failed to apply an obvious technique.  We would rather believe that our leaders are foolish and incompetent (which they often are) than face the truth that we live in a radically unpredictable world in which no methods and no rules can guarantee safety.

via The American Interest.

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