January 24, 2008
A Democratic Diplodocus
The following quote is from George Kennan, who served as America's ambassador to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. To preface it, he is talking about the relationship between Democracy and war.
"But I sometimes wonder whether in this respect democracy is not uncomfortably similar to one of those prehistoric monsters with a body as long as this room and a brain the size of a pin : he lies there in his comfortable primeval mud and pays little attention to his environment; he is slow to wrath-in fact, you practically have to whack his tail off to make him aware that his interests are being disturbed; but, once he grasps this, he lays about him with such a blind determination that he not only destroys his adversary but largely wrecks his native habitat. You wonder whether it would not have been wiser for him to have taken a little more interest in what was going on at an earlier date and to have seen whether he could have prevented some of these situations from arising instead of proceeding from an undiscriminating indifference to a holy wrath equally undiscriminating."
-American Diplomacy, p.66