Archive for February 1st, 2017

What was really defeated in Vietnam, Baritz  concludes, was American culture, specifically business management techniques and the cult of technology.  These are our vaunted strengths, and it was these strengths that brought about our defeat.
From his account, Baritz draws two conclusions.  First, as long as our culture is bureaucratic and technological we should avoid situations that demand strength of character, political skill or a sense of history.  A bureaucratic culture does not value these skills and so cannot produce them.  Second, the only way to avoid future Vietnams is to revise ideals of citizenship, public service and military honor.  As long as individual Americans encourage themselves to “look out for number one”, the nation will continue to “crash around the world in the dumb and murderous way it did in Vietnam.”
[The above were quotes from a review of the book:  “Backfire: A History of How American Culture Led Us into Vietnam and Made Us Fight the Way We Did” (1985©), written by Loren Baritz.   Unfortunately, my journal (circa 1985) does not indicate who wrote the review or where it was published.  It also does not indicate that I ever actually read the original work.  If anyone should happen to recognize the quotes, please let me know and I will provide an accurate attribution.    —    KMAB]
On This Day In:
2016 Feeling Endangered?
2015 One Day
2014 Too Bad
2013 Unfinished
2012 First Steps Along The Path
2011 A Small Part Of Future Webs

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