Bob's Links and Rants

Welcome to my rants page! You can contact me by e-mail: Blog roll. Site feed.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sic Temper Ignoramus

The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
-- Ron Suskind, quoting an unnamed aide to George W. Bush.
The drive to create reality transformed Soviet life into a masquerade. What became important was not what was true but what could be made to appear to be true as the structure of factual reality was replaced with organized falsification so that real life might, if only after the fact, appear to conform to the Soviet ideology.

As the outside world looked on in stupefaction, the Soviet Union became the scene of a whole set of miragelike imitations of democratic institutions: trade unions that defended management, newspapers that contained no information, courts to which there was no recourse, and a parliament that always unanimously supported the government.
-- David Satter, Age of Delirium: The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union, page xv.

Sound familiar? Billmon recommended Satter's book last week, and I got it from the University Library last night. That quote was in the introduction. Read Billmon's post for more parallels.