So, if the Founders could bend the elements a la ATLAB, which would they bend? Based on historical research, I’m thinking:
Thomas Jefferson: Waterbender
John Adams: Earthbender
Alexander Hamilton: Firebender
James Madison: Airbender
George Washington: Avatar
Benjamin Franklin: Boomerang guy
Why hasn’t someone drawn this yet? Its an epic idea.
Although, personally, I’d say Washington is more the boomerang guy (what was his talent again?) and Franklin the Avatar (that guy could do anything), but you know. XD Also, crappy Muro drawing is crappy…
"The women in my family were hardworking matriarchs. But the stories I saw on TV and movies and even in many books said they were anomalies."
I believe this article won a Hugo. It is a very long read. But worth your time if you have it.
This article did win a Hugo, and the author, Kameron Hurley, has written some incredibly excellent books which everyone following me should definitely read.
this is a fascinating pseudo-introduction to feminist history, too
(This is not as ridiculous as it sounds, promise.)
(Also, here be minor Winter Soldier spoilers.)
So, in Winter Soldier, both Fury and Pierce cast themselves as “realists.” To Fury and Pierce, this means that diplomacy is a nice, rosy thought, but it is force that minimizes threats and keeps countries safe.
This is a dangerous assertion to put forth, because realism is not force, or at least not always. That force is an option—but not the only option—is the entire point of realism. One of the biggest realists in history, Otto von Bismarck, was an infamous proponent of force; it was indeed “iron and blood” that unified Germany, not a roundtable discussion over tea. But after unification, it was an intricate network of alliances and counteralliances—not force—that held Germany and the rest of Europe together.
Hawkishness is the advocating of force. Neoconservatism, especially, is the advocating of preemptive force (taken to its extreme in Winter Soldier with HYDRA’s targeting system). Realism is not the advocating of force. Realism is leaving all options on the table.
But this casting of realism as bad, if not evil, is not at all surprising. The U.S. national security establishment has been doing it since World War I, when Woodrow Wilson took the deeply rooted U.S. idea of exceptionalism to its logical conclusion. The U.S. (so propagandized Wilson), already a beacon of good, had a moral obligation to also be a bringer of good. This is simply an Americanized version of the international relations theory of idealism—all countries want the same things, so ceterus paribus, all countries will act the same way. But all isn’t equal in the real world, so countries will certainly welcome freedom and democracy (never mind the incredibly Western, white, heteronormative way that those terms are defined), right?
The enemy of that idea is pragmatism, which reminds us that the only interest that all countries share is security—and there will be plenty of conflicts of interest and moral shortcuts in the pursuit thereof. This, the crux of realism, tells us that we can’t apply a panacea to every country or every threat. It tells us that, while we naturally think that our way is the best way, other countries will not, and short of obliterating everyone else in the world (see: All My Friends Are Dead), compromises will have to be reached. Deals will have to be struck. And, if you’re really committed to having your way in a world of so many conflicting interests, you’re going to need to use every trick in the book.
In short, assuming that everyone wants what you want—in this scenario, electoral democracy and freedom fries—is naive at best and deadly at worst. So how do we paint the other side, the pragmatist-realist side? By coloring everything in shades of war. By making it seem like obliteration is the only alternative to messianism.
Behold, I give you U.S. foreign policy discourse over the past 100 years.
But, aside from my brief example above, what does Bismarck have to do with any of this? Well, where does realism come from?
In the U.S., we (we being academics/nerds) often use Teddy Roosevelt and Richard Nixon as examples of realists. The Nixon example necessarily includes Henry Kissinger, who, as Secretary of State, was the real architect of Nixon’s realist foreign policy. People like to use Kissinger, who fits the “idealism good, realism bad” narrative quite well: Kissinger is German. If he propagates ideas that the U.S. doesn’t like, it’s at least partially because he’s not “one of us.” Exceptionalism makes people jealous, y’know? (Gag.)
Who else is German? Why, Hans Morgenthau, the academic father of realism. Who else? Why, Otto von Bismarck, a realist if there ever was one.
Realism is such a German idea, and it makes a lot of sense why: when you’re a new country stuck in the middle of a continent where everyone either hates or fears you, you’ve got to use every tool that you have just to stay alive.
The U.S., one of the most naturally secure countries in the world, founded not by politicians out of economic interests but (ostensibly) by ordinary people fighting for freedom, has no need for this type of reasoning.
Hence why the U.S. doesn’t understand realism and perhaps never will. Perpetrating the narrative of “realism=evil” in mass-budget films certainly doesn’t help.
Here endeth the lesson.
I’m not even going to dignify this stupidity with a link.
Maybe he was compensating for something 🍆
John Hancock: Go big or go home.
are you kidding me, this is an amazing article. for example it has all the signatures on declaration of independence listed according to the size
and it shows what it would look like if everyone’s signature was as big as hancock’s