HIST: Eisenhower and Cincinnatus (was: Neal Stephenson's new essay)

Sun, 15 Aug 1999 08:38:38 EDT

In a message dated 99-08-15 01:56:48 EDT, jr@shasta.com (J. R. Molloy) wrote:

> "I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government

>  had better get out of their way and let them have it."
>  --Dwight D. Eisenhower (Yeah, it surprised me too, coming from Mr.
>  "Nucular.")

Actually, it doesn't surprise me. Remember, this is the guy who ended his presidency with a chilling speech in which he warned the American people about the extent to which "the military-industrial complex" (a term he used in the speech) was preempting the formation of public policy by democratic institutions. He also oversaw the largest reductions in military force in US history, even though ten years before he had organized and led the largest high-tech (for its day) military operation in history (with what was, under the circumstances, an amazingly small number of casualties). Along the way, by his candidacy, he blocked Douglas MacArthur's bid for the presidency, a turn of good fortune the value of which it is hard to calculate, but is almost surely a very, very good thing. He was by no means perfect, but in many ways, Eisenhower lived up to the ideal of Cincinnatus we were talking about a while ago.

     Greg Burch     <GBurch1@aol.com>----<gburch@lockeliddell.com>
     Attorney  :::  Vice President, Extropy Institute  :::  Wilderness Guide
      http://users.aol.com/gburch1   -or-   http://members.aol.com/gburch1
                         "Civilization is protest against nature; 
                  progress requires us to take control of evolution."
                                      -- Thomas Huxley