Yes exactly, the American people love cheap oil, politicians lost elections over this stuff, they were often responding to political incentives. Also, like low oil prices are great for most of the country but not all regions. Louisiana had a boom time in the 1970s
This is the problem with the whole conspiratorial take on American politics and history: even in their most private counsels politicians are worried about public opinion
deceptive moves are taken to confuse public opinion, but most politicians know they are temporary expedients and eventually they need to deliver a tangible benefit to some constituency. that creates its own problems, where we do short term fixes of structural problems etc
gotta quote Mencken here, although im not much of a fan: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
also worth remembering different regions and sectors have very different economic needs and its very hard to create a national policy thats not like sticking it to some industry or region

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More from @lionel_trolling

8 Apr
Yeah well look a minority elected Trump, an obvious moron, and majorities rejected him twice. I think there's proof of concept right there. Not to mention there are very few examples of dictators being acclaimed by democratic plebiscite, rather examples of parties finagling power
The whole aristocratic republican idea that democracy cant be trusted because it will lead to the rise of some kind of unscrupulous demagogue is probably one of the most discredited notions in political theory, we can see it's almost exactly wrong
Factions have recourse to desperate maneuvers for power, but democratic majorities contain with them many interests that have to be balanced and reconciled
Read 5 tweets
8 Apr
i dont know what "infrastructure" means or for that matter what any other word means, but i believe they should jam pack as much nonsense into every bill as humanly possible
lets commit $100 million to studying what the word infrastructure means, form a blue ribbon panel, organize art projects, you name it
i want every spending bill to be a veritable cornucopia of boondoggles and pork until every last citizen is sated
Read 4 tweets
8 Apr
i dont think one should tailor ones writing to the needs of political strategy, because it's pretentious to suppose what you write is of vital and immediate importance to the work of politics and also you end up subordinating intellectual life to imaginary chess moves
of course, there's writing that's explicitly about formulating political strategy and tactics, but it doesn't need to be the focus of every piece of analysis
because works of strategic political writing so rarely directly influence political considerations on a meaningful scale, they become just about political styles, what sort of affect and words and attitude to adopt in the pursuit of politics
Read 6 tweets
8 Apr
I don't really get this argument that says "oh it can't be fascism because no WW1" yes there's maybe not the kind of catastrophe that leads to the overwhelming strength and popularity of such movements, and there's no masses of brutalized men to staff paramilitaries, but
what else should you call a form politics that declares the nation is in some kind of terminal state of decline, is being dominated by alien non-citizens, and requires some kind of redemptive violence and strong leader to recover its former glory?
the idea that conditions need to be precisely the same for certain categories to obtain just makes any kind of categorization impossible, you might as well say well there's not really a left, because they dont literally sit on the left of the National Assembly in 1792
Read 11 tweets
7 Apr
People often say things "the American people are good, but the government and institutions are bad" I disagree, I believe the American people are bad, there is something wrong with all of them
The institutions are a reflection of us as a people, and we are bad
This is not to say "Oh America is the worst country on earth" blah blah, which isn't really a meaningful statement, usually thats just more about Americans trying to maintain their own innocence, which is what we are all about: being bad and pretending to not even know it
Read 4 tweets
7 Apr
This has been declassified for 23 years, it's the NSC directive on the Persian Gulf crisis in 1991: the first words are "Access to Persian Gulf Oil..." Something about this quip annoys me because its like literally not even a secret
People are always knocking on the open door with this stuff, like "Oh the government is doing all this nefarious stuff" yeah they periodically admit it openly. Trump framed his philosophy of war in terms of "bombing the shit out of people" an "taking their oil"
the thing is, oil was not the *only* reason for the war, it was another justification that *sounded* rational, but the real reasons were about much hazier issues like "the us role in the world", when you "uncover" these "core motives" you often just learn very little
Read 6 tweets

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