Second Post

I didn’t say much, these last several years.

But I decided to try an experiment, here. I like to think about politics, and I like to develop my political thinking, but I have no outlet for it. None of the people in my immediate, day-to-day life would tolerate my political meanderings, and as mentioned in my First Post, expressing myself politically with sincerity in my current living situation might actually cause problems for me.

So I’ve decided to just write random political rantings and reflections here on this blog, anonymously. I won’t try to limit myself to questions of immigration policy, despite this website’s stated focus. Maybe at least once a week? Let’s try.

So, these days, what’s on my mind? Obviously, the war in Ukraine. A half-formed thought.

It’s an important question, but difficult to ask: how is what’s happening right now in Ukraine qualitatively different from what happened in Iraq about 20 years ago? Except for the minor difference that we (Americans) are on the other side? I don’t raise this question because I am trying to defend Russia’s actions in Ukraine, but rather to make sure you can empathize with some of the never-resolved discomfort I felt about that other war. There are other differences. The US-led coalition was “bigger” or broader. The US military seemed at least somewhat more competent – perhaps at some things. But not more competent at all things: more competent killing people? Yeah, maybe; more competent not getting killed? Yeah, definitely; more competent at getting praised and welcomed with open arms by the liberated populace? Uh… not really. But mostly these are quantitative differences, not differences in the moral foundations of the enterprise.

Another thing that’s been on my mind over the last two years is the COVID thing. And the end of Trump’s presidency. A half-formed thought.

Conspiracy-thinking is a type of hypochondria at the level of society, instead of at the level of the individual. It’s an apophenic search for meaning where meaninglessness is the more rational explanation, and a kind of default assumption of malignancy. That said, between the excessive reactions to COVID on the one hand, and the explosion of conspiracy theorizing on both the left and right in our political space, I would dub our current era the “Age of Hypochondria.”

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