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Higgs Reviews Derek Leebaert’s “Magic and Mayhem”

Bob Higgs’s latest deserves to be read throughly.  And twice by Neocons.  Here’s a key paragraph:

Leebaert focuses on several dimensions of what he calls the foreign policy makers’ reliance on “magic”―a collection of assumptions and convictions about what the United States government can and should do in its dealings with the rest of the world. He calls it magic, he explains on page 1, because “shrewd, levelheaded people are so frequently bewitched into substituting passion, sloganeering, and haste for reflection, homework, and reasonable objectives.” As Leebaert illustrates with a great variety of cases, decision makers forgo careful study, detailed, factual evaluation, and judicious evaluation of alternatives (including the alternative of doing nothing) and instead opt for plunging almost blindly into efforts that almost any serious, informed thinker could have told them were doomed to fail. They are supremely self-confident, notwithstanding their all-too-frequent lack of any real basis for such confidence.


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