Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Mr. McGee, don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

Via Duncan I came across Matt Yglesias' Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics. It's a pretty good analysis for anyone familar with comic books. It posits that the simple application of enough will and imagination is all it would take to change the world.

I'd personally prefer some other comic book conventions actually governed our foreign policy. The Spider Man Theory of Geopolitics, for example, operates on the proposition that "with great power comes great responsibility." As the pre-eminent world power (at least before Iraq) the United States must consider all military, economic and cultural actions in a deliberate and serious manner.

Then there's the Hulk Theory of Geopolitics that holds that the United States will act rationally until angered. It could best be summed up by Teddy Roosevelt's "speak softly but carry a big stick."

I would be remiss if I were to leave off the X-Men Theory of Geopolitics. This theory manifests as a sort of "turn the other cheek" proposition. It goes something like this: "sure you don't like us. You don't have to. We're going to help you anyway because it's the right thing to do." Currently the United States approach is exactly the opposite: "if you don't like us you can die in a fire."

Unfortunately none of these theories are in application at the moment and instead we have a foreign policy driven by guys who think they can change the world just by force of will just like Green Lantern. But instead of order they just bring chaos and instead of the heroic Green Lantern simply they wind-up Groo.

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