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jerryking : insecurity   6

What Can the Next President Do About Russia? - WSJ
By ROBERT D. KAPLAN
Updated Oct. 16, 2016

Of the two great autocratic powers in Eurasia, Russia is emerging as a greater short-term threat than China. The Chinese hope to gradually dominate the waters off the Asian mainland without getting into a shooting war with the U.S. Yet while Beijing’s aggression is cool, Moscow’s is hot....Russia’s economic situation is much worse than China’s, and so the incentive of its leaders to dial up nationalism is that much greater. But the larger factor, one that Western elites have trouble understanding, cannot be quantified: A deeply embedded sense of historical insecurity makes Russian aggression crude, brazen, bloodthirsty and risk-prone. ....How does the U.S. build leverage on the ground, from the Baltic Sea to the Syrian desert, that puts America in a position where negotiations with Russia can make a strategic difference?....

For without the proper geopolitical context, the secretary of state is a missionary, not a diplomat. ...In the cyber domain the U.S. has not sufficiently drawn red lines. What kind of Russian hacking will result in either a proportionate, or even disproportionate, punitive response? The Obama administration seems to be proceeding ad hoc, as it has done with Russia policy in general. The next administration, along with projecting military force throughout the Russian near abroad, will have to project force in cyberspace, too.
Russia  Vladimir_Putin  Robert_Kaplan  threats  deterrence  nationalism  Baltics  NATO  U.S.foreign_policy  leverage  geopolitics  log_rolling  diplomacy  realism  balance_of_power  realpolitik  cyber_warfare  autocracies  insecurity  hacking  maritime  punitive  retribution  retaliation  South_China_Sea  ad_hoc  red_lines  China  autocrats 
october 2016 by jerryking
Donald Trump and the power of negative thinking - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Aug. 12, 2016

The United States, top dog for as long a s anyone can remember, is no exception. Every little while, Americans are seized by anxiety that they are being surpassed by people who are tougher (the Russians), cleverer (the Japanese) or harder-working (the Chinese).

Political thinkers call it declinism – the belief that your society is heading into decline – and the United States is suffering from a feverish bout of it right now. Declinism is helping to fuel the rise of Donald Trump, who whips up his cheering supporters with claims that other countries are eating America’s lunch.....Since the U.S. became the world’s pre-eminent power at the end of the WWII, it has been hit by periodic waves of insecurity. It happened when the Soviets beat them to the punch by putting the first satellite into space in 1957. It happened during the Vietnam War.

And it happened during the energy crisis of the late 1970s, when president Jimmy Carter warned that Americans were having a “crisis of the spirit.”....Although the rise of China presents another challenge, the U.S. still leads the world in military, economic and technological power. Its top universities crowd best-in-the-world lists. It cleans up at Nobel Prize time. American companies like Google, Apple and Amazon are tops in the tech field. It spends more on its armed forces than the next eight countries combined......Mr. Trump promises to put the country back on top. “We will have so much winning, if I get elected, that you may get bored of winning,” he said last September.

It’s a false hope. No country wins all the time. Even at the height of its power from 1945 to 1970, Joseph Nye reminds us, Washington failed to stop Moscow from getting nuclear weapons, Castro from taking control in Cuba and the Soviets from crushing rebellions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
false_hope  Donald_Trump  demagoguery  America_in_Decline?  Campaign_2016  Marcus_Gee  insecurity  superpowers  Joseph_Nye  negativity_bias 
august 2016 by jerryking
What Drives Success? - NYTimes.com
JAN. 25, 2014 | NYT | By AMY CHUA and JED RUBENFELD.

the strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success. The first is a superiority complex — a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite — insecurity, a feeling that you or what you’ve done is not good enough. The third is impulse control.

Any individual, from any background, can have what we call this Triple Package of traits. But research shows that some groups are instilling them more frequently than others, and that they are enjoying greater success.

It’s odd to think of people feeling simultaneously superior and insecure. Yet it’s precisely this unstable combination that generates drive: a chip on the shoulder, a goading need to prove oneself. Add impulse control — the ability to resist temptation — and the result is people who systematically sacrifice present gratification in pursuit of future attainment.

Ironically, each element of the Triple Package violates a core tenet of contemporary American thinking....The same factors that cause poverty — discrimination, prejudice, shrinking opportunity — can sap from a group the cultural forces that propel success. Once that happens, poverty becomes more entrenched. In these circumstances, it takes much more grit, more drive and perhaps a more exceptional individual to break out.
brainpower  willpower  poverty  movingonup  Amy_Chua  Mormons  ethnic_communities  immigrants  ksfs  self-discipline  perseverance  achievement_gaps  paranoia  Sonia_Sotomayor  overachievers  sacrifice  delayed_gratification  impulse_control  insecurity  exceptionality  superiority_complex  dual-consciousness  cultural_values  hardships 
january 2014 by jerryking
Finding Strength in Humility - NYTimes.com
November 15, 2013 | NYT | By TONY SCHWARTZ

When we identify with a particular strength, the opposite we’re avoiding is almost always negative. For confidence, it’s insecurity or self-doubt. But what happens when we overuse confidence? It turns into arrogance, hubris and even grandiosity. Any strength overused eventually becomes toxic. Excessive honesty becomes cruelty. Tenacity congeals into rigidity. Bias for action can overwhelm thoughtful reflection.

This is where positive opposites serve as a balancing and humanizing role. Humility comes from the Latin word “humilis,” which literally means “low.” It resides just a stone’s throw from “humiliation.” Sure enough, excessive humility eventually softens into obsequiousness and self-subjugation. False humility is even worse: a conscious manipulation covertly aimed at winning praise, often to compensate for unacknowledged feelings of inadequacy.

But genuine humility is a reflection of neither weakness nor insecurity. Instead, it implies a respectful appreciation of the strengths of others, a lack of personal pretension and a more relaxed sense of confidence that doesn’t require external recognition.

In a complex world that so plainly and painfully defies easy answers, humility is also an antidote to overconfidence. It gives leaders permission to accept and acknowledge their limitations, to learn from them and continue to grow and evolve.....I don’t need to say out loud that I value confidence and strength. I do need to demonstrate that I also value humility and vulnerability – to embrace these opposites. In the end, the less time we spend protecting our own value, the more time we can spend creating value in the world.
Managing_Your_Career  humility  opposing_actions  personality_types/traits  character_traits  strengths  contemplation  reflections  pairs  overconfidence  dual-consciousness  self-doubt  arrogance  hubris  grandiosity  confidence  insecurity  honesty  cruelty  tenacity  rigidity  toxic_behaviors 
november 2013 by jerryking
Free-Market Socialism - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
January 23, 2012

Adam Davidson’s illuminating article in the current issue of The Atlantic is important because it shows the interplay between economic forces (globalization and technology) and social forces (single parenthood and the breakdown of community support). Globalization and technological change increase the demands on workers; social decay makes it harder for them to meet those demands.

Across America, millions of mothers can’t rise because they don’t have adequate support systems as they try to improve their skills. Tens of millions of children have poor life chances because they grow up in disorganized environments that make it hard to acquire the social, organizational and educational skills they will need to become productive workers.

Tens of millions of men have marred life chances because schools are bad at educating boys, because they are not enmeshed in the long-term relationships that instill good habits and because insecure men do stupid and self-destructive things.

Over the past 40 years, women’s wages have risen sharply but, as Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney of the Hamilton Project point out, median incomes of men have dropped 28 percent and male labor force participation rates are down 16 percent. Next time somebody talks to you about wage stagnation, have them break it down by sex. It’s not only globalization and technological change causing this stagnation. It’s the deterioration of the moral and social landscape, especially for men.
children  David_Brooks  disorganization  equality_of_opportunity  family  family_breakdown  gender_gap  globalization  habits  insecurity  joblessness  Obama  relationships  self-destructive  single_parents  social_decay  social_fabric  support_systems  technological_change  underclass  wage_stagnation 
january 2012 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - In Search of Dignity
July 6, 2009 | New York Times | By DAVID BROOKS.

From JCK's notes in the late 1990s:
{"Individual expression" and "self esteem"}--can be a lot of B.S.
"feelings" can be a mask for selfishness
We live in a time when leaders and citizens have abdicated character, courage, & conscience.
There is no shame in our culture anymore.
Saving one or two stranded starfish, even if you can't save them all!
==========================================

there's a difference between being insecure and lacking self-esteem.
public_decorum  etiquette  popular_culture  personal_responsibility  David_Brooks  dignity  insecurity  personal_behaviour  bullshitake  self-esteem  selfishness 
july 2009 by jerryking

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