Ignorance, stupidity, in great affairs of state is not something that is commonly cited. A certain political and historical correctlness requires us to assign some measure of purpose, of rationality, even where, all to obviously, it does not exist. Nonetheless one cannot look with detachment on the Great War (and also its aftermath) without thought as to the mental insularity and defectiveness of those involved and responsible.
Thus wrote John Kenneth Galbraith in his 1994 book A Journey Through Economic Time.
Today he celebrates his 97th birthday. Born in Ontario, Canada, in 1908, he has been one of the keenest observers of the 20th century. A profile the Guardian did in April 2002 called him the last of the old-style liberals. Continue reading