In a nutshell

A caricature, not entirely false:
Liberals don’t know when to use violence; conservatives don’t know when to stop.

In reacting to the apparent pullback in Fallujah, Glenn Reynolds, it seems to me, sums up the basic instinctual difference between right and left on foreign policy:

But in my lifetime, at least, the United States has generally erred by not being violent enough, rather than by being too brutal.

The besetting sin of liberalism is the refusal to learn the Machiavellian lesson that shedding some blood can, in some circumstances, reduce the total amout of blood shed. The besetting sin of conservatism is its deep belief that when brute force fails, you probably aren’t using enough.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

2 thoughts on “In a nutshell”

  1. Brutal Measures

    Mark Kleiman comments:In reacting to the apparent pullback in Fallujah, Glenn Reynolds, it seems to me, sums up the basic instinctual difference between right and left on foreign policy. But in my lifetime, at least, the United States has generally…

  2. We Interrupt This Blog for a Moment of Hypermorality…

    [Or: I don't care what you're willing to do to help someone if you think it'll save you. I want to know what you're willing to do when you think it'll damn you.] As with so much else in the

Comments are closed.