ROBERT WRIGHT

Crisis, What Crisis?

More history, less hysteria

Destined for War

One of the most pernicious conceits of our intellectual life is not merely that we believe we can know the future but that, as a consequence, we must dedicate ourselves to radically retooling the present.  Anna Maria Tremonti's dire chat this morning with Harvard political scientist Graham Allison attests to the syndrome.  Allison is promoting his new book on Chinese-American relations, Destined for War.  You can guess what gloomy prognostications lie within.  Allison is a great fan of Thucydides, which is more than a little ironic.  For it was Thucydides who first warned us about "the undefined fear of this unknown future."