It is good to see someone researching ways to combat group think with technology.
"We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.
"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."
"There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."
"Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
“The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.”
One thing I recall vividly from my college macroeconomics course was the phrase "ceteris paribus" - all things being equal. While many economic theories are logically sound "ceteris paribus" the real world is not and never will be "ceteris paribus". In the real world jobless, poverty stricken, hopeless people do not disappear into the ether once they drop off a ledger. They do whatever animal instinct it takes to survive: they commit crimes, they revolt, they support any cockamamie cause that gives them the illusion of survival or restoration of better times. Does anyone really want to repeat the mistakes of the first half of the last century where debt, specifically war debt, plunged the planet into economic depression and chaos resulting in global world war? Economic policy should be set in a holistic fashion concerned with the long term interests of all participants, not just those the current market deems leaders.
Also remember economists are by no means immune from the same market forces that they study. How many economists are so devoted to their science that they would be willing to betray the the immediate interests of the their employer, typically governments or large corporate entities, if the science dictated it?
Does anyone really belive Assad would want to drag the US, the greatest military in history, into his war with a chemical weapons attack? He already has Russian support and the war is a stalemate in his favor. How many mideast wars does the US have to engage in before people wake up to the reality that we fight for empire and not in defense of our country?
"If there be one principle more deeply rooted than any other in the mind of every American it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest." --Thomas Jefferson