RECOMMENDED READING: THE TWO-PARTER DUO
Dan of tdaxp in his two-part response to Chirol’s post on the sick man is Europe:
Part I: 4GW Tactic: Love Your Enemy As You Would Have Him Love You
Part II: Caiaphas and Diocletian Did Know Better
First, I enjoyed seeing Dan present the early Christian fathers as the masterminds of concerted, three century long, 4GW attack on the Roman Empire. Dan missed his calling by not majoring in History.
In Part II, Dan has a passage toward which I would like to draw particular attention:
“But Diocletian was not a cruel man. He was an autodidact, a world-system thinker, and a genius. He separated the Roman foreign policy system into what we would call a “Department of Defense” and a “Department of State. He further subdivided DOD into an “Army” and “National Guard.” He defined a system of executive political appointees that would allow for Constitutional succession of Emperors for the first time in history. When his economic reforms caused rapid inflation, he changed them so they wouldn’t. Diocletian was a very intelligent man able to learn from mistakes. Diocletian was smart man. He wanted Christians dead.”
An interesting take on the great Emperor, though one not entirely wrong if you take ” genius” to mean a world-historical visionary comparable to Mao ZeDong or Charles V. Diocletian’s political reforms might have worked for a time had his handpicked colleagues ( Augustii and Casearii ) proved more reliable. Ultimately though, Diocletian needed a more sophisticated and timely channel of communication to the senior Emperor – say a telegraph – than the Roman world possessed in order to prevent the division of government responsibilities from degenerating into simple disunity.
Of Diocletian’s economic reforms, the less said the better.
The Armchair Generalist has completed a two-part review of The Pentagon’s New Map:
Part I. and Part II.
J. has done a nice job here. Instead of doing the usual, comprehensive essay for/against PNM format, instead J. pulled out some key paragraphs and wrote some reflections. The virtue here is that the focus remains on the actual ideas discussed in the book by Dr. Barnett and not some cockeyed straw man version cooked up by some disgruntled assistant professor. I also like the fact that J., like Dan of tdaxp, really understood the virtues of horizontal thinking and that the book had relevance to J.’s own military experience.
That’s it !