The Messy World and Blackwater

Rob Paterson, a libertarian whose “greatest joy” is his work in public TV and radio, blogs about why he decided to help Blackwater.

Our world does not work any more and I think that deep down we all know this. Surely this must be someone’s fault?

My bottom line is that I believe that Blackwater has become the Scapegoat for all of this unease and fear.

So finally this is why I choose to help.

Here’s what he sees as the core of the problem.

I have a vision of how the world is today that I call “The Messy World”. In the Messy World, our large institutions in the west can no longer serve those that they purport to serve. Health, Education, Police – even the military itself that plans to fight the Russians or China in WWIII but finds itself fighting insurgents. Our institutions have become the core problem of our society. They consume vast resources and cannot do their job. This is deeply unsettling for all of us that have put our trust in them. A consequence is that we increasingly seek to pay others to do their job. While we don’t mind paying doctors or teachers or security guards, we have a profound problem with paying soldiers.

Sounds a lot like John Robb’s hollowed-out state, doesn’t it? As governments increasingly become unable to perform their given tasks, those tasks will be done by third parties. This trend, given the decentralized coming world, is probably irreversible. Long term, decentralization is a good thing, but getting there will be chaotic and, well, messy.

I think that the facts – such as they are – mean nothing. Something else is going on. This is no debate. Debate is not allowed. Facts are ignored. Interests are ignored. We don’t want to know the facts.

This could also easily apply to the current presidential race, with opposing sides screeching at each other, caring little if at all for actual truth.

Read his post, it’s long, thoughtful, and not PR blather. The first thing he did was set up a blog so Blackwater personnel could tell their own story in their own words, a huge and probably scary step for a “Navy Seal/Special Forces culture that never talks.” This, he hopes, will get some actual communication going, rather than just more rage storms.


  1. How kind of you to post like this. I have been a bit stunned by many of the reactions to trying to offer a debate. So many only wish to rant.

    I agree with you that this leads to a much bigger issue than BW – how can a democracy function when there is no desire to look at what is really going on?

    I fear that much of what is vital to our future – when and how we go to war, energy, education, healthcare etc are caught up in competing dogmas lerading to paralysis.

    The full bill will come due on all of these related issues and then I wonder, will it be too late?

  2. Yeah, it’s the I’m-right-so-you-must-be-wrong ethos.

    Revolution in JesusLand, which tracks highly progressive parts of the evangelical community blogs about much the same thing.

    “Brian McLaren attempts intelligent dialog with secular left; secular left responds with snarky insults”

    Somehow we need to get past all of this..

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