The Role of Wooden-Headness in the Government
In the course of human history, men have instituted governments that largely play a huge role in their lives. One may, like Tuchman, then argue that wooden-headness, as the source of self-deception, not only plays a large role in the government, but consequently also on the lives of its citizens, and all human affairs. Problems in the past that have been caused by wooden-headness include the Great Depression, the Cold War as a whole, and especially to a larger degree, the war in Vietnam. Prior to the Great Depression, the government practiced laissez faire economics, which lead to poor regulations of key industries and banks.The United States government as a whole had wished that the US would have returned to normalcy prior to 1929 and due to this, allowed overspeculation to coocur as to boost the economy over more, In reality, the booming economy of the 1920s relied too much on easy credit and with rampant speculation and overproduction, farmers already began to feel the incoming wave of economic devastation.
Nonetheless, the government ignored these facts. Once the Great Depression hit, President Hoover told the American people that it would soon be over and his wooden-headness and reluctance to create relief programs soon launched to affect all human affairs. People suffered, thus demonstrating Tuchman’s notion that this kind of stubborness creates self-deception which impacts everyone under the government. While some private organizations attempted to mititgate poverty, one can not doubt the effect of the stubborness/pride of the US government prior and initially during the beginning of the Great Depression. Furthermore, wooden-headness enjoyed a large role in the Cold War, affecting not only people, but leading to the creation of organizations, some of which continue to have an impact today. Self-deception coursed in the veins of the government after WWII, when the US began to perceive the USSR as a threat , not only to consolidate power in international affairs, but to also initiate an arms race as to avoid returning to a post-war depression.
With the Truman Doctrine, the US’s wishes to become the only superpower began by committing itself to an ideological war. The fight against communism often overlooked facts such as the fact that WWII completelu left the USSR wasted. An attack from the USSR was impossible, not inevitable. Nonetheless, the wooden-headness of anti-communist crusaders lead to the birth of the National Security Council and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Although NATO rose from the wooden-headness of democratic leaders, it continues to play a major role in human affairs as it continues to function.
Moreover, the war in Vietnam serves as a shining exemplar of Tuchman’s statement. While the United States wished for South Vietnam to become victorious and unite the country again. They sent aid to South Vietnam without realizing the facts. The Viet Cong increased in numbers, numbers which America largely underestimated. The US quickly bombed entire villages to often see one communist leading to poor relations with the villagers.
The US failed to respect the Vietnamese culture and by doing so, they lost the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese. The government’s wooden-headness lead to death and atrocities and the self-deceived US government continued until they realized that they might lose the war. The US government and Truman’s advisors misunderstood the war and as a result, they lost. The sheer numbers of death alones prove how wooden-headness plays a large role in the government and human affairs. In conclusion, people rightfully argue that wooden-headness leads to larger consequences for others.
The Great Depression, the Cold War, and the war in Vietnam shows that stubborness leads to self-deception, especially in the hands of the government. However, when an organization as large as the US government deceives itself, its impact has major implications for all human affairs.