Modern isolationists may sound just like Schwellenbach [and Borah], but they come from several different angles.
Some of them simply and straightforwardly agree that war never works: they are either uninformed or deliberately lying.
But futility is still our nemesis. A bizarrely mismanaged war still generates a fully understandable sense of futility in Americans. We see a mismanaged war that accomplishes nothing, and all of our politicians and enemy-controlled journalists tell us this is what a "hard-fought war" looks like. Our politicians give us only two alternatives: continue to "fight hard", or surrender now.
And the sense of futility is so powerful that it overwhelms even those of us who know better.
We know now that three choices are available: Fight fiercely and competently, fight softly and weakly, or surrender. Roosevelt, Wilson, Chamberlain.
Bush and the 'R' brand politicians are doing Wilson, while trying to fool us into thinking that they are doing Roosevelt. The 'D' brand politicians still haven't sorted out their position; a few are honestly talking surrender for the wrong reasons, but most are just plain befuddled.
Schwellenbach's sense of futility was perfectly simple and perfectly logical in 1938, given what he knew. Our futility comes from a different source. We have data that he didn't have and couldn't foresee, but we also know that our leaders refuse to act on the data. The path to success is known and available, but our leaders refuse to follow it. So our fatalism is deeper and more frustrating.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.