April 26, 2007

Civil War Week Pt. 4


So, as I learn more and more about the tactical mistakes of the Civil War on both sides, it seems like besides Robert E. Lee, pretty much all of the generals were fairly incompetent, strategically speaking. This rings fairly close to our prior discussion of the seemingly small presidential pool from which we have to choose our next leader every election. Why is it so hard to get the best man for the job? I have to believe that there were much more capable generals in waiting, fighting in the battlefields, following the ridiculous orders of men they should be leading.

4 comments:

Steve said...

Could be any number of reasons. Maybe they want to pursue a career in the military, even if they would have been skilled at it. Maybe they didn't play the politics enough to get promoted quickly.

Or maybe the commanders that were in charge were simply an application of Peter's Principle and got promoted one level above their level of competence. The might have been a great mid-level commander out in the field and thus got promoted, but maybe simply didn't have any strategic thinking skills.

Sabai said...

That book, Blink, talked about that actually, now that I remember. They were trying to figure out it you could train people to think like Patton, and create instantaneous strategies in the blink of an eye.

They found out that the people closest to this mentality worked on the New York Stock Exchange. In fact, they played a simulated war game between soldiers and stockbrokers, and the stockbrokers cleaned up.

In this market system, there's no incentive for Patton to be a general.

lauren said...

people who deserve to have power over people don't want it...

Jarrett said...

I work on the NYSE, at least in a virtual sense. So keep that in mind when 2016 comes around.