An Inquiry into the Unwisdom in Government
Govern, a word all people want the power to use, but does anyone actually do the right thing. According to Barbara W. Tuchman in her essay "An Inquiry into the Persistence of Unwisdom in Government," the people in government make the wrong decisions by assessing situations incorrectly. In this essay Tuchman's main purpose is to show the distortion of government.
Tuchman first uses the example of the French War in which at one point all the soldiers were placed at one part of the country leaving another wide-open to invasion only because someone "thought" the Germans would never choose a route such as that. In the end, the Germans did use that route which hurt the French and extended a war much longer than actually needed. Tuchman feels that the French incorrectly assessed the situation of the Germans invading the country. Instead, the soldiers should have remained in the original stations and then, there would have been less of a chance of the Germans invading rather than what actually happened. Another example of hard-headedness is a country where a ruler can do nothing except rely on the thoughts of God in order to make a decision in the country. In that instance she feels that the ruler should be able to make some of his own decisions rather than always wait for an answer. After all, he should be leading the country with his own wisdom rather than that of a higher being.
Another major argument Tuchman makes in her essay is people making the choice between freedom and order. She uses the Boston Tea Party as an example of people taking the freedom and order into their own hands. The people did not want the tax on tea so they expressed their freedom to not purchase the tea, and when the British got upset they took order into their own hands by destroying the tea. Another example is Joan of Arc, even during the fifteenth century; a woman could not stand what was going on with the government. She took a stand and...
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