Zbigniew Brzezinski's on The Daily Show in 2007
Zbigniew Brzezinski’s on The Daily Show in 2007

Unfortunately as much as I love Wikipedia and use it daily, I am finding their trigger happy approach to deleting articles (or should I say shooting articles?) before they can be thoroughly fleshed out because a select group of people question it’s notability is becoming difficult to cope with.

For example, this morning in class I was telling someone about "Manichaean paranoia", the very apt term Zbigniew Brzezinski coined when he appeared on The Daily Show a couple of years ago to describe the actions of George W. Bush. He defined it by saying Bush believed that because he was morally superior to the terrorists, it gave him permission to perform immoral acts. One could draw parallels here to Israel’s recent actions in the Gaza Strip too for example.

ASIDE: Crooks and Liars has the video of Zbigniew Brzezinski’s appearance on The Daily Show you can download and watch.

Icon from the Tango Desktop ProjectI had my machine open so I fired up Wikipedia and attempted to find the page I had remembered reading before… but it was completely gone. Bummer :-(.

I clearly don’t have an audience as big as Wikipedia’s, but I feel this article must be preserved. If anything else, by putting it here I can link back to it in the future instead of linking to Wikipedia.

Manichaean paranoia is a rhetorical phrase used in one television show by the American politician Zbigniew Brzezinski to describe the morals of the George W. Bush presidency. […]

In the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Brzezinski "defines" the phrase thusly:

the notion that somehow or other he’s [former president George W. Bush] leading the forces of good against the empire of evil, the notion that somehow or other in that setting, the fact that we are morally superior justifies us committing immoral acts

and otherwise pleads to the audience’s education to accept this phrase as valid. [1]

The article then started to discuss how different religious people feel they have moral superiority over others and attempt to impose themselves, but while I think that’s true (with dangerous consequences) I don’t think that was really what Brzezinski was referring to. Perhaps the debate over this part of the article was what got it deleted.

In the meantime, feel free to use the term "Manichaean paranoia"… let’s get it out there!