Means and Ends

More
The amount of fail that led us into Iraq is still amazing. And the failure keeps coming. There is something poetic in the fact that all our advanced weaponry, all our high technology, interconnectedness and instant pleasures can not cure us of our humanity. We can bug a man's cell-phone, but can't stop ourselves from hearing what we'd like. 

Surely there are those, watching the events spreading across the Middle East, who will laud themselves as vindicated. It's more likely that they never saw themselves as needing vindication from the start. I don't know. I don't think ends and means are truly separable. The means you employ are often a statement about your true, unstated, ends.


Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Ghost Trains of America

Can a band of locomotive experts save vintage railcars from ruin?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Video

How Is Social Media Changing Journalism?

How new platforms are transforming radio, TV, print, and digital

Video

The Place Where Silent Movies Sing

How an antique, wind-powered pipe organ brings films to life

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Global

From This Author

Just In