Earlier in the piece I affirm your point: We’ve done, and continue to do, the same sort of thing.

There are two ways to understand scandal. The first is relative to a state’s own interests. In that case Russian meddling is a scandal from our perspective, but not worrisome from Russia’s perspective. And vice versa: When we do it to them, they see it as a scandal, whereas we just think it is justified by our pursuit of national interests.

We could also look at “scandal” as some kind of objectively bad scenario. If we used this approach, a case of unwanted meddling into the affairs of a rival state wouldn’t be scandalous, perhaps, unless the ulterior aims were themselves nefarious or bad. Under this conception, some of our meddling has been scandalous (e.g. when it has been motivated by enriching the elite) and some of it hasn’t (e.g. when we have attempted to push back against the U.S.S.R. in the interests of stopping the spread of global communism).

Editor in Chief of Arc Digital

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