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This chapter argues that a myriad of different types of factors came together, to some degree by accident, to result in the Cold War. It sketches out the factors that are essential to the understanding of what results as the Cold War. The factors leading to and shaping the Cold War are: a wide range of developments, often ignored, in United States (US) domestic politics; a set of bureaucratic dynamics both in the US and the USSR; internationally, a set of understandable perceptions of the other; and a set of historical contingencies. Each factor is both political and conceptual. They are domestic; they are international; they are bureaucratic; they are technical; they are matters of historical accident. The chapter then turns to the interplay of these factors with the international situation.
In this chapter, the author begins with Plato's Symposium and recalls a passage from Pindar, three-fourths of which formed Nietzsche's favorite encomium. On Saturday night at the cinema, one can learn such from comedy as well as from tragedy. The author rehearses what Mr. Stanley Cavell thinks the place of film in people's lives should or can be. Film can be a key conveyor of both the individual and political perfectionism that Cavell finds at the center of his thought. Perfectionism thinks that people can learn - only a piece at a time - that what a transformation would make of us is a bit more of what it is ours to be. Mr. Cavell calls this "philosophy" or "the education of grown-ups.".