Beyond the Cusp

September 27, 2016

Nation State or International Integration

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The election this fall is not about Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Taliban, or other security. It will not be about most of the items the media is talking about. What it is about is the economy, jobs, employment, wages, and everything about the economy but not in the obvious ways being discussed. Where will this next Presidency balance? The main item is which way does it benefit the United States most, continuing internationalism or returning to nationalism.

 

The media and most politicians are pushing this global economy, global integration, global cooperation, global solutions while hiding a dirty little secret, they are selling global as the solution while having the United States and the advanced nations pay for everything while equalizing the global playing field, whatever that means. We had a debate last night and we heard more of the same. Clinton claimed more globalism and taxes on the rich and Trump tried and may have meant to sound like Reagan. What they were not telling the people is that Clinton was using the same internationalism where the world matters more than the United States so in order to equalize the world the United States and the advanced world has to bleed to allow the rest of the world to catch up and then all will be well and how wonderful the world can be. Trump is actually claiming that every nation take their own and put them first and attempt to allow the nations who are leading the world to continue to be the leaders and then assist other nations in making gains and follow and give them access to advances as they are able to implement these advances. So, which way will work best. That depends on which nations one decides should be permitted to advance their own interests than to share with the world.

 

Internationalism is wonderful if your country is on the receiving end and not so wonderful if you are being bled to bring the other nations up to their level. The problem with that are many of these nations that are presumably being given advances in order to raise them to the same level are led by dictators who are enriching themselves and not making their nations any closer to the advanced world as that does not directly benefit them. What these dictators are not being intelligent about is that had they advanced their nation they would have enriched themselves in the process. They are not even thinking nationally rather than internationally. Internationally is a recipe for disaster as it inhibits the leaders from leading and demands that the least efficient be granted the largess while the leaders are placed in financial straight-jackets. Internationalists place a stop sign where all nations must park their own business and park their nation by the side of the highway and wait for the rest of the world to reach an equal position. The problem is that many of these nations, which they are waiting for to reach the same point, are themselves broken and not gaining and will never catch up as they are not even making any effort to reach the next level. Internationalism believes that making all nations equal will solve the world’s problems and inequalities, despite it not ever bringing the rest of the nations to first world status.

 

 

World Map with Borders Deemphasized

World Map with Borders Deemphasized

 

Nationalism is the opposite view which allows each nation to advance at their own rate and still demands that the first world assist the developing nation but does not demand they try to make equal those nations so dysfunctional that they are the closest thing to an economic black hole as can be found. Nationalism rewards each nation for their efforts and allows each nation to gain at their own speed. Allowing the leaders to lead gives other nations a target and proven path they can emulate but without national gain by the wealthiest nations to blaze the trail for the others to follow. The basis for nationalism is it allows each nation to set their own monetary policies and is against unifying monetary policies as such a system is flawed and destroys the lesser productive nations which has been proven by the European Union Euro which has benefited Germany while leaving Greece behind. Nationalism allows each country to do the best for their own people and society. That does not mean that nations which are developing should not be aided and it is in the interest of the most advanced nations to assist those nations who are developing and making the right choices and allowing them to benefit from the experiences of those nations who have traveled those roads before them. But those nations which are completely dysfunctional cannot be assisted as long as their governance is broken and until the nation decides to change their dysfunctions there is no reason to throw good money after bad.

 

Internationalism is a wonderful, feel-good policy filled of kind words and low on actual results. Internationalism demands that all nations be made to give according to their ability and the funds are granted to countries according to their needs. Internationalism demands open borders allowing free immigration with no limits or criminal and other background checks or other limits or restrictions. The policies sound as if they will allow all nations equal opportunities in word while defining this policy as bringing all nations up to the same level and making things fair for all nations. The truth is that this is accomplished by tearing down the greater nations while benefitting some of the least deserving nations who are corrupt criminal enterprises more than they are actual functional nations. Rewarding the worst while impeding the best prevents progress and will constantly restrict progress and the discoveries of new technologies and new systems which would result in assisting those nations seeking a better future to implement the proven methods. To get an idea on the difficulties caused by internationalism there is a perfect example which we can observe, the European Union. How has that equal currency been working for over half of Europe who are not Germany or Britain but are Greece, Spain, Italy and even France and many of the former Warsaw Nations. The common currency has taken the small differences of economic production where the agrarian economies which work on a different production level having to survive with the same policies of the industrial and other highly developed nations.

 

World Map and Relative Wealth of Nations

World Map and Relative Wealth of Nations

 

Permitting each nation to perform at their highest level and to their full potential will set target paths for other nation to follow along the proven road set by the highest performing nations. Progress is the fuel that raises all nations in turn. Progress provides the test paths and allows developing nations to benefit from their more advanced nations but only when they decide to advance. No nation could be forced to grow their economy and advance their national infrastructure and when a nation refuses to advance itself then forcing the rest of the world to wait for such a nation to reach an equative level is ridiculous and counterproductive. Internationalism is wonderful idea if it could function as promised. Nationalism is the dirty sounding word which is accused of being selfish because it benefits the wealthy nations and prevents developing nations from ever reaching the top level. The obvious fault is that accusation is completely false. If nationalism prevented up and coming nations from ever becoming the top nations were true then China would have ruled the world, Spain would be a leading nation, Greece would be the top nation in Europe, Egypt would be the most advanced nation in construction and engineering, Persia would still control East-West trade routes, Portugal would be a great power with colonies throughout the world, and the Hittites would be the great power in the norther worlds of Europe through to Turkey. Top nations change and have changed throughout the history of the world while nationalism was the rule of the world. Internationalism has caused massive stagnation as the world as a whole is not permitted to advance because the leading nations are held back presumably for the benefit of the lesser nations. This will always be a supported philosophy as there will always be more developing and undeveloped nations than leading nations as only a few nations will be in the top ten percent, which is why it is referred to as the top ten percent. Internationalism has been working so well over the past twenty to thirty years since 1979 while the rest of history was pathetic and without economic advancement advances by all nations and we are still using salt as a currency, aren’t we? The progress from salt as money to salt as something on almost every dinner table was a result from nationalism, not internationalism.

 

Compare the two with eyes open and the preferable form, open competition or controlled advancement, the choice could provide opportunity or a slow decadence and eventual decimation. Internationalism is welfare on an international scale much in the form of the Soviet Union and the initial Plymouth Rock Colony which would have starved if not for the Native Americans who grew and hunted for surplus for the winter and had sufficient to teach and feed the Pilgrims. After that experience of all get all they need, while most gave nothing in effort, they introduced a new program where each family kept a percentage of what they grew and the remainder was shared, the amounts of food skyrocketed. That is the balance which nationalism can produce, the most advanced achieve at their highest level and those developing nations learn from those leaders and in time some will replace them as they eventually falter. That is the secret of effort based economies, the people or nations at the top changes with time when another makes decisions which make them even more profitable as the other sinks under likely bureaucratic waste. You decide.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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September 2, 2016

Arrow of History or Circle of Reality or Neither

 

There are presumably two versions of the path of human history; one is based on the Arrow of History and the other is Circular Path of History. The former is the idealist who believes that history can be corrected and placed on a path to a more perfect reality where governance is taken from its Hobbesian State on to the targeted perfected society. The latter is the realist camp where history has been and will continue to revolve through the same errors, fixes and other acts and reactions repeated adinfinitum. One can read how this was applied by President Obama as he went from his initial idealist views and eventually matured into a realist view according to Charles Krauthammer.

 

The liberal or idealist versions of history and governance, in theory, result in targeting treaties, trade agreements, interconnectivity, United Nations governance overview and other Universalist actions by which undesirable actions such as aggressive conquests of territories is mediated or prevented by a form of semi-formed morass of soft glue. This version spends little if any capital to adjust individual governance and instead seeks to restrain all governance limiting them to affecting solely within their borders and prevented from any external interaction to channels approved and writ large in treaties and trade pacts. These are the dreamers who view an eventual world governance forming some utopian eventuality without repeating the same mistakes repeatedly.

 

The Conservative or realist versions of history and governance, in theory, aims at improving individual governance in order to prevent the aggressions and other disruptive effects of the cycle of history. Their view has used the observation that democracies seldom go to war with their adversaries and are more likely to mitigate differences through peaceful means. They believe that the path to nirvana must pass through democratization of governances worldwide using nation-building as their main tool. This method has the drawback that it requires a long and possible indefinite involvement of troops, advisors and security personnel who will be required to prevent any challenge outside of elections. Even changes affected through elections may still require intervention by this realist view in order to prevent any drifting into a position where the governance becomes established and uncontested such as would have occurred in Egypt had the Muslim Brotherhood remained the elected power in Egypt as this would have resulted in their taking the position of approving access to the ballot. This was prevented by an almost as dangerous event where the military removed the Muslim Brotherhood governance and the Commander of the Army, General Sisi, came to power as the newly elected President. This government will also require watching to assure that the Presidency does not simply become the highest position of the military always filled by the former Commanding General. When and if President Sisi either is not a candidate or is defeated, the next President and their history will tell us much about if Egypt has become a true democracy and whether it will long remain one, free of either straight and enforced through arms dictatorship or a Muslim Brotherhood theocracy where the democratic voting is but a fig leaf covering the reality beneath.

 

Time’s Strings Eternally Slipping Away Time’s Springs Clocking Gears Forward Time Passing Second by Second Forever  Minute by Minute and Hour by Hour Days Moving Always Onward

Time’s Strings Eternally Slipping Away
Time’s Springs Clocking Gears Forward
Time Passing Second by Second Forever
Minute by Minute and Hour by Hour
Days Moving Always Onward

 

One unique democracy which was enforced by the military which was quite unique was the governance of Turkey as designed by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk after the fall of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. This democratic governance was assured by the military where they were to guard against a religious takeover of the government. There were a number of military interventions and each resulted in a special election held within a relatively short period and Turkey returned to its democratic constitution, the same constitution which charged the military with the power of preserving the democratic nature of Turkey. Around 2005 the military in Turkey had planned to replace the government as they had decided that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had established himself as a permanent religious ruler over Turkey and that he had rigged future elections to preserve his rule. As Turkey was also seeking entry into the European Union, something which would never come to be no matter what Turkey would do to please the Europeans, and the leadership of the European Union, numerous European governments all advised the Turkish military to stand down and President Bush threatened an end of American aid to Turkey and questioned their continued membership in NATO should the military replace the government even with their holding new special elections within ninety days thus Recep Tayyip Erdoğan remained in power, the military went through a shake-up replacing every general who might stand against Erdogan with a cherry picked general and the courts were restructured and Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) have held power even to the point of forcing new elections when after a regular election the AKP did not hold a majority of the Ministerships and between the two elections there were many incidents which were suspicious. Thus dies a democracy.

 

We have a slightly different view of the paths of history and it combines the two varieties, it takes the circular path of the realists and we will add to it the arrow of history of the idealists and makes a spiral of history. Let us try and sort this out and explain. Let us go back in ye old way-back machine to the time of the biblical character of Abraham. Before Abraham there was human sacrifice where the lame, the weak, the unproductive, the young and the old were routinely removed through human sacrifice. Enemies taken prisoner were either worked to death, abused in all manners of degradations including physical, sexual and demeaned eventually being used in human sacrifice. Some societies’ members of the society would compete to become such a sacrifice as it was viewed as an honor to be sacrificed for the good of the rest. With the intervention of the sacrificing of Isaak, humanity took a step away from its violent and abhorrent past towards what is today viewed as civilized behavior. This was the arrow of history moving the circle such that it would continue to spiral until almost no society used human sacrifice as a set practice.

 

Later there was another firing of the arrow and pushing the spiral along with the handing down of the Law at Mount Sinai. What is not often thought about was that the Torah, the Five Books of Moses, came along with the Ten Commandments and the guide to good governance and the first set of laws defining human rights. The concept that any ruler is not to gather great wealth in horses, cattle, gold, currency or possessions as well as tasked to write their own Torah, book for book, chapter by chapter, paragraph for paragraph, sentence for sentence, word for word and letter for letter perfect, free of any mistake even in the form of the individual letter and their formation is written in Torah. Every letter started with the top which was always the letter Yudh and from that the rest of the letter is formed. There were laws of property and ownership, recompense for loss of property. The guidance for judgeship and the application of the law free from influence of wealth or poverty, high position or beggar or any other difference making reference for the application of the law to be blind to all but the law. Further, the society was instructed to treat the stranger with respect, those taken in war were to be granted decent respect and slaves had rights to decent treatment and being well cared for. These and many other laws which we retain today in many Western lands were all found within Torah with many in Deuteronomy.

 

Life continued and governments came to try new forms with the noted advancing by the Greeks with a Republic. This form of government almost died before the Persian Empire but was quite possibly preserved by the Spartans at Thermopylae in a land and sea battle which is still studied by modern armies in their military colleges. The arrow widened the spiral for a period and the spiral turns anew. Religious tyranny would threaten the spiral again with the fall of the Roman Empire and later the Byzantine Empire and the threat of Islamic religious tyranny rolling through Europe destroying Christianity and rule of the people. Charles the Hammer Martel prevented further invasion of Europe from out of the west at the Battle of Tours in 732AD. On the eastern front in Europe the advance of the Ottoman Empire was turned back twice at Vienna. The initial battle was the Siege of Vienna of 1529 where the Ottomans captured Vienna and after rested only to retreat subsequently as this was the Ottoman Empire’s high water mark. This assault was led by Suleiman the Magnificent. The second Siege of Vienna was in 1683 beginning on September 12 by Kara Mustafa leading a force of 150,000. King John III Sobieski of Poland broke the siege after about two months and this marked the end of threats from the Ottoman Empire which collapsed after World War I.

 

Scientific discoveries and philosophical and political progress has slowly over time made for what we consider to be a more civil and peaceful society though the deaths due to war increased century to century or even often decade to decade until the dropping of two bombs, one on Hiroshima and the next on Nagasaki and warfare has become a far more dangerous endeavor and thus became something fought solely in far more limited manner. This will remain a great push forward by the arrow by necessity and fears of complete annihilation. This fear might continue indefinitely or some nation may decide to use nuclear weapons, perhaps even the most damaging and effective city killing thermonuclear device leading to an ever widening nuclear meltdown of societies possibly leading to a new dark age where the spiral of history could go through a devastating recoil very much like the loosing of a stretched coiled spring. Whether such has happened before in history is a question for which we have no definitive answer.

 

The hope is that the spiral will continue to move mankind into a more perfect society where individual liberties and freedoms are protected and even advanced. The threat of an unwinding of the coil taking mankind back to a tribal uncivil set of brutal societies where tribe fights tribe for limited wealth and resources is ever present. The greater the coils spread and stretch separating one modern society compared to another modern society, there is a tension which will always threaten to recompress the spiral forcing the coils to spring backwards undoing much of what has been invested in stretching the spiral straining it as if a coiled spring. This is why we need to employ both versions of changing history for the better, invest in a tangle of treaties, trade deals, international agreements and other entanglements while also seeking to perfect society by aiming to expand democratic rule and human rights. These two forces must be combined with the third force which defines the separation of the individual coils of the spiral, the advancement of the human individual. That is the necessary change, the only true and real advancement, the improvement of the individual and their rights and standing as equals. Making merit, action and accomplishment, resulting from education, intelligence and ability, as the determining of one’s standing and wealth within the society and allowing for every individual to possess the power and ability to advance and achieve position to the best of their abilities and efforts is the basis of modern society and need be spread throughout the world if it is to remain so.

 

The improvement of the individual is the only guarantor of advancement thus one of the most important items which must be achieved is the enlightenment of the individual and the freeing of all people as individuals and given the potential for advancement through actions and abilities. That is where the challenge is situated in the world today. In too many places the people are oppressed and kept all but enslaved by a small number of elitists. Elitism is the enemy of actual progress and must be avoided and defeated and replaced with a society structure which values the individual and desires of the individual to be the engine for advancement of the society and for the greater good of the entirety of society instead of enriching only the few. Humankind since the earliest days of human sacrifice has progressed and if one were to make a comparison then humankind has advanced from the tribal stage similar to baboons who attack other tribes fiercely without mercy to a stage of chimpanzees who stake an area and do not impinge on their neighbor unless in a form of actual warfare and are hopefully to be able to reach the point where our society is more similar to the Bonobo communities which are peace-loving and generally egalitarian. That is a crude comparison but it is also a fairly symbolic view of the potentials of our simian predecessors whose societies resided with very different resources and competition for these resources where they either competed for every morsel, competed to protect their area, their zone or they shared and lived with peace and where any differences are settled without undue violence. The problem is we are at a cringe-worthy point in human history where either great strides are right before us or a great decompression forcing a recoiling of the spiral and a loss of advancements to a more primitive place where the individual has no real rights and the few stand over their perceived lessors. The fall of the society which had progressed from Abraham through Moses, the Greeks, Romans, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, the Information Age and should we be fortunate, the Biologic Advancement and virtual immortality bringing the “Age of Aquarius,” at any point could destroy almost all progress and reset the entire string.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 2, 2014

The World at a Pivot Between Tribalism and Modern Societal Melding

The Roman Empire during its robust youth had one overriding set of principles which it imposed and impressed upon every society they subsumed into their realm. Once the Roman conquest eclipsed your borders you would be permitted to retain only those parts of your culture with which Rome itself saw as unthreatening to their ideas and ideals for societal progressiveness. Rome brought modernity to every part of their empire enriching those lands with sanitation and trade access never thought of before their arrival. They brought Roman roads, Roman aqueducts, Roman sanitation, Roman baths and probably most important, Roman law and order. The one thing Rome did not countenance was the practice of tribalism. Once a part of Rome you were to act Roman, period. It was the eventual loss of this one crucial demand that likely led as much to the fall of the Roman Empire as all of the other factors combined. It took centuries but in the final measure the Roman Empire fell to tribal conquerors largely because they accepted these tribal people into their midst largely to perform the tasks that Romans considered below their status to perform. This eventually even included guarding their borders which resulted in arming these tribal members hired to guard Rome’s borders with Roman weaponry and armor which they stole and with which they armed their tribesmen with these weapons which they used in their plunder of the last remnants of the Roman Empire.

Today the Western world is inviting in tribal peoples from the underdeveloped world to fill the positions which there are either too few people to fill the positions due to shrinking populations or to do the jobs Westerners just won’t do. Many of the tribal people refuse to meld their ways into the fabric of Western society and instead they grow their own tribal cutout area where they apply their own laws and practices and Westerners loathe treading. Still, the Western nations continue to permit more and more of these very people who refuse to adopt Western ways and whose most ardent leadership have oft threatened to transform and change their host society forcing it to adopt their mannerisms and culture. This can only result in one of two endings, the death of Western culture or a bloodbath where only one side will prevail. Either way the continuation of Western culture is dearly threatened.

There exist a few sins from the past which also exacerbate many areas of the underdeveloped world which can be laid at the feet of the Western world and particularly the Europeans. The complaint by ISIS against the Sykes-Picot Agreement and the borders drawn up by the victorious allies after World War I and the borders imposed across continents as the age of colonialism ended and the mostly European nations retreated from their colonies granting them freedom which only resulted in tribal clashes causing civil war and strife in nation after nation is one problem which the West must recognize and now is as good a time to admit the failure of those false borders and to reach agreements to draw national borders along lines which represent the realities on the ground. This will not serve to resolve every problem area nor will it bring every tribal conflict to an end, but it may be a first step to correcting a grievous harm caused in the name of facilitating Western dominance into the future.

Setting more homogenous borders is simply the first step. The next step is to work towards encouraging tribal peoples to accept a more egalitarian view of humankind and finding paths which encourage cooperation over conflicts. This can be encouraged further by introducing modern manufacturing, advanced agricultural methods and bringing modern medicine and hygiene including water treatment, waste disposal, and other necessities for large cities and a longer and healthier life. There is the necessity of providing a promise of a better future in order to encourage change and progress towards a more integrated world where cooperation replaces altercation and progress pushes off the disease and malnutrition which is so often the result of a backward and unmodern society. This will take a degree of sacrifice and altruism from the Western nations but considering the alternatives of conflict and continued hatreds, disruptions which threaten everyone.

Tribalism is not exclusive to the third and developing worlds, it is also appearing within the Western world. There are a number of peoples who desire to split from the nation which they regard as having illegally incorporated their lands and in some cases split their lands between two nations believing that this crime was perpetrated for the most nefarious of reasons, to weaken their ability to rise up and claim back their independence. These complaints need to be addressed and possibly in some cases acted upon to relieve the tensions and in the name of future cooperation. Should any of these claims be realized, the new entity must also realize that they owe their previous nation or nations a degree of loyalty and cooperation in order to allow for some compensatory rehabilitation and mending between and for both peoples. Perhaps in many cases there could be an arrangement granting a degree of autonomy without necessitating an actual breakup of existing states when the aggrieved entity exists within one national boundary. In the cases where arbitrary boundaries have resulted in forming states where civil unrest and internal strife has resulted and become a normal state, then there should be a redrawing of entire regions with the consultation of the chosen leadership of the respective peoples. The real threat and difficulty will be dealing with often dictatorial leaders who, along with military consisting of a loyal minority who control through force of arms, will refuse to surrender and allow these changes. There will need to be some compensatory alternative offer to guarantee their safety and the continued safety of their supporters while still moving forward. The alternative is too forbiddingly dangerous to simply allow the future to decide these things simply through force of arms and increasing terrorism and hatreds. All one need do is look around the globe and see the numerous hotspots and potential new boiling points threatening to explode across the globe and it rapidly becomes apparent that these changes are going to come one way or the other and without any intervention preventing violence and wars from reaching every corner of our world. The other way is far too frightening to even imagine. The United Nations was founded in the hope of negotiating the difficulties and challenges facing the world, its constituent nations and their peoples. Perhaps it is time to utilize that venue for some real and actually rehabilitative endeavors which can undo and correct the many wrongs from the past, both those which were intentional and those which were merely expedient and not maliciously inflicted. We can pay the piper now or the piper will collect in the near future and the longer we make the piper wait, the more costly the price will be in treasure and in something far more precious, lives and potentially modernity. Can we afford to simply wait and see?

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