Saturday, December 28, 2013

The USA or multiple powers?

Many find it difficult to follow my picture of us being in a Warring States period bound to end with the victory of one country, probably the USA, before 2100. All seems quite peaceful. Instead of the USA taking over I hear fanciful ideas of the power being in the hands of IT giants like Google or Apple. Or the on the surface more plausible sounding theory of a multipolar world with a series of powers. In this post I will give some arguments.

The impression that this is no warring states period stems from an egocentric viewpoint. We see the world from a narrow point in time and space:

- The modernity as a whole from 1789 has been extremely violent also in our rich part of the world. Just look at the two World Wars.

- In the poor world there still is terribly much war and violence. Syria, Congo, South Sudan!

- The risk of self annihilation, the Terror Balance has since WW 2 forbidden wars.

- Wars in the rich world have therefore shifted toward the electronic world and the media n a broader sense.

- Another factor is that modern wars in a strict military sense are too expensive to be fought.

Why should we be any closer to a dominance of one major power than in the cold war? After all we now have about the same number of powers or even far more some would say. But this view is also the result of a kind of illusion.

We are much closer to the total dominance of one major country. I want to argue that this must be gauged in the military sphere yes, but even more in other spheres. De facto the Americans are already close to being the rulers of the world as a whole. Here a number of examples and arguments:

- One thing which has brought about the illusion that the dominance of the superpowers is diminishing, is that after WW 2 the European countries and the rest of the war stricken world were so destroyed and in ruins materially and economically. This situation gave the USA and the USSR an unnatural extreme relative advantage. This situation was of course bound to change with the economic growth in Europe and the rest of the world. This development has created the wrong impression of a gradual relative reduction in American power. The Russians of course lost a lot through the fall of so called Communism. These developments are then by analysts simply extrapolated and continued into a multipolar future. But the present reality has already falsified the theory. In reality the growth in influence by for example France and the rest of Europe in the sixties and seventies was just a return to the real level of power balance after these countries had regained their natural strength. Since then the American dominance has just increased

- The last phases of the end fight in the West are not fought militarily. If at all, then only through proxy wars. This means that the military dominance of the big powers is not perceived clearly. But the USA represents a very large proportion of the Worlds military expenditures. China and Russia lacking far behind. Even the big powers of yesterday, the UK and France mostly rely on American aid when they make military operations abroad. But as I argue, strict military force may be important, but of secondary importance today.

- The  USA still seem more and more willing to simply occupy third world countries like Iraq and Afghanistan if they constitute an imagined or real problem. If as often today the price in dollars is too big, there is no hesitation to use drone attacks or other limited military means without the permision from the involved countries.

 - To take the other extreme, that is the sphere of ideas, I have already commented on the total cultural dominance from the USA, see 'Ils sont fous ces Americains'. Here I will just mention a few examples. We are all filled with and use American phenomena like films,TV series, Facebook, Coca Cola, McDonalds, Disney, Apple, Halloween and cheerleaders. We still need baseball. This will surely follow. This cultural dominance also to a certain extent encompasses competitors like China. All this US culture of course prepares our minds to be more accepting towards other sorts of dominance. It paves the way for more submission.

More knowledge of the American dominance has been provided by Mr. snowden. Even if not all of this may prove absolutely correct, it is still impressive:

- The NSA is spying on ordinary citizens in the USA and abroad. Metadata from many mobile phones in the world are stored.

- Also the position of almost every mobile telephone user is tracked.

- Apparently also all internet activity from almost all users in the world is registered.

- As shown recently, foreign statesmen, ambassadors, EU politicians etc. are being listened to, and other forms of their communication spied.

- Through the british vassals the Americans are also spying in hotels where foreign politicians stay.

- All the thus gained information is being used for political purposes and also economic gains in conferences and meetings.

- All this is also used for economic espionage against foreign firms competing with American companies.

- The Swift system for int'l financial transactions permits US control. This was accepted by the EU as a natural thing.

- The Americans highjack foreign citizens in foreign, even friendly countries and transport the prisoners in their and other countries airspace.

- US military personel are exempt from the int'l court of warcrimes.

- American agents in German airports are apparently telling the local police and other officials what to do. Like arresting people which in turn are then extradited to the USA.

- One of the worst examples is of course Morales' plane forced to land in Ausria after the Americans ordered countries like Spain and even La Grande Nation France to deny overflying.

- The Scandinavian countries and not least their populations were earlier champions of  critical  views towards American behavior in the world. Now as parts of the Nine Eyes and other written and unwritten agreements and the servile attitude from politicians the Scandinavians like the English look like loyal American servants. They behave like the pro-Roman Atallide rulers of the state of Pergamon who in the second century BC bequeathed their country to the Romans.

All the above examples of US dominance abroad may seem natural to American citizens. But imagine the reaction if the Chinese or whoever did all these things to the USA!

- The whole world is heavily dependent on computer technology, and this is provided almost exclusively by US companies - Microsoft, Google, Apple etc.

- These companies have no hesitation in following all our electronic activities for commercial purposes.

- But the companies themselves are controlled legally and tapped electronically by the NSA, which in this way spies us all around the globe!

- One of the biggest IT providers for customers like countries and their administrators is the American firm CSC. This company seems to have very strong links with the NSA. This gives this agency unprecedented possibilities to follow the behavior of administrative systems everywhere. The CSC has even been involved in the transportation of abducted foreigners in its airplanes!

At least after the recent disclosures nobody should be in doubt, that the Americans are the main rulers in the world. Not only are they stronger than their competitors China and Russia. But their influence is also unprecedented in newer history. Even China is at least culturally partially dominated as well.

La Grande Nation is submitting. Its economic decline just accelerates this. Further downgradings from the US rating agencies will finally bring it on its knees. La Force de Frappe has become a paper tiger. The British have been true servants for a long time by their own willed submission. The countries in the Five Eyes and Nine Eyes think themselves privileged. But they are members because they are loyal vassals!

In Europe outside Russia the only bigger country to resist is Germany. Very politically stable, economically strong and still preserving at least some of their own will and defiance.

And the multipolar world? Naive illusion! India does not become a world power by sending a satelite to Mars. The fact that the ridiculous Bollywood films have not conquered the World while the often also ridiculous Hollywood films have, talk a clear language. India simply is a too heterogenous, rigid and bureaucratic elephant. Brazil, Indonesia and Nigeria are too weak. Population size and economy alone is not enough. In the Eastern Mediterranean 2000 years ago countries like Egypt were very large in population and richness, but they were still easy prey for the Romans.

The idea that Internet companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple etc should become world powers is even more absurd than the idea of a multipolar world. As can be seen now such companies are controlled by the American state. And as these companies control a large part of the Internet all over the World this gives the American state unprecedented powers.

The last battlefields of the present Warring States period in the West are media and the Internet. Here the fight is for the hearts of the world population. Which system looks most attractive? The USA, China or Russia? Or the EU? Here the NSA in collaboration with Mr. Snowden has been most damaging to the USA. This country begins to look a bit like China in level of political control. But as the Americans control so much of the world media, tne public opinion could be on their side when the recent disclosures are forgotten.

But even if this does not happen, the public opinion is not enough to decide. Were the Chinese asked who they would prefer in the original Warring States period up to 221 BC, very few would have prefered the brutal state of Qin, which nevertheless won. It was and is also a question of simple force.

The public opinion may be thought to count more today because everybody has the possibility through the Internet and other electronic media to acquire and indeed publish information and opinions. But what counts in the end is still who has the real power. And as most people seem satisfied by using the net to publish the latest babble of their child and comment  the hair cut of Justin Bieber or in the best case discuss ridiculous theories about the Americans themselves having attacked the Twin Towers, this is so much more the case (such communication will be of very limited interest to the NSA!).

But also beyond the influence on public opinion the Internet and other global forms of electronic communication and information handling, because of their use in all kinds of mental and material operations, have replaced parts of the physical world as the most important sphere.

Earlier who controlled the physical battlefield in battles or just preemptive military force in men and uquipment, now who controls the electronic battlefield, will rule the world. Earlier military capability, now Internet capability. The Chinese and the Americans will compete not so much militarily as through the public opinion and on the Internet. They are already testing each other through commando raids in the form of cyber attacks. Therefore the US control over the IT giants is so important.

In the cultural sphere as said China is also quite influenced by the USA. The end fight could be between two American/Americanized powers. But as the Chinese are not totally Americanized and are still a force opposing the USA, from another point of view China can be seen as the last defender of the European soul. Just like Carthagos Hannibal was the last defender of Hellenism against Roman dominance.


As illustrated here the Americans already control much of what goes on in many aspects in many countries in the world.

To other wannabe "poles" like India, Brazil or Indonesia one could say: "the race is almost run". This partly applies to the real poles China and Russia too. To the Americans one could say: "the race is almost won"

The "almost" mostly has to do with internal American politics, as often said. A stabilizing balance and cooperation between moderate and responsible forces within the two parties with a non-isolationistic and realistic conception of the outside world is a condition for continued and growing American dominance. The new just signed budget deal could be an omen for the world. If this is the beginning of a new spirit of cooperation between of course still completing parties with radicals to the right and the left put on the sideline, the destiny of the world may have been decided: Pax Americana.

But already now the USA rules much of what happens. Once more I quote Rammstein, here alluding to the Americans prescribing the dance of 'freedom':

"Und wer nicht tanzen will am Schluss weiss noch nicht dass er tanzen MUSS"

(And he who does not want to dance does not yet know that he HAS to dance).

Thursday, October 24, 2013

NSA spies Merkel

Here a short comment on the NSA spying abroad together with a restatement of the purpose of this blog. With the posts I want to do two things:
1) point to the parallels between the development in the present phase of the Western civilization and the corresponding phase of earlier civilizations,
2) warn to change the course in our case, so that we do not end at the same point as the earlier cases. That is a condition of dictatorship combined with rule from one all-dominating power.

The road towards this condition goes through two processes:

a) decline of the internal political systems leading to ungovernable countries. In earlier civilizations this was solved through dictatorship. If not solved this problem normally leads to subjugation under stronger countries.

The other process towards the universal dictatorship is
b) internationally chaotic conditions with power struggles with or without use of the military force, and terrorism. This is combined with a growth of the power of the leading countries. This process in the earlier cases ended with the rule of just one country.

It is these two processes we should try to handle in other ways to prevent that we end the same place as for example in Rome with a universal emperor.

As said often on the internal level I advocate a moderate strengthening of the executive to control political decline WITHOUT compromising democracy too much.

And the international level? Here too a certain control of certain oppressive states and indeed terrorists may be necessary. But this control should not be carried out by a power like the USA which is a part in global conflicts.

And the control should be limited to what is absolutely necessary.

A control and surveillance of the population and the leaders of friendly countries  like Brazil, Mexico, France and now Germany is completely out of proportion.

On the diagnostic level it shows that the World already has moved too far on the way to the hegemony of a big power. And it shows the arrogant contempt from the USA towards other countries. Even the friendly ones.

The German leader Merkel who was in her younger days surveilled by the Stalinist STASI in the GDR, probably had never thought that the NSA from a friendly democratic ally would continue the surveillance!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The character of a civilization

The character of a civilization

A modernity phase like our present can be handled in very different ways and thus develop in different ways. In one end the internally wise and peaceful Sung Dynasty in China (960-1279), which nevertheless died because of a very unwise external policy. In the other end we saw the extremely violent Warring States period in old China and the corresponding period in the 2. Mesopotamian civilization with the brutal onslaughts of the Assyrians. Or the chaotic circumstances in the Hellenistic World from Alexander to Caesar.

The way in which each civilization or country in a civilization handles its modernity or any other phase in its history of course depends on wisdom of the involved politicians, on geographic circumstances and on the homogeneity of the population and of course on pure luck. But it also and crucially depends on the character and style of the civilization. It is his last factor we will look a bit into today.

If we take areas which used to constitute older civilizations,  but are now part of the globalized Western world, I have earlier argued that they are now a part of the Western civilization except for parts of the Middle East, which are still fighting westernization.

An investigation into the path in time of such older civilizations into the Western modernity, shows that they go through 3 phases:

1. The first part of the colonial time. Here the colonial rulers are simply substituted into the position of the local rulers with no effect on the culture.

2. The old culture awakes and rises against the western civilization. Examples are the Boxer and Sepoy risings and  parts of the Middle East now.
3. Westernization. Like China and India and other parts of the Middle East now.

But even though I have argued against a present  clash of civilizations saying that most old civilizations are now part of the West, it is not so that in the westernized old civilizations all signs of the old culture have seized to exist. Very old patterns of political socialization and traditions are not easily extinguished.

These traits from an older civilization can become a determining factor in the present. It can determine who will surpass the other, and who will be left behind.

So the handling of the western modernity with its potential chaos will n the West itself be decided partly by wisdom etc. and partly by the political style and whole character of the Western civilization.

The handling of the present phase on the soil of the incorporated older civilizations will depend on the same. But it will also be decided by the traditions from the older civilizations. This is a part of the answers to questions like the following: Why has India with its many peoples and cults been a stable democracy while Pakistan has gone from coup to coup? Why are Japan and China so successful and Africa so slow in rising GDP?

I will now look into a few of the cases to see the influence from the style of older civilizations. And I will end with the West to see how our style is both a gain and a hindrance.

In the following are examples. Not much of it has not already been said by others. The purpose is just to point to the importance of older patterns for the present.

Because the West often has difficulties understanding the Middle East, I will say more about this case and only a little about India and China.

Causality in the Western sense in which an event 1 inside the world causes a later event 2 in the world, is in the Middle Eastern or Oriental culture often not seen this way. Rather God is the causal force which from outside the world causes both event 1 and 2. The two events are not connected.
Inch Allah!

Another distinctive mark of this civilization is the fact that religion and politics or state are not separated.

Further, except from periods in the Oriental modernity around 750-1100 God is not obliged to do things that reason or man judge as good. He arbitrarily does what he wants. The only cause is His will.

"Had Allah so willed, He would have made you all one single community. However, He lets go astray whomsoever He wills and shows the Right Way to whomsoever He wills. Surely you will be called to account regarding what you did." (Holy Quran 16,93).

In this culture God really works in mysterious ways!

As politics is a part of religion the politicians are not causes, but tools used by God. They see themselves as being or claim to be carrying out God's will. As the following of other gods is shirk, and politics is a religious matter, then the following of other politicians and parties is also shirk.

And if God's decisions are changed without causal reasons in the World and are not bound by worldly considerations it follows that who is His tool today, can tomorrow be replaced by another tool. A new politician, ruler or party.

Seen this way the chaotic political history in some countries in the Oriental civilization from the christians in the Balkans and Greece to the moslems in Pakistan and Afghanistan are easier to understand.

All this does not mean however, that stability and pluralistic democracy are not possible in this part of the world. A basis for a stable democracy could be a development and generalization of the old principle that nations of different ethnicity and religion have lived side by side for centuries. But this can also lead to problems, see Ethnic Cleansing in the Arab world.

The mentioned view of rationality from the Oriental modernity  could return in the frame of the Western modernity now being adopted. God and thus politics being obliged to do what is best for human beings.

Another basis for Middle Eastern democracy could be the often mentioned concept idjma, consensus, based on quotes like this typically used from the Prophet:

"My followers will never agree upon an error or what is wrong."

Islam should certainly not be seen as an enemy of good politics! It can also be an aid. It is the destabilizing intrusion of Western modernity which necessitates the adaptions.

A bit like in the Orient we see a tendency for religion and politics to flow together. Mahatma Gandhi was also seen as a guru. So was Indira Gandhi though to a much lesser extent. But in India there is no shirk. All religions can be incorporated into Hinduism as different ways to the same God. This can also be applied to politics, where there has been a tolerance to other ways of thinking. But this tolerated pluralism in cults, cultures, politicians and parties is also the inherent weakness. Parties, politicians, local power bases and interests all must be taken into consideration. This in combination with an enormous bureaucracy and rigid inequality makes efficient politics difficult.

Much has been written and said about the confucian meritocracy. The best rulers have a right to rule, a right recognized by the population. As long as good rule leads to good results for the people they have the right to rule. And there is also a certain patience. People wait to see if wrong policies are corrected. This of course gives a stable political system and a good social control, but only under good rules. The present rulers in China have caused an unprecedented period of growth on prosperity and opening. As long as this continues China will be a wealthy, strong and stable power.

The West is the civilization of the strong individual wills. In the Middle East the ultimate cause is Gods will. Here it is the will of the I. And generalized the will of organizations, parties and nations.

Another characteristic is the planning ahead out of a strong historical consciousness and foundation. This trait is shared with old Egypt and China and is very unlike the Greco-Roman world, which had only little planning ahead. In the West the planning is potentially disturbed by the strong wills.

In a modernity phase there is in all civilizations internal and external revolutionary  chaos and wars touching the countries to a varying extent. There is also increasing individualization, which in the already individualistic West reaches (perhaps too) high levels. And there is increased rationality. A belief that everything can be understood, all problems be solved by reason. This last phenomenon of course strengthens the Western ability to plan ahead.

The stronger individuality and the revolutionary tendencies makes strong political institutions and constitutions necessary, not least in the West. Democracy in reality becomes a playground for politicians and parties with strong wills. They exchange government between each other, which can obstruct the necessary planning. Therefore the institutions and technocrats must be strong enough to secure a continuance in politics. When then as now the decline of politics sets in, the respect for institutions is falling. Then as said often in this blog, a stronger executive must take over to avoid chaos.

This is why the present problems with government in the USA are so important. As said China has a stability and social control or we could say respect for the government, that gives large advantages over more unstable countries.

But the USA has more raw power and will to power. And there is more tension in the country. A tension that can be used outwards as expansion in global power instead of being used within as a destructive force.

But this will take lots of political skill. It could potentially  be ugly for us in the rest of the World. In old Rome the tension led to both internal chaos and external expansion, the last carried out by single personal legion owners like Marius, Pompejus and Caesar.

But this was only because of the weakness of the other countries in the Mediterranean. For the Americans the perils of internal strife are far bigger. The other players in the World cannot be controlled by a dissolving USA.

Therefore a China with less raw power can still win over a USA in internal political chaos. The more stable political system and better social control in East Asia could be the decisive point.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Greatest Country on Earth?

The Greatest Country on Earth?

I have earlier commented that the Americans cannot afford the same level of political chaos, that we saw in the latest part of the Roman Republic. See int'l Aspects.... This is becoming very clear right now, where we see how the right wing of the Republican party obstructs necessary financial policies.

This comes at a time where the combined power of China and Russia is on the rise as can be seen in the Syrian crisis. And at a time, when the balanced foreign policy of an intelligent President Obama is being misjudged as a sign of American weakness.

The result is of course that the Americans and indeed democracy as such is being ridiculed in the rest of the World. The Republican right wing does not seem to care, their narrow-minded anti-government views lacking any interest in and knowledge of the changing forces in the outside world. It is not enough that one can see The Russian coast from Alaska.

If these activities from irresponsible forces are not stopped, then it is not at all obvious that the USA should end as the Roman Empire of our civilization. It will not continue as the greatest country on Earth.

Instead China will win World dominance.

Which options are there for the Americans? Of course the Tea Party people could be outmaneuvered by the Democrats or by the Republicans themselves. For example by ridicule.  But 1) they represent a part of the society and will reemerge. And 2) hey have reached such a low political level, that they do not respect the need for a stable democracy.

So these political destructive forces must be checked somehow. Of course political ideas and parties or fractions cannot be forbidden. They must have a political platform, or they will become an armed rebellion. As said in earlier posts (The Decline of Politics and Int'l Aspects...) the only way is to strengthen the executive. In the USA this is the president. The presidency must have more power, the Congress less. Doing this by changing the Constitution would probably be seen as sacrilege. So the changes must be substantial, but seem subtle. Emperor Augustus in principle respected the Roman Republican constitution. The USA is of course not yet at the stage of having an emperor, but the principle of changed ways under the same constitution could be an inspiration. At the look of it radical forces to the right and to the left should have the possibility of winning the presidency, but this possibility could be blocked in reality, if they are kept outside the two big parties. For the present this is the  responsibility of the Republican Party. They should exclude the radicals as a separate party.

Of course all this will reduce democracy, but the alternative will too.

If the Americans do not go this way, the greatest country on Earth will decline into chaos. A political system with uncompromising in-fights, blockades and inefficient governments.

China will win. As said earlier this may not make a difference for the rest of the World. If we are ruled by a less democratic USA or a gradually more democratic China, it is much the same.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ethnic cleansing in the Arab World

My basic assumption is that the big civilizations or high cultures on a large scale develop along the same lines with the same phases and durations but at different times in history.

But the civilizations all have their own identity. Some are more like each other than others. They all have their own conception of art, politics, religion etc.

Here  I will look into the concept of a nation with a focus on our case, The West, and what I here will term the Oriental civilization.

The Oriental civilization flourished from 0 to around 1300 from the Balkans to North Africa and the Middle East. It thus comprises Byzantium, the Parthians,the Sassanids, the Jews, the Arabs and many others. Also south Slavonic peoples and Greeks (since around year 0) and of course Turks and Iranians belong to the Oriental Civilization.  

The West flourishes from 1000 to around 2300 with focus in Europe and North America.

The concept of a nation in the two cases
The West
What is a nation?
At least since the end of the middle ages we in the West have developed a concept of a nation, where each nation is a "people" with an assumed ethnic homogeneity, which is most often more a shared  language than shared genes. Like people speaking French or German.

Geographical organization of nations
Each nation in the West covers a coherent territory of a certain area. The borders to other nations are clearly marked. In the West each nation ideally has a state.

We can term this macro- segregation.

The Orient
What is a nation?
Most often a nation in the Orient is a religion or sect in combination with a certain ethnicity. The combination of ethnicity and religion is unique for each nation.

Geographical organization of nations
The nations in this culture are often spread out between each other in a patchwork pattern. We see small enclaves between each other, and they are often so small that they take the form of ghettoes.

But each enclave is not the nation. The nation is the sum of all enclaves with the same people. All the Armenian enclaves in the Middle East and elsewhere together constitute the Armenian Nation.

This can be termed micro- segregation.

The Balkans 100 years ago is a good example. The map at the bottom of this post shows nations in a part of the Balkans under the Ottoman Empire.

The map may be imprecise in the detail, but it gives a vivid impression of the way many nations lived in small areas between each other within the larger Ottoman state. And remember that the map does not show the smaller enclaves and the segregations within towns and cities!

In many countries in the Middle East today Sunnis, Shiites, Druze, Alawis, Jews and different Christians like Armenians etc. live the same way. Ethnic maps of Lebanon, Syria and Iraq look much like the old map of the Balkans.

Also when Oriental people immigrate to other civilizations, they in the beginning form ghettos.

The Jews lived like that in Europe for centuries.
 Today many Middle Eastern immigrants live this way in Europe and North America in so called parallel societies.

The westernization of the Orient
As described elsewhere in another blog post, the Orient is now on the way of becoming westernized. This process concerns more aspects, also the concept of a nation.

As the westernization conquered and conquers the states in the Balkans and the Middle East, the Oriental nations are becoming transformed into Western nations. They now need larger ethnic pure territories. This is the deeper sense in ethnic cleansing.

Ethnic cleansing
Turkey, Armenia and Greece were involved in mutual ethnic cleansing already about 100 years ago. The two former countries exchanged people. All Greeks moved to Turkey and vice versa. The Armenians in Turkey had a far worse destiny: Extermination in a genocide.

Different parts of the Yugoslavian area had many early examples of cleansing, but the state was artificially held together till Tito died. In the 90-ies of the last century the brutal wars cleansed 100s of thousand people from their homes.

I assume that the Arab World will follow now. At least the countries with heterogenous populations.

In Iraq radical Sunnis are now trying to cleanse areas for both Christians and Shiites. In Northern Syria the same groups are already now attacking the area of kurds. The Christians and the Alawis could follow after the fall of Assad. It would be a nightmare if the christians would have to leave Egypt, which could happen under a revenge-full rule of the Moslem Brotherhood.

The disappearance of Tito, Saddam Hussein and Assad was and is the opening of a Pandoras Box. The nations fly out and cannot be put back into the box!

Three steps
As described there are two steps on the way to westernization:
1) Oriental micro-segregation.

2) Ethnic cleansing.

And what comes then? After this there are two  possibilities. Either the state is simply partitioned in territories, one for each now westernized and cleansed nation. Or somehow, maybe after some more time, a fully integrated Western type state develops, that is not segregated, a state with all former nations unified into one nation:

3) A divided nation or one integrated state.

What should the World do about states threatened by violent ethnic cleansing?

Ethnic cleansing in its ugly violent version should of course not be tolerated in any form for obvious humanitarian reasons. But a turn to macro-segregation on religious and ethnic lines may be unavoidable, as the nations within the states become Western nations with a need for territorial national states. It is probably not possible to force through in a short time the transition to a modern integrated state without segregation. So the partitioning of the territories of states like Syria and Iraq may have to be allowed in order to diminish bloodshed.

But the splitting up of states into fully independent smaller states cannot be permitted. The splitting up of Yugoslavia may already have gone to far.
This process if applied too many places creates precedence for instability in other parts of the World. Instead the segregated nations within the states should form a confederation like the Bosnian.

The segregation on a bigger level probably should not be on the most macroscopic level. Dividing non kurdish Iraq between Shiites and Sunnis in the form of too large territories would mean that millions of people are moved. Unrealistic and inhumane! An intermediate level of  segregation may be the best way. Larger ethnic clean stretches of land between each other.

This process should of course be peaceful and guided to avoid violence.

Later then, we can hope, the confederated nations in a state could begin to mix to form non segregated nations.

Of course states with a very strong domination of one nation like Tunisia and many others are not in need of any separation of nations. Here the danger is the conflict between fundamentalists and modernists.

Al Qaida
Al Qaida and this type of people and organizations besides fighting the Western civilization are also already partly westernized. This follows from the fact that these groups openly advocate attacking Christians and Shiites. This is of course an ethnic cleansing and thus a Western tendency, that runs counter to the more than 1000 years of micro-segregated coexistence of these people with the Sunnis.

And Israel?
Logical for the present phase in the Middle East would be ethnic separation of Israelis and Palestinians in the form of the two states solution. Instead Israel is trying something like the first step, the old oriental micro-segregation. Jewish enclaves were established in the West Bank. They are then gradually growing together now leaving the Palestinians in enclosed enclaves.

This policy is running counter to history and is doomed to fail.

A third type of nation is the Greco-Roman city state, where the nation simply is the sum of inhabitants (or at least those with full citizen rights) of a city and its surroundings.

At the end of the Modernity phase every civilization is united by a universal state. This happened with the Roman Empire uniting all city states in one universal state 30 BC. And with the Seljuk and later Ottoman Empires uniting all the Oriental nations around 1100. We in the West may be approaching this phase in the end of this century.

Monday, July 1, 2013

US and EU

The American espionage against the EU and Germany and other countries in Europe disclosed by Der Spiegel and The Guardian if confirmed shows more things.

American arrogance and contempt for friendly nations.
Even though this contempt could be regarded as partially justified when looking at European indecisiveness  and bureaucracy, it is nevertheless a sign of deteriorating quality and falling  levels in international politics.
Between major friendly players such arrogance  is unseen and also points to:

The end fight for world hegemony is approaching. This fact makes the involved countries use methods, which if not involving direct warfare outside the 3. World, still gets more and more uncivilized as already seen in the American fight against terrorism and the Internet war between the United States and China .
Widespread electronic espionage is just a natural part of this.

The only surprising fact is that apparently the Americans regard the EU and European countries as very important competitors on the World scene keeping the weakness of Europe in mind!

Germany appears to be very closely followed by the NSA. As earlier stated Germany can be seen as the best governed and most politically mature state in the old modern world. If as the Germans would like, this quality of governing would get spread over the whole of the EU, then surely this Union would become a formidable power politically and economically. This could explain the keen American interest in spying on Germany.

But my dear Americans, I do not think you need to worry! The other countries in the EU will rather continue their misgovernment than submit to Germany.

As I have pointed out earlier, the world after more than 2 centuries of brutal wars, civil wars and other external and internal conflicts needs all this chaos  to be ended. Just as was the case in old Rome and old China in the years up to -30 and -221 respectively.

We are longing for our version of the Pax Romana or Pax Sinica.

This should just be reached in the most humane and democratic way possible. BUT even if these civilized conditions should be supported, it is also a fact that a Pax has never been achieved through eternal discussions and negotiations between countries each having the power to veto everything, certainly not if these countries have no common idea of means and goals.

The United Nations and the European Union are doomed to fail, if they are not reformed radically with very strong executives.

So who should bring Pax to our world? It must be a major player like America, Europe, China or Russia. Russia may be too small. Europe is too weak. China could be a possibility because of sheer size and economy.

But the Americans have something, which is not yet as clearly to be seen in China. The will to power. This, the Americans seem to have in large amounts as seen in amongst other things:

-          Belief in own values
-          Contempt for international rules and other countries
-          Will to dominate others
-          Willingness to use the means necessary

If we like this or not it certainly qualifies America to win the competition for hegemony.

And thus to bring peace. We must only hope and work for it that this peace is more of a benevolent type!

Even though the Europeans are right in being outraged about the spying, they should also be honored by the importance with which they apparently are regarded in Washington. I am not sure that the EU really deserves so much attention.

The EU reaction will show if the union has muscles enough to deserve the honor of being subject to massive US espionage!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ils sont fous ces Americains!

Ils sont fous ces Americains but
Vor Paris steht Mickey Mouse

A free trade agreement is being negotiated between the US and the European Union. France has demanded that European countries should have the right to impose quotas for the amount of American culture, films etc. in TV and other media. This French attitude is being ridiculed in some circles. But seen in the light of extrapolations of the present trends in the World and in the light of historical precedents, the French demand is reasonable.

The French comic book series Asterix about the fight of a village in Gallia against the Romans at the time of Caesar is interesting for more reasons:

- It points to many of the clear parallels between our present modernity and the Greco-Roman modernity. Like if we repeat many things from that certain part of the past with a time lag of 2 millennia.

- The books also show the European skepticism towards the Romans and thus transferred to our time the Americans. As Asterix' friend Obelix often says: Ils sont fous ces Romains! These Romans are crazy!

- but the books also show the admiration  and uncritical imitation of the Romans by other people in Gallia. And thus the same imitation in Europe today of the Americans. As the German group Rammstein sings "Vor Paris steht Mickey Mouse" ( before Paris stands Mickey Mouse). It points to Disney World standing outside Paris. But the wording also sounds like Mickey Mouse as representative of the whole American culture being an army ready to invade Paris.

What is Crazy about the Americans?
For a European more American phenomena seem very strange.:

The idea that America should be Gods own country.

Extreme superficiality.

The enormous focus on material richness and admiration of the very rich. Of course Europe also has a focus on attaining richness and indeed Europe has invented modern capitalism. But even a European capitalist is outraged when Paris Hilton takes showers in champaign.

And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Americans seeing their own country as having special rights in the World. I have already pointed to things like the American use of the Swift computer system to follow money movements between Europe and the outside World, the illegal hunt for terrorists abroad including of suspects in Europe and flights with these suspects over Europe. Few have any doubt that the US governments electronic surveillance of its own citizens internet use also extends to the citizens in Europe.

A conceited belief in own values, being they puritan or the superficial World presented in films and other media.

The carrying of weapons seen as the right of everybody no matter the consequences and even no matter how lethal they are.

The cowboy mentality against other countries.

Social welfare seen as evil and unchristian.

Obama described as Anti-Christ. How can it be against Christ to aid the poor through things like health care? Have these people never heard of the Good Samaritan?

The unforgiving and uncompassionate condemning nature of American puritan Christianity.

The use of the brutal and indeed uncompassionate death penalty.

….. first cast out the beam out of your own eye; and then shall you see clearly to cast out the mote out of your brother's eye.

This all points to a a reading of the Holy Bible that stops early in the Old Testament and certainly never has reached Isaiah 53.

Taken over without any reflection
Europeans eagerly follow the Oscar awards staying awake at night to watch it live even though the often far better European films only fall into the category "foreign language films".

Super bowl is catching more and more interest in Europe.

Halloween has already become a European tradition for our children.

Valentine is also a new tradition in countries where it wad never heard of earlier.

Even the somewhat ridiculous phenomenon Cheer leaders is spreading here.

A very large part of films shown in European cinemas and TV channels are American.

This even seems to have been a part of official US policy. Part of the American aid to France after WW 2 was given with the obligation that it was to be spent on buying Hollywood films!

Also our children are exposed to this influence. Extremely superficial American talk shows and series with never ending canned laughter is dominating TV for children here as well.

Facebook… Used by everybody in this strange small Scandinavian country, where nobody seems to reflect on or question anything. Even left wing politicians and state owned radio and TV stations use Facebook instead of an ordinary homepage. Nobody give it a thought that Facebook is a commercial establishment and that users are at the mercy of the owners and indeed American surveillance. Only 2 percent of teenagers in this country do not have a Facebook account! Sooner or later I suppose the local government will make it mandatory to have an account! This invasion force is about to take the rest of Europe as well.

The demands of the Market mechanisms dominate the countries in Europe even more that the United States. I have already mentioned the American Rating Agencies. These market demands are carried out without reflection. Keynes is forgotten. Germany is acting as an agent of the market mechanisms and enforcing their demands over the rest of Europe.

Scandinavia used to be proud of its models in social welfare and the well functioning organization of the relation between the work force and employers. Now everything is with joy being broken down and the societies changed into places where everything is regulated only by market laws. All in the name of global competition and the Holy Markets.

For a true European the United States does not look like Gods own country. It more looks like the country of Pluto. No not the dog of Mickey Mouse, but Pluto, the god of money and the Underworld!

One can fear that even if many Europeans in our generation still may say as Obelix, the next generation is being brought up with American culture in the form of films, the Net and TV.

We in Europe would  rather have
Vor New York steht Obelix.
But our children’s minds may already have been invaded by Mickey Mouse.

In the Mediterranean World 2000 years ago Greek survived in the East. Here Latin did not win like it did in Gallia outside the village of Asterix and Obelix. A deliberate effort like the one advocated by France might be necessary if like Greek the European cultural languages of today shall survive. If nothing is done, then  in 100 - 200 years most of Europe will speak American English. Zee, not zed!

 .... the French language for centuries on Earth represented civilization.
Jean-Luc Picard.

Let us hope it will stay that way, also for the other European languages!

Ils sont fous ces Americains!!!