In the modern era, many breakthroughs were made in a number of scientific areas. One particular area that lacked the kind of breakthroughs made in the “hard” sciences per se was political science, which is by some estimates still considered to be a social science. Our approach as an intellectual community toward any area of scientific research matters, whether it is the social sciences we are dealing with or natural sciences, since our approach carries with itself a certain “paradigm”. A basic definition of the word “paradigm” can be found in any English dictionary, and there is no need to list them all. The definition of the term “paradigm” that I would prefer to use is the one concocted by Bob Proctor, a Canadian businessman who argued that paradigms exist in a Freudian subconscious level of the mind, situated right below what is considered the “conscious” level that operates according to the five senses. Paradigms at a subconscious level, according to Proctor, shape one’s reality. The hidden paradigm of the subconscious level, a lot like the quantum paradigm of physicists and natural scientists, is something that is brought out from the subconscious level through extensive and exhaustive cultivation and education. In a document titled “History of Emancipatory Worldview of Muslim Learners”, Tarek M. Zayed argued that worldly knowledge combined with divine knowledge, or “revelation”, develops the soul for what one can call Arendtian action, in honor of Hannah Arendt, a political philosopher of the 20th century whose firsthand experiences with totalitarianism in Germany led to important philosophical works, the most famous of which is The Origins of Totalitarianism. An American parallel to Proctor’s proposition of a subconscious paradigm that shapes one’s standing in the material plane and demonstrates the impact of a religious or metaphysical cultivation of such a paradigm which comes to mind at this particular moment is that of Walt Whitman, who stated that “the mind governs all.”
In every science or cognitive faculty – whether collective or individual – one can find one of either two paradigms situated at the subconscious level: either a classic paradigm, or what one can call a “quantum” paradigm. The latter is new and relevant to a modern or even post-modern outlook on life, whereas the former is outdated and obsolete when it comes to practical application. I highly doubt that both a classic and quantum paradigm can coexist simultaneously within a subconscious setting that can manifest and operate at a conscious level. If one were to employ quantum terminology when assessing the possibility of whether a classic and quantum paradigm could exist simultaneously, one would have to preclude the possibility of both paradigms coexisting on the basis of the difference in what is known as “isospins”, which in layman’s terms can be described as directionality. Why directionality is important will become evident once we analogize the international political system to a basic quantum structure, or even establish a corollary between the international political system and a basic quantum structure, which I will attempt to do shortly. Establishing a corollary, which is a proposition or an idea that comes from a proposition or idea that already exists, is necessary, given that whatever is constructed in the mind can also be constructed in the conscious world. One could espouse the idea that a classical paradigm in a particular science can lead to an understanding of the quantum level. But once the quantum level understanding is reached, there is no turning back per se and the paradigm will have to shift. In political science and thus policy, given that policy is the distillation and final product of politics according to Hannah Arendt, the retention of a classic or classical paradigm inevitably leads to war, given Heraclitus’s claim that war is the father and king of all. In this day and age, war is intolerable due to the presence of nuclear weapons and the like, whereas a quantum paradigm, one can argue, can lead to international peace and stability if applied methodically. I will elaborate on the methodical application of a quantum paradigm momentarily. It is also ironic and quite astonishing that this proposal of a paradigm shift in politics, international relations, and foreign policy comes in the wake of the 75th anniversary of the Allied effort to thwart belligerent Nazi forces out of Europe. This proposal is a miniscule and humble effort and work to pay tribute to all those who were senselessly killed in that tragic lapse of international order and stability. Work, after all, is the emission of energy across long distances within space and time, and energy is never destroyed. Energy simply changes form.
WORLD ORDER: ITS ORIGINS, DEVELOPMENT, AND CURRENT STATE
Manly P. Hall, an American philosopher and writer of the 20th century who is said to have influenced former US President Ronald Reagan’s outlook on many things, provided three levels of analysis for the study of existence: the religious, metaphysical, and material levels. Combining all three levels, one can develop a cosmological approach to world history, with politics and international relations being an important part of the historical process. Cosmology, in a rough sense, is the study of space, time, the universe, and its contents from their beginning to their end (or along a space-time continuum). Cosmology can serve as a macroscopic setting for the analysis of world history, and depending on one’s cosmological survey, the scope of one “world-view” will be different from another. Known as “weltanschauung” in the German philosophical lexicon, one’s “world-view” will determine the relationship between one’s mind and the world. This can have magnanimous implications, as will be explained later. In turn, one’s “weltanschauung” determines what is known as “World Order”. The attempt to develop world order has its challenges, given the scope of problems and obstacles that have confronted mankind since the beginning of time. Henry Kissinger, in the concluding pages of his book titled “World Order”, concluded that there is no such thing as world order, yet there is a need to construct it. The establishment of world order had been guided by what can be considered “world systems”, which in a raw sense are modes of belief, theory, action, and application based on a set of fundamentals, principles, qualities, or forces which in a classic sense contain “divine” energy, but in a modern sense contain “quantum energy”. Some of the world systems that immediately come to mind are the Judeo-Christian tradition, Islam (with “Tasawwuf” providing the scheme, design, and purpose for the cultivation of power), Buddhism, and Daoism, the quantum explanation of which came by way of Li Hongzhi, the founder of a Chinese movement named “Falun Gong”.
These four world systems and their guidance for the establishment of world order set the classical foundation for the pursuit of the explanation of “everything”, otherwise known as the theory of structural functionalism in the social sciences. In the physical sciences, the explanation of “everything” is spanned by two seemingly contradictory theories if taken at face value, both of which took off in the beginning of the 20th century. The first was “quantum theory”, fathered by the German philosopher Max Planck. The second theory is a more popular one, given the identity of the founder, and it is known as the “theory of relativity.” The author of this theory is none other than the famous Albert Einstein, a Jewish philosopher and physicist of the 20th century. The differences between Planck and Einstein are simple, yet complicated. Planck, as part of his theory, focused on three out of four of what are known as the “fundamental forces of nature”, namely the weak force, strong force, and the electromagnetic force, but most importantly, Planck focused on the impact of these three fundamental forces on what is perceived to be the quantum template for all of existence, namely the atom and its constituent parts. The constituent parts of an atom are known as “particles”, six of them being the most significant and ripe for analogy: protons (which can equate to superpowers of the international system), neutrons (major powers that are rising), electrons (small states that consist of a historical materialist ideology), positrons (small states that consist of an absolute idealist or “Hegelian” ideology), neutrinos (failed states), and antineutrinos (non-state actors, both terrorist and anti-terrorist, that can lead to the mobilization and impetus for the rise of superpowers). Planck ended up winning the Nobel Prize for his development and contribution to what is known as “quantum theory”. If we were to define the term “quantum”, it would translate to “as basic as it gets.” Yet, quantum theory has been one of the most difficult theories of nature to understand, thus the satisfaction in the present day and age to settle with a misguided interpretation of Darwin or a non-theological explanation for the “Big Bang Theory”. It is difficult to understand largely due to the inability to reconcile Planck’s theory with Einstein’s theory, which explains the role of gravity and its impact on space, time, and the universe, again due to the opposite directionality of the forces that Planck and Einstein each studied. The reconciliation of Planck’s theory with Einstein’s theory is the paramount challenge for all philosophers of this day and age, because the potential reconciliation of these two theories will lead to the ever elusive “theory of everything”, which is the goal of all philosophers both past and present.
If one were to take an Emersonian approach to the quantumization of both domestic and international political forces, one would be prompted to use Eastern derivatives or ingredients to establish the basic principles and operation of world order as reflecting the nature of the cosmos, which is the entity used by Eastern pantheistic political thought, i.e. Ibn Arabi and Spinoza, as a manifestation of these fundamental forces. The four principles or fundamental forces behind world order when quantumized can be described as such through slight use of Quranic terminology:
- “Haqq” – Includes the notions of peace, human rights as preserved by the crystallization of international law, and most importantly the pursuit of what is known as “truth”, which in essence can be known only through the acquisition of divine knowledge. As the American philosopher John Dewey once wrote: “Quest for complete certainty can be fulfilled in pure knowing alone. Such is the verdict of our most enduring philosophic tradition.” It is also worth mentioning that John Stuart Mill, in his explanation of utilitarianism, mentions the attainment of justice in the form of honoring people’s rights as the main source of happiness.
- “Hubb” – Includes characteristics like compassion, generosity, and kindness. Robert Pastor, a professor of mine who was the deputy national security adviser to former US President Jimmy Carter, instructed his students that the first step towards engaging with the rest of the world is by putting yourself in the other party’s shoes. According to Professor Cornel West, much of the social turbulence inside of the United States and around the globe is the result of what he called a “love deficit”.
- “Sabr” – According to Islamic tradition, “sabr” – which in strategic political terms can be translated into “strategic patience” (something that the United States lacks at this moment) is the lowest spiritual station and thus can be equated to what is known as the “weak force” that Planck proposed. The Chinese use the term “Ren” to describe patience, synonymous for forbearance. “Sabr” is an umbrella term for a number of virtues, amongst them being mercy and moderation.
- “Ibadah” – The closest thing that can be equated to Einstein’s gravity, and maintains the paradox between the energy field and what is grounded. “Ibadah” literally translates into both “worship” and “service”, humbling oneself before a higher power or authority, and are essentially actions that are preceded by other actions such as prayer, the elimination of the ego by virtue of the dissolution of worldly attachments, selflessness, and service to a divine power primarily by serving humanity.
It is important to note that even the slightest deviation from these four principles or forces on the part of mankind will throw the order of the cosmos off an even keel and into anarchy, chaos, and disorder, and traditionally anarchy has been perceived as the nature of the international system in realist international relations theory.
In stark contrast to the quantum forces of an idealist or Hegelian outlook on the course of world political history is none other than the philosophy known as “historical materialism.” Marx and Lenin are given immense credit for developing historical materialism, but the philosophy long predates both of them, as Gunder Frank argues, because of the fact that world history is “human-centric” rather than “Eurocentric”. A view of history that is human-centric, based on what can be deduced from Gunder Frank, would not dole out the credit to Marx and Lenin that has been given to the pair by the historical materialist camp that is Eurocentric.
Given that this is a quantumization effort, there is no need to get caught up in the weeds of Marx’s writings. To put it simply, or in “quantum” terms, the main difference of opinion between the Hegelians and the Marxists was over the issue of whether matter shaped ideas, or whether ideas affected matter. Lenin and thus the Russians adopted the view that matter affected ideas, or consciousness, whereas the West in an effort to sustain Hegelian idealism stuck to the notion that ideas affected matter, although an attempt to strike middle ground was made by Kissinger. Furthermore, Hegelian idealists believe that human consciousness predates the material world as an inheritance of Descartes’s exclamation of “cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am). J.M.E. McTaggart, who was a powerhouse in the school of British idealism, argued that nothing material exists.
Amidst the philosophical zero-sum game being played between Europe and Russia emerged what is known as scientific empiricism, otherwise known as analytic philosophy. William James, an American psychologist, and Friedrich Schiller, a Dutch philosopher, deserve the most credit for bolstering the school of analytical philosophy, at the expense of the Hegelian idealists. The cardinal belief of analytic philosophy and thus scientific empiricism is simple: nothing can be proven beyond what is deciphered by the five senses. This sharp break from the Hegelian idealists on the part of the analytic school is something that the Hegelian idealists have yet to recover from when assessing the overall balance of power between Hegelians, historical materialists, and scientific empiricists at the current moment, given that the Hegelian idealists believe appearance and consciousness is at best a symbol for reality and not reality itself. What is bizarre, however, is that despite the Cold War between Analytic America and Materialist Russia, both share one common world view, which is the abandonment of a holistic explanation of space, time, the universe, and its contents (logical holism) held on the part of the Hegelian idealists for the sake of settling with a “clearly stated part” (logical atomism) which in essence misses the woods for the tree. A part cannot be understood without understanding the whole, yet analytic philosophy took flight under Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein and is now the prevalent philosophy in the West at this point, and a fundamental practice of the analytic school (unfortunately) is to disavow itself of metaphysics and ontology, namely, the study of the big picture and the nature of “being”. In the postmodern era in which we are currently situated (marked by the burst in internet connectivity which occurred sometime during the Obama Administration), four ontological states exist: scientific empiricism of liberalism, reversion to social traditions of the populists, cynicism and doubt on the part of historical materialists, and the reversion to nature and a natural state of being as advanced by romanticism. Thus, the development of world order and the reason for its turbulence in what is now the postmodern era.
AN ATTEMPT TO “QUANTUMIZE” POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
One can argue that the most basic analogy to politics, international relations, and the international system as a whole as identified by theorists like Kenneth Waltz can be established by comparing the international system to quantum mechanics and exploring the atomic and subatomic levels of both the international system and matter. One of the most fundamental tenets and formulas of quantum mechanics is “mass-energy equivalence”, symbolized by the formula known as E = MC₂, given that all matter is energy, and energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Energy simply transforms. The entire mass of an atom is situated within the nucleus of an atom where protons and neutrons are situated and juxtaposed with one another, similar to how the entire weight of the international system is carried by the superpowers and major powers like China currently and the European Union if it includes Britain. Free protons like the United States before the rise of analytic philosophy in academics and society are stable because they are positively connected to an energy force field. This energy force field is something endemic to the United States, which is something that Manly P. Hall suggested. This positive connection can equate to a worldview that is shaped by Hegelian idealism, one can argue. It is important to note that Kant, who was the intellectual father of Hegel and the founder of transcendental idealism, did not believe that one could unlock the secrets of the world, whereas Hegel, the founder of absolute idealism, believed that the secrets of the world can be discovered. But free neutrons, even though their mass is larger than that of a proton, like Russia and China, are unstable and need to be situated alongside protons in a nucleus in order to avoid decay that in turn results in the release of destructive gamma radiation. When analogizing quantum mechanics to the international political system, the release of gamma radiation can equate to war and possibly nuclear destruction if God forbid it ever reaches to that level. Neutrons are also beneficial for protons because neutrons prevent protons from repelling one another.
Electrons, which are the negatively charged small states in our international system, behave within an orbit, meaning they revolve around the nucleus where protons and neutrons coexist, and electrons generally repel one another and often have to deal with the antagonistic force of positrons that seek to collide with electrons, thus annihilating them and in the process releasing gamma radiation and in turn converting to neutrinos (failed states). Protons and neutrons are identical in all regards except in the direction of their energy. Protons and neutrons are further divided into quarks, which are thirds of a proton and neutron, with each quark representing the political, economic, and military establishment of a state in the international system, all three of which are glued together by a common ideology. One set of quarks ascend in the quantum field, whereas the other descends due to what is known as a “quantum number”, thus the vindication of the Pythagorean belief that all things are made of numbers. There is order and structure, even in an atom, because order and determinism (not anarchy and randomness) shape the nature of existence and the international system. As Einstein stated: “God does not play with dice.” What leads to the breakdown of the atom and thus the international system is something called “quantum entanglement”, something that George Washington warned about in his famous “Farewell Address”. Quantum entanglement occurs when the proton gets too close with the downturn and fluctuations of smaller particles, thus losing its independence and power. This deterioration of the proton is always possible, given that everything that occurs outside affects what happens inside, as is true of the situation of nations in an international system.
The cosmology of historical materialism and scientific empiricism, which have not undergone a quantum evolution, leads to a view of the world and the international system as constantly being affected by four elements or forces that can only be controlled and tamed by the establishment of socialism or communism:
- Capital accumulation
- Center-periphery relations (the relation of protons, which are the superpowers, and neutrons, which are the major powers, with electrons, which are small states)
- Hegemony and rivalry (when a superpower is established and a rising power seeks to overthrow it, which nowadays is not applicable due to the interconnectedness of the superpower with the major powers)
- “Boom and Bust” economic cycles (triggered by economic competition)
Due to the perceived nature of the world and the international system on the part of analytic philosophy and historical materialism, anarchy, chaos, and disorder is inevitable. Furthermore, there are ten conditions overall that trigger anarchy and thus war, according to a British philosopher and humanist named G. Lowes Dickinson in a book titled International Anarchy:
- The juxtaposition of independent, armed states and individuals who are divided based on cultural and ideological lines, which in turn fosters mutual suspicions and hatred between states and individuals.
- “Balance of power”, which translates into alliances and friendships that are constantly in flux and thus the instability of alliances and friendships inevitably lead to one state or individual attacking another. Balance of power, one can argue, is a phenomenological symbol of “string theory”, which for the most part within the scientific community is invalid.
- Arms races, which in turn make disarmament impossible.
- Aggression and imperialist tendencies, otherwise known as “expansion for expansion’s sake” as coined by Hannah Arendt, which consists of the aimless pursuit of population growth and territorial acquisition. The final stage of imperialism is totalitarianism in order to preserve the empire, as signaled by Arendt and Oswald Spengler, a German philosopher and writer who influenced a number of great intellectuals of the 20th century. Totalitarianism carries with it the characteristic of hypercentralization, something that is now manifesting according to Francis Fukuyama in his newest book titled Identity, the negative effect of which is the breakdown of civil society, as noticed by Niall Ferguson.
- Economic competition, which leads to industrialization, and in turn industrialization leads to totalitarianism, and in the end totalitarianism leads to the breakdown of the integrity and well-being of the environment, thus leading to problems like climate change. In the postmodern era, which is characterized by rapid changes in technology and thus the collapse of modernism, given that the main pillar of modernism is industrialization (which in turn is the precursor to totalitarianism), the two main objectives of a quantum policy would be the reversal of climate change and environmental degradation through the undoing of social and political corruption and at the bare minimum making sure that there is a social safety net for people.
- The monopolization and exploitation of natural resources and raw materials, based on the false premise of scarcity.
- The historic failure of diplomacy due to lies, deceit, and the breaking of promises and treaties.
- Moral loss for material gain.
- “Honor”, which basically equates to the satanic ego.
- The media, both social media and mainstream media, which leads to gossip, jingoism, sensationalism, and senseless talk that leads to war over the pettiest of things.
Dickinson proposed a three-step process to overcome these conditions:
- Cessation of hostilities and war termination
- Finding solutions to global issues and problems through peaceful cooperation, dialogue, and negotiations within a multilateral forum like the United Nations
Hedley Bull, in Anarchical Society asked three questions. First of all, what is world order? The answer is that there is no such thing, given that anarchy, chaos, and disorder currently prevails in the worldly realm. Second, how is world order being maintained? The answer is that currently, it is being maintained militarily, namely through the “juxtaposition of armed, independent states” that are mutually suspicious of one another, thus putting all states and their subjects on a war path. Third and finally, Bull asks whether the current mode of maintaining world order is a viable one. The answer is no, thus the proposal for a new paradigm of politics and international relations.
The quantumization of politics and international relations consists of three basic stages: a beginning, a middle, and an end stage, similar to the three stages of the universe found in the history developed by Li Hongzhi in Zhuan Falun. For our intents and purposes, the three stages are the following:
- Stablization of the “nucleus” through the maintenance of US-Chinese ties and the gradual integration of Russia into the European community
- Establishing “Mass-Energy Equivalence” by creating regional blocs on the periphery of the nucleus in regions like the Americas (in compliance with the “Monroe Doctrine”, which will require the removal of Maduro in Venezuela and a democratic transition there); North Africa (where a common Berber identity exists), Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East (where a common Abrahamic ancestry exists), and South and Central Asia (where India can extend its influence and power, given that it is a rising power and it needs to transmit its power constructively). This design will prevent small states from degenerating into failed states with toxic effects for the international system.
- Reinforce “wave-particle duality” by promoting the “four freedoms” adopted by the European Union (namely, the free movement of capital, goods, people, and services) within the different regional blocs, thus leading to a gradual breakdown of borders (or particles) that are transmitted essentially into “waves”, given that waves transmit more energy and power than particles. Eventually, a global state may arise, consisting of representatives and managers from the different regional blocs.
A global state, according to the Islamic tradition, is in fact a precursor to what Christians call the establishment of “The Kingdom of Christ”, or “The Kingdom of God”, where man is the civil servant under the authority of a common deity and archangels. It is better to have a global state than maintaining the status quo of “sovereignty”, given that sovereignty no longer exists in an interconnected and interdependent world. By virtue of these conditions and realities, the international community will avoid Kierkegaard’s “common plight of man” and establish Kant’s coexistence of adversaries as espoused by Kissinger, who set the precedent for the quantumization of US foreign policy. One could ask, what is the justification for such an approach or paradigm for politics and international relations? The answer is simply belief.
When Hedley Bull assessed inter-subjective understandings, he approved of such understandings given that the ones advancing these understanding “actually believed” what they were advancing. “Belief is all you need”, according to the famous Chinese snooker player Ding Junhui. After all, the basic ethos of Western civilization came from Solon, who commanded to obey God and serve humanity. Nietzsche, the culmination of the Western philosophical tradition, saw the need for an “Ubermensch” in order to maintain that basic ethos given the nihilistic state that prevails, and given that one will either rise or perish, without any state in between. Such a paradigm shift would also be in line with the American tradition of switching from the old (which in this case means corruption, conflict, and clinging on to our “guns and religion” as Barack Obama famously said), and adopting the new, which entails cooperation, innovation, and the creation of international brotherhood and love, which are things that are badly needed in our current state.