Cultivate Your Garden

Edmund Burke once said: “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” Cathartic writing that has manifested in the form of these essays may have subconsciously been an attempt to do something and to shed light on certain realities that may be overlooked in most circumstances. Writing has also been a teaching tool not only for the reader, but for the writer as well. Through writing, I have been able to induce and deduce certain conclusions that were situated in my mind, but have now been brought to the fore for analysis, criticism, and observation.

Based on Western theory, the international system is characterized by anarchy and chaos as mentioned in a number of essays. As Kenneth Waltz wrote: “With many sovereign states, with no system of law enforceable among them, with each state judging its grievances and ambitions according to the dictates of its own reason or desire – conflict, sometimes leading to war, is bound to occur.”

In an anarchic and chaotic world, anything is possible. Today’s trade negotiations between the United States and Britain resemble yesterday’s “Jay Treaty” where a sudden alignment of interests supersede hostilities and tensions. America’s deal with the Taliban, which was struck in February of 2020, is an integral part of the trade negotiations between the United States and Britain due to Afghan opium and rare earth materials that are the most lucrative products in the world at the moment. America will maintain neutrality between Britain and Europe but will continue trafficking oil, opium, and rare earth materials with Britain through the Taliban and Pakistan.

As the Quran states, the life of this world is nothing but a game and a pastime. Now that artificial intelligence and technology has zapped the agency of humans in shaping the world, the game has become boring. Thoreau’s fear of the machine riding the human being has become a reality. Thus, the human being has become the machine. Given the dullness of life in this “cyborg era,” power is the objective because as Kissinger once stated, power is the greatest aphrodisiac. As a result, some people believe that elites and politicians are a part of certain sex cults, and it is because of sexual gratification that the elites and politicians participate in what is known as “The Great Game.”

Within the course of “The Great Game,” embassy parties in major Western capitals are opportunities for either a sex scandal or trouble. For some, the great game is an escape from the repetitiveness of regular life. However, due to the essence of life in a postmodern or poststructuralist world and the systematization of even the great game that was once a way of freelancing, the thrill of life is gone for the most part.

For anyone who has watched the drama series “House of Cards,” the character of Mark Usher demonstrates that after the utility and value of everything else has been exhausted, nothing beats the joy of something as simple as a cigarette or tobacco. In the end, it’s the small things that matter. As mentioned before, the great game is now systematized based on a simple formula: Maintain the special relationship with Britain, bring China close to break the EU-Russia link that is forged by China, and forge power equilibrium through military means between Europe and Russia.

Somehow, one must eventually see through party politics and see what the system is about, which is ultimately about playing a role in “The Great Game.” The internal energy and resources of a nation are channeled and directed towards the state in order to play the great game. Presidents and other elected officials put in everything they have in order to play this game. Quarreling between the United States, Britain, Europe, and Russia will probably persist to the end of time, and as a result the great game is perennial with recurring cycles. As Richard Nixon said: “The Cold War isn’t thawing; it is burning with a deadly heat. Communism isn’t sleeping; it is, as always, plotting, scheming, working, fighting.”

Weberian belief as the basic determinant of social reality leads to a dichotomization of minds between those seeking to merely survive and those with telepathic powers, according to the studies conducted by J.B. Rhine. The overwhelming majority of people are more concerned with making a buck and reproduction than with the great game of the elites. Social outreach on the part of the state is needed to recruit the right assets in order to reinforce their position in this game. Between Bush-style economics of oil and opium on the Republican side and the Kennedy-style economy of alcohol and marijuana, the lines between the two sides are ultimately blurred. Which side holds the moral high ground?

As mentioned before, the objective of the great game is not to establish the absolute good, because the absolute good does not exist. Rather, the game is about establishing the lesser evil, according to Hans Morgenthau. There are show horses and there are workhorses who play this game, according to one of my professors in grad school. Some countries, despite their potential, have been unable to convert that potential into playing the global game. Brazil, for example, is now second in the world only behind the United States in terms of total coronavirus cases. In terms of landmass, Brazil is three times larger than India and is endowed with plenty of natural resources, but is worse off than India in economic terms due to corruption.

No matter what is being done or written, nothing new is being produced. As Rumi wrote, there is no news. What is generated by today’s mainstream media as well as other outlets is the conventional muckraking, sensationalism, and yellow journalism to which all of us are accustomed. Ronald Barthes, a French postmodern and poststructuralist writer of the 20th century, was one of the first to suggest that everything which is said and done in this epoch is merely a reconstruction and representation of past writings and ideas. As a result, there is an inevitable loss of meaning, the end result of which is an abject feeling of nothingness. Even astronomy and metaphysics, which are the endpoints of philosophical and scientific inquiry, have lost their luster.

The ultimate choice left for the human being is one of making what is known as “Pascal’s Wager,” or choosing between whether God exists or not. James Madison and Edmund Burke advanced the principles of freedom and religious responsibility despite espousing the policy of “democracy at home, tyranny abroad” for the sake of continuity over change in order to establish stability over uncertainty. Hyper-centralization of the high federalists of the past is now a present-day phenomenon despite the façade of populism. Amidst hyper-centralization is an interagency war over budgets in an era of bureaucratic politics in an effort for each bureaucratic agency to preserve their own interests through preserving their budget. Bigger defense budgets mean the military will have the advantage in technical expertise over other agencies.

Yet, hyper-centralization and the expansion of the state over the world has largely ignored the malady that is the byproduct of such an evolution in our present day and age, which is the national debt. In the past, the national debt was manageable because the government could easily raise revenues through bonds and taxation for military spending. Now, spending exceeds the ability to raise revenues, thus creating a precarious situation surrounding the national debt which is compounded by the fact that China is financing a lot of the American government’s spending on military expansion and wars that serve as the foundation for the American empire.

The solution to mitigating the threat of the national debt would be to reduce spending and increase revenues while shrinking the empire and transitioning towards a governing system that provides increased social services at a time when the American economy faces an uncertain future. Gary Becker, an American economist, wrote about how the family is the most basic unit in the overall economy. But the family is also the most basic unit in a political sense as well. As Adam Smith wrote in “The Wealth of Nations”: “What is prudence in the conduct of every private family, can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.” In other words, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

If reduced spending and increased revenues are not possible, then the United States will have to improve its relations with China in order to mitigate the threat associated with the growing national debt. Also, how will China react to America’s continued military presence in East Asia in an era where China is seeking to convert economic clout into political and thus military power? Without dialogue and diplomacy, it would be hard for the United States to persuade China into lending for America’s global military presence when the entire Chinese playbook is based on being “Western.”

If China pushes America out of East Asia and converts economic clout into military prowess, the entire game and system falls apart and America’s empire might collapse. However, this is unlikely given that China’s economic clout largely depends on the American market and China would not want to compromise this commercial relationship. If the American government is unable to raise revenue domestically to pay for the recalled debt incurred through borrowing from countries like China and others to finance its global military presence, there will be no choice but to rollback America’s global presence.

            For now, America’s global military presence is sustained by opening America’s market to China’s manufactured goods, the revenues of which are used to lend money to America for its global military presence. As a result, America’s global military presence is largely financed by the American domestic economy, British opium in Afghanistan, big banks, Persian Gulf oil, and Chinese manufacturing. Europe, South Korea, and Japan will also begin contributing considerable sums in order to sustain America’s global military presence, given that Europe and East Asia combined have a larger GDP than the United States. If all fails, quantitative easing and the printing of money will be used as instruments to inject money into the system in order for state operations and private sector investment and spending to continue.

            The global economy is largely driven by a concept known as “comparative advantage,” and America’s comparative advantage is its military-industrial complex. If American military services are exchanged for monetary output generated by other countries, then the international system will continue with the status quo. America can then serve as a counterbalance against those who are not integrated into the international system and are seen as threats. These countries are Iran, Russia, and North Korea. Due to the concept of comparative advantage and the theory of “structural functionalism” that views the world as a body with constituent parts that collectively fulfill an end goal, the world is primarily an economic structure rather than a political structure. However, the end goal of this economic structure is a political goal.

The collective end goal of an economic world based on comparative advantage and structural functionalism is lifelong learning and teaching, which the Germans call “Bildung.” Because commerce and learning are the most basic functions of an economic world, political and diplomatic efforts are then aimed at the global expansion of commerce and information-sharing if a shared meaning of existence cannot be developed globally. Shared meaning of existence may develop globally with the global expansion of commerce and information-sharing. But Bildung and commerce are the foundations of the liberal worldview which the international system led by the United States is based upon, and this system has kept the peace around the world to a relatively large extent since World War II.

The idea that the United States had for the world after World War II was that the global expansion of commerce and information-sharing under the global military framework created by the United States would eventually lead to the development of a shared meaning of existence between individuals and nations that in turn would ensure a global peace. This idea is a fragile one, given the threats that emanate from countries like Russia, Iran, and North Korea who are revanchist and anti-status quo. Liberal discourse and Quranic discourse stand in contrast to Populist and Marxist discourse, but the line dividing the status quo from revolution is a porous and tenuous one.

            Global order, stability, and thus the continuation of the status quo will depend heavily on sustained dialogue and diplomacy between the United States and China that in turn perpetuates commerce and information-sharing between the two countries at a bare minimum, even if a shared meaning of existence does not develop. Due to unnecessary wars in the Middle East and what Ronan Farrow called “hyper-militarization,” the United States has largely lost its credibility and legitimacy as the global sponsor of the liberal worldview. That position now belongs to China due to the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI), and as a result realism on the part of the United States has reared its ugly head out into the international system.

The glory days for the United States might be coming to a close, and what is possibly on the horizon is an era of austerity characterized by increased taxation and decreased spending that ultimately would lead to a transition towards greater social services for the American people, which in turn would bring about internal balancing with the American economy and populace with less focus on the outside world. But a switch from the realist and liberal worldview to a social-democratic worldview would fundamentally change the nature of the United States and in turn would lead to a denial of its comparative advantage in the global economy. Thus, the switch to social democracy in the United States is highly unlikely. Decreased focus on the outside world would also lead to a degree of rollback on America’s military presence and the development of militaries in areas that were once under America’s security umbrella.

However, the rollback of America’s global military presence will likely lead to an outbreak of war in other parts of the world and it will lead to a faulty denial of the issue of comparative advantage that was mentioned before. America’s comparative advantage and specialty is its military industrial complex. Countries will pay for America’s military services in order to focus on their own comparative advantages. However, the willingness on the part of other nations to pay America for a security umbrella could diminish at any time. Thus, America should orient itself towards a more balance approach towards its internal affairs and external affairs.

            There are no new or bold ideas in politics and international relations anymore. In this day and age, politics equates to acting and theater and the desire to explore the orient for food and sex. People are either deluded into thinking that they are special, or they are patiently waiting for a savior. The only thing keeping the international system together at this point, quite frankly, is a miracle of God. But as Sylvia Plath once wrote, everything is the way that it is supposed to be. As a result, “The Great Game” could possibly be a mystical journey that takes one out of the boring routine of ordinary life. Anxiety and paranoia stem from a lack of information and knowledge. As a result, the Arabic word for information and knowledge is “I’lm,” the root of which is the word “milk,” which is a pacifying agent for infants who are hungry or distraught.

Playing the great game also means abiding by the highest moral and ethical standards that are largely ignored by ordinary people, even though there are no discernible rules to the game because the rules come from esoteric sources that are not readily available to the majority of people. At the international level, it is impossible to enforce the rules of the game even if they were discernible, because the international system as mentioned before is characterized by anarchy and chaos according to the realist theory of politics and international relations. As Kenneth Waltz wrote: “States in the world are like individuals in the state of nature. They are neither perfectly good nor are they controlled by law.”

This is why Freud, who serves as the culmination of the social sciences, switched from espousing Rousseau’s state of nature to espousing Hobbes’s state of nature. As a result, one must simply accede to the fact that smaller countries cannot preserve their independence in the face of bigger and meaner powers. We live largely in a “White Man’s World,” where White Aryans exert their power over nine other races as identified by the Rand-McNally Atlas of 1944: Semite, Dravidian, Mongolian, Malayan, American-Indian, Negro, Native Australian, Papuan, Hottentots and Bushmen.

Because Freud is the pinnacle of study in the Western social sciences, it can be inferred from the Freudian theoretical approach to social behavior that Western sexuality and aggression stemming from the Western subconscious mind, which is largely untamed by the conscious superego level of ethics, morals, and values, will encompass the globe and will manifest through military means at the cost of taxpayers and lenders alike.

Theory, as mentioned in a previous essay, is parsimonious, and it seeks to explain everything. Freud’s theory of the Ego, Superego, and Id supersedes every other theory thus far. Thus, race discourse is largely irrelevant. When reading Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” one becomes confident that the race discourse is largely irrelevant and that the desires of the elite are guiding the system. Virtually everything is designed to favor the elites over the masses.

Even war and inequality, which are the two major plagues of the international system, provide a net benefit to the elites over the masses. Basically, the elites’ Freudian desire for sex, as well as their Freudian desire to explore and conquer the world, is covered by a global military and police framework designed by the United States. In the end, the reality is that there is the one percent elite that is comprised of the mainstream media, big medicine, academia, as well as corporations and banks on one hand, and the masses that comprise of 99 percent of the world’s population on the other hand, both of which are separated by military and police structures. Because of the incredible degree of separation between the elites and masses forged by the military and police framework, the masses do not know how or where to direct their frustration, as illustrated by Pankaj Mishra in a book titled “Age of Anger.”

What is relevant is the subconscious western desire for infantile sex and aggressive domination of the world (“Napoleonic Complex”) by any means necessary. According to Freud, this subconscious western mind is undergirded by perpetual guilt, fear, and sin, and the subconscious mind is largely left untamed and is outside the grip of the superego that encompasses the realm of ethics, morals, and values. Freud best explains the West’s desire to conquer the Orient. After all, it was Bertrand Russell who said that self-education is aimed at enhancing one’s ability to have satisfying sex. The legalization and regulation of prostitution will be the primary means of mitigating aggression and crime in the United States. States like Holland that have legalized and heavily regulated prostitution virtually have no crime.

            During this intellectual and spiritual journey, one encounters individuals with higher levels of consciousness than the people one encounters in ordinary life. Consciousness in ordinary life is situated at the level of survival, whereas the level of consciousness at the “Great Game” level is situated in the realm of telepathy. In the end, once a person finishes undergoing Frankl’s “logo-therapy” by completing their duty with courage and in turn attaining love, one can then finally go on to what Voltaire suggested, which was to cultivate your garden.  

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