Cogito Ergo Sum

Kenneth Waltz, the late political theorist, probably made one of the most significant contributions to political philosophy by forging a topography of the world’s social and political systems. Waltz saw the world as being divided into what he called the three “levels of analysis.” For one, there is the international system that is characterized by anarchy, chaos, and thus a constant state of war. In reaction to the international system, societies create a second level of analysis for self-preservation amidst anarchy and chaos, which is the state. Outside of the state level is none other than the individual, who is impacted by both the international system and the state. More than anything, Waltz gave insight into the Western mind and how it viewed the world socially and politically. One can argue that it is perhaps Waltz’s worldview that has shaped the world, rather than there being inherent conditions in the world as Waltz suggests. Nevertheless, Waltz’s “levels of analysis” are a reflection of the Western worldview, or weltanschauung, which in turn has been highly consequential to social and political conditions throughout the world.

One can argue that the international system fostered by the Western weltanschauung has been more consequential than endemic corruption and the economic and racial inequities between the more prosperous Western world on one hand, and the developing world consisting of Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East on the other hand. Or, one can argue that the disparities between “the West and the rest” can simply be explained by the inability of the rest to adapt to the Western way of life. Whether fear of the international system or systemic racism has created the rift between “the West and the rest” requires an excursion into Western psychology.

Notwithstanding the psychological factors that create an immense social gap between “the West and the rest,” there is also a significant material gap between Western nations and other parts of the world. According to Credit Suisse, there is approximately 360 trillion dollars in the international system. Approximately 105 trillion of the 360 trillion dollars belong to the United States, and 90 trillion belongs to Europe. In sum, approximately 55 percent of the world’s wealth belongs to the United States and Europe. Approximately 40 percent of the world’s wealth is situated in Asia, whereas only 5 percent of the world’s wealth is situated in Latin America and Africa combined. Whereas Whites and Asians possess 95 percent of the world’s wealth combined, Blacks and Browns from Latin America and Africa possess only 5 percent of the world’s wealth.

The question is: what explains the material gap between America and Eurasia on one hand, and Latin America and Africa on the other hand? While some have argued that the history of European colonialism has set the developing world back and has created an uneven playing field between “the West and the rest,” others have argued that endemic corruption in Latin America and Africa is the overriding factor in the material gap between Whites and people of color. Or, as mentioned before, the resistance towards falling under the Western cultural yoke is the reason for the material gap between Whites and people of color. As Jean-Paul Sartre mentioned, everything is settled except for the question of how to live.

Because of the Western weltanschauung and the perception of the international system as being characterized by anarchy, chaos, and war, the economic motive becomes the predominant driver in Western social behavior because economic strength is the primary means of establishing basic human security. One can also argue that the economic motive is the driver behind the West’s approach towards Russia.

The World Bank estimates that Russia’s natural resources are worth approximately 75 trillion dollars. As a result, one can suggest that Western hostility towards Russia is not because of ideology or because Russians are somehow inherently evil. What is central to the Western approach towards Russia as well as other nations who resist Western cultural influence is that multinational corporations and the governments that serve these corporations need a moralistic pretext to convince their publics that their military interventions abroad are somehow driven by something other than the pursuit of monetary profits and natural resources. After all, without money and the natural resources that generate wealth, you cannot have power or pleasure, especially in the postmodern era. The centrality of money in Western social and political behavior can be evinced by Max Weber, who demonstrated that Protestantism has gone as far as suggesting that wealth and power is a sign of God’s favor, rather than a test from God. Again, one can argue that the Western weltanschauung is the primary factor behind both the psychological and material gap between “the West and the rest.”

The social outcome that has resulted globally from colonialism as well as its successor systems such as neocolonialism, neoliberalism, and neoconservatism is the installation of corrupt governments in Latin America, Africa, and Asia who have enabled the transfer of wealth and natural resources from these areas of the world to the West. As a result, there are now “global ghettos” in the words of the late Zbigniew Brzezinski as well as the creation of three distinct social classes that are of a global nature. For one, there is the agrarian class. Second is the industrial class who have not been able to transition into a post-industrial economy as of yet. And third is the “technetronic” class coined by Brzezinski. The “technetronic” class distinguishes itself from the agrarian and industrial class through their possession of philosophical and scientific information. These class differences stemming from economic circumstance in turn create two distinct social classes globally, according to Brzezinski: the cosmopolitan elite, and the nativist masses. The inability to bridge the social and economic gap between the cosmopolitan elite and the nativist masses is believed to be the primary factor behind social unrest in many societies.

Social and political divisions between the cosmopolitan elite and the nativist masses that now manifest globally apparently have their roots in Medieval Europe. Towards the close of the Medieval era and the beginning of the “European Renaissance,” two competing power centers emerged within Europe. For one, there were the “Ghibellines,” who were a group of agrarian families based in the region of Swabia located in what is today Southwestern Germany. The Ghibellines derived their wealth and social status from owning land. On the other hand, there was the “Guelphs,” who have their ancestral roots in Bavaria, which is located in Southeastern Germany, but were based in Venice during the Medieval period. The Guelphs were a group of families who derived their wealth primarily from commerce and trade. Amidst the power struggle in Medieval Europe between the Ghibellines and the Guelphs, the Pope allied himself with the Guelphs. Since then, modern political history has centered around the power struggle between these two groups of families.

It is also believed that the majority of the world’s wealth and power is concentrated in the hands of a group known as “The Black Nobility,” which is constituted by a small set of aristocratic families throughout Europe, among them being the famous House of Windsor headed by Queen Elizabeth II of England, the Dutch royal family, and the Hapsburgs in Austria. It is believed that Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, hailed from the “Black Nobility” of Poland. What connects the aristocratic families known as “The Black Nobility” with one another is that all these families trace their ancestral roots back to the Guelphs of the 14th century who acquired their legitimacy from their alliance with the Vatican. Thus, the Guelphs are the foremost political family in international politics.

Yet, there is a dark side to European power politics when one assesses the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of the European weltanschauung. Today’s “zero-sum” paradigm of politics and international relations stems from a British economist and philosopher named Thomas Malthus, who was affiliated with the “Black Nobility” of England in the 19th century, which coincided with the peak of British imperial rule. According to Malthus’s “Theory of Population,” the earth can only handle a certain population level because the earth only has a limited supply of food and natural resources. Through this theory, Malthus convinced the European elite that states had to take both “preventative” as well as “positive” measures to “balance” the world’s population with the world’s supposedly scarce supply of food and natural resources. As a result, the “zero-sum” paradigm of international relations comes from Malthus. It is also important to note that “Malthusian economics” is the intellectual forerunner to what is known as “Social Darwinism.”

When Malthus suggested “positive” measures be taken to balance the world’s population with the supply of food and natural resources, it was a dangerous and veiled proposition to eliminate what he considered an “excess” population through engineered famines and wars. “Preventative” measures included the weakening of economic conditions throughout the world by way of de-industrialization, capital flight through the creation of wars, the creation of barriers to a quality education, censorship of ideas and scientific breakthroughs that would challenge the status quo of anarchy, chaos, and scarcity while denying a positive-sum paradigm that espouses cosmological order, stability, and abundance, as well as the breakdown of the nuclear family via the demoralization of the youth through drugs, mass entertainment, and pornography that is now widely available because of the internet and technology.

American foreign policy is shaped largely by America’s “special relationship” with Britain, with the latter having pioneered the world’s most lucrative business, namely, the Afghan drug trade. After 2001 when America intervened in Afghanistan, opium production and thus the Afghan drug trade rose by 700 percent. Now, Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world’s opium supply. As a result, American foreign policy after the Cold War has been the spread of the Afghan drug trade through a regime change policy that creates mafias and terrorist groups who would traffic the drugs and render exorbitant profits for Western markets.

America’s foreign policy is one that is based on regime change, and the byproduct of a regime change policy that undermines de jure states is the creation of mafias and terrorist groups that traffic in Afghan drugs. Thus, American foreign policy is the creation of drug mafias and terrorist groups in order to expand the most lucrative business in the world, namely, Afghan drugs. It is also believed that Switzerland was created by European powers as a safe haven for depositing drug profits.

None of today’s social maladies occurred in a vacuum. All of todays’ social maladies were engineered and espoused by Malthus. Thus, “Malthusian economics” is a deadly program employed by governments to affect the global distribution of power between the elites and the masses. One can argue that the reason why 70 to 80 percent of America’s annual budget goes to militarization and weaponization instead of education and health care is due to “Malthusian economics.”

Arguably, Malthus’s “Theory of Population” is the main driver behind everything that is going on in the international system, which in turn kills the intellectual and spiritual drive of many people throughout the world. In turn, the death of the collective drive towards intellectual and spiritual fulfillment enforces the zero-sum paradigm that is enforced to create the psychological and material gap between the elites and the masses.

When the cosmological and natural order is based on abundance and stability, it follows that anarchy, chaos, scarcity, and war is a situation that is engineered by a small group of people sitting atop of the world’s social pyramid. General Wesley Clark’s post-Cold War plan to topple seven states in the Middle East and North Africa was a deliberate attempt to impose the subconscious zero-sum paradigm on the Muslim world, which has now largely been thwarted by the rise of China.

In the most basic sense, nothing is going on in the world except for the perpetuation of a flawed theoretical paradigm based on Malthusian economics. While the truth behind man’s relation to God and the external world has become ever more complex and elusive as a result of the collapse of established ideologies such as Liberalism, Marxism, and Populism, governments have sought to claim the absolute truth pertaining to the meaning of existence by reducing man to homo economicus through their alliance with multinational corporations. The main question behind the zeitgeist of the current postmodern era is one pertaining to the meaning of existence, which ideologies like Liberalism and Marxism have failed to answer.

Thus, the social and political aim of the current postmodern era is the search for balance and equilibrium between the material and spiritual dimensions of man. The failure of the Western weltanschauung, according to Brzezinski, stems from its inability to strike an optimal balance between the material and spiritual dimensions of man. As a result, Man is in a constant search for answers, which perhaps can only be answered by religions such as Christianity and Islam. Brzezinski argued that Christianity and Islam both consist of the same substance and themes, but have different “semantics.”

The individual who is struggling to sustain his or her intellectual and spiritual drive is then driven into isolation and withdrawal due to the basic paradigm and schadenfreude that defines the interpersonal relations of both the elites and the masses. Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” is a classic American novel that captures the social dilemma created by both the elites and the masses which in turn drives the protagonist, who is a learned and rather intuitive individual, into a state of isolation and withdrawal. For the most part, the social environment in today’s world is largely inhospitable to social and political achievement, which in turn drives the most perceptive people into a state of disillusionment. As Ray Dalio wrote, climbing the social ladder does not mean the character of the people you come across is superior to others.

Given the social degeneration of our time, Western anxiety, guilt, and sin have to be remedied by doing the right thing and by undergoing intellectual and spiritual healing, which in turn will enable the Western world to regain its virility and overcome its impotence on the international stage that has been symbolized by two septuagenarian presidential candidates in the United States. As Kierkegaard wrote, anxiety is the result of sin. Without knowledge of the cosmological context that is being shaped largely by the Western weltanschauung, one cannot affect the change and reforms necessary to reverse the deadly and treacherous path taken by mankind due to a single thought.

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