Skyfall

An Arab poet wrote that there are only two things which a person takes to the grave when he or she passes away: good deeds and “Taqwa.” In the Arabic language, “Taqwa” literally translates into the verbs “to preserve” or “to protect.” Thus, a person of Taqwa is always fearful and vigilant of their eschatological state, and they constantly seek to preserve and protect their soul, often to the edge of paranoia schizophrenia. Taqwa is a quality and trait that is usually associated with people of incredibly high IQ and intelligence.

There are essentially three things that the people of Taqwa are advised to protect themselves from, given that they are highly knowledgeable and have risen through the ranks of society due to their knowledge. For one, the people of Taqwa are advised to overcome the desire for glory and fame. Second, they are advised to stay away from corruption and corrupt money (i.e., Rothschild money, etc.). And third – and perhaps most importantly – the people of Taqwa are told to avoid lust and promiscuity. In return for preserving “Taqwa” and avoiding these three things, God promises the people of Taqwa three things: forgiveness for all mistakes and sins, removal of the torment of the grave upon death, and the favorable sorting out of one’s affairs in this life and in the afterlife.

Thus, a person who is highly intelligent and has a high IQ is naturally put in a position to make a tradeoff. Ultimately, everything is about tradeoffs and opportunity costs from a solely economic perspective. But economics also involves normative decision-making, preferences, and values. Thus, a cost-benefit analysis does not and should not discount psychosocial and normative issues and matters. Moreover, upon observing the fate of those in Afghanistan who engaged in glory seeking, corruption, and lust, the concept of “Taqwa” becomes all the more credible, and what arises is a greater level of willpower to overcome the impulse towards glory seeking, corruption, and lust for the sake of salvation. Human beings are naturally driven by acquisitiveness, rivalry, vanity, and the desire for power. To overcome these basic drivers of human behavior for a truly long-term goal such as salvation is something that is achieved only by those with incredible willpower and wisdom.

One of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad once said: “Congratulations to those who leave the world before it deserts them; to those who build their graves before they enter them, and to those who please their Lord before they meet Him.” What is insinuated by these words is that glory seeking, corruption, and lust can only go so far. In the end, these things result in abandonment, calamity, and disaster. We see the abandonment, calamities, and disasters befalling many people, from Andrew Cuomo all the way to the Afghan politicians who were used as pawns in “The Great Game.” Glory seeking, corruption, and lust undergirded twenty or thirty years of American global hegemony. The result? Donald Trump, the resurgence of Russia, and the rise of China.

Moreover, it has become all the more difficult for the establishment to get rid of Donald Trump and his anti-establishment movement. Trump is still able to rally a large swath of the American population, despite being dislodged from Twitter and certain social media outlets. There is one thing that does not click for people who think, and it motivates Trump supporters: Joe Biden couldn’t even finish fourth place in Iowa and New Hampshire during the Democratic primaries in 2020. And yet, he somehow became president. Once you apply and internalize this logic, the sentiment that underlies those who are against the establishment and establishment policies becomes even stronger.

As a result, America becomes analogous with Afghanistan. Just as an anti-establishment movement was able to take Afghanistan in 2021, there is a huge possibility that an anti-establishment movement can take America in either 2024 or 2025. Joe Biden and his people are focused mainly on three things: reversing anti-establishment sentiment in America, reversing the resurgence of Russia, and reversing the rise of China. On all three fronts, Joe Biden and his people have failed thus far. And the failures will continue, because these three trends are perhaps irreversible. Megalomania, corruption, and lust have long-term consequences, and these three trends are just some of the consequences. Moreover, Joe Biden is not the person capable of reversing these trends. At the moment, there is no one in America who is capable of reversing these three trends. Trump is still able to rally thousands upon thousands of people at his events. Russia exerts immense leverage over Europe. And China remains largely unscathed from America’s protectionist policies and is making a push for Taiwan, whereas Americans are the ones who have to bear the brunt of inflation, shortages, and sanctions on oil-rich countries such as Iran and Venezuela. Thus, the evidence shows that these trends are difficult to reverse at the moment.

Given that these three trends are bound to continue, the question becomes one of what to do about them. The answer is that no one really knows. As Paul Nitze famously said: “All is uncertainty.” What America is experiencing now has been experienced by many countries before. What we are in for as Americans is a struggle. Inflation and shortages are just the beginning of the struggle. Dysfunction in America’s political system will have consequences for all other areas of American life, and we are seeing the consequences already. The central government in the United States is now weak due to decades of a failed policy of global hegemony, and is perhaps on the brink of failure.

As mentioned before, the reasons for why it is difficult to overcome these consequences and trends is because of human nature itself and the glory seeking, corruption, and lust which highly intelligent human beings in government are vulnerable towards. Acquisitiveness, rivalry, vanity, and the desire for power blind us towards the long-term consequences and outcomes of such behavior.

In the end, all nations go through a rise and fall, along with generation and decline. Perhaps this is the onset of such a cycle in American history. The onset of such a cycle came earlier in America than in any other major power that preceded America, because the intensity of the glory seeking, corruption, and lust was greater during American hegemony than in any other time in history. Although “seeing is believing,” there is also the issue of appearance versus reality. Corruption is made to look beautiful and appealing in Washington. However, there are many things which do not meet the eye. Nevertheless, we must reckon with them eventually.

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