The Guy in the Glass

Perhaps the main reason why the international system is constantly in a state of flux is because politics and international relations comes down mainly to applied physics. And physics at the quantum level shows that everything is in a state of flux. Only one entity or one thing can remain permanent in a global or quantum situation where everything is in a constant state of flux. Because everything is in a state of flux, the appearances, optical illusions, obfuscation, and complexities overshadow simple truths. Once we overcome the appearances, optical illusions, obfuscations, and complexities, reaching a simple truth – as well as cause and effect – can clear cognitive dissonance and thus things can operate more effectively and efficiently in the international system. Perhaps all the issues with inflation and supply chains and so on relate to the cognitive dissonance of our time. Moreover, simplicity is beauty.

            But what is perhaps the key characteristic of postmodernism – our current eschatological, ontological, and intellectual age and state – is hyper-centralization amidst social fragmentation and the dispersal of power throughout the international system. After the nomadic, agricultural, and modern ages comes postmodernism. As was mentioned in a previous post, “Mutual Assured Destruction” (MAD) is the strategic context of the international system. This strategic context covers everything around the globe, from Northeast Asia to South Asia, the Middle East, as well as Europe and Russia. That is the strategy side. The intelligence side is that open intelligence suffices. Everything is hidden in plain sight. One book or one oeuvre can be the guide and source for a logically holistic understanding of the international system. One book or one oeuvre can also intuitively lead to secondary sources in one’s understanding of the international system. With that said, I understand why I did not have the drive or the motivation to overcome all the hurdles and red tape for an overpriced degree this Fall.  

            But where does the hyper-centralization occur amidst the social fragmentation? One can argue that it does not occur within a state. Overall, states around the world are under immense strain due to the effects of American global hegemony over the course of the last three decades. Rather, in a postmodern age, given the social fragmentation and the dispersal of power, the hyper-centralization of power may perhaps rest with one individual. Thomas Friedman once mentioned the importance of just one individual in a lecture which can be found on YouTube, when he explained how it may be possible to overcome social fragmentation in an age of social media. Henry Kissinger is known to have had the nature and the operations of the international system in his head. Thus, the international system perhaps relies on the individual in order to overcome the dissonance that exists between states and individuals in an age of hyper-centralization amidst social fragmentation.

Moreover, individuals have more agency and power now than they ever did in the modern age. In the modern age, power – the ability to control or influence the actions and thoughts of others – rested primarily with states (the basic units within the international system). Now, things are much more complicated. Individuals may have the ability to match – if not exceed – the power of states within the international system, especially when we consider that power is essentially the ability to control or influence the actions and thoughts of others. Moreover, power is everything when you deconstruct everything down to the core in a postmodern age. Thus, in a postmodern age, you have to understand power. And in order to understand power, you now have to understand the individual more than anything else. You can deny the individual. But you cannot deny the individual’s knowledge, and ultimately, knowledge rules over all.

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