Essentially, the complexities, obfuscations, and the smoke and mirrors of Western modernity conceal the real issue that is at the heart of human and social reality, and that is character and empathy. Amidst the complexities, obfuscations, and the smoke and mirrors of modernity, people forget the basics and the essentials of human life, and that is when problems arise on both a domestic level and a global level in society. If a school or a university cannot teach the basics and essentials for a better world, namely, character and empathy, then self-education is the better route. The whole point of education is the development of character and empathy. Better to close down schools and universities if they are not teaching the basics and the essentials for a better society and a better world.

            Moreover, when you have criminals and murderers like Condoleezza Rice and others who are on the faculties of Ivy League and Little Ivy schools across the country, how can anyone expect that character and empathy can arise in a nation and society? We have all the people and the software we need to generate mind-boggling charts, data, graphs, and statistics. But amidst the cognitive dissonance and psychological warfare which arises from a modern ontological state, the basics and the essentials of human life such as character and empathy are lost, and as a result, power is dispersed throughout the international system and it also shifts away from Westerners and towards Easterners.

            Thus, when Antonio Guterres says “either we stop it or it stops us” before a crowd in Glasgow during an international conference on climate change, he is actually using mother nature as a veil, and beneath the veil he is signaling to his audience that a power shift is occurring in the international system and that this power shift has to stop. No one can control mother nature, despite the illusion brought about by modernity that mother nature can be controlled or stopped.

            As a result, Antonio Guterres and others are using climate change as an analogy or a metaphor for the power shift away from Westerners – who were long under the illusion that they can control the international system and the universe – and towards Easterners. Turkey and Russia might come together through a meeting of the minds as to the essentiality of the Bosporus Strait as a counteraction against unjust sanctions as well as Western intransigence towards the idea of Russia and Turkey becoming part of the European Union (EU). Also, when Eastern nations come together with Gulf Arab nations and North African countries to underscore the agency they have in the international system by virtue of a “Petro-Yuan,” Western governments and societies can then arrive at the realization that the basics and essentials of character, empathy, food, water, oil, and natural gas have slipped away from them amidst their cognitive dissonance and political paralysis.

            Perhaps these are the actions and the tactics which need to take place on the part of those who are subject to Western obscurantism and hegemony in order to have a “paradigm shift” take place in the international system away from a zero-sum paradigm and towards a positive-sum paradigm. Perhaps one is naïve and stupid to assume that a paradigm shift would occur on its own or naturally. As one scholar put it, Washington – and thus the West – respond to “squeaky wheels.” So do anchorwomen in their mid-40’s who are on the verge of a midlife crisis.

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