When I was a grad student at American University’s School of International Service (SIS), a classmate and friend of mine introduced me to a professor named Randolph Persaud. I should also note that this was quite some time before Donald Trump even announced his candidacy for president. In general, Persaud had the reputation of a “leftist” international relations professor, and he was considered by some as a “Marxist.” But after meeting Persaud and having listened to what he had to say, I would argue that the man is far more complex and dynamic than what people have made him out to be.
Between classes one evening, Persaud was casually hanging out at the lobby floor of the SIS building, and my friend and I came across him at that very moment. My friend happened to be a student of Persaud, and she introduced me to him. Immediately after we greeted one another, Persaud gave his take on the economic, political, and social situation in the United States. Persaud argued that virtually all of the important economic, political, and social indices and metrics demonstrate that the economic, political, and social situation in the United States is virtually identical to the situation in France before its revolution in 1789. Thus, Persaud argued that one should expect some sort of economic, political, or social upheaval in the United States in the coming years.
Persaud’s projection came true to a large extent by virtue of Donald Trump and the political and social upheaval brought about by populism. I came across Persaud yet again while Trump was president, and it was during a discussion at the SIS campus. During that discussion, Persaud warned the audience that we should all be on the lookout for the Taliban, and that there is a serious chance that the Taliban will make a comeback. Persaud’s projection came true yet again when one takes into account the events which took place this past summer in Afghanistan.
I have mentioned the issue of foresight and intuition in a number of previous blog posts. Thus, I have brought up my encounters with Randolph Persaud to reinforce the point about the importance of foresight and intuition when it comes to intellectual discourse. Moreover, an intellectual discourse that is void of a spiritual element will lack the intuition and foresight that certain scholars like Persaud are blessed with having.
As mentioned before, Persaud’s key argument or projection was that some sort of economic, political, or social upheaval will occur in the United States. But Persaud’s projection still applies to the present moment, even though Trump has come and gone for the time being. Although Trump has come and gone for the time being, populism still exists in America. Thus, there is the likelihood of yet another economic, political, or social upheaval in the United States, especially when one considers the holistic state of affairs in the United States. Certain elements, groups, or individuals may be blind to this possibility. But many experts and scholars – including the expert and scholar which I have just highlighted – have provided both a rationale and sound justification for such a possibility. Thus, the issue at hand is not one which pertains to the likelihood of impending doom and gloom. Rather, the issue is whether the impending doom and gloom can be averted in time.