In sum, deteriorating socioeconomic and sociopolitical conditions in America and elsewhere are prompted largely by the ‘neocon death touch’ mentioned in the previous essay. In turn, the ‘neocon death touch’ is amplified by the perpetual nature of the conflict between Russia and the West. In the bigger scheme of things, Ukraine is largely tangential to the perpetual conflict between Russia and the West which in turn defines international affairs to a significant degree.

Given the perpetual nature of the conflict between Russia and the West — in addition to the divides within the West itself as suggested by Brexit, populism, and so forth — it follows that the socioeconomic and sociopolitical conditions which reinforce one another and are impacted by this perpetual conflict will continue into some sort of downward spiral until we reach a point where the remedy has to be addressed through midterm and general elections in the United States over the course of approximately the next three years. However, there is no guarantee that elections in the United States would be the remedy for the downward spiral being caused by the perpetual nature of the conflict between Russia and the West, the effects of which are amplified by the ‘neocon death touch.’ And to make matters worse, Joe Biden’s term in office feels like it has gone on forever and that time has somehow slowed down.

Moreover, energy and manufacturing form the backbone and the essentials of the global economy, or the “Commanding Heights” of the global economy. Thus, China, Russia, and the Middle East are in a position to push the envelope against the West on political and social issues, especially with the novel dimension of military equilibrium now in the picture. In turn, something transformational is perhaps in the works for international society, but the transformations will take place alongside perpetual conflict between Russia and the West. To an extent, the renewal of conflict between Russia and the West comes off the heels of Washington’s failure to properly manage both the global order and international affairs during the end stage of a 500-year period characterised by Western hegemony over the international system. The breakdown of global order which has manifested over the course of the last couple of decades is the direct consequence of Washington’s failure to uphold global order and to properly manage global affairs.

In the end, elite decision-making and strategy rely on experience and history more than anything else as guides. But no matter how rational one is in their employment of experience and history for decision-making and strategic purposes, passion will always figure into one’s decision-making and strategic calculus to a certain extent. And there are certain passions which accentuate themselves over others, in light of some of the economic, political, and social developments in recent times. As Bertrand Russell said: “Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.”

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