On Time

Hence, the very basic nature of industrialization and modernization is such that both economic and social phenomena are entirely dependent on energy and oil. And if a war ever emanates again out of the Western world, the war will probably be over the issue of energy and oil. In turn, this blatant and outright dependence on other people’s energy and oil is a fact or reality of Western life which is either downplayed or ignored by fraudsters, propagandists, liars, and spinsters in Western metropoles. 

There have been many instances in my mind when the propaganda and spin of Western metropoles did not match up to the reality and truth of which I was witnessing through personal experience. One of these instances of propaganda not matching reality was during a trip I made to Qatar about seven years ago. During the trip, a friend of ours who is a business partner of Sheikh Faisal al-Thani – who is a very big international businessman and is the cousin of the Emir – invited us to his home for a New Year’s Eve dinner. His home was located in a walled compound about 20 or 30 minutes outside of Doha’s downtown area.

Coincidentally, there were Americans who also lived in the compound, but the situation of the Americans was such that the Americans were essentially living in a compound within a compound. And as our host said, the Americans had little to no interaction with everyone else who lived within the compound. Why the Americans cut themselves off from everyone else is perhaps because of an underlying sense of guilt and paranoia which comes from extraction and theft. Such extraction and theft also occurred in Afghanistan and Iraq, and those experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq were also underpinned by neurotic and sociopathic attitudes and behavior, but on a more extreme and intense level than the attitudes and behavior displayed elsewhere. 

Arguably, why energy is more important and significant than finance or manufacturing as one of the three “commanding heights” of the international economy is because while the political and social dimensions of finance – namely, sanctions – can be counteracted through certain political and social measures, short of war, the political and social dimensions of energy and oil producing nations cannot be counteracted effectively, especially in a context and situation based on an emerging military and economic equilibrium between West and East.  

For instance, if Russia were to take the political and social measure of stopping the supply of energy it provides to Europe, and given that Russia supplies about half of Europe’s energy, it follows that half of Europe’s supply of energy cannot be pulled out like a rabbit from a magician’s hat. Another example of how the political and social dimensions of sanctions vis-à-vis the political and social dimensions of energy and oil do not necessarily size up to one another is that the recent economic and financial sanctions on Russia led to a decline in the currency value of virtually all currencies except for the Russian currency, whereas the value of energy and oil soared vis-à-vis all currencies as a result of Russia’s war on Ukraine. 

In an economic, political, and social sense, the “Theory of Everything” in the modern and even postmodern age of economics, politics, and sociology amounts to a theory known as “Structural Functionalism.” What “Structural Functionalism” amounts to is essentially the “Division of Labor” which is constituted by the aforementioned “Commanding Heights” of the international economy. In turn, the job of the ‘philosopher’ or informed person is to oversee the “Division of Labor” and thus oversee the “Commanding Heights” of the international economy. In Western philosophy, the concept of overseeing the “Division of Labor” as the primary task of the philosopher is derived from the thoughts and works of Adam Smith. 

One logical consequence or outcome of a discussion on energy and the “Division of Labor” is a discussion on the concept or issue of time. More often than not, the theorization or intellectualization of the concept of time has been appropriated by folks in the natural or physical sciences and by physicists in particular. However, physicists such as the late Stephen Hawking who were experts on the concept of time were also deeply concerned with economic, political, and social issues, and as a result, aside from energy, time is perhaps the most significant factor in economic, political, and social life.

In sum – and as Hawking pointed out – the traditional view of time ends up being juxtaposed with the modern view of time, with the latter having been shaped by Einstein’s ‘Theory of Relativity.’ To an extent, the traditional view of time is the prevalent view of time, which is that time is both separate and independent from space. But modern scientists have also argued as a result of Einstein’s ‘Theory of Relativity’ that the concept of time is perceived in a totally subjective manner by different people because time itself is subjective. Thus, one person’s perception of time will most likely differ from another person’s perception of time. Because the concept of time is based entirely on perception and subjectivity, it follows that time is not ‘absolute.’ But interestingly, any rational inquiry into the nature of time requires as its basic premise or starting point the separation of time from space. 

Also, contrary to popular belief, there is no “past, present, and future” within the scheme of time, as certain scientists have argued. As one scientist argued: “There is no explanation of how one moment becomes the next, because there is only one moment in quantum physics – the moment of observation.” Thus, as Albert Einstein argued: “People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” As a result, time is also “deterministic,” which means a condition and state at one moment in time can help us predict what will happen in the future with a high degree of probability. 

Hence, as J.M.E. McTaggart argued, there is “an unreality of time” which people have to ultimately reckon with, which in turn suggests that anything which exists cannot possess “the characteristic of being in time.” And if “being” does not exist within time, then the nature of “being” is quite complex and obscure. As Heidegger argued, the question of what “being” means is a question that is formulated by the thinker, and paradoxically, a question which is formulated is actually formulated by the answer which is being sought.

Thus, the question of “being” must be “brought to complete clarity concerning itself” by enabling a “genuine mode of access” to the answer of what constitutes true being. This “genuine mode of access” to the answer of what constitutes true being is what Heidegger called “Dasein,” which in turn is a concept or subject that I have discussed in previous blog posts. “Dasein” is essentially a mode of “interrogation” between the seeker and his own mind, which in turn enables recourse to the answer which is being sought. What Heidegger concluded was that being amounts to “the Being of a being.” What “the Being of a being” constitutes is then perceived differently from one individual to another, despite the universality of being, which in and of itself is a paradox. Thus, the thing which is being sought – namely, the answer to the question of what constitutes true ‘being’ – is ultimately “undefinable.”

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