Walking Lonely Paths

The slow, creeping, and surreptitious effort of leaders and politicians to curtail freedoms and to take freedoms away in the United States is actually on full-blown display in Israel at the moment. Leaders and politicians in Israel have been sustaining an effort to deprive the judiciary of its independence, and in recent days, leaders and politicians in Israel passed a law which prevents anyone from sacking the prime minister. Hence, a subtle and sublime trend in the United States – namely, a bunch of leaders and politicians with no credibility and legitimacy whatsoever who cannot justify being in power and who are slowly, creepingly, and surreptitiously taking economic, political, and social freedoms away – is actually on full-blown display in Israel at the moment. In short, people have to become cognizant of what is going on subtly and sublimely in the United States in order to prevent what is going on in Israel at the moment. 

One should ask who Tony Blinken thinks he is to suggest that a social media platform with 150 million users which facilitates free expression should be banned in a country like the United States where freedom of expression is enshrined by law, in addition to asking a local DA what justifies imprisoning a former president who had a popular mandate and in turn making our country look like a ‘banana republic.’ Yet, this is exactly what we are trying to highlight, namely, the fact that the dangerous and growingly real condition and situation in many places, including the United States, is that there are leaders and politicians with no credibility and legitimacy whatsoever and who cannot justify being in power who in turn have the audacity and nerve to try and take people’s economic, political, and social freedoms away. 

Moreover, leaders who do not have credibility and legitimacy and who cannot justify being in power and at the same time are taking people’s freedoms away are bad for the markets, as we have seen with the sudden raft of Federal Reserve interest hikes over the last few months. When the system is going down, the Federal Reserve does not want to go down with it, and as a result, it will push the system down in order to pick itself up by raising interest rates as much as possible as long as the window is open for such a move. As one Afghan proverb states: “When you are drowning neck deep, the little one has to go under.”

And when we see what is going on from a political standpoint in the United States, Britain, and Israel, in the sense that leaders and politicians have emerged with no credibility and legitimacy whatsoever and who cannot justify being in power and who are seeking to take people’s freedoms away shows that elections alone do not shore up a democratic system based on the preservation and expansion of freedom. It is better to have centralized political control as in China where experts and qualified people are expanding and facilitating economic and social freedoms as opposed to having elections in the West and in Israel and yet leaders and politicians are putting their dirty hands onto people’s economic and social freedoms. But because of the fact that they lack credibility and legitimacy and cannot justify being in power, the way forward for these leaders and politicians is to take all kinds of freedoms away in order to stay in power.

As Henry Kissinger argued: “To achieve a genuine world order, its components, while maintaining their own values, need to acquire a second culture that is global, structural, and juridical – a concept of order that transcends the perspective and ideals of any one region or nation.” However, the exact opposite is happening, in the sense that the basic value and principle of freedom is eroding in a number of Western countries, and at the same time, world order is falling apart. What went wrong? To know the answer to this question, one must go “offline” and do the hard work of experiencing life for what it really is and actually doing the hard work of reading books and contemplating while talking to the right people and in a sense choosing quality over quantity. As Kissinger wrote: 

“For all the great and indispensable achievements the Internet has brought to our era, its emphasis is on the actual more than the contingent, on the factual rather than the conceptual, on values shaped by consensus rather than by introspection. Knowledge of history and geography is not essential for those who can evoke their data with the touch of a button. The mindset for walking lonely paths may not be self-evident to those who seek confirmation by hundreds, sometimes thousands of friends on Facebook.” 

In short, one must have the courage and a risk-averse personality to go where no one is going at the moment in order to know what went wrong and thus know how to solve the problem per se. 

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