This Too Shall Pass

In short, the ultimate guide and the ultimate inspiration for people are the notions and ideas of freedom and justice, no matter where it is said and no matter what the context is and no matter who it is that is advancing these notions and ideas or whomever it is who is vouching for notions and ideas such as freedom and justice. In turn, everything that happens has to be seen within the framework of the advancement or even the progress of the basic cause of freedom and justice in international society. And in order for the cause of freedom and justice to progress, certain things have to change and evolve at certain points in history and in time. 

For instance, even if we were to interpret the latest intelligence leak in Washington which occurred in recent days – which some have argued is the biggest leak of American intelligence since the Wikileaks and Snowden days – the aim of the intelligence leak was perhaps to advance some sort of game-changing agenda or to perhaps increase the basic awareness in international society regarding the reality of the global situation and the reality of global affairs. Moreover, the leak can perhaps be seen as a distress signal, given that the way in which things were going in international society did not match up with the reality of the global situation and of international society, and in order to bridge the gap between the way things were going on one hand and the reality of the situation on the other hand, people needed to become aware of the reality, no matter what the cost. 

However, we still have people in power who will deny basic reality in order to squeeze in their few moments of fame and enjoyment. Stealing an election and milking taxpayer money to undertake pointless endeavors and ‘flights of fancy’ is not enough. As the Afghan warlords of the past few decades taught us, these folks also need attention and the stroking of their egos in addition to stealing elections and milking taxpayer money. Nothing will satisfy their appetites and their egos, and the cost of such insatiable appetites and egos is the hindrance of freedom, justice, and an ultimate reckoning with reality. Perhaps what trumps all else for such individuals is how they are assessed and viewed by others, and the fact that their basic metric or measurement of self-image and self-worth is the ever-changing and unreliable opinion of others. As Marcus Aurelius said:

“I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others. If then a god or a wise teacher should present himself to a man and bid him to think of nothing and to design nothing that he would not express as soon as he conceived it, he could not endure it even for a single day. So it is clear that we accord much more respect to what our neighbors think of us than to what we think of ourselves.”

But as wisdom dictates, ‘this too shall pass.’ What experience teaches us is that the few moments of fame and enjoyment which is then hyped up by the jejune media is ephemeral and temporary. Everything that we can account for goes under some sort of devaluation and diminishing utility over the course of time, and it is this eventual devaluation and diminishing utility of all things which is the most basic of all patterns and trends that underlies all phenomena and which we must account for above all other patterns and trends amidst our analysis of global and international affairs. 

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