Notice how Locke’s empiricism dovetails with the political principles of natural rights and basic equality: because all people have eyes and ears and minds, and because we must check and consult with each other to find truth, the many, not just the few, are entitled to assert their own beliefs and contest others. Epistemic rights, like political rights, belong to all of us; empiricism is the duty of all of us. No exceptions for priests, princes, or partisans.
With America’s former “Fake News!” Fake President dooming Congressional members of the Republican Party into becoming IrrElephants, now seems just the time for reconsidering the character, history, and nature of what informed and modern humanity has come to call “Truth”.
The matter shouldn’t be that complex, but considering the long history of narcissistic conceits (why of course the sun revolves around the earth!) and wars involving irreconcilliable beliefs, cocksure wrong conclusions, and innumerable faiths, it should seem no wonder that for the pleasure of obtaining where all may a deeply responsible peace we have arrived in a lively conversation about empiricism and epistemology.
I have only started reading Rauch’s book but feel both the quote and note here worthy of play.
The post-Soviet arc of power — define it for yourself and have a look any time — is riddled with cancerous, dying, or dead and failed states!
The world has plenty of other evil in it, but what “malignant narcissists” do to their own geopolitical spaces in the cause of their own aggrandizement (and centralization of power) always ends badly.
As far as I’m concerned, Americans are superior!
We’re all on this one “Blue Marble” and many of our real issues — not issues rooted primarily in our own minds but a part of our shared global experience — are issues to be acknowledged and worked on together across our many cultural and political boundaries.
In any case, M, Big Pictures and more parochial ones — both at hand at the same time — Palestinian Liberation begins with you and your vision. You should defy Palestinian corruption and political repression at every chance, not overlook or shrug it away as both attach to your own character if accepted.
So End The Occupation – Hamas Out of Gaza!
Seriously, B., have you ever raised your voice against Palestinian corruption? PLO/PA and Hamas political repression?
The Palestinians — the Refugees of 1948 and other Arab wars undertaken to destroy Israel — ” . . . from the river to the sea . . . .” — have long been abused, lied to, and suffocated by their own corrupt and venal leaders who with disinformation, framing, and incitements deflect attention from themselves.
Have you ever taken an independent look at the larger historical picture having to do with power absolute and power democratic?
Probably, the world is with the Palestinians for being for the most part beneath the boot and beside the sticky fingers of “leaders” that keep most of the base ignorant, impoverished, silent, and robbed of the charity and support intended for their economic development. Those who really care . . . care to look. The same would seem to reliably find Palestinian-generated blood spatter, corruption, repression, and unwarranted egoism.
Today, no one — least of all Palestinians — need to tarry in the politics of the 1960s and 1970s. That was then; this is now: modern people needs must demand accountability and integrity in their own governance as well as an accurate and dispassionate telling of true political history along with best informed and comprehending modern analyses.
Putin hasn’t to move one tank into Ukraine to control Ukraine, for he has already made himself central to Ukrainian (and NATO) awareness, fear, mobilization, and reflection.
Everything Ukraine may now do (and think) will have to do with whatever Putin chooses to do first.
Putin is in control.
Consider the Ukrainian defender’s now about seven-years-old experience and position with a belligerent and bullying Russia repeatedly and with impunity injuring or killing Ukrainian troops daily and weekly for all those years.
Where is that pain to be harbored and kept in check?
For how many more hours, days, weeks, months, years should Ukrainians tolerate the status quo of a “frozen conflict” sustained by the same criminals driven out in the 2014 Maidan?
Putin is in control.
How should Ukrainians feel about reaching out to a NATO that hems and haws over its imperfect governance while aspiring to meet modern democratic standards in rule-of-law?
Oh, has anyone had a good look lately at the degrees of corruption and rancor in relation to domestic political behavior within the United States?
At least the voting will of the American People voted out their own corrupt autocratic infection, but should any of the Atlantic Alliance have fallen so far to now have to bend over fully to pick up the reins dropped from the horse?
Hungary, Italy, Poland, Turkey have each gone at least partially — two especially — back toward family control or, alternatively, ownership of states by nobility, i.e., either way, the feudal mode in political absolutism.
Putin is in control.
How tense the atmosphere? How dark the clouds? How near the enemy?
Putin is in control.
However far Russia dares to go with its annexation of Ukraine — and its thieving from Ukrainian business and industry and all else Ukrainian and good — Ukraine will have to stand up and go further, and God help NATO embrace and defend Ukraine.
“I heard Zelensky’s words as he said that Ukraine is ready to repel aggression. The fact is that he didn’t just say it’s ready today, it’s been ready for seven years already. It’s only that it’s a different level of readiness, because it’s hard to say when Russia might put their aggressive rhetoric to life,” Kravchuk told Current Time, a Russian language project created by RFE/RL with the participation of VOA.
He noted that Russia’s top leadership are directly threatening Ukraine and its sovereignty, including warning of “collapse of the state.”
For the American President’s navigation: the rise of Hitler and fascism in Germany, Italy, and Spain; the development of an expansionist imperial Japan; polarization in the United States between the forces of self-serving fascist sentiment related to business and popular interest in the Far Left answers to abuses generated in Far Right circles.
Add the global Great Depression.
I have not yet reached the middle of this eye-opening and insightful history, but the story of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “working the issues” rings clear and sound for this day.
I have made much and will continue to make much of the tensions between politically medieval and modern worlds, and my own energies and hopes are with the modern world, its potential great breadth in personal freedoms, and its obligations as steward of the earth and humanity.
Whoever you may be and wherever you are in the world — and whether you enjoy or have to make yourself do this kind of reading (smile) — this volume will set the benchmark for understanding the United States and the western civilizational project in the appreciation and defense of humanity.
The world is neither hopeless nor helpless in light of its collective issues and future. It may be crime ridden, fractious, and violent, but the measurable qualities of evil may be diminished with time. We have not, thank God, had our World War III but while living perpetually in a state of competition or conflict with China and Russia — those may be considered the Orwellian two other powers — we have developed sustained lower-intensity conflicts and the transnational crime organizations that fuel their fires. Well, if we can develop greater conscience in some, temper greed, and deal with practical pressures, we might be able to draw those down.
If the Devil’s winning, Mark, it’s our own fault (for not understanding how the Damned Thing works).
For corrupt Palestinian leaders, the real primary incentive appears to be relationships with elites yielding money and personal security. Some at the top of that heap should try purchasing a less self-centered and parochial conscience.
From whence comes the broader consideration of others in the world by those who by way of their own wealthy and powerful circumstance have the wherewithal to lead it?
In casual talk, I’ve suggested evolution.
Nature grows our minds.
In more serious psychology, altruism, caring, conscience, love, and the related apprehension of duties, obligations, and responsibilities toward others seem altogether healthier characteristics than fearful and compensating tendencies toward the meanest and smallest minded expressions of the will to survive as a will determined to destroy or dominate others.
For those with seriously Up There — Plutocratic — Clout, which is the better direction and why grind against it?
Why not formulate ideas and programs better fit for both a challenging global and personal future by simply enjoying what has characterized the past in dogma and politics — there’s no need to dishonor the past for anyone — while moving on to “well, we are all here on just this one marble of an island in space and time — and our first priority should be keeping our own conditions — environmental and broadly social — better than survivable”?
There are those with the power to drive forward of their own circumstances and life experiences, the present is always the place in time (and there is no better) where some cultural rivers and their ideas (and associated behaviors) needs must dissolve in their own delta while others — more fit for future time and space — flow from new wellsprings.
Wherever we are in time — this moment! — we’re not going to be in the same place tomorrow. It may look that way on the outside — same writer here, same desktop: differently informed and perpetually gathering, recombining, reformulating ideas, information, plans.
Former American President Trump’s tenure proved the nation’s distraction from all but itself with the exception of China for Trumpian finger pointing over the “Wuhan Flu”. Now the state’s perhaps a little startled to find itself again a part of the free and do-good world of the Atlantic Alliance. With concern for Russia’s now baldfaced aggression in Ukraine, President Biden will have to pick up on Russia’s crude squatting there and degrading and subverting industrial and other Ukrainian assets in the process of its imposing its largely unwelcome presence and will.
We each of us know what belongs to each by way of our persons and our families, and if we’re a little larger than that, our companies and communities, but we falter some with “my air; my water; my mountains; my rivers; my shores”. Some objects are too large for singular possession. Even subdivided and sold off in lots — so one might own a patch or an estate (and hunting grounds) — such resources and spaces may have lives of their own and greater than appreciated. OUR rain forests, for example, may be critical to OUR planetary oxygen supply.
As our species matures — however else we may think of ourselves (as framed by our nearly 7000 living language cultures and directed, somewhat, by our 4300 active religions), we may consider the fragility of our species foremost — we may do well to look far forward of our positions rather than fix and freeze ourselves as we are. If we are to contemplate, for example, the end of the Eon of Oil and continued Global Warming or merely increasingly severe oscillations in temperature, this may be the best time to think about the energy resources and insulating technologies of the 22nd Century.
Why not — and why not this minute?
It’s never too late?
It’s never too soon.
What if the world hadn’t to deal with what have become essentially political criminals?
What are we — or what is the world — still doing here — in the same frozen situation — with Ukraine?
Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba said on January 11 that Russia “has done everything to fulfill nothing.” His latest attempts with his German counterpart “to hold another round of talks at the level of foreign minister were unsuccessful,” Mr. Kuleba said. He said the continuing deadlock is a situation in which, “on the one hand, there is progress on Donbas, and, on the other, there is no progress.”
While it may be understood that we are not all angels, one might wonder why any state population must be made to weather the bullying criminality of gangs, more or less, of so-called “state elites” and leaders — or invasion by alien forces ordered by the same with precisely that mentality?
I had thought both the feudal and medieval eras known to European and Russian history finished off by the allied powers of World War II.
While at this post-Trumpian moment (start HIS history as an American President with Manafort, his first choice for campaign manager), no American has the right to ask how others could have been blown so far off course from the modern and practical demands for accountability, integrity, and responsibility in governance, the complaint begs a question as applicable to every capital as well as Kiev and Moscow: who would be the good stewards of states and regions and on up the scale to global assets?
These “leaders” that draw out crowds to brave their batons and bullets and mass arrests — who would have time for them were they not so brazen and stuffed full of themselves?
An advertisement for Good Stewards of any geopolitical space: ability to both imagine and think beyond one’s own existence and interests; ethical; good-willed; holistic; honest; magnanimous; possessed of high integrity; responsible; sense of humor a must.
What if through democracy coupled with ambitious public education, the world really could think about and tend to its own collective future well being as expressed through Qualities of Living x Area-Squared (or Cubed) for any geopolitical space?
I know at this point — I am 65 — my references are a bit dated but I feel their spirit still to be realized. If those who wish for themselves and future generations better lives, the answers, means, and methods are certain to be found in the comprehending of global issues and the development of related cooperation across space and time.
The slogans, e.g., “Think Globally — Act Locally”, have been around for a long time. The businessmen and politicians up to the challenge of producing a better world NOW and for setting up into the next century? Apparently, far less than would seem immediately desirable.
Books and circulars, first, radio, television, and films, later, have long presented us to ourselves, and so much so that it has long been common to reference our behavior in terms of characters well known. There has been the Great White Hunter’s perspective too in which the white guy — the Ernest Hemingway of one American generation; the Peter Beard of another — would view the journey into the “back of beyond” as exotic, and one day not too long ago, it was exotic.
The Grand Tour may be that no longer.
We are all here making our appearance known on desktop around the world. “Global Culture” — what we look like in recordings worldwide — has had these other and epic tours since the 1990s, and now we in North America have had in place for at least 14 years an astonishing “World Wide Web” through which all may see the world — including themselves — in states closer and closer to real time — or with live feeds within seconds of “real time”.
How are we now supposed to separate?
It’s too late — and we’re not going to go backward into more parochial decades or centuries.
In fact, we’re going to go through the life process and illness and death in the company of our virtually relayed but quite real familiars — our Facebook buddies, Twitter rosters, Instagram producers, and such — thousands of miles from our own desktops. When these new old friends fall ill . . . we’ll know it depending on our emotional and relational distance, not our geography. We’ll be asking what can be done (hit the FB “Cares” icon!) and what can we do — and about so many things: what can be done and what can we do sitting where each of us sits?
In terms of the larger picture, the significance of the Euromaidan, or generally the Maidan, of 2013-14 can hardly be overstated: it not only caps the period of hybrid post-Soviet existence initiated by independence in 1991, but also provides a kind of closure to the complex and drawn-out process of Ukrainian nation-formation that began in the 19th century.
This assassination campaign began in the aftermath of 9/11 when Pakistan allowed Taliban fighters and other allied fighters who were forced to flee Afghanistan to resettle in parts of former FATA. Over the years, these groups systematically eliminated tribal leaders and politicians who raised their voices against them. To this day, the Pakistani state has not solved any of these murders, perhaps because it has been tacitly using these unlawful groups to foment instability in Afghanistan and consolidate its influence over the region.
What follows are thoughts from the lengthiest of observations having to do with the Pashtun’s natural position between state forces and processes having to do with international development and war much, much larger than themselves.
When our President Nixon (a long time ago) initiated a new relationship with China, it was with hopes to offset Soviet Russian power and bring China closer to the normative behaviors of the modern world expressive of global compassion supported by international trade. On the topside, we do things for one another. Rather on the surface, well, we do things for money — and that makes “big picture” sense of Asian labor and western raw goods and Asian finished goods sold (for good profit — good markup — in western markets).
Mercantilism has been much the way of the world.
In the modern open democratic and liberal west, the abuses and excesses of business have been tempered through the actions of elected administrations, legislatures, and courts in the interests of electorates and justice. In the west, capitalists and wealthy have not gotten free rides from popularly elected governments even if seeding political careers and wins with their own money. There are just too many with too many differing motives for playing that game broadly.
In Asia, perhaps, money — and with China, now overwhelming wealth — does its work between elites and military behind closed door (“behind the curtains” goes the phrase fit to medieval politics) — and guess who’s in the way of the greater enrichment and glory of the disinterested or remote powerful?
It doesn’t help the Pashtun — and whoever and for whatever reason — to attack PakDef military posts (IF that is what has actually happened recently), for that gives the military excuse to bother or maraud the Pashtun community.
With regard to some Larger Forces — here, Chinese and Pakistani trade interests representing government, military, and private entities — “anomie” (worth the looking up) may be a real issue.
Don’t look to Russia for help — that state has minted defense sales using Syrians as targets for demonstration of its wares. In the AfPak region, its arms, however acquired, have helped sustain what looks to me an unfathomable misery borne of endless low-intensity conflict that has no end without financial, political, and religious insight plus political will and near immediate reconciliation.
The draconian nature of the FCR lies in the concept of “collective punishment”, where a whole tribe can be punished for the crime of one member of the tribe. It is telling that even after British India got its independence in 1947, the people of ex FATA were still facing the same colonial legal injustice till the year 2018. And while things definitely have changed on paper, there still is a long way to go before there is a change in the situation on the ground.These draconian punishments have always served a purpose, whether it was British India of the 20thcentury or the Pakistan of the 21stcentury. These laws are meant to subdue a population into giving up their rights, so that they can be sacrificed on the altar of “greater good”. Goes without saying that this greater good, has never been good for us, the people of ex FATA.
Launched in 2015, CPEC is a logical partnership for China and Pakistan—two close allies keen to cooperate on much-needed infrastructure projects in Pakistan, while contributing to China’s strategic goal of facilitating access to far-flung markets and expanding its global footprint.
Chinese Banking and Development Worldwide : flexes China’s financial muscle while leveraging infrastructure building expertise into a gateway for Chinese labor — which accompanies its projects — and through that mechanism Chinese cultural influence agents. As much would update the Cold War Era Soviet practice of sending thousands of Communist agents into the Middle East as embedded in the labor contingents attached to development contracts in targeted states.
PakDef | ISI –> Taliban encouragement : goad to Kabul : encouragement of “Islamism” within : further marginalizing of the Pashtun as a coherent and cohesive political force.
The above two paragraphs represent my thinking in cryptic fashion. If the world were practical and less inclined to fear and threat — as well as deeply dependent on international arms sales that support manufacturing bases and untold wealth in related Research & Development competitions — the promotion of dogma into violence — or “extremist dogma” — would be less attractive. As it is, “The Terrorists” (wherever “who” has become both ambiguous and ubiquitous) have turned out handy for some elites in the world’s more corrupt and cynical circles of military and political power.