Trump the Businessman, not political scientist, and perhaps an ignoramus when it comes to the small wars linked to Islamists and the post-Soviet struggle to maintain in the world medieval “absolute power” — the power of despots — hasn’t a clue about the larger forces he’s encountered. He lives in the land of reaction: you-do | I-do. It’s a social game and in related psychology referred to as “transactional psychology”, but he’s oblivious to the chain that links together Putin, Assad, Khamenei, and Baghdadi and risks becoming himself a part of endless conflict in a medieval — “21st Century Feudal — context.
Trump’s “tough guy” posture mirrors Putin’s stance and plays into Putin’s own reactionary and 19th Century “New Nobility” vision.
Unlike Obama, Trump may not have access to the long narrative in realpolitik except through the few academics and advisors he may have summoned to brief him. American presidents, this one way or another, get seated at the helm of a big chunk of machinery perpetually running, and it’s not until one gets into that chair that deeper operating instructions and orientation become possible. For good reason, the outsider may not be able to see inside an administration’s machinery in its depths. While Americans continue to admire the productivity and strength of capital in the hands of a good businessman, the same values that produce that person may impede that “hard-nosed” personality’s approach to immense cultural and political transformation worldwide.
The Feudalists — Putin, Assad, Khamenei, Baghdadi, and their like worldwide — would like nothing more than the conflict that would perpetuate their stays in power and with it the grotesque enormity of their plunder. The cliches apply: “East vs West”; “Christianity vs Islam” (and with that, we might as well revisit “Catholics vs Protestants” while certainly witnessing today “Shiites vs Sunnis”); and the general “Clash of Civilizations”. The truth welling up out of the messes more resembles “Medieval Absolute Power” vs “Modern Democratic (and Meritocratic) Distributions of Power.”
“Medieval vs Modern” has long seemed to BackChannels the more true conflict axis.
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