Sunday, March 02, 2014

Reply to a Geopolitician: Handle

I confess, I didn't read the entirety of the article Review of “The Rise of China vs. The Logic of Strategy” by Edward Luttwak as I found it tedious and contrary to my values.

There is a simply wonderful speech by Donald Rumsfeld to the Realists which I've never been able to find again. In it he disdainfully informs the Realists that while they study the world's geopolitics in ever more obsessive detail, he will act upon the world. And by the time they're done studying his actions and accounting for their consequences, he will have acted still more, making their studies even more irrelevant.

Donald Rumsfeld is a narcissistic shithead, what you call a neo-con, but what goes for Evil goes for Good too. There is more than institutions powered by the herd-following cow-like behaviour of people in the world. There are Great Men in history too. Actors with free will. Actors that can make institutions irrelevant, that can make institutions disappear, and raise entirely new ones in their place.

Can you say that Hugo Chavez' actions were constrained by the culture and institutions he grew up in and had to work with? No, because he BULLDOZED THEM UNDER. Can you say anything different about Mustafa Kemal named Ataturk? Mao Tse Tung? Napoleon Bonaparte? Peter the Great? Alexander the Invincible? These were Great Men because they possessed Willpower. And with it came Free Will. They were the real deal, not the pathetic imitators whose shackles you cheerfully point out.

Mao Tse Tung deliberately destroyed 2000 years of history in the Cultural Revolution. Why? Because he felt that China needed its history destroyed in order for its people to survive, let alone thrive. That is Willpower. Historians and anthropologists and other cultural relativists may hate him for it but his people love him for the exact same reason. Or came to love him ... eventually. Had China's history not been so toxic, then Mao would have changed his society in a totally different way. He would still have changed it just as much, and still had as many detractors.

You talk about the “massive amounts of uncertainty which itself expands rapidly the further out you forecast” and when you do I imagine you looking upon it with a horrified wide-eyed stare and mounting dread. You sound to me like a right-wing authoritarian obsessed with stasis and stability, obsessed with obsession itself, with filing and categorizing and classifying. And neatness.

That massive amount of uncertainty is the free will of great men. And I can easily imagine you wanting nothing better than to crush all free will everywhere in order to make the world predictable, uniform and orderly. But guess what? If that is your wish, you're not going to get your way.

And in fact, from your point of view, the world will only become MORE and MORE unpredictable and uncertain and wildly unstable. And definitely unlike the past.

Because free will is mounting across the world. It has been increasing over the last century or two according to objective measures. Such as the fact city men and women in the early 1900s reacted to the deluge of life options they had with nervous exhaustion. A reaction hard to fathom nowadays.

Free will has a rhyme and reason and song which is totally alien to you. But its rhythm and language while alien to you is something that I love and cherish. It’s something I value. It's something I UNDERSTAND and yes, by understanding it I can predict it. And so … I’m winning. Over you.

You can keep your stupid blog posts and you can keep your stupid life. The fight is out there in the real world and you, a representative of the forces of stasis and predictability and subservience to overwhelming institutional forces, are losing. Your whole side is losing.

Speaking of your predictability horizon, I am reminded of Frank Herbert’s Dune when Paul Atreides spoke to the Bene Gesserits.

Try looking into that place where you dare not look! You’ll find me there, staring out at you!

and here’s another good one:

The eye that looks ahead to the safe course is closed forever.

Your precious institutions … gone forever. They will be wiped out from history. That’s what lies beyond the predictability horizon you so dread. Don’t let it keep you up at night.

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