Connect with us

Americas

“Dromopenia” and New Constitution in Chile

Published

on

Daniel Noemi proposes the “aesthetics of poverty” from the “analysis” of the literary, in Leer la pobreza en América Latina: Literatura y velocidad (Reading poverty in Latin America: Literature and speed) (2011). In simple terms, the “aesthetics of poverty” is a kind of procedure, a methodology if you will, whose final object of study is what the author calls “dromopenia”, that is, the speed of poverty. This procedure aims to “visualize” poverty.

We could say that the speed of something is the phenomenon in its relative aspects. Each object moves at its own speed, and as such, since the observer also moves to its own, it cannot attempt to represent the object being observed, it cannot be “re-presented”, be brought back, be presented once more. All that remains is to be give warning of it so it can be “visualized”  (Noemi, 2011).   Poverty, under this gaze, and because it has its own speed, cannot be presented again without erring in representation. How could poverty be represented, if as an observer I have a different coordinate scale tied to my own speed? Not even the “I come to speak for your dead mouth,” as Pablo Neruda said, nor the “I am the voice of those who have no voice” as Gabriela Mistral put it. I can’t get into explaining poverty, talking for it, or bringing it to talk for itself. These spells belong to a god or a prophet. The observer proposing Noemi (if he indeed does, who could rather expose a context of observation), is less pretentious.It is just indicated. She wants this observer to be more of an interrogator for others to observe.

Chile, according to the United Nations Report “Social Overview of Latin America 2019”, was the second country to have had a marked reduction in poverty, for presenting the second-best balance between the various incomes (about work income, income from public and private transfers, and other income), although it is the country that has the fourth greatest economic inequality in the region. It has the lowest poverty rate, after Uruguay. It is the country with the third best per capita income in Latin America (United Nations & Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, 2019).

If Chile, in economic terms, would have improved ostensibly, why is a constitutional change wanted? Why is a change in the state of things wanted?

In post-dictatorship Chile, the input of large investments and the introduction of the large company produced more consumer goods, in an exponential increase relative to the era of the administration in dictatorship. Access to goods was the great opening, the access to varied trade, the great factory, the large shop, the large supermarket, the large drugstore that was hoarding the market over the local shops, who became extinct because they could not compete. It began to be transmitted through advertising, media practices, a subtle but harmful message, which increased possession of material goods and produced a greater social valuation of an individual. To have more goods you had to buy. Money was required to buy. If no money was held at the time, credit purchases, loans, and cash advances solved it. With this the compulsion for the purchase was created in the subject. Thus came the logic of private indebtedness and interest-on-interest.

Perhaps this dynamic could operate in high incomes contexts, but not for every context. The middle and lower classes began to try to reach this expectation quickly. While the middle class bought cars and real estate, a lower-class sector living on the outskirts of cities bought its young people the most coveted sneakers of the time, Nike’s “AirFlight”, used by basketball player Michael Jordan, who in the imitation trade were called “FlightAir”.  Hence, Anglicism led to the castilianization “flaite”, a nickname which was assigned to that sector. And perhaps they reflect very well this compulsive need installed in subjects that material possession of goods defined the person, which they obtained with effort or, failing that, using shortcuts such as bad practices and crime. All this generated an undesired social product, a different poverty.

With this system, the only possible way was opened to be able to possess some material wealth: indebtedness. But under this logic, the only tangible property that could be aspired to be the ownership of a debt. And whoever is an eternal debtor being a slave. Thus, only a minimal part of the population that owned the resources and means to generate wealth was the beneficiary, coupled with the fact that much of the profit of the productive sectors, especially foreigners, removed them from Chile. The merchandise became the center of social definition. The cult of Mammon in all its expression. Chilean society, far from being anthropocentric, became plutocentric. 

While the speed of wealth in some sectors in Chile was higher, in another its speed was lower. While economic figures in Chile indicate sustained improvement, the truth is, “relative”. My improvement, but in relation to what? Since 1990, there has been a greater circulation of wealth resulting from “globalization”, and consequently greater market opening. Chile joins this global increase. And if Chile moves forward like other countries, it moves forward with its 21st-century poverty, which is not the same as 20th-century poverty. It has other characteristics, other forms of adaptation to economic systems. Its “dromopenia” can be correlated to such systems.

A new Constitution will not change that, but maybe it could be a start. Baby steps.

Research scholar, School of Law, University of the Americas, Chile. Doctor in Criminal Law, University of Salamanca, Spain. Master in Criminology and Juvenile Delinquency, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain.

Continue Reading
Comments

Americas

Reason, Science and Empathy: Interrelated Foundations of American Survival

Published

on

“Science, by which I mean the entire body of knowledge about things, whether corporeal or spiritual, is as much a work of imagination as it is of observation….-Jose Ortega y’Gasset, Man and Crisis (1958)

Reason, anti-Reason and Mortality

The distracting whispers must be rejected. To survive long-term, especially during times of growing biological peril, Americans will have to disavow the always-dissembling voices of anti-reason. Such imperative disavowal will have to (1) be emphatic, and (2) coincide with a reaffirmed national commitment to scientific logic and human empathy. Failing this primary obligation, Americans will likely have to harden themselves to previously unimaginable forms of derangement and suffering.[1]

               Still, it’s not really a bewildering obligation. Looking back at the refractory Trump Era, we should already be well-familiar with the blatantly lethal obfuscations of shallow rhetoric and deliberate mystification. Even for a nation not generally accustomed to any serious considerations of “high thinking” (a phrase favored by 19th century American Transcendentalist philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson), there can be no defensible excuse for having tolerated (much less supported) violent insurrection against the United States.

               What next? Informed retrospectives must begin at the beginning. The beginning here is unambiguous. In the final analysis, we humans are all fundamentally the same.

               Whatever the viscerally pleasing and differentiating nuances of nationality, religion and culture, and whatever else we might choose to display as signs of some promisingly ennobling individualization, we are all ultimately creatures of biology. And more than any other discernible biological commonality, we are all mortal.[2] But is this common mortality a positive quality? Should we necessarily take this ubiquitous commonality as “a good thing?”

               Whatever the answer, the pertinent commonality is fixed and immutable. Inter alia, it has not generally been interpreted as a welcome source of potential human cooperation. On the contrary, wherever mortality has been conceptualized as a zero-sum quality (my life requires someone else’s death), it has spawned variously primal justifications for war, terrorism and genocide. If after all it can be presumed that “God is on our side,” what could possibly stand in the way of “our” victory and “my” redemption?

               Significantly, the zero-sum assumption is “net negative.” It remains narrowly ideological or theological, and is not in any fashion scientifically derived. In principle, therefore, once it can be understood that a shared mortality is universal and intellectually unchallengeable, all nations could begin to base their survival options on presumptions of  organic “oneness”[3] or “human interconnectedness.”  Among other things, such basing could be founded upon certain newly expanded  and often intersecting opportunities for empathy, scientific investigation and war avoidance.[4]

Plausible Options and Preferred Outcomes

               For the most part, currently available options and outcomes are markedly unhidden. Wherever one looks on this imperiled planet, it’s all pretty much the same. Day to day, year to year, we all witness a recurring saga of conspicuous human indifference, a never-ending story of momentary triumph, harm, pain, poverty, a timeless tale of living and dying.

               Recalling William Golding’s shipwrecked schoolboys in Lord of the Flies, we may infer that behind this fragile veneer lurks occasional human heroism but also a refractory barbarism. The distressing “civilizational” litany of wars, terror attacks, genocides[5] shows no persuasive signs of letting up. Dostoyevsky’s dark view of civilization has become more and more difficult to reject or to counter.[6]

               Let us be candid. By any reasonable historical and scientific measures, we humans too often scandalize what we create, even our own personal “being.” From the intersecting standpoints of national and civilizational survival, a very simple and direct query can no longer be avoided: “Could matters possibly get any worse?”

               There is more. Frequently, as in the case of still-exploding Covid19 deaths in the United States, evident wrongdoings do not rise to any identifiably de jure thresholds of pertinent crime. Still, the de facto results of previous presidential mismanagement remain manifestly negative or catastrophic. More precisely, in a great many “plague”-related fatalities, these results have proven willfully murderous and perhaps even genocidal.[7]        

               How shall this determined epidemic of anti-Reason be expected to end?[8]  As a long-retired university professor, I am correctly obliged here to be analytic.  Human beings, after all, have lived for about eight hundred lifetimes, most of which have been spent in caves.  It should come as no surprise that for most of the almost eight billion people now on earth, hunger, poverty, violence, and cruelty remain an absolutely “natural” state of affairs. Moreover, in an incomparably devastating irony, a huge portion of humankind’s precious but dwindling resources remain earmarked for the infliction of deliberate harms.

               Unsurprisingly, we humans may continue to expect plutocracy, exploitation and apocalyptic war.

               During the malignant Trump Era in the United States, such perverse priorities became cause for variously ecstatic celebrations of personal and collective ignorance. These infinitely lethal behaviors did not simply disappear along with the barbarous Trump presidency. Arguably, even now, the dissembling voices of anti-science and anti-reason are growing louder by the day. At this point, some of the dominant American conspiracy theories defy not only tangible evidence, but also elementary logic.

The Historic War Against “Mind”

                “Intellect rots the brain,” shrieked Third Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels in 1934 Germany. “I love the poorly educated,” volunteered presidential candidate Donald J. Trump back in 2016. The basically authoritarian sentiments here have distressingly much in common. In both cases, the expressed sentiments reflect a society that prefers easy mystification to any challenging analytic calculations.

               “The crowd is untruth,” summed up Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard in the 19th century. Such succinct prescience can also be discovered in Friedrich Nietzsche’s “herd,” Sigmund Freud’s “horde,” and Carl G. Jung’s “mass.” In essence, these terms mean the very same thing.[9] They are collective incarnations of anti-thought.

               Even now, most notably in the still Trump-defiled United States, science yields to certain daily deceptions; imaginary enemies are more-or-less continuously being contrived by the science-loathing “crowd.” Accordingly, certain core questions should no longer be casually sidestepped or politely avoided. To wit: How much treasure, how much science, how much human labor and planning. how many centuries of learning will  now continue to be ransacked in order to prevent  or undermine American democracy, racial justice and international peace?[10] Will Americans continue to seek national security through a delusionary “balance-of-power” paradigm, an imagined symmetry that has never worked since its formal modern inception in the seventeenth century,[11] and  can never conceivably work in the future.

                How can we still fail to understand that though the metaphor of equilibrium is captivating and reassuring (older Americans can think here of the Vietnam War “dominos” analogy),  this prescribed arrangement for managing global power[12] is merely a formula for continuous despair?[13]

               Frightened by the ineradicable face of personal mortality, how much longer, all must wonder, can we pretend that zero-sum definitions of conflict represent a realistic path to immortality? In this connection, “immortality” is indisputably the lexically correct term. After all, the ultimate expectation of every “sacred” instance of war, terrorism[14] and genocide is plain, It is  “power over death.”[15]

                To be sure, we don’t pretend to know the answers to these questions. But we should want to know why we have progressed so little as a species and as a nation – at least from the critical standpoints of Empathy, Science and Coexistence –  and what each individual still has to gain from continuing to push on personally.

Quo Vadis: What Next?

                On some core matters, very little has changed. In world politics, the corpse has always been “in fashion.” Today, a mere score of years after the close of a century that can reasonably be called the Age of Atrocity, whole nations of corpses could quickly become the rage.  Indeed, with the dreadful confluence of plague, war and inequality, it is already happening.

               What happens next?

               Bob Dylan once sang, “the executioner’s face is well-hidden.”  As for the proverbial “good people,” their predictably ritual silence remains vital to all that would madden and torment. Here in the United States, millions of docile citizens continued not only to abide a president who defiled virtually everything for which his country stands, but actually remain in his “camp” after a Trump-generated insurrection. Again, this was a president who violated national and international law,[16] who proclaimed that “the Moon is part of Mars” and who read absolutely nothing, nothing at all.

               What sort of Republic is this?

               Plus ca change…. Nothing primal really changes.  The dinosaurs ruled this once beautiful planet for millions of years, far longer than the brief tenure of our own despoiling species. Long gone, they have left us only their crushed bones as mementoes.

               What artifacts shall we dare leave behind?

               A related question can no longer be suppressed: Have we no historical memory?  Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Carthage and Rome, ground to dust, and burned into oblivion.  Is this what it’s ultimately all for?  Do we humans remain alive merely to become captives of an habitually corrupted knowledge and a deservedly terminal despair?[17]

               Hope should remain; of this most Americans are certain. But today’s calls for rebirth must sing softly, sotto voce, muted, and in a dolorous undertone.  Now, finally, we must learn to understand that the visible Earth is made of ashes and that ashes can signify warnings that are momentous. Through the obscure depths of history, we must struggle valiantly to make out the phantoms of once great ships of state, and to learn that the often-unanticipated disasters that sent them down were ultimately ouraffair.[18]

               There is more. Americans must strive to study history, but not in the “normal” atmospheres of contrived heroism and pretended national greatness.  Prima facie, Trump Era gibberish has no place in a functioning democracy.

               To grasp true lessons of history and long life, we must come to despise any such sullied ways of interpreting the world.  The worst barbarians, we should already know after Trump, are not outside the gates. As in ancient Rome, many are sequestered deep withinthe city, often as exemplars of wealth, privilege and alleged “good fortune.” These barbarians include not only sinister fomenters of large scale international violence, but also legions of ordinary citizens, “good people” who nonetheless revile any too-intellectually demanding obligations of Reason and Science.[19]

America and the “Mass Man”

               The core danger lies in “mass.” The “mass man,” we learn from 20th century Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y’ Gasset’s The Revolt of the Masses, “has no use for reason. He learns only in his own flesh.” This person could also be labeled as “Herd Man” (Nietzsche); “Crowd Man” (Kierkegaard) or “Horde Man” (Freud).[20] All are comparably characterized by a willful abandonment of critical judgment and independent thought.

               Ipso facto, former President Donald J. Trump was the undisputed champion of Ortega’s “mass man.” Perhaps he was even its quintessentially inglorious incarnation.

               In the end, the problem we humans have felt so acutely, the problem of identifying meaning and security on an increasingly endangered planet, is a problem we can never fully solve. Nonetheless, we do want to go on, to hang on by our fingernails if necessary, to feel, to learn, to help, to love and to grasp life amid all of its unstoppable flirtations with lifelessness. A nation, we must reason, like an individual, should not be forced to die indefinitely. Even at twilight, worn and almost defeated, and on a planet about to rendezvous with new forms of disease, war, terrorism and genocide, each nation’s “life” must be meaningfully affirmed.  

               Any such proper affirmations must be offered in the clarifying accents of Reason and Science. 

               Though Donald J. Trump is no longer in the White House, his egregious assaults on science and reason remain palpable and destructive. Accordingly, millions of his determinedly anti-intellectual followers remain committed to variously preposterous conspiratorial explanations of complex problems. These problems include microbial assault (viral pandemic), personal weapon confiscations and election outcomes.

               At the same time, we Americans know only too well that Science can be adapted to the most appalling ends and that even when joined together with Reason, it must prove inadequate for ensuring a dignified general survival. Now, finally more aware that our civilization displays the same potential fragility as an individual life, a deeply etched pattern of Empathy will also be required.  At the end of his extraordinary life, Albert Einstein reminded presciently: “Without ethical culture, there is no salvation for humanity.”

               In the best of all possible worlds, such a residual pattern could still be drawn purposefully from humankind’s immutable commonality of death – that is, from our conspicuous universal mortality – but this is not yet the best of all possible worlds. Even though death is never more glaringly ubiquitous than during a time of “plague,” the ongoing reaction of national governments to planet-wide viral threat remains narrowly nationalistic and cumulatively self-defeating. To actually get beyond such grievous civilizational limitations would now demand a herculean “work of imagination,” not just a more-or-less competent “science of observation.”

               On the special requirements of Empathy, Americans should recall that oftentimes in history grievously evil goals have called openly for “moral” behaviors. National Socialism’s sinister appeal to German youth in the 1930s and 1940s was expressly grounded in “moral obligations” of “racial hygiene” and “anti-Bolshevism.” These alleged obligations were seductively “packaged” together with boisterously stirring claims of “historic national destiny.”

               During the Trump Era in the United States, an era of tragic farce, this moral appeal of immorality – a de facto ethical inversion – openly undermined this nation’s Constitution-based legal order. Whether this paradoxical appeal will continue to foster such dire inversions in the years ahead remains to be seen. But it should already be taken as a portentous warning of what may still lie ahead, and not merely as regrettable fait accompli.

An Invariant Truth

                Certain tentative conclusions will have to be drawn. Truth is always exculpatory.  Whatever the differences in any detailed particulars, America’s survival must begin with the microcosm. This means a beginning with the individual human being who is already able to see beyond the endless banalities and empty witticisms of American politics and who can also finally muster the requisite personal “will”[21] to call pertinent  things by their correct names.[22]

               There is more. Any such beginning would have to originate in those still-tangible spaces that are already oriented toward serious considerations of learning or “Mind.” As a retired university professor who spent more than a half century in exactly such rare spaces, I believe that even the most uncomfortable expectations about American democratic requirements can hold viable sway or perhaps even prevail. In the Ptolemaic paradigm, just as in the Bible, the human microcosm was originally assigned an enviably central position in the universe. Ironically, however, this usefully favored position was diminished by the scientific advancements of Copernicus.

               What this all means for American survival is essentially the following: Science, when viewed as a work of imagination, must join forces with Reason and Empathy to ward off future national descents into political incoherence. In “operationalizing” this imperative conceptual alignment, the thought-based American citizen – the mass-defying “microcosm” – must be placed at democracy’s center-stage and assume a tangible share of meaningful civic responsibility. By definition, of course, proper democratic governance is always about Science, Reason and Empathy, but it also requires ever-witting and wittingly-informed citizen participation.


[1] In the 17th century, French philosopher Blaise Pascal remarked prophetically, in his celebrated Pensées: “All our dignity consists in thought…. It is upon this that we must depend…Let us labor then to think well: this is the foundation of morality.” Similar reasoning characterizes the writings of Baruch Spinoza, Pascal’s 17th-century contemporary. In Book II of his Ethics Spinoza considers the human mind, or the intellectual attributes, and – drawing further from René Descartes – strives to define an essential theory of learning and knowledge.

[2] Throughout history, geopolitical processes have often been associated withovercoming human mortality. In his posthumously published lecture on Politics (1896), German historian Heinrich von Treitschke observed: “Individual man sees in his own country the realization of his earthly immortality.” Earlier, German philosopher Georg Friedrich Hegel opined, in Philosophy of Right (1820), that the state represents “the march of God in the world.” The “deification” of geopolitics, a transformation from mere principle of action to a sacred end unto itself, drew originating strength from the doctrine of sovereignty advanced in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Initially conceived as a principle of internal order, this doctrine underwent a specific metamorphosis, whence it became the formal or justifying rationale for international anarchy –  that is, for the global “state of nature.” First established by Jean Bodin as a juristic concept in De Republica (1576), sovereignty came to be regarded as a power absolute and above the law. Understood in terms of modern international relations, this doctrine encouraged the notion that states lie above and beyond any form of tangible legal regulation in their interactions.

[3] On “oneness,” we may learn from Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus, “”You are a citizen of the universe.” A still-broader idea of this species singularity followed the death of Alexander in 322 BCE, and with it came a coinciding doctrine of “universality.” By the Middle Ages, this political and social doctrine had fused with the medieval notion of a Respublica Christiana, a worldwide Christian commonwealth, and Thomas, John of Salisbury and Dante were looking upon Europe as a single community. Here, below the level of God and his presumed heavenly host, all the realm of humanity was considered as one living “body.” This is because all the world had seemingly been created for the same single and incontestable purpose; that is, to provide the necessary background for the primal drama of human salvation. Only in its relationship to the universe itself was this world to be correctly considered as a part rather than whole. Clarifies Dante in De Monarchia: “The whole human race is a whole with reference to certain parts, and, with reference to another whole, it is a part. For it is a whole with reference to particular kingdoms and nations, as we have shown; and it is a part with reference to the whole universe, which is evident without argument.” Today, the idea of human oneness can and should be justified in more conspicuously secular terms of scientific understanding.

[4] See, by this author, Louis René Beres (Zurich):  https://horasis.org/an-ironic-juxtaposition-global-security-and-human-mortality/

[5] Regarding Donald Trump’s most egregious violations of national and international law – i.e., violations of Nuremberg-category obligations concerning genocide prevention- see, by former Nuremberg prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz: https://www.yahoo.com/news/nuremberg-prosecutor-warning-trump-war-090342221.html

[6] Laments Fyodor Dostoyevsky in Notes from Underground: “And what is it in us that is mellowed by civilization? All it does, I’d say, is develop in man a capacity to feel a greater variety of sensations.” “Civilization,” adds Lewis Mumford, “is the never-ending process of creating one world and one humanity.” Still the best syntheses of contemporary creative outlines for a world civilization are W. Warren Wagar, The City of Man (1967) and W. Warren Wagar, Building the City of Man (1971).

[7] In law, the crime of genocide requires “intent to destroy,” an element that is presumably absent in pertinent Trump-inflicted harms. Nonetheless, as in the parable of a frog killed by the thoughtless games of frivolous young boys, the American victims of Trump’s blatant disregard are just as dead as they would have been from some more consciously injurious presidential intent, that is, from an authentic mens rea.

[8] This brings to mind the famous closing query of Agamemnon in The Oresteia by Aeschylus: “Where will it end? When will it all be lulled back into sleep, and cease, the bloody hatreds, the destruction”?

[9] Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung were also interested in the “unscientific” but still insightful idea of a “soul.” Both psychologists/philosophers thought of soul (in German, Seele) as the very essence of a human being. Neither Freud nor Jung ever provides a precise definition of the term, but it was not intended by either in any ordinary religious sense. For them, it referenced a still-recognizable and critical seat of mind and passions in this life. Interesting, too, in the present context, is that Freud explained his already-predicted decline of America by various express references to “soul.” He was already disgusted by a civilization so apparently unmoved by considerations of true “consciousness” (i.e., awareness of intellect and literature), and even thought that this crude American commitment to shallow optimism and material accomplishment would sometime occasion sweeping psychological misery.

[10] Concerns for international peace must inevitably be linked to concerns about “just wars.” Such wars, wrote Hugo Grotius in The Law of War and Peace (1625) must arise “from our love of the innocent.” Now, however, it is plain, even by definition, that a nuclear war could never be “just” and that certain earlier legal distinctions (e.g., just war vs. unjust war) must be re-evaluated and re-assessed. In the final analysis, moreover, to successfully prevent a nuclear war, it will be necessary to resist any world system declension toward further expressions of belligerent nationalism.

[11] Reference here is to the Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years War in 1648, and ushered in the modern state system. See: Treaty of Peace of Munster, Oct. 1648, 1 Consol. T.S. 271; and Treaty of Peace of Osnabruck, Oct. 1648, 1., Consol. T.S. 119, Together, these two treaties comprise the Peace of Westphalia.

[12]On the concept of global power management, by this author, see: Louis René Beres, The Management of World Power: A Theoretical Analysis (1973).

[13] “What is the good of passing from one untenable position to another,” warns playwright Samuel Beckett in Endgame, “of seeking justification always on the same plane?”

[14] Under authoritative international law, terrorist movements are always Hostes humani generis, or “Common enemies of mankind.” See: Research in International Law: Draft Convention on Jurisdiction with Respect to Crime, 29 AM J. INT’L L. (Supp 1935) 435, 566 (quoting King v. Marsh (1615), 3 Bulstr. 27, 81 Eng. Rep 23 (1615) (“a pirate est Hostes humani generis”)).

[15]See, for example, by this author, Louis René Beres, https://www.jurist.org/commentary/2019/07/louis-beres-counter-terrorism/

[16] Though never understood by former US president Donald Trump, international law is largelya part of US law.  In the words of Mr. Justice Gray, delivering the judgment of the US Supreme Court in Paquete Habana (1900): “International law is part of our law, and must be ascertained and administered by the courts of justice of appropriate jurisdiction….” (175 U.S. 677(1900)) See also: Opinion in Tel-Oren vs. Libyan Arab Republic (726 F. 2d 774 (1984)).The more specific incorporation of treaty law into US municipal law is expressly codified at Art. 6 of the US Constitution, the so-called “Supremacy Clause.”  For pertinent earlier decisions by Justice John Marshall, see: The Antelope, 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) 66, 120 (1825); The Nereide, 13 U.S. (9 Cranch) 388, 423 (1815); Rose v. Himely, 8 U.S. (4 Cranch) 241, 277 (1808) and Murray v. The Schooner Charming Betsy, 6 U.S. (2 Cranch) 64, 118 (1804).

[17]“Who is to decide which is the grimmer sight,” asks Honore de Balzac, “withered hearts, or empty skulls?”

[18] Today such learning must factor in the conceivable prospect of a nuclear war. For assessments of the probable consequences of a nuclear war by this author, see: Louis René Beres, Surviving Amid Chaos: Israel’s Nuclear Strategy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016; 2nd. ed., 2018); Louis René Beres, Apocalypse: Nuclear Catastrophe in World Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980); Louis René Beres, Mimicking Sisyphus: America’s Countervailing Nuclear Strategy (Lexington MA:  Lexington Books, 1983); Louis René Beres, Reason and Realpolitik: US Foreign Policy and World Order (Lexington MA;  Lexington Books, 1984); and Louis René Beres, ed.,  Security or Armageddon: Israel’s Nuclear Strategy (Lexington MA:  Lexington Books, 1986).

[19] Simultaneously, we cannot be allowed to forget that theoretical fruitfulness must be achieved at some more-or-less tangible costs of “dehumanization.” As Goethe reminds us is Urfaust, the original Faust fragment: “All theory, dear friend, is grey, And the golden tree of life is green.” (Translated here by Professor Beres, the author, from the German: “Grau, theurer Freund, ist alle Theorie, Und grűn des Lebens goldner Baum.”)

[20] Sigmund Freud remained always pessimistic about the United States, a nation he felt was “lacking in soul” and therefore a place of great psychological misery or “wretchedness.” In a letter to Ernest Jones, Freud declared unambiguously: “America is gigantic, but it is a gigantic mistake.” (See: Bruno Bettelheim, Freud and Man’s Soul (1983), p. 79.

[21] Modern philosophy’s origins of the term “will” lie in writings of Arthur Schopenhauer, especially The World as Will and Idea (1818). For his own inspiration, Schopenhauer drew freely upon Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Later, Nietzsche drew just as freely and even more importantly upon Schopenhauer. Goethe also represented a core intellectual source for Spanish existentialist Jose Ortega y’Gasset, author of the singularly prophetic work, The Revolt of the Masses (Le Rebelion de las Masas (1930). See, accordingly, Ortega’s very grand essay, “In Search of Goethe from Within” (1932), written for Die Neue Rundschau of Berlin on the occasion of the centenary of Goethe’s death. It is reprinted in Ortega’s anthology, The Dehumanization of Art (1948) and is available from Princeton University Press (1968).

[22] A pessimistic note on this point can be found in the German Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant’s worrisome observation: “Out of timber so crooked as that from which man is made, nothing entirely straight can be built.” This is my own translation from the original German: “Aus so krummem Holze, als woraus der Mensch gemacht ist, kann nichts ganz Gerades gezimmert warden.” See: Isaiah Berlin, The Crooked Timber of Humanity, xi (Henry Handy, ed., 1991) quoting Immanuel Kant’s Idee Zu Einer Allgemeinen Geschichte in Weltburgerlicher Absicht (1784).

Continue Reading

Americas

Democracy Summit and the fall of American-backed Muslim Brotherhood

Published

on

Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

The world was surprised by the American arrangements for the American administration, led by “Joe Biden” and the American Democratic Party, to organize the “World Democracy Conference”, which will bring together all the democratic countries in the world with a purely American choice, during the days of December 9 and 10, 2021, with the participation of nearly 110 countries around the world, while leaving the other half of it is marginalized, authoritarian, or neglected without similar calls being made to it, claiming that it is not democratic, according to the American perspective of understanding the process of democracy from a purely narrow perspective that does not fit the needs of other countries, according to their national, regional and religious circumstances and characteristics, among others. This in itself is a new provocative American attempt to break up the world and divide it, according to strict ideological bases, according to what “Biden” announced before in the alliance of democracies around the world in the face of authoritarianism and authoritarianism, and his intention of that is mainly China and Russia, then the rest of the uncivilized world will come behind them.  And who gave them multiple names, in this new global division, that they are: (undemocratic, tyrannical, dictatorial, authoritarian, autocratic, and tyrannical), and the other such names that competed the organizers of this conference referred to in describing all those who differ with them ideologically and politically in  The foundation, led by China and Russia in the first place, and as the Chinese State Councilor and Chinese Foreign Minister “Wang Yi” said:

“This American democracy summit aims mainly to strengthen the division in the world under the banner of democracy, and it only serves the strategic needs of the United States”

   But on the other hand, the US administration’s omission of invitations to the countries of the region to attend the conference mainly means (dividing the region in favor of its Chinese and Russian competitors, and even more dangerously, the failure of the Israeli-Gulf Arab peace plans under American auspices, as well as the reflection of what is happening on Israel’s security due to the difficulty of the future of security cooperation and coordination  between the countries of the region and Israel due to the sensitivity of their current position on the United States of America), and perhaps this is what many extremist terrorist groups may exploit to launch continuous attacks on American and Israeli targets, given the security vacuum left by the United States of America in the region in favor of both China and Russia, which has become an essential component of the Egyptian, Arab and Gulf foreign policy agenda, especially in light of the “escalation of American interference in the internal affairs of Egypt and the countries of the region in the field of democracy and human rights”, which reached its climax and escalated with the preparation of the United States of America for a conference that brings together all democratic countries in the world.  During which all the countries of the region were excluded with the exception of “Iraq and Israel”, which will inevitably affect (Israeli peace plans under American auspices with the Gulf states and the region, as well as the United States of America giving the green light to extremist terrorist movements and militias to target the security of the Hebrew state, and perhaps all the Gulf countries and countries in the region hesitate to sign and complete new peace agreements with Israel, given the American interference in  their internal affairs).

   Which, I believe, helped “divide the world and the countries of the Middle East at the present time between going to Washington or to the two emerging powers in the world, namely: China and Russia”. Hence, the economic power of China, through its “Belt and Road initiative”, is heavily dependent on its financing and expertise away from the idea of ​​“American political conditionality”. For example, we find that on the Egyptian side, it would have been unlikely that prominent projects on the ground, such as (the new administrative capital and the new industrial zone of the Suez Canal), would have been practically translated without the Chinese aid to the countries of the region and Egypt in the first place.

   Hence, the error of these current American policies will inevitably affect Israel’s security, as (it will inevitably weaken the desire and enthusiasm of many in the region, whom the United States of America used to pay more attention to signing and concluding more peace agreements and political normalization between its Israeli ally and other countries in the Arabian Gulf and the region mainly under US sponsorship). Accordingly, we will analyze a number of the following foundations and indicators to understand the repercussions of this American step to exclude the countries of the region on their interests in the region and on Israel’s security itself.

The importance of the “June 30 Revolution” in Egypt appears to reveal the double standards of America towards the will of the Arab peoples themselves against the American interest, which increased after President “El-Sisi’s nomination for the presidency”, at a time when the popularity of the United States of America declined in Egypt, following its position on the June 30 Revolution, and the subsequent wave of political events that followed June 30, a position that probably did not satisfy anyone, whether from the group of supporters who wanted clear support from Washington, or even from the group of opponents, who wanted a stronger position on the part of the United States of America, and this unless (Washington’s reluctance to stand in support of any party), in addition to proving the American failure to pass its democracy in the region with the failure of the Arab Spring revolutions, the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule in Egypt and later in Tunisia and Sudan, and the growing weakness of political Islam currents in the region.

    Here we can find a logical relationship between (the reasons for Washington’s refusal to invite Egypt to the conference of American democracies in December 2021, and the June 30 revolution in Egypt), the failure of the Arab Spring revolutions and the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule in Egypt, as follows:

   We can understand and analyze (the role and influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, its recent conferences and meetings with a number of American officials, and the successive statements of personalities belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood regarding their “agreement with the new approach of the American administration”, led by President “Joe Biden” not to invite the Egyptian state and the countries of the region), due to the failure of the Arab Spring revolutions, which produced Muslim Brotherhood governments backed by the United States of America.

 The activity of all the organizations affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood began in the United States of America, after (the success of the “June 30 Revolution in Egypt” and the advent of President “El-Sisi” and the alliance of the Egyptian military institution with the masses in the streets was proven), with the failure of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Arab Spring revolutions in most Arab countries, supported by the USA.

  Therefore, the attempt of the United States of America for (developing a plan to antagonize the Arab peoples against their rulers or to shed light on unreal events to distract the Arab world and the region in subsidiary events with the help of the American-active Muslim Brotherhood), began in the same period and time in which it was witnessing the rebuilding of the Arab Spring countries again, especially the beginning of building the new Egyptian state in the first place.

   What is worth studying and analyzing here, is the submission of a memorandum by the US Congressman, “Frank Wolf”, to the US House of Representatives, calling for an investigation with former President “Barack Obama” and his Secretary of State, “Hillary Clinton”, after the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate in Egypt, “Mohamed Morsi”. In 2012, on charges of “supporting the group with nearly $50 million in the presidential election during the run-off”.

  At the time, the US Congressman “Frank Wolf” announced after the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood and its candidate for government, that:

“American politicians have supported the activity of the Muslim Brotherhood and its political agenda in Egypt at the expense of other parties that do not like Washington”

   Representative “Frank Wolf” also made direct accusations against former US President “Obama” and the US administration itself, accusing the White House of (creating politically illegal practices to support the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and aiming to create an atmosphere and a state of chaos in the region through supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, sacrificing American interests in order to support the project of political Islam), and although the issue was not escalated, it had a wide resonance within the American Congress, and it was reopened again after the June 30 revolution and the isolation of Morsi, but it was kept secret later.

  And here we can observe and explain what the US Congressman “Frank Wolf” said about his assertion about (deliberate questioning by organizations of the Muslim Brotherhood in Washington for all the plans and successive successes of starting the implementation and rebuilding of Egyptian institutions and its new administrative capital with different foundations and modern ideas), and these organizations deliberately shed light on the negatives without exposure to the positives of building new facilities, bridges, and roads, all of which took place during the era of President “El-Sisi”, and all Brotherhood organizations also deliberately, with American assistance, mainly work on (igniting and dividing the region, increasing and growing the intensity of regional competition and polarization between all parties and forces internally  and externally).

   American Representative “Frank Wolf” in the US Congress and all his supporters considered: “the attempts that have been made to spread chaos and disorder in Egypt and the countries of the Arab Spring revolutions with the help of the Muslim Brotherhood organizations are deliberate”, and this is during the same period, in which politicians must be wise to not luring them into side battles that waste their gains and the achievements of their people. Therefore, the correct behavior, according to the wise, was that everyone in Egypt and the Arab region should devote themselves to building the interior.

   Here we can follow (the map and activity of all branches of Brotherhood organizations in the United States of America after the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt), similar to its strategy and its extended organizations in Britain and Europe, but it was more elitist in the United States of America, through the organizations of the Muslim Brotherhood, which are known by name in the United States of America, such as:

 (MSA Muslim Student Association, which began in 1963, the International Institute of Islamic Thought, which was established in American lands since 1983, the Islamic Society of North America ISNA, the Committee on American Islamic Affairs CAIR, which was founded in 1994)

   Additionally, there are some other organizations affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood have global activity and influence within the United States of America and various European countries, all of which aimed to make continuous attempts to influence the position of their governments towards Egypt and the countries of the Arab Spring revolutions.

  Indications can be identified in (organizing the ranks and bases of the Muslim Brotherhood inside the United States of America after the advent of the administration of Democratic President “Joe Biden” has been begun), with the aim of influencing the image of democracy in Egypt and the region.  And that is through the activity of the system of families affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which is spread almost throughout the United States, and the task of each family was to (establish its roots in the region in which it is, by influencing the largest number of those around it), and to take care of the newcomers of the Brotherhood  Muslims to the United States of America, as well as the establishment of new schools, mosques and clinics to expand their influence within American society and communicate with all American political decision-making circles to promote the failure of Egyptian democracy and the fall of political Islam currents loyal to Washington and its democracy

  And all those American organizations of the Muslim Brotherhood began to (promote the failure of democracy in Egypt and the countries of the region by holding conferences and calling for it, and claiming the current regimes reject democracy on the American way, and even laying out different plans for the American democratic administration to reveal different ways to embarrass Arab regimes that reject the political project  of the Muslim Brotherhood), led by the Egyptian state and its military establishment.

    The old international Brotherhood organizations have been active among them, by communicating and rapprochement with American decision-making circles, including: The Muslim Students Association “MSN”, which is the association founded by the Muslim Brotherhood, and it is one of the most important institutions that have been active in American universities, and about 600 student associations have emerged from within  USA so far. With (attempting to influence American officials to put pressure on the regimes in Egypt and the region, therefore, several large conferences were organized to gather, mobilize and expand the base of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda within American society and its intellectual and research centers), especially the American circles of influence and influence.

  We find that the most dangerous American statements in this context are the analysis of the well-known American thinker “Noam Chomsky” and his revelation of deliberate American interference in the affairs of Egypt and the region after the failure of the Arab Spring revolutions backed by the United States, by saying that:

 “The percentage of popular opposition to the United States of America in Egypt – which is the most important state in the  region – has reached  out  to  80%, and therefore America and its allies do not want governments that express the will of the people. If this happens, America will not only lose its control over the region, but will also be expelled from it. It has a plan that is typically implemented by Washington and it doesn’t take a genius to understand it”

  We find that this type of American support for the alleged democracy in several countries around the world, in the form that the internationally known American thinker “Noam Chomsky” spoke about, we have witnessed many precedents and evidence around the world over and over again, it happened with (Simosa in Nicaragua, the Shah  In Iran, Marcos in the Philippines, Devilliers in Haiti, the leader of South Korea, Maputo in the Congo, Ceausescu, the favorite of the West in Romania, Suharto in Indonesia). As it is a completely typical and permanent matter, it applies to many cases, especially the countries of the Arab Spring revolutions.

   In the same context, the American academic “Robert Spencer”, as a specialist in the affairs of extremist Islamic movements, indicated that: “The Muslim Brotherhood had worked actively for several decades before within the corridors of American political decision-making”, through several fronts, such as: (Council on American Islamic Relations, Muslim Student Associations, Islamic Society of North America), as well as 29 other organizations operating in the United States of America under various umbrellas and names, and the US Federal Investigation Agency, called them as they are (organizations of the Muslim Brotherhood with the international extensions).

   And the American researcher “Robert Spencer” explained the reasons for the success and growth of the Muslim Brotherhood’s power in the face of the regimes and countries of the Arab Spring revolutions and the Middle East, emphasizing that it is (US-backed), by pointing out that (most of those international organizations of the Muslim Brotherhood were established in the eighties. Those fronts continued to act as a “pressure lobbyists” on the White House’s decisions towards Egypt and the countries of the region), even after the failure of American policies towards their support after the failure of the Muslim Brotherhood, even though it was proven that Washington was unable to support them after the failure of the American-backed Arab Spring revolutions basically.

  The most amazing thing here is the American side’s demand for Egypt to achieve stability at the same time as they support the Muslim Brotherhood within the corridors of political decision-making in Washington itself to spread chaos in Egypt and our Arab countries.  This is what we find in published public statements, that the “National Security Council of the United States” has approved in most of its policies and orientations towards Egypt and President “El-Sisi” in the post-Muslim Brotherhood era, that “the first American demand from Cairo is to maintain security and local and regional stability by any means”, considering that:

   “The mission of the Egyptian side and President El-Sisi entails, at that stage, the necessity of preserving the security and stability of Israel and the neighboring countries of Israel, as a fundamental pillar in the geo-strategic composition of the Middle East, which successive US administrations and governments attach great importance for this matter”

  Through our previous analysis of the scene, we can find a logical relationship between the American support for the Muslim Brotherhood, its exertion of internal pressure on the American administration led by “Joe Biden”, and the exclusion of Egypt and all countries in the region from participating in the “World Democracy Conference”, which is called by Washington itself, according to its own criteria. Which is the first and most important thing that is taught to students of political science, which is that politics is based on interest, and that there is no friendship in relations between states, and as “Winston Churchill” said previously: “There is no such thing as permanent friendship, but there is such a permanent interest”. Therefore, the achievement of each party’s interest is the basis in relations between states, and therefore the urgent priority of politicians in the (post-revolutionary era), is achieving the interest of their peoples and their countries, by preserving the revolutionary gains achieved by all, away from any external pressures or provocations.  As is the case in the current American scene towards Egypt and the countries of the region, and the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the American interior itself.

Continue Reading

Americas

New American extremist armed movements calling for democracy

Published

on

The American interior has witnessed in recent years (the growth, spread and revival of a number of new armed extremist ideological movements in the American interior), which have come to challenge the authority and orders of the American government similar to its American communist counterpart in previous periods, and aims for a “new revolution” in the face of the American authorities.

   The outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic in the American interior has also caused the strengthening of the strength of these American armed movements, as well as the growth of “new armed extremist movements” that challenge the authority and orders of the American government similar to its former American communist counterpart, and the map of these movements and their goals can be traced, as follows:

   The emergence of the most dangerous and most important armed movement called the “Boogaloo Movement” against the American government: due to the restrictions imposed due to the outbreak of the virus, it fueled the “Boogaloo Movement” against the American government.  And what is new in the “American Boogaloo movement” is its armed tactic, and its “publicly” carrying of rifles and wearing tactical military clothing, and it was the beginning of their mobilization in the US state of “Hawaii” and in the state capital’s buildings to protest against the closure orders, due to the outbreak of (Covid-19).  It is the distinctive of the “military appearance” of the “Boogaloo Movement” against the US government, which attracts the most attention. It threatens to wage “civil war”, as an extremist movement that uses “violent, not peaceful armed protests” against the orders of the American state, and has arisen due to the social problems caused by the pandemic to spread violent messages against Washington. The start of its launch was in April 2020, when armed demonstrators went out in separate organized protests in front of government buildings in (Concord and New Hampshire). The point worth noting and analyzing here is that the extremist “Boogaloo” movement is attracting many American youth daily. One of its affiliates said in a post on Facebook that the term “Boogaloo” began as a funny thing, but it evolved into a deeper symbol of “Boogaloo Movement”, by calling for the freedom  against the decisions of the American authorities.

   On the other hand, the (Three Percenters Militia Movement) appeared in the month of April 2020: those who organized a march at “Olympia headquarters” in the capital, Washington, and the participants in the gathering were keen to wear “Hawaiian shirts” to support the demands of the “Boogaloo extremist armed movement”.

  In May 2020, a third extremist movement appeared in the United States, called the “Blue Igloo movement”: which began with a demonstration in Raleigh, North Carolina, and promoted itself on Facebook, and the movement entered into some “armed confrontations” with the state police.

   A fourth movement appeared, consisting of armed members called the extremist “Liberty Militia movement”: they are mainly deployed in the state of “Michigan”.

   A new fifth movement appeared called “The Rhett E. Boogie Group”: by advocating on Facebook forums, this led to the launch of a movement which invited “Gretchen Whitmer” as a representative of the “Democratic Party”, to address these violent threats.

   In March 2020, there were also demonstrations related to the “Neo-Nazis movement” in the US state of “Missouri”: one of those belonging to this extremist movement was killed when the “Federal Bureau Investigations agents” FBI  tried to arrest him, for trying to bomb a hospital in the “Kansas City”  area.  After the outbreak of the Corona virus, the “Neo-Nazis movement” announced that its new goal was to “start a revolution” in the country.

  During the month of May 2020, a white supremacist group, known as: the “Associates of Bradley Bunn” appeared in the state of “Colorado”: which prompted the “US Department of Homeland Security” to issue an alert to it.  And “Bradley Benn” is a former US Army soldier, who was arrested on May 1, 2020, after the “Federal Bureau Investigations agents” FBI found that there were “four pipe bombs” in his home in Loveland, Colorado, which led some to sympathize with him for his courage, and they formed a movement in his name.

   The other armed prominent group in the USA, which has been revived and unified under a given new name of the  “White Supremacist Groups”, which has been active since 2019, has been revived, and has declared itself as (an extreme right-wing movement), and includes a group of armed militias.

   In general, it is possible to observe and track the goals of these American armed movements and increase their activities, especially after the outbreak of the Corona epidemic and the poor economic conditions in the American interior, and made the beginning through social media, where one of them wrote: “Many individuals are very upset with the way that the USA is managed and the other passed laws that are criminalised to the law-abiding citizens”. Perhaps what is new in the thinking of these American extremist armed movements, according to the study of the “Extremism Program at George Washington University”, is that their discourse goes beyond discussions about combating restrictions, which many protesters describe as “tyranny” to talk and violent radical discourse about “Killing FBI agents” or police officers “to start a war”.

   From here, we understand the existence of (a real state of conflict and undeclared polarization within the American interior itself, whose features appeared between the movements of the left and the right and resulted in the carrying of arms and resistance to the American authorities themselves), and this internal American conflict became clear between (the forces of the left and the American right) after the failure of the former President “Trump” in the period of the previous US presidential elections in November 2020, and perhaps this period will be the one (which will establish the next American period and will determine the extent of its democracy globally and even how to deal with rebellious groups and sectors and the opposition of the American people themselves who reject the internal American policies and their undemocratic approach), and it will expose the global American democracy itself to (face difficult tests in front of the minorities who are expected to dominate the American political scene by 2040 according to the expectations of American sociologists, anthropologists and humanists), hence the important question will come, regarding:

  (How will the United States of America present itself to the world less than 20 years from now? Especially, in the presence of a real undeclared internal conflict over the American power and governance circles, which threatens the American concept that promotes the idea of ​​democracy and human rights from the narrow American perspective)?!

Continue Reading

Publications

Latest

Trending