“The masses have followed the magicians again and again…Socrates and Plato were the first to take up the struggle against them in a clear awareness of what was at stake.”-Karl Jaspers, Reason and Anti-Reason in our Time (1952)
It’s glaringly ironic. Since Plato first characterized visible political activity as mere reflection or “shadow,” scholars have had a favorable starting point for serious intellectual understanding. Nonetheless, purposeful thought on the nature of politics has remained the province of just a tiny handful of specialists. Complex and bewildering, such thought can never become appropriate for “mass” consumption.
But it does still warrant a more prominent place in shaping national policies.
On such arcane matters, there are gravely pertinent details. In the United States, recalling Plato, Americans will finally need to acknowledge core differences between “truth and shadow.” Oddly, what has mattered most to this country about politics are outcomes that “the people” themselves might never even recognize.
How can this be?
In general, few people are capable of acknowledging what they really want. Though millions of Americans can readily appreciate that they value assorted religious attachments and affiliations, few could then connect these preferential ties to palpable promises of one utterly supreme form of power. These promises concern the incomparable bestowal of immortality, the credible granting of power over death.
Individuum est ineffable, reminds the poet-philosopher Goethe, author of Faust: “The individual cannot be grasped.”
Within an American society unaccustomed to bothering with history, law or erudition (Donald Trump assured his servile followers that “attitude is more important than preparation”), there is not much cause to expect many knowledge-based political inquiries. Still, whatever the anti-intellectual baggage of an American mass that continuously disregards all discernible considerations of “mind,” lucid explanations of American politics will now require examinations conducted at a conceptual level.
There is more. Three specific concepts will need to be highlighted. Intersecting and subtle, these concepts are death, time and immortality. Prima facie, discovery of pertinent meanings here can never be a task for the intellectually faint-hearted. To wit, this will not be a task for those who would choose yet again to “follow the magicians.”
At the outset of any serious political inquiry, relevant phenomena must be examined at this conceptuallevel. Concepts represent the “building blocks” of any comprehensive theory, and theory (well fashioned) represents the beginning of any science. Science, in turn, identifies an optimal method of reaching conclusions, one involving the stipulation, examination and subsequent confirmation or disconfirmation of alternative hypotheses.
This is what serious inquiry is necessarily all about. Indeed, when taken together, these recommended operations provide the textbook definition of science. Always, to sincerely believe in science is to reject “the magicians.”
A “next question” dawns. How shall Americans proceed if their national and sub-national governance is to be meaningfully improved, especially in a world political system of belligerent nationalism now being shaped by corrosive acrimony and nuclear weapons? What can the three concepts of death, time and immortality teach us about America’s political landscape, both present and future? How shall this nation ever be able to advance beyond the childlike prescriptions and gratuitous rancor of domestic politics, an advance (let us be candid) that has now become indispensable to actual survival?
To answer thoughtfully, and not as marginally literate partisans of some presumptively precious political cause or personality, analysts must begin with the individual human being, with the microcosm. In this commencement, though disregarded and de facto invisible, power over death represents the ultimate reward for dutiful political compliance. Though spoken sotto voce (only in furtive whispers), there can be no greater power to confer in any political sphere than this tacit promise of immortality.
Personal Faith and the “Hunger of Immortality
“I believe,” says Oswald Spengler in his 20th century classic, The Decline of the West” (1918-1923), “is the one great word against metaphysical fear.” In this inherently abstract connection, we may learn from Emmanuel Levinas something of head spinning import: “It is through death,” says the modern philosopher, “that there is time….” It follows, among other things, that any nation that can seemingly enhance the promise of personal immortality among its people can thereby heighten the promises of time.
These are multiple and mutually reinforcing promises.
Could there possibly be any more enviable forms of power?
What can such dense abstraction have to do with American politics in particular? These are not easy concepts to understand, especially in the context of America’s defiling preoccupation with dissembling personalities, multiplying superficialities and relentlessly escalating rancor. Still, no society so willing to compromise truth on behalf of doctrinal “anti-reason” can reasonably expect to endure, let alone progress.
These are not easy concepts to unravel or interpret. And yet they are more plainly explanatory of this nation’s dynamic existential problems than are the commonly ritualistic recitations of public political personalities. If chronology is in fact contingent upon death – in essence, because human mortality puts an irreversible “stop” to each individual’s personal time – an antecedent question must also be posed: How does one gain tangible power over death, and what does any such gain have to do with the fate of a particular state or nation?
It is with precisely this near-preposterous question in hand that genuinely promising political inquiries should now be launched.
What next? Before venturing a proper answer to any such many-sided question, analysts and thinkers must first distinguish between actual or tangible power and the personal expectation that such power lies in variously decipherable ties to God. Naturally, though not in any way a matter of science, we humans have always sought reassuring links to the divine. In identifying humankind’s purported ties here to the sacred – ties that are expectedly prior to relevant acquisitions of power over death – the most evident and “time-tested” path involves faith.
It is hardly a coincidence that every one of the world’s major religions offers its adherents variously alluring and more-or-less comparable promises of immortality.
There is more. Such powerful assurances come with assorted contingencies, some of which would prove far more difficult to satisfy than others. Nonetheless, in the main, whatever the specific contingencies or nuances of differentiation involved, it is a bargain being offered to individuals who usually hope most fervidly not to die. Seemingly, it is a gainful pact, one whereby the faithful adherents of any pertinent religion (1) commit wholly to the affirmation of all true piety (“I believe),” and (2) prioritize this sacred affirmation above all others.
Immortality and Martyrdom
Additional particularities will need to be noted. On occasion, the doctrinal priority “I believe” can demand a faith-confirming end to an individual believer’s physical life on earth, that is, an act of martyrdom. At other times, assorted high-minded doctrines of charity, caring and compassion notwithstanding, this priority can require the torture and/or killing of designated “unbelievers,” “heathen,” “apostates,” etc., to safeguard “the one true faith.”
Whatever special circumstances of “sacrifice” may be involved – and they need not be mutually exclusive – Reason must give way to Unreason. Ironically, as we have already seen, such grotesque surrender is no less likely in the Age of Science than it was in any earlier Age of Belief. Regarding this worrisome allegation, the daily news offers endlessly corroborative “evidence” ex hypothesi.
There are several core truths being revealed here. Any cumulative hopes for an individual rising “above mortality” can have critical consequences for the macrocosm, for war and peace on Planet Earth. In the nineteenth century, at 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 his Philosophy of Right (1820) that the state represents “the march of God in the world.”
Inter alia, these widely-cited views in political science and philosophy tie loyalty to the state (usually unquestioned loyalty) with the promise of power over death. By definition, this must always be a monumental promise, one generally recognized only in the Platonic “shadows” of political activity. Plainly, whenever the historian looks beyond the distracting shadows of true images, he discovers no plausible evidence of any such promise ever having been kept.
There is more. This is an extraordinary and always-unfulfilled promise, but one that still remains incomparable. During his rabidly incoherent tenure as US president, Donald J. Trump’s openly pernicious brand of belligerent nationalism (“America First”) offered “patriotic” adherents this dangerously seductive promise. In the end, because it was founded upon a fusion of stark ignorance with doctrinal anti-reason, “America First” brought with it a vision of time that hastened death rather than help “overcome” it.
Additional nuances now warrant competent examination. In all related matters, faith and science intersect with coinciding considerations of law. The fearful “deification” of Realpolitik, a transformation of ideology from simple principle of action to sacred end in itself, drew germinal strength from the doctrine of sovereignty. First conceived in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as a juridical principle of internal order, this doctrine underwent far-reaching metamorphoses, whence it then became the justifying legal rationale for international anarchy (known also by political philosophers as the global “state of nature.)”
Sovereignty and Power Over Death
To understand all such complex intersections, we must first understand “sovereignty.” Established by Jean Bodin as a juristic concept in De Republica (1576), sovereignty quickly came to be regarded as the supreme human political power, absolute and above all other forms of law. In the oft-recited and oft-studied words of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan: “Where there is no common Power, there is no law.”
As to any correspondences withtime, which is how we have come to consider such complex issues in the first place, Hobbes explains why this “no law” condition should be called “war,” even when there exists no actual “fighting.” More precisely, because “war consisteth not in battle only, or the act of fighting, but in a tract of Time….,“ scholars and policy-makers will need to broaden their most fundamental ideas of “war.” Though this would first appear to be an esoteric requirement, one without any discernible links to real world policy-making, exactly the opposite is true.
There is still more. When it is understood in terms of modern international relations, the doctrine of sovereignty encourages the refractory notion that states (a) lie above and beyond any legal regulation in their interactions with each other, and (b) act rationally whenever they seek tangible benefits at the expense of other states or the global system as a whole. Still, following the time of conspicuous Trump derangements, this doctrine threatened a wholesale collapse of civilizational cooperation and world order, a dis-establishment spawned ultimately by the “timeless” human wish for immortality, and by variously misconceived human associations of “wish fulfillment” with “everyone for himself” foreign policies.
Time and the Hobbesian “State of War”
Without suitable changes in the Hobbesian “tract of time,” the global State of War nurtured by refractory ideas about absolute sovereignty points not only to perpetual/immutable human mortality, but also toward death on literally unprecedented levels. One such notion is climate change denial, a stubbornly-preferred posture of anti-reason expressed most insidiously by earlier Trump-world derangements of science and law. Left unaffected by more proper considerations of scientific analysis and refined intellect, climate change denial could produce even another mass extinction on Planet Earth. At that point, time will have lost all of its once-residual meanings, and death will inherit absolutely all that still is.
Considered by itself, immortality remains an unworthy and unseemly human goal, both because it is scientific nonsense (“An immortal person is a contradiction in terms”) and because it fosters such endlessly injurious human behaviors as war, terrorism, genocide and “martyrdom.” The dignified task, therefore, is not to try to remove the individual human hope to somehow soar above death (that is, to achieve some tangible sort of immortality), but to “de-link” this futile and vainglorious search from grievously destructive human behaviors.
But how best to proceed with such a multi-faceted task? This is not an easy question, and one that can never be answered in terms of shadows or Platonic reflections of reality. There are available here no science-based guidelines. And even if there were such availability, this is not just another ordinary problem that can yield ipso facto to rationality-based solutions. On the contrary, and infinitely-distressing, the wish to immortality is so deeply compelling and universal that it can never be dispelled by logical argument.
A Perilous Political Lure: “Whisperings of the Irrational”
Aware of this dilemma, philosopher Karl Jaspers writes in Reason and Anti-Reason in our Time (1952): “There is something inside all of us that yearns not for reason but for mystery – not for penetrating clear thought but for the whisperings of the irrational….” Always, and understandably, the most seductive of these irrational whisperings are those that offer to confer a selective power over death. But it is in the express criteria of any such “selection” that ostentatiously far-reaching evils can be born.
In essence, this is because the promised power over death requires the “sacrifice” of certain despised “others.”
For science, death is inevitably a function of biology. Moreover, because it “presents” together with decomposition and decay – and even calls for some human comprehension of nothingness within a so-called flow of time – there exist no conspicuously plausible ways of replacing mystery with rationality. By its very nature, which inevitably brings forth inconsolable fears and paralyzing anxieties, death will never submit to even the most refined sorts of intellectual management.
It’s simply not that sort of “nemesis.”
Nonetheless, at least in principle, some measure of existential relief can be discovered in transience, that is, in the unassailable awareness that nothing is forever and that everything is impermanent. What is required at this stage is the conceptual reciprocal of any imagined human decomposition or disintegration. This would mean deliberately cultivating the imagery of expanded human significance that stems from life’s limited duration. In scientific terms, one might usefully describe this quality as life’s “scarcity value.”
Though seemingly paradoxical, any such gainful mental cultivation may effectively represent the optimal human strategy of achieving “immortality” or of “not dying.”
How did we ever arrive at such a complex and intellectually-challenging conclusion? We began with the view that daily news reports and “assessments” are just changing reflections or shadows of much deeper human activities. In order to deal more satisfactorily with the incessant horrors of any national politics – e.g., the endlessly lethal derangements of Trump-era American policies – we will first have to understand the verifiably true sources of all such reflections.
Again, these particular underpinnings of daily news events are rooted in certain conceptual intersections of death, time and immortality. It is only with a more determined understanding of these many-sided intersections that America and Americans can reasonably hope “not to die.”
The Barbarism of Specialization
In the end, American politics – like politics everywhere – must remain a shadowy second-order activity, a distorting reflection of what is truly important. For now, in the United States, such politics continues to thrive upon a vast personal emptiness, on an collective infirmity that represents the disfiguring reciprocal of personal fulfillment. “Conscious of his emptiness,” warned the German philosopher Karl Jaspers in Reason and Anti-Reason in our Time (1952), “man (human) tries to make a faith for himself (or herself) in the political realm. In Vain.”
In even an authentic American democracy, only a few could ever hope to redeem themselves and the wider nation, but these self-effacing souls would generally remain silent, hidden in more-or-less “deep cover,” often even from themselves. In a democracy where education is increasingly oriented toward narrowly vocational forms of career preparation, an orientation toward “barbaric specialization,” these residual few can plausibly expect to be “suffocated” by the many. Any such “asphyxiation,” in absolutely any of its conceivable particularities, would represent an especially bad way to “die.”
Donald J. Trump did not emerge on the American political scene ex nihilo, out of nothing. His incoherent, corrupt and disjointed presidency was the direct result of a society that had long since abandoned any serious thought. When such a society no longer asked the “big philosophical questions” – for example, “What is the “good” in government and politics”? or “How do I lead a good life as person and citizen”? or “How can I best nurture the well-being of other human beings”? – the hideous outcome was inevitable.
It was an outcome that we are currently living through in the United States, and yet it is also one that might sometime earlier have had to be “died through.”
Going forward, what Americans ought to fear most of all is this continuously self-defiling outcome of “shadows” or reflected truth, not any particular electoral result. To be certain, at this vital turning point, nothing could be more urgently important for the United States than to rid itself of the still-intersecting pathologies of Covid19 and Donald Trump’s now growing movement against Constitutional democracy. These evident afflictions are mutually reinforcing and potentially synergistic. But even the much needed eradications would only be transient. More fundamentally, recalling philosopher Jose Ortega y’Gasset timeless warning about the “barbarism of specialization,” this country must first resurrect an earlier ethos of education, one in which learning can benefit the whole human being, not just his or her work-related corner of the universe.
Also necessary will be the long-deferred obligation to acknowledge the fundamental interrelatedness of all peoples and (correspondingly) the binding universality of international law. To survive as a nation and as individuals, more Americans will need to become seriously educated, not as well-trained cogs in a vast industrial machine, but as genuinely empathetic and caring citizens. “Everyone is the other, and no one is just himself,” cautions Martin Heidegger in Being and Time (1932), but this elementary lesson, once discoverable in myriad sacred texts, is not easily operationalized.
Indeed, it is in this single monumental failure of “operationalization” that human civilization has most conspicuously failed.
In Trump-era American governance, the former president’s core message was never about the co-responsibility of every human being for his or her fellows, but rather about “winners,” “losers” and a presumptively rational citizen obligation to “Make America Great.” In this twisted Trumpian context, “greatness” assumed a Darwinian or zero-sum condition, not one wherein each individual could finally favor harmonious cooperation over belligerent competition. The very last thing any sane person would ever seek in this abysmally crude condition is immortality.
How shall we change all this, or, recalling Plato’s wisdom in The Republic, how shall we”learn to make the souls of the citizens better?” This is not a question that anyone can answer in any elucidating detail. Still, it is a question that ought to be placed before the imperiled American polity before the next election, before it is once again too late.
American democracy faces multiple hazards, including Ortega y’Gasset “barbarism of specialization.” To be rescued in time, each such hazard will have to be tackled carefully, by itself but also in coordinated tandem with variously other identifiable perils. Overall, the task will be daunting and overwhelming, but the alternative is simply no longer tolerable.
Donald Trump’s electoral removal from office was a sine qua non for all still-applicable remedies, but even such an indispensable removal could target only a symptom of America’s “true” national pathology. By itself, saving the United States from Donald Trump was surely required, but it still left unchanged the country’s most deeply underlying “disease.” In the end, because Americans will finally need to bring a less “specialized” form of learning to their citizenship responsibilities, the nation will have to figure out various practical ways of restoring educational “wholeness.”
Can this sort of rational calculation reasonably be expected? Maybe not. Perhaps, like the timeless message of Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, this warning may “have come too soon.” If such a premature warning turns out to be the case, however, there may be no “later.”
What is “Drawing Near”?
“Is it an end that draws near,” inquires Karl Jaspers in Man in the Modern Age (1951) “or a beginning.” The meaningful answer, which lies far beyond any measuring hands of clocks, is by no means self-evident. Determining this answer is now a fundamental expectation of American political destiny.
Nothing could be more important.
Soon, as we have just seen, Americans will need to get solidly beyond the demeaning banalities of partisan politics, beyond the distracting and potentially murderous “shadows” of what is genuinely important. Immutably, but also invisibly, most human residents of planet earth continue to regard “power over death” as the highest conceivable form of power. And yet it will likely remain unclear how such ultimate power can be linked purposefully to America’s politics, even to its Realpolitik-directed foreign policies.
Meaning and Belonging
There is more. To look suitably beyond “shadows,” Americans must also discover that there are two other principal animating forces of their political realm. These forces concern Meaning and Belonging. They represent other true images of American politics – images additional to immortality or “power over death” – that can also bestow tangible feelings of personal self-worth.
In essence, such images coalesce around activities that can confer pleasing human emotions of “time well spent” and/or group membership. The overriding problem, of course, is that such activities are not always benign. They can sometimes include war, terrorism and genocide.
In his modern classic study, Being and Time (1953), Martin Heidegger laments what he calls (in German) das Mann, or “The They.” Drawing fruitfully upon certain earlier seminal insights of Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Jung and Freud, Heidegger’s “The They” represents the ever-present herd, crowd, horde or mass, an “untruth” (the term favored by Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard) that can all-too-quickly suffocate intellectual growth. For Heidegger’s ubiquitous “The They,” the crowning human untruth lies in “herd” acceptance of immortality at both institutional and personal levels, and in herd encouragement of the notion that personal power over death is sometimes derivative (recall earlier Hegel and Treitschke) from membership in nation-states.
History reveals, prima facie, that this can frequently become an insidious notion.
Any reassuring notions about a potential for personal immortality are themselves contingent upon the specific nation-state’s “sacredness.” Here, only membership in a presumptively “sacred” group can serve to confer life-everlasting. This connection is now markedly evident amid America’s rancorous “identity” politics.
“In the end,” says Goethe, “we are creatures of our own making.” But to best ensure that such “creatures” are dignified, decent and meaningfully cooperative with one another, all societies must first be able to distinguish true human feelings and expectations from distorting reflections or “shadows.” Here in the United States, where a nation’s most basic tonality has already become dissonance, one conclusion is unassailable: Americans should finally acknowledge the existential risks of “following the magicians,” and firmly detach themselves from always-grave distortions of political reality.
It’s a tall order, to be sure, but one that can’t reasonably be disregarded. The next time the United States chooses to “follow the magicians” could represent more than just another regrettable political error. Prima facie, such an unforgivable mistake could prove to be existential and irremediable.
 Such “epiphenomenal” understanding was central to Plato’s The Republic. In his still-famous parable of the cave, the early Greek philosopher clarifies distinctions between “truth and shadow.” See, by this author, Louis René Beres, https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2020/09/08/truth-and-shadow-to-understan See also, at Oxford University Press, Louis René Beres: https://blog.oup.com/2011/08/philosopher-king/
 In the 17th century, French philosopher Blaise Pascal remarked prophetically in 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 Descartes – strives to define an essential theory of learning and knowledge.
 This absurd assurance resembled the official Joseph Goebbels Third Reich party line that “Germany needs leaders with instinct, not intellect.” Said Goebbels at a Nuremberg party rally in 1934: “Intellect rots the brain.” Declared US presidential candidate Donald Trump in 2016, at several of his own Republican party rallies: “I love the poorly educated.” Later, Trump claimed that Covid19 “will disappear on its own,” ingestion of household disinfectants can help protect Americans from the Covid19 virus, that the 18th century American revolutionary army “quickly took control of all United States airports,” and that we should consider using nuclear weapons against hurricanes.
 The “mass-man,” we learn from 20th century Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y’ Gasset’s The Revolt of the Masses, “learns only in his own flesh.”
 See recently, by this author, Louis René Beres: https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2021/10/24/to-prevent-a-nuclear-war-americas-overriding-policy-imperative/
 A common aspect to these three core concepts is the inherently vague idea of “soul.” Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung thought of “soul” (in German, Seele) as the essence of a human being. Neither Freud nor Jung ever provided a precise definition of the term, but it was not intended by either in an ordinary religious sense. For both, it was 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 express references to “soul.” He was plainly disgusted by a civilization so tangibly unmoved by considerations of true “consciousness” (e.g., an awareness of intellect and literature); Freud even thought that the crude American commitment to perpetually shallow optimism and material accomplishment would inevitably occasion sweeping psychological misery. Judging, among other things, by the extent of America’s expanding opiate crisis, this prediction was well on-the-mark.
 This succinct phrase, the “hunger of immortality,” is central to Miguel de Unamuno’s Tragic Sense of Life (1921). During my more than fifty years as a Purdue University professor, I often identified this seminal work as the single most important book I had ever read. Interestingly, it was another great Spanish existentialist, Jose Ortega y’Gasset, who comes in as a close second.
 See Emmanuel Levinas, “Time Considered on the Basis of Death” (1976). In another essay, Levinas says: “An immortal person is a contradiction in terms.” Though seemingly an obvious assertion, it also runs counter to promises of the world’s principal religions, and therefore to the most common catch-phrases of US domestic politics.
 For an early examination of time’s impact on foreign policy decision-making, see, by this author, Louis René Beres, “Time, Consciousness and Decision-making in Theories of International Relations,” The Journal of Value Inquiry, Vol. VIII, No.3., Fall 1974, pp. 175-186.
 For the best available assessment of this concept, see: Karl Jaspers, Reason and anti-Reason in our Time (1952). The German philosopher clarifies the “fog of the irrational” that bedeviled Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, and later the United States during the Trump years. In a distillation of his conspicuously grand thought, Jaspers proclaimed: “Reason is confronted again and again with the fact of a mass of believers who have lost all ability to listen, who can absorb no logical argument and who hold unshakably fast to the Absurd as an unassailable presupposition….” Today, in the United States, one should think immediately of QAnon conspiracy thinking.
 The charming idea that time can somehow “have a stop” is raised by Indiana writer Kurt Vonnegut Jr. in Slaughterhouse Five (1969).
 Interestingly, observes Spanish existentialist philosopher Jose Ortega y’Gasset in Man and Crisis (1958): “History is an illustrious war against death.”
 Famously, says Oswald Spengler in The Decline of the West, “‘I believe’ is the one great word (sic.) against metaphysical fear.” Such “fear” is essentially a euphemistic or sanitizing reference to death.
 But killing need not always be linked to promises of power over death. Sometimes, per Eugene Ionesco, “People kill and are killed in order to prove to themselves that life exists.” See the Romanian playwright’s only novel, The Hermit, 102 (1973).
 Already aware that blind fanaticism is the ultimate scourge of all decent politics, the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard recognized that there are too many individuals, not too few, who take it as their sacred duty to sacrifice others on the blood-stained altars of personal immortality.
 See, for example, by this author: Louis René Beres, https://besacenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/1053-Terrorism-as-Power-over-Death-Beres-final.pdf
 Here it ought also to be kept in mind that the incremental destruction of biodiversity on Planet Earth is producing a continuous natural climate catastrophe, one that naturalist David Attenborough suggests will likely end in another mass extinction. This means, inter alia, more-or-less predictable synergies between growing catastrophes of the natural world and catastrophes of specifically human misunderstanding. In synergistic interactions, by definition, the cumulative harm (the “whole”) is greater than the sum of component sufferings (the “parts”).
 Still, we must consider the contra view of Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y’Gasset in The Revolt of the Masses (1932). Here, Ortega identifies the state not as a convenient source of immortality, but as the very opposite. For him, the state is “the greatest danger,” mustering its immense and irresistible resources “to crush beneath it any creative minority that disturbs it….” Earlier, in his chapter “On the New Idol” in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote similarly: “State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters…All-too-many are born – for the superfluous the state was invented.” Later, in the same chapter: “A hellish artifice was invented there (the state), a horse of death…Indeed, a dying for many was invented there; verily, a great service to all preachers of death!”
 The Trump White House consistently sought to persuade Americans by way of deliberate simplifications and falsifications. See, on the plausible consequences of any such deceptive measures, Ludwig Wittgenstein’s observation in On Certainty: “Remember that one is sometimes convinced of the correctness of a view by its simplicity or symmetry….”
 The belligerent nationalismof former US president Donald Trump stands in marked contrast to authoritative legal assumptions concerning solidarity between states. These jurisprudential assumptions concern a presumptively common legal struggle against aggression and terrorism. Such a “peremptory” expectation, known formally in law as a jus cogens assumption, had already been mentioned in Justinian, Corpus Juris Civilis (533 CE); Hugo Grotius, 2 De Jure Belli ac Pacis Libri Tres, Ch. 20 (Francis W. Kesey., tr, Clarendon Press, 1925) (1690); and Emmerich de Vattel, 1 Le Droit des Gens, Ch. 19 (1758).
 See, for example, by this author, at JURIST, Louis René Beres, https://www.jurist.org/commentary/2020/05/louis-beres-america-first-2/; and https://www.jurist.org/commentary/2019/06/louis-beres-america-first/
 In philosophic terms, this idea of “overcoming” is distinctly “Nietzschean.”
 Though still not widely understood, especially by former US president Trump, international law isa 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).
 See, on this doctrine, by this author: Louis René Beres, Reason and Realpolitik: US Foreign Policy and World Order (1984).
 We may recall here Thomas Aquinas’ commentary on Augustine: “St. Augustine says: `There is no law unless it be just.’ So the validity of law depends upon its justice. But in human affairs, a thing is said to be just when it accords aright with the rule of reason; and as we have already seen, the first rule of reason is the Natural Law. Thus, all humanly enacted laws are in accord with reason to the extent that they derive from the Natural Law. And if a human law is at variance in any particular with the Natural Law, it is no longer legal, but rather a corruption of law.” See: SUMMA THEOLOGICA, 1a, 2ae, 95, 2; cited by A.P. d’Entreves, NATURAL LAW: AN INTRODUCTION TO LEGAL PHILOSOPPHY (1951), pp. 42-43.
 Thomas Hobbes argues convincingly that the international state of nature is “less intolerable” than that condition among individuals in nature because, only in the latter, the “weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest.” With the spread of nuclear weapons, this difference is plainly disappearing. Interestingly, perhaps, in the pre-nuclear age, Samuel Pufendorf, like Hobbes, was persuaded that the state of nations “…lacks those inconveniences which are attendant upon a pure state of nature….” Similarly, Spinoza suggested that “…a commonwealth can guard itself against being subjugated by another, as a man in the state of nature cannot do.” (See: Louis René Beres, The Management of World Power: A Theoretical Analysis, University of Denver, Monograph Series in World Affairs, Vol. 10, No.3., 1972-73, p. 65.)
 In studies of world politics, rationality and irrationality have now taken on very specific meanings. More precisely, a state or sub-state actor is presumed to be determinedly rational to the extent that its leadership always values national survival more highly than any other conceivable preference or combination of preferences. Conversely, an irrational actor might not always display such a determinable preference ordering.
One such derangement was Trump’s willful movement away from cooperative world politics to an exaggerated “everyone for himself” ethos. Says French Jesuit philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in The Phenomenon of Man (1955): “The egocentric ideal of a future reserved for those who have managed to attain egoistically the extremity of `everyone for himself’ is false and against nature.”
 A term made famous by Sigmund Freud in both The Interpretation of Dreams and The Future of an Illusion.
 In this connection, notes Sigmund Freud: “Wars will only be prevented with certainty if mankind unites in setting up a central authority to which the right of giving judgment upon all shall be handed over. There are clearly two separate requirements involved in this: the creation of a supreme agency and its endowment with the necessary power. One without the other would be useless.” (See: Sigmund Freud, Collected Papers, cited in Louis René Beres, The Management of World Power: A Theoretical Analysis, University of Denver, Monograph Series in World Affairs, Vol. 10 (1973-73), p, 27.) Interestingly, Albert Einstein held very similar views. See, for example: Otto Nathan et al. eds., Einstein on Peace (New York: Schoken Books, 1960).
 See, in this regard, recent BBC film productions on Nature by Richard Attenborough.
 Having been born augurs badly for immortality. In their desperation to live perpetually, human societies and civilizations have always embraced a broad panoply of faiths that promise life everlasting in exchange for “undying” loyalty. In the end, such loyalty is transferred from the Faith to the State, which then battles with other States in what is generally taken to be a “struggle for power” but which is often, in reality, a perceived Final Conflict between “Us” and “Them,” between Good and Evil. The advantage to being on the side of “Good” in any such contest is nothing less than the promise of eternal life.
 See Emmanuel Levinas, God, Death and Time (1993); originally in French as Dieu, la mort et le temps (1993).
 Paradoxically, the terrorist martyr kills himself or herself not in deliberate search of death, but rather to avoid death. In other words, this “martyr” kills himself or herself in order not to die.
 The philosopher George Santayana reveals: “In endowing us with memory, nature has revealed to us a truth utterly unimaginable to the unreflective creation. The truth of mortality…. The more we reflect, the more we live in memory and idea, the more convinced and penetrated we shall be by the experience of death; yet, without our knowing it, perhaps, this very conviction and experience will have raised us, in a way, above mortality.” (See: George Santayana, REASON IN RELIGION, 260 (1982). This Dover edition is an unabridged republication of Volume III of THE LIFE OF REASON, published originally by Charles Scribner’s Sons in 1905.
 How does killing in war and terrorism hold out a promise of immortality? According to Eugene Ionesco, “I must kill my visible enemy, the one who is determined to take my life, to prevent him from killing me. Killing gives me a feeling of relief, because I am dimly aware that in killing him, I have killed death. Killing is a way of relieving one’s feelings, of warding off one’s own death.” This comment from Ionesco’s JOURNAL appeared in the British magazine, ENCOUNTER, May 1966. See also: Eugene Ionesco, FRAGMENTS OF A JOURNAL (Grove Press, 1968).
 The idea of death as a zero-sum commodity is captured playfully by Ernest Becker’s paraphrase of Elias Canetti: “Each organism raises it head over a field of corpses, smiles into the sun, and declares life good.” (See Ernest Becker, ESCAPE FROM EVIL 2 (1975). Similarly, according to Otto Rank: “The death fear of the ego is lessened by the killing, the Sacrifice, of the other; through the death of the other, one buys oneself free from the penalty of dying, of being killed.” (See: Otto Rank, WILL THERAPY AND REALITY 130 (Knopf, 1945) (1936).
 This term is drawn here from a lesser-known 1913 essay by Sigmund Freud “On Transience.”
In the language of formal philosophy, this brings to mind Plato’s doctrine of Forms. As explained in dialogues Philebus, Phaedo and Republic, the Forms are always immaterial, uniform and immutable. To be useful to humankind, by definition, they must express not the concrete or physical events of any specific moment in time, but rather an idea that necessarily soars above all such tangible particularities.
 In more expressly concrete terms, average American life-expectancy, unenviable for several decades, has now fallen behind most of the advanced industrial world. While Trump boasted of a wall to keep out Mexicans and assorted “others,” more and more Americans were planning to cross in the other direction.
 Apropos of this universality, international law is generally part of the law of the United States. These legal systems are always interpenetrating. Declared Mr. Justice Gray, in 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 specific incorporation of treaty law into US municipal law is expressly codified at Art. 6 of the US Constitution, the so-called “Supremacy Clause.”
 Here it could be helpful to recall the words of French Jesuit philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in The Phenomenon of Man: “The egocentric ideal of a future reserved for those who have managed to attain egoistically the extremity of `everyone for himself’ is false and against nature.”
 “Sometimes,” says Swiss playwright Friedrich Durrenmatt, “the worst does happen.”
 Chronology is not the same thing as temporality. To acknowledge a useful metaphysics of time, one that can assist us in a better understanding of world and national politics, we may recall William Faulkner’s novel view in The Sound and the Fury that “clocks slay time…time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.” Real time, the celebrated American author is telling us, eludes any measurement by clocks. Real time, in essence, is always “felt time,” an inner stream of duration It is precisely this durée that is suggested by Plato’s clarifying cave analogy.
Quad foreign ministers meet in New York for the third time
Quad foreign ministers met in New York for the second time this year and the seventh time since 2019. The four-nation grouping’s ambit of cooperation has clearly expanded and diversified over the years. What were the key talking points this time? I analyse.
The foreign ministers of India, Japan, Australia and the United States – four key maritime democracies in the Indo-Pacific – met on the sidelines of the 78th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on September 22. This was their seventh meeting since 2019 and the second of 2023. Notably, exactly four years ago, this four-nation Quad was raised to the foreign ministers’ level amid a UNGA session. Earlier in 2023, the ministers met in March on the sidelines of the G20 ministerial in New Delhi and in May, this year, the Quad leaders’ summit was hosted by Japan on the sidelines of the G7 summit. Having met twice in 2022 as well, the ministers congregated six times in person and virtually once so far.
The previous ministerial in New Delhi saw the four-nation grouping making a reference to an extra-regional geopolitical issue for the first time – Ukraine – and also the initiation of a new Working Group mechanism on counter-terrorism, a key agenda item for India and the United States, among other themes of discussion. Following the seventh meeting, India’s foreign minister Dr S. Jaishankar tweeted, “Always value our collective contribution to doing global good”, while U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken remarked that the grouping is “vital to our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, and together we reaffirmed our commitment to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter”.
Diversifying ambit of cooperation
The ministers have clearly doubled down on the commitments taken during their previous deliberations, particularly to improve capacity-building for regional players. The joint statement that followed the meeting read, “The Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness is supporting regional partners combat illicit maritime activities and respond to climate-related and humanitarian events.” Similarly, the Working Group on maritime security promised “practical and positive outcomes” for the region. Prior to the recent ministerial, the Working Group on counter-terrorism conducted a Consequence Management Exercise that “explored the capabilities and support Quad countries could offer regional partners in response to a terrorist attack”, the joint readout mentions.
Later this year, the U.S. island state of Hawaii will host the Counter-terrorism Working Group’s meeting and tabletop exercise, which will focus on countering the use of emerging technologies for terrorist activities, while the Working Group on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) will be convened in Australia’s Brisbane for its second tabletop exercise. Earlier in August, this year, all four Quad navies participated in Exercise Malabar for the fourth consecutive year, off Sydney, the first hosted by Australia. However, as in previous meetings, the ministers didn’t specifically mention Russia or China with regard to the situations in Ukraine and maritime east Asia respectively.
On the Ukraine question, the ministers expressed their “deep concern”, taking note of its “terrible and tragic humanitarian consequences” and called for “comprehensive, just, and lasting peace”. In a veiled reference to Russia, the ministers rebuffed the “use, or threat of use, of nuclear weapons”, underscoring the respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states, and called for the resumption of the UN-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative, which allows for the export of food grains and fertilizers from Ukraine to world markets via a maritime humanitarian corridor, amid the ongoing conflict with Russia.
Similarly, in another veiled reference to continuing Chinese belligerence and lawfare in maritime east Asia, the ministers stressed upon the need to adhere to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and to maintain “freedom of navigation and overflight consistent with UNCLOS”, reiterating their “strong opposition to any unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo by force or coercion”, including with respect to maritime claims in the South and East China Seas. Going further ahead, the ministers expressed their concern on “the militarisation of disputed features, the dangerous use of coast guard and maritime militia vessels, and efforts to disrupt other countries’ offshore exploitation activities”. The joint readout also had mentions of North Korea and Myanmar.
The evident and the inferred
Today, almost all the areas of cooperation of Quad countries happen to be the areas of strategic competition with China, the rapid rise of which necessitated the coming together of the four nations, even though this is not openly acknowledged. In this new great game unfolding in the Indo-Pacific, the U.S.-led Quad is trying to balance China’s overwhelming initiatives to capture the support of smaller and middle powers in the region and around the world. Placid initiatives such as the Open Radio Access Network, the private sector-led Investors Network, Cybersecurity Partnership, Cable Connectivity Partnership and the Pandemic Preparedness Exercises should be read in this context.
With the rise of Quad in parallel with the rise of China and other minilateral groupings in the Indo-Pacific such as the AUKUS (a grouping of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States), the existing regional framework based on the slow-moving, consensus-based Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was put to test. However, allaying all doubts, Quad deliberations at both the ministerial and summit levels continued to extend their support to ASEAN’s centrality in the region and also for the ASEAN-led regional architecture that also includes the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum. Despite somewhat differing regional outlooks, the Quad likes to see itself as “complementary” to the ASEAN, rather than an “alternative” to its pan-regional influence.
India, the only non-ally of the U.S. in the Quad, will host the fourth in-person Quad leaders’ summit in 2024. The Asian giant is often dubbed as the weakest link in the grouping, owing to its friendly ties with Russia, but other members intent to keep India’s bilateral equations with other countries away from the interior dynamics of the grouping, signalling an acknowledgement of India’s growing geopolitical heft in the region and beyond. This seems to be subtly reflected in the stance taken by individual Quad members in the recent India-Canada diplomatic row, in which they made sure not to provoke New Delhi or to touch upon sensitive areas, even though a fellow Western partner is involved on the other side.
|Quad Foreign Ministers Meeting||Month & Year||Venue|
|First||September 2019||New York|
|Fifth||September 2022||New York|
|Sixth||March 2023||New Delhi|
|Seventh||September 2023||New York|
NB:- All three Quad ministerials in New York were held on the sidelines of the respective annual sessions of the UN General Assembly i.e., the first, the fifth, and the seventh meetings.
On the multilateral front, the four ministers reaffirmed their support for the UN, the need to uphold “mutually determined rules, norms, and standards, and to deepen Quad’s cooperation in the international system, and also batted for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including the expansion of permanent and non-permanent seats in the Security Council. While China and Russia, two powerful permanent members of the Security Council, continue to denounce the Quad as an “exclusionary bloc”, the Quad ministers and leaders tend to tone down any security role for the grouping.
However, a recent comment made by Vice Admiral Karl Thomas of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet during this year’s Exercise Malabar is noteworthy. He said the war games were “not pointed toward any one country”, rather it would improve the ability of the four forces to work with each other and “the deterrence that our four nations provide as we operate together as a Quad is a foundation for all the other nations operating in this region”. Even in the absence of a security treaty, in a way he hinted at the grouping’s desire to cherish its collective strength across all fronts and to check on hegemonic tendencies that may manifest in the region from time to time.
Dynamics of the Sikh Vote Cloud Canada’s Diplomatic Relations with India
Operating across British Columbia (BC), Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario, gangs made up of Indo-Canadian Punjabis – Brothers Keepers, Dhak-Duhre, Dhaliwal, Sanghera, Malli-Buttar, and several such, are involved in arms trafficking, racketeering, extortion, narco trafficking, money laundering, and not the least, assassinations. Formed in 2004 and mandated to disrupt and suppress organised crime in B.C. the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-BC), has warned the public of the nexus of Punjabi-Canadians to violence.
In the murders of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala and Ripudaman Singh Malik, acquitted in the tragic 1985 Air India Kanishka terror-bombing case, the conspicuous involvement of these Indo-Canadian gangs with notorious criminals Goldy Brar and Lawrence Bishnoi at the helm, manifested itself.
On June 18 Sikh Hardeep Singh Nijjar, was gunned down as he left his gurdwara in Surrey, B.C., which has the highest proportions of Punjabi Canadians. Nijjar had entered Canada in 1995 on a fake passport and claimed asylum on arrest at Toronto. In B.C. he married a local who sponsored his immigration and he was subsequently awarded Canadian citizenship. Brazenly propounding anti-India separatist sentiments, Nijjar was even placed on Canada’s no-fly list and Interpol’s red corner notice. Alongwith gangsters Arshdeep Singh Dala, Maninder Singh Bual, and Mandeep Singh Dhaliwal his outfit Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) was involved in contract killings in Punjab. Gang-related killings account for a third of all homicides in Canada’s British Columbia.
Despite this disconcerting background of Nijjar’s ties to organised crime gangs in Canada, on September 18, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged the involvement of “agents of the Indian government” in the killing of Nijjar. A claim outrightly rejected by New Delhi as “absurd” and “motivated.” If Trudeau was looking to further impair an increasingly forbidding bilateral relationship, he succeeded. Canada and India have expelled a senior diplomat each and negotiations for a free trade agreement stand suspended.
There is a palpable perversity to Canada’s position on the Khalistan issue. In 1982, Trudeau’s father and then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau
had rejected Late PM Indira Gandhi’s demands for extradition of Khalistani terrorist Talwinder Singh Parmar, who went on to execute the bombing of Air India Flight Kanishka, killing 329 people in 1985.
Alarmed by the presence of Sikh secessionists among the diaspora, former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh during his 2010 trip to attend the G20 summit in Toronto, asked Canada “to stop people from using religious places to promote extremism.” Canadian MP Sukh Dhaliwal, had introduced a motion in the Canadian parliament to declare the 1984 riots a “genocide”. Fast forward to 2023, G20 under PM Modi there was no attempt at all to put even a vaguely positive spin on the India-Canada equation.
The timing of Trudeau’s accusation just days after the G20 summit in New Delhi where he says he brought Khalistani extremism and “foreign interference” “directly to PM Modi in no uncertain terms” smacks of umbrage at being at the receiving end of a very hard-hitting message that the ‘extremist elements in Canada are “promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian.’
The Khalistan issue has got a fresh lease of life after the advent of the Justine Trudeau government. With just 32.2 percent of the popular vote, Liberal leader Trudeau has the least electoral support in Canadian history, and was backed by Jagmeet Singh’s New Democratic Party (NDP) which openly supports the Khalistan Referendum on Canadian soil.
Canada’s Conservative opposition leader, Pierre Poilievre, has urged Trudeau to show the evidence that the government has in hand. Notwithstanding this current posture the Conservative Party (CP) too, has in the past caved in to the Sikh vote bank. In 2018 when its condemnation of ‘glorification of terrorism’ was objected to by the World Sikh Organisation, the CP dropped its ‘anti-Khalistan’ motion in the House of Commons.
There is beyond sufficient evidence, to India’s contention that Canada, and other western nations including US, UK, and Australia have allowed cadres of separatist violent Khalistani groups to thrive. The UK recently set up a £95,000 fund to enhance its understanding of the threat posed by Khalistan extremism. While the amount set aside to tackle pro-Khalistan elements is not substantial, it acknowledges that a Sikh radicalisation problem exists in the west.
Sikh temples and organisations abroad orchestrate Remembrance Days for ‘Operation Blue Star’ on June 6 and ‘Sikh Massacre’ on November 5, that serve as cultural repertoires and focal points of advocating Khalistani extremism. This year at the remembrance day parade, Khalistan supporters in Ontario exhibited a female figure in a blood-stained white saree with turbaned men pointing guns at her, to celebrate the assassination of late PM Indira Gandhi. The poster behind the scene read “Revenge for the attack on Darbar Sahib.”
Reacting to this macabre tableau, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said, “Frankly, we are at a loss to understand other than the requirements of vote bank politics why anybody would do this … I think there is a larger underlying issue about the space which is given to separatists, to extremists, to people who advocate violence. I think it is not good for relationships, not good for Canada.”
At multiple diplomatic and security talks, India has raised the issue of wanted terrorists and gangsters only to be defied by the Canadian government with non-committance and brazen support for extremist Sikhs. And yet Canada’s NATO allies and partners in the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence sharing agreement, the United States and Australia, have expressed “deep concerns” over the issue. Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said, “We are deeply concerned about the allegations referenced by Prime Minister Trudeau.” Foreign Secretary of the UK, James Cleverly, posted UK’s reaction on platform X “We are in regular contact with our Canadian partners about serious allegations raised in the Canadian Parliament.” One wonders if this allegation of targeted killing by India is in retaliation to New Delhi’s steady favour of Russia, and has been levelled after reports of a brokered American deal with Pakistan for weapons transfer to Ukraine in lieu of an IMF bailout emerged.
Admonishing Canada on X, former Foreign Secretary Nirupama Menon Rao said, “Canada has an extremely spotty and very, very poor record on the whole issue of Khalistanis in Canada. The support these lawless elements have received under the cover of what is called freedom of expression and democratic rights of citizens…it must control such elements with a firm hand and cannot allow them to run free to foster terrorism and violence in our country.”
Amid the hectic media coverage there was speculation that ‘Trudeau’s allegations have put the White House in an especially tight spot.’ But this were swifty checked by Adrienne Watson in her X post, “reports that we rebuffed Canada in any way on this are flatly false. We are coordinating and consulting with Canada closely on this issue.”
The manner in which copious evidence on Khalistan separatists handed over to the Canadian side have gone unaddressed and yet Trudeau’s allegation invoked strong reactions from other western nations, implies that this has moved beyond our bilaterals with Ottawa. It will have ramifications on how India deals with its strong G7 allies, especially the US.
For India the existence of Khalistani extremists and their alignment with organised crime in Canada poses security exigencies. India must at this juncture refrain from a broad generalisation of Sikh diaspora as secessionist, an incrimination that was implied during the Sikh-dominated farmers’ movement.
Political parties must rise above partisan politics over separatist movements that are a threat to nation security. Voices from Punjab attest that Khalistan supporters remain ‘fringe’ and ‘on the margins.’ Even among expatriate Sikh community leaders have challenged the anti-India narrative laid out by Khalistanis and their supporters, despite the fact that they, and the community there, regularly face harassment and threats of violence from expatriate Khalistanis. Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh states that Nijjar’s murder was the result of a factional feud within the management of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara situated at Surrey and that Trudeau had “walked into a trap owing to vote bank politics.”
New Delhi must ensure that overseas Sikh communities which have tried to counter pro-Khalistan disinformation shall not be left alone to defend themselves.
China and Venezuela Deepening Cooperation
In a significant development that underscores the changing dynamics of global politics and economics, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro recently signed several bilateral cooperation agreements in Beijing, highlighting the changing dynamics of world politics and economics. China’s determination to participate in partnerships that promote economic stability and prosperity demonstrates its unwavering commitment to global economic recovery.
The agreements signify a strengthening of their partnerships and span a variety of fields, including trade, the economy, and tourism. The cooperation has been upgraded to an “All-weather strategic partnership,” reflecting the continued dedication of both countries to the advancement and development of the other. The decision by China and Venezuela to strengthen their ties comes as the world is witnessing a transformation in international alliances and trade partnerships.
The economic collaboration between the two countries is one of the most significant aspects of this new era of partnership. The recent agreements are expected to further cement Venezuela’s ties with China, which has long been the country’s major trading partner.Investments in infrastructure development and oil and gas exploration and production are part of the cooperation in the energy industry.
During his visit to China, President Maduro expressed his optimism for the relationship’s future, stating it heralds the start of a “new era” for both nations. Venezuela, which has recently experienced economic difficulties, views China as a dependable ally that can aid in reviving its economy. China, on the other hand, sees Venezuela as a crucial friend in the region and a valuable supply of natural resources.
China and Venezuela’s energy cooperation has broad implications. As the globe grapples with concerns about energy security and climate change, this alliance might have a big impact on the global energy landscape. China’s investments in Venezuela’s oil sector can stabilize oil prices and provide a more consistent supply of crude oil to the global market.
Aside from the energy industry, both countries have pledged to deepen their collaboration in a variety of other economic areas. Venezuela can benefit from China’s expertise in agricultural technologies and infrastructural development in one area. Venezuela may enhance food production and reduce its reliance on imports by modernizing its agricultural sector with Chinese assistance, thereby increasing food security for its citizens.
Additionally, both countries have enormous potential in the tourism sector. Venezuela has incredible landscapes such as the famous Angel Falls and virgin Caribbean beaches, which may appeal to Chinese tourists looking for new travel experiences. Similarly, China’s rich history and culture have always captured the interest of visitors from all over the world, including Venezuelans. The tourist accords aim to make travel between the two countries easier, to foster cultural interaction, and to develop tourism-related enterprises.
Furthermore, the strengthened relationship extends beyond economic interests to include political and strategic considerations. Both countries have reaffirmed their commitment to mutual support in international forums and to no interference in the other’s internal affairs. This strategic partnership is consistent with China’s aim of establishing a multipolar world and strengthening cooperation across developing nations.
The collaboration between China and Venezuela should be seen in the larger Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) initiative. The BRI seeks to establish a network of economic and infrastructure partnerships across Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America. A deeper integration of Venezuela into China’s global economic vision through its participation in the BRI could create new trade and investment opportunities.
The potential for economic development in Venezuela is one of the most notable benefits of the China-Venezuela cooperation. In recent years, the South American country has suffered severe economic issues, including high inflation, financial sanctions, and political unrest. China’s investments and assistance can help stabilize Venezuela’s economy, generate jobs, and raise inhabitants’ living standards.
The China-Venezuela connection is a key milestone in the shifting global political and economic landscape. In a changing world order, this partnership has the potential to provide Venezuela with economic prosperity, stability, as well as greater autonomy.
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