God and Satan or the Bipolar World

Some say the world in between 1991 and 2022 was a unipolar world, while prior to that time it had been a two-polar world, and after 2022 it has again become a two- if not or multi-polar world. Wrong. We have always had a bi-polar world and this bipolarity has always been viewed religiously. Surprised?

The world has always been divided – politically speaking – into us and them, into the in-group and the out-group, and – religiously speaking – the world has always been arranged along the axis of heaven and hell, Olympus and Hades, God and Satan. In the antiquity it was Greece and the rest of the world – the barbarians. Then it was the Roman Empire and the rest of the world – the barbarians. Then it was Christianity and the rest of the world – the pagans, the heathens. Starting with the the Enlightenment it was civilization against savages and cannibals. Today it is democracy against autocracy, despotism, fascism – you name it.

It has always been arranged along this religious axis: Mount Olympus, seat of the gods, the seat of those who are always right; at the foot of Olympus flocks of divine servants (quasi saints), demigods or heroes. And then, vertically opposite Olympus we have Hades or Hell, with Satan and his helpers – lesser devils or demons. In between we have the earth’s nations that are torn between the two.

Yes, you guessed it right. From the West’s perspective Washington is Olympus while the successive presidents are incarnations of Zeus, God himself, holding up a torch of all virtues with which they try to illuminate the world. Zeus is accompanied by helpmates – assistants – smaller gods and demigods or – to use Christian terminology – (patron) saints who are assigned diverse tasks. These are all the countries that make up the collective West: Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Smaller gods, demigods or saints are not by any means equal in their clout and leverage: unquestionably France or the United Kingdom are higher up in the celestial hierarchy than Poland or Bulgaria. And there are – mind you! – individual nations that spend time in purgatory, individuals – nations – countries – that aspire to be admitted in the celestial circles but need yet to be cleansed of their sins. Serbia might be regarded as such an entity or Georgia.

Then we have hell, hades, the underworld of evil, wickedness and what not. Russia is present-day Satan while China impersonates Mephistopheles, with Belarus, North Korea, Iran and some others being assigned the roles of smaller princes of darkness, demons or moral counterparts of demigods or saints. The world is really arranged along the lines of this simple axial design of plus and minus, of good and evil, of the good ones and the bad ones, of saints and demons.

No need to add those who are viewed through the Western lens as demons and devils have an entirely opposite perspective in which the positive and the negative poles are reversed, in which the alleged Satan is God and the alleged God is Satan. There can be no reconciliation between the two. It is a struggle for life and death, a conflict of cosmic dimensions, with no compromise possible, no give-and-take attitude, with no middle ground. The feud is as cosmic as cosmic can be. There can be no rapprochement between God and Satan.

Make your own evaluation and tick off √

Rather than being presented with the data or an opinion of an expert or a pundit, we invite you to make your own evaluation of the state of the affairs. Drawing on your knowledge, tick off the boxes wherever you see fit and arrive at your own conclusions.

What would you say about the entity that has gathered the largest number of ticks?

What would you say about the entity that has gathered the smallest number of ticks?

Let us know.

Legal trap

In case you were wondering, a political entity may be ill-served by the international law once it becomes a signatory to it. In the power struggle that has always taken place and continues to take place, also the most noble ideas – like the introduction of international law – are wielded in the hands of politicians as weapons. You need to be on your guard also – or especially – when you are asked to agree to a piece of legal text to be later bound by it. Take the provision that makes culpable the party which begins a military aggression. Is that an irreproachable provision? At the face of it, we tend to answer approvingly. Yes, aggressors need to be condemned and need to be prevented from acting. Consequently, signatories to such a provision tend to think that this piece of legislations will serve them right. Not by any means!

One of the signatories may figure out the following: we can carry out attack after attack and so long as it is no physical – military attack – we are not going to be labelled as aggressor, while the other party is going to sustain political and economic or social losses. Thus, such attacks are carried out by one party to the detriment of the other party. Party A begins poking Party B in the eye, in the stomach, in the arm, Party A launches verbal attacks and only waits for Party B to either patiently accept such blows and sustain further losses or punch back. In either case Party A is holding the winning hand. It either continues tormenting its opponent, or provokes the opponent into pouncing back, in which case the opponent is internationally recognized as an aggressor. A nice legal trap.

Picture to yourself an ordinary circumstance: you intend to behave in a peaceful manner but someone keeps verbally abusing you, keeps ridiculing you and poking you now and again. We all understand: even if your patience and self-control equals that of an angel, sooner or later (some sooner, some later) you will punch back, and that’s it: you become an aggressor!

A wise man said: war ought not to be blamed on the one who began it, but on the one who made it unavoidable.

What will 2024 bring us?

The economy is overheated. Or perhaps underheated? Efficiently networked or shackled by fragile supply chains? How can you not lose in a trade war and how can you make money in a conventional war? But only effectively and in the spirit of ESG (taking into consideration environmental, social, government facets). We will be saved by technology, the educated proclaim. Artificial intelligence will destroy us, proclaim the apostles of mainstream wisdom.

In 2024, for the first time in human history, elections will be held in 76 countries with more than half the world’s population, including eight of the ten most populous countries in the world: India, the United States, Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Bangladesh, Russia and Mexico. Every second adult on our globe will be taking politicians to task for the way they have governed in a time of decline, inflation, bloody conflict and widespread disinformation. In place of the shocks that tested the maturity of the political class, more black swans are sure to appear. There has been a pandemic, there is a war in Europe and, to make the end of 2023 even more stark, there is the eruption of a dormant volcano of savagery in the Middle East. The smaller, smouldering armed conflicts that have been going on for years are no longer noticed because they are no longer on our holiday or business agenda. On the other hand, we suppress the threat of war either unintentionally or deliberately.

It will be a year brimming with surprises, in which more than 4 billion voters worldwide will dance to the tune of the new media. Never before has social media been better placed to politically dominate such a large public sphere and supplant the authority of traditional mass media. This seemingly most democratic form of direct contact with the electorate has simultaneously become fuel for manipulation, disinformation, panic and the stigmatisation of opponents. Opinion leaders on Twitter now have infinitely more power to reach and mobilise the electorate than the dinosaurs of old-fashioned campaigning methods. Unverified sources of knowledge, non-existent opinion leaders, ubiquitous fake news driven by the vast capabilities of artificial intelligence…

On Europe’s socio-political radar, the boats of another violent wave of migration can be seen. The EU is supposedly testing new instruments to send people back to where they came from. However, they will prove to be as ineffective as all the previous ones. You don’t have to be a fortune teller to predict this. The EU’s external borders should be impermeable to migrants and solidarity regulations will only deepen the divide between Western and Eastern Europe because coherent Eastern European countries with their traditional societies did not and do not want immigrants.

The countries where elections will be held in 2024 generate more than half of global GDP. This is where the partners and customers who supply us create, produce and employ: with components, raw materials, food, services and expertise. And this is precisely where the economic systems will have to drift to the right or left. And you, as an entrepreneur, have to ask yourself the question: do you prefer a free market that leans to the right or to the left?

Whether we like it or not, we are living in interesting times.

Turkey and the USSR or: the wages of good will and meekness is death

The text might as well be titled China and the USSR or India and the USSR or, or, or. You will soon know why.

The nation of Kurds numbers some 40 million people of which an estimated 14-15 million live in Turkey (10 million – in Iran, 6 million – in Iraq and 2 million – in Syria). Turkey’s overall population amounts to 85 million, so Kurds make up a fifth of it. What’s even more important, they occupy an area in Turkey that is all-Kurdish (just as is the case in corresponding regions in neighbouring Iran, Iraq and Syria). Kurds, therefore, ought to have their own national state, an independent state, carved out of the pieces of territory inhabited by them in the four countries aforementioned. Why, the United Nations pursues the principle of the self-determination of nations (ha! ha! – when did you last hear about a dependent nation being able to win independence in keeping with this principle that is enshrined by the United Nations?) Understandably, none of the countries that have large Kurdish minorities has any intention to even theoretically consider ceding a part of their territory to the nation of Kurds and letting them have their own independent state. Why understandably? 

Kurdish-inhabited areas in the Middle East (Wikipedia)

Because in politics and generally among people it does not pay to be magnanimous, to be friendly, to be evangelically meek. If the meek shall possess the earth, then maybe in afterlife. Case in point? The USSR.

After four decades of the Cold War, the formidable Soviet Union, an empire that everyone reckoned with and respected if not feared, that empire surrendered to the West, its opponent, almost unconditionally, just like the Third Reich in 1945, with this significant difference, however, that the Soviet Union showed good will without being shelled into Stone Age and thus compelled to lay down its arms. The capitulation was complete:

[1] the military block of the USSR’s satellite states was dissolved;

[2] the economic union of the USSR’s satellite states was disbanded;

[3] the Marxist-Leninist ideology – the driving force behind Soviet policy-making – was abandoned entirely and condemned;

[4] the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics was disunited, disassembled (though a referendum held prior to that event showed that the majority of the USSR citizens did not want it) and new independent states emerged;

[5] capitalism was invited to all former socialist countries and replaced socialist economy;

[6] the Soviet past was in the years to come savaged in the media, lambasted in the educational system and bad-mouthed in the entertainment;

[7] post-Soviet elites bent over backwards to please their Western partners;

[8] almost everything of value was privatized, which is another phrase to say: sold to Western companies.

Good will and meekness. Yet, to paraphrase Saint Paul, the wages of good will and meekness is death. In return for their good will and meekness the Russians received:

[1] economic chaos;

[2] domestic terrorism and wars with national minorities;

[3] the ever-growing expansion of NATO, encircling their territory;

[4] refusal to be accepted to NATO;

[5] refusal to be accepted as equal partners in a world united from Lisbon to Vladivostok, as proposed by Russia’s president;

[6] an inimical Ukraine (apart from the inimical Poland, the Baltic States, Romania and the ever belligerent Caucasus), a Ukraine which was reeducated to hate all things Russian, trained to fight a war against Russia, encouraged to kill Russians (the fourteen(!) thousand in the Donbass region in the years 2014-2022, the fifty or so incinerated in Sevastopol, to name just two cases);

[7] the ongoing proxy war with the West.

Consider the last point. Rather than holding the whole territory of Ukraine with its 50 million(!) people (such was Ukraine’s population in 1991), its agriculture and industry, now Russians must fight them or else the anaconda’s stranglehold around them would soon deprive them of their last breath.

Back to Turkey. Why should Turkey let go of its Kurds, China – of its Uyghurs? Why should India disintegrate into the many states that it is made up of? Why show good will and meekness? The wages of good will and meekness is death. Such must be the inference that the ruling elites of the said countries must have arrived at. Imagine China giving up on Tibet and Uyghurs or Turkey letting go of its Kurds and maybe Armenians… Beijing would soon have a proxy war in its backyard against Tibet or Uyghurs (both supported by the United States), while Turkey – a war against Kurds and Armenians (supported by Iran or Syria).

The West have taught everyone a good lesson: be strong and expand, never give up or else. And remember: the wages of good will and meekness is death.

The idea of one civilization for all is inhuman and preposterous

Putin’s Valdai speech of 5th October, 2023

On 5th October, 2023, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech during a conference of the the 20th convention of the International Discussion Club held in Sochi. His words dealt with the ongoing political events and trends, without however naming names or making a reference to Ukraine. Russia’s president made a pronouncement concerning the West’s ideology and Russia’s stance on it or Russia’s response. The speech may be divided into the part criticizing the West and the part that lays down Moscow’s view of the world politics.

Here’s the anti-Western content:

The Western world, the notion that for all intents and purposes amounts to the Anglophere, in the opinion of the Russian leader and most likely of the Russian ruling elites has a track record of always seeking to dominate the globe, of always wanting to run the show by means of imposing on the other countries rules and principles that they are expected to abide by or else those rules and principles are brought to them with a bludgeon.

The West is always in need of an enemy, a foe, a rogue state because an external enemy serves the purpose of explaining to the populace the internal problems, and because an external, formidable enemy rallies the citizens of a country around their leader or leaders.

The West is run by the elites that do not pursue the interests of their nations; rather, in their self-aggrandizement they are ready to risk the welfare of their nations in an attempt to win dominance in this or other point on the globe.

The West defines an enemy as anyone – a state, country, nation, leader, political entity – who does not wish to follow the West’s dictate, who is not submissive enough, who does not acquiesce to being bossed around, who does not sign on to the idea that there is one global central power and global values to be observed. 

President Vladimir Putin then went on to expound the world view represented by the Russian authorities.

First, there is no one civilization engulfing the globe: rather, there are many civilizations, none of them better or worse than the others, and they all deserve to be recognized and respected. Consequently, there are no universal rules to be observed by all humanity, nor can there be a political concept of a global world.

Second, international problems ought not to be solved by a selected group of political dominant entities; nor should they be approached and tackled by all nations: rather, they ought to be discussed and solved by those concerned.

Third, nations should break with this idea imposed by the West of pursuing bloc politics. Nations have their own, individual, separate interests. There are no bloc interests or the so-called bloc interests boil down to being the interests of the bloc’s hegemon.

Fourth. Russia seeks no territorial expansion (that was the only direct reference – although without naming the country – in the speech to the ongoing war in Ukraine); Russia is the largest country on planet earth and for years to come will be busy developing and managing the vast swaths of land in Siberia.

Why is this war being prolonged?

You recognize this fragment, don’t you? Suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. At the outbreak of the hostilities, Ukrainians were very much aware of the proportion of the opposing forces, and so they were willing to negotiate. Such talks even began in Turkey but – lo and behold – Kiev received a command to back out. Now the hostilities are slowly nearing its second year and the number of casualties is rising. More than four hundred thousand (FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND) Ukrainians are said to have lost their life, but despite these horrible losses and despite the ten thousand being played off against the twenty thousand – to adduce the introductory parable – the war continues and there is no sign of it coming to an end. Why? Do Ukrainians really think they can beat the Russian bear? Do Ukrainians really think they can regain lost territories? Do Ukraine’s Western supporters and guardians really think Ukraine can win and regain its lost territories? Anyone in his right senses cannot believe that, especially high-ranking officials, whether in Ukraine or in the West, because they have all the data and, consequently, they know that ten thousand is fighting a losing battle against twenty thousand. If they know it – assuming we are dealing with people in their rights senses – then why is this war being prolonged? 

The Independent

The war is being prolonged for three reasons, two of which are rather familiar to the reader. One purpose in having this war go on is to weaken Russia as much as possible, to keep it engaged in a conflict, to make Russian president less and less popular among Russians and – maybe? – have the Russian people topple him down. A highly unlikely event, considering the highest approval rates that Vladimir Putin gets as compared to all the other leaders around the globe (Western leaders are credited with less than 50% of approval). The other reason is to deplete American stockpiles of arms so as to have a pretext to replenish them i.e. so that the industrial military complex can have new government lucrative commissions for the production of replacement equipment. There is yet a third important reason why the war – a proxy-war between the United States and Russia – is being prolonged. 

The Dive with Jackson Hinkle

Up to February 14, 2022, American troops had carried out military operations or – simply put – outright wars and interventions in very many places of the world, and nowhere did they encounter an enemy to be reckoned with. Whether it was Iraq or Yugoslavia, America’s opponent was significantly weaker, smaller, and usually politically isolated. It is in Ukraine that the American military are encountering an opponent that is a match. It is not only the type and quality of the advanced weaponry that the Russians use, but also the strategy and the tactics that they employ. Americans want to learn about their rival (enemy) as much as possible from the warfare. Ukraine is their laboratory, a military area where a war game is conducted, a war game for real with this precious exception that no American soldier gets killed (save for mercenaries, but that’s a different story). Americans have their advisors there on the ground, they have American mercenaries i.e. American active duty soldiers in disguise, while obliging Ukrainians provide the Pentagon with any and all intel. The war in Ukraine is a huge opportunity to study the Russian army in action. It is a huge opportunity to make Russians reveal the most secret, the most advanced of their weapons. Wars being wars, a hope arises that some of the most advanced types weapons might be intercepted. The reader might recall how the British received the whole V-2 ballistic missile that landed in marshes in occupied Poland and was retrieved, disassembled and documented by the Polish Home Army and then sent in pieces to the United Kingdom by means of a Dakota that flew from southern Italy to Poland and back.

Ukraine cannot win this war, just as ten thousand cannot prevail over twenty thousand. Nor can the collective West win it. Still, the United States can keep one of its global rivals militarily engaged (for more information, see the geopolitical ideas developed by RAND in 61 Gefira Feb 2022), study the Russian strategy and tactics and hope for intercepting as many items of Russian military technology as it is possible. That is why Ukrainians must die.