|Showing its True Face.|
While cogitating on how to write this post, I saw Wolf Richter's blog this morning, entitled, "Keep pushing until something really BIG breaks", referring to, judging by the usual topic of his blog, the economy, but which, given my mental predisposition, I read as referring to the geopolitical situation in, not only Ukraine, but the Middle East as well, specifically, given the mindless mutterings of that Cottonmouth viper from Arkansas, Iran. The Cotton tale he's pushing is the same as the McCain "bombbombbomb, bombbomb Iran" adolescent idiocy, and the heartless comparison of the invasion of Iraq with a 'cakewalk', namely that "bombing Iran would take but several days", after which, presumably, we could go back to shopping and football, congratulating ourselves on yet another job well done.
The reason I like Wolf's use of the phrase is because it has the dual connotation of a sudden snap, a division, a rendering into two parts of that which was one, yet at the same time, as in the Hollywood version of the phrase, meaning an opportunity, a happenstance in which your life is changed, usually for the better, and your star is now in the ascendancy.
As we look at Iraq & Syria, then Libya, then Ukraine, each of whose disintegration into warring parties the US, as well as NATO, have had a hand in, there is no resolution for any of these broken eggs, as they are omelets that, once broken, have nothing in common with which to put the pieces together again, beyond the dictatorial imposition of a Strongman we can then vilify and dispose of once he's served his (and by his, I mean, our), purpose.
American Triumphalism waxes resplendent whenever it refers to the really big break that happened more than a generation ago, when the USSR cracked like an egg, followed by Yugoslavia. But we tend to ignore, if not simply forget, the wars that each of those breakups engendered: Not only in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, and Albania, but in Georgia, Chechnya and Ossetia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Yet, I don't know about in the East, but in the West, or at least the US, the dissolution of the Soviet Union is always described as Peaceful. But although it didn't entail the massive orgy of obliteration mankind seems to so fervently desire, it didn't occur without a good deal of bloodshed, atrocities, and rancor either. As we can see in Crimea and Ukraine now, is still reverberating across the Continent like the aftershocks of an enormous earthquake. The 8.0 size on the (Wolf?)Richter scale of the original temblor, having been survived with everyone relatively intact, the damage done by the tremors that followed are considered as unrelated events for which we need neither concern ourselves, nor accept any responsibility for.
Given that attitude, we should hardly be surprised at whatever comes next, as we witness the deployment of the Saudi air force against Yemen, and the sale of more arms to the military dictatorship in Egypt, while Israel's PM struts about the world stage with such infantile rantings you expect to see him attired in nothing but diapers while he, sans subtlety, shakes his nuclear rattle, whining all the while that Iran has no right to one of their own because .... because .... well, because Israel says so. The fact that Israel was signatory to the same non-proliferation treaty that Iran is, yet not only developed nuclear weapons themselves, but used their privileged position in the high echelons of the US government, their most generous benefactor and staunchest ally in the entire world, to steal the technology from, is something that one simply can't even mention. Most people prefer to forget the fact that it was known for decades that Israel was the proud owner of a nuclear arsenal, yet it could never be mentioned lest rabid screams of antisemitism be used to shout down those who would have the audacity to speak the truth to Nuclear Power.
Leopold Kohr, who, like Orwell, was a journalist during the Spanish Civil War, wrote in "The Breakdown of Nations" (which I personally think would be more accurately entitled if it were, "The BreakUp of Nations"), thought that smallness would be a guarantor of a more peaceful world. However, he was only considering State against State, and, despite the centuries of evidence to the contrary provided by the existence and totalitarian aspects of both the Holy Roman and Ottoman Empires, failed to take religion as an overarching philosophy that could be used to justify a militancy and terror as well as indiscriminate slaughter, as tools to subjugate entire countries to their will, suppressing knowledge and science and relegating sex to a position of superstition and groundless taboo, the breaking of which would result in the torture, murder and destruction of entire families,
But it is exactly that that is happening because, if, as Kohr states, "the only one cause behind all forms of social misery is bigness", then, even should the State of Iraq, Syria, and all the other Sovereignties in the world currently in the thralls of dissolution, actually break apart into smaller units, there will still remain a force in the world that will bring about a bigness that supersedes even the size of those once-massive entities, and that Force is Religion. And unlike the State, Religion has nothing to undercut its merciless mowing down of anyone considered apostate that stands in its way. As we're seeing in the form of ISIS, religion furnishes men with the mental tools needed to not only murder, but to exult in those murders, to treat humans as infidel dogs whose very presence renders prayer unholy, thereby eliminating the need for any POW's, they can, by the will of the almighty, simply be disposed of.
This is the big break we're witnessing today, as the Capitalist world, having supposedly relegated Communism to the dustbin of history, as though Communist China, the largest economy in the world, doesn't tip this theory on its head, rips off the mask and shows its true face, and, in the name of Austerity, sabotages citizens' efforts to better their material existence, as we helplessly stand by and watch every one of the OECD countries impoverish their citizens, actively destroy their middle class, and abandon the working poor to a life of destitution and penury. Because, what's hailed as the greatest force on the planet to enable the improvement of one's material existence is crumbling in front of our eyes as it exposes its true nature as a despoiler and a fraud. Capitalism, when allowed to run amok, which it's been not only allowed, but encouraged, to do, even before the fall of the Soviet Union, devours its own seed corn, in the process of which it destroys not only the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the soil we grow our food in, all nothing but resources to be used up and thrown, like people themselves, onto the slag heap, it now has shown that it will do all of that, not for the edification of the majority of its citizens, as was its promise, but only for that of a small, well-connected clique of the entitled. Expecting the rest of humanity to cower in their presence, and, as evidenced by witnessing the servile pandering of Europeans to their royalty, one that they will eventually, even gladly, nay, gratefully, succumb to, until there's nothing left. No hope; no future. No world.
This is what gives the impetus and power to religiously fanatic groups like ISIS. Better to give your allegiance to a phantom you 'have faith' in, than to a narrative even its staunchest advocates must finally admit they know to be false.