The Rebalancing of Powers: From ‘Brexit’ to Babel?


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There is a disconnect between national policy and international relations.

The decision to leave the EU by the UK, or “Brexit”, is a symbol of that disconnect.

But in order to understand the origins of this decision, it is important to highlight the UK’s tradition of reluctance and hesitation towards the EU since its inception.

By nature, the UK, like America, prefers to play a conservative role in international affairs, dabbling in just enough to get the benefit, but not enough to bear the burden.

But the armed crises in the Middle East have created a storm in UK & EU politics, with the migration crisis being the crux of the problem.

Evidently, the UK prefers to leave such matters in the hands of its European counterparts, which is ironic because the UK is America’s closest ally in Europe – both countries are directly responsible for destabilizing the Middle East in the first place, under the premise of liberalization. This is where the disconnect begins.

At least half of the UK truly feels undermined by the concentration of power, underrepresented and almost collectivized by being part of the EU.

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But is the decision to leave the EU a right-wing populist scheme exploiting frustrations of the ordinary Brit? In South America, both right and left wing populism have failed to their more centered opponents. The US is still determining its fate.

Has this decision created a more or less secure world? Is this decision likely to produce positive or negative results in the UK’s social, economic and political fabric? How will this impact the rest of Europe? What will happen to the migrants?

It is in fact the people who have decided, through referendum, to leave the EU. Despite a targeted and well-developed “leave” campaign, the decision is also inspired by  general discontent towards the EU in Britain. But the facts and rhetoric surrounding the campaign reveals “Brexit” is more about xenophobia & Islamophobia than it is about sovereignty.

The majority of those who voted to leave the EU were above the age of 40. The vast majority of those who voted against were in their 20s ad 30s.

Given that London just elected its first Muslim mayor, there is reason to believe that unfounded, prejudiced paranoias about migrants and Muslims have stoked fears and insecurities in society, just enough to feed into the allure of right-wing populism and fear.

UK MP Nigel Farage proclaimed victory, ushering the 23rd as the UK’s modern independence day. He went on to claim that such a victory was achieved without any blood spilled. But only last week, British MP Jo Cox was violently murdered by a right-wing extremist who shouted “Britain First” as he committed the murder. Has this been understated by the media? Compared to reporting on terrorism linked to one or more Muslims, it is difficult to say that the media is not biased.

Notable international relations theorist John Mearsheimer predicted the disintegration of the EU as a result of the current international political dynamic which has seen America as the world’s sole superpower since the dissolution of the USSR. That dissolution has almost removed the security incentive for unity, or balancing that brought the EU together in the first place. There appears to be a growing rift among NATO members, particularly between European states and the US on how to manage international affairs. The differences stem from foreign policy on the Middle East primarily. Is the UK’s decision to leave the EU an inching towards or away from subservience to US leadership? That depends on the direction US democracy goes. If the American people also give in to fear, Donald Trump might be the next US president. This suggests that the two of the world’s most influential powers, the UK and America, are juggling between the past and the future – traditions of colonialism, racism & global mischief – and the equally traditional struggle against those forces, political enfranchisement, and socio-economic equality.

Europe is drifting towards a center-left progressive “utopia” – something despised by the British traditional-mentality. The same could be said of the US. This is vindicated by the statistics surrounding the ‘Brexit’ vote which saw the majority of the “leave” supporters being over the age of 40.

Without delving deeply into history books, the average person might not know that much of the US’ post-WWI behavior was determined by the British, by prompting fear and insecurity about illusory global threats. In 1952, it was the British who convinced the US that movements for sovereignty in the Middle East were a threat. Initially the US had actually empathized with the struggles for independence in the Middle East. The UK convinced the US to overthrow a democratically elected leader in Iran, and the US agreed because of the paranoias injected by the UK about the so-called “communist menace”.

To some it may be surprising that racism, Islamophobia and fascism are creeping into US and UK politics. To others, perhaps more victimized by these forces, it is more dangerous than surprising. If the US decides to follow suit and elects Donald Trump, there is reason to believe that global tensions might intensify. Remember that European history is bloody. Wars between France, England, Germany were commonplace. The UK’s exit from the EU might disturb this legacy of peace and harmony in Europe which has endured since WWII. Furthermore, it might reintroduce fascism into the West – long thought gone and dead.

It isn’t hard to imagine what would happen if the US did in fact follow suit. Two blocs would eventually form in the global order – a rebalancing of powers if you will. The UK and the US would be together on one side; Russia, China & Iran on the other. India would likely play an indirect role, but ultimately throwing most of its support behind the latter bloc. The contrary would apply to the Gulf states in the Middle East, Israel and Pakistan, who would likely remain under the auspices of the UK & the US. Altogether this can be described as the modern world order. In this scenario, the EU disintegrates completely. The fault line will likely split between France & Germany – to no surprise, with much of eastern Europe balancing against the UK & the US. The war between fascism and collectivism ensues. The ideologies of capitalism and culture are at war – they are mutually exclusive. In reality, capitalism fully realized is fascist, and collectivism fully realized is communist – both authoritarian to some extent. But the latter is conditional and retaliatory. In a perfect world, neither would exist, and universal democracy could flourish without capitalism and communism. Till then, we must pick sides and lesser evils or resort to anarchism.

There is still hope for the world and America. Clinton is not our salvation – but in politics there are no angels; only lesser devils – or so it seems.

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Evaluating the ‘Party of God’: Hezbollah, Conflict & Justice


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To determine Hezbollah’s overall success, the rather limited literature on the subject focuses on the organizations political achievements as well as their military achievements in the region (Norton 2007).

This is primarily because Hezbollah functions both as a political party in the Lebanese government, as well as an armed militia, a status that has not only complicated its position in Lebanese society, but has likely ostracized them from full representation in Lebanese politics (Norton 2007). Nevertheless, Hezbollah has utilized both tactics, political participation and competitiveness, as well as militaristic strategies, which have historically included terrorist attacks, particularly against Israeli society.

The premise for much of Hezbollah’s motives rests on political disenfranchisement, which they see as an extension of Western imperialism as well as a violation of popular consent (Norton 2007). Sectarianism, in this perspective, is a product of foreign interventionism. But over the years, Hezbollah has shifted from utilizing violent tactics, to political mobilization, particularly since the 80s, but especially in the last decade. This is a result of the aftermath of the civil war, which finally gave Hezbollah seats in parliament (Zein & Abusalem 2016).

Hezbollah has positioned itself as an authentic political force in Lebanese society, fighting against foreign aggression. For this reason, in times of conflict such as the war with Israel in 2006, disproportionate reprisals by Israeli governments enabled Hezbollah to not only garner support from the Shia community, but also from Palestinians, pro-Syrians and Christian-Lebanese (Kattan 2006). It has managed to increase its influence, despite its limited integration into Lebanese society. An established economic and public sector as well as a sophisticated media presence is a sign of the organization’s successes overtime in achieving its objectives (Zein & Abusalem 2016). The organization’s primary objectives are political in orientation, emphasizing the need for sovereignty, social justice and representation, which contrasts other groups like al Qaeda, whose motives are more ideological, and religiously driven (Zein & Abusalem 2016). Hezbollah’s leader has suggested himself that an Islamic Lebanon is likely impossible due to popular consent, which is against this (Norton 2007).

Hezbollah’s emphasis on unity and solidarity with all Lebanese challenges the conventional grouping, usually by western scholars, of this organization with other terrorist organizations (Norton 2007). The political dynamics of Lebanon complicate the matter, making it difficult to discern Hezbollah as a state or non-state actor. The complications surrounding the definition of terrorism also does not make it easy to analyze these groups and their successes (Sirriyeh 2012). Furthermore, its activity in electoral politics distinguishes it from terror groups that reject all pluralistic, un-Islamic forms of government, such as Fatah-al-Islam, al Qaeda & Daesh.

From a political angle, the literature reveals that Hezbollah has made steady gains, though it faces a steep, upward climb. This is due both to its military, social and electoral initiatives. In 1983, Hezbollah’s “alleged” attack against a US marine barracks, prompting an immediate US withdrawal from Lebanon (Sirriyeh 2012). Till today, Hezbollah denies involvement in the attack that killed Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hairiri. Nonetheless, a history of involvement in terror attacks & hostage crises has tarnished the organization’s image and credibility as a viable political party. This however has not halted its increased integration into the Lebanese political atmosphere. Its resilience against Israeli forces in 2006 as well as its continued activity in the Lebanese government are reasons to believe that, while controversial, its determination and diligence has proved to be politically rewarding. While proportional representation, sovereignty and the cause of the Palestinians are three objectives, which are far from achieved, Hezbollah’s political position over the past few decades has undoubtedly improved (Norton 2007).

Since the 80s, Hezbollah has distanced itself from suicide attacks and international bombing campaigns, which underscores its focus on national politics and its armed conflict with Israel. Perhaps it might be argued that Hezbollah’s deeper integration into Lebanese politics has reduced the incentive for terrorism, particularly within Lebanon. Now more than ever, the focus seems to be on reducing foreign influence and occupation. In this regard, they have proven to be successful, by defending Lebanon against Israeli forces in 2006 (Erlanger et al 2006). It is still to early to deem their overall objectives successful, but they surely have improved their position ultimately in the Middle East.

Hezbollah would not be a militant organization and Lebanon would not be politically sectarian or unstable if the conditions of the Middle East was sovereign.

Let us say that Hezbollah is in fact guilty of terrorism. Still, it cannot be compared to other groups like al Qaeda because it is nationalist in ideology, and respects Lebanese pluralism and diversity. If the West was not directly involved in the political structure of Lebanese society, by engraining a system of confessionalism along sectarian lines and disenfranchising a majority of Lebanese society, there would be no incentive for instability or radicalism. Sovereignty and pluralism are necessary – but neither is possible with foreign meddling. Foreign nations cannot dictate the sovereign and domestic affairs of another country. Political development and social justice are impossible therein.

 

El Zein, H, & Abusalem, A. 2016. “Mobilization in Hezbollah’s Military Arm Media Discourse: Creating and maintaining a Public Sphere in Lebanon.” Professional Communication & Transition Studies. 997-104.

Erlanger, S., & Oppel, R. 2006. “A Disciplined Hezbollah Surprises Israel with its Training, Tactics and Weapons”. The New York Times.

Kattan, V. 2006. “Israel, Hezbollah and the Conflict in Lebanon: An Act of Aggression or Self-Defense?” Human Rights Brief.

Norton, Augustus Richard. 2007. “The Role of Hezbollah in Lebanese Domestic Politics.” The International Spectator. 42. 475-491.

Sirriyeh, H. (2012). The US, Hezbollah and the Idea of Sub-state Terrorism. Israel Affairs. 18. 652-662.

Libertarianism


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In essence the rise of Libertarianism in America is nothing to be jovial about because it represents only one thing: the decline of an empire.

Libertarianism is intended to be the solution to America’s governmental and business intrusions into daily life but in reality, the rise of libertarianism is only the signal of the failure of the american nation to be united and the absence of culture in this country; slavery to a system of finite resources and power.

There are many economic and political inconsistencies with Libertarianism that are ignored by its adherents because it is easy to criticize something without an alternative. Libertarianism offers no solution; only criticism. “Perfectionism”.

Libertarianism is actually conservatism fully realized; “god is dead so we’ve got to appeal to the lowest instinct of man – hubris.”

Lot of Libertarians, like Ron Paul himself, don’t realize the fact that Ayn Rand believed the idea of God to be obsolete. How then, can a “christian” man identify with a godless philosophy? The Right-Wing Christians of the US used to claim that communism was the deification of the state. What then, is libertarianism, but the deification of the dollar? The deification of the self?

REPUBLICan’t


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The term Republican means to believe that certain individuals are more fit to govern society than others, which is why you often hear right-wingers give you the WE ARE NOT A DEMOCRACY WE ARE A REPUBLIC narrative. Enough said. Conservatives, religious and irreligious extremists, from communists to zionists, have nothing fruitful to rely on for sustainment because they do not trust in themselves. Their self-loathing has forced them to rely on state institutions and religious theocracy to promote their backwards way of thinking. An entire country was carved out of Palestine for Israelis because they need a collective institution that supports their egoism and ethnocentrism and lack of self-sustainment. Zionism is the antithesis of freedom, free markets and free thought. DEAR CONSERVATIVES – you don’t believe in freedom, capitalism or free trade. Your currency is extremism and your support system is fascist authoritarianism. Enough depriving others of freedom just to suit your ascetic, self-loathing, hateful worldview.

And I can’t wait for these next 6 years to watch Republicans prove themselves incompetent once more because the fuck-ups of Nixon, Bush I, Reagan & Bush II weren’t enough to convince Americans. Still a vast majority of Americans, most likely white, identify with Republicanism, conservatism, and christian zionism. The zealotry with which Bush invaded Iraq under the banner of Christian revivalism and democratic-crusadership almost mimics the imperial establishment and continued expansion of the theocracy of Israel, also under the banner of zionism.

the business of debate


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Political debate is the biggest business in America.

Everything is business in America – I guess that’s the beauty of it – but as with every business – there are competitors, and I ain’t here tryna’ monopolize but damn do I have an argument that might put yall fundamentalists OUT OF BUSINESS! I mean, wouldn’t you rather be a business man of good conscious that makes money off being honest and ethical than one of lies and facades used to mislead people because you don’t have it in your heart to be humble? HUH SARAH PALIN HUH!?

haha…pardon my professionalism. HEY THIS IS A BLOG OKAY! I was disenfranchised from the official system so I hadda turn to the underworld and this southern colloquial to get by in the business of the land of big business.

I love debating – proving points. I guess that’s not a good thing. I just love the study of social science and debating is just another way of indulging in a good old conversation – you don’t have to be angry, just learn the G code and you will know exactly how to maneuver through. Okay now I’m selling my secrets. Bah, they can’t be learned. You either got it or you don’t. We’re all determined beings bro. Mahara-ji.

So, to all my libertarians, socialists, atheists, anarchists. Bring it. Let’s get some artistic debate on.

 

LE FASCISME


LE FASCISME

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Mind-boggling the audacity these guys have. I am starting to believe that they are in fact the descendants of the Third Reich – as extreme as that might sound. Likening Obama to an ape is not racist according to the Right – but then again neither was the death of Trayvon Martin.

It’s like these guys, their cohorts – and their constituents – are completely blind to the incidents of the last decade, and the escapades of former president George Bush. Why are Republicans so keen on attacking the left for its propaganda but are quick to dismiss right-wing propaganda aimed at justifying war abroad?

Both former presidents Eisenhower and Carter warned about the influence of institutions like the military-industrial complex on american politics (home and abroad) – Kennedy warned us about the dangers of zionism and imperialism (no wonder he was killed). Putin is a Nazi for annexing Crimea but Bush is hailed as a saint for ‘saving’/colonizing/plundering/raping/destabilizing’ Iraq.

The party of double standards, you seem to be, dear GOP. With the likes of characters like Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ron Paul, Ted Cruz (and the extended family which includes the Limbaughs, Palins, Glenn Becks, O’Reillys) – the Republican party is advertising itself on a platform of fundamentalism, dogma and conflict. Honestly the aim of all governments in the modern world should be to preserve human dignity and diversity – and all the media in America (the West really) seems to be portraying the Republican method as the savior of all mankind – yet, this method has only brought war, famine, crime, and instability to the international community.

The Right wants to fan the flames of paranoia and ego – blaming communist Russia and China for everything – even two decades after being crippled to death by Reaganomics. They want us to believe every leader in the world is a tyrant and that the West will save all men from tyrants to the proliferation of fundamentalistic democracy (yes, the same method that ushered in the victory of Hamas over Fatah in Palestine and the Muslim Brotherhood over liberal movements in Egypt).

So it seems to me like all this talk of spreading democracy and human rights is – in the words of Joe Biden – complete malarkey. Not to say that democracy is nonsense – on the contrary – but I think the method is all wrong, especially because it is designed to do anything but institute genuine democratic foundations wherever they are exported. I believe all these paranoias were carefully designed, orchestrated by a solid group of individuals seeking to usurp mankind and rob us all of our rights. That force is the anti-human – the above-human. I’d call it imperialism. It has no nation – no people. It is a religion – dominance. Theft and dominance. It isn’t capitalism because even capitalism is just in certain aspects. Imperialism – or, anarcho-capitalism as Noam Chomsky might call it, is entirely distinct, keen on fueling strife, instability and serving few individuals at the expense of many. In a perfect world, which we may someday attain once these brute forces are recognized, exposed and eliminated, we’d have a united nations that preserves the dignity, sovereignty, and autonomy of all nation-states by encouraging systems of mixed economies, preserving individual rights as well as ensuring collective prosperity.