The World to Come – Volume I: An International Theory of Politics


56-215098-nickynodjoumi-inspectorsscrutiny-2012.jpg

Cultural relativism and constructivism are two theories, one sociological the other political, that help us understand international politics from a different perspective.

We challenge the idea of absolutes but we also accept the traditions which develop over time as part of human social culture, or constructs.

There are elements of all philosophy, from realism and liberalism, which are embraced. But ideas such as the universalism of capitalism and democracy are challenged. Furthermore, I seek to explain all global injustice as a result of the exploitation of human insecurities by global political elites. There are remote, isolated incidents of craziness, but the trend suggests that, most human suffering is caused by the decisions of political elites to disregard the cultural distinctions and sovereignty between states.

Imperial overreach is practiced by many states. But the argument here is that the culture of capitalism embraced in the West, particularly in America, in the post-20th century especially, enables the likelihood for international agendas of domination.

While hegemony and power are innate, domination and violations of sovereignty are not. While America struggles to establish its identity as leader of the free world, individuals within America wish to export this freedom to countries where religious sensitivities are prioritized over democratic values and individual rights.

Regions of the world with rich indigenous histories and religious sensitivities, like Latin America, Central & South Asia, and the Middle East, are not conducive to democracy.

In the twentieth century, communism and nazism were viewed as threats to democracy – but had neither the English nor the Americans been aggressively imperialistic, democracy itself would not have been threatened. Imperialism, the desire to expand beyond one’s natural borders, is the cause of ideological fanaticism and political instability, plain and simple.

The frequency of violence and radicalization cannot be viewed as a cause – but rather the effect of another cause – violation of sovereignty. The moral indignation, humiliation and socio-economic depravity resulting from foreign occupation causes political instability and violence to ensue.

The result is terrorism and vulnerability.

That is precisely why Islamic radicalism has become a “thing”. While it is mostly due to the media’s biased coverage, the main reason why Muslims are vulnerable to radicalization is the social and economic inequalities in the regions in which they live. These inequalities are assumed to be the direct cause of governmental shortcomings, but upon closer examination, the complicity of foreign powers, namely the US and Europe, in destabilizing the region, becomes far too apparent.

That is why petty, underdeveloped initiatives are toppling leaders are viewed with such skepticism and distrust, especially in the Middle East. These initiatives have ulterior motives, driven more by agendas of destabilization and maintaining control than by the moral motives of human rights. Such is evidenced by double-dealing from world powers like the US, Russia and Europe in the Middle East and Central Asia, funding radicals on one hand, and putting puppets into power on the other.

It becomes that much more difficult to believe that democracy will solve the problem of instability in the aforementioned regions of the world.

And attempts at spreading democracy in these regions are as mischievous as the USSR’s campaign for spreading communism. This neoconservatism is not very different.

Power is perhaps an innate feature of mankind, but war & instability is not, contrary to conventional theory in politics.

If countries are forced to contain their imperial potential, stability will ensue. But this entails tackling illusions of our history. This entails confronting the assumptions we have about international relations today.

We must learn to appreciate the West’s liberty – but the West must learn to appreciate the East’s cultural heritage.

Only through such self-reevaluation can stability be possible.

Advertisements

WMDs, The War on Terror & Unicorns: What Deludes Us?


heres-the-full-version-of-the-cias-2002-intelligence-assessment-on-wmd-in-iraq.jpg

The risk posed by nuclear weapons is valid. But does this threat increase with the use of terrorism?

Terrorism is not a new phenomenon, but new technological innovations have changed the way it is conducted [Chaliand & Blin 2007]. Furthermore, terrorism is currently used to describe attacks on civilians, usually by non-state actors whereas historically it was used more to describe state-terror . This could imply that terror was more commonly practiced by states in the past. Perhaps the reason for this is the emergence of government by the people, in the form of democracy, therefore changing the relationship between civilian and state. Has democracy made civilians more vulnerable targets of warfare?

This leads to the main question being addressed – should politicians be concerned about nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists. The answer would be yes in a logical sense. American politicians are however in an odd position given that the majority of nuclear weapons in today’s world are in the hands of its allies, some of whom, like Pakistan and Israel for example, reside in the most volatile regions in the world. What would happen if this instability led to nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists?

But US policy in the regions where such a scenario is possible is arguably counterproductive in this regard. The US strategy consists of military initiatives and interventionism. For this reason, weaponry and ideology have trickled down from the US’ closest allies to fanatical groups.

Perhaps a more policy oriented approach is necessary. While President Obama has not necessarily avoided military deployment – comparatively, he has shown reluctance [Indyk et al 2012].

This approach is arguably more effective. The fear of the threat of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorism wouldn’t really exist had it not been for bad US foreign policy, but more importantly, the threat itself doesn’t exist anymore than any other threat. Tackling it should be about preventing its likelihood in the long-run. This means reconsidering policies and allies in regions like the Middle East, and South Asia [Obama 2007].

 

Chaliand, Gérard, and Arnaud Blin. The history of terrorism: from antiquity to al Qaeda. Univ of California Press, 2007.

Indyk, Martin S., Kenneth G. Lieberthal, and Michael E. O’Hanlon. “Scoring Obama’s Foreign Policy.” Foreign Affairs 91.3 (2012): 29-43.

Obama, Barack. “Renewing american leadership.” Foreign Affairs 86.4 (2007): 2-16.

I would like to educate Middle Easterners on


I would like to educate Middle Easterners on my perspective on global politics and especially the Arab World.

While this is a difficult task for a variety of reasons, I feel it is now a pressing issue that must be addressed, or else we as an Arab people may face further humiliation, indignation, oppression, and eventually, complete elimination.

I do not know exactly why it is so commonplace for Arabs to have a distorted understanding of their own homeland, but I do know that this problem exists and that it has not only caused rivets between fellow Arab brethren — it has allowed for ill-intentioned insiders and outsiders to use it to their advantage. As the age old saying goes: “divide and conquer”.

What seems to be happening in the Middle East is a perfect example of modern colonialism. The brilliance of modern colonialism is that it is easily guised as an effort to “bring nations into the community of civilized nations” by imposing democracy, or I should say pseudo-democracy.

It isn’t much different from history though, for even in the past, individuals and nations together justified invasions and occupations through religion. The Americans wiped out the indians because they were ‘savages’. Europe did the same in Africa and the Middle East, colonizing nations and exploiting their resources.

The problem in the Middle East and in most places that are under pressure from the spheres of influence of bigger nations like the U.S., China, Russia and the European continent, is that it is difficult for nations to be fully democratic because they are easily infiltrated and penetrated by insiders and outsiders trying to exploit resources. Even in modern developed democracies like America, there are forces inside and out constantly seeking to exploit America’s wealth, it’s resources, and its values. Some of these entities include major banks, oil companies, lobbyists like the NRA and AIPAC. If even America faces constant threats to its democracy, to its protection of individual rights as well as its social community, why is it so hard for arabs to understand that a black-and-white transition to arbitrary democracy is irrational, unscientific, and if anything naive.

Before democracies can flourish in countries like Syria, Egypt, etc, there must be an establishment of certain laws, absolute laws, preventing abuses of power, politically, socially, and economically.

But you see the reason why democracy itself does not exist in the Middle East is not because of socialist regimes and baathist regimes that are seeking to usurp power and control economies. In fact, the governments of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries are more inclined to do such things under the guise of “Islam”. What better way to convince people that your way of life is right then to equate failure with burning in hell eternally. This is not Islam.

Syria is the way it is precisely because of the West — not because of democracy, not because of capitalism, not because of freedom. Certain actors in the West got big heads and thought they could take advantage of other countries that have not yet reached democratic status.

Ultimately, what I am trying to get at is that Israel is the remnant of colonial ambitions in the Middle East and has perpetuated the lack of genuine democratic development by staging a two year long farce of an Arab Revolution.

If Israel didn’t exist, there would be no apartheid government in the region, and a more stable Middle East could transition to democracy.

But you see the West is too afraid to grant the Arabs the right to self determination. No, if we grant them freedom they might actually make use of their resources and become free, self-sufficient, and dignified. No, we don’t want that says England, says Corporate America. We want Kings and Pseudo-Democracies like Israel (which is really just a colonial satellite guised as a religious entity in order to garner post-holocaust sympathy), that are bent to the West’s will and that will secure economic interests — namely, oil.

So before we begin jumping to conclusions let us understand that all people deserve the right to self-determination, and the only forces in the West that recognize that are the more liberal ones, which is why I am more satisfied with Obama being president than a Mitt Romney or another George W. Bush…

All I can say is that I pray that the Arab people will forgive themselves for getting too cocky and will accept the truth so that we may live a dignified existence, free from occupation, slavery, ignorance, and hypocrisy.

God grant me this wish.


An ignored injustice will breed a misunderstood injustice.


The worst thing I’ve seen happen all too often over this last year is slavery.

Modern slavery.

I’ve come across far too many people whose lives are based entirely on the incomes of others thereby leaving them under their influence.

Even worse, some of these people don’t believe they are expected to work for their selves, thereby stripping them of some of their desires and freedoms and happiness. This strips individuals of the nature of individualism and self-determination.

It is an act that eventually becomes a form of evil/tyranny.

It is an ideological issue.

How ought individuals live? In a democratic, free country, we are told that living as individuals that finance themselves is the normal way and the path to happiness and justice, whereas other systems lead to subversion.

What are your takes? What extent of individual freedom is appropriate and just?