We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Entering a Major Regional Re-set – The Syria Outcome Will Haunt Those Who Started This War
This former MI6 (CIA is the American version) geopolitical analyst has a solid background in planning, organizing, and executing often illegal plans to serve the British ruling class. Thus, he knows much about what he writes in relation to ruling classes and the type of people they employ to serve their interests of power and profits. In other words, his career has well equipped him to understand the intricacies of power plays of those who enjoy overwhelming power--ruling classes in capitalist countries and heads of governments elsewhere.
In this article he applies his knowledge to explain how the complex situation in the current Middle East, where the US-led Empire with their NATO army and their allies (Saudi Arabia and Israel) versus their enemies (Russia, Iran, and to a more limited extent China), is playing out. Turkey's pivotal actions are apparently swinging to the Empire's enemy camp.
I often find such geopolitical analyses rather mind-boggling. I challenge you to read another such analysis by an author who apparently knows about the history of the regions--Dr. Can Erimtan. More-so than Crooke's analysis, he cites distant histories of authorities using religion as a means to manipulate their people to fight to secure more power and wealth for themselves. You will notice that it is not much different today in that area of the world.
Organized religion has its own hierarchy of officials who control their religious organization. Frequently the only "asset" that poor people have is religion, an ideology that tries to explain the fundamental questions about their lives: their extreme vulnerability which can be ameliorated by faith in this religion, and an unquestioning obedience to the authorities of this religion. Often such religions offer some sort of after-life as rewards for good behavior. Notice that secular authorities always collaborate with religious authorities to exploit, manipulate, and oppress ordinary people.
Throughout history we have seen secular and religious authorities motivating and manipulating people by appealing to their religion to serve hegemonic interests. They do this by justifying their aggressive policies because their gods (or god) and religion support these actions. Often these authorities advance their actions using such propaganda. For example, during the feudal era, the Christian religion was used by monarchs and their aristocracy (their princes) to justify their rule to their peasant subjects--they ruled by "divine right". Islam is still used to buttress the rule of the king of Saudi Arabia today. And Judaism claims that Jews are the "chosen people"--of course, chosen by their god. The advancement of science has weakened the use of organized religion to manipulate people in most of the world today, but it still plays a major role in the Middle East where many of these religions were born.
Today we also see the rather astonishing use of a sophisticated ideology among the Syrian Kurds: socialist Murray Bookchin’s "libertarian municipalism" (described in the article by Erimtan) that is used to advance the interests of the Syrian Kurdish rulers. And, Kurdish leaders seem to be cynically willing to ally themselves with anybody who they perceive has the power to advance their interests.
What all such wars and geopolitical contests have in common, other than the ultimate suffering of ordinary people, is that they are based on a hierarchical system of rule that serve a few versus the masses of ordinary people. What I have tried to argue over the past decade in my blog is hierarchical rule will inevitably lead to the disappearance of humans either through a nuclear war catastrophe or global warming and environmental devastation.
Only the survival of our human species can be assured if we adopt a bottom-up authority system (subarchy?), and this can only brought about if ordinary people become engaged in their own survival. Attempts must be made to construct such systems until a system is created that will erase class conflict and wars, and can adopt policies that can stop the degradation of our biosphere. Time is fast running out. If I were a hypothetical betting man, I would bet on the extinction of humans within 50 years.