A reckoning is happening throughout the land of Ishmael; a summoning fit for a great statesman. As of this writing, Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman is vacillating, something great leaders don’t do in the service of great ideals. The Arabs aren’t used to competing. They aren’t familiar with the long arduous apprenticeship that is liberty, for the achievements that Christianity imposed upon the west, draped in modernist garb, are liberty, consciousness and interiority. All three have their patristic patrimony in Aristotelian physics, only the last one, interiority has proved most difficult for Islam even though it remains hued from Plato, the first Greek idealist procured from the vast libraries of north Africa on Islam’s pincer movement toward Spain ending in Austria.
The centerpiece of Salman’s dilemma will not be resolved by technocrats servicing the financial exchanges in New York or London, but in Riyadh alone. The act of faith itself remains the sine qua non; the crux of a harsh rubric for those raised upon the fare of prescription. Islamic jurisprudence has a very long harsh history of prescribed means; nothing has prepared Prince Muhammed bin Salman to face the unconditioned. This is a new rubric, a relation of openness in competing interests. It threatens the archaic mien that has housed Islam since its inception. The extended order isn’t managed, its participatory, with grave lasting consequences. For the House of Saud to venture into an opening of transparency in the service of ending dependency means he must embrace an unusual encounter: an open exchange that is the market. If the fight of the century was between Keynes and Hayek, then the fight between the sons of Ismael and sons of liberty rejoins a conflict interrupted by the discovery of the new world under Columbus.
The Crown Prince wants the Saudi IPO listed at $2 trillion. He isn’t getting it. And while China’s premiere stipulates an opening bid of purchasing 5%, his offer cannot veil its true object, namely the slaughter of American preeminence under Bretton-Woods. Prince bin Salman’s interests now lay in managing multiple state portfolios, it remains safe to say that his current interests lay in minimizing protracted conflicts with old friends in D.C. Witnessing the near encirclement of Arabia by Persia means the long game is on, and Riyadh needs permanent allies in the west.
A move toward a partial opening of ARAMCO on the Saudi exchange would reveal a startling reversal of fortune halting the very progress Prince bin Salman needs. Dressing up failure under the guise of fortifying domestic capital markets will not save the House of Saud.
Only an act of faith as a participant managing performance can.
What the House of Saudi needs is a tutorial in interiority: in acknowledging the self sustained intrinsic components of efficaciousness. In propriety as a relation of procured spontaneity. In a word: the market.
What was it that Hayek implicitly knew, yet struggled for decades to grasp: he knew that Keynes had no theoretical foundation or justification for social capital. It was as if Keynes and his collective disdained the very moral identity that underwrote the achievement of the west. Like all satanic revolutionaries, they deemed everything to be grasped and pushed around like chattel. Enter the sons of Ishmael and long exhausted patrimony of prescribed means.
What the Kingdom needs is performance. What Prince bin Salman must do is openly grasp, as an act of faith, the performative means of sustained engagement. The impact of which is growth as market.
This performative means cannot be midwifed. It must be efficacious.
The gift for you is plain for us in the west to see. The sons of liberty beckon the sons of Ishmael.
Remember Arnold Toynbee after the Somme, when he pained to acknowledge what Pericles failed to see; that the performative means of growth itself remains self-determination.