Asia’s Future: Hindutva or Caliphate

Modi’s win in Uttar Pradesch brings coattails.  Most thought Modi’s rise could survive any blemish, nevertheless, we’re witnessing the limits of secular writ in India.  The rise of Modi cannot be laid at the feet of Amit Shah, Modi’s chief strategist, for India’s Congress Party is faltering badly much like Britain’s Labor.  Political environments matter, but so does leadership; for years now Modi’s rise was underwritten by sound institutional ground work supplemented by globalizations inroads throughout the Subcontinent.  India’s consciousness was always inward and positioned facing the Eurasian northwest passage, now its sprawling towards Mughal achievements in Swahili East Africa, Oman and most of the Arabian littoral.  Political leaders know of India’s passivity, they also trust its capitalist ethos.  That cannot be said of Beijing or Iran.

Having Amit Shah handpick candidates for India’s most populated Muslim state, Uttar Pradesh delivered Modi a writ of ascendancy that is currently questioning the Hindutva, the hegemony of India’s indigenous self-consciousness that is Hinduism.  Given the status of the neighborhood, this is very dangerous.

BJP’s momentus win since 2014 is validating Islamabad’s propaganda.  The message of pan-Hindu unity solidified in Uttar Pradesh does not help India’s self image abroad.  Caste based politics is purely domestic, but we should expect more militancy from Modi and his cohorts.  If anything, the Islamists in ascendancy throughout the northwest passage are being given a gift, Hindu militancy.  Samajwadi’s party will be measured in blood.  Just ask Kashmiri’s.

Modi’s BJP party hasn’t been able to translate its domestic reign into any majority outside its lower chamber.  This is because Indian politics resembles a feudal relation whereby business oligarchs reign both the upper chamber, multinationals and banks.  India’s upper chamber is selected by state assemblies, this opens insight into how Amit Shah progressed through Uttar Pradesh.  Yet it remains to be seen if Modi’s big ticket reform agenda remains legislatively stalled.  As of this writing, State banks and regulatory reform haven’t gained any traction.  Given vast geographic and institutional differences, we remain quite a few years away from what China achieved.

What would coalesce to bring Modi’s momentum down.  The answer is twofold.  Archaic atavism evidenced in party politics seeking reaction as solidarity.  The open killing of Indian Muslims putatively accused of cow slaughter is perennial.  Modi’s silence is damaging to Indian secularism.  Secondly, India remains a nation besieged in rivalry.  Even the social, political and economic continuity of the nation state is cut through with irregularity.  As Churchill said in London’s Constitutional Club in 1931, “India is a geographic term“, although he meant it pejoratively, the concept is evidenced in India’s Parliament.  The false cohesion underwriting so much of the nation remains forcibly contrived.

The movement of goods and taxes is similar.  Individual state prerogatives trump interstate commerce. Their simply isn’t anything resembling nationhood, just witness how the central bank continues to underwrite the profligacy of provincial debt creation.  The concept of parochialism is endemic to both the Congress Party and indigenous Indian politics.  Modi’s ascendancy can reverse these trends.

Why do Indian plutocrats put up with this scheme?  The answer is the archaic feudal mindset animating India’s upper chamber. They are oligarchs resembling defeated Brits.

If equality remains the fault line dividing Islamic Civilization, just wait until the west tries to wade into India’s socio-political mess called politics.

The future of Asia rests in whichever religion accommodates the demands of realism.  Its between India & Islam.

The Hindutva or the Caliphate.


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Why Political Regimes Matter & the Limits of Covenants

For decades now, the west and by extension Israel which is often thought of as an American frontier, has been besieged by propaganda that an openly agreed covenant would resolve the peace process; a nomenclature of U.S. Department of State.  The Israeli’s knew something that State ignored, the nature of regimes matter, and politics is ultimately about ethics.

State pushed a false realism that if Israel, which has made peace with Jordan and Egypt in openly secured covenants, then Israel should do the same with Palestinians.  No mention here of how wealthy petro-Monarchies view the Palestinians as proxies keeping Israel in a near permanent state of war.  Nevertheless, the positivist mindset of pursuing open covenants missed the geopolitics of the nature of regimes or the kind of political comity that animates Islamic Civilization.  Egyptian and Jordanian initiatives have no affinity to Palestinian claims.

Even if the Israeli’s pursued a three State solution where Egypt controls Gaza and Jordan annexes the West Bank, the black box of Iranian regional ambitions remains unsettled.  And lets not forget Turkey, Lebanon or the Syrian civil war raging.  Nevertheless, having Islamists arriving in Golan from McKinder’s Heartland should provide caution for State and its view of covenants.

Simply put, as it stands today, a Palestinian state on Israel’s border isn’t a viable option.

Even a three state solution is a return to pre-1967 borders.  Do we really want a besieged settler mindset enveloping Israel?

Here’s a solution:  the American’s must maintain to underwrite Israeli prerogatives as we do with other Arab nation states in the region, however, until Islamic Civilization accommodates western political norms, there cannot be openly agreed covenants.

Panorama of Jerusalem old city. Israel

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Nadia Schadlow & the Reform of Dept. of Defense

Dr. Schadlow’s magnum opus is War & the Art of Governance, it remains a perennial achievement from which to dismantle the chorus of neo-isolationists that insist that Amerika Come Home; if team Trump under McMaster and Mattis are to win throughout the subcontinent and additional regions touching the Eurasian littoral, we’re going to need allies, sound tactical achievements and a bit of luck.

Pakistan still thinks of Afghanistan as its backyard from which to recover from any entanglement with New Delhi.  India wishes to flank Islamabad in its interior.  Moscow is arming the Taliban with Islamic proxies moving down from Central Asia feeding the insurgency.  As it stands now, the American’s cannot afford to multiply their challenges as we desperately need both New Delhi & Islamabad’s help in stabilizing Afghanistan.

The regimes throughout the northwest frontier don’t need clear political objectives, they can fight on for decades.  Our Clauswitzian prerogatives mean that war has political objectives.  We simply cannot go on for decades in a war that has already consumed 16 years.  Simply put, we cannot have another eight years of wandering, our threat deterrents are hallow.

When Mattis recovered his position after entering as Secretary of Defense, he admonished everyone within earshot that America had a solvency problem.  He’s clearly thinking about financing ‘the long war’.  He might be alone in that insight with only Senator McCain and Congressman Thornberry.

What the Department of Defense needs is flatter hierarchies, joint platforms; redundancies that assist each service in command mission.  But all these changes remain at the periphery, what we need is to dump the entire Keynesian foundation that underwrites our military industrial complex.

Here’s why:  their are limits to reducing procurement costs, they are, fewer design changes and fixed price competition.  No mention here of having regional allies redesign their own industrial bases, nor is there any mention of strong Statecraft that would openly link our regional objectives to local political economies.  Nevertheless, the above noted reduction in procurement costs have pitfalls.  Fixed price contracts without controlling design changes is useless, and using fixed prices in programs with unproven technologies cannot work.  A brief explanation is needed.

How do defense contractors gain revenue after bidding low?  They seek design changes that drive up costs, often suing the government to recover.  Let’s not forget the miracle of supply side political economies and the inversion of scale that typifies digitization, with a glut of supply and strong economic growth Dept. of Defense should expect cost curves trending down.  This cannot happen with a federal budget swamped from entitlements.

What worked for Reagan can work for Trump, but the Clash of Civilizations will require the entire edifice of Defense and Pentagon to be reformed outside the dominant myopia of Keynesian kraft.

Get ready for the Pentagon and by extension, the Department of Defense to resemble Great Britain during Empire at its ascendancy, with specialized civilians driving both the construction of foreign policy, and its imperial governing.

Dr. Nadia Schadlow’s latest is a glimpse of war outside the confines of the third offset.


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Steven Bannon’s Tutorial on Jacksonian Rage

What are the limits to populism in a Constitutional Republic.  The answer is, we’re about to find out.  When Trump rode in on the heels of a Jacksonian moment, it took nearly three months to discern the limits of being a purely domestic President.  Even though Lyndon Johnson, Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter remain divisive Executives, they were primarily elected to fix domestic agendas.  But that’s not the most effective or judicious way to wield Executive power as President.  Our unitary executive was created resembling monarchy.  Only a Hamiltonian Presidency can shape a Jacksonian creed.  Trump is learning this now, even as Steve Bannon rails to curtail H.R. McMaster’s writ in Southwest Asia.

What Bannon has yet to acknowledge, Trump has already acquired and recalculated back into his tactical posture of executive strategy, for Trump, the United States domestic economy resides as the foundation for global security and prosperity.  We’re severely constrained with an executive pursuing a domestic agenda.  If anything, we’ve just relinquished eight years of naval gazing that procured nothing but diminishing returns.

The core goals of a Jacksonian domestic Presidency can only succeed within the confines of a Hamiltonian Presidency.  The sine qua non is expressed power, and only perhaps realists understand how best to wield this instrument.  As Dr. Walter Russell Mead recently wrote, Lincoln embodied the symmetry of the American electorates binary party system between Jacksonian Democrats and Hamiltons Whigs.  By the time of the Cold War, the American electorate knew expressed requisite power alone could curtail Soviet expansion.  Both Truman, Kennedy and Reagan implicitly knew it.

My interview with Dr. Henry Nau, Ronald Reagan’s Director of the National Security Council cover this agenda by examining his latest publication, Conservative Internationalism:  Armed Diplomacy Under Jefferson, Polk, Truman & Reagan.

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Origin of “American Exceptionalism”

Because America embodied a paradox that fell every other Republic in history, historians often attribute the unity of liberty to equality as the source underwriting American exceptionalism.  The source of the term American exceptionalism isn’t attributed to Joseph Stalin, although he wrote of it; Tocqueville is responsible for being the first to write of the term.

Upon arrival to investigate American penal systems in Ossining, New York, Tocqueville figured that no nation could long survive if its theoretical foundation was tethered to liberty in equality as a democracy.

TocquevilleThe situation of the Americas is entirely exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be put in the same situation.  Their . . . uniquely commercial habits. . concentrated the American mind in a singular was in the concern for purely material things.”

For Tocqueville, and later for John Paul II and Solzhenitsyn, the attribution to exceptionalism was perfectly embodied by Lincoln who wrote “that every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword“, the shining city on a hill has patrimony in a unique concentration of Platonic ideals with Aristotelian realism. As Fredrick Jackson Turner wrote of in the early 20th century, America was defined by its frontier.

To the extent that American jurisprudence continues to be hued from our Judaeo-Christian heritage it will always be capable of leading our institutions through the thicket of modernity that many nations failed upon.  Including Mother Russia.

Stalin wrote of it, but Tocqueville was the first.


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Islam & Famine

For a millennia humans struggled to fathom nature, sensing the world as an object in need of inquiry fell to pre-Socratic philosophy, it was here where we find man as an object of question that the Greeks discerned the beginnings of philosophy.  It would be centuries later when Islam’s movement west in a failed pincer movement seeking envelopment of both France & Vienna that Islam would finally turn inward to become the ‘sick man of Europe‘.  Prior to the discovery of the New World by Columbus, that Muslim lake (the Mediterranean) embodied a perennial fault line between Christendom & Islam under the califs.

It has returned, this war between the sons of Ishmael and Christ.  This time however, we witness interior, social, political and economic fault lines exposing profound weakness of what has become Islamic Civilization.  As of this writing, famine is hunting the sons of Ismael.  Deep within the social and racial contortions of Islam we discover a rapacious comity that the west dispensed with centuries ago.  Why is Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Nigeria and Somalia today nearly wrecked beyond repair?  Why is the Red Med (Mediterranean) and most of African trans-sahel gripped in famine?

The answer is nearly Satanic, but true.  The sons of Ishmael have never stopped murdering each other; they’ve never acquiesced to the ethical command regarding the criminalization of political differences.  Let me explain.

Other than the United States, why has each and every Republic in history failed?  It was a reality that the founders knew intimately.  The answer isn’t shocking:  the criminalization of political differences destroyed every Republic.  France is on its 5th Republic, most never had successor states, they just died off in a cataclysm of naked communal violence.  All have the progeny that was the Peloponnesian War.  Yet civil wars, insurgencies, and sectarian conflicts continue to command large relief of Islamic Civilization.  Today the instrument of choice is starvation.

In Yemen, the House of Saudi seesk to starve its southern brethren in submission.  In Nigeria, the ideology of Boko Haram has rendered most of Africa’s largest state in perpetual subjugation.  Somalia, the trans-sahel and the African Horn are all in consequence to variations of the shia-sunni divide, with allied nation states using starvation as an instrument of policy.

The British did it for centuries, just ask the Irish!  Whitehall’s official foreign policy throughout the Boer War was starvation and corral; the British in South Africa were the first to devise concentration camps.  One cannot assume that Christian Monarchies of previous centuries were never guilty, yet we devised institutions for the prevention of famine.  Today it is the Christian West that is called upon to fix global relief of famine.

Let me be clear, the famine destroying most of Islamic Africa is man made.  It is a product of war.

Stephen O’Brien represents the U.N. relief throughout Africa and is quoted telling The Economist “that this year is the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945”.  Today’s famine comes close to Mao’s record of 55 million deaths in the Great Leap Forward.  It is Islam and Marxism that continue to push for men to slaughter their fellow brother.

Famine is a political act.

The American’s have supplied the Saudi’s with their weapons, this is partly true of Nigeria.  Somalian famine has mostly to do with weather, but we should not continue our conspiracy of silence about Islam’s affinity to perpetuate civil war upon sanctioned religiosity that criminalizes race and political differences.


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Leadership That Matters: Theresa May’s Bid To Consume The Opposition & Lead

Politics is  blood sport.  Most people only truly understand this as practitioners of State politics, but the best arena from which to discern this octagon are parliaments.  Two come to mind for their ruthlessness:  Israel & England.

Because parliaments are subjected to extreme partisan rancor, they remain unstable, their capacity to thwart national collapse rests on maintaining a homogenized social base.  Yet even with this, it remains possible that Fascism emerges when an intractable social crisis emerges.  This is occurring throughout Eastern European political economies, especially those that experienced solidarity and Communism.  The tragedy that is Catholic political regimes is perennial, until you arrive on American shores.  Having our Constitutional Republic born from within the mores of mercantile Christian Monarchies helped shape the contours of our Republicanism.

England has never had numerated documentation of its identity.  If anything, England remains dangerously susceptible to Islamism, as its national identity remains unenumerated, national consciousness would be enveloped by competing philosophies.

Theresa May’s opening gambit is to secure her premiership; she also seeks to permanently kill off Labor.  This is ambition on scale not seen in decades.  All of this occurs as backdrop to the ever widening Islamic insurgency that is Londonstan.  By pulling off a yes vote as Prime Minister, she’s actually fortifying England’s position to openly thwart Islamism.

Why did May openly seek an election after initially saying she wouldn’t.

The answer is discerned in the electoral composition of Parliament immediately after the  referendum confirming Brexit.

Because the referendum itself had no legitimacy under England’s system of parliamentary supremacy, May needs a stronger hand when facing the European Union. Tory members of the ‘remain’ side still held stronger political cards against her.  For her to move judiciously, she’ll need to redraw the ideological and political tenor or her own bench to compete both domestically and internationally.  Secondly, England’s own House of Lords possesses previously unasserted veto power.  May possessed a divided Conservative party.  To win, she’ll need to vanquish members of her own party while goring Labor.

She just “may” pull this off.

The institutional confusion isn’t difficult to discern, too many members of her own party disliked Brexit while previous Tory leadership embodied passivity to the emerging challenges gathering abroad and at home.  As such, professional politicians preferred the security of a backward looking mien.  May is different, and she needs to be if England is to survive.

Here’s what May seeks to have:  a brutally beaten opposition and a dramatically weakened House of Lords, for if she writes Brexit into a Tory governing manifesto, she’ll have produced invincible constitutional limits on what the House of Lords can obstruct.

Leadership par-excellence.


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Bismark & Obamacare

Remember the Teutonic admonition regarding politics and sausage?  Well, it was on full display today as the GOP cranked out a reform bill tackling health care.  It didn’t have to be this way, but the conservative faction acknowledged that if it didn’t deliver, it would relinquish all authority regarding future legislation.  By any measure, the GOP Freedom Caucus stepped back from the brink and swallowed hard.  Let’s remember exactly how we got here:  the entire Democratic bench obstructed while liberal Republicans straddled every available crevice to prevent the cataclysmic closure of future and immediate governing.  If you really want to know how to read today’s vote, its this:  their aren’t enough conservatives around to pull legislation center-right in our culture war.

Most importantly, because we’re no longer a Constitutional Republic, we’re going to careen continuously until a convention of the States begins.  Until then, the GOP either huddles together or it fractures and fails miserably.

The April 04, 2017 Kaufman Foundation poll revealed that the Republic would openly seek to destroy the GOP even with a duplicitous media and obstructionist opposition.  This is the battlefield conservatives are on, don’t forget it.

For those who followed the entrails of health care reform, you know about the collapsing health care insurance markets, the failed subsidies, the death spiral of dysfunctional capital markets and institutional closures due to dwindling participation.  The whole damned edifice is rotting fast, so conservatives should not expect to be able to deliver what’s needed but what’s required for them to survive as a governing party.  The cynicism is nearly bottomless with states across the nation absconding, doctors openly leaving practice and federal agency ‘navigators‘ responsible for administering this albatross lost at foggy bottom naval gazing.

If this leaves you a bit sick, expect more to come, because what team Obama delivered on January 2017 is a deadly weakened Union.

Before anyone thinks of championing this procrustean bed, we need to consider the following immediately:  malpractice reform, tort reform, elimination of the tierd rating systems to attract millennials, permit the selling of insurance across state boundaries (ending rent-seeking), the reduction of pre-existing conditions and finally the legal capacity for states with noncompetitive insurance markets the ability to extend employer contracts.

If that’s not enough, upon returning from vacation, our representatives need to fix our non-competitive capital markets.

By any measure. . . we’re failing.

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Thomas Sowell, Determinism & Enoch Powell

A few weeks ago a great man decided not to write anymore.  Residing as Chair and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution in Palo Alto, California, Dr. Sowell’s gift is to write engagingly clear prose on the geopolitical, social and fiscal determinants constituting political economy.  Given his age, and the duration of his tenure at Stanford, he deserves the rest, but what makes him peculiar and worthy of your time is his willingness to unmask the pretensions of contemporary thought.

His last book is titled Wealth, Poverty & Politics: an International Perspective.  Here you’ll find Sowell at his best discerning the errors of populist trends in redistributionist thought; discerning why their remain geographic, demographic, economic and cultural factors explaining large differences between and in groups across America. In a word, Sowell seeks to examine the capital stock of American ingenuity to discover that policy should reward effort in framing taxation so as to permit individuals the ability to enjoy capital, equity formation.

It should surprise no one that the concept of progress itself originated in northern latitudes. It is there where we discover the application of human capital toward profit.  As Peter Drucker said, “what is profit but value.”  Derided today as pejorative, the concept of profit as added value perplexed both Adam Smith, Ferguson, Aquinas and even Ibn Khaldun.  The concept itself only came into relief late in the 20th century when money lost its veil and was no longer either a store of value nor a consistent measuring tool.  Returning money to the States as a measuring tool providing consistent value is something Hayek understood as necessary if the West was to conquer the collective.

That fight has yet to be joined, but the battle grounds are well travelled and known by conservatives, Austrians and of course, the fresh water school of economics from Chicago.

Since ancient times, the discipline of history was confined to examining the concept of great statesman.  It was perfected by Carlyle’s insistence that history cannot be but the study of great men.  Toynbee and hosts of others would partially agree, but the truth remains, those able to gain traction on impossible political scenarios are studied with good reason.  When Margaret Thatcher unleashed the idea of functioning markets she was affirming not only Aristotelianism, but the Thomism of spontaneous order of Hayek.  Now the hard part comes.  Successors now must grapple with seemingly identical conditions without the confidence of previous leaders.  If Britain’s Tony Blair converted Labor to neoliberalism, certainly David Cameron converted the Tories to genteel Jenkinism.

Both have receded with the disastrous failure of neoliberal order beginning in 2008.  Upon the distant horizon hovers a man neither party in London wishes to identify with, Enoch Powell.

The Presbyterian Irish (northern Orangeman) identify with Powell’s racial overtures.  This was fine until Whitehall and Downing discovered that the behavior and policy overtures of besieged settlers under Ian Paisley couldn’t be sold in Westminster.  The IRA played a deft hand in encircling Elizabethan foreign policy in Northern Ireland.  It isn’t quite a rout, but portent trends reveal that the sectarian, religious themes of the one hundred years war is about to begin, again.

Before the arrival of Brexit, conventional British consensus remained that the party that produced the best synthesis of Thatcher and Jenkins would easily win.  Today, that marker no longer possesses any currency.  Today British politics is chiefly embodied by a man born in 1912, eight years before Jenkins and thirteen years before Thatcher.  His influence is gaining, as are his myriad detractors.  His name is Enoch Powell, best remembered for his ‘rivers of blood’ comment delivered upon public reflection on egalitarian principles hoisted upon stolid Anglo-Saxon stock.  Powell’s insight wasn’t well received, but it animates governing convictions of western political economies since the long war began.  Powell deeply believed like Tocqueville, or even a George Eliot, that suturing militant secular policies upon a society grounded in social custom of hierarchy would produce chaos.  In a sentence, Enoch Powell stood for Imperial conviction and excellence in an age of egalitarianism.

Powell wrote that all political lives end in failure.  Peculiar instinct given his grasp of both history, and British Parliament.  For him and all the Tories of England, migration and Europe were touchstones worthy of conflict.  In 1968, Powell declared in his native Birmingham that mass migration would produce inevitable social breakdown throughout England.  Funny how his convictions never sought to evaluate Northern Ireland.

The reform of Corn Laws, voting rights and suffragettes all pulled him to declare his utmost opposition to the European Economic Community; a French ploy to harness American diplomatic and military diplomacy to constrain Teutonic steel after the World War II.

Like Daniel Deronda for George Eliot, the familiar ties that procured the nation state remained supreme. Any attempt to procure transnational identity would seek the total amelioration of the human person, ultimately prostrate before totalitarian power.

For the Euroskeptics throughout Parliament, the Brexit is soaked in the blood of Powellism.

We should remember that he spent 37 years at Westminster and only 15 months as Minister of Health, the fire he lit resonates today, even though most loath to admit of his prescience.  To his credit, Powell was deeply worried about immigration from the British Commonwealth.  The whole edifice has long since come crashing down when Parliament permitted the dominions to appeal for domestic status.  Londonstan they call it today.

The populist revolts should been seen as manifestations of nationalism.  May’s Cabinet now needs to comet to terms with Powell’s legacy of integrative national unity in identity that harnesses both social cohesion and economic growth.  This isn’t a governing plan to produce revenue through fiscal transfers or velocity; we’re in the very trench that procured Thatcher.  May just ‘may’ pull it off.  As of this writing, Tory leadership has taken quite easily to this challenge, but England’s Labor parties two baseline constituencies of liberal intellectuals and working laborers have no reserve from which to quarry.

What Sowell’s latest book demonstrates is that human capital stock matters.  So does the governing policy of the dominant majority.


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The Garden of Finzi Contini & The Praetorians

It was hard if not impossible for Churchill to conceive of political realities outside the commanding heights of imperialism.  Its writ had no hold on Ireland nor India.  It fell to Truman after Roosevelt to politely admonish him to conceive of policy or military strategic aims in any British framework.  When Eisenhower threatened to kill the pound Sterling during Suez, the British knew the trajectory of Empire was really over.  England has never really recovered from this reality.  It has never supplanted any regime to replace what imperial writ gathered unto Whitehall.

The immediate future for England is dark.  Here’s why.  Having an unwritten Constitutional order will tether England’s identity to the dominant factions of Islamism.

Our own founders implicitly knew the dangers of not having numerated rights.  England’s Brexit is the run up to an all encompassing conflict fraught with national suicide.

When Thatcher summoned that British socialism was a perennial threat to any sound comity, she registered a policy, a social insight that enemies at home were always stronger than the near or far abroad.  The IRA in Belfast new it, so did Gorbachev. And still she won. This calculus is nearly impossible for British leadership to duplicate.  Unless. . . unless London heed to the moral compass laid out by John Paul II.  Without a return to policy that would affirm the moral foundations of liberty, the unenumerated English Constitutionalism will not be distinguished from Islamic ethics.  Having no recourse outside either positivism or flaccid pluralism, British relativism has no resolving center to envelop and defeat Dawa.

Only a Tocqueville or Solzhenitsyn can help now.

Arnold Toynbee wrestled with the components of this reality when he asked ‘what is the criteria for growth?’  His twelve volume set of A Study of History laid out the answer:  the criteria for growth is self-determination.

Nation states that hew their governing institutions to a Judaeo-Christian heritage have an advantage.  They have the moral framework to acknowledge both individual identity as the source underwriting civil society.  This isn’t a reality Islamic Civilization acknowledges, and it remains a permanent fault line for Islamic polities.

For contemporary nation states in thrall to both domestic and transnational threats, the question looms large; what secures governing institutions from confronting emerging threats?  The answer is growth as stasis.  Growth prevents dominant majorities from having to do the difficult work required to coalesce leadership.  Statesman know this, its what defines them as perennial.  Expansion serves the requisite opacity securing a fatal dissonance.

This is glaringly evidenced with the Islamic State, but there remain more prominent examples of this reality.  Once could just as easily choose Egypt, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates.  In fact, the UAE is the prime example of a nation state openly thwarting growth through expansion.

The ancient Swahili port of Berbera, just south of Djibouti (pronounced Jah-Booty) in Somaliland resides as the center of east African trade into Arabia.  It currently houses both Chinese and American listening posts.  Now the United Arab Emirates, an arriviste of sorts has emerged to underwrite Emirate geopolitical ambitions, much to the consternation of Saudi elites.

Possessing a homogenized social base and profound oil wealth, UAE officials are expanding after having failed to secure the Islamic State in Mesopotamia.  ISIS was originally financed by Dubia and Qatari autocrats.  Embarrassed at having to acknowledge identical foreign policy craft as Riyadh, it now seeks to finance and open nationalized ports throughout the southern tip of Saudi Arabia, linking the Swahili East African cost to ports moving east along the Indian littoral of Yemen, Oman & Iran.  The southern rim of Arabia is now linking old port cities of Limassol and Benghazi eastward toward the trans-Sahel.  Rapid port expansion in Chabahar in Iran, Duqm in Oman and King Abdullah Economic City in Arabia all pose stark social, governing challenges for each regime.  Delivering economic growth isn’t going to happen without profound transformation of each ports political economy.

The pursuit of regional influence is heavily dependent on myriad factors outside the control of any political center.  East African trade routes were always heavily dependent on human trafficking into Arabia from East Africa, now the Saudi’s have to incentivize a lumpen social base unwilling to work.

The expansion of UAE throughout the Arabian littoral demonstrates a profoundly interventionist regime unstable and unanchored to any coherent policy of a Westphalian nation state.  Being the world’s largest importer per capita of arms, Emirati’s are becoming proxies for Riyadh’s bid to outmaneuver Tehran.

We must wait to see if the old Sultanate of Oman and Zanzibar can compete with Quods.

The Garden of Finzi Contini is a story about a wealthy Jewish merchant family residing in Italy before the Great War.  The plot resolves around the profound dissonance imparted on the Contini family as an idyllic facade crashes down on the imperial writ.  If Downton Abby had any antecedent, its the Garden of the Finzi Contini’s.

The impending doom of the Praetorian class is upon us.  What will Islamabad, Riyadh, Dubai, Aden do?


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