Helpless, though we certainly are as individuals before the sordid slaughter of the Shi’a family dictator’s fight for survival in Syria – it does not mean that we can not learn from it about the current state of world power. It gives us a reading on the condition of Russia, of China, of Britain and of the American republic’s collapse.
Russia. The world can now observe that after its disastrous attempt to engineer a technological society run by a pragmatic elite of politicians, bureaucrats and technicians, its whole governed by a rigid psychotic, it has blundered into a tiny oligarchic rule this time controlled by a below-stairs ex-KGB man. Putin is a man at the bottom of the pile, catapulted to a leadership that for a historical moment made him seem capable of the task. But, uneducated both culturally and politically, he has survived on cynical pragmatism doomed to be swept aside by the first Tartar star to rise in the east. The brutalism of his approach to Syria is clear to the Russian people. He fails to grasp that Stalin survived by his endless cold passion for the games of politics. He was an ascetic from a seminary. Putin is a man without background, his foreground now crammed with wealth. He is a push-over. It will come sooner than later.
China. Forget the commercial propaganda against Chinese slow buying-up of Western ports, produce and petrol. The chilling reality is that it has not changed for thousands of years. Although changing its imperial capital over dynasties it has stayed, centralised on its ultimate one, Beijing.
A man went to Beijing and when he came back he praised everything in Beijing. Walking in the moonlight with his father he met a friend who said, ‘What a fine moon tonight!’ He replied, ‘This is nothing. You should see the moon in Beijing. It’s far superior.’ Angered, his father said, ‘The moon is the same everywhere. How can you say the moon in Beijing is superior?’ and he clenched his fist and gave him a sharp box on the ear. Wiping his tears, his son replied, ‘Your fist is not so special. You should feel the fists in Beijing!’
Mao kept the Qing Dynasty capital. Nothing changed. Internal trading and rigid centralisation. Trapped in empire for thousand of years China faced the same moral risk that Confucius had warned them of: he had said, ‘If you lead people by regulation and regulate them by punishments, they will seek to evade the law and have no sense of shame. If you lead them by virtue and regulate them through rites, they will correct themselves.’
Today the dictatorship, trying to vitalise a frozen marxism, have legislated that their young must visit their parents, a Confucian obligation, or be imprisoned, precisely in denial of his warning.
Voided of their ancient teachings of natural harmony, Daoism and the Five Elements School, and lost in the valueless atheism of socialist and communist doctrine for about a hundred years, the present Chinese, their Muslim millions excepted, are sub-human with no practice of human compassion and cut-off from the animal kingdom which they indiscriminately eat and torture. With both the Uigur peoples and the Tibetan cruelly persecuted how can a mass murder in distant Syria mean anything to the Chinese masses?
Britain. Here is a country frozen in the tragedy of its most ancient institution having proved utterly ineffective, rendered powerless. With a psychotic, and that is to say a seriously disorientated figure, as Prime Minister in charge of a Parliament and Cabinet that had already been basically deconstructed from House debate to private committee rule by the previous premier – it only needed a degenerate ruling Labour Party to give in to dictation and the stage was set for the Iraq tragedy. Yet the tragedy of the Iraqi million dead has to be seen against a general loss – that of English political freedom. Churchill imagined he was his ancestor, Malborough, and led Britain into a war which assured the end of Britain as Empire and world power. Mrs. Thatcher, an ignorant and certainly half-crazy leader imagined she was Churchill and led Britain into a useless war about a tiny Atlantic outpost. In turn Blair imagined he was Mrs. Thatcher, and wildly, and unconstitutionally talked of ‘my Army’ and led a helpless Cabinet and country into an endebting war to the unique benefit of the U.S.A.
Faced with the Syrian crisis, this defunct administration talked only about the Iraq crisis, as Eden arguing the Suez crisis in Parliament kept referring to Munich.
Here was a country incapable of a future.
America. Here is a country, like China trapped in its foundational matrix and unable to adapt. What began at least as an open debate between two primal forms of governance, the Roman Republic and the Greek democracy. Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers, openly stated: ‘The American Republic through representative government assures the total exclusion of the people, from legislation and public policy.’
By dividing government into opposing parties, bound to the same Constitution, one called Democratic and the other Republican they tried to glue the vast domain into an amalgam of two inimical doctrines.
The enfranchised masses were never going to get what the elite of the nation were gaining for their families. As a result the high ‘Democratic’ rhetoric had to submit to the categorical imperatives of the (money) market.
Cicero had stated: ‘Salus Populi suprema lex est.’ The safety of the people is the highest law.
Adam Ferguson referring to Cicero’s definition said: ‘This is the fundamental principle of political science.’ One half of the American government is helpless to give this safety to its people – because the other half wishes to pursue the programme of expansion and wealth.
Syria may need rescue – but so does Detroit, and indeed, California.
With the present day world like a Fox TV of the Living Dead, the idea of small self-governing duchies with their own castles and their own cheeses remains a future dream – or a past recognition of ancient culture.
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