Counterpoint by Mark Nicol – Western crisis – The need for realpolitik enlightenment

| September 2, 2020

The Changing of the Guard by Daniel Steedman, an excellent realpolitik analysis sketching the geopolitical state of play, appeared in this forum a week ago.

The article exposed our entry into a perilous 21st Century scenario. The post-WII mechanisms established by the Allies to balance geoeconomic disparities, to resolve geopolitical confrontations, have become ineffectual. And Pax America, reliable US protection of the West, the Free World, is failing because it is economically unsustainable.

China, Russia, and ‘nationalist Islam’ are the three ancient-minded aspirants to empire now shredding any global fabric of judicious detente. The greater context is the last nationalist scramble for economic resources, land and sea dominions, in a world every shrinking because of sheer demographic overload.

Western response to the new global realpolitik, given that we operate under a Democratic system empowering the prerogative of the Commons, is severely hampered by the stunted perspicacity of this plebiscite. It is time, also, for politicking academia, press, and politicians to wake from ideologies perilously ignoring geopolitical realities, to begin questioning populist politics instead of feeding it.

If we have identified two problems here, the first is a pervasive failure to recognize realpolitik reasoning. First up, we must define the nature of that reasoning. Realpolitik thinking is that condition of global political reckoning, which draws to the cynical, bottom-line denominator of self-interested nationalist operations.

It has been recognized that modern Western politicians are oft blind to realpolitik realities because of naïve ideological conditioning. JFK candidly admitted that he was blindsided in his dealings with Khrushchev. As regards prospective US/USSR nuclear confrontation, he assumed that the Soviet State could not morally countenance massive loss of life.

Similarly, Obama’s administration was consistently blindsided by Beijing, re promises to devalue the renminbi. Beijing never had any intention to do this, voluntarily, because devaluation would have removed the massive trading advantage China gained through running an undervalued currency.

Likewise, Western academics, press, politicians, or that vast sector inciting naïve ideologies, constantly support cross cultural actions that defy realpolitik reasoning. This is the Leftist culture totally incautious, totally embracing and inviting in relation to non-Western cultures. This is generic Green-Left ideology putting out the red carpet to dangerous Western immigration, the near suicidal open border policy adopted by Merkel and Macron, and closed by Johnson.

But the ignoring of realpolitik reasoning is also practiced by academics, press, and politicians of the Right. This is the expedient, short-sighted thinking that sustains trade and conceding relationships with clear aggressor States because it is the easy, quick way to make a buck. This is the incompetent Western State executive, unable to generate local industry, sustain solvency in the local economy, signing to China’s Belt Road infrastructure program, the soft landfall of Beijing expansionism.

Realpolitik reasoning is perilously ignored by many Western academics, journalists, even politicians. The generic Greens candidate totally disregards geopolitical and geomilitary realities. But this is because the average Greens voter lives in a bubble of total realistic denial, of total ideological absorption. It would be interesting to really pit John Lennon against Khrushchev, or Putin, to see if the populist naif could convince the brutal realpolitik schemer to ‘give peace a chance’.

Generic Greens idealists represent the willfully ignorant sector of Western civilization, as regards realpolitik reckoning. But it is the general ignorance, apathy of the Western Commons, in respect of geopolitical intelligence, which fuels a like stupor in defined academic, press, and political quarters.

If the Western plebiscite possessed more intelligence, in fact and in reasoning, it would not tolerate academics, a commentariat, and politicians who peddle ignorantly, perilously idealistic thinking. Luckily, as first stated here, there is a more educated section of academia, the commentariat, and of the political executive fully aware of brutal geopolitical realities, committed to countenancing ongoing and new national threats.

But what of the threat to Western civilization as a whole? For a hundred years, a slender hundred years, Western civilization had stood as the sole culture to achieve and sustain a Modern-mode cultural pedigree. The Modern Liberal State, defined by democratic governance, free enterprise economics, common law, universal education, and free speech was, and is a unique Western production.

Some non-Western States, such as Japan and, increasingly, India, have adopted or are adopting this whole modernist script. But the geopolitically ominous States are those, such as China and Russia, which have only appropriated Western science, technology, and free trading prowess, yet none of the learned moral thinking censuring predatory behaviours.

It was Western technical intellectualism, uniquely freed from proscriptive Ancient World thinking, which generated the script of modern scientific, technological, and industrial development. It was Western moral intellectualism, tutored by the Reformation, Enlightenment, and Modernist Revolution struggles, by the WWI, WWII tragedies, which forged a stolid Western peace in the late 20th Century.

Japan, the other great learner out of the WWII debacle, joined this consortium of learned nations resolved to the end of military confrontations generated by crude imperial aspirations. Germany and Japan learnt that sustainable national success can only be guaranteed through technological ingenuity, industrial conscientiousness, astute trading. It can no longer be achieved through nationalist aggression. Thus, the Ancient World realpolitik landscape is gone. Or is it?

China, Russia, and the Nation of Islam are not signed to our modernist pacific detente. China is the ominous imperial aspirant here, constantly building its economic, military might, extending its imperial stretch by measured stealth, using infiltration, subterfuge, intellectual theft, sophistry, and intimidation.

China’s military budget has doubled since 2010, steadily rising towards US parity. Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong, its like claim upon Taiwan, its aggressive stance in the South China Sea, its seized assets in Africa, and its insidious global outreach programs all point to one aim: Beijing is steadily accumulating an empire, via whatever means it can.

Russia, in its imperialist ambitions, is far less competent, far less dangerous in its own right. The Nation of Islam is incompetent, yet severely menacing. However, in combination, China, Russia, and the Nation of Islam exert a force and stretch sufficient to devastate that frail fabric of geopolitical detente which Western civilization has enjoyed for seven decades.

Therein lies our realpolitik problem. Populist ideological thinking in the West is indifferent to that realpolitik intelligence, which warns of Western civilization’s increasing precariousness. On the Green-Left side of this spectrum we have a massive culture suddenly obsessed with ethnic injustice, rights, when there is no longer any Western legal, political script causing inequalities.

Regardless, the Green-Left pursues cultural egalitarianism with that irrational, ideological zeal, which must see pervasive injustice, abuse. Perhaps the real problem is just a brute fact of cultural inequality, apparently not ever to be acknowledged. China and Russia are laughing themselves silly here, as Western ideological zealots continue to shoot the home side in the foot.

Green-Left idealists further invite swathes of Ancient World peoples into the Western hospices, upon the same basis of assuming cultural equality. But, in the desire to embrace cultural diversity, a healthy end, the invitee of Western immigration refutes the very notion of cultural pedigree, and, therein, of contractual discernment.

Almost invariably, Ancient World peoples bring with them Ancient World values, Ancient World ambitions, Ancient World problems. But the Right-wing ideologist also invites immigration, thus to expediently fuel the Constant Growth economy.

Realpolitik reasoning warns us that Western civilization is now placed under serious external threat from three Aggressor States. But realpolitik reasoning, cutting as hard to the cynical bottom line as it can, does not reveal that the Modern World culture is also being corroded by Ancient World citizens, sympathizers, aiders, abettors within. This points to our second, and fundamental problem regarding realpolitik reasoning.

The geopolitically illiterate Common Man, in the West, is nurtured upon an account of history failing to recognize Primitive, Ancient and Modern-mode cultural pedigrees. The Cultural Egalitarianist refuses to recognize any such distinction.

This means that any conception of intellectual, moral, and volitional progression in the whole human transcript is also denied. It is abidance with this purposefully disfigured portrayal of human history, which ruins any intelligent grasp upon a collective destiny.

The singular Australian formulation of a historical reckoning recognizing Western civilization as proud instigator of the Modern Liberal State, developed by the Ramsay Center, faced shutdown legal action from the academic union. This was the Cultural Egalitarianist front attempting to enforce that proscriptive discourse, which continues to corrode Western intelligence, pride, integrity.

Then again, the greatest patrons of the course were Catholics, revisionist theists refusing to recognize secularism as the vital factor facilitating the Modern Liberal State production.

If the Western Commons was delivered an honest, intelligent account of human cultural evolution, this perspicacity would nourish realpolitik reasoning. However, realpolitik thinking is inherently limited, just reactive.

In order to grasp a sustainable and noble destiny, Modern Man must formulate an aspirational thinking finally reconciling, not opposing selfish, humanitarian, environmentalist, and true visionary values.