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25 October 2014

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William R. Cumming

Thanks Jack! Another take! Some analysts in different disciplines opined that the original purpose of militaries was to keep civilians safe. Probably never a success certainly a dead end justification after 1945!

But the world keeps dreaming of safety for civilians [innocents?] and the military and others capitalize on that dream! Why?

Aka

dear sir,
if you really think about it, is it even possible find a armed "moderate" in a civil war that has hundreds of factions (or any civil for that matter)?

"Moderate" sounds like a person who inhibits parliaments, advocacy group, human rights groups, etc, etc..

rjj

Tribe-clan-blood ties, like territory, may be too primordial to "understand."

FB Ali

This is an excellent summation of the situation in which the US finds itself today. There seems to be nobody in charge, with different power centres pursuing their own pet projects.

I doubt if it will end well.

jld

Though the Archdruid opinions should be taken with plenty of salt they strangely resonate with the current mess seen in all domains, namely it's *normal* happenstance of every decaying civilization.
http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2014/10/dark-age-america-collapse-of-political.html

turcopolier

rjj

No. pl

rjj

By way of nobody in charge: perhaps that is not such a bad thing. We don't have a meritocracy, we have a plutocracy. The latter is more democratic - all you need is money and connections.

rjj

and a well developed sense of entitlement.

JLCG

My awakening to the importance of religion, tribalism, nationality, historical memory, in a word the conjugated integrity of a people was the rebuilding of the cathedral of Christ Savior of Russia. Ostensibly blown up for religious atheistic reasons but in reality to get at the gold covering the domes, the cathedral was not forgotten by the Russian people and seventy years later it was rebuilt in splendid fashion. People are not convinced or swayed by theoretical philosophies. We have sucked our nationality and social feelings from our mother's breasts.

rjj

these ties as affective icebergs may be my idiosyncracy

C Webb

"Our fundamental weakness, in our celebrated and evolved “multicultural” society, is that we do not truly understand the ties of tribalism, clan, and blood."

We (all of use..here in the west) do not understand the ties of tribalism, clan, and blood. This is a non-sense statement.

We just have different tribes and clans here in the west.

Our real weak points in the west, IMHO are...
1) Education system (Lack of critical thinking in general population)
2) A misallocation resources in our existing consumer based economy. Also, too much debt.
3) Loss of social cohesion as a result of the new technological society.
4) An overly expensive and complicated military system.

Babak Makkinejad

All:

I disagree with the statement: "Our fundamental weakness....we do not truly understand the ties of tribalism, clan, and blood".

In my opinion, the fundamental weakness is the belief that the affairs of an entire alien civilization can be micro-managed from Washington DC.

Babak Makkinejad

I think this comparison with pre-industrial France and contemporary US is inconclusive due to the qualitative and quantitative nature manner in which wealth is generated in US.

Haralambos

Your claim, 'Tribe-clan-blood ties, like territory, may be too primordial to "understand,"' appears to me to be a stipulative definition. I mean by that a stipulation that such ties cannot be understood by your definition since primordial is some ineffable, unanalyzable mystery. To the extent that we cannot understand some tribe, clan, or blood allegiance suggests that we do not (yet) know enough about such, not that it is necessarily unknowable. I have found Norbert's and John Scotson's analysis in their book _The Established and the Outsiders_ an interesting figuration to use Elias's term. One may come to understand the basis of the established-outsider dichotomy based on greater understanding if the history of the dichotomy. I have in mind the shifting distinctions one might trace in the changes of such distinctions.

I have in mind two rather "exotic" and deep-seated examples: the Hindu caste system and its historical genesis and the Japanese Burakumin caste distinction. Closer to home, I was raised Congregational due to my mother's Pilgrim ancestors, and my wife was raised Irish Catholic both of us in a small US village. Both of our families were scandalized that we dated in high-school (1960s). The local monsignor patrolled the main street after school accosting young couples whose backgrounds were Protestant and Roman Catholic. To further complicate my wife's family were appalled when a good Irish Catholic of her family married a good Italian Catholic.

Such insider-outsider perceptions were often a matter of preserving some perceived purity. The insiders considered themselves as superior in some way, often associated with cleanliness and law-abiding as opposed to the outsiders as being dirty and anomic. How things have changed in my lifetime in my little village. Such stereotypes continue to operate in many places (I have Ireland in mind).

This figuration seems particularly apt in the current situation in regard to Islam--the pure vs the less pure or impure, not to mention in many paces I know first-hand, Greece in particular.

My apologies for such a long comment in my attempt to undermine the idea of something primordial beyond the notion of the insider-outsider figuration.

VietnamVet

This is excellent description of the contradictions in Western policies.

Bombing from the air a broad swath of the earth without any forces on the ground to defeat the enemy is beyond stupid. It invites retaliation. The Western democracies are apparently now being controlled by persons who love war and austerity but it is sure not government by and for the people.

I’ve been binge-watching on the “Game of Thrones” the last month. I don’t know if the feudal quest to be King of Kings depicted is a fantasy or if it is a representation of mankind’s innate quest for power in the real world. The characters seem to be a perfect depiction of the neo-feudal Oligarchs now at war from Ukraine to Yemen.

Babak Makkinejad

Your are quite right; nothing very deep in there.

Babak Makkinejad

Not just US, but also the European Union as well.

Eliot

"In my opinion, the fundamental weakness is the belief that the affairs of an entire alien civilization can be micro-managed from Washington DC."

Few of our elites take faith very seriously. It's a cloth, and like a cloth it comes in many colors - who's to say one is somehow better than the other, it's simply a bit of woven cotton afterall. And to die for such a thing? That would be silly.

And it's not just faith, we look at other tribal affiliations in the same way.

- Eliot

Ishmael Zechariah

Perhaps the key sentences should be changed to: "in our celebrated and evolved “multicultural” society, .....our Masters do not truly take into account the ties of tribalism, clan, and blood."

Tribalism, clan and blood still matter; they might be considered shallow by some, but these ties are still deep enough to drown in if you ignore them.

A re-reading of the "The Gods of the Copybook Headings"
(http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_copybook.htm ) might be timely.

Ishmael Zechariah

FB Ali

Jack Connor mentions the "the hubris that marked...the second Iraqi war".

A chilling example of that is an excerpt from James Risen's book "Pay Any Price" which describes the operation in which the US sent pallets of $100 dollar bills to Iraq:

"Between $12 and $14 billion, mostly in $100 bills, was taken from East Rutherford and flown into the war zone of Iraq in 2003 and 2004, with virtually no supervision or safeguards. Another $5.8 billion was sent from the New York Federal Reserve to Baghdad by electronic funds transfers. All told, approximately $20 billion was sent to Iraq without any clear orders or direction on how the money was to be used. The controls on the money were so lax that few credible records exist of exactly how much cash there was or where the cash went once it arrived in Baghdad".

Risen believes about $2 billion out of that money was stolen and moved to Lebanon, apart from what was stolen in Iraq.

The full extract is at:

http://tinyurl.com/kmsx659

jld

Pre-industrial France was just an extreme example choosen by Greer, the principle of institutions getting "encrusted" by all sorts of privileges and parasitic bureaucracies is more general than that.
The Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia is another good example, they couldn't recover from the loss of trade routes to the Turks and nevertheless piled on Consiglios and "representatives" institutions of various constituencies among the population until they vanished from exhaustion with a little help from Bonaparte.

William R. Cumming

General Ali! Good old Uncle Sugar often pays for two or more sides when deploying its military.

Aka

dear sir,
all the previous comments seems to have vanished. So I'll post again.

Trying to find armed "moderates" in sufficient numbers in a civil war (that seems to be based on religious reasons for the most part) seems like a very stupid thing to me.

I mean by nature, moderates are not the one to take up arms to fight a civil war.

DH

What if the the goal is not to micromanage, but to keep everyone off balance and feed the I/M/C complex and keep the media machine spinning at full tilt?

rjj

Haralambos, those are observations - and not the same thing as understanding.

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