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Geopolitics in the 21st Century

3 October 2012

9:56 AM

3 October 2012

9:56 AM

Some dog-munching old thug from Pyongyang has been addressing the United Nations, warning that his country is the ‘world’s hotspot’ and a spark could trigger a thermonuclear war.

It’s quite possible I’m wrong about this, as I am wrong about a lot of things, but North Korea worries me far less than one supposes it should. Partly because it is so far away. And partly because the North Koreans are utterly useless and their fatuous ideology is shared by nobody else in the world (apart from one or two academics in British universities). Even a country as thoroughly grim as China finds Pyongyang ludicrous and insupportable; when push comes to shove, the country is utterly alone. And none of its missiles seem to work. So much for juche, then.

Islamists worry me more because there are lots of them and – when push comes to shove again – they tend to agree with one another when faced with the infidel. Is this mature and considered reading of early twenty first century geopolitics correct, d’you think?


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Show comments
  • Lisa Cooke Dobecki

    There are many of both. They both should concern you.

  • rndtechnologies786

    Nice blog.

  • DougS

    RL: “…… Is this mature and considered reading of early twenty first century geopolitics correct, d’you think?”

    Yes.

  • WunJongWabbitWun

    Well, I don’t think much of Kim Jong Un’s Usain Bolt impression, I must say…

  • Barry

    Muslims:

    Over-vexed, over-prayed and over here.

  • Daniel Maris

    Why can’t you worry about both?

    The danger with the N. Koreans is not that they are going to overrun the planet but that possibly as a result of their ramshackle technology they might inadvertently fire off their nuclear weapons or start a war that ends up in a nuclear exchange.

    Any nuclear warfare will release a huge amount of toxicity into the atmosphere (far more than at Hiroshima) and will affect us all, closing down agriculture, threatening the lives of children and causing other negative effects on the environment.

    The threat from the Sharia movement is bigger all round. We already have a kind of proto-Caliphate operating in an informal alliance between Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey and Qatar. It was really only the grip of colonialism 1800-1950 that held the Islamic world in check. From roughly 600-1800 Islam was a serious threat to Europe. There is no reason to believe that the Sharia movement has given up on the dream of global domination.

  • Austin Barry

    You are quite right. The Fifth column of Jihadists is already here, the North Korean Fifth Column is one man in Hackney casting a cold eye on Rover’s meaty thighs.

  • Kevin

    What is “Islamist” supposed to mean that “Muslim” or “Mohammedan” do not already capture? Literally it seems to imply, “someone who believes in Islam”, though I suppose the subtext is, “who really believes in Islam”.

    This is important as, since 9/11 (2001 USA rather than 2012 Benghazi), there has never been an attempt to challenge “Islamism” at the intellectual level. Instead, Western governments resort to the typical police rhetoric of “a tiny minority of extremists spoiling it for everyone else”. Unsurprisingly, this childishness has not worked.

    Maybe the West lacks the moral confidence to take on the job? Liberals rightly decry “Islamist” stoning of women for adultery, but they also fight like dogs to preserve partial-birth abortion and seem to have universally celebrated the starvation of Terri Schiavo. The legalisation of similar starvation in Britain, through the Mental Capacity Act 2005, was rushed through Parliament and has never become an election issue.

    It is as if violence itself is not the problem for liberals, just the world you are trying to create by using it.

  • Bradley P

    Except that Islamists have a lot of support from our Western academia, lefty progressives, feminists, media and general self-loathing fu*kers. In short Islamists has too many powerful friends.

    • Cogito Ergosum

      It seems to me they have covert support from those who support any religion rather than a rational and godless view of things.

      • Eddie

        Yes indeed – religious types are all for making religiosity part of our culture, when it was being so successfully removed from public life (and a good thing too).
        It’s immigration what done it: anyone with a dark skin and a religion gets supported by the left, the centre and the right – and a blind eye gets turned to their backwardness, and the unreasonableness of their demands is never addressed.
        England has done very well from rejecting religiosity (Scotland and Northern Ireland have always had religiosity and tribal godly violence): political correctness has allowed it to worm its way back onto the political agenda in a most unpleasant way, to the benefit of no-one.

  • Benedictus

    Well frankly, to borrow an overused word of that mindless gush Eddie, all of whose words are overused, frankly, I too would agree with Muslims when faced with the infidel.
    No part of the world today is unaffected by the West’s hegemonic modernist imperialism, and there  is no reason to believe that the latter’s economic and cultural nihilism is a problem that may miraculously contain its own solution. On the contrary, having infused the  rest of the world with her own scientistic materialist poison, she lies bloodless and prone, morally and intellectually hapless, unable to understand, let alone avert, the inevitable consequences of her own decadence.
    Better hope the Muslims get you before the Chinese. At least they’d be quicker.

    • Eddie

      Oh come on Benedictus – we all know that you’re just annoyed and have been sulking for years because everyone ignores the witterings of the weirdos and perverts who run your beloved Church of Rome, and such is your hatred for the rational and secular, you’d rather the Muslims ram God down our throat rather than leave everyone to do decide not to bother to prostrate themselves before the corrupt thieves and abusers of the Catholic church.
      For your information, scientific materialism has given us everything that is good today – and has done so against the wishes of the fascistic church which wanted to enslave the people and keep all power and wealth for itself. We live in an age of higher life expectancy and better health than ever before actually – and people now are way better off than at any time under the thumb of the corrupt fascist totalitarian murderous Catholic Church.
      Also, Morality is NOT dependent on religion: if you think it is, you’re even more stupid than you sound, brother.
      Frankly, Benedictus, you just sound like a bitter old queen who has lost his looks and has just been robbed by an underage rent-boy.
      When will you religious types get it through your thick santimonious heads that no-one wants to be oppressed and abused by you any more – and that included those who go to church (as a hobby really, like spiritual country dancing).
      But then Benedictus, you are a mad African, so maybe being an aggressive basket-case mentalist zealous is in your culture (looking at how Africans tend to do things in Africa). And of course, the Chinese have already invaded Africa and taken over everything – and the Africans just stand and watch as they’re starving as their land is asset-stripped by the Chinese.
      My advice Benedictus: go off and find some rent boy, then take him to a cave and perform the usual. It’s something a Catholic tradition that, non? Maybe you can leave him bloodless and prone too? But remember: if you pay him, you’ll be an imperialist too! (a devout Catholic accusing others of Imperialism! Oh the COMEDY of you, Benny Dicked-us!)

      • Ben Coatley

        Ahem,
        “scientific materialism” is a term used to describe the Marxian appropriation
        of an inverted version of Hegel’s dialectical unfolding of the Absolute Idea. I
        think that Benedictus might have been meaning something rather different when
        he referred to the West’s
        “scientistic materialist poison.” But while we’re here, if “morality is
        not dependent on religion”, whatever that’s supposed to mean, how would you
        yourself found a morality? On what principles? Theoretically? It always amuses
        me when I hear people go on about Nietzsche’s dead God still casting shadows.
        Most people think he’s referring to “religious types” clinging to an illusory
        basis to morality, whereas he is actually referring to those who would deny God
        and yet who still believe that you can have a morality; those God deniers who
        believe you can still have a morality even after God is dead.

        • Daniel Maris

          Ben –

          I think you are mixing up “scientific socialism” and “dialectical materialism”.

          Scientific materialism is a more general phenomenon. No philosophers now defend scientific materialism – physicalism is its successor.

          • Ben Coatley

            Daniel,
            Thank you for pointing that out, although I remain unsure why dialectical materialism would not fall under the category of scientific materialism. After all, when it comes to origins, in what sense are dialectical materialists not physicalists?

        • Baron

          Ben Coatley, a thoughtful take on things moral, it often strikes Baron that many of those who vehemently reject ‘faith based’ morality then go on putting forward a set of moral values that’s close to or even identical with the teachings of those who believe in God, it’s either that they are not aware their thought process may have got corrupted through earlier education, proximity to people who believe in God and stuff, or the values are universal, acquired at birth needing only to be tested in confrontation with what life throws up at us.

          Still, Mark Steyn has a story that slots into the argument. “In 1944, at a terrible moment of the most terrible century, Henri de
          Lubac wrote a reflection on Europe’s civilizational crisis, Le drame de
          l’humanisme athee. By “atheistic humanism,” he meant the
          organized rejection of God — not the freelance atheism of individual skeptics
          but atheism as an ideology and political project in its own right. As M. de
          Lubac wrote, “It is not true, as is sometimes said, that man cannot
          organize the world without God. What is true is that, without God, he can only
          organize it against man.”

          • Ben Coatley

            Baron,
            While one can deny reality, one cannot abolish it. If, as per de Lubac’s take on Thomas, man’s natural end does lie in the supernatural vision of the divine through a conforming to transcendent truth, and yet man chooses to deny the divine, then, nevertheless, reality will out and man must come up with an ersatz, yet structurally satisfying, alternative reality. 
            Thus begins the process of naturalizing the supernatural. Proper structural order demands that man be oriented to what is objectively good, (you know, that he self-evidently has a conscience and understands the concept of knowing right from wrong, even if, in any given instance, he doesn’t know what actually is right, or what actually is wrong.) But as man now will not cede anything to be higher than man, man himself becomes the source and measure of the good. But, being dependent on man, this means the good can have no independent, objective reality of its own, unless, of course, man can turn himself, as source and measure of the good, into an objective reality independent of himself. He pulls off this gnostical self-deception by divinizing his humanity. Man becomes a god to himself, source of objective moral truth and the objectively good. 
            His first commandment is: being god, all men shall be regarded as equal. 
            His second commandment is: being equal, all men shall be regarded as free to determine what is truth so long as it doesn’t impinge on any one else’s determination of what truth is. 
            His third commandment is: since the realms of reality to which truth can henceforth be ascribed have been so drastically circumscribed, everyone, in effect, is now obliged to be a liberal, and all other modes of thought and ways of life are henceforward deemed anathema and to be eliminated as soon as possible.

          • Eddie

            Baron. Much as I admire your oft-interesting statements, I really cannot let you get away with promoting the lie that without religion there is no morality. The Church has tried to convince everyone that they are needed, and trot out that false argument all the time, but it is simply not true. Morever, when one looks at societies ruled by religions, I think most people would say they are way less moral than our which is based on freedom of the individual (including the freedom of belief).
            Atheism just means not believing in God – unless new evidence presents itself. Trying to lump together atheists as being radicals who want to burn down churches and brainwash kids is the sort of straw man posturing that’ll get you classified as the local godbothering nut (and we already have Benny for that!)
            You say:
            ‘ it often strikes Baron that many of those who vehemently reject ‘faith based’ morality then go on putting forward a set of moral values that’s close to or even identical with the teachings of those who believe in God’
            Errr…yes, dear. And has it never occured to you that the reasoj for this is that religions appropriated beliefe systems in the societies theyr conquered, and that also they reflect human nature, evolution, imagination and learning? People learnt through trial and error how best to live together (eg don’t marry your sister, don’t steal etc etc) and those went into manmade religions.
            You are getting it the wrong way round: it is religions who are putting forward a set of values that was first expressed and formulated by others!
            And I really do the not that the religious can lecture anyone about morality – look at the history of Christianity, not to mention Islam and the rest.
            It is humanism, scientific method, and the modernisation of society through the rise of the free individual which has created our morality and made life better – and the oppressive one-party Church resisted every single attempt to improve people’s lives, wanting and needing to keep all its power and money (and the means to steal it from the gullible). Now the Church knows that not even the religious will take its orders and be its slaves, so it looks to all the smiling idiots in Africa, Asia and South America to exploit, oppress, frighten, rob and abuse. Hoorah!

          • Eddie

            Baron. Much as I admire your oft-interesting statements, I really cannot let you get away with promoting the lie that without religion there is no morality. The Church has tried to convince everyone that they are needed, and trot out that false argument all the time, but it is simply not true. Morever, when one looks at societies ruled by religions, I think most people would say they are way less moral than our which is based on freedom of the individual (including the freedom of belief).
            Atheism just means not believing in God – unless new evidence presents itself. Trying to lump together atheists as being radicals who want to burn down churches and brainwash kids is the sort of straw man posturing that’ll get you classified as the local godbothering nut (and we already have Benny for that!)
            You say:
            ‘ it often strikes Baron that many of those who vehemently reject ‘faith based’ morality then go on putting forward a set of moral values that’s close to or even identical with the teachings of those who believe in God’
            Errr…yes, dear. And has it never occured to you that the reasoj for this is that religions appropriated beliefe systems in the societies theyr conquered, and that also they reflect human nature, evolution, imagination and learning? People learnt through trial and error how best to live together (eg don’t marry your sister, don’t steal etc etc) and those went into manmade religions.
            You are getting it the wrong way round: it is religions who are putting forward a set of values that was first expressed and formulated by others!
            And I really do the not that the religious can lecture anyone about morality – look at the history of Christianity, not to mention Islam and the rest.
            It is humanism, scientific method, and the modernisation of society through the rise of the free individual which has created our morality and made life better – and the oppressive one-party Church resisted every single attempt to improve people’s lives, wanting and needing to keep all its power and money (and the means to steal it from the gullible). Now the Church knows that not even the religious will take its orders and be its slaves, so it looks to all the smiling idiots in Africa, Asia and South America to exploit, oppress, frighten, rob and abuse. Hoorah!

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Instead of ‘hegemonic modernist imperialism’ you could have simple said ‘success’

  • Eddie

    I agree.
    Frankly, it wouldn’t be so bad for us if Kim Jong Dong or whatever his silly name is goes completely dog-munchingly mental and pushes the button. It would bugger up South Korea and China a bit – but so what? Perhaps a good war between the Koreans, the Chinese and the Japs is long overdue.
    Maybe if they’re killing each other they’ll stop killing all of the wildlife in the world to shove down their social-climbing-peasant guzzling gullets? 90% of sharks have disappeared in the last 20 years and Tigers and Rhinos and many more species will soon be extinct in the wild.
    Sorry to sound as though I don’t care if a few million Chinese get vaporised in a war. But, frankly, I don’t.
    Islamists are a concern to us, especially as we seem to have half a million ‘enemies within’ in the UK. To my knowledge, there are no North Korean ghettos of our cities – and their embassy is some semi is Ealing or somewhere, innit? No wonder I hardly ever see dogs in West London now. Though really, I couldn’t eat that dog soup they make – a bit rough, surely?
    Mind you, the fermented cabbage called Kim-chi they gobble is just as gut-wrenchingly awful. If you want to kill the Koreans and bring down the country (north or south) then just poison the cabbage and they’ll all be dead within a week!

    • Eddie

      ‘the North Koreans are utterly useless and their fatuous ideology is shared by nobody else in the world (apart from one or two academics in British universities).’

      True true true. And those academics are unsackable from their £50k a year jobs and have huge gold-plated and ring-fenced pensions (thanks to the evil capitalist system), plus huge property wealth (in their houses that have gone up in value by 5000% in our evil capitalist system).

      I think it should be a rule that all communists (and all who think property is theft) should live in flats in the worst council tower blocks in our inner cities (and I also believe all architects should be forced to live in the rabbit hutches they design for others and send their kids to the local schools they have designed too).
      Can’t we just round these academics up and airdrop them on North Korea so they can ‘live the dream’?

    • Sarah

      Green War

      • Eddie

        Yes, dear… whatever you say…
        Zzzzzzzzzzzz………..

  • Augustus

    “Islamists worry me more…”
    Islam is a doctrine of death, inasmuch as the spiritual not being separated from the temporal, and every manifestation of activity being subjected to dogmatic law, it formally forbids any change, any evolution, any progress. It condemns all believers to live, to think, and to act as the Muslims of the second century of the Hegira lived, thought, and acted. Islamized nations, who have not succeeded in freeing themselves from Muslim tutelage, have been stricken with intellectual paralysis and decadence. They will only escape from this condition of inferiority in proportion as they succeed in withdrawing themselves from the control of Muslim law. There is nothing to be done with these fanatics. They bow to the force of circumstances for the time being, but as soon as they are in a position to revolt, they consider rebellion as a sacred duty. There is no evolution to be hoped for from them; they are irremediably fixed in their conception, regarding this conception as perfect, they will never agree to modify it. Let us leave them to lead their own lives, habits and traditions – inferior beings in the midst of a civilized world leading the life of barbarians of the remotest ages.

  • Jez

    The whole Far Eastern region you speak of is terminally riddled with ‘face’.
    Whereas the whole of the metropolitan liberal elite run West is utterlly obsessed with ‘race’.
    Thus, some crappy Islands in the South china sea results in ridiculous stand offs, clashes and threat of escalation (i can vouch that this has been going on since the mid 90’s at least). The North Koreans have the delivery systems for their nuclear arsenal of a single broken down 70’s leyland bus…… with one wheel missing. The Chinese seem to be still really focused on how shit everybody’s been toward them this last 200 years and really are going to be in a top trump position soon maybe.
    Over here, we can have- say, a complete displacement of one group of people with another group of people from afar, with different cultures and different alsorts to be honest- but never, EVER associate anything negative to this- even if you really feel there is a link with some bad things that may or may not have happened.
    As an experiment only, try say something about it….. please. Especially if your p*ssed and let go- on public transport- and then get sent to prison (yes, PRISON) by a minute small band of PC enforcers. It’s f*cking brill.

  • Shaun

    I Agree, we should maybe be a little less fearful of the nutters from Pyongyang as I think any trouble would be swiftly dealt with by either Seoul, Beijing or Tokyo. We should be more worried about other things such as global terrorism!

    Maybe we should worry about Iran? Although, Israel seem to have that one covered. Growing tensions between China and Japan are a little worrying but the US are increasing there strong hold with bases in Australia etc, hopefully they should help mediate any kick offs?! All in all, there’s a few things going on at the moment!

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