February 25, 2007
The Pentagon's New Map - Simplified
I just realized I can boil down much of what Thomas P.M. Barnett writes in his book the Pentagon's New Map to a single pair of sentences. This drops all the fine detail, of course; its advantage is that it makes the central point as clear as a nutshell.
Barnett divides the world into two regions: the Functioning Core and the Non-Integrating Gap. And I can define those two thus:
- The Functioning Core comprises the nations whose people say "We love life." This includes all those countries that are taking advantage of globalization to interconnect their economies, their communications, and their legal systems to the rest of the civilized world, hoping to "immanentize the eschaton" -- or at least create la dolce vita.
- The Non-Integrating Gap comprises the nations whose people say "We worship death." This includes all jihadist states, of course, but also places like Rwanda-Burundi, Congo, Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Haiti... places where life is a flickering spark, and murder is a negotiating tool or an expression of tribal triumphalism.
I use the verb "to worship" with great deliberation: it's not an abstract love of death that animates these cultures; rather, it's almost like human sacrifice -- as if they must appease a dark and terrifying Chaos Lord by feeding him blood and souls.
Although the details are important, it's also critical to understand that our Grand Strategy over the next few decades (what replaces the Cold War) is the fight between the culture that loves life and the culture that worships death. Our task is to shrink the geographic area that comprises those nations that are members of the latter... to deny our enemy territory.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 25, 2007, at the time of 4:33 PM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/1827
The following hissed in response by: Captain Ned
Hmm, Army of Light vs. The Shadows. Time to find our versions of Delenn & John Sheridan.
The following hissed in response by: F. N. Owl
Perhaps our shibboleth should be the Stalin quote, "Death solves everything." The people who nod knowingly are in the Gap. The people who say "That doesn't even make sense" are in the Core.
The following hissed in response by: Tomy
You touched on a question for which I've been searching for answers. Why do they seem to worship death?
- Eric Hoffer, in "The True Believer - Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements" says, when describing the need for hatred toward an enemy, that
Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a god, but never without belief in a devil.The devil in this quote being those who are hated and must be killed.
- Hoffer describes the followers in mass movements as people who must separate from their self and become absorbed with the group, their only identity is with the group and they will sacrifice everything to that end.
- Dr. Sanity, in describing the narcissistic personality says
Problems for the individual and for society occur when remnants of either side of this narcissistic dialectic are not fully integrated into a "cohesive self" in adulthood, and thus emerge as dysfunctional behavior. It is fair to say that much of the evil that humans do to each other comes as a result of the ensuing narcissistic rage and narcissistic awe/idealism.
I believe the monster we see is the result of mass movements, led by fanatics, in which the members have lost self identity, have no interest in the present, think they are part of larger Cause, and will sacrifice and kill for the Cause. And their thoughts cannot be penetrated with logic. Hoffer writes:
It is obvious, therefore, that in order to be effective a doctrine must not be understood, but has rather to be believed in.
The following hissed in response by: Dirty Dingus
Dafydd, apologies for the off-topicness of this comment but are you aware that some readers (well at least one - me) have been unable to read your deathless prose for weeks because we keep on getting a 403 error when we go to http://biglizards.net/ or any page thereunder? This is irritating.
The above hissed in response by: Dirty Dingus at February 26, 2007 12:39 AM
The following hissed in response by: Davod
Thanks for codensing the Barnett theory.
The functioning core group should be further limited to Those who love life, "and are prepared to defend their love of life".
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
That's odd... can you tell me the exact circumstances of the error? Where are you starting from? Do you type the URL each time, or is it bookmarked? What exact URL are you using to access the blog? And does the error message say anything more useful than 403? (What error is that anyway?)
If you give me enough info, we can probably figure out what's going wrong.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at February 26, 2007 5:40 AM
The following hissed in response by: Big D
"Problems for the individual and for society occur when remnants of either side of this narcissistic dialectic are not fully integrated into a "cohesive self" in adulthood"
er. Having just watched the Oscars last night, I couldn't help but note the vast flood of narcissism on display. This is why Democrats always frighten me more than Republicans, and why the power of all political parties should be severly limited.
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