Quotes of the day:
“My People are destroyed for lack of knowledge” – Hosea 4:6.
“A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it” – Proverbs. 22:3.
“I know no other way of knowing the future, except by the past” – Paul Henry, American Statesman.
The German philosopher Hegel identified how history works. He called it a process of thesis (current situation), antithesis (which means against the thesis) and synthesis (the result of conflict between the thesis and antithesis). A short explanation of Hegel’s system will help us to understand the world we live in today. So, as Paul Henry said, if we want to know what is coming upon us, we need to understand what has happened in the past. Another way of saying same the same thing is: “if we don’t know where we come from, we won’t know where we are going.”
A simple explanation of Hegel’s system would be to imagine a family that grows and develops and expands (this is the thesis). Growth and expansion does not occur in a vacuum. This family’s expansion will provoke the rise of an antithesis (another family, or several families – who organize themselves to counter the influence of the first family – or thesis). Now, all we have to do is broaden this process. If a tribe grows and expands (the thesis) it will provoke the rise of their neighbor tribe or tribes (who feel threatened – into forming the antithesis). If a nation has expansionary policies (the thesis), then these expansionary policies, will provoke neighboring nations, to form the antithesis (because they feel threatened).
This process can also be seen, working inside societies. An example would be, the rise of the power of capital (the thesis), provoking the organizing of the working class, into labor unions (the antithesis).
The next step is the synthesis. As friction (and the ultimate friction is war) occurs between the thesis and the antithesis, the result is a synthesis. The conflict between the thesis and the antitheses creates a new reality – which is a synthesis of what previously existed.
The best way to understand this process is to look at our recent history. Prior to WW1, because of expansionary policies on all sides, the European nations were divided into thesis and antithesis – the triple entente verses the triple alliance. [The triple entente constituted Britain, France and Russia. The triple alliance originally constituted, Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Italy, but at the outbreak of war, Italy joined the other side].
The resulting synthesis, at the aftermath of WWI was the formation of something new – the League of Nations (a forerunner to the United Nations). However, the League of Nations was ineffective (often attributed to the fact that the United States of America never joined it). The world soon broke up into competing thesis and antithesis again [the Axis powers verses the Allies] – and again for the same reasons – expansionary policies. Hitler wanted “lebensraum” (living room) for the German people. And Japan having little natural resources of its own wanted access to oil and coal, and markets for its goods [at this time Japan was being boycotted for its expansionary wars in China by the western nations. It only had two month’s supply of oil in its reserves, when it attacked America at Pearl Harbour]. The Second World War was a war for the control of limited resources, just as the First World War was. “No matter what political reasons are given for war, the underlying reason is always economic.” A. J. P. Taylor, British Historian.
The synthesis at the end of WWII was again an attempt at a world regulatory body – the United Nations. But again, the hopes and the aspirations for world peace dissolved into two competing blocks – the Soviet Union (and allies) verses America (and allies) – communism verses capitalism – East verses West – known as the Cold War.
The strategic policy of America and its allies in this Cold War was one of containment (containing the spread of communism). Thus military bases were built all over the world in strategic places to mitigate threat and to counteract thrusts by the enemy to break through the containment wall. Periodically, the cold war would go hot – such as Korea and Vietnam. But what was, constant throughout this period was wars by proxy. These occurred when one side would back an insurgency and the other would back the opposition to the insurgency. For example Cuba, which the Soviets won, and Afghanistan which America won (when Russia was ejected out of Afghanistan not the present situation).
During the cold war all nations were put under intense pressure to join one side or the other. This is why some third-world countries felt they had to form an alliance of their own called the Alliance of non-Aligned Nations. Not only nations, but individuals were also under pressure to accept one version of the “Truth” (essentially it was a battle over beliefs) or the other.
With the demise of communism the world soon faced a new synthesis. We are supposedly now living in the era of a single super-power. But that does not mean that the super-power is invulnerable to attack, or is without effective enemies. An antithesis soon arose and dramatically announced its presence on 9/11, 2001. As a result the world is again dividing into two blocks. Who can forget the declaration by George W. Bush, “you are either with us, or you are with the terrorists.”
So now we have the war on terror. And the war on terror is matching the world inexorably towards WWIII. Think of it in terms of the showdown at the OK corral. The local community was divided into thesis and antithesis. The Clantons verses the Earps. There were many incidents between these two, before the most famous gunfight in Wild West history occurred. The same scenario is being played out in the world today. We are witnessing the “many incidents” before the most famous gunfight in world history – which must soon take place in the Middle East. Before it happens “the prudent must seek a refuge” – but for the vast majority there will be no refuge on this planet – true refuge must be sought elsewhere.
To be continued…
God bless, Bruce Telfer.
Please note: there are many threads to this story, and they all need to be woven in, before the story can be complete (and understandable). Be patient, and we will end up with the latest atrocity in the story, the attacks in Norway.