Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Love Actually <3

Hi! Happy Tuesday!

Irreni World Scale is about solutions and not punditry.

Today's solution is about love actually. Or, about a philosophy of win-win as opposed to winners and losers as has been ushered in by Donald Trump.

I mentioned Trump but this topic is love actually. The criticisms herein are mostly not about Trump,  but rather targeted at the Democratic and Republican parties, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye the science guy, Barak Obama and pretty much any thought leader in the world today.

First, just because picking on Trump has been abused to death, I'm going to pick on a couple of scientists:

Neil deGrasse Tyson and the value of philosophy
By Massimo on May 12, 2014

It seems like my friend Neil deGrasse Tyson [1] has done it again: he has dismissed philosophy as a useless enterprise, and actually advised bright students to stay away from it. It is not the first time Neil has done this sort of thing, and he is far from being the only scientist to do so. But in his case the offense is particularly egregious, for two reasons: first, because he is a highly visible science communicator; second, because I told him not to, several times.

Bill Nye is Not the Philosophy Guy
by Bishop Robert BarronApril 05, 2016
Reliable sources have informed me that for the millennial generation Bill Nye is a figure of great importance, due to his widely-watched program from the 1990’s called “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” ...  In a rambling and largely incoherent response to an interlocutor who wondered whether philosophy is still relevant, Nye denigrated the discipline, stating that philosophy never deviates from common sense, that it doubts the reality of sense experience, and that it engages in speculation about whether we might be part of an intergalactic ping pong match!

So what's the point about philosophy here? The point here is that philosophy and science play two distinct roles in our lives.

Philosophy expresses our desires about what we want and who we are. Science expresses our capability to bring about our desires.

That's it.

Pop culture in such movies as "Love Actually" and two Trek movies, "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (TWOK) and "Star Trek: The Search for Spock" (TSS) explain these roles in very approachable manners. As a Trekie then I'll go with the Trek movies.

In TWOK Spock opens the movie with a philosophy taken from Charles Dickens' book, "A Tale of Two Cities." That philosophy is:

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.

As every Trekkie knows the climax of TSS ends with rescuing Spock stating:
Sometimes the needs of the one outweighs the needs of the few, or the many.

In TWOK and TSS we learn a philosophical lesson about sacrifice. Every person has the right to sacrifice their life for a greater purpose, and we can even do so collectively as a group for a single person.

Sacrifice is love actually.

So we've discussed what philosophy is at this point as well as the ultimate choice of a philosophy being self-sacrifice as an expression of love.

Now let us begin a journey then of love circa 1972 and the end of the Vietnam War. We are going to end this journey in 2016 reflecting back on what we learned and what we are facing today.

The Vietnam War concluded in shame for the United States, we lost. It was our first loss since winning WWII. As shame for losing goes, this was a super shame especially amplified by at  being a world super-power as well as also being world televised. Ouch.

We did learn from our war loss though.  For example we learned this principle of the Powell Doctrine:
Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
What's sad about the Power Doctrine is that Powell himself was snookered into violating this principle in the Iraq war of 2003. We had no exit strategy, none at all.

Another principle of the Powell Doctrine is:
Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
The latter is significant due to a major philosophical shift after the Vietnam War with respect to foreign policy. The US learned the hard way that peaceful change is less expensive in both money and American lives than war. Once you know that then a principle of "Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?" makes sense.

For example, we didn't declare war on the terrorists of Colombia, instead we declared a "War on Drugs" via law enforcement. Law enforcement is a peaceful process.

What the US learned after the Vietnam War is that foreign policy  is not a zero-sum game.  It is both possible and desirable for both sides to win.

It is important to note that both Republicans and Democrats bought into a "win-win" peaceful philosophy over a "war" philosophy after 1972. Colin Powell, after all, is a Republican.

Republicans practiced "win-win" philosophy to win the cold war and this fact was brought to my attention at a conference I attended in 1989 right after the fall of the Berlin Wall. 

At the conference a key note speaker was Arthur Hartman, the former Ambassador to the Soviet Union under Reagan. The topic of the speech he gave was the Reagan Administration's decision to use two different philosophies with respect to China and the Soviet Union. The US wanted to bring an end to communism. A debate ensued in the Reagan Administration as to which philosophical approach would be more effective: political or economical reform. The Reagan Administration could not come to a consensus so a deal was made within the administration to try both; political change was the reform chosen for the Soviet Union and economic policy was the reform chosen for China. The point is both reform types were "win-win" philosophies. The objective was the Soviet Union and China would both be stronger countries depending on have better relations with the US: win-win.

And today we are living with those reforms as a result of Republican choices made in the 1980s.

However, in 2003 our foreign policy philosophy changed back to using war. We went from a win-win philosophy for managing our enemies to a war footing: winners and losers. We treated war as a zero sum game where the Bush administration published a deck of cards of the top Al Qaida leaders. Cut off the snake's head and game over, or so that philosophy goes.

Ironically, George Bush Jr.'s own father got the philosophy correct as time has proven. George Bush Sr. wrote a book in the 1990s that defended his decision not to overthrow Sadaam Hussein in the first Gulf War. In that book he stated that removing Sadaam would have been "opening the gates of hell". And hell is exactly what exists in Syria and the middle east. And we are responsible for that by using a winners and losers philosophy.

Democrats are every bit as responsible as Republicans for this shift. Democrats voted for the initial involvement in Iraq and have voted for the continuing resolutions every since, including during Barak's years. Barak has continued the war on terror unabated.
ISIS is simply stated the disbanded Iraq Army. If we hadn't of invaded Iraq and disbanded the Iraq army then there would be no ISIS and no tragedy in Aleppo today. Think of all the dead and suffering we caused using a war philosophy. Breaks my heart that so many people's lives have been ruined who wanted nothing to do with any of it.

The "win-win" solution to 9/11 would have been law enforcement, working with the International community to hunt down Osama Bin Laden and bring him to justice in a court of law. But we regressed.

And that regression is the saddest lesson of them all. The epitaph of the 21st Century is going to be that all of our problems, all or our demise, was brought on not due to the lack of solutions, but by rolling back solutions of past lessons learned, especially the lesson of peaceful foreign policy being cheaper and more effective than war.

And now we have elected a President with a winners and losers philosophy. Trump is a bully all about winners and losers. I guess it is some form of karma that the hell unleashed by the US in the middle east is about to be unleashed on our own shores. But it will not be due to foreign terrorists, but by our own voting of a leader with a philosophy of winners and losers, a bully.

How did it come to this? How did we lose our philosophical way from "win-win" to "winners and losers".

In some sense it has simply been crappy politicians. Globalization is a win-win foreign policy where we improve relations with foreign enemies by trade dependency. This has worked exceptionally well with China. Their economy depends on our economy. We've paid a heavy price though in the loss of manufacturing jobs and this sacrifice has never been fully explained to the American people. Our politicians haven't even bothered to try and explain how win-win is the strategy. Can you blame people for not understanding a philosophy never explained to them?

Because of failed politicians not explaining our overt win-win policy with China to Americans then we now have a President who ran on painting the US being the biggest loser and China the biggest winner in trade. Trump promises to reverse that. So, war with China? It is now possible under Trump.

Trump's idea of America's success is keeping score where the US is better than China relatively. It doesn't matter if the US has to decline,  just that China does worse. As long as we win.

But the problem is not Trump. The problem is the American people do not understand a globalization strategy as preferable to war.  Is China our political enemy today? Well, they certainly were during the cold war. So if you think our relations with China have improved then globalization needs to be credited with bringing that about. Mistakes have been made.

Trump is a symptom and not the problem. Trump reflects an American people who are willing to buy into a philosophy of "winners and losers" versus "win-win", "win-win" that has been hugely successful since 1972.

Irreni World Scale is win-win philosophy that encompasses every single person on this planet; ergo "World Scale". Irreni World Scale only considers "win-win" politics. Conflict in Irreni is managed through trade dependency and mutual self-interest concerns. We may be enemies philosophically, just like communism and democracy are opposed, but in reality we co-exist just like China the US today.

The Irreni World Scale solution today then is to reject any "winners and losers" philosophy and embrace "win-win". Its not too late to reverse course on this. Only disaster is in store for us and the world using a philosophy where winners conquer losers. This is a cycle that was tried throughout most of human history, always with the same devastating results and so today will be no different.

What we need today is love actually, win-win.

Voluntarily Reject Demagoguery!

Politics as Science!

Demand Irreni World Scale!

Anti-theism is feminism!  

Think disruption!

Empathy for all!

Moral relativity: think it, breath it!

Prove it or lose it!

Conversations equal consensus! 

Welcome to the 21st century!

Scale your empathy, scale the world! 

Find your tribe!

Be sexy people!

The future is coming! 

Innovate at a rapid pace!

Slow speed ahead!

Well come! and well met!