Showing posts with label America. Show all posts
Showing posts with label America. Show all posts

Monday, August 28, 2017

The World Needs To Move Towards A World Government

The debate if the 21st century will continue to be an American century, or if it will become an Asian century is moot. This is not even going to be an Internet century. The Blockchain will prove bigger than the Internet, and bigger still technological trends are right around the corner. The nation state itself is about to be shown its place. It is high time the world moved towards creating a world government. One person one vote has to be the basic premise.

Third Culture Kid (TCK) Barack Obama is best positioned to be George Washington to the world. He was born to a Kenyan in Hawaii, he grew up in Indonesia as a kid, he was America's first black president, and he did a decent job of steering America after a Great Depression like economic event. His Obamacare was so well placed, the opposition party, despite having all three branches of government at its disposal, has not been able to dislodge it, despite having opposed it non stop right from its enactment.

India leads on the biometric ID front. And Narendra Modi has acquired a Deng Xiaoping, Lee Kuan Yew like stature. Add to that India's population size and history of democracy, and that puts Modi in a strong place to help architect the world government.

The world government would be a new layer of government at the very top, just like the local level, the state level, the national level. It is the roof all national governments need.

One per cent of GDP should be the tax each national government ought to pay for membership. By the time the world government is put in place, the UN and all similar world bodies ought to be subsumed by the new world government. Take that World Bank, IMF, the International Criminal Court. Three branches make sense. You would not need a separate WTO, or G7, or G20.

New York City would be the legitimate capital, it still is the most diverse city on the planet.

You could have a bicameral legislature. In the lower house, each nation would have a voting weight in direct proportion to its population. In the upper house the voting weight would be in proportion to the size of the economy. At first the two houses would elect the President of the World. But soon enough perhaps the POW could be elected directly by people all over the world voting on their smartphones.

A world with a world government will have to become a borderless world. Maybe not as step one, but soon enough. How about the magic bullet with which to double the global GDP!

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Trump Can't Afford A Trade War

A trade war is a sure recipe to a Great Depression. America had a hard enough time fixing the Great Recession. America will have no options to fix a Great Depression, because the Fed is already tapped out. It has no maneuver room. A Great Depression will mean America will not only become Greece, it will stay Greece, with no way to dig out of the hole.

Which means, if Trump were to lead America into a Great Depression, it will prove the guy is insane. You can then be thankful it is only a Great Depression, and not a nuclear war.

Or maybe all parties concerned will see that a trade war is an empty threat.

The idea of a trade war is as stupid as both Russia and America threatening to "modernize" their nuclear arsenal a few weeks ago. Both Russia and America already have enough nuclear weapons to blow up the planet several times over. What do you mean "modernize!"

The post World War II order is over. Voters in Britain and America have spoken loud and clear. Neither country can afford the leadership roles they have had. It is dollars and cents. And a new world order is not China taking America's place. A new world order is the one person one vote principle taken to its global conclusion. You are looking at a world government.

Britain And America Are Trying To Readjust

The post World War II world order is over. But a new world order has not taken shape yet. The Brexit vote and the Trump victory are Britain and America admitting the leadership role they have had for 70 years is now too expensive. They simply can't afford it anymore.

And that is not a vacuum for China to fill. It is not for any one country to fill. China can't afford it either.

A new world order will be the one person one vote principle taken to its global conclusion. A world government is in the offing.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

प्रियंका, वंशाली और विश्व

Priyanka Chopra set to produce a Nepalese-Sikkimese film titled Paua 

PC is not the only or even the first Bollywood biggie with her own production house but her foray into regional movies does stand out, and I have watched it with interest. Bhojpuri and now Nepali. I am conversant in both! I attended high school in Kathmandu after all.

Diversity is a good thing. It is like would you rather have one giant paddy field where the Amazon is, or do you like the forest better? That is not even a question.

Technology is fast catching up with diversity. It is only a matter of time before Artificial Intelligence will be able to translate from every language to every other language. Which means your first language spoken by only 10 million people will be as good as English for science and commerce. Is that big? I think so. The point is the languages are not going away and that's a good thing.

Another disruption is digital technology. Why does a movie have to be two or three hours? Why can't it be 20 or 30 minutes? Why do you need a movie theater? Why can't movies have online releases only? When you start asking those questions you realize there can be a movie industry in every town in India. The costs go down drastically. So you make a Bhojpuri mini movie and post it online and next thing you know you have a global audience. There are tiny pockets of Bhojpuri speakers all over the world. The YouTube ad revenue might not be enough though, a pay per view model might work better. One dollar per movie? How about 10 cents?

Perhaps PPP (Purple Pebble Pictures) ought to build that platform. It would be like the Apple app store. It is pay per view, it is global, the platform has strict editorial guidelines, the revenue split is 30-70, something like that.

I look at Sanjay Leela Banshali and I think, this is a global level talent, but his heart is still colonized. Why could he not cast someone like Priyanka Chopra and make a movie in English for the mainstream American audience? एक मानसिक दासता है जिसे उतार फेंकने की जरूरत है।

There is no dearth of story writers. You fish for stories in the global exploding literature market. And you buy movie making rights and you adapt.

इन्डिया में कहते हैं, अरे देखो प्रियंका तो अमेरिका चली गई। किधर अमेरिका चली गई? हॉलीवुड उन्हें वापस इन्डियन मार्केट में ला रही है। सारे दुनिया ले जा रहे हैं और पैसे छाप रहे हैं।

बाजिराव मस्तानी वुडी एलेन की वैसी ही कहानी वाली विकी क्रिस्टीना वार्सिलोना से बेहतर है। तो टैलेंट तो है। लेकिन मानसिक दासता भी तो है।

Thursday, December 08, 2016

The Indian Trinity In America

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

On Trade, Immigration And Climate

Trump might feel he now has a mandate, but his positions have not been endorsed by the world. In fact on each issue the world will oppose him every step of the way and the world will win. For one, truth is on their side. Two, America is not the power it was when Trump was a college kid. America after the Trump victory is like Britain after World War II. The empire is gone.

And the racist Alt Right ideology is anathema to the powers that oppose him on the big issues. Precisely when Europe and America need to make the extra effort to get along with the world there are voices that have taken to white supremacist thinking with renewed vigor. It is a grand losing proposition.

Europe will lock horns with Trump on climate. France has already threatened a carbon tax on all American imports should Trump walk away from the Paris Climate Agreement.

China has become the leading voice on the climate issue. Whichever country is the leading voice on climate change is the leader of the world. For there is no bigger issue the planet faces.

Should the trade war Trump has threatened with China materialize America, and perhaps the world, will experience a Great Depression when the central banks of the world are in no position to help out. 2008 and 2009 will feel like a picnic.

Brexit is easy to vote for but hard (read: impossible) to implement. The Brits are finding that out the hard way. The genie of globalization is out of the bottle. It can not be put back. Trump campaigned wanting to make America great again. But in actuality he might only hasten America's slide from its number one position in the world.

The Republicans have policy clarity only on issues that are all gut punches to the poor whites across America. "The poorly educated," as Donald Trump fondly calls them, might have been royally duped. They might lose not only Obamacare but also Medicare. Yes, costs have been rising under Obamacare, but they were rising even faster before Obamacare. And not even losing Medicare is as scary a proposition as a Great Depression.

Ends up racism is a really, really stupid ideology. Today it is self destructive to the whites. Racism is sin. Sexism is sin. God does not take kindly to either.

Trump’s fifth bankruptcy might be a country, not a company.    

Monday, November 14, 2016

Morning Shows The Day

Nigel Farage, the British right-wing enemy of the European Union, became one of the first foreign politicians to meet with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump over the weekend, upending the diplomatic order to the embarrassment of the U.K’s ruling Conservative Party.

China Now Leads, On Trade Plus Climate

if Trump slapped China with heavy tariffs it would “paralyze” bilateral trade.

“When the time comes, large orders for Boeing planes would switch to Europe, U.S. auto sales in China would face setbacks, Apple phones would essentially be crowded out, and U.S. soybeans and corn would be eradicated from China,” the paper said in a commentary.

“Trump, coming from a business background, is very astute. We do not believe he will treat China-U.S. trade so childishly.”

China has signaled it will promote plans for regional trade integration, vowing to seek support for a Beijing-backed Asia-Pacific free trade area at a summit in Peru later this month, after Trump’s win dashed hopes for the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Is America The New Ukraine?

Massive protests following a presidential election, are those things not supposed to happen in Ukraine? What has become of America?

Friday, November 04, 2016


For example, when Trump launched into an inexplicable attack on the parents of a Muslim-American soldier who died in combat, the Kremlin assumed the Republican nominee was showing himself psychologically unfit to be president and would be forced by his party to withdraw from the race. As a result, Moscow put its hacking campaign temporarily on hold, ending the distribution of documents until Trump stabilized, both personally and in the polls, according to reports provided to Western intelligence.

documents in the United States intended to disrupt the American election are distributed through WikiLeaks. However, there are so many layers of individuals between the hackers and that organization there is a strong possibility that WikiLeaks does not know with certainty the ultimate source of these records; throughout 2016, the site has been posting emails from various Democratic Party organizations that were originally obtained through Russian hacking.      

Monday, October 31, 2016

Russia And NATO

In the early 2000s Russia actually expressed interest in joining NATO. Russia apparently was rebuffed. That is mind boggling from the peace perspective.

It can be imagined the military industrial complex in America did not like the idea. When you don't have an enemy it is hard to justify a large defense budget.

On the other hand Russia has not exactly gone down the path of democracy. And it does not seem to have discovered some alternate path to putting its economy on a sound path to rapid progress.

Russia is Second World.

Be that as it may it is for Russia and America as the two leading nuclear powers on the planet to take the lead to creating a world free of nuclear weapons. Why keep weapons that everyone knows can never be used? Why leave the options open for false alarms that might end human civilization?

And while the two powers figure out their mutual dynamic, Syria suffers. The innocents in Syria suffer. It is a sad situation.

America could have done a much better job of winning the Cold War. It did not do enough to help Russia in the aftermath. It did not do a good enough job of face saving of a defeated rival.

And it is not too late for Russia to choose the path of democracy as the only available way to rapid economic progress and true greatness.

Letting go of Assad would be a good small step in that direction. Assad is irredeemable. Assad is deplorable. This guy has attacked his own people like Hitler attacked people in other countries.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Putin's Russia

As our special report this week sets out, Russia confronts grave problems in its economy, politics and society. Its population is ageing and is expected to shrink by 10% by 2050. An attempt to use the windfall from the commodity boom to modernise the state and its economy fell flat. Instead Mr Putin has presided over a huge increase in government: between 2005 and 2015, the share of Russian GDP that comes from public spending and state-controlled firms rose from 35% to 70%. Having grown by 7% a year at the start of Mr Putin’s reign, the economy is now shrinking. Sanctions are partly to blame, but corruption and a fall in the price of oil matter more. The Kremlin decides who gets rich and stays that way. Vladimir Yevtushenkov, a Russian tycoon, was detained for three months in 2014. When he emerged, he had surrendered his oil company.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Russia, America And Global Stability

The ideological tussle lasted almost seven full decades. The capitalism communism tussle defined the 20th century. It is said only the Bible has been circulated more than Lenin's works. The decades after World War II were stark, primarily due to the nuclear angle.

The dog eat dog capitalism that Lenin theorized against was much tempered by FDR who responded primarily to the Great Depression. Stalinism was basically authoritarianism. The basic human rights, the basic freedoms, freedom of religion are the bedrock. The economic part of it did not work either. Ends up free enterprise is fundamental. Property rights are basic.

But Russia has always loomed large in Europe even during the era of Tsars. By geographic size it is still the biggest country in the world. The Russians would like to believe they are a major power in the world. They would like their geopolitical pull to be felt. Between them America and Russia continue to have most of the nuclear weapons in the world. And Russia has a defense industry that looks for buyers all over the world. Saber rattling is good for business.

The ideological tussle is not final, it never is. American democracy is not a finished product but a work in progress. And the economic paradigms it has been functioning in will soon prove inadequate. The world is about to enter an unprecedented era of major productivity gains largely driven by technology. The capitalism communism tussle was liquid water physics. The era of steam physics is right round the corner. New political and economic paradigms will be needed. And such theoretical work should never be tied to nationalism of any culture or country. Was Einstein's theory of relativity Jewish? Nope.

Is Russia a democracy? Is Russia a market economy? Is Putin a new Tsar? Russia is not a democracy like the ones in Western Europe, obviously. And Russia does not seem to have a hard nosed focus on economic growth like China. At some level Russia would like a status of equals relationship with the United States that it thought it had during the Cold War, based primarily on the fact of its large nuclear arsenal and a still impressive military.

Saudi Arabia is no democracy by any stretch of imagination but America seems to do business with it just fine.

There is a fissure. Russia, Pakistan, China and North Korea form one ideological belt, America, Europe, India and Japan form another belt. Democracies and non democracies have a tendency to needle each other. But it is not clear cut. Russia and India have a friendship that is unique.  That is a good thing. That perhaps is a safety valve lest things go a little out of hand between Russia and the West.

China is not a Saddam dictatorship. It can be argued China has campaign finance reform that American progressives wish they had.

America has campaign finance reform to do. Race relations in America are in a sorry state. So it is not like America has a perfect political system. The gender churn of the 2016 race is a global spectacle.

Jobs are being lost in all countries to automation but there are demagogues in many countries who are busy channeling the resultant anger in the direction of other countries.

The technological innovation is about to speed up so much it will not only ask for new political and economic theory it will also upend the geopolitical map of the world. Understood well it can be for the collective good of all humanity. Russia and America cooperating with the end goal of a nuclear weapon free world is what is best for the general welfare of the ordinary citizens in both those countries.  

Nuclear technology is decades old. Showing off nuclear is like someone bragging about an early mobile phone in this era of smartphones. Nuclear is not the next big thing. It is old technology. The next is nano and bio.

Syria and Yemen make both America and Russia look bad, as if it is okay for a large number of innocent people to die while the big powers of the world play their geopolitical chess games.

Syria is top of the list. The world is failing Syria. Who violated the ceasefire? America? And if the American military action was a mistake, were the Syrians and Russians invited for detailed briefings and verifications?

The Arab world is in turmoil. It is a world primarily struggling with itself. It is a culture asking for validation. There is an aspiration for freedom and democracy where you can kick the can down the road but not forever.

I read Tolstoy's War And Peace cover to cover during what would be the freshman year in the American high school system, Class 9. That is all I did an entire vacation. The mind was blown, to say the least. Compared to it novels of western literature started looking like little short stories. Then I read Dostoyevsky's Crime And Punishment and the mind was blown all over again. The mind was blown a third time with Gabriel Garcia Marquez' One Hundred Years Of Solitude.

The GDP is not the only measure of greatness. The rat race of chasing the dollar is not the only meaningful life. In fact if the rat race is your only life it is not much of a life in the first place. Life has to have a higher meaning.

And if it is about wealth if humanity can conquer global warming it can take itself to an Age Of Abundance, an era that will make the America of today look like a Third World country. And it will be global. All world will have become one country long before 2050 anyways.

Both Russia and America should approach the present from that future. There is much common ground possible. There is much for the two powers to do together.

Russia is the country that gave political asylum to Snowden, the whistleblower who has ignited debate on privacy in the era of mass surveillance. Ends up the American state is as knee deep as the Chinese state when it comes to surveillance.

This debate concludes with a netizen bill of rights. The debate has not even started yet.

The Russian political system is itself an unsettled debate. The right system will give Russia good economic growth.

Putin has a modest background. Yeltsin basically handed over Russia to Putin impressed by his ability to execute, to get things done. In the years after the collapse of the Soviet Union Russia was in free fall. There were bread lines, for example. Putin stabilized the country. But in the process became a new Tsar. One hopes for the sake of Russia that is not the final reality.

Democracy is good.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

America: A One Party State?

China is a one party communist state. America is a one party capitalist state. China has become so much more capitalist. If Bernie has his way America might make major strides towards socialism.

In China the Chinese Communist Party sits above the state, it sits atop the Chinese court system, for example. What is the Chinese Communist Party? It used to be about communism. That has changed. But what has not changed is its total commitment to Chinese nationalism. A billion people belong to the same ethnicity and speak the same language. The Chinese built a Chinese melting pot Chinese identity over thousands of years like Americans have been building a white melting pot identity over the past few hundred years. It is the exact same concept. And the two, despite the false military tension, unabashedly like each other. Look at the trade volume. White is not a language, white is not a culture, white is not a religion, white is not a country, white is no identity, white is just lack of pigments, which makes it very animal and pro gun rights. If you ask me a billion people belonging to one ethnic identity is unnatural.

It is not any commitment to classlessness but a total commitment to Chinese nationalism that sits atop the Chinese state. There it is official. In America it is unspoken. But there is something similar. There is that melting pot white identity that sits atop the American state. There is this magnetic field. If you can speak the language, that can open some doors, but not quite.

If a people speaking just one language is what is best for everybody, then why not just hope for English as the only language on the planet? Why not clear up the Amazon forest and plant paddy along that entire stretch? English is the leading language of commerce, science and technology on the planet. And that's great. But we are at the cusp of turning the top 10 most spoken languages covering over 90% of the planet all becoming equally good languages of commerce, science and technology, thanks to Artificial Intelligence.

The mirror image of the melting pot white identity is that it reduces the black identity to skin color. A cultural identity can not be about skin color. A healthy cultural identity has to be about positive and rich things like art, language, culture, festivals, rituals, mythology, music, religion. America has to become more accepting of diversity. The Amazon forest is indispensable to our very existence. It is not just something to look at. Cultural diversity is as natural and desirable as biodiversity. Say no to the Donald Trump hate speech.

People come to America with much hope. It is not just about being able to earn a living. It is also about wanting to feel cultural diversity is as natural as fingerprints. That's what makes us interesting. Hostility to diversity is downright stupid. They say the cure for cancer might be in the Amazon. In a robust knowledge economy the onus is on out of the box thinking, on thinking different. Guess what diversity is!

Friday, January 30, 2015

India Is The New Britain: Thanks To Muslims And China

The oldest democracy of modern times (the first republic was in the time of Buddha) has the historic burden to see through a total spread of democracy as it works its own way to a more perfect union. I hope for peaceful methods and ways, but violence was a part of World War II, the Cold War, and now is a part of the (for lack of a better phrase) War On Terror. When you do the math, China glares you in the face. Should the War on Terror - and the only way it can conclude is after a total spread of democracy has been achieved across the Muslim world - conclude, what is next? China?

When the tussle between capitalism and communism first began, capitalism/democracy first responded by creating an elaborate welfare state. Was that communism's victory? I don't know. But that sure made the case of democracy much stronger. Similarly China makes a clear case for campaign finance reform in political systems like America, even as it fights the losing battle of keeping the lid on political reform.

But if democracy is to be spread across the Muslim/Arab world and democracy is to be spread across China, India finds itself at the center of the universe. India has a huge Muslim population. Not only that, India needs to prove democracy works for Muslims and is right by the Muslims. India also is one of the countries (like Japan, the Phillippines, Vietnam, and others, you could argue Taiwan) with which China likes to pick small fights on border issues. That is little to do with unsettled borders and much to do with the tussle between fundamentally different political systems that can not co-exist forever. In a democracy, the system is designed such that the people get to blame the politicians in power and kick them out. But autocracies are designed in ways that the system necessarily needs to create and sustain external enemies to rally the people behind, kind of like a safety valve. And so China needs to keep picking small fights with Japan and India, and it needs to keep threatening Taiwan. It is the nature of the beast. Curiously the same China seems to have no border problems with Russia, another land starving for democracy.

India has to have one uniform civil code for all its citizens, Hindus, Muslims and everyone else. The Sharia law has no place in a democracy. The separation between church/temple/mosque and the state is fundamental to how a modern democracy works. On the other hand, there is a need for some soul searching as to why Muslims in India lag on all socio-economic indicators. The Indian democracy does not seem to be working for Indian Muslims. That Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh have it rougher is no excuse.

An America-India-Japan-Australia alliance, not to contain or counter China, but to keep the Indian and Pacific oceans open for commerce and rules based order is a welcome step. China's saber rattling has been unnerving too many across too many countries over the years.

The oldest and the largest democracies are but natural partners. India is the new Britain. Two dudes who look like MLK and Gandhi rule the two largest democracies on the planet. We must be living in a post-colonial world.

Monday, October 06, 2014

War On Terrorism And Drones And Android Phones And India

Description: A Ku Klux Klan meeting in Gainesv...
Description: A Ku Klux Klan meeting in Gainesville, Florida, Dec. 31, 1922. Source: Portion: Reduced from original size so it is no longer suitable for reproduction. Purpose: To illustrate the article Ku Klux Klan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In geometry you define a point, you define a line as the shortest distance between two points, and so on to complex theorems. I take a similar approach to the War On Terrorism. As soon as 9/11 happened I equated it to Pearl Harbor. The Cold War ended, and this was a beginning to something new of the same magnitude.

Some of the postulates.
  • 9/11 was Pearl Harbor to a new Cold War like era. It was the beginning of a new Front. 
  • Freedom rings in every human heart. Democracy is thus not an American export. But the external conditions in any given country can be hostile to democracy, to freedom. America being the oldest democracy carries the historic weight on its shoulders. America has no bigger goal in the world than a total spread of democracy. That is why it was born. That is also in the best interests of the country. 
  • India being the world's largest democracy and by now the third largest economy after China and America is America's natural ally. India is the new Britain. There are almost as many Muslims in India as in Pakistan. Only Indonesia has more Muslims. The Muslims in India have lived under a democratic republic for close to 70 years now. That is a long, ongoing experiment. But it is also a criticism of democracy that Muslims in India, like African Americans in America lag behind in every socio-economic indicator. 
  • The War On Terrorism concludes when all Muslim countries have become full fledged, functioning democracies with regular free and fair elections, multiple political parties, minority rights, individual rights, and the major institutions of democracy. 
  • In some countries democracy will arrive by conquest. That is almost always a bad idea. 
  • In most countries democracy will arrive because people rose up and came out into the streets. 
  • Can all this happen on its own? Or does America have a role? America has a huge role. America can be that catalyst that makes it happen much faster than it otherwise will. 
  • Iraq was not a functioning democracy when the ISIS rose up. It has become an electoral Shiacracy in the aftermath of Saddam, which was a Sunni dominated dictatorship. 
  • America toppled Saddam fast. But it did a poor job of nurturing democracy in the country. America did not get the bang for the buck, after over a trillion dollars spent, over 100,000 Iraqi lives lost, over 5,000 American lives lost. 
  • Special forces are better than traditional combat forces, because they employ similar tactics to the terrorists. But special forces can not be the primary weapon. 
  • The primary weapon in this war is the cheap Android phone that gets internet access beamed from the sky. 
  • Google and Facebook both have working prototypes on which they plan on spending a billion dollars each. They are going to get a ton of drones up in the sky, above airplanes but below satellites. 
  • The most important thing the American government can do is spend more than 100 billion dollars to rapidly scale out this Google/Facebook effort to blanket the entire planet with internet access from the sky. And flood the target countries with cheap Android phones, and cheap solar battery chargers. Dictator after dictator will topple. Terrorist groups that number in the thousands will look like insignificant minorities like the Michigan militia or the Ku Klux Klan in the Pacific Ocean of two billion Muslims. 
  • But right now the US government is putting zero effort into this. Why? Because the military-industrial complex has a grip on the US government, directly as well as through the command they exert over public opinion. If the War On Terrorism only has military solutions, then that industry keeps making its hundreds of billions. And off we go. 
  • The current debate on net neutrality in DC should tell you how naive and hopeless the tech industry is in DC. This net neutrality debate should not even be happening. But is happening. The tech industry should admit to its utter failure in DC. They need to go head on and compete with the military-industrial complex in DC. Because there is a War On Terrorism that needs to be taken to its logical conclusion. The fewer lives that are lost in the process, better it will be. Muslim lives are as valuable as Christian lives, believe it or not. 
  • Drones from the sky, Android phones on the ground. That is one. The biggest political move Washington could make is to turn India into the new Britain. Muslims in India are best positioned to act as ambassadors of democracy across the Islamic world. On this India count as well America has so far failed. 
  • This drone thing, this India thing. These would be proactive. But reacting to the ISIS is reactive. That is more expensive, and less effective. Much more expensive, and much less effective. You can cut down the ISIS in size in a very expensive way, and still not have managed to spread democracy anywhere. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Challenges To The Nation State

European Union
European Union (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The nation state has not been around forever, just like democracy has not been. And so the fact that it is being challenged should not surprise us. These are growing pains.

One major challenge is coming from technology. The individual is greatly empowered through technology, and so the nation state's space needs to shrink. But the nation state is refusing to be a happy, willing partner.

Another challenge is coming from globalization and the redrawing of national boundaries. Europe is a fine example. Europe has the ultimate in infrastructure. It has the roads and the trains and the communications technology. But old cultural identities have not gone away. There are identity movements threatening to break up several countries in Europe right now. I am not sure that is bad news. That is the nation state feeling the pressure.

Scotland is a good example. If Scotland breaks away, I think that will be a vote for the European Union. Defense and monetary policies are best served through larger structures like the European Union, India and the United States. But cultural identities need bigger expressions. That is only healthy.

I don't agree with the methods of the ISIS (at all), but maybe the World War I political boundaries in the Arab world are not sacrosanct after all. Maybe it is good if the Kurds break away. Iraq's boundaries perhaps need to be reimagined.

Sri Lanka is the most literate nation in South Asia. But it has the most complex ethnic problem of anywhere in the world. There has to be peaceful options where an oppressed minority can get justice when a unitary state's majoritarian government is not willing to act fair.

China is another challenge to the nation state. This nation state has lifted more people out of poverty than any other in world history. Give them some credit. Fundamental political reforms are long overdue. I envision a future for China where it has become a multi-party democracy, where it is federal, and Tibet and Taiwan are both part of it. But I feel China can teach America a thing or two about campaign finance reform. When you don't take money out of politics, your democracy is more than a little bit screwed.

Immigration reform failure in America is another challenge to the nation state. America is not keeping up. That is bad news.

Scotland peacefully separating has to become a model for many other parts of the world. If Scotland should move away from London and closer to Brussels, that will be an exercise in deeper, larger political integration. I am all for that.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

So Called War On Terror

English: The Ethnic composition of Muslims in ...
English: The Ethnic composition of Muslims in the United States, according to the United States Department of State based on the publication of Being Muslim in America as of March 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cold War, War On Terror
Hillary's Drastic Move

The resolution to the War is when moderate Islam is the mainstream Islam across the Muslim world.

Every time white people have acted racist - I am thinking colonialism, apartheid, segregation - they have quoted from the Bible. Considering racism is not exactly past tense yet, I believe we are still awaiting the arrival of moderate Christianity.

To think your way is the only way is not tolerant, not moderate. And there are concrete repercussions.

There is an ideological angle to the War On Terror. And that ideological angle is no sideshow, it IS the biggest angle.

Surprisingly (or not) India is the way to that moderate Islam. It is the largest democracy. It is an unhappy truth that Muslims in India are like African Americans in America. Having a Muslim president in India, or a black president in America has not fundamentally changed that. India has a larger Muslim population than every Arab country. Indonesia might be the only country with more Muslims.

In that democracy you see a fermentation. The current ruling party in India is in a war of words as to why there is a separate civil code for Muslims. They argue for a uniform civil code for all citizens. What's that debate all about? Participating in that debate would be a good use of dollars.

But then you have an arms industry in America - Colombia specializes in drugs, America in arms - that needs to sell weapons. And so the country sees nails in every direction. And so you don't see American money spent on things that would truly make the difference in the War On Terror.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cold War, War On Terror

Let's draw parallels. There was the Cold War. And now there is the War On Terror, for lack of a better phrase. It is a tussle between radical, violent Islamism and liberal democracy. The Cold War simmered for over four decades. The War On Terror has gone on for a decade and a half already.

Russia is still not a democracy. You can have elections and no democracy. Russia is a prime example. It is a waning power with a GDP smaller than that of India.

In a sense the Cold War is not exactly over. Communism has seen defeat, but Russia is not yet a democracy.

The War On Terror will not end with a defeat of Islam. Extremist Islam will not be defeated by Christianity, but by moderate Islam. Extremist Islam can be contained and miniaturized, but not eliminated. Extremist Christianity still persists. You have right wing militia.

That civil morphing and the preponderance of moderate Islam will primarily be a function of the democratic process.

Dictatorships will have to make way. Moderate Islam will have to be nurtured.

This is hard work. It will take time. It can be expedited, but only to an extent.

It is hard to argue that Bush was wrong and Obama has been right, or that Obama is wrong, and the next president will do it right. It is not that easy. No matter what, the process will take time.

America's top priority understandably is to prevent another 9/11 style attack. To that end the country will make any sacrifice, go to any end. But that firefighting is not the solution. It is band aid.

My personal bias is for all those non violent methods of spreading democracy. Beaming in wireless internet across the Arab world and flooding the region with super cheap Android phones would be my tool of choice. The US government is not involved with either. Google is.