by Joel Fernandez
For as long as world history has been recorded, there have always been examples of power struggles between different groups of people. The nomenclature may have changed somewhat, but the pretense remains the same. It’s about protecting and advancing the interests of one branch of civilization over another. In ancient times, conquering others was the name of the game. In modern times, things are a bit more complicated. Today’s discussion will be about how things have changed, and how they have stayed the same.
First and foremost, a country needs to establish what we will call national credibility. During humanity’s archaic age, credibility was predicated on a kingdom or empire’s ability to dominate another on the battlefield. What we call diplomacy today was called tribute back then. If an empire had the military might, they could demand just about anything from the nations that they annexed. The world order as it stands today is such that attacking and conquering other countries is generally frowned upon. So much so that NATO(North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was formed and still maintains the status quo until this very day. As such, most of the dialogue between countries all comes down to diplomacy.
When diplomats from different countries interact with each other, it is very important to understand the importance of face value. If one or both countries have credibility issues, negotiations can turn out to be a fool’s errand. At best, the diplomats can agree to postpone the conflict until the next generation has to deal with it. We would all like to believe that civilization has become incrementally wiser over the course of world history. That could very well be the case. But there’s another possibility that is equally probable. It could be that the generation that is in charge of the world order now has developed the habit of kicking the proverbial can down the road. We’ll explain.
During the 90’s, President Bill Clinton dealt with the North Koreans by kicking the can down the road until such a time that another American president has to deal with it. Coincidentally, President Barrack Obama was in office when almost 10 Trillion dollars was added to the national debt. It should be noted that the American government is such that one person can never take all of the credit or blame for anything having to do with public policy. But every country’s population needs a standard to rally around, even if it’s just for symbolism’s sake. At any rate, the point is that the two generations that share the power now have established policies that will have consequences that they will not have to deal with personally.
Think about it for a moment. When the generation x and baby boomers that run the government today retire to their upper class lifestyle, they will not have to worry about the consequences of having the largest national debt in world history. It will be the millennial generation that will have to try and balance the budget properly and pay back the aforementioned historic debt. What’s more, the generation x and baby boomers that run the “mainstream” media today are constantly insulting the millennial generation at every opportunity. It seems that they would much rather focus on petty remarks then figure out why so many millennials graduate college and have to look for opportunities abroad because the economy at home is not conducive to success.
As was previously stated, the generations that are in power now have deliberately postponed conflicts that are obviously inevitable until a later date and time. Guess who will be in charge when the wars of yesterday have to be dealt with today. If you guessed the millennial generation, you would be correct. If the current generation that controls the “mainstream” media today is to be believed, Iran is going to bide their time until they can build their strength to a point where they can defy the United States government in a much more palpable way. It is very easy to infer such a possibility because there is, in fact, a precedent.
The United States made a similar nuclear deal with North Korea in the 90’s. If you fast forward to today, North Korea has seems to have developed a habit of threating the United States with the nuclear weapons that they supposedly agreed to avoid making. After signing the J.C.P.O.A.(joint comprehensive plan of action), Iran was reportedly chanting death to America inside of their equivalent of the legislative chamber. If that doesn’t serve as foreshadowing for a future conflict, nothing does.
It seems that foresight is not something that gets incrementally better as the generations leap frog through time. The better analogy would be that of good and bad genes that skip generations in a family. Let’s not forget which generations were in charge when the IMF declared that China is the world’s biggest economy. Surely there will be consequences for downgrading China’s credit rating even though they own most of the American government’s debt. It would also be prudent to acknowledge the fact that it will be the Millennial generation that will have to reap what the generation x and baby boomers in power are sowing today. It will be Millennials who write the next chapter of world history. Let’s make sure that we remember how to label everything and everyone accordingly.
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