Saturday, December 17, 2016

North Carolina's Graham Tillett Allison and Trump's Thucydides Trap

What made war inevitable was the growth of Athenian power 
and the fear which this caused in Sparta


Graham Tillett Allison, Jr. (born 23 March 1940) is an American political scientist and professor...renowned for his contribution in the late 1960s and early 1970s to the bureaucratic analysis of decision making, especially during times of crisis.

'We' currently perceive ourselves as much more powerful than a few months ago, 
causing financial turmoil and increased levels of fear
for many who aren't part of 'we'

...Allison has also been a leading analyst of U.S. national security and defense policy, with a special interest in nuclear weapons and terrorism.

Heightened tensions and economic distress 
heaped upon a bed of artificial imposed stability 
is suddenly a new play 

...Allison coined the phrase "Thucydides Trap" to refer to when a rising power causes fear in an established power which escalates toward war.

Through the 2,500 years since the Peloponnesian warfare that Thucydides chronicled,
rising powers (like Athens then, or China now) 
and incumbent powers (like Sparta, or the United States) 
have usually ended up in a fight to the death, 
mainly because each cannot help playing on the worst fears of the other.

When a rising power is threatening to displace a ruling power, 
standard crises that would otherwise be contained, 
like the assassination of an archduke in 1914, 
can initiate a cascade of reactions that, in turn, 
produce outcomes none of the parties would otherwise have chosen

Graham Tillett Allison

"The joke about Homer Simpson, as the lovably incompetent operator at the Springfield Nuclear Plant, is that he had no idea of the complexity of what he was dealing with—or the consequences of his blunders. It’s not that everything in the world is more complex than it seems—it’s that nuclear plants are more complex, and dangerous.

Trump challenges and provokes the Chinese, with a literally unprecedented gesture toward Taiwan that—as Obama pointed out, and as Nixon, Reagan, and either of the Bushes, plus Kissinger would have confirmed—challenges what China’s leaders consider the irreducible heart of their national identity;

Once Chinese officials determine that he’s not just kidding (the initial press reaction noted that Trump was still a private citizen, soon followed by editorials saying that he was “speaking like a child”), the leaders get their back up, and take their own unprecedented step of seizing this maritime drone;

And then Trump, who as president-elect has been the major force provoking China, responds in today’s raise-the-stakes way."

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent,
but the one most responsive to change.

Charles Darwin

It's just a question of when it starts occurring in the debt riddled welfare nations
pacifying populations with artificial stability and unsustainable subsidies.

"Normal" jobs with benefits are increasingly harder to acquire.

Corruption is rampant.

The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sovereign debt defaults are likely to increase in frequency.

The world's big central banks are out of ammo,
and confidence in centrally orchestrated economic policy is falling.

Think of the Earth as a living organism…being attacked by billions of bacteria,
whose numbers double every forty years.

Gore Vidal

Resource consumption, food production, population, and fiat money creation,
all rose faster in the last 50 years than the preceding 5,000,
as we consumed more than replenished.

The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency,
the second is war.

Ernest Hemingway

What if Trump is thinking like Ender?

I don't care if I follow your rules, if you can cheat, so can I

I won't let you beat me unfairly, I'll beat you unfairly first

Ender Wiggin

Fictional Military Strategist

War is cruelty

The crueler it is 
the sooner it's over

General William Tecumseh Sherman
Employed "scorched earth" tactics against the Confederacy

Does complexity increase the likelihood of complication?

"Centralized welfare systems are necessarily run by a bureaucratic leadership that cannot master the knowledge needed to manage a complex society..."

Nations are not ruined by one act of violence
but quite often, gradually, and almost imperceptibly
by the depreciation of their currency through excessive quantity

Nicolas Copernicus
Discovered Earth was not the center of the Universe

"The Manipulation of Fear", by Noam Chomsky

I don't have a clue of what weapons
will be used in World War III
but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones

Albert Einstein

Would you rather live in the ascendancy of a civilization, or in its decline?

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly,
is to fill the world with fools.

Herbert Spencer

Coined the phrase “Survival of the fittest”