The world is at stake... Wise people of the world come together!

Today, the increasing reliance on “logic of power”, which has led to widespread conflicts and wars, threatens the outbreak of a global war that could lead the world into an unknown future. This calls the wise and the advocates of humanity to raise their voices demanding a solution to disputes and the "power of logic" to prevail.

by Hasan Ismaik
  • Publisher – STRATEGIECS
  • Release Date – Jun 6, 2022

I talked in a recently published article, about the historical debate between the concepts of “the power of reason” and “the logic of power,” which characterized human interactions, from their first simple beginnings, until they became complex and reached the levels that we see and witness today.

I said that: “we must always think, as individuals or states, about owning power. At the same time, there must be a reason that governs and makes sense of it” Therefore, it is necessary to depart from both paths towards a third one that does not negate them, but rather combines them in a right way.

I did not write that article out of mere intellectual luxury with the intention of theorizing or preaching, as it is far from that or any form of dreamy utopia. And I continue to assert that the tilt of the scales in favor of "the logic of power" as opposed to "the power of reason" to the gigantic limits we are witnessing today puts the whole world in grave danger.

From philosophy, I learned that Becoming rules the world as time immemorial and indisputable law, driven by the constant struggle of opposites. More than 2500 years ago, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus was able to talk about the permanent flow of things, as a basis for evolution, expressing the theoretical and practical dialectic through his sayings about change and the struggle of all against all. And if philosophy is the rational explanation for existence, then political philosophy is the theoretical reading of the experiences of practical reality, setting standards and guarantor principles to direct change towards promoting justice and truth, and not towards grave danger, as is happening today in the absence of sane voices that would re-right the course of humanity away from wars, enmity and endless conflict.

War contagion

War has spread in most countries of the world as an inevitable contagion, wars, and conflicts everywhere, and the voice of sane people, whether politicians, university professors, or people with a human tendency that glorifies values and morals, and prioritize them over material values that are leading the world today to the unknown, which may be a global war that does not exclude anyone and its results cannot be predicted. Where are the wise ones in politics, religion and humanity? Did everyone abandon their moral responsibilities and engage in a game of conflict? Or did they remain silent and preferred to withdraw in the face of the indifference of decision-makers, the interests of the major powers, and the noise of the restless weapons?

Therefore, conflict and dispute in their various forms are raging in every part of the world today, and at all levels. While Heraclitus believed that "conflict does not lead to the annihilation of things, but rather their establishment and making them possible to exist," this conflict now emerges taking a new dimension as a war between annihilation and survival. The inevitability of human development has clashed severely with the intensification of competition between groups to control the present and the future, and the tremendous acceleration in this development and its increasing requirements does not leave time to think about solutions or thoughtful options. It is as if the content of the law that leads everyone who has power in the world is this: (No one waits, and if I can get what I want with one stroke, why should I put long-term plans while my enemy is at my door?). Thus, the "gun on the table" is always present, and the sound of war, threats, and menaces arise, and no other sound can be heard. 

The Age of Acceleration... No time to think!

Many believed that after two world wars, the world had learned the lesson, and it seemed that everyone had rushed to resort to international law and under the leadership of an organization concerned with the protection of human rights in a way that would prevent the repetition of the tragedy for the third time.

This was the perception of the idealistic school in international relations, which thought that cooperation for the peace and development of people is what will be the feature of the next stage, while a second “realist” school emerged that noticed that the interests of the major powers will rule the world, where only the law of "power" governs, and therefore conflicts will continue, expand, and take different forms over time. No need to demonstrate the correctness of this trend, in my opinion! According to the Carnegie Middle East Center, data indicate that since the end of World War II, the development of the physical and geopolitical geography of conflict, and the increase in the average duration of civil wars from five years in 1950 to fifteen years by the year 2000, in parallel with the increase in the number of armed conflicts from less than 20 before 1950, to 52 in the post-World War II era, thus, generating new patterns of violence.

During the Cold War, the great powers were very careful about sharing areas of influence through the ideological struggle between capitalism and socialism, thus, they worked to spread their ideology in any country before they thought of militarily expanding. Conflicts fell below 35 in the early 2000s, to rise sharply after 2011, and the number of combat deaths around the world increased fourfold. So, the scene today looks upside down: the deadly war machine precedes any dialogue or negotiations, hence, conflicts occur first, and later agreements start based on the winner and the loser, as there is no time for anyone to think!

Despite all the promises of technical and technological development and the advancement of science to improve human life, this development has, on the other hand, created a growing demand for the basic resources of industry, and as the world's population has increased, so did the need to accelerate production. This has created and strengthened competition among States for resources and expanding spheres of influence. The latest manifestations of this rivalry are displayed in the race between Europe, America, Russia, and China to share lands in the Arctic Ocean, which portends devastating and catastrophic upcoming wars, the effects of which are unpredictable.

It is, therefore, clear that the human side has begun to retreat in front of the material one in international relations; a retreat that carries a fundamental contradiction, as instead of production and development taking place in response to human needs, we find that humans have become their first victims, and while the rich and powerful countries increase in strength and wealth, the cemeteries of starving poor, or victims of wars, are increasing in poor countries, which also confirms the reality of the words of the English philosopher Hobbes: “Man is a wolf to man.”

Has the world always decided to go to war?

In the face of this "law of the wolf" in human relations, most of the means and efforts to manage crises and resolve disputes between countries by peaceful means disappear, or even if present, as a method of dealing between different groups, it quickly seems useless in front of the speech or threat of war, all is required is that politicians trade accusations and escalation of matters. And the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war, is a good example of the exacerbation of this escalating pattern in international relations. The option of war has become one of the usual political options, and its wage is not a big deal, as resorting to it has become easy, even before thinking about less catastrophic solutions such as negotiations, mediations, and others.

Russia escalated, so did the West, and the mutual provocation continued until Putin decided war, which I consider a major strategic mistake, forcing the West - and through Ukraine - to invest in it to weaken Russia and deplete its capabilities. Consequently, the war will be prolonged, and its casualties and costs will increase in front of the entire world. I do not think that the end of the fighting in Ukraine will mean the end of this type of war. The situation in Taiwan is on the brink of a pit of fire, and the escalation may increase at any moment to turn into a war with China. Any of these wars - in light of the massive polarization that the world is experiencing today - is qualified at every moment, to turn into a global war that includes all countries on earth.

On the other hand, what reinforces the world's moving towards armed conflict to quickly solve its problems is the emergence of artificial intelligence algorithms into the military field, which many believe will be more deadly than a nuclear missile, and experts describe it as the third revolution of wars after gunpowder and nuclear weapons; it allows the identification of certain targets (possibly one person) outside the borders of states, and the destruction of that goal accurately without the need for human intervention. A specialist in artificial intelligence sciences believe that the cost of a squadron consisting of 10,000 drones capable of exterminating half a city now amounts to less than $10 million, which means we can get a precise political killer at a cost of no more than $1,000! All this happens today with a lack of confidence in relying on the moral responsibility of politicians or decision-makers to discourage them from using these techniques in the most heinous possible ways and without control.

Any adventurous or reckless politician, who the world stage has been full of in recent decades, can make a quick decision of a war of extermination without anyone being able to deter him. Who can guarantee, for example, that North Korea, which frequently conducts successful missile tests and threatens its southern neighbor, will not launch this war at any moment? Especially since the madness of displaying arms appears as a contagious scourge that is fueled by the willingness of everyone to engage in this catastrophic game, in a way that has become out of control and has allowed even the smallest extremist groups anywhere in the world to possess lethal weapons that threaten the internal and external security of countries, and impose themselves as active forces in the inflamed international scene, particularly when the forces supporting it use it when they want to wage war here or create chaos there. This is the most powerful expression of the tyranny of war, at the micro and macro levels, in current international relations.

Media is the second basis of the escalating international tension after the evolution of weapons. The entire world lacks media that pushes or promotes peace. On the contrary, media accelerate fabrication and distortion of facts, and systematically incite various groups and classes against each other, taking advantage of the tremendous development that has made these tools handy, and thus, using this to ensure the continuation of the ongoing conflict and to create new conflicts in societies as well as among States. Despite the media's ability to play the complete opposite role, of course, if the will of those who control it is available, the media's dependence on political interests will necessarily impose the latter's values and laws on it.

What the great powers have done recently by making and management of wars with such intensity, confirms that the world, which built its hopes on their rationality when they were held responsible for "international security" and resolutions, and dreamed of achieving a balance that avoids war after World War II, has made a great mistake. These great powers are concerned only with their interests and projects of influence, and the current international order seems incapable of maintaining international security and peace, especially with the breadth of wars and the multiplicity of their fronts.

This is a brief overview of current international behavior, which reflects economic crises and bottlenecks that exclude no one. The amounts of energy on the market is shrinking, and production and prices are rising all over the world so that many countries are facing a growing food deficit and in securing the necessary needs, which in turn will lead to more internal wars under different names, which are essentially nothing but a struggle for survival that makes the change we talked about begin to move in one direction: More war, murder, and poverty threaten entire nations that have once placed their trust in those who have abdicated their responsibilities for their interests.

Where are the world's sane people?

If politicians are like the coachman who drives the world's carriage, then we have the right to ask where they will steer us to? Who guarantees that the bridle will not drop at some point? I do not believe that the world has been devoid of rational and wise people, whether in the fields of politics or philosophy, whose counterparts in the past played a crucial role in the making and direction of countries' policies, providing adequate answers to major issues in organizing societies, the distribution of power, and criticism of forms of government and institutions. They determined the best forms of relationship between the individual and others based on the study and understanding of the nature of man as a "social and political animal." All of this took place within the framework of the values of justice, goodness, and truth, which is the framework that prompts the case for sane politicians to take power, those who are not led by their instincts, interests, or vanity, and thus, remain committed to humanitarian standards and moral controls.

What we are noticing today, however, is the widening gap between these wise men and politicians, primarily because politicians claim that the wise offer ideal solutions away from reality, and that they, politicians, are best able to appreciate the course of things and the interests of the people. The result was those inward conscientious people and the wise, limiting their work to theorizing that does not reach the leaders and not interested to deliver it to them. Although this distancing is not new in politics, it has never seen such an estrangement.  All I mentioned about the world's movement toward successive wars were caused by the exclusivity of politicians (whose interests are primarily led by them) by setting the rules and important decision-making.

Today, we need without delay the rationalization of politics, the presence of wise men who are able to extrapolate solutions from political reality away from extreme idealism and from talking only about “what ought to be,” and move us to to making the possible. These voices should not remain muted. We desperately need to rid ourselves of the medieval mentality of hatred and war. This type of ideology must move from a religious, ethnic and sectarian discrimination to a more open and contemporary mentality that sanctifies man, abolishes differences and eliminates "the law of the wolf" in human relations, replacing it with principles of cooperation and partnership rich in spiritual dimensions and ideal human values.

On the other hand, the world needs to reform its institutions and organizations and guide them in serving humanitarian issues more than before, and it also needs to work hard and reflect on restructure international organizations controlled by the major powers, while stressing the need to activate the role of poor and marginalized countries - the primary stakeholders in peace - at the heart of its decisions, as they may be more effective in these organizations than the major powers that have been blinded by the power and overshadowed by their thinking the material dimension that controls the behavior of their leaders.

If change is inevitable, it must be to support humanity, not to annihilate it. In this context, energies and capabilities must be directed and tremendous development in all its dimensions and forms must be used to serve the issues of health, education, development and combating violence and terrorism. It must also be directed to help poor people to live in dignity.

In order for these great hopes to be realized, they urgently need the world's wise men to come together with the common goal of weaving and consolidating peace throughout the world, and to regard this goal as the goal of all and the condition of preserving their interest without conflict. For these hopes to be realized and for international peace to prevail in the world, Heraclitus's saying that we must listen to the Logos or voice of reason must be adhered!



Hasan Ismaik