Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New Direction

This blog has been sitting dormant now for over a year. There are two main problems with its central theme of a learning process concerning global geo-politics, and one lesser one (which might be a much bigger question, really).

1. My Time & Interest

My time is a resource that I'm beginning to value more and more. The kind of research I was hoping to do for this blog takes a lot of time, and I don't have that to spare. It's also the case that an awful lot of the research I was having to do didn't interest me. This came to the fore as I tried, again and again, to read The Right Nation. I couldn't do it; I kept losing track of events, and very nearly every single political figure in it was using some bizarre form of thought that bore no resemblance to logic. So that made it even more difficult to get things done here.

2. Neutral Sources & Neutral Writing

My main discovery here has been: There are no neutral sources in history or politics. If someone says they're neutral, they're lying. Human use of language does not allow for neutrality. A statement as bald as "The operation was a success" can be slanted in favour of many different sides. "Napoleon went to Elba" is true, and sounds neutral, but "Napoleon was sent to Elba" is also true, gives a better indication of events, but has a different slant.

Equally, my efforts to write neutral accounts of my findings have been stymied by my own biases. Try as I might, I cannot see American neo-conservatives as anything other than wilfully short-sighted and selfish. This taints almost anything I can research in the modern world. Likewise, I don't see communism as a bad concept, and anything I try to research in the latter half of the twentieth century gets seen through that lens.

3. GEO-politics?

Finally, I've been trying to look at geo-politics, and I'm beginning to wonder if this still exists. The whole notion is the interaction between states, and a great many of the significant events are now happening at a non-state level. The WTO and the World Bank are non-state entities that control a great deal of the movement of money. The EU is a non-state entity that controls a great deal of law in member states and, crucially, in prospective member states. I'm not sure if geo-politics is a working label anymore; you need to stand back and look at global events.

So, rather than let this blog languish, I'm going to change direction a bit, and use it as a dumping ground for political and/or global thoughts. A chunk of my thinking lately has been on the evolution of the nation state, and you might see some of that here, and there's a good level of background anger at the Irish political situation as well. I won't promise to write a lot here, but I'll try to write more.

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1 Comments:

At Wednesday, September 26, 2007 2:28:00 p.m., Anonymous davew said...

...what's the problem with bias? Indeed, what's the problem with there being no neutral POV? If everything we read about and research goes to inform our viewpoint, and there are multiple interpretations of any event, why must we try to strip away the opinions before using what's
left to inform our own POV? I don't see this as a two-stage process of fact-gathering and judgement - everything we see has an impact on us, and the way to ensure balance in that impact is to make sure you're not entirely closed off to opinions that contradict the way your existing viewpoints.

As long as you can see those views, and they annoy you, and they don't niggle at you to make you think that maybe you need to change your mind, then you can hold onto your POV in good conscience.

I see this as quite a pagan approach, funnily enough. It accepts that "what works for me" is going to be different from person to person, and therefore there can't be a single "what works", i.e. universal, unvarnished truth. So we must reach our own conclusions, viewed through the lens of our past experiences and (here's the hard bit) not obscured by it, and accept (the frustrating bit) that full consensus is ultimately impossible - but still worth striving for.

As for geopolitics, I'm a lot fuzzier than you about the theory here, but I have the idea that since, say, the EU is an entity controlled by its member states, then it is geopolitics incarnate, and geopolitics is not irrelevant, but has been in part formalised and crystallised.

 

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