Comment from The Forgotten Side of Medicine:

'As we reflect on the events of the past few years, it should be clear that due to the continued advancement of technology (e.g., AI in warfare), the stakes are much higher now. It is thus my sincere hope that COVID-19 and the devastating wars we have seen over the last few years will serve as a wake up call that we need to stop prioritizing profits over human lives and be conscious of exactly what the technologies we are now using are capable of.'


I wonder if the WW1 allies saw an Israeli presence in the middle East as insurance against the loss of access to oil?

I found this: After the war broke out in the summer of 1914, the Allies—Britain, France and Russia—held many discussions regarding the future of the Ottoman Empire, now fighting on the side of Germany and the Central Powers, and its vast expanse of territory in the Middle East, Arabia and southern-central Europe. In March 1915, Britain signed a secret agreement with Russia, whose designs on the empire’s territory had led the Turks to join forces with Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1914. By its terms, Russia would annex the Ottoman capital of Constantinople and retain control of the Dardanelles (the crucially important strait connecting the Black Sea with the Mediterranean) and the Gallipoli peninsula, the target of a major Allied military invasion begun in April 1915. In return, Russia would agree to British claims on other areas of the former Ottoman Empire and central Persia, including the oil-rich region of Mesopotamia.


As per usual: 'Follow the money'.

Expand full comment


I hear the pain.

What is the solution?

Expand full comment

What if the real problem isn't the politics and the politicians, but the foundational premises?

Consider that democracy and republicanism originated in pantheistic cultures. The family and cycle of life as godhead.

To the Ancients, monotheism equated with monoculture. One people, one rule, one god.

Greek religion originated from fertility rites, of the young god born in the spring, of the old sky god and the earth mother. Yet by the time of the Olympians, tradition prevailed over renewal and Zeus didn't give way to Dionysus. So the story of Jesus, of royal blood, but banished, then crucified and risen in the spring, had fertile ground to take root.

Though by the time the Romans adopted it as state religion, the essence of the Trinity, as renewal, had also faded behind the strength of tradition, so it was the one god that served to validate the Empire rising from the ashes of the Republic. The Big Guy Rules. Divine right of kings.

Martin Luther tried pushing the reset button, but only over the corruption, not the tradition.

When the West went back to democratic and republican forms of government, it required the separation of church and state, literally culture and civics.

Logically a spiritual absolute would be the essence of sentience, from which we rise, not an ideal of wisdom and judgement, from which we fell. More the light shining through the film, than the images and narratives played out on it.

The consequence has been that Western culture is founded on the premise of ideals as absolute.

Truth, beauty, platonic forms are ideals. The village alter is an ideal. Every culture, nation, community has some basic core principles around which it coalesces. The grain of sand at the center of the pearl. The eye of the storm. The black hole at the center of the galaxy.

Yet when we think that only ours is absolute, therefore universal and beyond question, it can only mean that all others are false, flawed. There is no multipolarity allowed.

While the Jewish concept of god has been largely tribal, if possibly egocentric, the Christian and Islamic interpretations are evangelistic. The original forms of globalism. Bringing Christianity to the heathens.

Then there has been the political evolution.

The defining characteristic of Europe is that it is geographically broken up, by the various seas, channel, mountains, deeply forested, that allowed nations to evolve in some degree of isolation from each other. So that geography was as much a cultural feature as tribal affiliations. Which gave the national nodes primacy over the networks connecting them. The overarching one being the Catholic Church. Yet the role Diaspora Judaism played was as a significant part of the down to earth connections and networking, given the deep religious, cultural connectivity. The merchants, bankers, the intelligencia, doctors, etc, that benefited from diverse sources and connections. Essentially making the Jews the quintessential Western liberals. As compared to the inherently conservative nationalists/nativists.

Though Asia is far more geographically open, so the tribal boundaries and relations evolved to be more fluid, making the networking role more organic and so the Jews in those areas tended to be just one of the various groups and cultures, with the resulting conservative core, magnified by having the Jewish god chosen as the grain of sand at the core of Western culture.

Then when Israel was born, these two sides found themselves on the opposite sides of that natural liberal/conservative split, but both extreme versions.

My whack at that Gordian Knot.

Expand full comment