Option For The Poor And Vulnerable Quotes

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Geopolitics is ultimately the study of the balance between options and lim­itations. A country's geography determines in large part what vulnerabilities it faces and what tools it holds. "Countries with flat tracks of land -- think Poland or Russia -- find building infrastructure easier and so become rich faster, but also find them­selves on the receiving end of invasions. This necessitates substantial stand­ing armies, but the very act of attempting to gain a bit of security automat­ically triggers angst and paranoia in the neighbors. "Countries with navigable rivers -- France and Argentina being premier examples -- start the game with some 'infrastructure' already baked in. Such ease of internal transport not only makes these countries socially uni­fied, wealthy, and cosmopolitan, but also more than a touch self-important. They show a distressing habit of becoming overimpressed with themselves -- and so tend to overreach. "Island nations enjoy security -- think the United Kingdom and Japan -- in part because of the physical separation from rivals, but also because they have no choice but to develop navies that help them keep others away from their shores. Armed with such tools, they find themselves actively meddling in the affairs of countries not just within arm's reach, but half a world away. "In contrast, mountain countries -- Kyrgyzstan and Bolivia, to pick a pair -- are so capital-poor they find even securing the basics difficult, mak­ing them largely subject to the whims of their less-mountainous neighbors. "It's the balance of these restrictions and empowerments that determine both possibilities and constraints, which from my point of view makes it straightforward to predict what most countries will do: · The Philippines' archipelagic nature gives it the physical stand-off of is­lands without the navy, so in the face of a threat from a superior country it will prostrate itself before any naval power that might come to its aid. · Chile's population center is in a single valley surrounded by mountains. Breaching those mountains is so difficult that the Chileans often find it easier to turn their back on the South American continent and interact economically with nations much further afield. · The Netherlands benefits from a huge portion of European trade because it controls the mouth of the Rhine, so it will seek to unite the Continent economically to maximize its economic gain while bringing in an exter­nal security guarantor to minimize threats to its independence. · Uzbekistan sits in the middle of a flat, arid pancake and so will try to expand like syrup until it reaches a barrier it cannot pass. The lack of local competition combined with regional water shortages adds a sharp, brutal aspect to its foreign policy. · New Zealand is a temperate zone country with a huge maritime frontage beyond the edge of the world, making it both wealthy and secure -- how could the Kiwis not be in a good mood every day? "But then there is the United States. It has the fiat lands of Australia with the climate and land quality of France, the riverine characteristics of Germany with the strategic exposure of New Zealand, and the island fea­tures of Japan but with oceanic moats -- and all on a scale that is quite lit­erally continental. Such landscapes not only make it rich and secure beyond peer, but also enable its navy to be so powerful that America dominates the global oceans.
Peter Zeihan (The Absent Superpower: The Shale Revolution and a World Without America)
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We often think: “The REALLY important thing is my internal, private, personal relationship with God. My reading the Bible, my prayer time, my singing worship in the car, my feelings and experiences, my helping the poor, my personal choices and morality. But vulnerable, committed service to and with a particular local community? Well, that’s an optional add-on. I mean, I do it… but it’s not exactly central. It’s an awkward extra—like a Christian club I’m sometimes involved in.” But this way of thinking was completely foreign to the earliest Christians.
Brett Davis (See The Strange: The Beauty of The Revelation)
Future Europe’s problems are many, but four stand out. The first is energy: The Europeans are more dependent upon energy imports than the Asians, and no two major European countries think that problem can be solved the same way. The Germans fear that not having a deal with the Russians means war. The Poles want a deal with anyone but Russia. The Spanish know the only solution is in the Western Hemisphere. The Italians fear they must occupy Libya. The French want to force a deal on Algeria. The Brits are eyeing West Africa. Everyone is right. Everyone is wrong. The second is demographic: The European countries long ago aged past the point of even theoretical repopulation, meaning that the European Union is now functionally an export union. Without the American-led Order, the Europeans lose any possibility of exporting goods, which eliminates the possibility of maintaining European society in its current form. The third is economic preference: Perhaps it is mostly subconscious these days, but the Europeans are aware of their bloody history. A large number of conscious decisions were made by European leaders to remodel their systems with a socialist bent so their populations would be vested within their collective systems. This worked. This worked well. But only in the context of the Order with the Americans paying for the bulk of defense costs and enabling growth that the Europeans could have never fostered themselves. Deglobalize and Europe’s demographics and lack of global reach suggest that permanent recession is among the better interpretations of the geopolitical tea leaves. I do not see a path forward in which the core of the European socialist-democratic model can survive. The fourth and final problem: Not all European states are created equal. For every British heavyweight, there is a Greek basket case. For every insulated France, there is a vulnerable Latvia. Some countries are secure or rich or have a tradition of power projection. Others are vulnerable or poor or are little more than historical doormats. Perhaps worst of all, the biggest economic player (Germany) is the one with no options but to be the center weight of everything, while the two countries with the greatest capacity to go solo (France and the United Kingdom) hedged their bets and never really integrated with the rest of Europe. There’s little reason to expect the French to use their reach to benefit Europe, and there’s no reason to expect assistance from the British, who formally seceded from the European Union in 2020. History,
Peter Zeihan (The End of the World is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization)