The Rules-Based Disorder

Five minutes of pure wisdom and diplomatic savviness by Chas Freeman. His jocular and ironical sentences about China’s declarations of intention of not wanting to be hegemonic are most witty.

A tiny reservation though, Chas Freeman is probably quite right upholding a softer approach by China concerning the Philippines but in the interplay of the stick & the carrot, only the final result matters. Let’s remind that at the latest ASEAN Summit (Association of the South East Asian Nations) which the Philippines is a member, the group has stated crystal clear that its members don’t want to choose between the US and China and wish only for peace & prosperity in the region. If they wish for peace & prosperity in the region, it means they chose China.

In case the above address doesn’t bring you directly to the video, its title on Youtube is “The Rules Based Order is a Scam. The West does not follow international law | Chas Freeman

Chas W Freeman Jr., also known as Fu Li Min 傅 立 民 Fu4 Li4 Min2 was born on March 2, 1943, is an American retired diplomat and writer. He served in the United States Foreign Services, the State and Defense Departments in many different capacities over the course of 30 years. Most notably, he worked as the main interpreter for US President Richard Nixon during his 1972 China Visit and served as the US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1989 to 1992, where he dealt with the Persian Gulf War.

I just want to adumbrate one of his books because of the most outstanding choice concerning the last word for the book’s title : prestige. Yes, prestige, not power, not domination, not hegemony, not influence, not even soft power. The word “prestige”, meaning high status or reputation achieved through success, influence, wealth, etc. goes deeply to the core of the human heart. Prestige enunciates crystal clear the ontological difference between the tools (monetary systems, weapons, infrastructures, institutions, networks, alliances, ideologies, physical assets, normative power encased in treaties and laws, cultural tools, etc.) AND the true longing of the human heart living in the Time Dimension, to be acknowledged as being prestigious, as being of high status. Everything else is in the domain of tools, not about the authentic original desire gripping the human heart not having yet reached to the shores of the Timeless Reality and still prisoner of the Time Dimension. Once centered in the Timeless Reality, the human heart is no longer limited to the Time Dimension and will deeply enjoy it.

We can write thousands or tens of thousands of pages on the international relations, analyzing all the minutiae concerning the comprehensive national powers of the nations in presence but at the very essential core, it is a question of prestige, of the pecking order, OF WHO IS STATING THE ACKNOWLEDGED HIERARCHY.

Ideally, human relations at the interpersonal level and the international level should be guided by the Timeless Universal Natural Principles but we’re still waiting for these fruits coming from a long epistemological journey started long ago by our species and not yet collectively achieved. Beauty, Goodness, Truth are the Timeless and everlasting lighthouses in the unfolding of Universal History in the Time Dimension but “prestige”, that desire at the center of many human desires I qualify as secondary longings because in the Time Dimension, there is only one deep thirst hollering to be quenched : PRESTIGE, to be acknowledged as being of HIGH STATUS. The same primates’ foundational longing is gripping the teenager sporting a famous brand on his body AND the head of State absorbed in his geopolitical calculations, and that reality cannot be neglected. Chas Freeman gave us a staggeringly penetrating lesson with his book and the choice of the word “prestige”.

The only workable and efficient way to escape that biological legacy and psycho-behavioral servitude coming from our belonging to the Order of the Primates is to start and keeping on our personal & collective epistemological journey.

Interesting Times : China, America, and the Shifting Balance of Prestige (2013)

Chas Freeman’s Wikipedia notice :

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