Annexing the World as the Deal of the Century

TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 23 Sep 2019

Anthony Judge | Laetus in Praesens – TRANSCEND Media Service

Imaginative Global Transformation through Full-Spectrum Dominance by MeToo

23 Sep 2019 – Inspired by the proposal for a Deal of the Century regarding the challenge of Palestine-Israel and by Green New Deal initiatives

Introduction

Dreaming of a Deal: Through the proposal by the USA at a “Peace to Prosperity” workshop in Manama (Bahrein, June 2019), a degree of credibility has been given to a so-called Deal of the Century to resolve the iconic Israel-Palestine conflict (Kushner unveils economic part of ‘deal of the century’ Middle East peace plan, The Guardian, 22 June 2009; The “Deal of the Century” for Israel-Palestine: US proposals are likely to speed demise of two-state settlement, German Institute for International and Security Affairs, 20 April 2019; Palestine: the Arab ‘deal of the century’, Al Jazeera, 18 June 2019). Presented as the economic dimensions of the New Deal, the world awaits the promised political counterpart — probably now to be understood as having been transformed into the annexation of portions of the Jordan Valley (Arab nations condemn Netanyahu’s Jordan Valley annexation plan, BBC News, 11 September 2019; Netanyahu vows to annex all settlements, starting with Jordan Valley, Jerusalem Post, 11 September 2019).

As might be imagined, the original proposal was met with widespread scepticism (Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ offers nothing good to Palestinians, Financial Times, 5 September 2018; Jared Kushner’s ‘deal of the century’ fails to materialise in Bahrain, The Guardian, 26 June 2019; Sarah Saadoun The Gaping Hole in Jared Kushner’s ‘Peace Plan’ Other News, 4 July 2019). It is claimed that it is designed to fail (Jonathan Cook Trump’s Peace Plan Has Been Designed to Fail – Exactly Like its Predecessors, CounterPunch, 2 July 2019).

Arguably that proposal had been implicitly framed by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC, 1997-2006), whose strategic thinking was seemingly taken up by the Foreign Policy Initiative (2009-2017), and then embodied from 2017 in the thinking of the newly elected Donald Trump and his advisors. Significant to the following argument was the overriding electoral promise to the American people to Make America Great Again. However dubious to some, this could be recognized as a dream which proved especially attractive to electors, irrespective of its questionable deliverability (Dreamables, Deniables, Deliverables and Duende: global dynamics “at the table” inspired by dining and wining in practice, 2015). Leaders of other countries now offer analogous dreams in their discourse.

In contrast to the short-termism now prevailing in global decision-making, such purportedly long-term thinking is however consistent with the challenges of climate change and resource shortages in the decades to come (through 2050 and to the end of the century) — when the majority of those alive today will be long dead. Hence the value of the Global Green New Deal initiative previously launched by UNEP, now a focus of proposals to save the planet (New Economics Foundation, A Green New Deal, 2008; Naomi Klein, On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal, 2019; Ann Pettifor, The Case for the Green New Deal, 2019).

Any proposal for such long-range thinking therefore invites imagination regarding the viability of a Deal of the Century — unconstrained by the inadequacies of that currently on the table for Israel-Palestine. The following is an exploration of such a possibility — with the implications for Israel-Palestine as a concluding footnote.

Multiplicity of dreams: Clearly Donald Trump has every right to articulate a dream inherently meaningful and attractive to the American people. This is consistent with the modality adopted by leaders of the past. Use of “dream” is of course evident with respect to the American dream, long presented as attractive to so many — especially including refugees. This has been notably nuanced and enriched by the speech of Martin Luther King: I have a dream.

Advocates of any strategic initiative can claim the right to dream and to persuade others of their dream. Jared Kushner, as the son-in-law of Donald Trump is clearly free to do the same in the hope that Palestinians would be persuaded by it. In proposing it as a a deal, Kushner goes further, specifically in emulation of the deal-making lead propounded by Donald Trump as his mentor (Trump: The Art of the Deal, 1987).

Innovators and entrepreneurs may well be driven by a dream — even a “childhood dream” — and may explicitly make that claim. Processes of dreaming may be closely related to creativity, especially with respect to design. (Inventions that Came in Dreams; 12 Famous Dreams of Creativity and Inventions, Mind Power News).

Arguably there are many such dreams, with what are effectively associated deals, most notably those of the estimated 4,200 religions of the world. The many philosophies may also be considered as dreams to which people may subscribe — especially when they take the form of political ideologies.

The following goes further in arguing that everyone indeed has the right to dream — effectively a right consecrated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Less evident is the fact that everyone has the right to imagine themselves to be a Martin Luther King, a Jared Kushner, or a Donald Trump — in framing a dream — and embodying it in a Deal of the Century, to which all are free to subscribe. More subtle is the modality of Mahatma Gandhi, to “be the dream” — namely through personal embodiment of it as expressed by the phrase Be the Change, widely attributed to him (however questionably).

Articulating a dream: The following is an articulation of such a dream. However the argument goes further in suggesting that people are free to recognize that dreaming is also a responsibility — as in the elaboration of any Deal of their Century in the light of their dream. That responsibility could well feature in any proposed Universal Declaration of Responsibilities of Human Intercourse (2007). Succinctly phrased, the argument is that people have no obligation to “stick around” and “buy into” anyone else’s dream. The Deal of the Century is to Go With One’s Own Dream — wherever it leads. Beyond the dream of “laying down a path in walking” (Francisco Varela, 1997), or of “laying down a path in talking” (Ludger van Dijk, 2016), there is the possibility of reimagining the universe in which one lives (Being the Universe: a metaphoric frontier, 1999).

The opportunity is all the more credible in that the proliferation of information of momentary significance is such that no one is listening to anyone — except as briefly as possible, before moving quickly on to other points of attraction. In the political arena this is exemplified by the short-term focus on the news cycle as a desperate means of avoiding more challenging questions of long-term significance. Widespread consensus on strategic action therefore has little possibility of effective implementation, except as an exercise in tokenism for purposes of public relations. With the focus on the short-term, strategic initiatives as currently conceived necessarily also run the risk of unforeseen consequences of disastrous proportions.

Escapism? With space travel as a dramatically imaginative exemplification of escapism from the problems of this world, it can be argued that many are already travelling “to the stars” as they imagine them to be — and by various means — leaving little trace, except perhaps a twinkle in the night sky. In fulfilment of their dream, those rightfully travelling the universe in this way can be imaginatively compared to people in space-time vehicles of various dimensions — single-seater, family-size, bus-size, cruise-ship-size, or larger — each having only the most constrained communications with those travelling elsewhere and otherwise, readily to be considered meaningless and irrelevant. Expectation of consensus is then as probable as comprehension of the universe — as comprehension is currently understood (The Consensus Delusion: mysterious attractor undermining global civilization as currently imagined, 2011).

Dream time? Is there a curious sense in which humanity is entering a new form of mythical Dreamtime, as collectively cultivated by indigenous Australians in terms of what is named and articulated in their contemporary art as the Dreaming? The widely disseminated statement by the iconic climate change activist to world leaders at the United Nations included the accusation: You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words (Greta Thunberg to U.N. climate summit: ‘you have stolen my dreams’, Reuters, 22 September 2019 — video).

Does everyone have the right to engage in “global hegemony”, as previously argued (Embodying Global Hegemony through a Sustaining Pattern of Discourse: cognitive challenge of dominion over all one surveys, 2015)?

A form of dreaming may be framed as significant to envisioning the future, as exercises in collective imagination (Kenny Ausubel, Dreaming the Future: reimagining civilization in the Age of Nature, 2012). Such imagination may well be enabled by predictive and divinatory processes (Clifford A. Pickover, Dreaming the Future: the fantastic story of prediction, 2001). The widely recognized influence of science fiction can be understood in such terms (Hilary Rose, Dreaming the Future, Hypatia, 3, 1988, 1, pp. 119-137). Crist Iman cites Jonathan Ledgard to the effect that Imagination At Scale Is Our Only Recourse (La Paz Group, 17 September 2019; Ben Taub, Jonathan Ledgard Believes Imagination Could Save the World, The New Yorker, 18 September 2019). Within the same discourse a fundamenal question has been asked by Jonathan Franzen (What If We Stopped Petending the Climate Apocalypse Can Be Stopped?, The New Yorker, 8 September 2019). Is that pretence a dream in its own right — meriting attention as such — in a society as prone to hope-mongering as to doom-mongering?

Necessarily more familiar is use of “dream” by individuals with respect to their own future and what they hope to be and to achieve in their life. This may take extremely intimate forms through the dreams during sleep deemed significant by individuals and as a focus of interpretation by psychotherapists and psychoanalysts as enabling their development. A recent framing of this process is that of Steven M. Rosen (Dreams, Death, Rebirth: a topological odyssey into alchemy’s hidden dimensions, 2014).

For many the nature of heaven, and the possibility of experiencing it as a feature of an afterlife, may constitute the ultimate dream. The question explored here is the possibiity of new narratives which are appropriately engaging — and which individuals can develop for themselves, independently of those which external authorities may seek to impose. Arguably everyone is free to imagine their world otherwise, whether or not they seek approval from others. Such freedom can of course be understood as encourging a form of madness. However in a world now widely perceived as “going mad”, and governed by “mad men”, many have variously argued that sanity can be otherwise understood:

– Jean-Jacques Rousseau: To be sane in a world of madman is in itself madness
– Akira Kurosawa: In a mad world, only the mad are sane
– Sherwin Wine: Staying Sane in a Crazy World (Center for New Thinking, 1995)
– Niels Bohr (to Wolfgang Pauli): Your theory is crazy, but it’s not crazy enough to be true.
– Richard Feynman: I thought one should have the attitude of ‘What do you care what other people think’!
– Roy H. Williams: Are You Sufficiently Ridiculous? To accomplish the miraculous you must attempt the ridiculous. Before you attempt the ridiculous you must announce it to the world. If you don’t have the courage to announce it, you must at least whisper it in the dark. Because it must be spoken. You’ve got to hear yourself say it. And then you’ve got to take action. (Monday Morning Memo, 9 February 2015)

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