Play for Team A, or for Team B, or for neither, or for both, depending on your mood at the time

Kevin MacDonald wrote about personal loyalty and geopolitics at:

and in that context, Ex-Army has made some comparisons between national citizenship and monogamous marriage:

One of the reasons for making bigamy illegal is the recognition that if a person is pledged to a spouse, it’s impossible to be similarly pledged to another. And that’s just the philosophical part.Some daffy commenter will certainly say that non-bigamists can’t be counted on to adhere to pledges either, so what’s the fuss all about? The fuss is about the fact that pledges can be kept in a monogamist relationship, but flat out can’t be in a bigamist one.

Marriage was traditionally a question of ownership of reproductive resources. For most of history, paternity testing has been unavailable, and marriage has been a means by which a man commanded the reproductive potential of a woman. A woman’s loyalty to her husband is the building block of patriarchal society; if women are not loyal, patriarchy will crumble and fall.

The danger is not that a woman will give up “team A” and switch her loyalty exclusively to “team B.” The danger is that a woman might decide to conceal the exact extent of her commitment, while undertaking various maneuvers for “team A” and “team B,” as opportunities arise.

Is such anti-patriarchal behavior “evil”? At least, can we establish that it is “disloyal”?

Loyalty gets defined in different ways at different times:

There is no Good, there is no Bad; these be the whims of mortal will:
What works me weal, that call I ‘good,’ what harms and hurts I hold as “ill”:

They change with place, they shift with race; and, in the veriest span of Time,
Each Vice has worn a Virtue’s crown; all Good was banned as Sin or Crime:

In the lines above, Burton is making the point that humans never know good and evil as God does. God knows what is truly good; humans have faulty, superstitious, culturally-laden minds, and we see as in a glass, darkly.

So it might be the case that, for some person, in some era, polygamy is more pleasing to God than monogamy. Unfortunately, in order to make a fair assessment of such matters, one would have to be as omniscient as God Himself.

As mortals, we have to work with “knowable good” and “knowable evil” which are very different from the real good and evil known to the Supreme Being. This is not an argument for giving up the struggle to do good and just doing whatever comes by instinct; it is an argument for philosophical rigor that can lead upward from philosophy to mysticism.

However, let us leave the theology and philosophy for another day and consider the geopolitics of the essay. MacDonald references Smith at:

And Smith references the National Association of Manufacturers at:

Click to access Iran_Sanctions_Study_and_letter.pdf

The NAM says, in effect, that the USA does not have unlimited economic strength, and that economic strength depends on a network of trading partners – thus an economic giant that cuts off any part of its trading network tends to shrink itself into an economic midget.

The legislation also expands the definition of U.S. persons to include carrier lines.
The top six carriers (representing 36.7% of the global market)
with operations at U.S. ports also operate in Iran. If sanctions are
applied to the major carrier lines, U.S. exporters will suddenly find their
options for shipping goods severely limited.

Azerbaijan has become a strategic partner for the West. …
If the legislation is implemented, U.S. companies
could be barred from partnering with Azerbaijan on existing pipelines and new
ones under consideration due to Azerbaijan’s relationships with Iran.
This result could have
negative implications for our larger foreign policy objectives in the region.

That is to say, if the USA cuts off its private companies from trading with any
company connected to Iran, not only will USA companies be working at a
disadvantage, but also Iranian companies will develop stronger ties with small
trading partners.

It is very hard to estimate whether Iran is truly gaining significant strength from its efforts to reach out to its trading partners, but certainly it is receiving every possible incentive to find alternatives to the old economic model of USA hegemony.

One example of entrepreneurial risk-taking is the use of Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies in Iran:

Poolfa serves as the first BTC/altcoin-specific Persian website. Bitcoin communities around the world are seeking to not only translate Bitcoin news and information sites into different languages but also draw coherent connections between the benefits of Bitcoin and the needs of their society.

Poolfa is a multipurpose site with the aim of educating Iranians on the merits of BTC, dispensing Bitcoin related news, and providing a Bitcoin and Litecoin P2pool for site visitors.

Bitcoin is obviously very volatile, and any number of governments could outlaw it with the stroke of a pen. But whether Iranian Bitcoin use flourishes or fails, the world is full of disruptive technologies and black swans.

. . .
Meanwhile, Iran is trading fuel with Afghanistan and Pakistan:

The diplomatic talks are proceeding slowly, if at all, but

[Rafsanjani said]that the fact that the White House has stood against the Senate
to impose new sanctions on Tehran reflects Iran’s significant position in the
region and the world.

I’m not sure if I’m reading the indicators correctly, but if the White House is willing to veto new sanctions, that probably means that the unelected bureaucrats are telling the President, “We can’t fight a war against Iran right now, don’t provoke Iran, regardless of what Congress says!”

In the end, I suspect that the vast majority of the USA’s officer corps is NOT suicidal. Thus they are not willing to engage in a suicidal war with Iran – which is what any direct USA-Iran conflict would be. Thus the USA military will dig in its heels and resist war with Iran, at least for the next few years.

MacDonald writes that the presence of a dual-national at the Fed would be a troubling precedent. That may be – but suppose that in a decade or two, that precedent has led to the entire Fed being staffed by dual-nationals. If the USD (a.k.a. Federal Reserve Note) has hyperinflated by that time, then control of the Fed will be nearly worthless from an international standpoint.

From the standpoint of the USA, whoever controls the Fed might be able to extract some advantage from that control, even after the Fed has completely destroyed the USA economy. But there are many groups vying for supremacy in the USA. Recently, Amy Chua has discussed the clannish ambitions of various groups:

Cuban exiles

Somehow I doubt that Lebanese-Americans will end up in charge of the Federal Reserve in 2025. Perhaps one of Amy Chua’s daughters will be the next chairperson after Janet Yellen, though.

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