Cyreenik Says

October 2018 issues

Yet another expression of End of the World instinct -- this time as a migration from Honduras to the US

The human End of the World (EOW) instinct expresses itself in many fascinating ways. It can be as straightforward and obvious as the Millerites in the 1840's, thousands of whom came to believe that the world was ending in a rapture on October 22, 1844. But there are many other variations that are just as powerful in directing people's feelings but much more varied in how the apocalypse will happen. Three examples that I have talked about previously are the Hong Kong Turnover in 1997, the Y2K crisis at the end of 1999, and the in-progress Brexit Crisis that will climax around March or April of 2019.

While lots of small variants pop up all the time, it seems that every few years one will take off and get lots of enthusiasts for a few months to a year or so. Which one will get all this enthusiasm is always a surprise.

The surprise large enthusiasm has popped up again in the last quarter of 2018. This one is centered in Honduras, and thousands of true believers are marching en mass from Honduras to the US in search of a better life here on earth. (The US is "heaven" for this EOW incarnation.)

This 22 Oct 18 WSJ article, Caravan Heads North After Migrants Cross Into Mexico The caravan of migrants could fuel a fresh political rift between Trump and Mexico two weeks before U.S. midterm elections by Juan Montes, describes a caravan of thousands of Honduran migrants heading to the US for a better life.

From the article, "On Friday and Saturday, Mexican border officials refused to let the caravan enter the country, saying they would allow only about 150 people in at a time to apply for asylum. Mr. Trump praised Mexico’s efforts at stopping the caravan from heading to the U.S. border.

But the caravan then broke apart in different groups: At least several hundred people returned in buses to Honduras, not wanting to make an illegal journey. Another large chunk stayed at the border and will wait to ask Mexico for asylum. But a third group decided to cross the river illegally, using rafts manned by human smugglers."

EOW movements are fascinating in the variety of forms they can take.

My theory is that the root instinct that powers them was created in adapting to the semi-nomadism that mankind had to live with during the Stone Age -- when something vital ran out, the village had to move on... to a better world.

Watching tough diplomacy in action: Jamal Khashoggi

On October 2nd Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and dissident living in the US, went into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey and hasn't been seen since. There are many different and interesting stories describing what has happened to him -- many center on his being murdered. This mystery is proving to be diplomatically important -- many international business people are changing how they treat their Saudi relations because of the mysteries surrounding his fate.

The result: some interesting and classic diplomatic maneuvering is unfolding this month.

This 15 Oct 18 WSJ article, Saudis Weigh Saying Journalist Was Killed by Mistake Riyadh is considering issuing a statement saying that rogue operatives killed Khashoggi by mistake during an interrogation gone wrong by Summer Said, Rebecca Ballhaus and David Gauthier-Villars, describes well the diplomatic pressures to come up with a satisfactory explanation for what has happened, and how many diplomatic people in various countries are getting involved in the process.

From the article, "On Monday, Saudi officials were considering whether to say rogue operatives killed Jamal Khashoggi during an interrogation gone wrong, people familiar with the matter said, a move that could help the royal family distance itself from responsibility."

The embarrassment this is causing to the Saudi ruling family is going to lead to changes in how the young ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, relates to the rest of the ruling family.

Yes, this is classic diplomacy in action, and a high-profile version. The evolution of the description of this incident is going to be interesting to watch.

Update: The diplomacy around this continues to swirl. This 10 Nov 18 WSJ article, Erdogan Says Recording of Khashoggi Killing Was Shared With U.S., Allies Turkish president is expected to raise the issue during a possible meeting with Trump this weekend by David Gauthier-Villars, talks about how Turkish president Erdogan is now getting involved.

From the article, "An audio recording Turkish authorities used to conclude that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi operatives has been shared with four Western allies, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday, heightening pressure on Riyadh."

Update: Now the CIA is publicly making accusations. This 17 Nov 18 WSJ article, CIA Concludes Saudi Journalist Was Killed on Crown Prince’s Order U.S. assessment contradicts Saudi version of Khashoggi killing and may endanger President Trump’s efforts to protect ties with Prince Mohammed by Warren P. Strobel, says the Crown Prince ordered it. More diplomatic "Ouch!"

From the article, "The Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was carried out under the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a close ally of President Trump, U.S. officials familiar with the matter said.

The determination by the top U.S. spy agency could endanger President Trump’s efforts to protect relations with the crown prince and Saudi Arabia more generally. Mr. Trump said Saturday he expected to receive a briefing from the CIA later in the day."

The importance of a Big Vision

A Big Vision is a goal a whole community can get behind and support. Having one that is powerful is important to a community growing and prospering. It is also important because it supports community members feeling enfranchised -- feeling like they are an important part of the community and the community recognizes their importance even when there is lots of arguing going on about how to reach the community's goals.

This 12 Oct 18 WSJ article, How to Fix the Great American Growth Machine The U.S. economy is losing its historic capacity for ‘creative destruction.’ A few key reforms are essential to keep it on top. by Alan Greenspan and Adrian Wooldridge, doesn't mention it by name, but it is talking about the importance of Big Vision.

From the article, "The key to America’s success lies in its unique toleration for “creative destruction,” the destabilizing force described by the economist Joseph Schumpeter in 1942. Creative destruction reallocates society’s resources from less productive pursuits to more productive ones—from spinning jennies to factories, for example, or from horse-and-buggies to motorcars."

The reason this can happen is supporting a Big Vision.

The converses to having a well-working Big Vision are conditions such as:

o complacency -- when few are working hard at improving the community's lot in life.

o distraction -- when many conflicting goals are being pursued by community members with little coordination between them and some are hurtful such as corruption and gang crimes.

o discouraging healthy debate about how to accomplish desired goals -- this discouraging debate can happen in ways that get quite extreme. This 12 Oct 18 WSJ article, Missing Journalist Was an Insider Willing to Cross Saudi Red Lines Jamal Khashoggi rankled authorities with socially liberal views and sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood by Margherita Stancati and Nancy A. Youssef, talks about a high-profile dissident being assassinated by a community ruler.

Having a good and powerful Big Vision is at the root of a community having spectacular success over years and generations. This is why keeping the Big Vision well matched to current and upcoming circumstances is so important.



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