Not A Bad Shaikh

Everyone loves bitching about the rich greedy Americans and how they should give more, then get out of the way; save the world, but without changing its precious little cultures, hurting anyone’s self-esteem, or stepping on anyone’s sacred toes. I’m sick of this bullshit. Saving the world is easy: we just need one good Arab; a fair shaikh…just one of these assholes to wake up one day and decide that human life is more sacred than his prophet, his rituals, his exceedingly long and anachronistic name, his wealth, or anything else that helps him hide from the fact that he is a fat, snobby, pampered child and that this isn’t just or fair even if Alla has apparently “willed it.” He could take all that oil money and fund a Manhattan Project for the creation of free energy and save the world from immanent financial collapse and related disasters. Yes, it would require him to do something unselfish, something that would deplete his funds and that was not decreed by the divine, but on the bright side he would be remembered forever as the savior of mankind in one of its darkest hours. Not a bad shaikh if you ask me.

As a side note, does anybody else think it rather stupid that the US is talking about funding missions to Mars instead of the Manhattan Project I here describe? I mean Mars is cool and everything, but have we even found any usable resources there?

If you would suffer with me through another digression, it strikes me that perhaps free energy can only be responsibly developed when we have solved that other tyrannical problem: over-population. Give rabbits unlimited food and kill their predators and they wipe themselves out. We usually think of disease along with scarce resources as being the great tragedy of life and biodiversity, but I hasten to remind us that this keeps population in check, though I hesitate to say “mercifully.” This is where Nietzsche’s view on tragedy seems naive and Schopenhauer’s pessimism warranted: ever more life ultimately extinguishes itself. Hegel seems to be half right in his formulation of tragedy being the collision of two goods, as the tragedy of life is also to be found in the collision of two evils, the removal of one granting hegemony to the other. Life is tragic through and through. Remove the apparent “evil” of scarcity with free energy and risk the overwhelming success of the apparent “evil” of over-population, a force that hardly needs any help. Perhaps I simply despair here, but the great pessimist seems more than justified in proclaiming the whole show not tragic but evil through and through, given that “just” rights unjustly thwart each other. Moving beyond these binary terms seems to leave me with no description at all, or at best, the description “irreducibly ambiguous.” Perhaps this is the essence of tragedy.

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1 Response to Not A Bad Shaikh

  1. “According to the Institute of International Finance, between 2004 and 2006 the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Bahrain and Oman – recorded a combined current account surplus of €369bn. The IMF estimates that only a quarter of recent oil revenues have been converted into official reserves. The question then is: where are they putting the money?”

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