Everyone knows the Engish nursery rhyme “Humpty Dumpty”, but few realize the famous single quatrain melody is really about the breakage of great men and great nations. Though we often refer to world leaders in terms of their “broken egg” fates, we seldom take to heart what happens when things get so broken, that we can’t glue them back together. This brings me to the point of today’s report – the busted world we now live in.
For those among you who would deem me a fatalist, let me assure you I am anything but. And in observing how cracked we let our world get, I am certainly not alone. Just the other day United Nations chief Antonio Guterres told the body the world has failed miserably with COVID-19, and that we are about to fail with regard to climate change.
Guterres blamed a lack of global preparedness, cooperation, unity, and solidarity for the haphazard coronavirus effort and failure. He painted the climate denial trend with the same dark brush, and how can blame him? After all, a “fake virus” is killing off hundreds of thousands of people, and the “fake climate change” denial bunch is helping snuff out millions of species.
The problem is public relations and propaganda, mainly. But human apathy and ignorance play a key role too. Or, at least, it’s easier to make a climate change denier or COVID naysayer out of a knucklehead, I guess. Sorry, but people who argue the sun is not shining at noon, or that Mother Earth is flat, I am not really sure they need an opinion. If this makes me an advocate of Geniocracy, all I can say is; “May the best system prevail!”
A Geniocracy, by the way, is a system of government based on creative intelligence and problem-solving. But I am not sure if this untried form would be superior to Confucius’ ideas of a Meritocracy? Rather than deviate here, let’s just say I am 100% convinced we are doing almost everything wrong. And the UN is, as Nancy Soderberg, a former US Ambassador to the UN said recently, the organization is “a microcosm of the state of the world.” The diplomat went on to say the recent mood at the UN reveals how “broken” the global response to COVID has been.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov even said the pandemic has deepened the differences between nations. Lavrov was quoted by Al Jazeera saying:
“We see attempts on the part of individual countries to use the current situation in order to move forward their narrow interests of the moment, in order to settle the score with an undesirable government or geopolitical competitors.”
And while much of the world seems ready to step beyond the Cold War mentality that prevails in western capitals, the Trump administration and his following political ducklings are withdrawing, lashing out at everyone and every issue, and taking the world to the precipice, it seems. Trump, who looks for the world like the cartoon Humpty Dumpty to many (especially American liberals) is actually emblematic of the kind of entropy the nursery rhyme describes.
For some, Humpty Dumpty is demonstrative of the second law of thermodynamics. This law developed by French scientist Sadi Carnot, where entropy is used to signify a degree of disorder in a system. I will not get into physics here or discuss St. Thomas Aquinas’ “cosmological argument” because if I do, Donald Trump may borrow another bible and march in front of the Vatican. Sorry, we live in a world where proving the existence of God is as easy as a red hat with MAGA embroidered on it. Entropy, this is where we are. And the chaos is only going to get worse.
The World Health Organization (WHO) cannot be trusted. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta cannot be trusted. The United Nations (UN) is no longer functional. The Trump administration is racing to dismantle Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) controls to protect the environment – So, the EPA cannot be trusted, climate scientists at MIT are horrified at a possible second term for Trump – and MIT cannot be trusted.
Moving on, thousands of scientists claim human-assisted climate change is on track to soon force millions of Americans from their homes and eventually heat the Earth to temperatures not seen for 34 million years – and they cannot be trusted. In fact, no environmentalist can be trusted, at least not according to Trump and his backers. Anything that dampens big profits on this planet – simply cannot be trusted. But Big Oil and hedge fund geniuses can. Yes, sirree, they certainly are trustworthy, right?
We’re so broken we cannot even use deductive reasoning anymore. Logic, truth, even intuition, and instinct are out the window now. You don’t need me to prove it to you. Listen for 30 seconds to a Trump press conference, read his Tweets, tune in to one of those United Nations broadcasts, or be the fly on the wall at the water cooler where you work. The madness is there, the chaos rips at the eyes and ears like a demon, and our fatal entropy as civilized human beings is laid bare naked there, and on Facebook. We argue like mindless molecules spinning, set against one another, and sputtering in the petri dish of what was a progressive world.
It’s falling apart, get it? German carmaker Volkswagen just agreed to pay reparations for helping Brazil’s former dictatorship persecute the country’s people! A prince of Britain and God knows who else is implicated in sex crimes. A social network on the internet is font and center in a trade war. Facebook’s Anti-China Campaign, is said to be spinning out of control over competitor TikTok. In Germany, the head of the country’s military intelligence has been dismissed and accused of being a Neo-Nazi. France is about to go into lockdown over rampant COVID-19 cases, and so are Greece, the UK, Italy, and others. New studies reveal that melting arctic ice is going to elevate sea level 2.5 meters, even if we stop using gas today. But of course, you can’t trust me either, right?
I could make this the longest report ever to grace a journal page, just by listing the “busted” and failed mechanisms we have put in place in the world. The coronavirus, deadly or not, is proof enough that we were never a global community. Climate change and other key issues have shown us, we may be destined for extinction not simply because we create problems, but because we deny they even exist. We, the human race, simply cannot be blamed no matter what. We can put a Trump or a Biden in office, and we will never admit we were wrong about them. Fires can burn California to a cinder, and the conservative gas-guzzling citizen will fight to the death to prop up Exxon, Trump, anything or anyone that serves their less than meritocratic ideal. Now I worry. “What if the world is Humpty Dumpty, after all?” Hell, we don’t even have a king who would risk his horses or men to put us back together again!
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”