In George Friedman’s forecast of the 21st century (“The Next 100 Year”) he wrote, “The old, New Left slogan ‘Be Practical, Demand the Impossible’ needs to be changed: ‘Be Practical, Expect the Impossible.’” In his mind this is what defines the broad approach to “Geopolitics”. At no point in my past or anytime in my future will I ever claim to be an expert in Geopolitics, and I don’t find it necessary to be an expert. Any human being can adopt geopolitical assessment as a philosophy and mind-set as you approach global events. Truly, the events of each decade, century or time-period I have explored is fraught with uncertainty, collapse, victory, decline, and advancement. You don’t have to look too far out your front door, search too hard on your phone or turn on the TV to understand that there are uncertainties in this world today.
Who would have thought in 2017 that the unifying EU is potentially a French election away from collapse, or that the citizens of Great Britain would shock the world with a nationalist vote to egress from the EU. Maybe it is even more shocking that the United States elected Donald Trump as the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. Your given view and approach to all of this uncertainty will dictate how react and form your world view.
Geopolitics does not mean that you not need worry about current events, have political ideology or have outrage to abuses of power, lawlessness and hatred. Undeniably concern, outrage and reaction have led to significant historical events and geopolitics does not mean to become apathetic to the current events of our world. It allows us to understand why things are happening, generate historical context and try to understand and react with level-headedness. It is the study of international affairs, geographical influences and can help us prepare and predict the inevitability of history to repeat itself in some form or another.
Of course, the practical way to view the world is in the context of expecting the impossible to happen. Sometimes the impossible isn’t necessarily positive but preparing for the impossible to happen lessens the blow in light of negativity. Nostalgia for another time because of the negativity in the present, without understanding the past is akin to delusions of grandeur. Even if you could transport yourself to “better-times” the impossible will happen again and the cycle will continue sic pace.
This isn’t meant to cause apathy or despair but to allow for an enlightenment. Understanding that linear progression forward will not be without its obstructions and that probable impossible events have occurred, and will continue to occur, allows for my reaction to events to become more measured. It has allowed me to explore the macro causation of ongoing global circumstances and the worldly consequences further down the road. I am no expert. I just adhere to a philosophy established by wiser humans than myself. “Be Practical, Expect the Impossible.”
I have been afforded an incredible opportunity to come aboard at ModState. I asked myself the questions, “if I decline this invitation will I wake up tomorrow and absolutely regret the decision? Will I lose out on an opportunity to be part of a coalition of individuals whose mission is to bring all ideas to the “proverbial table, “where we can maturely discuss topics in this increasingly polarized world? In a world that is battling the growing pains of another cycle of globalization it is an opportunity and platform that I refuse to let pass me by. So, to the world I leave a quote that I read by George Hegel, “to him who looks upon the world rationally, the world in turn presents a rational aspect. The relation is mutual.” We need more rational reaction and the only way to achieve this through greater understanding, persistence and a practical approach to viewing this complex planet that starts with expecting the impossible.