of a book finding its readers is always an
idiosyncratic, mysterious and fascinating process.
To set the scene, permit me a short presentation
drawn from the book’s introduction.
Twenties started with a murder: a missile strike on
General Soleimani at Baghdad airport on January 3.
Almost simultaneously, that geopolitical lethality
was amplified when a virus trained its microscopic
missiles on all of humankind.
it’s been as if time had stood still – or imploded.
We cannot even begin to imagine the consequences of
the anthropological rupture caused by SARS-CoV-2.
the process, language has been metastasizing,
yielding a whole new basket of concepts. Circuit
breaker. Biosecurity. Negative feedback loops. State
of exception. Necropolitics. New brutalism. Hybrid
neofascism. New viral paradigm.
terminology collates to the lineaments of a new
regime, actually a hybrid mode of production:
turbo-capitalism re-engineered as rentier capitalism
2.0, where Silicon Valley behemoths take the place
of estates, and also of the state. That is the
“techno-feudal” option, as defined by economist
and intoxicated by information performing the role
of a dominatrix, we have been presented with a new
map of Dystopia – packaged as a “new normal”
featuring cognitive dissonance, a bio-security
paradigm, the inevitability of virtual work, social
distancing as a political program, info-surveillance
and triumphant trans-humanism.
shock was superimposed over the ongoing economic
shock – where financialization always takes
precedence over the real economy.
the glimpse of a rosy future was offered towards
more “inclusive “capitalism, in the form of a Great
Reset, designed by a tiny plutocratic oligarchy duly
self-appointed as Saviors.
these themes evolve along the 25 small chapters of
this book, interacting with the larger geopolitical
accelerated what was already a swing of the power
center of the world toward Asia.
War II, a great deal of the planet has lived as cogs
of a tributary system, with the hegemon constantly
transferring wealth and influence to itself – via
what analyst Ray McGovern describes as the SS
(security state) enforcing the will of the MICIMATT
world-system is irretrievably fading out –
especially due to the interpolations of the
Russia-China strategic partnership. And that’s the
other overarching theme of this book.
proposal to escape our excess hyper-reality show,
this book does not offer recipes, but trails:
configurations where there’s no master plan, but
multiple entryways and multiple possibilities.
trails are networked to the narrative of a possible,
emerging new configuration, in the anchoring essay
titled Eurasia, The Hegemon and the Three
running dialogue, you will have Michel Foucault
talking to Lao Tzu, Marcus Aurelius talking to
Vladimir Putin, philosophy talking to geoeconomics –
all the while attempting to defuse the toxic
interaction of the New Great Depression and
variations of Cold War 2.0.
exception of the anchoring essay, this is a series
of columns, arranged chronologically, originally
published here by Asia Times and also by Consortium
News/Washington D.C., and Strategic Culture/Moscow,
widely republished and translated across the Global
from a global nomad. Since the mid 1990s I have
lived and worked between (mostly) East and West.
With the exception of the first two months of 2020,
I spent the bulk of the Raging Twenties in Asia, in
So you will
feel that the scent of these words is inescapably
Buddhist, but in many aspects even more Daoist and
Confucianist. In Asia we learn that the Dao
transcends everything as it provides serenity.
There’s much we can learn from Daoist humanism, no
2021 may be even fiercer than 2020. Yet nothing
condemns us to be lost in a wilderness of mirrors
while, as Pound writes:
a tawdry cheapness / shall reign
throughout our days.
“secret” of this book may be actually a yearning –
that we’re able to muster our inner strength and
choose a Daoist trail to ride the whale.
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