Month: June 2024

Bring Back Food Rationing!

Having never experienced food rationing myself I cannot say what it is like, but I am assuming the experience is not as bad as images suggest. My reasoning is straightforward and can be put in the form of an argument as follows: (1) The National Health Service (NHS) is good; (2) Food is more important than health; therefore, (3) A National Food Service (NFS) would be good. Is there anything wrong with this argument?

Let’s look briefly at the truth or falsity of the premises, before elaborating. A supporter of an NFS, along with many millions of others, would affirm with confidence that the NHS is a ‘good thing’. That is, it is a desirable if not indispensable institution, at the beating heart of our national life, a support and a lifeline for all of us, relatively free at the point of use, providing the full panoply of basic medical services, from care for minor ailments to treatment for serious illnesses and conditions such as cancer, heart disease, broken limbs, disfigurement, deadly infections, and so on. Yes, it is currently in the worst shape it has been in for decades, to the point that in the current election campaign the major parties do not even pretend to mouth slogans such as ‘Twenty-for hours to save the NHS’, so far gone is the patient.

That does not mean the NHS is undesirable, though, does it? Anyway, just suppose it is a good thing for the sake of argument and let’s revisit the premise later. Premise (2) says that food is more important than health, and the truth or falsity of this depends on what we mean by ‘important’. Think of it this way. Although both food and health are quite basic human goods, there is an asymmetry. Without food – by which I mean adequate nutrition, not simply fasting for a bit or going on a diet – you are guaranteed to be unhealthy. But if you are unhealthy, it is not guaranteed you will lack adequate nutrition. Some illnesses make it hard to keep food down. Some illnesses deprive a person of their appetite. But these are exceptions. You can be seriously unhealthy, headed for the grave, and yet still not be suffering from malnutrition. If you are malnourished, however, you will be unhealthy there and then, with no further steps required, no exceptions to be made.

Ask yourself this admittedly remotely hypothetical question: faced with the choice between inadequate food and inadequate health (short of death!), which would you choose? I’d go for inadequate health, thinking that with inadequate food I’ll be unhealthy anyway, so why not just have ill health but at least plenty of food, hoping that I can maintain my strength and give myself a fighting chance against my illness? Again, as a general rule if you have zero food you are dead in a few months. You’d have to have a pretty rare condition – pancreatic cancer, say – to be dead in a few months. If you add not having water to not having food – and I do want to add that since I am classing food and water together when I hypothesise about a National Food Service – you are dead in a few days. Very few illnesses or combinations of conditions kill you in a few days – maybe bacterial meningitis or necrotizing fasciitis.

So yes, of course health is important, but food is just that bit more important.  That said, by ‘important’ in premise (2) I am packing a little more into it than the asymmetry just outlined. I also mean that if there is such an asymmetry, then however society is structured so as to make health care readily available should be similar in key respects to how society should be structured so as to make food readily available. This is how the conceptual connection between ‘good’ in (1) and ‘important’ in (2) should be interpreted. (I could split the argument into sub-arguments to make this crystal clear, but it’s not necessary).

Now, does our conclusion (3) – ‘A National Food Service (NFS) would be good’ – follow from the premises? If so we have a valid argument, and if the premises are true then we have our ultimate goal, a sound argument – to lapse into philosophy-speak. Well, I’ve gestured at the truth of (1) but also said we should just assume it for the fun of the argument. A full defence of (1) would come from the endless literature doing just that – defending the goodness of the NHS. I’ve argued at greater length for the truth of (2) and its connection to (1). Suppose I’ve done the job. Then how could the conclusion not follow? It must, of logical necessity. There is no escape. We need a National Food Service.

Er, do we? The title of this article refers to ‘rationing’. Actually, food rationing is really not something you’d want to experience. Nobody in their right mind wants food rationing, except the crooks who make money off it and are not subject to the rationing themselves. I think I’d rather emigrate than have food rationing – at least as a way of life. So what I really think – and I’m sure you agree – is that food rationing is not something we’d want brought back. And so the prospect of a National Food Service should fill me – and you – with utter dread. If that is the case, then we must do what we philosophers call a modus tollens: I give you an argument pointing inexorably to a certain conclusion. But that conclusion is on its face absurd. You and I won’t accept it. So we are forced by logic to deny at least one of premises (1) and (2). Having already made a pretty good case for (2), we have to deny (1) after all, contrary to the initial ‘for the sake of argument’ assumption. The NHS is not good – not in concept any more than in current execution.

Wait a minute, you might object: I’m comparing apples and oranges. There is no rationing in the NHS! But there is, I insist. True, we don’t all walk around with health care ration books with quotas of medicines or treatments printed on each ticket. But health care is rationed nonetheless, as any fule kno. You get a precious ten minutes with your GP, then you are politely expected to leave (unless things are serious as judged by that GP alone). You cannot get any treatment you want, no matter how effective or promising; it all depends on cost and the voluminous guidance of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). Ultimately, who gets what is for the government of the day, acting on the advice of – sorry, I can’t resist – Twenty-First Century Science.™ The details of NHS rationing are there for all to see. This leads to very bad consequences for patients in a multitude of cases, with the example of breast cancer drug Kadcyla being instructive.

A critic of my argument might insist that food and health are dissimilar in important ways that undermine premise (2), the claim that food is more important than health. Recall that my argument is not just that food is prior to health in terms of human well-being, but that because of this its allocation in whatever way society allows should be the same as the way health care is allocated in that society. All things being equal, perhaps that is true. But all things are not equal, says the critic. There is a whole side to food provision that has no health care parallel. There are restaurants, gourmet dining, eating for pleasure, eating as a cultural pastime. Whereas health care is about meeting needs, there is more to food provision than simply meeting needs.

It is not clear to me that there is a disanalogy. Health care also has its niche, exotic, cultural, aspirational side. Think of purely aesthetic surgery – nose jobs, teeth whitening, skin lightening, Botox, hair removal, hair transplants, body modification, and so on. These are all far more about satisfying desires than meeting real needs. They are generally not necessary for health. The critic retorts: ‘then they are not about health care, so why are you bringing them into the discussion?’ My reply: ‘then neither is fine dining or wine tasting part of food provision, so why are you bringing them into the discussion?’ In other words, cheek filler and fine dining stand or fall together. Either both are on the table or neither are. I think it’s more plausible to say they are both on the table as quite remote parts of health care and food provision, respectively. Now, cosmetic surgery is not routinely available on the NHS, except for mental health reasons or if the cosmetic aspect is accompanied by a real functional need (e.g. to breathe clearly). This is well and good. Similarly, in my National Food Service regime, oysters and crab-flavoured ice cream would also not routinely be available (except perhaps if they were essential to nutrition!). These would have to be purchased on the private market.

The critic might try this gambit: health care, the kind of care that doesn’t just maintain health but that keeps you alive, can be astronomically expensive. People can’t generally afford it. Adequate nutrition can be had very cheaply. So people need help from the state with the former but can pay for the latter themselves. My reply is that if this point is a good one, it only favours restricting the NHS to the really expensive treatments, not retaining the kind of all-encompassing, womb-to-tomb NHS we have now. So the critic’s point undercuts their own idea that an NFS is not desirable but the NHS is. Moreover, some staple foods, which millions require for nutrition, are particularly expensive to produce, e.g. rice; these rely heavily on government subsidies, loans, and other price support mechanisms. So why not go the whole hog with food, so to speak, and bundle it into an NFS? Anyhow, the overall cheapness of food argues in favour of an NFS because it is really, truly, hard to believe that an NFS would cost more than the NHS – which is pushing £200 billion in annual cost, that is to say, about £3000 annually for every human being in England. I am having to stretch my credulity beyond breaking point to suppose that universal food rationing would cost anywhere near that much. But I have no method of estimating it. (The last I looked, by the way, £3000 would buy every human being in England a helluvalot of health insurance. Just saying.)

OK, how about the ‘black market’ objection? This says that just as we saw a lot of illegality during wartime food rationing, we would see the same the minute an NFS came into existence. And we don’t want that. In reply, this presupposes we do not see illegality as a result of having the NHS. I’m not talking about dodgy tattoo and piercing parlours or lunchtime liposuctions. I’m referring to ‘medical tourism’, where thousands upon thousands of UK citizens go abroad for medical treatment (234,000 in 2021, with 34,000 foreigners coming to the UK for treatments, stats here; gets the noggin joggin’ doesn’t it?). That in itself is legal, of course, but it is surely the case – data are hard to come by – that at least hundreds, if not thousands, of people are injured by negligent doctors, in dodgy or uncertified clinics, or by illegal procedures abroad. I am not thinking of cosmetic surgery (which is the number one reason for medical tourism) since that is not available on the NHS anyway, but rather of things like orthopaedic surgery and dental procedures (it being notoriously hard to get on the books of an NHS dentist).

It is tough to see a significant disanalogy between health care and food provision when it comes to the idea of a nationalised service – socialism, effectively. If there is none, then either we should go with food rationing or we should dismantle and privatise the NHS. As I said, I’m not a fan of food rationing and I doubt you are. I like my private supermarkets, the abundance of choice, the full range of pricing, the efficient delivery, and the reasonably pleasant shopping experience. (Things are going downhill, to be sure; thanks a bunch, America.) But that’s only the supermarkets. I live near an award-winning cheese shop, an award-winning butcher, an overpriced organic shop, and can get pretty much any food online that I can’t find locally. All in all, I can’t complain. Do I want all this to be turned into a bunch of Stalinist showrooms with tasteful lighting illuminating a few mouldy potatoes? All right already, I’m exaggerating. But you can bet that an NFS would be a sodding awful experience without end (unlike post-World War 2 food rationing, which ended in 1954).

And a privatised health service? I admit, my own experience with the NHS has been pretty positive. Our local surgery is clean, neat and friendly, the local hospital likewise, so again I can’t complain. But that’s my area. Stories abound of shoddy service: paint peeling off the walls, DNRs on anyone over 70 (at least during COVID), old people lying on trolleys in corridors for hours and days on end, people sleeping on the floor, half a day to get seen by accident and emergency, botched maternity care, murderous nurses, sepsis here and sepsis there, often woeful food, radical discontinuity of care, hospitals rated inadequate, a culture of cover-up, bullying, endless negligence payouts, bloated bureaucrats on golden pensions, and so on and on. The word on the street these days about the NHS is not exactly positive.

There is no room to rehash the endless debate over privatised health care. That said, I am not advocating for a fully privatised system anyway. Not even our private food system is without government supplementation, for example free school meals and financial assistance to food charities, not to mention government subsidies for agriculture. In a private medical system, there would be similar government assistance, safety nets, and the like. In addition, just as private food is heavily regulated so as to reduce the risk of contamination, food poisoning, and waste, so a private medical system would also be heavily regulated to ensure basic standards from top to bottom.

The worry that is perhaps most often raised is that whereas food products are commodities and hence subject to commodity pricing, many life-saving medicines and treatments are the result of decades of high-cost research and development, require intellectual property protection, and need to have their costs recouped through high pricing. The hope that I and many others have is that as long as technology progresses, prices will trend downwards and affordability will increase. This is particularly so with the mass production of generic medicines. A hundred years ago, hardly anyone ate steak. And hardly anyone had access to antibiotics. Still, there is a long way to go in light of the Big Pharma quasi-cartel, corrupt regulators and legislators (the old ‘revolving door’), and the artificial stimulation of demand due in large part to a woeful lack of government or private interest in preventive health care – the best health care of all.

No, I don’t want to stand in a queue outside a state-run food dispensary. And I want more than ten minutes with my GP. The logic of not bothering about the latter leads to not being fussed about the former, at least if my reasoning is correct. I think we should reject rationing altogether, outside of war and national calamity. If I want a National Food Service, I’ll head over to North Korea. Thanks but no thanks; I’m off to Tesco for a sirloin.

David S. Oderberg is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading; [email protected];; All opinions expressed are personal and not associated in any way with my employer.

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Relatability and Envy

At the Sky News Q&A, both Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer were asked to reveal something about themselves that would show the real them. Starmer was also accused of being a robot by a voter. Sunak waffled on about his love of sugary food. Starmer basically went on autopilot.

Did it work? No. Both just looked stupid.

It was an unfortunate question really. The problem is that politicians have become obsessed with being relatable. They’ll shed their political image like a snake in order to win a few votes. It can be talking about TV shows, playing sports or just mentioning something from popular culture. They have to look like they’re one of us.

It also ties in with a politics of envy. A number of politicians who are wealthy or come from good families play down their backgrounds or hide from it. The idea that someone from a privileged background can reach the level that they do without envy or scorn is somehow unrealistic in today’s society.

It’s All About the PR

For decades, politics has been a PR game. Who would you have a drink with? Who seems nicest? Who has the best family values? Who is funniest? Policies are put aside in favour of a good photo op and a one-liner that does the rounds on social media.

We’ve seen that in this election, particularly from Sir Ed Davey. He’s had fun going paddle boarding and riding roller coasters. There is no substancing in his messaging, despite the fact that he could make gains from the two major parties collapsing. Whilst the Lib Dems do have a manifesto and probably actual policies, it’s overshadowed by Davey’s antics.

It’s not new either. Even Margaret Thatcher was not immune to it. Aides had her hold a calf for photographers, the poor thing died not long later. David Cameron hugged huskies in snow. Neil Kinnock walked down the beach with his wife. Tony Blair met with Noel Gallagher. Everyone has a gimmick.

The problem is that it is clearly not authentic. Margaret Thatcher wasn’t an animal cuddler. David Cameron isn’t a fan of huskies. Neil Kinnock probably doesn’t do long walks on the beach. Tony Blair doesn’t listen to Oasis. Voters don’t want to see their politicians being hip and cool. They want to see them tackling the issues that we elect them to do.

We all know that the Prime Minister has a job to do. They oversee wars, economic crises, terrorist attacks and natural disasters among other things. The real test of a PM is their response to said issues. Nobody cares about what their favourite book or TV show is when such issues arise. Interviewers often like to throw in a soft question, just like a backbench Member of Parliament mentions a new animal sanctuary in their constituency. It just doesn’t fit.

It also assumes that every politician is one of us. Who cares if they don’t watch much TV? Who cares if they speak Latin or Greek? Boris Johnson, a man with a great love of the classics, would often recite Ancient Greek, but he also showed an affability and relaxed nature that hid this. Meanwhile, David Cameron struggled to look authentic when he wanted to ‘hug a hoodie.’ One lasted six years in office, the other three.

Rich or Poor?

This brings me nicely to my next point. Our nation, or at least the media, seems to not particularly like politicians being open about their privilege. If a politician came from a wealthy family or went to a private school, they are expected to flex their working class credentials.

Take Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer. Sunak is the son-in-law of a billionaire and wears very expensive items, and is thus wealthy. When asked about this, he points to the fact that his father was a GP and his mother a pharmacist, two respectable middle class professions. Starmer waxes lyrical about the fact that his father was a toolmaker (cue laughter) and his mother a nurse. What he fails to mention is that his father apparently owned the factory and he attended a private school, though through a bursary.

David Cameron suffered from a similar image problem, as did Boris Johnson in some quarters. Meanwhile, Margaret Thatcher was proud of being a grocer’s daughter and John Major left school at sixteen. Clement Attlee came from a comfortable background, attending a private school and Oxford. James Callaghan came from a working class family and did not attend university. Each of them have varied reputations as politicians.

Contrast this with that of America. Whilst Americans love the idea of the American Dream and pulling yourself up by the bootstraps, they also don’t care as much about class, whether upper or lower. Donald Trump has not once hid that he’s from a rich family, and yet he does not see shame from voters over this.

I frankly do not care if a politician came from a northern council estate like Angela Rayner or was the grandson of a duke like Winston Churchill. I don’t care if they went to a comprehensive or Eton, just as I don’t begrudge a parent for wanting to send their child to a grammar or private school. If they can afford private healthcare, then good for them.

If a politician from a comfortable background is asked about this, they should not downplay it. Instead, they should simply say that their parents worked hard and that they want all people to have the same opportunity.

That is not to say that I think the country would be a perfect place if every MP went to Eton and Oxford. I don’t think it would be perfect if every MP went to a normal school and didn’t go to university. We’ve had good politicians from all backgrounds, and we’ve had bad politicians from all backgrounds.

It does not serve us well to be envious of the rich, or assume that all working class people are good ol’ folk. We should not be desperate for a politician to be a big fan of Game of Thrones or like the same sweets as we do. Politicians should not pretend to be something they are not. I’m not voting for a person’s school or their favourite beverage. I’m voting for who I think has the best ideas.

Which, to be frank, seems to be none of them. Hey, at least I know that Rishi Sunak loves Haribo.

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The Impossible as Motivation

“I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will.”

– Antonio Gramsci

Like all disaffected individuals who supported the Conservatives in 2019, I too find solace in the work of a certain Italian Marxist philosopher and his insights. The simplicity of that quote often speaks to a dormant impulse in the human condition, the belief that things really can change; that, when everything is said and done, we will win. We must, as President Trump once said: “…treat the word ‘impossible’ as motivation.”

In the history of Great Britain, this nation has faced many challenges and many dark days. Those dark days still lay ahead, for that can be assured. Those obstacles within our national politics seem numerous: civil servants, fifth columnists, various media establishments and even entire political parties which claim to represent the interests of the country. Out of this election, it is plain as day. Labour will win, through sheer dullness and the fact that Sunak has clearly given up and not even attempted to try during this race for his own premiership. The reason why people do not like Sunak is because, at his core, he represents ultimately why people do not like Conservatives or politicians in general. They are mostly losers who want to be liked and be seen as important by others; they want to be winner but have never fought truly for anything in their lives. It is for this reason, they are not worthy of any votes or seats. It is not because they have fought and failed, it is that they have never even tried or put up a fight.

From this, the only cure that needs to be given is that of Zero Votes and Zero Seats. Vote Reform now, Cummings later. This can be summarised as voting Reform now to give the Conservatives zero seats, thus ending them (at least, as much as possible) as a political force within Great Britain. Out of this, we should unite around a different right-wing party, one that genuinely seeks to change the direction of the country and prepared to ask and answer the questions that matter. Why are we having these problems? Why are people struggling to buy a house? Why is this country declining?

Following on from this, it is clear that Farage is here to stay and can become a massive nuisance for the administrative state, the state that is allergic to change and remains prestige-orientated. As such, Farage is not the man who will do these things; he is a media personality, not someone who is interested in the nitty gritty of continuing (starting with Brexit) a decade-long (if not century-long) process of fixing the foundational issues of this country. Farage is an Einstein in an Oppenheimer world, it would seem.

Farage understands the need for generating a new excitement around a political issue, he understands that nothing is impossible, even that the mere usage of the word should be taken as motivation. Indeed, his lifelong struggle to get Britain to leave the EU is one such endeavour which, even at the best of times, felt like an ultimately impossible task until it wasn’t. This is not dissimilar to Trump, a figure who isn’t sensitive to the nuance of details, but fundamentally understands the broad picture, why things needs to change, and how to go about doing it.

As such, one hopes that if Reform becomes akin to UKIP, they can become a political force that asks the big questions that the majority of the population want asked. Additionally, Reform should be able to shift the Overton window on a series of issues, bringing them to the forefront of politics from outside of the mainstream political parties. These should range from immigration, the economy, the housing crisis, and the need to dismantle the administrative state.

This being said, like UKIP and the Brexit Party before, when Reform has kicked through the door, it should again vanish. By the end of the decade, Reform should be as important as UKIP is in 2024. Reform should not be here to stay in the long term. Now that it seems possible that Reform will replace the Conservatives, just as the Labour replaced the Liberals throughout the 1920s, allowing them to fully turn their guns on Labour, exposing them as being no better. Of course, Labour is not up to the task of governing and will almost certainly do damage to Britain. Given that Starmer is a wet lettuce of a man, unlikely to last long in post, they’ll have plenty of material to work with.

From this, Reform can generate space for something to be built for the 21st Century, something with real long term vision and purpose. Insert “assorted weirdos” reference here. Indeed, it is rather fitting that the two individuals that are attempting to offer real alternatives to the current issues facing this country are the same two which brought Brexit home (twice if you count the 2019 general election). Now we could realistically see this occur again. Farage’s media personality pushing the core issues into the forefront of British political life, while Cummings dominates the nitty gritty of how to get from ‘A’ to ‘B’ and securing the real victories. Additionally, both men want the complete destruction of the gate keeping Conservatives and are radically anti-establishment and Westminster, something the vast majority of the electorate share.

Although Cummings has modelled his work on Singapore’s People’s Action Party (I would encourage all to read ‘From Third World to First: The Singapore Story: 1965-2000’), and its stewardship under Lee Kuan Yew, it is another Southeast Asian leader that he should also look at too. Ho Chi Minh (hear me out), and his leadership of North Vietnam, can be summarised as that of revolutionary self-belief and determination. The clinical and principled nature of Singapore, combined with the zealous optimism of Vietnam, would propel the country back into a forward-thinking, functioning 21st Century nation state. It should be hoped that, when Cumming’s Party is ready and the door has been blown open by Farage’s Reform, it too should move into place. A tech-focused, big tent, anti-establishment party that seeks to radically fix the core issues within the country. Radically reduce immigration, tackle the wealth disparity and tax avoidance, and dismantle the permanent administrative state.

In conclusion, Politics is Never Over. Things have returned to being interesting – we could witness another realignment in our national discourse. This should be motivating for people like Farage and Cummings. We can smell blood right now on both Starmer and Sunak, so we must take this chance to end the declinist duopoly once and for all, and scramble to build something in its place thereafter. As Farage stated in a mere four words: “We’re just getting started.”

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The Century of Steel

Imagine a world in which there is no central structure, imagine a world where both the United States and China have fallen from a state of global hegemony to struggling to maintain any internal resemblance of order. This could occur independently of the other nation’s collapse or in tandem with it. What would the world look like? Would another world order emerge or would complete anarchy befall the world writ large? If there isn’t the time or conditions for another unipolar nation to fill this void, in part or in full, we must look for a more divided and unstable world structure. This core concept can be understood as non-polarity, where states cannot order themselves according to any traditional structure. Out of this concept, we could be entering a world of widespread turmoil and interstate violence. This can be understood as the Century of Steel (CoS), a term to help describe and articulate what we could be going through.

In order to understand the CoS, we first must look at Italian politics in the postwar years. The Years of Lead refers to a period of widespread social and political instability and violence in Italy. This period saw terrorism and assassinations become normalised from the 1960s to 1980s, the outcome of which saw government forces triumph and various far-right and far-left organisations disbanded. Notable and symbolic examples of this period include the Bologna Bombing in 1980 and the assassination of former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro. A lengthy explanation of this period can be found here.

Now, imagine a globalised version of the Italian Years of Lead taking place through a deglobalising world. Widespread interstate turmoil across nearly all regions of the world could occur. Following this, in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, we have seen the rise of old tensions occur once more from across the Eurasian Steppe and the Middle East. From the ‘Special Military Operation’ in Ukraine to the thinning of the Palestinian herd by Israel. The outcomes of this will look like Russia beating Ukraine, with them annexing half the country, followed by Israel becoming a pariah within the Middle East again, ending decades of peace efforts. With the collapse of the current ‘rules-based’ world order and the potential joint collapse of both major superpowers in the not-so-distant future, another avenue of what could happen needs to be explored. 

One of the most underrated academics currently working is that of Yi Fuxian, who has contributed considerably to the topic of demography, especially within the context of the Asia-Pacific. In a recent Diplomat article, Yi argued that any conflict will only exacerbate the ongoing demographic issues between the aforementioned warring nations. As noted with the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War, both nations have seen their respective fertility rates drop substantially. Likewise, if war were to break out between China and Taiwan (both nations are in considerably worse demographic situations), this would have disastrous consequences for both nations, regardless of the outcome of the conflict.

“If a Taiwan war breaks out, it will hasten these trends, leading to global instability and even the collapse of the U.S.-led world order… Time is not on the side of China or Taiwan, nor on the side of the United States. The three parties need to show sufficient wisdom and courage to achieve permanent peace across the Taiwan Strait – and avoid dropping off a demographic cliff.”

-Yi Fuxian, The Demographic Costs of a War Over Taiwan, The Diplomat (10/04/2024)

With most of the world now residing in a ‘post-fertile’ world, being below replacement level, there are fewer ‘new’ people entering into this increasingly conflictual world. What a lot of nations have now in terms of manpower is all they will have for many years to come, and when it goes, it goes. If you choose to spend it on conflict, you must accept the fact you will most likely not have anyone to replace them, creating various problems down the line. Moreover, the potential conflicts will only further perpetuate the conditions that caused states to fall into such a demographic rut in the first place.

If we are indeed becoming truly deglobalised, we could see the emergence of a new epoch. Just as the Cold War defined much of the 20th Century, the CoS may define much of the 21st. A ‘century’ of no centralised control being exerted within the world, incapable of regulating and mediating beyond a very narrow and constricted sphere of influence. This will only compound the ongoing issues being faced across the planet. We are entering very dangerous and complex times ahead for every single individual in the world and more conflicts will most likely arise in the following years as a result.

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