Territorial Insecurities, Taiwan Edition

Roman mask: Empires are always transient

Context: Chinese jets invade Taiwan airspace

Good ideas sell themselves, it is only bad ideas that require brute-forcing. The CCP have painted themselves into a corner. The constructive dissonance of insecurity upon which their core ideological self-validation rests obligates them to an expansionist adversarialism that might fit well with their symbolic abstractions of attainment and historical salience but which is likely to incur costs that their population will endure en masse.

This is a common enough historical and political pathology that tends to lead (many and diverse) political systems and ideologies into spirals of inadvertent self-destruction through the conflation of ideological antitheses into self-destructive enigmas. Shelley’s Ozymandias captures the endgame for all empires – the difference and distance by which they define themselves becomes an unacknowledged (and inverse) seed of internal systemic entropy and dissipative turbulence that lead to endless, iteratively amplifying conquests and eventual disorder and dissolution.

Most of us are swept up by the consequences and complexities of such historical flows and events without any capacity to influence or induce peace. The question becomes one of just how much trauma a political system is willing to inflict upon the citizens that it asserts control over: is control in place for its own sake or is the duty of care in governance authentic? Only the Chinese people can decide this and I hope that they, as much as all other nations, find a peaceful way out of this hyper-inflating tesseract of geopolitical and ideological complexity.

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