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Terrorism

When the World Trade Center buildings were destroyed with massive loss of human life. President Bush saw the struggle against terrorism as good versus evil. Such a simplistic view is wrong and dangerous. The United States literally created the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. In the language of Jungian psychology they are a physical embodiment of the shadow of Western culture.

In the development of an individual the shadow is a metaphor for all the poorly developed and poorly differentiated elements of the personal psyche. We project these primitive and threatening aspects of ourselves onto our image of the enemy. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda are real enemies created by the inferior elements of our cultural development and theirs. We gave them the weapons that allowed them to defeat the Soviet Union and then we abandoned Afghanistan to chaos. We helped to finance the anarchy and warlords in Afghanistan with our archaic and destructive drug policy.

We need to do what we can to prevent terrorism and punish those responsible, but ultimately the war is not against an external enemy. The war is within our culture and within each individual just as the real Jihad is a struggle within the individual. We can only conquer terrorism by developing and integrating the inferior elements of our culture. This is the most difficult of tasks in that it can only be accomplished through the development of each individual.

Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize winning economist, wrote a damning indictment on the policy of international financial institution such as the World Bank and World Trade Organization. Globalization and its Discontents[46] describes how these institutions under the guise of a capitalist orthodoxy has forced many third world countries into destructive policies that were long ago recognized as such by the vast majority of economists. The United States is the dominant power in these organizations. One of the most troubling examples is the way third world countries are forced to open their markets to manufactured goods largely destroying indigenous industries while simultaneously their agricultural products are forced to be noncompetitive because of the huge agricultural subsidies in first world countries. The policy can lead only to impoverishment.

An even more devastating indictment of United States Policy is contained in John Perkins' Confessions of an Economic Hit Man[42]. Perkins was employed as an economist. His job was to analyze the impact of large projects on developing countries. It was made clear to him that he was to vastly over estimate the growth that these projects could create. The purpose was to economically enslave the target country by saddling them with debts they could never repay. The resulting economic dependency would create a new form of empire whereby the United States could rule the world. The result has been economic devastation across the developing world.

The sickness in this over reaching desire to control the world is a symptom of the one sided focus on intellectual development just as orthodox capitalism is. Economic freedom is an essential element of liberty, but economic freedom is a complicated thing. No simple formula such as providing free markets leads to economic freedom. Only regulated markets can be truly free. Otherwise fraud and legal thievery will dominate. The same is true of the market for labor. It is not freedom to allow a worker to be employed in a job that is likely to kill or injure him. It is not freedom to allow a plant to pollute the air and water. Excessive or needless regulation can destroy freedom as effectively as unfettered markets. Excessive regulation throughout much of the developing world makes it impossible for the poor to access the capital they have accumulated in their homes as Hernando de Soto explains in The Mystery of Capital[15].

International financial institutions must recognize the enormous complexity of the problem of development. Instead of tying to fit reality into a narrow intellectual model, they must accept their limited understanding and ability to fix things. The must stop trying to control the world and start trying to empower it. They must stop putting the top priority on securing loans made by powerful first world institutions. First priority should go to the welfare of the people in the countries they are claiming to help. This does not mean a policy that leads to dependence, but it must be a policy that does not further impoverish the people by extracting repayment of debt incurred by dictators that stole and squandered the original loans. This is doubly true because these loans were based on deliberately fraudulent economic forecasts.

Policies that enrich special interests in the West while further impoverishing the desperately poor are murder by other means. They are as morally reprehensible as terrorism because they equally destroy lives of innocents. Admitting that we are doing this is a morally difficult act. Any politician who suggests it will be crucified. But it is the truth and until we can, as a culture, see it as such, we will keep doing it and keep creating the hate that can lead to terrorism.

It is not an impossible task. The starting point is to recognize that the problem exists. We have purchased the power of our technology at the price of developing a very one sided culture where logic and intellect reign supreme on the surface. Evolution developed those functions because of their practical value, but simultaneously it evolved complementary and countervailing forces. These are equally active, but we are not so aware of them. These underground forces are often the dominant factor in our decisions. Because we are unaware of their functioning we repeatedly misinterpret and project these forces.

In Section 10.3 we touched on Jung's concept of the dominant function of our age, thinking, and its shadow feeling. Our cultural inferior feeling is the source of many of our problems. It leads to the arrogant selfishness that has largely characterized our international policy since the war on communism became our dominant international concern. The fall of communism has not changed things much. Of course we have on occasion taken action for humanitarian reasons, but these instances have been all too infrequent given our enormous power and the problems the world faces.

The cultural path to development and differentiation of feeling starts with the development of intuition. Though intuition we can deal with situations that are too complex or poorly understood for intellect. A neural net can converge to an effective solution without any concept of how or why the solution works. Intuition can make wild inspired guesses for almost any problem. Most such guesses will be wrong or ineffective, but with experiments it can converge on truly effective solutions for seemingly unsolvable problems. Intuitions is the starting point for recognizing the full complexity of the problems we face and the inadequacy of intellectual solutions to these problems.


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