Entropy is the tendency of all matter to disintegrate. In order to prevent or counteract this tendency a counter-force must be at work, and that counter-force, which enables the universe to exist has been given many religious and philosophical identities as well as scientific ones.
In today's world entropic tendencies are at work with great vigor, from social and economic divisions in the US and Europe to ethnic and religious divisions in the Middle East, Africa and Asia..
This worldwide situation is unprecedented in modern history. The contemporary international scene is sometimes compared to the period between the end of World War I and the beginning of World War II. In fact, however, the two historic periods are polar opposites. Bolshevism, Fascism, and Nazism were reactions to chaotic social, political and economic situations in Russia, Italy, and Germany and in fact restored coherence in those societies, which were in grave danger of disintegration. That all of the successor regimes were vile and barbaric is aside from the point. Entropy was overcome in all those cases as well as others during the same period.
The present worldwide entropy is primarily economic and social in nature, reflecting unprecedented concentration of wealth in an ever-decreasing percentage of the population in the West, exacerbated by the weakening of the cohesive forces of Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman belief systems. In much of the rest of the world societies are falling apart into their religious and ethnic fault lines.
The totalitarian societies were confronted by the West and eventually defeated, although in the case of the Soviet Union it took 74 years. The collapse of the USSR was notoriously proclaimed "The End of History" by an American academic, whose thesis was enthusiastically embraced until the end of history ended in the flames of the twin towers in Manhattan and the Pentagon. Since then entropy has at first gradually and then more and more swiftly taken over most of the world, with China, the only significant holdover from the totalitarian side of the Cold War, and an newly-dictatorial Russia, respectively rampaging around the Pacific Basin and Eurasia.
What does all this mean for Israel? Perhaps it is the end of days and soon the armies of Gog and Magog will be confronting each other in a final apocalyptic conflict. Short of that two things are necessary. The first is to resolutely confront and defeat domestic entropic tendencies of a social and/or religious nature. In the regional and international arenas, there must be unshakable policy guidelines coupled with great flexibility of means, in all areas of global interaction: diplomatic, economic, financial, and military.
In fact, Israel is doing quite well in both areas, despite occasional setbacks. Of all the countries of the world, only tiny Israel and huge India along with a handful of others may be said to be effectively countering the pervasive entropy while upholding political and economic freedom.
Norman A. Bailey, Ph.D., is Professor of Economics and National Security, The National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa, and Adjunct Professor of Economic Statecraft, The Institute of World Politics, Washington, DC. He was formerly with the US National Security Council and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 6, 2016
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