29 August 2007

A look at the interview between Hugh Hewitt and Thomas P.M. Barnett

I have previously reviewed the concepts Mr. Barnett has outlined in his interviews with Mr. Hewitt in previous posts: Grand strategy and force structure, Why the US does not have constabulary forces, Some thoughts on another interview, and some final thoughts on another interview. In overview I find Mr. Barnett's views of a tripartite world not descriptive of the modern world and not addressing the problems of it. In extreme particular he has been unwilling to address non-Nation State actors and our inability to address them through traditional means of diplomacy, Nation State activities as practiced in the post-WWII era, or via the form of 'realist' diplomacy that has encouraged the growth and legitimacy of such groups. This is not just terrorism, although it is a main problem, but also the host of Non-Governmental Organizations that have their own agendas that are tied to no Nation State, and yet they fund their ideologies and beliefs of various sorts by donations and even get hearings in Nation to Nation endeavors. Thus I come to his most recent interview with Mr. Hewitt in which he puts forth that leaving Iraq and causing bloodshed now is preferable to leaving it later.

Of the things he puts forth is that Iraq is heading to a 'soft partition' and a Free Kurdistan that will be weakly, if at all, tied to Iraq. This is the previous 'partition of Iraq' concept pushed by many that has neglected to examine if Iraqis do, indeed, wish to be 'partitioned' in any form. By putting forth that the Kurds, who had been protected for over a decade by the US from Saddam is due to be independent from it is something of a strange surprise. Kurds, contrary to belief, have been full participants in the Iraqi Army and Police and in helping their neighbors stand up capability over time. They have that capability via two main routes: culturally, Kurds are extremely competent in the martial realm and have a strong ethnic affiliation, and, secondly they had over a decade to stand up decent capability with US help. Mind you that was only for something like 5-6 million people over 12 years to get them to that point before the start of OIF, a mere nothing in this realm of tripartite world views. That Iraq, with wider religious and ethnic diversity, and having the remainder 18 million or so Iraqis would be able to do similar, given the extent of the size of Iraq as compared to the Kurdish regions is difficult to understand for the time frame involved.

Now, just as a side-light, when Mr. Barnett brings up the division of Kurdistan at the behest of Ataturk, at that the US will 'have to do something similar', there is one element of that equation that he has forgotten: the Kurds. The Kurdish view towards that division by Ataturk and with the agreement of the European powers is one that lasts to this day, and strongly so. Promised a homeland that would be free by the victorious powers, within a few short years that was sub-divided by Turkey and the Europeans, and that is considered to be betrayal by the Kurds. The US, not having done much of anything against the Ottomans and having no real ability to stand against that, is seen as being relatively neutral. Under President Wilson the US had 'talked a good game' but did not 'put its money where its mouth was', and so the grandiose ideas of President Wilson had no chance to come close to reality as he had not paid the price of admission in the Med. And the Kurds also remember *that*, too, and only more than a decade of direct help and support has helped to erase some of that neutrality and turn it into friendship. I can give a good guess as to how the Kurds would feel about writing off their brothers a *second time* with the boot of the US there to do so. But that is looking at the Kurds as a People who have a history and don't really see themselves in a first or third world or a gap between them, but as a proud and distinguished People who have long, long memories of the things done to them. Now if Mr. Barnett had said that the US was going to *liberate* all the Kurds from surrounding Nations, he might have something, but writing them off AGAIN?

Perhaps the goal is to be hated by all the peoples of the Middle East? That would be a grand start! The Kurds feel they have given 'a half-loaf' so often that they are down to only what they can survive on, and they happen to recognize that as a land-locked Nation with no easy access to the sea for trade, that they are at the mercy of their neighbors. Turkey has been none-too-willing to recognize Kurdish culture, ethnicity or even its language, and that enmity pre-dates the PKK. Going back on our word to the Kurds NOW will change their attitude from friendliness, and the 'Ameriki' tribe, to one of bitterness and disgust with us. They *still* feel that way towards the Turks, France and Britain.

After the partition concept Mr. Barnett then looks at the war against al Qaeda. He does point to the success of the surge and the part of the tribes. The tribes that *support* the government now after hard diplomatic and military work was done to win them over. One of the less reported things on the Arab Sunni side of things is the state of places like Fallujah and other areas that, while being pro-Saddam, they were not of his tribal area nor exact ethnicity. In point of fact that area was ungovernable all during Saddam's reign, although he was able to *rule* by the gun, bloodshed and causing factional fights. Even further, there are accounts dating back to the 1930's that Fallujah and environs was lawless. The deep shock was that the people there now trusted the Iraqi Army more than their regional neighbors. Their society had been so beaten down that the first thing the folks wanted rebuilt was not: schools, roads, bridges, sewage plants, electrical sub-stations.... No, the very first thing to be rebuilt was the fortified family compounds around their homes. That is a mosaic view of Iraq that is hard for a tripartite view of the world to actually come to terms with. Iraq was a heavily factionalized Nation, just like its Arab neighbors, and ruled over by Empires and dictators for so long that having a quiet, civil life was impossible. To get such people to actually trust any level of government is damned amazing. To do that in four years is a miracle.

Another vector from Anbar that Mr. Barnett doesn't address flows directly from the above: the political side. Bill Roggio has done wonderful work following the movement of the Anbar tribes from loose association to strong affiliation to political movement that is now called: "Iraq Awakening". Even more fascinating is the form of it, which is localized in concept, but learning to work outwards and upwards for building coalitions and driving the killers out. While the Sunni Arabs have always talked about their societal superiority to the Shia Arabs, the US has basically done one thing to them and asked them to prove it: be better than anyone else in Iraq.

While never stated as such, the harsh view that the Iraqi Army being predominantly Shia, being capable enough to help Sunni Arabs get on their feet has been a tremendous cultural shock to them. Here are people that they have disdained for centuries suddenly proving themselves to be competent, capable and reaching out to help them. "Iraq Awakening" is a reflection of this and it has taken a position of non-sectarian politics with a strong bent towards technocrats. People willing to get things *done* and build society. "Iraq Awakening" now stretches out all the way to the Kurdish provinces, and northwards, and is also moving into the Baghdad region. Localized governmental control with a hard view on getting things running, having an open hand to those willing to help and giving no room for those seeking to kill. That doesn't sound too much like a partitional group to me...

From there Mr. Barnett turns to the Sunni/Shia violence that is still going on due to the British mismanagement of standing up local government, and the entrenchment of some al Qaeda groups in and around Baghdad. Here he compares the problem to a reverse of Bosnia and that the two sides are nowhere near at the end of their cycle of killing. And as that is the sole basis on which the US will be judged, we will be forced to pull back to the Kurds and Kuwait and to leave the Sunni population to drift in the wind after telling them we would help them integrate with the rest of Iraq to help end the cycle of violence. This cycle has been largely fueled by outside cash, arms and personnel: al Qaeda first from Saudi Arabia, but now receiving some logistic aid via Syria, and the Iranians who have backed Sadr and the 'Special Groups' who were once the 'Badr Brigades'. That flow of arms and personnel has been through the highly corrupt government that the British have let grow up there since the invasion. Mind you the British were *applauded* by many foreign policy experts as this was 'the way to do it'. We now see what this lovely way to do things gets you: fanatical outsiders flowing in with deadly arms to try and start up a civil war and overthrow that Nation.

And if we leave that is exactly and precisely what will happen, save that al Qaeda will return, again, with lots more money, claim victory against the 'weak Americans' and the Iranians will also claim victory against 'the Great Satan' and the Kurds will detest us for going back on our word to them. Well, we will have Kuwait for a bit, until Iran can surround it completely and start waves of terror attacks there... then, of course, Kuwait will be the 'next quagmire' and best to run from that... and we can't really keep the Kurds supplied and the Turks can pressure them via the only half-way decent supply route once Iran and Syria cement an overland link to really get their nuclear capabilities going. Don't mind the few million dead in the few years after that, the fall of Kuwait, Jordan, and then al Qaeda really feeling its oats and going after the Saudis directly. And Iran supplying more arms to Afghani rebels and rebels in the lower 'stans. Because their main money sink has been: Hezbollah and fighting the US in Iraq. Give them control of the lower oil fields and pipelines and the money they will have to spend will double if not triple within months. They might even start ramping up the money going to Bosnia and their organization in the Tri-Border Area of S. America could use some beefing up... not to speak of what al Qaeda will do. And don't mind the Iranians having involvement in Turkish politics and their ability to greatly increase *that* as well.

I thought this was going to work out so well!

You see Iran is not what we would like to think of as a 'normal Nation State'. It is a 'rogue regime' that has a fanatical basis and doesn't pay much attention to economics, as seen by their inability to keep their petro system going and now not even being able to pay their public service folks for six months. If the US withdraws *that* disappears, they will be seen as *winners* and will then push to expand the fight. That is what revolutionary regimes do when they confront an opponent that backs down to them. Hell, even simple dictators DO THAT. Osama bin Laden did and will use any pull out and descent in to chaos as the 'virtuous jihadis driving the crusading infidels out', or similar words from whoever the leader of aQ is these days. And you know something: they will be *right*.

Throughout Mr. Barnett's view of the world, playing Iran against Saudi Arabia and thinking that there will be some 'accommodation' there, and that the US can just leave after what we have done, through all of that there are three words missing from his vocabulary and his ability to describe things the US would want to see happen in the Middle East. Very simple words that do not often appear from the foreign policy 'greats' and those 'geostrategic thinkers' of the 'realist' school of thought. Those folks talk a lot about economic security and peace as a way to get that, but that sort of peace can be the 'peace of the bribed' or 'peace of the coerced' or 'peace of the dead'. No these three words guide the US and really should be foundational to our view of the world, and how we approach rebuilding Nations after war and confronting tyrants and dictators of all stripes.

I can find only one mentioned and it is in the defensive analysis, not the offensive, and that tells me that Mr. Barnett has given up on them completely.

The words?

Anyone reading here for a bit will know them well:




These are not the words of DIME, but then that does not pay the toll now, does it?

Apparently Mr. Barnett prefers not fighting for human liberty, freedom and getting folks to interact so as to have a say in their own affairs. Far better for these funny folks in a far off land to just kill each other in their millions and not interrupt the nap of the US while we ponder 'gaps' and 'how to bridge them'.

While our enemies ask: How can we make the world OURS?

When fighting to remove a tyrant the responsibility is to help those that have suffered under such despotic rule to stand up on their own, work out their differences, defend themselves and find a way to government that will not easily repress them again. A government accountable to other Nations and to its people. To run from that to 'get the killing over with' will mean we will have run from those ideals and tyranny will prosper in our absence because we are unwilling to support it. And once that happens abroad, it will come here because we have proven incapable of sustaining the gift handed to us and understanding its importance.

The killing will stop.

Once tyranny wins.

This is not a fight of statistics, death tolls or economic capacity. It is a contest of wills. Leave now and there will be no turning back to Iraq again, because the war will spread and that era before Westphalia will return in all its horror. And that will not be quick at all as those wars were measured in decades. And all that it takes is a commitment to three ideals and nourishing the great tree of liberty with blood of tyrants and patriots.

That is the cost we now teach Iraqis, and they are paying it. They need our help to finally end the reign of killers.

Do we mean what we say as a Nation and culture about our fine ideals?

Or are they to be bartered away because our fight is just too much for us? After America paid with 10% of its population dead after the Revolution... run now and we do not deserve to *be* free, because we have lost the meaning of freedom to a weak stomach and will have given up on those things Americans have died for in plenitude. In the millions. Quite a down payment to walk out on.

Do as you say.
Say what you mean.
Mean what you do.


Ikez said...

Excellent post. Wow!

A Jacksonian said...

Ikez - My thanks!

Those that wish to run from such things and offer fanciful dreams of 'what if Iran was more normal?' have a problem in dealing with the actual, physical reality we have today. A connected Iran/Syria will mean the direct shipment of yellowcake to multiple sites that will quickly proliferate in the newly conquered territory. Turkey will be pressed internally and the Saudis will be facing their own zealots. That isn't much of a 'face off between Nations' so much as it is a dissolving of Nations into chaos. I have had it with the 'realists' of all stripe: they have failed this Nation and the world for 90 years. Time to go back to what *worked*: pressing liberty, freedom and democracy whenever we are called to fight. Because that is what we are founded on when we say that all men are created equal.

We have run from our revolutionary heritage for too long. It is time to admit mistakes and step forward with our forefathers into the future, not run from it so it will kill us all. That is where the lovely 'geostrategic thinking' has gotten us: no longer willing to support anything the Nation is founded upon.

To hell with that.

It is 'put up or shut up' time for America, for we cannot walk nor run from this fight. The last 90 years has now handed us this one, single decision to make. Best we make the right choice this time, for there is no recovery from a mis-step, unless we like nuclear glass in place of some number of cities across the globe. Including a few of our own gone missing...

I don't like that outcome, so let us do the right thing and avoid it. Teach folks to take care of themselves so they learn that actions have consequences. That is the path to safety, but only if we dare to take it.

Harrison said...


the past month has been pretty hectic for me as I'm easing into the current semester, thus leaving little time for blogging - but I do make a genuine effort to visit blogs and keep myself updated. Yours has been an invaluable part of my daily reads, and I thank you for that.

Actually, I came across that Legal Affairs article on Bin Laden a few days before you posted on it, and I do have some musings about it, so hopefully I can get one or two postings done by this weekend to share my thoughts on the pirate-terrorist parallel. Fascinating, isn't it? The paradigm that I put forth in response to your post the other day can be viewed as a device to counter those who believe that transnational identities such as aQ should not be viewed as the enemy of the international system because prosecuting them in the name of international law and justice on the grounds that they do not agree with the Western-imposed concept of sovereignty laid down at Westphalia is Euro- and ethno-centric, and therefore proof of our narrow-minded intolerance of competing world views (all of which, in their opinion, should be given equal importance and legitimacy - moral equivalence?).

I had attempted, with every intention, of appealing to the solely rational, perhaps realist in that sense, nature and judge for themselves the disruptiveness and corruptibility of such transnational entities that fundamentally threaten order in international society. For once, they should recognise the lowest common denominator in terms of the 'interest of humanity': to preserve life, liberty and property. For once, they should struggle within themselves to resist from resorting to arguments claiming that the indiscriminate execution of force, of bloodshed and murder, can be justified by the humiliating legacy of colonialism/imperialism. Blame the individuals, the pirates that are hijacking the concept of sovereignty, attempting to usurp the Nation-state as representative of the peoples without accountability or legitimacy. These terrorists embrace the new, unorthodox global paradigm, riding on the wave of popularity of revivified memes of decades-past such as imperialism (as posited by the dependency theorists) and new-age colonialism. All of a sudden, it has become so much easier to attribute blame for the mediocrity and retardation of the Middle East regimes to the unseen forces of Empire - the narrative so seductively simple, couched in the familiar language of the past. This knee-jerk response as a form of argument indeed betrays the absence of a contemporary, relevant awareness of the current realities on the ground, and it exposes their fallacious, disingenuous and insidious attempts to escape responsibility for their actions.

If the purely rational theory - that aQ is an invalid and therefore should be terminated rather than tolerated as merely an outcast, when the cost of tolerating its existence may be as serious as the collapse of international order - does not even resonate a certain degree with those adamant about gifting equal treatment to non-state actors without discretion and thus solely due to principle, then we can probably resign ourselves to the fact that these advocates have no inkling as to what has contributed so essentially to the survival of the international system.

Instead of blaming the Sunnis for their ingrained aversion towards accommodation with the Shi'ites, critics blame the Shi'ites for attempting to establish a sectarian arm in the military so as to more efficiently carry out genocide.

Instead of considering the possibility that non-American oversight may just be as problematic and flimsy as its American counterpart, and that the consistencies of an inherently anarchical society remain unchanged in parts of Iraq, critics are more fixated on apparent change. Change excites them: the US intervention disrupted the 'peaceful' lifelihoods of the Iraqis; the imposition of a parliamentary democracy that turned traditions of dictatorship and despotism on their heads and resulted in this political gridlock.

Consistency, however, is less exciting and therefore not worthy of attention or respect: the fact that the idea of the Nation-state as the fundamental actor in the international system does not register with most Iraqis as they identified with tribes, sects and clans first and foremost; the psychological barriers and habit of self-censorship institutionalised during Saddam's reign that prevents many Iraqis from envisioning that life can be different, that freedom and emancipation is possible without reprisal; the geopolitical reality that the Middle East has always been and will continue to be inherently hostile to the American presence, and helping Iraq rebuild itself is not going to alter that mindset in the space of four years; more disturbingly and introspectively, the consistency with which the US has been less than capable in terms of reconstruction and focusing on the achievement of political objectives in tandem with the use of military force - a discrepancy that is being remedied conscientiously by Patraeus, among others.

And as you so eloquently put it, the greatest consistency that has plagued the foreign policy of the US is this dominating realist doctrine that has forsaken the will to fight for the ideals that form the foundations of the US itself as a Nation-state.

A Jacksonian said...

Harrison - My best of wishes to you in the upcoming semester! Those days are long gone for me, but not forgotten... and I found I could *extract* an education which is something different than 'being educated' by the system. I think the concept was that 'you teach yourself how to learn' and that is a valuable life-long skill.

The Piracy articles I had not run across before Eagle01 had pointed them out to me, but I had read something similar back in the 1990's, though *where* is beyond my ability to recall. Unlike the 1:30,000 folks, that are still around and I remember, trying to remember one article out my studies of conflict and society is quite beyond me to do... and it was not from the legal side, either.

The law system we have in the US is interesting in its nature on how it supports the old common law, and also has variance from the forms of it. Those are cultural understandings that I extracted from the education system, not having it taught to me. Additionally, in my gaming time, I spent many, many games on inter-nation conflicts, how wars arise and *why*. Actually, with a few half-way decent players in a face-to-face setting you can learn more in playing something like 'Pax Brittanica' or 'Dune' about the affairs of Nations than weeks of reading in history books. Getting put in charge of the oversight of a Nation and having limited ability to control its underpinnings quickly disabuses one of any fanciful notions of 'quick and easy' warfare or even peace. Both are built and sustained and peace is not an absence of war, alone. They are both outcomes of hard work by societies and governments to give outlook within a framework of nation states.

The attitude of working with the physical reality, understanding cultural interplay, and that there is discrimination not only allowed but *mandatory* in the affairs of men and must be worked with on that basis, which is, I think, how your rational view and mine work (in their different ways) is something that has been forgotten by the post-WWII world. In attempting to form some non-written ideal of 'international law', those that push it (first thinkers, then politicians, then bureaucrats, then lawyers, then thinkers, etc.) as not brought any international accord, not limited warfare, not ended genocide, nor, indeed, sustained a concept of the nation state or given anything viable as its replacement. Indeed, they cannot as any such large system encompassing democratic and non-democratic peoples will, ultimately, hit to the 'lowest common denominator' of authoritarian rule. Humanity is unruly because of our differences, and attempting to pave them over and make all men and their societies exactly 'equal' makes saints and demons exactly 'equal'. Those that sustain life and those that commit genocide are seen as 'equal' and no differentiation between them is given and, even worse, those that have committed mass murder find those that would excuse it. The Left wishes to excuse their inability to criticize the USSR and the genocide in Laos and the Pol Pot regime, plus the ethnic and cultural cleansing of South Vietnam by saying that was *better* than the US fighting to preserve any form of democracy in the region. Today those in Darfur are put up as a rhetorical whipping boy for the Left to use, because they refuse to stop holding their lovely vigils and protests and actually do this thing known as 'take up arms' to go and defend the downtrodden of the Earth. Where *is* that lovely spirit they exercised during the Spanish Civil War? Or was fighting just too dirty and nasty for the ivory tower and best let the peons do that for you? The Right has its problems, particularly in this idea that 'trade' makes 'freedom', forgetting that it is 'freedom' that sustains 'trade' amongst free peoples. In those areas where outside views on trade to 'bring liberty' were given, they have not proven out: the Middle East and China. Both serve as demonstrations that 'trade' is an activity amongst Nations and that 'freedom' seems to have a separate vector that can coincide with 'trade' but is not necessarily led by it. The work of evangelicals, teachers, workers and others that went throughout the Middle East from the 18th century to the early 20th brought with them their view of America: freedom of worship, freedom of thought, and backing by a government that let them go to strange places and die for their beliefs. That America is still, dimly, remembered in the Universities and teaching hospitals erected by those from that robust era of the US.

I do agree with you, heartily, that the 'romance' of terrorism is appealing to those that have grown used to beeing free. Whis is more free: living your life in a bureaucratically burdened Nation with many comforts, or living your life with those that believe as you do to oppose all Nations and living and dying by same? There is always a romance to the latter, and it has been glamorized to the point where the fiction of it is no longer realized. Pirates, in their prime, generally lived short, brutal lives and died soon after taking up the concept. They had been declared outlaws - outside the protection of any law. War was waged on them to protect the Nations of their era, so successfully that we have forgotten the outlook and words and meanings of those activities and those of the nation state. By driving out these elements and regularizing nation state warfare, we have forgotten about illegitimate war and personal war, of those that will oppose ALL law and ALL Nations to bring them into accord with their own beliefs. You are quite correct that this dull, humdrum life is sparked by the glamor of the concept... but the harsh reality of blood on the streets and being hunted by all Nations no longer arises: all Nations now have 'international law' which CANNOT NAME THEM AS OUTLAWS!

Somehow I really do like the old way of defining an activity, calling it for what it is and then setting about its remedy based on the activity. Attack without warrant upon any and all nations? You are an outlaw from the law of nations, and given no benefit of any law, save those which will classify you and give you the punishment of the societies that you attacked see fit to give you. That is, by the modern view, so extremely biased as to give indigestion to the Left and Right. It endangers them both, if nations actually acted like Sovereigns and not like grade school children looking to be led. Do that, however, and you are attacked from all sides as being: extremist, biased, and against 'free trade'. Damned straight I am! That is the BASIS for the nation state system and, believe it or not, it *works*. You do get wars, fighting, strife... and you also get industrial expansion, expansion of literacy, promulgation of ideas, intercourse between nations and peoples to see just how we do fit together by common agreement.

And you are damned correct that we cannot teach tribal societies how to turn into a modern, secular society overnight. Nor even in a few decades. The US has a remedy for that: Westphalian freedom of religion and federalism with a good dose of representative democracy by the means your society will support. The workings inside Iraq are blood lineage driven, and sectarian violence can only overlay that when it does not threaten the tribal structure. That tribal structure, however, crosses sectarian bounds and accommodates *that*. Yes, members of the same tribe and clan will hold to DIFFERENT parts of Islam: often in the same HOUSEHOLD. That, to me, does not speak of a Nation divided by sect. We can examine the basis of tribalism all the way up to the founding of the Nation of Germany, by seeing the Principalities (literally hundreds of princes) each with their own little territory working together or *not* as their outlook and affiliation drove them to do. The Balkans has this in *spades*: where sectarian strife is only one overlay on a complex system of families, clans, religions (in main) and politics. Yet the concept of actually *dealing* with that emergent complexity gives the great thinkers in foreign policy hives! Have to get your hands dirty and actually *understand* what it is you are dealing with... far better to make grand abstractions and never have to deal with *people*. Our Armed Froces from the Coalition, however, are doing JUST THAT and proving to have a better understanding of anthropology, sociology, societal infrastructure, religious/ethnic/cultural inter-divisions, and government than, literally, any foreign policy *great* of the 1946-2001 timeframe. They all *failed*: Acheson, Kissinger, Bryzynski, Scowcroft, Baker, Albright. They caused this mess by not wishing to get their hands dirty, and now we hear wails of complaint that decades of our refusal to understand complex society needs to be tidied up overnight?

The trick of the Coalition forces, mainly America, but Poland, Romania, Australia and others, is that working *with* the local strucutres and society to make it more *open* creates local democracy. That is grassroots, bottom-up democracy upon which the US concept of federalism RESTS. It will NOT look like the US system, because Iraq is a tribal culture, and it looks damned strange at times. But it has the great and good benefit of getting common acceptance within tribes and amongst them, sustains their power position and internal views, requires inter-tribal working for self-protection, and rewards good work with steady jobs and income and the lowering of the casualty rate. This is what the US should understand from its HEART and SOUL - you do not foist democracy as a 'set piece' from the top, but grow it up from the bottom so that it is sustained by the people. Those three words have been absent from US Foreign and Domestic policy for far, far too long: Liberty, Freedom, Democracy. Throw in the Westphalian concept of freedom of religion, although the Nation may have religious identity, and you get something that starts to look accountable internally and externally as a governing system. It will look different in each Nation... so what? If it works for their society, then so be it. Even if that decays, the external accountability should keep that decay from spreading... unless, of course, all societies are 'equal', then authoritarianism is just the same as democracy.

I wish you well in your studies this semester!! Beyond just 'learning' is that harder thing of learning how to learn on your own. That is a series of mis-steps, corrections and self-guidance, and teaches one huimility but also gives an understanding of one's own capabilities and capacities. From there you learn strengths and weaknesses for yourself, although others may place different valuations on them, it is how you view them and coming into accord with society that counts. And while that may not lead to 'revolutionary change' it can lead to the sustainment of the revolution of recognizing that which is self-evident in man: being created equal and searching for happiness by your definition and no one else's. That, strangely, can and does change the world for yourself and, far more rarely, for others. Only by continuing to learn and accept one's limitations can anything good be achieved. And those wishing to destroy be opposed.