Alexandru Georgescu
Alexandru Georgescu
Economist, Research Fellow with the EURISC Foundation, studying geopolitics, international security issues and critical infrastructure protection, currently in a Ph.D. research program on the latter subject
The Year 2050, the Imaginary and the Unimaginable

The Year 2050, the Imaginary and the Unimaginable

Both “imaginariums” and “histories”, while differing on essential ingredients, visions and vestiges respectively, share an essential imperfection – incomplete information and/or bounded rationality. We compose mosaics (using also our imagination) about a past which we did not witness; and we extrapolate tendencies/trends (undoubtedly, with a historical basis) for a future which we may or may not be there to witness. Combining “path dependencies” with “disruptive revolutions”, we can generate scenarios with varying confidence.  More


The US Supreme Court – Kritarchy and Compartmentalizing Manias

The US Supreme Court – Kritarchy and Compartmentalizing Manias

A recent leak from the Supreme Court of the United States (a very serious breach of trust, probably with political aims) is whipping up a severe political disturbance, right before the mid-term elections, which the Party in the White House traditionally loses when all does not become milk and honey after the Presidential elections. The leak hit a particular sore point for American politics, since it is on the issue of abortion, a problem that arouses massive emotional reactions in inverse proportion to the actual ability of politicians to address the issue. Apparently, the current Supreme Court, following a tactical case brought to its attention from Texas (Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization), is leaning towards repealing the 50 year-old constitutional ruling on Roe v. Wade (1973), which set hard limits on the restriction of abortion rights. Chief Justice Roberts confirmed that the draft by Samuel Alito was real, but mentioned that it is an old version and it is not indicative of the current version of the Court’s opinion. Following this possible repeal, individual states would be able to set a wider variety of abortion policies which are much more restrictive than the current norm and likely more in keeping with the view of the median American voter, who is more conservative than American elites. This has naturally resulted in much wailing and gnashing of the teeth and much posturing by politicians of all stripes. It is impossible to even discern right now the motivation behind the leak – whether it was a Republican sympathizer trying to drum up support from conservatives now that they are tantalizingly close to an important dream, or maybe it was a Democrat sympathizer trying to galvanize a disappointed electorate to show up to vote for an Administration which, in most practical ways, has been quite moderate and an overall failure on the big issues.  More


Europe’s Self-Inflicted Energy Disaster

Europe’s Self-Inflicted Energy Disaster

The European Union has many inherent advantages and a number of good policy decisions made over the years, to promote convergence and take advantage of its size for economies of scale. However, there are a few sore spots as regards major policy trends that produced significant damage to the fabric of the European Union and divided it. One such problem is that of energy, and the impact of the recently begun war in Ukraine and the response of the EU to the war throw these issues in stark relief. Having achieved a surprising unity of perceptions throughout the West as regards the illegality of Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the need to both deter, discourage and punish those actions, a comprehensive set of sanctions was agreed upon and implemented. More


The European Union Is in a Limbo of Its Own Making

The European Union Is in a Limbo of Its Own Making

The current woes of the European Union are intentionally treated superficially or obtusely in public discourse, as it also emanates from the prestige media which generally co-opts European elites to its worldview, even when they nominally disagree with specific policy prescriptions. Beyond the crisis of the moment and the tendency to transform everything into a morality play involving good and noble Europeanists and regressive nationalists, there are specific factors of its own making which hinder the EU’s adaptive processes and make it increasingly likely that the project may founder. Whether it does so under the blows of an unknown or unremarked crisis or threat (as most empires do), or whether it will simply strain under the accumulated errors and stresses of a thousand bad policy compromises, one should dismiss the “illusion of inevitability” that accompanies public discourse on globalization in general and EU regionalism in particular.  More


The Three Seas Initiative – Much Ado about Something

The Three Seas Initiative – Much Ado about Something

In pre-war Poland, Marshal Józef Piłsudski developed a grand strategy titled Prometheanism, which meant to weaken the Russian Empire and its successor state, the Soviet Union, by encouraging national independence movements. The movement eventually incorporated a related initiative, that of the Intermarium, a system of alliances, which some had hoped would become a future Federation, linking the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, as a united front against the advance of the Soviet juggernaut. It failed, but the concept held lingering appeal and was resurrected time and time again as a geopolitical solution to perennial Eastern European insecurity in relation to Russia in its various incarnations.  More


Voices from the Goulash Archipelago

Voices from the Goulash Archipelago

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has made his yearly pilgrimages to Băile Tușnad (Tusnádfürdő in Hungarian) in Romania into opportunities for oracular speeches on the fate of the Hungarian nation and for the West. This is part of his successful attempt to portray himself to the electorate back home and in the Hungarian near abroad, but also for partners in the West and the East, as a visionary statesman addressing civilizational and national decline rather than just another opportunistic politician seeing a line he could cynically use. His forays into ideological dialogue with American and European political forces (through appearances by him and his allies in CPAC in the US and the recent National Conservatism Conference in Brussels) have made him a persona non grata to the European liberal set, but also raised his and his country’s stature in the minds of disaffected Westerners. His recent speech in Băile Tușnad / Tusnádfürdő was erudite and wide ranging, and inspired significant outcry in Europe and, partly, in the US, through his use of racial language in describing Western decline and his hopes for Hungarian continuity and flourishing. Everybody and his mother are either praising or attacking Orbán for this speech and I thought I would briefly throw my hat into the ring, not necessarily for commenting his speech but rather the metapolitical context in which it was made.  More


North Korea: “Reading the Tea Leaves”

North Korea: “Reading the Tea Leaves”

The “hermit kingdom” of North Korea is back in the news, at the center of a new round of exchanges of bellicose declarations, underpinned by failed tests for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that, nevertheless, show the impressive progress of the country’s indigenous program. The missile capabilities are meant to provide a delivery device for the country’s nuclear weapons, the other great program beset by a string of failures and shoestring successes. Western observers are now attempting to “read the tea leaves” in order to predict when the country will have achieved the ability to threaten the continental United States, while the threat to its immediate neighbors, South Korea and Japan, remains real but uncertain. The weapon systems involved are complex and, as has been suggested of the recent failed test, prone to cyber-attacks and sabotage through the component supply chain. Rather, the immediate threat to a country like South Korea is all of the conventional artillery pointed at its capital, which would make flattening Seoul in a matter of hours a foregone proposition. With Donald Trump at the helm of the US and sending carrier groups in the vicinity, a man given to grand gestures as negotiating bids, the latest tensions with North Korea seem momentous, as if some form of denouement to the regime in Pyongyang is looming. The form it would take is critical to its neighbors, who fear both the ways in which the country can lash out violently, as well as the consequences of a collapse of power, such as millions of refugees trying to cross land borders or internecine warfare.  More


Trump and the Paris Agreement

Trump and the Paris Agreement

The negotiations for the Paris Agreement were concluded at the 21st Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015, and it entered into force in October 2016. It has been signed by 195 countries and ratified by 144. President Trump has repeatedly spoken out against the Paris Agreement and the “climate change industry” and made it a campaign plank to exit the Agreement. For all of its apparent randomness, there is one obvious trend in his Cabinet appointments, past and present, which is to appoint people who exhibit an ideological break from the policies of the past Administration or who are skeptical of the worldview of their respective agencies. Naming a “climate change skeptic” and pro-business advocate, Scott Pruitt, to the Environmental Protection Agency was one such move. Naming a China and free trade skeptic, Robert Lighthizer, to be US Trade Representative (a Cabinet level appointment) was another. And there are still more examples, such as the failed nomination of fast-food CEO Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor. More


Ethnogenesis in Davos

Ethnogenesis in Davos

The Davos World Economic Forum, established in 1971, is emblematic of our era for its courtship of notoriety, as opposed to the old Bilderberg Group’s more discrete operation, along with a calculated transparency regarding the power of those attending and the topics of high interest on a global level that are discussed (among some trivial diversions). If you are rich and affluent, then you will be present at Davos, and if you are present at Davos, then it is confirmed that you are rich and affluent. The fact that Davos is a phenomenon in itself, which transcends its components, is confirmed by the emergence of numerous events that imitate the Davos style or that take place simultaneously, just three streets away, in the ghetto of the millionaires in the alpine resort, so that the striving classes can also experience a counterfeit Davos for signalling their social status. When the famous Francis Fukuyama and Samuel Huntington were silently confronting each other, the former with the theory of “the end of history” and the latter arguing for “an end of the beginning” (in Winston Churchill’s words) through the clash of civilizations, Huntington was the one proven right by history, not only through the rise of militant Islamism, but also after inventing the atavistic formula of the “Davos Man”. This subspecies of Homo sapiens sapiens has no national loyalties; he is able to consider himself a citizen of the world and to be inclined towards thinking globally and acting in this direction. More


Worrying about Wetware

Worrying about Wetware

There is a silent revolution taking place in robotics, and automation in general. It is related not just the capabilities, but also the accessibility and affordability of the new means of production. Greater productivity is one of the results and the one most robo-evangelists cling to. The other is uncertainty. Our entire social and economic systems are predicated on working for income. This affects not just the life rhythms which human redundancy purports to improve, but also social status, consumption capacity and self-esteem. We will have to see if the revolution actually delivers on its promises, but even a partial result could lead to a hair-raising social upheaval, regardless of whether the final result is a net positive or not. In discussing past industrial revolutions, we often gloss over decades of labor unrest, migrations, community destruction and uncertainty in a few lines, with an intellectual carelessness more appropriate to Communist rationalizing of the piles of dead than humanist interest in the general welfare. More


The Course of Empire

The Course of Empire

We no longer cultivate an understanding of history and art. Western democracies are increasingly relentless in denying their ancestors. The present sneers at the past with a sense of superiority that comes from simply being the present, with the ancient dead having no recourse or appeal against judgment rooted in contemporary bias. No other kind of ignorance indulges in current Western levels of self-flattery. More


Plato’s Cave, American Edition

Plato’s Cave, American Edition

Plato’s cave is a place where people sit chained seeing the shadows cast on the wall by a fire and thinking that that is reality. Escaping the cave requires a rough ascent into sunlight to experience reality as it is. A weird and troubling phenomenon is taking place in the political battles surrounding Donald Trump’s Presidency that will reverberate beyond this embattled term, as it sets a new low of public discourse which future political leaders and scandalmongers will find it easier to match. While there is a necessity for strategic ambiguity in politics, it has become impossible to distinguish reality from theater, especially since the media has decided to become a player and not an arbiter. More


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