Here Thar Be Monsters!

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The Gay Divorcee

The high-level game of one-upmanship is progressing apace.  You've got the Russians shutting down AEGIS-class destroyers and the Americans blowing up Proton-M rockets with the latest communications satellite on-board.  The Crimean banks just switched to the new Russian financial clearing system and the Americans leaving scorched earth in Ukraine.

You've got China quietly sitting in the background.  These guys are shrewd.  Their rhetoric is clearly aligned with Moscow, but they haven't taken a direct action towards either camp.  They are playing their own game of watching and learning, while toodling around on the Moon with their little buggy learning all the stuff that has been so carefully hidden from the world for 50 years.

The EU is looking rather silly and confused.  On the one hand, they want to stay aligned with the US masters, but on the other, they see the US leadership has completely lost touch with reality.  They are teetering precariously on the fence trying to decide which side has the most king's horses and king's men to put it back together again.

Australia, historically a staunch US ally, is starting to waver.  They see the US playing a dangerous game of destabilization in the Pacific, which is soiling the Ozzie back yard.  They may have cultural and historical ties to the US,  but they also know which side of the toast is buttered when it come to trade and playing well with neighbors.

The US has obviously lost a lot of points in South America.  Brazil, a long-time ally and hot economy, is finding much greener pastures elsewhere.  Columbia and Venezuela, having been invaded by the US decades ago under something called the "War on Drugs," struggling to get out of the US tent and breathe a little fresh air.  Even quiet little Ecuador is tired of being ridden by economic hitment and want to get a little taste of their own resources.

Argentina hasn't had much luck the past few decades getting their economic cow pies together, but they are quite sure that playing in the US sandbox (and by extension the UK box-read Faulklands) is not in their best interests.

Underneath all of these macro currents, the number of secessionist movements globally has jumped dramatically in the past few years - Scotland and Venice being notable examples.  On this point, I am definitely torn.  Having worked many years in the Texas independence movement, I know the impulse and drive that makes a people want to throw off oppressive slavery and make a few decisions for one's self, for a change.

The problem with this is that you run smack into the old "devil you know" situation rather quickly.

Anyone who has ever been divorced knows that weird feeling of suddenly missing what was making you miserable.  You'll fall for anyone almost instantly just to replace that comfort of the familiar as fast as possible.  In a different situation, it's called the Stockholm Syndrome.

Once you have gone through all the court proceedings, and your friends have long since tired of hearing your litany of reasons for wanting out of the marriage, you find yourself in a position of being solely responsible for your well-being and the choices you make.  Even those moments when you just want someone to lean on, even a barb-wire covered post is better than nothing.

Furthermore, you no longer have anyone to back you up, regardless of the cost to your dignity and self-respect.  It's like the escaped slave running through the bramble, stepping on sharp stones with bare feet, and tripping over unseen obstacles - evenutally he will have the thought that at least he had three squares and knew where all the hazards were back when he was in captivity.

Finally, the main problem with independence is that one tends to cast wildly for new friends to work with, and this is where nefarious types step in to take advantage of one's weakness.  This is the classic divide-and-conquer scenario.  Break a member of the herd off alone and they are quickly very vulnerable to your evil machinations.

Herein lies the rub...people want independence and freedom, which is a good and, some would say, holy desire.  But there are wolves at the gates waiting to rip the flesh from bone as soon as those people are free of their protective shell - whether by stealth (sheep's clothing) or the direct take-down.

The PTB have acted in concern as a single, if not factionalized, entity for centuries.  They are above nations and without loyalty to anything but themselves.  Though they may disagree on the methods and tactics, they are united in their desire to rip us apart.

Smaller and smaller political units means the PTB have an easier and easier time of conquering.  That is why you see such effort to tear apart the Ukraine, or slice Scotland off the top of the island, or divide the various political forces within Iran, or keep the 'Stans ancient rivalries and hatreds stoked.  The larger the group, the harder it is to attack.  Exploiting weakness is a sure-fire way to win.

Humans have an instinct to 'circle the wagons' when under attack.  Obviously, the bigger the circle, the harder it will be to attack, and the opposing force risks a great deal in doing so.  Ideally, you want to get each wagon alone, so that there are no protected sides, no layered defenses and far more vulnerabilities.

The one major weakness of independence movements is that they rarely have long-term plans for when they succeed.  Cast loose, nations are like new divorcees, they will bed down with anyone who shows the least interest in them in order to feel the old comfort again, and that's where the PTB usually win.

Independence movements should first put their efforts and momentum into reforming what they have.  Failing that, they should corral their best and brightest to come up with a long-term strategy for survival once independence is gained.  This includes listing one's assets and deficits, and carefully forging relationships that include parsing the other sides' agendas.

One thing is certain, most independence movements fails right at the point where they succeed.  Since most do not have long-term plans, the general populace reacts with rebound syndrome and will run back to the devil they know rather than face an uncertain future.

Long-term plans must, perforce, include cultural, legal, diplomatic, educational, and economic solutions to the future.  It is easier to change an existing plan, than to plow forward in the dark with no clue.

One thing is sure - those outsiders who will support an independence movement from the start often have hidden agendas.  It is only after a successful divorce that worthy potential suitors will step forward.  It is key to remember that 'divide and conquer' always serves the divisor and never the divided.

The first step to independence is to act like you are already independent and start making clear-headed and long-reaching decisions for yourself, and especially taking full responsibility for the outcome of those decisions - good or bad.

Oftentimes one finds that by thinking and acting independent, one becomes independent.  Revolution by arms is never so efficient and clean as revolution by mind.  Stop thinking like a slave and the rest follows.