Telos Institute Lessons
Lessons of Three Great Conferences, By Professor Robert Reuschlein
Asymmetrical Warfare, Telos Institute, NYU, January 14-15, 2017
I had great success with the presentation, “Goal of Terrorists: Raising the Cost to Society” at the Telos Institute in New York University. Asymmetric Warfare raises the cost to society of warfare. Those in the military industrial complex believe that warfare can enhance themselves and their society. This belief led to the Iraq War. Those employing asymmetric warfare believe they can punish the military society’s population enough to make them give up. This was the strategy that won the Vietnam War. The asymmetric warrior (aka “terrorist”) believes a militaristic society will implode when enough pressure is put on them. These so-called terrorists are even more right than they realize. The eight years of the Reagan Military Buildup tripled the national debt (quadrupling if you add in the 4 Bush years). The seven years of the second Bush military buildup wars led to the Great Recession, thanks to the surge in military spending in fiscal 2008 and overheated real estate markets in the corruption prone high military states. Blowback was immediate and internal and escalates over time. This is exactly what Osama Bin Laden wanted out of the Western response to his provocations, saying in a 2005 speech: “So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy.”
In my empire economics speech I outlined the true cost of militarization on America, depleting our capital and research resources leading to economic and social decay, including high crime. Empire stagnation includes the stagnation of the political process in America. Militarization leads to the direct depletion of the manufacturing sector much faster than the more obvious and visible trade treaty losses of factories. In the decade after 2001 terrorism has quadrupled. Goading us into attack has been a goal of the terrorists. I gave the keynote speaker a copy of my 24 page booklet after his opening speech; he was not impressed but politely took it. After hearing my speech he keeps reading it while others spoke. At the end of the conference, he approached me in the cloakroom speechless with a puppy dog look in his eyes, so I said a few words to him. His speech could have been used for a dozen footnotes to my speech, but he knew I had the big picture down cold. Telos Institute is a great place that welcomes new ideas, so a colleague has been encouraging me to present there for some time. That colleague was right on, they loved me there and I fit right in.
Ethics and Mental Health Conference, Viterbo U., La Crosse, WI, April 6-8, 2017
The best presentation here was “Gun Deaths and Public Health: What is the Mental Health Connection?” Steve Miles, University of Minnesota Medical School. Dr. Miles major finding is that gun ownership is proportional to gun deaths. Handgun suicides are ten times as likely for a kid from a gun household. You are 4.5 times more likely to be shot when carrying a gun. Gun owners are eight times more likely to threaten murder. Gun households have four times the homicide rate, seven times the suicide rate, and sixteen times the accidental gun death rate.
This compares to my finding that murder rates and crime rates are proportional to the military spending of a developed country. The inference is that a militarized society is more likely to murder, all kinds of murder, but suicides are not proportional to military spending. Perhaps the more militarized portions of a military society are conversant with guns and inclined to own guns. Are these the people with military training we are talking about? I do not know that particular evidence, but it does seem likely that those familiar with gun use would be inclined to either join or be from the military. Military training has advanced since the fifties into a very effective trainer of killers. Past wars had as many as 78% of soldiers who never fired guns, and in one case a dozen musket rounds were found in a soldiers gun, so reluctant to kill other people that person was. That changed in US military training in the fifties.
More detail at this link:
Geospatial Summit, University of Wisconsin, Madison, April 26, 2017
My presentation was videotaped by WKOW TV for a climate voices unit Greg Jeschke plans to produce in the near future. My talk was titled “How Climate Change trends impact humans, the economy, and politics.” Temperature studies by industrial engineers have long shown that human performance is reduced at above normal temperatures, reducing productivity on hot days. There are at least three other sets of evidence that show this effect on economics: geography, stock market, and US history. The major war cycle also comes from economic cycles that come from global warming cycles. Sharp cooling trends of two or three years duration often precede major wars, and volcanoes can trigger this process. Economic differences expand in the high growth half of the cycle, leading to peak wealth, a new world order, and a major war about three years into the next slow half cycle. That economic change at the end of the growth cycle may encourage politicians to look for a way to distract the public from the slowing economy with a war.
This talk explored explanations of these various linkages with temperature and climate change, showing that the three types of cycles are all linked and start with the climate changes. Environmental determinism is in my opinion a baseless pejorative narrative to paint a rational theory as something it is not, as racist and colonialist. The proof of this is that human performance, economic history, and the stock market are all confirming the cool improves and heat stifles narrative. You have to ignore those three other proofs to come up with a racist and colonialist narrative that only sounds plausible in one school of thought, imperialism, not in an interdisciplinary context. Triangulation from at least three different directions is the standard of proof I seek in all my work on these two great theories of economics and global warming.
These three issues are the main issues in my research. Empire Economics is my best presentation and a version of that was used at Telos. With military spending the prime cause, empires decay from a lack of productivity coming from the military resources. That in turn leads to the social decay of empires, included murder rates, health problems, and lack of social mobility. In America it is obvious that many celebrities are now sons or daughters of other celebrities, as America has traded places in the last generation or so with Europe in terms of being a class based society. Crime and corruption is strongly correlated with military spending both internationally and within the American states, including the poor mortgage practices leading up to the Great Recession. Crime is the easily identified exemplar of the social decay of empire concept. The right wing thinks moral decay is bringing down America, but my work supports the opposite theory, that the self inflicted wound of wasting too much military spending at the expense of manufacturing and construction economic growth sectors causes the long term rise in crime, poor health, stagnant politics, and class divergence in America.
But the key to perfecting the long term 60 year US economic model is the 54 year Kondratiev cycle. And the key to proving the existence of that cycle is linking up the three versions of the cycle, the natural cycle, the economic cycle, and the political war cycle. I’ve always sensed it was absurd to consider these three cycles separately. I’m convinced that the order of those cycles is natural, economic, then political, both by the logic of the linking mechanisms and the slightly diminishing accuracy of the proving phenomena in my 56 events chart. As always, I’m looking for multiple proofs of concept along multidisciplinary lines of seeing past the silos of isolated thinking into the broader concept of looking at events from multiple points of view to grasp the correct essence of it all.
Link to the actual Telos Institute and Geospatial Summit powerpoint slides are here: