This week the Iraqi government announced that the constitution passed in the recent referendum. If three or more provinces had more than 2/3 “no” votes then the constitution would fail, but only two provinces—predominantly Sunni—met that mark. Salah-ad Din voted 82% “no” and al-Anbar voted 97% “no.” The most likely third province, Ninewa (
While it’s an interesting story, the maneuvering surrounding the referendum also illustrates a fundamental problem in geopolitics: overlapping and mutually-exclusive networks of power. Conceptually, this is a common theme around the world, but it is perhaps most clearly illustrated by the present situation in
There are, of course, other areas of mutually exclusive overlap in
Since the course of history through time creates conflict through mutually-exclusive overlap, the first step must be to stop building new sources of conflict—a lesson that would serve the current administration well in its “Global War on Terrorism.” At a minimum, proceeding with a conscious awareness of this model will facilitate a decision making process that accounts for this source of conflict.
Is it possible to proactively soften already established cases of mutually-exclusive overlap—to greatly accelerate the healing powers of time? That is a much more difficult question—and one which I do not have an answer to. The problem seems deeply rooted in the dynamics of hierarchal civilization and its effect on human psychology, economic necessity, patterns of growth, etc. Perhaps the solution lies in a reassessment of this fundamental pattern of hierarchy? That is certainly the panacea that I gravitate towards on most issues, but in reality it is quite the Catch-22: Our best hope for a gradual and peaceful transition to a superior form of human organization—one without conflict due to mutually-exclusive overlap—will demand the cooperation of the very groups that are barred from effective cooperation due to the problem of mutually-exclusive overlap.
In a few weeks, Jason Godesky will make an argument that collapse is an economizing process. Perhaps it is also means of systemic conflict resolution—the only one capable of effectively dealing with the problem of mutually-exclusive overlap?