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Controlled Instability
Robert Gore

Would-be rulers embrace a moronic oxymoron.

The Houthis stymie 12 percent of the world’s shipping. Israel has bitten off more than it can chew and is desperately trying to maneuver the U.S. into a broader Middle Eastern engagement and years of pointless war. In Europe, farmers and truckers are protesting and blocking roads over climate change measures and other grievances. In the U.S., a governor ignores a Supreme Court decision and receives support from 25 fellow governors.

At the recently concluded confab at Davos, the world’s would-be rulers conferred on how they would rule the world. How quaint. They’re going to rule a world that’s spinning out of their, or anybody else’s, control. A Russian politician, Konstantin Dolgov, coined a phrase for the oxymoronic pipe dream that prevails in Washington, Davos, Brussels, and Tel Aviv: “The Americans need controlled instability to realize their own plans.” Dolgov noted: “But this instability has long been out of Washington’s control.”

Controlled instability is a futile hope from a bygone age. The instability that manifests daily is anything but controlled. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and his fellow governors’ defiance marks an emerging phase: instability and conflict among actors within the political system. It may be posturing, but it still amounts to a middle finger from the governors to the federal government and its once revered Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has been rubber-stamping expansion of the federal government’s power since the Constitution was ratified. The most egregious recent examples were National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (2012) and King v. Burwell (2015), the decisions that upheld Obamacare. Nobody protested against the program that hastened the destruction of American health care. Nine years after Burwell, anti-government rage is kindling fires in the U.S. and all over the world. Control is losing; instability is winning, and the game is still in the early innings.

The control freaks cling to their empire and wars. Empire is untenable, but the U.S. military is being deployed into another Middle Eastern quagmire. The Middle East is particularly unsuited for U.S. imperial ventures. The sum total of Western knowledge of the region is a nanoparticle compared to the Everest of its ignorance.

The Middle East is tribal; the concept of a nation with a national government is a foreign import. Tribal rivalries date back to Old Testament times and have always undermined the best laid plans of emperors, kings, sultans, sheiks, satraps, and other poobahs. The Islamic religion has been the one quasi-unifying force, but it is split and both the Sunni and Shia denominations are splintered into various sects.

The secret Sykes-Picot treaty of 1916 between Britain and France, with assent from the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy, drew lines on the map of the Ottoman Empire (allied with the losers in World War I), specified European spheres of influence, and created so-called nations to be dominated by the European victors.

It was hubristic folly, matched by the Balfour Declaration one year later. In a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish Community, the British government declared its endorsement of a “national home for the Jewish people” in what would become, in 1922, the British Mandate for Palestine and Transjordan. At that time, Jews were only a single-digit percentage of Palestine’s population.

Outsiders, especially those bent on domination, have never fared particularly well in the Middle East. It’s tough enough for insiders bent on domination. Outsiders can generally find compliant satraps whose ostensible loyalty is secured through bribery and extortion, but the average Mohammad deeply resents his overlords and resists them in his own way. No wonder then, that Sykes-Picot and the Balfour Declaration proved to be recipes for disaster.

The U.S. threw it and the UN’s weight behind the Zionist project in 1948, when Palestine became Israel and Jews began displacing Palestinian Arabs, an ongoing process that has accelerated since the October 7 Hamas massacre. Pre-October 7 controlled instability in Gaza has given way to all-out war, ostensibly against Hamas insurgents, but the death toll among Palestinian civilians is approaching 30,000.

The U.S. has long considered Israel its forward base in the Middle East. That imperial projection is now under attack on multiple fronts. Anyone who claims to know how the Houthis, Hezbollah, Hamas, and various other insurgent groups in Iraq and Syria—collectively known as the Axis of Resistance—are structured, coordinate with each other, or interact with Iran is lying. However, they are making war on the U.S.-Israel alliance, gradually ratcheting up the pressure, and last week the U.S. lost its first three soldiers since October 7.

The alliance will lose because it can’t win. The only way an outside power can “win” in the Middle East is to stay out. Occupation is the concomitant of empire, but now the costs of invasion and occupation dwarf the costs of insurgency. It’s no sure thing that the Israelis will be able to expel the Palestinians, their ultimate aim. Even if they do, it will only lead to greater instability over a wider area. The Axis of Resistance is opening new fronts almost daily across the Middle East. The U.S. empire and Israel have neither the military and financial staying power nor the regional support necessary for a lengthy war.

At Israel’s behest, demented warmongers are urging an alliance attack on Iran, which would exponentially compound its difficulties. An attack would probably bring in Russia and perhaps China. The alliance’s only option would be to take it nuclear, which could lead to humanity’s extinction. That’s apparently what the warmongers have been looking for all these years.

The West’s rulers and string pullers regard their internal opposition as so many Hamas, Houthis, Hezbollah, and Iranians. That characterization is more apt than they realize, particularly in the well-armed U.S. Anything those “extremists” can do in the Middle East can be done by what the Biden administration reckons are tens of millions of “domestic extremists” in the U.S. And what the Middle Eastern extremists are in the process of doing is defeating the U.S. government and its allies.

While much of the Western citizenry remains supine and susceptible to state propaganda and narratives, the ranks of the aware and engaged, fed by the alternative media hydra, keep expanding. Even the Corruptocracyand its media mouthpieces are starting to realize that fundamental change is afoot. At Davos, there were begrudging admissions (and lamentations) that the media no longer controls the narrative and dim recognition that nobody trusts it. Invitees even subjected themselves to Argentinian president Javier Milei’s and Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts’ excoriations.

What the Davos set doesn’t get is that for the next few centuries, change will messily burble up from the bottom, not be neatly imposed from the top. That’s actually the way it’s been for centuries, but the top has gotten all the press. Politics, governments and war are newsworthy, innovation and progress are not. The perpetual war of the former on the latter never gets mentioned at all. Regardless, the top will go on proposing; the bottom will go on disposing.

The transition in global affairs is hailed as multipolarity, but multipolarity proponents show little recognition that it’s not just the American empire and its confederates in the crosshairs, but all governments. Those coming together in the various not-the-West arrangements are still governments, and are just as tyrannical and corrupt as Western governments, in many cases more so.

Multipolarity will proceed full steam ahead, but it won’t stop until there are 8 billion plus poles, call it multi-multipolarity. The age of the state and ostensible control is giving way to the age of the individual and instability. That doesn’t mean that order won’t eventually emerge, but it will be order based on individual sovereignty, cooperation, and voluntarily exchange, or as friend of SLL Leif Smith calls it—freeorder—“Order spontaneously emergent from the imaginations and actions of free people.”

Recognition can come from anywhere. Governments may offer concessions to the new reality, their wiser functionaries realizing that limits on their power are better than no power at all. Argentina’s Milei could turn out to be in the vanguard of a much larger trend. Governments will never abolish themselves, but any moves towards freedom and away from control will be beneficial.

In the interim, instability will reign, and we ain’t seen nothing yet.


Robert Gore was born in 1958 in Livermore, California. He grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where both his parents worked for the Los Alamos National Laboratory. His undergraduate education was at UCLA. He graduated in 1980 Summa cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in economics and political science. He completed the JD/MBA program at UC Berkeley in 1984. He held part-time jobs at both UCLA and UCB. He is an inactive member of the California Bar Association.

Robert’s career in finance began in 1984 with a bank in San Francisco, trading municipal bonds. In 1985, he went to a Wall Street firm’s West Coast municipal bond office in Los Angeles as a bond trader. He developed its retail and institutional sales capabilities and after four years was promoted to manager of the region. 

In 1990, Robert went to a private partnership in Los Angeles serving a high-net-worth clientele throughout Southern California, as head of the firm’s fixed-income division. In 1991, he became one of the youngest partners in the firm’s history. His division was consistently among the firm’s most profitable, and in 2003 he was named to the executive committee. He wrote a market commentary that was distributed to the firm’s clients. He is a past president of the Los Angeles Municipal Bond Club. He made appearances on television and radio shows as an expert in fixed income securities and California municipal bonds, was quoted in the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register, and had a letter published in the Financial Times.


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