Friday, March 17, 2017

Lessons in Leverage: the Cookie Jar Parable

In Appeasement is Futile we saw how Trump inherently knows to establish and maintain leverage at all costs. This isn't some unique Trumpian insight. Every good businessman or diplomat understands the concept. And not just that, every good parent understands it as well. Maintaining leverage over the inherently tyrannical toddler is the only way to maintain good order in the house. Every other approach is futile.

As a parent, I have supreme leverage over my daughter: I am the sole source of everything she wants. If she wants a cookie, she has to go through me. If she refuses to eat her dinner, I tell her, "if you don't eat your dinner you don't get a cookie." This almost always achieves dinner compliance. If she's misbehaving I tell her to knock it off or she won't get a cookie. This is infinitely more effective than just telling her to knock it off.

Imagine if I left the cookies where she had easy access to them. She wouldn't need to go through me, she could just get a cookie whenever she wanted. My leverage would be destroyed. Dinners would become unmanageable. Not only that, but the cookie eating itself would become a problem. Cookies aren't healthy for the kid in large quantities. I would find myself struggling to reduce her intake. I would have to beg, plead, and bribe her to eat fewer cookies. Maybe I let her stay up late if she stops eating cookies. Now she is extracting concessions out of me. She has the leverage because she has access to the cookies, but I want to control her cookie-related behavior.

Clearly only a fool would hand over cookie access control to the child. And yet that is just what the European countries have done. The great leverage a country has over foreigners is they control border crossings. The history of humanity consists of groups defending and expanding their borders. Europe, suffering from a serious cognitive disease called liberalism, has decided that it is inhumane to perform border control. They have decided it is unconscionable do what countries have always done: defend their borders with the explicit threat of lethal force. The West is now squeamish at anything hinting of preserving their ethnic & cultural heritage. So instead of doing their own border control, they have asked foreign countries to do so for them. They have asked Turkey to hold Europe-bound migrants for them, and in return have paid them great sums of money and promises of EU admittance. I first wrote about this in August of last year.
After a fake military coup, Turkey is fast becoming an Islamist dictatorship. Merkel has bribed and begged Erdogan with money and promises of EU membership if Turkey will do the job of protecting Europe's borders that Europe refuses to do itself. So an Islamist dictator now has enormous leverage over Europe.
They have handed over the cookie jar. They have outsourced the one thing that makes a state a state: border control. Turkey now controls who enters Germany, and Merkel must beg and bribe to get politically acceptable outcomes. Erdogan, who doesn't suffer the debilitating effects of late-stage liberalism, understands the leverage he has been gifted and is now exercising it.
One year after it collected $3 billion for the migrant deal, Turkey has just voided the agreement, and the next step would be that Turkey is about to flood Europe with refugees currently held inside Turkish borders. And since by some estimates Turkey currently harbors over 2 million potential migrants, Europe’s refugee situation is about to get far worse.
When you give up leverage, you give up control of your house, business, or country. When we say that western leaders - Merkel in particular - are the worst leaders in world history, we have very good evidence to back our claims. Never before has the national policy been to hand over all leverage of the sovereign state. It's not something that's ever been attempted in world history, and the current experiment will not last long.

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