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Ryan Morfin:

Welcome to Non-Beta Alpha I’m Ryan Morfin. On today’s episode, we have Barak Seener from Strategic Intelligence here talking to us about the European view on global affairs. This is Non-Beta Alpha. Barak welcome to the show. Thanks for joining us.

Barak Seener:

Hi, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Ryan Morfin:

Well, we really appreciate you coming on the show, calling in from London. So you’re a strategic consultant on international affairs. And today, the new cycle the United States is going to be really focused on the presidential election coming up in November. But I think it’s really important especially for financial advisors to be paying attention to some of the trends that are going on that aren’t going to make our new cycle for the next 60 to 90 days, maybe longer given that this may be a contested election.

Ryan Morfin:

So we’d love to talk to you about, where are things today, with nationalism becoming more on the forefront, America maybe taking an inward looking view, pulling back from some international obligations. What is your sense of the world today and is globalization dead?

Barak Seener:

I think that, America first doesn’t necessarily mean having an isolationist approach. I think America first is about identifying the fact that the post World War II Order, that President Truman created, Bretton Woods, the World Bank, the international institutions that underpin the global order of the West, is unsustainable today. And President Trump, he identifies the fact that globalization worked for a couple of decades, but it created huge financial disparities between the haves and the have nots, utterly decimating both working and middle classes.

Barak Seener:

And it’s really telling kind of sense when President Trump echoes what President Obama spoke about when they both said, “There is huge income disparities.” And as a result of that, America kind of looks at the fact that it created a middle class in China at its own expense. On one hand, you’ve got Walmart where you’ll buy cheap manufactured goods abroad, but it’s been at the expense of your own middle class and your working class. I think that the issue of the middle class has been really overlooked. People like, Steve Bannon, well President Trump, they’ve been really focused on the Rust Belt, the working class. And he constantly commented on the working class issues.

Barak Seener:

I think however, what’s really has been overlooked, is the issue of the middle class. And where the first post World War II generation that will do less well than our parents did. We’ll have to work two, three times as hard as our parents did to have the same lifestyle. So I think these are real issues that the political establishments around the globe haven’t really addressed. We know on one hand, that socialism has bankrupted every economy it’s been applied to, but we also know that capitalism has created huge disparities in income.

Barak Seener:

And the left right wing debate could have taken place at a time when politics was national. And when you didn’t have the same rate of financial flows taking place at a transnational level, but today the left right wing debate is moribund. So I think these are huge strategic questions that need to be taking place for the future.

Ryan Morfin:

Well, there’s a lot in what you just said. So I’m going to take a pause back and pull back for a second. So, we’re saying that globalization in the United States that we’ve financed through our consumption of imports from Asia has fully come at the expense of American working class, lower income households. You agree on that?

Barak Seener:

Middle class. Yeah.

Ryan Morfin:

And so the-

Barak Seener:

That’s been taking place across the Atlantic as well, it’s not only in the U.S. it’s taking place throughout the West.

Ryan Morfin:

Well, I was just going to ask that question. How is that playing out in the UK and the European Union? Is it the same dynamic? Is it just as pronounced? Because I totally agree and see it here, middle class has been eroded in United States. And if you look at what’s happening, all the consumption that we’ve been doing for Chinese goods, has been accelerating the rise of the middle class there.

Barak Seener:

But, they’ve manipulated their currencies. They’ve not subscribed to the basic tenets of globalization, which has been essentially, everybody’s a winner. If you play by the rules and you’re going to cause economies to become market economies, at the start you’re going to cause them to become manufacturing economies, they’re going to evolve to become service based economies, et cetera. And then those that manufacturing will shift to other lower income countries and will lift them up, that’s not taking place because China in a sense has been cheating.

Barak Seener:

And there’s no point to regurgitate that everybody knows it’s been regurgitated a million times what China has been doing. But what’s happened is as well, I published an article, The Godfather Wars, and there’s great quote by Donald Lucchese in the Godfather part three, where he says, “Finance is a gun, politics is knowing when to pull the trigger.” And the thinking behind globalization was that increased affluence and prosperity underpins peace and security. And what’s happened is that… China was admitted into the World Trade Organization in 2001. And what happened was, that what China did was, it became affluent with a growth of on average 10% every year in GDP.

Barak Seener:

But rather than economic liberalism spilling over to political liberalism, we failed to co-op them effectively. So they used their increased affluence to become more military assertive, not only at a regional level, but even globally to become more globally confrontational, whether it be an air to play in the sea, in the rollout of telecommunications, Wolf diplomacy. So they’ve been really playing a zero sum game. And that’s been as a result of their increased affluence. So that’s tend to be undermined the whole ethos behind globalization.

Ryan Morfin:

So let’s pause on that moment. So World Trade Organization works and globalization in a capitalistic global order. If everybody plays by the rules, China’s not playing by the rules. So the same dynamic happening to us in the U.S. is happening to the middle class in the UK, in Germany, Europe. There’s a book by honorable Liam Fox MP that I’m quite keen on called, Rising Tides is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, was published a few years ago, but talks about the Anglosphere, forming to confront China on these issues. Do you see the kind of foundational elements of a new coalition to counterbalance the, we’ll call the rule breaking Chinese capitalist model with the rule seeking Western ideology of capitalism?

Barak Seener:

Look at the movement now you’ve got… We’re in a phase in history where we’re not at the point of confrontation with China, we’re at a pace of competition with China. Right? And if you compare this to a few years ago, it’s the shift from co-opting China to competition with China is quite striking. So what that looks like is, countries attempting to hedge countries… And you’ve asked about the Anglosphere, but you can you see this in Australia, but you also see it in India, that countries are attempting to play it both ways. They’re attempting to hedge on one hand, they want economic ties with China.

Barak Seener:

But on the other hand, they’re attempting to strategically over-shore sensitive industries away from China. On one hand, they have economic ties with China, but on the other hand, they’re thinking well, how are we going to regionalize or onshore our supply chains? On one hand, they are having economic ties with China, but they’re also exploring having increased military and intelligence ties with the United States. So there’s a shift. A few years ago, people would be speaking about when they were co-opting with China. It was an inevitability that the center of economic, sorry, the center of economic activity has shifted from the West Eastward.

Barak Seener:

That was a cliche that you’ve heard a million times. Now that has shifted to competition, which is taking the form of hedging, confrontation in the future, that shift from competition to confrontation will be a shift from hedging to, okay, here we have a system of increased military alliances to counter the United States. And the real question is, what is that going to look like? Is the United States going to have a hub and spokes approach of creating a series of bilateral ties with different allies? And that’s going to be very time consuming. And I think Secretary Pompeo is just beginning to undertake this.

Barak Seener:

I don’t think that there’s going to be a comprehensive sphere of influence like there was in the Cold War. In the Cold War, it was very different to today, you were able to achieve bipolarity because, first of all the Soviet Union wasn’t a consumer economy, right? They weren’t gonna buy any Western products. They were decoupled to begin with. Secondly, you had the United States and the Soviet Union,[inaudible 00:12:10] carve out spheres of influence. When you have respective economic spheres of influence, capitalism versus communism, it was very much a top down approach. Today it’s in the competition era, which we’re in today.

Barak Seener:

It’s much more complex in that strategic decoupling is beginning to take place, yet China is a huge consumer economy. Companies are still attempting to trade in China or invest in China, at an enormous rate, that decoupling hasn’t completely taken place. You also have China holding a lot of U.S. debt. So the economies are still tremendously intertwined. So it’s still quite ambiguous being in the competition stage. Currently, there’s a disparity between u.S. rhetoric and U.S. action. But I do think that the trend will be that the US action will escalate.

Ryan Morfin:

Before we get to that next phase of the conversation on confrontation with China, I want to ask you two questions. One is 20th century relic power structures of the Western order, World Trade Organization, Bretton Woods, World Bank. Do they survive in the 21st century or do we need to rethink those? And is that what Pompeo and Trump are starting to lay the groundwork for?

Barak Seener:

I think you’ve asked the most critical question. That is the most important question that I think nobody is addressed effectively. That’s something that I’m currently working on to publish in the next article. What is going to be the international architecture? What will that look like? Why is the United States the post World War II architecture not sustainable? Currently, what Trump is fully conscious of is, okay how can we change international value and supply chains to run through the United States? That is something that he spearheaded.

Barak Seener:

I don’t think that yet the United States is fully conscious of how to create a new international architecture. And, while the United States is pulling out of multilateral forums. That’s not adequate. That’s the first phase. And what’s the next phase is going to be? What will the follow up be? Will a future demonstration, will they be consequential like the Truman administration to create that new international economic and security architecture for the West? And I don’t think that they’re there yet. And.

Ryan Morfin:

I can tell you from the folks I know, what I call the nation building soft power skill sets in our government don’t exist anymore. From the post World War II, the Marshall Plan era, that skill set does not exist today. And just look at our inner cities. You could pretty much just straight up see that we don’t know how to do that. So the question is going to be, can we pull off new architecture that is teared up for a different element that we haven’t talked about yet, which is what I call Neo-libertarianism, where you’ve got people who don’t believe in ancient states, people who are globalists in mindset, multinational companies who hop around jurisdictions. Is it becoming more of a globalist nationalist fight? And China’s leading the globalist effort?

Barak Seener:

I think that you’re asking something, but you’re grazing upon something much deeper. And there’s a few things that you’re touching upon. First of all, regarding the day after, I think that the Trump administration has been really intuitive knowing what works and what doesn’t work. So they’ll pull out of the World Health Organization, or they’ll pull out of the Iran deal. Now I’m all pro pulling out of the Iran deal. But I predicted a few years ago when that took place.

Barak Seener:

Okay, so what’s gonna happen the next day afterwards. Has America pushed Iran into China’s sphere of influence? So, Chinese companies don’t care about the U.S. sanctions, they don’t need to operate in the U.S. market. So there’s a common denominator whereby the United States needs to be thinking about the day after, in terms of whether it be the Iran deal or replacement for existing multilateral organizations, but also other things like investing in STEM. So that the United States is going to have scientists to compete with China vis-à-vis artificial intelligence and things like that.

Barak Seener:

It’s also creating a flexible labor force. Our parents had the same jobs their entire lives, our generational will have three, four career shifts. So only the flexible and resilient will survive. The previous generation didn’t have to be flexible or resilient. And another thing you spoke about, this is what I meant about grazing on something which is much deeper. In terms of when you say, America knew you how to develop infrastructure and sort of create aid to develop infrastructure in Western Europe, post World War II, China is doing that in its Belt Road Initiative.

Barak Seener:

And it’s creating mercantile markets in a sense creating hostage markets, people that will be militarily, economically, politically hostage to them. America has not yet undertaken a comprehensive vision to counter China’s infrastructure development in these countries. In a sense it’s offering aid in a very traditional manner, but how is America going to be creating infrastructure? And the other two points that I want to raise which you’ve grazed upon is that on these points.

Barak Seener:

Number one, America has focused on its form of globalization has been very much a democratic globalization. Whereby, and being so democratic, it’s also been at its own expense. I’m not even talking about learning others like China, sort of abuse the rules and cause that shift in economic activity to take place more rapidly than it should have. What I’m talking about is the fact that being democratic, being open, it’s not been in control of where economic activity would shift.

Barak Seener:

It spoke about interconnectedness, whether it be digital interconnectedness. You remember the cliches of the day, globalization bringing a school to connect together an interconnected world, greater technological and financial flows, all these were buzzwords that you heard. And that was something that the Clinton era did. And indeed, NAFTA, caused economic activity to shift towards beneficiary states at the expense of the United States. China’s form of globalization has been very, very different.

Barak Seener:

And it’s a competing form of globalization. China’s globalization has been all geared towards accumulating and concentrating power at the head of the Communist Party. Say for example, when it needs telecommunication lines, sorry, fiber optics lines, or whether it has 5G, it’s all about collecting data to feed the Communist Party. Same with their Belt Road Initiative in terms of creating these mercantile markets and keeping people hostage. And it’s been cleverly branded as, Oh, China is now becoming more interconnected to the international community. This is an unprecedented infrastructure development project that is historically unparalleled.

Barak Seener:

But that’s what China has been doing. It’s been all about creating a competing form of globalization where interconnectedness would not create parity, but concentration of power for a totalitarian regime. And in the phase of competition, that is what has taken place. America has not created a comprehensive strategy to counter China, whether it be on their vision of globalization, and create international institutions. And it’s these international institutions that will reflect the United States competing vision of globalization.

Ryan Morfin:

So, what will it take or what are the precedents necessary for us to go from competition with China to a confrontation? How does that shift? Gradual or all at once?

Barak Seener:

I think it’s going to be a combination of the two. Look, when I talk about gradual data thefts, when you’ve heard the head of the FBI speaking about China data theft constituting an act of war, right? Question then becomes, what level of data theft becomes acceptable and what level becomes unacceptable? At which point does the United States think right, enough is enough? Because, the reason for China’s in a sense being ahead of the United States and certain technological areas, has been for a combination of state capitalism, whereby it’s not been a free market, they have directed the economy towards investing in technology.

Barak Seener:

So that’s been one form, or one reason for them bounding forwards. But another is also the theft of IP, the direct theft. Whether it be companies wanting to operate within China, and they have to give a huge percentage of their company away to a Chinese partner, or whether they have directly stolen from U.S. companies via malicious activities. A second point then also… So that’s something which is incremental. And at which point does United States think Well, enough, is enough. Right?

Barak Seener:

A second point then is, if there is a flashpoint in the South China Seas, let’s say China reads United States in activity vis-à-vis Hong Kong confers. Right? We’re going to go into Taiwan. We’re going to take over Taiwan. Or if they continue to actively not support U.S. sanctions on North Korea, or if there is a direct confrontation in the South China Sea. At which point does America blow that tip over to a hot conflict? Will that become an escalation? And if that becomes a political and military confrontation. Well, then will that accelerate the strategic decoupling taking place at an economic level? Those are the big questions.

Ryan Morfin:

I think you’ll see the military in China get more hostile and assertive and aggressive regionally, as their middle class starts to develop the consumption necessary to keep their growth trajectory. And that’s where I’ve started while I look at China, I look at their middle class domestic consumption. And you can really just track it to perfect correlation to how aggressive they’ve been getting with U.S. military with allies. And it’s a fascinating time right now. And I think we’ll-

Barak Seener:

I think that’s a really interesting point, the fact that increased prosperity on the part of China domestically can spill over to increased confrontation with foreign powers. That’s really interesting point, I haven’t considered that.

Ryan Morfin:

So just going around the world here, what do you think of the Emirati Israel peace deal that the Trump administration is touting?

Barak Seener:

Look, I think it’s not a deal. There’s two types of peace deals. For example, Israel’s peace deal with Egypt, was when Sadat saw that the Soviets were going to take over Egypt. And it was a pivotal moment when Egypt had to decide right, whose sphere of influence are we going to be in? Are we going to be in the United States sphere of influence or are we going to get taken over by the Savior’s? And so Sadat, he did something monumental. He made a strategic shift towards the United States by signing a peace deal with Israel, right.

Barak Seener:

And then the military epsilon of Egypt received enormous amount of U.S. support. What’s happened here in contrast is, this is not a deal that changes facts on the ground. It’s a deal that reflects changing facts on the grounds. It’s reflective of a pre existing trend. When you’ve had at least a decade of close security and intelligence ties between the UAE and Israel because of the Iranian threat. You’ve also seen the fact that every Gulf state has to diversify their economies because they can’t rely on oil anymore.

Barak Seener:

Because, first of all, global recession, oil prices have plummeted. Secondly, everybody’s an oil producer, the United States now is a huge and it’s achieved energy independence with its shale oil and gas, it’s not reliant on the Middle East. So once upon a time, the Middle East was able to be very hostile towards the United States and Israel, because it had the luxury of being able to, because it had huge energy resources that the West was relying upon. Today, it doesn’t have that anymore.

Barak Seener:

So you see every single Gulf states is having a vision 2030 economic plan to diversify their economies. And they need as well support to especially have a digital economy. Israel is a power when it comes to high tech. It’s the startup nation. So the reason why they’ve aligned with Israel is not only because of Israel’s military and security capacity to help them confront Iran, but because of Israel’s economic base which is high tech foundations. So those are the trends that are coming together. But nonetheless the very [crosstalk 00:29:50] sorry.

Ryan Morfin:

No, I’m going to say they’ve always historically used either Mexican companies or foreign companies in the Middle East to go invest in Israel and bring the technology out. Yeah, it’s been fascinating. And I didn’t even know, there’s a real interesting bond between Mexico and Beirut. Carlos Slim is Lebanese. But there’s always been that dynamic where they’ve used-

Barak Seener:

Why is there a Mexico, Lebanese link? Why is that?

Ryan Morfin:

A lot of Lebanese left Beirut to go to Mexico in the early 20th century, became the entrepreneur class in Mexico. They also went to Colombia. So Shakira is Lebanese and Colombian. But there’s an interesting kind of, a lot of ultra wealthy folks that, from Latin America that run around the middle east, have been that proxy. So getting rid of those middlemen if you will, and having that direct dialogue should save a lot of money. So Barak, as we’re looking at these interest, global interests, the multinationals that exist, that hop from different jurisdiction.

Ryan Morfin:

Well, we start to see even in a domestic economy like the U.S., a Goldman Sachs or Facebook, have different interests, then we’ll call regional economic interests. People who are more domestically focused for commercial activities, and by doing so, have different alignments as it relates to where they go, and how they fund politicians. And so do we see that the multinationals as a new element in this new posture for spheres of influence in cold war kind of 2.0?

Barak Seener:

Well, first of all, how do you see that? Really, really interesting question, how do you see that? Do you see already the tension between multinationals and more local regional organized companies? How do you see it?

Ryan Morfin:

Yeah. I think a political divide that’s going to start to emerge is, people who don’t believe in the nation state anymore because their economic bread is buttered by globalist interest. So the folks in Silicon Valley who want more clicks in China, so they’ll give the source code and they’ll forgive their morals, by allowing a dictator or surveillance state to have access to the source data on the users. We’ll start to become more self-evident as we get through some of the background noise about Tik Tok and about what 5G bad efforts that China’s been producing globally, not just in the United States, Africa, Eastern Europe.

Ryan Morfin:

And so I think that’s going to start to become more self-evident. And so I think you’re going to see companies who do more business domestically, say, “Wait a minute, these multinationals, although they’ve got huge lobbying dollars in the United States don’t really reflect what’s good for the U.S. in the long term.” Because they’re not just U.S. companies anymore, they’re globalist companies. And I think that’s where you’re seeing like Microsoft, Facebook, some of the huge international companies that are domesticated here, start to really have perverse interests that aren’t aligned with long term American interests, because they’re their own nation state in some respects. And it’s a 21st century construct, to have a company that-

Barak Seener:

But I actually think that this is connected to the issue of strategic decoupling. I actually think that you’re going to get to a point in history whereby companies will be subjected to regulations that set out by the US government, by national governments, just like they are strategically onshoring sensitive industries. And they are blocking out Huawei. Bear in mind, Boris Johnson in the UK didn’t want to do that originally, he needed to get COVID in order to become more aware of the acute Chinese threat.

Barak Seener:

He resisted Donald Trump initially on this issue. So I actually think that we are going to enter a phase where companies are going to be forced to become local. I might be proven wrong, but I don’t think so. I think that is the trend whereby nationalism will replace globalization. And it’s going to be part of this escalating competition, escalating visions of globalization, escalating visions of technological advancement, in the process by the way, as well Western economy are going to be adapting elements of China to become corporatist states.

Barak Seener:

Just like you’re going to see the private and public sector work together very closely, especially in certain industries such as technology, right? In order to advance if this is going to be part of the race. And in the 1930s, Mussolini bought into the whole concept of the corporate state, which is something that Winston Churchill was very interested in. And I think what’s going to happen is increasingly, you’ll see increased government intervention, whether it be bailouts, stimulus packages, and increasingly private and public sector going to work together.

Barak Seener:

And as part of that, I don’t think there’s going to be that wide latitude to go global, as countries have enjoyed for the past few decades. And very much the focus is going to shift towards how do we turn inward looking, not only to onshore supply chains or regionalize supply chains, but in the process, how do we develop our working and middle classes? So in a sense, it’s a reversal of history. And historically, there was this sense of the fact that nationalism was a wizard, belligerent, and confrontational or even imperialist force. Whereas today, nationalism was always at the expanse of the author.

Barak Seener:

If you look at European history especially, American history is very different because America was shielded by two oceans, and it’s nationalism was not its national project, it was an experiment. And the United States thought to have that experiment in direct opposition to the European experience, which they thought as very despotic. What I think is happening today, which is really interesting is as opposed to the 1930s, we have an upshot of nationalism, which led to the second world war, prior to that the World War I.

Barak Seener:

What’s really interesting today is the fact that you’ve got transnational nationalist movements, all geared towards reclaiming national sovereignty, that isn’t necessarily belligerent. And it’s not necessarily confrontational. So often, the media will be speaking about the all right as being the same as the far right. And I think that’s the wrong historical analogy. I think that there’s no historical precedent for this specific phenomenon.

Ryan Morfin:

Now, that’s interesting. I do think that the tech industry is going to face a lot of antitrust energy in the next four years next administration, no matter who wins. And I do think it goes back to Marshall. He told nation States you got to pick aside in 1946, in his famous Harvard speech before they launched the Marshall Plan. And I think, in many ways, someone’s going to say tech companies to multinationals, you’ve got to pick aside, because you can’t keep funding surveillance state Chinese Communist Party activities that are coming at the cost of national security or economic liberty of people around the world.

Ryan Morfin:

And so I think it’s going to become a very interesting dichotomy. There’s something very interesting for the first time, the protesters on the far left started getting upset in the U.S. about cotton that’s made up in the northern province where the Uighurs are, because that’s being generated by slave labor. And they’re starting to wake up well, Nike is making these shoes or these jackets at the cost of Muslim slave labor in northern China. And they’re starting to protest.

Barak Seener:

Recently a more recent example today, you’ve got Disney under enormous pressure because they previously operated in this globalist model creating new land. And now they have problems with, they can have maybe 200 million got slashed from revenues that they could potentially enjoy because they’re experiencing in the United States its a backlash over the fact that it’s got connections to the weak laws, and China is saying to them, “Hey, look, you’re saying to all this media outlets, you’re not allowed to promote this movie at all.” So you’re already seeing, it’s not only a domestic backlash against globalization, it’s globalization itself that is beginning to unravel.

Ryan Morfin:

Yes. One sensitive question and I’m going to ask it and forgive me ahead of time. But how is Israel not more offended that China is getting away with concentration camps in the north. How is that not the biggest discussion point in politics today from Israel, from the U.S., from the UK? How are we letting history repeat itself?

Barak Seener:

I wish that there would be more Israelis and Jewish people that would ask that question. I mean, if you think about somebody like Natalie Portman, when she speaks about the export of life products, or the eating of beef, as a Holocaust, right? Could you imagine if a non-Jewish person was to say, “To avert another Holocaust eat granola,” right? It would be out, there would be a huge outrage and industrialized genocide. Now, what I think was very naive on the part of many Jewish leaders at the time of the founding of the State of Israel was, there was a same sense of okay, the Jewish people’s national experience, and the Jewish ethos as well of the Judeo-Christian heritage and its own ethos of being good.

Barak Seener:

So that’s what would be a light unto the nations. And I think that, what’s happened to Israel is it has signed up to real politic, to the laws of statecraft. And as a result of that, I think that it’s not good enough to have Holocaust Memorial Days, when you have human rights abuses taking place in China, and other places in the globe. And the Jewish state is silent about that. And I think that in order to be more consistent, its ethos, and to be aligned with it, historical experiences. The Jewish state needs to have a great outcry of what is going on around the world.

Ryan Morfin:

I appreciate those comments, couldn’t agree with you more. I think time will tell what happens. So we have the final wrap up portion of today’s conversation, we have a thing we call the human factor. And we asked you six quick questions there kind of, yes, no quick answers that we ask all of our guests in season two. First question is, if there is a vaccine available, would you take it today? For COVID?

Barak Seener:

If it worked, yeah.

Ryan Morfin:

Second question, who wins 2020 election in the U.S., Trump or Biden?

Barak Seener:

Trump.

Ryan Morfin:

What type of economic recovery are we in, if at all? Is it a W? Is it a V? Is it a swoosh? Any thoughts on that?

Barak Seener:

I don’t think we’re in recovery. I don’t think that jobs increased job rates is indicative of recovery. When there’s going to be second third, fourth waves and future lockdowns.

Ryan Morfin:

Fair enough. Yep. I agree. Anything that you worked on during quarantine, the summer that you’re proud of, any new skills you picked up, or I think you may be writing a book and anything like that?

Barak Seener:

I just published an American interest, The Godfather Wars. Where I spoke and I want to turn it into a book form. I speak about, when do countries prioritize political over economic interests and vice versa. So I use the example of a model of Vito Corleone. He decides not to go too, into the drug trade with Slotzo. And he says, “While it might be very profitable, I’m not going to be able to maintain my political cachet and connections.” He prioritizes politics over economics.

Barak Seener:

World War I, their biggest trading partners prior sorry, Germany’s greatest trading partner prior to World War I was Russia and the United Kingdom who it went to war with. So sometimes countries prioritize political over economic interests. During globalization, it was very much I mentioned Clemenza. After they shoot Paulie, he says to Rocco, “Leave the gun, take the cannolis.” And it’s very much an idea of economic prosperity. Trump’s politics and security, it will lead to economic security. That was globalization thinking and I think it was wrong.

Barak Seener:

Then you had Donald Lucchese perspective whereby increased economic activity will spill over to greater belligerence and confrontation. And then you had as well Flyman Roth. Where Flyman Roth sought to be a substate actor in cahoots with a government. And that’s very much indicative of the private sector, which has often taken the initiative regionalizing and puncturing supply chains. It’s working in tandem with the government for stimulus packages. And it’s going to be increasingly working with the government in order to receive government investment in those sectors to achieve growth. And to stimulate the economy once again. That’s really what I worked on during lockdown.

Ryan Morfin:

Anything silver linings in the UK, or global economy that you think are going to be optimistic, bright spots?

Barak Seener:

It’s a double edged sword, because when China is seeing that when it invests in its economy, it also creates redundancies as well. Right? That’s the problem with state planning. So on one hand, technology companies are going to get a boost, there’s going to be greater investment in achieving different skills. But it’s all also going to create surplus and redundancies. So it’s not a pure silver lining, there’s a cost that will come with it.

Ryan Morfin:

And what are you reading, watching or listening to on podcasts today that kind of expand your view of the world?

Barak Seener:

No one in particular. I get a lot actually from LinkedIn. There are people that post really great strategic articles. I’m not interested in politics, I’m more interested in policy, I’m not interested in gossip, I’m more interested in strategic articles. So, there’s a lot of online journals, whether it be the National Interests Foreign Policy, as well as Asia Times. There’s a lot of really great strategic material out there. And often, if you’re immersed in social media, you’re going to get sucked into the cesspool of it all. And you’re going to miss all the future trends. So that’s really what if I have been focusing on.

Ryan Morfin:

I’m like, “That’s awesome.” Well, Barak, thanks so much for coming on the show, we’d love to have you back in the months ahead. And I’m sure there’s gonna be a lot to play out between November and January. So we’d love to have you come back on and talk to us about not only the European perspective, but kind of a global perspective from foreign policy and strategy standpoint.

Barak Seener:

[inaudible 00:48:39]

Ryan Morfin:

And I’ll make sure we send out your articles a hyperlink from the show. So thanks so much for coming on, and we’ll talk to you soon be safe.

Barak Seener:

Thank you. Take care. Bye bye.

Ryan Morfin:

Thanks for watching Non-Beta Alpha. And before we go, please remember to like and subscribe on YouTube, Apple podcast and Spotify. This is Non-Beta Alpha. And now you know.

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