Sovereignty is a Value

Posted on: Thursday, 1 November 2018 at 8:37:05 PM


Article from the AICC(WA)’s Annual Geopolitical Event featuring Mr Greg R. Copley AM. President, ISSA - The International Strategic Studies Association, Washington DC, USA speaking on the topic of "Sovereignty in the 21st Century and the Crisis for Identity, Cultures, Nation-States, and Civilizations"

This event was held on 29 October 2018 at the Westin, Perth.

From L to R back row - Mr Dean, Pike, Partner, PKF Perth, Mr Tony Joyner, Managing Partner, Perth, Herbert Smith Freehills, Mr Stephen Quantrill, Executive Chairman, McRae Investments Pty Ltd, Mr Gregory R. Copley AM, President, ISSA - The International Strategic Studies Association, Washington DC, USA and Mr John Cluer, Chief Executive, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (WA) - front row - Mrs Margaret Clough, Dr Harold Clough AO, OBE, Chairman Emeritus, McRae Investments Pty Ltd and Hon Dr Mike Nahan MLA, Shadow Minister for Public Sector Management; State Development, Jobs and Trade; Federal-State Relations, Leader of the Opposition, Parliament of Western Australia

 

With his reputation preceding him, and a now established place in the AICC(WA) annual event calendar, Mr Gregory Copley delivered a timely, somewhat sobering, but insightful and poignant oration to the Chamber.

Through his introductory remarks, John Cluer, Chief Executive provided context to the AICC(WA)’s geopolitcal agenda;

“Israel is known as a crossroads of ancient and modern civilizations. The modern State has just celebrated its 70th anniversary, but its indigenous Jewish population holds 4,000 years of heritage and nationhood.

The rich history of the first and second Jewish commonwealths contribute much to our contemporary nation-state agendas and the identity politics which is so prolific in the geo-politics that we confront today.

Modern Israel grapples with issues such as maintaining a secular democracy, embracing multiculturalism, and offering religious pluralism, whilst at the same time asserting its identity as Jewish State.  Inherent conflict between the two impacts every facet of society, including the business community and the structure of Israel’s free market economy. 

The Jewish project of Kingship delivered some success, but history shows that a crisis of identity, and clash of culture and civilisation ultimately led to the loss of both sovereignty and national self determination for ancient Israel.    

Modern Israel is in the phase of nation-building, and the lessons of the ancient past are deeply ingrained into the psyche across all sectors of Israeli society.  The AICC(WA) often notes that Australian business has a lot to learn from Israeli business, from its economic policy, to its business culture, and its bold approach to innovation.  Australian society can learn a lot from the rich heritage of Israel, as a modern reincarnation of an ancient civilisation.” 

Mr Gregory R. Copley AM, President, ISSA - The International Strategic Studies Association, Washington DC, USA

Mr Copley  commenced his talk with a tribute to Mr Harold Clough, inspiring a sense of nobility and service to himself and many others.  He recounted last years geopolitcal talk featuring His Imperial Highness, Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie of Ethiopia and moves towards restoration of historic legitimacy for the dynasty.  He also recalled commentary in relation to US engagement with North Korea which had since played out in the global framework.

Mr Gregory R. Copley AM, President, ISSA - The International Strategic Studies Association, Washington DC, USA

Addressing the topic of Sovereignty, Mr Copley posed the momentum that pivots a 70 year trend of globalism back towards nationalism.  Noting that Soverignty represents a value or quality more than a system, it offers identity and prestige for both societies and individuals, and leads to both survival and wellbeing.

“We vitiate our sovereignty when, as a society, we defer to another within an alliance or confederation or to an opponent. We diminish it when we allow our currency and economy to become dependent on the currency or economy of another. Sovereignty is always qualified to some degree, even for the mightiest of nations or individuals.”

Mr Copley referenced trends in diminishing global population growth, heathcare demand, food supply chain security, economic and political frameworks, technology disruption and geopolitical conflct to assert that our dependency on urbanisation is losing stability.  He further noted that almost 90% of Australia’s population is concentrated on an urban enviornment.

“Apart from acting as an accelerant to population decline caused by the lower fertility of the Baby Boom generation, these issues are beginning to erode life-expectancy. All of this is transforming our economic framework, but particularly the lower demand for property which will emerge over the coming decades.”

Returning to the role of Soveriengty, Mr Copley empahsised the stability brought by a belief driven society, cautioning that the abandonment of belief can lead to an erosion of democracy;

“Those nation-states which have retained cohesion and authority have done so by the conscious reversion to strong national identity and an authoritari-anism which spells the end of a century or so in which the world has experimented with its present approach to “democracy”, expressed solely as a formal ballot-box framework. We have witnessed democracy degrade as a concept into a transactional, materialistic, short-term bargain between electors and elected.”

More optimistically, Mr Copley also said that Sovereignty and identity are natural partners. They naturally assume primacy in times of stress or threat.

“The essence of democracy is not its expression through a ballot box choice, but rather the innate sense of self-reliance and self-assertion of an individual’s control over his own fate. Individual sovereignty is how each of us forms a contract with a larger society. It is, as Rousseau expressed it, the “social contract” which is most fluidly represented between governed and governor.”

Mr Copley concluded by expressing we are in a rare historical moment of being conscious of the power of Sovereingty, which represents great possibilities.

Mr Gregory R. Copley AM, President, ISSA - The International Strategic Studies Association, Washington DC, USA and Mr Tony Joyner, Managing Partner, Perth, Herbert Smith Freehills,

Mr Tony Joyner, Managing Partners HSF, facilitated questions where a focus on Australia’s approach to sovereignty was further explored.  Mr Copley concurred that Australia is not sufficiently addressing sovereignty as it should, due in part to a “transactional bubble” driven by material pursuits.  An example was offered whereby Australia is transforming from a net food exporter to a net food importer, offering an inherent risk that we will be “late to the party” of geopolitical self suffiency.

Questioned over the Republican debate, Mr Copley responded that it can be hard for a republic to unify its population, especially when an executive head-of-state is elected, and therefore represents usually just over half the electorate, not the entire nation.  He suggested that symbolism needs to stand above politics, a role currently fulfilled in Australia by the Australian Crown.  However, he also suggested that Australia could eventually evolve the Australian constitutional monarchy model, "Australianizing the Australian Crown", based on our own needs and identity, although the Australian system of constitutional monarchy works well.

Concluding the presentation, Mr Steve Quantrill, Executive Chairman, McRae Investments proposed a vote of thanks.  He described the “thought provoking and insightful” address as an opportunity to acknowledge the hope and stability that our sovereignty provides, and noted that the cyclic historic trends are of tremendous importance to our contemporary geopolitical standing.

Mr Stephen Quantrill, Executive Chairman, McRae Investments Pty Ltd and Mr Gregory R. Copley AM, President, ISSA - The International Strategic Studies Association, Washington DC, USA

Mrs Margaret Clough and Dr Harold Clough AO, OBE, Chairman Emeritus, McRae Investments Pty Ltd

About Gregory R. Copley AM

Gregory R. Copley AM, is President, ISSA – The International Strategic Studies Association, Washington DC, USA

Western Australian Gregory Copley, an advisor to governments around the world for the past 45 years, and the author or co-author of 35 books, including:

  • “Sovereignty in the 21st Century and the Crisis for Identity, Cultures, Nation-States, and Civilizations”;
  • “Australia 2050; Such a Full Sea (Australia's Options in a Changing Indian Ocean Region)”;
  • “UnCivilization: Urban Geopolitics in a time of Chaos”; and
  • “The Art of Victory”

In 2016, he also launched the ISSA Zahedi Center for the Study of Monarchy, Traditional Governance, and Sovereignty, while continuing to oversee several other regional intelligence forums. 

Greg returns home from his Washington, DC, base each year to present the AICC(WA)’s annual geopolitical event. His talk to the AICC(WA) a decade ago “Can Australia Survive the Next 50 Years?” is still being talked about. So, too, is his 2017 talk, which accurately forecast how US Pres. Trump would bring North Korea into negotiations and precipitate major new opportunities for security in the Indo- Pacific.

Mr Copley’s most recent book is available on this link from Amazon.com

 

 

 

  

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