Mental models are the way
we understand the world; the system by which we think. Mental models are
important in any decision making process because they are what we base
our judgment on - the better the mental models we use, the better our
decision making will be.
Military strategist John Boyd explained
the importance of mental models by teaching that in any conflict it is
not the one with the most information that wins, but rather it is the
one with the best understanding of the information they have, that wins.
Geopolitical Model: Chaostan
Chaostan is the geopolitical theory (mental model) by
economist and historian Richard J. Maybury, which postulates that a large portion of
the world is "the land of Chaos." This land is made up of regions and
countries with a long history of political and economic instability,
little personal or economic freedom, and no experience with common
(natural) law. These areas are often tribal, with people more loyal to
ancient ethnic lines and religious sects than to their modern
According to Maybury, Chaostan consists
of about 100 nations, including most of the nations of the former Soviet
Union, Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Maps and a
full list of the nations considered by Maybury to make up Chaostan can
be found on the Chaostan website.
Chaostan covers about one-third of the
world’s land surface. It contains a disproportionate amount of the
world’s natural resources, including at least 80% of the world’s oil
supply and 50% of the world’s coal supplies. Chaostan also has a majority of the world's supply of rare earth metals, so important to modern technology and alternative energy sectors (the so-called "green economy"). It also has huge amounts
of natural gas, gold, silver, platinum, copper, tin, iron, zinc, timber
and grain. These are the basic raw materials upon which industrialized
civilization rests, giving Chaostan an inordinate amount of influence
over Western economies.
It would be thought that a part of the
world with such abundance of natural resources would be very wealthy.
This is not the case. Although the ruling classes in these regions often
have immense wealth, the common folks tend to be among the poorest in
the world. In part, this is due to a lack of education, but mostly it
has to do with the lack of concepts such as economic liberty and
personal property rights.
In contrast to Chaostan, Maybury lists
what he considers the “Lands of Liberty.” These are nations where a
tradition of liberty has been established – the USA, Canada, Australia,
New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, the UK, Ireland and most of Western
Europe. In these areas, economic liberty and personal property rights
are well-established, and the citizens are more loyal to their
nation-states than to tribal, ethnic or religious groups. Peace and
prosperity (at least domestically), rather than chaos, are the hallmarks
of these countries.
Some areas, such as Central and South
America, exist somewhere between Chaostan
and the Lands of Liberty. Only time will tell what direction these
It is also worth noting that the Lands
of Liberty share a common heritage of Judeo-Christian values and
worldview, whereas Chaostan is dominated by Islam (a perversion of the
Abrahamic faiths) and other pagan religions.
How can the Chaostan model help in understanding world events?
There is a vast difference between
the worldviews and values of the Lands of Liberty and those of Chaostan
that often make it difficult for the two civilizations to understand and
interact with each other. Likewise, the disparity of wealth between the
Lands of Liberty and Chaostan cause a certain amount of
misunderstanding and mistrust between the two. The people of Chaostan
often have negative feelings towards the West, including jealousy and
anger. The people of the Lands of Liberty often look down on those of
Chaostan as being backwards and even dangerous.
It is a mistake for the West to pretend that these differences don't exist, or worse, that the
two civilizations are morally equal. They are not. Western civilization (the Lands of Liberty),
though not perfect, is demonstrably the superior civilization. The
domestic peace and economic success of the West, along with its far
superior record regarding basic human rights, relative to the lack of
these in Chaostan, is proof of the better system.
does have the superior
civilization, but does not have the right to impose its system on
through force. Nation building will never work in Chaostan because its
people lack the necessary foundations for modern peaceful and stable
nation-states. Simply put, they don't think the same way we do.
Therefore, it is foolish to think we can forcibly squeeze them into a
However, the West has the right and duty
to protect itself from the very real threats posed by Chaostan. This
controlling immigration (even "refugees") from Chaostan, and insisting
that immigrants, students, and temporary workers
from Choastan adapt to the Western system while in the West.
zero-tolerance for Sharia law and other forms of religious and cultural
"accommodation" that are contrary to the Western system.
This may also
mean stopping countries like North Korea and Iran from developing
nuclear programs because they lack the needed foundations to be
responsible and peaceful nation-states. They will use their nuclear
programs in an aggressive fashion because they know no other way.
With such a large difference in
worldviews, beliefs, values, and experiences, shouldn't the Lands of
Liberty simply stop dealing with Chaostan? Nice idea, but it wouldn't
work. The industrialized nations of the West need access to the immense
resources of Chaostan. Chaostan needs the West as customers for those resources.
Chaostan also needs access to Western technology, medicine, and
Like it or not, we need each other. Besides, the genie is
already out of the lamp, so to speak, as the Lands of Liberty have
foolishly allowed many millions of immigrants and refugees from
Chaostan into our countries without insisting on full assimilation into
There is a war of civilizations going on
between the two sides. Virtually every hot spot and potential
flashpoint in the world is explained by this model. The
violence and poverty in Chaostan is mostly due to the lack of personal
and economic liberty, including the lack of private property rights,
as well as tribal & sectarian divisions. The inability &
unwillingness of Chaostan immigrants and refuges to assimilate into
Western culture is likewise explained.
Ultimate Reason We Should Care
Chaostan, with its war, violence and
poverty, stands as a warning to the Lands of Liberty should we ever
reject the concepts of personal and economic liberty, and our common Judeo-Christian heritage. Chaostan is our future
should we continue down the path of collectivism, rejecting free
markets and private property rights in favor of socialism, and rejecting
personal and religious freedom in favor of imposing wokeness and political
correctness. It may already be too late to stop the Western decent into chaos.
***** I want to give Richard J. Maybury
full credit for his concept of Chaostan. The middle section of this article
is my summary of Mr. Maybury's geopolitical theory, as best as I
understand it. For more details, please visit his website.
Mr. Maybury is also the author of a
great set of educational books on economics, law, history, and personal
finance, called the "Uncle Eric Books." I strongly recommend these
easy-to-read, highly informative books. Here are two of my favorites:
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? A Fast, Clear, and Fun Explanation of the Economics You Need For Success in Your Career, Business, and Investments
Whatever Happened to Justice? Explains what's gone wrong with America's legal system and economy and how to fix it.