It is not easy to talk about morality, but neither is to talk about sanity.
What makes talking about either difficult is people’s propensity to fall for propaganda; their ignorance of the details of the matter at hand and their eagerness to join the lynch-mobs of virtue signaling.
These reactions cannot be addressed with reason. They are all based on emotions.
Propaganda, virtue signaling and jumping to conclusions are impervious to logic.
When we are not willing or able to accept reality for what it is, no reasonable argument can correct the misalignment between reality, our emotions and our will. Every problem will be reduced into a simple question: are you with us or with “them”. Still I will do here the only thing I can, the thing I always do: trying to show that nothing is that simple.
In my last post I made the case for the only moral position concerning the war in Ukraine.
In an earlier post I made the point that the problems we are dealing with are the results of cultural, ideological, political and institutional inertia hurling our whole civilization toward a precipice.
What I will try to do here is to show that the delusional insanity of this war is just the latest manifestation of the problems of Western civilization and the existing “rules based” world order.
Let’s start with a little history, the many things that made this war so hard to avoid.
Ever since the discovery of the Americas, Western ideas, Western interests ruled the world. After the Spanish, the Dutch and the British, the face of the Global order today is that of the Unites States. The US controls the world, militarily, economically and monetarily.
The world is run by Western liberal institutions. NATO, The World Bank, IMF, the UN and its various agencies are all representing Western, and more specifically American interests.
The US dollar is the World’s reserve currency. Its status is predicated on the agreement with the Saudis providing the later with military protection in return for trading crude oil for only American dollars.
The US is drawing an inordinate degree of benefit from this arrangement. It is understandable, that they do not want to give it up.
After World War II, the old colonial empires fell apart. During the cold war, with their colonial masters gone, what was defined as the ‘third world’ became an ideological and often a very real battleground between the USA and the USSR. Both sides have corrupted and exploited the third world trying to advance their respective ideologies.
After the fall of the wall, Western intellectuals declared the forever victory of the new, liberal, democratic, rules-based world order. It was supposed to be “The End of History.
Except, of course, history has the arrogance of not ending. While the international organizations existed during the cold war as well, after 1989 they became the tools of a new kind of Western colonialism.
Here is the recipe:
- Take a corruptible little country and corrupt its political class even more. Give them loans and weapons, give them aid, help them to start big infrastructure projects.
- When they realize that there is no such thing as a free lunch, offer them help by restructuring.
- Tell them to ‘privatize’ which inevitably means selling anything of value the country has to multinational corporations.
- On the coat-tail of the multinationals, we can find the philanthropaths, the likes of Soros and Gates wetting their beaks.
If anybody stepped out of line – like Assad, Kaddafi, Mubarak, or Hussein – they were replaced and/or had their countries destroyed.
These are the rules of the Western liberal order. The existing world order, as it is for the past few decades, is an insidious form of neocolonialism. This is the world order NATO wants to protect and the World Economic Forum wants to formalize into a global totalitarianism.
What does this have to do with war in Ukraine? As a matter of fact, plenty. It exposed the problems of the existing world order, the communist nature of the new one championed by the globalists and may lead to an entirely different one.
The first thing we have to understand about this war is that it was both predictable and inevitable.
There was absolutely nothing surprising about it. It was the planned outcome of a slow progression of provocations from the Western powers since 2005, but one could argue that it started as early as in 1991.
Russia was goaded into action and until it actually did, every bit of provocation was backed up by Western readiness to escalate another step further.
The point of this decades-long chess game is to provoke Russia into an action that can justify a military response by NATO.
As the war is progressing, the role of the West in it is becoming more obvious and open. The military and the politicians are not even trying to hide their goals any more. There is no pretension left about the heroic fight of the Ukrainians, about national sovereignty and independence. The only goal is to weaken Russia militarily and economically, to turn it into a failed state that can be easily turned into a vassal of Western Powers with a puppet government.
“Since the 1950s, the U.S. has been stymied or defeated in nearly every regional conflict in which it has participated. Yet in the “battle for Ukraine,” the neocons were ready to provoke a military confrontation with Russia by expanding NATO over Russia’s vehement objections because they fervently believe that Russia will be defeated by U.S. financial sanctions and NATO weaponry.
Robert Kagan spelled out the neocon case for NATO enlargement in April 2006:
“[T]he Russians and Chinese see nothing natural in [the ‘color revolutions’ of the former Soviet Union], only Western-backed coups designed to advance Western influence in strategically vital parts of the world. Are they so wrong? Might not the successful liberalization of Ukraine, urged and supported by the Western democracies, be but the prelude to the incorporation of that nation into NATO and the European Union — in short, the expansion of Western liberal hegemony?”
(emphasis mine) From <http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/57106.htm>
This was the goal all along. The expansion of Western liberal hegemony.
It isn’t exactly a secret. It isn’t necessarily nefarious. We can call it ‘spreading democracy.’ The Western liberal kind. The one that comes with the woke baloney of postmodernism. The one with the “rules based International order” … Western Liberal rules based international order, that is.
The one with international organizations ran by Western liberals.
We can try to put a positive spin on it, we can try to pretend that it is about higher ideals and the greater good, but we cannot pretend that it was not planned, that it is not the culmination of long running Western subversion and one has to be deeply dishonest to suggest that it is going well for the Ukrainians and their supporters.
NATO is ready to fight down to the last Ukrainian soldier. When they run out of those, there may be others, like the Poles, who are itching to fight the Russians. Historic animosity goes a long way.
Where it may go could be best understood by looking at the perception and aspirations of the supporters and champions of the war.
Western visions and aspirations
A vision for the plebs
This war is about democracy and the rules-based international order. It is about the sovereign status of the Ukrainian nation and an effort on the part of the international community to stand up for the rights of Ukrainians to self determination and democracy.
Putin is an unhinged madman who wants to rule the world and it has to be stopped at ANY COST. All the bad things we have to endure as a consequence of this war are for a greater good and they are all Putin’s fault. There are no moral ambiguities in the support for Ukraine. You are either with us or against us. Anybody saying otherwise is an agent of Putin, who should be punished, beaten, humiliated and replaced.
Half of my family and friends, as I am sure half of yours, buy into this cheap and stupid propaganda.
A vision for the anointed
The anointed in this context are the perpetrators of this travesty. The politicians, the media, the ideologues. The faithful believers of the globalist dream, the supporters of the direction Western civilization is going. They believe that Western liberalism is destined to rule the world, because it represents progress. They champion their woke, enlightened causes with a firm belief that they are on the right side of history. They understand that one cannot make an omelet without breaking some eggs.
They understand that they do not have the arguments to convince anybody, therefore they have to destroy anybody standing in their way. An ascendant, conservative and religious Russia is definitely standing in their way. It must be subdued and humiliated.
A vision for the globalists
For the globalists, this is just another crisis that should not be allowed to go to waste. It could and should be used to accelerate the globalization of power; the strengthening of international institutions, the expansion of the organizations and power alliances of the existing Western-liberal world order.
The end-goal is a technocratic world government under the control of the present leaders of these institutions. The ones addressed by Klaus Schwab in Davos in February 2022: “Vee, zee people in zis wroom” A sort of formalization of the present arrangement where all governments are subservient to a global authority, where politicians of every country become bureaucrats, the executors of the will of this new Supreme Soviet.
A world where you own nothing and are happy – straight out of Marx
A world run by a vanguard elite – straight out of Lenin
A world with close relationships between private enterprises and the state – straight out of Hitler
A world without the four olds – straight out of Mao.
A world with total control of the individual – straight out of Mussolini
A world in full control of the narrative about truth, the past, present and future – straight out of 1984.
Unfortunately for the anointed, global, Western, liberal, progressive elite, reality is slowly getting in the way.
The new realities
These realities can be best illustrated by Ukraine’s loss in a FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Wales – with a self-goal.
Contrasted by its goals, the results of the war can be best described as a colossal self-goal for the Western liberalism, for the West dominated monetary and economic order and the US dominated military/political hegemony.
The reality of Western liberalism is the simple fact that it is bankrupt. Philosophically, culturally, morally, spiritually, financially and even militarily.
This can be best illustrated by a map:
What you see here is about an eight of the world’s population, maybe a quarter of its territory.
A point that seems to go unnoticed in the Western media. This fact is somehow beyond the purview of the Western vision.
The countries on this map imposing sanctions on Russia represent a small minority of the planet’s population. The vast majority of this planet’s population is on the side of the Russians. Shouldn’t we start to wonder why?
In 1960, the US represented 40% of the World’s GDP. That number today is 22% and shrinking.
In relative terms, the US is a declining, while Russia is an ascending power. It is relatively poor although its GDP ranking is 11th in the world. It has tremendous wealth in natural resources.
Even before the start of this war, Russia was heavily involved in a few major infrastructure projects.
The Nord stream 2 pipeline is just one of them. Russia is building alternative pipelines to supply both India and China; it is building several major ports on the North Sea that could cut the cost of shipping from China to Europe by about 40%.
Putin is working on the creation of new trade alliances and an alternative currency exchange mechanism.
If the Western powers snub him, he can snub them back.
The war, and especially the sanctions, only accelerated these projects and reinforced the justification for their existence.
Some even argue that it was the real cause behind provoking Russia into a proxy war. To stop, or at least slow down its development.
An alternative international order is a threat to the Global American hegemony.
An alternative currency clearing system is a threat to the reserve currency status of the petro-dollar.
Alternative international organizations are existential threats to the existing ones.
The globalist Great reset and the new world order is predicated on the absolute hegemony of its advocates’ vision of Western liberalism. Any challenge to that is a threat to the project.
Losing the war
The US, its European allies and its Ukrainian puppets are losing the war in every possible way.
The US trained and armed Ukrainian military didn’t perform any better than the US trained and armed militaries of Afghanistan or Iraq. After Obama leaving 8 billion dollars’ worth of military hardware in Iraq and nearly the same amount left in Afghanistan by Biden, America has nothing to show for the money it spent for the supposed benefit of its citizens.
The Americans have already pumped more than 40 Billion dollars into Ukraine without having anything to show for it either. The world has no taste for this war. Neither do the people of the Western world.
The Winter is coming, and the Germans are also losing their appetite for more war and more sanctions.
It is a most disgustingly elitist proxy war. The sanctions have not only failed to work, but achieved the exact opposite if their stated aims. The sanctions are hurting the countries that imposed them far more than their target, Russia. The Rubel is doing better than ever, the Russian economy is doing just fine and Putin is more popular than ever. Even his international prestige improved in the eyes of the rest of the world.
Russia would have been satisfied with some security guarantees and a concession recognizing the will of the people of Crimea to be part of Russia. Since it was forced into this war, it took control of the part of Ukraine that has most of its natural resources and industries. The part that represents about 60% of its GDP. He will keep it and deservedly so.
The imposition of the sanctions was so SWIFT (pun intended) that it leaves no doubt about the fact that it was planned long in advance. One must wonder: who were the geniuses who came up with the plan without giving a single thought to the absolutely predictable consequences?
The war was unnecessary and negotiations could have stopped it before it even started. The consequences are entirely the responsibility of the idiots who provoked it. I wonder if we will ever be able to put names to it.
Losing the respect of the world
- The world is watching and the world can see.
- The world can see the devastation that Western powers brought upon this world in the past 30 years.
- The world can see that NATO and the EU doesn’t give a damn about the people of Ukraine.
- The world can see the wasteful futility of the war.
- The world can see this war for what it is: a desperate effort of the West to hang on to its power.
- The world can see that the rules-based order means one set of rules for the West and another for the rest.
The outright confiscation of the property of private citizens simply based on their nationality without any due process should put questions to everybody’s mind.
- The rest of the world sees Putin as the little guy who stood up to the Western bullies.
All of this is just the latest addition to the list of the things that the rest of the world can clearly see.
- The world can see how corrupt the West has become.
- The world can see how the West is committing a woke cultural suicide.
- The world can see that the West is NOT its friend, not its benefactor.
The West clearly cannot even take care of its own problems.
The real reset
I came across a great meme a few days ago, saying: “We are living in amazing times. It’s like the fall of the Roman Empire but with wifi.”
If we can get out of it alive, if we can avoid a nuclear war, we can predict with a high degree of confidence that this war will be seen as an inflection point in history. The beginning of the decline of Western hegemony; the beginning of a truly multipolar world.
A possible reintroduction of sound money, the collapse of some international institutions, etc. I wouldn’t try to predict how it will unfold, but I believe that the world will never be the same.
The Tragedy of Western civilization
In a way, I feel for all participants involved. This is very much like a Greek tragedy.
My sixth-grade literature teacher’s explanation of the difference between a tragic event and a tragedy using Antigone as an example is still a vivid memory in my mind. When I look at the war in Ukraine, I see a classic tragedy. An unresolvable conflict where each party is a victim of its own predicament; where nobody can change course without making a self-destructive sacrifice.
Putin cannot back down without compromising the very existence of Russia. Backing down would mean resigning to the fact that Russia will be overtaken by Western interests and will become a de facto vassal of the USA.
Zelensky cannot change course without risking his life in the hands of the extreme right which is all around him and in his parliament. If he was not such a pathetic clown, he could be a tragic hero.
NATO cannot just fold and the EU cannot admit that it is a failed project.
Soros, Schwab and Gates must stay true to their psychopathic selves.
IT IS a tragedy. None of the actors can change course without repudiating the essence of their existence. The only question is how will it end? It can turn into a nuclear war.
The people who were stupid enough to provoke it, may not be smart enough to stop before it is too late.
All we can hope for is a Deus ex machina. Maybe Trump will run in 2024……
A tragic reality for many in the West, their civilization destroyed by their own leaders. The antipathy to Russia dates back to Lenin and Stalin and for good reason. But the combination of specious climate change theory predominating Western politics is driving economic progress Eastwards and ultimately China and Russia will be its beneficiaries and as you suggest Western Hegemony will fail.
From an email comment:
Thanks for this blog. I read it, if a bit quickly, and came away with more confusion rather than less, because I know too little of the history and too few of the facts that created this situation.
So please don’t be too disappointed. I suspect most are like me. We all know that like the butterfly effect, this war is having consequences for the whole world in different degrees.
But I suspect that most are also like me In feeling their lives are very full, often too full, already, and to get a really deep understanding of yet another fight taking place halfway across the world would simply require too much time and energy and a sacrifice of too many other personal interests, duties, and ambitions.
So as for the interminable 5,000 year war between Jews and Arabs, they think of these remote conflicts as a kind of black hole, and don’t want to get too close for fear of getting sucked in. They shut the door on the whole mess – you guys work it out -and find themselves none the worse for it.
Alas, it is true that one death close to us is a tragedy; but a million is a statistic. Hard to seem so cold, but it’s true.
I recall, I think, Andre Malraux, who said, “chacun a tue son Mandarin.” Roughly – each man has killed his anonymous Chinaman (someone, a people, a nation) he was willing to let die for personal, national, or some other advantage.
In the unlikely event this war gets directly very close to home I will get deeply interested. Until then I remain a wary, pitying spectator of the human farce.
Thanks, I understand your predicament all too well. When my son was 3 years old, I did not watch the news. I watched batman with him in an unending loop.
OTOH, I do not think that this is a far away fight. Justine (pun intended) is all in. Like it or not, he decided that this our war too. Under the NATO umbrella, we have soldiers there (in training capacity, of course…)
We are sending them money and weapons and impose sanctions on their enemies. Justine is just as responsible for the inflation and the high fuel costs as Biden. Justine is just as responsible for creating the conditions for this war as the rest.
Like it or not, we are in it. Politics is personal, and at some point we all have to realize it.
I am just about to finish Douglas Murray’s latest book: “The War on the West” talking about the backdrop. It did not make me any more optimistic.