Considerations Against the Tide

It seems to me that after almost four months of war in Ukraine we have to take a step back and see which of the actors involved are benefitting from the conflict. However, it becomes clear very quickly that nobody is getting anything out of this and that we are experiencing the suicide of the reason.

The first actor is Putin. He had two objectives: firstly, to return to the forum of the world leaders (after his expulsion from the G8), but instead, he will now be an outcast forever. And secondly, to “reunite the Russian people“ who will now be divided for generations. And, in the long run, he has made Russia dependent on China. Bravo!

The second actor is Biden. By becoming the leader of the West, he hoped to regain popularity at home. The result: he went from an approval rate of 42% to 43%. Biden is a fleeting star who as early as November will become a lame duck because he will lose the legislature. His re-election in 2024 seems highly improbable. Hence, he didn’t achieve his first goal. And in the long run, he has pushed Russia into the arms of China, America’s real antagonist. He demands that Putin be declared a criminal, when Washington, much like Moscow, has never signed the Ban on Cluster Munitions, but at the same time is now accusing Russia of using them. Bravo!

The third actor is the EU. Through large-scale rearmament efforts, we are once again making Germany not only a major economic power, but also a military one: Germany plans to spend 100 billion euros over the next five years on armament. We seem to have forgotten the two world wars and obviously French and British nationalism will rise again. In addition to introducing an imbalance to the European Union, we have burdened ourselves with serious problems regarding food, energy and raw material production, inflation and a reduction of the GDP. The less fortunate population of Europe will suffer the consequences, at best for the next three years, but possibly for longer. And, in the long run, we have pushed Russia out of Europe. Bravo!

A fourth actor is Zelensky, whom we have turned into a hero. He is now a prisoner of his role and cannot compromise. He is even able to reject a visit by the President of Germany, because – according to Zelensky – Frank-Walter Steinmeier is pro-Russian. Now we have made Zelensky judge of the world. This will lead to thousands of further casualties, but as Bertolt Brecht used to say: “Unhappy is the land that needs a hero.” Bravo!

And let’s talk about humankind who is not an actor, but a victim. The struggle against climate change has been shelved. With the money invested in the suicide of reason, we could have solved all the problems identified by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) which pose a threat to our existence on the planet, and the small window we have before we reach 1.5 degrees of global warming is closing.

There are 800 million people in the world are on the brink of poverty and already affected by the pandemic. For them, a price increase of 20% for wheat and 25% for corn simply means starvation. UNICEF informs us that recently, the number of malnourished children in Africa has reached 28 million and the European funds for development aid are now going to Ukraine.

In short, I find all this madness which is caused by sleepwalkers. This is also how historians call the actors of the First World War who went into the conflict without thinking. This madness caused the end of the empires involved; the German empire, the Russian empire, the Austro-Hungarian empire and the Ottoman empire.

The real problem is that we have a testosterone-driven ruling class that is incapable of seeing the long term and particularly dealing with long-term problems and their complexity (the world is not just black or white). Instead, we are all falling into the trap of being either pro-Putin or against him, contributing to wide-spread hysteria that the media harness. The media, by and large, are giving evidence of a spectacular lack of professionalism. News is depicted as a series of events, hardly ever as a development.

I think we have lost the compass. When will we start to think and use tolerance and dialogue as key instruments for achieving peace? There is an ancient saying that goes "Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad"…