War in Ukraine, the end of history and the last man
Opinions expressed in opinion pieces are entirely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial board.
Published on November 11, 2022
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine does not teach us anything from a geopolitical point of view, on the contrary, it prompts us to clarify our philosophical position. The violence of autocracies against their neighbors is indeed a constant in recent history: Napoleonic France and Nazi Germany are typical examples. Therefore, Putin is only following his famous predecessors.
The pathological taste of power explains these behaviors of territorial conquest. But freedom and democracy now represent the horizon for humanity to reach.
More than three-quarters of states condemn Russia’s aggression
There are very few countries that do not condemn Russia’s aggression.
On October 12, 2022, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning the “illegal annexation attempt” of four regions of Ukraine by Russia. Only five countries voted against: Russia, Belarus, Syria, North Korea, Nicaragua. 35 countries, mainly in Asia and Africa, abstained. 143 states voted in favor of the resolution.
The poll represents the position of the rulers, so it is clear that most of them condemn Russia’s war of territorial occupation. Only Vladimir Putin, Alexander Lukashenko, Bashar al-Assad, Kim Jong Un and Daniel Ortega like it, but they are all notorious criminals. It is no exaggeration to conclude that they represent the evil side.
Wait and see rulers for their own interests
The 35 countries that abstained clearly took into account their interests.
Their political and economic ties with Russia explain their vote. But here again, the rulers of these countries spoke, not the population at all. In some of these countries, such as China, freedom of information does not exist. The population has no element to form an opinion. In other countries, for example, India, poverty is such that information is accessible only to the upper and educated classes.
At some point in history, leaders, whoever they are, are always beneficiaries of the status quo. This is obvious because they belong to the ruling class. The waiting attitude of the rulers of some states is therefore not surprising. So are they defending their country and the men who live in it, or their position as rulers? A particularly complex answer cannot be given here, but the question is worth asking.
The nationalist frenzy of some leaders
If we go beyond the geopolitical perspective, we should not limit ourselves to the position of the rulers of nation states.
With the exception of a few pathological cases, it is clear that the vast majority of the world’s population is in favor of peace and condemns war as a means of increasing its power. The nation-state, the dominant political structure in the world today, is responsible for almost all wars. Civil wars are no exception, as they are generally rebellions against the existing power. As a result, very few leaders, often patriots, are held responsible for wars and their atrocities.
In general, armed conflicts are at the root of nationalism, and sometimes go mad. The war in Ukraine demonstrates this once again, because only official Russian propaganda can maintain the fiction of a war of liberation for the Ukrainian people. At first it was about “deazify” Ukraine and now “desatanization”The influence of the West has brought the country under the rule of Satan.
In this regard, it is impossible not to pay attention to Vladimir Putin’s adoption of the Orthodox religion in the media. He allegedly made the sign of the cross in front of the cameras in the presence of Vladimir Mikhailovich Goundiaev, Moscow Patriarch Kirill said, and declared his support for military intervention in Ukraine. An ardent follower of the secular religion of Marxism-Leninism, Putin, the son of a laborer, became an Orthodox Christian out of political expediency. This is a particularly caricatured modern example of the historical relationship between religion and political power, with mutual instrumentalization by a few leaders and their servants to consolidate power over individuals. According to Karl Marx, religion, which is the opiate of the people, continues to play this role in autocracies, whether in Russia or in countries with Islamic culture.
A national narrative tied to an ideology or religion tends to be psychotic, as seen in Ukraine’s “special operation” or earlier in Germany’s Third Reich. But how could the population know about it, it has been completely lobotomized by propaganda. Only democracy and its broad freedoms allow resistance.
Last man and good camp
Any individual who is free from the worship of the nation-state is necessarily against war.
A thesis developed by Francis Fukuyama The End of History and the Last Man should be considered. Today, the impenetrable political horizon of Homo sapiens is truly liberal democracy. This makes it possible to limit heightened nationalism to a few political parties and significantly limit the risk of war. Freedom of expression prohibits the official narrative from drifting into the madness of war.
Asian or African anti-Westernism is the exclusive prerogative of the leaders of the respective countries, because the population sees hope for a better life in the West. Migrations to Europe or North America demonstrate this. Anti-Western street demonstrations, which often occur in Africa or the Middle East, are only a tool of the powers that be, instead of established networks among the population. Radical Islamism itself is the result of political-religious manipulation only for the benefit of the rulers of countries with Islamic culture. The ruling class wants to retain the privileges that westernization would immediately undermine, especially the low status of women and the hereditary transmission of power (Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and even Syria). An indirect terrorist attack to destabilize the West is indeed a smart strategy.
Therefore, there is the camp of good (all relative), the camp of liberal democracy and all people of good will, and the camp of evil (alleged more or less), the camp of autocrats and their henchmen, but not the camp of the people they oppress. the the last man only seeks freedom and peace. This is a strong reason for hope.