For The Love of Power & Control
How people are merely pawns in a game of power and control played between global forces and how perhaps we are bound to destroy ourselves.
As Russian troops are tearing apart Kyiv, a particular narrative seems to have taken hold in the western media and popular social media. A simplistic narrative suggests Russia is the bad guy, the US and Europe are the good guys, and Ukraine is the innocent sovereign nation under attack from a vicious and narcissistic dictator. This might be so from ten thousand feet up, and taking this high-level view, few with a humanistic bone in their body will argue in favour of Russia’s move. However, the US and their allies are in no position to take the moral high ground given the nature of their involvement in conflict around the world in the last one hundred years. Their interest in the welfare of human beings is reserved for those who occupy countries of geopolitical and corporate interest. Everyone else can fuck off.
That aside, a few minutes spent researching Ukraine’s recent political and social history will show that the situation in the eastern European country is not as clear-cut as the media would like us to believe. There have been decades of unrest in Ukraine, and it appears to amount to a division in cultural identity for the people. As democracy and a progressive ideology move steadily east, it has come up against an immovable force. Western powers understand that the situation is delicate. Despite how one feels about Vladimir Putin, if you know he and his cronies are violent and dangerous, you surely don’t provoke them by courting a state of strategic and nationalistic importance to them. According to US political scientist and international relations expert John Mearsheimer, this is precisely what the US and their allies have done.
In the minds and motivations of the power-hungry, the lives of ordinary people matter little despite their skill in painting up the facts. And be under no illusions, western media are very good at giving us what we want to hear. In fact, the only time human life matters to these people is when they need popular support for their pursuit. Where the prize is power and control, money and resources are valued higher than national sovereignty and the lives of people. Russia, China, the United States, the United Kingdom, and many other global power centres will find a reason to attack a sovereign nation where their interests are threatened to sufficient extents. As such, for the corporate-political-financial elites of the US, UK, and EU to take the moral high ground on Ukraine makes me nauseous. And be sure, nationality has little to do with things here. Instead, it is a case of democracy used as a tool for globalisation and manipulation of markets. Nationality is merely a means to rally the support of ordinary people.
Human beings, the majority of us anyway, like to accept simple answers to complex issues. Our brains are energy-hungry—the hungriest and most efficient organ in our body, in fact. So we are primed to accept stories that appear to match our concepts and ideas of the world. Where narratives are easily processed, and the wave of popular opinion is strong, we are swept along with hardly a need to question. We believe the world is concrete, or at least should be. We want certainty and stability, and in the face of dramatic conditions, we just want a simple answer and the media are poised to provide it.
This aside, and with my amateur grasp of the situation, I feel Putin’s aggressive move will backfire. Russia seems to have isolated itself from a substantial portion of the corporate and financial world. And from what I have read, there appears to be a significant degree of unrest amongst ordinary Russians. If the conflict continues, it may be only a matter of time before they turn against their government, especially given the level of sanctions now in place.
As I mentioned, identity is a significant driver of things in this fight for Ukraine. It is the butting of heads of two forces of thought, ideology, identity, power and control. One side will win. I just hope that the fight will be as short as possible for the sake of the Ukrainian people. But be sure that to fight is our nature—at least one half of it—and it occurs everywhere in life to varying degrees. We are capable of creating such wonderful things, of supporting and helping one another. But equally, we are capable of destroying ourselves…the pursuit of power and control is humanity’s great sickness and will be our downfall.