The Ukraine Conflict Is Leading to the Suicide of Reason

Viewpoint by Roberto Savio *

This article was issued by Meer and is being re-published with the author’s permission.

ROME (IDN) — It seems to me that after six weeks of conflict we have to take stock of the conflict, looking at which of the actors have got any profit: the famous latin cui prodest… and we see clearly that nobody has gained anything, and that we are in a period of the suicide of reason.

The first actor: Putin. He had two objectives: to return to the forum of the world leaders (after his expulsion from the G8), and he is instead now a pariah forever. And the second, 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: Biden. By becoming the leader of the West, he hoped to regain popularity at home. The result: he went from 42% approval to 43%. Biden is a meteor that already by November will become a lame duck because he will lose the legislature. And it looks totally unreal that he will be re-elected in 2024. So, he lost his first goal.

In the long run, he has pushed Russia into the arms of China, America’s real antagonist. And he is demanding that Putin be declared a criminal, when Washington, like Moscow, has not signed up to either the International Court, nor the ban on cluster bombs, nor the ban on chemical weapons, ills of which he is now accusing Russia. Bravo!

The third actor: Europe. With rearmament, we are once again making Germany not only a major economic power, but also a military one: 100 billion over five years. We have forgotten about the two world wars… and obviously the French and British nationalism will start again. In addition to unbalancing the European Union, we have burdened ourselves with a serious problem of food, energy, raw materials, inflation and reduction of the GDP.

And this, the less affluent population of Europe will feel, if it goes well, at least for the next three years. And, in the long run, we have pushed Russia out of Europe. Bravo!

A fourth actor (minor): Zelensky, whom we have turned into a hero, capable of lecturing everyone, asking the UN to disband. If it does not hear his plea, he is now a prisoner of his role, and he cannot, like Putin, compromise. He is even able to refuse to see the President of Germany, because, according to him, he is pro-Russian. But that President wasn’t elected by the Germans, democratically. And to my knowledge he has never campaigned to be elected on the issue of Russia. But now we have delegated Zelensky as the judge of the world. This means the death of thousands more citizens, but as Bertolt Brecht used to say: “blessed is the country that needs no heroes.” Bravo!

Then, let’s talk about humankind, which is not an actor, but a victim. The fight over climate change has been shelved. With the sums invested in the suicide of reason, we would have solved all the problems identified by the IPC, as a threat to our existence in the planet. I don’t think Earth is interested in Putin or Biden, and the small window we have, before we reach 1.5 degrees increase in global temperature, is closing.

And in our humankind, we have about 800 million people on the brink of poverty, already affected by the effects of the pandemic. For them, an increase in the cost of wheat of 20% and 25% in corn, simply means starvation. UNICEF informs us that the number of undernourished children in Africa has reached 28 million, and the funds for development aid are going to the Ukraine; the perfect symbol of the suicide of reason: European aid to the conflict in Ukraine comes from the Peace Promotion Fund, that the EU has built over the years.

In short, I personally find all this madness, caused by sleepwalkers. This is what historians called the actors of the First World War, who went into the conflict without really thinking. Their madness caused the end of the empires involved. The German empire, the Russian empire, the Austro-Hungarian empire, and the Ottoman empire. So all these discussions on the wrongs and reasons of the actors involved in Ukraine seem to me to be useful for them, but marginal compared to the real problem.

We have a ‘testosteronic’ ruling class that is incapable of seeing the long term. And look at the long term problem, and its complexity (not a binary yes or no). Instead, we are all falling into the trap: ‘Putin yes, Putin no,’ with a hysteria that the media ride (the Corriere della Sera for 45 days, front page, the nine-column headline on Ukraine, and then the first twenty pages of the newspaper; the world has disappeared).

Media, by and large, are giving spectacular evidence of a lack of professionalism. All is an event, practically no process. One of its main commentators has written that if we do not stop Putin, he will end in Lisbon… For me, we have lost the compass. Latin said that when the gods wanted to punish man, they made him, first of all, insane. And all appeals of the Pope have gone nearly unreported… When will we start to think and use tolerance and dialogue as key instruments for peace again? [IDN-InDepthNews – 28 April 2022]

*Publisher of OtherNews, Italian-Argentine Roberto Savio is an economist, journalist, communication expert, political commentator, activist for social and climate justice and advocate of anti-neoliberal global governance. Director for international relations of the European Center for Peace and Development. Adviser to INPS-IDN. He is co-founder of Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency and its President Emeritus. 

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