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Russia Invades Ukraine: The ‘Age of Diplomacy’ is Dead

“Nearly all western thought since the last war, certainly all "progressive" thought, has assumed tacitly that human beings desire nothing beyond ease, security and avoidance of pain.”

– George Orwell, “Review of Hitler’s Mein Kampf

 


How long will we continue to inebriate ourselves with ideological fantasies of peace, prosperity, and progress? This is not an ideological assault on peace and prosperity, nor a rebuke of diplomacy. Those are undoubtedly desirable ends for international relations. What I am lamenting over is the fact that we have been possessed by the idea that mankind has progressed past those nasty, primitive, brutish days of invasions, world wars, and the desire for domination. Putin has absolutely shattered this idea. He shattered it not because he is some monster – though he most certainly is. He shattered it because the idea was so absurdly fickle that it was bound to be demolished.



We are a civilization that has become so unfathomably conceited that we not only ignore history but also act as if history is no more. The role it plays in the present has been relegated to that of an afterthought, a blip in time, a faint echo that hardly even graces the ears of our enlightened existence. Our generation truly believes that because we have seen no major wars in our time, we have liberated ourselves from the savagery of warfare. To think elsewise would soon place one in the “dustbin of history.”

After all, this is the 21st Century, you see, and we’re past all that unpleasant folly, dwelling now in the age of liberal, democratic peace. Right? Right…? Wrong. Am I to be led to believe that the passions of men are subject to the calendar?

William Faulkner once brilliantly stated, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” The past is never dead because the past is us. For mankind, studying history is equivalent to peering into a mirror: It is the means by which man sees himself. So just as war has wrought havoc on man since antiquity, so shall it wreak havoc on man into eternity. Power, domination, and glory will always plague the hearts of us mere mortals. So long as we are human is so long as we have war.


I am not here to write much, as I have detailed my imperialistic thoughts on these pages before. So to tie all of this back to what we are witnessing with Ukraine, Putin is making it clear that the myth of progress is truly that: a myth. He is showing our hedonist, materialist civilization that though we have made an idol of economy, “man” has not. That is our problem, for all the wailing my ears must endure from the left about conservatives imposing their worldview on everyone else, they have done the exact same with this KGB thug running this second-rate nation he hopes to disguise as an empire. They think because they care about material pains and international reputation, everyone else does. I struggle to believe Putin loses much sleep over the economic hardships he will have to endure if it means he gets to impose his will on Europe and the West. I am also inclined to think the condemnation of his actions by NATO will perturb him about as much as the death of a fire ant in Northern India. We cannot understand Putin’s behavior because we are slaves to our own egos. So go ahead NATO, keep voting to say how much you disapprove of Putin’s actions, keep putting sanctions on Russia (because clearly it has deterred him), but do not be surprised when his appetite is not satiated by Ukraine alone. In fact, it seems he already may be craving something Scandinavian.


I can sympathize with wanting peace, I truly desire it as well. Yet, peace comes through strength, not strength through peace. I can also sympathize with first seeking diplomatic measures when it comes to encountering dire international dilemmas. I have no desire for war; thus, when possible, it should obviously be avoided. However, I most certainly oppose pursuing “diplomacy” when we are staring into the eyes of one of the most evil men alive today, who has made it rather abundantly clear that he wants war.


The issue, to conclude, is that we have for too long believed war was over, and the age of diplomacy was here. So much so, in fact, that we tried to impose this worldview onto reality. But reality is now telling us a different story, and I pray we listen:

The ‘age of diplomacy’ is dead, and good riddance.

For the more we continue to believe it exists so we can usher in “perpetual peace” and “enlightenment now,” the longer we will persist in marshaling hell and oblivion. //


Micah Paul Veillon


 
 

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