After the pandemic, all we needed was a war, the two scourges of humanity one after the other, or, better yet, at the same time. And with climate change on the back of his head. There is still time to avoid it, but it should not be excluded, a disturbing reminder that our social order is hanging by a thread. As we have already seen with the coronavirus crisis, what we have always taken for granted, “normality”, is nothing more than a euphemism or a transitory situation. We have gone from talking about things like meat consumption or who is going to support labor reform to speculating about Putin’s war intentions and NATO’s reaction. Democratic normality on the one hand, realpolitik for another. Although, make no mistake, the strange thing is that we would have been able to banish something that has always accompanied humanity to the category of exceptionality. Perhaps that is why it is called “real politics”; the other dimensions of politics would be the extraordinary. Perhaps, as John Gray says, because “killing or dying for meaningless ideas is how many human beings have given meaning to their lives.”
However, there are facts that are stubborn and allow some hope. For example, that there has never been any armed conflict between democratic countries, something that today remains an iron law, perhaps the only one that remains intact in political science and confirms that great intuition of Kant in perpetual peace. For this reason, by living in democracies, it is how we have managed to turn around the destiny that has been accompanying us as a species. To put it in other terms, to be in favor of democracy in a way is also to be against war, even though they have entered it against other regimes and sometimes for spurious reasons.
I am not surprised by the radical affirmation of pacifism issued by United We Can, but rather that it addresses only war as an absolute evil, something that I think we all share except for some unbalanced. Why not towards whoever wants to provoke her? Wasn’t this what happened during the Gulf wars? So we attack those who incited it as much as the war conflagration itself. And this shows to what extent the automatism of the old distinction between geopolitical ideological blocs is still present. Today it is not necessary to position oneself on the side of Putin, it is enough not to do so on the side of the United States and Europe. But for that we need some argument, not the impeccable pronouncement in favor of peace. Hopefully good statements will suffice to achieve world reconciliation. “Real” politics—and even “normal” politics—is something else. And who knows it best is Putin himself. If he has been able to afford to come this far, it is precisely because he knows well the weaknesses of democratic systems, those internal divisions that he always tries to foment, or his animosity towards war.
From what has already been said, the moral is very simple, we will only be able to achieve a peaceful international order by promoting democracy. The bad thing is the situation in which it finds itself, in the midst of a recession in many countries and even unsure of itself where it remains stable. In a way, Putin is putting them to the test, forcing them to confront their many contradictions. Although it may serve the opposite, so that we take notes of their fragility and the privilege they entail and finally act accordingly. It depends on the voters.
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