Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Ethiopia, Somali, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Mozambique, the DRC, parts of Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, Eritrea, Palestine and Israel – I can go on and on – all are theatres of wars quite well televised and widely publicised by all media, including on social media.
Every continent has its own theatres of war, both large and small, and all these wars receive massive media coverage, and we watch them. Modern real time media technology has replaced war movies with real wars.
War is good for the media, all media. It sells, it has an automatic audience, an automatic mass market – all human beings who can read, listen to radio, watch television and interact on social media. War, therefore, as a media commodity, has a universal market. We human beings, for many reasons, are fascinated by the spectacle of war. The majority of us will easily swear we hate wars and its savagery. But still we watch it, listen to stories about it, read about it, and share it on social media. Meanwhile the majority of us do nothing to stop the wars;unless we are on the receiving end of it. And then, of course, it is too late, because we may actually die; war is not a game, let alone should it be a spectator spot.
The whole world is watching the war in Ukraine. We are all expectant, and wondering; how the hell will it end? The media, all over the world, including social media, is saturated with information and fake information, about the war in Ukraine. The advanced communication technologies guarantee that it is possible to know something about the war in Ukraine, say for a person located in Africa, earlier than the beleaguered president of Ukraine.
It is possible for a person anywhere outside Ukraine with a good phone and excellent internet connectivity to watch the movement of Russian troops, in real time, as they advance towards any location in Ukraine, meanwhile the Ukrainians may not be aware of email@example.com, wondering and actually anticipating what will happen when the Russian troops meet the Ukrainians. Today we watch wars, the slaughter of human beings by other human beings, using all sorts of weapons from the most advanced to the most backward, and generally usually do next to nothing about it, most of us.
The war in Ukraineis unique in several ways: it is a war whose theatre is Europe, pitting Ukraine, the US and its 27 NATO allies on one side, and Russia, China and their not so loudly proclaimed allies on the other side. Both sides have the most advanced means of war, both are fully equipped with the technology and weapons to blow the Earth away, including themselves. Because both have world nuclear powers on their side.
Both sides are fully aware of the real possibility of mutually assured destruction, together with all of us who will merely have been watching the war, should any side decide to use the ultimate weapons; nuclear armaments.
Both sides, combined, control the world economy. As to which side has greater or lesser control compared to the other, that is a question which their use of parts of the world economy as war weapons will reveal in this war; the US and its NATO allies are throwing every possible economic and financial weapon they can think of at Russia, and they are loudly announcing this, via the media, all media.
Russia and its allies do have economic and financial weapons of their own they can direct at their enemies in this war, including nationalising the vast assets of individuals and businesses located in Russia but registered in the countries of their enemies. Russia has gas, oil, grains and weapon exports whose global value chains it can paralyse, if it so wishes.
Between these two blocks now fighting each other by economic and financial means and direct war in Ukraine, the rest of the world and its countries and economies are divided between them, whether they know this or not. More ominously, two thirds of the world economy is the war economy; an economy for the production of the means to kill human beings in war.
While every war involves and must affect every human being on Earth with a conscience, the war in Ukraine directly affects all of us, and we will all feel its economic impact as the economic and financial weapons deployed by both sides begin to hit their targets. Already oil and gas prices have begun to rise in anticipation of constricted supply because of the war and economic sanctions. Soon the pandemic inflated prices of bread, rice, beans and many other food stuffs will rise, as the war progresses.
Because both sides have nuclear missiles capable of destroying all life on Earth, and the economic and financial weapons deployed by both sides will impact the entire Earth, this time no one is just a watcher, we are all direct participants in this war, it just so happens that our part at this stage may be limited to watching the war, as it unfolds. Soon we too will directly be called to play our part, either as economic and financial victims, or as corpses after the possible nuclear war. This is not idle speculation; it is the hard truth about this war in Ukraine. It is just a matter of time before our time comes, to directly act in this theatre of war.
What the war in Ukraine confirms without any doubt is that the current global division of the world into armed national states to protect the interests of national capitalists has run its historical course, and now threatens to destroy the Earth and everything on it. It is an expired civilisation whose time to replace has come, by whatever means necessary, before it kills us all. We are living in historic times.
The history of our world capitalist system is a history of violent conquest, slavery, colonialism, capitalism, imperialism, neo-colonialism and now finance and techno-capitalism. The nation state is the primary theatre in which capitalism was forged, has grown, and developed its capitalist economy. Armies and war are a product of, creator and defender of the modern nation state, or country. The war in Ukraine is a reflection of the struggles among the capitalist of the world to reconfigure the global distribution of nation state power in the world economy. War is the means by which the modern state was formed. War, it is now clear, is the means by which the modern state seeks to destroy itself.
The wiring of the world economy by the current global financial architecture through the most advanced technologies humankind has ever produced means also that the means to destroy the entire Earth by the mere pressing of a single button connected to nuclear missiles does exist. We are very close to such an eventuality, in the war in Ukraine. The world is confronting the real threat of a Third World War whose economic and financial shots are being fired every day, in the war in Ukraine!
Those who care to know, willknow that capitalism and war are two sides of the same coin; one cannot exist without the other. One cannot disappear permanently without the other disappearing too. Humanity in the war in Ukraine is faced with a stark choice: accept the obvious evidence of the end of human civilisation based on the protection of private wealth by armed nation states and perish with it, or forge a new civilisation based on dismantling the armed nation state and replacing it with truly free communities of human beings based on the best of human culture, human solidarity, full economic and social equality, justice and genuine democracy free from the need to protect one’s wealth by threatening or killing others, thereby ending all wars.
The choice is ours. To watch the war in Ukraine and do nothing about it is to wait for the suffering and possible death reserved for voyeurs of war.
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