Posts Tagged ‘peace’

The winter and the war

20 Sep

Ukraine has announced a counter-offensive in the Oskil region where they have won important points and begins a counter-offensive in Kherson promising to reach even the occupied region of Crimea.

How will Russia react and what is the importance of this resumption of Ukraine? Before any analysis, it is necessary to recognize that the collapse of Russian forces on the Kharkiv front is a serious defeat and it is unlikely that Putin will not react, the problem is what the reaction is.

News from various sources is that Ukrainian troops have made major incursions on the Kharkiv front, for example the US-based Institute for War, where around 2,500 square kilometers have been recovered from Russian forces.

Ukrainian forces pushed the front line from Kharkiv some 70 km east to the Oskil River, capturing several key strategic points, particularly in the Izyum region, where bodies were in common speech with marks of torture and on the west bank. from Kupyansk.

Winter is coming, and Russia in addition to controlling energy sources, also the nuclear plants that are under its control, can cut off the gas and suffocate not only Ukraine, but much of Europe.

But what is more worrying is Russia’s reaction if the defeats are prolonged, the use of strategic nuclear weapons could trigger a NATO chain reaction and a difficult scenario could be drawn.

We will enter the autumn of Europe, which corresponds to our winter in the southern hemisphere, and tensions tend to escalate.

It is necessary for peacekeeping forces to mobilize and prevent a crisis that could lead to drastic actions and even greater horror.



The freedom of the market against the market

13 Sep

One of the main drivers of the current crisis whose war is a consequence rather than a cause is the so-called market crisis, several products face barriers of price control attempts against the high demand of commodities: gas, oil, iron and even silicon ( not the sand of course, but the manufactured producers).

So while the European Union discusses controlling the price of gas, it tries to increase the stock due to the war in Ukraine, since Russia is the main supplier, which is contradictory because more is bought to keep the stock with the winter in sight. (November), the cost must increase and so it is not possible to control prices.

Also the total shutdown of the largest nuclear plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia, which is being shut down, could further exacerbate the energy crisis, Russia continues to point out the dangers of weapons and bombings from Kiev to the region, which could lead to catastrophic consequences,

China’s crisis with Taiwan also hides a market crisis, on the one hand the power of the rebel island in the production of silicon chips, and on the other an internal crisis aggravated by the bankruptcy of Evergrande, the country’s largest construction company, which was private and now it will be nationalized in an attempt to contain the crisis.

Thus communist China also knows the perverse effect of the market.

The Chinese real estate giant failed to deliver the debt restructuring plan as promised until July 31 and since then the Chinese government, in addition to discovering the evils of capitalism, also resorts to nationalization to avoid a more serious failure, those of the banks that financed the default.

The company stopped paying the bonds in dollars in December last year, according to estimates released by CNN, the amounts will reach 300 billion dollars in liabilities, which generates a wave of lack of credit in companies that operate in the Chinese real estate market.

The sector is responsible for almost ¼ of the Chinese GDP, and the activity that most contributed to the recent growth of the economy there, is now facing a strong slowdown that also worries the western market, which has made many new investments in this market.

Dependence on Russian gas (graphic) can seriously affect the world economy, for example, even the UK being independent is already affected.



Energy crisis and tension in the east

06 Sep

Moscow’s retaliation to the sanctions imposed after the invasion of Ukraine, begin to have an impact on the European economy and in the United Kingdom caused the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, although the problem is wider than inflation, which in 2023 could go even above 20. %, the main impulse is the rise of natural gas throughout Europe, Russia blames Germany for the crisis.

European Union countries are looking to stock up on natural gas for the coming winter period.

Prime Minister Liz (Elizabeth) Truss was sworn in, in an internal election of the Conservative party against former Treasury Minister Rishi Sunak, she is known for being a chameleon, adopting speech according to the context, in fact similar to many leaders today.

It was against, for example, Brexit and after it was adopted it became in favor.

The people of Taiwan watching the Ukrainian war always quoted in local news, are aware of a possible war with China, and prepare for possible crises with exercises, first aid training and logistics to avoid bombings.

Last week a drone was shot down traveling in Taiwanese territory, according to news from Deustche Welle, reproduced on the G1 portal, since March an NGO called the Forward Alliance, in addition to offering civil defense training, seeks to improve national resilience.

According to Enoch Wu, founder of the Forward Alliance: “The objective is to keep communities functioning, and the trainings help prepare citizens against natural or man-made crises”, but the backdrop is a possible war with China.

Tensions rise between China and the US due to the announcement of the sale of 1.3 billion dollars of weapons to Taiwan, China promises to respond to what it considers “destruction of peace”.

It may be a deception, but the main trainings that the Taiwanese prime minister participates in are on the island of Penghu (Fishers), it is small and although it has a defense structure, it is isolated and far from Formosa Island, which is in fact the territory of Taiwan.


The peace and salvation

03 Sep

Contrary to what common sense thinks, the afflicted are not among the unfortunate, but among the wronged, so it is necessary to think about the life of the just and their salvation.

As we wrote earlier: “Blessed are the afflicted, for they shall be comforted, blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth”, and verse 9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God” and these are the righteous and suffer affliction.

But Kierkegaard’s fundamental help is on the question of identity, definitions as being-in-itself and being-in-the-world, and, the concept of the eternal, which is a launching into the “infinite” which is where salvation is.

So it must be that the calculation we make when we face injustice is between an account that only in the face of infinity and consequences can it be defined, and as we put the fall in reverse, we could place the biblical passages of the new testament the beatitudes in Mt. 5:1-12, verse 5: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”.

Thus it must be understood that this calculation is made when referring to the calculation of salvation made in Luke 14:28-30: “For which of you, wanting to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if have enough to finish? Otherwise, he will lay the foundation and will not be able to finish. And everyone who sees it will begin to mock, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish!’

This peace is different from the “perpetual peace” proposed by Kant and by idealism, it resulted in two big wars and in the belief in the state as a mediator of conflicts.



Libraries and Wars

31 Aug

In the 1950s, shortly after the Second World War, the Brazilian documentation magazine translated and published an article by Carl Hastings Milan on the Wars and the loss of documents and libraries.

He had been director of the Birmingham Public Library, where he opened the first branch of services for African American authors and readers, the article is available online and shows a face of the war for libraries in reference to the previous post we made on this blog.

The transcriptions into Portuguese were made by Sylvio do Valle Amaral and the original article follows the war in September 1944, published in The Annals of The American Academy of Political and Social Science in Philadelphia.

The article begins by indicating the interruption and discontinuity of journals and publications during wartime, in addition to the material loss and lack of exchange of many documents.

The author emphasizes this loss where: “London publishers and booksellers lost millions of volumes in 1940-41. Several famous British scholarly libraries, and dozens of public ones, were damaged or destroyed. Several European countries, Russia, China, in addition to the Philippines, have suffered or are now experiencing a similar fate, but the saddest is yet to come” (MILAN, 1950, p. 50).

In advance many works were taken or hidden from German libraries, but the destruction and looting represent a cultural attack according to the “infamous” author who was credited to Hitler, it is important to look at this for history so that it does not repeat itself now.

Among the author’s denunciations is that also in the defeat: “Newspapers recently reported the burning of books in Naples, before the withdrawal of the Nazi army” (idem, p. 50), and thus a part of history is erased, regardless of of what those documents represent, they are an important cultural testimony of a time, which, because it is outdated, is subject to criticism, but there is no right to erase it, they are cultural documents.

It reestablishes the role of libraries, now also in crisis due to a distorted view of digital technology that we also post here, but the author says for that time: “Basic to the reestablishment of intellectual activity throughout the universe, is the reorganization of libraries” and ignoring this is a crime against the cultural preservation and memory of the people.

After emphasizing cooperation and support for libraries in Latin America and elsewhere, countries discuss the training of librarians:

“Despite the common recognition, in the United States and abroad, of the imperfections of our methods in preparing young men and women for library work, a surprisingly large number of students from abroad come to this country at normal times to obtain what schools of this specialty can offer” (MILAN, 1950, p. 53)

Milan, C. H. As bibliotecas, os intelectuais e a Guerra, trad. Sylvio do Valle Amaral. Rio de Janeiro:  REVISTA  DO  SERVIÇO  PUBLICO, AGOSTO  DE 1950 (original in 1944).



War and peace

30 Aug

I read a recent commentary on Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) that another Russian writer Ivan Turgenev claimed that knowing and reading Tolstoy is better than reading hundreds of works of ethnography and history” to know the character and temperament of the Russian people, conservatives such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008) who came to be considered his successor, and Vladimir Lenin leader of the Soviet revolution who considered him one of the greatest Russian writers.

Many of his books were for the cinema, recently (2012) Anna Karenina was rewritten for the cinema, under the direction of Joe Wright, and was nominated for an Oscar and won the best costume design, but a masterpiece by Tolstoy is the book War and Peace.

From War and Peace I remember impressions and some loose phrases, and the context of the book that talks about the tsarist wars of their context and time, but which is revealing of Russian thinking about war, and that its scourges are not ignored.

The book deals with the lives of 5 aristocratic families, in the period from 1805 to 1820, in the midst of the march of Napoleonic troops and their brutal impact on the lives of hundreds of characters.

There are figures such as the brothers Natasha and Nikolai Rostóv, Prince Andrei Bolkónsky and Pierre Bezúkhov, the illegitimate son of a count whose spiritual quest serves as a kind of thread in the novel and transforms him into a complex and intriguing character of the 20th century. XIX, and whose pursuit will be a complement to peace in the midst of war.

A kind of refuge similar to the book-stealing Girl, which in this case is in the context of Nazi Germany and she will find in the books a refuge for the dark environment of the rise of Nazism in Germany.

I see a common feature in these two books, which is this “refuge”, something between the spiritual and the reader, but both manage to create, in a suffocatingly hateful environment, gaps and spaces of peace and spiritual elevation.

If war comes, what will be our refuge, at what level of spiritual life and knowledge do we want to put our lives that will be at risk, I believe these are contemporary readings.

TOLSTOI, L. (1889) WAR AND PEACE, transl. Nathan Hskell Dole, NY: Ed. Thomas V. Crowell & Co.


The negative asymmetry: humility

26 Aug

If all relationships are somehow asymmetrical, that is, they involve some power and some form of domination or at least an attempt, the only way to oppose it is humility, which is not self-flagellation, devaluation or resignation, it is a way of not opposing the imposed power, like taking the body out of a violent and asymmetrical action.

It is asymmetrical in the negative sense, because power and communication is in the positive sense, as power means preventing the Other’s spirit of domination, revenge and depreciation from passing through you, as communication means listening carefully and waiting to disagree with what it is non-symmetric, which is more general than the asymmetric, it demonstrates the positive asymmetry, therefore it denies it.

So a response to violence with violence is a positive asymmetry, the response with the flag of peace is demoralizing and effective against a violent enemy, Gandhi used it to free India from British rule.

Also when violence is arrogant and inhumane, for example the death of civilians, children and the elderly in wars, it makes the mask of power fall and demonstrates all its asymmetry and arrogance.

In order to invert the logic of war and establish the logic of peace, it is necessary to overcome injustices and the disrespect for social diversities, but war is exactly the opposite: the opposition to respect for diversity, the imposition of a unilateral vision and the aggravation of injustices.

So what we should seek is the feast of the humble, the glory of the last and the peace of those who have no weapons and prefer the food of the table to the metallic food of the powerful.

True Christianity does not unite itself with power, but they are at the base of the pyramid, says the Evangelist Luke (Lk 4,12-14): “when you have lunch or dinner, do not invite your friends, nor your brothers, nor your relatives, nor your rich neighbors. For they could also invite you and this would already be your reward. On the contrary, when you have a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. Then you will be happy! Because they cannot repay you.”

It seems like a mistaken logic, because it is not the logic imposed by power, but the logic of the righteous.


The position of power and symmetry

25 Aug

As we elaborated in the previous post, power is always a hierarchical position and so the final decision and the instruments of oppression are the positions only of those who occupy the highest positions in the hierarchy and what remains at the base of the pyramid is rebellion or resignation.

If power is necessary, it is up to those in the post to exercise it with discernment and generosity, the ideal would be that they were in fact at the service, but with rare exceptions, most use the post, and in general all those who who sophism with power.

The Platonic and Aristotelian model assumed that the polis could be governed by those who were well prepared and for this they created instruments for the formation of the citizen of the polis, the politician par excellence.

The evolution of this model reached the Enlightenment, and practically all current models (there are some exceptions in Africa and in Asian countries) this is the model of power of most nations, by force, by vote or by what Byung Chul Han called psychopolitics, deceiving peoples.

But it is important to remember that there is power disseminated throughout the social structure, and also that there are networks (they may or may not use media) and through them each one can exercise their action for a better, more symmetrical world with greater reciprocity between co-citizens.

Sloterdijk created the model of co-immunity, but they presuppose that some “evil” always prevails, something like the “discontent of humanity”, what we call here the civilizational crisis, the absence of a real model to oppose the prevailing dictatorial models. or on an increasing scale, there is a return to the crises of the beginning of the century, precisely because there was no opposition to the root of the model: the Enlightenment and the idealist.

The economic reasons are consequences and not the root of these models, as Edgar Morin intended when emphasizing that there is no way to change without changing the roots of thought, Heidegger also says that abandoning the revolution in thought is not allowing real change in society, and that it is basically the reason why we reverted to the theses before the first war, that is, we repeated history.

Symmetry, reciprocity, understanding of human diversity and respect for it are almost always ignored by the models of the beginning of the last century, returning to them is nothing but a foreshadowing of a greater tragedy: the civilizational crisis with deeper roots than the previous ones. .

Who will suffer the most will be the base of the pyramid of power, but the volume of military power can lead to an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe, only solidarity, fraternity and reciprocity can avoid and redirect this crisis.





Power and violence

24 Aug

Historically, peaceful peoples or peoples with little defense structure were dominated by imperialist peoples, often justified by social values ​​or noble causes, but the practice in the end is domination, developed by Max Weber.

In recent history, the ideas of the “sovereign” by Hobbes and the “prince” by Machiavelli started the idea of ​​the State even in the period when there were kings (in England and other countries there are still), and later they were reworked by Kant and Hegel, where the concepts of city-state and citizenship from classical antiquity have been recovered and updated, but this is the idea of ​​modern power.

The idea of ​​democracy in the American sense of the word was developed by Alexis de Tocqueville, which is at the same time a compliment to the American model, but has gaps in interpretation that allow for a critical analysis.

The idea that all power emanates from the people, despite being an ideal model in the broadest sense of the word, is really the final project of idealism, but Sloterdijk notes that the model of “human domestication” has failed, there are two wars in the so-called “advanced” countries. ” and one lurking.

The most recent analyses, which deal with the “de facto” power present in forms of domination and ideological control of populations (ideology here in a broad sense) depart from Michel Foucault’s analysis that there are disparate, heterogeneous and constantly changing forms of how this power is exercised, so it is everywhere and not in an institution or in someone, where it develops the concepts of biopower and micropower.

Byung Chul Han, disciple and in line with Peter Sloterdijk, develops the most advanced form that we have today, which is psychopower, not only through the control of news and fake news, but especially through the relationships that develop socially where there is no reciprocity, what what Chul Han calls “symmetry”.

He says there is no symmetry in any form of power or in communication (so all communication is a form of domination and power), there is only symmetry where there is “respect”. and so the most “violent” form of politics today is to disrespect the adversary in various ways.

This is everyday violence, that it advances to its cruelest form which is war is nothing but a consequence, so violence begins in the actions of psychic violence in everyday life.

As Chul-Han establishes: “power is an asymmetrical relationship. It grounds a hierarchical relationship” (HAN, 2019, p. 18) and it is the basis of all social and political violence, a power that is truly democratic must re-elaborate the symmetry or reciprocity between citizens and the state.

Han, Byung Chul. (2019) No enxame (In the swarm). Brazil, Petrópolis: Ed. Vozes.



The war grows  

23 Aug

While the war in Ukraine continues, now with tension points in the Crimea annexed by the Russians, China continues with “exercises” close to the island of Taiwan. This Sunday (21/08) 12 aircraft and five ships were sighted, with 5 planes crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait.

The war escalates into violence with the death of the daughter Darya of Russian ideologue Alexandr Dugin, who makes a philosophical mix of Lenin, Stalin with Nietzsche, Weber Heidegger and others, an authentic philosophical Russian salad. Darya’s car exploded and caught fire killing her in the blaze.

In the last few hours Ukraine has attacked the Russian administrative headquarters in Donesk and Russian ships in Crimea, the war is now total there and the capital Kiev can be attacked again.

In a statement yesterday (22/08), China reacted to the speech of the American ambassador Nicholas Burns, who accuses it of being “manufacturing crises”, saying that the US practiced “an empty rhetoric, and a hegemonic logic” and the temperature between the two richest and most militarily strong nations is rising.

The rapprochement between Russia and China is increasing, and the American government sees this as a strong threat, since it creates two major conflict fronts and in different parts of the planet, the danger of a war of unimaginable proportions grows.

One hope would be the meeting of the G20, a group of the 20 richest nations, in which the USA, Japan, Germany, Russia, China, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Indonesia, where it will be the 37th. G20 meeting in Bali.

The date of November 15th and 16th, however, is very distant and tensions are emergency, the UN has not made progress in the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, in a highly polarized world, there is a lack of reliable interlocutors in conflict environments.

It is no exaggeration to say that we are on orange alert, approaching red due to the threats and rhetoric of the great nations of the planet.

There is always hope, in many cases in history there is an inflection point where the curve reverses its trend, in this each a tendency towards peace.