Chomsky on Ukraine

6 03 2022

I have great admiration for Noam Chomsky’s intelligence and for his perseverance in presenting a detailed and informed counterpoint to extant media narratives on international affairs. But that perseverance can become bullishness when it insists upon a version of history that is one-sided and out of dialogue with so many other scholars and historians who study these things.

Chomsky’s recent analysis of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a case in point. It repeats things that are considered myths or at least half-truths by many who study Ukraine — such as the “Nato expansion” trope, which ignores the reasons why post-Soviet and East European states wanted the protection of NATO, and which in the case of Ukraine become painfully obvious. This becomes a debate over the tail wagging the dog: did Russia invade because NATO expanded? Or did NATO expand because of the fear of Russia invading? And even if the first, is NATO’s expansion really a threat to Russia, or just to Putin’s regime, which fears it (and Ukraine’s capacity for democracy) because it fears democracy?

These arguments should be made with more than just a quick nod to those experiencing the current situation on the ground. One of Chomsky’s Ukrainian translators, author and novelist Artem Chapeye, has penned a brief and somewhat angry response to Chomsky here; Taras Bilous’s piece that I shared recently is another response to this line of thought.

Aside from the fact that Chomsky’s analysis feels a million miles away from the reality that Ukrainians (and those who know them and support them) are feeling, there is something deeper in his writing that I would like to address here. This is that Chomsky writes as if we were still stuck in a (just barely) post Cold War world where the US and its allies are globally hegemonic, and in which they are ultimately responsible for all global ills — which they elicit either through their own acts (e.g., Vietnam, the Iraq War, and countless other misguided episodes) or as “blowback” via the agents that arise in response to them (from the Soviet Union to Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, and Isis). This is an “anti-imperialism” that recognizes only one empire across the entirety of the last 150 years or so (and it’s not even Hardt and Negri’s globalized “Empire,” which marked an important advance on this kind of thinking).  

The problem is that the world has moved on. The US is no longer the world’s uncontested global hegemon. It may try to be, but it is not likely to recover that status, especially in the wake of Trump and the social divisions that brought the country close to the point of civil war. Its economic superiority has declined, and with global geopolitics being what they are in the late fossil fuel (becoming early green-energy) era, the economic world is clearly more scrambled and multipolar.

Militarily, the US is still the world’s strongest nation, but it relies for its strength on its allies, who are not as reliable as they used to be. China’s and India’s militaries are larger by personnel, and Russia has the largest nuclear arsenal.

The US’s cultural “superiority” — which, as Gramsci showed, is essential to hegemony — has also declined: Hollywood (with its selling of the “American dream”) is hardly all-powerful, popular music comes from everywhere today, and US-led cultural liberalism finds itself entangled in struggles against variations of a cultural conservatism that are arguably, if somewhat inchoately, finding common cause across “civilizational” boundaries. Russia’s information warfare on this front has indeed been powerful in many countries.

Where the US does still maintain a clear edge is with its tech giants — Google, Amazon, Meta, Apple, et al. — but these are less American than they are global, and they compete within a global mix in which Chinese (Huawei, Alibaba, Tencent, et al), Russian (Yandex, VK), and other companies carve out large swaths of territory, just as China’s Belt and Road Initiative is doing that for infrastructure.

Chomsky and others writing in the classic “anti-imperialist” mode are aware of these things, but they tend to relegate them to the sidelines. This means that they miss the ways in which new alliances, and potential new hegemonies, are emerging. The fact that the populations of China and India alone account for nearly 3 of the world’s 8 billion people, that their economies now make up nearly one quarter of the world’s, and that their relationship to the US-led world order is somewhat uncertain, tells us that things are shifting. The Global South is no longer a pawn and a battlefield for the superpowers of the North. Europe’s role in all of this is also complex and becoming more autonomous from the US’s.

And if the bigger picture is more complicated than Chomsky’s view suggests, the view from the ground is all the more so. Chapeye writes:

“I beg you to listen to the local voices here on the ground, not some sages sitting at the center of global power. Please start your analysis with the suffering of millions of people, rather than geopolitical chess moves.”

Analyzing geopolitics is essential to understanding the world, but it is also a tricky game if it becomes disconnected from the ethics of real-world events. Chomsky follows the political-economic realist’s playbook: What are the material and strategic interests of the powers that be? How have they come to be this way? But that misses the possibilities of the moment and ignores the agency and desire of everyday people, whose actions can reshape the possibilities for tomorrow’s world.


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32 responses

6 03 2022
chameera perera

yes we need to analyze whole picture rather than become reductionist. This is the time to raise our voice against both US led Neo liberals and Russian Authoritarian Conservative regime and also to urge both parties to stop provocations. we need global solidarity towards Ukraine people and the good of the living beings of their soil.

Center for Left Solidarity
Sri Lanka

6 03 2022
Andrew

No war can be justified.
The TRUTH is the first casualty in a war.

11 04 2022
S R

Really? How wars of independence? US revolutionary war? Bad?

7 03 2022
Herberto Esteves

Chomskyś analysis is nothing more than realistic. It does not have to do with the suffering of the Ukrainian people. That is another line of thought. You could as well argue that the Libyan people now live in hell after the NATO powers intervened. It is presently a non-state where people suffer so much that a vast number try to migrate to Europe and die trying. This does not undermine the diagnosis of foreign criminal intervention. The UN classified the Yemen war as the biggest humanitarian crisis of the century. People suffer unimaginable adversities because the Saudis permanently shell the country with weapons obtained in the ­US and in the UK.
Objective analysis is needed to understand why imperial powers do what they do and what we can do and say and explain to try to counter their moves.

7 03 2022
Mostapha

Chomsky’s activism and writings have always encouraged and aspired us to think by ourselves; not to listen what he says nor to the discourse of the rulers and the mass media.

In order to have a big picture of what is happing now on global arena, an analogy to the theatrical stage would perhaps help us to broaden this picture. If one only focus on Othello’s assassination of Desdémona, the análisis will be half-assed. One has to analizar the whole actors on the theatrical stage. Leaving aside Iago’s devilish influence on the Othello and other characters the análisis remains incorrect.

The hegemony of the West is just like Iago. It seduces, domesticates, manipulates people in its own image etc….And when things are ripe, people are taken to the street and they call it “orange revolution”. And now there you have the outcome. Who is responsible for the tragedy of the innocents in Ukraine, not to mention Irak, Siria, Libia, Afganistán?

What is of great astonishment is the reactions (or al least the reactions selected to be shown in western media) to this conflict. It is polarised. It is exactly what George Bush said in the war in Afghanistan, that is, you are with us, or you are against us. The discourse of Western rules are pushing every one to take position, penetrating even the world of art. And this a dangerous thing of Iago.

7 03 2022
Ben Whitmore

Chomsky unambiguously blames Putin for a criminal, unjustified invasion. But then he moves on to what’s far more important: examining what can pragmatically be done about it. He focuses on what the democratic world at large can do about it, because that is his audience and that is the sphere of people who can have some influence.
When Chomsky considers how actions of the West may have influenced Putin, the point is not to blame the West (even though some actions have been blameworthy): it is to understand how we got here and what forces are at play.
Our kneejerk reaction is to want to see the aggressor blamed, pilloried, punished. But this desire is impotent, because without a magic wand, what can you do about it? Far more pragmatic to seek to understand, especially to understand from the aggressor’s point of view, and to understand our own (the West’s) mistakes and how we can do better. It is only our own actions we have control of, so it is our actions we most need to examine.

12 03 2022
Marc Gordon

I completely agree. The whole problem is to figure out a way to get out of this crisis. Chomsky points to ways that this can happen.

I grew up during the Cold War. The Soviet Union was defined as a dire enemy then much as Russia is today. But geopolitical wisdom then was that each adversary – both us and the Soviets- had security requirements that could not be transgressed without risking Armageddon. Today that wisdom is rejected and has been seemingly since the fall of the Soviet Union. When the push to encircle Russia reached the point of meddling in the Ukraine the old Cold War architects such as Henry Kissinger warned that red lines were being crossed. Chomsky is sounding that same alarm.

Now we have a horror in the Ukraine and an increasingly belligerent official response here and in Europe. I pray for my children.

13 03 2022
Adrian J Ivakhiv

Replying to Ben (again) and Marc here…

Ben wrote:
“Far more pragmatic to seek to understand, especially to understand from the aggressor’s point of view, and to understand our own (the West’s) mistakes and how we can do better. It is only our own actions we have control of, so it is our actions we most need to examine.”

I agree with the second sentence in principle, but have already responded that I reject the reification of “we” as “the West” (i.e., that the West is a singular, unified agent, and that we who are writing here *are* that West). I would say that it’s best to understand from multiple perspectives – including that of the aggressor, but also the other states, peoples, et al involved (Ukrainians among them, western governments as well).

To understand it from the aggressor’s point of view, one has to understand more than the few pieces of rhetoric that resonate with us – e.g., that NATO expansion has pushed him into it. The aggressor, in this case Putin, has said a lot over the years, and written some things as well (as have those he speaks/writes through, like Dmitri Medvedev). A careful analysis of it shows that his point of view is authoritarian, (neo-)imperialist, (neo-)colonialist, and in many ways fascist. It is certainly important to understand that, but given its nature, it must also be challenged.

Marc writes that
“geopolitical wisdom then [during the Cold War] was that each adversary – both us and the Soviets- had security requirements that could not be transgressed without risking Armageddon.”

This was possible with the Soviets because, at least after Stalin’s death, they were more predictable and known. They also had half the world (or close to it) either on their side or willing to play with them. We did not have to agree with them to understand what their goals were (a mix of self-preservation and the solidification, if not spread, of an authoritarian form of socialism). The Cold War is our name — i.e., the West’s and the USSR’s name — for a global “frozen conflict.” For much of the rest of the world, it was neither “cold” nor “frozen”; wars were fought with casualties in the millions. The “wisdom” of not transgressing their security requirements may have kept us from mutually assured destruction, but it’s not necessarily a model to hold up for all time.

Russia’s situation is different. It is not the world’s #2 superpower; economically, it is far down the line. At the beginning of the Putin era, it was still considered possible that Russia might even join NATO (Putin said so himself). Russia’s “security requirements” have changed because Putin’s control has become more dictatorial, heavy-handed, and threatened both internally and externally. He now considers Ukraine a “security requirement” because he views it as an ethnically essential component of Great Russia. He has decided to rebuild an empire that never existed (built on pipe dreams from reading Russian mystical philosopher/pseudo-historians like Ivan Ilyin, Aleksandr Dugin, and others) as a challenge to the liberal-globalist modern world. It is not that different from Hitler’s vision, just less global and less racial/racist.

You (Marc) speak of “the push to encircle Russia” as if this were a statement of fact. Looking at a map, we see that a circle would include many countries — the various “stans,” Mongolia, India, China, et al, along with the Pacific and Arctic oceans — that are nowhere near to threatening Russia. Meanwhile, China has become a superpower; Iran has built up a solid power base; Assad’s Syria has aligned with Russia; et al. The world has changed. The only reason why Russia is feared is because it has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal. Given that Putin cannot be dealt with reasonably, realistically, and predictably, and yet that we must try (as I believe western governments have been trying), it seems to me the only long-term goal for “us” has to be a world in which Putins cannot arise — a world in which it’s just not possible for a single man to have so much destructive power at his fingertips.

I understand the desire to blame the West for everything, including for the rise of autocrats of all stripes. But blaming is inadequate, especially if it keeps us from understanding what we face (in this case, Putin and Putinism). We need a strategy to move forward. That’s what this is about for me.

10 03 2022
Susan Jefferies

Totally agree with all the intelligent replies to this article.
Noam Chomsky is a lifeline in a world increasingly run by lies.

10 03 2022
Adrian J Ivakhiv

I appreciate all of the comments here so far, and agree with much of what’s been said in them.

That said, when Ben writes “It is only our own actions we have control of, so it is our actions we most need to examine,” where the “us” being referred to is the West, I feel it’s important to add that not all of “us” (reading and commenting on this blog) identify with that “West.” For understanding the invasion of Ukraine, it’s also important to understand the different Russias and Ukraines at play (I use the plurals to indicate that each of these is a multiple, with Putin hardly representing all Russians or all possible Russias).

And when Mostapha writes that “the West” “seduces, domesticates, manipulates people in its own image,” with events like the “orange revolution” being the “outcome” of that seduction, I want to add that despite those seductions and manipulations, people also have their own desires, motivations, agendas, and social and historical projects that remain autonomous from the machinations of empires. Chomsky is an anarchist, a left-libertarian, and for the most part he abides by a respect for people’s ability to decide for themselves how to live. But as a Cartesian (his cognitive model, which he devoted much of his scholarly career to developing and defending), he doesn’t take as much interest in the affective, emotional, and spiritual lives of those he writes about. There are other anarchists (such as the late David Graeber) and other socialists and even communists (such as Ernst Bloch, Raymond Williams, Michael Lowy, and others) who have paid more attention to those things, and who would have recognized the spirit infusing the Ukrainian resistance today as infinitely more interesting than the West’s political economic interests in “seducing” Ukraine into its orbit.

All of these are of course part of a larger picture. My point here is that some of them may help *explain* the picture (though a scientific-like analysis), while others may be better at helping to *animate* the picture so that it can come alive with the potentialities of the moment. Some, in other words, are more useful for people involved in the struggle, as I feel I am. I did not find Chomsky’s analysis as helpful with that as I would have liked; thus my critique. But thanks to all for adding your perspectives.

10 03 2022
Walter Daschko

Brilliant. Thank you.

10 03 2022
Mirna

I have been trying to reconcile the emotions I feel when examining the situation from an intellectual point of view with the emotions I feel when I see what is happening on the ground in Ukraine and now I understand why the conflict in my head and my heart. Thank you.

14 03 2022
Mostapha Boulbayem

Perhaps I am not familiar with recent studies about Ukraine as you are, Adrian, but I think that “you don´t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”. I have immediate experience in Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia…, and saw how organically these people are connected. Their languages have developed from one source, that is, Eastern Slavic language, and in so many areas people are bilingual or even trilingual and consider them all to be their mother language. Moreover, their gastronomy is just made of the same ingredients and taste similar. If you visit museums you will see how intertwined their creativities are. You have artefacts of popular culture which bears the same features; embroideries, intricacies of colours, traditional handmade toys for children, and many, many others which bear witness to the organic connection before the raise of nationalisms. All these elements reflect how these people are organically intertwined. You cannot get rid of all them overnight. I once heard a prominent Ukrainian politician who said that Ukraine is a European than ever before. His statement puzzled me. I just asked myself what he meant. If he meant the geographical area from Iberian Peninsula to Ural Mountains, he must be correct. But if he meant something else, then he must be absolutely wrong. He must be disavowing his own heritage.

Having briefly said this, I just don’t see what you mean by “Chomsky misses the possibilities of the moment and ignores the agency and desire of everyday people, whose actions can reshape the possibilities for tomorrow’s.” I think we should ask what are the conditions that have triggered these “possibilities of the moments”? What agencies and desires that should be taken into consideration? Where do they lead? Do they emancipate us from the structures of domination, or rather enhance our enslavement to them?

I absolutely agree with you, Adrian, that individuals will remain autonomous however exhaustive any system of control is, but as I said in other post we have to be very careful about what is autonomous and what is not.

14 03 2022
Adrian J Ivakhiv

Thanks for engaging on this further, Mostapha.

I understand how one’s experience could confirm the idea of “organic connections” between “these people” (Ukrainians, Russians, Belarusians). Sociologists would call this kind of claim a form of “essentialism” and would argue that the reality is much more complex; and there is plenty of ethnographic, sociological, and historical research to back up that complexity, regional variability, etc. (which is analogous to social and national identity processes in many parts of the world). I’ve written about the “European” question before (see here: http://www.yorku.ca/soi/_Vol_6_1/_PDF/Ivakhiv.pdf), though that research would have to be updated and much has changed in the last 15 years. Russia’s relationship with Europe has also been complex and variable over time, but the imperial history of that country makes it quite different from Ukraine’s history. Needless to say, it’s a long story (which historians have written much about).

I agree with you that it’s difficult to tell what “agencies and desires” are genuinely “autonomous” and which ones may be influenced by larger “structures of domination.” This is one point on which liberal (Ukrainian) commentators tend to differ from left/socialist (Ukrainian) commentators. The latter, who are a much smaller group right now, are more attuned to the ways in which neoliberal policies (of the EU, international aid organizations, et al) have shaped and constrained the opportunities for Ukrainian autonomy. This is certainly something to pay attention to.

That said, I am getting my sense of Ukrainian “agencies and desires” and “the possibilities of the moment” from careful listening to what Ukrainians are doing and saying (many of whom I am in contact with across the country, from Lviv to Kyiv and Dnipro to Kharkiv). I may be wrong, and my sample may be skewed by its own self-selectivity (my friends and colleagues tend to be scholars, artists, et al.). They may also be wrong about their own “possibilities.” Western observers may be wrong as well (which seems more likely to me). But we do our best with the information we have.

10 03 2022
Bombs of Truth

Noam Chomsky a beacon of truth. An American member of Congress last week said that “it is a violation of international law for any country to invade another sovereign nation” the person in question must have the memory of a goldfish cause it wasn’t so long ago thats exactly what America along with Britain did in Iraq, invaded a sovereign nation, knowing full well with absolute clarity there was no WMD’s. The iniquitous act of Putin invading Ukraine has more merit than America or Britain did for invading Iraq. All I see on the western news these days is videos and pictures of bombed out buildings in Ukraine, refugees, people in turmoil. I never saw any of this in the media when the US bombs where dropped in Iraq, million people killed, that’s worth contemplating. Israel breaches international law daily, not a word about it. If the show was on the other foot and let’s imagine for example the majority of South America was under a Soviet pact/ Warsaw pack and Mexico was crawling slowly but surely to join, would the US react any differ to the way Putin is now, history tells us no, the Cuban missile crisis was the closer Humans have came to extinction. The US wants to maintain global hegemony that is a fact, Ukraine must remain neutral for the sake of us all

10 03 2022
Adrian J Ivakhiv

This is called whataboutism. Is your analysis of Ukraine, then, that US is the villain, and others don’t bear mentioning? That happens to concur well with the propaganda being shelled out by the world’s premier, nuclear-equipped fascist (neo-imperialist, ultranationalist) regime.

10 03 2022
Edward Medawar

I believe that’s your emotions reacting more than it is your head. Moreover, your reasoning could have been that of an Iraqi, Syrian, Palestinian, etc.; you seem to see a difference because you probably are more emotionally, or even racially, invested in this conflict than those that took place in the Middle East or other parts of the world.

10 03 2022
Adrian J Ivakhiv

Emotionally invested, yes, because I personally know dozens, maybe hundreds, of people who are currently being subjected to bombings, air raid sirens, and the like, all over Ukraine. Racially invested, no (and the criticism is offensive). I agree with Iraqis, Syrians, Palestinians, et al who are subjected to similar terrorism, and I believe my reasoning holds for them as well as for Ukrainians. If you see Ukrainians as being in a different category than the others, you haven’t made a good case for why they should be. If it’s just because they don’t fit your larger narrative (about the US, the West, NATO, etc.), then my point is that that narrative is lacking.

11 03 2022
Edward Medawar

n reply to Adrian’s reply: I definitely didn’t bring up racial differences to offend you, but, in the same way people’s emotional investment might trigger a more personal response, one that might blur objective analysis, many might react more personally when seeing people with similar background being bombarded. That said, I reread your piece and I am not sure it is abundantly clear where your problem with Chomsky lies. I believe Chomsky is repeating the same argument that John Mearsheimer made, although probably not as clearly, mainly that given the geopolitical position of Ukraine and the insistence of the US to encroach on Ukraine’s neutrality, the US is complicit in what is happening in Ukraine. Mearsheimer makes an interesting point when pressed in an interview in The New Yorker on Ukraine’s right to self determination. He explains:

“In an ideal world, it would be wonderful if the Ukrainians were free to choose their own political system and to choose their own foreign policy.

“But in the real world, that is not feasible. The Ukrainians have a vested interest in paying serious attention to what the Russians want from them. They run a grave risk if they alienate the Russians in a fundamental way. If Russia thinks that Ukraine presents an existential threat to Russia because it is aligning with the United States and its West European allies, this is going to cause an enormous amount of damage to Ukraine. That of course is exactly what’s happening now.” (https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/why-john-mearsheimer-blames-the-us-for-the-crisis-in-ukraine)

11 03 2022
Edward Medawar

By the way, my apologies if I seemed offensive in my first post, I was just trying to make a point about emotionality and objectivity. I didn’t mean to be inconsiderate.

11 03 2022
Adrian J Ivakhiv

Thanks for clarifying, Edward. My problem with Chomsky is really more of a problem with Mearsheimer, since Mearsheimer’s starting point is an imperialist one — a “realism” rooted in great-power politics. Chomsky follows that view in his analysis, but as I’ve mentioned, he actually cares about people’s right to self-determination.

For Mearsheimer, we (Americans?) need to take Russia’s concerns seriously. But he consistently equates Russia and “the Russians” with Putin, their leader (or with “Moscow”). So if Putin perceives Ukraine as a threat because he is afraid of democracy in his own country, we (the rest of the world) are supposed to tiptoe around him, since he is a “great power.” Others (such as Ukraine and Ukrainians) will never be a great power, so their views don’t really count in this calculus.

The interview is illuminating because Chotiner catches Mearsheimer up on his own logic several times. Mearsheimer goes through real mental convolutions to deny Putin’s imperialism – arguing, for instance, that there’s no risk Putin will threaten the Baltic states (let along take all of Ukraine) because the Baltic states are members of NATO, even as he simultaneously argues they shouldn’t be members of NATO. He repeatedly defends Putin with that recycled quote about “whoever doesn’t miss the Soviet Union has no heart, whoever wants it back has no brain” (which Putin apparently said in 2000), as if this is the way we are supposed to judge the actions of authoritarians. He makes no distinction between Ukrainians’ desire for self-determination and the idea that Ukrainians are “pro-American.” Most Ukrainians are curious about “America,” but just want to live their own lives in a “normal” country – more Sweden than the U.S. So the entire framing of his argument – that it’s the US’s fault for Putin’s desire to control Ukraine – is flawed.

12 03 2022
Mostapha Boulbayem

My understanding of revolution is that of those actions taken by intellects so as to break up the “homogeneous empty time” of ideological progress, as Walter Benjamin once said; not those actions that converge or consolidate the movement of this empty time. It doesn’t matter from where these actions come from. They may come from the awaken activists, professionals, poets, novelists, musicians, philosophers, or simply from common people in the street. The most important fact of their actions is to reveal the untruths and unjust that have been disguising realty, pushing us repeatedly to the same conflicts but in different forms.
Of course, I believe in self-determination and emancipation. BUT, when we say people have their right to self-determination or they desire to be this or that, we have to be very careful and ask: whose desire is this, mine or yours? In my opinion, the desire of so many people around the modern world today is predetermined by the West´s gaze since the elitists instituted a new capitalist system—a religion without dogma—in Europe three centuries ago. The desire is determined by that big picture that we all want to conceptual the Russian-Ukraine conflict in the global theatre. Jacques Lacan has illuminated us to grasp ourselves in this big picture. We are all determined by the exterior gaze coming from the Other to which our desire is directed. having said this, now it is up to everyone´s choice to act in this big picture. You may act as conformist, revolutionist or whatsoever you want to act, but truths will always remain truths, for today and tomorrow, as Antygona once said.
I think that Chomsky has always said the truth and has always acted in order to awaken people from day-slumber. What he has been saying about the conflict of Russian-Ukraine is just a true fact. Mearsheimer´s arguments has gone on the same line. I know it is hard to see it the way these two intellectuals see it if one´s heart is attached to his sweet homeland. But history will judge everyone´s position and put us in our own place.

From Spain

12 03 2022
Oleg

Wow. It’s kinda weird that before reading this post I was watching a YouTube video with Chomsky on Ukraine and I wrote a comment there “this thinker is so detached from reality”. And then I’ve found a wide explanations of my impressions here. Thank you.

14 03 2022
Michael Dawson

Thanks! This is right-on. The US left is in a huge, deep crisis. And it can ill afford that.

14 03 2022
Frank

Putin is not behaving like someone who objects to NATO expansion and wants Ukraine to be neutral. He is however, acting EXACTLY like someone who wants Ukraine to be a vassal state like Belarus

27 03 2022
CoMK

Thank you all for your analysis. I think we should get beyond the point whose fault the war is. It is clear that Russia invaded and therefore is to blame firstly.

Now we all need to focus on risk assessment. How many more lives shall be sacrificed? In other words: how can we achieve a relatively stable peace? Do we sufficiently take into account the dynamic of processes/life? Could we find a more flexible approach than the classic win-or-lose-war-theory? Has everything to be reached as of today? What can be achieved in 10 years in order not to create more fatherless children and widows?

27 03 2022
John Mackoviak

I missed any mention of the Maidan takeover, promoted by the US! This surely was a violation of democratic norms!

28 04 2022
Ilari Makela

Could you give references to this claim? CIA:a role in a nazi-les Maidan revolution is was a Putins fabricated reaction to the Maidan revolution. No Ukraine-scholar (or Ukrainian citizen) seems take it seriously. And what exactly was wrong with millions of people going to the streets after a leader sends police to brutalise a few peaceful protesters? You might absolutely be right that US did something sketchy here, but based on my research the opposite is true: US looked away and did not support the Maidan revolution despite many Ukrainians pleading for more western support.

6 04 2022
MB

NATO is cold war mentality. Why is it even still around? Why can’t there be a different kind of military alliance, one that is not so dependent on the biggest bully on the block?

10 04 2022
Vic Patrangenaru

Chomsky, a puppet of authoritarian communist hell bent idea, is a declared enemy of the Free World, from which ironically he extracted his well being. This impotent homophobic centenarian, talks comfortably from his chair in Arizona, while innocent people, children who did not get even to play in a kindergarten are butchered, without pity by Chomsky’s “idols”.
What a hideous character, this Noam Chomsky!

12 05 2022
Jeffery Reagan

Throughout history, hegemony has occurred in many domains (often in combination), with each conceptually more abstract. The relevant domains: military, economic, religious, political, social, moral.

While cultural (social) hegemony might not be as explicit or obvious as a strong military, the fear and insecurity it can potentially invoke may even be larger. Just ask any social scientist.

At the extremes, in the context of managing fear between groups of people, how do we reconcile the two potentially diametrically opposed notions below? One is objectively explicit; the other subjectively vague. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but can be.

“Might makes right.”

“Moral superiority.”

This is the nature of the continuum of humanity in the 21st century.

20 05 2022
IdeologicalVacuum

The idea that noone brings about is that all references to the “free world”, “democracy”, “freedom”, being a “normal country” are all ideological weapons of US imperialism. They mean nothing apart from compliance with US tyranny. People get caught in words, take them uncritically, however from Orwell we know that the real meaning of a word id the opposite of the assumed one. When a US propagandist speaks of “freedom” what is meant id unfreedom. What is really meant is this: become a subject (=slave) to our perspective on the world, become a docile, dependent subject devoid of own spontaneity and autonomy. Become a slavish worshipper of neoliberalism, american exceptionalism, and a zealous hater of everything that is outside of it. It means succumbing to the false dychotomy of Us (pro-US, “friends”) vs Them (all that defy US, “enemies”) , demonize the Them uncritically, hysterically, emotionally. Love the Big Brother, in other words.
The ideology of the universality and moral supremacy of liberal democracy is a scam. The “liberal democracy” that is being sold is neither universal, nor moral, nor free, nor democractic. Just look at Assange, look at the raging capitalism that removes the preconditions for one being truly an independent agent! And look at the scale of propaganda, surveillance, censorship that brainwash the minds of the supposedly “free” americans! And look at the history of US international terror that is utterly illegal. Legality assumes rationality and rationality assumes the universality of intersubjective recognition. But US doesnt care about recognizing others, so it acts as it does: as an violent animal that just dominates all others. Plus, there is a contradiction in domestic democracy and freedom and spreading wars abroad. The US claim to trying to achieve peace because of the spread of democracy is untenable. Every empire brings peace because it violently imposes total control over its subjects. There is nothing about democracy in this argument. The US is both unfree and undemocratic, it just monopolized these words to act as its ideological banners.

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