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PostThe New Fragility of European Society (Consoly Leon Arias, Spain / Canary, 01/11/23 2:56 am)
Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine has shown over the last eleven months the fragility of European society, which is accustomed to the fact that wars are supposed to happen elsewhere.
The truth is that two completely different realities currently coexist. The first is made up of (serious) democratic systems, which are currently the most prosperous societies. The other reality is for the rest of us, among which, unfortunately, I must include Spain, which lacks competent managers in its government.
The evidence is plain to see. We only have to analyze the economic, military and political relevance, on a global scale, of the countries that make up the G-8--i.e. USA, Canada, UK, Japan, France, Italy and Germany, leaving aside the ostracized eighth member, Russia.
We have come to live in a world full of uncertainties that directly affect us Europeans. With regard to wars, with the exception of the one still being fought today in Ukraine, most of them were too far away from us and we have even fled from them with great cowardice, as in the case of Afghanistan.
To tell the truth, it seems that Europe has cared little about the Afghans subjected to the theocratic dictatorship of the Taliban, although on some occasions, we complain about the brutal situation of the female population of that country, while what is happening in Ukraine directly hits the old continent, in its Achilles heel the economy, with the arrival of inflation. This has nothing to do with the situation in the United States, our main ally.
We Europeans are like a kind of decadent aristocracy or bourgeoisie that lives beyond its means.
In these turbulent times, it is easy to see the bourgeoisie living in the memory of past glories, reluctant to admit Europe's decline (as happened to other empires throughout history), thinking that their voice is still as important as necessary on an international political chessboard dominated by the United States and China.
The same thing is happening to Putin's Russia, consumed by imperial splendors that it cannot maintain. Its failure in Ukraine, with a war that will soon enter its eleventh month, is the confirmation of its decline.
Finally, reality shows us a new world order scenario in which everything revolves around the Asian giant and populisms.
JE comments: Ukraine has changed virtually everything in Europe--foremost, as Consoly León Arias claims, its complacency that "wars don't happen here." Yet if we take the long view, Europe's peace since 1945 was a comparatively brief and and uncharacteristic period. Europe after all "gave" us two World Wars, Napoleon, endless wars of religion and royal succession, colonialism and its backlash, ideology-based "proxy" wars in the Global South...
Consoly inspires a question for further discussion: with the emerging dual hegemonies of the US and China, has Europe become irrelevant? I would respond that Ukraine has shown us the opposite: this war has impacted the entire world.