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Ukraine: A Continuation of the Wars of the Oligarchs

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Watching the news of what is happening in Ukraine and trying to find some context and perspective for this latest version of sacrificing nations and innocents in pursuit of some vision, or some ideology, or national "need" makes me realize that this could be described as one of the latest versions of the Wars of the Oligarchs. Wars have always produced great profits for those who knew how to use them for their own economic advantage. As a result, oligarchs are behind many of the conflicts and competitions that occur in the world. So, the wars of Capitalism vs. Communism which had defined so much of the 20th Century, especially the Cold War period, are now a thing of the past, and that conflict has morphed into the more recent Wars of the Oligarchs, since capitalism, under the thrall of neoliberal economics, has won the day. We have the American oligarchs and their corporations, we have international oligarchs and their financial apparatuses, we have Russian oligarchs now controlling that nation since Communism has fallen, and we have the Chinese state and its oligarchs now controlling what had previously been Communist China.

Like nearly all wars, there is never a real winner, there is much bloodshed and destruction, much "sound and fury (finally) signifying nothing. The competition only changes its face, continuing as it had been before but with different justifications. It is, and always has been about power.

The accompanying destruction is far more significant than whoever seems to be the most recent winner or loser. The human and economic resources are the price, nearly always paid by those who reside at the bottom on the socioeconomic spectrum. The most recent victim has been the planet and its ability to sustain not only human life, but also much of the natural life that sustains the ecosystem.

The author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, foreshadowed such destruction in The Great Gatsby with this line, "They were careless people" they smashed up things and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness" and let other people clean up the mess they had made"

By pursuing the power associated with controlling the economics of the world, these oligarchs are clearly heedless of the wreckage they leave behind, willingly turning not only the populace of the world, but also the very planet we rely on for our existence into a sacrifice zone. Some sacrifices are too great to be borne. Perhaps all the sacrifices they continue to foist upon us are too great to be borne.

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I have a deep belief in participatory democracy, the value of ordinary people and finding a path to a sustainable future. I also understand the immediacy or the need for significant action to save democracy and our sustainable future on this (more...)

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