Poses and Battles

Poses and Battles

We all know the big bully. The person who throws his weight about, is perennially rude, doesn’t give a damn about anybody else. I don’t even need to mention the name of the US President who taught us that bad and unacceptable behaviour is, mysteriously, appealing to so many voters that we may not have heard the last of him yet. The damage he did will resonate through the lives of my great grandchildren and beyond. It’s a pretty sobering thought.

Individuals can usually be contained and controlled. Well, that used to be the case. It isn’t any more. Poses turn into riots without even the flick of a switch. A demonstration can be a decent way to make a point. One that gets out of hand only makes the point that people are desperate or irritated or greedy enough to turn sensible protest into senseless fight. The world does not become a better place for violence, it merely becomes poorer. However stupid, these are only small battles but they are indicative of a mood bordering on despair. They are dangerous because what happens locally often happens internationally too.

The Russian build up of arms accompanied by a guarantee that they are not going to invade Ukraine sends one message, not two. Contradictions between facts and fantasies are a well-known diplomatic method of lying. Experimenting with the world’s safety by flying low level supersonic arms round the world with an astonishing degree of accuracy in hitting a target, even at that speed, is a gorilla demonstration of power, unfortunately without the gorilla ability to back down so simply. Flying fighter planes at low level across another’s territory with monotonous regularity is much the same. Promises are, we hope, about to be made that it means nothing, and peace is at the heart of every military rattle and shake.

Even the naivety of the West doesn’t fall for that. So much so that it sent powerful, if outdated, military response to defend what it knows in the end it cannot defend and, arguably, ideologically may not be in a moral position to do so even if it could. We had a situation like this before towards the end of WWII. Nuclear power became available to wipe out cities, and did so. The fall out from that is not over, even seventy years later. But at least we have a sort of nuclear pact. Now we have vastly increased power and we are making little, if any, attempt to ban or restrict its use.

The argument that I have heard, that the voters have gone collectively mad, may, of course, be true. Locally they have done so throughout history. Almost always leaders have emerged to guide the madding crowd back to some kind of collective sense. Maybe such leaders are emerging now. If so, I can’t see them in the world’s parliaments – they are all too busy making money, reasonably to protect their families and personal way of life. The concept of service is still around but not taught satisfactorily in schools and universities. The tone of much education is best expressed by the name of a lovely car-hiring business, GRAB – clever but somewhat sad.

What if leaders from both East and West were to pledge (under inspection) that for every dollar spent on weapon and surveillance development an equal dollar would be put into the Climate Correction Coffers? If enforceable – and enforced – it would add huge sums to the climate problem and disclose the amount being spent on weaponry which, if ever used, would probably wipe out most of the world anyway. The Voters might take notice, even.

It sounds simplistic, and it is, but highly complex agreements have produced little security for the world and its inhabitants.  Something must jolt the voters enough to guarantee their attention to the future of the planet. Brave and effective attempts to do so, both from the preservation and the stability points of view have already been made. They are nowhere near enough to form a world pact of safety. Without one the future is bleak.

You want the world to survive, I’m sure?

Time we did something much more adventurous about ensuring it, don’t you think?

Good morning

John Bittleston

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