Language Mutation II – The Obsolescence of Deterrence
My ancestors always feared revolutionary and counter-revolutionary events, in both events the Jews were blamed for the disruptive policies of the rulers’ incompetence and immodesty. And it always worked. As is well known, Nazism and Communism shared, in this respect, the same convictions, while one referred to the “final solution”, the other called it the “Jewish problem”. What the current war has uncovered is the false notion of stability. And reactivated hibernated ghosts through initiative magic. That is, the decision to act to do the unthinkable.
Russian troops broke every conceivable line in promoting the invasion of Ukraine. Under the myth of a daring leader and patriotic heroism, the president of the Russian Federation has reopened the surprise box of history which, in fact, was never closed. The illusion of control that the West imagined it possessed was suddenly dismantled, and as with every threat, the neurosis brought about a more stoic than effective response. On the other hand, the army spokesperson that, together with British and American allies, freed Europe from Adolf, proved to be a legitimate heir of the anecdotal Stalin-Ribentropp non-aggression pact that strung German National Socialism with Soviet socialism. While he continues to announce that one of the objectives is the denazification of a country whose president is a former Jewish comedian who responded to the multiple offers of exile by saying: “I don’t need a ride, I need ammunition”. By the way, the shirt with the iconic phrase is on sale on Amazon for $18.
My hypothesis differs from most analysts. There was never any Putin’s “miscalculation” or “gross underestimation of the inevitable reprisals” since the decision of the armed forces’ chief chief was never based on “calculations” but on a will to power guided by a fanatical nostalgia for an empire that was pulverized by its own vicissitudes. The idea was to intensify the latent conflict. Bring it into effect. Reassemble a new iron curtain this time lined with enriched uranium. Fight the final battle. Accusing the “decadent western enemy” of having done its thing does not ease the hellish advance on millions of civilian victims. The alleged threats that motivated the invasion are justificationist alibis. Alibis that have been carrying the mythomaniac thread of the post-Soviet regime. They are never without rationalizations whose support can be geopolitical or simply ideological. And it is these justifications that today lead them with a certain naturalness to the savagery in Bucha, the two ballistic missiles that exploded on civilians at the Kramatorsk train station, and who knows how many other indiscriminate, lethal, large-scale military campaigns.
The megalomaniac’s game with vast power is similar to that of a blackmailer. When you have warheads on invisible submarines, blackmail takes on eschatological dimensions. For this very reason they are subjects, or groups of people, who are totally refractory to the dissuasive argument. Perhaps, immune to any argument. The deterrent agenda may or may not work for people who have a clear demarcation line in the danger of individual or collective extinction. But what about conceptions based on distorted understandings?
Are tyrants — elected by popular vote or not — susceptible to the abstract idea that by resorting to the techniques of indiscriminate murder, they will be subject to proportional retaliation? Herbert Marcuse in his celebrated “Ideology of Industrial Society” wrote that nuclear weapons could paradoxically bring freedom from the healthy fear of mutual extermination. Well, Marcuse was wrong. He did not foresee that a delusional, petty, and above all autocratic caste of rulers could always come to power again. Always under unheard of elections, and, in some cases, without the risk of competition since in many regimes the polls are curious and/or the opposition is nothing more than a puppet of the situation. For them, it will never be possible to understand the refined and subjective concept of deterrence.
No, it’s not just the head of the Russian federation that suffers from these ailments, but several politicians of various hues. Therefore, it is incomprehensible the parsimony and indulgence with war crimes of those who identify the current Kremlin board with sympathy for having a “conservative” (sic) hue that would be fighting “against progressive forces” (sic) represented, for example, by the European Union. . Which also presents moral dilemmas. In Germany, in the event that Russian gas and oil are renounced, GDP will fall by 6% and recession will be inevitable in 2023. In other words, is it better to maintain the flow of the gas pipeline than to interrupt the Russian war machine? It is a very difficult calculation, but the result would be evident if compassion and intelligence were above economic reasons. So neither one nor the other. The origin of the revisionist Wladimir’s dreams, in his own words, is “to restore the grandeur of the Soviet empire” and his ambitions are “noble” in this war whose mission is to “liberate the Ukrainian people”. There is no bluff. In his moral system this makes perfect sense, which is why what he represents is so dangerous.
Former world chess champion, exiled Russian dissident Garry Kasparov said that, in fact, it will be necessary to denazify Europe: starting with the Russian leaders. The heartbreaking fact is that Nazism and its various strands that should have been buried in unmarked ditches along with their founders usually re-emerge, sometimes as an idea, word or ideology.
In addition to the mutation of language, the meanings of words remain in a trance. A trance that places us before an unprecedented rupture.
It won’t just be a reissue of Babel, it could be a long way from wasteland.
For a change, history could play a favorable trick on us.