Response to Dr. Smithin’s Blog Freedom and Democracy, by Dave Barrows
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1. In his recent Blog Freedom and Democracy, Dr. Smithin raises some interesting and important issues. He is certainly correct, the current altercation between Russia and the Ukraine is not a fight for freedom and democracy. His analysis of the Ukrainian economy and society is correct with respect to corruption, the role of oligarchs, one party government, etcetera.
One must then ask the question as to why the “West” is so heavily invested in this conflict. In my opinion the reason is simple. No one cared when Russia invaded Crimea, and no one would have cared when Russia invaded Ukraine. The Germans initially expressed complete disinterest and no desire to become involved in the conflict. Their only concern was cheap and reliable energy.
However, as the war progressed it became apparent that Russian ambitions did not end with Ukraine but, in fact, Ukraine was the beginning. To reestablish the Russian empire, it would be necessary to deal with Estonia, Finland, Poland, Germany etc. This would require the rearrangement of borders to the advantage of the Russian empire. It was only at this time that recognition of wider Russian ambitions was understood.
Of course, no one in the West was prepared to intervene directly with their own troops. It was logical to fight the Russians to the last Ukrainian. Thus, the West began a serious shipment of armaments to the Ukraine to halt the Russian advance. Unsurprisingly, the Russian military was as corrupt and inefficient as their social and economic system. Then there was the possibility Ukraine might win and regain territory from the Russians. This prospect caused great alarm in the West and the discourse revolved around a truce of some sort. It became apparent a meaningful truce would not be successful. Therefore, the necessity for the Ukrainians to dislodge the Russians from all areas including Crimea.
This change in Western strategy also sends a message to China that their global ambitions will be met with at least some resolve. A quick takeover of Taiwan is now more problematic and would have serious repercussions on the Chinese economy and society.
2. The human animal like all other animals is biologically programmed to roam free. Animals do not like to be put in cages. Similarly, the human animal rebels against confinement in monolithic cities. It is well understood that the domestication of animals is necessary for human survival. It is also necessary to domesticate the human animal to achieve growth and development. However, the loss of freedom is enormous as I demonstrated in my Blog “The Strange Case of David Graeber. The human animal has neither freedom nor democracy. Representative government results in a “democratic deficit” defined as: when democratic processes and institutions are perceived to be insufficient or flawed, leading to a lack of representation, accountability, and legitimacy. Citizens feel that their voices are not adequately heard or reflected in the decision-making processes of their government. This can occur due to a variety of factors, such as a lack of transparency, limited access to information, a concentration of power in the hands of a few, or a lack of meaningful opportunities for public participation in decision-making.