Grandstand. Russia’s war against Ukraine is the first conflict of a “Third World War” which, for lack of having been anticipated, has already begun. Again, by “third world war”, one must understand the destructuring of the norms which defined the international order established after 1945 rather than the global diffusion of a local war. It is not simply a return: to high-intensity war, to war between states, to war in Europe. It is also the beginning of a “new world disorder” precipitated by nations wanting to abolish an “old order” perceived as curbing their emergence even though it has, despite everything, made their development possible.
After two years of Covid-19, the Ukrainian conflict further seals the end of “happy globalisation”: solidification of borders, spread of inflation, disappearance of cheap energy. A fragmented world, where the one thing that still united us will have to separate us: the flows of money and information no longer pass between opposing nations and become mutually unconvertible. A de-globalised world where an informational, energy and financial decoupling takes place between ideologically distinct regions. A Pascalian world where the inability of (international) law to acquire a real power of sanction renders all its recommendations obsolete: “Justice without force is powerless. Force without justice is tyrannical. (…) Thus one could not give force to justice, because force contradicted justice, and said that it was unjust, and said that it was justice that was just. » (Excerpt from thoughts by Pascal, 1670.)
Truth below the Caucasus, lie beyond. We now know: the era of post-truth is also the era of post-peace. War is nothing more than the continuation of “fake news” by other means. No better way to deny the true than to destroy what is. For Vladimir Putin, Ukraine as a nation does not exist, therefore must be erased. For Xi Jinping, Taiwan as a state does not exist, so it will have to disappear. For these leaders, “civilizational” determinism must impose itself on the will of peoples who refuse to be “saved” by their empire.
That states that hide the truth of their history from their own citizens can serve as a springboard for the dissemination of “alternative facts” makes sense. But no one deliberately and systematically lies without believing their own lies. When you need a lie to excuse the inexcusable, you end up convincing yourself of the “truth” of it. One wonders how Putin and his entourage can bombard a so-called brother and friend people, a country included in the “Russian-speaking matrix”: simply by saying that they are not bombarding them…
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