War in Ukraine: negotiate now!

Edgar Morin published a new book with a French publisher on 6 January 2023. It is about WW I and WW II, about wars after Nuremberg and, of course, about the war in Ukraine that has become a proxy war between the United States and its NATO allies and the Russian Federation.

Morin is a thinker who aims to connect the simple with the complex. Therefore he calls for contextualising so-called simple thruths. We must not simplify the current war as invasion of Ukraine by Russia and an opposition between Western democracy and Russian despotism but need to conceive its historical and geopolitical context (p. 27).

Looking at France, Morin says, we are informed only one-sidedly. We are subjected to wartime propaganda that makes us hate Russia, while unconditionally admiring everything Ukrainian (p. 16). Criminalising the enemy is an experience we get from all wars. It is the entire people of another country with their culture that is blamed for wars. Morin tells us that during the war against Nazi-Germany he had authored illegal anti-Nazi leaflets but never anti-German ones (p. 13). The bombardments of Nazi-Germany by the U.S. and UK, in contradistinction, had been targeting civil society and are war crimes unpunished (p. 5).

Concluding, Morin thinks it is disproportionate to Hitlerise or Stalinise Putin. Putin whom he calls a despot is – despite this ascription – capable of realism (pp. 44-45). Thus it would be wrong to state that it is not possible to negotiate. It is even mandatory, if an escalation into another World War shall be avoided. For such a war would be worse than the pevious one (pp. 45-46).

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