A world war in pieces

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By LEONARDO BOFF*

Why did Europe, which produced so many wise men and saints, choose this path that could devastate the entire planet to the point of making it uninhabitable?

On June 29 of the current year 2022, the Madrid Summit of the countries that make up the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) took place, to which the USA belongs as the main actor. In fact, the relationship between these European countries and the USA is one of humiliating subordination.

In this Summit, a “New Strategic Commitment” was established that, in a way, goes beyond European limits and covers everyone. To reinforce this globalist strategy, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand were also present. There, something extremely dangerous and provoking a third world war was declared. Russia was reaffirmed as the “direct enemy” and China as the “potential enemy” of tomorrow. NATO is not just defensive, it has become offensive.

The perverse category of the “enemy” that must be faced and defeated was introduced. This brings us to the Nazi-fascist jurist Carl Schmitt (1888-1985). In your The concept of the politician (1932, Vozes 1992) says: “the essence of the political existence of a people is its ability to define friend and enemy” (p. 76). Defining the enemy, fighting him, “treating him as bad and ugly and defeating him”, this establishes the identity of a people.

Once again, Europe becomes a victim of its own paradigm of the will to power and power as domination over others, including nature and life. This paradigm meant that only in the 100th century were there two major wars with 19 million victims. It seems that she has not learned anything from history and much less from the lesson that Covid-XNUMX is giving so hard, as it fell like lightning on the system and its mantras.

It is known today that behind the war taking place in Ukraine, there is a confrontation between the US and Russia/China in the sense of who holds the geopolitical domination of the world. Until now, a unipolar world prevailed with the complete predominance of the USA over the course of history, despite the defeats suffered in various military interventions, always brutal and destructive of ancient cultures.

Our master in geopolitics Luiz Alberto Moniz Bandeira (1935-2017) in his meticulous book World Disorder: The Specter of Total Domination (Civilização Brasileira, 2016) pointed out the three fundamental mantras of the Pentagon and US foreign policy: (1) one world – one empire (USA); (two) full spectrum dominance: dominate the entire spectrum of reality, on land, sea and air with about 800 military bases distributed worldwide; (3) destabilize all governments of countries that resist or oppose this strategy. I no longer saw a coup d'état with tanks in the street, but through the defamation of politics, as the world of the dirty and corrupt, destruction of the fame of political leaders and a political-media-legal articulation to remove the resistant heads of state. This effectively happened in Honduras, Bolivia and Brazil with the coup of this nature against Dilma Rousseff in 2016 and later with the unjust arrest of Lula. Now NATO's New Strategic Commitment obeys this orientation, imposed by the USA, valid for everyone under the pretext of world security and stability.

It turns out that the US empire is adrift, no matter how much appeal is made to its exceptionalism and the “manifest destiny” according to which the US would be the new people of God that will bring democracy, freedom and human rights to the nations. (always understood within the capitalist code). However, Russia recovered from the erosion of the Soviet empire, armed itself with powerful nuclear weapons, with unassailable missiles and disputed a strong space in the globalization process. China broke through with new projects such as the silk road and as such a powerful economic power that it would soon overtake the US. At the same time, the Global South emerged, a group of BRICS countries in which Brazil participates. In other words, there is no longer a unipolar world, but a multipolar one.

This fact exasperates the arrogance of the Americans especially the neocon supremacists who claim that it is necessary to continue the war in Ukraine in order to bleed and eventually devastate Russia and neutralize China in order to confront it at a later stage. In this way – this is the neocon claim – we would return to a unipolar world.

Here are the elements that can generate a third world war that will be suicidal. Pope Francis, in his clear intuition, has repeatedly said that we are already in the “third world war in pieces”. For this reason he claims in an almost desperate tone (but always personally hopeful) that “we are all in the same boat; either we all save ourselves or nobody is saved” (Fratelli tutti n. 32). It does not denounce anything else and often the eminent intellectual Noam Chomsky. He emphatically asserts that there are enough madmen in the Pentagon and in Russia who want this war to end the human race. It is reason made irrational and maddened.

In this way, the lethal paradigm of dominus(lord and master) of modernity and the alternative of the brother (brother and sister), proposed by Pope Francis in his encyclical Fratelli tutti, inspired by the best man in the West, Francis of Assisi. Either we fraternize with each other and with nature or else we are, in the words of UN Secretary António Guterrez, digging our own grave.

Why was opted for the will to power and not the will to live of the pacifists Albert Schweitzer, Leo Tolstoy and Mahatma Gandhi? Why did Europe, which produced so many wise men and saints, choose this path that could devastate the entire planet to the point of making it uninhabitable? Did you accept as a guide the most dangerous of archetypes, according to CG Jung, the one of power, capable of self-destruction? I leave open this question that Martin Heidegger took unanswered to the grave. Sorrowful left in writing to be published after death: “Only a God can save us”.

For it is in this living God and source of life that we place our hope. This goes beyond the limits of science and instrumental-analytical reason. It is the leap of faith that also represents a virtuality present in the global cosmogenic process. The alternative to this hope is darkness. But light has more rights than darkness. In that light we believe and hope.

*Leonardo Boff He is a theologian and philosopher. Author, among other books, of Inhabiting the Earth: what is the path to universal fraternity? (Voices).

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