Of course, we condemn the war in Ukraine, but what choice do we have after that?
Yes, the war in Ukraine is terrible. Just as terrible as the war in Yugoslavia, the war in Syria and hundreds of wars before. After the horror comes the analysis, and this is where it gets complicated. Of course, one can say that Putin has gone mad, and that almost the whole world condemns the attack – see UN resolutions. But this is only half the truth.
If we approach the problem analytically, we will find the cause of Putin’s insane decisions in the collapse of the Soviet Union. That collapsed because of glaring economic weakness. Most people were in a very bad way and hoped for improvement in the independence of their peoples with a turn to democracy and capitalism as an alternative to failed communism. Now they are waiting for the improvement. How long are we going to make them wait? They have been waiting for 30 years. Another 20 or 100 years – forever?
Democracy lives on the possibility of each individual to live his life with dignity and beyond poverty. This is true not only for the former Soviet republics in Central Asia, but also for Africa and many other regions. If the so-called free world does not manage this, there will be more wars – until nuclear showdown. We have to understand these connections.
Russia in the person of Putin wants to return to being a world power. Why is he now not attacking Central Asia (which he already tried to do in the Caucasus war, for example), but Ukraine? Because Central Asia can wait. The people there are still doing badly and Russia has good prospects that the republics will fall voluntarily into Russia’s arms again! Most people in Ukraine, however, have chosen democracy and capitalism completely voluntarily – and their living conditions have actually improved because of their proximity to Europe. So the danger is that democracy and capitalism guarantee a better life. Putin, of course, cannot let that stand – and neither can China.
China has chosen a path that has mixed two worlds. On the one hand, the communist power apparatus, and on the other, economic freedoms. So far, this path is proving extremely successful – at the expense of the people’s personal freedom.
Unfortunately, capitalism in its ugliest form also shows the division of the population into very rich and very poor people. This can be observed even in the seemingly consolidated capitalist democracies. Trump has clearly demonstrated the explosives contained therein. So democracy will never win the final victory, and we would have to keep waiting for the nuclear showdown.
I’m sitting here in my mini-studio right now, desperately fighting for my personal economic survival as a music producer. A prime example for many people in capitalist democracies. Yes, I have been busy! An extensive academic music education was followed by many grueling years on the stages of this world – until burnout. After that the struggle for life continued. New profession – new happiness – until the next burnout. Now I try to supplement my pension with music production.
Yes, I can express my opinion freely. No bombs fall on my head and I have enough to eat. So am I doing well? No, because as an experienced artist in the music business I experience again how economic power drastically restricts my personal development. So-called gatekeepers want to take the last shirt off my back before my productions can even reach the ear of a listener. This is what competition looks like in capitalism.
The progressive privatization (capitalization) of the cultural landscape means that today, more than ever, the following applies to artists: “No chance on the market without financial investment“. It may sound like complaining on a high level to many, but as Ovid already said: „Resist the beginnings“. This kind of freedom will never reach the hearts of the people. If the majority of the population is excluded from personal and economic growth due to a lack of financial power, it will soon become bleak. Then we will only have the choice between plague and cholera.
I was born in the largest coal mining area in Germany, known as the “Ruhrgebiet”. After school I worked as a professional musician until I was 40 years old. This time is well documented on WIKIPEDIA
After a burnout I had to give up my job, moved to the south of Germany, to the Munich region, and did an apprenticeship as an information technologist.
Another burnout forced me to rebuild my existence again, which collapsed just because of the corona crisis. In expectation of poverty at retirement age, I began to build a second career as a musician in 2019.