But some things are more connected than others.
"... the inability to understand that Europeans have their own, very powerful, motives for supporting the current regime in Ukraine, which have nothing to do with the US."
Explain this one to me, please.
I have to object to the overall thrust of this article, in that it appears to give credence to the idea that there are no really guilty parties in the world - all is just a sequence of steps by individuals who cannot foresee the consequences of their intentionally limited actions, presumably all intended for the greater good, and that intentional evil is non-existent. This approach lets both individuals and governments off the hook of responsibility and blame.
Take, for example the current war in Ukraine. It is certainly true to say that there are a number of causes to be found for this war, and if some of them hadn’t existed then the war would not have occurred. But for complicated events such as this, causes as far as they are known, can be assigned a rating according to the amount they have contributed to the ultimate event.
A selection of these for the war could be:
Russian, Ukranian and European history and collective memory,
Some countries fear of neighbouring countries with offensive military power,
Fear of expansionist policies among neighbouring countries, and so on.
But it is clear that the main reason is a US policy of attaining and retaining hegemony over all other countries in the world, especially those not under it’s current control and which are seen as a threat - i.e. Russia, China and Iran. Is this a conspiracy theory? I don’t believe so. There is convincing evidence for this notion, which could be, and is, the subject of whole books by reputable authors. Briefly though:
Since 1945 (and before - but let’s keep this within limits) the US has conducted 200 odd wars, invasions, coups and bombings plus assorted assassinations, etc. (See American Journal of Public Health, June 2014. As the authors say there “the fact that one nation initiated more than 80% of all wars in the last seventy years does require an explanation.”) Most of these events are all unquestionably documented and proven, very often even admitted*, and this level of state crime is far in excess of that of any other country (although possibly the UK is a minor competitor, in that at one time or another it has invaded every country in the world, except for 22 mainly very small ones). This is indicative of a pattern of continuing criminality on the part of the US government. (A war of aggression is a war crime under international law. Targeted assassinations, coups, bombings, etc do not appear to be legal under any law).
The US is documented as being involved within the Ukraine for the past 30 odd years. A number of ‘think-tanks’ in the US have formulated and published plans which involve using the Ukraine to attack and weaken Russia. Some of the authors of these plans now hold posts in the US government. No proven connection, you say? I think the NRA takes a similar stance with regard to the huge number of mass shootings in the US.
Similarly, it could be said that while US firms are profiting from the war, this cannot be counted as a cause. However, there is a large amount of staff transfers, at high levels of responsibility, in both directions between the US Government and arms manufacturers, and also large party contributions from arms manufacturers to US politicians. To think that this is merely an expression of democracy or commerce in action would be extremely naive.
Before the war Russia published proposals to avoid the war. These were reasonable options and were similar to what the US itself expected and obtained after the Cuban missile crisis. The proposals were turned down by the US. So, without going any deeper into the matter (which would only reinforce my contention) it seems clear that, although there were many subsidiary reasons, the main cause of the war in the Ukraine, especially taking into account past US history, is US arrogance, aggression and greed.
I believe that this sort of analysis applies to most large scale events, and while you are right that there are many subsidiary causes, there usually can be found one or perhaps two or three main ones
* For example, in the Washington Post, June 27, 1993 you can find a list of nearly 50 political leaders whom the US tried to assassinate, some of them several times. Again, we see a pattern of criminality and disregard for common and international law at the very top of government.
one could argue that explaining the world by official narrative is even less reality based than through conspiracy theories... just sayin..
Do not feel as if you need to make special work 'only for paying customers'. The message is 'I would like to pay for this', not 'I want to change you into a person who makes a living from Substack'.
The one thing conspiracy theories and theorists have, as a benefit, is the surety the world is ordered in such a way, that there is actually someone in charge, or at least a group of people who are managing everything, whether for good or ill, depending on one's perspective.
Cause, causation, and coincidence rarely have much to do with each other, at least that has been my experience in studying history, and other subjects.
George Kennan 05 February 1997 at the New York Times:
A Fateful Error [pushing NATO to the Russian border]
AJP Taylor had a wonderful quip about grand causal explanations (not necessarily unicausal): every automobile accident ever has been caused by the invention of internal combustion engine and the desire of people to get to places faster. On the one hand, these answers are "correct." But they are also useless for actually understanding anything. However, they are good enough explanation for distant apathetic peoples who have no stake in particular set of events, certain parts of the world, or whatever, but have too much desire to do "something good" on the cheap. So these tales are peddled, and they work until their audiences start feeling that they'd been had, but most of these "cons" never get big enough to reach that point, and even if they do, there's way too much inertia in existing political institutions of nearly any Western state that doing something to reverse or even changing policy takes too much time and effort.
Some years ago, Kissinger (yes, I know) supposedly said something about the big problem facing the western world being the unwillingness of their citizens to sacrifice for their country, but not only is this the consequence of the process that Aurelien has already discussed often on this site, it is also the requirement for "little rackets" in faraway places--apathetic citizens can be won over simplistic "grand explanations" that may not be baldfaced lies, but are at best useless and likely misleading. As long as the consequences are minimal, whoever's involved can do practically whatever they please...except, I suppose, they too have little reason to care about the big picture in the long term. As Churchill supposedly almost said to his point man in Yugoslavia in 1943(?) (Was itFitzroy McLean?) when he raised some awkward questions, "Do you plan to live in Yugoslavia?" "No." "Then shut up." (I reckon Churchill did not actually say the last part...but you never know.)
I like the arrangement I have with Peter Lee, the China Hand. One dollar per every product via Patreon. Albeit lately he's been cheeky: reposts older work that he deems very actual...
Besides laying an ideological framework on reality, as ideologues of so-called liberalism do, and seeking explanation for the present in the past, as ideologues of so-called conservatism do, there is a third epistemological method: scrutinizing the phenomenologies of the present to discover what they say about themselves, sui generis, as patriotic and competent statesmen do.
And, Aurelien, what's with this, paraphrasing, religion / the Bible is however God feels day by day?
Now, I could adduce Christians and Hindus -- even Jews and Moslems -- all being what you might call mystics, who could assert that religion / the Bible is however God feels day by day, but theirs would be to an end (dedication) yours is not (disdain, or at most generous, ignoring).
Dear Aurelian, your perspectives expand my understanding of how the world works. But perhaps you also have some ideas about how we might replace the current modus operandi with a new, less destructive one. The title of your Eassy: Everything is (Somewhat) Connected points me in the direction it could go. With the founding of the UN, an attempt has already been made (at least officially) to resolve conflicts peacefully. Even if it failed, for me it is the right way. Why did it not work? What did we do wrong? And what conditions must be met for a new attempt to be more promising? I would be very interested in your thoughts on this.
There's typo, you wrote "cut bono" when it should be "cui bono".
And yes, answering that question goes a long way to an explanation of why things happen.