One year on from Putin’s Special Operation and despite fierce resistance from the Rebel Alliance in Ukraine it looks as a real time, stripped down version of Star Wars is on the cards. If so it will not be the first time in the history of hierarchical mass societies that their ruling elites have ordered their ordinary working people into wars of mutual mass destruction. From the ancient Persian Empire, through to the Greek Empire, the Roman Empire and the Islamic Empire, wars in which the victims on all sides had no say and nothing to gain from such struggles are symptomatic of real as well as fictional Empires governed by the Dark Sides 21st century elite’s. The current self-absorbed ‘cheering-them-on’ antics of C-3PO Johnson, R2-D2 Sunak and Chewbacca Biden are simply creating a deadly stalemate for Hans Solo Zelenskyy.

If the first casualty of war is the truth, the second is the human rights of citizens which are then fully suspended as martial law and military style governance is enacted. Which is exactly what has happened in Russia and Ukraine. The only citizen rights now allowed in Ukraine and Russia are the right to follow orders, to fight and kill other workers and to silently accept or verbally agree with every measure ordered by the respective elites. Sooner or later escalation from a special operation to something larger is almost inevitable, because the reality behind the special operation idea, initiated by Putin’s state control of Russia, lies a much larger Imperial type idea. Just like the Nazi elite used the fact of German speaking people to invade territories outside of their immediate control, whilst intending to create a Greater Germanic world power, Putin has used the fact of Russian speakers outside of Russia, to invade territories outside his immediate control. As a step toward  resurrecting a Greater Russian Empire.

In both these 20th century cases (and others) the intermediate operational targets (Sudetentland, Donbas etc) are only episodes in a recurring clash of rival mass society Titans. The early 20th century heated rivalries between the rival Empires of the West and East, were damped down after the defeat of the Nazi Blitzkrieg attempt to create a Greater German Empire, but have been rekindled in the 21st. The Cold War between the former State Capitalist Soviet Empire based on Russian territory and the Private Capitalist Empires based on British and then US territory has definitely turned hot again. What has been maturing ever since the collapse of the Soviet system of annexation and exploitation, is a re-kindled version of the previous competition between former rival Empires. The prize being a dominating influence over, (and control of), other countries markets and resource assets.

It should not be forgotten that the existence of the Soviet system of exploitation and control, the remnants of which Putin and his accomplices, inherited, commenced as a Russian elite reaction against territorial control of Russia by the rising German Empire and its allies in the West. That 20th century clash of the military industrial Titans culminated in the Second World War between the British led Allies and the German led Axis and was only temporarily resolved by the victory of the allies. However, in 1945, the technological and territorial basis of the Soviet Empire had expanded with the collapse of the Axis powers, whilst the British Empire had disintegrated and it’s hegemonic leadership of Finance and Industrial Capital replaced by the USA. The clash of one set of central Mediterranean, elite Titans with the Eastern ones had merely been replaced by another, the North American based set of Titans.

Yet the elite motives for extending territorial and resource control have never gone away. Indeed they have increased. It is an inevitable socio-economic tendency of mass societies from ancient to modern that the more wealthy elites (either land owners or billionaires or both) there are in agricultural, economic or financial Empires, the more resources, both territorial, contractual and exploitable, are needed to keep their wealth and families on top of the social pyramid. Exceptional wealth is never enough for those whose lives are dedicated to amassing it and there is always a queue of hopefuls who wish to join the banquet of exploitation by oppression. The only problem the elite have in engaging in territorial ‘expansion’ is to fool enough of the cannon fodder that it is their duty to fight to the death to kill the other sides cannon fodder or if that is not possible pass a law compelling them to do so.

Yet someone needs to be clear about what is at stake with this war and any escalation for the ordinary working people of Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere, because the elite and their media sycophants will not be. For the fate of the working classes will be very different from what is at stake for the elites in Ukraine, Russia, and for the elites among their European and American allies. Most ordinary people on all the actual fighting and support sides of the conflict, as it is currently focused now or as it escalates, will suffer hardship, death, injury, loss of possessions, loss of health and loss of occupations. On the other hand most of the elites on all actual belligerent and their support sides will not suffer death, injury or loss of occupations. In very many cases, by insider investor knowledge and trading, they will increase their wealth, their status, and their occupational opportunities. That is how – in war or peace – hierarchical mass societies are constructed so as to consistently distribute any advantages to the elites and distribute any disadvantages to the rest of us.

Meanwhile, much to the frustration of the ever hopeful ‘green’ reformists, the ecologically destroying, climate changing, pollutant spreading harm being done during the more peaceful periods of capitalist production processes, will now be rapidly accelerated. Despite the below standard, earthquake prone and fire trap housing supplied to the poor in the advanced and less advanced capitalist countries, little will be done to remedy this aspect of  so-called ‘civilisation’. Instead, the elites are already directing production and resource investments to the profitable manufacture of explosives, other killing materials and their eco-destroying delivery systems. None of which is intended for the welfare of humanity or the planet but for the absolute destruction of whatever targets the politicians and military see fit. Whether such targets are guilty or innocent of any wrong doing will not disturb the twisted morality of most elites providing their system of exploitation survives long enough for them to consolidate and bank their investment gains.

Twentieth and twenty first century reality as fashioned by hierarchical mass societies demonstrates that life on earth needs a complete system change, not more of the same.

Roy Ratcliffe (February 2023.)

This entry was posted in Critique. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.