The idiots guide to becoming an amoral person

18. Mai 2022

This is about the fac­tor of agen­cy. And what role to give it in armed con­flicts. (All you need is the will to fightTM.)

Essen­ti­al­ly the argu­ment, should one let peop­le pro­long a war, for a posi­ti­on of “win­ning” that isnt well defi­ned, and usual­ly just out of the ran­ge of your sphe­re of influ­ence (“only the rus­si­an peop­le can end this war now”), that seems to be cor­re­la­ted and even con­nec­ted, in the public opi­ni­on, to a vague gene­ral state­ment of “win­ning is having the last rus­si­an lea­ve ter­ri­to­ri­al Ukrai­ne (incl. crimea)”.

Then a belie­ve is sta­ted. Chom­sky thinks that the Ukrai­ni­ans want peace more than to post­po­ne this war.

Enter a phi­lo­so­pher, that loo­ks at a fake dicho­to­my (“But they are say­ing on TV, that what they want now is “wea­pons, wea­pons, wea­pons”” - make a sil­ly face, dis­re­gards the argu­ment.). Becau­se its always about public per­cep­ti­on first.

First aspect, the Ukrai­ni­an lea­ders­hips posi­ti­on is not the posi­ti­on of nor­mal peop­le on the ground and in the fight. It is detached to the point, whe­re they need to be to make stra­te­gic decisi­ons on how many peop­le they will put up for a cer­tain cau­se, when and were. The same thing is mir­ro­red in the US stra­te­gic out­look on the situa­ti­on, whe­re some ana­lysts see this as a model, of the US enga­ging in future wars by arming a “wil­ling popu­la­ti­on”, and then giving them the best stra­te­gic model and real time ana­ly­sis on top. Which by exten­si­on means, that all wars like this are “defen­si­ve” in natu­re, and “just”, by vir­tue of “the lea­ders­hip of a coun­try has expres­sed the desi­re to use their own popu­la­ti­ons, but other nati­ons stra­te­gic sup­port and mili­ta­ry aid to get to a desi­red state”.

Next thing I’d look at here is the role of the media in that sce­n­a­rio, which is basi­cal­ly dri­ve around the coun­try, inter­view peop­le who are deeply ent­hral­led by a heroi­cism, nec­cessa­ry natio­na­lism, and the bright future is the gui­ding star of EU mem­bers­hip down the road sen­ti­ment, dri­ven by, lets open­ly say it, pro­pa­gan­da and cer­tain emo­ti­ons that get pul­led onto the cen­ters­ta­ge, when enga­ging in a dis­play of armed con­flict con­do­ned by any lar­ge group. Whe­re all the los­ses you expe­ri­ence are reframed to be suf­fe­ring you endu­re for a bet­ter future, just suf­fe­ring, necessa­ry suf­fe­ring, not sen­seless suf­fe­ring, or even wrong suf­fe­ring, if you take into account the impact on world eco­no­mics, no its the just, good suf­fe­ring, and guilt of the suf­fe­ring we have inflic­ted on others that binds us tog­e­ther in the aim to achie­ve a very, very bad­ly defi­ned goal.

You know, heroi­cism. Whe­re the goal is always to tell sto­ries about a per­so­nal deve­lo­p­ment arc first, and then look at what the hero actual­ly inflic­ted (on to socie­ty) later. But all is well, becau­se evil got banis­hed. You know - narratives…

From Selen­sky­js point of view, anything thats less than “decisi­ve­ly win­ning” would be losing face and their most important mili­ta­ry, finan­cial and poli­ti­cal allies, lea­ving the coun­try war torn, eco­no­mi­c­al­ly des­troy­ed, with no chan­ce of a built up fol­lowing, becau­se the aggres­sors gam­ble payed off, and they are now in a more domi­na­ting position.

Selen­skyj was voted in to sol­ve the con­flict in Don­bas. Then he and Rus­sia tor­pe­do­ed Minsk 2. Then he tried to win the Don­bas con­flict mili­ta­ri­ly (gai­ning the appro­val to use impor­ted wea­pon sys­tems in the regi­on that the rus­si­an occup­a­ti­on wasnt capa­ble to deal with) -- so when the some­what tra­gic figu­re star­ted to sol­ve the con­flict by adding more for­ce the situa­ti­on esca­la­ted (140.000 armed for­ces at the bor­der), at which point rus­sia made a decisi­on that no one under­stands, and Selen­skyj beca­me a hero, five times over, over night - for sup­pling peop­le “wil­ling to fight”.

For demo­cra­cy, for wes­tern values, for the wes­tern rules based sys­tem and for Böh­mer­mann, who is so thank­ful for that sacrifice.

That logic - the “bet­ter keep win­ning” aspect of it, so we can tell a nar­ri­ti­ve to peop­le that depends on this being pro­gress in a sen­se, and redu­cing the length of the war - while at the same time, less open­ly dele­ga­ting all respon­si­bi­li­ty for decisi­on making to the government of Ukrai­ne and pri­ming our own public for a pro­lon­ged war of good vs. evil -- is deci­ded­ly not repre­sen­ting “the will of the Ukrai­ni­ans on the ground”.

It is a meta logic, on a struc­tu­ral level, that tri­es to rec­ti­fy, why pro­lon­ging a con­flict, or exten­ding it, or adding fuel to it, is the necessa­ry thing to do. The moral argu­ments used to sus­tain it, are deeply amo­ral. From an indi­vi­du­al and collec­ti­ve point of view. They are liter­al­ly what you’d descri­be as a necessa­ry evil in any other case, whe­re the emo­tio­nal char­ging of argu­ments wasnt so front and cen­ter for public opinion.

Now lets let Chom­sky use a minor rhe­to­ric device in public.

The ukrai­ni­an pre­si­dent is with the peop­le - he wants to mini­mi­ze harm to every indi­vi­du­al on the ground. At which point stra­te­gic inte­rests play into it - and the US and GB deny him the chan­ce to do so.”

This pro­cla­ma­ti­on alo­ne does more to point at the issu­es at he inter­sec­tion of indi­vi­du­al but also collec­ti­ve inte­rests and public pro­cla­ma­ti­ons that are in play here - than FUCKING three mon­ths of jour­na­lism on the matter.

If thats all that you’­ve got to dis­credit someo­ne (“but ukrai­ni­ans want more wea­pons!” - After they’­ve been told by the atlan­tic coun­cil that they should enga­ge in asking for more wea­pons again, but in a spe­ci­fic way, that wouldnt make it too trans­pa­rent what they are actual­ly asking for…) that brings you popu­lar reco­gni­ti­on on you­tube I guess.

Stran­ge­ly, you arent allo­wed to say “But the Ukrai­ni­an pre­si­dent doesnt at all have the short- and likely mid-term well­being of his peop­le in mind, enacts a some­what new mili­ta­ry stra­te­gy the US is try­ing out at the moment (deca­pi­ta­ti­on of the com­mand and con­trol struc­tu­re, while now pivo­ting into more of an offen­si­ve pha­se to not have their tro­ops ency­cled, or in retre­at, after Mariu­pol now doesnt save­guard against rus­si­an troop move­ments in the east any­mo­re -- to pro­long the con­flict, to maxi­mi­ze dama­ge dealt to the aggres­sor), while giving full real time tac­ti­cal ana­ly­sis feed­back to the Ukrai­ne), with a cer­tain chan­ce of suc­cess atta­ched (“Just keep win­ning, though…”), who­se pri­ma­ry out­co­me, most likely will be to pro­long a war of attri­ti­on, and for that also needs the car­rot, of a EU mem­bers­hip in the future (after win­ning), or his peop­le will not know what they are figh­t­ing for. Pro­bab­ly, not having Rus­sia per­form atro­ci­ties in new­ly cap­tu­red regi­ons is some­thing not qui­te enough to keep a war going after three mon­ths, you need a pure­ly moti­va­tio­nal aspect here - some­thing you are actively figh­t­ing for, that will bene­fit all of your citi­zens, and will having made figh­t­ing the war a posi­ti­ve thing, the right decision.

That some­thing cant be values.

So you employ a rhe­to­ric device. The unfai­ling hero pre­si­dent, has inde­ed the well­being of his peop­le in mind, and the­re­fo­re would like to mini­mi­ze casu­al­ties, which is why he men­tio­ned the pos­si­bi­li­ty of an inde­pen­dent Ukrai­ne for about a week, and then was ree­led back by a public out­cry of US and GB based inte­rest. The “we dont know what the Ukrai­ne lea­ders­hip stands for any­mo­re” arti­cles, only crept up in US media though.

So now what?

Oh yeah, slay Chom­sky in the court of public opi­ni­on for sta­ting the obvious. Enga­ging in, making pos­si­ble, or pro­lon­ging a war of attri­ti­on is not in the inte­rest of the peop­le of Ukraine.

They dont think in princi­ples of a respon­si­bi­li­ty for wes­tern law based sys­tems (“it some­ti­mes feels, like peop­le want to dri­ve us into some­thing like Afghanistan”),they dont think in moral princi­ples of, if we dont pro­long it, the pre-selection camps rus­sia built in occu­p­ied ter­ri­to­ries will disap­pe­ar a cer­tain per­cen­ta­ge of peop­le being fun­neled through them, they en lar­ge dont think in princi­ples of “the com­mon goal is a grand thing thats worth dying for”, when they are in the pro­cess of dying for it -- and I’m abso­lute­ly cer­tain, that the Ukrai­ni­an lea­ders­hip doesnt either.

The­re is this aspect of - if we dont win, our future pro­spects to reach the eco­no­mic level we’­ve had befo­re the rus­si­an inva­si­on wit­hin the next five genera­ti­ons are slim to non exis­tent. That makes it a neces­si­ty to win. And thats sel­dom­ly a good thing for the indi­vi­du­al on the ground.

And we are not tal­king about capi­tu­la­ti­on here, we are tal­king about kee­ping com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on chan­nels open, or at least insis­ting, that they are reope­ned, befo­re “Putin is made to ask for a sei­ze fire clo­se befo­re he is being defea­ted”. Becau­se, thats neit­her a very likely out­co­me (from what all their mili­ta­ry experts tell the ger­man government), and also a very dan­ge­rous out­co­me to aim for, while having no diplo­ma­tic chan­nels open, becau­se a shock and awe stra­te­gy of broa­der dest­ruc­tion, without any eco­no­mic, or mili­ta­ry logic in place, loo­king for gains, then would sole­ly depend on the right peop­le being in place in rus­si­an lea­ders­hip cycles, pre­ven­ting that outcome.

Holy shit. Die­se Gesell­schaft ist das Letzte.

Jedes Arsch­loch opti­miert nur noch dar­auf was gut klingt, und wählt den Weg emo­tio­nal auf­ge­la­de­ner Argu­men­te, die ihm oder ihr Likes einbringen.

Ich ver­ach­te die­se Gesell­schaft und alles wofür sie steht.

Jetzt sind die­se Ukrai­ner also die­ses magi­sche Hel­den­volk, das für sei­ne Frei­heit kämp­fen will (und für Demo­kra­tie, und für unse­re Wer­te­ord­nung) und das so lan­ge wie nötig. Wäh­rend es immer in ihrem Inter­es­se bleibt, weil sie ja gewin­nen wer­den, weil sie gewin­nen kön­nen. Mit dem aktu­ell wahr­schein­lichs­ten Out­co­me eines pro­lon­gier­ten Zer­mür­bungs­kriegs, der wie­der­um über Sank­tio­nen Russ­land am meis­ten scha­det, wäh­rend es jedoch mili­tä­risch Vor­tei­le hat, je län­ger sich der Krieg hin­zieht. Die wol­len Waf­fen, Waf­fen, Waf­fen! Es ist unglaub­lich - wie kann Chom­sky nur das Gegen­teil behaup­ten - sie haben die­se magi­sche Eigen­schaft, wo sie mit­ten in der Eska­la­ti­ons­lo­gik eines Kriegs, ein­fach wei­ter­ma­chen wol­len. Was für Hel­den! Dass wir das bis­her noch nicht in ande­ren Kon­flikt­ge­bie­ten geför­dert haben…

So keep win­ning, and ever­ything jells, as Böh­mer­mann would want to remind the ukrai­ni­an public of.

Final argu­ment in the you­tube moun­ted posi­ti­on? Chom­sky reads too much, and doesnt visit coun­tries to absorb what peop­le feel, thats a limi­ta­ti­on of Chom­skys method. You know, he doesnt get moved by the feels enough. The right feels, of tho­se well tra­v­eled folks, of cour­se only in the right cir­cles, that know, that the Ukrai­ni­an now wants to fight.

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