Those who fetishize ‘peace,’ open the door to greater violence

By | February 22, 2023

Vasyl Cherepanyn writes:

The “never again” slogan, the EU’s common ideological denominator, has become a self-fulfilling prophecy in a perverted sense. Indeed, if one literally accepts the principle that “it should never happen again,” then war is thought of as impossible simply because it’s unimaginable in spite of realities on the ground. The EU has fetishized the idea of peace to the extent that it completely repressed the realities of war—only to be totally unprepared when the repressed came back.

It was exactly that moment of unreadiness that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz famously called a Zeitenwende—an epochal shift, literally a turn of times. In truth, especially in the German case, the proclamation of a turning point hides an intention toward its opposite—that things would be better if they remained as they were. Its real political name is rather a Zeitverschwendung, a waste of time, as it is Ukraine that is now buying time for the West, paying an immense price every day to do so. What characterizes the West’s constant belatedness and inability to act is a time out of joint, to quote William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It’s a profoundly wicked logic that requires another mass grave to trigger the next set of sanctions against an aggressor or deliver a minimal portion of arms to a country in dire need.

There has been so much talk in the EU over the last seven decades of how Europe relates to its history and learned its lessons from the past. But what is history if not the knowledge of time and what time means, the knowledge of how to act in time? If you talk so much about history but at the same time are always too late in your actions, perhaps there is something wrong with the story you present about yourself. Zeitenwende is actually a form of political self-deception that shows how hard it is for the West to really be contemporary, to keep pace with the demands of the present.

A proper understanding of time and place are the basic requirements for any appropriate political action. Violent events like revolutions or wars especially depend on time—if one doesn’t act when needed, then the situation only deteriorates and becomes more violent. [Continue reading…]

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