States of War

Why does war exist? As a philosophical question, we can explore all manner of motivations for warfare. Very few wars benefit anyone, but while it may be true that some make sense, at first, others clearly do not. Specifically, intimidation, tariffs and standover tactics appear more common measure in today’s world where power and primacy again matter much more than constructing a world that can be at peace.

If two sets of people have conflicting interests, it follows that skirmishes may develop and the organisation of governments invokes a structure that may amplify aggression. Who will speak out when the police may beat protesters to death? In a country that represses freedom of speech, the silence of protest deepens until it becomes a political body with veins of reasons to think a certain way.

Do democracies exist to stop society from descending into self-interested groups that then go to war? If a sense of democracy (UK and USA both have a political direction that was NOT voted for my a majority of people, i.e. 42.4% and 46.09% respectively) exists, it exists in the hearts of people. When politicians lose the hearts of people, they lose elections. When they do something illogical, their fortunes may not, in many cases, turn out badly. But let’s say that any sort of democratic control is better than none, so long as it can remove a dictator who is to say that people do not have a right to collectively support the general direction established by a majority vote. And a supermajority must be required if it is a constitutional change that could have more effect upon future generations.

A country is the political unit that may go to war with another, causing terrible consequences, human suffering, destruction, destitution and finally change.

War is romanticised for consumption.

Not only is there nothing good about war, it is sold to children, it is cheered on by the ignorant and is won by complete bastards. Our complete bastards beat theirs and now it is time for them to climb down and let the accountants take over. After the WWII horrors, the world has had a golden age which now appears to be over. The USA has had involvement in 14 wars since WWII (all without Congressional approval), Russia/USSR about 23. UK, 32 (some of these are fishing skirmishes with Iceland)

Denuclearisation

In the opening minutes of the Trump-Kim summit it will become very obvious that Trump will withdraw because Kim does not immediately lie down and offer his entire nuclear arsenal in exchange for reunification with South Korea.

Kim has already achieved what he wants – a meeting with the US President. He will offer an exchange of denuclearisation – he will give up his weapons when the remaining nuclear powers give up their and he will then demand a set on the Security Council.

Trump will then depart. Kim will have made his point.

The Fall of Great Britain

The Government is failing. There seem to be two types of Government: overactive or inactive. The UK Government is inactive, devoid of progress and it is not evolving a better world but one that has progressively been failing.

The increase of violence in London, the increase of the homeless, the treatment of the victims of Grenfell, the Windrush scandal. The continuous nonsense of discussing how to inflict damage that could undo the Union that they want to protect, the complex degradation of Brexit.

The dull mediation of outrageous statements followed by calls for the resignation of front bench ministers for failure or ignorance – this government appears to teeter between mild offense and mild rebukes rather than create any real waves. Their own negotiations about Brexit seem to swim in ever decreasing circles, and then suddenly bad decisions pop up and the public is sick of the ineffective bickering so ignore the carefully worded statement of progress. Over time the tide turning appears incidental. This is mass mesmerism hiding the dysfunctional democracy.

Pollution and Plastic

So much has been written on this blog and elsewhere about the importance of stopping pollution of the natural world if life and indeed the human race are to survive.

The Era of Oil has seen the rapid expansion of the human race.

The insidious oiling of the industrial age certainly helped the environment at first, by reducing smoke emissions from burning of coal, but the proliferation of cars, industry, and exponential growth has not only triggered global warming, climate instability and poisoned the environment, but it also creates many plastics. And now we discover plastic is being thrown into the sea without any regard for consequence. Our reaction? What reaction.

The pulling of whales out of the sea infected with kilograms of plastic waste makes a mockery of humanity. We can nearly be concerned about the effects of the burning of oil, but the manufacture of materials that never yield their structure to decay means an unchanging world with less and less in it. It will start with the sea, as sea creatures, constantly on the hunt for anything they can consume are weeded out of nature due to our insidious crime of the discarding of plastic.

Life forms that collect plastics, like the filmed whales, birds and fish, act as a storage mechanism that in time ruptures. The plastics ever increasing and accumulating (unlike other forms of organic matter that can be broken down and reconstruct themselves) nature mean that it will offset environments and kill plant life as well as animal life.

This is the most simple catastrophe to cure with law-making. Why are the governments of the world not legislating against plastic manufacture and disposal at sea?

How about people simply resolving they do not want to contribute to the mass murder of all life on this world by throwing a plastic drinking bottle into the sea.

Syria Strike

Trump, Macron and May strike targets in Syria and avoid hitting Russian targets. The fog of war instantly rises, the Russians say the majority of missiles were shot down and the Americans say each one hit their targets.

If they degrade Bashir al Assad’s ability to use chemical weapons, then they have achieved a goal. If they hit any Russian targets, they have achieved something else.

In an excellent analysis, Andrew Adonis has this to say about it. He sees Theresa May’s action as avoiding an embarrassing vote in the Parliament which may not agree that taking non-effective action is a priority. Alignment with Trump may demonstrate to Putin that the UK is to be taken seriously however laughable the net balance of actions by this government are.

Green MP, Caroline Lucas points out that acting before the OCWP can inspect is ridiculous.

The problem with this kind of military gesture is that the powers that order it have no real idea of the consequential effect. Right-Wing Tories keep trying to point out that a vote in Parliament got David Cameron a defeat but is not the scrutiny of the parliament desirable before we run into accidental war with Russia? Our lack of preparedness for war is obvious enough. Is the Government expressing a fear that protection by Trump is entirely necessary

Trumpism

The Trump Doctrine is to lash out and then realise that was not a very good idea. A prime example is his reaction to Syria’s use of chemical weapons. He calls the leader of that stricken country an “animal” for killing a number of people with “nerve agents” and Chlorine gas and plans to send in the missiles. Except that Russia threatened him back and now he has to negotiate for fear of starting a firestorm and losing major assets as Russia threatened.

The legal point that it is an internal matter for Syria and that independence is the very heart of sovereignty that other nations have no business undermining. Oh, but if “we let Syria use chemical weapons” then “they will again, with impunity”. Understandable sentiment. The world would be a better place without weapons that kill people indiscriminately. Gassing the civilian population is not necessarily as evil as dropping an H Bomb, but it causes unbelievable suffering and only with effective action can their use be stopped.

But the May government in Britain believes that Syria’s sponsor, Russia, used a Novichok nerve agent in the UK to remove a retired spy. She has acted as though it were proven with evidence and it seems “the right thing to do” to most conservative idealists.

But is it? And is her plan to attack the government of Syria going to result in a war between the UK and Syria, or more significantly, with Russia?

Theresa May

Why did the UK choose to be governed into an inevitable compromise instead of taking up the gauntlet and reforming the EU? The trouble with her leadership is that the negotiations are a waste of time. Of course, Britain has to pay its dues before it departs. Of course, the rights of citizens cannot be removed. Inevitably, common sense will resist Trump’s reactive and manipulative form of protectionism as it is simply not us.

We holiday in Spain rather than Texas, Italy rather than California. For exactly the same reasons. A compromise is the only result of weak leadership, the bullock in a china shop negotiations waste valuable time.

I am afraid that “very difficult woman” may or may not steer Britain into Brexitland, but that is a minor problem compared with the lack of sustained policy success against the debt. It is not vision but fear that drives the Conservative leadership. What new ideas from the Tories during all these years? Austerity? It’s golden goose slaughter. I see a crumbling society that has forgotten Grenfell too quickly. Sure, the very very rich have taken your wage growth and poured it into the stock market, overheating it while the economy is stalling?

No. I would prefer a leader with vision and clarity.

Slavery, The West’s Crime

Slavery reparations are due from the West to countries where it stole labor and the lives of many to extract progress for itself.

Nothing short of a massive transfer of wealth from the developed to the underdeveloped world, and to the descendants of slavery and colonialism in the west, can heal the deep wounds inflicted.

We now enjoy the fruits of our forefathers. Is it not entirely logical that these fruits falling from trees planted from the purloined heritage should now recognise the enforced investment by the ancestors of one group of people to another? Or should the boundaries of an undeclared war be respected?

This is a difficult and divisive question but the answer depends on what your situation is vis a vis “The West”.

Slavery is a crime. War is a way to bury crimes. When a war happens in society rather than the battlefield, it is hard to know from the result, who indeed is the winner? Was the Cold War “won” by the collapse of the Soviet Union? How is that winning when now American Government domination of its culture is in the hands of the most wealthy. Will Trump now start to lash out with budgets at disasters or war provocations from North Korea? Or will he act like a surgeon and excise with exact and incisive negotiation, the exact words required to permanently solve the most dangerous problems in the world? Not so far.

The “we have excellent weapons” arguments only go so far before they result in escalation. But it worked for the slave masters who were our great-great-great-great-grandparents, possibly. One of the reasons for the Second Amendment is that it makes slavery less likely. One of the reasons for the First Amendment is it makes despotism less likely. The UK’s role in gathering slaves was not taught in English History at school. Not that I recall.

The British were involved and derived much wealth from the Slave Trade until it was made illegal in 1833 with “apprenticeships” an interim arrangement in which slavers were “compensated” with “20 million paid to the planters”.

Not many Slaves, the people who were harmed by slavery, remain as victims of the West’s social cannibalism. The descendants of slavery are now citizens proper and whether their lives have suffered or gained due to the upheavals of slavery, it is debatable, but the singular fact must remain, they have lives and share in the spoils of progress.

So are they owed a financial reparation for the crimes of our great great great great grandparents? I am not sure if that would make sense or even do good. But sure, why not? They bail out the slavery based banks so why not?

Slavery can never be fixed. It should not have been but it was. I think cases of reparation that hark back to the disadvantages present in 1833 are interesting, but it is a stretch to consider that it could be heard. But if they should, then, of course, the Justice system must hear such cases.

The one thing that the West could do however, without cost or pain, is to treat all citizens with absolute equality, no matter where they or their grandparents came from. That is something that America needs to do better. It is the very least we can do to repair the damage of Slavery. Treat each other right.

Right Takeover

The forces behind Brexit are not working in the interests of the population but taking advantage of the opportunity provided by the false referendum to change Britain from a semi-democratic group of nations into a tax avoiding paradise that does not give a toss about the concerns of the many for the privilege of the few. Many of those who avidly defend it have vested interests. Some do not. They are decent people who do not understand how much the EU benefits their lives and believe that a brief period of isolation will give the UK more power. They are to be respected, sure. But they need to reconsider. A final vote on the deal is more than necessary. Or they are collaborators in an ideological and irreversible takeover by the Far Right. And that Great Repeal bill to reduce all laws into target practice for the most Tory of mindsets, that must fail or Parliament has become irrelevant.

The Government has been taken over by people who do not need pensions and see poverty as a disease that can be wiped out by starvation.

David Milliband has pitched in on the argument.