Borgaren Strangelove

The film “Dr. Strangelove …” may be so old that many readers may not know much about it, but it anyway describes how the world is wiped out by human experts who think too narrowly and eagerly within an official (and hyped) frame, not seeing the dangers of something going possibly wrong in unexpected ways. And I do think that there are quite similar dangers in the way how our mainstream media are handling the NATO discussion.

We do know which parties in Finland want very much to join NATO – it is Kokoomus and SFP -, and we also know that joining NATO is treated by the media as a guarantee against being invaded by “the enemy in the East” (which is the way how Russia is not called but described). The belief in the guarantee is based on Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which obliges the other members of NATO to take “adequate” action once any member of NATO is being attacked (a definition what “adequate” would mean exactly is not given). The discussion in the media does anyway strongly suggest that one expects the USA to go to war and that the other NATO members will then join. This takes such forms that, e.g., the British Navy puts so much money into the building of a new and very big aircraft carrier that there is not enough money left to buy as many airplanes as to fully equip it – but it is explained that, after all, there is then space on the carrier for the airplanes of the USA which will surely come to help … .

And while the media otherwise are full of the newest idiocies (quite a few of them criminal) of the present US president, and there is also quiet agreement that the invasion of Iraq by the previous Republican president was a criminal act (for which he had also tried to recruit the other members of NATO, being successful with several of them), there is nowhere even a whisper of a doubt that it might in ANY way be problematic to tie oneself more closely to the USA. Whereas in reality Trump’s presidency is less of an unlucky accident of history than rather a symptom of the rot of the whole US system. And with this I do not mean Trump’s attitude towards women and his according doings (for my sake he could even have several porno stars in bed at the same time – with them one can even expect that they agreed to the arrangement), but I mean that I do not see any way how the Republican party could become somehow responsible in some future: the inequality in the distribution of money in the USA has so far advanced that any candidate who is willing to neglect the poor in order to make the rich still richer will have a truly HUGE advantage in any future election campaign: the Big Money will rather blindly support the party which can be expected to provide further “tax relief” (= the Republicans) – and never mind the consequences for anybody else … . Aside of using money, Big Money will also be able to work with the huge share of the media which is owned by it. On top of which comes an educational system which encourages at least its male pupils “to believe in themselves” (which will make them inclined to favour candidates which are as “average American” as they are themselves), which also cultivates a blind patriotism which has difficulties to imagine that there might be anywhere anything better than “the American ways” of the moment. To which can still be added the parents’ councils which make sure that schools cannot teach anything which contradicts the parents’ (often religion-based) prejudices. All of which hinders pupils from developing critical thinking.

Together, all of this means that there is hardly any hope that any future Republican president of the USA will be much more responsible/reliable than those two which we had/have already in this still very young century. And every four years there will for the foreseeable future be quite some possibility that the Republican candidate will win the presidential election. – To which Borgaren Strangelove will reply that this is all just speculation and that very many very respectable people have something like PROMISED that NATO will help us in need. Well, in Hbl of ti 16.01., p.13, the very appreciable Anna-Leena Laurén was mentioning that “… i det så kallade Budapestavtalet år 1994 … … USA och Storbritannien garanterade” the borders of the Ukraine. And when Russia invaded the Crimea in March 2014, “fick Ukraina ingen hjälp”. And the Ukraine is certainly a rather bigger nation than Finland. Meaning, the USA will VERY CLEARLY not risk a nuclear war in order to prevent a Russian occupation of tiny Finland.

All of which will not change the mind of Borgaren Strangelove. But if one would ask her/him WHY, one may get only some very sweeping/superficial answers (if any), in the line of “we have to make clear that we are a part of the West” and that “we believe in human rights and democracy” (to which a psychoanalyst may comment, “at least consciously”). But to me these claims are not any convincing explanation for the striking blindness to any faults which the USA may display (as far as in connection to NATO and its tasks). Rather, I have some intuition that the USA are felt to be the home and protection of the free world’s money makers (which may be correct, at least for US money makers), who are felt to be in need to be protected from the demands of the political Left (which is felt to be greedy, irresponsible and anyway incompetent, already by not being part of the class of the money makers; “what do they , after all, know of business …?” – well, they anyway may have been able to read and understand Ha-Joon Chang …). And if there should come war, or climate change, then prority is expected/demanded be put on saving the productive elements of society (= the money makers), whereas one can rely that those nonproductive (not to say parasitic) elements one will always have anyway … . In the normal case (at least in Finnish society) these attitudes will be largely unconscious (just producing “fitting” opinions via mechanisms of which people are not aware), but the mainstream media (as far as they consider themselves “seriös”) will rather automatically produce flattery in support of these attitudes. While thinking it on the other hand “embarrassing” if Donald Trump is openly displaying them. – Here I stop, but I should be grateful if some psychological-minded reader could take the matter up and help in developing the line of thought further. I feel that there might result some instruments by which one could tackle the present political situation, which is based on blindness.

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2 Responses to Borgaren Strangelove

  1. Christian Blom says:

    Budapestavtalet från 1994 har diskuterats ganska litet i medierna. Det är oklart vilken status avtalet egentligen har. Då Ryssland anföll Georgien på 2000-talet gick väst inte in för att rädda landet – Ryssland kunde därför hålla kvar de områden som de då erövrade – och håller dem fortfarande. Samma sak hände i Moldavien – också här tog Ryssland ett betydande område och behöll det i form av ett “slocknat krig”. De här krigen ledde inte till egentliga sanktioner mot Ryssland från väst. Då Ryssland nu med helt nya krigsmetoder intog Krim och områden östra Ukraina, mitt under pågående vinterolympiad i Ryssland i närområdet, kunde väst enas om omfattande sanktioner mot Ryssland. Och de här sanktionerna har sedermera ytterligare skärpts och Minskavtalet som sedan uppnåddes erkänner inte att de områden som Ryssland här tagit skulle höra till Ryssland. Beträffande Östra Ukraina (Donbass) kräver Minskavtaletatt en viss grad av autonomi skall förverkligas i Östra Ukrainas krigshärjade områden, dock inom ramen för den ukrainska staten.

    Debatten om säkerhetspolitik i Europa, som förts i samband med presidentvalskampanjen har varit ytterst lärorik för oss alla. Säkerhetsläget i Europa har förändrats drastiskt till det värre och det finns all orsak att fundera på alla möjliga alternativ som står till buds ifall läget ytterligare skärps.
    Det 4 månader gamla Vita Finland räddades av tyska trupper våren 1918. Också andra världskrigets slutskeden avgjordes för Finlands del av biståndet från Tyskland och Sverige. Och det var lindrigt talat “på vippen” att Finland i juni 1948 hade blivit en lydstat under Sovjetrysskand, såsom det gick för Ungern just då. Då vi nu denna vecka “skall komma ihåg” hur inbördeskriget bröt ut för exakt 100 år sedan så finns det också orsak att återerinra sig händelserna våren och sommaren 1948 i Finland. VSB-pakten undertecknades i april 1948. Folkdemokraterna innehade statsministerposten, Rundradion, Skyddspolisen mm. Och riksdagsvalen närmade sig i juni 1948. Galluparna (i den mån man hade sådana på den tiden) pekade mot att kommunisterna tar hem segern i riksdagsvalet. Då sattes den enorma “Jo riittää”-kampanjen igång, främst av socialdemokraterna men också med stöd av högerpartierna. Under en natt satts en affisch med texten “Jo riittää pakkovalta” (det räcker nu med tvångsväldet) upp på varenda en telefon- och elstolpe och husvägg i hela Finland. Militären mobiliserades till Helsingfors, Södra Hamnen var full med krigsfartyg då riksdagsvalet hölls – och Folkdemokraterna förlorade statsministerposten. Socialdemokraterna tog över och en djup politisk kris rådde flera år framöver. Regeringarna föll med någon månads mellanrum, arbetare sköts ihjäl i samband med demonstrationer i Kemi och vid Arabia i Helsingfors. Situationen lugnade sig småningom litet men ännu efter generalstrejken 1956 blev folkdemokraterna det största partiet i riksdagen. Kekkonen kom till makten osv. Sovjetunionen styrde och ställde under hela den här perioden ganska fritt i Finland, först via kontrollkommissionen efter kriget, sedan mera indirekt.

    Därför är det relevant att nu inför presidentvalet diskutera alla olika försvarsalternativ som står till buds för Finland nu och i framtiden i en situation då säkerhetsläget kanske ytterligare skärps. Under hela mitt snart 70-åriga liv har man inte diskuterat krigsfaran så öppet vid ett presidentval som nu. Inte ens under kalla kriget. Jag är orolig. Och jag vet att man är speciellt orolig i de baltiska staterna.

    • Ernst says:

      I fully understand that you are worried, especially as you are yourself saying that säkerhetsläget i Europa har förändrats drastiskt till det värre But I am inclined to ask WHERE in Europe that is so, and how Russia has in fact been acting in the various conflicts which we had since the collapse of the Sovjet Union: In Georgia it was in fact the Georgian government which started military action against an area which traditionally had been under some type of promised Russian protection; Russia kicked the Georgian troops out of that area, but did not occupy the other areas of Georgia. And some similar mix of traditional obligations was (as far as I understood) in play about Moldavia and Abchasia. But I do not see any similar constellation of factors in Finland or the Baltic states. Rather, I think that Russia could well appreciate that its western border in the Baltic area is reasonably peacefully and well established and clearly marked by the area of Bjelorussia and by Lake Peipus as a geographic barrier. Thus, as long as the Russian minorities in the Baltic area are left unmolested, I think that Russia will prefer to leave things as they are. Nor does it nowadays have an ideology to export (in difference from Soviet times).
      Further to the South the situation looks of course rather different. During the negotiations about the reunification of Germany the then German foreign minister was grandly promising that NATO would not expand “an inch” beyond the eastern border of unified Germany. Well, we know how it went, including Germany donating large numbers of tanks for free to Poland, and Poland cultivating its traditional nationalism (including its traditional animosity towards those Russians) – it is perhaps no mere incident that very many of the activists on Majdan Square in Kiev came from close to the Polish border … . Russia has RIGHTLY very unpleasant memories about intruders coming from that direction: one should never forget that Hitler’s armies had to fight their way over something like 1300 km to reach Stalingrad, but that it is from the Eastern Ukraine only something like 500 km to the same place; nor should one forget that the USA were inviting other NATO countries to join in the occupation of the Iraq (and was it not so that Poland was among the countries who were following the invitation? – correct me if I am wrong, I just remember, but may remember wrongly) – meaning, that NATO is NOT (!!!) just for defence, but is a (partly rather willing) instrument of aggressive US imperialism. Thus, Russia has indeed VERY good reasons to take whatever necessary action (legal or not) to protect its southern borders with Western Europe.
      Altogether, could we say that the situation has indeed become more tense in Europe, but luckily NOT in the North (nor in the Baltic area). And might it be wise to try and NOT increase the tension also here (in spite of all those NATO preachers). – More about the topic perhaps in my comment on Anders’ recent piece about Vladimir II.


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