In the last week we have become part of a change in the world system. The world of the last half of the 20th century, which was based largely on dialog due to the shock of two world wars in less than 30 years, saw explicit military aggression as the last resort. We have now moved back into the realpolitik of the centuries before, where military aggression is seen as a legitimate means to an end. It is also illustrating that the United Nations has become as irrelevant to keeping world peace as the League of Nations was in the 1930’s. As of now countries and groups will see military action and violence as a logical and easy path to achieve their goals.
In many ways Putin has studied Hitler and the Ukraine looks a lot like the Sudetenland/Czechoslovakia operation Hitler conducted in 1938 with exactly the same rhetoric: “Unifying the Volk [ethnic Germans]” is exactly the same phrase as Putin’s “Unifying Ethnic Russians”. And of course by 1939 all of Czechoslovakia was part of Germany, and of course Poland was next…
The siloing of group, the shrinking of the collective down to the group that reflects your specific values and attitudes (and then labeling it “ethnic”), while discarding of the moral ethic of sacrifice to the needs of the greater whole has now come back to roost. We see it globally, especially here in the United States.
I predict that we will see China invade Taiwan before the end of March using the same logic as the Russian Federation.
I also predict that the Russian Federation will pause in conquest until early 2023, at which point they will recover other areas (such as Moldova) that they feel should be part of their Federation.
Our world has changed and it is a result of our individual and collective attitudes and values. It will not stop in distant areas but will become immediate and visible to all of us within the next several years.