What is the Peacehenge update on the state of peace in the world? We are moving backwards, with more war, and autocracies in the world growing.
The Economist magazine ranks countries on a scale of how democratic they are, and the US is in the “flawed democracies” category, ranked at 30th in terms of democratic qualities compared with other countries.
Norway and New Zealand are 1st and 2nd in terms of the qualities of their democracies.
With Putin’s war against Ukraine – an attempt using brute force to bring Ukraine back into the Russian Empire – we see a barbaric use of military power by both sides with a massive number of civilian and military casualties.
Peacemaking in this situation currently seems futile. In many ways it has turned into a proxy war between the US and its Western allies against Russia.
The military industrial complex in the US is benefiting enormously from a massive injection of US government funding to manufacture military hardware for this war. The same is the case for Western allies, like the UK, who have ramped up military production to support Ukraine. If Ukraine attempts to take back Crimea from Russia, I would not be surprised to see Putin use tactical nuclear weapons to protect Crimea.
Indeed, if Ukraine seriously tries to take back the parts of Eastern Ukraine now occupied by Russian forces, it is quite foreseeable that Putin, in an act of desperation to retain the territory his forces have invaded, would also use tactical nuclear weapons.
We did a lot of complaining about the COVID pandemic. Now we have a cost of living crisis across the world, with food and energy costs increasing by absurdly high percentages. Agricultural costs, such as for fertilizer, have gone through the roof. Putin must be glad to see how his war is wreaking havoc with the world economy. He must also be glad that McDonalds is no longer in Russia, instead they have opened up their own version of McDonalds called Tasty and That’s It! Coke is gone too. The Russian outposts of American economic imperialism have closed down, and in their place have arisen Russian equivalents.
The United Nations appears impotent to intervene in the Ukraine war, with China and India backing Russia, making the UN Security Council more of a UN Insecurity Council.
We are facing very difficult times ahead, with China threatening to invade Taiwan, and Israel more hawkish than ever, and moving in the direction of immobilizing key parts of its own judicial branch.
This year, the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock forward, largely because of the mounting dangers of the war in Ukraine. The Clock now stands at 90 seconds to midnight—the closest to global catastrophe it has ever been.
In the middle of this Apple, Amazon, the major oil companies, and other transnational corporations continue to make enormous quarterly profits, and the juggernaut of capitalism, or state-directed economies, chugs forward, creating an increasingly greater gap between the rich and the poor.
Climate change continues to destroy the ice that polar bears need to survive, and destroys the coast of eastern England leading to parts of villages collapsing into the ever rising ocean.
If Jesus or Buddha were here they would probably say we are screwed.