I have a bad feeling about this
For everyone that has read any history, or even paid passing attention in High School, this must instil a familiar, horrifying feeling.
Each age thinks they’re different and unique. I don’t means years, I mean stage of civilisation. Maybe part of it is the state of photography until recently. The world of the nineteenth century and early twentieth looks false, unreal, like a constructed image. The people don’t look like, well, people. Their lives were lived in black-and-white and, of course, were nothing like our technicolor, technological lives.
If you’ve ever been somewhere where humans have lived for a long time. And, really, we all live in one of those places, no more so than in Australia. In the back of most people’s minds is the image of ancient people and civilisations (even those only 2000 years ago) living a rudimentary (often black-and-white) existence. But they would have been surrounded by exactly the same colours and scenes that we can see today, away from modern cities. Blue skies, white clouds, brown or green hills, grey, back or white—snow covered—mountains. And what would they have thought about their lives? I’ll tell you. They would have thought they were different and unique and, in many times, at the peak of human technology and civilised thought. They would not have imagined (in their day and age) that anyone would be so stupid as to invade and kill people for some arbitrary reason, no matter how strongly that reason may be rooted in historical grievances and delusions. Even recently, think of the time before the First World War. Think of the 1920’s. Think of the 2020’s. What? Yes. We’re different and unique and at the forefront of civilisation’s technological advancements. Humans must (mustn’t we?) be different now. Unfortunately we’re not. We just have better toys. And many of those toys make it easier to kill without seeing who is being killed.
People aren’t different. A useful example is to read some of the letters written by the Romans (even Horace). Can you recognise their concerns? Do they sound like normal people? If you put some of those letters in an email you would never guess they were 2000 years old.
We haven’t changed. The majority of people are still horrified by what the minority (with power) can and will do. And what they have done and will continue to do.
I can’t see this ending well. I have a bad feeling about this (That’s a quote. Do you know from where?). Sadly I don’t think we’ll learn (or have learned) any long term lessons. I think the invasion will continue to a stalemate. The people with money and/or power will have had enough and to reduce the impact on their power or money they will broker a “peace”. But there will be the need to “save face” on the invader’s side and concessions will be made. The people of Ukraine will have suffered horribly. The Russian leadership will be chastened for a little while but they will have made gains. The feeling of enmity will grow, the historical delusions will fester, and we’ll go through the cycle again in a few years.
I hope I’m wrong. And not on the side where we all get nuked. But I have a bad feeing about this.