A new paradigm – either we learn or we disappear…

1.1 Violence in the human process

Since the discovery of fire, the domination of some men over others has been marked by the capacity for destruction that a given human collective was able to develop. Those who mastered the technique of aggression subdued those who did not, those who invented arrows razed to the ground those who used only stones and spears. After that came gunpowder and rifles, after that machine guns, and so on with ever more destructive weapons until the nuclear bomb. Those who developed it have been the ones who have imposed their dictates in recent decades.

1.2 The breakthrough of societies

At the same time, the human process has been advancing, countless inventions have been developed, social engineering, more effective, more inclusive, less discriminatory ways of organising. The most tolerant and democratic societies have been considered the most advanced and the most accepted. There has been enormous progress in science, in research, in production, in technology, in medicine, in education, etc. etc. etc. etc. There have also been remarkable advances in spirituality, which are moving away from fanaticism, fetishism and sectarianism and are making thinking, feeling and acting converge with spirituality instead of being in opposition. This situation is not uniform across the globe, as some peoples and societies are at different points in the process, but there is a clear global trend towards convergence.

1.3 The dragging of the past

In some areas, for example international relations, we are sometimes still dealing with things in a primitive way. If we see children fighting over toys, do we tell them to fight each other? If a grandmother is attacked by a gang of thugs in the street, do we give her a stick or a gun to defend herself against them? The Nobodies would never think of such irresponsibility. In other words, at a local, family, local, even national level, we are making progress. More and more protection mechanisms are being introduced for vulnerable people and groups. However, this is not happening at the country level. We have not worked out what to do when a powerful country subjugates a smaller one… There are many examples in the world.

1.4 The survival of wars

After World War II it became necessary to create the United Nations. In its preamble, the spirit of the initiators was recorded: “We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person….”. [1] . That was the initial impetus.

1.5 The fall of the USSR

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it seemed that the Cold War era had come to an end. Opinions may differ on this event, but the fact remains that its dissolution did not result in any direct fatalities. The agreement was that the Soviet bloc would dissolve but that NATO, created to counter the Warsaw Pact, would not advance on the former members of the USSR. Not only has this commitment not been honoured, but Russia has been gradually encircled on its borders. This is not to advocate Putin’s position of invading Ukraine, it is to say that either we seek security and collaborators for all, or individual security cannot be guaranteed. In the last 70 years since the USA detonated the nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they have become the arbiters of the world situation.

1.6 The continuation of wars

In all this time the wars have not ceased. We now have the war in Ukraine, the one that is most in the media spotlight because of certain interests, but there are also wars in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea, to name but a few, because there are many more. There have been more than 60 armed conflicts every year between 2015 and 2022 worldwide.

1.7 The changing situation

One year has just passed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began and the situation, far from improving, is worsening rapidly. Stoltenberg has just admitted that the war with Russia began in 2014, not 2022. The Minsk agreements were being breached and the Russian-speaking Ukrainian population was being harassed. Merkel also confirmed that these agreements were a way to buy time, while Ukraine was forging closer ties with the US, with clear drifts away from neutrality and towards NATO alignment. Today Ukraine is openly requesting membership. That is the red line Russia will not allow. The latest leaks of top-secret documents show that the US has been preparing for this confrontation for many years. The consequences are that the conflict is escalating to unknown limits. Russia has finally withdrawn from the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New Start) and President Zelensky talks of defeating Russia, a nuclear power, on the battlefield. The irrationality and lies on both sides are blatant. The most serious problem with all this is that it is increasing the possibility of war between nuclear powers.

1.8 The EU’s subservience to the US

Those who are suffering the disastrous consequences of war, in addition to the Ukrainians and Russians themselves immersed in the daily conflict, are the citizens of Europe who see their maintenance of international peace and security, to ensure, by accepting principles and adopting methods, that armed force will not be used except in the common interest, and to employ an international mechanism to promote the economic and social progress of all peoples, we have decided to unite our efforts to realise our designs. Therefore, our respective Governments, by representatives assembled in the city of San Francisco who have exhibited their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon the present Charter of the United Nations, and hereby establish an international organisation to be known as the United Nations. Commodities become more expensive and their rights and democracies recede, while the conflict escalates further and further. The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy, J. Borrell, has described the situation as dangerous, but continues to insist on the warlike path of sending armaments to support the Ukrainians. No effort is being made to open the way to negotiations, but rather to add fuel to the fire. Borrell himself announced that ‘to safeguard democracy in the EU, access to the Russian media RT and Sputnik is banned’. Is this what they call democracy? More and more voices are asking whether the US wants to maintain its hegemony at the expense of the misfortunes of others, whether the format of international relations no longer supports this dynamic, whether we are in a civilisational crisis in which we have to find another form of international order, or whether we are in a crisis of civilisation in which we have to find another form of international order?

1.9 The new situation

China has recently emerged as a mediator and will be proposing a peace plan at the same time as the US is tensing the situation in Taiwan. In reality, this is the tension that is taking place at the end of a cycle in which a world hegemonised by one power is moving towards a regionalised world. Let us recall the facts: China is the country that maintains the largest economic exchange with all the countries on the planet. India has become the world’s most populous country, ahead of China. The EU is suffering an economic collapse that highlights its energy and autonomy weaknesses. The GDP of the BRICS [2] , which already exceeds the global GDP of the G7 [3] , and continues to grow with 10 new countries requesting to join. Latin America and Africa are beginning, with their many difficulties, to wake up and will increase their role as international references. With all this, the regionalisation of the world is evident. But in the face of this fact, Western centralism is going to put up serious resistance, reclaiming its lost hegemony. The hegemony is led by the USA, which refuses to give up its role as the world’s policeman and intends to reactivate a NATO that a year ago was ready to die after its resounding departure from Afghanistan…

1.10 The regionalised world

The new regionalisation will produce serious frictions with the previous imperialist model, in which the West sought to control everything. In the future, it will be the ability to negotiate and reach agreements that will shape the world. The old way, the previous way of resolving differences through war, will be left to primitive and backward regimes. The problem is that some of them have nuclear weapons. That is why it is urgent to extend the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which has already entered into force in the United Nations, which is signed by more than 70 countries and which is being overshadowed by the international media in order to hide the only possible way, which is: “to learn to resolve conflicts in a negotiated and non-violent manner”. When this is achieved on a planetary level, we will enter another era for humanity. To achieve this, we will have to reformulate the United Nations, equipping it with more democratic mechanisms and eliminating the privileges of the right of veto that some countries have.

1.11 The means to achieve change: mobilisation of citizens.

But this fundamental change will not happen because institutions, governments, trade unions, parties or organisations take the initiative and do something; it will happen because citizens demand it. And this will not happen because we stand behind a flag, or because we take part in a demonstration or attend a rally or conference. Although all these actions will be useful and useful, the real strength will come from each citizen, from his or her reflection and its interior conviction. When, in peace and quiet, alone or in company, he looks at those closest to him and understands the serious situation we are in, when he reflects, looks at himself, his family, his friends, his loved ones… and understands and decides that there is no other way out and that he has to do something.

1.12 Exemplary action

Each individual can go further, can look at the history of mankind and look at the number of wars, setbacks and progress that mankind has made over thousands of years, but he must bear in mind that we are now in a new, different situation. Now the survival of the species is at stake… And in the face of this, we must ask ourselves what can I do… what can I contribute? what can I make of my exemplary action… how can I make my life an experiment that gives me meaning… what can I contribute to the history of humanity? If we each go deeper into ourselves, responses will surely appear. It will be something very simple and connected with oneself, but it will have to have several elements for it to be effective: what each one of us does has to be public, for others to see it, it has to be permanent, repeated over time (it can be very brief, 15 or 30 minutes a week, but every week), and hopefully scalable, that is to say, that it contemplates that there will be others who can join in this action. All this can be projected throughout life. There are many examples of stocks that have gained meaning after a major crisis… If only 1% of the world’s citizens mobilise decisively against wars and in favour of the non-violent resolution of differences, generating exemplary and scalable actions, if only 1% demonstrate, the foundations for change will be in place. Will we be able to do this? We will summon that 1% of the population for it to make the test. War is a legacy of human prehistory and can wipe out the species. Either we learn to resolve conflicts in a non-violent way or we disappear.

Let’s work to stop that from happening.

To be continued…

[1] Charter of the United Nations: Preamble. We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has inflicted untold suffering on mankind, to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, to create conditions under which they may maintain their peace and security, to create conditions under which they can live in peace and security, to create conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising out of treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, and to that end to practise tolerance and live together in peace as good neighbours, to unite our forces for that which was at the origin of this great project. Afterwards, little by little, these initial motivations were diluted and the United Nations became increasingly ineffective in these matters. There was an intentionality, especially on the part of the world’s major powers, to gradually take away the UN’s power and prominence at the international level.

[2] BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

[3] G7: USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and UK

Rafael De La Rubia