The less deceived
The current war is existential for Ukraine, but not existential for a significant part of its corrupt elite (which would have survived under the Kremlin — Georgia is a clear example of this). Ukraine is fighting, driven by the demand of society, in a war of liberation. For Russia, war is not existential, but it is existential for the oprichnina part of its corrupt elite, which can no longer hold power without war. Russia is waging war, led by its corrupt elites who impose their will on society. For the West, war is not existential in any way. It is both a headache and source of opportunities. The West is trying to dose its participation in the war in such a way that there are more opportunities than headaches. - Practicing philosopher Vladimir Pastukhov
That sounds about right, depending how we differentiate subjective from objective existentialism.
Ukrainians are divided now into those who fight and actively help the army, those in the rear who try to make ends meet between anxiety attacks, people who live as if nothing has happened and public servants seeking self-enrichment.
All the unhurried day, Your mind lay open like a drawer of knives. - Deceptions. Philip Larkin
David at The Washington Post compares Ukraine to a porcupine that Russia is choking on. This strategy has worked (he says in a realpolitik tabloid journalistic autohagiographical bestselling memoir kind of way)1. Evidence: Sean Penn and Ben Affleck have been supportive of Z, bumper stickers telling Putin to fuck off in North Carolina and results of sociological surveys.
According to Nature Nibble, research shows that porcupine meat improves skin health, delays aging, fights off the infection, and supports heart health. Authur Shopenhauer conceived the porcupine metaphor to explain self-imposed isolation, not survival, so we can replace it with a heron and frog metaphor.
The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) did not mention porcupines in its latest report, which is less than sanguine about the ability of western bureaucrats to get their act together fast enough2.
In 1993, democracy died in Moscow, kicking off with the shelling of parliament and storming of Ostankino. The end of the 20th century was also murky in Minsk and Kyiv. Americans enjoyed the Revolution of Dignity, which ended with Russia’s annexation of Crimea and invasion of Donbas.
It’s been war ever since.
The Ukraine War Has Found the Machinery of Western Governments Wanting (RUSI, August 8, 2023)