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The Significance of the Ukraine Crisis

ARTICLE | | BY Robert Van Harten


Robert Van Harten

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When we view the world from above, can the Ukraine crisis be seen as the beginning of a grand opening and synthesis towards a world unified through collaboration? We are in the aftermath of the pandemic, faced with an increasing worldwide poverty through exploding energy and food prices and the accelerating climate disasters and have to wonder whether a viable future is possible without collaboration on war-footing and on an unknown scale. With such a scenario the Ukraine crisis can become a blessing in disguise that will indirectly free the world from all possible dictators and all sorts of dictatorship. Is collaboration the universal value that will usher us in an era where the centre stage of ego is replaced by the centre stage of being WE and save us all?

1. To Fathom the Significance of the Ukraine Crisis

"All knowledge should belong to humanity freely."

If we would like to fathom the significance of the Ukraine crisis we have to station ourselves above the world and observe. Being inside and part of the problem we will not be able to observe the whole, we will not be able to reconcile the opposites and the opposing positions. Only in transcending all the parts of the problem we can attempt to discover the overriding world-trend behind the Ukraine crisis that impacts and moves the world to a certain goal.

2. Collaboration

Looking from above at the world of today it strikes us that the value of collaboration is the great force that seems to be behind ‘all’ forces. All world problems issue from a lack of collaboration and harmony and can be solved by collaboration. The question then is: are we all in danger that threatens us? Are we pushed to solve the danger by collaboration and cooperation?

3. Examples of Collaboration

Climate change and its emerging disasters can only be stopped and averted by the whole world collaborating to reach the climate goals as soon as possible. The energy crisis can be solved quickest by the total focus of the world on collaborating in the goal of 100% renewable energy. Pandemics can best be solved by transforming the patent system in an open-source collaboration of all science centers, universities and the like. Extending the transformation to the elimination of all copyright in the world, is true collaboration and will give an enormous boost to content in education. In short: all knowledge should belong to humanity freely.

4. Collaboration and the Ukraine Crisis

One of the first things that strikes one is the lack of power of the UN Security Council. The veto-right of the 5 exclusive members makes the Security Council lightweight in terms of power and it should be left to the discretion of all other states to vote against this misplaced veto-power.

Another is the lack of collaboration between the European countries. The establishment of a European army has so far been met with scorn. The Russian defense budget is only one third of that of the EU countries together. The fact that a European army will cost less than half of the total of present defense budgets and will be so much more efficient in deterrence is so far not a weighty argument enough to take a European army seriously. President Macron though has long been a supporter of establishing a European Army.

On the positive side is shown that collaboration is becoming a determining power to weaken the stance of Russia. It is long thought that sanctions are not very effective to disrupt the rule of the opposing powers. The sanctions that rain on Russia are of a different order though. Governments are collaborating at an unknown level of sanctions that are backed by a flood of big and small companies that have ties with Russia. The range of sanctions are totally unexpected and overwhelming. They strike at the heart of support for the invasion and cannot be outdone by propaganda.

5. Ego-position vs We-position

Seen from above the Ukraine crisis strongly gives the impression that the era of the determining power of the ego-position is giving way to a new equilibrium that we can name the we-position. It runs parallel to the silent revolution in the world where the focus on numbers is replaced by a focus on values. In the Ukraine crisis governments and companies have left financial calculations as the determinant of action for choosing values as the determinant of their response. Compassion for the fate and suffering of the Ukrainian people is uppermost in the minds and hearts of the European people. All refugees are welcomed with wide open arms.

6. Significance

Summarizing the above, the significance of the Ukraine crisis is that it acts as a successful and true instrument for unifying the world through values.

About the Author(s)

Robert Van Harten

Fellow, World Academy of Art and Science; Founding member, International Commission on Peace and Food