Since life is irreversible, it is an absolute good, and every war, which is the main enemy of life, is an absolute evil. Those who use war as a means of promoting geopolitical or nationalist aspirations certainly have a different set of values, but it is certain that life, because of its finite duration, ultimately takes revenge on them.
The hecatombs of dead of World War II, and the shock they caused to the peoples of Europe in particular, led to the belief that in the future all countries would take measures to prevent new wars. Nevertheless, there have been several civil wars, with the Greek Civil War in a prominent position, but also invasions of states in foreign territories. There was always some justification given by the assailants, but the desire for domination was the real reason for all the attacks. With the formation of two blocs of states in the first years after the end of World War II, intervention within another state of the same block by the most powerful member of that group was considered a self-evident possibility. This explains the Soviet Union’s interventions in East Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland, the United States’ interventions in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Iraq and Afghanistan, Great Britain’s in Egypt and in Cyprus, and France’s in Indochina and Algeria. The intervention of Turkey in Cyprus was based on a similar logic, which, benefitting from the ill-considered supranationalist actions of Greece, netted 40% of the island. All these interventions were really wars on a small scale, resulting in many deaths and abundant spilled human blood.
The almost bloodless dissolution of the Soviet Union and the coalition of states that it controlled was supposed to enable humanity to look forward to a future without blocks and interventions, in a world where states could freely exercise the choices made by their citizens. Unfortunately, this was not the course that was followed. The remaining coalition of states was strengthened and expanded, and a new bloodbath was caused, as it happened with the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia; of course, there were some justifications, which could subsequently be used by others to ostensibly justify their own invasions. That is how we got to Russia’s current intervention in Ukraine. The alleged genocide of Russian-speakers in Ukraine and the need for security have again been used to justify the new war that we are experiencing.
In the world we live in at the moment, power stems from the economic robustness produced by the dominance of competitiveness in the markets. China is taking on a new power role that has emerged through competitiveness. China benefitted from the dissolution of the state bureaucracy through Mao’s Cultural Revolution, the reduction of the population with the policy of one child per family, established by Den Xiaoping, and the low wages in a wide range of the productive process. In addition to all this, with the introduction and development of new technological systems, China is becoming increasignly competitive with the goods it produces and is threatening the supremacy of the United States of America, the only superpower so far. People are watching with concern the interactions between military and economic power that have taken shape in recent years. It is unknown where humanity is heading and what balances can be struck to avoid new wars due to power struggles of a generalised nature and at a huge cost in human lives.
It is no coincidence that in one of the first ecclesiastical books of our religion, but also of Judaism, one of the most critical events that is narrated is the Cain-Abel fratricide. Perhaps this expresses that the inner tendency of people for imposition and domination often prevails over blood ties and can even lead to fratricidal conflicts. A quick look at the recent civil wars, recorded in history, confirms this. In particular, the wars in Yugoslavia and Ukraine are clearly wars between members of the same ethnic group, but in these cases secondary elements, such as statehood or religion, have prevailed at the expense of a common genetic heritage and a common history in earlier times. The Serbs and the islamized Slavs of Bosnia have a common Slavic origin. So did the Ukrainians (first Russians) with the modern Russians. However, this did not stop Cain’s syndrome from prevailing, resulting in fratricidal wars and heavy casualties.
THE EDITORIAL BOARD