Distractions and Delusions
To be an optimist at a time of war is a challenge.
Sadly, the unwarranted Russian incursion into Ukraine is a massive distraction from much larger existential threats.
Here in Fareham UK, we know about war and its impacts — on lives, on the fabric of the place, on employment and on service to larger causes. Our local military heritage is writ large in castles, forts, airfields, ships, shipyards, schools, and hospitals.
And we know about rebuilding a society after devastation. We know that recovery is not about personal wealth extraction but much more about investment in societal wellbeing.
In the ‘fog of war’ it is difficult to hold on to a sense of direction. The details, the agonies, the media coverage, the very personal impacts, all consume our capacity for compassion. That is why leadership qualities and trust assume massive importance.
Existential threats focus minds — particularly when we witness the dangers of delusions, the consequences of incompetent governance. This is a test of intellectual resilience, of brain power and capacity.
But that is why we can choose to look forward:
· why we choose to reassert the priorities that may be too easily discarded,
· why we choose to resist opportunists seeking the fast buck,
· why we choose to guide our communities towards stronger care for the future –
· and why, despite the strife, we can instil some common humanity into the priorities for Government.
The distractions must not deflect our attention from care for our planet and all its myriad life-forms.
The massive distractions of war inevitably delay full attention to very real existential threats. This week’s publication of the Sixth Assessment Report (Part 2) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has 3,675 pages. The report is described as, “An atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership.”
If the world stops fighting, if we all cured our addiction to fossil fuels, we might perhaps still have a liveable planet.
Meanwhile, try not to be too unkind to market-obsessed money-addicts who dream of owning everything.
This article is part of the Groupe Intellex ‘Governance’ series and was first written for the Fareham (UK) Liberal Democrat Party.