The First World War, when we look at it from a distance today, we understand that it was the self-actualization war of capitalism.
The pre-war United Kingdom and France were implementing pre-capitalist mercantilist policies. They created a kind of worldwide monopoly, and they controlled trade routes and raw material production of tradable goods with the preferred currency to be used in international trade.
This was the main rebellion of Germany, which wanted to flourish; He wanted greater access to international trade. The war started.
In the end, Germany was defeated; basically America, England and France were the victors of the war. The United Kingdom and France neither understood the exact cause of the war nor were they aware that the economic order they were fighting for was no longer sustainable. Despite America’s warnings and objections, Versailles imposed heavy war reparations on Germany in 1919.
It was not a peace; It was a humiliating agreement that condemned Germany to poverty and inferiority. Just then, John Maynard Keynes wrote the book, “This is not peace, it is an invitation to the second world war”.
As a matter of fact, Germany started World War II as soon as it regained consciousness. It was essentially the Treaty of Versailles that brought Hitler into being. (As a part of the same Versailles, the victorious states imposed the Treaty of Sèvres on us, Turkey waged the War of Independence, thus establishing itself, but more importantly, it was saved from being a natural part of the 2nd World War.)
World War II actually never ended; The hot war easily evolved into the “Cold War”. The clear winner of the Cold War was the Soviet Union. This country disappeared, largely disintegrated, and the Russian Federation was born out of it.
As the sole winner of the Cold War, America did to Russia what the Allies did to Germany in 1919 Versailles; He humiliated him, demoted him to the second class, and condemned him to poverty with what he imposed.
This treatment does not justify Russia’s attack on Ukraine today, but Russia has its own excuse. They want their broken pride back.
Let’s also see this: Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin misread the messages from America, “We don’t want war, if Russia starts a war, we will apply economic sanctions”, “They give the green light to the invasion, and there is a different economic embargo as it was in 2014”. They will not do anything, we can live with such embargoes,” he thought.
Yesterday’s “world leader” Putin, who built his calculations on false assumptions, lost a lot at once:
1. The Russian army could not even invade Ukraine, it turned out to be not strong enough;
2. He could not bring Ukraine to heel politically;
3. He brought together the Western alliance, which he had been trying to divide for years, as never before;
4. Within a month, he lost the Russian economy, which he had built for 30 years, and the mechanism of distributing wealth to the people, returning his people to the deprivations of the Soviet Union era;
5. He demoted his country from the status of “superpower in world affairs”.
Now that Putin seeks peace under these conditions. What he seeks is not peace; because he doesn’t accept that he lost. The peace that will be found is close to impossible to be permanent.
This is so for two reasons. First, as I said, Russia does not realize that it has lost; he thinks it would be against just prolonging the war, so he is looking for an “honourable exit”.
The second reason is more important in my opinion. The Western world, especially America, wants Russia to be defeated absolutely, just like Germany did in World War I. .
It didn’t go unnoticed, I didn’t mention Ukraine. The war is taking place in form between Russia and Ukraine, the dead are Russian soldiers and the people of Ukraine; Destroyed burning country Ukraine.
There was a news in The New York Times yesterday, and the financial loss that Ukraine has suffered since the beginning of the war is calculated as 465 billion dollars; This is a figure equivalent to the overall economic size of the Ukrainian economy for 4 years before the war.
And remember, Ukraine will ultimately decide whether to make peace with Russia. On the one hand, there is a great drama with its burning and devastated country and its citizens who died or fled, on the other hand, the Western world, which has taken care of Ukraine from the very beginning and supported it against Russia even though it did not actually enter the war.
The peace conference held in Istanbul the previous day got off to a very hopeful start as Russia stepped back militarily.
But I have been trying to explain since the beginning of this article: Winning peace is actually much more difficult than winning the war.
Ukraine rightfully gets angry with Russia by saying, “It attacked me out of nowhere, destroyed my country, killed my people, caused indescribable suffering,” and demands compensation for its own losses. But a peace that humiliates Russia and condemns the Russian people to poverty has no chance of survival.