God, race, nation. They embody that truth that translates history as the destiny to which everything is subordinated. Also life. And it is the key to interpreting Putin’s address to the nation, where he describes the war as the holy pilgrimage of the Russian people in their “spiritual battle against the West.” But precisely this aberrational philosophy of history should make us avoid any epic narrative to justify our legitimate support for Ukraine. Because the epic is always the justification of a tragedy. Today, our speeches give off an aroma that smells too much of the Cold War, with its antagonistic visions of the world. The novelty would be that third pole that moves away from our interested Manichaeism.
Biden’s narrative as a defender of the “free world”, of war as the combat between democracies and autocracies, is alien to that huge part of the world we call the “global South”, a concept more political than geographical. Our narrative of war as a conflict that transcends the European framework only causes indifference and anger in countries that live their daily tragedy while being ignored by the rest of the world. “The lack of accountability for crimes in places like Syria and Yemen has fueled the culture of impunity that we now see in the Ukraine and elsewhere,” David Miliband warned in The New York Times. Already from the beginning of the invasion, the reproach of the “non-alignment” with the West to the African countries that live, themselves, the devastating effects of the food crisis caused by the war, was laughable.
War is, finally, a bath of humility for the West: when we look in the mirror, we suddenly discover the growing international prominence of what we used to call the “non-aligned”. Our pompous unity also brings with it a certain loneliness in the world. Suddenly, the votes of the disinherited matter at the UN: they demand a “multiple alignment”, seeking autonomy to function in the new order in defense of their interests, like Europe against the rivalry between China and the United States. While Brazil presents a peace plan, Turkey has an open channel with Moscow and avoids applying sanctions, even though it is NATO’s second army: the Russian economy is de-westernizing, but not deglobalizing. That is why China maintains trade flows with Russia and the West, proposing a peace plan while playing with supplying arms to Russia. But in Europe we are wrong to combat these fractures seeking unwavering adherence to our heroic narrative of the free world fighting the axis of evil. What would happen if we changed our perspective and got out of our arrogance? Why not redefine our place in the global geopolitical order by truly promoting, and not with hollow words, credible models of development and distribution of wealth? Perhaps it is time to abandon the balm of moralizing and work for a truly multilateral international order, based on rules that we all abide by, to achieve a more stable and secure world. A world, without a doubt, better.