How to Stay Calm in the Event of a Thermonuclear War
As was the case with this column two weeks ago, this will be an all Russia-Ukraine edition. Whereas I usually strive to make this feature a humorously depressing hodgepodge of everything that’s wrong in the official picture that’s being painted of our world, it occurred to me that the perpetually unspooling goofiness I spotlight in these columns is merely a running commentary on the cultural effluvium that billowed forth when the Second World War’s victors claimed the right to dictate not only everything that’s good and evil under the Sun; they also reserved the exclusive right to decide who gets punished and rewarded for it.
In other words, 80 years later, everything is still Hitler and Jews merely because that’s where the movie franchise left off before the abrupt release of this sequel that’s currently playing in theaters. Everything that has been codified as right and wrong in modern society is a direct result of the fact that the Allies were more efficient killers than the Axis powers. So every time I go off on another jag about idiotic concepts such as systemic racism and white privilege and the puzzling idea that it’s possible to be transgender but impossible to be transracial, even though race isn’t real — and if you disagree, then the only possible reason is because you are a hate-filled failure of a human being — I am merely offering a running commentary on a fraudulent and destructive “social construct” that’s been slapped together by the ruthless victors of the deadliest conflict in human history.
Although land and resources are undoubtedly the spoils of victory, perhaps the longest-lasting benefit of winning a war is that you are able to seize an almost exclusive claim on semantics.
As painful as it might be to ponder, this world may be filled with nothing but bullshitters and the fools who listen to them.
So for the time being, the only possible upside I can see to all this after all the bodies have been cremated and the radiation has returned to comfortable levels is that we may wind up with an entirely new rulebook, and everything we’ve been arguing about since 1945 will seem quaintly obsolete.
What’s more important to you: being correct about who’s the more sympathetic combatant, or how this conflict will directly affect your life?
I’m not taking sides in this war because I don’t see anything good coming out of it. In this regard, I suspect I am an outlier.
Confirmation bias, ingroup affinity, carefully curated propaganda, the cheap meme-ification of all discourse, and the fact that the true pandemic appears to be a global outbreak of Dunning-Kruger have pooled their considerable forces like a team of comic-book action heroes to result in nearly everyone, from geopolitical analysts at the Council on Foreign Relations to corpulent dim-bulbs who get their politics from action movies, appearing to have already decided which side is in the right and which side is in the wrong in this imminent global bonfire which is still in the kindling phases.
As someone who suspects that all human notions of right and wrong are linked to one’s survival instinct, my “take” is that anything that makes life bad for me and my loved ones is wrong. And my gut instinct is that what’s unfolding in the world right now isn’t a video game from which you can walk away at any time; it will have a palpable negative impact on the lives of nearly everyone, friend or foe, you and me and your cousin Myrtle . . . everyone except those who financially profit from wars.
So there are no good guys or bad guys in a war that is likely to be bad for me and those I care about, no matter who wins.
As materialistic and soulless as this may seem to some, I believe that all wars have far more to do with land and resources than they do with ideology, but if the warmongers were honest and told the soldiers, “I’m sending you off to get your guts blown into the rubble-strewn streets of a foreign land so I can buy my seventh mansion,” no one would be willing to risk their lives, so they usually pat them on the head with some noble little lie before shoving them off to slaughter.
It’s not a surprise to see everyone, after learning nothing from history, immediately claiming the magical ability to discern exactly what’s going on in Ukraine right now and why.
But what I find a trifle bit baffling, if not downright stroke-inducing, about the past few weeks is how few people have stepped away from the off-track betting pool that modern politics have become to consider how much worse life is likely to get in the short and long run.
Perhaps treating it all like some reality show where the winner will be determined by social-media likes and dislikes is a way of coping.
What if — perish the thought — your calculated and incisive e-take on the situation has absolutely no effect on the outcome?
If you’re lying bleeding in the middle of the street amidst a food riot because someone shot you in the chest over the last stale dinner roll, will you really get that much satisfaction out of exclaiming, “I told you America was working on bioweapons with Ukraine!” as you draw your dying breath?
I’ve written about the psychological battering everyone has taken over the past couple of years. What seems creepily absent from nearly all of the public commentary since Putin rolled into Ukraine is an articulated feeling of, “Holy shit, a possible global war coming on the heels of everything else will have a multiplier effect. This isn’t just another log on the fire, this is a thermobaric bomb that leaves a smoking crater where once stood a firepit.”
I would much rather endure the mild discomfort of being wrong about this than have to withstand the mental and material ravages I would face if I’m right, but my sense is that everything we thought was really, really, really bad over the past couple of years will get really, really worse: the economy, the gaslighting, the censorship, the inability to order a simple cup of coffee without fumbling delays and stuttering complications, the utter lack of social cohesion — all of it much worse.
This isn’t some demented wish of mine, nor some weak admission of defeat. If you spot thunderclouds on the horizon, is it being “blackpilled” to say, “Hey, there seems to be a storm coming”?
It is absolutely essential for humans to have hope — so essential that the Reverend Jesse Jackson had it backwards. You don’t “keep hope alive”; it keeps you alive. But there’s a difference between having a positive attitude and denying that you’re about five seconds away from being hit by a freight train. Maybe the best thing is to step away from the train rather than insist that it had no right to plow over you. Then, once you’re safe, you can work on regulating the railroad industry.
Can we all agree that optics don’t matter after a thermonuclear war? We may be facing a time when food and shelter take priority over ideological quibbling. Why take a side in a war that is almost certain to make life worse for everyone?
I realize that many will take comfort in the idea that things such as microaggressions will be seen as the trifles of a pampered society that didn’t realize it was getting ready to crash head-on into a wall. Suddenly gender pronouns don’t seem nearly as important as finding uncontaminated drinking water. But I do find myself wondering how many people who cheer for a societal collapse would be able to handle the reality of it for more than 12 hours.
“Well, at least we won’t have Drag Time Story Hour!” Okay, then, I hope that makes your radiation sickness more manageable.
Of course, I run the risk of exaggerating the severity of what’s unfolding. But the overwhelming saber-rattling in the Western media and those who obey its every autosuggestion will only escalate rather than defuse this situation. Not good. Not good at all.
In the space of only a few weeks, everything that was already bad has gotten worse.
All the rules about inclusion and cultural tolerance have been jettisoned in favor of galloping, murderous, near-genocidal anti-Russian sentiment. Suddenly, it’s not hate speech nor a terroristic threat to openly call for the deaths of world leaders or the soldiers who do their bidding — provided that they’re Russian. Orchestras are banning Tchaikovsky. Milan University attempted to ban the teaching of Dostoevsky because of Putin. New Hampshire has outlawed the sale of Russian-made alcoholic beverages. American corporations are pulling out of Russia. YouTube has demonetized all Russian users and will purge any content “denying, minimizing or trivializing well-documented violent events,” although I doubt this policy covers black crime. Even Russian cats are being “othered.”
Facebook, which would ban you for even mild vaccine skepticism not long ago, is now allowing praise for the Azov Battalion’s “role in defending Ukraine . . . as part of the Ukraine’s National Guard.” It doesn’t matter that Azov Batallion’s first commander claimed that although he and his men weren’t “Nazis,” Ukraine had been ordained to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade . . . against Semite-led Untermenschen” and that everything they stand for is unremittingly anti-woke.
Assets of entire nations, rather than those of individual dissident thinkers, are now being seized.
An unholy collusion between the CIA and Big Tech claim the right, according to Tucker Carlson, to “curate everything you learn about the war being fought in your name in Ukraine and censor anyone who disagrees with them, and the censorship is increasing.”
As if the supply chain wasn’t already smashed beyond recognition, looming food shortages may ultimately result in Holodomor 2: Global Edition.
If you think immigration and the refugee crisis weren’t bad enough already, a global war would make The Camp of the Saints seem benign.
And if this indeed becomes a global conflict, two huge differences between the Second World War and today are the apocalyptically devastating modern weaponry and the speed at which disinformation can travel.
Imagine a world where there is even less truth than there was in the last ten years. Where there is far less truth than in the past two years. We’ll never really know the truth behind the endless torture porn that forms all war propaganda. Both sides are controlling information too carefully for us to ever really know whether it was Russia or Ukraine who fired missiles on Belarus to drag them into the war. We won’t know who exactly shot at the children’s hospital, or how the bleeding pregnant lady wound up trapped under the smoldering rubble. And, exactly like the Second World War, we are kept entirely in the dark about the hopelessly complicated power struggles and failed negotiations that led up to the war.
We’ve all been force-plunged into a vast and bottomless quagmire of bullshit where the following is all true, but none of it makes sense: The CIA has been training this rabidly nationalistic Ukrainian “insurgency” to “kill Russians,” but all the media is telling you is that Putin woke up one day and decided to be a dick. Israel’s Prime Minister has told Ukraine’s Jewish President to surrender. Putin’s Russia is suddenly being unquestionably accepted as the ultimate evil by people who still worship Stalin. Jewish oligarchs are funding both sides in this reputed war of de-Nazification.
How much more bullshit, death, duplicity, censorship, icy sanctimony, and deprivation can you stand? The virus thing, the fake race riots, and now this are like successive kicks to the head.
I don’t think there will be any “winning” in this. For anyone.
So for now, I think the most important thing is to acknowledge the quantum leap in wretchedness the entire global situation has taken. This may be more collectively traumatizing than anything any of us has endured previously.
It won’t matter if you ultimately have the most accurate “take” on the complex forces that led to this situation if you’re dead and unable to gloat about it. So for the time being, I suggest you make sure you have food and shelter, and a way of clubbing to death anyone who seeks to snatch them from you.
If things ever get better, then you can dazzle us with your stunning grasp of geopolitics.
* * *
Counter-Currents has extended special privileges to those who donate $120 or more per year.
- First, donor comments will appear immediately instead of waiting in a moderation queue. (People who abuse this privilege will lose it.)
- Second, donors will have immediate access to all Counter-Currents posts. Non-donors will find that one post a day, five posts a week will be behind a “paywall” and will be available to the general public after 30 days.
To get full access to all content behind the paywall, sign up here:
Paywall Gift Subscriptions
- your payment
- the recipient’s name
- the recipient’s email address
- your name
- your email address
To register, just fill out this form and we will walk you through the payment and registration process. There are a number of different payment options.
The Black Johnny Depp
From “Equal Opportunity” to “Friend/Enemy”
Deconstructing Dugin: An Interview with Charles Upton, Part 2
Counter-Currents Radio Podcast No. 456 A Special Juneteenth Episode of The Writers’ Bloc with Jim Goad
The Worst Week Yet: June 12-18, 2022
2000 Fat Mules Laughing at Dinesh D’Souza
Our Prophet: Christopher Lasch’s The Revolt of the Elites, Part 2
Counter-Currents Radio Podcast No. 453 The Counter-Currents 12th Birthday Celebration, Part 1