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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marks a deep turning point in the world order

The popular movement for peace needs to be rekindled, to reassert itself. Peoples everywhere need to assert their right to participate in the creation of the new world order, based in peace, cooperation, and collaboration and bitter conflict. Da Common Dreams.

The outbreak of full-fledged war with the Russian invasion of Ukraine marks a deep turning point in the world order. As such it cannot be ignored by the geographers assembled (alas by zoom) at our annual meeting, I therefore offer some non-expert comments as a basis for discussion.

There is a myth that the world has been at peace since 1945 and that the world order constructed under the hegemony of the United States has largely worked to contain the war-like proclivities of capitalist states in competition with each other. The inter-state competition in Europe that produced two world wars has largely been contained, and West Germany and Japan were peaceably re-incorporated into the capitalist world system after 1945 (in part to combat the threat of Soviet communism). Institutions of collaboration were set up in Europe (the common market, the European Union, NATO, the euro). Meanwhile, “hot” wars (both civil and inter-state) have been waged in abundance since 1945, beginning with the Korean and Vietnam wars followed by the Yugoslav wars and the NATO bombing of Serbia, two wars against Iraq (one of which was justified by patent lies by the US about Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction), the wars in Yemen, Libya, and Syria.

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