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Brendan O’Neill Show: Frank Furedi – How the Ukraine war will change the world

16/06/2022

NB: This is an expanded version of an earlier post

March 15,2022

Frank Furedi returns to The Brendan O’Neill Show to discuss the geopolitical naivety of the West, what the world can learn from the Ukrainian resistance, and how the war might escalate.

Read Frank’s essay, ‘The Revenge of History’, here: https://www.spiked-online.com/2022/03…

From the essay

Yet, as is now clear, the old normal has not gone away. The present is not free of the past. And history has not ended. The kind of war that many Europeans believed would no longer blight their continent has suddenly erupted with a vengeance.

and

The war in Ukraine shows that we are never done with the past. The very difficult questions raised and re-raised during a succession of violent conflicts are still in search of satisfactory answers. As the war is now demonstrating, history has the capacity to remind us that, unless we take it seriously, humanity will be in big trouble.

As he writes:

Today, Western political and cultural elites actively renounce any sense of historical continuity. Many of the institutions of Western society now consider breaking with the past to be a cultural imperative. One of the regrettable consequences of this crusade is that it has fostered a culture of historical amnesia among Western elites. And this amnesia has influenced Western elites’ approach to geopolitical and military issues.

Furedi points out this nonsense

In the past, the ideals of loyalty, duty and patriotism infused the British state. Today they have given way to values associated with identity politics. Even sober, hard-minded institutions like the Ministry of Defence have fallen prey to woke dogma. MoD staff are advised to be careful about using the word ‘female’ in case it offends members of the trans community. And MoD staff have been encouraged to publicise their preferred pronouns.

As Russia invaded Ukraine, sections of the MoD appeared to be more interested in exploring their sexuality and gender identity than in devising a strategy for containing military aggression. Indeed, at the very moment Russian tanks began rolling across the Ukrainian border, the MoD’s blue-tick verified ‘LGBT+ Network’ Twitter account proceeded to explain the meaning of the terms ‘lesbian’, ‘gay’, ‘bisexual’, ‘transgender’, ‘queer’ and ‘questioning’ – which, according to the MoD, is ‘the process of exploring your own sexual orientation and / or gender identity’. In the days that followed, British soldiers were busily calling for the introduction of vegan uniforms. Seeing such infantile behaviour, one was reminded of Roman philosopher Cicero’s warning that ‘to remain ignorant of history is to remain forever a child’.

As Furedi remarked:

In the days that followed, British soldiers were busily calling for the introduction of vegan uniforms. Seeing such infantile behaviour, one was reminded of Roman philosopher Cicero’s warning that ‘to remain ignorant of history is to remain forever a child’.

Furedi concludes:

Western elites have been morally disarmed. They may have economic power and sophisticated weapons systems but they lack the moral resources required to uphold their national interest. And now they are confronted by the very real prospect of war. There are some very difficult decisions to be made. Taking history seriously is essential for understanding the issues at stake. The West must recover the historical ideals that underpin a culture of democracy. Otherwise, while it is playing with pronouns, its own Rome will burn.

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