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Let Us Keep Dystopia In Novels and Movies

Updated: Mar 28, 2022

If someone had asked a week ago how civilization might fall, the smart money would have been on the climate crisis (we’ll be discussing more in future emails), but the events of the last 5 days have shifted the calculus somewhat. As we’ve recently been reminded, Donald Trump was not the only narcissistic, geriatric world leader with imperialist ambitions. Vladimir Putin, against reason, basic humanity, and international law ordered the invasion of neighboring Ukraine by the Russian military, and the world is aghast. Resistance by the Ukrainian people has clearly been much fiercer and more courageous than Putin anticipated, which, coupled with poorly executed logistics and supply lines have so far stymied Russia’s efforts. On the home front, in more acts of bravery, thousands of Russian citizens have been protesting the invasion, despite heavy police crackdowns, and mass arrests. The response from the international community has been swift as well, largely condemning Putin’s actions. Crippling sanctions have already caused a cratering of the Ruble, and now Western nations are pledging billions in military equipment for Ukraine, while also working to freeze the assets of Russian Oligarchs overseas. The only good war, is one avoided or prevented, you cannot bring back the people killed, nor mend the lives destroyed, and it is always the most vulnerable and least culpable who face the brunt of the damage. In less than a week this conflict has produced hundreds of thousands of new refugees, and killed thousands more on both sides. For those of us who cherish life, and love humanity, no treasure could be worth this cost, but even cold-blooded war criminals like Putin can’t be happy with his gamble so far. Some will argue that Putin’s potential overreach is the perfect opportunity to attempt to weaken him domestically, but if we are to minimize the scale of the tragedy unfolding, our ambitions need to stay focused on saving Ukraine, and Putin must be given a face-saving way to withdraw the Russian military. As unsavory as that may seem, we cannot risk him following through on the threat of nuclear Armageddon if the Western powers move too aggressively against him. Lest you think this an empty threat, Russian state propaganda has even begun broadcasting coverage asking what’s the point of having a planet without Russia! When madmen have their fingers on nukes, we must walk very carefully to avoid even further disaster. Thankfully so far, President Biden has resisted provocations internal and external, to escalate military action. Instead, he has thus far taken the same course of action desired by the American people: economic sanctions and aid, but no direct military action. The oligarchs of Russia, much like those in elsewhere across the globe seem to care little for plight of their own citizens, let alone other nations’ people, but they care deeply about their own money and power. The next few weeks will determine just how effective united economic power can be in the face of brutality. We cannot let violence and hate triumph over collective action. We must first save Ukraine, and then use the tactics of economic solidarity to create change domestically against our own elites. So, join us each Tuesday as we create our own economic cudgel, wielded on behalf of the people, to beat back the destructive ambitions of oligarchs, foreign and domestic, and bring peace and prosperity to the many, not just the few. #UPM #DSOT

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