The Problem with Empire (RELS 348)

In the article “Ukraine town caught in artillery duel between government, separatists” written by the Associated Press, a Ukraine town has found itself in the middle of a battle between the Russian backed separatists and the Ukraine government forces. The civilians from this town have been without water for at least ten days and were forced to take only what they could carry. When the government attempts to evacuate the civilians in busses, they are drawn under fire from the rebels. So far, this town has lost twelve citizens due from the fighting of the two sides. The article states that since April, around 5,000 lives have been taken and 900,000 people have been forced to flee from their homes. In attempt to put a halt to the taking of innocent lives the UN has tried to call a truce but the attempts have to date been unsuccessful.

This article reminds the world what happens when large powers try to take over others. Russia in current light, I would consider attempting at being an Empire in Ukraine. I would consider the goals of Russia to be imposing political rule over Ukraine. Now as we have seen in the news, including the article described above, this is not a type of hegemony, this is more a form of dominance. We see endless accounts of conquest and attempt to gain control through military force. This in my mind is an unacceptable and immoral way of creating an empire. History has proven that dominance has and will always be devastating to humanity and result in a major loss of life. Take Vietnam for consideration, when America attempted at removing the communistic ties. Lives were lost in that war, both military and innocent ones. In the book “Triumph of the Absurd” written by Uwe Siemon-Netto, it states that “Some of the dead were old men with wispy white beards, but most were woman and children”. Again we see the tragedy when world powers attempt at imposing their views on others. When innocent die at the cause of a world power, I think it is reason enough to call for change. Something needs to be done with the way we claim land or share the ideologies of one nation to another. Surely humanity can figure out ways to peacefully do this. In cases like Ukraine, it just goes against our intuition that these innocent people should be killed in, according to the article, war that is not theirs. It is after all simply inhumane. The problem and goal that humanity needs to strive to find a solution for is, how can the wants of all nations be equally and peacefully satisfied? Unfortunately empire and colonialization are a plague, a plague that will never be cured and one I fear that will leave more and more innocent dead over time. #uwreligions



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