Friday, February 10, 2023

The Bridge: Ukraine


Arnold J. Toynbee (1889-1975) was a British historian and philosopher who is best known for his multi-volume work "A Study of History" (1934-1961), in which he analyzed the rise and fall of civilizations throughout human history.

Toynbee began his academic career as a lecturer in Greek history at the University of London and became a professor of international history at the London School of Economics. He was a prolific writer, producing over 30 books and numerous articles on various topics, including history, philosophy, and religion.

In the aftermath of World War II, Toynbee turned his attention to the Soviet Union and its relationship with the West. He strongly criticized Soviet communism and saw it as threatening Western civilization. He believed that the only way to contain the Soviet Union was through a policy of deterrence and containment, which became the basis of US foreign policy during the Cold War.

Toynbee also had a particular interest in the history and culture of Ukraine. He believed Ukraine had a unique role in world history and saw it as a bridge between East and West. He was critical of Soviet policies towards Ukraine, including the forced collectivization of agriculture and the suppression of Ukrainian culture and language.

Toynbee believed that the dangers facing the world after World War II were primarily ideological, with the conflict between capitalism and communism being the dominant struggle of the time. He also believed that the rise of technology and the growth of the global population posed significant challenges to the sustainability of human civilization.

It should be noted China wants to recreate the Silk Road via high-speed rail through Russia and Ukraine giving China access to the European market. The Russian self-interest in Ukraine is more historic than economic in that Russia wants to plug the Polish gap, a familiar and landmark invasion point, into the livable Russian territorial space. Both countries are now joined at the hip giving the West a new challenge and the United States to maintain its status as the World reserve currency.



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