In a computer game you often have different levels of difficulty so the game can offer you an adequate challenge. You could make the game play easy or you could make it impossible. Usually the developer doesn’t have to bother much with setting either the extremes or the levels in between. What it seldom manages well, if ever, is to find a level of challenge that feels right, that feels ‘real’. Something that can trick you into believing there’s a thought process on the other side, make it resonate with everything your life experience (well, if you have one) taught you, the ‘something’ which makes even the unpredictable plausible.
The art of the possible should define most politicians. The art of the possible requires a politician to be able to identify the reality of a situation, which is it that puts in place a stabilizing inertia, one no matter how much willpower, activism or even fanaticism you’d throw at couldn’t be able to defeat it. In other words, the ingredients which make your interpretation of a situation the right one.
Everyone believes, at least occasionally, they could move mountains. Good luck with that ! Especially after you’re caught under tons of crumbling rocks.
Back to computer games difficulty levels comparison as a rather troubling description for the current situation in Ukraine. For many years, well beyond the 2014 coup’s critical threshold, Ukraine, more than other places, was pushed and pulled, experimented with, set to ‘impossible’ levels of economic robbery, political mismanagement, cultural stress, ethnic tensions and propaganda warfare.
Now an open war has started (or generalized, expanding the Donbass microcosm of the last 8 years), which arguably is the highest perturbation factor imaginable. The ‘difficulty level’ is off the charts.
Nothing in the Ukrainian’s game (is) WAD (works as designed), no matter how hard many try to sell it as such ! More and more, the situation slides towards a scary path of FUBAR.
The real challenge that would make things feel ‘right’ again and give us hope for future events capable to bring back a ‘normality’ level needs to identify and then stabilize those variables one has to control in order to connect to reality’s inertia the whirlwind of illusions in the minds of assorted troublemakers.
The West’s task was easier, in step with the extensive intellectual laziness engulfing it slowly.
The West set Ukraine on a path leading nowhere, ultimately getting it wrecked. (Not Russia, which Mearsheimer points at now as the deliberate wrecker, wrongly assuming is all the Russian forces can do to prevent Ukraine from remaining a constant threat; on the contrary, Russia tried not to wreck Ukraine, initially).
The West shaped Ukraine for a confrontation from which it knew the country had no chance to get out otherwise than critically damaged. As a generator of chaos, West had to invest less and also worry less about various outcomes, the burden of consequences falling mainly upon other ones’ lives. This can be observed in the careless, double down addiction many Western politicians display (though many can be suspected of being simple figureheads – one old man in particular). We’ll see how much brazenness will remain when the panic settles in. Unfortunately, too many of them are so stupid that one wonders if self-preservation will kick in eventually ?
Those who finally figured the Western Gambler’s hand, sitting opposite the green (with red irisations) Ukrainian table, are aware about the conundrum they found themselves in. Partly of their own making, true. Anyhow, now that the Putin’s team knows it, it has to play both carefully and decisively in the same time. Go figure ! (yeah, I know I switched to hold ‘em comparisons, shoot me !)
However, the major unfolding is yet to come… in the West. The apprentice sorcerers, all of them, certainly including the neocon’s league of certifiable sociopaths, fed the flames of chaos a lot more fuel than was ‘advisable’. Read the manual, boys !
The unintended, though ‘strangely’ predictable, consequences began to spread and now are knocking at the door of those closest to the fire, the former comfortably numb Western Europe, also known as the EU collective.
The Russians are obviously trying, for awhile now, to find the right tuning so the game settles on a ‘reality’ level challenge. Not very successfully, but they have to find the right setting and fast. I wouldn’t like to be in their shoes. On the other hand and on the other side, I risk being left without any shoes at all.
In this context, no wonder the Brits went berserk, the Poles are getting crazy, the Romanians dig their heads in the sand, Hungarians revert to their beloved nostalgic attachment to the past, the Germans… well, no one understands the Germans anymore… and the French… are just stuck with Macron.
I suppose there are some left, some sane devs not caving in to the marketing division demands, some pro players delivering a honest feedback, both in the West and in Russia, who are urgently trying to patch and mod the game before it terminally crashes because, unlike computer games, this one can’t be just simply turned off.