Uncommon Decency

52. Ukraine—Nothing Will Ever Be the Same Again [BONUS]

"The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear”. This oft-quoted passage from Antonio Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks sounds eerily apt to describe Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine over the past week and its shock effect on the so-called rules-based international order. We at Uncommon Decency began our journey into podcasting a little over a year ago with an episode titled "Europe’s Paradise Lost". In it, our esteemed friend Ben Haddad warned us that Europe had been enjoying a geopolitical bliss since the end of the Cold War that could not be indefinitely sustained. The European Union (EU), he argued, should urgently graduate from America’s security patronage and become a geopolitical actor in its own right. Ben’s argument has aged, well, spectacularly well. In response to a scale of violence unseen on the European continent since World War II, the EU’s member states have beefed up their sanctions on Russia to what they hope will be a choke point, pledging to end their dependence on Russian gas and raise their defense spending up to the 2%-of-GDP required by NATO. In this latest bonus episode with our regular guest Juilan Graham, we ask: in what ways is the war over Ukraine reshaping the contours of the international order?

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