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Saturday, 21 March 2015

The Rise of Russia and the 'End of the World'

Joe Quinn

"What the darkness cannot possess, it seeks to destroy"

You've probably read all sorts of theories that seek to explain the causes of the 'new cold war' in which we find ourselves. From the embarrassingly simplistic "Putin's a Hitler" offered by the Western press to the more nuanced idea of an 'energy war' between US-Europe-Russia. The truth about why we are where we are right now, as a species, however, is actually fairly simple. But to understand it you'll have to ditch the idea of a 'new cold war' and replace it with 'the 120-year-old war that never ended'.

Over 100 years ago, in 1904, one of the founding fathers of both geopolitics and geostrategy, Oxford University graduate and co-founder of the London School of Economics, Sir Halford Mackinder, proposed a theory that expanded geopolitical analysis from the local or regional level to a global level. Geopolitics is the study (by people in positions of power) of the effects of geography (human and physical) on international politics and international relations. In layman's terms, this means the study of how best to control as much of the world - its resources, human and natural - as possible. When you or I think about the world, we think of a big, complicated place with billions of people. When the 'elite' think of the world, they think of a globe, or a map, with nation states on it that can, and should, according to them, be shaped and changed en masse.

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