Divisions on both Left and Right: It’s enough to make your head spin.

As most of my FB friends know, I like to gather up contrasting points of view on important subjects. This is consistent with my frequent mention of the The Blind Men and the Elephant fable (i.e. the story that extols the wisdom of gathering up multiple blind-man “views” on a complex topic, and then trying to synthesize them).

Further, I often warn against the trap of binary thinking – i.e. the bad idea that there are only two sides to some issue, and if you’re not on my side (the good side), then you have to be on the other side (the evil side).

The current crisis in Ukraine can easily be seen in binary terms: There’s a clear “Goliath” in the widely held narrative, and a clear “David” – too. We want to see Goliath lose and we want to see David win – end of story.

There are others who push for one or more nuanced views. Full disclosure here, I tend to favor one of these nuanced views, which I’ll just call the “Finlandization Solution.”

The Finlandization solution is probably best expressed by Yanis Varoufakis, a Greek economist and left-wing politician. But there are opponents to this idea who see it as coming close to just giving Putin what he wants. Many of these opponents to Finlandization don’t offer their own solution; they prefer to leave the task of specifying a solution to “The Ukrainians” or to “Zelenskyy.” (For references to on what Varoufakis and his critics have to say, see my blog posts on “Contrasting Views …” and “Marxist Views …” in the reference section.)

As I said at the beginning, it’s enough to make your head spin. So much so that the Ukraine crisis is splitting both the Left and the party of Trump. To elaborate on the divisions in these two camps, I have three article references for you – one on the party of Trump, and the other two on the Left.


Allen, Jonathan

Trump’s base splinters over Ukraine
Jonathan Allen
28 March 2022

Beshears, Fred

Contrasting Views on the Ukraine Crisis and NATO Expansion
by Fred M. Beshears

Marxist Views on the Ukraine Crisis and World Order
by Fred M. Beshears

Guyer, Jonathan

How the left is reckoning with Russia’s war
Progressives are grappling with the US response — and America’s role in the world.
by Jonathan Guyer
9 March 2022

Lynskey, Dorian

Why the Left is split over Ukraine
Anti-imperialist activists won’t let go of America
by Dorian Lynskey
18 March 2022

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