From Burgundy to Warfare

Reexamining the Quest for Fulfillment.

From Burgundy to Warfare

Reexamining the Quest for Fulfillment.

By George Orbeladze

A large-scale war for territories has been going on in Europe for more than two years. It's crazy, isn't it? But now, even more crazy, I want you to see the connection between this war, any current or potential conflict, military or otherwise, and one of my observations. Some time ago, I discovered how important it is for me that when I drink Burgundy wine, it should only be Grand Cru. Not just fine wine, not just Burgundy but Grand Cru.

Consider this perspective: much of humanity seems to have forsaken the pursuit of a good life in favor of resource accumulation. While some argue for prioritizing basic needs like food, it's worth noting that food, like oil, time, and information, is just another resource. To support this notion, let's examine the rankings from The Economist / YouGov polls. Year after year, education, a cornerstone of a fulfilling life, barely registers as a top concern. In fact, only 2.6% of respondents perceive it as such. I have always believed that education is what allows a person to achieve a better life; engage in more skilled work; After all, education is a unique opportunity for social growth. Equal access to quality education is the greatest challenge of our time. As it turns out, only 2.6% of Americans share my views.

Let's go back to my relationship with Burgundy wine. In my opinion, enjoying good wine is an integral part of a good life. I always had the opportunity to taste good wine, but I tried to make this opportunity bigger and bigger. In the end, I lost a huge amount of time in the process of increasing the capabilities. And you know very well that time is not a renewable resource. Too messy, isn't it? Achieving a good life requires certain resources. There often comes a point in the process of acquiring resources, we forget why we needed them, and the resources themselves become the goal. It's probably still unclear, right? It will be more obvious to consider a large-scale and real example. The Roman Republic, as the name suggests, had as its stated goal the welfare of its citizens. Distribution of new lands to citizens was one of the ways to achieve the declared goal. Rome did not have enough land, so it was necessary to aggressively expand to new territories. At a certain point, the expansion itself became the goal, not meeting the needs of the citizens. That's when everything went wrong.

Spain provides a fascinating example. Of course this is a kingdom where the state wasn't obligated to care for the population, but still. Spain primarily focused on accumulating grandeur as a resource. This opportunity was fueled by the influx of gold from America and the national legend formed after the successful Reconquista. Instead of utilizing their substantial material and human resources for reform and development. It was quite easy to reorganize education, reform infrastructure, medicine, and courts. They chose another way, palaces, inquisition, deportation of Jews and Muslims. Spain pursued greatness just for greatness. However, this path ultimately led to economic, social, and political degradation, resulting in the loss of significant wealth, time, and lives.

You will probably agree that any resource is finite. If I personally or the whole state is trying to get a resource just to have as much of it as possible, conflict is inevitable. If I'm trying to amass as much power, money, influence as possible, I'm bound to run into someone who has the same desire. If we are talking about a single person, this collision can end in tragedy for one, two or even two thousand people, but if we are talking about the country? It was this desire that brought Russia to its present state. Russia started this war for one reason - it wants to restore its prestige, it wants to make the expired empire Great Again. What is most unfortunate is that the majority of the population is in solidarity with the government in this aspiration. A choice is made between success and the good life, between prestige and happiness. The Russian economy probably never got over the consequences of this war, and the dead young people are no longer interested in the economy at all. And the war? The war is probably going well for the Russians, they have occupied territories, destroyed the economy of the neighboring country and killed many children and women.

In the same aspect, the relationship between China and Taiwan is interesting. It is well known how China reflects on The "century of humiliation". The desire to regain control over Taiwan is probably one of the necessary conditions for finally overcoming the consequences of those hundred years. The unprecedented support of the Chinese population in the first days of Russia's large-scale invasion of Ukraine can be partly explained by this. Perhaps the population is convinced that such actions Makes China Great Again. With all due respect, does anyone really believe that the forceful subjugation of one small island can make any difference to the greatness of a three-thousand-year-old empire? Even if it changes, what will it bring to each Chinese? What will this do for China's economy?

I realize that there are questions that I have not answered. I'm just trying to give you my perspective on the problem. Most of the questions can be answered only by ourself. Current approaches to life need to be changed, and they need to be changed immediately. Not only because the absurd war has been going on for two years. Not only because climate changes will soon become irreversible. Not only because the chance of new conflicts increases every day, and all subsequent conflicts are more and more bloody. I think that if we see the need for changes, we will be able to change and we can reach a good life.

And I will continue to dream of my good life - sitting somewhere in my villa in Tuscany, a bottle of Burgundy in front of me, Roquefort, maybe even some snack, and my daughter in the opposite seat. We even talk about absolute nonsense, or topics that are important only to the two of us. But my goal is unattainable if there is war and terrorist acts around, if tens of thousands of people die of hunger every day. I think this article will be my contribution to achieving these goals. I wish you a good life.

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