WESTERNS - IN DEAF OPPOSITION
At the end of 80-x - the beginning of 90-x Westerners completely dominated the domestic political discourse, they are now driven into a deaf opposition. Apparently, to a very large extent they are to blame for this themselves, which, by the way, is confirmed by their current behavior.
The main theses of Russian Westernizers (opposition politicians, political scientists, journalists, publicists, bloggers, etc.) are approximately as follows: “it’s very bad that we quarreled with the West”, “we must reconcile with the West as soon as possible”, “Russia is a European a country, so we are on the way only with Europe, ”“ where do you send children to study, to Oxford or Pyongyang? ”, etc. All this, unfortunately, is pure demagogy, a set of ideological clichés and nothing more.
Of course, quarreling is bad, and it is good to put up, not only with the West, but generally with everyone. But it is very desirable to answer the question, specifically and without demagogy: under what conditions will we put up with him?
One must still find the strength to see that the West demands from us only and exclusively unconditional surrender, no other options are simply considered. Even more than that, unconditional surrender does not guarantee us anything; after it, much more will be demanded of us. For example, many of our pro-Western opposition propose to hold a new referendum in Crimea “under international control”. The point, however, is that in the West no one even hints at such an option. Only a kind of EU dissident, Czech President Milos Zeman, suggests that Moscow simply pay Kiev a ransom for the Crimea, but this is nothing more than a personal opinion of Zeman. All other American and European politicians demand from Moscow only unconditional return of Crimea to Ukraine (perhaps because they realize that in any referendum the result will be the same as in March 2014 of the year, after which the wonderful concept of “annexation” and “occupation” will collapse ).
The West completely excludes any compromises with Moscow (this was discussed in the article “Russia and the West remain antagonists”, “NVO” from 15.12.17). And even a return to the situation before February 2014 will not be accepted, since he now wants to completely exclude the possibility of another recurrence of strengthening Russian geopolitical positions. Radical reduction of the Armed Forces (both strategic nuclear forces (SNF) and conventional forces) and the equally radical weakening of the central government in favor of the regions, that is, de facto confederalization of Russia, will inevitably be required of us.
A few months ago, an alternative plan for reforming the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation was published in one of the local opposition newspapers (the author of the plan is, as it were, a Russian citizen with a very pro-Western stance). According to this plan, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation should be reduced by several times in comparison with their present condition with a simultaneous transition to a fully hired principle of recruitment, and in each region of the Russian Federation a local National Guard should be created, which is being formed in conscription! On the Russian Internet, this plan was assessed mainly as the delirium of a madman, which is completely wrong. The plan is very clever and correct from the point of view of the opponents of Russia: its implementation will not only exclude the conduct of any war by Russia, including a purely defensive one, but, in fact, will mean the termination of the existence of the Russian Federation as a single state. The very fact of the appearance of such a plan is extremely symptomatic and must rid itself of all illusions about the possibility of "reconciliation between Russia and the West." Accordingly, Russian Westerners should try to clearly answer the question: is this “unconditional surrender +” acceptable for us? And if not, what are the specific practical ways to avoid it?
RUSSIA IS NOT EUROPE, BUT IS MORE
There are also more conceptual questions to Westerners, irrespective of the possibility of reconciliation.
Actually, Russia is not Europe, but Eurasia, and representatives of non-Slavic and non-European ethnic groups made a very significant contribution to its development. But even this is not important. The main thing is that the current Russian Westerners appeal exclusively to the past, carefully not noticing the present.
In particular, we are talking about the fact that ideological diversity and political pluralism, traditionally considered one of the most powerful and attractive sides of the Western system, are gradually becoming a thing of the past. “The only true doctrine”, the criticism of which is already considered inadmissible (the label of “fascist” is immediately attached to criticism), becomes left liberalism, implying a very peculiar interpretation of classical liberalism and democracy. Moreover, the most unobvious aspects of this ideological direction, that is, hypertrophied tolerance and political correctness, are very aggressively imposed on both the societies of the Western countries themselves and all other countries, primarily those that seek an alliance with the West. Therefore, quite a few political scientists (both in the West and in Russia) are beginning to express a completely unfounded opinion that if earlier the concepts of “liberalism” and “democracy” were considered to be complete synonyms, now they are beginning to turn into almost antonyms.
In this regard, we would like to ask our Westerners: we must “enter the West” precisely under these conditions, that is, unconditionally accept the new “only true doctrine”, and also the left one (like the one we got rid of three decades ago)? Or is it still possible not to reach the point of complete absurdity? I just want to hear a distinct and specific answer to a specific question about the current situation, and not memories of the XVIII – XIX centuries, in which none of us lived.
Finally, it would not hurt Russian Westerners to answer the question about the prospects of the West, especially the European Union. It is not at all obvious that these prospects are bright, the number of problems facing the EU is so great. Moreover, these problems are rather multiplying and aggravating than successfully resolved. In this connection, there are big doubts that we need at least in some form to join this formation and even more so - to dissolve in it. Unfortunately, our Westerners cannot even state the problems of the current EU, all the more so to discuss them in relation to Russia if it suddenly makes the “European choice”. Their attitude to the West, apparently, has not changed since the end of 80, when it was perceived by the majority of the country's population as something perfect and infallible. To put it mildly, such inflexibility of thinking and practically religious worship of quite earthly objects is somewhat strange for people who consider themselves to be the country's intellectual elite, the “creative class” (what, by the way, is its creativity?).
FROM CONSERVATISM TO DRILLS - ONE STEP
And one more question for Russian Westernizers (first of all for their political leaders), rather, already rhetorical: do they understand that they are destroying their own electoral base with their anti-patriotism? For the overwhelming majority of the population, this anti-patriotism is so unacceptable that other programmatic provisions of the Westernizers, including quite reasonable ones, no longer play a role. And for those already few citizens who share this anti-patriotism, Russia by definition does not matter, they are its citizens only on their passports, but not on their sense of self. Therefore, they will not make any effort to rebuild it in accordance with their views, it is easier for them to join the West in their personal capacity, having left there for permanent residence. That is, there is simply no one to vote for Westerners, which was confirmed by the elections to the State Duma 2016 of the year: the left-liberal “Yabloko” and PARNAS received a total of just over 1,4 million votes, which is 1,3% of the total number of Russian citizens eligible to vote. This is the very real popularity of this political direction.
At the moment, there is the strongest impression that the goal of our Westerners is to completely dissolve Russia in the West with the refusal not only of national interests, but also of territorial integrity and national identity. It seems that they are quite satisfied with not even “unconditional surrender +”, but “unconditional surrender ++ ... +”. Interestingly, even this option does not guarantee Russia (or what remains of it) to improve the economic situation and improve the living standards of the population. It guarantees the very opposite - a significant deterioration in both, as it happened in Ukraine after it "made the European choice." However, this “inspiring example” our Westerners also diligently ignore, because if the theory contradicts the facts, so much the worse for the facts, this is the most important principle of modern left liberalism.
As is known, the Russian authorities are today responding to the specific features of Western left-wing liberalism with protective conservatism, sometimes very reminiscent of frank obscurantism. Nevertheless, even this answer is very noticeable, with an increasing number of supporters in the West, as people there began to tire the triumph of various minorities over the normal majority (and the Europeans, moreover, were already very tired of the omnipotence of an unselected supranational European bureaucracy).
Russia would follow the path of right-wing, patriotic liberalism — and it would be quite realistic not only a force, but also an ideological alternative pole for the West and the world as a whole. Alas, there is no reason to expect a turn from the current Russian government towards right-wing liberalism. But, unfortunately, this is not to be expected of the pro-Western opposition either, none of its representatives even hint at such an option. Therefore, normal Russians should choose between the procession and the gay parade, while recalling Stalin’s famous statement on almost the same reason: “Both are worse.”
Chinese EAST DREAMS
The opposite of the Westerners are the native Easterners. However, the opposite of this most likely apparent - they also have completely Western-centric thinking and also experience a very strong inferiority complex in relation to the West. Only if Westerners are ready to dissolve in the West because of this, then the Easterners are ready to freeze not only their ears, but their whole head in spite of the western "grandmother." They, like Westerners, do not consider the possibility of independent development of Russia, hoping to lean as closely as possible against China. Sometimes Easterners invent wider geopolitical constructions, to which we must lean, including not only one China. But these constructions have the same relation to reality as “reconciliation with the West”. At the same time, the overwhelming majority of Easterners absolutely do not understand the Chinese mentality or the challenges and problems facing China.
Reading and listening to native Easterners can be quite funny. Year after year, they talk about how great the prospects for the Russian-Chinese “strategic partnership” are and how wonderful Moscow and Beijing will stand up to Washington’s hegemonism together.
Meanwhile, the “strategic partnership” of Russia and China was proclaimed in the middle of the 90s. Accordingly, it has long been necessary to write and speak not about great prospects, but about great achievements. But the fact is that there are none at all. The tough military confrontation between the two countries ceased during the USSR, in the middle of the 80. The volume of mutual trade (and it is just conventional trade, nothing more) between the two countries is extremely small, considering that we are talking about two great powers with huge economies, besides having a land border of 4,3 thousand km in length. The structure of this trade is extremely humiliating for Russia - the exchange of our energy and wood for Chinese cars and consumer goods, and the further, the stronger this structure is fixed. More just say nothing about.
Moreover, for some reason, Russian lovers of China categorically do not want to hear the Chinese themselves. And those throughout our “strategic partnership” endlessly explain that relations between the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China do not and will never bear the character of a union and are not directed against third countries. And together with Russia, China is not going to oppose the United States at all, its relations with the United States are its business, it does not concern Russia at all.
Especially clearly the essence of the "strategic partnership" manifested in the past four years. Domestic Easterners ecstatically told themselves how China supports us in the Crimea, Ukraine and Syria. In reality, on all these issues, China held the position of ice neutrality with a rather noticeable anti-Russian accent. So, in the summer of 2014 of the year (when the Crimea was already Russian, Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics were proclaimed) Beijing congratulated on Independence Day "45 is the millionth people of Ukraine" (this is the population of Ukraine along with the Crimea and even more so with the Donbas) and the representatives of Crimea strongly encouraged Moscow not to include in the official Russian delegations visiting China. China, like most countries of the world, did not impose any sanctions on Crimea and Ukraine against Russia, but used these sanctions from the West very well, significantly tightening its already extremely tough positions on all economic transactions with Russia. Beijing, even in words, did not support the Syrian military campaign of Moscow, on the contrary, it was much more inclined to the position of Turkey and the Arabian monarchies, who were on the side of the opponents of Assad. Moreover, China has repeatedly condemned any foreign military intervention in the Syrian war, without specifying any exceptions for Russia.
IN PEKIN LOVE POWER
However, since the end of 2016, Beijing’s position has begun to change. In the Chinese media Crimean история It began to be presented in a descriptive-objectivist style, with hints that maybe Russia was somewhat right. China began to vote in the UN General Assembly against anti-Russian resolutions on Crimea (before that, he had abstained on such resolutions). Appeared in the Crimea, Chinese tourists. And Assad somehow gradually became not just the legitimate president of Syria, but even a friend of China. Interestingly, it was after this, in March 2017 of the year, that for the first time there were threats against China from the “Islamic State” (IG, a terrorist organization - banned in the Russian Federation), before that, not to mention the rest of the anti-Assad forces in Syria, considered Beijing an adversary. Such a “creeping reorientation” of China is extremely revealing: Beijing deeply in its coffin saw a “strategic partnership” with Moscow, but on the other hand, he appreciates and understands strength very well. Moscow has demonstrated it - Beijing responded. But, unfortunately, for now this is only a special case, and by no means a trend.
If the Russian Westernizers are trying in every way to avoid discussing the prospects of the current West, the Easterners behave in a similar way with respect to China, and here, too, is not so simple. Of course, China’s economic successes are colossal, Europe’s already for a very long time and doesn’t dream. But the contradictions of development have not gone away. For example, despite the best efforts of the authorities, the already catastrophic ecological situation continues to deteriorate, which is already putting a lot of pressure on the economy and the social sphere. A substantial increase in the population’s well-being is evident, but the main western countries are still very far away, even China did not catch up with Russia in this sense (reports in the Russian media that the average salary in China is now higher than in Russia are the result of statistical manipulations and not related to reality). At the same time, Chinese products are already beginning to lose their competitiveness, since they were based primarily on the extremely low labor cost. Therefore, if earlier mass production moved from the West to China, now it is moving from China to its neighboring countries of Southeast Asia (Southeast Asia), where the wages of workers are indeed much lower than in China. The policy of “one family - one child” gave rise to such serious demographic imbalances that it was officially canceled. But the growth of the population will give rise to new problems, more precisely, it will aggravate the old ones.
Very interesting things happen in the internal politics of China. The current Chairman of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, appears to have embarked on usurping power and abandoning the practice after Mao, when the country's leader resides in his post for only two five-year terms (between CPC congresses). It is precisely to strengthen its own power and defeat rival factions that, in particular, the fight against corruption that has unfolded during it (everyone steals, but only Xi Jinping’s potential opponents sit down for it). Not only military, but also political sense has a grandiose military reform (“New Great Wall of China”, “NVO” from 20.10.17). The massive territorial and organizational "shuffling" of parts and formations of the ground forces of the PLA allows you to dismiss officers and generals suspected of Xi Jinping’s disloyalty, and for the rest to break the existing ties with regional civil authorities. China remembers very well the times of the omnipotence of the “militarists,” which were less than a century ago, and are very afraid of regional separatism, supported by the military.
NEW SILK WAY AND RUSSIA
Reducing industrial output (for which China is already at least twice as large as the United States) will have very bad social consequences for the country, since it will lead to huge unemployment. Therefore, in Beijing, the idea of a megaproject, taken out of China, arose, allowing to support industrial production in the country and organize the export of labor. This megaproject was the “New Silk Road”, then renamed to “One Belt - One Road” (OPOP). Today this project is, in fact, a synonym for Beijing's foreign and foreign economic policy in the Eastern Hemisphere. It involves the construction of transport corridors from China to the west, which should encompass a diverse infrastructure and draw almost all of Eurasia and Africa into the Chinese sphere of influence (first economic, then political, and in many cases military). China actively enters the countries of these two continents, buying up local assets and objects and building its own objects in their territories. Of course, the poorer and more corrupt the country, the easier it is for Beijing to buy it. Therefore, he already bought almost all of Africa; the poorest countries of Southeast Asia (Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh) were under his control. Now China is entering Eastern Europe, which receives it with open arms. It is especially amusing to observe the Poles and the Balts, who are fighting in endless hysteria about Soviet communism (for some reason transferring it to today's Russia), but they just don’t lick the Chinese Communists. But Western Europe is already very actively amenable to Chinese influence. The more powerful the Chinese economy becomes and the more problems appear in the EU economy, the quieter European resentment about human rights violations in China (especially since Beijing has completely ignored this resentment) and the smiles of European leaders at the sight of expensive ones (in literally) Chinese guests. At the end of December 2017, the main match of not only the Spanish Championship, but also of all European football, Real Madrid-Barcelona, was held not in the evening, as it always was, but in Madrid's 13.00, in order to make it more convenient Watch the Chinese! Moreover, Spanish football functionaries hint that the next “el-classic” can go directly in China itself! This example clearly shows who is now "in the house boss."
A very peculiar feature of the Chinese OPOP project from the very beginning was that it almost completely ignored Russia - its most important “strategic partner”, possessing, in addition, an enormous transit potential! It’s hard to come up with stronger evidence of what fiction the “strategic partnership” is (at least for China). Only the minor northern route of the “New Silk Road” passed through the territory of Russia in the shortest version - from the border with Kazakhstan in the Orenburg region to the border with Belarus. Transsib from the Chinese project was completely excluded. Apparently, because Russian Siberia and the Far East are not part of China’s overseas projects, these are for him direct colonization.
Even the most ardent domestic Orientalists could not overlook this circumstance and started embarrassed to say that somehow this was not in partnership. Apparently, the Kremlin was also offended. As a result, during Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow in May 2015, he nevertheless signed with Vladimir Putin an agreement on the integration of the One Belt and One Road projects and the Eurasian Economic Union. Almost three years have passed since then, but it is still unclear what this integration is (or at least should be). The Kremlin, apparently, continues to be offended, because of which he put forward the initiative to combine not only the OPOP and the EAEU, but also the SCO and ASEAN, in order to “dissolve” the Chinese project in them. This project is truly grandiose, only it is unclear how to implement it in practice. Moscow itself does not explain this, so no one reacts to its proposal.
The Easterners are well aware that Russia has no opportunity to become “elder brother” for China, as in the 40-e - 50-e years of the twentieth century. Therefore, some of them offer Russia to become “elder sister” for China, which, according to Chinese tradition, the “younger brother” should respect and take care of whatever the situation “sister” would be. It looks frankly ridiculous, especially since China has not the slightest manifestation of such a perception of reality. More realistic Easterners are offering Russia, thanks to its increased military power, to become the official “guard” of the OPOP outside of China. This role does not seem very enviable, although, of course, it is better to be a hired security guard than just a slave. Only China doesn’t seek this variant, it builds its “Pearl String”, that is, a chain of military bases and logistics points from Hainan to the Arabian Peninsula and Africa.
UNION WITH DELHI AGAINST THE EXPANSION OF THE CELESTIAL
For Russia, an alliance with India would be the ideal geopolitical strategy. It is a democratic country with its own specifics, but without Western left-liberal perversions. This is a country that has deep traditions of friendship with Russia and does not have any overlapping interests with it. The main thing is that it would be the union of the third and fourth powers of the world powers, which would completely balance the first and second powers (the US and China). Moreover, in our union there would be no older and younger ones, it would be a union of equal partners, complementing each other in many ways. Then other strong countries of lower rank (for example, Vietnam and Kazakhstan) could well join this alliance.
Moscow seems to have never been against an alliance with India, but only she constantly pushes Delhi into her chimerical geopolitical constructions, within which India should have been friends with China against the West. India, however, is not going to dissolve in the West, but it does not see the point of resisting it. She just needed an alliance against China. As a result, Moscow very successfully with its own hands pushed Delhi into the arms of Washington (although no one in Moscow ever admits that the rapprochement between India and the United States is primarily the result of our “outstanding” foreign policy). And it will be extremely difficult to play back, as Russia continues to impose India’s friendship with China, which will not be under any circumstances.
Thus, today, leaning Russia against both the West and China is, at best, impossible, and at worst, suicidal. It seems that there is simply no one to suggest the option of truly independent development. Therefore, it remains to be guided by the already commonplace slogan: "Russia has only two allies - the army and the navy." As part of the implementation of this slogan, it would be good to finally note that if the country's defense to the west of the Urals is very satisfactory, then the situation is not so rosy to the east of the Urals and especially to the east of Baikal (“A sharp sword and a durable shield are the best guarantee of the prosperity of the state "," NVO "from 25.08.17). And it is necessary to guarantee ourselves at least from the military method of weaning Russia of its eastern half. We should insure against the peaceful method of weaning in other ways with which, alas, we are much worse.