In December of this year 20 will be celebrated since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The approaching twenty-year anniversary of the destruction of the Soviet superpower is a fitting occasion to reflect on the tectonic international consequences of this geopolitical event, directly affecting the current chaotic state of the world community and its increasingly alarming prospects ...
Economic reports confirm gloomy forebodings: the current world crisis is systemic, comprehensive, and this is different from all previous ones, including the “great depression” of the end of 1920-x and the beginning of 1930-s of the XX century. The main cause of the crisis seems to me to be “withdrawal” - due to the peculiarities of the evolution of the world system in 1980-x and the beginning of 1990-ies of the last century - a key element of the development of human civilization - competitiveness, competitiveness of various models of society. This competition (in the limit - conflict) has always been the main driving force of development. It could be named differently (“the struggle of the two systems”, bipolarity, opposition / interaction of the three main “global projects”, etc.), but it was she who, in the “unity and struggle of opposites”, reproduced the powerful internal sustainability resource of the world system. For both for Russia / the USSR and for the West, the existence of a dispute, the competition between the “camp of socialism” and the “camp of capitalism” was, as it turned out, an irreplaceable source of viability of each of these two systems. The “unipolar world” under the control of America as an expression of the “disappeared” contradictions (“the end stories"), Multiplied by the short-sighted and adventurous policies of the last US administrations, has become one of the natural causes of the current crisis, the depth and duration of which are not yet accessible to the understanding of" strategic elites "in the leading countries of the world.
At present, the resumption of vigorous economic growth and the restoration of the world economy are hardly possible on the basis of the current configuration of geo-economic forces - such an idea was expressed by economic observer Anatole Kalecki, known in the West, in 2009 in May.
The deepest cause of the current crisis was the contradiction between the deepening decline of the West (deindustrialization, hypertrophy of the role of financial capital, the movement of world centers of economic activity from the North Atlantic to the Asia-Pacific region, the emergence of the phenomenon of "Eastern neo-colonialism", etc.) and the desire of Western elites to continue “Live as before” in the conditions of progressive loss of viability of the formerly “standard” economic and political systems. In fact, a new world-system quality suddenly emerged - the “post-American” world, as Farid Zakaria figuratively described it.
The current chaotic state of the world, manifested with particular force in the “Libyan crisis”, testifies not only to the “paradigm crisis” of world development, as many of us thought 6-7 years ago, but to the complete intellectual insolvency of those who rule and those whose responsibility is to develop a strategic development perspective. The USA, says Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences N.A. Simony, lost "their former functional necessity, significance and relevance." The “superpower” of the United States of America already belongs to the historical past and is a legacy or relic of this past. The prospect for the United States is to transform into the first among the equal powers. “All attempts to prove the opposite by strengthening the military aspects of their power in the international arena do not bring any success, prove to be ineffective but highly costly and therefore can only accelerate the already unenviable position of the USA as the world's largest debtor,” emphasizes A.A. Simony (1 ). The classic of contemporary social science Walt Rostow (1916 - 2003) spoke out even sharper regarding “superpower”, one of his latest works wrote prophetically: “In a world where power continues to disperse ... the idea of the United States as a superpower is an illusion, at least least since 1948 of the year (obviously, W. Rostou meant mastering the Soviet Union atomic weapons - A.V.). ... If the United States is trying to do something that is at odds with the thoughts and feelings of the majority of the world, their power and influence will actually be neutralized ”(2).
The continued weakening of the West only intensifies the chaos of world politics. The elements of long-term disorganization in the international system are introduced by the “Arab revolutions” and the “Libyan crisis”, which aggravate the crisis of political leadership in the leading countries, resulting from the inconsistency of the quality of management with the criteria of efficiency in the face of the growing complexity of the problems that humanity faced. One of the reasons for this state of affairs, a famous Indian foreign policy analyst, MK Bhadrakumar, aphoristically defined as the presence of "small people in large positions". In fact, comparing F. Roosevelt, C. de Gaulle, W. Churchill with their current political successors, one involuntarily asks the question: what is the “ideological background” of the latter? And is there a long-term strategy of action for "unintentionally warmed by glory"? The “Libyan crisis” gives a partial answer to these questions.
What is looking for the West (France, England and the United States acting from behind the scenes) in a country that has a long tradition of mass popular resistance to foreign intervention? In my opinion, the “oil factor” is not an exhaustive explanation here.
First, America’s main oil and gas interests, in the spirit of the US “absolute energy invulnerability” concept, coming from F. Roosevelt, are concentrated not in the Mediterranean, but in the Persian Gulf, through which this raw material is transported to 50%. In addition to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain is of key importance to Americans, where, as is known, the protests of the Shiite majority (75% of the population), which requires full political representation, are frozen by the ruling Sunni dynasty only for a while.
Secondly, the constant attention of the United States (by the way, not only them) is demanded by the security of Israel, which objectively, especially in the light of the “Arab revolutions”, acts as a barrier to the spread of radical political Islam in the Middle East and its neighboring regions. Moreover, we are witnessing a gradual transition of the leadership of al-Qaeda from the "prophets" and "ideologues" to military professionals.
Third, the failed “color revolution” in Libya and the openly failed military campaign against this country may result in the transformation of M. Gaddafi into a certain Che Guevara of our days, into a symbolic image of the opposition of the developing countries (that is, the main part of humanity) to the “golden billion” , its hedonistic patterns of behavior and their aggressive defense. A natural question arises: is such a confrontation necessary for the United States and the West as a whole - in their present difficult state?
Finally, fourthly, the continuation of the “Libyan crisis” may result in a qualitative strengthening of China’s influence on the course of world events, as well as a massive build-up of conventional weapons. Little of: the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons will have to be forgotten altogether.
So what is still trying to find the West in the hot deserts of Libya? I think that his plan had, above all, a geopolitical origin. No matter who instigated the unrest in North Africa and the Middle East, the West was unprepared for the “Arab revolutions” of the beginning of 2011. Arguments about "controlled chaos" as an effective means of controlling the situation in a strategically important area of the world work only partly. Meanwhile, the internal conflict in Libya (in simple terms, the confrontation between the west and east of the country, Tripolitania and Cyrenaica) seemed to promise easily accessible geopolitical compensation, because it could create the impression - with the help of well-paid media - full restoration of control over North Africa and the entire Arab East . However, both scenarios for achieving the desired result — dismantling the existing regime under the influence of mass popular uprisings (“Tunisian version”) or “small victorious war” with the support of “insurgents” - turned out to be losing. The “Yugoslav scenario” did not work either; Libya, subjected to aggression and Russia, did not come to the aid, where the "Libyan crisis" only intensified the conservative attitudes in society, which, of course, did not take shape yesterday. Frankly, I would not want the conservative consolidation of Russian society to take place on an anti-Western basis (which the United States and NATO are very supportive of their policies). The continuation of the “Libyan crisis” may have a detrimental effect on the internal political development of the leading countries of Western Europe, whose public is beginning to emerge from a lethargic state and ask its leaders more and more complex questions.
One of these “uncomfortable” questions is how to stop migration flows to Western Europe from North Africa? The answer suggests itself: stop the military actions of NATO against Libya and hold elections in the country according to the simple “one person - one vote” scheme. This will be the logical answer to the concerns of some countries about the fate of democracy in Libya. Without exaggeration, the continuation of the military campaign threatens to undermine the capacity of NATO as a military-political organization, as well as an increase in the unpredictability of the behavior of the political systems of several European countries (Spain, Belgium, Italy, etc.).
The “Libyan crisis” has highlighted in a new way the problem of regulating migration flows in Western Europe. In recent years, migrations to Western Europe have acquired their own inertia, intensity and movement routes. In addition, the disorganization of migration flows was facilitated by the “national egoism” of some Western European peoples and their governments, the desire to quickly dispatch newly arrived migrants to the territory of neighbors in the “common European home”. The author of these lines has been able to observe how attitudes towards migrants form at the level of “grassroots”, at the very foundation of the social pyramid. In March, 1999, leaving a scientific conference in Venice three days before the start of the NATO bombings of Yugoslavia, I was quite surprised by the attitude of the Italian colleagues to the “action” that started. On the one hand, the approaching hostilities caused their resolute rejection; on the other hand, some scholars consoled themselves that the seemingly inevitable Albanian migration to Italy would be successfully redirected to Kosovo. The essence of the matter, however, was that many of the migrants who hoped for commercial activities in Italy did not want to obey the logic of actions proposed to them. Similarly, the "Libyan crisis" can put in a difficult situation such countries as Austria and Germany, which in this case will be "guilty without guilt".
And what about the “new” Russia on the threshold of the twentieth anniversary of the collapse of the USSR?
Here is how the Swedish economist Anders Oslund, who was once influential in the liberal circles of Russia, describes the current state of Russian society and state: “The indicators of the country's economic development (that is, Russia after the global crisis 2008 - AV) fell to such oppressively low level, which is a logical question: does Russia have a voice in matters of the development of the global economy ...? ”
Here and the right to vote in Russia when discussing affairs in the world is questionable. What do you want?
The attitude to Russia in the world indicates a direct connection between the state of the modern economy, which transforms the achievements of science into new technological processes and products, and the geopolitical status of the Russian state. The resumption of vigorous growth in Russia not on the basis of the extraction of raw materials, but on the basis of an industrial producing economy is possible only under the condition of a decisive development of national science and a national industrial structure, which we have persistently asked to forget about ... for the past 20 years of “reforms” ...
Economic progress is impossible without the emancipation of society from dependent, corrupt thinking, reproducing institutions and practices that are incompatible with the expectations of the absolute majority of the people. Self-esteem is an indispensable attribute of any reasonably organized life. The “elite” lack of self-esteem sometimes takes on grotesque forms of endless “enticing forums”, which, as is easy to guess, neither the investment climate in Russia, nor the general modernization prospects will change for the better. The “point” successes, if they really take place, do not change the overall bleak picture of de-industrialization and degradation of the Russian economy, which is completed by the absence of creative ideas in power structures and the crisis of the “development” model proposed by the “new elite” at the end of the USSR century (the recent catastrophe of "relic" Tu-134 put in the history of "liberal reforms" bold symbolic point.)
Embedding Russia in the multipolar organization of the World-system requires the indispensable fulfillment of at least two conditions, in the absence of which our country can, at best, remain a regional state with limited influence on the course of world events, and at worst, cease to exist as a whole.
Firstly, in the highest echelons of power of Russia should be unconditional political will manifested to turn our country into an independent, independent in making strategic decisions from other countries and groups, a center of world politics capable of defending its interests by all available means. This line is successfully pursued by China - and it is this, and not something else, that makes the West more and more reckon with the Celestial. (Of course, the PRC reinforces the political will of the Peking leadership with impressive economic potential).
Second, the for Russia, independence in the global economic and political space is impossible without the restoration of the leading role of the state in the internal development of the country. It is necessary for the state to return not only the function of “strategic vision” (setting priorities for the development of society), but also the role of an arbitrator in the relations between various socioeconomic forces (including the mining and producing sectors of the national economy). There is no place for abstract reasoning about “state capitalism” not implying a clear understanding of the essence and historical role this phenomenon in the development of the world economic system of the twentieth century, for the topic of the day imperatively demands an answer to the main question: How can Russia in a short time can recreate a viable industrial economy with the leading role of scientific and technical structures?
It is regrettable that in the intellectual circles of some countries - strategic partners of Russia, two topics are becoming increasingly popular: 1) about the political dependence of the Russian elite, especially its “liberal” faction, on the financial and economic interests of the West; 2) about growing concerns in the Russian establishment due to China's economic growth. In India, for example, many believe that the “new” Russia, intellectually and morally not ready for deep social transformations, agrees to the most modest role in the global distribution of forces.
Russian analyst A. Kortunov believes that the American ruling class would be completely satisfied with the transformation of Russia into a kind of France under Sarkozy. It is understood that Washington’s criticism of America’s actions is accepted by Washington “favorably”, but does not prevent the United States from acting in international affairs without taking into account Russia's own interests. In fact, Washington offers Moscow to accept the concept of “limited sovereignty”, which was once actively defended by former French Prime Minister and sponsor of Nicolas Sarkozy, Edouard Balladyur. Of course, criticizing the Russian “elite” for lack of patriotism and education does not make practical sense, if only because under the influence of the deepening economic crisis in society, a serious political divide has begun, which may affect the outcome of the elections of 2011 and 2012. (An attempt to use the “administrative resource” when counting votes can give demonstration effect Tahrir Square with difficult predictable consequences for the current political system.)
Russia, therefore, can “fall out” of the equation of the rearrangement of forces in world politics. The calculations of a part of the Russian “elite” for the role of a “junior partner” in the projected power bloc led by the United States are illusory, since it is possible to play any significant role in such an alliance only if there is an industrial type economy, which the said “elite” itself destroyed all the last 20 years. It turns out that The deferred crisis of Russian society is becoming aggravated, and this does not remain inconspicuous in the eyes of the absolute majority of the people.
The collapse of the Soviet Union became for the West a kind of geopolitical mousetrap. Fascinated by the struggle against the "remnants of communism," the ruling circles of the United States and their closest allies did not actually notice the new trends in world politics, which now determine both the form and the content of the processes of regrouping forces in the international system ...
1. The impressive rise of China and the transformation of the Celestial Empire into a powerful “gravitational field” attracting countries of different continents. A change of milestones in world politics, part of which is the transition of the historical initiative from the great maritime (Great Britain, the United States) to the powerful continental powers (China, India, Brazil). Russia is not in this line yet, its prospects depend on whether the country's substantial, non-liberal social and economic reforms will be launched. The ongoing “change of milestones” makes it virtually impossible for America’s political and any other control over China, with all the ensuing consequences. If you follow the logic of reasoning by American conservatives (the United States "created a strong and unknowable China by its short-sighted policy), the geo-economic self-affirmation of the Yellow Dragon was one of the consequences of the excessive credulity of the US government to the advice of" political analysts "of Russophobes from Eastern Europe.
2. Intensive development of a consolidated community new regional leaders, consolidation of political, economic and cultural ties between them. This trend, associated with the emergence of “new influential states,” as they were called in the second half of the 1980s (Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, South Africa, Egypt, and a little later, Indonesia and Mexico), was temporarily interrupted by the collapse of the Soviet Union and world socialist community ", and now is gaining a" second wind ". These states, in the circle of which Turkey confidently entered, do not wish, as a rule, to be hostile with anyone, but are ready to resolutely defend their interests before any encroachment on them.
3. World crises and regional conflicts accelerate the process of self-determination of developing states, possessing together the overwhelming majority of the Earth’s territory and population. In the first half of 1980, this process was called in Soviet science the transformation of “objects” (exploitation) into “subjects” (world politics) (1). Today, these societies are entering a stage of self-knowledge (as evidenced by the “Arab revolutions” of the beginning of 2011 of the year); in the near future, developing states will outline their long-term interests and raise the question of the need for a “world concert”, in which there will be no division into “big” and “small”, “chosen” and “rogue”.
And then for the West, led by America, the time will come to answer the most important question: do you agree with the role of the first among equals or continue to cling to the dilapidated methods of domination with the prospect of losing their positions?
One of the leading figures in the economic history of Charles Kindberger in the middle of the 90 of the twentieth century estimated the possible alignment of forces in the world of the near future: “I foresee confusion. Some problems will have to be solved immediately, others will create protracted conflicts and partially poison international economic and political relations ... There will be regionalism, cooperation between great powers, and low intensity conflicts ... As a result, the true leader of the world economy will emerge from this mess. Is the United States again? Japan? Germany? The European Community as a whole? Or maybe dark horses such as Australia, Brazil or China? Who knows? Only not me "(2).
The absence of Russia in the list of potential leaders of the world economy looks logical: with the “elite” and “ideas” inherited from the 1990s of the last century, without a serious alternative to them, our country is doomed to be thrown to the sidelines of History. The last hope is on the instinct of self-preservation of the “elite”, part of which can go to the rejection of political chatter and the transition to the creative practice of arranging the life of the people of their country. Otherwise the mousetrap will shut. And then the Tahrir Square in Cairo will seem like an innocent political performance.
- Andrey Volodin
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