"Aut non tentaris, aut perfice" -
Or do not touch, or go to the end (lat.)
Or do not touch, or go to the end (lat.)
In recent years, we often hear from politicians the term "multipolar world", understood as the desired and future world pattern. The topic at the last World Economic Forum in Davos was widely and complimentally presented as a way to solve the challenges and challenges facing the world community. Meanwhile, a special understanding of the essence of such a world order is not observed at all, neither here nor abroad, and there is no understanding at all of the inevitable consequences that geopolitical multipolarity leads to.
Meanwhile, a significant part of its post-Roman Stories The world has lived in just such a multi-polar state, so it’s not necessary to theorize too much in order to understand the essence and consequences of such a model of the world order. It is not at all new to human Civilization. We had the good fortune to observe such a world for more than a thousand years. Moreover, almost the entire history of our country can be understood only in the context of the search for our present place in this complex seething multipolar world. In this regard, the Author had a desire to briefly recall at least the most common generic features of a multipolar world pattern and the main consequences of such a way of organizing international life for humanity and our country.
In its most general form, a multipolar world is an international configuration where the world is divided into spheres of influence between great powers, and none of the existing centers of power are able to independently impose their will in a foreign sphere of influence without creating a broad coalition of forces. The latter means, as a rule, a long coalition war for the redistribution of spheres of influence. There is no other way than a military way to change the volume of its sphere of influence in such a world order. Countries in such a system are divided into great powers (empires, centers of power - choose from synonyms to taste) which are donors (sponsors) of sovereignty and security for small and medium-sized countries - recipients of this security. Neutrality in such a system is impossible by the “free choice” of the country itself and is possible only with a consensus lack of interest from the great powers to this territory - or by their agreement, in the spirit of the division of spheres of influence, including the agreed buffer zones.
The prevailing view that multipolarity is some kind of antithesis to imperialism, to the dictates that it destroys imperialism is completely wrong. Multipolarity, dissolving the old imperialism of the twentieth century, crystallizes the many centers of new imperialism throughout the world, ranging from the leading world players to mini-empires in the back streets of the world political field, making imperialism the main and perhaps the only form of organization of the international community, turning imperialism in a total way of political interaction between countries and peoples.
Seaw competition and solid strength concept
Not so long ago, I wrote that "multipolarity in the performance of capitalism ... is even better suited for economic robbery of third world countries than unipolarity ... In addition, the" multipolar world "will quickly and confidently lead humanity to a disastrous world war" (** )
Such radical statements, of course, require some justification. The causes of such consequences of a multipolar world for the world order are very fundamental in nature and completely intractable. A multi-polar world implies a constant, acute political, economic and military competition (SEW-competition) of the main world centers of power, each of which has its own specific zone of influence. This competition is of a special kind, and it differs markedly from what we have become accustomed to over the past decades, where alliance was based, on the whole, on “principles,” whatever it is: communism, liberalism, fascism or Islam. In a multipolar world, everything is different. A multipolar world is such a combination of alliances and coalitions where there are no principles, but only interests. Therefore, combinations are possible in a multipolar world that are so far difficult to imagine, based on the baggage of the post-war world, bipolar: for example, a joint military action of Russia and Germany by dividing Ukraine or Poland, or a direct military coalition between Russia and Turkey. Of course, these optional scenes are possible and directly opposite alliances, you just need to understand that in a multipolar configuration, all such previously impossible combinations become the discussed agenda, where either Pyongyang Tehran or Tbilisi can equally be both an enemy and an ally - without any regime change , just because of the current layout of foreign solitaire. Two important points should be emphasized here.
First, the decisive influence on the security of powers in such a world is rendered by the correct coalition of allies - the great powers, and it cannot be created “forever”, but should be constantly reformatted for current tasks. A faithful ally in such a multipolar world is a stupid ally, and will eventually be punished for this loyalty. The lessons of the Entente taught by the Allies for Russia during the First World War should never be forgotten. The multipolar world opens for the first-hand powers a real fair of allied vacancies, where almost any combination is possible, and this is fundamentally its difference from the one-and two-polar world, where such political combinatorics is substantially limited.
Secondly, the imperial center most effectively organizing the system of its satellites, gets decisive competitive advantages over those who build them less effectively. Economic competition in such a multipolar world has chances to quickly degenerate into competition for the size of the zone of influence and the right to implant there an economic model that benefits the metropolis. Of course, this also implies the over-militarization of the centers of world imperialism, which means the advantages of “mobilization economies” over free economies and hard regimes over soft ones. Investments in the Armed Forces and military technologies cease to be net costs and become one of the most profitable ways to invest capital for the imperial center. In such a system, the Army and Navy become the main "means of production." In a multipolar world, the state of defense and security becomes the main task of the metropolis, from which all other stability flows - both economic, political and social. In general, the transition to multipolarity in international practice is an inevitable replacement of the concept of soft power (“soft power”) to the concept of hard power (“hard power”), a return to direct military intervention instead of “color revolutions”, competition for volumes of influence instead of free competition of open national economies. If the balance of sold aircraft between, say, Boeing, Airbus and UAC is determined almost exclusively by the size of the zone of complete military and political influence, then the competition will be concentrated in the field of war and politics, for the size of this zone, and not in the economic field. Of course, the main direction of technological progress inevitably shifts into the field of military developments, which become donors of new technologies for the entire economy.
Also, an advantage in this model will be the one who will be able to better construct from competitors an “enemy image” dangerous for the rest of humanity, and especially dangerous for its citizens and allies, to demonize states opposing the “axis of evil”, which will enable it to more effectively use its resources satellites to strengthen their imperial position within the zone of influence and their weight in the world. In this sense, the ideological confrontation of powers, the confrontation of ideas in a multipolar world, takes second place after their military competition, pushing the economy itself to the third place. The economy becomes a simple function of the size of the zone of military-political influence, and not vice versa, as is often the case now, in an unpolarized world. In a certain sense, it can be said that the imperial ideology in the multipolar world of the 21st century is designed to play the same civilizational and separative role, which was played by the religious ideology of the Middle Ages, the role of a cultural marker that separates its from others, Good from Evil and permissible from unacceptable.
The correct idea of Huntington (***), singling out eight major civilizations, the collision of which will determine the face of the 21st century should be complemented with a significant clarification: civilizational differences themselves in a multipolar world will manifest themselves at the level of global politics only as mediated by the great imperial political style, as a community of other successful, unifying imperial ideology. No civilizational differences in a multipolar world fertilized by the ideology of one or another great power have no chance to determine the fate of the world. Otherwise, the consequences of any "clash of civilizations" will not go beyond the burning of cars in Paris and the calculation of losses of insurance companies. Also, among the eight civilizations isolated by Huntington, at least five or six can be represented in the multipolar world by more than one competing center of power. This is an important circumstance, and it should be borne in mind in any long-term forecasting. We also note in brackets that his skepticism about the prospects for black African civilization is relevant only if you do not take into account the possibility of the emergence of new centers of attraction of such a civilization on the American continent and the Latin-African synthesis of cultures.
Both unipolar and bipolar worlds are free from the temptations of traditional colonialism, but for different reasons. In the model of a unipolar world, the imperial position of a single center of power is not questioned, and the level of exploitation of the rest of the world can be reduced to moderate values - without fear of the consequences of such liberalism. In this world, it is not so difficult to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.” For a bipolar system, in general, sponsor relations in the economy between the imperial center and the periphery are typical. In the bipolar world, in the type of the second half of the twentieth century, the essential robbery of the Allies becomes completely impossible, since the risk that this ally changes its orientation becomes unacceptably high. For a bipolar model, the flow of capital from the metropolis to the colony is more typical, the “financial and economic assistance” to the allies, rather than their exploitation and robbery. In the bipolar model of the world, it is also almost impossible to maintain the classical colonial system - since the opposite side will immediately lead the broad world anti-colonial movement - and we have seen firsthand how this works in the post-war period, how the world colonial system collapses, as natural course of historical events generated by the bipolar system separates from one of the dominant systems (originally a colonial Western project) country by country in favor of a socialist project.
The classic multipolar world, where no one has a decisive advantage alone, and can only carry out his line in coalition with other centers of power, is a completely different system. In this system, a small country, people can only choose which center of power will use them to build up their military and economic potential - and this can be at best, and in most cases they will be deprived of this choice. Nobody will be able to successfully lead the struggle of small nations “for freedom” in this system, since the resources of a separate center of power will not be comparable with the total resources of all other imperial centers, which will undoubtedly unite against such a common danger. We could observe an example of such unification of disparate forces against a common enemy quite recently, at the beginning of the zero, in the midst of the formation of the so-called. the international coalition against terrorism - which, undoubtedly, is part of the national liberation movement - so far, various geopolitical interests have not divided its participants on different sides of the political ring. However, the process of the collapse of this coalition is still far from complete.
Imperial scale: a multipolar world as a tetrazone system
For the practical policy, the academic question of the logical structure of a multipolar world pattern is very important at first glance.
It is natural to divide the multipolar world into four geopolitical zones. The logical, functional structure of such a multipolar world can be defined as tetrazone - if we take the number of Greek numerals as the basis for the definition. These are zones of the imperial center (mono-zone), a zone of satellites (di-zone), a zone of buffer powers (a three-zone in which there is an equal struggle for influence between different centers of power) and a peripheral tetra-zone, a zone of no interest to key players. The right geopolitical choice of national strategy begins with the correct positioning of the current and desired place of power in this tetrazone world system. The incorrect determination of its current and desired, future location leads the state to an inevitable collapse in foreign policy, and the serious consequences are caused both by underestimation and by overestimation of its place in this tetrazone hierarchy. We could observe the latter on the example of Russia 90-x, when its underestimated level of self-esteem (in fact, from the “empire” or “power center” level to the level of the peripheral power, from mono to tetra-level) led to serious foreign policy consequences. The famous concept of the Yeltsin-Kozyrevsky Foreign Ministry that “Russia has no enemies” is a direct, though not spoken, consequence of positioning the country as a peripheral state, not localizing anyone’s vital interests on its territory, which does not require the creation of a specific zone either. influence, the diesel area. The fact that such vital interests of other powers actually existed and were successfully implemented, didn’t evoke the idea of returning to the position of the imperial center but intensified supporters of positioning the country as a complete satellite of the United States and the West "taking into account the interests of which will allow Russia to integrate into the world community." In fact, the entire foreign policy process of 90-x is a struggle between the concepts of the US satellite country and the concept of a “non-enemy” peripheral power. It is clear that Russia's attempts to preserve the allies and their sphere of influence within the framework of such a policy looked pathetic and were initially doomed.
At the end of 90, this positioning error led to grave and unavoidable consequences: the de facto foreign policy isolation of the country and the loss of almost all real and potential military-political allies of Russia, which make sense only as allies of the imperial center of power, which is able to ensure their security and protect their rights, and are completely meaningless in a different situation, since the interests and security of small countries is ensured in a completely different way - as a rule, the search for a different external donor is sovereign power and security. And the new donor of sovereignty, of course, is quickly located.
New colonial world order is a direct consequence of multipolarity.
In the twentieth century, our civilization experienced a unique and very short period in its development, within which the short-term and unstable decolonization of the world became possible. Recall that until the middle of the twentieth century for at least five centuries the world existed within the framework of the classical colonial matrix, and only the last half a century has lived in a post-colonial state. This period has definitely come to an end. In any case, the world will face a new colonization, this is a geopolitical inevitability, and the only question is whether it will be a unipolar (the USA - all the rest) or a multipolar model. The recent economic events show that the multipolar model of the development of the world has received serious chances to establish itself, but this does not mean that the game has already been done. We are in the midst of the formation of a new multi-polar - and therefore completely colonial - world order. The expected legalization of international law is quite expected - the dissolution of fundamental legal norms takes place in the traditional way, as a consensus of great powers, such as the correction of the principle of the sovereign equality of states, which has always been just a declaration, but in a multipolar world will contradict its basic principles. There will be a rapid alignment of existing international law with the prevailing internationally accepted practice, in which legal occupation and colonization within the recognized lines of division of interests take the place of the current principles of self-determination and “non-interference in internal affairs”.
The inevitable consequence of multipolarity is the return to the international practice of the two-tier system of the international state system, in which complete sovereignty remains only for the great powers, small nations have sovereignty only with the permission of the great powers and under certain conditions. On the other hand, an attempt on the sovereignty of small nations, as long as they are loyal to the allied duty, is unlikely in such a system.
One of the main signs by which in such a two-tier world order it is possible to isolate the powers of the first hand is the way of endowing the country with sovereign rights. Powers of the first hand, have such a right by the right of the strong, the state of the second rank sovereign rights are vested. The recognition by other imperial centers of the right of a power to give small countries sovereign rights is in such a multipolar world recognition by the world players of this power as an equal, having the right. In this sense, in the context of the formation of a multipolar world, recent events in recognition of the sovereignty of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by Russia are of a completely special and symbolic significance. Essentially, Russia with this gesture has regained the sovereign rights of the highest level - and since no one decided to oppose direct military force to this, this right, within the framework of the concepts of a new multi-polar world, is now actually recognized for Russia that whatever happens at the level of rhetoric. The crux of the matter is that there was no recognition of a pair of small states that have little meaning in world politics, but the return of the present, full sovereignty of Russia itself, which is of key importance to the global political configuration. In fact, following the war in Georgia, we did not witness the proclamation of “sovereignty of Abkhazia”, but witnesses of the proclamation by Russia of our full sovereign rights of the highest level - as the right to be a source of sovereignty and security for small nations.
In this sense, the statements of our leaders about the commitment to the idea of a multi-polar world should be strongly endorsed, but ask whether they understand the inevitable consequences of such a choice, and whether they have calculated the number of aircraft carriers necessary for the country to defend such choice. However, the Georgian military campaign and claims that Russia has a “zone of privileged interests” suggests that 90's night blindness is gradually falling from the eyes of politicians. These statements are correct only if they are understood in a certain way: the multipolar world is coming, it is inevitable, Russia accepts the military-political challenges of the 21st century and is ready to play by the new rules, forming an exclusive zone of influence around itself and protecting it by any available means, including the military. If you understand them differently - then these words are not worth a penny.
The only real geopolitical choice that we face today is the choice in this new international legal system between the status of a divided colony and the status of an Empire. And this choice must be made, bearing in mind that any such decision has its price, and it will have to be paid - one way or another.
A multipolar world as a cause of world war
The aggressiveness and unpredictability of the multipolar model is spelled out in its matrix itself, in the development model, and is unavoidable by any international mechanisms, agreements or negotiations, both because of the fundamental unevenness in the development of capitalism and for competitive reasons.
It should be understood that our current geopolitical choice is not a choice between a good and a bad option, but a choice between bad ones, one of which (colonial) is much worse. Russia is a few percent of humanity and a few percent of its economic potential, so now we are more a subject of world history than a demiurge. However, we have a huge historical sphere of influence, which allows us in a short time (a year or two) to at least double our potential, which will radically change the whole balance of forces in the world. It should be understood that if the dominant trend towards the formation of a multipolar world wins in the world - and it wins - then our one-sided rejection of the burden of the center of power, the imperial burden will not change anything in this process. This will not eliminate the military danger, but will add new dangers. In a multipolar world, one can be either a colonizer or a colonizer. This process is going on objectively, it does not depend on declarations and intentions, on the goodwill and actions of the United Nations. We are entering a world in which a major world war for the redistribution of spheres of influence and resources — and a series of regional wars preceding the Great War — becomes an almost inevitable prospect. It is precisely in this vein that all our economic and political decisions should be considered today, such as military reform, for example, they will help in the coming big war or weaken our positions.
Assessing the current international position as a prewar one overturns many assessments of “dangerous” and “safe”, “right” and “wrong”, and not only for us, but also for our partners. The peace forecast assumes a civil protest against “tightening the screws” - the military forecast changes this estimate to the opposite. In a peaceful environment, Europe’s energy dependence on Russia was assessed by many European analysts as “excessive” or even “dangerous”. Reassessing the same situation with a “pre-war” one changes the vector of assessments to the contrary: a high degree of energy dependence on Russia reduces the risk of European countries engaging in adventures and provocations against Russia and thus increases their own security. The same applies to the so-called “NATO guarantees” in Eastern Europe - inherent from the “commitments to NATO”, of course - they may warm someone’s soul in peacetime, but in wartime they can turn any country into a hot theater theater in a matter of hours, including nuclear, to involve the country in a war without the consent of not only their peoples, but also their governments, by virtue of the simple logic of war.
In the same vein, from the standpoint of a peaceful future, an increase in territory controlled by a power by military means is interpreted as steps from peace to war. From the standpoint of a military forecast, it is, on the contrary, the path to peace, a method, an attempt by creating a buffer zone of security, breeding military forces to protect people from the dangers of war, including those nations that become the object of such a division or conquest. Conquered - then saved. Such is the fate of a small nation in a multipolar system, and this does not change political shamanism and dancing to the tambourines of human rights and the self-determination of peoples. So the world develops, and no one should put the life of his people under this rink. Otherwise, then someone will have to chew on his pink tie for a long time and thoughtfully.
World War: the one who dodges the battle wins
I would venture to suggest that the party that enters the War later will receive the maximum benefits in this coming war. She is, with a high probability, and will become her winner - even if she never uncovers guns. Therefore, the creation of a global configuration that allows Russia to delay Russia's immediate entry into the war due to the multiple growth of coalition power and the creation of buffer border zones — combat operations in which, according to past wars, may not spread to the metropolitan area — is a key foreign policy task. It is clear that “entering into war” is a multilateral process, it is impossible not to enter the war if you are attacked, there is also a level and nature of external threats, after which entry into the war becomes completely inevitable. But the geopolitical configuration, which allows us to delay or bring the inevitable moment of our country's entry into a big war (and our central position in Eurasia leaves us no chance at all to stand aside), this entire configuration is taking shape today, now. The geopolitical tasks of shaping their PSU zone - political, economic and military influence in the space of the entire former USSR and a number of border countries are on the current mandatory agenda.
Directly in the prewar (threatened) period, any such changes in the sphere of influence of the powers will be seen as an immediate and direct threat to the other players and end in a dangerous military-political conflict, such as the Cuban crisis in the square, or a military strike. Essentially, for Russia, the choice is only to form whether the Russian military-political bloc is now having relative greater freedom of maneuver, or later, in time trouble, under the influence of force majeure, or directly in military conditions, under bombs “without regard to the victims. " But the possibilities for such a relatively favorable, in the spirit of the last Georgian company, reformatting our borderlands are diminishing every day.
Owing to this, as the Eurasian perspective seems to be from today, it is absolutely unacceptable to postpone a cardinal solution of the question of Ukraine and Crimea, the Moldavian-Transdniestrian question, the question of the final dismemberment and blockade of Georgia, the question of complete military-political ousting of the competing powers from Central Asia. Also on the current agenda is a completely separate and extremely important issue of total control over the Caspian Sea and the Caspian littoral countries and the issue of a military-political alliance with Iran as a key issue in energy solitaire. The correct solution to the southern issue will be complete control of Russia in the Caspian Sea basin, binding a military alliance with Iran and a naval base in the Persian Gulf, preferably at the throat of the Strait of Ormud, covering half of the world’s oil supplies.
The formation of such a bloc right now and only now, in the period of world confusion - this is the correct “avoidance of the fight”, because during the period of danger such actions, although they will be completely inevitable, can provoke Russia to enter the war prematurely — and that not a defeat, then a colossal, multi-million additional loss.
The final touch of such a reformatting of the post-Soviet space should be the joint command of the armed forces and a common defense space in a wide Eurasian space, drawn along the lines of our interests with China, India and Germany. The interests of other players should not be taken into account. Countries that will resist such a solution to the main post-Soviet task should be mercilessly dismembered - using their own internal contradictions and forces, modeled on the Georgian dismemberment - and their remnants are forced into allied relations. The unity of the economic space on the post-Soviet territory can arise only as a result of the unity of the defense and military space - and nothing else - and be aimed at strengthening the military-political power of the newly formed bloc.
In this sense, the brilliant formula of J. Orwell “Peace is War” takes a clear modern form: “Small war saves big world”.
The geopolitical opportunity and resources to solve this problem without going into the stage of a hot military conflict with the United States and the West today exist, but will decrease and decrease as they approach the hot stage of the world conflict.
History has left us with a very narrow space for making major and momentous decisions. And these decisions must be made by us at all costs.