Rostislav Ishchenko develops his theme first posted here: Russian World as a global project into global multipolarity and covers why and how the West ran into a dead end, and where the multipolar situation may lead.
Please note it is a machine translation with some human assistance, and it is not a perfect document. It however makes his points clear enough, for the discussion on this massive global change.
Today we are in a unique situation – for the first time in the history of mankind, a global empire is breaking up.
Humanity is constantly living in an era of decay. At the same time, humanity is constantly living in an era of centralization. The dialectic of history works simply: the centers of disintegration and centralization are constantly changing places both horizontally (some states are weakening, others are strengthening) and vertically (against the background of a weakening center, power in the shires is always strengthening, and the weakness of the regions leads to the strengthening of the center). The art of leading a state is to correctly determine its internal and external state.
Accordingly, you need to move the control center of gravity from the regional level to the central level and back. In the field of foreign policy, in an era of weakness, try not to be too active in order to suffer as few losses as possible (and it is better not to lose anything at all), while at the time of strength, try to carefully acquire additional resources. Depending on the era, this resource can be nominated in terms of land, people, industrial power, market access, ideological leadership, information superiority, and other resources. As a rule, several interrelated factors from among the above play an important role.
The Empire of the Collective West
Today we are in a unique situation. This has never happened before in the history of mankind. For the first time, a global empire is breaking up. We used to call it the American world, because after the collapse of the USSR, the United States remained the only superpower for twenty or twenty – five years (who thinks so) and became a symbol of Western dominance. But in reality, it was the empire of the collective West.
The United States did not share the profits made by robbing the rest of humanity with Canada and Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, Japan and the EU out of a love of art or an innate desire for charity. It’s just that without the support of these vassal regimes, Washington was unable to manage the globalized world.
And, as has been known since classical feudalism, the vassal owes the master exactly the same amount as the master owes the vassal. If a prince or duke does not dress his retinue luxuriously, does not provide it with expensive horses and weapons, does not feed it to the brim and does not drink it to the point of drunkenness, then the retinue has every right to abandon such a leader and look for a new master (the right to leave).
In politics, these relations are expressed in a change of allies. For example, when the USSR could no longer provide Eastern Europe with an influx of additional resources (at the expense of its own population) The ATS and COMECON instantly disappeared in time and space, and their yesterday’s members lined up in NATO and the EU. Next in line were the Union republics, which fled the Union in full confidence that they were feeding Russia and would live better on their own. At the same time, the republics did not really think about any independence either. They took the queue “to the West” for Eastern Europeans, fully confident that they only need to join the EU and NATO and everything will be like in the USSR, only even more satisfying and better.
Some managed to join, some did not, but everyone was disappointed. And not at all because, as some think, the West did not want to feed freeloaders. The EU and the US were well aware of their responsibilities to their vassal countries, and they also understood that spending on their “weapons, horses, clothing, food and drink” would pay off by strengthening Western dominance around the world. The annexation of Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet states (except for Russia and the Asian republics) was supposed to significantly improve the geopolitical position of the West, strengthen its military capabilities and make its political and economic dictates insurmountable.
When the West overestimated its strength
At first, it worked that way. The costs of maintaining Poland and demonstrating the success of the Baltic Tigers were more than repaid by predatory exploitation of Russia (in the 1990s, the West established direct or indirect control over most of Russia’s resources through local oligarchs) and outright piracy in the rest of the world (Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, and after it Serbia).
Economically booming, China was unable to stand up to the collective West militarily. Russia seemed completely destroyed and only temporarily preserved the appearance of unity. At this point, the West overestimated its strength.
In any society, there are always different groups that see the purpose and meaning of existence and the direction of development of the corresponding society in different ways. And as long as there is an obvious external danger, these groups reject internal contradictions, rallying against the external enemy. If, for some reason, the authorities lose the ability to reconcile and balance internal contradictions, a catastrophe of the 1917 model occurs.
In the 1990s, the collective West believed in the “end of history”, that the world is forever Westernized, that the roles of governors and governed are assigned to different countries forever. Being in a state of euphoria, the Western left liberals launched an ideological offensive not only on the external front, but also on the internal one, trying to make their “tolerant new world” mandatory for everyone, not only in the conquered countries, but also among those who, in their opinion, “won the Third world war (cold war).”
As long as the leftists did not dig in, the resistance to their expansion in Western society was provided by certain marginal groups of conservatives, who were branded fascists by the” new left”. Broad strata of Western society were virtually untouched by the confrontation between these groups until the mid-noughties of the third millennium. Moreover, the main ideological expansion of the West was aimed at the development of “conquered territories”. It was there that the most “advanced” “public organizations” were created, spreading the propaganda of equality of norm and perversion to Western grants, even the advantages of perversion over the norm, because it “suffered for a long time”.
There, on the” new lands”, the” Soros funds ” and their many similarities worked. And left-liberal ideas, having fallen into the post-communist ideological void accustomed to the presence of a” leading and guiding ” people, were in the greatest demand. The additional appeal of these ideas was given by the fact that their local adherents, due to the support of Western funds, instantly became super-successful people against the background of the rapidly impoverished (in the 1990s) post-Soviet society.
It is difficult to say how all this would have ended if the West had had the wit and patience to wait, not to immediately cut the post-Soviet “chicken”, but to give the liberals the opportunity to demonstrate at least some success. Then it was inexpensive. But, having invested in a thin layer of people temporarily in power, the West decided that all the problems were solved. The elites will cope with educating the masses. And it was seriously mistaken.
Split in the Western family
I don’t know if Russia and China would have had a chance to stand up to the united West, which by the end of the 1990s was totally superior to them in all indicators, except for Chinese industrial growth (but it is not enough to grow quickly, you need to have time to grow), if the expansion of Western neolithic ideas would have remained exclusively external. But the left-wing liberals, sensing that they had significantly strengthened their positions due to external expansion, launched an offensive against conservatives inside the West. This was the beginning of the end, for” Every kingdom divided against itself will become desolate; and every city or house divided against itself will not stand ” (Matthew 12: 25).
The West faced several divisions at once. First, there were divisions between conservatives and liberals within each individual country. Second, there is a split between conservative Eastern Europe and liberal Western Europe within the EU. Third, a split has emerged between the European bureaucracy and national Governments.
Moreover, since the European bureaucracy came out from radical left-liberal positions, in the fight against it, even liberal national governments were forced to seek the support of conservatives, which weakened the position of liberals in each individual country.
An increasing amount of Western resources began to be directed not to maintain the hegemony of the West, but to the internal struggle of liberals for an ideological monopoly. The West has lost the ability to control planetary processes, but, being in euphoria, on the wave of success, it did not immediately notice this. When it noticed, it was too late. The divided Western society could no longer unite and was increasingly slipping into a state of cold, and then almost hot, civil war. The struggle between liberals and conservatives, like any struggle of roughly equal forces, began to devour almost all available resources, and the West began to feel resource hunger.
Since the opportunity to pay off the resource shortage at the expense of Russia and/or China was lost (the West thought it was temporary, but in fact it turned out to be forever), cannibalism had to be engaged: the stronger countries of the West began to redirect resources that had previously been used to support weaker and poorer countries in their favor. Immediately, the internal split deepened. In Europe, in addition to the division into West and East, there was a problem of “rich North” and “poor South”. These two parts of the EU had different views not only on the prospects of economic and financial policy of the European Union, but also set different foreign policy goals for themselves.
Divisions between the US and the EU, the US and Israel, the US and Turkey, Turkey and Israel, Israel and the EU, and the EU and Turkey have emerged and begun to deepen. Washington’s position began to weaken even in the traditionally loyal monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula.
Political laws are inexorable
The West is still trying to present a united front. In particular, the United States is forming an all-Western coalition against China and is trying to bind Russia’s forces in the European direction by forming a single pan-European anti-Russian front. In the statements of government officials, on the paper of signed agreements and according to the estimates of expert offices funded from Western budgets, it seems to work, but not so much in terms of the self-perception of the population of Western countries, which the press is increasingly forced to reflect with minimal objectivity.
The collective West still retains a sense of civilizational unity, but in the face of growing resource scarcity, this cannot help it in any way. Still, the strong, in order to survive, is forced to withdraw resources from the weak. At the same time, even if the weak does not rebel, but allows themselves to be robbed to the end, the weakening of the West will progress at an increasing pace. On the example of Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, and the former “Baltic tigers”, we see that sooner or later there comes a time when the robbed statehood loses the ability to support itself. Starting from this period, it is necessary either to pump additional resources into it just for the sake of preserving it, or to accept that it will de facto disappear, first as an economic unit, and then as a political one, which will reduce the amount of available resources, respectively aggravating the problem.
Today, the West is already clearly divided into three clusters: the American one (the main one, torn apart in the United States by the struggle of right-wing conservative Trumpists and left-wing radical Bidenites); the European one (whose economic interests require cooperation with Russia, but the ruling elites of most countries are afraid that they will not be able to retain power if they leave the American umbrella); and the Asia-Pacific one (which has already fallen into the sphere of Chinese economic influence, but does not want to admit it for the same reason that modern Europe does not want to break with America).
Historical experience shows that political laws are inexorable. If you try to slow down the development of natural processes, then the longer you delay, the more terrible the final catastrophe will be. In the 1990s, the West could still win, in the noughties conclude a compromise peace, being in a favorable position, in the tenth it was still possible to talk about a compromise, but the main bonuses were already received by Russia and China.
At this stage, the West can only count on a complete and unconditional surrender. Further delay will lead to the fact that there will be no one to capitulate. People, houses and cities will remain, but the western system will disappear.
Yet the United States is trying to continue playing the game of victory, and its allies have no strength to step out of the American shadow. Further decisions should be made in the next three to five years. Either the United States will risk starting a war against China (then it should be started as early as possible, since it may be too late), or they will have to admit defeat in the global confrontation. For the collective West, this will be a greater shock than the one that shook the Soviet sphere of influence during the collapse of the USSR. The wreckage of the collective West in the form of junior partners of the United States will start looking for new patrons even more frantically than the post-socialist countries did in the 1990s.
At this point, the question will arise: where is the new assemblage point, around whom will the new centralization take place?
The square trinomial and its political roots
So far, we believe that such an assemblage point can be the Russian-Chinese Eurasia based on the SCO, the EAEU, the CSTO and other structures created and being created by Russia and China. However, China, which is trying to protect itself against a sudden (but more than likely) collapse of Western markets, has recently taken several cautious steps to establish its own control over the Trans-Eurasian trade routes under Russian control. A possible clash of interests is in Africa and Latin America, where both powers are actively increasing their economic expansion.
Finally, while not yet obvious, but in the long run, the most dangerous contradiction is that the fragments of the collective West that fall into the Chinese sphere of influence (the Republic of Korea, Australia, and New Zealand), along with the Southeast Asian states already located there, have interests diametrically opposed to the interests of Europe that potentially falls into the Russian sphere of influence. Plus, India and Japan are too big a prize for Beijing and Moscow to allow each other’s sole influence there.
These contradictions are objective, and whether they can be overcome depends on the collective will of Russia and China. Today, we cannot say unequivocally that this will be achieved, if only because we do not know in what geopolitical conditions we will have to move on to building a “beautiful new world”. One thing is clear: Washington’s belated recognition of multipolarity in the form of a statement that there are three centers of power in today’s world (Russia, the United States, and China), although formally true, cannot satisfy anyone, because the dynamics of global processes are negative for the United States, and they will still try to change it, which means that the three-member structure will not be stable due to American opportunism.
In general, today the crisis is developing, the catastrophe of the collective West seems inevitable, but the subsequent catharsis does not promise peace.