Most of us at The Saker Blog are involved in either understanding or have fully joined the Russian World as a global project.  In one simplistic sense, we still talk about the splitting of the world into Zone A (hegemonic) and Zone B (resistance and this is on various levels of maturity).  This is a fine new era model to start with but we are beginning to deal with the actual consequences of what today is seen as a bifurcation.  It is of course not that simple and our model needs to be further developed.  Rostislav Ishchenko‘s article begins to plumb the depths of this major change.  I machine translate it here, for the start of a discussion on this massive global change.

I don’t like terminological discussions in politics. They usually do not explain anything and do not unite anyone, causing pointless disputes and dangerous splits from scratch. Something similar happened with the discussion about the “Russian World”. For fifteen or twenty years, only the lazy did not try to give a complete definition of this phenomenon.

However, all these attempts were futile, since they consisted in giving world-historical significance to one’s own subjective views, beliefs, and even feelings. In fact, each of those who tried to give a complete definition of the term “Russian World” only translated into society their incomplete and completely unformed views on the immediate prospects for the development of Russia and the entire post-Soviet space as a whole.

When in 2014 I once wrote that the ” Russian World “is still an un-established concept, the final content of which depends on us, because if it becomes attractive, France (as well as any other country) can become part of the” Russian World “after some time, a considerable number of critics from” professional Russians “immediately arose, who themselves appointed themselves the only correct Russians, and appropriated the right to decide what is true and what is not true, from the point of view of”true Russianness”. All their claims were reduced to repeating a thesis that explains nothing and proves nothing: “We are Russians! Based on this thesis, they concluded that I was trying to blur the uniquely noble Russianness with a foreign language, spreading the potential ” Russian World “to Westerners and other”barbarians”.

The fact that this thesis was stated by Generalissimo Suvorov, during whose service the officer corps of the Russian army consisted of non-Russian percentages by 40, reaching 60% or more in senior positions, did not stop those who operated with this thesis. They agreed to consider the Georgian Bagration, the Scotsman Barclay de Tolly, the German Bennigsen, Catherine the Great herself, the mass of Ostsee nobles, the Tatars, Yakuts, Buryats, and Dzungars as Russians — basically everyone who was part of Russia before the collapse of the USSR. All the others, even if they were three times Russian, from their point of view did not fall into the Russians, and they considered it blasphemy to assume that France would ever be part of the “Russian World”.These same people start to fight in rodimchik, hearing the term Russian. They believe that in this way some hidden enemies (probably reptilians) are derussififying the Russian people.

Meanwhile, in Russia, Russians are the state-forming people, but not only Russians live in it. Accordingly, Ramzan Kadyrov, for example, is a Chechen by nationality, a Muslim by religion, and a Russian by citizenship. Vladimir Putin is Russian by nationality, Orthodox by religion, but the same Russian by citizenship. At the same time, a non-Russian Russian is an absolute part of the “Russian World”. But the same part is also a foreign Russian (if he considers himself a part of the” Russian World”), even if he is a citizen of another state. On the other hand, you can be Russian by nationality, live in Russia, but not be part of the “Russian World” and dream of leaving “this country” forever at the first opportunity.

To be a part of the Russian world, you just need to share the principles on which Russian civilization is based. Russia is the center of Russian civilization, but it does not exhaust it completely.From this point of view, not every Frenchman or Chinese is part of the “Russian World”, but everyone can become one if they want. As for the state, we can count it among the “Russian World” if its society is dominated by the idea of universal attractiveness of the foundations of Russian civilization.In 2014, the end of American hegemony was not yet obvious to many. Therefore, they believed that Pax Romana and Pax Americana were one thing, and the “Russian World” was something else. This view was caused by the psychological trauma received as a result of the collapse of the USSR and the acquisition by the United States of the position of global hegemon. It was easy for people who lived through the 90s to understand why Germans or French were part of the “American World”, but it was absolutely unclear how they could be part of the “Russian World”in the future.Well, it’s been almost eight years and we’re in a new era. The post-Soviet era, characterized by American dominance, has finally come to an end. The post-American era has begun, and the early stage of it (which we are experiencing now) is characterized by multipolarity, which determines the competition of civilizational models.

Some Western elites continue to promote the left-liberal model of globalist tolerance as the” bright future of all mankind”. It may seem to us that this model is doomed due to its discrediting in the light of the landslide foreign policy defeat of the United States. But in reality, everything is not so simple. It still has quite a few ideologized adherents in the West, who still retain control over American and, to a large extent, over European politics. They are trying to win the current round against their domestic political opponents (representing the conservative model) by temporarily curtailing international activity, concentrating on domestic political issues and gaining a preponderance in domestic politics by attracting large numbers of migrants from Africa, Asia and Latin America, and giving them citizenship and the right to vote in elections. Thus, the left-liberal part of the West expects to gain a decisive advantage in the fight against its right-conservative domestic political opponents. Having solved their domestic political problems, they expect to once again turn to an active foreign policy. At the same time, they hope that their tolerant migration policy will attract the sympathies of the countries of origin of migrants to them, and thus they will also gain a preponderance in foreign policy.

I think that in this last case they are wrong. Left-liberal policies lead to accelerated destruction of the national economy. In the context of the rejection (even if from their point of view temporary) of global hegemony, the Western elites cannot compensate for their own economic decline by redistributing the global resource in their favor, as it was before. Thus, they should lose in the foreign policy arena faster than they will win in the domestic political arena.

However, history and politics are not deterministic. The loss of the West is inevitable only if non-Western states that offer alternative models build their international game correctly. In this case, they will indeed succeed in preventing a new unification of the West and the third world, leaving the West alone with its exhausted resource base and forcing it to capitulate.

The first danger that threatens Russia and China, as centers of alternative civilizational proposals, is the overestimation of the adequacy of Western right—wing conservative elites. They are really close to us with their commitment to traditional family values, their desire to abandon the left-liberal policy of global tolerance and return to the model of classical civilization. Hence, in our society, there is a fairly high percentage of sympathizers with Trumpism or the European new right.

These sympathies would be justified, if not for one “but”. Despite their proximity to our civilizational model, the right-wing conservatives of the West are still trying to restore the world of Western hegemony, only the model is not 2013, but 1993. They are also trying to reduce their foreign policy activity and solve the domestic political problem by defeating their own left-liberal globalists. But after this victory, they, just like their domestic political opponents after their own, intend to restore the world of global domination of the West, because they simply cannot live in another.

Thus, from the point of view of our interests, at this stage, only tactical alliances with the struggling elites of the West are possible, designed to prolong this struggle as long as possible. Russia does not need (and even is dangerous) the current Western elites as strategic allies. Russia needs them to destroy each other (in the political sense), and new elites will sprout from the land they have destroyed, whose conservatism will not be complicated by imperialism and for whom the values of the “Russian World” will be close and understandable.

In other words, Western elites must fight each other and China until they naturally (by destroying other opportunities and discrediting other paths) come to realize their own commitment to the civilizational values of the “Russian World” and express a desire to become a part of it.

For Russia, such an expansion of the “Russian World” to include a reformatted Western civilization is also important because China also offers the world an alternative civilizational model. This model was recently sketched out by Xi Jinping. Prior to this speech, it was possible to expect that the Russian and Chinese models would coincide in general terms, which would ensure a strategic partnership for several decades or even a century, ahead. But the recent speech of Comrade Xi showed that the Chinese model will be based on similar, but not only not identical, but also in many ways contradicting the Russian civilizational foundations.

In fact, Xi Jinping predestined the development of Chinese statehood along the path of the paternalistic dictatorship of the party aristocracy. Total control, universal austerity (“voluntary” restriction of consumption according to the standards defined by the leadership), and living according to the principle: what is good for the state is good for every citizen of it are the foundations of a”bright future” in Chinese. If Deng Xiaoping urged not to pay attention to the color of the cat, if it catches mice well, then Xi Jinping decided that the cat was already sufficiently skilled in catching so that it could be painted in the color approved by the party without consequences.

China, of course, can still stop and return to the path of Deng Xiaoping, but today the situation is developing in the direction of changing the model based on the professionalism of cats, to a model based on the correct cat coloring.

The first model is pragmatic and within its framework, we could move towards a merger in a single Russian-Chinese world (civilizational, not state merger). The second model is ideological, which means that no matter what the Chinese comrades think about it today, it will suffer from messianism and expansionism. Moreover, as practice and experience shows, such ideologized Messianic models very quickly come to a resource shortage. All of them (from the collapsed USSR to the current Belarus) require a regular influx of resources from outside. This means that in the foreseeable future, Chinese expansionism will become not only ideological but also mercantile. Just like Washington at the end of Pax Americana, the “Chinese World” will need global hegemony simply to maintain its current level of development and material prosperity.

Thus, if China does not return to Deng Xiaoping’s pillar road, after a while it will become a civilizational competitor for Russia, and the convergence of the” Russian World “and the” Chinese World ” will become impossible.

In this case, it is precisely the spread of the civilization of the “Russian World” to the West, which is highly likely to lose its own civilizational identity by that time and will be in search of a new one, and with the help of the West, to a significant part of the third world, that will allow Russia to balance China and achieve peaceful coexistence and healthy competition between the two worlds. In this case, Russia will need healthy competition within the rules. In it, all other things being equal, a free society will always win the paternalistic regime in the economic competition.

Thus, today the Russian World, as a new global civilizational project, is based on the principle of unobtrusiveness.

For domestic politics, this means the principle of ” what is good for the state is what is good for the majority of its citizens.” This does not mean that the state begins to automatically distribute cakes and ice cream to everyone, declaring labor optional for obtaining material benefits, since most of any society is prone to laziness and parasitism. The ideal state protects precisely the deep, long-term interests of society, providing it with maximum employment, decent wages for work, provision of the widest range of goods at the most affordable prices, high-quality medicine, high-quality and generally accessible, but not compulsory (outside of primary school) education. Freedom of spiritual, cultural development, and political activity. Reasonable protection of the rights of the minority against the dictatorship of the majority. Not by creating privileged minorities, but by prohibiting State and/or public interference in the affairs of voluntarily created communities that do not violate the law.

If you want, you can buy a plot of land (for how much money is enough), put a fence around it, and build communism there for your family and friends, or if you want, you can also create a community of anti—vaccinators, or fans of the “new chronology”, or fighters against the dominance of reptilians. The state should only ensure that those who have recovered can freely leave the walls of your monastery of sorrow and that children have a free choice: follow the path of their parents or live in a normal society.

The state’s priority in domestic policy should be to ensure internal stability and continuity of policy. It is the politicians who have already learned to ensure the continuity of the team. Now it is necessary that the successor should not be eager to prove that he can do more than his predecessor, but rather strive to maintain the progressive development set by his predecessor.

The Russian economy needs stable and calm, moderate and steady growth, without sudden spurts and deep crises. The source of this growth should be an internal resource, and its task, resource accumulation (further increase).

Foreign policy should ensure that the country continues to gain peaceful weight. Any military campaign is undesirable and is sanctioned only if there are no ways to avoid a collision without losses exceeding the losses from the war (not only human but also general resource). The country needs at least another 50 years of “golden peace”, and preferably as long as possible without a crisis life. It is necessary to avoid the characteristic mistake of the winner in a fundamental conflict, which, by the way, the United States made after becoming the hegemon of the post-Soviet world. Intervention in the affairs of other countries can only be carried out at the request of these countries themselves and with the aim of overcoming the crisis as soon as possible. In all other cases, it is possible to offer intermediary services, help with advice, but do not insist. Forcing peace to prevent genocide and other unpleasant things should be carried out only with the UN Security Council’s approval on an international basis.

On the basis of a balanced and economical foreign and domestic policy, as well as the completion of the creation of a self-sufficient economic cluster within the Russian borders and an environment interested in expanding economic interaction and trade with Russia, it is necessary to solve the problem of leveling the demographic pit and ensuring moderate (without jerks and recessions) population growth by about 1.5-2 million.  In general, Russia needs to continue (as so far) to protect and strengthen its resource base inside and reputation outside.

We must come to a situation where the “Russian World” becomes much more attractive to the world’s population than the American world recently was when being part of the Russian civilization is dreamed of as a great honor, and the consent of Russia, at the request of the local population, to include some territory (for example, Switzerland or Finland) is considered both by those who join, and

Let me emphasize that Russkiy Mir does not aim at Russian territorial expansion. This is just a civilizational proposal. But if a certain nation wants to become part of Russia, then it must meet the criteria of the “Russian world”, and the Russian state. The most important of these criteria is the feeling of not joining, but reuniting, merging two parts of a divided whole, as well as the mutually beneficial combination (together, two combining parts should live and develop much better; and both of them than each of them separately).

Over the past twenty years, Russia has created a clear outline of the civilizational foundations of the “Russian World”. Now the most difficult thing remains: to win the competition of civilizational projects without hurrying, without considering your work as a great universal mission, without breaking down, without aggression and coercion, to ensure the globality of the” Russian World ” and extend it into eternity.

Читать далее:

Reminder – Don’t forget that The Saker Blog is running a fundraiser at the moment.

The Essential Saker IV: Messianic Narcissism's Agony by a Thousand Cuts
The Essential Saker III: Chronicling The Tragedy, Farce And Collapse of the Empire in the Era of Mr MAGA