27 Oct 2022 10:42 pm
The world finds itself in a massive systemic crisis that includes not only the military-political, but also the economic and humanitarian areas. This was stated by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his speech at the plenary session of the Valdai international discussion club on Thursday. He pointed out that this crisis was caused by the West – by inciting the war in Ukraine and the provocations over Taiwan. The unintended consequence of this escalation, but one that stems from systematic errors, is the destabilization of the global food and energy markets. Regarding the goals of Western politics, Putin stated:
“Domination of the world is what the so-called West was risking. However, this game is undoubtedly dangerous, bloody and, I would say, dirty. It denies the sovereignty of countries and peoples, autonomy and uniqueness, completely ignoring interests other states.”
The President recalled that these negative developments had already been discussed within the Valdai Club and that Russia had repeatedly proposed the creation of a collective security system as a solution. In December of last year, these proposals were “repeatedly thrown aside”.
In the meantime, the crisis has taken on a global character and will not leave anyone unaffected. Humanity, Putin continued, has two options for confronting it:
“Either continue to pile up the burden of problems that will inevitably crush us, or try to find solutions together, even if they are not ideal, they work.”
Putin said he was confident that the need for dialogue would eventually be recognized in the West as well. He cited climate change and the reduction in global biological diversity as one of the problems to be solved. He then drew a parallel with cultural diversity, which was no less important. Meanwhile, simplification and obliteration of all differences has become the essence of the modern West:
“What is behind this simplification? First of all, it is to stop or block the disappearance of the creative potential of the West itself and the free development of other civilizations.”
The President recalled the 1978 Harvard speech by Russian Nobel Prize winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn, according to which the West was blinded by ideas of its own superiority. This delusion, “openly racist and neocolonial,” has taken on particularly nasty forms in recent years, Putin explained:
“The belief in one’s own infallibility is a very dangerous state. The desire of the ‘infallible’ to destroy those they dislike is only a step away from it.”
Putin cited the example of the current cancel culture, which did not exist even during the Cold War. Liberalism has changed from an ideology of speaking and acting freely to its absurd opposite. Any alternative opinion is declared subversive and a threat to democracy. Especially in the case of Russia, this sometimes takes on ridiculous proportions:
“Whatever emanates from Russia is all allegedly machinations of the Kremlin. Take a look for yourself! Are we so omnipotent that every, but also every criticism of our opponents is interpreted as machinations of the Kremlin?”
The development of liberalism into its opposite was still predicted by Dostoyevsky, Putin explained, quoting a character from his novel “The Demons”: “Starting from unlimited freedom, I end up in unlimited despotism.”
The Western model of globalization was built on financial and technological monopoly and an annihilation of all distinctions. It is neo-colonial in nature and aims to ensure the West’s absolute dominance in global economics and politics. However, as soon as other states, especially the large Asian states, began to benefit from this model themselves, the West began to violate its own “rules” or to abolish them entirely:
“The so-called sacred principles of free trade, economic openness, equal competition, even the right to property were suddenly completely forgotten.”
Another example of the falsification of concepts and meanings would be the Western assertion that democracy has no alternative. This meant exclusively the Western form of democracy, while all other forms of popular rule were openly despised. Meanwhile, the absolute majority of the world community today demands democracy in international affairs and refuses the dictates of individual states. The West, on the other hand, hypocritically describes this as “subversion of the rule-based world order” and reacts to it with economic wars, sanctions and “color revolutions”, among other things. This happened in Ukraine, among other places, in 2014.
The world order imposed by the West only increases the chaos and also harms the Western countries and allies, as it nips their independence in the bud, Putin continued. It is not just a systemic, but even a doctrinal crisis, since the West cannot offer the world any models of positive development apart from maintaining its own dominance. Any alternative model of society would be viewed as a danger, even by some US analysts, partly because it could prove more efficient and more attractive.
In the further course of his speech, the Russian President went into the relations between Russia and the West or Europe. He explained:
“Russia, as a distinct, peculiar civilization, does not consider itself an enemy of the West and never has. Americanophobia, Anglophobia, Francophobia, Germanophobia are the same forms of racism as Russophobia and anti-Semitism and other forms of xenophobia.”
Due to its historical development, Russia is close to the traditional West, but will never allow itself to be exploited for the West’s geopolitical goals. It is always ready for rapprochement and a sincere dialogue:
“Russia does not challenge the West, it defends its right to existence and free development. We do not want to become the hegemon ourselves. Russia does not propose replacing unipolarity with two or three polarity, the dominance of the West with to replace North or South.”
Putin then quoted the Russian philosopher Nikolai Danilewski. According to this, progress does not consist in everyone going in the same direction, but in traversing the entire “field” of historical human activity in all directions. No civilization represents the pinnacle of human development.
The meaning of the present historical moment is precisely that new perspectives unfold before all states and civilizations, Putin continued. According to the Russian side, the new world order must be based on laws and justice, and the world economy should become fairer and more open. In practice, this could be achieved, among other things, by setting up new financial platforms. Such platforms must be outside national jurisdiction and not politicized to avoid their abuse.
Furthermore, technological progress should not increase global inequality, but reduce it. For example, the West is trying to seize the markets for medicines, seeds and industrial machinery and to destroy local production. Russia, on the other hand, acts differently, for example in the nuclear power industry. It doesn’t just build nuclear power plants in other countries, but creates an entire corresponding industry, for example by training local specialists. After these examples, Putin continued:
“Sovereignty and autonomy in no way mean isolation and self-sufficiency. On the contrary, they require active cooperation on the basis of justice and equality.”
Liberal globalization means anonymizing and imposing the Western model all over the world. On the other hand, integration stands for joint cooperation. In this context, the creation of “large areas” from neighboring countries makes sense, whose economy and infrastructure would complement each other. Such spaces are the economic basis of a multipolar world order:
“Out of their dialogue is born the real unity of humanity, a much more complex, distinct and multidimensional one than the simplistic notions of Western ideologues. The unity of humanity cannot be built on the command ‘do as I’, ‘be as I’ .”
In this context, a restructuring of the UN might make sense, including the UN Security Council. The representation of Asian, Latin American and African countries should be increased.
After positively mentioning Eurasian integration projects as examples of the desired equal cooperation, the Russian President declared that the historical period of the West’s absolute dominance in international affairs is coming to an end:
“The unipolar world belongs to the past. We are at a historical crossroads, ahead of us is probably the most dangerous, unpredictable and at the same time important decade since the end of the Second World War.”
The most important contradiction of the coming time lies in the fact that the West, despite its attempts, is no longer able to rule over humanity alone. Meanwhile, the other peoples of the world would no longer accept this claim to power. Thus there is a quasi-revolutionary situation according to Lenin: “Those above can no longer, and those below don’t want to anymore.” Even if the associated potential for conflict and the threat, including for the West itself, are great, this process is natural and unavoidable. A constructive solution to this contradiction is the most important historical task today, Putin concluded.
more on the subject – LIVE: President Putin Attends Valday Forum Session and Panel Discussion (German)