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Russia Sees Multi-Polar World as It's Future -- Not Trump
#1
A multi-polar world is the best possible alternative at the moment, given humanity's present state of mind. Together with China and other Asian nations there is developing a political and economic bloc that can operate irrespective of the US need to dominate the world with their neoliberal lust, greed and never-ending-war.

Quote:What Russia Wants and Expects
March 22, 2017

Washington's political infighting has blocked President Trump's plans for a new détente with Russia but also has left the global playing field open for Russian and Chinese advances in expanding their influence, explains Gilbert Doctorow.




By Gilbert Doctorow


As Democrats and the mainstream U.S. media focus intensely on still unproven charges of Russian election meddling to explain Hillary Clinton's surprising defeat, the furor has forced an embattled President Trump to retreat from his plans to cooperate with Russia on fighting terrorism and other global challenges.




Russian President Vladimir Putin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on May 10, 2015, at the Kremlin. (Photo from Russian government)
Amid the anti-Russian hysteria, Trump's Cabinet members and United Nations ambassador have gone out of their way to reiterate the tough policy positions of the Obama administration with respect to Russia, underlining that nothing has changed. For its part, Congress has plunged into McCarthyistic hearings aimed at Trump supporters who may have met with Russians before the 2016 elections.


Meanwhile, the Kremlin has duly noted these developments in Washington. In Moscow, the breakthrough in relations that some had hoped for is now dismissed as improbable. On the other hand, while the United States is tearing itself apart in partisan fighting, Russia is getting a much-needed breather from the constant ratcheting up of pressure from the West that it experienced over the past three years.


We hear from Russian elites more and more how they plan to proceed on the international stage in the new circumstances. The byword is self-reliance and pursuit of the regional and global policies that have been forming over the past couple of years as the confrontation with the United States escalated.


These policies have nothing to do with some attack on the Baltic States or Poland, the nightmare scenarios pushed by neoconservatives and liberal interventionists in the U.S. and the European Union. The Russian plans also have nothing to do with subversion of elections in France or Germany, the other part of the fevered imaginations of the West.


Instead, the Russians are concentrating on their domestic defense capabilities and their budding political alliances with China and a host of Asian countries that together can oppose the power of the West. It is important to understand that the Russian vision is a future multi-polar world, not a return to the bipolar Cold War system of two superpowers, which Russian elites see as unattainable given the diffusion of power across the globe and Russia's own more limited resources.


In other words, the Russians are envisioning a future world order whose contours harken back to the Nineteenth Century. In terms of details, the Russians are now inseparably wed to China for reasons of mutual economic and security interest on the global stage. The same is becoming true of their relationship with Iran at the regional level of the Greater Middle East.


The Russian elites also take pride in the emerging military, economic and geopolitical relationships with countries as far removed as Libya, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan and Thailand. News about breakthroughs with each of these countries is heralded on daily television programming.


Mideast Interests


Russian elites note that the United States has misunderstood Moscow's position in Syria from the start of the war there. Russia's priority was never to keep the Assad regime in power, but rather to maintain a foothold in the Middle East. Put narrowly, Russia was determined to maintain its naval base at Tarsus, which is important to support Russia's presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. More broadly, Moscow's goal was to restore Russian influence in the strategic region where Russia once was a significant player before the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.




In May 2016, Russian marchers honoring family members who fought in World War II. (Photo from RT)
Russia's loss of Eastern Europe is also not forgotten, though American hegemony there is acknowledged as a reality of the present. But nothing lasts forever, and the Russians expect to be back as a major force in the region, not by military conquest, but by virtue of economic and strategic logic, which favors them in the long term. Though many East European elites have been bought off by the United States and the European Union, many common citizens have been major losers from the American led post-Cold War order, suffering from de-industrialization and large-scale emigration to more developed E.U. countries, reaching as much as 25 percent of the general population in some places. These Eastern European countries have little to offer Western Europe except for tourist destinations, whereas their shared potential for trade with Russia is immense.


This past weekend, Russian television news carried images of demonstrations in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova that you did not see on Euronews. The object of this popular wrath was billionaire financial speculator George Soros and his "Open Society" affiliates. Russian news commentary explained that these demonstrations operating under the banner of "Go Home Soros" became possible now because the Trump administration has dropped U.S. support for him.


It would be naïve not to see some official Russian assistance to these coordinated demonstrations across a large swath of Eastern Europe, but the Russians were simply giving the United States a taste of its own medicine, since U.S.-sponsored "non-governmental organizations" have been busy subverting legitimate Euro-skeptic governments in these countries in cooperation with Soros's NGOs.


Not Your Grandfather's Cold War


But there are key differences between what is happening now and in the Cold War days. The original Cold War was characterized not only by military and geopolitical rivalry of the world's two superpowers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union. It also was an ideological rivalry between on one side free market capitalism and parliamentary democracy and on the other planned economies and monolithic top-down Communist Party rule.




President Richard Nixon with his then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in 1972.
Starting with President Richard Nixon, a policy of détente was put in place, which embodied the principle of co-existence of these competing principles of organizing human society for the sake of world peace. There are those who maintain we have no New Cold War today because the ideological dimension is lacking, although there are obvious differences over principles between the socially liberal U.S./E.U. and the more socially conservative Russia. But those differences hardly constitute a full-blown ideological conflict.


The real area of contention is in how each side today conceptualizes global governance. On this level, it makes sense to speak of an ideological divide because there is a vast body of thought to underpin the competing views which include: globalization versus sovereign-state; values-based foreign policy versus interests-based foreign policy; a global order established by the all-out victory of liberal democracy over all other forms of national governance versus a balance of forces and respect for local differences; idealism versus realism. The West generally has favored the first of these options while Russia and China lead a bloc of nations generally favoring the second options.


On the campaign trail and in his Inaugural speech, Donald Trump spoke in Realist terms suggesting that the U.S. would abandon its Idealist ideology of the preceding 25 years, which involved coercive "regime change" strategies to impose Western political values and economic systems around the world. Instead, Trump suggested that he would do business with Russia and with the world at large without imposing U.S. solutions, essentially accepting the principles that the Russians have been promoting ever since they began their public pushback to the United States in 2007.


However, given Trump's retreat on foreign policy in recent weeks while under fierce attack from Washington power centers asserting possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia we may be left with something akin to the re-set that Obama introduced at the start of his rule in 2009 which never went as far as détente/co-existence. It was limited to cooperation in isolated areas where U.S. and Russian interests were deemed to coincide.


The only difference we might see from the embattled Trump administration is less of a penchant for "regime change" operations and a resumption of some bilateral contacts with Russia that were cut off when Obama decided to penalize Russia for its intervention in Crimea and the Donbass in 2014.


Assuming that Washington's neocon Republicans and hawkish Democrats don't push Trump into a desperate political corner, he might at least engage Moscow with a more polite and diplomatic tone. That might be better than some of the alternatives, but it is surely not an onset of a new collaborative Golden Age.


The scaling back in expectations of how far the Trump administration will go in improving relations with Russia makes sense because of another reality that has become clear now that his team of advisers and implementers is filling out, namely that there is no one in his "kitchen cabinet" or in his administration who can guide the neophyte president as he tries to negotiate a new global order and to do a "big deal" with Vladimir Putin, such as Trump may have hoped to strike.


Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner lacks the experience and depth to be a world-class strategic thinker. Trump's Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has corporate skills from his years at Exxon-Mobil but also lacks a strategic vision. Many other key jobs have gone to military generals who may be competent administrators but have limited political or diplomatic experience. There was talk of guidance coming from Henry Kissinger, but he has not been seen or heard from recently, and it is doubtful that at his advanced age and frailty he could provide consistent counsel.


As Trump struggles to survive the cumulative attacks on his fledgling administration, he is also distracted from the reality of a rapidly changing world. If and when he does get to concentrate on the geopolitical situation, he may well have to play catch up with Russia and China as they make deals with other regional players and fill the vacuum left by the ongoing American political disorder.


Assuming Trump can bring on board talented advisers with strategic depth, it would still take enormous vision and diplomatic skills to strike a "big deal" that could begin to end the violent chaos that has swept across much of the world since 2001. If and when that becomes possible, such a deal might look like a "Yalta-2" with a triangular shape involving the U.S., Russia and China.
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The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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#2
Quote:A multi-polar world is the best possible alternative at the moment, given humanity's present state of mind. Together with China and other Asian nations there is developing a political and economic bloc that can operate irrespective of the US need to dominate the world with their neoliberal lust, greed and never-ending-war.

David, I'm not quite as ready to sign on to this as I might have three years ago. Certainly Russia is in a position to adopt a rope-a-dope foreign policy and with China appears to practice an foreign economic policy of reciprocity, its internal policies strike me as rapacious and designed to benefit the government's sponsors -- the oligarchical class. It strikes me that Russia is at the moment organized around the eternal threat of war to benefit its nucleus. It is an internally neo-liberal economy as I see it.

Witness Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich's yacht.



I am marginally in agreement with you but still not hopeful. The most dire threat comes from the result capitalism in its various forms driven by the logic to the endless accumulation of capital. The arctic sea ice reached lowest maximum in since the last great warming event, many millennia ago. The physics of the polar ice sheet point toward a catastrophic collapse perhaps this summer due to winds tearing it apart. This would be a blue water event leading to a dramatic arctic warming and sudden climate disruption.
"We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

"We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl
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#3
For its part, Congress has plunged into McCarthyistic hearings aimed at Trump supporters who may have met with Russians before the 2016 elections.

Bullshit alert!

Trump et al have been lying about their Russian connections at high volume -- they act guilty.

They act like they're trying to cover up something.

Trump's attraction to Russia is non-ideological -- it's strictly business, Sonny.

Money laundering is a crime -- and may Trump die in jail.
Reply
#4
Lauren Johnson Wrote:It strikes me that Russia is at the moment organized around the eternal threat of war to benefit its nucleus. It is an internally neo-liberal economy as I see it.

Witness Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich's yacht.



I am marginally in agreement with you but still not hopeful. The most dire threat comes from the result capitalism in its various forms driven by the logic to the endless accumulation of capital. The arctic sea ice reached lowest maximum in since the last great warming event, many millennia ago. The physics of the polar ice sheet point toward a catastrophic collapse perhaps this summer due to winds tearing it apart. This would be a blue water event leading to a dramatic arctic warming and sudden climate disruption.

Roman looks well equipped to handle rising seas...what ever happens.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#5
Lauren Johnson Wrote:
Quote:A multi-polar world is the best possible alternative at the moment, given humanity's present state of mind. Together with China and other Asian nations there is developing a political and economic bloc that can operate irrespective of the US need to dominate the world with their neoliberal lust, greed and never-ending-war.

David, I'm not quite as ready to sign on to this as I might have three years ago. Certainly Russia is in a position to adopt a rope-a-dope foreign policy and with China appears to practice an foreign economic policy of reciprocity, its internal policies strike me as rapacious and designed to benefit the government's sponsors -- the oligarchical class. It strikes me that Russia is at the moment organized around the eternal threat of war to benefit its nucleus. It is an internally neo-liberal economy as I see it.

Witness Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich's yacht.



I am marginally in agreement with you but still not hopeful. The most dire threat comes from the result capitalism in its various forms driven by the logic to the endless accumulation of capital. The arctic sea ice reached lowest maximum in since the last great warming event, many millennia ago. The physics of the polar ice sheet point toward a catastrophic collapse perhaps this summer due to winds tearing it apart. This would be a blue water event leading to a dramatic arctic warming and sudden climate disruption.

I agree partly Lauren and fully agree about neoliberal economics which are ruinous and designed to benefit a tiny, tiny ruling class of elites. That the latter has so easily been sold to the many reflects how captive most of us are content to be.

It would naive to believe that any nation is focused on anything other than what it likes to call its "national interest" which only usually benefits its elite and business class. For example, here in Blighty, exporting arms to some of the very worst nations in the world - Saudi for example - is something we have done for a very long time indeed while, at the same time making loud noises internationally against other nations about their abuses of freedoms etc. It's completely and utterly hypocritical.

Since most Brits see absolutely no hypocrisy about these most obvious double standards it becomes evident that an element of schizophrenia has been designedly inculcated into the national psyche. We see a similar thing in the US today where hypocrisy and double standards likewise rule supreme.

So, in the final analysis I don't see Putin's Russia or Xi Jinping's China in any different light, except that I do think both are generally a lot smarter than most of their Western counterparts.

However, I do think it makes sense that Putin's and Xi Jinping's focus is to develop a closer relationship and to also help develop the One Road - One Belt project with a view to creating a bloc that can compete with America and G7 as equals. I've repeatedly said that I view this as a positive thing because the US as a single global power has shown its unable to act reasonably but inflates as power floods to its head and it becomes a puritanical tyrant - the very worst sort for it sees all its actions as being righteous.

Waning philosophical for a moment, it's a great pity but money and its accumulation has become mankind's new deity to worship and to prostrate themselves before. That wealth is still the dominant standard of measuring one's worth simply reflects how backward we all still are.

Collective Consciousness is still a long way off.

Consequently, I would, therefore, argue that the most important thing for anyone to achieve in the short term is to avoid at their peril any and all group-think and to cease falling head first for all state propaganda and to especially avoid rejoicing/weeping over short term partisan political victories/losses; for whoever falls into these intellectual man-traps simply becomes a captive pawn to be further manipulated by the most cynical of men.

Roman Abramovich btw, lives here in London where many other Russian oligarchs fled to when America's place man, Boris Yeltsin, was replaced by Putin and he began to stop the foreign plundering. If I remember correctly that is one of three super yachts he owns. Not a pleasant man by all accounts. Being a crook pays eh...
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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#6
Cliff Varnell Wrote:For its part, Congress has plunged into McCarthyistic hearings aimed at Trump supporters who may have met with Russians before the 2016 elections.

Bullshit alert!

Trump et al have been lying about their Russian connections at high volume -- they act guilty.

They act like they're trying to cover up something.

Trump's attraction to Russia is non-ideological -- it's strictly business, Sonny.

Money laundering is a crime -- and may Trump die in jail.

Bless you and all those who sail in you Cliff. You never fail to deliver as expected. ::laughingdog::
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
Reply
#7
Well, David, I would have to say your post clears things up. Well, said. And it's sad the Yelstin years placed Russia its current trajectory. Just sad?

Without the least bit of evidence, I wonder if some future Guido Preparata will tease out the current equivalents of Montague Norman and Hjalmar Schacht, if indeed they exist. Could Putin be piece in a vast danse macabre in ways yet to be imagined? I think its time for me to re-read Conjuring Hitler. One of my favorites.
"We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

"We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl
Reply
#8
Quote:Money laundering is a crime -- and may Trump die in jail.

Wow! What could be better. Then Pence takes over. I can hardly wait for your posts start up on him. What a treat!Deadhorse
"We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

"We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl
Reply
#9
Lauren Johnson Wrote:
Quote:Money laundering is a crime -- and may Trump die in jail.

Wow! What could be better. Then Pence takes over. I can hardly wait for your posts start up on him. What a treat!Deadhorse

Mike Pence is a fully formed adult -- his politics aside.

Donald Trump is a 70 year old spoiled child with serious developmental issues.

Nothing is worse than having the White House occupied by an emotionally & mentally disturbed individual who cannot perceive reality and cannot tell the truth about anything.
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#10
Cliff Varnell Wrote:Mike Pence is a fully formed adult -- his politics aside.

::orly::

:Clown::Bishop:::cokesniff::::darthvader::::flyingpig:::Hookah:

:Blink: ::face.palm::

The only thing this 'adult' doesn't believe in is magic underpants and only because the Mormons have the market on that piece of insanity. Fundamentalist Catholics/Christians have their own well pack bags of delusional thinking, anti intellectualism, magical thinking, bigotry, dogmatism, irrationality. Pence is a fully paid up card carrying Christian fascist on a mission from his own self created invisible vengeful sky pilot. He is so far away from being an adult it is terrifying and in a whole other league from the tangerine cockwomble flim flam man on the make.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply


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