The story is developing so quickly that we did not manage to grasp the scale of the changes experienced by us.
This was the case in 1991, when the Soviet Union disintegrated. Only a few years later we realized how the balance of power in the world had radically changed. Following perestroika, many were gripped by euphoria that the situation would change for the better: the risk of nuclear war was reduced, and the West, having “defeated communism in the Cold War”, would assist in the establishment of a democratic Russia. Meanwhile, it turned out that the fear and rejection of Russia were no less powerful than the fear of communism.
The current wave of Russophobia shows that historical stereotypes sometimes prevail over logic, common sense, and even national interests.
I would like to propose the idea that this is largely to explain by the crisis of leadership in Western countries, where the figures at the helm were dull, ordinary, mediocre. One can agree with the assessment of the well-known American political scientist in the magazine “Foreign Policy” that they “come from a generation that was formed during the Cold War and for this reason essentially they are not creators, not builders, but destroyers.” And the London “Times” on July 28 this year just wrote that “the West was left without a leader … and politicians demonstrated their ignorance and arrogance more than just once or twice.”
Many experts agree that the influence of the West is declining, and this trend will only increase.
In their view, this is evident not only in the growth of China’s economic role in strengthening the position of the BRICS countries, but also in the growth potential of the whole cohort of countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. These processes have appeared prominently in recent years in the Middle East.
Americans are the inventors of the phrase “on the right side of history”. They mean, of course, themselves. This scathing expression was put into circulation only to loudly declare that Russia is “on the wrong side of history”.
The Ukrainian crisis, at the focus of world affairs today, has become a critical watershed of modern history, and the future of mankind depends largely on the path of its development. As in a drop of water, many features of cultural and civilizational faults characteristic of our epoch have manifested there. The current obvious civilizational faults along the lines West – East, Europe – Islam, Christianity – Islam, are in fact surface manifestations of the primary process – the reconfiguration of the entire world system, the individual features of the contours of which are beginning to appear quite clearly.
The position of the United States and other capitalist powers is weakening. Our planet is rapidly moving from a unipolar to a multipolar world. The neo-conservatives in Washington could not be reconciled with the end of the era of American domination in international affairs. Hence the attempts to restrain this process by armed intervention, overt interference, pressure, sanctions, etc., which leads to the destabilization of the entire system of international relations. All this takes place against the backdrop of the degradation of Western culture, the destruction of intellectual life, and the waning influence of Christianity in many countries.
The main fault is not between religions, although on the surface it looks that way, especially since the media and political strategists constantly present it as such to the public. The essence of violating the basic law of life is erosion, splitting the moral foundations.The problems and even tragedy of modern Europe, and the United States in its wake, lie not only in the general fatigue overtaking every system, but also in the fact that they were the first to throw their ethical compass overboard, starting back on the path to barbarism.
Our compatriot outstanding scientist Nikita Moiseev, who passed away a few years ago, literally beat the alarm with great concern, especially in recent years, urging people to stop for a moment the mad flight of time, and realize the dangerous point we were at. Man, stressed Moiseev,is separated from the animal world, because the authorities bio-social laws were opposed morality. Neanderthals disappeared because they were more aggressive than the Cro-Magnons, and killed themselves off.
Now we are on the threshold of a new stage of anthropogenesis, or human development, which requires approval of a way of thinking and values different from those prevalent today in the West.
The genuine war is between healthy conservatism – for the preservation of moral and ethical foundations developed by mankind over the centuries of homo sapiens’ existence – and against unbridled liberalism, the reign of instincts, which means degradation and offensive barbarism leading eventually to the disappearance of the species.
The Russian experience of state development is unique. Russia is a multicultural society, but at the same time a unified people, which makes it complex and multidimensional, and thus also a great opportunity for development in many areas.
The Russian people are state-forming, as is evidenced by the very existence of Russia. The traditional historically rooted Russian mission is to unite and secure civilization with language, culture, and “universal sympathy”, according to Fyodor Dostoyevsky. “This kind of civilizational identity,” noted President Vladimir Putin in one of his speeches, “is based on the preservation of Russian cultural dominance, the bearers of which are not only ethnic Russians, but all carriers of this identity, regardless of nationality.
This is the cultural code that has undergone serious tests in recent years, which they have tried and are trying to crack. Yet it has, without a doubt, persevered. Civil peace and interethnic harmony,” stressed the President, “are not a frozen picture established for all time. On the contrary, it is a constant and dynamic dialogue. This is the painstaking work of the state and society, which requires very precise decisions, balanced and wise policy capable of ensuring ‘unity in diversity’. We don’t just need to respect reciprocal obligations, but also to find universal values.”
Those who advocate the supremacy of international law, respect for the will of the people, both majorities and minorities, political crisis management, and the central role of universal international organizations – the UN – they are on the right side of history, or stand at the centre of world peace and security.
And today this is more relevant than ever, since we are talking about the survival of humanity – the global threats and challenges that we face are too large and dangerous. Now, Putin’s Russia is the personification of this course. And it is not surprising that so many shots are directed against the President of Russia.
It is also clear that in our time there is no other way than to maintain moral principles developed over thousands of years of traditions and norms of human communication, in addition to dialogue and mutually respectful cooperation.
Vladimir Mashin, Ph.D. in History, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.