Mr.V.T. sent along this article from the offical website of the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, and it's worth pondering, if for no other reason than that it represents "the view from Moscow". However, in it, one will note some subtleties, and some not-so-subtleties:
There are, as I stated, some subtleties and not-so-subtleties in these remarks, which, if added together, indicate exactly why Russia and the West are in such conflict, for the conflict, ultimately, is not even about geopolitics or conflicting interests. The conflict is really cosmological and, if one will permit the term, spiritual in nature; the conflict is about quite different visions for the future governance of the planet.
Mr. Putin, of course, admits the obvious conflicts of geopolitical visions in his remarks:
"Colleagues, recent events show that we cannot hope that some of our geopolitical opponents will change their hostile course anytime in the foreseeable future. The EU countries recently extended the sanctions they have imposed on us, and discussions continue in the United States on toughening sanctions against us.
"Amidst all of this, no one is even trying to analyse the reasons for what is now happening in southeast Ukraine, which was what started all of this fuss in the first place. What I mean here is that those who are imposing these restrictive measures and so-called sanctions on Russia are in fact responsible for the events that we are now witnessing in southeast Ukraine."
Translation: the Russian Presidency and its security council, are acknowledging that the long-term geopolitical and financial conflict between London and Washington and its compliant surrogates in Europe are not going to change soon. In effect, Russia is admitting that the situation is "Cold War, 2.0."
But there's a new dimension to this Cold War, that is very different from that of version 1.0. In version 1.0, it was, to some extent, the Soviet Communist Party imposing its own version of the obsolescence of the nation-state on its various client states in the Warsaw Pact: Moscow dictated political, financial, and yes, even cultural policy for the whole bloc, and backed it up with the Russian military. The dogma itself - the obsolescence of the nation-state, was itself the shared vision of the Eurocrats, Eurogarchs (Dr. Webster Tarpley's apt word for European oligarchs), and the proponents of "Mr. Global"(to borrow Catherine Austin Fitts' term) in the corporate West.
In this context, consider these remarks by Mr. Putin:
We must respond accordingly to this situation, of course, and take additional systemic measures in all key areas.
Firstly, we must make a rapid analysis of all the potential challenges and risks we face – political, economic, information risks and others. Based on this analysis, we then need to make adjustments to our National Security Strategy.
Once the National Security Strategy is updated, we will also need to update strategic planning documents currently in force or in the process of drafting. Furthermore, if needed, we will need to make clarifications to the Foreign Policy Concept and the Foundations of Russia’s Comprehensive Policy in the CIS Area.
At the same time, our strategic course in the foreign policy area remains unchanged. We are open for equal cooperation and collective work on key issues on the international agenda. We will continue to build relations with our partners based on the principles of respect and mutual consideration of each other’s interests, so long as this does not harm our own sovereignty and national security of course. (Emphases added).
Consider also, these remarks from the end of Mr. Putin's talk:
But let me draw one very important matter to your attention. The Prosecutor General’s Office, Rospotrebnadzor (national consumer protection service), the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service and other agencies must protect our people and companies from fake and poor quality goods. No matter whether goods are produced in Russia or abroad, they must meet modern requirements and standards and their origin and price setting must be transparent and clear.
In conclusion, our direct responsibility is to ensure reliable protection of Russia’s security in all areas and preserve our country’s social, political and economic stability.
Putting these remarks together, what Mr. Putin is doing is frankly challenging the two dogmas that are currently so much a part of the creed of Mr. Global and the Eurogarchs, namely, the dogma of the obsolescence of the nation-state and the dogma that the nation-state can, and should, be safely replaced by global corporations and their cultural policies. One need only think of the recent example of the rape of Greece, the growing disenchantment in Europe against its large of immigrant populations and the corresponding political and cultural backlash. In short, the vision Mr. Putin is promoting, if one considers the tenor of his concluding remarks about monopolies and cartels, is a model of a strong nation-state protecting its soveriegnty and, moreover, national culture. it is, as I have suggested, a post-post-modern view of the world and of the role of the nation state. In a sense, it is natural for Russia to take this view, having suffered under the Soviet system - which, let us remember, was a western invention and imposed on Russia by the connivance of the financial power in Germany and the USA in 1917-1918. In other words, in a sense, Russia played the "vast-federated system and obsolescence of the nation-state game" under the Soviet system. Like it or not, it has moved beyond that, while the West in general and Europe in particular now remain mired in the dogmas of the regulatory state and big corporate (cartel and trust) capitalism.
What will be interesting to observe is how Russia plays out this vision, not only with its dealings with China and the other BRICSA nations, but more particularly, in Europe, and especially in respect of its dealings with Germany and France, for the recent rifts between Paris and Washington, on the one hand, and Berlin on the other, on how to deal with the Greek situation, may give Russia the opportunity to probe and press for a renewal of its traditional friendliness with France. There will be cultural-economic studies in Russia about the relation between state and corporation that may be interesting to watch and consider, for the relation of the corporation as a person in law recognized by the state, is at the heart of the two dogmas of the Eurocrats and Mr. Global.
In short, Mr. Putin's "new strategy" is a total one, and at the heart of it are ideological challenges to the reigning assumptions of the West and its financial, political, and remaining and quite battered cultural institutions.
See you on the flip side...