China begins the “transformation of capitalism”

Is a new “cultural revolution” starting in China? For many days in the Celestial Empire, they have been discussing the article “Everyone can feel that a deep transformation is taking place” – about the new course of Xi Jinping .Here is the most striking quote from it:

“If we continue to have to rely on big capitalists as the main force in the fight against imperialism and hegemonism, or we continue to cooperate with the American industry of ‘mass entertainment’, our youth will lose their strong and courageous energy, and we will suffer the same collapse. like the Soviet Union, even before we get a real attack. “

The publication appeared on WeChat on August 28 on the personal blog of Li Guangman. He is a little-known journalist and former editor-in-chief of a small newspaper. But in the following days, the text was reprinted by various state media, including the People’s Daily and the Xinhua News Agency. That is, the theses of Guanman’s article received the highest support – and everyone began to perceive them as a signal of the upcoming radical transformations. Moreover, the article appeared 55 years after the beginning of the “great proletarian cultural revolution” – a turmoil that lasted for several years, during which Mao, relying on the extreme left, dealt a terrible blow not only to the Chinese nomenclature, but also to the entire way of life of educated Chinese.

And is there another storm of communist heights ahead?

Of course not. No matter how frightened the Chinese liberal Westernizers may be. No matter what they think up in the West. There can be no return to the practice of the “cultural revolution”. Nobody is going to curtail the reforms initiated by Deng Xiaoping in 1978, and the market economy is not going to be canceled. China’s goal remains to build a “society of common prosperity” by 2049, that is, by the centenary of the founding of the PRC.

But China is not going to give up the leading role of the Communist Party either – as well as the assertions that it is socialism with Chinese characteristics that is being built. The same Xi Jinping said at the celebration of the centenary of the CCP in July that “we must continue to promote the Sinification of Marxism, persistently combine the basic principles of Marxism with the concrete reality of China and with the excellent traditional culture of China.” 

But if socialism is Chinese, then the market economy, that is, capitalist, must also be Chinese. That is, a kind, national and consistent with Chinese values. It is precisely its change that Xi Jinping is engaged in. That is why the article of the blogger Guanman received such a resonance. What does Guanman write about? The fact that everything that has been happening in China in recent months is not separate events. It is part of a larger plan, which he calls “the deepest transformation” carried out by Xi Jinping.

Regulation of a very large IT businesses

First, Beijing tightened regulation of a very large IT business. Then restrictions were introduced on the activities of tutors (a huge market in China). And also access of schoolchildren to video games (no more than three hours a week). Now hands have reached show business – fines and bans on performances have been introduced for some stars. 

Moreover, at first there were warnings, and the main measures against the “cultural figures” were taken just after the publication of Li Guangman’s article – which, of course, added to the conspiracy theorists the confidence that the text about deep transformation appeared for a reason. Already on September 2, the management of the television and radio broadcasting announced a new strategy – limiting television programs and reality shows that cultivate youth idols. It is clear which ones, because at the same time we are talking about the need to establish the correct standards of beauty and expel “effeminate men.” 

Show business was offered to “deliberately abandon vulgarity, bad taste. And also to deliberately rebuff the decadent ideas of worshiping money, hedonism and extreme individualism. “Moreover, all the measures of the Chinese authorities have not only a market, but also a completely understandable moral dimension. Moreover, they are caused precisely by concern for the moral and ethical health of the nation. The financial costs are deeply secondary here. Because health, especially moral, cannot be bought. And then you cannot re-educate young people brought up on someone else’s matrix. And Xi Jinping is deliberately taking tough measures.

Li Guangman explains it as follows:

“This is a return from a group of capital to the masses of people and the transformation of a capital-oriented model into a model oriented towards the people. Thus, this is a political change, and the people again become the main organ of this change. Those who will prevent this change from being implemented in the direction of the people will be discarded.

This is also a return to the original intentions of the CCP. A return to the essence of socialism. “Moreover, Guanman promises that soon new rules of the game will come to the real estate and medical services sector. There the authorities intend to fight unnecessarily high prices. As a result, people will benefit from the reform of the education, medical and property sectors. It will lead to “shared prosperity.” The path to it lies through the reduction of social inequality. And it has become enormous in China.

“The capital market will no longer be a haven for capitalists who can get rich overnight. The cultural market will no longer be a paradise for sissy stars. News and public opinion will no longer worship Western culture. Therefore, we need control all cultural chaos and build a vibrant, healthy, courageous, strong and people-centered culture. “

Yes, this is the goal that Xi Jinping sets for himself. Chinese society over the past decades has gone through serious Westernization, the cult of consumerism and pleasure. The new CCP policy will not suffer defeat. Because with all the profound changes, with all the contradictions and problems, the majority of the Chinese still retained a sense of national unity and solidarity. And an understanding of justice.

Correction will be difficult and painful

The correction will be very difficult and painful. However, the CCP has another ally in this struggle. This is Chinese patriotism, and it is really massive. It is no coincidence that Guangman explaining the necessity and inevitability of a “deep transformation”. At present, China is facing an increasingly harsh and complex international situation. The United States is carrying out military threats against the country. It is conducting an economic and technological blockade, inflicting financial blows and conducting a political and diplomatic siege of China.

In addition, the United States. launched a biological and cyber war against us, attacks on public opinion in China. “That is, the “profound transformations” taking place in China in themselves are needed in order to “respond to the brutal and ferocious attacks of the United States. As well as to the current difficult international situation,” explains Guangman. 

The Chinese understand this very well – a weak and weak-willed China will become a victim of external expansion. As it was already in the 19th century. Hence the most important warning of Guangman: If China, in its confrontation with the West, relies on its capitalists and educates young people on global mass culture, then the fate of the USSR awaits it.

Resisting external challenges

It will collapse even before it is attacked. Indeed, such civilizing powers as China and Russia cannot be defeated from the outside. They can only be undermined from within. Split, take advantage of their internal mistakes, internal weakness, make them manageable. Take the future away from them, bring up new generations to be weak and devoid of national character, add opium, real or ideological. China understands this very well – including from the experience of Russia, which has already paid a terrible price for the collapse of the country. And both powers will do everything to ensure that their internal order meets the interests of the peoples and their civilizational code. That is, it is resistant to any external challenges.

US withdrawal from Afghanistan – Leonid Ivashov

A shameful flight or a move in a big game?

Leonid Ivashov and Igor Shishkin on what is behind the US defeat in Afghanistan. What are the consequences of the change of power in this country can have for Russia and the world. Why Afghanistan is called the solar plexus of Eurasia.

I. Shishkin: Leonid Grigorievich, this is the first question I have for you in connection with what happened in Afghanistan: the flight of the United States is very much reminiscent of what happened in Vietnam, they are talking a lot about this now, showing some footage, drawing parallels. And the question for you, in fact, as a specialist is to understand what is behind such an escape? Or they are deliberately doing this in order to provoke chaos in this territory, which will engulf its neighbors, China, Iran, Pakistan and Russia. Or, secondly, the United States really could not otherwise hold on to the situation. According to some experts, the United States has demonstrated by such a flight that it is a fading power, they say, there can be many ambitions, but not so many abilities.

Leonid Grigorievich Ivashov. Russian military and public figure, colonel general. Specialist in the field of geopolitics, conflict management, international relations, military history. President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems.

L. Ivashov: Igor Sergeyevich, I generally exclude “flight” from my vocabulary when assessing the actions of the Americans. Let’s think about why the Americans are organizing their military presence, for some reason we think, since they have come, then they will put things in order there, make the population happy, stabilize the situation, and so on. Alas, Americans do not go anywhere for this purpose. They came there to take control of this very important geostrategic region. Afghanistan is the solar plexus of Eurasia, as it is called. Here is an access to powerful states, even civilizations, for example, like China. They once deliberately did this, their nuclear missile test site. Plus access to Pakistan, which has good relations with China lately. There is also an exit to India, then Iran, and so on.

In general, this is a very important region of the world, especially for Eurasia. The Americans built an airfield there, they came to influence the former Soviet, Central Central Asia, to influence Iran, India and so on from here. How to influence? Not only where to carry out some kind of military provocations or special operations, but to influence the maintenance of uncontrollable chaos. Let’s not forget that it was with the arrival of the Americans that drug trafficking increased, because this is the impact on your opponents through drug flows. Americans leave from wherever they go, they stay when they leave. 

So I, while still in the service for several years, noticed that they are campaigning, including among Afghans, in Russia, luring people to their territory in the United States. Moreover, there they are given appropriate education, training, and so on. The question is: what for? This is the preparation of the fifth column, or you can call it whatever you like. They stirred up, created this powerful Taliban movement and calmly leave, they were not even touched at the airport. And now, when they leave, they say, they say, you are going to clean up now. They armed, in fact, this population, everyone lives with some kind of weapon, created these warring groups and left. Further, we see that it is not the Americans who are alarmed now, but precisely the neighboring countries are alarmed. Therefore, to consider it a defeat or flight is, well, at least premature. that it is not the Americans who are alarmed now, but the neighboring countries are alarmed. 

I. Shishkin: This raises the following question then. You say that they came there not to make happy, not to deal with international terrorism, but they came in order to create a lot of trouble for their geopolitical opponents. But, doesn’t this mean that they were still unable to keep Afghanistan? After all, it was probably more profitable for them not to plunge into chaos, but to create powerful bases there, from which they could threaten China, for example, India and Russia, Central Asia and so on.

L. Ivashov:I think that all of this in the aggregate was at the same time and was planned. There is a continuous war, of course, the population is tired, the population wants peace, and I believe there will be peace. But, Americans, look where they just did not conduct these military actions, the same Iraq, Yugoslavia, in Libya. And then they calmly leave, therefore, did they try to stay there? Yes, of course, they would like to have military bases there, and so on, because they have already begun to build airfields there. It was not even Biden who decided this, it was even under Trump that it was decided that the troops would withdraw. 

You need to understand that the nature of this war has changed. And then, let’s see who’s coming there now? Turkey is paired with Qatar, it goes there. We are talking about the current moment, some of the Syrian militants were not accidentally transferred there, although the Afghans themselves are against the presence of other countries in general. China and Pakistan, for example, they also act in pairs, they were very interested in the Americans leaving. But, China is very powerful there, let’s face it. You can’t see it, nothing, but it is present, because China needs a stable and calm Afghanistan. But the Anglo-Saxons learned to do well, not to be present by military force, but to be present in a different way. 

Well, for example, we saw Syria, in Syria the Americans were little present, but look what movements they created there. They were in the shadows, but at the same time they created very powerful movements. We wish, of course, stability to be there. But, the question arises: will different groups of the Taliban start fighting among themselves tomorrow? And will they not create some other movements with American money that will fight against China and others, for example. they were very interested in the Americans leaving. 

I. Shishkin: Considering that the United States absolutely does not need “one belt, one road”, they are very interested in such a development of events.

L. Ivashov: Let’s see, God forbid, that this happens. But, experience suggests that the Americans, it seems, were not present somewhere militarily too strongly, but the states are gradually being destroyed. And it is not known how long such cases will last, because they are always and everywhere.

I. Shishkin: That is, to paraphrase the famous phrase that Great Britain has no eternal enemies, no eternal allies, but only eternal interests, then we can say that the Anglo-Saxons are guided by that there are no eternal victories and eternal defeats. After all, each victory will then turn into a defeat, but this defeat can be turned into a victory.

L. Ivashov: It was recorded that British intelligence spoke about its tasks, they say, that the Arabs should fight against the Arabs for our British interests.

I. Shishkin: One more question: nevertheless, the interest of the Americans is understandable, they are masters of organizing chaos in their own interests, but what about the regimes? They left Saigon, what they were creating collapsed instantly. They did not have time to leave Afghanistan completely, the regime they created collapses instantly. Vietnam still exists, for example, Cuba still exists, even though we left. It turns out that the regimes they create collapse instantly as soon as the bayonet disappears, and the regimes that we created exist and are very stable.

L. Ivashov: Well, they really consider Vietnam their defeat there. But, they know how to benefit from defeats, and then the same Middle East, stirred everything up there, brought some regimes that are unstable. As a result, the entire Middle East is unstable now, but here you must always look at what economic damage the Americans have suffered. Have they suffered any economic damage at all?

I. Shishkin: It seems that no.

Iran wants to join Eurasian Economic Union

Will Russia allow it?

There are some good reasons for Moscow’s lukewarm response to the possibility of Tehran’s admission to the EAEU. What are factors for and against Iran joining Eurasian Economic Union from Russian point of view?

By NIKOLA MIKOVIC

The Russia-dominated Eurasian Economic Union might soon be acquiring a new member: Iran. Boxed in because of its rivalry with other states in the Middle East, and laboring under US-imposed sanctions, Tehran believes it needs to strengthen ties with such neighbors as might be willing to accept it.

Iran appears to think that membership in the EAEU is a done deal. That is despite officials of the bloc denying they had received any formal request. When Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, Speaker of the Iranian parliament, visited Moscow on February 10, he declared Iran would “permanently join the EAEU in two weeks.” Apart from the fact that the date has passed, such optimism is extremely premature.

The response from Mikhail Myasnikovich, chairman of the board of the Eurasian Economic Commission, was telling. The Eurasian union wants Iran to have “a special view on cooperation with Eurasia,” he said. It hardly sounds like a warm welcome. Other EAEU officials have stressed that Iran must formally apply for membership. A veiled warning, perhaps, that Iran cannot expect to bypass procedures.

On the face of it, there are reasons for Tehran and Moscow to support Iran’s inclusion into the bloc. The economic area is an integrated market of 180 million people with a combined GDP of more than US$5 trillion. It encourages the free movement of goods and services and can formulate common policy in key areas such as energy, agriculture, transport, customs, and foreign trade and investment.

Iran already has had a free-trade agreement with the Eurasian union since 2018. In 2020, trade turnover between Iran and the EAEU increased by 2%, exceeding $2 billion.

Mutual benefits

Food products and agricultural raw materials accounted for most of that trade in both directions. 80% of the goods that the EAEU supplied to Iran and 68% of what Iran sent to the EAEU.

Joining the EAEU would improve Iran’s economic and political position globally and help to offset, at least partly, the cost of US sanctions.

On the Russian side, Moscow wants another pathway to the markets of the Middle East. That is why the Kremlin strongly supports the construction of the Nakhchivan corridor. It is a land route connecting not only Azerbaijan to its Nakhchivan exclave between Turkey and Armenia, but also Russia and Turkey and – crucially – Russia and Iran.

A future rail link between Russia and Iran, passing though Azerbaijan and Armenia, will undoubtedly enhance economic ties between the two countries as well as Iran’s trading relations with other Eurasian union member states.

However, how receptive Arab Middle East states would be to Russian goods transiting through Iran is another question altogether. This might be a reason for Moscow’s distinctly lukewarm response to the possibility of Tehran’s admission to the bloc.

In fact, there are several large questions hanging over inducting a new member into the bloc. Bloc consists of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, in addition to Russia. Uzbekistan, Moldova and Cuba have observer status.

Impact on Russian relationship with Israel and Arab States

It is not improbable that closer economic ties would lead to stronger military ones. The UN Security Council embargo on conventional arms shipments to Iran expired in October. It is no secret that Iran is interested in purchasing Russia’s S-400 anti-aircraft system. As well as Su-30 fighter jets. But such a deal would almost certainly ramp up tensions between Moscow and Washington and raise alarm bells in Gulf Arab states.

Then there is Russia’s relationship with Iran’s arch-enemy, Israel. The Russians have not prevented Israel from striking at Iranian targets in Syria, despite operating S-400 units in the area. Russia was the mediator in a prisoner exchange between its ally, Syria, and Israel that took place this month and there are rumors of further ongoing negotiations on humanitarian issues and even on wider geopolitical matters.

Speculation aside, what is known is that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed continued coordination between their two countries in light of developments in regional security. Was Iran also on the agenda?

Moscow, after all, must maintain its own delicate balancing act and guard its geopolitical interests. The normalization of ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and other Arab states has changed interest-dynamics in the region, tilting the balance further toward the Arab Gulf region’s anti-Iran alliance. How does Russia profit from the new Middle East?

Some other countries are already in the queue to join

Finally, there is the fact that there are others ahead of Iran in the queue to join the Eurasian union. Syria is one of them; 40 other countries also have stated their wish to develop trade and economic cooperation with the bloc.

As well as declaring that Iran would soon join the EAEU, Qalibaf said he had brought “a very important message” from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. It may well be that Moscow is composing its own, equally important message to send back to Tehran.

NIKOLA MIKOVIC

Nikola Mikovic is a political analyst in Serbia. His work focuses mostly on the foreign policies of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, with special attention on energy and “pipeline politics.” 

More by Nikola Mikovic

America’s Forever Wars Have Come Back Home

It’s no coincidence that, after years of fighting abroad, the United States is beset with paranoia, loss of trust, and increasingly bitter divisions

BY STEPHEN M. WALT

“Fortress America” is a derogatory term that usually refers to extreme forms of isolationism. Last week, however, CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria gave the idea a new and equally disturbing twist. In a thought-provoking column in the Washington PostZakaria described how excessive concerns for security are making the United States more “imperial” in appearance than the old colonial empires, with embassies, public buildings, and even the U.S. Capitol itself surrounded by barricades, moats, or fortifications. Instead of presenting a welcoming visage to the outside world and to the American people, one that conveys confidence, strength, and openness, America’s public face appears uncertain, vulnerable, fearful, and distant.

According to Zakaria, such concerns have also encouraged an excessive regard for secrecy, new layers of hierarchy and restriction, and a timid and sclerotic approach to public policy. In his words, “the U.S. government now resembles a dinosaur—a large, lumbering beast with much body and little brain, increasingly well-protected but distant from ordinary people and unresponsive to the real challenges that confront the nation.”

I couldn’t agree more, having noticed much the same tendency a few years ago. But the big question is: Why is this happening? Is it simply because the world has gotten more dangerous, or is there a connection between how the United States has been acting abroad and various threats to liberty at home?

I think there is. What follows is somewhat speculative, but there are several obvious ways in which America’s recent conduct abroad has led to greater insecurity, paranoia, loss of trust, and division within the United States, so much so that officials now have to erect barricades all over Washington (and in plenty of other cities as well).

Reason No. 1 is the familiar problem of “blowback.” During the “unipolar moment,” U.S. officials were convinced that a crusading foreign policy would be good for the United States and good for the rest of the world. As former President George W. Bush put it a few years before he took office, remaking the world in America’s image would usher in “generations of democratic peace.” Instead, we’ve seen a steady deterioration in democracy and eroding security at home and abroad. Whatever Americans’ intentions may have been, U.S. actions have sometimes caused enormous suffering in other countries—through sanctions, covert action, support for thuggish dictators, and a remarkable ability to turn a blind eye to the brutal conduct of close allies—not to mention America’s own far-flung military activities. Given the countries the United States has invaded, the bombs it’s dropped, and the drone strikes it’s conducted, it is any wonder that some people in other places wish Americans ill?

Bush used to say that terrorists came after the United States because they “hate our freedoms,” but there is a mountain of evidence—including the official 9/11 Commission Report—showing that what drove anti-American extremism was opposition to U.S. policy. Given what the United States had done—especially in the Middle East—it was entirely predictable that some groups would try to hit it back, and that a few of them would occasionally succeed. To say this is not to justify their actions or imply everything the United States has done was wrong; it is simply to remind us that U.S. actions are a key part of this story too.

Second, the vast sums Americans have spent trying to nation-build, spread democracy, or defeat all “terrorists of global reach” inevitably left fewer resources available to help Americans at home (including the veterans of the country’s protracted wars). The United States still spends more on national security than the next six or seven countries combinedand there’s little doubt that all that money has produced an impressive amount of military power. But the United States doesn’t have the world’s best primary and secondary schoolsthe best health care; best WiFi; best railways, roads, or bridges; or best power grids, and it lacks well-funded public institutions that can serve U.S. citizens’ needs in a pandemic or enable the country to maintain the technological edge it will need to compete with other countries for the rest of this century. Looking back, the over $6 trillion spent on what Bush dubbed the “war on terror”—including the money spent on unwinnable wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—could surely have been spent helping Americans live more comfortable and secure lives at home (or merely left in taxpayers’ pockets). Add to the list the decisions to promote rapid globalization and financial deregulation, which did significant harm to some sectors of the economy and led to the 2008 financial crisis, and you begin to see why confidence in the elite has taken a hit.

Third, running an ambitious and highly interventionist foreign policy—and, in particular, one that tries to manipulate, manage, and ultimately shape the internal politics of foreign countries—requires a lot of deception. To sustain public support for it, elites have to spend a lot of time inflating threats, exaggerating benefits, acting in secret, and manipulating what the public is told. But eventually at least some of the truth comes out, dealing another blow to public trust. And when actions abroad prompt blowback at home, government officials feel compelled to impose even more restrictions and start monitoring what ordinary citizens are doing, fueling suspicion and distrust of government even more.

To make matters worse, the architects of failure are rarely, if ever, held accountable. Instead of acknowledging their mistakes openly, even discredited former officials can head off to corporate boards, safe sinecures, or lucrative consulting firms, hoping to return to power as soon as their party regains the White House. Once back in office, they are free to repeat their previous mistakes, backed by a chorus of pundits whose recommendations never change no matter how often they’ve failed.

Why should ordinary Americans trust an elite that has misled them repeatedly, failed to deliver as promised, accrued an ever-larger share of the nation’s wealth, and suffered so few consequences for past errors? At this point it becomes easy to persuade someone that “the system is rigged” and that mainstream media is filled with “fake news.” Donald Trump didn’t learn how to lie in 2016—on the contrary, his career was founded on lies from day one—but he got elected president in part because Americans no longer believed anyone could be relied upon to tell the truth.

Weave these strands together, and you have a fertile environment for conspiracy theories, especially after Americans have been told over and over that a vast array of shadowy and ruthless adversaries were plotting to snatch their freedom away from them. In the 1950s, it was the fear of communist infiltration; after 9/11 it was the supposedly mortal peril of Islam, or immigrants, or a “refugee invasion.” Once you’ve been persuaded that the Islamic State posed an existential threat (as opposed to being a serious but manageable problem), it might not be hard to convince you that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was running a pedophile ring out of a pizza parlor. Too bad we didn’t spend more time worrying about some real dangers, like a new and highly contagious virus.

What I am suggesting is that America’s actions abroad helped create the dangers Americans now face at home. The United States set out to remake the world in its image, and when some parts of that world pushed back, it reacted the way that most societies do when they are attacked. Americans got scared, lashed out even more, stopped thinking clearly and strategically, and looked around for someone to blame. Instead of seeking out leaders who were genuinely interested in solving the real problems the United States faced, Americans ended up with the performative patriotism of a Ted Cruz or a Mike Pompeo—all swagger and no substance.

I’m not the first to point this out, of course, and the ideas sketched above are surely not the full story. Social media helped get us here, along with the emergence of the galaxy of media figures who figured out you could get rich being hateful, outrageous, and deceitful. I think Julian Zelizer is right to pin some of the blame on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, whose desire for power alone did more than anyone to destroy the norms of bipartisan cooperation and compromise. And the Republican Party’s decision to pin its political future on gerrymandering, voter suppression, and mobilizing a shrinking base and not on trying to appeal to the median voter is surely part of the problem, too, along with the twisted soul of Trump himself.

But the connection between imperial adventures abroad and domestic turmoil at home should not be overlooked. President James Madison once warned that “No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare,” and we would do well to reflect on his warning today. Endless campaigns abroad unleash a host of political forces—militarism, secrecy, enhanced executive authority, xenophobia, faux patriotism, demagoguery, etc.—all of them contrary to the civic virtues on which a healthy democracy depends. If President Joe Biden genuinely wants to heal America’s divisions on the home front, he needs to start doing less elsewhere. Otherwise, the United States is going to need some bigger walls, and I don’t mean on its borders.


Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.


Eurasia-news-online comment:

This appears to be just another article showing internal divisions in United States. The fact is – Forever Wars started long before Trump became president. Another shocking fact is – Trump is the first USA president that did not start new war in forty years. Unfortunately – the only conclusion (based on this article) is that divisions in USA will get bigger and wider instead of smaller.

China will not fall into the ‘Thucydides Trap’ with India

President Xi Jinping projects China as a ‘benevolent power’ but at the Raisina Dialogue in Delhi the ‘Quad’ nations lined up against him

The West’s notions of history and geography between Europe and Asia, are drenched in myriad cultural implications and can be traced back to ‘The Romance of Alexander’.

This is a collection of essays mixing truth, epic drama and mythology, composed between the death of Alexander The Great in 323 B.C., and the fourth century A.D, and attributed either to Callisthenes, Aristotle’s nephew or to Alexander’s tutor.

During a 10-year period, Alexander forged an empire encompassing Asia Minor and what the West later defined as the Middle East, annexing the current lands of Turkey, Syria, Israel and Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, a slice of Pakistan and northwest India.

For more than two millennia, Alexander best embodied in the West the clash of these two lofty paradigms: East and West. Alexander’s conquests also helped India to enter the Western frame of mind in terms of geography and civilization.

We eventually learned that India was actually close to the Arab world – overland via Iran, and in naval terms via its direct connection to the Persian Gulf.

The exchange of goods, traditions and culture was always inbuilt in the Big Picture. Overland or seaborne, the ancient Silk Road – before arriving in China – went through India. Rome was already trading with India before learning about the Middle Kingdom, and vice-versa as the Chinese barely knew the Mediterranean existed.

Closer to the West

So, India was always closer to the Western mind than China.

In parallel, when Vasco da Gama reached southwest India in 1498, those ports for more than a millennium had been trading with China, Southeast Asia, the Arab world and the Mediterranean.

The historical case can be made that India’s royals, after trading for so long with Arab, Jewish and Chinese merchants, were fooled by the “peaceful” intention of the first European incursions, which eventually led to British domination of the subcontinent.

This background should be taken into account when we look at what happened during the latest international Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi. This was sponsored by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), an Indian think tank.

The theme of the Raisina Dialogue was “Managing Disruptive Transitions.” And the number one “disruptive transition” was identified as no less than China’s New Silk Road, otherwise known as the Belt and Road Initiative.

More than 200 million Indians are Muslims, which makes it the third largest Muslim nation in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan. So, it is no wonder that Premier Narendra Modi’s right-wing pro-Hindu BJP acts as the self-proclaimed defender of a multi-millennium civilization.

But when we dig deeper we find that modern Hindu nationalism – instead of worrying about the destiny of the Mahabharata – was actually born in the 1920s, infused with the theories of Mazzini, d’Annunzio and even one Benito Mussolini. Still, that was all about fear of the Hindu identity being swamped by Islam and Christendom.

Now, it is all about fear of China.

Belt and Road versus ‘Quad’

NATO was in full voice at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi via Admiral Harry Harris, commander of US Pacific Command and named recently as US Ambassador to Australia. According to Harris, “the reality is that China is a disruptive transitional force in the Indo-Pacific, they are the owner of the trust deficit in the region.”

Significantly, the navy chiefs from the Quad nations – US, India, Japan, Australia – all agree on it. So does retired General David Petraeus, the former CIA director and mastermind of the surges in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Neocon ideologue Zalmay Khalilzad, a former US Ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan, also attended, and duly agreed that by trying to connect all of Eurasia via the Belt and Road, China would “change the international order.”

The Raisina Dialogue fully illustrated the scope of Washington’s terminological pivot from “Asia-Pacific” to “Indo-Pacific”, while detailing the prescription inbuilt in the new Pentagon Defense Strategy.

China – along with Russia – are “revisionist powers” bent on undermining the “international, rules-based order”, especially China with its “predatory economics” which will be fully developed through the Belt and Road program.

So, it was up to Quad to implement a new China containment strategy.

Geopolitically, in Beijing, China-India relations are regarded very seriously, second only in importance to China’s relations with the US. Lately, China-Russia relations have been in the ascendant – mutually exhorted as a “strategic partnership”.

China-Japan relations, meanwhile, may qualify as a distant fourth although vast swathes of the Chinese public appear to consider it the second biggest threat to President Xi Jinping’s “Chinese Dream”.

Yet once Beijing consolidates its influence over key maritime trade routes across East Asia, Japan will cease to be a problem. The real problem is if India ever decides to try to cut or at least interfere with China’s Belt and Road Initiative naval routes – and complex supply lines – across the Indian Ocean.

The key geopolitical question of the 21st century is how the ascension of China will “disrupt” American hegemony and arguably enable a Chinese – actually Eurasian – century.

China and India would have all it takes to be complementary. Both are members of BRICS, the group also comprising Brazil, Russia and South Africa. They are also part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), as well as top nations in the G-20. And yet New Delhi persists on treating Beijing not as a partner but as a threat.

Fear of the rising power

Xi Jinping, for his part, seems to take the Thucydides Trap seriously: when a rising power causes fear in an established power which escalates toward war. Xi has referred to it many times in his speeches.

So, closing the historical circle that started with Alexander, we now have an informed reader from the Middle Kingdom showing respect toward the most eminent historian of Ancient Greece

Xi is, in fact, warning the US, and by proxy, India, not to fall into the mistake that generated the Peloponnesian War, where every player lost.

The fear instilled in Sparta by the ascent of Athens rendered the war inevitable (replace Sparta by Washington/Delhi and Athens by Beijing). Athens was defeated as well as its model of democracy. In fact, the whole of Greece was defeated, its decline acting as a prelude for being conquered by Philip of Macedonia.

Inspired by the maritime expeditions of Admiral Zheng He, Xi’s point is that China is a benevolent power, with the New Silk Road – a massive trade route and a potential multiplier of wealth – developed as the archetypal globalization 2.0 “win-win”.

But, don’t count on India and the Quad to play along.

Source: http://www.atimes.com/article/china-will-not-fall-thucydides-trap-india/?utm_source=The+Daily+Report&utm_campaign=ec0ab36231-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_12&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1f8bca137f-ec0ab36231-21552319

ALEKSANDR DUGIN – ECONOMY AND MULTIPOLARITY

From the book “Theory of the Multi-polar World”, Chapter “Theoretical basis of the Multi polar World” – Economy

 

According to the rules of modern discourse, no theory or project is exempt from an economic program and to follow its calculations and estimates. It is natural to ask the following question: on what economic model will multipolarism be based?

In the case of the unipolar or global world, we have a clear answer: the current world economy is based on the capitalist system and any future project will be developed on the basis of it. Here, it becomes almost axiomatic that capitalism has now entered its third stage of development (post-industrial economy, information society, knowledge economy, E. Luttwak’s turbo-capitalism , etc.) and is characterized by :

• The qualitative domain of the financial sector on the industrial and agrarian;

• The disproportionate increase in the stock market, hedge funds and other strictly financial instruments;

• Extremely volatile markets;

• The development of transnational networks;

• Absorption of the secondary sector (production) and primary (agricultural) by the tertiary sector (services);

• Displacement of industry from the rich north to the poor south ;

• The global division of labor and the increased influence of transnational corporations;

• The rapid progress of state-of-the-art technologies (guided by precision and information);

• Increase the relevance of virtual space for the development of economic and financial processes (electronic stock markets, etc.).

This is the current panorama of the world economy and, if everything moves from a scenario of inertia, that of the immediate future. However, such an economic model is not compatible with multipolarism , since it is rooted in the implementation of Western economic codes on a planetary scale; In the homogenisation of the economic practices of all societies; In the vanishing of civilisation differences and, consequently, in the abolition of civilisations before a single cosmopolitan system, subjecting them to the universal rules and protocols formulated and applied for the first time by the West for its own benefit.

The modern global economy is a hegemonic phenomenon . This is clearly demonstrated by the neo-Marxists in International Relations, but is also generally recognized by realists and liberals – otherwise, in general, post-positivist theories are posed (critical theory and Postmodernism).

The preservation of this economic system is not compatible with the implementation of the multipolar project. Thus, the TMM [Multipolar World Theory] has to stick to alternative economic theories. As such, a close examination of the Marxist and neo-Marxist critique of the capitalist system and the analysis of its foundational contradictions, as well as the identification and prediction of the nature of its inevitable crises, will be useful.

Marxists usually talk about the collapse of capitalism and see their manifestation in the waves of economic crises that have shocked the world since 2008, since the collapse of the American mortgage system. Although Marxists themselves believe that the final crisis of capitalism should only occur after the internationalization and final advent of the two global classes (the world bourgeoisie and the world proletariat), their interpretation and prediction of the crises are quite realistic. Unlike Marxists, TMM apologists should not postpone multipolarism, awaiting the last trump of globalization. The next crisis is likely to inflict a deadly blow on the world capitalist system without globalization and cosmopolitanization of classes. (This may give rise to World War III). In any case, the current global economic model, in the near future, will most likely be tied to a structural and irreversible crisis. It will probably cease to exist – at least in its current form. Already witnessing the latest limitations of the new economy and the post-industrial model today, it is easy to see that a few more steps and the system is likely to collapse.

What can TMM propose in place of post-industrialism in the economic sphere? The guidelines should be:

• Overthrow the capitalist hegemony of the West;

• To reject the idea of ​​the liberal economy and the market model as something universal and as a self-evident global norm and, therefore,

• Economic pluralism.

 

The multipolar economy must be based on the recognition of the various poles and, likewise, on the economic map of the world.

The search for economic alternatives must be carried out in the philosophical field, rejecting, or at least relativizing, the importance and value of the material and hedonistic factor. Recognizing the material world as the most important or the only, as well as material well-being as the highest spiritual, social and cultural value, will necessarily lead to capitalism and liberalism, that is, acceptance of the legitimacy of economic hegemony of the West. Even if non-Western countries want to turn economic processes in their favor, as well as undermine the Western monopoly in the sphere of the market economy on a global scale, sooner or later the logic of Capital will import into these countries and their civilizations. Same standards today. In this the Marxists are right: Capital has its own logic, which, once accepted, will lead to the bourgeois-type political and social system, in everything identical to that of the West. Thus, opposing the hegemony of the “rich North” expressing loyalty to the capitalist system is an absolute contradiction and a fundamental obstacle to the construction of true multipolarism.

The American sociologist P. Sorokin clearly saw the limitations of Western materialistic civilization, which he called the “sensual” sociocultural system. In his point of view, economic-centric society, based on hedonism, individualism, consumerism and comfort, is destined for imminent extinction. It will be replaced by ideational [society]: the society that gives primacy to radically spiritual and anti-material values. This prognosis may well be a clue to TMM as to its relation to the economy in general. We see in multipolarism the way of the future and not the continuation of the [world] today. We must then follow the intuition of this great sociologist.

Today, most economists in both the West and the rest of the world are convinced that there are no alternatives to the market economy. Such confidence amounts to believing that all societies are moved by their traction through material conformity and consumerism. Consequently, the idea of ​​multipolarism is not even considered. Once, however, we recognize that the economy is the final destination, we automatically recognize that the liberal economy is the final destination, and thus the economic hegemony of the “rich North” becomes natural, justified, and legitimate. The other countries merely have to conform: what, in structuring the world system, will lead to globalization, class stratification and the dilapidation of civilizational frontiers (I. Wallerstein is right here).

In this sense, we come to the most logical conclusion: the economic model of the multipolar world must be based on the rejection of economic-centrism and the reduction of economic factors to a lower level than social, cultural, religious and political factors. Destiny is not matter, but the ideal , therefore, is not the economy that must dictate the political sphere, but the political sphere is the one that must dominate about the economic motivations and structuring. Without the relativization of the economy, without the subordination of the material to the spiritual, without the transformation of the economic sphere into subordinate and secondary to the dimension of civilization in general, multipolarism is impossible. Therefore, the TMM has to reject all kinds of economic-centric concepts – both liberal and Marxist (considering that the Marxist economy is also structured as having a historical destiny). Anti-capitalism, and especially anti-liberalism, should be the main vectors in the development of MMR.

Given the need to adopt positive guidelines, we have to take into account a variety of alternative concepts, hitherto kept on the margins of classical economic schools (for purely hegemonic reasons, of course).

As a first step towards the destruction of the global economic system, we must, to some degree, refer to the theory of the “autarchy of large spaces” (Friedrich List), which includes the creation of economic zones circumscribed in territories belonging to the same civilization. Within the perimeter of these territories must be aligned customs barriers, configured in order to promote within the said civilization the minimum of goods and services required to meet the needs of the population and the development of domestic productive capacity. Foreign trade is maintained with other “large spaces” organized so that no “large space” becomes dependent on foreign supplies, ensuring the restructuring of the entire economic system within each civilization, according to regional characteristics And the needs of the internal market. Since, by definition, civilizations are demographically relevant areas, the prospects for the internal market are more than sufficient for intensive development.

At the same time, we must raise the question of the creation of a system of regional currencies as well as the rejection of the dollar as the world reserve currency. Each civilization must create its own currency, guaranteed by the economic potential of its “big space”. The polycentrism of the issuing entities, in this case, would be a direct expression of economic multipolarism. Here we must also reject any kind of universal pattern of intercivilizational payments: exchange rates must be determined by the qualitative structures of foreign affairs between two or more civilizations. Above all, one should place the real economy , which specifically concerns the quantity of goods and services.

Acceptance of such rules will create the prerequisites for further diversification of the economic models of each civilization. Abandoning the terrain of global liberal capitalism and having organized the “great spaces” in line with its civilizational characteristics (still at the bottom of the market), civilizations will eventually be able to build an economic model in accordance with their cultural and historical traditions.

In Islamic civilization, a moratorium on bank money growth is likely to be imposed. In other civilizations, it will be possible to construct socialist practices of the redistribution of surpluses by any scheme (through tax control – by French economist Jean C. Sismondi’s theory or others – until the introduction of methods of planned economy and dirigisme ).

The economic pluralism of civilizations must be developed step by step without any universalistic prescriptions. Different societies can create different economic models – both market-based and mixed, planned, based on traditional society’s economic practices as well as new post-industrial technologies. The main task is the destruction of liberal dogmatism, the hegemony of capitalist orthodoxy and the weakening of the global function of the “rich North” as the main beneficiary of the organization of the planetary division of labor. The division of the labor force must be employed only within the “great spaces”, otherwise civilizations will be dependent on each other, which would cause the emergence of new hegemonies.

 

The killing of history – John Pilger

Journalist, film-maker and author, John Pilger is one of two to win British journalism’s highest award twice. For his documentary films, he has won an Emmy and a British Academy Award, a BAFTA. Among numerous other awards, he has won a Royal Television Society Best Documentary Award. His epic 1979 Cambodia Year Zero is ranked by the British Film Institute as one of the ten most important documentaries of the 20th century.

One of the most hyped ‘events’ of American television, The Vietnam War, has started on the PBS network. The directors are Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

Acclaimed for his documentaries on the Civil War, the Great Depression and the history of jazz, Burns says of his Vietnam films, “They will inspire our country to begin to talk and think about the Vietnam war in an entirely new way”.

In a society often bereft of historical memory and in thrall to the propaganda of its “exceptionalism”, Burns’ “entirely new”Vietnam war is presented as “epic, historic work”. Its lavish advertising campaign promotes its biggest backer, Bank of America, which in 1971 was burned down by students in Santa Barbara, California, as a symbol of the hated war in Vietnam.

Burns says he is grateful to “the entire Bank of America family” which “has long supported our country’s veterans”.  Bank of America was a corporate prop to an invasion that killed perhaps as many as four million Vietnamese and ravaged and poisoned a once bountiful land. More than 58,000 American soldiers were killed, and around the same number are estimated to have taken their own lives.

I watched the first episode in New York. It leaves you in no doubt of its intentions right from the start. The narrator says the war “was begun in good faith by decent people out of fateful misunderstandings, American overconfidence and Cold War misunderstandings”.

The dishonesty of this statement is not surprising. The cynical fabrication of “false flags” that led to the invasion of Vietnam is a matter of record – the Gulf of Tonkin “incident” in 1964, which Burns promotes as true, was just one. The lies litter a multitude of official documents, notably the Pentagon Papers, which the great whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg released in 1971.

There was no good faith. The faith was rotten and cancerous. For me – as it must be for many Americans – it is difficult to watch the film’s jumble of “red peril” maps, unexplained interviewees, ineptly cut archive and maudlin American battlefield sequences.

In the series’ press release in Britain – the BBC will show it – there is no mention of Vietnamese dead, only Americans. “We are all searching for some meaning in this terrible tragedy,” Novick is quoted as saying. How very post-modern.

All this will be familiar to those who have observed how the American media and popular culture behemoth has revised and served up the great crime of the second half of the twentieth century: from The Green Berets and The Deer Hunter to Rambo and, in so doing, has legitimized subsequent wars of aggression. The revisionism never stops and the blood never dries. The invader is pitied and purged of guilt, while “searching for some meaning in this terrible tragedy”. Cue Bob Dylan:“Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?”

I thought about the “decency” and “good faith” when recalling my own first experiences as a young reporter in Vietnam: watching hypnotically as the skin fell off Napalmed peasant children like old parchment, and the ladders of bombs that left trees petrified and festooned with human flesh. General William Westmoreland, the American commander, referred to people as “termites”.

In the early 1970s, I went to Quang Ngai province, where in the village of My Lai, between 347 and 500 men, women and infants were murdered by American troops (Burns prefers the term “killings”). At the time, this was presented as an aberration: an “American tragedy” (Newsweek ).  In this one province, it was estimated that 50,000 people had been slaughtered during the era of American “free fire zones”. Mass homicide. This was not news.

To the north, in Quang Tri province, more bombs were dropped than in all of Germany during the Second World War. Since 1975, unexploded ordnance has caused more than 40,000 deaths in mostly “South Vietnam”, the country America claimed to “save” and, with France, conceived as a singularly imperial ruse.

The “meaning” of the Vietnam war is no different from the meaning of the genocidal campaign against the Native Americans, the colonial massacres in the Philippines, the atomic bombings of Japan, the leveling of every city in North Korea. The aim was described by Colonel Edward Lansdale, the famous CIA man on whom Graham Greene based his central character in The Quiet American.

Quoting Robert Taber’s The War of the Flea, Lansdale said, “There is only one means of defeating an insurgent people who will not surrender, and that is extermination. There is only one way to control a territory that harbours resistance, and that is to turn it into a desert.”

Nothing has changed. When Donald Trump addressed the United Nations on 19 September – a body established to spare humanity the “scourge of war” – he declared he was “ready, willing and able” to “totally destroy” North Korea and its 25 million people. His audience gasped, but Trump’s language was not unusual.

His rival for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, had boasted she was prepared to “totally obliterate” Iran, a nation of more than 80 million people. This is the American Way; only the euphemisms are missing now.

Returning to the US, I am struck by the silence and the absence of an opposition – on the streets, in journalism and the arts, as if dissent once tolerated in the “mainstream” has regressed to a dissidence: a metaphoric underground.

There is plenty of sound and fury at Trump the odious one, the “fascist”, but almost none at Trump the symptom and caricature of an enduring system of conquest and extremism.

Where are the ghosts of the great anti-war demonstrations that took over Washington in the 1970s? Where is the equivalent of the Freeze Movement that filled the streets of Manhattan in the 1980s, demanding that President Reagan withdraw battlefield nuclear weapons from Europe?

The sheer energy and moral persistence of these great movements largely succeeded; by 1987 Reagan had negotiated with Mikhail Gorbachev an Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) that effectively ended the Cold War.

Today, according to secret Nato documents obtained by the German newspaper, Suddeutsche Zetung, this vital treaty is likely to be abandoned as “nuclear targeting planning is increased”. The German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has warned against “repeating the worst mistakes of the Cold War … All the good treaties on disarmament and arms control from Gorbachev and Reagan are in acute peril. Europe is threatened again with becoming a military training ground for nuclear weapons. We must raise our voice against this.”

But not in America. The thousands who turned out for Senator Bernie Sanders’ “revolution” in last year’s presidential campaign are collectively mute on these dangers. That most of America’s violence across the world has been perpetrated not by Republicans, or mutants like Trump, but by liberal Democrats, remains a taboo.

Barack Obama provided the apotheosis, with seven simultaneous wars, a presidential record, including the destruction of Libya as a modern state. Obama’s overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government has had the desired effect: the massing of American-led Nato forces on Russia’s western borderland through which the Nazis invaded in 1941.

Obama’s “pivot to Asia” in 2011 signaled the transfer of the majority of America’s naval and air forces to Asia and the Pacific for no purpose other than to confront and provoke China. The Nobel Peace Laureate’s worldwide campaign of assassinations is arguably the most extensive campaign of terrorism since 9/11.

What is known in the US as “the left” has effectively allied with the darkest recesses of institutional power, notably the Pentagon and the CIA, to see off a peace deal between Trump and Vladimir Putin and to reinstate Russia as an enemy, on the basis of no evidence of its alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The true scandal is the insidious assumption of power by sinister war-making vested interests for which no American voted.  The rapid ascendancy of the Pentagon and the surveillance agencies under Obama represented an historic shift of power in Washington. Daniel Ellsberg rightly called it a coup. The three generals running Trump are its witness.

All of this fails to penetrate those “liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics”, as Luciana Bohne noted memorably. Commodified and market-tested, “diversity” is the new liberal brand, not the class people serve regardless of their gender and skin color: not the responsibility of all to stop a barbaric war to end all wars.

“How did it f-cking come to this?” says Michael Moore in his Broadway show, Terms of My Surrender, a vaudeville for the disaffected set against a backdrop of Trump as Big Brother.

I admired Moore’s film, Roger & Me, about the economic and social devastation of his hometown of Flint, Michigan, and Sicko, his investigation into the corruption of healthcare in America.

The night I saw his show, his happy-clappy audience cheered his reassurance that “we are the majority!” and calls to “impeach Trump, a liar and a fascist!” His message seemed to be that had you held your nose and voted for Hillary Clinton, life would be predictable again.

He may be right. Instead of merely abusing the world, as Trump does, the Great Obliterator might have attacked Iran and lobbed missiles at Putin, whom she likened to Hitler: a peculiar profanity given the 27 million Russians who died in Hitler’s invasion.

“Listen up,” said Moore, “putting aside what our governments do, Americans are really loved by the world!”

There was a silence.

JohnPilger.com – the films and journalism of John Pilger 

Source: https://www.rt.com/op-edge/404299-killing-history-liberals-war-pilger/