Putin The New Czar

Ross Douthat writes, “He may believe that the age of American-led globalization is ending no matter what, that after the pandemic certain walls will stay up everywhere, and that the goal for the next 50 years is to consolidate what you can — resources, talent, people, territory — inside your own civilizational walls.

In this vision the future is neither liberal world-empire nor a renewed Cold War between competing universalisms. Rather it’s a world divided into some version of what Bruno Maçães has called “civilization-states,” culturally-cohesive great powers that aspire, not to world domination, but to become universes unto themselves — each, perhaps, under its own nuclear umbrella.

This idea, redolent of Samuel P. Huntington’s arguments in “The Clash of Civilizations” a generation ago, clearly influences many of the world’s rising powers — from the Hindutva ideology of India’s Narendra Modi to the turn against cultural exchange and Western influence in Xi Jinping’s China. Maçães himself hopes a version of civilizationism will reanimate Europe, perhaps with Putin’s adventurism as a catalyst for stronger continental cohesion. And even within the United States you can see the resurgence of economic nationalism and the wars over national identity as a turn toward these kind of civilizational concerns.

Via PayPal

In this light, the invasion of Ukraine looks like civilizationism run amok, a bid to forge by force what the Russian nationalist writer Anatoly Karlin dubs “Russian world” — meaning “a largely self-contained technological civilization, complete with its own IT ecosystem … space program, and technological visions … stretching from Brest to Vladivostok.” The goal is not world revolution or world conquest, in other words, but civilizational self-containment — a unification of “our own history, culture and spiritual space,” as Putin put it in his war speech — with certain erring, straying children dragged unwillingly back home.

But if your civilization-state can’t attract its separated children with persuasion, can they really be kept inside with force? Even if the invasion succeeds, won’t much of Ukraine’s human capital — the young and talented and ambitious — find ways to flee or emigrate, leaving Putin to inherit a poor, wrecked country filled with pensioners? And to the extent that the nationalist vision of Russian self-sufficiency is fundamentally fanciful, might not Putin’s supposedly-greater-Russia end up instead as a Chinese client or vassal, pulled by Beijing’s stronger gravity into a more subordinate relationship the more its ties to Europe break?

Grave dangers

These are the long-term challenges even for a Putinism that accepts autarky and isolation as the price of pan-Russian consolidation. But for today, and for as many days as Ukrainians still fight, the hope should be that he never gets a chance to deal with long-term problems — that the history that he imagines himself making is made instead in his defeat. —- The New York Times, Feb. 26, 2022, Vladimir Putin’s Clash of Civilizations

Mearsheimer on World War III fears

In World War II, we Americans did not go to war with Germany for Great Britain, when it declared war on Hitler’s Germany and then was defeated in France. We went to war with Germany only when Hitler declared war on us, four days after Pearl Harbor in December 1941.”— Patrick Buchanan

Update August 28, 2022. Peter Hitchens: A Long War Will Give Us Nothing But Blood. It’s Time for Peace.

— Matt Taibbi: Orwell was right

— Biden vows no World War III.

— Russia Reportedly Bombs Disabled Care Home. War Crime.

Historian David Starkey on Putin and Power

March 9 “Dissident #1,” George Galloway and Scott Ritter (former UN Arms Inspector)

Caitlin Johnstone: The U.S. chose this Conflict.

Biden Bans Russian Oil. Biden says Americans will just have to get used to higher gas prices.

“After backing a far-right coup in 2014, the US has fueled a proxy war in eastern Ukraine that has left 14,000 dead. Russia’s invasion is an illegal and catastrophic response.

Galloway insists Russia is being framed by U.S. propaganda; wider European war threatens. End of dollar hegemony seen as Russia, China and Iran forced to create new Economic world system.

— Joseph Cirincione “Nuclear Nightmares”

Fight Russia? “The United States aids Ukraine and her people,” Adam Schiff declared in January 2020, “so that we can fight Russia over there, and we don’t have to fight Russia here.”

Vatican remains silent so far on Russian accusation (John Allen)

The Always Humane, Just and CompassionateUK rejects opening borders to Ukraine war refugees’ but will fight for “liberty” to the last drop of Ukrainian blood

— “Glenn Greenwald and Lee Smith Discuss Ukraine and the Deep State

Reality, (Iraq) Idealism, and Ukraine. Crisis Magazine.

Chinese media outlets told to avoid posting “anything unfavorable to Russia or pro-Western”

Archbishop Viganò. Credible? Or not.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò Vatican critic, blames ‘deep state’ for Ukraine war. Warns of “transhuman and medical-technical globalist monster”

March 7, 2022

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — As Pope Francis continued attempts to mediate the conflict in Ukraine, former Vatican envoy and outspoken papal critic Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò released a letter Monday (March 7) blaming “deep state” forces in the United States, the European Union and NATO for triggering the current war and demonizing Russia.

“The United States of America and the European States must not marginalize Russia but build an alliance with it, not only to restart trade for the prosperity of all, but in lieu of the reconstruction of a Christian Civilization, which will be the only one able to save the world from the transhuman and medical-technical globalist monster,” the archbishop wrote in his nearly 10,000 word letter.


—- Too, Glenn Greenwald at Rumble

2012, 2017

2017: Brzezinski: On Europe & Russia

2012: Brzezinski: U.S. Should Work With Russia, Turkey to Solve Global Problems

2011: Zbigniew Brzezinski: Ukraine’s Future

— For more opinion see Vlad the Perplexing

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