Staunton, December 26 – During the Cold War, Moscow and the West recognized that they were two distinct systems that in principle couldn’t make any permanent compromise. But after the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union, many in both places acted on the assumption that they were again one system and that compromise between them was the norm.
That assumption, Aleksandr Skobov says, was and is wrong. The Russian Federation of Vladimir Putin and Western liberal democratic capitalist states represent two distinct systems just as communism and capitalism did in the past and that no permanent compromise between them is possible (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5A4128AFDC15E).
Despite what Kremlin propagandists claim, the Russian commentator says, conflicts in the world today are not the result of the struggle of nations or states for resources, as geopolitics is typically defined, but rather between two very different ways in which elites gain resources for themselves
“In the liberal capitalist system, elites must act within socially acceptable limits.” They are subject to control by society and have to respond to it, and “the individual has a high level of legal and social defense and independence from both the society and the state,” Skobov continues.
In the illiberal world of which Russia is a prime example, elites gain access to resources by enslaving the population, act without regard to legal limits, and often behave in openly criminal and bandit-style ways. That is why, he says, many now call the Putin system “a kleptocracy.”
“Conflicts between these two social systems bear an irreconcilable(antagonistic) and irremovable character. Each of the systems cannot by strive to the complete liquidation of the alternative system because the very existence of each of them represents a threat to the survival of the other.”
“The elites of the authoritarian world are afraid of the infectiousness of the example of the liberal West for their societies and therefore strive to spread to the West the way that are characteristic for them of acquiring wealth.” That is why the Putin regime is spreading corruption in the West, something it would be doing even if Ukraine had never happened.
“Sooner or later,” Skobov says, these actions “will force Western society as a whole to resolve the problem of the expansion of illiberal social forms in a radical way by removing these forms from history as a dangerous infection.” Western nations did that with communism; they now have another existential challenge that they must face the same way.
And that means that “’the Second Cold War’ will only grow and can end only with the complete destruction of one of the systems.” How hard the ending will be, one that may range from a parallel to the demise of the USSR to the destruction of Nazi Germany, is difficult to predict. But that the current conflict is more than about geopolitics is already clear.