Monday, February 14, 2022

West Now Fighting Revisionism Not Authoritarianism, Inozemtsev Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 23 – Despite all the talk about promoting democracy, Vladislav Inozemtsev says, “the West is gradually shifting from dividing all other countries into authoritarian and democratic into dividing them between revisionist regime and those who do not have anything against the existing world order.”

            In short, the Russian economist and commentator says, the West rarely sanctions countries for what they do within their borders but increasingly sanctioning others who seek to project power beyond their borders and thus destabilize the existing international system (

            What this means is that “the attitude of the West toward the rest of the world is becoming much more pragmatic than it was earlier. The main thing now for it is whether this or that country can threaten the existing balance of forces in world politics,” something that should be reassuring to most dictators.

            Under this arrangement, these rulers may “do within their own countries practically everything without leading to serious problems from the side of ‘the international community,’” as long as they “don’t cross borders in the direct and not the notional sense as was the case earlier.”

            But there is a problem and it is this: dictators in many cases want “to show their influence in the world” and they have few ways to do it except by the use of force abroad, Inozemtsev continues. Consequently, unless their domestic arrangements aren’t changed, the drive of many of them, like Russia, to meddle abroad won’t change either.

            What that suggests, although Inozemtsev doesn’t discuss it here, is that those who are now talking about promoting democracy are right but do not yet have the courage of their convictions to take the steps necessary for as long as it will take to achieve the spread of that system.

            And it also suggests that those focusing only on revisionism rather than democracy will be putting the world on course to an extended period of “whack a mole” in which the international community will keep being challenged by the same states, again like Russia, who see foreign expansionism as the salvation of their systems at home.


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