Tuesday, January 16, 2024

World Politics has Returned to What It was for Centuries Before 1985-2000, Pastukhov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 12 – The conflicts that are taking place around the world represent not a new departure as some think but rather a return to the world that existed before the years between 1985 and 2000 seemed to promise that a new world was being born, one based less on force and more on law, Vladimir Pastukhov says.

            What is happening now, the London-based Russian analyst says, represents “the normal world exactly as it had existed for thousands of years” before the last 40 when “the intensity of global violence was relatively low and the number of wars limited” (t.me/v_pastukhov/935 reposted at echofm.online/opinions/my-bezhali-vperedi-parovoza-istorii-i-teper-on-nas-dogonyaet).

            Three factors came together to produce the remarkable period, Pastukhov continues: “the echo of a terrible war that claimed some 50 million lives, the emergence and spread of weapons of mass destruction, and the collapse of the USSR, which left a gaping hole” in the international order.

            The peaceful collapse of the Soviet empire made dominant “in the West and especially in Europe” that “a completely free world order without violence and inequality, where all minorities are satisfied, all the weak protected and comfortable and all the strong ashamed of their strength” was “close and easily achievable. You only have to want it and explain how right and good it is.”

            This idealism was possible thanks to the grandfathers of this generation who die on the fields of World War II and to Mikhail Gorbachev “who saved them from the fear of a new global war.” As a result, they came to believe that “the unique state” of the world between 1985 and 2000 was the new normal.

            “We must give such people their due,” Pastukhov argues. “They have seriously advanced Western society along the path of humanization and, in the future, they will be given credit for this. But they became dizzy with success, and their ideal image of the world departed too far from reality.”

            According to the analyst, “for this, they and all the rest of us will soon pay a heavy price” now that “the world is returning to its usual parameters,” a return “the generation of idealists was not prepared for” and does not have the intellectual tools to achieve its goals in a situation when those goals are far harder to achieve.

            Pastukhov suggests that “a dangerous vacuum has arisen, one that threatens to turn into a collapse” and that it will take “a change of generations over the next 10 to 15 years” to escape from the current impasse. That new generation will consist of realists who will replace the idealists of the last several decades.

            That generation and the world with it will have to “take one step back before we can take two steps forward again in the direction of humanism.”

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