The formula of the Russian way
The picture is as follows. The Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama administrations, as well as the Biden administration, have supported and continue to support liberalism in international relations. They see the world as global and governed by a world government through the heads of all nation states. Even the United States is nothing more than a temporary tool in the hands of a cosmopolitan world elite. Hence the aversion and even hatred of Democrats and globalists for any form of American patriotism and for the very traditional identity of Americans.
For the advocates of liberalism in the countries of the Middle East, every nation-state is an obstacle on the road to world government and a strong sovereign nation-state, which moreover openly defies the liberal elite, is a real enemy to be destroyed.
After the fall of the USSR, the world ceased to be bipolar and became unipolar, and the globalist elite, the adherents of liberalism in International Relations, took over the levers of human governance.
Russia of the 1990s, defeated and dismembered, as a remnant of the second pole, under Yeltsin accepted the rules of the game and conformed to the logic of the International Relations liberals. All Moscow had to do was renounce its sovereignty, integrate itself into the Western world and start playing by its own rules. The goal was to gain at least some status in the future world government, and the new oligarchic leadership did everything to fit into the Western world at any cost, even on an individual level.
Since then, all Russian higher education institutions and universities have sided with liberalism in matters of international relations. Realism has been forgotten (although known), equated with 'nationalism' and the word 'sovereignty' has not been uttered at all.
Everything changed in realpolitik (but not in education) with the arrival of Putin. From the beginning, he was a staunch realist in international relations and a staunch advocate of sovereignty. At the same time, Putin fully shared the universality of Western values, the lack of alternatives to the market and democracy, and considered the West's social and scientific-technological progress the only way to develop civilisation.
The only thing he insisted on was sovereignty, hence the myth of his influence on Trump. It was realism that brought Putin and Trump together, otherwise they are very different. Putin's realism is not against the West, but against liberalism in international relations, against world government, as is the case with American realism, Chinese realism, European realism and any other realism.
The unipolarism that has developed since the early 1990s, however, has turned the heads of Middle Eastern liberals. They believed that the historical moment had arrived, that history as a confrontation of ideological paradigms was over (Fukuyama's thesis), and that the time had come to begin the process of unifying humanity under world government with new force, but to do so, residual sovereignty must be abolished.
This line is at odds with Putin's realism. Nevertheless, he tried to balance on the razor's edge and maintain relations with the West at all costs. This was easy enough with the realist Trump, who understood Putin's desire for sovereignty, but became impossible with the arrival of Biden in the White House. So Putin, as a realist, has reached the limit of possible compromise. The collective West, led by the liberals of International Relations, put increasing pressure on Russia to permanently dismantle its sovereignty instead of strengthening it.
This conflict culminated in the start of Operation. The globalists actively supported the militarisation and nazification of Ukraine. Putin rebelled against this because he realised that the collective West was preparing for a symmetrical campaign - to 'demilitarise' and 'denazify' Russia itself. The liberals turned a blind eye to the rampant Russophobic neo-Nazism in Ukraine and, in fact, actively promoted it, while favouring its militarisation as much as possible, while accusing Russia itself of exactly the same thing - 'militarism' and 'Nazism', trying to equate Putin with Hitler.
Putin started SMO as a realist, nothing more, but a year later the situation changed. It became clear that Russia was at war with modern Western liberal civilisation as a whole, with globalism and the values that the West imposes on everyone else. This shift in Russia's awareness of the world situation is perhaps the most important result of the entire Special Operation.
The war has been transformed from a defence of sovereignty to a clash of civilisations. Russia no longer merely insists on independent governance, sharing Western attitudes, criteria, norms, rules and values, but acts as an independent civilisation, with its own attitudes, criteria, norms, rules and values. Russia is no longer the West, it is not a European country, but an orthodox Eurasian civilisation.
This is what Putin proclaimed in his speech on 30 September on the occasion of the admission of the four new entities constituting the Russian Federation, then in the Valdai speech and repeated several times in his other speeches. Finally, with Decree 809, Putin established a state policy framework to protect traditional Russian values, a set that is not only significantly different from liberalism, but in some respects the exact opposite.
Russia has shifted its paradigm from realism to Multipolar World Theory, rejected liberalism in all its forms, and directly challenged modern Western civilisation by openly denying it the right to be universal.
Putin no longer believes in the West and calls modern Western civilisation 'satanic'. This is easily identifiable both as a direct reference to eschatology and orthodox theology, and as an allusion to the comparison between the capitalist and socialist systems of the Stalin era. Today, it is true, Russia is not a socialist state, but this is the result of the defeat suffered by the USSR in the early 1990s, with Russia and other post-Soviet countries finding themselves to be ideological and economic colonies of the global West.
Putin's entire reign, until 24 February 2022, has been a preparation for this decisive moment. But it has remained within the realist framework. That is, the Western path of development + sovereignty.
Now, after a year of tremendous trials and terrible sacrifices suffered by Russia, the formula has changed: sovereignty + civil identity. The Russian way.
Translation by Lorenzo Maria Pacini