Breaking down Vladimir Putin’s memorable Valdai club speech
While the Anglo-Saxon world did not allow the complete collapse of these economies at the time, the ongoing twin financial and energy crises in Europe caused by NATO sanctions against Russia will be a much bigger hole. deep from which to emerge.
Putin remarked that it was foolish to inflict so much suffering on his own citizens, calling it an inevitable result of the “so-called West” to continually escalate the problems at all costs, even for themselves, in a dangerous, bloody and dirty power. Game.
For him, the recklessness with which the West has destabilized world food and energy markets in 2022 (with terrible economic and humanitarian consequences for itself), such as its provocations against Taiwan, and the war proxy he is currently waging in Ukraine against Russia, are an integral part of their efforts to retain their global supremacy.
But this plan fails. Humanity is at a crossroads, Putin said, meaning the West can “either continue to pile up the problems and end up being crushed under their weight, or work together to find solutions – however imperfect, however that they work – that can make our world a more stable and secure place.
So, did Putin have a solution?
He was candid: He said he had been warning the West for years that this path they were on would lead to war in Ukraine; and, now that the Rubicon was crossed, the conflict would end only if Russia achieved its stated political goals, or if the West came to its senses.
And here he made an intriguing distinction. There were two Wests, he said.
One, which looked a lot like Russia, built around old traditions, customs, rituals and a civilizational philosophy based on faith and morality.
But there was also another West, a complex theoretical construct, blinded by its own superiority, with a primitive, selfish, racist, neo-colonial goal of imposing its values, norms and habits on the rest of the world.
Russians could identify with the first West because of the goodness inherent in it, but not with the other because of the moral decay in which it was enveloped.
Indians will easily understand this key point: they too love a West for the material benefits it offers, but they won’t have a truck with its “woke” half, full of dissent as a way of life, aggressive atheism, of nihilism, and that overused repellent catch-all – “left liberalism”.
Indeed, it could so easily have been an Indian speaking at the Valdai Club, with equal weariness and regret, for the grouse were essentially the same.
In fact, Putin made precisely this point in his own way: he said that the classic liberal ideology, which originally stood for rights and freedoms, had degenerated into a “culture of cancellation” which considered all another opinion as a sinister threat.
This other West had gone astray and, in doing so, had also lost the old tradition of respect for different value systems and religions.
The reason for this degeneration, Putin said, was “a doctrinal crisis of the American neoliberal model of international order. They have no idea of progress and positive development. They simply have nothing to offer the world except to perpetuate their dominance.
This is perhaps the crux of what Putin wanted to convey: that the very states that talked about democracy were overturning elections through color revolutions and preventing the evolution of alternative socio-economic models that were far more efficient. than what the West had to offer.
And, again, notice how similar his arguments are to those employed by the Indians against our “left liberals.”
No power had the moral right to impose its values and systems on another, not least because such efforts ran counter to the so-called liberal-democratic values they were selling.
Multipolarity was the new reality the West would do well to embrace if it were not to be rendered ineffective and irrelevant by irresistible changes taking place outside the West.
In Putin’s own words, the West’s “pretentious aspirations” would only lead them to their own downfall. “Each time, the West will have to pay a higher price for its attempts to preserve its hegemony.”
It’s the convergence of beliefs and complaints that makes India and Russia such easy friends, and Putin forced the point in a lengthy question-and-answer session after his speech.
On China, calling Xi Jinping his friend, Putin said Russia deeply respects Chinese culture and traditions. On bilateral trade, he said the two countries intend to lift trade volumes to new highs in an accelerated manner.
The point, made obliquely, is that Russia’s lucrative engagement with China will continue regardless of what the West seeks or attempts in the South China Sea.
He expressed the same broad views on the rest of the globe, especially on Europe, while taking questions from all continents; that international relations were about respecting the will and viewpoint of other sovereign nations, while trading for an honest profit.
Putin revealed that former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl told him that America would mind its own business, plus Latin America, while Asia would develop “mightily”, and European civilization (note again using that word) would work with Russia if it intended to remain a global force.
But, Putin sighed, the current generation of European leaders had “different views”.
He had some special words for India. The tone was distinctly different and hopeful. “We have a special relationship with India… We have never had any problems with India, I want to stress, never. All we did was support each other.
According to Putin, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “one of the few people in the world capable of pursuing an independent foreign policy in the interests of his people”.
He called Modi “an icebreaker…just calmly moving in the direction that the Indian state needs”.
It was truly lavish, heartfelt praise (Putin isn’t usually used to paying compliments like this) and signals the centrality of India’s foreign policy to Russian goals.
Moreover, the comments came shortly after it was announced that Dr S Jaishankar, Indian Foreign Minister, would travel to Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart on November 8, the day of the US mid-term elections. mandate. So obviously there’s a lot more going on behind the curtains than we realize.
Finally, in the many hours he spoke, Putin’s recurring theme was a reiteration that the days of the US dollar as a global currency were coming to an end.
Indeed, it was a command performance by Vladimir Putin with two purposes: first, to signal that the West’s proxy war was a turning point in world history; and, second, that Europe and America need to recover their soul and their morality if they are to live in friendship with a much larger world, which goes its own way.
The former will occur regardless of who else is doing what. The beginning of the end of the Bretton Woods system is near.
The second, whether or not the good part of the West is able to straighten out its part of the world, remains to be seen. Either way, Putin’s speech at the Valdai Club was momentous, marking a turning point in world affairs.