NEW DARK AGE OF EUROPE
Leonid Savin is a significant representative of the new Russian school of geopolitics, a member of the neo-Eurasian movement and a close associate of Alexandr Dugin. Savin is also the editor-in-chief of the analytical center Geopolitika.Ру and The Journal of Eurasian Affairs, as well as the head of the administration of the International Eurasian Movement. He is the author of a series of books from geopolitics and related areas: To Geopolitic, Netwar and Net-centric warfare, Ethnopsychology, From Sheriff to Terrorist, New Methods of Warfare...
According to Leonid Savin, we live in a time of sudden change (geo)political paradigms and radical changes in power relations. American power has been weakening in recent years, new divisions and turmoil appear in the West itself. In addition to Russia and China, emerge new powers, potential empires, causing a series of new and renewing old conflicts, from the Middle East to the Balkans. The crisis of the European Union, spurred by a migrant crisis and terrorism, marks the end of the bourgeois myth of prosperity. All this creates a completely unique situation in a completely globalized world, where there are no clear rules anymore.
With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disappearance of the bipolar order, appeared the "unipolar moment". The United States has become the undisputed global hegemon. These quarter of a century marked by constant military interventions and aggressions, redrawing of borders, overthrow of the „bad regime“ in an attempt to America to establish a "new world order". It seems that attempt confront to failure and that Washington no longer has any idea, concept or the program, in addition to causing "controlled chaos" across the globe, except causing "controlled chaos" across the globe - chaos that the West increasingly difficult to control.
Exactly, US has no idea and means to continue own program for the world. At first, US empire is overstretched. At second, there are new rising powers such as China or restored Russia. Emerging states are following. Political friction between American satellites rising, cause no clear rules anymore. Leaks are good reason for political revisionism too. But situation is unique, cause first time in totally globalized world we see change of power balance in new way. There is different point of views on this process, but for my opinion it is dealing with nuclear weapon. Let’s remember that Kennet Waltz told about nuclear multipolarity decades before. This kind of mutual deterrence was kind of threshold never crossed. US tried to intervene into non-nuclear countries only, but such country as Russia was object of non-military means - through diplomacy, economy, etc. Finally in ideology US was failed. Washington still uses «liberalism» as tool of influence, but after world financial crisis this mantra is not operable as before anymore.
Every empire in the past had its own idea of the universal mission. In America, that idea has malignant form. It is the Puritan concept of the "chosen people", like ancient Israel. Thomas Jefferson spoke of America as an "empire of liberty" and the American "required to change the world for the better." These ideas have a profound continuity. President Bush Jr. has promoted the idea of "global democratic revolution". You've written about the "culture of violence", which is firmly rooted in the American mentality, even in folklore characters. Also, about the "machinery of war" that combines military-industrial complex, the armed forces, political, financial and intellectual elite of this country.
Im not agree about universal mission of empires. Old empires in ancient times and epoch of modern were based on idea of divine origin, not universal mission. Chinese empire never mind about world domination. There was very clear difference between barbarians from outside and people of empire inside. Or lets remember greek-persian wars. Two empires recognized each other as empires, tried to conquer, but the rest were barbarians. Empires in Mesoamerica also were self-centered but without idea to share own vision to neighbors where they get resources. In modern times situation was a little bit different, cause of Christian religion, but finally it led to Westfallic system of international order. If we will back to USA, there were mix of free-mason ideas (War for independence started from «Boston tea party» organized by Masonic lodge of Massachusets), protestant ethic and British experience of the dominance. Of course idea of «liberty» was in core of American democracy, but it was adopted in very specific way. It led to American expectionalism, where Washington only can to impose what is right and what is bad. Any other kinds of «liberties» were rejected. When coup was happened in Russian Empire and bolsheviks proclaimed different kind of freedoms it was not appreciated in US. Not because of specific style of Bolshevik governance, but because of new political pole that pretends to provide freedoms. After WWII American elite reorganized own state apparatus that become known as military-industrial complex and Deep State.
During the Cold War, the West, led by the United States, has performed and acted monolithic, especially in relation to its main rival – Eastern, communist block. Now we are witnessing the deepening divisions in the West, primarily between the US and Germany. Whether we are talking only about the transient disagreements between Angela Merkel and Donald Trump, or the interests of the two countries now are strongly opposed?
The question is about interests of political elites, not countries. Angela Merkel presents global liberal ideology, but Trump keep two-sided approach - American interests as he promised during election campaign and cuts of benefits for some old partners. Germany (liberal elites) still interested to be client of USA, but Trump wanna not to provide more assistance, funds and help to European allies.
For US and liberal Europeans problem also because of the rise of populism there. After France many disappointed of the European minds, but at least we need to see results of the parliament elections in September in Germany. Anyway we see death of democracy in EU, cause member states ruled by bureaucrats from European commission, not elected persons. So this issue is larger than conflict of interests between US and Germany only.
In his essay The Return of the Empires, Dmitry Minin argues that we live in a time of renewal of old imperial projects. America may have given up the idea of world hegemony, but it certainly remains strong imperial power.
Principle of empire is not about political and military strength, it is about system of governance. Empire need to give something, not take only. Russia manifested its essence after Crimea was recognized as own part under Russian sovereignty. Moscow paid big price for it - sanctions, decrease of economics, etc. But before we supported Syria and send our troops to there. It is also kind of imperial behavior. But term of empire may be discussed in different analytics and scientifically schools, so it depends of approach.
According to the real sector, China has already become the first economy in the world. Since 2013, she realized her project "New Silk Road", in cooperation with Russia and the Eurasian Association. How do you see the phenomenon of the rise of China and how China is positioned in relation to Russia and the United States?
China need to invest in neighbor countries as well as over the seas to support own economic grow. Cheap labor and huge financial funds push China to do something. In China most of large scale projects are finished. So they need to go abroad and OBOR is good chance for this strategy. US afraid of China and Pentagon has few strategies of deterrence like Air-Sea battle concept or subversive cyber-attacks against state of China or support of Taiwan. For US Russia is more weak and has some vulnerabilities exploited by Washington. But now White House become understand that anti-Russian strategy not works. They need more acts in more serious way that practically means warfare. Russia plays in advance and organizes security measures in back.
But Washington understand that to act against Russia and China when both countries together not possible and any kind of war will no luck. So US tries to separate our alliance, and no success till now. Russia and China both upgrade own military forces and enlarge our influence through SCO platform. India and Pakistan joined this organization that means less opportunity for US in Eurasia.
Russia under Putin and Yeltsin's Russia are two different countries. President Putin has managed to raised and reborn Russia. Whether Russia is on the way to become a true imperial power, not empire XIX, but empire XXI century?
Still many things need to be done. Domestic liberals are still in power and Russia and our western «friends» still active. Nature of challenge is very dynamic and complex. It is very important now to finish institutionalization of the power model in Russia. We need to think about years after 2025 and be ready to act in difficult environment. I know that many foreigners looks on Russia as cradle and last fortress of traditional values - it is also need to be on table when we develops own strategies an looking for the answers on global questions. As many classical Russian writers mentioned - we (as country) have own destiny and need to understand our role. Alexandr Dugin adopted philosophy of Martin Heidegger for this - Da Sein of Russian people must to be found through the need, not by order.
You were born in Ukraine, in Sumy. How do you assess the situation in Ukraine today and possible ways to end the war in that country?
Situation in Ukraine is very bad. Inflation, lack of job, state of Ukraine not provides social duties to the people. But someone rise big funds from growing prices and current crisis. Still external actors are very active - Ukraine is huge market and now there is possible to get many different resources mostly for free. Finally strategy of alienation of Ukraine from Russia is continued - developed by the West it released by local neonazi and liberal groups.
The disintegration of the European Union has actually started with brexit. Another possible solution is a fundamental redefinition of the concept of "European unification", but for something like that European elites apparently have no power. Euroenthusiasm in such conditions apparently shuts down.
Theoretically they are tries, but in practice there are so many chains imposed on European bodies… There is few negative aspects - European political institutions has no one vision for region and see expansionism like working option. Balkans will be adopted to EU in accordance with this vision. We also heard about «Marshal plan for Africa» proposed by Germany - another kind of old ambitions.
Migrant crisis and terrorism are obviously closely related. Migrant crisis is not over, but about that does not say much in the Western media. European leaders say the citizens of European countries to get used to living with terrorism. Terrorism has indeed become part of European everyday life. What is the meaning of these messages?
We can to describe it as signs of new dark ages of Europe. They need to wake up own political will or they will die in sense of european history and traditions. In 70s there were also many terrorist attacks in different european countries. Political radicals from Left and Right used terror on streets. Historically we can to find reference with French revolution where terror was institutionalized. It is nothing new. Point is that bourgeois myth of prosperity was dispelled. Paradoxically, anthem of EU is «Ode to Joy» of Bethoven, but Im not sure that most of EU citizens are joyful.
The process of redrawing the world and creating a new geopolitical reality more than twenty-five years began in the Balkan, when Western countries did everything to break up Yugoslavia and encourage the bloody civil war. In the West, there are now proposals for a new bridging of the borders in the Balkan. Are the Balkan will again become a battlefield, as the power relations in the world are changing rapidly, as happened in the early 90-ies of the last century? And what, in your opinion, Serbia needs to do?
As I told before EU will try to engage Balkan states into own entity. They are feel not comfortable with sovereign neighbors so new vector of Brussels diplomacy (both NATO and EU) will be directed into Balkans. Serbia is the most strong nut there, but after Montenegro was joined to North Atlantic treaty organization Serbia seems like next step. Macedonia now already under puppet control with Zaev in government. Let us see what happens in Serbia. For last years mostly all directives of EU were implemented. After last parliament elections in Serbia there are more pro-European ministers in the government (one LGBT activist even!). Migration of Serbs out of the country still continued.
Road map is very predictable. Real counter balance is alliance with Russia and SCO, but Moscow not get any signals from Belgrade.
Should Russia intervene? Because Russian approach for international relation based on non-intervention answer will be «no». It is reality. And nobody knows what will be next. Forecasting has few scenarios, but if Serbian authorities feels OK, why any other countries will worry?
In the meantime, this gay activists in the Serbian government have been nominated for the prime minister. The act itself is obviously some sort of political message.
I am sure that this election was made in coordination with the West - this is some kind of test to see the reaction of Serbian society. As an action with Bernard Levy - a cake is the message was sent to the global elites by the Serb people, and not just non-Marxist groups, and that was why Levyi declared Serbia a nationalist society which is not yet ready for globalist integration. Now we will see the response of the Serbian people to the appointment of a new Prime Minister.
West encouraged the Albanians to create its own "Great Albania" - that confirm the events in Macedonia.
EU will try impose policy of pacification in Balkans, but ISIS and Albanian militancy will rise anyway. Albanians in Kosovo looking to clean all territory under own control that means conflict. If political ends in Macedonia for Albanians will be not useful they will start attacks like in 2015. Not forget about migration flows through Turkey and Greece - traffic to EU going through Balkans mostly and some elements will stay there. And there is no unity for migration strategy between EU members even. So you must to be prepared for conflict. Better to be armed (in all senses) and safe than to be attacked and not ready for it.
Islamic world for years (and decades) is in deep turmoil. The first line of division among Muslims is that which divides Sunnis and Shiites. Saudi Arabia, led by Wahhabism, remains true to its US ally, and a major sponsor of terrorism. It seems that Turkey, until recently an important member of NATO and the Western coalition, decided to go their own way. There is also Iran, which closely cooperates with Russia. How do you foresee the development of events in the Islamic world?
From times of Carter doctrine part of Islamic world is under direct control of USA (and its regional ally Israel). For now USA tries to build new partnerships with Arabic states for deterrence of Iran, but there are surprises, for example Saudi-Qatar crisis. This game seems very interesting cause effects on Washington. Real power and ambitions of regional actors will be effective if smart power politics will be used. But Islamic world is not limited by Near East - Northern Africa, South of Asia and Pacific also part of Islamic worlds and this interdependence makes region more sensitive and open for different influences. Russia now is more active in Middle East and we have shared understanding with leadership of some islamic countries about future there.
The Middle East is an area of constant conflict and instability. Thus, at least, was during the last two centuries. How do you assess the current balance of power in that region? Is the appearance of ending the war in Syria and preparing new hotspots of war? What is meant "reorganization (US) project of the Great Middle East"?
Sectarian violence, promotion of human rights\democracy by the West, economical disfunctions, secularization, meshes of terroristic organizations, oil and gas reserves - all of them are enough precursors for new-old conflicts in this area. For now Syrian, Iraqi and Yemeni wars are crucial there. But also Bahrain, Lebanon and Turkey are next candidates to be horned by wars and unrests. We need new paradigm for the Middle East and the world in general. As President Putin just told - «new philosophy is need». It is all about multipolarity based on specific cultures, traditions and shared responsibilities. But we need to push out US influence first cause Washington not understand how to find good solutions. Because of the lack of ideas US just back to Greater Middle East project with some upgrades.
Besides own hard power policy White House will try to engage intergovernmental and international organizations, agencies of UN, World Bank and so on to invest into security there, but this strategy will be failed again. We need back to the roots of the people of region, to clean (post)modernist influences in very delicate way, then we will see that such organizations as Musli Brotherhood initially were rooted in Sufi Islam. Wahhabi structure will bring more problem because of its aggressive nature but from long term strategy this problem also may be released. We need to understand interests and values of the people in region. Washington never will do it.
In the background of the war in Syria and the worsening of relations among the Gulf monarchies (Saudi Arabia and Qatar), leads to the "forgotten" war in Yemen. Western media are silent about Saudi war crimes and destruction of Yemen.
War in Yemen also known, but problem is silence from «global community». There is no promotion of war pictures on US TV, but grass root initiatives do their works around the globe. UN reports about epidemic and humanitarian crisis in regular way but seems helpless in this situation. By the way situation in Bahrain also not monitored by the West. It is not double standards only, but type of racism, cause West not recognize victims in both countries as humans with the same rights as in Europe or America.
You are in Serbia, in 2013, published a book geopolitical essay entitled "From the sheriff to terrorist." The book has had remarkable success. Are you preparing new editions for Serbian readers?
I already provided text of one my book to the Serbian editor. Now it is under translation process. It is also about different type of conflicts, globalization and many tools of Washington’s policy. This year in Russia will be out two my new books (about multipolarity and cybergeopolitics) and I hope that some day it will be translated and released in Serbia too.
Published in Serbian weekly Печат (Seal), Belgrade, 7/07/2017.