Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Some Strategic Generalities.

Paul Craig Roberts wrote today a passionate and bitter in its truthfulness piece about US economy. It is titled What Globalism Did Was to Transfer the US Economy to China. Roberts writes:
This excellent piece by PCR brings to the attention a contemporary balance of power and this whole tempest in a teacup re: Russia's "return" to G-8 and such useless European structures as Council of Europe. As Putin said today: "if they (Europe) do not want to see us in the Council of Europe, it is fine with Russia, she is not really desiring to get into it in the first place." (In Russian). And here is what I think about all that.

1. I am not original, I will repeat what many observers arrived to in the last few days: all these clumsy and unprofessional PR moves on combined West's part, from Macron's exercises in Russian language on Twitter, to Trump's G-8 thoughts are nothing more than dawning realization that Russia and China do have serious plans which are not "Western" in the nature. So, the combined West started the "detach Russia from China" play. It failed even before it started. Modern West has no enough geopolitical currency to buy Russia--as I said many times--she is simply out of West's price range. Europe will continue to buy Russia's hydrocarbons and, increasingly, some quirky high technologies, but that is as far as it should go. But, at least, some attempts at changing current geopolitical configuration on West's part are duly noticed. This, however, brings us to a very interesting question:

2. US is in "decoupling from China" mode big-big time, Europe is irrelevant here. So, what's the spread, so to speak in all that. The spread is very simple: Russia has few degrees of freedom of actions more than US alone or West as a combination. Truth of the matter is, as I wrote not for once, that China needs Russia big time. But, as of today, August 21, 2019, Russia can (she will not, but still) "decouple" from China and be able to withstand anything combined West would try to throw at her. In 2013-14 that proposition would have sounded dubious, now--it is not. Combined West has very little in the tank and in purse left to realistically hurt Russia without hurting itself even more. The force, so to speak, is simply not there anymore: be it moral or physical, especially military one. China knows this. Now, evidently, the West begins to understand, however late, this too. But the West missed the "starting gun". China did not.

3. Now, with the United States trying to coerce China (good luck with that) by economic and military-political means, Chinese may acquire additional taste for more things Russian and, with all my respect to Chinese culture and, undeniably impressive, achievements economically (not least through the United States and its corrupt elite being suicidal, or homicidal, depends on POV--that  what PRC's article is about) and scientifically--pay attention to these recent news, I already posted that once, I believe:
Recall how I constantly, ad nauseam, talk about aerospace industry and cutting edge engine-manufacturing. Now compare the news (in Russian): MS-21 confirmed maximum (extreme) characteristics during test flights. PD-14 already received certificate of a type and has operational FADEC. That's the difference. It is also the difference at the starting gun. China's civil aviation future to an important degree rests with what Russia accomplishes as a Eurasian R&D powerhouse in aerospace and military technologies. Well, that and resources, of course. Russian-Chinese "marriage" is a marriage of convenience, but the West can not even afford anymore to utter engagement proposal for Russia. 

Trump maybe, deep down, has some less hostile intentions towards Russia, however misplaced and delusional they are, but Russia will talk only to those who keep their word and can talk rationally--this is not the case with US elites for a long time now. So, if you are Putin and you have a say in all that, granted you are briefed daily on the true state of the affairs in EU, USA and China, what would you choose as your not forced (I stress it--NOT FORCED, that is done without any duress) big geopolitical play?

A. You decide against the "marriage of convenience", a difficult but totally doable, that is endurable, one, in favor of someone who constantly lies, hates you and, in general, good only for doing some (very limited) business with. This one will betray you in the end;

B. You decide to go it alone, granted you can do that, but that increases risks, albeit rewards in case of win could be immense, but so could be the difficulty of adaptation period in case of a triumph. It is a truism--it is easier to get to the top than to stay there;

C. You agree to the "marriage of convenience" and continue to triangulate knowing for sure that numerous opportunities to exit the arrangement will present themselves along the way. 

What would you choose? The choice is rather obvious, especially for the nation which only wants to be left alone, especially after a nightmarish for her XX Century. Some people simply cannot conceive that to be happy it is possible to be content with 2nd or 3rd place in something, it is still an elite position, that it is normal not to desire to hear constant praises, however false, in own address. It is normal not to have any desire to convert anyone, especially by force of arms, into own beliefs. This is what emerges today in Russia as a national idea and it is becoming attractive to more and more people--being oneself, not betraying own nature, by means of non-stop Kafkaesque metamorphosis. This is real conservatism, not its fake neoliberal version practiced in the US or virtual eradication of such in Europe. People, all people on Earth, sense that. Why do you think this continues to happen almost every year, now in 2019, again?
There are things more important than money, however nice it is to have enough of them. Recall my remark more than a year ago:
Getting into St.Petersburg and encountering gigantic crowds of West Europeans, from Portuguese and Italians to armies of Germans and Spaniards doing their touristy osmosis (or diffusion, if you will) into St.Pete's environments (see, I do not write about ever-present Chinese and Indians--half of our Sapsan to and from St.Petersburg was occupied by them, BTW) makes you think why these people flock to Russia in general and St.Petersburg in particular thus making it for a number of years in a row the number one destination in Europe? Then it occurred to me, observing German family with children standing in a front of Eliseevsky and watching figurines of old Russian bakers and merchants moving around (up and down too) in the front window--it is a typical nonchalant, no excuses required, Russian contemporary attitude towards all those Westerners who visit Mother-Russia which makes it click and is so attractive, granted one appreciates both scale and immense cultural significance of both Moscow and St.Petersburg. It is an easy attitude of a very confident nation and civilization--it is absolutely not afraid nor gives a damn about showing its both bright and dark sides. Yet, as my son noted, a huge number of pairs of young men and women walking together, hugging and kissing--it is a sight to behold today. The same as a bunch of bands setting up on Nevsky and delivering some good rock-n-roll and blues--Dostoevsky would have loved that.

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