Smo res na robu brezupa in velike vojne?

Kako smo prišli iz situacije polne globalizacije in hedonističnega zadovoljstva nad tem, da so vse dobrine, ki si jih lahko zamislimo, na voljo in po sprejemljivo nizki ceni in ko je bila naša edina skrb, v koliko dneh bo dobrina, naročena na Amazonu, dostavljena, do situacije, kot pravi Branko Milanović, v kateri so “današnje razmere v svetu najslabše od konca druge svetovne vojne, ko se zibamo na robu jedrske vojne“? Kako smo lahko naredili tako drastično pot v zgolj nekaj letih?

Milanović sicer ne poda tega odgovora, zelo dobro pa opiše genezo svetovnega reda, ki smo ga dobili po padcu komunizma. Na eni strani zmagoslavje ob “koncu zgodovine”  in temu primerna hegemonija zmagoslavnega družbenega reda ter ekspanzionizem Zahoda (globalizacija, širjenje Nata), na drugi strani pa nacionalizem ter frustracije na Vzhodu. Namesto konvergence najboljšega obeh svetov (tržno gospodarstvo in socialna država) smo dobili razrast divjega neoliberalizma ter hegemonije kapitala nad delom in Zahoda nad Vzhodom ter tleče nezadovoljstvo s svojim položajem v novem svetovnem redu in posledično nestabilnost na Vzhodu.

Nezadovoljstvo je na obeh straneh. Na Zahodu nezadovoljstvo “delavskega razreda”, ki je izgubil svoj status in relativni dohodkovni položaj ter nezadovoljstvo političnega razreda nad državami na Vzhodu, ki niso privzela demokratičnega in multikulturnega modela, ki ga je ponujal Zahod, pač pa so se potopile v nacionalizem in šovinizem. Čeprav sta slednja dejansko rezultat istega procesa, ki je skozi nacionalistične težnje privedel do dezintegracije držav in umetnih političnih tvorb na Vzhodu (nekdanja Jugoslavija, Češkoslovaška in Sovjetska zveza). Na Vzhodu pa frustracije nad tem, da ni prišlo do konvergence najboljšega obeh svetov, pač pa da je zahodni model preprosto pogoltnil vzhodnega in da mu poskuša vsiliti njegove multikulturne in demokratične norme (od sprejemanja migrantov, LGBT kulture do vladavine prava).

K temu je treba dodati to, česar Milanović ne omenja. Dal bom primer za ilustracijo. Tako kot je ženska formalna emancipacija dejansko posledica procesa njihove postopne ekonomske emancipacije skozi desetletja, je politična samozavest vzhodnih držav posledica njihove ekonomske emancipacije zaradi desetletij hitrega gospodarskega razvoja v procesu intenzivne in globoke globalizacije. Nove članice EU so pridobile s trgovinsko in kapitalsko unijo znotraj EU, Kitajska s kontrolirano globalizacijo, Rusija in države izvoznice nafte in plina pa s povišanimi cenami energentov. Toda medtem, ko je ženskam z naraščajočo ekonomsko emancipacijo bila priznana bistveno večja, bolj enakovredna družbena vloga, pa vzhodne države niso bile deležne priznanja njihove povečane gospodarske moči in s tem povečane teže v globalnem svetovnem redu.

In tako dobimo na eni strani strah Zahoda pred tem, da jim bodo ekonomsko emancipirane države (Kitajska oziroma razširjena BRICS skupina) prevzele njihov gospodarski in politični primat oziroma da se bodo tudi politično osamosvojile, na drugi strani pa frustracije vzhodnih in ostalih držav, ker jim Zahod ne priznava njihovega izboljšanega relativnega položaja oziroma ga skuša bodisi omejiti (širitev Nata na ruske meje) bodisi ga zminirati (trgovinska in tehnološka vojna proti Kitajski in Rusiji).

To, da smo se nenadoma znašli na robu jedske vojne, je dejansko posledica kulminacije teh strahov in frustracij na obeh straneh. Vojna v Ukrajini je proxy vojna za pravo vojno med ZDA in Rusijo ter proxy vojna za “tisto tapravo” vojno med ZDA in Kitajsko, ki jo ZDA kuhajo zadnje desetletje. Je vojna za ali proti novemu, multipolarnemu svetovnemu redu.

That today’s world situation is the worst since the end of the Second World War is not an excessive, nor original, statement. As we teeter on the brink of a nuclear war, it does not require too  many words to convince people that this is so.

The question is: how did we get here? And is there a way out?

To understand how we got here, we need to go to the end of the Cold War. That war, like the World War I, ended with the two sides understanding the end differently: the West understood the end of the Cold War as its comprehensive victory over Russia; Russia understood it as the end of the ideological competition between capitalism and communism: Russia jettisoned communism, and hence it was to be just another power alongside other capitalist powers.

The origin of today’s conflict lies in that misunderstanding. Many books have already been written about it, and more will be. But this is not all. The Euro-American world took a bad turn in the 1990s because both the (former) West and the (former) East took a bad turn. The West rejected social-democracy with its conciliatory attitude domestically and willingness to envisage a world without adversarial military blocs internationally for neoliberalism at home and militant expansion abroad. The (former) East embraced privatization and deregulation in economics, and an exclusivist nationalism in the national ideologies underlying the newly-independent states.

These extreme ideologies, East and West, were the very opposite of what people of goodwill hoped for. The world they wished for, after Western colonial and quasi-colonial wars and Soviet invasions ended, was the world of convergence of the two systems, with mild social-democracy in both, dissolution of war-mongering alliances, and end of militarism. They got nothing of the sort: one system swallowed the other; social democracy died or was corrupted or co-opted by the rich, and militarism through adventuresome foreign invasions and NATO expansion became the new norm. In the former Third World, the victory of the West led to the reinterpretation of the struggle against colonialism. It was now shorn of all of its domestically progressive elements. This facilitated massive corruption in the newly liberated countries.

The “trivialists”, the intellectuals who misunderstood, either because of their lack of perspicacity or pure interest, the nature of the changes in Eastern Europe, proclaimed the revolutions of 1989 to have been the revolutions of liberalism, multiculturalism, and democracy. They failed to notice that if they were the revolutions of multiculturalism and tolerance, there was hardly any need to break multinational states. Nay, that such a break-up was antithetical to the idea of multiculturalism. Nationalism was thus conflated with democracy.

The trivialists succeeded in turning the progressiveness of the post-War on its head. Instead of development and progress meaning a combination of the best elements of market (capitalist) economy and socialism, elimination of power-politics in world affairs, and the adherence to the rules of the United Nations, progressiveness in their new reading of history meant unbridled market economics at home, “liberal international order” of unequal power abroad, and pensée unique in ideology.

Instead of a social-democratic capitalism with peace, to be progressive began to mean neo-liberalism with the permission to wage war on anyone who disagreed with it. Instead of mild and innocuous mixture of socialism and capitalism at home and equal power of all states internationally, we got served the power of the rich at home, and the power of big countries internationally. It was a weird return to the quasi-colonial hegemony, taking place—incongruously, at first—at the time of “liberal victory”.

The rest, from today’s perspective, seems almost preordained. The virulent nationalism of Eastern Europe that fueled the revolutions of 1989 finally engulfed the most powerful country in that part of the world: Russia. Xenophobic nationalism is the same everywhere: in Estonia, Serbia, Ukraine, Russia or Azerbaijan. But the greater the country, the more destabilizing and imperialistic it is. What began as the nationalist revolutions in Eastern Europe ends now as the revolution of unchained nationalism in Russia: the same ideological movement but with the regain of “lost” territories as its objective rather than their “liberation.”

The rule of the rich locally and of the powerful internationally seems so ideologically entrenched today that no hope of betterment, no hope of national nor economic equality seems on the horizon. A lot of responsibility for this disastrous state of affairs lies on the trivialists, the intellectual elite who defined, promoted, and defended this pernicious ideology of inequality. The hopelessness envelops not only the present where we stand on the precipice of the extinction of a part of humankind, but the future too. Progressive thought has been vitiated, remodeled, and extirpated. The medieval darkness, under the name of “liberty”, is descending.

Vir: Branko Milanović

2 responses

  1. Milanović se spreminja iz glavnega ekonomista Svetovne banke v razmišljujočega družboslovca.
    Glavno vprašanje, ki si ga zastavljamo skupaj z njim, je, ali se da zahodni tip financializiranega kapitalizma “pošraufati” tako, da bo bolj human/socialnen, ali pa se bo spreminjal le z revolucijami in vojnami. Zgodovina in sedanjost (Ukrajina) kažejo bolj na drugo možnost.

  2. Dober članek Milovanovič-a, ampak tudi on poenostavlja. Predvsem kar se nacionalizma tiče. Kje vidi nacionalizem v Rusiji? Gre za nacionalizem ali za eksistencialni boj za obstanek? Tega koraka Milovanović še ne zmore.

    Zanimiva analiza, bistveno bolj brutalna kot Milovanićeva, je Jorge Vilches-ova na Saker blog-u:

    http://thesaker.is/rape-europe-is-next-stupid/

    Problem analize današnje situacije je, da poštena temeljita analiza pride do zaključkov, ki jih podzavestno zanikamo, ker je enostavno pretežko živeti z njimi. Gre za čisti psihološki obrambni refleks.

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