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Looking Into Multipolarity's Core
One of the steps on the new path
Examining this point isn’t as simple as it seems at the outset. Radhika Desai in the latest Geopolitical Economy Report made the observation that “it’s important to recognize that imperialism has been in decline since about 1914” as the crisis afflicting Capitalism began to eat away at the imperialist nations. She continues:
And it’s come to the point where the very actions that are necessary to preserve the imperial system are in fact harming the very system on which it is based.
So when you have that sort of, the snake eating its own tail situation, that’s when you begin to see that the contradictions of the system are mounting. And that’s the position, that’s the situation where we are at.
That what the United States needs to do in order to preserve and extend the imperial system and therefore the capitalist system itself is proving harmful to capitalism.
Given the above reality, I recently asked if it’s possible to induce the Neoliberal Parasite to commit suicide since Neoliberal Capitalism is the most violent and unremorseful form of Capitalism we are likely to see. And since it’s armed with nuclear weapons, the best way to defeat it is to create the conditions where it defeats itself. And the mechanism being formed to create those conditions is a Multipolar World that generates its own institutions capable of bypassing those already created by imperialism. As such, that will require the actions of millions of people in over 150 nations mostly engaged in doing very similar things. And all those things need to be accomplished via democratic means within each of those nations. Now it would be impossible to look into every one of the 150 nations to see how that process needs to be implemented. However, we can look at one of the vanguard nations that’s had to do the most work to both defend itself and in doing so unwittingly provide a model of behavior to be emulated elsewhere. The example put before you is the conversation that occurred today between Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin and Russian President Valdimir Putin recapping the just finished legislative session:
Vladimir Putin: Finished your session?
Volodin : Yes.
In fact, this is the longest session in terms of time, and it is the fourth one already in this convocation, because from January to July, in fact, until August, the meetings were held in a permanent format. In fact, we initially identified several priorities.
One, of course, is a priority that relates to the issues of participants in a special military operation and their family members, as you have repeatedly said and set the task of passing laws that would protect children and their families and do everything possible to ensure that our soldiers and officers do not need anything.
We have created a system based on your instructions, which is based on 77 laws – this is the number that was adopted purely in this area – in order to really form a holistic legislation, because we have not faced these challenges before and, of course, have not solved such problems.
In addition, it is probably correct to mention another priority. This issue was very important for us, as it concerns the formation of the legal framework of our new subjects of the Russian Federation. But here we already had experience when we integrated Crimea and Sevastopol into a single legal space.
I must say that the tasks that we previously solved for up to five years are now almost completed, we have only three laws left to pass. We will do this during the fall session. In total, we have adopted 54 laws in this part. In other words, 54 laws regulate issues ranging from health protection, social protection, pension provision, issues related to the work of businesses and the creation of conditions for the economy in the new territories in general. In fact, we can say that we completed all this work during the spring session. These are the tasks that you have set for the Parliament together with the Government, and we have fulfilled them.
Of course, another topic that we have been dealing with literally since the beginning of the special military operation is countering sanctions. Here, of course, it was not easy due to the fact that more than 16 thousand sanctions were announced to our country. During this entire period, 192 laws were adopted, and together with the Government, more than 300 measures were taken to support citizens, enterprises, and regions. All this was done in compliance with the President's instructions, and I must say today that we can see how effective this is.
In general, if we talk about challenges, of course, they are unprecedented, but the political system formed by the President and the economic model have shown their resilience. We can already speak with confidence today, because we have passed a lot during this time, and we have faced various challenges. But it is quite obvious: the entire parliamentary corps, regardless of political worldviews, all united around the country. And again, despite their party programs, everyone understands that achieving the goals of the special military operation will ensure the future of our state-Russia.
I would like to thank you from the deputies of the State Duma, Mr Putin, we all support you, we have repeatedly said this, in the most difficult time when the country is facing challenges, because we all have the same understanding: there is our Homeland, so there is a future for people and the future for our children and grandchildren. Therefore, we proceed from this and have built our work around the agenda of our country.
Vladimir Putin: For my part, I would like to thank you, the leadership of the State Duma and all members of Parliament for working together during this session.
I would like to express my gratitude for your support on key issues of the country's development, and first of all, of course, foreign policy. Here I see that, in fact, the consensus of all political parties, despite the fact that many colleagues have different approaches to solving social, economic and some domestic political issues, is natural. But I always feel the support of the deputies on key issues, fateful or something, key issues related to life and the existence of the Russian state itself. And I want to thank you all for that.
I also hope that this intense joint work, which you have just mentioned, in these key areas, including support for our soldiers taking part in the special military operation and their family members, concerns the integration of new territories into the Russian Federation. We do have the experience of Sevastopol and Crimea, so we have good practices, and of course we need to use them.
Although there are some specifics, and they are very significant. People in the Donbas, for example, have been living in conditions of almost military operations since 2014, and even now tragic events are taking place in these territories related to military operations, so we must certainly take all this into account when we plan our actions in this direction.
But also in matters of social nature, economic development, the economy is the basis for solving all the problems facing our country in general, I hope that in the dialogue with the Government, as it was and still is, solutions will always be found, acceptable solutions that, of course, should go and will go to the benefit of Russia's development..
Thank you very much. I hope that in the new session we will build our work in this way.
Vladimir Volodin: Thank you, Mr President.
Of course, we have a lot of plans, especially since a new session means new opportunities. We have planned to hold large parliamentary hearings on the development of small and medium-sized businesses. We want to meet with as many business representatives as possible in our halls and discuss these issues together with the Government. Because you set us the task of creating conditions for our business to develop at a more efficient pace. We will try to find the words that will allow us to work out solutions, and then present our suggestions to you.
Vladimir Putin: Good.
The key is for government to have a singularity of purpose, in Russia’s case to defend the Motherland and do the utmost to provide for the Russian people, the latter continuing to be the priority despite the ongoing SMO. And unsaid above at the core of Russia’s political philosophy is the strength of the people define the strength of the nation—to properly defend the nation, the people must first be strong. And when Putin began his tenure in 2000, Russia’s people were not strong. When reading some of the conversations Putin had with African leaders during the Summit, that basic lesson/need was voiced by many in several different ways. As you read above, a great many laws and other measures needed to be adopted to provide the legal, democratic basis to help both Russians and Russia, and that is done with nationwide participation as Russians have a very good idea of what the duties of the citizen are and exercise those duties. And they do that by being involved through the connectivity channels they’ve invented for themselves. Perhaps a vestige of the Soviet Era, but I suspect it’s much deeper than that given the Russian word for council is cobet and was the local organizing principle—сельский совеt, village or rural council—hundreds of years prior to 1905 and 1917. That form of social organization is universal for humans as far as I know and only becomes corrupted when an oligarchy is able to form and usurp planning for itself and not for the betterment of all. Such is the fundamental lesson history teaches and is the conclusion Hudson reached in his Destiny of Civilization: The root of the ongoing clash is between two vastly different ways of social organization—one the benefits the powerful few and one that benefits the greatest majority—and the political-economies that form the basis for those organizations: Neoliberal Capitalism versus Mixed Economic Socialism.
With the above as prelude, it’s now time to examine what’s considered one of the first in a series of documents dealing with the emerging context of the Multipolar World, the 4 February 2002 Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development, a seminal document the West has tried to bury. There’re four sections to the document. It’s likely few readers have ever heard of let alone read this document before thanks to Western efforts. As you’ll note by its date, it preceded the advent of Russia’s SMO and the Beijing Winter Olympics while the Covid issue still roiled humanity. Its Preamble is of an opening sentence followed by two paragraphs:
The Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China, hereinafter referred to as the sides, state as follows.
Today, the world is going through momentous changes, and humanity is entering a new era of rapid development and profound transformation. It [the new era] sees the development of such processes and phenomena as multipolarity, economic globalization, the advent of information society, cultural diversity, transformation of the global governance architecture and world order; there is increasing interrelation and interdependence between the States; a trend has emerged towards redistribution of power in the world; and the international community is showing a growing demand for the leadership aiming at peaceful and gradual development. At the same time, as the pandemic of the new coronavirus infection continues, the international and regional security situation is complicating and the number of global challenges and threats is growing from day to day. Some actors representing but the minority on the international scale continue to advocate unilateral approaches to addressing international issues and resort to force; they interfere in the internal affairs of other states, infringing their legitimate rights and interests, and incite contradictions, differences and confrontation, thus hampering the development and progress of mankind, against the opposition from the international community.
The sides call on all States to pursue well-being for all and, with these ends, to build dialogue and mutual trust, strengthen mutual understanding, champion such universal human values as peace, development, equality, justice, democracy and freedom, respect the rights of peoples to independently determine the development paths of their countries and the sovereignty and the security and development interests of States, to protect the United Nations-driven international architecture and the international law-based world order, seek genuine multipolarity with the United Nations and its Security Council playing a central and coordinating role, promote more democratic international relations, and ensure peace, stability and sustainable development across the world. [My Emphasis]
The initial emphasis is asking the question, Who/what constitutes “the leadership” of “the international community” and also who are the members of that community. For in the second half of that paragraph it’s clear the world is at least bifurcated with “some actors representing but the minority” behaving in a contradictory manner to that of the global majority. Are Russia and China declaring themselves to be “the leadership” or do they have something greater in mind? The second paragraph is clearly the manifesto presented by the sides. On 17 December 2021, just prior to this Declaration, Russia had made very specific security proposals to both NATO and the Outlaw US Empire, which I documented at the time. The primary issue was and continues to be security, specifically indivisible security which forms the basis for the UN Charter and International Law, which essentially means the security of one cannot be threatened by another seeking security—security must apply equally and to all at all times. The three main OSCE Security Treaties were also based on that concept and said so in their texts. But NATO’s ceaseless advance Eastward in violation of the many assurances given Soviet and Russian leaders starting in 1989 that allowed for the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and German unification negated all those treaties and the UN Charter, points Russia made again and again to ears filled with hubris. And by the beginning of February 2022, it was rather clear Russia’s proposals weren’t going to be answered. And that meant that Russia would then be obliged to undertake what it promised if that became the case—to launch a “military technical operation.” So, knowing that a military conflict would soon be launched in Ukraine, Russia and China issued what are clearly the aims the conflict wants to attain, which essentially is the revitalization and modernization of the UN Charter and its institutional system. And as the Beijing Olympics began, Russian diplomats were very busy talking to the entire Global South about what was transpiring and crucially why. No amount of Western Narrative or Spin was going to alter the seminal facts of the issue. And of course, the manifesto was delightful music to Global South ears.
But there’s much more to the Declaration than its Preamble. What follows is Section One which is the reply to the Outlaw US Empire’s December 2021 “Democracy Summit”:
The sides share the understanding that democracy is a universal human value, rather than a privilege of a limited number of States, and that its promotion and protection is a common responsibility of the entire world community.
The sides believe that democracy is a means of citizens' participation in the government of their country with the view to improving the well-being of population and implementing the principle of popular government. Democracy is exercised in all spheres of public life as part of a nation-wide process and reflects the interests of all the people, its will, guarantees its rights, meets its needs and protects its interests. There is no one-size-fits-all template to guide countries in establishing democracy. A nation can choose such forms and methods of implementing democracy that would best suit its particular state, based on its social and political system, its historical background, traditions and unique cultural characteristics. It is only up to the people of the country to decide whether their State is a democratic one.
The sides note that Russia and China as world powers with rich cultural and historical heritage have long-standing traditions of democracy, which rely on thousand-years of experience of development, broad popular support and consideration of the needs and interests of citizens. Russia and China guarantee their people the right to take part through various means and in various forms in the administration of the State and public life in accordance with the law. The people of both countries are certain of the way they have chosen and respect the democratic systems and traditions of other States.
The sides note that democratic principles are implemented at the global level, as well as in administration of State. Certain States' attempts to impose their own ”democratic standards“ on other countries, to monopolize the right to assess the level of compliance with democratic criteria, to draw dividing lines based on the grounds of ideology, including by establishing exclusive blocs and alliances of convenience, prove to be nothing but flouting of democracy and go against the spirit and true values of democracy. Such attempts at hegemony pose serious threats to global and regional peace and stability and undermine the stability of the world order.
The sides believe that the advocacy of democracy and human rights must not be used to put pressure on other countries. They oppose the abuse of democratic values and interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states under the pretext of protecting democracy and human rights, and any attempts to incite divisions and confrontation in the world. The sides call on the international community to respect cultural and civilizational diversity and the rights of peoples of different countries to self-determination. They stand ready to work together with all the interested partners to promote genuine democracy.
The sides note that the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights set noble goals in the area of universal human rights, set forth fundamental principles, which all the States must comply with and observe in deeds. At the same time, as every nation has its own unique national features, history, culture, social system and level of social and economic development, universal nature of human rights should be seen through the prism of the real situation in every particular country, and human rights should be protected in accordance with the specific situation in each country and the needs of its population. Promotion and protection of human rights is a shared responsibility of the international community. The states should equally prioritize all categories of human rights and promote them in a systemic manner. The international human rights cooperation should be carried out as a dialogue between the equals involving all countries. All States must have equal access to the right to development. Interaction and cooperation on human rights matters should be based on the principle of equality of all countries and mutual respect for the sake of strengthening the international human rights architecture. [My Emphasis]
It needs to be understood by readers that despite the Universal Declaration of Human Rights implementation being the product of the immense efforts, heart and soul of Eleanor Roosevelt, it was never ratified by the US Senate and is thus not a part of US Constitutional Law, unlike the UN Charter which is despite its continual breaking. Some sub-sections to the UDHR were ratified by the US Senate, but those in no way make up for the refusal to ratify the UDHR and then pontificate about others lack of its observance. So, it’s very clear which set of nations section one was aimed at. Again, Both Russia and China in their talks with other nations were keen to talk about living up to UN principles and not knuckling under to pressure to conform to known illegalities. This effort began with the formation in July 2021 of the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations. When thought about for only a moment, it quickly seems odd that such an organization would be required since 193 nations are UN members and have thus ratified the UN Charter. That Russia and China are two of its founding members while all NATO nations are absent should help to explain the current alignment of forces geopolitically. The UN Charter was Franklin Roosevelt’s Brain Child, so why isn’t the USA a member? Well, the reason is clearly because it’s no longer the USA and is instead the Outlaw US Empire—an Outlaw because it breaks the UN Charter and its own Constitution on a daily basis. And so we see the last vestige of imperialism is the Outlaw US Empire, whose colonies consist of the NATO nations, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and a smattering of Pacific Island nations that are occupied by US military bases. Essentially, there’re 150 nations with varying degrees of genuine sovereignty forming into one Bloc, and another 40 or so that are gripped by the talons of the American Eagle. There’re essentially no neutrals, although the status of Occupied Palestine makes it the only real question mark. Turkmenistan says it’s neutral but will join the RoW Bloc. What will demarcate these two Blocs from each other is already clear—geoeconomics and energy.
The remaining three sections of the Declaration merit examination in just as much depth as the first and the preamble. This will be done as we look into other important documents and events. The above link to the Joint Declaration was to its Russian version; here’s the English version. When the JD was issued, I wrote an article about its contents and how I interpreted it, opening with what would become a meme I continue pursuing—Putting an end to the Second World War by fulfilling its announced aims: To establish the Four Freedoms, which you’ll note are at the end of the manifesto, although not stated in the same terms.
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