Thinking Fast and Slow: Why the West Cannot See the Rise of Russia and China

Why do Western leaders, pundits and academics all continue to despise the remarkable progress in economic and strategic cooperation being made between Russia and China and with their neighbors?

In the past six years, Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China met each other for sustained conferences on no less than 30 occasions.

President Xi paid a state visit to Russia from June 5 to June 7 where he and President Putin held bilateral talks which resulted in the two leaders signing an agreement to step up global strategic stability in the modern-era. Then from June 8 to June 10, both leaders also attended the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

There was nothing sinister or secret about these meetings. On the contrary, they were extensively covered in the Russian and Chinese media. And they celebrated major advances in the growing cooperation two of the largest and most powerful nations in the world.

The trade volume between Russia and China is expected to continue to accelerate and reach new heights, doubling the current record level of $108 billion, the Russian economy ministry said.

Trade between Russia and China in agricultural products and processed food alone rose by nearly 30 percent in 2018 to over $5 billion. Overall bilateral trade volume is now at $108 billion, a rise of 25 percent in only one year and looks to rise even faster.

The significance in these developments to the global balance of power and patterns of investment and trade is very clear. Russia is fast becoming a food exporting superpower likely to reach a level it has not experienced since before World War I.

Already, Russia succeeds in selling wheat at a profit more cheaply and cost effectively to Indonesia than Australia, Jakarta’s next door neighbor.

The economic sanctions slammed on Russia by the United States and the European Union (EU) nations and Canada after Crimea and the two eastern provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk opted out of Ukraine following the Maidan coup in 2014 have backfired spectacularly.

They were meant to force Russia to its knees and bully it into accepting the ongoing neo-colonization of Eurasia by Washington, Wall Street, London and Brussels. Russia was meant to accept the diktat of the Kiev coup d’état and many more or face being plunged back into the hellish starvation of the 1990s.

(That dark era is still falsely lauded throughout the West as a supposed “brief golden age of freedom” rather than the horrific Great Depression on Steroids which, as I saw repeatedly with my own eyes during those years, it truly was.)

However, instead, the sanctions backfired. They proved the superiority of mercantilist industrial and investment reality over the Free Trade, One World dreams of neocons, neoliberals and the like that I sought to expose in my own 2012 book “That Should Still Be Us.”

Following imposition of the sanctions on Russia, domestic food processing and many other domestic industries boomed to fill the demand caused by the end of unlimited processed foods and other consumer imports. Russian agricultural production soared.

Inadvertently, US and EU bungling created a vast domestic protected market across Russia and its Eurasian neighbors. Now the maturing companies and industries created by that market are poised to expand across the Middle East and Asia.

This astonishing development explains why the St. Petersburg Forum continues to grow in scale and value so rapidly every year. It also explains why the media and leaders of the West remain so ludicrously blind to Russia’s growing prosperity and success.

They prefer to cling to the racist contemptible fairytale that the Russian people are incapable of business, industrial and agricultural success and excellence. They never visit Russia to see the reality with their own eyes. They prefer to live in a ludicrous world of their lurid imaginations. (And from Peter Pan to Harry Potter, who has been better at creating dream worlds than the British or the Americans in Hollywood?)

Also, Western leaders are blind to the slow but steady and systematic achievements of Russia and China under Presidents Putin and Xi because those leaders are literally invisible to their Western counterparts.

Western democratic leaders with the partial exception of US President Donald Trump are economic illiterates who believe blindly in free trade, open borders and chaotic growth. They cannot recognize the value of planning slowly, carefully and steadily with long term investment strategies. From Abraham Lincoln to Lyndon Johnson, US leaders could and did think, plan and act this way: But never since.

This is too slow for the instant gratification, “make a quick profit and damn all the rest” mentalities of Wall Street and the City of London and their political puppets today to comprehend. Slow-but-sure moving long range industrial and communications infrastructure development is simply invisible to them.

That is why the leaders of the West today are literally blind to the enormous shifts in world power that have been slowly, massively gathering momentum since the start of this century. But blindness cannot prevent the Rise and Fall of Nations. Soon the true realities of the New World will be clear to all.


By Martin Sieff
Source: Strategic Culture