The next 8 years will be a time for Russia to look inwards in order to project outwards, Tim Kirby writes.
As a country that has seen total systemic collapse twice during the 20th century, Russia was watching the leadup to the U.S. presidential inauguration with just as much anticipation as the most ardent Trump/Biden supporters and fervent conspiracy theorists. It looked from Moscow, like Trump, after having been blatantly cheated out of the presidency, might just decide to flip the rigged game table over consequences be damned. Whatever chaos would ensue from such a move would surely give the Russians the freedom they’ve been dreaming of (via distraction) from Washington’s omnipresent gaze and Soft Power vice grip. But this did not occur. Trump’s cryptic language and social media hinting amounted to nothing as he willingly accepted losing the election that he won.
And so the big question being discussed in Russia is… “what’s next?”. So let’s break down what the near future is going to look like and how a theoretically sovereign Russia should respond to these challenges presented by a Joe Biden White House.
Context: Trump’s legacy will be actively erased but how does that affect Russia?
The period in American history that Trump oversaw, if viewed objectively, was an attempt to make a titanic shift in policy, economy and mentality in America that failed. Why it failed is not important, but what is important is to acknowledge all of the achievements or new foundations that he laid in office are already being deleted by the new old Establishment.
The U.S. is headed right back into the World Health Organization, the Paris Agreement and various other international bureaucracies and forms of caring with taxpayer cash. “The Wall” will give way to the return of laissez-faire immigration policies that will lead to more forced diversity and migrant crises. The successful Populism of the Republican party will be reverted into a business focus, becoming repulsive to minorities again, pushing the U.S. towards a factually one party system deleting the Populist vs. Globalist dichotomy that the Trump era brought about. Biden’s early rhetoric made it clear that the Pax Trumpa is over and we could be looking at a full scale invasion of Syria. The cutting of the Keystone XL pipeline is also a big signal that energy independence is no more. American energy will come from its traditional source during a Biden presidency – the colonies.
The main thing to understand is that everything Trump did or tried to do is being dismantled and with the storming of Capitol Hill, his Big Tech enemies have the casus belli they need to deplatform and factually silence everyone who does not agree with the Progressive Agenda including the then President of the United States Donald Trump himself.
For Russia, this means this deletion of the last four years can be interpreted very literally. U.S.-Russian relations will look for the foreseeable future exactly as they were during the Obama period – increasingly hostile. The only key difference is that the real American Right and Conservatives have had the blindfold removed and see that they are on the losing end of a war for their very survival. The battle for power in America just got very real, the political pro-wrestling of previous generations is over. From a Right Wing American perspective the election was stolen and their voices have been officially and bluntly silenced, this will also have large ramifications for Russia.
The Poisoned Olive Branch: A brief refresher on the Obama era.
Putin’s big speech in Munich in 2007 declaring the rise of a Multipolar World, in which one of those poles would be Russia, was essentially a declaration of war against anyone with a Monopolar Globalist Agenda especially those in Washington. So it is no surprise that when Obama came to power soon after this historic speech, Russia became a top priority and still is to this day.
Just a few months after being in office Obama’s new Secretary of State Hillary Clinton infamously presented the Russians with a red “reset button” with the incorrect translation written on it making it an “overload button”. This big PR stunt was very telling as the supposed desire to start a “reset” period in U.S.-Russian relations was a hollow attempt by the American side trying to overload the Russians with the organized chaos of the Maidan in Kiev. The nightmare scenario that played out in the Ukraine has been the single hardest blow to Putin Era Russia from which it may never recover. As Zbigniew Brzezinski said ‘without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire’.
The Obama period also saw Russia react to provocations in Syria forcing (or allowing) them to return to the role of major player militarily far beyond their borders. Obama’s time in office was also a period of inflation for Russia and large sanctions that may have actually hurt Europe more so than the officially declared target. This is probably due to the fact that the Washington Status Quo sees no difference between 2010 and 1980 Russia, thus being confident that the same tactics should yield the same results.
Clinton’s cheap plastic button was the perfect symbol for this 8 year period – fake attempts at peace with smiles hiding Washington’s true plans to put Russia back in its place. This is the reality that Russia is returning to, in fact, there are already Washington backed “protests” in Moscow in support of Navalny and not surprisingly the Establishment sees zero disconnect between supporting violent protest in Russia while denouncing violent protests at Capitol Hill.
We should not forget that Navalny who in theory fled Russia for his life, flew right into the arms of those who supposedly wanted him dead right as Biden was taking office. This is unlikely to be a coincidence. Navalny is a joke and the West’s overwhelming support for him despite some extremist Right Wing rhetoric is very telling.
The key thing for Russia to understand about Joe Biden’s Obama Era 2.0 is that the clock has turned back to the point when they were enemy #1 in the Beltway’s eyes. They have a powerful enemy that will again be attacking them on all fronts, traditionally via proxy war, economically via sanctions and other financial trickery, and culturally via Hollywood + the NGO/grant-industrial complex. There is no hope for a “reset”. Russia has to either thrive or capitulate.
So what must Russia do in order to thrive during the next 8 years of Obama 2.0?
- Putin must select and promote his heir.
Putin is getting on in years and the fact that his time seems limited intellectually opens the door for change. It would be in his best interests to make sure this is a controlled change and not a Color Revolution that would surely be the final nail in the Russian coffin. If Putin and team select a large, forty or fifty year old, tough, silovik type of gent to get the push from United Russia in the next presidential election, then he will utterly smash all opposition hopes of breaking the system. This will essentially remove an “end of Putin” election scenario from occurring.
Some of the worst periods in Russian history happened due to an unclear transfer of power (the Time of Troubles, the Overthrow of the Tsar that opened the door for the October Revolution) and this must be avoided at all costs. Putin needs to send the signal that after him, the nation will stay on the same course and there is nothing you can do about it for another 12 years under his successor. Vladimir Vladimirovich has always pushed for stability, now it is time for him to select and promote an heir to lock down two more terms of national stability more or less on the current course.
- Russians must overcome 300+ years of their inferiority complex.
It is difficult to briefly describe this aspect of Russian culture and just how much it blocks any hope of Russia ever becoming a superpower again. When Peter I came back from Europe with lovely ship building technology, he mistook certain superior aspects of European tech and economy with an absolute and total European cultural superiority. The Russian aristocracy’s obsession with France and French, followed by Communist Khruschev returning to Russia from Capitalist America saying everything there was vastly better, and Gorbachev’s final decision to submit to the superior West have all bred a horrible self-defeating attitude in the Russian speaking world that sees itself as vastly inferior to the White men of Europe.
Russian intellectuals love to point out that it was the Austro-Hungarians and then the United States that promoted and created this idea of a seperate Ukrainian language and culture distinct from Russia (Russians see Ukraine like Americans see the South – a bit different but still the same people). But these thinking man’s patriots fail to go to the next step to try to figure out why this was so. How was it that they could turn millions of people with a certain accent into anti-Russian nationalists so easily? Because the Ukrainian Russians were and are sure that the West is superior. The offer of becoming a new anti-Russian ethnicity closer to the West, that if given the chance to be free of its evil Russianness would achieve prosperity, was a very pleasing offer to many subconscious minds of the region. This is the real source of the Maidan – the belief that the West is inherently superior and that submission to it will allow those Russian-speakers to become part of the chosen people of God.
This inferiority complex is also responsible partially for the culture of corruption that cannot be stamped out. When one hates their own people and nation why not steal?
This is a huge topic, but it is a major ideological hurdle that needs to be overcome by an inverse Peter I attitude forced onto the Russian elite, which leads to the next point.
- Russia needs to develop a coherent, publicly accepted but not mandatory ideology.
Russia is the home of the ideas that are challenging the Western status quo, the problem is all this talk of Illiberalism, Traditionalism, Multipolarity, Land Empires and so on has been left without structure or apologetics and exclusively in the minds of the intellectual elite.
Despite Russians being disgusted by the Cultural Masochism at play in Europe, they are unable to explain to themselves just why this is bad, or what sort of alternative in the course of human development they could take in contrast to the West’s slow suicide. Russian ideas lack structure, lack apologetics for the common man to use them and most certainly lack any form promotion. If Russians cannot answer why Russia exists or for what it exists and for what purpose they themselves exist, then Russia will never become a great power. A great civilization requires a few big things, one of which is an understood idea to justify and define its existence.
3 -> 5 Transform the previously stated ideas from point 3 into actual policy/practice.
Laws and policies within Russia that blatantly contradict this must be removed.
- Create an entertainment Soft Power alternative to Hollywood.
As I have said time and time again over many years, “Russia will never be a superpower until it can make a movie that people will actually watch”. Russia has had major success with news media as well as some children’s entertainment but there is no Russian Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or any other major hit movies that shape the way young people see the world globally. Ideologically, Russia does not aggressively project, but submissively receives and this needs to end.
- Solve the Ukrainian issue in a way that the Russian masses will approve of.
The Ukraine is a macrocosm of all the conflicts on former Russian territory – Transdniester, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Color Revolution fallout (Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan). So if this problem can be resolved the solution could apply to many other regions or start a domino effect.
Russia’s tone has been changing towards at least the Donbass part of this failed state. Recently major media and political players went down south to support the “Russian Donbass Doctrine” that essentially states that the Donbass will integrate with Russia and take back all of its territory one way or another. This visit from important players in Moscow, especially from the news media, declaring that the Donbass “is Russian” is a radical departure from previous softer submissive positions.
Since all hope is lost with dealing with Washington, Russia may finally do what it should have done in 2014 and carve up the Ukraine into friendly and hostile regions, absorbing the friendly ones outright. They have already been handing out Russian passports like candy in the Donbass so this process could have already been soft started. Bringing some of the “motherland” back home would secure Russian stability and push back any ideological questions or criticism of Putin and his successor for a decade at the very least.
- Russians need to act like the bad guys they are portrayed as in the West.
Part of Russia’s inferiority complex manifests itself in their foreign policy “mannerisms”. Russians deeply want the approval of the West and that is why Russia is shockingly polite and open minded towards those sworn to destroy them. Russian politicians need to stop with the handshakes and start spitting cold truths in the face of the madness coming out of the mouths of Western politicians. They also need to learn how to accept being rejected from things like “Eurovision” as a badge of honour and not a reason to renegotiate or engage in double-standards at home.
Americans do not respect polite snivelling toadies. Russian diplomats and other politicians need to be more “cool heelish” in their behavior to actually have an impact. Russians whine about always being portrayed as the bad guy, but very often the bad guy is cooler and tougher, than the wimpy white toast good guys. Since the West has thrown reason out the window Russia is free to be a harsh but fair voice of reason in the 21st century. The days of smiles and handshakes need to end, things need to get “real” in U.S.-Russian relations.
Russia will never be accepted by the West and must learn to accept this fact, furthermore stop acting with respect towards Russophobes that see them as subhuman.
- Millions of American Conservative dissidents were just born. Russia is their only natural ally and needs to accept them.
The probably faked election, along with the Big Tech witch hunt for anyone on the Right including the leader of the United States has probably signaled final defeat for at least half of Americans. These shattered and oppressed Deplorables and their worldview are perfectly politically correct within Russia both on and offline.
Immigration to Russia from America will surely rapidly increase and this repressed group has a lot of wealth and businesses that Russia could absorb. Ironically it was the fake Democrat witch hunt for Russian collusion that will probably expose huge numbers of Conservative Americans to Russia as a new land of freedom.
Russia can certainly use this new type of “dissident” to its advantage bringing capitol home to roost in a country where you are free to make an anti-abortion group on VK. America helps Liberals all over the world out of self interest, meaning Russians can do the same with Conservatives.
- Washington will not relent, nor should anyone in Russia expect it to.
All of the Color Revolutions, sanctions and Soft Power tricks of the Obama era will continue. There is no way for Russia to stop this other than growing its own power to become strong enough to render these strategies ineffective or build the means to counteract them. There is no hope of a diplomatic solution. And this Russian idea that US-Russian relations are terrible because of a “lack of understanding and communication between peoples” needs to finally die out. When we remove wishful Disney style thinking from the equation Russia can make much better decisions in terms of its interactions with the United States.
- NATO will engage new targets and ignite old flames.
Syria will flare up and every president besides Trump was able to push U.S. troops somewhere new to die. Biden will likely repeat this tendency.
- Sanctions and Soft Power Pressure will continue – the olive branch is poisoned.
- Russophobia in Washington, mostly but not exclusively, from the Democrats will continue.
- Europe will march in lockstep with America while the rest of the world will continue warming up to Russia in various areas of cooperation.
Even if being wooed away by Russia would benefit Europe, this will not happen. Russia must look away from the Golden Billion when seeking for partnership on a governmental level. The EU will only smile at Moscow when and if the United States faces a crisis so big that it can no longer manage Europe.
- Western businesses will continue to “condemn” Russia while operating and expanding within its territory just as they have been for the last decade.
In short, the next 8 years will be a time for Russia to look inwards in order to project outwards as there is really no means by which a change in attitude in Washington can be achieved in the short term. Furthermore, Russia’s real challenges have been proven by sanctions and other Soft Power attacks to be essentially internal.