American Internationalists and the Real World
By Rachel Ehrenfeld
Monday, April 28th, 2014 @ 12:40PM
Americans’ contemporary thinking about the international political mess has the tendency to group the elites in the West as right or left, and ignore the distinction within political and religious blocs. And despite the evidence, many in the West, continue to believe that individual and political freedoms, that we cherish so much are acceptable and shared everywhere.
However, the world today is dominated by three major opposing elite blocs: the pro-globalization “internationalist,” the religious, and the nationalistic, which will continue to be in conflict for many years. According to the “internationalist” idea, prominent in the U.S. and the West, we are asked to believe that the nations of the world are close enough to having the same values and aspirations that an international set of norms can be developed — irrespective of inconvenient reality.
Asserting Russia’s nationalism, Vladimir Putin rejects the foregoing Western notion as an evil internationalism that threatens the Mother Land’s national history, culture, political arrangements and his own aspirations. Internationalist John Kerry’s remark that Putin’s aggression on Ukraine, “is not 21st century, G8 major nation’s behavior,” illustrates the difference between these two approaches.
Religion, the third major political force, aka “Political Islam,” is driven by either Sunni Muslims, represented by Wahhabi Saudi Arabia and its opposing Muslim Brotherhood global movement, and the Shiite, the cleric-run Islamic Republic of Iran.
The anti-globalization nationalistic and religious elites have grown up in a cosmopolitan world, only to reject it. Their preference for dictatorships, oppression, terrorism, and even war confuses Western internationalists. Religious elites in any form of radical Islamist ideology are dressed-up as “Political Muslims.” Unwilling or unable to face reality, the internationalists hasten to agree with and even justify their radically religious critics while embracing “Political Correctness.” This is why Islam’s violent discrimination against women, homosexuals and infidels is left alone by the progressive internationalists.
Ignoring the Islamist threat, which will most likely result in their own destruction, the American and European internationalists continue to delude themselves that international norming, supranational order, and rule by enlightened parties and bureaucracies will keep their elite status. They seem to be content with the position they have attained in the West and submissively protest the growing manifestations of such old evils as anti-Semitic and nationalist aggression, as well as religious and ideological intimidation and even terrorist incidents within their own societies.
Those who are apt to be incredulous that a Vladimir Putin could possibly have reverted to Tsar Nicholas I’s “Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationality” model for Russia, should better pay attention to what Russia’s Putin-approved intellectual elite is saying. Paul Goble has unearthed a most important article by academic Aleksandr Vdovin and summarizes it below.
Moscow Needs a New Anti-Cosmopolitan Campaign, Russian Historian Says
By Paul Goble
One of the darkest pages in Soviet and indeed Russian history was the anti-cosmopolitan campaign Stalin unleashed against everything Western in 1949, a campaign that ultimately focused on the Jews whom the Soviet dictator was planning to deport beyond the Urals at the time of his death.
Even those who remain partisans of Stalin and even those who have in recent weeks compiled lists of “national traitors” have generally refrained from praising this campaign because of the emotions it generates if not unfortunately because of the vicious immorality on which it was based.
But now a Russian historian, Aleksandr Vdovin, a member of the Russian Academy of Humanitarian Sciences, has celebrated Stalin’s anti-cosmopolitan campaign and argued that the Russian state must renew its struggle against “the propaganda of cosmopolitanism,” something he say is “a threat to the state”.
In a sprawling 5500-word essay, Vdovin talks about the threat that he says cosmopolitanism and its accompanying ideas of the dominance of the West and the denigration of all Russian traditions and values posed at the end of World War II and that he argues it poses now.
He praises Stalin for recognizing this danger, “unmasking its ‘reactionary essence,’ and fighting against it between 1945 and 1953. He argues that “the struggle against cosmopolitanism in the USSR was directed not only at US pretensions to world rule under new slogans” but also at the attempt of the West to destroy “Soviet patriotism and replace it with ‘all-human values.”
After the death of Stalin, however, he continues, the campaign was stopped, and a reaction set it, one that involved “the struggle for the rehabilitation of those ‘cosmopolitans’ who had suffered in the course of the campaign” and the denunciation of those who had carried it out. That opened the way for the revival of cosmopolitan ideas among Soviet-era dissidents.
The Russian nationalist historian discusses several of these, including Academician Andrey Sakharov. He then argues that the situation became even worse with the collapse of the Soviet Union when various “democrats” felt so emboldened that they could even call for the Western “colonization” of Russia as the only way forward.
Among those he names in that regard – and gives extensive quotations from their writings– are V. Korepanov, A. Ivanov of “Kuranty,” Valeriya Novodvorskaya, Academician Yu. Pivovarov, Yevgeny Yasin, Gavril Popov, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, O. Osetinsky, A. Chumakov, and Ye. Fedorov.
None of these nor any of the others in the “cosmopolitanized Russian intelligentsia sees any dangers in globalization or the new world order,” Vdovkin argues. Indeed, they are prepared to subordinate Russia to it even to the point of allowing parts of the Russian state to fall under the control of other countries.
He says that “Russian historians and citizens of the Russian Federation must actively oppose such attitudes and proposals, and to that end, he says that the country’s nationality policy must be radically revised to put “stress on the state-forming role of the [ethnic] Russian people, Orthodoxy, the union of Soviet and Russian history, and great power values.”
What is “required” now, Vdovkin says, “is the cleansing of the historical inheritance from Russophobia, the development of measures for overcoming the negative consequences of the divided state of the [ethnic] Russian people, the legalization of the proportional representation of all peoples in the organs of power, and a shift away from asymmetrical federalism.”
Moscow’s policy must be based on “the axiom” that “only the preservation of the state-forming role of the Russian people, the strengthening of its unity and patriotism, and the reliable defense of the interests of its national development” will open the way for realization of Pushkin’s dream of a country in which “the grandchildren of the Slavs, the Finns, the Tungus and the Kalmyks, and all other peoples who have populated Russia from time immemorial willharmoniously develop and mutually enrich one another.”
April 27, 2014
This article was originally published here.