Putin in a different December


This is a different December.

This December is far, far different from the Decembers of 1990 and 1991 and 1992.

The difference is stark, as one goes through the statements and observations made by Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader.

In a recent press meet Putin covered a lot of issues – from Ukraine to NATO to China.

There’re messages in between the lines also.

Putin said:

China is Russia’s number one partner, and the two countries have very trusting relations. Russia-China ties are not based on confrontation with anyone else. Russia and China have agreed to develop a shared financial system to reduce reliance on US-dominated platforms. The two countries are in cooperation in the field of security. The countries are developing certain high-tech weapons together.

China’s economy is already larger than the US, in terms of purchasing power parity. By 2035-’50, China’s economy will be the leading economy of the world, surpassing the US in nominal terms.

Meetings on tension in Ukraine are not enough.  “We don’t care about negotiations, we want results. Not an inch to the East they told us in the 1990s, and look what happened – they cheated us, vehemently and blatantly. Now they’re saying that they will have Ukraine as well. This means they will deploy their weapons there, even if it’s not officially part of NATO. It is now up to the US-led bloc to come up with guarantees “immediately,” instead of continuously talking about it “for decades.”

The statements are enough to tell clearly what has recently gone and what’s going on on world stage.

The recent gone-days were not like the December days of 1990 or ’91 or ’92. Those were days of the Empire’s assumed Single-pole World – None, but me to decide the fate of this planet, that was the Empire’s imagination.

The globe, in those clumsy days, appeared fully tilted towards the Empire. Groups of countries were sold out to the Empire. Bosses were deciding who would grab which part. The Empire-in-euphoria imagined – the game is over.

But the Empire’s fate was having a silent smile – an omen was there in the smile.

Bosses forgot one fact – contradictions. Conflicting interests were hyper-active below the surface that the bosses miss sometimes. That’s the problem with the bosses’ philosophy, and the approach the philosophy produces.

Now, there’re many actors. The latest is in Chile, not General Pinochet’s Chile, but Allende’s and Neruda’s Chile.

One of the latest actors is Putin – his position. It’s not easy to crack that position. Behind that position, there’s a social force with which the Empire has yet failed to reconcile. With increasing competition, it’ll be difficult to reconcile.

Xi Jinping, China’s leader, is there – a much strong position. It’s stronger as it’s a stronger China with its stronger economy.

The Empire has yet not succeeded to drive a wedge between China and Russia. The plan was with a wedge! But, China and Russia understand the wedge-game.

The capital that the Empire operates with doesn’t have that wedge-power. The Empire’s major limitation is the rise of monopoly finance capital in its economy, which has turned out as the center of gravity of the economy.

The Empire is failing to handle the changing parts of Latin America. The Empire is finding it difficult to handle Iran and India. The Empire is finding it difficult to handle Pakistan and Indonesia. There’s possibility that the Empire will find it difficult to handle Saudi Arabia. In Syria, the Empire’s moves aren’t that easy that it planned. The Afghanistan case is unknown. Ethiopia, Sudan, Libya – the cases are also difficult and uncertain.

Yet, the Empire is powerful enough to throw threats to the world.

But, that scene may change within decades – Russia and China will, hopefully, grow stronger. Precedents show China and Russia haven’t faltered in their steps.

On the contrary, ruling classes in the Empire are having difficult time with factional fight.

The repeated talk of possible civil war is a meaningful indicator of the factional fight. Retired three generals’, an expert’s and a part of media’s talk of possibility of civil war, real or fake, warning or propaganda, in the Empire signify something crook in political business. It turns out serious even it’s propaganda, even it’s a preemptive move by one faction against another. It’s a real weakness within the Empire.

With this situation, capitals in countries obviously are pondering – where’s the bigger piece of cake? A group of these capitals is dependent on and tied to the Empire. For the Empire, it’s also a difficult situation – section of lackeys is turning unreliable. Capital always searches the bigger egg. That’s a problem for the Empire.

A significant shift in power equation is going on in today’s world. It’s going to impact almost all countries including geographically small and tiny countries. A recent incident including arson in an island-country is one of the latest evidences.

This situation is meaningful for both of the ruled/exploited and the ruler/exploiting classes. It’ll be stupidity to not keep an eye on the developments, and listen to Putin’s pronouncements.

This makes this December different from the Decembers gone in the early-‘90s.

Farooque Chowdhury writes from Dhaka. His latest book With the Passing Time, NGG Books, Dhaka, Bangladesh, [email protected]

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