The sequence of events around the truce in Syria confirmed that attempts to cooperate with the USA in the fight against terrorism and settle the situation in this country inevitably come to a standstill.
Needless to say, we need even more extensive international cooperation on this problem. On the other hand, it looks like Russia is knocking not on a closed door, but on a door painted on a wall.
What a Russian Philosopher Said
In 1869, Russian political philosopher Nikolay Danilevsky forecasted in his work “Russia and Europe” that strong alliances between peoples belonging to different cultural and historical groups were unlikely, and between Romano-Germanic and Slavic-Russia were practically impossible.
According to Danilevsky, the reason is that Western civilization pursues superiority, and a propensity to violence is embedded deep within the culture.
The basic principles of Russian civilization are the opposite. They are about strong conservative principles, a propensity not to suppress other nations but to coexist peacefully, accommodating reciprocal interests. Danilevsky’s theory requires some elaboration, taking into account the realities of the XX and XXI centuries, but one thing is undeniable: almost all his forecasts have been fulfilled in the past or at present.
As the Russian philosopher forecast, in the XXth century many wars were launched by Western civilization against our country. The aggressors were Germany. Britain, the USA and France, some formally Russian allies. At present West is trying to weaken or even totally liquidate our country.
Pursuing the Romano-Germanic propensity to consolidate an internal balance of power, as pointed out by Danilevsky, the West chose maximal consolidation at the expense of the political independence of nations. Danilevsky’s forecast, that the unification of Europe would pose a danger to Russia, has been fulfilled.
It’s obvious that Romano-Germanic civilization tries to impose its so-called “universal values” on the world (Danilevsky fiercely criticized the idea of a “universal humanity”), as well as the abandonment of its Christian roots, which the philosopher also forecast, explaining it by the obvious difference between Romano-Germanic ethnic and cultural characteristics and Christian principles.
Finally, a disregard for its own cultural and historical identity, and a failure to reject European values, prevented Russia from consolidating the Slavic peoples, leading to the collapse of the Russian Empire and threatening Russiaitself at the end of the XX century. Danilevsky’s theory is repeatedly confirmed in practice, Syria being no exception.
Terrorists: military and political tool or worst enemy?
The second reason to think that the door to cooperation with the USA in Syria will not open is that Russia and the United States have totally different attitudes towards terrorist organizations.
We are scrupulous when it comes to choosing our friends. Our leaders have not always followed this rule, but even the most conspicuous “bargain with the devil” – the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Treaty, signed in 1939, – was not a voluntary choice but due the fact that our country was unprepared for war.
After the war, the Soviet Union consistently stood for mutually beneficial international relations. We never cooperated with the fascist regimes of Portugal, Chili, Argentina, or backed the most aggressive Islamists in Afghanistan and other places. But it was common practice for English-speaking world, which had mastered Romano-Germanic civilization by the end of the XX century. We witnessed the same approach in Iraq, Egypt, Libya, and in Syria today.
For Russia, terrorist organizations are the most serious threat to security, while for the US they are a tool of “realpolitik”. It’s very hard to “marry” these two approaches.
US Sectarian Spirit
Another thing prevents these two countries from mutual understanding, and that is the degradation of Western civilization, the abandonment of culture in favor of totalitarianism. There are also constructive forces in the West, but can they change the character of the whole? I think not.
Nevertheless, the fact remains: the political West divides reality into “good” and “bad”, and other aspects of world policy as either “wrong”, which require reshaping, or “criminal”, to be destroyed.
The West sees itself as the sole possessor of the “ultimate truth” a leader capable of “saving the world”. The existing international legal system and other nations’ interests are worth nothing for this “leader”.
Candidates for “conversion” to this sect need only accept the American mindset and follow the boss’s instructions. But newcomers must erase their own identity, destroy existing international relations, criticize and abjure the past. Satellite-states are involved in violence against other nations, obvious criminals are decriminalized, while those who question the sect are punished.
Other characteristics of totalitarian systems are zero tolerance, and bigotry, which practically exclude any meaningful dialogue. No totalitarian sect can be a loyal partner, even less an ally, however, one cannot ignore them, given their potential.
Fourth Reason and Conclusion
The fourth reason for US unwillingness to compromise on the Syrian issue is our lack of power, political, military, and especially, economic. We lost too much over the last decades that can’t be regained at once. We have started the process, and now we need to push harder.
All the above-mentioned does not mean that interaction between Russia and the USA on the Syrian issue and between our country and the West in a broader international context is impossible in principle. It’s possible, but we need to know its limitations and understand that wishes like “balance of interests”, or so-called “civilizational affinity”, or “common” values cannot guarantee effective cooperation and good faith fulfillment of agreements.
Only consolidation of our own civilization and power, which can provide at least parity with the other side, can achieve this Then a real door, not a painted one, will materialize in the wall of growing American hostility towards us, and it will open.