This article was last updated on July 27, 2022
Vladimir Putin and the Failure of the Global Neoliberal Order
…Vladimir Putin made some very pointed and pertinent comments during his address to the plenary session.
As background, the annual Forum acts as a crowdsourcing platform for Russia’s most imaginative people whose ideas will be used to reboot Russia’s economy, social and technology spheres. Let’s look at some of the key excerpts. The mission of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives is as follows:
At this year’s Forum, 87,000 people from across Russia submitted more than 19,000 projects aimed at “… creating technological sovereignty, training personnel in demand, improving the quality of life, and driving regional growth….“
The projects were accepted in seven categories, such as HR, technology, social sphere, environment, regional development, and entrepreneurship, and there is also an Open Conversation (other proposals for the national development which do not fit into the specified topics). Of the top 200 ideas that were discussed at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, 100 initiatives and projects were selected for the two-day face-to-face meeting held this past week with 10 of them being presented directly to the nation’s leadership at the plenary session.
With that information as background to the setting for Vladimir Putin’s comments, let’s look at a few quotes that are particularly pertinent given the evolution of the unipolar global world order also known as the international rules-based order which is predicated on American dominance with all bolds throughout being mine.
“National and global processes are underway to develop the fundamentals and principles of a harmonious, fairer and more community-focused and safe world order as an alternative to the existing world order, or the unipolar world order in which we lived, and which, because of its nature, is definitely becoming a brake on the development of our civilisation.“
Before we look at the next quote, an explanation is in order. In Russian terms, the “Golden Billion” is “…an allegory intended to designate the most wealthy part of humans living predominated in the most developed nations and having all that is needed for a secure and comfortable life.” The “Golden Billion” term was coined by Anatoly Tsikunov in his book from 1990 entitled “The Plot of World Government: Russia and the Golden Billion”. In general, the “Golden Billion” can be thought of as the global elite who consume far more than their share of natural resources and that the wealth of Western elites is based on their exploitation of the lower classes, particularly those that live in former colonies whose resources were plundered by the elite.
Here is the next quote of interest given the explanation of the Golden Billion”:
“The model of total domination by the so-called golden billion is unfair. Why should this golden billion, which is only part of the global population, dominate everyone else and enforce its rules of conduct that are based on the illusion of exceptionalism? It divides the world into first and second-class people and is therefore essentially racist and neo-colonial. The underlying globalist and pseudo-liberal ideology is becoming increasingly more like totalitarianism and is restraining creative endeavour and free historical creation.
One gets the impression that the West is simply unable to offer the world a model for the future of its own. “
After seeing the response of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States (among others) to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is little doubt that we have entered an era of neoliberal totalitarianism.
And, according to Putin, here is how the West attained its position of preeminence in the world:
“Indeed, it was no accident that the golden billion attained its gold and achieved quite a lot, but it got there not because it implemented certain concepts. It mainly got to where it is by robbing other peoples in Asia and Africa. That is how it was. India was robbed for an extensive period of time. This is why the elite of the golden billion are terrified of other global development centres potentially coming up with their own development alternatives.“
Here is his comment on the existing global order:
“No matter how much the West and the supranational elite strive to preserve the existing order, a new era and a new stage in world history are coming. Only genuinely sovereign states are in a position to ensure a high growth dynamic and become a role model for others in terms of standards of living and quality of life, the protection of traditional values and high humanistic ideals, and development models where an individual is not a means, but the ultimate goal.“
In closing, here is a quote where Putin tout’s the “Russian advantage”, a particularly interesting concept given the West’s attempts to sanction Russia out of existence:
“I would like to emphasise that to move forward into the future we need to remember our great, glorious past, rely on our traditions and be proud of our achievements. And, once again, we must move forward by all means. It is absolutely unacceptable to rest on our laurels, look back to the past and be happy at recalling what our fathers, grandfathers and grandmothers did. No. We must certainly rely on this enormous experience and the achievements of our nation, our peoples – our advantage lies in the multi-ethnic and multi-religious nature of our country – but we must of course look to the future and move only forward.”
If you wish to read Putin’s entire speech, you can find it here.