The West is feeling more and more like an irrational maze. The banks are mad. The austerity too. But the anti-Russia hysteria is the final straw. It’s not just “anti-Russia”: it’s anti-truth, anti-rational and anti-modern. It’s the end result of postmodernism. What began as irony is now systematic madness.
Everything is upside down. Or maybe at last it’s the right side up. Maybe the West to begin with never was the Free World. Wasn’t that the whole point of modernism? Modernism was self criticism. Modernism was critical of the West. And then along came postmodernism. And the West suddenly was off the hook. The West wearing the clothes of postmodernism went on the attack again.
The end result is that anything goes as long as the West wins. Forget the truth. Forget the facts. And forget history. Everything apparently is fiction. The West can say what it wants because everything is interpretation. That’s the beauty of postmodernism. You can contradict yourself a million times and laugh it all off. As long as you’ve the power. And that’s the key word: power. Because postmodernism was from the word go a political project. One that was made in the West for the West.
The end result is hatred for Russia. And love for “Al-Qaeda”. Why? Because Russia attempted to rationalise the world. It attempted to apply reason to the 21st century. And so the irrational West had to punish it. Listen to Putin in 2007 when he spoke in Munich:
“However, what is a unipolar world? However one might embellish this term, at the end of the day it refers to one type of situation, namely one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making.
It is [a] world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within.
And this certainly has nothing in common with democracy. Because, as you know, democracy is the power of the majority in light of the interests and opinions of the minority.
Incidentally, Russia – we – are constantly being taught about democracy. But for some reason those who teach us do not want to learn themselves.
I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today’s world. And this is not only because if there was individual leadership in today’s – and precisely in today’s – world, then the military, political and economic resources would not suffice. What is even more important is that the model itself is flawed because at its basis there is and can be no moral foundations for modern civilisation.”
And listen to him in New York in 2015 when he spoke in the UN General Assembly:
“and so the export of revolutions, this time of so-called democratic ones, continues. It would suffice to look at the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, as has been mentioned by previous speakers. Certainly political and social problems in this region have been piling up for a long time, and people there wish for changes naturally.
But how did it actually turn out? Rather than bringing about reforms, an aggressive foreign interference has resulted in a brazen destruction of national institutions and the lifestyle itself. Instead of the triumph of democracy and progress, we got violence, poverty and social disaster. Nobody cares a bit about human rights, including the right to life.
I cannot help asking those who have caused the situation, do you realize now what you’ve done?”
Did you hear the plea for reason? Did you hear the cry for modernity? Did you hear the demand for “moral foundations” – for universal values – for international law? Did you hear the defence of national sovereignty and the defence of the UN Charter? The West didn’t. In these two key Russian speeches (Munich ’07 and New York ’15) the West only heard a threat to it’s power.
The West’s reply to Russia’s rationalism was and continues to be irrationalism. Media madness, “Presidential” paranoia and Islamic insanity is the West’s response to the truth. And the truth is no secret. But the West just shrugs it’s shoulders and laughs it all off. The truth is Western imperialism: the unipolar world, full spectrum dominance, neo-con mendacity, hybrid warfare, sanctions, speculation, special forces, the CIA, fundamentalism and American Exceptionalism. In short: Putin hit the nail on the head.
And the West hit back. Why? Because the West can’t defend itself rationally. There is no good reason for all the wealth found in the West. So there can only be a bad reason: imperial power. And modernism proved beyond doubt that it was bad. However as this power was rolled back in modern times – as the victims of Empire succeeded in liberating themselves – postmodern times came to the rescue of the West. In Nietzsche the West found it’s champion. The will to power was the West’s trump card. And with Nietzsche’s blessing it played it.
For Nietzsche all that mattered was power. And whoever had it needed no justification or reason. Truth was a lie. And morality was only for the weak. However if this intellectual climate only emerged and became hegemonic in the late 1970s (think of Reagan and Thatcher) it of course was ever present behind the scenes in the dark corners of Western imperialism. For instance: America’s leading strategist (and Russian “expert”) after World War Two, George F. Kennan, famously put it into words in Memo PPS23 (1948):
“We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population….Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships, which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity. To do so we will have to dispense with all sentimentality….We should cease to talk about vague….unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratisation. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”
Nietzsche could not have said it better himself. The question is though: has this elite Western approach to the world changed since Kennan wrote Memo PPS23? No – it has only become more crass. As a result this Nietzschean worldview is what Russia is up against today. But haven’t we seen this before? Hasn’t Nietzsche in another guise attacked Russia already? Have not the forces of irrationalism invaded Russia before? And did Russia not for our benefit defeat those forces of irrationalism? We still owe Russia.
So let’s support it today it by burying Nietzsche. And by resurrecting universal reason and all the ideals which are built upon it. Give modern secular life another chance. Not just in Syria but in the West too.