America and Anna Karenina: What is in Common?


Galima Galiullina, Ph.D.  for VT

The image of America as a beautiful woman has been preserved in my memory from the memorable last issue of the magazine “America” ​​in Russian, in which it was announced that the goals of the magazine were achieved and that the editors say goodbye to us. A woman in a red dress was on the cover with her back to us. This was the 1992 edition. The USSR has already been killed. America celebrated its victory.

Twenty-eight years have passed since then. And now I again see the image of America, but no longer celebrating the victory over the existential enemy – the Russians, but in the image of Anna Karenina, ready to lay on the rails under the steel wheels of a huge train slowly departing from the station.

America, like Anna Karenina, had everything to enjoy life – belonging to her upper-class world, wealthy, and enjoying the love of relatives and friends. But everything turned into an endless crazy dream when passion appeared in her life. In the case of Anna Karenina, it was officer Alexei Vronsky, in the case of America, a passion for war as a means of satisfying national pride and greed. Anna Karenina cheated on a respectable and caring husband, forgetting about the honor and her oath of allegiance, America changed the covenants of the fathers – the founders of the Republic, the oath of allegiance to the pillars of democracy hewn out of the mistakes of European states unable then to throw off heritor governance.

In a rapture of passion, Anna destroyed the family hearth, lost her beloved son and found nothing but a new destructive disease – an addiction to morphine. America, having tasted the rapture of a ghostly victory over an entire empire, continued the bloody path of violence against other nations and announced to the whole world that history had ended with only one master of the world remaining. For those who did not want to fit into this picture of the world, the choice was not great – direct aggression of NATO, perfectly armed against weak countries, or a color revolution at the hands of venal elites and fooled masses. For those who did not want to participate in the endless pornography of wars or returned from them crippled forever physically and mentally, opium or heroin was always at hand in a variety of forms. And now the country is plunged into an opioid epidemic to further add national desolation.

Heartland: A Space of Unprecedented Opportunities

But where is the steam engine approaching America? Is someone going to attack the country? Of course not. A huge train led by a powerful steam engine with a red star is the continent of Eurasia, Brzezinski’s crazy dream, Hitler’s coveted land, the territory of the Heartland, which is now gaining an inexorable and unstoppable movement into the future. A new, or revived, existential challenge or unapproachable obstacle.

Eurasian integration is a process of reviving the Silk Road, bewitching by its scale and prospects, but not in the form of old caravan routes, but ultramodern highways and railways, new seaports and airports, this is an old friendship of peoples, shaken off the ashes of betrayal and oblivion, these are the hands of billions of people, outstretched for a friendly handshake. This is the Eurasian Union and the One Belt, One Road Initiative in the process of pairing, already begun by joint efforts. This is the phenomenal intellectual capital of Russia, the grandiose economic breakthrough of China, the passionate and cultural power of Iran.

“Greater Eurasia” is not just the countries of the Eurasian continent, the UN also includes seven countries of North Africa in this concept. It is impossible not to see that Greater Eurasia is a key region of the modern world: 9/10 of energy production, 3/4 of the world’s GDP, 4/5 of the world’s population. More than half of world trade falls on the Eurasian continent, and this share will only grow.

Three great civilizations: The Soviet (incorporating the experience of the empires of Genghis Khan, Scythians, imperial Russia, the USSR), Chinese and Persian, are now intertwined together in a slow dance of aspiration for the future. At the heart of their growing trust in each other are the valuable pearls of these civilizations: justice and honesty, proven and endured in the experience of millennia. Western civilization was built on the foundational value of law and right, but the features of liberal capitalism, which consistently eliminated the state as an instrument of law enforcement, led to the degradation and demise of most sovereign legal institutions. In international relations, this has led to massive violations of international law by the hegemon of global order. In this regard, the demand for justice, solidarity, the desire for unity against violence is growing in the world. On this basis, the observed Eurasian integration is taking place. Justice and collective security will be at the heart of the new global security architecture laid today in Greater Eurasia.

And this huge rallying continent has already moved on to the future. Are there any madmen in the world who decide to hinder his movement? The vital force of the unifying civilizations, the conviction of the leaders of countries leading a powerful leap into the future.  The main source of prosperity and success lies in the peoples themselves that inhabit the continent, promises peace and prosperity to the whole world. It is an alternative to globalist strategies for enriching 1% by robbing 99%.

And these great civilizations are threatened by US Secretary of State Pompeo, announcing to the world that he managed to kill an illustrious general and peacemaker. He liked the taste of blood. He will continue to kill, on behalf of the American people, the leaders of countries who he considers, to be a threat to his hegemonic and quite frankly insane concept of “freedom.” What a perverted understanding of freedom among Pompeo and his colleagues!

What kind of soft power can we talk about after such statements? We see a clinical case of impotence in everything.

Causes of Impotence

Problem – the constitution gives the executive the power to conduct foreign policy.  The congress has the power to declare war. The problem is since 9/11 the congress has authorized the federal government to conduct the war on terror.

But in a situation where the president is perceived by the majority as the “only adult in the room” for foreign policy and this adult is Donald Trump in company with Mike Pompeo, the apotheosis of liberal democracy turns into a drama.

The fetish of freedom has become impunity and irresponsibility. “Think of the officials responsible for the disruption of the Middle East peace process (and the political observers who hailed their actions), the ill-conceived expansion of NATO, the mediocre wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the torture that CIA officers subjected detainees during the war on terrorism, NSA surveillance of Americans without court authorization, NATO’s failed intervention in Libya, and American fraud in Ukraine, which gave Russia an excuse to capture Crimea. None of the officials or political observers have been held professionally liable or punished for their mistakes and misconduct,” – said Stephen Walt, professor of world politics at Harvard. (Foreign Affairs, 2019, No. 3).

The three forces of America have long been universally recognized: economics, military strength, soft power. The dollar is losing its dictatorial position due to the fact that more and more Eurasian countries are switching to de-dollarization of their economies in international trade. Sanctions forced this. Which country would risk storing their nation’s money in American banks after the money of Venezuela was withdrawn for the inhospitable attitude to the puppet Guaido, and Iraq was promised by President Trump to withdraw $35 billion from Iraqi accounts for the decision of the Parliament to expel the US military from the devastated country.

This shameless robbery of peoples cannot end in good. The Russian proverb, “If you have strength – you don’t need mind,” was suitable for the United States in the days of a weak Russia, but now it is impossible to speak the language of threats with a strong and smart Russia, as well as with China and Iran. A different intellectual level is needed for a diplomatic conversation. But sadly, the school of diplomacy in the United States has been shut down, and replaced with a warmongering mob, blindly following the mindless slogan that “might makes right.”

Over the past 30 years, the United States has been very successful in importing intellectual capital from countries colonized by global capital. A huge influx of scientists, engineers, doctors, talented students to the US was observed after the collapse of the USSR, the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the world of socialism. The revival of Russia and the powerful rise of China involve young minds in ambitious projects at home is accelerating.

Military power more and more resembles a former strongman swollen by anabolic steroids. The experience of repeated technical failures by USS Donald Cook, the shameful failure with “smart” missiles in 2018, the “Patriot” missile system, which goes into a stupor in case of a real attack, the generals who really did not win a single war.

Iraq, where NATO killed more than 2 million people and plundered a country of ancient culture, now requires the withdrawal of troops. Where did the seven trillion dollars go?  For what worthy reason did the soldiers die –  when not a single war unleashed by the United States brought anyone freedom, prosperity, peace, respect or security for the American homeland?

Maybe they enriched the American people? Then where did millions of homeless people, millions of drug addicts, millions of prisoners come from?

It would seem that the first alarm should be declared by intellectuals whose professional duty is to prevent a catastrophe, find ways out of the national crisis, help formulate a new development course for the country, and craft a rescue strategy. The duty of intellectuals is to honestly name the mistakes of national leaders, their teams, to find fulcrum in national history and culture, in national identity.

But this does not happen! And there is no way down, except a deadly fall, from this deadly peak of false pride. Stephen Walt, professor of world politics at the Kennedy School at Harvard University: “The more complex and confusing the situation in the world, the more Washington needs a clear understanding of its vital interests and foreign policy priorities. First of all, a successful US strategy should determine the regions in which the country should prepare for war, and the goals that these military actions should pursue” (The End of Pride. And the New Age of American Restraint // Foreign Affairs, No. 2019). Again, war is a priority!

The mass culture of the United States, in the victorious 70s that conquered the world with the temptations of freedom in the wake of the fashion for drugs, sex and rock and roll, almost killed the real culture and education. Indeed, why do we need culture and knowledge for those whom America itself does not need? And why do they need children if they have no future? As a result, America’s human capital is rapidly devaluing and there are no institutions calling out real causes of the demise or leading a way out of this deadly spiral.

Pledge of Hope

Predicting the future of Greater Eurasia, one can foresee the growing role of Russia in the unifying processes. The Russian mentality allows us to build a national strategy based on our attitude toward other nations which is rooted in respect for their people. This is how truly meaningful and beneficial relationships between countries are built. Dostoevsky wrote that the Russian soul carries a sober look, forgiving the hostile, seeing and excusing the dissimilar, removing the contradictions. The formula of the Russian dream according to Dostoevsky: worldwide responsiveness, universal brotherhood.

This dream gradually covers the many peoples of the Earth. The huge train “Greater Eurasia” is already moving on. Nothing can stop this train. America certainly needs to be more appropriately aware to discover itself anew and, return to the universal truths and values upon which it was founded.

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

When Tolstoy wrote Anna Karenina, he touched themes of personal crisis based on actual events he knew from his position as a member/observer of the Russian empire in1877.  How could he know the American empire in 2020 is in danger of falling victim to its own crisis as his Anna in 19th century imperial Russia.

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