Open Menu: Putin at Valdai – World Order: New Rules or a Game without Rules?

Streamed live on Oct 24, 2014:  Russian President Vladimir Putin is delivering a speech at the plenary session of Valdai International Discussion Club, a forum involving the world leading experts at foreign and domestic policy.

You can find the transcript of the 2 1/2 hour speech here:

‘The World Order: New Rules or a Game Without Rules?’ by VLADIMIR PUTIN

Norman Pollack’s commentary on the speech, and some excerpts:

‘Putin’s Valdai Address:One-Sided Cold War’, by NORMAN POLLACK

RT’s ‘Malice behind Putin misquotations? Russia to respond with full disclosure’, October 28, 2014

tumblr_m2zqunI27h1qfc5cxo1_1280Please discuss at will.  And if any of you want Author privileges here, just ask.  You do have to Register (instructions on the right side bar under ‘Categories’, as is my email address.)

14 responses to “Open Menu: Putin at Valdai – World Order: New Rules or a Game without Rules?

  1. Putin gave a great speech at Valdai and it has boosted the morale of the minority of people here who view the US as he does while the majority and the MSM still seem to see him as a Commie Dictator bent on bringing down the Indespensable USA.

    Norman Pollack and others are so impressed with Putins repeating what they have been discussing for years that he missed the huge ommission in the speech and glossed over one very chilling statement Putin made.

    Putin doesn’t seem to understand that you cannot seperate US foreign policy from US economic policy because Capitalism controls both and in this stage of Capitalism there will be no sharing of the World Order only dominance and submission. He naively thinks that by scolding the Beast it will allow the Lesser Capitalists of the world to share in the exploitation and destruction of the planet. Putin and the Russian Ruling Class are new to Capitalism so his idealistic vision of reforming the Beast is understandable.

    The BRICS are a bold idea to try to blunt the worst attacks of the Hegemon but they are, so far, only a defensive orginization.

    What was really disturbing and telling about how Putin thinks was his bold and prominent statement in support of the Military Dictatorship in Egypt. This was a clear message sent to the Muslims of the world that Democracy will not be tolerated in their world if it has an Islamist basis and outlook. This is where Putin joins the Authoritarians in the West in making a stupid and lasting mistake with bloody repercussions.

  2. fascinating. pollack being so anti-capitalistic pretty much lulled me with his first two paragraphs, including his reference to many saying ‘even marx wouldn’t have been able to imagine USian capitalism’s extremes!’ (or close).

    you’re right about egypt of course, and here i’d thought you might have been about to criticize his ‘bi-polar world’ that norman had skipped by a bit because he, pollack, has been calling for a ‘multi-polar world’ for so long. (the tweaked: balance of powers’ meme.) but maybe that’s part of the same thing you’re speaking to.

    let me read it again, or parts, when i can. there were several sections that left me unsure of his meaning.

    i hope others have the time to at least read pollack’s take and weigh in; i can’t even imagine having the time to read vlad’s whole speech.

  3. The real danger I see here is people such as Pollack falling into the trap of the Cult Of The Leader, who will be our savior. I respect Putin for what he has done to save Russia but some people view him as a white robed water walker, the Saker blog has many of them. This leads to more cynicism when the real person is revealed or denial of their true nature.

  4. let me paste in this whole mess; i took a few notes in between chores, and i hope it’s not terribly incoherent:

    pollack mentioned putin’s ‘veiled references to mass surveillance’, and that struck me bit funny, given that it’s hard not to imagine that the kgb does a whole lot of surveilling…

    “The main thing is that this system needs to develop, and despite its various shortcomings, needs to at least be capable of keeping the world’s current problems within certain limits and regulating the intensity of the natural competition between countries.” Developing the system further, is the point of the address—not this or that political economy, but the world system, the institutionalization of harmonious relations between nations.’ —so you’re thinking he meant ‘except ones with military dictatorships’?

    what did he mean here, do you think:
    (Perhaps democratization thereby is allowed to flounder, but that is a matter for nations to determine for themselves, while intervention, as on the grounds of liberal humanitarianism, is especially productive of conflict and war—AND disguises the power position and hegemonic intent of the invading force. China, along with Russia, is firm on this proposition, although in the wider picture seen here, Li might not be prepared to follow Putin beyond an early point.)

    I find Putin’s account of the post-Cold War years compelling, but the very fact that he has felt the need to move ahead, taking Russia into a new realm, not THAT of Empire and the Restoration of Catherine the Great, speaks volumes about his own criticism of Soviet history and conduct.

    one of my favorite parts was: Not blowback in the singular and particular, but an integral policy disposition toward imperialism and war—and with that, he gets down to cases: “They once sponsored Islamic extremist movements to fight the Soviet Union. Those groups got their battle experience in Afghanistan and later gave birth to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.’ coupled with: ‘Two points: first, the West (particularly America) helped to create the terrorist groups it now seeks mightily to suppress; and second, there is Obama’s indictment of Russia/Putin as, along with Ebola, a present threat to the US.’

    refresh my memory on why russia was in afghanistan? pollack quotes putin as asking what i’d asked you after you’d mentioned that IS is non-capitalistic: “Let me ask where do these rebels get their money, arms and military specialists? Where does all this come from? How did the notorious ISIL manage to become such a powerful group, essentially a real armed force?” and you seem to know what Sisi is doing in egypt; i lost track after morsi. has the brotherhood been oulawed? i have a vague memory of headlines about imprisonments, executions…

    ah, okay; i see i was wrong again: Putin is criticizing the US *pretense* that there is a bipolar world, as in: Russia has the power to recreate its Imperial designs. ‘interdependence’ is his stated key vision. but he’s right; the ‘axes of evil’ seems to change almost continually now. and i remember so clearly that when climate change was noticed fifteen or so years ago, wise people thought that it might be one global problem that would almost force global cooperation and solutions, especially food. as in: perhaps the breadbasket of the world would move from the great plains to…russia, and so forth.

    china’s economy is state capitalism, no? russia is a mixed economy. both communist and capitalist? plenty of oligarchs, for certain.

  5. i was pasting in and hadn’t seen your new comment. oooh, i agree, though, especially about the saker’s commentariat. on my ukraine diaries, i’ve gotten tired of offering the caveat: of course vlad is an oligarch, and a bastard at that, but he has done some amazing diplomacy, and he and russia are absolutely right to be pissed that nato is surrounding them with bases, nuclear missiles, and starting the cold war all over again.

  6. Hmmm; very bad doings in egypt:
    ‘ Egypt places civilian infrastructure under army jurisdiction’
    Decree nominally targeting terrorists means anyone accused of crimes on public property can be tried in military court

  7. Hi there to you both, and many thanks for making this post, wendye.

    I think there are very valid (heh, internal scrambled pun unintentional distraction) reasons to disagree with Putin’s international relationships, but I found it interesting that in the long speech (and yes, mea culpa, I read the whole thing) he did go out of his way to signal the problematic ones – Egypt and Israel, the latter being extremely so for me. I think that’s to say to us ‘these are Russia’s pragmatic alliances; every country must have them, even with regimes whose policies and road to power we abhor.’

    He has also accepted the very unpleasant regime ‘voted in’ in Ukraine. Plenty of issues for us to disagree with vehemently. This is a mindset which says that no government of men will be a perfect one, that the priority must be to provide for the people one was elected to govern and not to seek to govern the world. I think he absolutely believes that.

    Russia isn’t perfect. There’s still disorder and maybe a huge dose of exceptionalism in the face of reality. But as far as I can make out,( not having the language), there is an emerging public discussion that is repressed in our own environment, a recognition of western failures while attempts are made to avoid those failures.

    But enough from me. Pragmatically, Russia will interact with whomever is the power in whatever country for the sake of stability. We should still feel free to criticize, but let’s not use that as an excuse to invade!

  8. oof, i’m glad you read the entire speech, juliania. i knew i wouldn’t, so thank you for what you saw in the extra bits. i suppose a lot of what we hear about internal russia is propaganda, but by the same token, may not altogether be. even some headlines at RT can give one pause, but we also should remember to contrast those bits with what’s afoot in our own nation, in which there is no longer any rule of law, no constitutional protections for most in anything but hollow words, and high courts that rarely serve the people, rather than profiteers, the ‘law and order security state’, and of course…money.

    yes, pollack had mentioned his love of ‘stability’, interesting that you indicate his own words were more nuanced about egypt. can you remember how so? oh, gads. nato is frigging nuts to gin up the old war, but with isis now in their headlamps, that seems to have cooled for the moment. but right on cue, from the guardian:

    ‘Why is Europe turning its back on Ukraine?
    Amid growing justification for Russian aggression and a trend towards engaging with post-Soviet dictators, the EU is missing the fact that Moscow is a threat to Europe as whole, writes Belarusian opposition leader Andrei Sannikov

    while i was reading pollack’s piece, i visualized my erstwhile friend Desider looking over my shoulder and reading along. his views might have been along these lines (but then, he lives in prague)

    p.s. i lost most of the morning yesterday emailing fdl issues with brain sonenstein and lemoyne, plus family issues, and trying to find help to repair the once-again dead fridge (it was a pleasant ten days…). may i say that extended warranties aren’t what they’re cracked up to be, esp. if one lives in the tulies. so glad you found computer help, ww.

  9. Ah, I cleverly vacuumed the livingroom before signing out here, wendye, so saw your response sooner rather than later. Yesterday I trekked, and my, there is nothing to beat those ancient cottonwoods in full display as the sun sets – they simply radiate their transient glory on a breathless October day, still interspersed with green along the Rio. I was transported in more ways than one.

    There was an interesting piece on the Guardian some days back that gave the alternative view to the Sannikov piece – I don’t know if I can get it back, but I will try.

  10. Well, it wasn’t easy but I found it. And sorry, wendye, again it is long. But this was on the front page at the Guardian four days ago, and you might just want to scroll down to the first few comments to see how extraordinary that circumstance was, plus really, you could scroll through the questions for any that interest.

    I’m so glad I found this and can link to it here. Now, off to plant fall potatoes. (Yes, you can!)

  11. Juliana, there was much more than just recognising and treating with Egypt in Putin’s statement. He praised the Coup Regime for destroying the Democratic Islamist MB and this statement may also have a mercantile component because Russia just sold Egypt $3.5 billion in arms which will be used to continue the Dictatorship and suppress dissent.

    By including this statement in his speech Putin was joining with the US and Europe, with whom he wishes to be partners, in their Islamophobia and showed his disdain for democracy that is not completely under Ruling Class control.

    I don’t see this situation as a new Cold War but a renewed attempt to end the first Cold War with an economic assault to finish the dismantling of Russia that was halted by Putin and his supporters. The US was distracted by 9/11 and now with low oil prices and a renewed arms race Russia is being prodded to self destruct.

  12. I prefer to think of them ALL as organized crime syndicates, oppressing their “protection” marks on their own turf; while rumbling and hitting others on the others’. Time to turn the tables on “the House” and Make the 1%ers an offer they Can’t REFUSE!

  13. peter: “Russia just sold Egypt $3.5 billion in arms”; ay yi yi. yes, i see your point. only slightly o/t, mr. wd red last week that the nation that is buying the most military hardware is india, and i reckon that is due to the reports that india/kashmir is building up a lot of heat, and will soon be one of the hottest spots on the planet, including pakistan, of course.

    stephen cohen agrees with your take about finishing off russia once and for all, although he sees the west wanting hot war. i’d have to add: ‘because nato’ as even more dominant, partially because not long ago it was seen as superfluous according to tarheeldem’s long series about it, *and* the fact that nato and the state dept. are pushing so hard to include all of the russian periphery nations to be included as ‘friends and allies of nato’ due the same ‘protection’ as formal members (hillary called it ‘backdoor ways into nato’ in the wikicables). on their twitter account, they are trying to get all the nato members and the ‘friends’ to increase their military budgets to some obscene percentage of their gdp, although i can’t remember the exact amount.

    and obviously lockheed martin, are some of the main rivers of neo-con u.s. foreign policy, no matter how loose cannon and reactive it seems.

    bruce: way past time, but just in ammurrika, think how many ‘progressives’ are covering for obama.

  14. oopsie; juliania: i’m so sorry, but that piece at the guardian is just way too long for me to read. i really, realllllly, want to get this lunker i’m working on finished. it has so many parts to it that i’m doing overkill once again. maybe later, okay?

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