Twilight of the unipolar world
Today, most experts are convinced that unipolarity is only an episode in geopolitical history, and something reliable and sustainable, into a full-fledged “end of history” has not turned. However, we are still living in this unipolar world. His era ends. In place of a unipolar world, alternative versions of the organization of the strategic space of the planet come, but none of them became obvious and dominant. We are still living inside a unipolar moment.
Most likely, this is its final phase, but … History is an open thing, nothing is strictly predetermined in it. The process of death can be long. In addition, what starts can not happen. Therefore, those who make hasty conclusions are completely inadequate, arguing that the unipolar world and, accordingly, the North American hegemony belong to the past and we live in a post-polarity. This is not true. We live in a unipolar world, which is a geopolitical and strategic status quo. American domination in the military-technical sphere remains an indisputable fact. Liberalism and liberal democracy are a compulsory ideology on a planetary scale. The West still sets normative codes in the economy, politics, culture, technology and information sphere, and those who compete with it (in particular, China or Russia) are forced to play strictly according to its rules.
Volumetric, synthetic unipolarity is actively exposed to erosion, which creates conditions that can be called the twilight of the unipolar world or the “crepuscular” unipolarity.
Unipolarity should be understood in three dimensions: it includes both military-strategic balance, geopolitics, and economics (capitalism), and values (liberalism), and technologies, and educational and scientific paradigms (epistemes), and the political standard (liberal democracy), And all the rest. Democracy or capitalism are just as Western phenomena as the NATO bloc, but today all of humanity as a whole accepts them as something “taken for granted”, which means that a unipolar moment that implies only one dominant pole on a planetary scale retains its influence. The world is unipolar, although this unipolarity today must be understood more widely than is customary. And yet it is this voluminous, synthetic unipolarity that is actively exposed to erosion, which creates conditions that can be called the twilight of the unipolar world or the “crepuscular” unipolarity. Unipolarity is dying out, but it is replaced by something vague, and the true future is beyond midnight. Philosophical question of the essence of twilight: is it the shadows of the evening or the first rays of the morning? I think it’s about the evening. Ahead of the night of civilization. Anyone who does not feel its approach is in a dogmatic dream of liberalism, mesmerized by its ghosts. Things are coming to an end. By the end of the unipolar moment. But midnight is ahead.
The structure of the unipolar moment in its voluminous understanding was formed as a result of the victory of the liberal capitalist West in the “cold war” against the socialist camp. The East capitulated, and one of the halves of the bipolarly zoned world became the only pole. This meant a transition from a balance with two poles (considering each other as plus and minus) to the new model. In the discipline of international relations (MO), bipolarity was canonized by the neo-realist Kenneth Waltz, and unipolarity – by another neo-realist, Robert Gilpin. Therefore, from the geopolitics of the two spaces (plus / minus), we moved to the geopolitics of one space with modulations on a principle closer to the core / farther from the core (center / periphery). In the MoD, this represents a transition from Waltz to Gilpin. The center becomes the Atlantic space with the domination of the United States. The remaining zones are constituted as they move away from the nucleus toward the periphery. In such a strategic unipolarity of the United States is the main thing: the pole, the command center, all the other zones are to be built into a single uniform system. This is Pax Americana, where the bipolar stability of Waltz is replaced by the unipolar hegemonic stability of Gilpin.
Liberals in the MO think the situation in “idealistic” terms, preferring instead of unipolarity to talk about globalization. The neo-realists emphasize the military-political and strategic hegemony of the United States and its allies (junior partners) in NATO. Liberals describe the same process as the spread of liberal democracy, the market, the ideology of individualism and human rights, the blurring of borders, etc. The liberals prefer to view the situation as non-polar (Richard Haas), emphasizing that the West has no symmetrical and formal ideological enemies, so The whole world has become a global West. But such “non-polarity” only hides its deep hegemony, so comprehensive that no alternative has a chance to find a spatial embodiment sufficient for claims to the status of a pole.
The neo-Marxist analysis, presented, for example, in the theory of the world-system of Immanuel Wallerstein, describes the same picture of unipolarity in political economic terms. Rich North (USA and Western Europe) focuses on its territory the main wealth, high technology and financial instruments, benefiting from the economic activities of all mankind. The rich North consumes what the poor South produces. It is also unipolarity, only meaningful as the geographical (spatial) structure of modern financial capitalism.
Technological unipolarity consists in the fact that the source of high technologies is the West, which manages the process of innovation and their implementation. The rest of humanity is forced to join this technological process (distribution of computers, networks, bank cards, mobile phones, communicators, etc.), from which dependence on the West only increases.
The social program of unipolarity is aggressive individualism. This phenomenon is most clearly seen in gender policy, where the liberal struggle against all forms of collective identity logically leads to an optional understanding of gender as the penultimate form of collective identity to be eliminated in the course of progressive liberalism (the last form is belonging to the human race and the liberal imperative to overcoming a person, Posthumanism and transhumanism). This is a kind of “gender unipolarity”, where the progressive camp is determined by the degree of tolerance to sexual minorities and the legal legalization of same-sex marriages, and conservative (= backward) societies are countered by inertia. Pole are societies with high gender tolerance and the relevant legislation. Periphery – all the rest.
This is the structure of the unipolar moment-there are several dimensions in it at once:
– geopolitical (military domination of the US and NATO countries);
– ideological (normative spread of liberalism and liberal democracy);
– economic (the final internationalization of the world capitalist system – globalization);
– technological (the inevitability of adaptation of high Western technologies);
– value (gender policy).
If we look at this structure holistically, then, on the one hand, it is easy to see the signs of the end, but on the other hand, it is obvious that this system is progressing in many senses in many senses, is intensively attacking the “periphery”, continues to insist on its own.
Geopolitical domination and economic superiority of the West are becoming relative as the Second World countries (the BRICS countries) are actively growing up. Liberalism is increasingly rejected by traditional societies. Thus, during the “democratic” revolutions in Islamic countries, fundamentalist and extremist forces are increasingly coming to power. Technologies are beginning to develop beyond the core of the global world. Gender policy causes a growing confrontation not only outside Europe, but also within it. These are signs of an end.
But the US is still a hyperpower. Liberal democracy is adopted by almost all countries of the world, where the market economy and democratic institutions (parliament, elections, etc.) are not questioned. Capitalism has taken root on a global scale. Without modern Western technology, no modern society is inconceivable. Gender revolutions spread further and further beyond Europe and the United States. Therefore, the end of the unipolar moment is far from obvious and requires more careful analysis.
Subjectivity of the end
What is unconditional in monitoring the state of the present unipolarity is its subjective assessment. It is unanimously pessimistic. Even if the view that liberal democracy is the lesser of evils still prevails, today, in the absence of a formal opposition, the emphasis shifts from the word “less” to the word “evil.” A unipolar status quo is recognized by the majority of humanity, but the same majority sees the situation in alarming tones. Important: what is, no longer causes enthusiasm and, on the contrary, awakens more fears, fears and unpleasant surprises. Yes, the world is as it is, but it is some kind of a wrong world, standing on the verge of something terrible. The subjective factor has in society, in civilization a huge (if not decisive) value. If we treat an event as a success, it will be a success. If as a failure, it will be a failure. The unipolar moment today is almost unanimously qualified as a failure, as an end, as the threshold of a catastrophe, although – if we ignore the subjective assessment – everything in the world is built in the way or almost as planned by the liberals and supporters of the global victory of the West. The victory was achieved, but it turned out to be quite different than expected. This is a very interesting point. Objectively, the unipolar world as a whole is stable, and from the formal point of view of this complex unipolarity it is not threatened, but at the same time its assessments become increasingly grim, and the thesis of the “end of the unipolar moment” is shared by even the most consistent and convinced apologists of unipolarity (the same Krauthammer). Similarly, already in the 1990s, the liberal theorist of the “end of history” Francis Fukuyama was horrified by his own prediction and hastened to reconsider it, discovering the reverse side of the phenomena and trends that he neatly described.
In this I see the following. Observers and experts are frightened not by the state of unipolarity, which is quite stable, but those horizons that are opened if we continue the existing lines of development. It is not today, but tomorrow, that is talking about the end of the unipolar moment. Yesterday, the globalists wanted that today (for them tomorrow) was exactly the way it is. But when this happened, a crisis of futurology arose, which is not capable of looking to the future with the same optimism as it was at the previous stage. The end of the bipolar world and the disappearance of the USSR seemed to be the answer to all questions. This happened, and the answers to almost all questions (in the spirit of liberal universalist dogmatism) were received. But subjectively, this turned out to be a confusion and anxiety, and not a legitimate joy and a sense of satisfaction. Annoyed and outraged by the status quo today, even those who have most of all made efforts to become a unipolar moment – Brzezinski, Kissinger, Soros, etc. Their forecasts are alarmist and catastrophic. So, unipolarity in a broad sense is completed not because it has exhausted its capabilities, but because it has exposed a layer of reality that subjectively horrified their creators. The subjectivity of this assessment should not be embarrassed: one should look closely at this reality and try to recognize its structures.
Starting from the subjective (!) End of the “unipolar moment”, we can fix the current position of the global system as a point of bifurcation. Either existing trends will continue to unfold in the old way, that is, the unipolar moment will continue (continue to end), realizing all the opportunities inherent in it, or the story will make a sharp turn and unipolarity will end abruptly, giving way to an alternative – and this time no longer unipolar !! – system of world order.
Both possibilities are not difficult to predict, if you carefully consider the nature of the unipolar moment.
What does it mean to choose an alternative? Suppose that unipolarity ends, what will come in its place? In the present conditions, this can only be multipolarity. It will not be bipolarity (as in the period of the USSR), nor a return to the Westphalian model with the actual sovereignty of all national states. Multipolarity will mean a fundamentally new type of zoning of the planet and the fixation of centers of power. The novelty of this type is the assertion of the pluralism of civilizations in spite of the implied universality on which the unipolar model is based. This is the pluriverse (Karl Schmitt) instead of the universe. This transformation affects everything: geopolitics, values, economics, technology, ideology, politics, gender strategies, sociality, etc.
A unipolar moment is built on the globalization of the West. Western civilization in its current state is recognized as universal and normative, and the process of globalization itself serves as a graphic confirmation of this: successful colonization and reliable hegemony act as historical grounds for the West’s claims on the universality of its historical, cultural, political and economic experience.
A multipolar alternative – based both on traditionalism (Rene Genon, conservative revolution or Eurasianism), on anthropology (Franz Boas or Claude Levi-Strauss) and postmodernism (Michel Foucault or neo-grammarism) – exposes this procedure to the self-completed prophecy of the West’s deconstruction and Constitutes the West as one locality along with others. Then follows the normative assertion of alternative localities and their right to difference. The peak of generalization is the affirmation of the plurality of coexisting civilizations, completely independent, residing in a dialogue and forming a pluriverse.
In practice, this is expressed in symmetrical negations of the entire structure of the unipolar moment:
– instead of the geopolitical dominance of the US and NATO – a number of military units: the North American, the individual European, Russian, Eurasian, Chinese, Indian, Latin American, Islamic, African, etc .; (!).
– Instead of universally binding liberalism and democracy – a green color for any ideology: communistic, monarchical, theocratic, national, with the assumption of those models that prevail today – liberalism, but as local rather than universal phenomena;
– instead of homogeneous capitalism – the organization of autarkic “great spaces” (Friedrich List) with any type of economy: from feudal to communist, Islamic, agrarian, etc. (again – capitalism is allowed, but as a regional phenomenon, not the universal destiny of mankind) ;
– instead of technological progress – the pluralism of the choice of civilizational orientations both towards technology and materialism, and towards idealism and contemplation;
– Gender policy and social morality are built on the principle of each particular civilization: from archaic tribes with their gender practices to world religions or secular societies, where in each case the content of gender is determined historically without any compulsory model.
It is easy to imagine a world where tradition combines with postmodernism in the radical rejection of Western European and North American modernity with its entire set of universalist dogmas and hegemonic practices. Undermining the monopoly of today’s center, the poles of the unipolar world, mankind will open the way to truly free development based on a positively sensible past and identity in a freely chosen direction. Each civilization will determine and restore its structures – time, space, man, society, state, religion, philosophy, purpose, norms, etc. – in the course of deep decolonization and de-ernerization, after which a field will be created for a plurilateral dialogue at different levels – geopolitical, Interconfessional, social, economic, cultural, technological, etc.
The contour map of the future in this case will be maximally differentiated. Several “great spaces” (Grossraum Schmitt) – North America, South America, Eurasia, Europe, Great China, Great India, the Islamic world, Pan-Africa, etc., each of them is something analogous to the “empire”. Without specifying the specific political and legal status of these qualitatively heterogeneous entities, one can call them generalized “politeys”. The rejection of universalism makes it possible for these polities, geopolitically coinciding with “large spaces,” to organize and formalize their administrative structure on the basis of historical identity and free choice. Only then politeyya acquire a certain status – the state, the empire, theocratic, republic, etc. In this case, the bearer of sovereignty (in all senses, including the sovereign system of values) it becomes a civilization represented by a particular politeyey…
Pluriversality, taken as a universal rule of the post-polar, multipolar world, guarantees pluralism within the politya, which corresponds to the actual civilization, which always contains in its own set of various autonomous subsystems.
The transition from globalism and universalism of this, sealed in a unipolar moment, this is strictly a multipolar alternative would coincide with the end of the West to the extent that linked his fate with historical modernity. Such a turn would mean “the end of the modern world”, the end of modernity. As a local phenomenon to the West remained, but it would have been forced to change their identity, abandoning the universalist and inclusive in favor of the colonial root and particular (which, incidentally, could save it as a civilization and culture).
In order for the end of a unipolar moment to be exactly this – multipolar, it is necessary to completely destroy the US’s strategic domination on a global scale, dismember the Euro-Atlantic community in North America and continental Europe, overthrow capitalism and the world financial oligarchy, abandon technology as fate, uproot With the root of most of the western colonial practices, free themselves from the westernization elements of non-Western societies, curse and deconstruct the scientific worldview, rehabilitate acce Sacred, expose liberalism as a totalitarian ideology and rebel against it, totally reject gender politics, returning to the traditional practices of the family, that is, to enter into a whole new postzapadny century.
Are there prerequisites for this? Yes. Are we close to implementing such a scenario? Extremely far as the scale of the program with full responsibility not understand not only the society but also the most avant-garde elite, even in those countries where the unipolar moment and the opposition to American hegemony is strongest. The implementation of this project requires a global revolution and, accordingly, the existence of a kind of global revolutionary alliance, as an intellectual coordination nucleus. This is possible and even necessary, but in practice it is not yet available even in the most remote approximation, even in the form of a project or intention. A multipolar alternative is coherent and logical. But so far it exists only in theory – in the theory of a multipolar world. This is a lot, but it is clearly not enough to act as an effective factor for the fast and definite end of the unipolar moment.
Therefore, if the unipolar moment ends more quickly than the prerequisites of the pluriversum fully mature, and the preparatory structures of the global multipolar revolution are formed, then this ending will be something different.
Geopolitics of the Night: New Creatures and a Tale of Antichrist
What are analysts and futurists afraid of when assessing the unipolar status quo? Are they afraid of multipolarity? Formally, yes, and try to actively counteract it, crushing the faintest tendencies in the bud in this direction. According to geopolitical logic, the continental Russia – Eurasia – could play the most likely platform for such a multipolarity, which traditionally played the role of the main opponent of the West at various stages of its history. The philosophy of Russian Eurasians of the 1920s and 1930s and the new birth of this trend in the neo-Eurasianism of the 1990s prepared the ideological ground and outlined the main tendencies of the world anti-Western strategy. But both subjectively and objectively, modern Russia is still very far from fully moving in this direction, to take the pluriverse as its main motto and to involve other societies in the global anti-Western anti- modern revolution. It is possible, but unlikely in the near future. It is hardly this that terrifies the theorists of the successfully constructed “new world order”, forcing them to talk about the “end of the unipolar world”, and hence the end of this “order”. They are afraid of something else.
For all its realism, the project of the pluriverse, theoretically already outlined in the theory of the multipolar world, represents only the rationalization of a deeper and existential impulse.
This second challenge at the bifurcation point of the present moment does not follow from multipolarity and pluriverse, but from the logical continuation of those trends that constitute the essence of today’s historical moment. In other words, this is an immanent risk of success, not a failure of globalization. It does not result from the fear that unipolar globalization may be curtailed or overturned by an alternative (multipolarity), but from the fact that it will reach its logical limit, that is, it will achieve its goal. Fukuyama, in particular, revised the thesis of the “end of history” not because it seemed premature or unattainable, but because he saw the horror built in him. To understand what, in fact, frightens the success (and not the failure) of globalization in this case, we will act in the opposite way than when we, building a multipolarity structure, have consistently refuted all the main theses of the unipolar moment, sketching the contour map of the pluriversal alternative. Now let’s assume that the bifurcation point is passed in the direction of preserving the unipolar moment, that he could avoid the threat of a global multipolar revolution, pacify Russia, beat China, disperse and quarrel BRICS, brutally suppress the barely emerging cells of the global revolutionary alliance. In this case, all trends will reach their culmination. What does this mean?
The geopolitical domination of the United States will turn into a global dictatorship. Washington will become the world metropolis, solely managing all processes in the world, relying on its weak-willed and dependent vassals (the project of the League of Democracies and the strategy of “color revolutions” are vivid examples of what is at stake). On this basis, the authority of the world government will be openly established.
Liberalism will finally be established in the form of a totalitarian ideology (the third totalitarianism), which does not allow the very possibility of not being a liberal (right, left, far-right, extremely left, but necessarily liberal), under pain of repression (ranged from social ostracism to legal persecution).
All economic power will be concentrated in the hands of the global financial oligarchy, completely nullifying the importance of labor and the real sector in favor of virtual manipulation of finance.
The dependence of society and man on technology will reach such a level that there will be a real symbiosis between man and machine (transhumanism).
Having completed the gender policy of the triumphs of gender optionality, which can be easily and repeatedly changed by choice, the eidetic concept of man will be dismantled in favor of a pure individual capable of taking various forms (machine, species, virtual, etc.). All social ties will be completely ruptured. The normativity of the individual will gradually grow into the normativity of the mind, arbitrarily assembled from fragments of the open essence (from open society to an open individual, that is, to the mind).
All the boundaries that presuppose, to one degree or another, pluriversality, will be abolished, all differences – abolished. Within the limits of total transparency, gradations of light and darkness, of the subject and shadow will disappear. The world day of the global peace will become inseparable from the world night. The center will absorb the periphery and cease to be the center as such. Unipolarity will turn into a non-polarity, where the omnipresent dictatorship of the totalitarian-liberal world government overtakes the disobedient anywhere in space, including virtual space. At the same time, the abolition of borders reconfigures not only the field of international politics, but also the differences between life and death, fiction and reality, virtuality and reality, past and future. Absolute order coincides with absolute chaos.
Elements of such tomorrow are already there, and those who actively contributed to the fact that today was exactly what it is, can not help but guess what will happen tomorrow, if everything goes according to plan. Analysts fear this future almost more than the fact that the liberal tomorrow will be thwarted by the revolutionaries of the pluriverse. This horror is not enough for the most avant-garde liberals to take the side of multipolarity, but enough for them to be pessimistic about the “unipolar moment”, noticing in the near future not the “new world order” but the world chaos and geopolitics of the night.
To move from today’s state of “unipolar moment” to tomorrow (not multipolar, non-polar), we need new analysts, “new people” who are able to serve the geopolitics of the night steadfastly and confidently, without hesitation, without falling into pessimism. Perhaps, for a human being, this is generally inaccessible, and horror will slow down the movement towards chaos. Therefore, new posthuman beings, the captains of the global future, will be needed, with a new set of properties and competences, brought up in a virtual environment (preferably within the same-sex family), improved with the latest technology gadgets to see, hear better, run faster, beat more … The future requires “positive mutants” capable of stepping over the natural limits of humanity, walking along the dark road of liberalism. Their closeness is felt, the premonition of “new creatures” hovers in the air.
The fairy tale of globalization and modernization has almost become a reality, but it turned out that this is a very terrible fairy tale, a tale of antichrist.
When all is lost
So, the bifurcation. We are talking about the possibility of an alternative and pluriverse. For all its realism, the project of the pluriverse, theoretically already outlined in the theory of the multipolar world, represents only the rationalization of a deeper and existential impulse. A multipolar world, although possible, is too good for modern humanity, which simply does not deserve it. That is why it lingers, does not rush to rush in the saving direction, while for this there is time and strength.Pluriverse shows a horizon of human freedom, but is unlikely to be the guiding star. Humanity is too deep dived into the present, in the West, in a modern, rapidly to make a sharp turn and return to their sacred grounds, to the tradition of avant-garde or hear (though often ambivalent) criticized those who propose to expose the capitalist Western society deconstruction. Apparently, the human race is intended to reach the center of the night to reach its edge.
So multipolarity and pluriverse, Global Revolutionary Alliance are not engineering project of how to be organized humanity in a deep crisis of the unipolar world, but an ethical duty, eschatological teachings, the religious impulse. It is difficult to say how effective awaken sleeping: describing whether they wake up the charm or predicting the horror waiting for them a nightmare. This problem is solved Zarathustra at the beginning of his sermon. He told the people of the superman, to delight them, but nobody listened. Then he decided to scare and shame them, telling about the “last people”. The effect was unexpected – it is so much that they cried out, “Give us this last people, Zarathustra.” Scare also failed. Zarathustra spat, waved his hand and went to the mountains. Apparently, around the need to reach a limit. And if people in their attitude to the stories they want to achieve the Antichrist’s empire, they do not interfere in this. But try and try you must.
Therefore, to protect the multi-polar world order and insist on pluriversum necessary even in the case if it was generally not possible. And even more so as long as it is still possible. Italian writer Curzio Malaparte said: “Nothing is lost, all is not yet lost.” So far, all is not lost, that’s for sure, so the future is a free circuit, different from the “end of history” in its liberal unipolar terms. But if we do not get together with the spirit, after some time it will be lost is all. And instead of thin and deep horizons of human multipolar world, we will only have no alternative night geopolitics and political science Antichrist’s empire.
From the book Aleksandr Dugin “Theory of the multipolar world”