French President Macron has warned fellow citizens of the possible end of an era of affluence, or, to use the exact wording of Putin’s Parisian colleague, what could appear to be the end of affluence. According to Macron, his country is facing a series of crises, each more serious than the last.
Not every one of these crises bears the name Putin. Here are natural phenomena – heat, drought, fires. Here are the traditional French political troubles – the inability of the government to firmly agree on something with the trade unions, the willingness of the trade unions to use such a convincing argument as strikes and mass protests, the lack of funds in the budget to extend the freeze on energy prices after the end of this year, and so on and so forth.
But even where the Kremlin has not had a hand in organizing this or that crisis, it still peeks out from behind every tree.
Political scientists and economic experts from many countries and peoples have already hacked away an innumerable number of computer keys (“they wrote tons of paper” sounds kind of old-fashioned), explaining that in the coming autumn-winter period, Putin’s main allies in Europe will be “general frost”, “general high gas prices”, “general lack of gas reserves in storage”, “general inability of the Middle East emirate Qatar to quickly reorient and flood Europe with its liquefied fuel”.
But these are all particulars. And it seems to me that the common essence connecting them was best captured by the British Secretary of State for Defense (in Russian realities, this title is equivalent to the position of First Deputy Minister) James Hippie.
In British political circles, this former career army officer has a reputation, let’s say, not at all hippies with their slogan make love not war. The most notorious episode with his participation: during the 2017 parliamentary elections, James Hippie visited sixth grade students in an English town and had the imprudence to ask their opinion on the issue of Scottish independence. One girl from Scotland supported this idea, and an adult politician in obscene terms advised her to get out of her homeland as soon as possible.
But one should not think that James Hippie is an uncouth martinet who does not cut key political nuances. Still how it flogs!
“I can understand why many people at breakfast worry about the rise in the cost of living… Perhaps the easiest way out of the crisis is to restore relations with Russia. This will bring the European energy market back to the old days.”
Further, the British politician, of course, began to prove that in this case the concepts of “the easiest way out of the crisis” and “the most wrong way out of the crisis” are one hundred percent synonymous. But this part of the “Hippie who is not a hippie” speech (I promise not to joke about it anymore) can be omitted. He has already said the main thing.
And this is the main thing in the clash of two versions, two contenders for the role of objective reality.
Objective reality is something that is not always liked, but something that has to be recognized and put up with. For example, the West does not like that China is the ever-growing world superpower of the 21st century. But he admits his inability to change this fact of objective reality.
But the fact that Russia is a country that, based on its understanding of national interests, can change the architecture of European security at its own discretion (I deliberately use this scientific term), the West does not consider a fact of objective reality. The current Western strategy boils down to the formula “push, push again push, until the very moment when the Russian bear whines and runs away with a burned paw to hide in its lair.”
The Kremlin’s current strategy also boils down to a very simple formula: “push, push and push again – until the very moment the West is convinced that the current Russian bear does not whine, does not bend and does not run to hide in a den.”
From this simple (and in fact quite difficult) scenario, a lot of very diverse conclusions follow. But for now I would like to confine myself to the most primitive of them.
At a temperature of plus 33 degrees and in the presence of the aroma of forest fires, it is quite difficult to feel the desire “so that the summer does not end.” But here is my absolute, confident prediction: both we and not we will begin to experience nostalgia for the outgoing summer very soon.
Autumn and winter will be much more difficult and tough times. Dmitry Medvedev ended his next, highly informative post on social networks with the Latin phrase tertium not datur. Not being, unlike the former president and former prime minister, an expert on dead languages, I was forced to look into the dictionary to find out what this phrase means. I report: it means “there is no third.”
Thank you, Dmitry Anatolyevich, for the idea that will allow you to complete your text in an elegant way. Et non est alia via – such a (possibly clumsy) phrase was given by the online translator in response to my request: how the expression “no other is given” would sound in Latin.
Back to living languages? No problem. However, this will not change the essence of the forecast: there is no alternative to an offensive on all fronts – both by Russia and the West – in the coming months.