The Rest

Mar 27, 2014

The new tri-polar world: why Russia can do whatever it likes

The United States is effectively powerless in the empire-building of Russia. There's three sherifs in the world right now, and America might not even be the most influential.

Professor Damien Kingsbury

Crikey international affairs commentator

United States political leaders bluster, but Russia continues to be unmoved by their protestations over its annexation of Crimea and the massing of troops along Ukraine’s border. Long having believed itself the world’s only superpower, the US is now being delivered a lesson in real politik, if not humility.


Leave a comment

3 thoughts on “The new tri-polar world: why Russia can do whatever it likes

  1. Iskandar

    The fact that there have been no comments so far on this clear-eyed and sober appraisal of geopolitical realities suggests that the truth is not welcome in “The West”. Compared the torrent of indignant hyperventilations and distorted analyses that pass for commentary in the corporate media this is indeed a breath of fresh air.

    There are many things missing from “The West’s” expressions of moral outrage, including its role in provoking Russia by assuming her weakness, and then going ahead with certain notions of “full-spectrum domination” by amongst other things expanding NATO, an anti-Russian military alliance, right up to Russia’s borders. Not to mention the role of US-based “Big Oil” interests in setting up corrupt but compliant regimes in ex-Soviet states occupying the corridors to the Caspian Basin.

    Ukraine/Crimea may well prove to be a sort of latter-day Stalingrad. Hopefully “The West” will pull back with dignity instead of more provocation.

  2. R. Ambrose Raven

    Never mind Russia; “we” need to recognise just how weak “we” have become.

    A continuing Western economic and social crisis has been greatly worsened by criminal Imperial adventurism.

    Maintaining the growth obsession means crisis then collapse as forced demand exponentially exceeds supply, meaning a classic capitalist crisis of overproduction. Third World economies will stay Third World, due not only to increasing resource pressures, but also to being asset- and income-stripped by globalisation. ‘Economic growth’ would not in any case alleviate the problem of global poverty; not having done so in the centuries prior to the Great Recession it certainly won’t now given peak oil, peak water, peak minerals, climate change, and peak food.

    That our system is hitting its limits is shown in each crisis being worse than the last. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman wrote recently: “The evidence does, in fact, suggest that what we’re getting now is a first taste of the disruption, economic and political, that we’ll face in a warming world. And given our failure to act on greenhouse gases, there will be much more, and much worse, to come.”

    In the waging of a war of aggression against Iraq, war criminals and mass murderers George Bush, Tony Blair, and John Howard did not merely commit crimes against peace. They also bankrupted the US economy, triggered Peak Oil, lengthened the occupation of Afghanistan, and triggered the global financial crisis.

    Those Imperial wars assisted a divide between richest and poorest in America that is worse than in nearly all Europe and Asia but about that of Rwanda and Serbia. Inequality is worse in the United States today than in any advanced industrial country for which there are data. Worse, the gap is widening.

    Imperial power plays were once simply part of the First World’s waste. As those Imperial wars and human rights violations abroad have led to erosions in civil liberties and falling living standards at home, we are now also victims of our tolerance of ruling class violence.

    Media spin, denial, and trivialisation of important issues and exploitation of trivial ones therefore remains a serious problem, especially given the power of the Murdock media machine. Note the utter silence over the Noalition’s gleeful destruction of the car industry. Indeed, it is strongly supporting Abbott et al to impose Austerity here.

  3. Dan B

    Professor, Iskandar, R. Ambrose Raven – excellent. All of you. Thanks.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details