Russian President Vladimir Putin’s June 27 interview with the Financial Times newspaper in London stating that liberal internationalism is now toxic and dying unleashed a totally predictable wave of outrage across the West. But Putin knew what he was doing and saying and of course he was absolutely right.
The Russian president has been unique among 21st global leaders not just for taking a long view of events – most politicians in power for more than a few months imagine they are doing that. But Putin has always known very clearly where he is in the great continuum of Russian history.
Putin has continually sought peaceful cooperation, partnership and good relations with the West – and almost always been rebuffed except when the West desperately needed Russia’s help. But above all, he has sought to preserve and revive traditional Russian values and create a stable, prosperous and growing society.
After 20 years in power, Putin along with his deputy and longtime right hand man Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has made an astonishing amount of progress to roll back the horrific moral, demographic, environmental and psychological damage inflicted by three quarters of a century of communism. Yet the task remains monumental.
Above all, Putin, like so many other Russia’s remembers and embraces Dostoyevsky’s insight that the communist nightmare grew out of Western liberalism, unleashed and unrestrained. And he sees clearly that since the collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War in 1989-91, international liberalism with its unyielding demands of total free trade and total, open borders, pop and population movements has unleashed a new dark age of chaos on suffering humanity.
The pathologies of international human trafficking, trading of millions of young children in sex rings around the world and the chaos caused by currency manipulations and crashing economies have ne ow reached levels unimagined even at the end of the 20th century.
The “future,” Putin realizes, lies with strong, coherent nation states like Russia, China and others reclaiming power and control into their own hands and seeking to cooperate constructively with each other.
The Western delusions of unlimited Free Trade and Open Borders have come to only unleash chaos, poverty, needless wars and the destruction of advanced societies ‘ safety and stability by unlimited and unregulated migration flows. Only drug traffickers, human slavers and terrorists can truly flourish in such a world – and indeed they have.
There was a profound deep irony, Putin, with his deep sense of humor clearly relished, in saying such things to the Financial Times. Along with the Wall Street Journal in New York City, it is one of the two great media pillars of the liberal big business unregulated creed – embodied throughout the 19th century by the arch-hypocrite William Ewart Gladstone.
Gladstone, founder and leader of the famous British Liberal Party and revered as “the People’s William” was the heir to an enormous fortune [worth billions in 21st century terms] made by his father John Gladstone, one of the biggest slave traders in the Port city of Liverpool. And Gladstone himself in the 1860s sought to encourage the victory and survival of the slave holding Confederacy in the US Civil War.
Also, the United Kingdom, the home of modern secular enlightenment liberalism from whence it spread across the United States is now quite literally disintegrating in its conflict with the also deeply-troubled European Union. Putin therefore could not have chosen a more fitting and ironic media platform on which to pronounce secular liberalism’s doom: And he knew it.
Putiun also clearly sees that Dostoyevsky was right in his deepest, darkest reach of prophetic vision. For liberalism prospered and spread for hundreds opf years claiming to spread rtolerence, respect diversity and cherish truth. Yet today across the West its adherents reign supreme over colossal media conglomerates and Deep State enormous bureaucracies that routinely bury and squash all truths, skepticism, alternate views and arguments inconvenient and threatening to them.
The historical evidence, overwhelming in reality that nations flourish and grow rapidly in prosperity when their industries and agriculture are preserved from unfair and manipulated foreign competition is simply not taught across the West: It has been smothered into extinction.
The history of President Bill Clinton’s fateful 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is evident to all: Far from bringing prosperity to the United States and Mexico, it has unleashed a new dark age of crime, drugs, criminal exploitation, teen gang terrors and civil war on both those suffering nations.
Yet when rare individuals rise up like Putin or US President Donald Trump and state these obvious realities, they are immediately subjected to waves of hysterical hatred.
The Big Lie nightmares predicted so clearly by Yevgeny Zamyatin and George Orwell flourish more boldly than ever – but in London, Washington and New York, not in Moscow or Beijing.
Yet the Big Lie is dying on its feet: It has delivered suffering, misery, uncertainty and even terror to the subject populations on whom its devotees have imposed their creeds, regardless of the clearly expressed democratic will. Throughout the Western world and, for that matter in Japan and India, populist, national leaders have emerged who are seeking to defy the suicidal principles of open borders, unlimited trade and immigration flows that the supra-national institutions of the past 75 years are trying to impose upon them.
These leaders are not trying to through the world into some new dark age of chaos and war: They are on the contrary doing their utmost to prevent it.
Putin is not alone in the world: He speaks for this great and emerging new constructive consensus. But the forces of darkness and chaos, posing, as the New Testament warned us, as messengers of light remain determined to re-impose their lies.