Thursday, 1 January 2015

soviet reunion

On this first day of the new year, after concerted efforts going back to at least 2009, Russia will attempt to rectify what some consider the biggest geopolitical catastrophe of the century with the dissolution of the USSR with a single market that spans from Belarus to Kyrgyzstan—with room for many more. The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) is patterned to some degree off of the institutions of the EU.

This alliance has drawn little attention, since we’re conditioned to think that those economies are primitive and crude kleptocracies, whereas ours are not. Although characterisation in the Western media tend to play up the angle that such a partnership is reigniting the worse tensions of the Cold War, the realisation of the treaty is coincidental and one ought not be enamoured by propaganda from other side, since overtures from Western powers, also seeking to reassert and push regional, authoritative boundaries threatened Russia to a much greater degree than its machinations threaten the Free World. Perceived and actual weaknesses on America’s part did not embolden Russia to act—though mutual chest-thumping may have forced the crisis, nor does pandering to anyone’s dreams of recapturing lost glory, no matter which side. Reaction and judgment seemed much more deferred in the short term if not very forward-looking ultimately when the Soviet Union intervened (at the request of the secular government over fears of a fundamentalist over-throw) and invaded Afghanistan in the early 1980s. Though I am sure that much more was happening behind the curtain, the public face of the response was reciprocal Olympic boycotts and very partisan funding for the insurgents that would eventually metastasize into al Qaeda and associates, in a case of beggar thy enemy. The macroscope of politics and ideology is too big not to try to compartmentalise—and that’s probably also one of the biggest risks.