July 9, 2024 MEMRI Daily Brief No. 619

The Formation Of The Anti-Liberal Alliance – But Liberal Is Not A Synonym Of Woke

July 9, 2024 | By Anna Mahjar-Barducci*
Russia | MEMRI Daily Brief No. 619

We are witnessing the formation of an anti-liberal alliance against the West. For years, Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea have been trying to shape a multipolar world order, which would put an end to the Western-led unipolar one.

As explained by the anti-liberal philosopher Alexander Dugin, the 20th century was characterized by three political theories: liberalism (the first theory), communism (the second theory), and fascism (the third theory). Fascism emerged later than the other major political theories, and disappeared before them. The alliance between the first political theory (liberalism) and the second political theory (communism) and Adolf Hitler's geopolitical miscalculations were responsible for the demise of the third political theory. Fascism's disappearance cleared the battlefield for the first and the second political theories (liberalism and communism), which during the Cold War created a bipolar world that lasted nearly half a century. The 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union signaled the victory of the first political theory (liberalism) over the second (communism). Thus, by the end of the 20th century, the only theory left standing was liberalism.

However, the defeated forces did not accept liberal democracy's victory. Furthermore, new poles rejecting the "Western hegemony" emerged, among them Islamism, an anti-liberal force headed by Iran and Qatar; it has been strengthening itself since the 9/11 terror attacks.

(Source: CCP mouthpiece Global Times)

The West's Naiveté About The CCP

Yet, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West naively thought that the "end of history" – as predicted by Francis Fukuyama – had materialized, and that it no longer had any major enemies. Hence, after defeating communism, the West thought that everyone would willingly join liberalism and capitalism.

This was one of the main mistakes made by President Bill Clinton, who brought China (or, more accurately, the People's Republic of China, PRC) into the World Trade Organization, thinking that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) would abandon its Maoist principles. However, as explained by Andrew J. Masigan, special advisor to the MEMRI China Media Studies Project and Philippine Star columnist, the PRC just "bided its time until it became wealthy enough to challenge the US." Hence, after defeating communism in 1991, the United States funded a new communist pole (with Chinese characteristics, as the CCP calls it) that wants to destroy the current world order.[1]

China's economic growth also helped North Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, DPRK), which is economically dependent on Beijing. It is worth noting that the DPKR is a socialist state led by the Juche idea (Juche, 주체, means "sovereignty," "self-sufficiency"), which promotes sovereignty and rejects the collective West (which includes South Korea), capitalism, and Western liberalism. Thus, it establishes the foundation for a multipolar world, in which the West-led unipolarity is defeated and the "end of history" does not happen.[2]

Renowned Russian academic Sergey Karaganov, who has been the Kremlin's advisor on foreign policy for 12 years, explained that for many years the economy was the central factor for countries and societies ("it's the economy, stupid"[3]). However, history proved something else. "Yes, people are driven by economic interests, but when they are partially satisfied, when at the bare minimum no one starves, they turn to other interests like security, national pride, ideological views, cultural stereotypes and needs - that is, phenomena and values of a higher order," Karaganov stated.[4] Hence, the CCP had no interest to embrace the West liberal-democracy but rather it used the West's naiveté to get stronger economically in order to replace the West-led unipolar order with a multipolar one that serves the CCP's interest.

Russia's Revanchism

Meanwhile, the West did not learn from history, and, specifically, from what happened in World War I, which was one of the greatest geopolitical disasters of the 20th century. After WWI, four empires, representing part of the world order of those years, were eliminated: the Russian, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and German empires. The drama of WWI was that it generated the strengthening of two totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century: Nazism and Communism. The main mistake of those who won the war was their inability to build a system, or, rather, a new world order, in which even the losers would play a dignified role. Because of this inability, after the war, revanchist sentiment developed in Germany, and Adolf Hitler used this in his rhetoric to rise to power. WWI created all the conditions for the beginning of WWII.

Seemingly, after the end of the Cold War, the West acted like it was the only victor, forgetting that the Russians themselves had participated in the collapse of the Soviet Union by mounting "the greatest bloodless revolution in history," as stressed by George Kennan, Sovietologist and the architect of U.S. Cold War policy. It is notable that Russian statesman Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, stated: "In international affairs, there is a collapse of trust. I think that if you ask people on all the continents 'Is the world going in the right direction?' most will say 'No.' This all began when 'the victory of the West' in the Cold War was proclaimed. Our shared victory in the Cold War was declared a triumph of one side only [i.e. the West], which now thinks that 'everything is permitted.' This is the root from which today's global unrest has sprung."[5]

According to Dugin, the West's "unipolar moment" (a term coined by Charles Krauthammer, due to his uncertainty about whether it would last), which began in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union ended between 2000-2001 with the rise to power of President Putin and with Islamic terrorists' attacks on the U.S. on 9/11.[6]

Concerning modern Russia, the process of shaping this new anti-West ideology began with Putin's landmark 2007 Munich speech, in which he challenged the U.S.-led unipolar world order. Putin said: "What is a unipolar world? However, one might embellish this term, at the end of the day it refers to one type of situation, namely one center of authority, one center of force, one center of decision-making... It is a world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day, this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within... I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today's world... What is even more important is that the model itself is flawed because at its basis there is and can be no moral foundations for modern civilization."[7]

The 2007 speech was Putin's first political manifesto that determined, and continues to define, the general outline of Russia's policy, which is aimed at bringing about an end to the West's unipolar world order. It should be stressed that Russia has not yet managed to shape an ideology, or, more accurately, an "offensive ideology."[8] Nevertheless, it knows exactly what is fighting in Ukraine: the collective West.

The Islamist Pole

As mentioned, the unipolar order began to erode with the 9/11 attacks by Islamic terrorists on the U.S. The need for shaping an Islamist pole is better understood by Iran and Qatar, as both sponsor Islamist groups in the Middle East that aspire to Islamic hegemony. Hamas, sponsored by Qatar and Iran, is now on forefront of the battle for the establishment of an Islamist caliphate. Hamas official Fathi Hammad said: "We shall liberate our Al-Aqsa Mosque, and our cities and villages, as a prelude to the establishment of the future Islamic Caliphate. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are at the threshold of a global Islamic civilization era."[9]

It should be noted that the Hamas covenant strongly opposes the "Crusader West." Since it was written in 1988, before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the charter also counters the "Communist East." However, in recent decades, since liberal democracy became the main enemy of all the anti-liberal forces, Hamas and its patrons have joined not only modern Russia but also the communist PRC and DPKR, in order to shape a multipolar world order in which the collective West, which includes Israel, will be defeated.

South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) has reportedly confirmed that Hamas is also using North Korean-made weapons to fight Israel in the war in Gaza. Earlier, in November 2023, media reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had ordered officials to come up with ways to "comprehensively support Palestine."[10]

Newsweek, quoting Guermantes Lailari, a scholar at National Chengchi University in Taiwan and a retired U.S. Air Force officer, also noted that the IDF had found massive amounts of advanced Chinese military equipment and weapons technology in Gaza. Newsweek further wrote: "Chinese tunnel warfare specialists helped design and build the Hamas tunnels... [T]wo tunnel engineers from China's People's Liberation Army were discovered by the IDF, meaning that China helped Hamas significantly in its construction of the massive tunnel networks under the Gaza Strip."[11]


As Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea forge closer ties (Putin recently visited China and North Korea), the alliance of the anti-liberal forces is also trying to gain momentum with the help of progressive liberals, or, more accurately, woke supporters, who are being used as a fifth column to defeat the West from within. It is therefore no coincidence that TikTok, owned by the Chinese internet company ByteDance, is spreading woke ideology in the West. As mentioned in a previous MEMRI analysis, "liberal democracy" was the concept that was understood by Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan, while "progressive liberalism" has nothing to do with classical liberalism and more to do with a new totalitarian Marxist-inspired ideology.[12]

Hence, anti-liberal forces are preparing militarily and ideologically for the final battle against liberal democracy.[13] However, one question strongly resonates: Is the collective West ready for this fight?

*Anna Mahjar-Barducci is a MEMRI Senior Research Fellow.


[3] See, October 30, 1992.

[4] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1616, Russia's New 'Conservative' Ideology To Counter Liberalism, By Anna Mahjar-Barducci, January 11, 2022.

[5] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10185, Mikhail Gorbachev In 2016: Russia Must 'Return To A Path Of Real Democracy', September 6, 2022.

[6] See MEMRI Daily Brief No. 611, Why October 7 Is An Attack Against The Collective West – October 7 Was Part II Of 9/11, By Anna Mahjar-Barducci, June 27, 2024.

[7] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1619, The Russia-U.S. Standoff: The Ideological Dimension, By Anna Mahjar-Barducci.

[8] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1616, Russia's New 'Conservative' Ideology To Counter Liberalism, By Anna Mahjar-Barducci, January 11, 2022.

[11], June 17, 2024.

[12] See MEMRI Daily Brief No. 611, Why October 7 Is An Attack Against The Collective West – October 7 Was Part II Of 9/11, By Anna Mahjar-Barducci, June 27, 2024.

[13] See MEMRI Daily Brief No. 615, Anti-Liberal Forces Are Preparing For The 'Final Battle' Against The West, By Anna Mahjar-Barducci, July 1, 2024.

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