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February 23, 2017 No.
6800

Russian Political Analyst Shevtsova: 'America Possesses Us, Even If It Does Not Want It'

In her blog in the independent media outlet Echo.msk.ru, Russian political analyst Liliya Shevtsova published an article titled "Obsession, Or How Russia Got Hooked on America." According to Shevtsova, the Kremlin needs the U.S. to make Russia's 'great power-ness' more convincing. She wrote: "The Kremlin cannot legitimize its 'great power statehood' by demonstrating its machismo to China – that would be suicidal... To make our 'great power-ness' – and self-confidence – more convincing, we need comparison to a powerful global force, but the kind of force that keeps itself within the confines of responsible behavior, i.e. ignores our naughty tricks." The author asserted that "Obama's America was ideal for the Kremlin," but that U.S. President Donald Trump had created a new situation. According to Shevtsova, America's "unpredictability" will be a blow to Russia, "because the Kremlin can afford to perform unexpected somersaults only if it is certain of the West's reaction." She then wondered: "But what if Trump can pull any trick? That's the end of the Russian game. If Trump is inviting us into the Darwinian world where everybody fights for their survival by any means necessary, then Russia, used to dealing with the pampered and timid Western community, is in for an icy cold shower and an unpleasant sobering up."

Below are excerpts of Shevtsova's article:[1]


Liliya Shevtsova (Source: Delfi.lt)

"There Is Something Humiliating And At The Same Time Comic About How We… Have Made America The Object Of Our Thoughts"

"There is something humiliating and at the same time comic about how we Russians have made America the object of our thoughts, hopes, and an entire gamut of emotions. If the Swiss psychoanalyst and philosopher Carl Gustav Jung were still alive, he would call the Russian attitude to America an obsession – a 'collective complex' that develops when a nation loses its own identity, becomes disoriented, and tries to live somebody else's life in order to compensate [for] the absence of appeal in its own existence or the loss of direction. We here in Russia started to live the American life – and quite a long time ago. 'If we are obsessed, it means there is somebody who is stronger than us; somebody who possesses us,' said Jung. It follows that America 'possesses' us, even if it does not want it and even if we are incapable of acknowledging it.

"And we are not only speaking about the sphere of the conscious. References to the U.S. [and] the view of the world through the prism of our relations with the U.S. and its leader have become a confirmation of our status as a great power – the backbone of the Russian autocracy. In short: America has become a systemic factor of existence of present-day Russia, which makes Russian sovereignty... well... not quite indisputable.

"The Kremlin cannot legitimize its 'great power statehood' by demonstrating its machismo to China – that would be suicidal. And doing it by intimidating the neighbors is humiliating. To make our 'great power-ness' – and self-confidence – more convincing, we need comparison to a powerful global force, but the kind of force that keeps itself within the confines of responsible behavior, i.e. ignores our naughty tricks.

"Obama's America was ideal for the Kremlin. You could pull it by its whiskers and its tail, and it would bear it, trying not to give a handle to our resentment. Those were the days... But Trump has come and created a new situation. Let's see what the principles espoused by the incumbent master of the White House may mean for Russia."

"What Chances Does Russia Have In [An Arms] Race Against A State [The U.S.] With The Defense Budget Of $583 Billion?"

" – 'America will pursue its national interests.' What euphoria this promise of Trump's produced in Russia! But in fact Russia should have become worried. For Trump understands 'national interests' as a rejection not only of advancement of democracy, but also of readiness to compromise that used to be inherent in the American hegemonism before. From now on, Washington will rely on its military power and build it up, which means a new arms race. What chances does Russia have in this race against a state with the defense budget of 583 billion dollars?

" – 'America above all.' This is not isolationism, don't even hope! It is belligerent nationalism mixed with the feeling of racial superiority. How can one fit the Kremlin's hopes for 'equality' with America into this setup? Let's not forget, the American ethno-nationalism will inevitably intensify the wave of all other kinds of nationalism. And this makes the possibility of dividing the world into spheres of influence a doubtful project. On what grounds do we expect the Ukrainians, Belarusians or Georgians to give up on their national identity during the time of the nationalist boom?

" – Relying on 'transactionism,' i.e. on deals, in international relations. Trump's history says that he understands deals as the axiom 'Winner takes all.'

" – Iran and China are a threat to the U S. But why should Russia be Trump's special forces in his confrontation with these countries – why create additional problems for ourselves?

" – America is ready to cooperate with Russia in fighting international terrorism. Note: Trump considers all Islam to be a threat. Which means we are invited to fight the Islamic civilization. How will we fight it inside Russia? Isn't this the best way to blow up Russia from within?

"And, finally, the main principle of Trump's policy – unpredictability, Jacobin readiness to destroy the existing rules and agreements. Apparently, Trump sees Russia as an ally in his revolt against the current world order. But America's unpredictability will be a blow to Russia, because the Kremlin can afford to perform unexpected somersaults only if it is certain of the West's reaction. But what if Trump can pull any trick? That's the end of the Russian game. If Trumps is inviting us into the Darwinian world where everybody fights for their survival by any means necessary, then Russia, used to dealing with the pampered and timid Western community, is in for an icy cold shower and an unpleasant sobering up.

"There is another complication. Trump's attempt to view Russia as an ally in his 'Terminator' project creates a situation when the world, embittered against Trump, will start viewing Russia as its adversary. And how will Russia react to the inevitable – the Russophobia of the rising American opposition to Trump, China's suspiciousness, Iran's hostility, and the vengefulness of the Islamic world? This obsession with Trump has a price – and it may turn out to be high."

 

[1] Echo.msk.ru, February 5, 2017.