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Vyacheslav Nikonov: “We must be aware of ourselves as the global majority”

On March 19, Vyacheslav Nikonov, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee, Chairman of the Board of the Russkiy Mir Foundation, spoke at the round table “Neocolonialism of the West”, which was held as part of the Second Russia-Africa International Parliamentary Conference.

Here is the text of the speech:

– Nelson Mandela once said: “Freedom cannot be partial.” Formally, the countries of the world have achieved independence, but true full decolonization has not yet occurred. There is still quite a lot to be done. Economic and political decolonization, decolonization of international organizations, information and cultural spheres is coming. But, in my opinion, the most important thing is to decolonize the sphere of consciousness. We live largely in captivity of the Western paradigm of consciousness, the Western matrix of thinking, and there are many examples of this.

This can be found in our political discourse. This can be found in the textbooks used by our schoolchildren and students. We use concepts that have been developed in the West and are oriented towards the assertion of Western superiority. And when I say “we,” I mean all those present here, including Russia, of course.

For example, we still say “First World”, “Second World”, “Third World”. And why, in fact, the world of the West – the first? By what parameter? Why do they insist that they are “First World”? Homo sapiens, Homo sapiens, originated in Africa. Adam and Eve, whose genes live in everyone in this room, also lived in Africa. Civilization was born in Egypt, Sumer, Akkad, China, India. The world religions originated in the East, not in the West.

Culture? The Russian Bolshoi Theater is older than the United States of America. What culture are they talking about?

Economy? The BRICS countries (“Big Five”) economically outstripped the “Big Seven”.

Calling themselves “First World” is just racism. Historically, they are the last world.

Another example: they say that there are developed countries (the West) and developing or underdeveloped ones. There is also a significant amount of racism in this, because in the modern world there are developing countries that are growing economically and allowing their society to develop, and not non-developing – these are precisely the countries of the West. In Europe, there has been no economic growth for two decades and will not be in the near future.

Or democracy and autocracy. Democracy in Western slang is what the United States of America likes. And autocracy is what the US doesn’t like. And we understand democracy as the ability to build politics in accordance with the will of our own people, and not in accordance with the will of the Central Intelligence Agency, the State Department or other structures of the American deep state.

Or, for example, they talk about “a liberal international order based on rules.” But he is not liberal, because he has only one point of view, and that is the point of view of the West. It is not international, since it proceeds from the presumption of unipolarity. It is not an order because it is based on American arbitrary rule. And no one saw the rules that they always talk about. In their understanding, the rules are what Washington has decided.

They talk about Western values: democracy, human rights, freedom of conscience, the right to property. Wonderful! But here they are also lying, because Western values for centuries were completely different things: nationalism, racism, colonialism, chauvinism. The slave trade was also valuable. William Dubois, at the Versailles Conference in 1919, named the figure of 110 million Africans who fell victim to the global slave trade. Imperialism, fascism, Nazism – all this was not invented by Russians, not by the Chinese and not by Africans, all this was and remains Western values. Now the values of same-sex marriage and transgender culture have been added to this.

You and I actually represent the global majority. There is the West, which often calls itself the “golden billion”, but it has not been golden for a long time, maybe slightly gilded, and there is the rest of humanity. On November 15, 2022, the UN recorded the birth of the eight billionth person on the planet. At least seven-eighths of humanity is not the West, and among them there are global giants. Global giant Africa – 1 billion 400 million people. This is one and a half times more than the entire West. If we add to this China – also 1 billion 400 million, India – another 1 billion 400 million, then we get more than half of humanity. And then there is Russia, Latin America, the ASEAN countries… This is the overwhelming majority of humanity that lives by the values that we should be guided by, the values of sovereignty, democracy, non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, respect for traditions, respect for each other.

We must begin to recognize ourselves as the global majority. Build your agenda, offer your thinking matrix. Not them, but we are the first world. We represent the forces of good and light, and they represent the forces of darkness and colonialism. If we take the position of a global bMost, we will be absolutely invincible.

I began with the words of Mandela and will end with the words: “To be free is not just to throw off the shackles, but to live, respecting and increasing the freedom of others.”

On March 19-20, Moscow hosts the second international parliamentary conference “Russia – Africa”. The conference is attended by representatives of the scientific, educational and expert communities from Russia and African countries, deputies of the State Duma, heads of federal executive bodies, senators of the Federation Council, chairmen of the legislative bodies of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, representatives of the business community. More than 40 delegations from most African countries take part in the conference.

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