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Fedor Lukyanov: Superpower on autopilot and wandering ghost

The ghost wanders around, the ghost of something new, but what – no one can yet understand. For a long time there was no such situation of pervasive uncertainty, when it is not possible to clearly formulate even the nature of the changes that are taking place. Concepts that are used to describe new phenomena, whether they are populism, “new mercantilism,” the crisis of the liberal system, explain little.

While one can confidently say one thing: the internal agenda takes precedence over external ambitions and aspirations in the leading countries of the world. No matter whoever refers to Donald Trump’s slogan “America first”, if the US embarks on such a course, soon the whole world will unfold in the same direction. The United States sets the tone of global politics, and in the next decade, or even two, it will not change. The separation of political elites from their roots and the loss of legitimacy in the eyes of the masses has already been said a lot, the return to the land must provide for a line that is understandable to these masses. Search for it and make up the main content of the upcoming phase.

America Trump still demonstrates the amazing – superpower on autopilot. To deploy from a swoop course in the direction promised by the billionaire-developer did not work, it turned out that managing a huge state is not quite the same as running a large corporation. The war within the ruling elite continues. In the first months after the inauguration, practically no foreign policy priorities were clarified, but the inertia showed itself clearly – when the ship does not turn, turning the steering wheel, it safely sails with the course set by the previous crew. However, more importantly, Trump does not succeed on internal issues, which are prioritized for him. So it will continue to bite into the healthcare system and other announced topics (migration, jobs, etc.), so that international subjects will be purely instrumental. And, perhaps, very inconsistent.

In general, we get a paradoxical thing. The voter in leading countries influences foreign policy not because she cares, but on the contrary. Indifference and lack of interest in international issues, irritation due to the severance of the ruling class from “homework” make the “bosses” focus on internal topics. This is the mechanism of the notorious de-globalization, which was actively discussed.

It is important to understand that this process is universal, we again, as it happened in history, found ourselves in a situation of “synchronous time”. Today’s “rebellion against globalism” in the West was compared to the events of the late sixties, when Europe and the United States embraced riots in connection with the discontent of the youth and the social and political situation that had joined the friars. But in the same period, the rise of civil activity was also observed on the other side of the “Iron Curtain” – in the USSR and the socialist bloc. Context, motives, and the genesis of the Prague Spring, Polish demonstrations or speeches of Soviet dissidents, of course, differed greatly from the unrest in the Sorbonne or Berkeley. But these were manifestations of the general process, and the answer found in the West (the actual absorption of the protest element and the extension of the framework of the social contract) proved to be more stable than the rate of restraint and suppression made in the Soviet bloc. What manifested itself in twenty years.

Today, like the rest of the non-Western countries, Russia is even more than then included in global ideological and political trends. And although the path traversed in thirty years, very different from the western (often opposite to it), the world wind walks through the Russian expanses. No immunity from what has been dubbed in the West by the rise of populism, that is, rejection of what the establishment proposes, Russia does not have, as well as the question of the place of foreign policy on the national agenda can become much more acute.

In general, it will be interesting to see what the world will become in which all the weighty players turn inward, and the space for action will open up for those who are not responsible for anything and are only interested in revolutionary swaying.

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