What is the underlying reason for the West’s antagonism towards Russia? What is the problem?
The basic outline of the problem is relatively simple. The West – by which we mean the centres of power in Washington, London, Paris and Bonn – are not able/willing to tolerate an independent Russia.
When they say they want Russian to be a “responsible member of the International Community” what they mean is that they expect Russia to align its policy with theirs. This is exactly what they mean. They expect Russia to adopt the same policy as them on all questions of the day: to go along with the disposal of the ‘Assad regime’; to accept the coup in Ukraine and the integration of Ukraine into the Western power structures; even to accept their current tastes for gender politics.
There are cultural and economic dimensions to this. The ever expansionist nature of the economy of the Western Empire requires that it continually create new markets and source new and cheaper raw materials. The project aims at transforming the globe into one integrated capitalist system. Power will be in the hands of large concentrations of financial and military power – well beyond the reach of anything which could be called democracy. Nation states will exist as hollowed out shells to provide an illusion of citizen participation. Anything which stands in the way of this; independently minded regimes (Assad, Gaddafi) will be opportunistically toppled if the chance arises. The countries of the ex Soviet block will be snaffled up – with no consideration for the possibility that some at least of their citizens still look to Russia not the West for protection. The process of overcoming obstacles is as messy and unprincipled as the system itself. The project of the West is trans-national and anti nation-state. Russia (and China) are both countries which still base themselves and their development on the idea of the nation state – a political centre which guides the country on behalf of the people. The economic project of the West is at odds with the political projects of Russia and China.
Culturally it seems, Western Europeans and Americans, for different reasons (the Americans because they are some kind of religious fundamentalists, the Europeans because of deep-seated fears about invasions by hordes from the East) cannot accept a strong Slav state which is different to them.
Were Russia to do what the West requires of it one couldn’t even call Russia a pussy. It would be a shameful act of surrender – to wilfully eliminate yourself as an independent nation. Who is going to do that? Certainly not the Russians. And (contrary to a widespread miscalculation in the West) this is the attitude not just of the Russian state but of the Russian people.
The West (that is the political, financial and military leaderships) are monomaniacs. They cannot tolerate difference. That cannot accept being part of a club which has room for its members to have different views on some questions. Ironically that is they cannot tolerate the very principle of democracy. But then the West is an Empire not a coalition of democracies as we are told. Empires cannot tolerate constituent parts which are independent from the centre. Russia then can never be part of the Empire. When the West talks about the “International Order” this is a kind of code for their Empire. It is thus inevitably true that Russian can never be part of this “International Order”, which is one and the same as the Empire of the West.
Empires always feel threatened by strong, independent states on their borders. By being outside of the Empire Russia, without especially doing anything, is a threat. This is why the West is continually rubbing the sore and stirring up trouble.
Where this goes is not yet clear. The West is no doubt banking on a change of leadership in Russia. They will do what they can to ferment that. But that may be a miscalculation based on dreams. Russia is not (any more than say Iraq or Syria or Libya) a country where 99% of the population are suppressed Western liberals who will rapidly emerge once the dictator who is suppressing them is removed. An attempt by the West to manipulate the government of Russia, Ukraine style, could get very messy. This scenario aside the most likely scenario between Russia and the West is simply a long standoff. Though this standoff contains the small but actual possibility of a mistake leading to war.