There is a surprising debate taking place in in the West – they are arguing about French President Emmanuel Macron’s call not to humiliate Russia.
The point here is not that the question itself is ridiculous – generally speaking, the West cannot currently humble our country. Because you can only humiliate someone who depends on you (and with whom you have, if not common values, then at least a harmonized system), but nothing like this can be said about relations between Russia and those countries today.
No, the responses to Macron – and Hillary Clinton was the most recent to raise an objection, saying that this stage has already passed – are indicative of the fact that people who object to him live in some parallel universe. They are not even faced with the question of whether it is possible for Russia to win, because they are sure that it will lose, or even that it has already lost, and they only care to what extent it has been defeated, and how much it needs to be hurt.
It’s not just politicians who are talking about this, it’s also opinion leaders like the American philosopher Francis Fukuyama. His latest interview with Germany’s Die Welt is an example of the piling up of such statements.
He became famous in 1989 for prophesying “the end of history” and the advent of an era of the triumphant march of liberal democracy (that was literally all the nations of the world falling into line with the West towards the bright future of a united humanity). For him, it turns out that making speculative and self-defeating statements is a habit. And now Fukuyama, who, by the way, is very much loved in Kiev and was even recently hired as a consultant by the National Council for the Recovery of Ukraine, is again casting his policy formulations in stone.
The first of these, however, he revealed back in March, shortly after the start of Russia’s military operation. Back then, the professor stated:
“I think all of us have an interest in supporting [Kiev’s fight] because the broader liberal democratic order is really what’s at stake in this current war. It’s not a war just about this country, Ukraine. It’s really the attempt to roll back the entire expansion of the realm of liberal democracy that took place after 1991 and the collapse of the former Soviet Union.”
Thus, he’s now trying to tell us that the triumph of liberalism is now not a fait accompli. The problem is that the Russians are simply trying to undo the “inevitable,” to turn back time and the West should fight with them, win (through its Ukrainian proxies) and then return humanity to the right path of history.
By early June, Fukuyama was already convinced that everything was going great, Russia was practically defeated, and a new world order was coming (or rather, returning):
“Yes. This new order is taking shape. It is the result of several years of struggle by the Western democratic camp against authoritarian regimes, mainly against Russia and China. This war is the culmination of this process. Russia is heading for a rout. It has already suffered a series of battlefield defeats, and now it is about to be driven out of Donbass by the Ukrainian Army. This is a real disaster for Putin. He turns out to be just a shoddy leader. And not just as a warlord: It’s also a complete political debacle.”
He continued: “NATO will certainly expand by integrating Sweden and Finland. It’s been a long time since the West has been so united. Germany has reconsidered its Ostpolitik of the past 40 years and is supplying Ukraine with heavy weapons. The US has reasserted its leading role in the world, which was lost under [former President Donald] Trump. The West is providing massive aid to Ukraine… Russia will have a very hard time climbing out of this abyss into which it has fallen. It will be excluded from the international world order like North Korea.”