East and West: The twain shall meet
By Vince Dhimos
The avoidance of nuclear confrontation at a time when the cold war is roaring back into life is part of the mission of New Silk Strategies, which aims to help readers navigate this seemingly complex issue by disseminating pertinent intelligence in geopolitics, macroeconomics, finance, military affairs and current events, and by publishing commentaries in these areas.
The crucial difference between us and other news and analysis sites is that our site quotes or translates sources that, because of the source language, are either not available or are scarcely available to Western readers. Knowledge and concepts presented exclusively from the standpoint of only one´s own culture and language create misunderstandings and mistrust of the Other that prevent peaceable intercourse between cultures. The news media become promoters of an adversarial mentality.
The fact is, all war is due to ignorance – ie, not what we know but what we do not know about the Other. This includes ignorance of the fact that there is no such thing as an adversary, only a group that is a victim of its own and our own misconceptions. Therefore, war can be prevented simply – disarmingly simply – by transmitting the facts known in one culture to members of the other culture that mistakenly thinks it is the adversary.
The beneficial effect of this transmission of scarcely available information is magnified when the information is presented not only to one target audience but simultaneously to the other as well in their respective languages! The art of translation becomes the art of peacemaking.
Herein lies the forte of New Silk Strategies. We transmit to our Western audience what they do not know about Easterners and to our Eastern audience what they do not know about Westerners.
the main impediment to peace is that Western governments, professions,Tmedia, universities, education and other institutions operate primarily on the basis of “Enlightenment” ideology but not enlightenment itself, and the result of this policy is far from a solution to problems but rather the creation of new problems.
The outcome is perpetual revolution, with Western revolutionaries divided into groups based on skin color, sexual preferences, ethnicity, religion, ideology, etc., none of which have a unifying idea.
Russia, the first region after France to fall prey to this revolutionary idea in the 20th century, has, since the fall of the Soviet Union, taken a different path from the West. It has turned back to pre-Revolution Russia for its socio-economic models and has made the Orthodox Church and traditional thought the centerpiece of its new outlook. The old became the new. All of this was bound to displease the Western leadership in its quest for Perpetual Revolution, and they quickly found an excuse to impose economic sanctions on a renegade Russia. Yet at variance with their expectations, Russia survived these sanctions, in part by rapidly diversifying its agriculture and industry.
Meanwhile, since the elites had managed to capture the minds of the common people by controlling the media and the education system, they were simultaneously able to establish virtually complete economic control over them. Thus the ideology of perennial revolution – a deformed child of the malignant branch of the Enlightenment (of which there was also a benign branch) – went hand in hand with a revolutionary economic system that was created for the benefit of these elites but purported to promote ideals that benefit everyone.
Meanwhile Western media, officials and politicians convinced the people that the economy was growing by publishing growth figures that ignored the reality of galloping inflation, as well as unemployment figures that ignored the countless workers who had given up seeking employment. They built a false economy based on debt, bail-outs, bail-ins, money printing, a petrodollar agreement with Saudi Arabia and a stock market in which trading prices bore no relation to company earnings – often exceeding earnings by a factor of 25.
Moreover, in the West, less and less goods are being manufactured and industry is decaying, while in Russia, India and China, people make and sell more and more goods, thereby justifying the value of their currencies the traditional way.
Of course, when tradition is banned, the traditional becomes revolutionary and that is now happening.
Further, Washington initiates revolutions and coups to alienate Russia from its trading partners and then when Russia reacts, for example, by clawing back Crimea via a referendum that was legal under international law, they proclaimed Russia an expansionist aggressor, and built up NATO troops on its border. Yet Russia is the only world power that is sincerely fighting ISIS in Syria, effectively defending minorities there and making the world safer in so doing. But far from attempting to build a strategic alliance with Russia to fight a religious fanaticism that threatens all of civilization and causes increasingly frequent attacks throughout the West, the US and its allies have so far declined to build this alliance and instead have declared Russia to be the number 1 enemy.
In view of this situation, the mission of New Silk Strategies is to promote trade and peace between East and West, which must become trusted allies to promote peace and prosperity for both regions.
The TTIP and TPP, trade agreements drafted and implemented by the West, seek to enrich their partners yet exclude Russia, China and India.
By contrast, the East has shown itself open and friendly to all countries in terms of trade. Thus when China created the AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank), it invited all economically eligible nations to participate therein, excluding none. The US declined to join.
The same pattern emerged at the forum of the One-Belt One-Road Initiative in China, where over 100 nations attended but the US government and press ignored it.
In a way, one Soviet Union had fallen only to be replaced by another.
Ironically, despite the dismissive attitude of the Washington government toward the AIIB, almost all US allies, including the richest European, Middle Eastern and Asian nations, joined it within only a few months of its founding.
Since the Western Establishment requires at least a modicum of support from the people, the farther it moves away from the will of the people, the harder it becomes for it to maintain its power. And while NATO has decided to station 30,000 troops along Russia’s border, polls in major EU states show that ordinary Europeans are not comfortable with the risk of war that this entails.
Polls also show that the vast majority of European business people disapprove of the sanctions against Russia, because they have cost them billions of euros in trade. Nonetheless, Washington insists on keeping these in place, and the EU has bowed to its demands, albeit reluctantly. And the reluctance is turning into rejection and low-key protest.
Clearly, ordinary people are prepared for East and the West to meet as soon as government gets out of their way.
New Silk Strategies (NSS) reports and commentaries are intended to keep you up to date on progress made in the accomplishment of our mission in areas where East and West can benefit from cooperation and a rational balance of power.
While these reports are for everyone with an interest in these issues, they are especially recommended for people in
Other leadership roles
Some of the reports will be presented in non-English languages.