Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
There is one such method in the game of roulette where the loser doubles the stakes so that the subsequent prize pot covers all previous expenses and even brings some profit. Usually such a method leads to a loss. The person either already during the third or fourth time doesn’t have enough money for a consecutive doubling of the stakes, or they are indeed lucky and win, but after this they can’t stop and, trying to repeat their success, lose everything.
In politics the method of raising the stakes is also rather popular, but is also no less risky. It would seem that everything is very simple. Or the opponent is called out and put in a situation where they have to make a decision that can develop into a bloody civil or international conflict. Many can’t live with the responsibility and capitulate. Or, if one possess a bigger (it is desirable that it is manyfold bigger) resource base, then one plays for an exchange of losses (by the principle “whilst the fat becomes thin, the thin will die”). Here it is enough to raise the stakes higher than the resource base of the opponent, and they won’t have anything to respond with.
Externally everything looks simple, and that’s why not only outstanding professionals but also political parvenu from yesterday’s marginals often play to increase the political stakes. If they manage to win at least once, then the method becomes a favourite or the only method available to them for the political struggle. By the way, raising the stakes is a traditional method of any Maidan whenever one takes place. We saw this four years ago in Ukraine. Today in Armenia we observe how the first unconstrained concession generates demands that are too much. Be it a Maidan in Belarus or Norway – it will be the same everywhere, precisely because the technology is very simple and political marginals from the non-systemic opposition are trained in it just as simply as African insurgents master the Kalashnikov.
But the danger of this technology lies in its apparent simplicity and efficiency. If the opponent didn’t concede, didn’t break, was able to find a resource-saving way of resisting, then now your resources must run out earlier and you need to either concede – after which the opposition that still yesterday was threatening bursts – or be responsible for a bluff in reality and to opt for a forceful confrontation that the opposition, as a rule, has no chances of winning.
In standard political systems every new structural level repeats the previous one. I.e., a similarly organised system, in identical cases, reacts similarly within the framework of the State, province, community, family, and also at the level of a political party, social group, or other public political organisation. Reactions to identical irritants are identical in foreign policy and domestic politics, at the regional or global levels.
This means that the Maidan scheme of applying influence is used by the US not only against opponents, but also against allies, and also in international organisations, and penetrates all floors of modern international politics. Thus it is based on the method of an infinite doubling of the stakes, characteristic for a Maidan. In this scheme the price of every planned victory must exceed the sum of the prices of the previous losses and of the newly invested resources.
Playing against Russia since the beginning of the year 2000, Washington for a long time didn’t worry about the efficiency of the adopted political method. Even the resources of the US seemed to be infinite in comparison with Russia’s, and, after all, the joint resource of the West was also at their disposal. And the resources (both economic and political) of the rest of the planet were under their control and could be mobilised.
However, during the Georgian crisis of 2008 it already became clear that Russia found an extremely resource-efficient model of countering the US. Back then the Americans didn’t pay attention to it. But they should’ve, because during the Ukrainian crisis of 2014 it appeared that Russia not only spends much fewer resources to maintain balance than the Americans spend for its demolition. It became clear that the seemingly infinite American resources don’t allow to double the stakes any more. They simply aren’t enough.
The American world found itself in a systemic crisis that was repeatedly predicted by all who were able to, but for the Americans it arrived so suddenly that they still can’t believe that it is the reality in any way. Nevertheless, the American allies and vassals that felt exhausted from the American system of political domination and Washington’s absence of a developed alternative model began to gradually separate from the US (in the beginning almost imperceptibly, but later it was more noticeable). This, in turn, limited the access of Washington to some of the earlier controlled resources, having demanded from Washington, at the same time, to involve additional powerful resources to restore its authority in its relationship with allies.
The necessary resource base simply didn’t exist on the planet. Besides, the defeat in Syria again reduced the actually available resource base and again demanded additional resources to continue the fight with the use of the previous adventurous algorithm.
Since there weren’t enough resources any more for the old scheme to work and the new one wasn’t yet ready, the US tried to work in a regime of military blackmail. The first to frighten Russia with a military confrontation was Clinton, still being only a presidential candidate. The most recent time the military question of “punishing Russians” was raised was during the West’s Syrian chemical provocation. A demonstration of the readiness to give a military answer compelled the US to pass to the last stage of a losing player – abandoning the military bluff that was imitative information cover.
When the player who was earlier playing with the superfluous or won money finally loses, they start to play on borrowed money, and they take things out from the house, they rob relatives and acquaintances, and are finally ready to play with their last shirt. It still seems to them that good luck is just around the corner. To maintain the illusion of preserving their position if their resource base is exhausted, the bluffing politician who raised the stakes is forced to start destroying what they originally (when they first entered the game) tried to keep.
The US started the controlled chaotization of the planet practically immediately after the Georgian loss. The color revolutions of the “Arab spring”, which had to chaotisize the entire Big Middle East and North Africa, were already prepared and started by the summer of 2011. A little bit later the chaotization of Ukraine started. All of this, together with the limitrophes controlled by the US from among the new EU members, had to break trade and economic ties between the EU and Russia/China, having created between them a strip of “scorched earth”. I will focus on the fact that the US was going to fully or partly scorch the regimes under their control (in Russia some still consider that Washington dreams of strengthening these regimes, but all of them burn, and support isn’t received).
It is precisely the destruction of allies for the sake of creating a strip of a scorched earth that confirms that fact that Americans have no resources any more for the creation of “European integration show-windows“. Even the “Baltic tigers”, which they initially fed for advertising purposes, became emaciated, lame, and have led a half-starved existence for a long time. They can’t invest any more in the creation of politically stable regimes, the economic efficiency of which would be ensured by credits and direct international aid. Today they burn (by the way, not always successfully) what tomorrow can fall under the control of their geopolitical opponents.
It doesn’t mean that chaotization and destabilisation threatens only the allies of the US. Washington sets fire to its own fence so that the wind spreads the fire to the neighbour’s houses. Besides this, it will try to strike a blow on Russia’s allies everywhere where it can, to shake the weak link, like what is now happening in Armenia.
In this situation everything depends on local elites. The resource-saving strategy adopted by Russia assumes that an ally has to take on the main weight of resistance to an aggressor (which Syria now does). The help of Russia must be effective and shield only those spheres that can’t be shielded without Russia and threaten defeat if they transition to the enemy’s side. Otherwise, in a simple competition with the West to see who can give more dollars or more tanks, Russia will today suffer a defeat (because it will thus agree to transfer the game to that board that the West absolutely dominates).
I.e., if the local elite can consolidate itself and consolidate society, then neither the intrigues of the West nor the actions of domestic opposition-collaborators (who exist everywhere, but are few and far between where the authorities are effective) will lead to considerable destabilisation. And a direct armed aggression (like in Syria) can be repelled with Russia’s help. But if the elite is split and society is in a condition of a standoff (regional, confessional, ethnic, linguistic, or everything in one), then nobody can save such a country from slipping in the deepest internal conflict.
That’s why the US moved to the chaotization process, because it significantly distracts the opponent without thus requiring any considerable investments. If a standoff is started, then it can practically continue to exist due to self-sufficiency. The role of embassies and diplomatic residencies consists only in politically guiding the actions of the opposition, with the help of its agents (including in the highest levels of governance), the media, etc.
At this stage Washington tries to create not so much a belt separating Russia from Europe, but a flaring ring around Russia. Firstly, there is the hope that sooner or later, as chaotization comes nearer to the centers vitally important for Russia, Moscow will be compelled to depart from a resource-saving strategy and to engage in local conflicts. Secondly, chaotization on the borders of Russia touches the allies of Moscow, and also the countries that are formally neutral but are inside the zone of its exclusive interests. A spontaneous development of events in this region threatens Russia with unforeseen consequences. That’s why it will also be difficult for Moscow to refrain from intervening, and intervening will tie down a huge volume of resources for a long time, which will allow the US to receive a respite and to try to restart the round. Finally, the chaotization of States close to Russia (geographically and politically) will allow to present Moscow as an international monster, having slowed down, respectively, the drifting away of allies from the US.
However, judging by the fact that Washington already started the chaotization of international organisations too (strangely enough, Sweden, Guterres, “The Guardian”, and the G7 simultaneously started to become concerned by Russia’s “inefficient use” of the veto in the UN Security Council), it doesn’t expect to preserve the American world completely (it is impossible to keep the UN if the powers of Russia are reduced). Now the strategy of the US is more reminiscent of an attempt to break the existing world order and to keep as many States as possible under its control in the subsequent chaos, hanging an iron curtain between itself and the “outcast countries” that will be pushed out from the “global” (American) world into the Russian world.
Without having managed to win, the US tries to pretend that there aren’t any winners at all, having isolated them informationally-politically as if they in general are in another galaxy. It is unlikely that this method will yield any result except the prolongation of the agony of the American world (in the form of a stump – the pathetic rest of the former luxury). But a lot more blood will be shed and resources will be destroyed for the sake of the American illusion that it is possible to end the game of chess in a stalemate via the methods used in roulette.
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