Why Study Geopolitics in the Multipolar World?

Why Study Geopolitics in the Multipolar World?

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Amedeo Maddaluno


Such a title has a sound for “adepts” that varies between weird and pleonastic. And yet, precisely in the age of social media, it is urgent to equip oneself with tools to react to the chatter of those who don’t know and to counter it: geopolitics is a discipline whose methods, assumptions, and conclusions are either totally ignored, or simply denigrated.

First of all, it is ignored that the term “geopolitics” is not synonymous with “international relations” or “foreign policy”. Let it be clear, these disciplines are substantially inseparable: without the second and the third it is not possible to fully understand the first, but the first is an indispensable tool for accessing the other two (otherwise, at the risk of believing that relations between states and powers are governed only by ideal or ideological impulses, or, conversely, only by immediate economic calculation). 

However, they are not synonymous: geopolitics, although it certainly takes them into account, does not start from the political choices of state actors, but from the study of the relationship between politics (power) and space. Despite this, newspapers and “popular” media persist, due to intellectual laziness and ignorance, in using the word geopolitics as a synonym for the other two. Ignorance of geopolitical discipline and method is followed by denigration: gross determinism, conspiracy, the cowardly and cynical conviction that political choices are dictated only by a Great War game played on the planet’s map.

Without geopolitics, we cannot understand why Zionism was born doubly linked to the need of the Anglo-Saxon maritime power – British or American – to garrison the Near East (just as an analysis of the American messianic ideology of the Protestant brand is indispensable to understand sympathy

Not at all: geopolitics is an instrument. It must certainly be purged of its pseudoscientific (chauvinist or liberal) encrustations, but first of all, it must be known. In my next book, Geopolitics, History of an Ideology, instead of proposing a diachronic review of authors and scholars, I try to show how different cultural contexts produced different geopolitical knowledge and strategic cultures.

Those who have used geopolitics correctly, not as an expression of a mono-determinist thesis, but as a key to interpretation in solidarity with others, are hardly mistaken.

Without geopolitics, we cannot understand what is the red thread that connects the liberal and progressive messianism of the American Democrats from Kennedy to Obama through Bush, or the aggressiveness of the Republicans and conservative stars and stripes from Kissinger to Trump, or even the basic link that unites all of them: – faith in the “Necessary Nation”.

Nor would we be able to understand, without geopolitics, why the Venezuelan crisis is exploding right there and now, while the American presidency is embroiled in a confrontation with China that would like to be decisive in pushing Beijing back. If America accelerates the confrontation, it must make its own “backyard” safe, reaffirming the Monroe Doctrine, after the disappearance of the progressive governments of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. So now. 

Without geopolitics, we cannot understand why Zionism was born doubly linked to the need of the Anglo-Saxon maritime power – British or American – to garrison the Near East (just as an analysis of the American messianic ideology of the Protestant brand is indispensable to understand sympathy – in the etymological sense of the term – existing between Zionism and Americanism). Geopolitics knows that it is not a monocausal thing.

If we disregard geopolitics, we would expect a “pacifist” foreign policy from the American Democratic presidents and an isolationist policy from the Republicans.

Nor would we be able to understand, without geopolitics, why the Venezuelan crisis is exploding right there and now, while the American presidency is embroiled in a confrontation with China that would like to be decisive in pushing Beijing back. If America accelerates the confrontation, it must make its own “backyard” safe, reaffirming the Monroe Doctrine, after the disappearance of the progressive governments of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. So now. Venezuela is a growing state, not far from Panama, with the largest oil reserves in the Western Hemisphere. So there, not in Bolivia locked in the mountains or in poor little Nicaragua, where the Chinese project for a canal that competes with Panama’s seems to have disappeared.

The writer is not optimistic: when the United States decides to invest all of its political capital in a change of government, it almost always succeeds. The only recent exception is Syria, where all this political capital could not be invested, given the massive opposition from Russia, Turkey, Iran, the ambiguous relationship with the Kurds, the objective impression of the “allies on the ground” of the first hour and the fact that the chaos generated and dumped on others was considered a more than acceptable compromise. In addition to Venezuela, the United States is targeting Iran, the true pivot of the “insubordinate Middle East”.

Thanks to geopolitical analysis that these telluric movements can be deciphered. Without this fundamental instrument, the person is exposed to the risk of two equal and opposite illusions. The first is the illusion that there is a liberal order including the United States and Europe; the second is that of a “sovereignist international” that seeks to destroy the liberal order

With Venezuela and Iran has fallen, the two true final targets remain Russia and China. The first is a country that is not at all rich, considering its average income and technological level (at the forefront of aerospace, nuclear, and defense sectors, but very limited if we consider light industry), with an insufficient demographic and fallen into the trap set. by the Americans in Ukraine to separate it from Europe. The Russian response was immediately military: with the recovery of Crimea and support for the rebellion in the Donbas against a hostile coup government. However, Russia has lost influence west of the Don, achieving only – for now – the minimal strategic objective of freezing Ukraine’s shaky NATO membership. In the EU, Russia supported the sovereignist parties, hurting itself twice:

The first order never existed, but it was only the Veil of Maya that hid and justified American expansionism in the 20th century and the first glimpse of the 21st century. As for the second, it is not clear how European states can, by themselves, face up to great empires; it is not clear in what patriotic spirit the chauvinist bourgeoisie.

That leaves China: a rich country, as populous as a continent and technologically advanced, but without strategic and geopolitical depth – if we exclude the non-trivial presence in Africa, China’s hallmark on this important continent in the 21st century. China looks decidedly too strong to bend, but (still) too weak to bend. The marriage of Sino-Russian interests can certainly give life to an uncontrollable Eurasian bloc: but Russia and China will not be able to leave the heart of Eurasia, because of the American occupation of the Spykmanian “Rimland”. And it’s not just a geographic Rimland, but also a technological and economic one: think of the American pressure to prevent countries in its sphere of influence from adopting the 5G technologies of the Huawei brand. Hence the Chinese deviation in Africa and in Latin American countries hostile to the US geopolitical interests.

Thanks to geopolitical analysis that these telluric movements can be deciphered. Without this fundamental instrument, the person is exposed to the risk of two equal and opposite illusions. The first is the illusion that there is a liberal order including the United States and Europe; the second is that of a “sovereignist international” that seeks to destroy the liberal order in order to replace it with an order of renewed sovereignty of states and freedom of peoples, and that perhaps this return of the state to politics can allow renewed Keynesian policies of investment and redistribution.

The first order never existed, but it was only the Veil of Maya that hid and justified American expansionism in the 20th century and the first glimpse of the 21st century. As for the second, it is not clear how European states can, by themselves, face up to great empires; it is not clear in what patriotic spirit the chauvinist bourgeoisie, once the globalists are defeated, should withdraw in good order (or evaporate) to grant Keynesianism or perhaps socialism, nor is it clear why they should not aim to automatically assume the control of individual “sovereign” European states – control laboriously removed from globalist elites – to use them as a commodity with “new-old” masters abroad.

Russia confirms, in a positive sense, the opposite of the European Union in terms of strategic awareness. It is always present at every crisis table on the planet and at every strategic game, driven by a leadership historically educated in strategic vision and managing complexities, with a sense of national interest that has completely replaced the old revolutionary communist messianism.

Here, in the writer’s opinion, geopolitics follows politics: the only salvation of European man will be the continental unity from Lisbon to Vladivostok, in a Eurasian block that cannot be attacked from the sea, but that has access to the sea and cannot be sealed in the heart of Eurasia.

The American unipolar era began in 1989 and ended in 2001, but the era of “controlled chaos” is also coming to an end. We are already in the multipolar era, with the United States and China as masters, medium, and great powers (Russia in primis , but also India and Japan) looking for a place in the sun, coming into conflict, above all, with their own internal limits.

Europe in the crisis of identity and political conscience showed in the Venezuelan crisis, for the umpteenth time, its own incipiency.

Instead of offering itself as a mediator – asserting a distinct American identity and acquiring the negotiator’s political capital – Europe moved in random order (giving the usual signal of non-existence and weakness) and joined the convoy of those who oppose the “ communist dictatorship”. For the umpteenth time, he reminded the world that it doesn’t exist, that it doesn’t understand that the attack on Venezuela is part of Trump’s Make America Great Again plan. In conclusion, it has disappeared from a playing field it never really entered, leaving it to the usual United States, to a China that seeks above all to protect its energy interests, and to Russia.

Russia confirms, in a positive sense, the opposite of the European Union in terms of strategic awareness. It is always present at every crisis table on the planet and at every strategic game, driven by a leadership historically educated in strategic vision and managing complexities, with a sense of national interest that has completely replaced the old revolutionary communist messianism.

Ultimately, this is Vladimir Putin’s true merit, in addition to strategic choices and results, now winning – the restoration of Russia after the Yeltsin disasters, the defeat of terrorism in the Caucasus and Syria, the fundamental contribution to the construction of a multipolar world – now dramatically counterproductive – choosing to contribute to the weakening of the EU: Putin will leave behind him a united Russia, strong and with a ruling class in which the best of Soviet strategic capability lives.

Europe lacks a common vision, conscience, and will, and thus a definable national interest.


Author

Amedeo Maddaluno is a Economist and strategic and military analyst.


Copyright © Eurasia Rivista

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The Radical Outlook

The Radical Outlook is an online news web Portal designed for in-depth news analysis from the Eurasian region and beyond. It is Founded by a geopolitical analyst Shahzada Rahim.
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