Western Europe and Russia in XXI: The Prospects and Strategies for New Alliance

Nikolai S. Rozov,

Professor of Philosophy (Novosibirsk State University) is an author of several books on philosophy of education and philosophy of social sciences.

Since April 1994 he is a moderator of academic discussion on philosophy of history and theoretical history in Internet (more than 250 members from 35 countries; information and subscription Web-page http://www.people.virginia.edu/~dew7e/anthronet/subscribe/ philofhi.htm)
and administator of Philosophy of History Archive (http://www.nsu.ru/filf/pha/).

Prof. Rozov develops in this essay an application of some concepts and models of theoretical history to geopolitical and geoeconomic prospects of the coming century.

Towards New Macrodecision Trepolarity of the modern world - USA, Western Europe and Japan - is not a secret now to anybody. It is well known also that triangular unions are not stable because two partners tend to make a coalition against the rest one. According to Prof. Immanuel Wallerstein, a father of World System Analysis, the alliance between USA and Japan is most probable mainly because of European idiosyncrasy to American cultural-language-commercial expansion which seems not so dangerous for self-identity of Japanese people. Due to the world-system theory the success and economic hegemony of the core member depend on volume and level of semiperiphery, i.e., territories with production organized and financed by the core. USA are an evident hegemon mainly because of capital concentration and the strength of Transnational Corporations (TNC) making their money by extracting profit both from semiperiphery and periphery of almost the whole globe. The magnificent economic growth of modern China is explained by its role as a semiperiphery for American-Japanese core alliance. Last decades Western Europe was focused mainly on the macrodecision of interior integrity (Common Market, EU, EC, Maastricht, Shengen, etc.). But in the external area Europe happened to be deprived from utilizing such efficient semiperiphery as is used now by US and Japan. That's why without new effective external activities Europe will gradually lose its positions in the world core. Europe needs now a principally new strong macrodecision, i.e., a complex of geoeconomic strategies in order to reach if not new hegemony but parity with Northern America and South-Eastern Asia in the coming XXI century. How these strategies can be shaped according to theoretical-historical paradigms? The evident systemic imperatives granting advantage in intracore competition (italic below) can be supplied by most promising strategies for Western Europe in current global situation.

Imperatives and Strategies

1. To find and master own semiperiphery with sufficient volume and level of development. Russia with its highly educated intelligentsia and large working class, vast territories and central position among all three poles of Modern World System is most preferable semiperiphery for Western Europe. Accepting this premise it is possible also to work out ideas of realization all other systemic imperaitves.

2. First to lay new trade ways highly needed in new geoeconomic situation. Secondly to focus on the main gap between supply and demand in the world economy using own most advanced technologies and resources of semiperiphery. Finally it is necessary to move main investments to the most rapidly developing, promising, intellectually capacious spheres and utilize here maximally all own and semiperipheral potential. The first strategy must supply the geoeconomic transportation demand by promotion and utilization of post-communist Russia's openness. The auto and telecommunication arterial should be created from Western Europe to Japan, China and all South-Eastern Asia through Russia (modern highway: Berlin-Moscow- Novosibirsk-Vladivostok then to China, Korea, Japan, long-distance tracks production in Russia on the base of European investments and technologies). This transcontinental route can be called THE GREAT SNEAKERS WAY because it will deliver East-Asian (mainly Chinese) goods of everyday use to wide European middle class (instead of luxurious silk for aristocracy in Ancient and Middle Ages). Western Europe can also benefit from rebirth of Northern Sea Route which Russia cannot support now alone (London/Amsterdam-Murmansk-Petropavlovsk then to Japan/Korea/China or to California).

The second strategy must supply the demand of permanently growing really grand Chinese economy (10% a year). China will unavoidably need more and more energy resources, metals, plastics, technologies, machine-tools, engines, etc. Russia which was mainly specialized on machine and military production is the best base for materializing European know-how and investments in order to take part in competition with USA and Japan on the vast and growing Chinese market. Various daughter European factories should be built along the whole Transsiberian railway and future highway, so this strategy can be called EUROPEAN TECHNOLOGIES UP TO VLADIVOSTOK.

The next strategy must be oriented to most intellectually capacious and promising spheres, that's why Western Europe on the base of Russian (originally European!) scientific and educational systems should compete with American monopoly on the world international market of research and educational services. The daughter branches of the best and well-known European universities and research institutes should be created on the base of Russian universities for delivering intellectual, high-technological (cosmos, telecommunications, biotechnology, advanced medicine, nuclear physics, etc.) and educational services for new generations of the whole Eurasia. Possible name of this strategy is EUROPEAN-RUSSIAN SCIENCE AND UNIVERSITY CULTURE FOR EURASIA. Rivals and Allies

3. To involve capitals of main rivals giving them new opportunities for commerce. Not only European, Russian and Chinese but also American and Japanese investments must be involved into laying The Great Sneakers Way because it opens doors for American and Japanese goods to the vast markets of Central and Eastern Russia with all Central-Asiatic states.

4. To utilize maximally the of outsiders' discontent towards the rivals, giving to outsiders new opportunities for growth and security. NATO expansion to the East, erosion of Russian industry and agriculture, crisis of science and education deprived of Soviet central support, enormous social gap and criminality made Russia an outsider among Christian peoples. But Russia is too large and geopolitically significant for Europe to ignore it while making Russian common people and populist leaders more and more aggressive against "Treacherous West." Western Europe giving Russia new opportunities for growth by three strategies presented above should transform Russia from aggressive and dangerous outsider to strong ally. Instead of meaningless conflicting around NATO expansion (in fact European security is save as never before) Europe and Russia should think of Kaspian Sea oil and Middle Asia oil, gas and other resources routing. Without powerful European-Russian alliance USA evidently will manage to direct these resources streams to the South via Turkey and Pakistan. This alliance will be useful for Europe not only geoeconomically but also geopolitically (f.e. as a counter-forse against probable future axis Muslim World - China in Eurasia, and US-Japanese coalition in World Ocean). European Model for Global Partnership

5. To work out and disseminate an ideology of general humanistic significance, struggling for which it would be possible to strengthen own geoeconomic and geopolitical position. In order to examinate validness of this recomendation one can remember the role of Christianity, democratic and liberal ideology for "the rise of the West," anti-slavery propaganda of Abraham Lincoln, anti-imperial nations-self-determination ideology of Woodrow Wilson and Antanta, anti-fascist and anti-communistic pathos of US hegemony since 1950s, etc. What ideology of general significance can serve for new European macrodecision in geopolitics and geoeconomics? Modern American neoliberal mainstream ideology implies that a monopolar world as more secure and comfortable than previous bipolar world, that maximal civil and economic freedom, openness of nation-states to international trade are still universal values and guarantees for future prosperity. This ideology fits to the factual geopolitical and military dominance of USA, as well as to geoeconomic dominance of TNC which are also based mainly in New-York. Japan still cannot say to the rest world anything besides "stay in line and serve us." Can the third core rival - Western Europe so famous by its ingenious philosophers and social thinkers - suggest any better paradigm for future world order? In fact the immanent idea of European diplomacy (Peace of Westphalia, 1648) and recent macrodecision (European integration) can and should be expanded and realized globally.

The counter-ideology to American monopolarity and neoliberalism , to Japanese worldwide serfdom can be based on idea of GLOBAL MULTIPOLAR PARTNERSHIP. Western Europe and Russia as main proponents of this idea have now the brilliant opportunity to return previous civil, moral, and intellectual leadership to the Old Oicumena. In practice, moving towards multipolarity means purposeful forming and cultivation of NEW poles of influence and development within the global partnership framework. Besides Western Europe, USA, Japan, and such self-growing leaders as China and Australia one can imagine such new candidates for entering to multipolar leadership as Russia and India in Eurasia, Brasilia in South America, South Africa and Ethiopia in Africa. Namely Europe is self-organizing now on multipolar principles of Maastricht and namely Europe can give the whole world this new world order of democratically and humanistically oriented partnership developing and realizing Immanuel Kant's ideas about universal union of civil legal states and eternal peace. The geoeconomic and cultural alliance between Europe and Russia is the first necessary step of this multipolar partnership macrostrategy in the coming XXI century. Novosibirsk-Amsterdam, December 1996

Nikolai S. Rozov, PhD, Dr.Sc. Professor of Philosophy E-MAIL: rozov@nsu.ru FAX: 7-3832-397101 ADDRESS: Philosophy Dept. Novosibirsk State University 630090, Novosibirsk, Pirogova 2, RUSSIA Welcome to PHILOFHI (the mailing list for PHILosophy OF HIstory and theoretical history) http://www.people.virginia.edu/~dew7e/anthronet/subscribe/philofhi.html and Philosophy of History Archive (PHA) http://www.nsu.ru/filf/pha/