Home Editorial: How the Ukrainian crisis is precipitating the arrival of a new global Middle Ages

GEAB 164

The monthly bulletin of LEAP (European Laboratory of Political Anticipation) - 15 Apr 2022

Editorial: How the Ukrainian crisis is precipitating the arrival of a new global Middle Ages

It is not a bipolar world that will result from the current war between the West and Russia, but the collapse of 500 years of Eurocentric global civilisation, at the core of which we see Europe, Russia and Ukraine mainly. This will have the US, China and the rest of the world involved not necessarily in the world war anticipated by an unimaginative press, but in a political and economic paradigm shift that will be no picnic.

The political total inability to stem this collapse – which we have to acknowledge, despite all our efforts to identify the countless intelligences and decisions mobilised over the past 16 years – is now reaching an ultimate limit, still camouflaged by the absurd arrogance of a West that cannot imagine itself as anything but invincible. Last month, we talked about the temporality of the war in Ukraine. If it had been possible at the time to imagine a quick and constructive outcome based on a “neutrality versus integrity”[1] peace agreement, we knew that we would have to review our copy as early as the next month. The bogging down is now well underway, intended by those who think that this is the way to get the Russian establishment to get rid of Putin (our second scenario) and thus achieve a peace on the Western terms only.

This strategy is flawed because it does not take into account Putin’s popularity, which is not only the result of propaganda but, above all, of a history that the West is no longer able to understand. Indeed, the Second World War (the “great patriotic war” of the Russians, in which 27 millions of them lost their lives[2]), was only associated with the Jewish genocide, whereas another genocide was implemented by the Nazis, that of the Slavic culture and language.

The West is wrong to forget the “Germanisation” policies over Belarus and Ukraine in particular[3] at that time, which eerily resounded in Russian ears when Ukrainian President Poroshenko undertook to ban the Russian language and culture in Ukraine, [4] to cite just one example. An ouster of Putin will not be enough to bring Russian public opinion back to more favourable views towards a West that would have a long job of erasing collective memory to achieve its “reconciliation” goals.

It is for this reason that the Russian establishment, despite economic interests, will think twice before getting rid of Putin. This brings us closer to our third scenario, the disaster one in which the entire Western civilisational model collapses in the double crash of war and famine. In fact, European embassies are now going to Moscow (France, Germany, Austria) and coming back empty-handed, diplomacy rendered inefficient by the US sending arms to Ukraine. As Putin has already said, there is no point in negotiating with people who do not hold the reins. So everyone is now down on a fireslide to hell.

We still read here and there that the crisis is bringing Europeans together. This is only half true and only to the extent that peace is at the end of the road. But the further away peace gets, the more divided Europeans become. The French election already shows the powerful impact of the crisis on Macron’s chances of being elected, who indeed benefited from the first period of war, but is suffering from this new phase where despair is showing its face. So much so that we believe that if he gets through, it will only be because the election took place in May as planned. We estimate that in a month’s time, Macron’s chances of re-election would have become negative. It is likely that he will get through before the axe falls but, as we discuss later in this issue, he will have a hard time governing according to his Euro-liberal DNA (hard time governing at all). The legislature and public opinion will force him to continue to move further and further away from it and he will look increasingly anachronistic: he is best-in-class, in the middle of a jungle…

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