Joe Biden’s upcoming summit meetings with Putin and Xi Jinping (virtual – with the Chinese leader, possibly next week, and with the Russian one by the end of the year) became a good reason for the American president to repeat his favorite thought. That democracy is in danger again – both in America and around the world.
“For our country, this is truly a turning point. Both Putin and Xi Jinping made it clear to me that they do not believe that democracies in the 21st century can function, because it takes too long to reach consensus, so autocracies will win.” With these words, Joe Biden called on the activists of the Democratic Party to realize how important it is for the whole world to make sure that “America is back.” The whole world is looking at us, but we have a mess and an internal split – let’s already prove that we can pull the country out of the crisis, carry out economic reforms and return as a leader to the world arena.
This idea has been r-epeated by Biden at least three times since his first p-ress conference in March. Autocrats are advancing, including in the States the-mselves, and the world is waiting for America’s democratic example and leadership, waiting for it to return to fulfilling its duties as a “model of democracy” – th-is is how the president conjures the American audience.
And no one asks him: is the whole world really waiting for our return and proof that “the American democratic system is succeeding”? What – and the Afghans and the Iraqis will not wait? And Brazilians and Indians dream about it? And the Russians and the Chinese? It is clear that Biden, having traveled to Europe, talked first of all with the Europeans and allies, who, looking into his eyes, were really interested in plans for the future.
But not at all because of concern for democratic values, but for deeply pragmatic reasons: if the United States concentrates on the Pacific region, it automatically weakens its attention to Europe and the Middle East. But do they have enough strength – or will an internal split lead to the fact that the United States will close on itself? Biden responded by showing full confidence that America would succeed, but when he returned home he had to resort to arguments like “Legions, the world is watching you” again. The legions, that is, the Ameri-cans, do not really believe – and Biden again pulls out his favorite thought about the threat to democracy. Coming from the autocrats Putin and Xi Jinping.
It is remarkable how Biden’s account of the arguments of the enemies of democracy is changing. Initially, it was said that Xi Jinping is “a very straightforward and intelligent, but absolutely not democratic person”: he thinks, like Putin, that autocracy is the future trend, and democracy cannot work in a world that is becoming more and more complex.
Then Biden explained that Xi Jinping convinced him that democracy cannot work in the 21st century, because democracy cannot unite the nation as quickly as autocracy. And Putin is the same: “These guys are betting on autocracy, I’m not kidding; democracy must stand up and show what we are doing.”
And now the American president has announced that Putin and Xi do not like democracy because it takes too long to reach a consensus.
That is, initially it was about the fact that Xi told Biden in one of the conversations (and their main m-eetings took place in 2011) that the world had become too difficult for democracy. At least that’s what Biden understood. Maybe Xi Jinping meant that society can no longer be governed in the same way as it was governed in Western states in the 19th and 20th centuries. Perhaps, in general, it was about the fact that the world and social order are more complex than Western ideas about them. It is not known for sure – the Chinese did not publish their version of the conversations between the two then vice presidents.
But on the next recollection of conversations with Si, Biden gave a more concrete example of his argumentation: in a democracy, you cannot quickly unite a nation. This already looks like the truth, only the Western and especially the Anglo-Saxon people are not able to understand it. Unlike the Chinese and Russians, because our states were built from top to bottom, expanded from the center. Europe, on the other hand, existed for the main part of its history as a union of separate cities and lands, and the United States generally emerged as a union of separate states. And “democracy” for the States was generally the only way of existence – because the country was created on the basis of a multitude of warring minorities (religious, national, and so on). Without the agreement – to one degree or another – of their interests, no country would simply have arisen. Until now, in the United States, the main thing is the states, local authorities,Russia and China are based on a single (state-forming) people and a single central government. China went through a century of turmoil and crisis, during which, in fact, fell apart, and got out of it thanks to rigid one-man management.
But why should the Americans go into such trifles, if we are talking about foreign nations, which they sincerely (which does not cancel the conscious desire to manipulate the “partner” by teaching him the “correct” democracy) offer to adopt their universal experience. Don’t want to follow America’s example? Well, this is because they are autocrats and anti-democrats, savages.
After all, this is already an American problem – how they evaluate other countries. And not only because the name-calling in the style of “autocrat-anti-democrat” practically no longer affects anyone in the world, – it is still not as strong a bogey as the “communist” once was. The main problem of the Americans is that they are trying to build their entire geopolitical strategy on the fight against autocrats, that is, they want to give their global maneuvers an ideological coloration.
Yes, we are talking about the upcoming December 9-10 summit in support of democracy, the holding of which in the United States is called the fulfillment of a key promise of Biden’s election campaign. This virtual summit should “help stop the erosion of rights and freedoms around the world” – and in reality, gather a broad anti-Chinese and anti-Russian front.
From the very beginning, the idea of the summit was criticized by American geopolitical realists, including one of the most influential of them – Richard Haas, President of the Council on Foreign Relations. Indeed, it is strange not to see the initially dangerous mine laid at the foundation of the “summit for democracy” – the criterion for the selection of participants. Compliance with American Democracy Standards? Well then you need to call only the EU countries, NATO, Anglo-Saxon Australia with Canada and Japan… But the idea is completely different: the widest possible front. At the same time, you cannot call everyone except Russia and China, but you cannot limit yourself only to your own. This means that those who are not invited will be offended – not that they are not invited to the anti-authoritarian front (anti-Chinese and anti-Russian games are generally not attractive to anyone), but that they are considered undemocratic.
Each civilization has its own criteria for democracy, and the current Western ones are very different from the Western ones a century ago. And the promotion of a “tolerant agenda” (imposing openly anti-religious, anti-family and simply anti-human values), which is the most important part of the modern understanding of democracy in the West, is unacceptable for almost all non-Western world civilizations.
That is, the very fact of convening a “summit for democracy” will be another blow to the American reputation in the world: now, they are segregating “friends and foes”, they hang labels on us. That is, they are trying to divide and rule – the Russians and the Chinese say everything correctly, this dictate is enough for us.
And no matter how they say now in Washington that participation in the summit “should not be interpreted as statements that, they say, you are a democracy and you are not,” this is how it will be perceived.
There is no exact list of participants yet, but leaks have already begun. There will be more than 100 countries, that is, half of the existing ones in the world. The Politico edition reported on the preliminary list of invitees – and the “real democrats” immediately had questions for him. Why is there an authoritarian Poland, but not Turkey (NATO is not all Democrats)? They called Israel, and where is Egypt ? There are no Thailand and Vietnam (in the first the military is in power, and in the second the Communists), but why is there Iraq, from which after the American invasion it is generally not clear what was left? These showdowns inside the democratic jury, of course, are ridiculous – it’s a pity that in Afghanistanthe power of the American henchmen has already fallen, or even the Ghani government would have been invited to the summit. And what, it is correct, democratic – and no one in the West would ask the question of how there can be a democratic government, in the elections of which two million out of 32 million Afghans took part.
It is in the interests of Russia and China to wish the Washington summit success, especially since the Biden administration is now saying that this is only “the beginning of a longer conversation about democracy.” And the summit participants will “need to carry out the promised reforms” in order to receive an invitation to a second summit, expected next year. That is, to pass the exam for democracy in the Washington admissions office. It is difficult to imagine the best anti-advertising of the American attitude towards the world, and no one forced Biden to persist in the desire to hold a summit for democracy and against autocrats. This is definitely beyond the power of Putin and Xi Jinping – Biden will do everything himself.