This is not just a fresh article in Foreign Affairs, this is a whole campaign. When in many American and other Western publications there is a wave of publications with approximately the same headlines, as in this one – “How China Exports Authoritarianism”, then there is no place for coincidences.
The same magazine and the American Council on Foreign Relations, which publishes it, have created something like a dossier of their own and others’ publications on this topic – as already mentioned, with almost the same headings about authoritarianism. How they make our task much easier: yes, now we can see for sure that this is a campaign, an endless and tedious promotion of the same thesis on a global scale. In addition, on its website, this team regularly pulls out previous publications on the same topic to the first places, as if reminding: and we have been discussing this for a long time.
The most interesting thing here is not the very fact of the organized polyphonic scream. In the end, it sounds very logical against the background of the just created anti-Chinese military alliance of the USA, Great Britain and Australia (AUKUS): you have to explain why this alliance is needed and why China is bad. No, the most interesting thing is the details, details, including uncertain voices: guys, maybe you shouldn’t compete with China precisely in terms of ideology? After all, it will not end well. Maybe we can come up with something else, without ideological cries?
It’s not even that all the publications mentioned are very weak in terms of evidence. Here is one of them – about the fact that in Ecuador there are security cameras from China and with Chinese software hanging on poles. So what? And in London there are no such cameras – of some other origin? Or another, explaining once again what the Chinese ideologeme “One Belt, One Road” is: China is investing a trillion dollars in new ports, railways and customs terminals across the territories of dozens of countries. The fact that some of them are authoritarian (in the Western classification) says only one thing: China does not attach conditions about political systems to its initiative. And it works – which is natural – with literally everyone who does not enter into tough allied relations with the West.
By the way, what does the United States export? Not authoritarianism, but democracy and other solid goodness – great. But why does this export item not take root in many countries, and more often lead to some strange consequences like those that we now see in Afghanistan?
However, the very article where Westerners are told “it is better not to start an ideological competition with China” – it expresses somewhat different thoughts. Starting with the obvious – where it all came from. Since the recent belated recognition by the American elites (after long attempts to prove otherwise) that it turns out that economic development does not require democratization at all. It also happens under “authoritarianism” – and it was China that showed this to the whole world. Therefore, today the PRC is called a more serious ideological challenge for the West than the USSR was in its time.
This is offensive to someone, but the fact is the fact: the Soviet system has proven that its economy works worse than the Western one. And the Chinese – on the contrary, and this is its challenge.
But then that doubtful article does a wonderful thing. It says that the immediate ideological threat to the United States and other Western countries is internal, not external. And therefore, we must first deal with what is throwing the West an internal challenge, and then get carried away with supposedly external opponents. The point is that in the fight against the Soviet system, the West exported one good and immutable truth, and now it is a completely different good and truth. Moreover, everything is going badly with this export because the change in the ideology of Westerners is not a fact at all.
But the fact is a deep internal split and ideological struggle within the United States, Europe, and so on. Therefore, first you need to clarify the question of “what is the truth”, and then start competing with the truth of Beijing. The Russian subsidiary of the same Foreign Affairs published an article by a Russian researcher, Professor Alexander Lukin on the new ideology of the “awakened” Western elites. By the way, Lukin is known primarily as an expert on modern China – and this is understandable, because it is easier to understand the West when you know what “non-West” is.
This article says that we are faced with not several frantic and self-destructive campaigns to remake mainly Western societies, but one.
The ideology of LGBT and feminism, the fight against racism and other legacies of colonialism and much more – this is one ideology, and such that it “acquired the features of a system dangerous for humanity” – like fascism. Dangerous because “today’s supporters of critical theories believe it is possible to simply change a person’s thinking to what they believe to be correct, through legislative changes, prohibiting unfair and spreading fair opinions, or with the help of surgical intervention. true.If this is Marxism.
Lukin adds: “In these conditions, Russia and other post-Soviet and post-communist states could play the role of initiators of a discussion about the dangers of a new ideology. such a period and the destructive nature of the new ideology, its unacceptability are understood here much better. ” Something suggests that it is not in vain that the American participants in the discussion about the Chinese “export of authoritarianism” are being cautious: in such an ideological fight – whether with China, with Russia or with many other countries – it is very easy to lose.