Skip to content

The Russians Are Coming!… with the Global South?

1 October 2022

With the Russian invasion (or… as they say, “Special Miliary Operation”) in Ukraine having sucked much of the international media coverage into a “neo-Cold War” narrative… the “Democratic West” and the “Authoritatian (old Communist) East” in a battle for the hearts and minds of the rest of us (what used to be called the “Third World”), what made Vladimir Putin’s remarks on annexing large chunks of eastern Ukraine relevant to a site focused on Mexico was the remarks he made in annoucing the annexation.

Mexfiles does not speak Russian, nor does it seem Mexico has a dog in the hunt in the European war, not directly anyway. Mexico has proposed a peace plan (dismissed by one Ukrainian commentator… said to be an advisor to the Ukrainian president) as a Russian plot of some kind (the Mexican proposal being a five year halt to hostilities, while a settlement is hammered out under the auspices of the United Nations, the Papacy, and the Prime Minister of India) …but other than that, and like most of the world, hit by a shortage of fertilizers and the economic fallout of the absurd spending by global northern nations on propping up the Ukrainian government, it hasn’t had much to say… other than leave us alone.

Most of the world’s nations … even those like Mexico that cannot escape their ties to those “Democratic Western” countries (by geography in Mexico’s case)… see no benefit in a “western victory” nor in continuation of that fratricidal slaughter in eastern Europe. The assumption (one shared by Mexfiles) is that the conflict is less a “Democratic” v “Authoritarian” visions than a fight for control over resources.

And this is where Putin’s comments regarding its “special military operation” (and it’s expansion) are of relevance.

Not knowing Russian, and our sources largely controlled by what’s presented by “mainstream media”… it is necessary to go to the alternative sources to find discussions of what it is the Russians are actually saying, or rather, how they would like their activities to be understood. What exactly Alexander Mercouris’ ideology is, exactly, I haven’t a clue… I take it he’s some sort of reactionary (at one point more or less praising Ronald Reagan’s economic policies) and — while not explicitly pro-Russian — he tneds to highlight Russian military successes, and dismisses the occasional Ukrainian ones. But… in discussing Putin’s speech… is not so much, as other “western” commentators are, focused on veiled (and not so veiled) threats to continue the fight, and escalate the conflict, as to his “outreach” to the global south, and what seems to be recasting Russia as less an alternative to ties with the US and NATO powers (as the old “bipolar” USA or USSR geopolitical struggle was cast) but as a fellow post-colonial state demanding its rights to control of its own resources and culture in a multi-polar framework.

In other words, Putin… if he’s to be taken at his word… sees Russia less as heir to the European colonialist heritage, than as a victim of neo-colonialism, and with the right to defend what he considers its own cultural heritage (alas, including homophobia and religious intolerance) and resources from exploitation (of resources) often justified by imposing western value systems.

Mexico has been rather quick to adopt “western” cultural values, or at least has never had much of a problem with them (and, yes… we are aware that its not perfect… classism, racism, homophobia, etc. are rampant here, like everywhere else, including the “liberal” nations of Europe and Norther(er) America), but control over resources, and an independent policy? That’s the very thing Latin America nations, and the Africans, and the Asians… the former colonial (and… for Latin America… neo-colonial, though that “neo” has been going on for the last two centuries) and more international cooperation focues on the needs of the citizens is something the global south responds to.

Doubt Putin’s sincerity if you like. Question Mercouris’ bona fides while you’re at it. But consider what’s going on in the world. Colombia seems to have turned it’s back on its rightist and pro-NATO recent past; Mexico is clawing back control of its energy production sector, and even nationalized its lithium, Guatemala (though right wing) is experiencing massive resistance to gold mining; and more and more, the Latin American nations are turning away from the US controlled Organization of American States in preference to their own “club”… CELAC… to discuss regional issues. Likewise, not exactly by choice but as a result of the “special military operation”, an the sanctions that followed, the Russians are more focused on their near neighors as “partners” than as places to be ideologically controlled… when Communist China, theocratic Iran, whatever Khazakistan is, etc. Likewise, the African Union … despite huge disparities in political and social systems and histories, are figuring out how to cooperate where the can, and let each other pursue their own cultural and political destinies.

So… perhaps here in Mexico, and elsewhere in Latin America, Africa, Asia, Oceana… you know, the 85% of the world with no real stake or say in the outcome of what happens in Slavic lands… will be seeing a world where geography is not destiny… not completely (Mexico is going to be next to the United States which, like it or not, will always be its major trading partner) but less important than what resources a nation has, and how they (not one, or two, ideological “camps”) demand they be managed.

And… will the “global south” be an adequate term, if the largest northern land mass is one of us?

(I haven’t had to edit youtube videos in a long time, and think I did it right… at any rate Mercouris can be pendantic (who is Mexfiles to talk?) and wasn’t going to discuss the military operations he devotes most of his usual hour or so of his podcasts. It’s still a bit over 20 minutes, and youtube videos are limited (or at least I don’t know how to make extended videos) to 15 minutes, so the first should be about 12 minues and some, the second a bit under 10 minutes. And… I hope… I split it right)

One Comment leave one →
  1. norm permalink
    1 October 2022 8:46 am

    It is fascism against democracy and self determination. Nothing more, nothing less and as with the last time fascism went on a roll, it will invade its neighbors until it is turned back. The rest is piffle.

Leave a reply, but please stick to the topic

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: