(A geopolitical sketch for the future multipolar world)
1. Following the decline and disappearance of the socialist East European Block in the end of the last century, a new vision of world geopolitics based on a new approach became a necessity. But the inertia of political thinking and the lack of historic imagination among the political elites of the victorious West has led to a simplistic option: the conceptual basis of western liberal democracy, a market-economy society, and the strategic domination of the USA on the world scale became the only solution to all kinds of emerging challenges and the universal model that should be imperatively accepted by all of humanity.
2. Before our eyes this new reality is emerging – the reality of one world organised entirely on the American paradigm. An influential neo-conservative think tank in the modern USA openly refers to it by a more appropriate term – the ‘global Empire’ (sometimes ‘benevolent Empire’ – R. Kagan). This Empire is uni-polar and concentric by its very nature. In the centre there is the ‘rich North’, Atlantic community. All the rest of the world, –the zone of underdeveloped or developing countries, considered peripheral, – is presumed to be following the same direction and the same course that the core countries of the West did long before it.
3. In such a uni-polar vision, Europe is considered the outskirts of America, the world capital, and as a bridgehead of the American West on the large Eurasian continent. Europe is seen as a part of the rich North, not a decision maker, but a junior partner without proper interests and specific characteristics of its own. Europe, in such a project, is perceived as an object and not the subject, as a geopolitical entity deprived of autonomous identity and will, of real and acknowledged sovereignty. Most of the cultural, political, ideological and geopolitical particularity of European heritage is thought of as something passé: anything that was once valued as useful has already been integrated into the Global Western project; what’s left is discounted as irrelevant. In such circumstances Europe becomes geopolitically denuded, deprived of its own proper and independent self. Being geographically a neighbour to regions with diverse non-European civilisations, and with its own identity weakened or directly negated by the approach of the Global American Empire, Europe can easily lose its own cultural and political shape.
4. However, liberal democracy and the free market theory account for only part of the European historical heritage and that there have been other options proposed and issues dealt with by great European thinkers, scientists, politicians, ideologists and artists. The identity of Europe is much wider and deeper than some simplistic American ideological fast-food of the global Empire complex – with its caricaturist mixture of ultra-liberalism, free market ideology and quantitative democracy. In the cold war era, the unity of the Western world (on both sides of the Atlantic) had more or less solid base of the mutual defence of common values. But now this challenge is no longer present, the old rhetoric doesn’t work anymore. It should be revised and new arguments supplied. There is no longer a clear and realistic common foe. The positive basis for a united West in the future is almost totally lacking. The social choice of European countries and states is in stark contrast of Anglo-Saxon (today American) option towards ultra-liberalism.
5. Present-day Europe has its own strategic interests that differ substantially with American interests or with the approach of the Global West project. Europe has its particular positive attitude towards its southern and eastern neighbours. In some cases economic profit, the energy supply issues and common defence initiative don’t coincide at all with American ones.
6. These general considerations lead us, European intellectuals deeply concerned by the fate of our cultural and historical Motherland, Europe, to the conclusion that we badly need an alternative future world vision where the place, the role and the mission of Europe and European civilisation would be different, greater, better and safer than it is within the frame of the Global Empire project with too evident imperialistic features.
7. The only feasible alternative in present circumstances is to found in the context of a multi-polar world. Multi-polarity can grant to any country and civilisation on the planet the right and the freedom to develop its own potential, to organise its own internal reality in accordance with the specific identity of its culture and people, to propose a reliable basis of just and balanced international relations amongst the world’s nations. Multi-polarity should be based on the principle of equity among the different kinds of political, social and economic organisations of these nations and states. Technological progress and a growing openness of countries should promote dialogue amongst, and the prosperity of, all peoples and nations. But at the same time it shouldn’t endanger their respective identities. Differences between civilisations do not have to necessarily culminate in an inevitable clash between them – in contrast to the simplistic logic of some American writers. Dialogue, or rather ‘polylogue’, is a realistic and feasible possibility that we should all exploit in this regard.
8. Concerning Europe directly, and in contrast to other plans for the creation of something ‘greater’ in the old-fashioned imperialistic sense of the word – be it the Greater Middle East Project or the pan-nationalist plan for a Greater Russia or a Greater China – we suggest, as a concretisation of the multi-polar approach, a balanced and open vision of a Greater Europe as a new concept for the future development of our civilisation in strategic, social, cultural, economic and geopolitical dimensions.
9. Greater Europe consists of the territory contained within the boundaries that coincide with the limits of a civilisation. This kind of boundary is something completely new, as is the concept of the civilisation-state. The nature of these boundaries presumes a gradual transition – not an abrupt line. So this Greater Europe should be open for interaction with its neighbours in the West, East or South.
10. A Greater Europe in the general context of a multi-polar world is conceived as surrounded by other great territories, basing their respective unities on the affinity of civilisations. So we can postulate the eventual appearance of a Greater North America, a Greater Eurasia, a Greater Pacific Asia and, in the more distant future, a Greater South America and a Greater Africa. No country – except the USA – as things stand today, can afford and defend its true sovereignty, relying solely on its own inner resources. No one of them could be considered as an autonomous pole capable of counterbalancing the Atlantist power. So multi-polarity demands a large-scale integration process. It could be called ‘a chain of globalisations’ – but globalisation within concrete limits – coinciding with the approximate boundaries of various civilisations.
11. We imagine this Greater Europe as a sovereign geopolitical power, with its own strong cultural identity, with its own social and political options – based on the principles of the European democratic tradition – with its own defence system, including nuclear weapons, with its own strategic access to energy and mineral resources, making its own independent choices on peace or war with other countries or civilisations – with all of the above depending on a common European will and democratic procedure for making decisions.
12. In order to promote our project of a Greater Europe and the multi-polarity concept, we appeal to the different forces in European countries, and to the Russians, the Americans, the Asians, to reach beyond their political options, cultural differences and religious choices to support actively our initiative, to create in any place or region Committees for a Greater Europe or other kinds of organisations sharing the multi-polar approach, rejecting uni-polarity, the growing danger of American imperialism and elaborating a similar concept for other civilisations. If we work together, strongly affirming our different identities, we will be able to found a balanced, just and better world, a Greater World where any worthy culture, society, faith, tradition and human creativity will find its proper and granted place.