By Viktor Marakhovsky — Karen Pierce, wearing a fluffy faux fur neck-piece, had made up her mind to talk to Russia according to her own rules, and so she did.
With her first words she interrupted Russia's envoy Vasily Nebenzya, who was predicting that "the opponents are going to count every Russian veto on Western resolutions on Syria."
"To quote Lenin, 'quantity has a quality all of its own'," Pierce said. Of course, she confused Vladimir Lenin with Friedrich Engels but that was quite pardonable.
Then she went even further: "In respect of Karl Marx, I think he must be turning in his grave to see what the country that was founded on many of his precepts is doing in the name of supporting Syria by condoning the use of chemical weapons on Syrian territory."
That's what's been said about Russia. Today's Russia is a country "founded on Marx's precepts."
That means that the past 26 years of free elections, freedom of movement, capitalism, the market-based economy and everything else was scarcely deserving of the attention of Russia's peers. A woman that's supposed to understand and be engaged in a dialogue with other great states still thinks modern Russia remains the Soviet Union and, quite possibly, only appeared in 1917.
Some people think this issue is nothing but a curious incident.
We've already been saying that the West's Cold War win has put an end not only to communist rule and not only to the Soviet Union. The same damage — the damage that's still not overcome and or even realized — has been caused to the Western institutions tasked with studying different cultures and civilizations.
In fact, after the demise of the Soviet Union, both the US and Britain stopped any kind of research meant to understand the outside world and to keep an eye on its changes.
Generally speaking, it even had a rational basis — it was known as the "end of history" philosophy. At the moment when it was thought that "the whole world is now America" and if it isn't so somewhere, then it's soon going to be like that — there was no need to have experts on Russia, Arab states, Iran etc. Non-Western civilizations specialists were out — and, indeed, what good are they if the iron horse of globalization is replacing the former diversity. The new generation of experts hasn't been trained at all. Their role was performed by opposition reporters, the migrants from the mentioned countries. And those migrants were very enthusiastic about the End of History, they got addicted to the notion and could only contemplate things in those terms.
The great successes of that approach are vividly seen in the context of the Middle East. The "global America" demolished 20th century local traditions through all kinds of secular notions like "nationalism" or the "left" and then was surprised to see the new Middle Ages instead of the 21st century. Almost the same thing happened in Ukraine, where civic institutions, transparency, anti-corruption and the economy were supposed to flourish after the Maidan (both of them actually). But we all know what prospered instead.
So it's not 1992, 2004 or even 2013, it's the spring of 2018 and there's a whole array of smart books and articles "putting to rest" liberalism and globalization. And now the American military academies wonder: "what's valued in Russia and how can we compromise it to restrain it?"
And that's why a respectable diplomat with a huge service record accidentally admits that she has not a slightest idea what year it is in Russia, let alone how its political system works or how to hold a dialogue with this country.
In a way it's something to be proud of for the English people (and those Russians who're eager to emulate them). "You see, they don't care for you. Our UN representatives don't care a dime about your country; they're not interested in it because it doesn't deserve that. And your magnates and officers use the first chance to transfer their money, women and children to our state".
But the thing is that this pride isn't really fitting for a world power. Even Cyprus or some other nice islands with friendly tax legislation can boast of such things.
So the disaster is quite obvious. But let's try and guess whether it's the disaster for Russia that has already puzzled the West out or for the West that has unleashed a new Cold War but has no idea on whom.
The views expressed by the contributor do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.