...are typically the repository of someone's polticial aspirations combined with empty promises and spiritual references to some amorphous cultural impetus that inevitably "wants" the speaker to continue his or her quest "for the people".
Vladimir Putin's speech at the recent Valdai conference was something else.
Once again he proves his bona fides as man who thinks history is watching him. (a luxury afforded to dicatorial states as there are no checks and/or balances to undermine his will)
He senses weakness in political will and continues to exploit this vacuum by providing a rational, open, caring, and eminently civilized voice of international cooperation. An interesting tact. But let us not avert our eyes from his goal, which is of course a neo Russian empire.
The speech itself and exerpts.
At the same time, the formation of a so-called polycentric world (I would also like to draw attention to this, colleagues) in and of itself does not improve stability; in fact, it is more likely to be the opposite. The goal of reaching global equilibrium is turning into a fairly difficult puzzle, an equation with many unknowns.
So, what is in store for us if we choose not to live by the rules – even if they may be strict and inconvenient – but rather live without any rules at all? And that scenario is entirely possible; we cannot rule it out, given the tensions in the global situation. Many predictions can already be made, taking into account current trends, and unfortunately, they are not optimistic. If we do not create a clear system of mutual commitments and agreements, if we do not build the mechanisms for managing and resolving crisis situations, the symptoms of global anarchy will inevitably grow.
Today, we already see a sharp increase in the likelihood of a whole set of violent conflicts with either direct or indirect participation by the world’s major powers. And the risk factors include not just traditional multinational conflicts, but also the internal instability in separate states, especially when we talk about nations located at the intersections of major states’ geopolitical interests, or on the border of cultural, historical, and economic civilizational continents.