Analysis on causes and consequences of Russian current maneuvering, drafted by Valeriy Pekar, founder of Ukrainian civic organization Nova Kraina.
CAUSES: In Russia the course of action is set by former KGB officers (who like to say that there is no such thing as a former KGB officer), including Putin and his cohorts. All of them are proficient in tactics but weak in strategy – in the USSR strategizing was the perogative of senior Communist Party officials. The officers of the KGB were kept at a distance in matters of strategy to prevent them from attaining too much power and/or autonomy. The Party vehemently defended its priviledge – it was rightly afraid that its control over matters of national security might be lost.
CONSEQUENCES: Russia (not just the leadership, but the people, too) wants a return of a bipolar world, but what will constitute the two opposing poles? During the Cold War the polarity in relations between Russia and the West was clear and easily understood: communism versus capitalism.
But communism as an ideology and as a system of governing has exhausted itself. So what other opposing ideology can Russia offer the world? The “Russian World”? Before, the people of Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia were ready to fight for communism, but who would want to fight for a “Russian World”?
Now a new opposing ideology to challenge the West has clearly been put forward. It is chaos in counteraction to order. Today Russia is the leader in promoting and spreading chaos (what Volodymyr Horbulin calls “global anarchy”) as a counterweight to the established order that sustains the well-grounded civilizations of the world. By destabilizing the state of affairs, by creating ever new points of chaos – in the Middle East, in Europe, Russia is attempting to occupy the new polar space, making full use of its tactical knowhow. Strategic thinking, for Russia, is useless: “the worse things become, the better” is their strategy.
At the same time, within the Russian Federation, Russia maintains order ruthlessly. Chaos is fabricated as a product for export. This means that it is very important that Maxwell’s Demon, the creature that controls the amount of entropy abroad, is present at all of Russia’s borders (including the virtual ones).
And this is where Russia’s actions will be judged. For as we know, Maxwell’s Demon is a creature of paradox. It needs energy. In the Russian Federation, energy is expended on the FSB and the newly created National Guard, on pushing pro-Putin propaganda and pro-Putin movements as well as on maintaining an anti-Maidan mood – in fact, on anything that supports “a common view” and decreases the opportunities for entropy to increase. Concurrently energy is needed for external projects that maximize entropy in the world – for financing the far left and the far right while at the same time financing the radical Muslims and the radical anti-Muslims, the dictatorial regimes, the anarchic rebels, etc.
The energy sources are not limitless. The demon will get tired and will refuse to hold the door open. And chaos, as always, will go from the high-entropy zone to the low-entropy zone – into the heart of Russia, breaking it apart. The more effectively the demon works at his post the faster this will happen.
For us the lesson is very simple: keep order in our land. Maintain a zone of low entropy that counteracts chaos. We’re a bit unlucky in that sense: today our country is more a source of chaos than order. For us that means that we need to create centers of low entropy within society. Networks of trust, networks of community action, networks of increasing confidence and concord. And eventually to equip the whole country with such centers, creating institutions step by step. Once the enemy has been identified and his weaponry has been revealed and studied, the enemy can and must be resisted.