When in 2014, Emmanuel Macron became President of France, Macron brought with him hope for a new revival of the European left as the Europe’s economy was slowing down into a crisis. Macron failed to change anything in France, risked bringing the country into the hands of far-right maniacs, and now, is going against the global trend by pushing France’s international position into great irrelevance. Clearly, as Italy contends with the rise of the far-right in power, Macron failed to revive the left in Europe. Pedro Sanchez, Macron’s ally is also set to lose the next elections in Spain as his poll ratings have crashed for his disastrous mishandling of the economy. It’s over for the European socialists and it’s time to pack it up.
With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the left’s sociopathic and willful ignorance of how the world works has brought Europe to the precipice. As Russia initiated an energy war against Europe, the actions of France and Germany left much to be desired. France and Germany kept appeasing Putin while they were crippled by Russia’s gas war, and even today when Putin has no leverage left, as the flow of gas from Russia to Germany is mostly over, France and Germany still believe that Europe can co-exist with an imperialist and bellicose Russia if Ukraine makes peace with Russia. This is insanity at its worst and not just a gross error of judgment, but outright stupidity on how the world works and a total disregard for history.
Why did the Cold War take place? Ask yourself this and then you can very easily understand why it is dumb to fail to acknowledge the fact that energy independence is a security issue. The Cold War was a period in history where two competing international political blocks competed against each other for hegemony. On one side, the West was decolonising and on the other side, Russia was growing its empire. The peak of Russia’s empire was reached by Stalin’s takeover of Eastern Europe. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia experienced its decolonising moment, years after France and Britain had given up on their empires.
The basic underlying principle to trade with democratic nations with rule of law while excluding dictatorial imperialists who wage wars is to keep the world a safer place and this, inherently, is an anti-imperialist principle.
We have placed heavy sanctions on Syria making it one of the most sanctioned places on earth along with North Korea, yet, Russia still enjoys multiple trading privileges due to the reckless appeasement of France and Germany. A case in point is the German export to Kaliningrad. The resolute stance by Germany and France to live with Putin is incongruous to everything that is happening in the world right now and also against age-old principles of European security.
The principles of socialism were historically anti-imperialist, universal and international. In the 1960s, when the Malta Labour Party struggled for full independence from Britain and believed that Malta’s proposed Independence by the Nationalists was a sham, Mintoff travelled Europe and the Mediterranean soliciting support for his campaign for Malta’s sovereignty. Labour Party delegates travelled to the United Nations General Conference and support was solicited from India too. In Mintoff’s words as penned by his secretary Joe Camilleri in a letter to Jawaharlal Nehru:
The vast majority of the Maltese people yearn for self-determination and nothing short of this will satisfy them.
Today, the principles of anti-imperialism are totally lacking in the left but what is also missing is a basic knowledge of international economics and trade. The world is run on US Dollars of which the Euro is a derivative. Allowing Russia to access US Dollars or Euros through trade is directly helping Russia conduct its wars. – this should be a simple and acknowledged fact by any statesman. Failing to understand this, is a failure to understand how the world works. In contrast, if Europe stops trading with Russia, it won’t lose anything because Europe doesn’t need Roubles, and yes, gas in the world is abundant and it’s only a matter of extracting it, transporting it and storing it all of which have mostly been addressed for the incoming year. Bottom-line is we don’t need Russia but they need us. Trading with Russia won’t make it even more democratic either. There is no causation between as much unbridled capitalism as you can get and civil liberties and democratic principles. Russia, China and Suadi Arabia are still countries where people have completely different perspectives on democracy and civil liberties from people living in Europe or the US. They won’t become enlightened as they are able to buy Dollars in European banks and buy Louis Vuitton handbags.
Ask yourself this. Why have there been millions of Syrian refugees leaving Syria while Libyans have mostly decided to stay in their country? It’s because the dictator of the Libyans is dead, and although they are stuck in a civil conflict, they are more sovereign than the Syrians who are still living under the brutal regime of psychopathic dictator. Keeping Assad alive was a gross error of judgment which empowered Putin and many other dictators. The historical hindsight is telling you loudly and clear that coexisting with war-mongering dictators comes at a heavier price in terms of human lives as opposed to eliminating them outright.
Eventually, Macron and Scholz will be humiliated and Europe’s socialists will lose international credibility. Ukraine will not give up and peace will only come with a Ukrainian victory, which will most probably follow Putin’s demise from power. Following that case scenario, those who are calculating other probabilities are wasting their time and will be punished by history with long-term irrelevance. Pacing your bets that Europe will coexist with Putin in the future is not just an unprincipled and opportunistic way of viewing the world, anti-democratic and anti-socialist, but it is also a failure in building the right geopolitical policy for European security, and it will be proved wrong.