Historical Parallels of the Global Revolt. Presentation of the Valdai Club Report in London


On March 9, 2017, the presentation of the Valdai Club report, titled "Global Revolt and Global Order. The Revolutionary Situation in Condition of the World and What to Do About It", was held at the Russian Embassy in London. Alexander Yakovenko, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United Kingdon, opened the event. He recalled that such meetings have become a tradition: just a year ago, a similar report provoked a heated discussion inside the walls of the Russian diplomatic mission. 

Andrey Bystritskiy, Chairman of the Foundation for the Development and Support of the Valdai Club, stressed that the notion of "revolt" occupied a special place in Russian culture, and the present events in the world cause associations with different eras, both on the international arena and in the history of Russia. According to Bystritskiy, the modern "rebellion of discontented people" is a manifestation of the accumulated imbalances and uneven developments in various fields.

Fyodor Lukyanov, Academic Director of the Valdai Discussion Club, also covered the theme of historical parallels. He said that the work on the report required two stages, before and after the annual meeting of the "Big Valdai" in October last year in Sochi. During the first stage, the authors did not manage to foresee the victory of Donald Trump in the presidential elections in the United States. Nevertheless, the idea of a revolutionary situation in the world, which can cause very sharp turns, was formulated last summer. It is no accident that the report cites Vladimir Lenin, the author of the classical formula of the revolutionary situation, which has not lost its relevance today. In 2017, a time when the centennial of the October Revolution in Russia is to be marked, the socio-political lessons of that time seem quite relevant for a number of parameters. Lukyanov also noted the similarity of today's processes with the fever that shook the world in the late 1960s. Then the political elites of the West managed to draw the right conclusions from the "revolt", now the situation seems different.

Lukyanov also drew attention to the quick spread of the general erosion of international rules into the economic sphere. Having bypassed the phase of regionalization, the world economy faces the threat of even deeper fragmentation and a rollback to mercantilism with a focus on bilateral relations.

The Valdai Club report underlines the importance of strengthening of universal institutions, primarily the UN and WTO, as well as the need for the leading countries to focus on "homework,” and thus tone down their external ambitions.

Discussions with the audience covered different topics, such as the fate of the Judeo-Christian civilization in the context of growing cultural diversity and the rejection of the historical roots of Europe, solving global problems that require cooperation of everyone in conditions of a growing disengagement of national interests. The event concluded with a discussion on the issue of national interests and their relationship with the common good.

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