“Victory or Death”

Maxim Sokolov

May is inextricably linked in the minds of the people with the Victory. The holiday of spring and the awakening of nature and the holiday of Victory are inseparable. In particular, even from this, all attempts to force them to abandon May 9 remained attempts with unsuitable means.
It will be the same this year, although the Victory is still far away. When the whole world, which calls itself civilized, is against us, the path to Victory will be both long and difficult.
But wars end peacefully, and this campaign is no exception. And what will the coming peace look like, what awaits us at six o’clock in the evening after the war?
Usually, this is answered by reasoning about the essential contours of the new world order, which has to be established on the military ruins. New values, new rules of the game, new allied configurations.
That is, there will be something new, even a lot of new, because the old has gone bankrupt and continues to go bankrupt with a great crash, and yet the new is the well-forgotten old.
The Peace of Westphalia in 1648 established a de-ideologized foreign policy based not on faith but on sovereignty. And existed in Europe for a century and a half. Until the ideology of freedom, equality and fraternity was proclaimed in Paris, after which the old continent was washed with blood for twenty years.
On the ruins of the Parisian ideology, the Congress of Vienna of 1814-15 took place, giving the world fairly reliable rules of the game. The Pe-ntarchy of the Great Powers provided a more or less harmonious European concert that lasted a whole century. It ended in August 1914, when old Europe committed collective suicide.
The Versailles Peace Conference of 1918-19 was the least successful of the standard-setting events. The norms of Versailles lasted only twenty years (in reality, even less).
And in February 1945, the “big three” gathered in Yalta. Today we know exactly how many years the Yalta system was given – seventy-seven. She had creaked and decrepit before, but she died before our eyes, and at six o’clock in the evening it will be necessary to create something new. As a result of what has been done in recent months, it cannot be restored. If only because the powers of the West have shown themselves to be thinking not within the framework of the status quo, which is only subject to restoration, but within the framework of the slogan “victory or death” (at least listen to what they say in London and Warsaw ). If they win, there will be no restoration, but a world revolution, which has nothing to do with the Yalta norms.
The question of what will happen in the end, what norms will be prescribed and by whom, of course, is very important. But no less urgent is the answer to the question of what everyday life will look like in the middle of the landscape after the battle. What will people do for a living (after all, they want to eat every day), how, where and on what they will travel, how they will engage in sciences, arts and crafts, as well as sports, etc. And equally – how the powers will resolve among themselves the numerous questions that brook no delay.
In other words, how will diplomatic, legal, economic, transport, cultural, and simply interpersonal relations be restored? For what is happening to them now is described in the formulas “scratch, shoulder, swing, hand” and “break – do not build.” Besides, you have to build something.
Landscapes after both world wars showed that restoration was given with great difficulty. An example, perhaps insignificant against the backdrop of more pressing problems at that time, but Germany was not allowed to participate in the Olympic Games not only in 1920, but also in 1924. As well as the 1948 Games. Sport, of course, is out of politics, but the runner Müller and the jumper Schmidt are a completely different matter. So is it worth marveling at the current (and probably future) practice of various sports and cultural associations?
The situation was somewhat better with diplomatic relations, which were restored quite easily. True, the politicians of that time understood that the exchange of embassies was not a beneficence and not the issuance of a certificate of trustworthiness, but only the most convenient way to solve various routine problems. Whether the current leaders of world democracies understand this is not certain.
And economic and transport (and hence interpersonal) relations were restored in the coming days of peace with great difficulty. These relations were at the mercy of big and small officials – and everyone showed his patriotism. All the more convenient that the war was already over and it was possible without fear to be patriotic in relation to yesterday’s enemy. The more confident.
So even in Europe after the First World War, which seemed to be dancing the foxtrot and, if anything, afraid of Bolshevism (not included in the game at all), relations were fully restored only five years later. Somewhere and more.
Considering that the current conflict erupted after many years of heavy ideological nonsense (political correctness, minority rights at the gay parade, BLM, cancellation culture, etc.), which will not disappear immediately and will be a considerable brake on the path to the normalization of relations, things will move slowly.
But the eyes are afraid, but the hands do. The Faculty of International Relations of Moscow State University was opened in 1943, and MGIMO on the basis of this faculty – a year later, in 1944. At the same time, the restoration of regional studies began. For example, Slavic studies, after the persecution in the 1920s and 30s, flourished in full bloom. For it was necessary to somehow reign and rule Eastern Europe, which without “soft power” was inconvenient. There were still shootings and deaths at the fronts, but in Moscow they were already thinking about the coming world and were preparing personnel and resources so as not to start the business completely from scratch.
Probably the same thing should be done now. Everything or not everything is decided by cadres, but in any case they decide a lot. With the fact that the need for engineering personnel is huge, because the tasks are huge, everyone already seems to agree. But the training of a competent and knowledgeable political cadre, that is, one who knows not the all-conquering science of “economics” (we even have such in abundance), but the customs, languages and customs of close and distant foreign countries, is a task no less important.
So that at six o’clock in the evening after the war, the restoration of relations would not be chaotic, but rather systematic and based on real knowledge. And not on the fantasies that our former partners live today.

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