Posted 31 мая 2021, 15:33

Published 31 мая 2021, 15:33

Modified 25 декабря 2022, 20:57

Updated 25 декабря 2022, 20:57

Сost prohibitive: why the West tolerates the existence of cannibalistic regimes

31 мая 2021, 15:33
Марина Шаповалова
The logic of economic sanctions that developed countries are adopting against dictatorial regimes contradicts declarations that declare the main human value, but they cannot act otherwise.

Marina Shapovalova, writer

I don't know about you, but in these convulsions of "pressure on dictatorial regimes" I see a definite dead end. It is at the very foundation of the system of international relations, built on the recognition of state sovereignty within inviolable borders.

I'll try to explain.

How do the ideologues of sanctions pressure explain its necessity?

Understanding perfectly well that the entire burden of external restrictions will fall not on the leadership of the state that is guilty of the world community, but on its population, the “educators” expect to reduce the economic and technological capabilities of a dangerous (harmful or inconvenient) partner in this way. The sheriffs don't care about the population's problems, it's a minor side effect. Permissible, since, according to the sheriffs, the population can be assigned at least part of the responsibility for the behavior of those in power.

There is only one partner for them within the borders of any state - this is the power, whatever it may be, and whoever it is represented by. Even a cannibal. If the power is in his hands, he is the sovereign partner. Humanitarian contacts involving the population in cross-border relations are a derivative of relations with a partner-state. Not only their intensity, but also their possibility, directly depend on interstate relations: their deterioration in the first place breaks humanitarian contacts. Under the rule of the condemned cannibal, the population is completely isolated from the rest of the world.

By cutting off economic contacts with an unwanted regime by sanctions, external actors ideally seek to limit its resources. To weaken its economy, prevent the production of weapons dangerous for the surrounding states, reduce internal funds for maintaining the army, etc. In a word, the regime, encapsulated within its closed borders, by design, should weaken over time. It's like a goal.

Now questions.

  1. How long might it take to achieve this goal?
  2. How will the extreme weakness of the regime punished by sanctions be expressed? By what criteria can it be assessed as sufficient, as having reached the desired level?
  3. What then?

Realistic examples give an unsatisfactory answer to the first question. North Korea alone is enough to understand that even complete isolation never brings a dictatorial regime to an unsustainable state. Even if the natural resources of its modest size territory are negligible.

In the light of the first answer, it is not so easy to formulate a digestible description of "extreme weakness" - that is, the actual goal of the sanctions policy. What sign will show us that "the client is ripe"? The regime of the Kim dynasty is obviously vigorous and strong, although the population under its control has been surviving for decades with difficulty, or dying of hunger. The transition of the entire population to pasture, therefore, is not an indicator. What else can an extreme degree of weakness be expressed in? And within a territory larger and richer in natural resources than the DPRK? And with missiles equipped with nuclear warheads?..

Something suggests that, firstly, the internal resources in a closed system, even in a small one with limited resources, will always be enough to maintain nuclear weapons in a usable state. Moreover, for the production of a new one too. Because people under autarky conditions will not stop working and wanting to eat. All the more so, being hostages, whom, if something happens, no one will try to save from "side effects".

But let's say. Let us assume that such a decline of the entire economy under a dictator is possible and achievable, in which the oil wells dry up, all the gas will be exhausted, the deposits of all kinds of ores run out, coal will burn out right in the mines and open pits, and the rockets will finally rust. Suppose, under the influence of age-old and total sanctions, nothing so valuable will remain in the dictator's bins to pay for the service of two or three million Tontons Macoutes, which is why they will finally scatter. Directly with weapons, of course, for there will be no one to confiscate them, across the expanses of their native country. There is nowhere else. What is the answer to the last question? What then? Does progressive humanity have any plan for this?

But if you do not seriously discuss science fiction, then it is even less clear to what positive result the sanctions should lead. Nothing but a "side effect" - the deterioration of the living conditions of the population is not visible in any way. It, in turn, will not lead to anything, except for the escalation of the "Stockholm syndrome".

Because the logic of the sanctions contradicts the declarations, allegedly declaring the main value of a person. The main resource is human. And it really is. By cementing the dictator with this vital resource, external partners make his regime stable to the point of being completely invulnerable. This resource will provide him with everything, he will pump out everything he needs from it, without risking spending - a renewable resource.

If, following the logic of its own declarations, the “free world” recognized a person as a sovereign subject, and not a group that gained power over a territory, then it would have to recognize all rights for a person and human communities. The right to freedom of movement and choice of place of residence is taken seriously, without restrictions by visa and other regimes. The right to freedom of speech, not limited anywhere by any censorship, including politically correct ones, including by the right of private or corporate ownership of virtual resources. The right of locally organized communities to unilateral secession with the formation of political subjects - upon their self-proclamation.

Such an intrinsic resource would never have gone to any dictator in the role of a hostage and a source of funds. The resource would instantly react to the sanctions announced by the authorities, under which it is located, by withdrawing from under it. Individually (by emigration) or territorial entities wishing to have trouble-free and profitable relations with neighbors. In any case, the dictator would not have been able to save any resources.

I think there is no need to explain why partners, who are themselves sovereign states interested in preserving the existing system of interstate relations, do not need to explain why such a method of combating dictatorial regimes.

Original is here.