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Non-Aligned Movement in modern geopolitics

photo: president.az
14 July 2023
Yuri SolozobovYuri Solozobov

Yuri Solozobov

Candidate of Science, Physics and Mathematics, Regional Programs Director of CISS

On 5-6 July, the ministerial meeting of the Coordination Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement (NM) took place in Baku with the agenda of «Non-Aligned Movement: consolidated and firm in counteracting the arising challenges». President Ilham Aliyev delivered a policy speech at the meeting. Let us remind here, that Azerbaijan chaired this organization in 2019-2022, and after that the successful presidency of Baku was extended for one more year until the end of 2023. Ilham Aliyev emphasized the growth of influence of the Non-Aligned movement and the need of reforming the UN. He also drew attention of the participants to the growing trend towards neocolonialism using the negative colonial experience of France as an example. According to the Azerbaijanian leader, the membership of the UN Security Council does not capture the existing realities it should be extended by adding the representatives of the Non-Aligned Movement, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and African Union. In essence, the bright speech of Ilham Aliyev looked like a well-founded claim for political leadership in the non-Western world. [1]

What is the position of the Non-Aligned Movement in the modern geopolitical setup and what will its future be like? What role does Azerbaijan and Ilham Aliyev personally play in the growing influence of this organization? How will the anti-colonial discourse be progressing, and how will Russia be able to participate in this process?

Non-Aligned Movement in retrospective

The Non-Aligned Movement is a big international organization, which emerged back in 1961. Today, the NM is the second biggest international institute after the United Nations Organization. It unites 120 countries, while 17 states including Russia and 10 international organizations have an observer status. The organization is based on the principles of neutrality and non-participation in military alliances. The work of organization is based on ten Bandung principles including respect for national sovereignty, equality and territorial integrity of any states, renunciation of aggression and direct/indirect recourse to force. Such prominent historical figures as Hamal Abdel Naser, the President of Egypt, Jawaharlal Nehru, the Indian Prime Minister, Sukarno, the President of Indonesia, and Josip Broz Tito, the President of Yugoslavia, were the minds behind this movement. On the initial stage, it comprised 25 developing countries, which did not want to participate in the confrontation of the socialist and the capitalist blocs and advocated for the peaceful development.

During the cold war years, this Movement played an extremely important role in the system of international relations. In fact, it worked as a retaining mechanism for the aggressive politics of both superpowers. The non-aligned states consistently advocated the interests of the post-colonial world and condemned the negative aspects of the foreign policy of both the USA and the USSR. Paradoxically, both superpowers believed the Non-Aligned Movement to be a favorable factor limiting the foreign policy activity of the adversary in the «Third World». For this reason, Moscow and Washington displayed positive attitude towards the NM and took into account its growing influence. However, the discourses of the USSR and the NM were close enough in their anti-colonial aspects, and this supported the rapprochement of the non-aligned states with the USSR rather than with the USA, as well as building the constructive dialogue between these two forces. The most important NM actions were condemning the voluntarism of both superpowers in the Caribbean crisis, supporting the Palestine Liberation Organization, criticizing the US activities in Vietnam and the Soviet activities in Afghanistan, supporting fully the policy of dtente and of the Helsinki process.

The disintegration of the bipolar system, as well as death of charismatic founder of the NM organization, such as Josip Broz Tito, weakened the Non-Aligned Movement significantly. Figuratively speaking, the disintegration of the USSR and the death of the bipolar system made the Movement practically meaningless, while the disintegration of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the death of Tito actually beheaded it. In certain times the Non-Aligned Movement was viewed by President Tito as an efficient instrument for implementing the national interests of Yugoslavia. The non-alignment policy also was a working tool for maneuvering between the superpowers, including with quite pragmatic objective of receiving political and economic benefit. Let us remark here that Yugoslavia was the only European member state in the NM. It made the country unique, and its government especially meaningful and influential in the eyes of member states from Asia and Africa. The straightforward anti-colonial discourse of Marshal Tito as the NM leader was quite convincing in proving that the West-centric world order was a direct consequence of the colonial past. Today, this valuable experience of active non-alignment from the days of the «cold war» is becoming especially relevant.

The second birth of the Non-Aligned Movement

Today, the Non-Aligned Movement is actually undergoing the revival or the second birth. It is rapidly building-up weight and influence in foreign policy. This is associated with two objective factors. The first one is obvious aggravation of foreign relations and the new claim for bipolarity emerging (now between the USA and China). The second one, but an equally important factor is a new energetic and charismatic leader heading the Non-Aligned Movement, and that is Azerbaijanian President Ilham Aliyev. Let us remind here that Azerbaijan took the presidency in the Movement in 2019. Under the initiative of Ilham Aliyev the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement was organized in 2020 with the anti-COVID-19 agenda, and then a special session of the UN General Assembly with the same agenda took place. In this difficult period, Baku rendered financial and humanitarian support to more than 80 countries having suffered from the pandemic. On top of that, during the period of Azerbaijans presidency, the NM parliamentary network and youth organization were established, and the work on creating the womens platform commenced.

Today, President Ilham Aliyev is at the forefront of the Non-Aligned Movement being the vigilante against neocolonial policy. In his opinion, France has not renounced neocolonialism yet, and Ilham Aliyev firmly urged Paris to apologize for the slave-owning practices. The Azerbaijanian leader noted, that in the South Caucasus Macron was using similar wretched policy supporting Armenian separatism in Karabakh. According to some experts, Ilham Aliyev has bravely affronted that European power taking the stand for all the African and Asian countries, which were earlier subject to colonial enslavement and oppression on behalf of France. Aliyevs speech at the session of the NM Coordination Bureau looks like a well-founded claim for a more active role in the non-Western world, especially in its part with historical accusations of France. [2]

The President of Azerbaijan is a successful world-class politician and an experience diplomat, and no wonder he was one of the first to understand the great potential of the Non-Aligned Movement in the current situation. The growing confrontation between the blocs puts the traditionally neutral states in the situation of hard choices. They may either become obedient liegemen of the new global hegemon and an elementary cog in its war chariot, or exit the political game and remain an outsider on the margins. But there is one more way to occupy a vacant position of the buffer state between world metropoles, which Yugoslavia used to be during the Soviet times. President Ilham Aliyev as a charismatic leader and winner in the Second Karabakh War is quite capable of becoming the new marshal Tito and of leading the Non-Aligned Movement forward. That is why we should thoroughly analyze the NMs position in the current geopolitical setup and understand its future outlook.

Modern non-alignment policy

The current crisis of American strategy of the triumph of the unipolar world under the auspices of Washington creates objective prerequisites for the polycentric world emerging. However, the sub-hegemons countries prior to creating such multipolar world need to undergo an acute stage of a counter-polar world, i.e., to struggle with the global hegemon the USA and to prove their right of existence. [3] In essence, such countries as Russia, China, Iran and Turkey today are practically facing the Hegelian «slave and master» dilemma they are defying the once omnipotent global «master» and put a lot on the line for the sake of their political freedom and fair future. The Ukrainian crisis and Western sanctions are just separate flashes of the new global struggle for liberation. As we already noted earlier, new behavior patterns emerge during this new counter-polarity phase to replace the traditional common rules. A series of conflicts of different levels are forming the grounds for equitable relations between the new geopolitical entities, because the global hegemon will never surrender its positions voluntarily. [4]

The acute phase of the counter-polar world also offers non-standard solutions for the problems humankind is facing. After the end of the «cold war», the openly non-democratic Pax Americana system started developing on the international arena, when the USA became «more equal than others». Naturally, not all the states have the will, the possibility and the resources to counteract Washington. We may speak only about the start of a new anti-Western alliance development with a possibility of creating a geopolitical axis of Ankara Moscow Teheran. [5] At the same time, the vast majority of the states so far belong to the part of the global community traditional called «the silent majority». The old concept of Karl Haushofer, who contemptuously believed the mid-size states «incapable of foreign policy autonomy», seemed to be winning the world. That is why the German geopolitician foretold the allegedly inevitable absorption of small countries by big global powers.

As things stand now, the situation of inequality of countries in resolving the key problems (e.g., the war and peace problem) equally important for all of them emerged again in the modern world. However, the intensification of globalization as planetwide interdependencies opened up new vistas for the mid-size and small countries. It turned out, that in the modern world the mid-size countries not only are successfully surviving, but are efficiently developing. Moreover, every year they become more and more influential and their voices louder and louder on the global arena, and they are not just «modifying» the decisions of the leading countries, but significantly affect the course of global history. The mid-size states are the foundation of the stability of the modern world order. Figuratively speaking, their international influence may be compared with that of the middle class, which is the foundation of democracy and prosperity of the society.

At the times of the «cold war» dozens of different countries on our planet chose their own way amidst of destructive confrontation of blocs the way of peaceful sustainable development and non-participation in the devastating arms race. They got united in the Non-Aligned Movement and were able to make the global public aware of their joint position on the two superpowers the USA and the USSR. Their common voice was heard, and their contribution to the cause of peace and to preventing the total nuclear annihilation turned out invaluable. It is beyond dispute that it makes sense for the mid-size countries today to get together within the re-emerging Non-Aligned movement. They need it to make their voice in global politics to sound coordinated and loud. In connection with this, the new initiative of President Aliyev for the NM to get the status of a permanent member of the UN Security Council is extremely relevant. [6] We can say, that the Azerbaijanian leader has captured the most painful nerve of modern geopolitics.

Anti-colonial discourse and «old» Europe

Ilham Aliyevs speech is a brilliant example of the renaissance of the global anti-colonial discourse. It is important to understand that for the elites of the collective West the modern global hegemon all the other world and all the non-Western countries are enemies representing entities for new colonization. Vadim Tsymbursky, a Russian geopolitician, warned in the end of 1990s, that the nature of the collective West will change fundamentally as it becomes a single whole organism on both side of the Atlantic. Now the European Union does not represent the autonomous forces of the «old» Europe, which could be prone for agreements in the past, but with European provinces of the well-structured global American empire. Vadim Tsymbursky repeated several times that «United Europe is playing the role of a jackal in the existing empire, i.e., simply speaking the role of Mussolinis Italy for the Third Reich». [7]

Figuratively speaking, the European jackal is trying to pick-up some things, which are either no longer interesting for the feeble American lion due to different reasons, or are already above the lions strength. However, this greedy European jackal will be always striving to develop its own sphere of influence within a broader force field of the global empire. Tsymbursky prophetically used the example of France, who was «promoting its interests in the Mediterranean and partially in Africa, on the Balkans and in Eastern Europe». Twenty years after, President Aliyev brought this acute topic to the public radar. He justifiably indicated that France was one of biggest advocates for the neocolonial policy. «Territories governed by France outside Europe are ugly remnants of the French colonial empire», the Azerbaijanian leader claimed. [8]

In his speech Ilham Aliyev provided convincing examples of monstrous neocolonial practices of Paris. Thus, almost 1.5 mln of Algerians were killed under the French reign. The skulls of Algerian fighters for independence are still kept in one of the Paris museums as trophies of war. Ilham Aliyev demanded from Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, to deliver the relics of heroes to Algeria. «France is deceitfully positioning itself as the advocate of human rights and international law, but at the same time it continues to interfere into the internal affairs of other countries», the Azerbaijanian leader emphasized. The recent withdrawal of the French troops from Mali and Burkina Faso demonstrated to the whole world that the disgusting neocolonial policy of France in Africa is doomed to failure. «Unfortunately, France is trying to impose similar misguided practice in the region of the South Caucasus, Aliyev said. France should apologize for its colonial past and bloody colonial crimes, as well as apologize in front of the NM member states in Africa, South-East Asia and other regions». [9]

Conquest of weaker countries and annihilation of national cultures has become the trivial practices of Western colonialists including France. The irony of history is that today we are direct witnesses of ultimate colonization of «old» Europe itself. The Old-World elites have betrayed their national interests in the energy sector, in economy at-large, and in defense industry and in fact turned to complete submission of Europe to the interests of the United States. Triggering-off the arc of conflicts along the entire perimeter of the EU including the initiation of the «hot conflict» in Ukraine is targeted not only at the split between Russia and Europe, but rather at turning all the Europeans into obedient puppets of the United States. Figuratively speaking, if the collapse of the USSR became the major geopolitical disaster of the 20th century, the major geopolitical disaster of the 21st century is the collapse of old European elites. The strength of anticolonial discourse of President Aliyev is in showing the negligibility and the depth of decline of «old» Europe.

Early results

Modern international politics are characterized by explosive growth of conflicts and aggravation of relations between the collective West and non-Western countries. The root causes of that date back to the period of disintegration of the Soviet Union and the wreckage of the bipolar system of the USSR the USA, where both superpowers implemented the deterrence policy towards each other. Until recently, an idealistic concept was commonly accepted; according to this concept, the unilateral dominance of the United States was to be replaced with a new global order a fair global community and value-based consensus between the West and the East.

In reality, two other realistic alternatives emerged:

  • Triumph of Pax Americana the planetary dominance of one imperial center; today, this scenario started faltering;
  • Possibility of polycentric world development, which is still at the stage of implementation. However, the multipolar world cannot come into reality overnight, without the phase of acute struggle with the receding global hegemon, which should be defined as confrontation of poles or «counter-polar world».

Today, such revisionist countries as Russia, China, Iran and Turkey are trying to resolve the Hegelian «slave and master» dilemma they are defying the global «master» represented by the collective West. The sub-hegemon countries need to prove their right for existence as an independent global pole. However, the anti-Western alliance is just emerging right before our eyes, while as the Western countries viciously closed their ranks and formed a united global corporation on both sides of Atlantic. The formation of todays quasi-unipolar world with the collective West as its center will for sure claim for some peripheral enemy as an excuse for consolidation. Today, Russia is assigned the role of the main evil-doer at the behest of history being the frontman of global resistance. Yesterday, Iran was such dangerous enemy, and tomorrow it may be growing China or rising Turkey. The external enemy «with a thousand faces» is a necessary structural enemy of the system «the West against the rest». Figuratively speaking, the global system so far reminds the Kepplers ellipsis, one of the focuses of which always remains empty.

Huntingtons discourse in his work «The Clash of Civilizations» is the brightest expression of the martial spirit of the empire spirit of the West. His basic idea «the world against the West» turns all the non-Western humankind into a potential external counterbalance for the sole global center. No one will succeed in hiding out, because any pretender for the status of a «pole» will be perceived as a dangerous enemy of Western civilization, and just its presence will be justifying the imperial solidarity. The new strengthening of the Non-Aligned Movement is a clear marker of radicalization of foreign policy and of the emerging claim for global leadership. Just like in the times of the «cold war», the Non-Aligned Movement may become an effective deterrence mechanism for the aggressive politics of the global hegemon. In connection with this, the new initiative of President Aliyev for the NM to get the status of a permanent member of the UN Security Council with the veto right is extremely important.

Another meaningful factor of global politics is the bright revival of the anti-colonial discourse. This discourse for the «rights of nations» is a suitable antidote against the colonial discourse for the «human rights» fostered by the Western countries. Indeed, the oppressed and divided nations have more rights for freedom than all the pro-Western political deviants and LGBTQ people. It seems that anti-colonial discourse may become the «assemblage point» for the new counter-polar world and mitigate the existing contradictions in the non-Western alliance. Back in 1990s, the Russian geopolitician Vadim Tsymbursky wrote that in the future global setup it will be Russia who could integrate the new Non-Aligned Movement, but at that time these extraordinary words were neither heard nor understood. Now the time has come to reconsider the goals and objectives of the Non-Aligned Movement for creating a new universal solidarity project to respond to the existentialistic challenges of the West. Our common objective is to become a true focus of the global politics and a new center of global attraction of nations.

1. Iham Aliyev delivered a speech at the ministerial meeting of the Coordination Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement. MEDIA.AZ, 05.07.2023. https://media.az/politics/1067916805/ilham-aliev-vystupit-na-mezhdunarodnom-meropriyatii/

2. «France should repent»: Russia supported the call by Aliyev to macron. NEWS.ru, 06.07.2023. https://news.ru/world/franciya-dolzhna-pokayatsya-rossiya-podderzhala-prizyv-alieva-k-makronu/

3. Yuri Solozobov. The counter-polar world. Izvestia, 09.12.2014. https://iz.ru/news/580537

4.  The theory of the counter-polar world. Geopolitics.RU, 19.10.2015. https://www.geopolitika.ru/article/teoriya-kontrpolyarnogo-mira

5. Putin is forming the anti-Western alliance between Russia, Turkey and Iran. Caspian Institute for Strategic Studies, 23.07.2022. https://caspian.institute/product/solozobov-yurij/tegeranskij-sammit-putin-formiruet-antizapadnyj-alyans-rossiya-turciya-iran-38218.shtml

6. The UN Security Council is a relic of the past and does not reflect the current reality Aliyev. Information agency Interfax Azerbaijan, 05.07.2023. https://interfax.az/view/895276

7. Europe between Eurasia and «Eurafrica». Based on the materials of the workshop «RZh Scenarios». Russky Jurnal, 24.06.2002. http://old.russ.ru/politics/20020624-tzimb.html

8. Ilham Aliyev: France continues its policy of genocide and colonialism. Vestnik Kavkaza, 05.07.2023. https://vestikavkaza.ru/news/ilham-aliev-francia-prodolzaet-politiku-genocida-i-kolonializma.html

9. Ilham Aliyev offered France to apologize for its colonial past. Rossiya Gazeta, 06.07.2023. https://rg.ru/2023/07/06/ilham-aliev-predlozhil-francii-izvinitsia-za-kolonialnoe-proshloe.html

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Publications

Non-Aligned Movement in modern geopolitics

photo: president.az
14 2023
Yuri Solozobov

Yuri Solozobov

Candidate of Science, Physics and Mathematics, Regional Programs Director of CISS

On 5-6 July, the ministerial meeting of the Coordination Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement (NM) took place in Baku with the agenda of «Non-Aligned Movement: consolidated and firm in counteracting the arising challenges». President Ilham Aliyev delivered a policy speech at the meeting. Let us remind here, that Azerbaijan chaired this organization in 2019-2022, and after that the successful presidency of Baku was extended for one more year until the end of 2023. Ilham Aliyev emphasized the growth of influence of the Non-Aligned movement and the need of reforming the UN. He also drew attention of the participants to the growing trend towards neocolonialism using the negative colonial experience of France as an example. According to the Azerbaijanian leader, the membership of the UN Security Council does not capture the existing realities it should be extended by adding the representatives of the Non-Aligned Movement, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and African Union. In essence, the bright speech of Ilham Aliyev looked like a well-founded claim for political leadership in the non-Western world. [1]

What is the position of the Non-Aligned Movement in the modern geopolitical setup and what will its future be like? What role does Azerbaijan and Ilham Aliyev personally play in the growing influence of this organization? How will the anti-colonial discourse be progressing, and how will Russia be able to participate in this process?

Non-Aligned Movement in retrospective

The Non-Aligned Movement is a big international organization, which emerged back in 1961. Today, the NM is the second biggest international institute after the United Nations Organization. It unites 120 countries, while 17 states including Russia and 10 international organizations have an observer status. The organization is based on the principles of neutrality and non-participation in military alliances. The work of organization is based on ten Bandung principles including respect for national sovereignty, equality and territorial integrity of any states, renunciation of aggression and direct/indirect recourse to force. Such prominent historical figures as Hamal Abdel Naser, the President of Egypt, Jawaharlal Nehru, the Indian Prime Minister, Sukarno, the President of Indonesia, and Josip Broz Tito, the President of Yugoslavia, were the minds behind this movement. On the initial stage, it comprised 25 developing countries, which did not want to participate in the confrontation of the socialist and the capitalist blocs and advocated for the peaceful development.

During the cold war years, this Movement played an extremely important role in the system of international relations. In fact, it worked as a retaining mechanism for the aggressive politics of both superpowers. The non-aligned states consistently advocated the interests of the post-colonial world and condemned the negative aspects of the foreign policy of both the USA and the USSR. Paradoxically, both superpowers believed the Non-Aligned Movement to be a favorable factor limiting the foreign policy activity of the adversary in the «Third World». For this reason, Moscow and Washington displayed positive attitude towards the NM and took into account its growing influence. However, the discourses of the USSR and the NM were close enough in their anti-colonial aspects, and this supported the rapprochement of the non-aligned states with the USSR rather than with the USA, as well as building the constructive dialogue between these two forces. The most important NM actions were condemning the voluntarism of both superpowers in the Caribbean crisis, supporting the Palestine Liberation Organization, criticizing the US activities in Vietnam and the Soviet activities in Afghanistan, supporting fully the policy of dtente and of the Helsinki process.

The disintegration of the bipolar system, as well as death of charismatic founder of the NM organization, such as Josip Broz Tito, weakened the Non-Aligned Movement significantly. Figuratively speaking, the disintegration of the USSR and the death of the bipolar system made the Movement practically meaningless, while the disintegration of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the death of Tito actually beheaded it. In certain times the Non-Aligned Movement was viewed by President Tito as an efficient instrument for implementing the national interests of Yugoslavia. The non-alignment policy also was a working tool for maneuvering between the superpowers, including with quite pragmatic objective of receiving political and economic benefit. Let us remark here that Yugoslavia was the only European member state in the NM. It made the country unique, and its government especially meaningful and influential in the eyes of member states from Asia and Africa. The straightforward anti-colonial discourse of Marshal Tito as the NM leader was quite convincing in proving that the West-centric world order was a direct consequence of the colonial past. Today, this valuable experience of active non-alignment from the days of the «cold war» is becoming especially relevant.

The second birth of the Non-Aligned Movement

Today, the Non-Aligned Movement is actually undergoing the revival or the second birth. It is rapidly building-up weight and influence in foreign policy. This is associated with two objective factors. The first one is obvious aggravation of foreign relations and the new claim for bipolarity emerging (now between the USA and China). The second one, but an equally important factor is a new energetic and charismatic leader heading the Non-Aligned Movement, and that is Azerbaijanian President Ilham Aliyev. Let us remind here that Azerbaijan took the presidency in the Movement in 2019. Under the initiative of Ilham Aliyev the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement was organized in 2020 with the anti-COVID-19 agenda, and then a special session of the UN General Assembly with the same agenda took place. In this difficult period, Baku rendered financial and humanitarian support to more than 80 countries having suffered from the pandemic. On top of that, during the period of Azerbaijans presidency, the NM parliamentary network and youth organization were established, and the work on creating the womens platform commenced.

Today, President Ilham Aliyev is at the forefront of the Non-Aligned Movement being the vigilante against neocolonial policy. In his opinion, France has not renounced neocolonialism yet, and Ilham Aliyev firmly urged Paris to apologize for the slave-owning practices. The Azerbaijanian leader noted, that in the South Caucasus Macron was using similar wretched policy supporting Armenian separatism in Karabakh. According to some experts, Ilham Aliyev has bravely affronted that European power taking the stand for all the African and Asian countries, which were earlier subject to colonial enslavement and oppression on behalf of France. Aliyevs speech at the session of the NM Coordination Bureau looks like a well-founded claim for a more active role in the non-Western world, especially in its part with historical accusations of France. [2]

The President of Azerbaijan is a successful world-class politician and an experience diplomat, and no wonder he was one of the first to understand the great potential of the Non-Aligned Movement in the current situation. The growing confrontation between the blocs puts the traditionally neutral states in the situation of hard choices. They may either become obedient liegemen of the new global hegemon and an elementary cog in its war chariot, or exit the political game and remain an outsider on the margins. But there is one more way to occupy a vacant position of the buffer state between world metropoles, which Yugoslavia used to be during the Soviet times. President Ilham Aliyev as a charismatic leader and winner in the Second Karabakh War is quite capable of becoming the new marshal Tito and of leading the Non-Aligned Movement forward. That is why we should thoroughly analyze the NMs position in the current geopolitical setup and understand its future outlook.

Modern non-alignment policy

The current crisis of American strategy of the triumph of the unipolar world under the auspices of Washington creates objective prerequisites for the polycentric world emerging. However, the sub-hegemons countries prior to creating such multipolar world need to undergo an acute stage of a counter-polar world, i.e., to struggle with the global hegemon the USA and to prove their right of existence. [3] In essence, such countries as Russia, China, Iran and Turkey today are practically facing the Hegelian «slave and master» dilemma they are defying the once omnipotent global «master» and put a lot on the line for the sake of their political freedom and fair future. The Ukrainian crisis and Western sanctions are just separate flashes of the new global struggle for liberation. As we already noted earlier, new behavior patterns emerge during this new counter-polarity phase to replace the traditional common rules. A series of conflicts of different levels are forming the grounds for equitable relations between the new geopolitical entities, because the global hegemon will never surrender its positions voluntarily. [4]

The acute phase of the counter-polar world also offers non-standard solutions for the problems humankind is facing. After the end of the «cold war», the openly non-democratic Pax Americana system started developing on the international arena, when the USA became «more equal than others». Naturally, not all the states have the will, the possibility and the resources to counteract Washington. We may speak only about the start of a new anti-Western alliance development with a possibility of creating a geopolitical axis of Ankara Moscow Teheran. [5] At the same time, the vast majority of the states so far belong to the part of the global community traditional called «the silent majority». The old concept of Karl Haushofer, who contemptuously believed the mid-size states «incapable of foreign policy autonomy», seemed to be winning the world. That is why the German geopolitician foretold the allegedly inevitable absorption of small countries by big global powers.

As things stand now, the situation of inequality of countries in resolving the key problems (e.g., the war and peace problem) equally important for all of them emerged again in the modern world. However, the intensification of globalization as planetwide interdependencies opened up new vistas for the mid-size and small countries. It turned out, that in the modern world the mid-size countries not only are successfully surviving, but are efficiently developing. Moreover, every year they become more and more influential and their voices louder and louder on the global arena, and they are not just «modifying» the decisions of the leading countries, but significantly affect the course of global history. The mid-size states are the foundation of the stability of the modern world order. Figuratively speaking, their international influence may be compared with that of the middle class, which is the foundation of democracy and prosperity of the society.

At the times of the «cold war» dozens of different countries on our planet chose their own way amidst of destructive confrontation of blocs the way of peaceful sustainable development and non-participation in the devastating arms race. They got united in the Non-Aligned Movement and were able to make the global public aware of their joint position on the two superpowers the USA and the USSR. Their common voice was heard, and their contribution to the cause of peace and to preventing the total nuclear annihilation turned out invaluable. It is beyond dispute that it makes sense for the mid-size countries today to get together within the re-emerging Non-Aligned movement. They need it to make their voice in global politics to sound coordinated and loud. In connection with this, the new initiative of President Aliyev for the NM to get the status of a permanent member of the UN Security Council is extremely relevant. [6] We can say, that the Azerbaijanian leader has captured the most painful nerve of modern geopolitics.

Anti-colonial discourse and «old» Europe

Ilham Aliyevs speech is a brilliant example of the renaissance of the global anti-colonial discourse. It is important to understand that for the elites of the collective West the modern global hegemon all the other world and all the non-Western countries are enemies representing entities for new colonization. Vadim Tsymbursky, a Russian geopolitician, warned in the end of 1990s, that the nature of the collective West will change fundamentally as it becomes a single whole organism on both side of the Atlantic. Now the European Union does not represent the autonomous forces of the «old» Europe, which could be prone for agreements in the past, but with European provinces of the well-structured global American empire. Vadim Tsymbursky repeated several times that «United Europe is playing the role of a jackal in the existing empire, i.e., simply speaking the role of Mussolinis Italy for the Third Reich». [7]

Figuratively speaking, the European jackal is trying to pick-up some things, which are either no longer interesting for the feeble American lion due to different reasons, or are already above the lions strength. However, this greedy European jackal will be always striving to develop its own sphere of influence within a broader force field of the global empire. Tsymbursky prophetically used the example of France, who was «promoting its interests in the Mediterranean and partially in Africa, on the Balkans and in Eastern Europe». Twenty years after, President Aliyev brought this acute topic to the public radar. He justifiably indicated that France was one of biggest advocates for the neocolonial policy. «Territories governed by France outside Europe are ugly remnants of the French colonial empire», the Azerbaijanian leader claimed. [8]

In his speech Ilham Aliyev provided convincing examples of monstrous neocolonial practices of Paris. Thus, almost 1.5 mln of Algerians were killed under the French reign. The skulls of Algerian fighters for independence are still kept in one of the Paris museums as trophies of war. Ilham Aliyev demanded from Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, to deliver the relics of heroes to Algeria. «France is deceitfully positioning itself as the advocate of human rights and international law, but at the same time it continues to interfere into the internal affairs of other countries», the Azerbaijanian leader emphasized. The recent withdrawal of the French troops from Mali and Burkina Faso demonstrated to the whole world that the disgusting neocolonial policy of France in Africa is doomed to failure. «Unfortunately, France is trying to impose similar misguided practice in the region of the South Caucasus, Aliyev said. France should apologize for its colonial past and bloody colonial crimes, as well as apologize in front of the NM member states in Africa, South-East Asia and other regions». [9]

Conquest of weaker countries and annihilation of national cultures has become the trivial practices of Western colonialists including France. The irony of history is that today we are direct witnesses of ultimate colonization of «old» Europe itself. The Old-World elites have betrayed their national interests in the energy sector, in economy at-large, and in defense industry and in fact turned to complete submission of Europe to the interests of the United States. Triggering-off the arc of conflicts along the entire perimeter of the EU including the initiation of the «hot conflict» in Ukraine is targeted not only at the split between Russia and Europe, but rather at turning all the Europeans into obedient puppets of the United States. Figuratively speaking, if the collapse of the USSR became the major geopolitical disaster of the 20th century, the major geopolitical disaster of the 21st century is the collapse of old European elites. The strength of anticolonial discourse of President Aliyev is in showing the negligibility and the depth of decline of «old» Europe.

Early results

Modern international politics are characterized by explosive growth of conflicts and aggravation of relations between the collective West and non-Western countries. The root causes of that date back to the period of disintegration of the Soviet Union and the wreckage of the bipolar system of the USSR the USA, where both superpowers implemented the deterrence policy towards each other. Until recently, an idealistic concept was commonly accepted; according to this concept, the unilateral dominance of the United States was to be replaced with a new global order a fair global community and value-based consensus between the West and the East.

In reality, two other realistic alternatives emerged:

  • Triumph of Pax Americana the planetary dominance of one imperial center; today, this scenario started faltering;
  • Possibility of polycentric world development, which is still at the stage of implementation. However, the multipolar world cannot come into reality overnight, without the phase of acute struggle with the receding global hegemon, which should be defined as confrontation of poles or «counter-polar world».

Today, such revisionist countries as Russia, China, Iran and Turkey are trying to resolve the Hegelian «slave and master» dilemma they are defying the global «master» represented by the collective West. The sub-hegemon countries need to prove their right for existence as an independent global pole. However, the anti-Western alliance is just emerging right before our eyes, while as the Western countries viciously closed their ranks and formed a united global corporation on both sides of Atlantic. The formation of todays quasi-unipolar world with the collective West as its center will for sure claim for some peripheral enemy as an excuse for consolidation. Today, Russia is assigned the role of the main evil-doer at the behest of history being the frontman of global resistance. Yesterday, Iran was such dangerous enemy, and tomorrow it may be growing China or rising Turkey. The external enemy «with a thousand faces» is a necessary structural enemy of the system «the West against the rest». Figuratively speaking, the global system so far reminds the Kepplers ellipsis, one of the focuses of which always remains empty.

Huntingtons discourse in his work «The Clash of Civilizations» is the brightest expression of the martial spirit of the empire spirit of the West. His basic idea «the world against the West» turns all the non-Western humankind into a potential external counterbalance for the sole global center. No one will succeed in hiding out, because any pretender for the status of a «pole» will be perceived as a dangerous enemy of Western civilization, and just its presence will be justifying the imperial solidarity. The new strengthening of the Non-Aligned Movement is a clear marker of radicalization of foreign policy and of the emerging claim for global leadership. Just like in the times of the «cold war», the Non-Aligned Movement may become an effective deterrence mechanism for the aggressive politics of the global hegemon. In connection with this, the new initiative of President Aliyev for the NM to get the status of a permanent member of the UN Security Council with the veto right is extremely important.

Another meaningful factor of global politics is the bright revival of the anti-colonial discourse. This discourse for the «rights of nations» is a suitable antidote against the colonial discourse for the «human rights» fostered by the Western countries. Indeed, the oppressed and divided nations have more rights for freedom than all the pro-Western political deviants and LGBTQ people. It seems that anti-colonial discourse may become the «assemblage point» for the new counter-polar world and mitigate the existing contradictions in the non-Western alliance. Back in 1990s, the Russian geopolitician Vadim Tsymbursky wrote that in the future global setup it will be Russia who could integrate the new Non-Aligned Movement, but at that time these extraordinary words were neither heard nor understood. Now the time has come to reconsider the goals and objectives of the Non-Aligned Movement for creating a new universal solidarity project to respond to the existentialistic challenges of the West. Our common objective is to become a true focus of the global politics and a new center of global attraction of nations.

1. Iham Aliyev delivered a speech at the ministerial meeting of the Coordination Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement. MEDIA.AZ, 05.07.2023. https://media.az/politics/1067916805/ilham-aliev-vystupit-na-mezhdunarodnom-meropriyatii/

2. «France should repent»: Russia supported the call by Aliyev to macron. NEWS.ru, 06.07.2023. https://news.ru/world/franciya-dolzhna-pokayatsya-rossiya-podderzhala-prizyv-alieva-k-makronu/

3. Yuri Solozobov. The counter-polar world. Izvestia, 09.12.2014. https://iz.ru/news/580537

4.  The theory of the counter-polar world. Geopolitics.RU, 19.10.2015. https://www.geopolitika.ru/article/teoriya-kontrpolyarnogo-mira

5. Putin is forming the anti-Western alliance between Russia, Turkey and Iran. Caspian Institute for Strategic Studies, 23.07.2022. https://caspian.institute/product/solozobov-yurij/tegeranskij-sammit-putin-formiruet-antizapadnyj-alyans-rossiya-turciya-iran-38218.shtml

6. The UN Security Council is a relic of the past and does not reflect the current reality Aliyev. Information agency Interfax Azerbaijan, 05.07.2023. https://interfax.az/view/895276

7. Europe between Eurasia and «Eurafrica». Based on the materials of the workshop «RZh Scenarios». Russky Jurnal, 24.06.2002. http://old.russ.ru/politics/20020624-tzimb.html

8. Ilham Aliyev: France continues its policy of genocide and colonialism. Vestnik Kavkaza, 05.07.2023. https://vestikavkaza.ru/news/ilham-aliev-francia-prodolzaet-politiku-genocida-i-kolonializma.html

9. Ilham Aliyev offered France to apologize for its colonial past. Rossiya Gazeta, 06.07.2023. https://rg.ru/2023/07/06/ilham-aliev-predlozhil-francii-izvinitsia-za-kolonialnoe-proshloe.html