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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

We face three blocks in the world!

By: Dr Andrej Umek

For quite some time now, I have been following the happenings in the world with a great deal of concern. More and more, the current arrangement of powers and spheres of interest reminds me of the situation before the Second World War. At that time, there were three conflicting, not to say hostile, blocks in the world: the democratic countries of Europe and North America and two totalitarian blocs, fascist-Nazi and communist, alongside countries that did not directly interfere in the events between these three blocks. Even in the immediate past, at least according to my belief, three opposing blocs were formed: the democratic countries of the EU and North America, Russia, and China with their related countries. This concern of mine was only reinforced by the recent visit of Chinese leader-Fuhrer Xi Jinping to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. I am aware that the similarity of the situations now and before the Second World War is insufficiently known in the democratic public and is practically not covered by the media. That is why I decided to dedicate this column to it.

In Europe, immediately after the First World War, as a result of the horrors of this war, which led many to doubt democracy and the peace treaty, which did not allow many individuals and nations to democratically decide their fate, there was a bloc of totalitarian states. It was formally divided into two parts. In Russia, later the Soviet Union, the communist variant of totalitarianism prevailed, while in Italy and Germany the fascist-Nazi variant prevailed. There were no significant differences between the two variants, one declared itself Bolshevik-Socialist and the other National Socialist. The common feature of both variants of totalitarianism was extreme hatred of democrats and democratic countries, the desire for their destruction, and the brutal suppression of all dissenters. In my implementation, I will limit myself to only three facts that prove this. First of all, I would like to mention the statement of the chief Nazi propagandist Göbbels that Lenin is of course the greatest man in the world after Hitler. I should further mention that the chief constructor of the Nazi concentration camps, Mr. Müller, before starting his work, with the express permission of Beria and accompanied by the NKVD, visited the Soviet Gulag camps to learn how to deal with the opponents of his totalitarianism. And finally, since Germany was not allowed to develop an air force under the peace treaty, it secretly developed its Luftwaffe in the Soviet Union. Therefore, we are not surprised at the similarity between the German Stuka and the Soviet Ilyushin II-2. The formal signing of cooperation between the two versions of totalitarianism – the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement – took place only shortly before the military attack of both totalitarianisms on Poland, during which the Baltic states and Finland became, so to speak, collateral damage, which is almost absent in the consciousness of the European and Slovenian public. Both totalitarianisms justified the attack on Poland and the Baltic states as the return of territories that were unjustly taken from them after the First World War.

The response of the western democracies of England and France to the attack of both totalitarianisms on Poland and the Baltic states seems controversial to me from a moral point of view. I highly appreciate and respect the border guarantee given to Poland, but at the same time I wonder why it was not given to the Baltic states as well. I appreciate the fact that England and France responded to the Nazi attack on Poland by declaring war on Germany. But I wonder why they did not respond with the same measure to the communist attack on Poland and the Baltic states. This unequal treatment of Nazi and Communist aggression cost us Europeans dearly. World War II was followed by the Cold War, and a good half of Europe was left to communist totalitarianism for almost half a century.

Today’s situation in the world has its origin in the collapse of the communist bloc more than thirty years ago. Most of Central and Eastern Europe has finally democratised more or less successfully. In Russia and some other countries around it, the Bolshevist system turned into a kind of fascist nationalism, but in China and the surrounding countries, perestroika succeeded, totalitarian communism survived and successfully reformed its economic system. With this, similar to a hundred years ago, three powerful blocs emerged in the world alongside many undefined countries: democratic, connected to NATO, national-fascist Russia and its followers, and communist China with its followers. As then, the other two are hostile to the democratic. After the upheavals of the 1990s, both totalitarian blocs slowly built mutual trust, cooperation, and support. Apparently, now together they feel strong enough to attack the democratic part of the world, just as they did a hundred years ago, by demanding the return of the territories that, in their opinion, were unjustly taken from Russia, Ukraine, and Taiwan from China. Obviously, the time coordination between the two totalitarian blocks was not the best. I can only interpret Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Moscow as an attempt to coordinate the two totalitarian blocks for a more coordinated attack on democratic countries.

This column is intended as my humble contribution to raising public awareness of the anti-democracy workings of both totalitarian blocks. I am aware that the world public is faced with many problems, such as environmental and the 4th industrial revolution, and that it devotes a large part of its attention to them. But if the democratic public wants to prevent catastrophic consequences, such as those brought about by the Second World War, it must be aware of the conflict between democracy and totalitarianism imposed on it and act accordingly on the basis of this awareness.

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