Planning is required, not Kantian hope!
The Russian writer and political philosopher, the forgotten dissident, Andrej Amalrik, when he explained the fall of the "Pax Romana", he showed how it did not happen in one day, but gradually: when goats were seen in the Roman Forum (the center of power at the time of Rome), Roman global rule has met with history
The parade as a show to show that others were not intellectual
With the intellectual parades of the prime minister of Kosovo, I was sometimes surprised by the reason for his strenuous efforts to appear simultaneously as an elite intellectual and a politician. This in itself does not imply anything wrong when the presentation is dedicated to the internal gallery, in order to maintain political legitimacy. In this sense, the intellectual level of the gallery is of no importance, which most certainly did not understand if Caravaggio was the only one who applied the light and shadow technique in painting, - the end, even the prime minister himself did not seem to be clear; also, it was not clear to the members of the gallery, for sure, whether Noli and Konica belong to the writers of the Albanian Renaissance. The situation turns out to be different, however, when the enthusiasm for self-presentation in the face of the intellectual crosses national borders and, moreover, in the event that it takes place in Thessaloniki, with Aristotle as the object of conversation, on the sidelines of an international gathering; or, recently, in Spain, with Kantin as the subject of discourse. We are not talking about Immanuel Kant of classical political philosophy, but Kant of the utopian idea of the (Christian) European federation. Imagine, now, how Spain, the most Christian country and the greatest spreader of Christianity, must have felt, found out after the Roman Empire!
Democratic peace theory: the Kosovar version of the Little Red Riding Hood tale
The idea of Little Red Riding Hood, in the broadest sense of the word, portrays the literary expression of the struggle between good and evil, first started by the French writer Charles Perrault and the Grim brothers. Then it was staged, filmed and literary reworked endlessly. Paradoxically, the idea itself is Franco-German: in the French version, Little Red Riding Hood is killed and the tale ends, in the German version, a forester/hunter appears and saves her and her grandmother. These two conclusions are truly impressive and diametrically different. They soften the religious version of the struggle between good and evil in the tradition of the three Abrahamic religions.
In the literary version of Little Red Riding Hood, this simplification of the war between good and evil has never been the subject of study or teaching in the chairs of Western philosophy, much less preached in the shrines of the temples of any of the three Abrahamic religions. Similarly, those writing about Kant decades later, including the democratic peace theory, which was called by this name centuries later by Michael Doyle, not by Kant (sic!), have made serious objections to the approach Kantian philosophical-aesthetic, describing it as something that promotes the rationalization of Christian doctrine with the help of Enlightenment parameters. We are talking about Nietzsche. That doesn't matter here! What is important is the appearance of the head of the Kosovar executive in Spain at the Socialist International with Kantian ideas on democratic peace, according to which democracies do not fight each other. In fact, this was said by the prime minister, not Kant, who had spoken of republican regimes as the basis for eternal peace among the Christian peoples of Europe at that time. Later, Mjakël Dojle transposed this concept from the republican form of the state, to the form of the regime, based on what Kant wanted to say, not what he said. However, his idea remained a utopia and in the theory of international relations it is among the least influential theories. This irrelevance is primarily due to the impossibility of quantifying the term democracy, finding measuring parameters for its definition, but also the simple fact that the rough nature of international relations on a daily basis has proven its weak explanatory power over that about why nations fight. This situation thus makes Kurt's speech in Madrid pointless, giving it the shape of the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. It was found out that, compared to previous governments, for Kosovo, this narrative on a fairy-tale level is an advantage, compared to others: Kurti is at least seen to make an effort to enlighten himself and others who fall under the radius of his narration. But this fact only makes sense if compared to some of the other prime ministers before him, not all of them.
We and Our Ally: The Goat in the Roman Forum
Whenever we think about how we do business, we must consider how our allies are doing. This basic premise of the behavior of states as rational actors in international relations, which look at things from a "profit-loss" prism, applies even more harshly to Kosovo, for two reasons. First, we are not like all other countries integrated in international relations. Second, in a multipolar system of international relations, we face our enemy, Serbia, from the existential positions of the war for territory, where they see Kosovo in metaphysical terms, while we see it in physical terms. What is the position of our allies currently against these dimensions of the basic premise on the behavior of states in international relations? Answering this question requires a full and proper understanding of the war in Ukraine, caused by brutal Russian aggression, but at the same time also of the political configurations that Russian aggression created. There are currently some moves from the West for dialogue with Russia, but nothing tangible, moves from which to see the parameters of the dialogue, but also the nature of the eventual compromise that may be required at the expense of Ukraine.
Many wars, it turns out, last longer than first expected and believed. The compromise fails to be realized, based on the history of international relations from Westphalia (1648) onwards, for three main strategic reasons: first, the leaders think that losing the war endangers their existence and the power they hold; leaders do not have a clear picture of their own power and that of their enemies; and, finally, leaders fear that the enemy will strengthen and become even more powerful in the future. These three reasons are present in the relationship of aggressive Russia with Ukraine as a victim, but also of Serbia with Kosovo, even though our conflict is frozen for the moment, with little chance of melting. Judging by the current Franco-German proposal, however, there is a high probability that its transformation will be realized. This, due to the fact that we are returning to a frozen conflict, remodeled in a different form. In addition to this difference, in the case of Kosovo it is about a fundamental dispute over an "invisible" object, a country where one side sees and judges the object in metaphysical terms (Serbia), while the other (Kosovo) has no sensitivity to approach of the opposing party. This factor makes our dispute with the Serbs a long and difficult conflict to resolve. As a result, the transformation of the dispute from one form to another, for one party, necessarily represents a victory, respectively a loss. The only transformation that does not fit the loss/win dichotomy is de jure mutual recognition, something that is clearly unlikely to happen.
When the war in Ukraine started, in Kosovo it was mistakenly thought, and it is still thought, that it constitutes a good chance to resolve the differences with Serbia, once and for all. As an argument for this, completely naive, the circumstance of pro-Russian sentiment in Serbia was used, meaning that it is on Russia's side at all costs. Two fundamental errors are embodied in this argument: one, that it takes Putin's military defeat for granted; and, two, the conviction that this eventual Russian defeat automatically translates into political defeat for Serbia and, consequently, victory for Kosovo. This is because others fight and you win, something that does not happen in international relations! The situation around Ukraine and the West's relationship with Kosovo is going in the opposite direction to the official position in Kosovo! First, the war in Ukraine has increased the specific weight of Serbia in international relations: Serbia remains the only country in this part of the world that can accommodate Russian-Chinese interests in the Balkans. Second, Western investments in Serbia are higher than Russian-Chinese ones, not only compared to Kosovo, but also to all the countries of the Western Balkans taken together. Finally, the political history of Serbia shows that the Serbs, for most of the time, have been with Europe, not against it. All these facts, plus the Serbian metaphysical approach to Kosovo, which every day is gaining more and more support in the countries allied with Kosovo, make the final solution of our dispute impossible, i.e. leave in circulation only the option where one side is the loser, and which is Kosovo. It is not that the Westerners did not have and do not have a clear Serbian metaphysical orientation towards Kosovo, but now after the war in Ukraine, the battle against Putin is concentrated on a single goal - his isolation from Serbia, something that can be understood less. This means, metaphorically speaking, that the French version of the Little Red Riding Hood tale currently dominates.
As for Ukraine and the possible compromise there, as a way to end the war, in recent days the contours of a compromise based on what Henry Kissinger and Stephen Walt have described as the exchange of a part of sovereignty for peace are being drawn. and overcoming existing ideological barriers. The reason for this is that, as Paul Johnson rightly says, great powers have problems with overreach, a fact that our main ally – America – is facing. Why? Because the battle for dominance in the Indo-Pacific, with the potential risk that China attacks Taiwan at the first opportunity it sees or perceives to be favorable, like Putin's Ukraine: the balance of forces is changing to the disadvantage of our allies there. Others, except Henri Kiinxher, have continuously pointed out the limits in the permanent and simultaneous projection of the American force in two or more areas of the globe. This means that diplomacy must be given more space: not only is the "Pax Americana" over and power in international relations must be managed together with other current autocracies that have little in common with Western civilization, but also the very preservation of this civilization can be questioned if a quick compromise is not found for Ukraine. The Russian writer and political philosopher, the forgotten dissident Andrej Amalrik, when he explained the fall of the "Pax Romana", he showed how it did not happen overnight, but gradually: when the goats were seen in the Roman Forum (the center of power in the time of Rome), Roman global rule has met with history.
This requires shifting attention and the basic political paradigm: in life, as in politics, the antidote to hopelessness is not hope but planning, says the author of the article "How a Great Power Falls Apart", published in "Foreign Affairs" (June 30, 2020) The idea of the article is to explain the invisibility of the gradual decline of a great power as well as the consequences that such a decline carries with it. These consequences should be calculated, by everyone, not to worry if Putin is a dictator and Vučić is the dictator's argot. the last Serbian, Slobodan Milosevic: calculation is carried out only through planned and systematic actions, never otherwise.
The ideology of human rights and democracy
This, as above, does not mean that the Ukrainians and the Westerners do not have legitimate strategic reasons, the former to fight, and the latter to help the former with weapons and finances. As Franc Fanon puts it in his classic work describing the phenomenology of anti-colonial struggle, "The Cursed of the World" (1961), peoples under colonial rule fought because they could no longer breathe freely. Values and principles, ideologies in the broadest sense of the word, still play a major role in the wars led by Western democracies. The austere West has raised the cause of human rights to global proportions: for many countries it has become an obligation to fight for the respect and protection of certain liberal principles, regardless of the price. These ideals must be cultivated and Western democracies must put them into practice, even though they have often failed on this point. However, if this tendency, or this aim, makes the West less prone to realpolitik, namely to compromises to the detriment of freedoms and rights as well as other liberal principles in order to achieve peace, which means agreements with autocrats, wars like this in Ukraine can become more frequent. Even at the best of Putin's military struggles, history teaches us that autocrats have survived even after major military failures: remember Stalin in Finland (1939-1941), Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt and his 1967 defeat in the war the six-day war against Israel, Saddam Hussein in 1991 (surviving until 2003), Sudan's Omar al-Bashir, whose defection led to the independence of South Sudan, and so on. The chances of survival increase when it is clear that there is no alternative to the autocrat, who is waiting from within to take power by force (or peacefully). In addition, military failures are much more easily glossed over when referring to wars abroad, as is the case with Russian aggression in Ukraine, where most Russians are not directly involved.
(The author is the first president of the Constitutional Court and a professor of law and international relations)
© KOHA. All rights are reserved.