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Sunday, March 18, 2018

We all need to compromise

When out of the mouth of the press-Secretary of Russian President Dmitry Peskov said about the possibility of a meeting between Putin and Obama on the sidelines of the summit of “Big twenty” in China, many reacted to this contemptuous snorting — who, they say, needs useless overtures? I think the skeptics are wrong. Not because I naively expect some outstanding breakthrough after the handshake on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Hangzhou (4-5 September) — if it ever takes place. No, the reason is different.

photo: Alex geldings

Uncompromising burning bridges, stubborn adherence to principles in spite of changing realities (and changed everything — from the weather and nature to public policy and human belief) never been beneficial. And if we want to imagine the good, it is necessary to react to new realities, to abandon outdated views and failed items, if necessary — to make concessions…

Clever learn from the mistakes of others. Let’s look at the same experience in America, which is dialectically incomprehensible for Russians at the same time the object of hatred and a role model. Now the US elections are approaching, and within the public debate often suggests that America has become a dysfunctional country with poor infrastructure, weak governance, incoherent foreign policy, etc. it Happened due to the fact that politicians (especially Republicans) have forgotten how to agree with each other, to make concessions, to accept a partial defeat in the name of something more important.

Bursting at the seams medical reform of Obama — the so-called Obamacare, but Congress is not doing anything. In late August, President Obama lamented that lawmakers do not want to interrupt your seven-week (!) a vacation, even for the sake of combating the deadly virus zika, which is from South America had already been spread to 11 States. October begins a new fiscal year the U.S. Federal government, but his budget may once again become a subject of political bickering, the government may for a period be without money. Sitting in the Capitol right-wing conservative fanatics (or those who cynically “decimated” by such, catering to the relevant electorate) will again start to attach to the budget bill any nonsense of type “to deny funding clinics where abortions” or “cancel, Obamacar”. And then, pokergives and demonstrating “integrity,” in the end, will yield to the pressure of the leadership of the Republican party…

This annual theater of the absurd in the Capitol reflects the polarization of public opinion outside of Washington, across the country. The Americans, once famous for its democratic tolerance, is rapidly becoming a nation of hard-nosed fanatics: who is not with us is against us! This can be seen in the current election campaign, when supporters of trump’s face, using physical, with opponents of this character, which became the standard-bearer of the demagogic fanaticism.

Anything good America is not a promise. A retrospective look at American history clearly shows the advantage non-confrontational, compromise approach over desire to defeat the other side. (These two ideologies are called by terms taken from game theory: win-win and win-lose). Here is just one example: the confrontation between supporters and opponents of slavery in the United States in the mid-nineteenth century. The States of the North were free from slavery and accepted runaway slaves from the slave South. The slave owners demanded the return of their property, which they believed black fugitives. North and South argued about whether to have slavery on the new (giant area) territories attached to the United States after the war with Mexico.

In 1850 the U.S. Congress, has been made legislative compromise. California became part of the Federation as a state free from slavery. Slave trade banned in district of Columbia (Washington). But in favor of the South have been strengthened fugitive slave act. Through mutual concessions without a war…

A little later, 11 years later, the war has already begun — after 7 of 34 of the then States of the USA announced its withdrawal from the Federation and the creation of the Confederate States of America (the separatists later joined several States and territories). The result — from 620 to 750 thousand killed (that’s more than the combined losses in both world wars of the twentieth century) only in the course of military operations and dead civilians and prisoners of war — even more, to 900 thousand…

Russian history demonstrates even more terrible results of the intolerance. Civil war in Russia was bigger than in America: in the fighting and from starvation, disease, terror killed up to 13 million people emigrated from the country to 2 million people have become homeless 5-7 million children…

And if someone relies on the “strong hand”, which supposedly eliminates the need to peacefully overcome differences, to agree with each other, then these people need to put themselves in the place of those whom the “strong hand” of Stalin uncompromisingly turned into camp dust. According to a very moderate, conservative estimates of the historian from Yale University (USA) Timothy Snyder, in the years of Stalinism the mechanism of mass repression was sent to the light about 6 million people. It is estimated Snyder, two times less than destroyed is fighting Hitler. But also scared a lot. In the Stalinist atmosphere of total intolerance towards dissent, mistrust and a General denunciation chances of any citizen to be among the six or more million was extremely high.

When the fault unwilling to concede and agree it comes to fighting, then there is no limit to the bloody arithmetic… but in the era of nuclear weapons and Intercontinental missiles, the only hope for the prudence of those at the helm of countries that can instantly destroy all life on Earth. Therefore, the maintenance of contacts between top politicians of Russia and the USA — not to be questioned the necessity, which should not depend on mutual likes and dislikes, agreement and disagreement. Kerry talks with Lavrov? Well! Putin will meet with Obama? Even better!

And absolutely wonderful it would be to see lower levels of “Patriotic” intolerance in Russia. Hands on imaginary enemies, internal and external, only from time to time helps the authorities to camouflage their incapacity. And the environment of his country a man-made enemies (from former brothers and friends who could be themselves) hardly contributes to national interests. As well as the isolation of Russia from foreign advanced ideas and technologies. Do it all out? Maybe someday. But why?!

The benefits of compromise, wrote recently in the journal of the new York Institute of world politics on the example of Tatarstan in the Republic has been significantly better than in the North Caucasus, to establish a peaceful coexistence of ethnic groups and religious denominations; after the first attempts of radical Islamists to transfer the Jihad to the territory of the Republic of its power quickly and decisively to eradicate Wahhabism of mosques and other centers of spiritual life of Muslims.

…If someone will point me to logical inconsistencies — say, you stand up for tolerance but are not willing to extend it to the radical Islamists, I’ll ask opponents to consider: there are no rules without exceptions. The ideology and practice of terrorism themselves make themselves the exception — they place themselves outside the framework of human behavior and morality.

But in normal human society it is necessary to compromise. A compromise isn’t compromising.


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