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The Soul of the East

Geopolitical analysis, the art of explaining power relationships through the prism of impersonal geography, can be a helpful tool for observers of the Great Game – but it also has its limitations. A case in point is the renewed US-Russia confrontation. Think tanks and policy insiders easily sell the narrative that from the dark days of the Cold War to our own time, Russia and the United States are fated to play in a zero-sum contest for the future of Eurasia and the world. Deterministic theories, though, can be used to legitimize predatory policy, and pseudo-scientific formulae often conceal manipulations by parasitic elites. Scoring a fortune off human misery and mass death, plundering economic assets, and shaping entire societies in one’s own image all find justification in claims of historical inevitability and the necessity of “progress.”

While Russia and the United States can easily be cast as eternal enemies…

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