Author: Xusheng source: Xusheng (official account id:lxlong20) has been reproduced with authorization
The background is as follows:
The war between Russia and Ukraine lasted more than 100 days, and the outside world gradually lost its freshness.
However, at the 350th anniversary meeting of Peter the Great’s birthday on June 9, Putin once again shocked the world with his words to a group of young entrepreneurs (including the fields of technological innovation, agriculture and creative economy).
Putin said: Peter the great recovered and consolidated his territory, and the same fate fell on us. To the effect that he decided to launch the Ukrainian war, he also recovered and consolidated the territory like Peter the great.
Previously, the Russian side has always said that the reason for launching the Ukrainian war is to go to the Nazis and oppose the US empire. It sounds very official and makes sense; But it is far less than Putin’s talk, which is real, sincere and natural.
From the video footage, Putin spoke in a lively, fluent and humorous manner. This is the best video speech that came out after the outbreak of the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Putin showed his cards: Russia wants land.
For Russia, as well as all the empires (Huns, Turks, ruran, Mongolia, tsarist Russia, the Soviet Union, etc.) that once lived in the northern part of Eurasia, engaging in land is the greatest common denominator of the people and can obtain the greatest support. Russia is no exception. After Putin established South Ossetia, Crimea and East Ukraine, the support rate remained high.
So when Putin simply and directly said that he wanted to “restore territory”, he looked refreshed.
However, in the history of Russia, the territory acquired by Peter is not the largest, or even the top three. Why did Putin pull Peter the great out and give him a big hand? There are three answers:
Answer one, Peter is very good
Peter the Great’s high status in Russia is mainly due to reform.
I wrote an article before that Peter did things very much like Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty.
At the beginning, Xianbei people started from gaxian cave in the northeast to Datong in the north of the Great Wall.
In the face of the farming civilization in the Central Plains, Emperor Xiaowen was determined to reform and would not hesitate to pay for his wife and children. Like Emperor Xiaowen, Peter was determined to change in the face of European industrial civilization, and he would not hesitate to pay for his wife and children. They all exchanged their families’ sacrifice for national prosperity and established their own historical status.
In 1682, when Peter succeeded to the throne, tsarist Russia was at the peak of serfdom.
Although tsarist Russia had a large territory, it was no different from the previous Mongolian Empire.
At that time, after the Renaissance and religious reform, industrial civilization began to take shape in European countries, and the whole society looked vibrant. The clergy of tsarist Russia were ignorant; Literature is dim, and mathematics and natural science are neglected.
From 1697 to 1698, Peter made a long trip to Western Europe. Of course, he is not visiting. His identity is not Czar Peter, but corporal Peter Mikhailov. It can also be seen as Peter’s private visit. In the east of the same period, there were also rumors of Kangxi’s private visits in micro clothes, but the contents were all about punishing corrupt officials or encountering beautiful women.
Peter’s private visit——
Served as captain of the East India Company in the Netherlands;
Studied shipbuilding technology in British shipyards;
I have been to Prussia and learned to shoot;
Peter visited factories, schools, museums, arsenals, and even attended a session of the British Parliament. In a word, this strong man as tall as Lincoln did his best to learn western culture, science, industry and administrative methods.
After returning to Russia, he made several big moves.
The first move is to establish a complete centralized rule and improve work efficiency. The Duma conference controlled by the aristocratic lords was replaced by the Senate, with 11 committees (similar to “ministries”) responsible for specific work; Divide the country into 50 provinces; Officials are no longer appointed by birth, but are selected by grades.
The second move is to issue a new law to change Customs: Mrs. dongsila must cut off her ancestral beard, court personnel must wear suits, encourage smoking and drinking coffee, and keep up with the West.
Third, in terms of economy, vigorously encourage industry and commerce. In order to encourage the introduction of western craft and technology, Peter brought many Western technicians into Russia and sent many young Russians to study in Eastern Europe.
Fourth, vigorously develop the Navy and fight Sweden, the overlord in the west of the Baltic Sea.
For the sake of reform, Peter executed his own son, the crown prince, and divorced the queen (instead of being confined to death or executed for the crime of weaving, which also reflects his determination to change civilization).
Before Peter, Russia was big enough, but very stupid and out of date. Peter did not try to force the abolition of serfdom. These routines are equivalent to implanting an upgraded software system into Russia, called the road of industrial civilization.
This road of industrial civilization lasted for hundreds of years until Stalin’s time. It is this road of industrial civilization that has laid the lifeline of tsarist Russia, the Soviet Union and Russia, making Mrs. dongslar one of the global village players in the cycle of industrial civilization.
At the Symposium on June 9, Putin also said a paragraph to demonstrate the history of Russia, “Russia has always been at the forefront of the development of the situation. Yes, in the history of our country, sometimes we have to retreat, but this is only to accumulate strength. Only with enough strength can we continue to move forward, and we will concentrate on moving forward bravely.”
Putin’s remark highlights several points:
1. Russia plays the role of a chess player, not a chess piece, in the global village.
But throughout Russian history, before Peter the Great’s reform, tsarist Russia was only a symbol of barbarism and backwardness, and had no status as a chess player. So this also highlights the importance of Peter the great.
2. The size of Russia’s territory may change, but its determination to engage in territory has never changed. It will do so whenever there is an opportunity. Peter the great was the same, except that he was more clever in his territorial approach.
Answer 2: Peter’s territorial approach
Peter’s approach to territory is not to be greedy for more than the best, but to be essence.
On June 9, Putin praised the legacy left by Peter the great, “Peter the great fought a war with Sweden. It seems that he occupied Swedish territory. In fact, Peter the great did not occupy Swedish territory. He just took back the lost territory. Peter the great restored and consolidated Russian territory, which is what he did. Obviously, this fate fell on us. If we start from the fact that ‘these basic values form the basis of our existence’, we will succeed Meet the challenges. “
The war between Peter the great and Sweden that Putin said refers to the 21 year Northern War.
At the end of the 17th century, Peter the great formed a northern alliance with Saxony, Denmark, Poland and other countries to jointly declare war on Sweden, the then overlord of the Baltic Sea, and finally Russia won the Baltic Sea.
In 1703 at the beginning of the 18th century, Peter the great established a brand-new city there: St. Petersburg (the name comes from St. Peter, the disciple of Jesus, and coincides with the name of Peter the great).
Why did Peter have to get through the Baltic Sea? Answer: Peter thinks St. Petersburg is a window to Europe.
Then he moved the capital to the Baltic Sea; It is somewhat similar to Zhu Di’s move of the capital to Beijing, with the emperor guarding the country. In addition to guarding the country, Peter also has a sense of change.
After entering the industrial civilization cycle, the Peter style territorial model has become the benchmark for the eastern Slavic elites to engage in territorial development.
Before Peter’s reform, Russia had been expanding on the deserted continent, just like wild boars running on the wilderness.
After Peter’s reform, Russia has been aiming to open up the sea and occupy the estuary of rivers, just like a deep thinking hunter.
Queen Catherine II inherited the mantle of Peter the great and won Crimea, which is equivalent to opening up the Black Sea for Russia. It is a typical Peter model.
In the mid-19th century, tsarist Russia snatched the estuary of Heilongjiang from the Qing Empire, which was also the Peter model. At the end of the 20th century, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to open up the sea entrance to the Indian Ocean. It was still the Peter model.
When Ukraine fell to NATO, Putin took away Crimea with lightning speed. The reason is that he did not want to lose the access to the sea of the Black Sea. It is still the Peter model.
Putin launched the Ukrainian war, in fact, to engage in the essence territories along the Azov Sea and the Black Sea, or the Peter model. This shows that Peter the great had a far-reaching impact on the Russians. It is for this reason that only when Putin brings out the model of Peter the great, can it resonate with the Russians and thus increase the support rate for the war.
Answer 3: overcoming difficulties
Peter the great holds a very important position in Putin’s mind. Putin hangs the portrait of Peter the great in his office. In a sense, Putin’s way of doing things was deeply influenced by Peter the great, such as the territorial model.
However, the international situation is changing rapidly. The successful model of Peter the great in the 17th century may not be successful in modern times. For example, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan at its peak and tried to open up the Indian Ocean to the sea, but failed in the end.
The situation Putin is facing is actually more complicated than that of Peter the great.
When Peter launched the Northern War, the West was not monolithic. Peter could unite the enemies of Sweden (Poland, Denmark, etc.) to launch operations. Now the West almost supports Ukraine on one side, putting a lot of pressure on Putin.
Although Putin’s showdown is to engage in land like Peter the great, due to the great influence of the West on Russians (especially the younger generation), Putin will look for every opportunity to explain the rationality of the war.
So at the Symposium on June 9, Putin talked about war through Sovereignty: “The world is changing very fast. In order to gain leadership – I am not talking about global leadership here, any country or nation must ensure its sovereignty. A country either becomes a sovereign country or becomes a colony. There is no third possibility. I will not give examples now to avoid offending some countries. But if a country or group of countries cannot make a sovereign decision, to some extent Is already a colony. You can’t talk to the colonies about historical prospects – they don’t have a chance to survive such a harsh geopolitical struggle. “
——Countries that do not want to offend, probably refer to EU countries, Japan and South Korea. What they want to do must be nodded by the big brother of the United States. They can’t do whatever they want.
But Russia can do whatever it wants. For example, it doesn’t need anyone to nod if it wants to get land from Ukraine.
Putin further refined the connotation of sovereignty:
Sovereignty in the modern sense – generally speaking, it has always been the case in principle, but it is particularly obvious today that it is composed of several parts.
The first is military and political sovereignty. What is important here is to be able to make sovereign decisions and ensure security in the field of domestic and foreign policy.
——At the military and political levels, Russia did have the absolute initiative, so it launched the Ukrainian war.
The second is economic sovereignty, that is, we do not rely on anyone in the field of basic development. In terms of key technologies and ensuring the viability of society and the country, we do not rely on anyone else. Technological sovereignty is extremely important in today’s world.
——Russia is highly self-sufficient in terms of energy, food and resources, and can work with impunity.
And, of course, public sovereignty. I mean the ability of society to integrate and solve national problems. This is respect for its history, culture and language, and for the people living on a piece of land. This kind of social integration is one of the key basic conditions for development. Without it, everything would collapse.
Obviously, they are all interrelated. I’ve listed first, second, third and fourth here, but in fact you can change the order, starting from any point, because without this one, there is no that one.
Putin’s words convey two key messages:
1. Whether a country has complete autonomy or not depends on whether it can the final say in politics, military affairs, economy and public utilities. Putin tried to release information to the world through “sovereign choice”, that is, Russia, which has sovereignty, can do whatever it wants according to its own interests.
2. If you want to exercise national sovereignty, you can’t be strangled by other countries in politics, military affairs, economy and public utilities. If you get stuck, it will be difficult to exercise sovereignty in a real sense.
3. For Russia, “recovering and consolidating its territory” is the core interest. Peter the great did that, and Putin did the same.
But Putin did not say that although he imitated Peter the great at the territorial level, he did not imitate Peter the great at the reform level.
You should know that Peter the Great’s reform brought many talents to Russia from the West.
For example, Russians are now very strong in the field of mathematics. But before Peter the great, the Slavs did not show their mathematical talents. But after Peter the great, Slavic mathematics went into open mode.
The reason is very simple. Peter the great brought mathematicians into tsarist Russia.
In 1724, Peter the great established the National Academy of Sciences to attract European scientists and give them sufficient funds and freedom. At that time, the Bernoulli brothers, the great mathematicians who were excluded due to family conflicts in Europe, were attracted to Russia.
Daniel Bernoulli lured Euler, one of the four heavenly kings in the history of mathematics, to the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences.
When Euler arrived in tsarist Russia, Peter was dead. The Tsarist throne spread among his wife, daughter, niece and others. The world was in chaos. But Euler’s mathematical research was not affected.
Not only tsarist Russia, but also the emperors of other European countries respected mathematicians. When Euler went to Germany from tsarist Russia, Frederick the great did not like him very much, but gave him enough respect. Frederick the Great’s mother loved and respected Euler. In other words, it doesn’t matter whether you like it or not. Respect is the key.
After Empress Catherine II succeeded to the throne, she invited Euler back to tsarist Russia and gave him enough courtesy.
After Euler, tsarist Russian native mathematics began to rise, and Slavic mathematicians appeared in droves.
However, in the Putin Era, Russian talents flowed out; Many Russian mathematicians went to the United States and made contributions to the United States. That is to say, in the area of system reform, Putin is far away from Peter the great.
If Putin wants to follow Peter the great, it is not enough to “recover and consolidate the territory” alone. He must make a difference in the depth of reform.
In short, Peter deserves the title of the great emperor, and Putin’s title of “the great” is more like ridicule.
Finally, talk about economy
Since the speech in commemoration of Peter the great is aimed at young entrepreneurs, Putin should not only talk about politics and sovereignty, but also talk about economy.
At the Forum on June 9, Putin also said a few words related to the economy, “it is impossible to set up a fence around a country like Russia, and we do not intend to build a fence around ourselves. Russia will not build a closed economy. We have not done so in the past, nor will we do so in the future.”
——Generally speaking, Russia will not be closed to the outside world. This is more like an introduction to national policies than economic tricks.
But then again, in the past 20 years, Putin has not come up with any clever ideas for economic development, and instead began to engage in territorial development. Economic development is not the specialty of Mrs. dongslar, including Putin.
Now we don’t have to think about developing the economy anymore. We just need to talk about politics, war and game playing. It’s easy to play. To tell the truth, it’s very energetic.