Дата публикации: 09 июня 2016
Автор(ы): Anatoly Mikhailov
Публикатор: Научная библиотека Порталус
Источник: (c) http://portalus.ru
Номер публикации: №1465466685

Anatoly Mikhailov, (c)

I experience mixed feelings of bitterness and satisfaction. Bitterness, because such meeting should have happened much earlier. Probably it could have helped to anticipate and avoid all negative aspects of our relations, thus the situation would have looked differently now. Satisfaction, because this event, is nevertheless taking place and can be the impulse for further necessary cooperation which unfortunately didn't exist in the proper form before.

No more than 10 years have passed since the dramatic changes that radically transformed the situation in the modern world. One of the conclusions to be made is that we have to admit that we were not ready for such events, in the intellectual aspect first of all. Unforgivably long we have been seeing the nature of transformation processes in our countries and the way to develop relations between them in an idealized way. As the result we lost time and accumulated a number of problems the ways of solving which are still not clear. At present we should not exclude the probability of growing confrontation and tension between our countries. In his speech Piotr Naimsky was talking about possible perspectives of emerging of borders of cooperation. It is hard not to agree with that. But the concept "border" signifies first of all separation, limit. And instead of fruitful cooperation, the current situation tends to show the fixation of confrontation and tension growth along the Boug river borderline.

We all should attempt to answer the following arising questions: How realistic are our wishes and hopes for creating good neighborly relationships in the radically changed system of notions? What is to be done to minimize the possibility of negative consequences of fixation of new borders in connection with EU expansion and joining of new Central and East European countries into NASA?

Our understanding of these problems should be based on recognition of the fact that none of us possesses the ability of notorious and objective perception of the reality in which we are embedded. We should refrain from assuming that there exists a certain position of an absolute and independent observer, which allows him to be sure in the superiority of his point of view.

Evidently we are dealing here with psychological aspect of the individual and social consciousness and the main task is to transform the deterministic perspective of interpreting the current social reality. Such understanding bases itself on assurance in the inevitable positive societal changes.

Are we able to change ourselves and transform the approach towards the analysis of urgent foreign relations problems which significantly differ from those of the 2nd half of the XX century?

Will we be able to enhance the formation of principally different - dialogical and mutual - understanding of current reality, that accepts the rightfulness and reasoning of each side?

Our recent past is not promoting such ideals, since we were brought up within the regime of monological consciousness, that cultivated the stereotype of assurance in our own absolute rightness and this belief promoted readiness to impose our own vision on the others with all possible means, even by force.

The 20th century demonstrates inadmissible costs of such state of our consciousness. The course of events in post-communist world reflects the high price we have to pay for our illusions. Saraevo, Nagorniy Karabakh, Georgia, Tadzhikistan, Kosovo, Chechnya - this only several to mention out of the long list of conflicts that were not anticipated on the level of simple logical reasoning and resulted colossal numbers of human lost lives.

Are these events not a sufficient evidence of a dangerous tendency of the situation to resemble the Pandora box?

More than before we need to realize that the 20th century represented a substantially different nature of the historical process. Separate countries and regions, having been traditionally not included into this active process, appeared to be involved into international interaction. The world as a whole is in constant motion and one of the most characteristic tendencies is the intensifying globalization.

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Unarguably, religious, ethnic conflicts and the ones between countries existed since long time ago, but in the 20th century the character of their consequences became principally different. In foreign relations the intensifying interaction between countries is emphasized by the reaction on the leveling effect of the globalization. The temporary relevant stability of the bipolar world that was established after the Second World War, was only an artificial fixation for these processes. And precisely because of the artificial nature of the hampering and slowing down before, the current state of affairs is acquiring alarming outlines.

Reproducing the previously used practice of solving arguments and conflicts when the negotiation process is the a posteriori reaction to the dramatic development of events, has no future because in the changed world the traditionally used political ways of controlling the situation are unacceptably ineffective, even those used more or less successfully by international organizations.

The following question arises: can dialogue appear in such a situation as a possible way of preventing the possible growing of tension in international relations? What we call a dialogue, in reality appears very often to be a combination of numerous unrelated to each other monologues. Each participant of a so called dialogue on the levels of both individual and social consciousness is so assured in the self-evident nature of his stand-point that presentation of a different point of view only reinforces his or her own opinion.

The peculiarity of the dialogue in international, especially regional relations lies in its inevitability. In this case we are faced with the necessity of the dialogue without having an actual choice of the partner. It would be naпve to assume that we are dealing here with a simple task. On the contrary, we face the necessity of understanding and discussing the cooperation perspectives in the radically changed situation in the region.

It's common knowledge that since long time ago the territory of Belarus was represented by a so-called tension border between Western Europe and Russia. The attempts to divide Poland, the Napoleon invasion, both world wars of the 20th century, the post-war split of Europe - those are only a few events out of those that come to one's mind while one is pondering on the prehistory of current events.

Although the Polish-Belarusian region was historically the place of a peculiar gap, that caused the diffe-rent ways of the historical development. That was reflected in the specific nature of religious consciousness, peculiarities of intellectual and spiritual heritage. As the result - when we now talk about European integration processes, we mainly have Western Europe in mind - the region that O.Spengler called "Abendland". Therefore there still exists the danger of emerging of another confrontation that would reverse everything to all that we were trying to escape.

It is not difficult to notice how deep in ourselves, on the subconscious level and against our will, specific mechanisms of consciousness operate which motivate us to search for the simple solutions of existing problems. The scheme according to which Poland joins NATO, and Belarus is intensifying the integration processes with Russia, may be interpreted differently. But there is still an unclear understanding of the perspectives of possible further development of relations that can initiate a new tension stage.

Nevertheless, if we recognize the fact that restoration of the confrontation ideology has no future prospects, we also have to admit that we possess no other potential.

The numerous attempts of the West to reform the post-soviet society were limited in too many cases to abstract recommendations that had little to do with the factual specifics of the current situation and its historical development. In this connection the frustration that was caused by the inefficiency of reforms, could assist in modification of wishful thinking, that up to now is still very common, into a profoundly planned strategy that would be created in the context of the permanent dialogical cooperation. In my opinion, due to a number of circumstances, Poland could be playing a more constructive role in the development of positive relations of Russia and Belarus with the West.

The mentioned above specifics of historical and intellectual development of the region not only separates but also unites us, since it is the result of a long-term intensive cooperation. Certainly, the signs of this interaction frequently happen to be lost for us. Therefore serious intellectual efforts are needed to create our ability to overcome the still existing alienation from uniting us common heritage and the system of meaningful notions.

I will be sure that the seminar fulfilled its goal only if it will be systematically continued. Unforgivably lots of time was wasted, we cannot afford the blindness with which we don't foresee possible alarming consequen-ces of ineffective actions, and it is all rooted in the inadequate understanding of the situation.

After all, we are dealing with the challenge to ourselves. How will we be able to face it and whether we will work out the strategy of our relations? Or do we still need the harsh lessons and only prove the ancient wisdom that history teaches us only that it never taught anybody anything.

* Anatoly Mikhailov - Academician, Rector of European Humanitarian University, Minsk.

Опубликовано на Порталусе 09 июня 2016 года

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