Here's an article from the Washington Post I found online today that I wanted to share with you all. The gist of it is that although U.S. President Barack Obama states the U.S. is not in a new Cold War with semi-dictator Vladimir Putin's Russia because the latter lacks an ideology and a bloc of nations surrounding it, the reality is somewhat opposite. Putin instead seeks make Russia (and by extension himself) the leader of a bloc of nations opposed to "Western" values that include, among other things, tolerance of homosexuality, social liberalism in general, etc.
Below is cartoon showing Russia's supposed glories (including the Soviet victory in WWII and the space program as well as its medieval heritage) in contrast to the supposed decadent drug-addled homo-fascism of the European Union. Click on the image to see all of the gory details.
The first thing that came to mind was not some political stand or another (my opinion on that matter can be found here), but the world my Afrikaner stories "Coil Gun" and "Picking Up Plans in Palma" (both of which appear in my collection Flashing Steel, Flashing Fire) take place in. The world features a cold war between the League of Democracies, led by the United States, and a bloc led by the Afrikaner Confederation, a white supremacist empire spanning the Indian Ocean basin. Here's the timeline.
Members of the latter bloc refer to their alliance as "the Self-Determination Compact." It consists of various illiberal regimes like the Confederation, the Taiping regime in southern China, Tibet, the Persian Empire, Thailand, the Hejaz, the Rashids, Afghanistan, and the Sikh Empire. Ostensibly a defensive alliance against outside forces threatening their "traditional cultures," what they really are is an anti-Enlightenment pact consisting of a white-supremacist/Christian-supremacist empire, a weird semi-theocracy, a theocracy, several monarchies, and a semi-theocratic state with a weighted franchise much like old Prussia that gives the Sikh minority disproportionate power compared to the Hindu and Muslim majority.
The sort of Enlightenment liberalism represented by the United States and its allies is a threat to these more-or-less anti-democratic regimes. It's like the anti-revolutionary Holy Alliance was brought forward a century, its obscurantism toned down just enough to permit the kind of military advances science provides (to a point) and prevent a total explosion of the oppressed masses (the Confederation is a democracy for whites like apartheid South Africa, while most of its allies have at least some constitutionalism going), and allowed to claim the language of self-determination for foreign consumption.
Fortunately I'm thinking that if something like this is Putin's aspiration, it's likely that China is going to end up in charge, not Russia. Russia is a glorified petro-state, while China has a productive economy. By alienating Russia from Europe and the United States, Putin more likely has doomed it to a future of being dependent on China.
3 hours ago