If we continue to explore the symbolic nature of the last Davos forum, then it can be seen in the speeches given there by two patriarchs of world politics and economics: Henry Kissinger and George Soros. Kissinger in his speech emphasised that the world is now at a turning point in its development. Both the military and political outcomes of the current Ukrainian conflict will serve as a key driver of all future events. For Kissinger, the crucial bifurcation point "after the war" is the question of whether former combatant countries will be reintegrated into the world economic and political system. Here, Henry Kissinger actually raises the topic of the danger of globalisation without Russia, both in the economic sense and in the military-political sense, since Russia, if excluded from globalisation, will pose a constant threat to peace in the future, after the end of the current conflict.
Kissinger's overall conclusion in this regard is that stopping hostilities along the current line of contact and working to reintegrate Russia into the globalised world system is not a concession to Putin, but serves the interests of the sustainability of globalisation in the future. This approach, which is in sharp dissonance with the point of view now prevailing in Western political circles, has already provoked sharp controversy.
George Soros in his Davos speech used the concept of an open society, which he had previously developed in his works. In his opinion, the root cause of the Ukrainian conflict is the struggle between an open society and a closed society. From his standpoint, one can draw a logical conclusion that even earlier, before February 24, the globalisation of economic systems existed in isolation from geopolitics and was not accompanied by socio-political globalisation. This, he argued, makes economic globalisation potentially unsustainable in the future. Even in the wake of Russia's withdrawal from the framework of globalisation, there are large countries throughout the world that do not fall under the category of an open society, as George Soros sees it. Therefore, economic globalisation can once again become a hostage to the geopolitical and value struggle.
Soros also acknowledged that the current military conflict is a threat to the future of globalisation and the global fight against climate change. In the military-political part of his speech, Soros concluded that in this regard, the key task for saving Western civilisation is to “defeat Putin as soon as possible”.
This difference in the approach of the two patriarchs of world politics is very revealing: immediate peace at any cost and work for the reintegration of Russia, on the one hand, and defeating Putin at any cost and the final exclusion of Putin's Russia from globalisation, on the other.
If we talk about the specific challenges of globalisation stemming from the current conflict, then in the short and medium term they are obvious, and they are being talked about a lot now. These are the global food crisis, the lack of energy resources, the resulting rise in prices, inflation and living standards, as well as in in a number of cases, the disruption of global supply chains. All this can lead to serious social discontent in various countries of the global West and South. In the longer term, the undermining of confidence in the dollar and the inviolability of the private property of foreigners in Western countries may become a no-less-significant issue. The Russian example has shown that keeping the lion's share of assets in the US and EU and their currencies can make any non-Western country with political ambitions easily vulnerable to retaliatory sanctions pressure. Therefore, the strengthening of the independence of the economies of large non-Western countries (their industrial, infrastructure and financial systems) can become one of the main long-term consequences of the current conflict.
There have already been many examples in history of Russia setting up large-scale socio-economic experiments domestically. Now we are all witnessing how another such experiment is developing - globalisation without Russia. Where it will lead, only time will tell.