By Webster D. L.

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38 THE END OF THE COLD WAR Some kind of hierarchical international system may seem quite plausible as the United States is now the only superpower in the world and undoubtedly the most powerful member of universal as well as of some regional organizations. But the USA or even the West as a whole can hardly establish an hierarchical international system. Joseph Nye, Jr writes: Today, however, the definition of power is losing its emphasis on military force and conquest that marked earlier eras. 95 And ‘the problem for the United States will be less the rising challenge of another major power than a general diffusion of power’, and although the United States still has leverage over particular countries, it has far less leverage over the system as a whole.

What democratic politicians in Russia are trying to do is to make a normal country of Russia—naturally, a big country, and also a powerful one, even a superpower, but most importantly a normal one without messianic irrational and hardly comprehensible predestinations. The new Constitution of Russia adopted by the referendum in December 1993 states that the Russian Federation (or Russia) is a democratic rule of law country with a republican form of government; that the individual, his or her rights and freedoms are the supreme value of the Russian Federation; and that the recognition, observance and protection of inalienable rights and freedoms is a duty of the state.

What seems worrying is that many influential forces are still trying to find a special way of development for Russia, which should be quite different from the way in which other countries have developed. What they mean is that Russia cannot automatically copy the experience of other states, these being different, and that it has to take into account its geographic and geo-political position, traditions and many other factors. This would be quite natural. But there is also a search for a grand national idea, for a certain Russian messianism.

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