My point in starting with a brief background was to illustrate that the Slavic peoples, particularly those in the East, have long been held back from reaching their full potential as leading powers. Russia and the Ukraine's plight have already been noted. Western and Southern Slavs had to contend with foreign interference and domination from German and Ottoman powers and decades of Marxist rule, so they too were prevented from taking their place as innovators and leaders.
The main advantage of the Slavic countries in our era is that they still mostly enjoy a relatively homogeneous cultural base. Unlike the Western nations, their leaders did not go about bringing in near the amounts of immigrants from the Muslim or Latin American world. Consequently, their electorates, while certainly not always of the same mind, still have a sense of a common identity; a crucial factor in creating a vigorous and stable Republic or Democracy. In religion too the Slavic nations have greater homogeneity than the West; Catholic regions are still mostly so, and are those that are Orthodox have the benefit of a over a thousand years of their Christian beliefs and traditions.
There has also been some good news with population growth:
Although he is raked over the coals for requiring that groups from other nations working in Russia register as foreign agents, Putin must feel that he has no other option. Hordes of all sorts of Evangelical and Fundamentalist organizations have descended on the Slavic peoples and relentlessly engaged in "sheep stealing" - the concentration of seeking converts not from the irreligious, but largely from practicing Orthodox Christians. As I noted in the recent post on the Evangelical factor in the decline of cultures, those who embrace this quite modern style of Christianity - disingenuously presented as one from the First and Second Century AD, quickly lose their taste for all aspects of their culture that do not meet with the approval of one's local pastor. When we are looking at a people who have such a rich heritage and tradition, a lot, tragically, winds up being kicked to the curb as the Evangelical mindset becomes established. Few things make my heart sink faster and lower than to hear a friend tell me that his Ukrainian wife's family is, for example, Pentecostal.
As the West moves steadily towards its softer but much filthier and morally bankrupt style of Socialism, the people in Slavic countries can say that they have "been there, done that". Even with the massive injections of foreign aid (Thanks to the banking establishment), the Marxists could never create a system that could compete with a system that mandates competition. When you have no real ownership over your work, you tend to just go through the motions until quitting time arrives. I am convinced that, when Western leftists assure us that "It just hasn't been done right yet", what they mean is that Socialism will work once the economic systems of the West have been removed from the board. If you take away the most effective players, anyone can win a spot on the team. I believe that the the threat of a restored Leftist system in any of the former Warsaw Pact nations is remote.
Russia is rich in natural resources. She has a culturally homogeneous people that has a great history but they have yet to truly make their mark. Much of the old industrial base from the USSR has no need to be updated, so it can be scrapped. This gives all of the Slavic nations a great advantage as they can start anew and in time challenge even China and other industrialized nations. Unlike the US, Russia has dropped the pointless and expensive military endeavors that were a big part of the Cold War. As I noted in previous posts, Russia even has the opportunity to reach out to provide security and some order to the Christians of the Near and Middle East.
A country long hidden under the rule of nomadic dynasties and Marxism, Russia has the ability to become what Germany is to the EU, only without the intentionally self-destructive mass immigration and Leftist propaganda in the schools. The Slavic world has a lot of open space. In the event that she does become open to immigration, Russia and the other Slavic nations have room for those who would rather leave the sinking ship that is the West. Russia has been a place in which cultures merge. I cannot rule out the possibility that, maybe a century from now, enough Westerners who are determined to live freely will seek to make a new home for their descendants - one that is likely to grow and avoid Leftist stagnation for many generations.
Many ancient and Classical works made their way to the West in the last decades of the Byzantine Empire. These contributed greatly to the revival of learning in the West. Those who saw the end coming could not bear to have these priceless treasures destroyed by the Ottomans. Like the farsighted Byzantines, many Westerners will - if they cannot save their own nations or culture, gather what they can so that the literature , arts, music, political theory, ingenuity and work ethic, have a place in which they can be preserved.