Alexander Dugin: “From Sacred Geography to Geopolitics”

Author: Alexander Dugin

Translators: Jafe Arnold and John Stachelski 

Chapter 7 of Mysteries of Eurasia (Moscow: Arktogeia, 1991) / Chapter 6/Part 6/Book I of Foundations of Geopolitics (Moscow, Arktogeia, 2000). 

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Geopolitics as an “Intermediary” Science

Geopolitical concepts have long been the most important factor in modern politics. These concepts are based on general principles which allow one to readily analyze the situation of any country and any individual region. 

In the form in which it exists today, geopolitics is undoubtedly a worldly, “profane”, secularized science. However, among all other modern sciences, it is geopolitics which has preserved the greatest connection to Tradition and the traditional sciences.  René Guénon said that modern chemistry is the product of the desacralization of the traditional science of alchemy, just as modern physics has its origins in magic. Exactly in the same way, one could say that that modern geopolitics is the product of the secularization and desacralization of another traditional science, that of sacred geography. Since geopolitics occupies a peculiar place among modern sciences and is often ranked as a “pseudo-science”, its profanation is not nearly as complete and irreversible as in the case of chemistry or physics. Geopolitics’ relation to sacred geography is rather distinctly visible in this sense. Therefore, we can say that geopolitics occupies an intermediary place between traditional science (sacred geography) and profane science. 

Land and Sea

The two essential concepts of geopolitics are Land and Sea. It is these two elements  – Land and Water – that lie at the root of humans’ qualitative imagination of earthly space. In experiencing land and sea, earth and water, man enters into contact with the fundamental aspects of his existence. Land is stability, gravity, fixity, space as such. Water is mobility, softness, dynamism and time.

These two elements are, in their essence, the most obvious manifestations of the material nature of the world. They stand outside of man: everything is heavy and fluid. They are also inside him: in the body and blood. The same is the case at the cellular level.

The universality of the experiences of earth and water yields the traditional concept of the Firmament, since the presence of the Higher Waters (the source of rain) in the sky also implies the presence of a symmetric and necessary element – earth, land, the celestial vault. All together, Earth, Sea and Ocean are in essence the major categories of earthly existence, and it is impossible for mankind not to see in them some of the foundational attributes of the universe. As the two basic terms of geopolitics, they preserve their significance for both civilizations of a traditional kind and for exclusively modern states, peoples and ideological blocs. At the level of global geopolitical phenomena, Land and Sea generate the terms Thalassocracy and Tellurocracy, i.e., “power by means of sea” and “ power by means of land” – Sea Power and Land Power. 

The strength of any state or empire is based upon the preferential development of one of these categories. Empires are either thalassocratic, or tellurocratic. The former implies the existence of a mother country and colonies, the latter a capital and provinces on “common land.” In the case of thalassocracy, its territory is not unified into one land space, which creates an element of discontinuity. The sea is both the strength and weakness of thalassocratic power. Tellurocracy, on the contrary, boasts the quality of territorial continuity.

Geographical and cosmological logic at once complicate this seemingly simple model of division: the pair of “land-sea”, by reciprocal superimposition of its elements, gives birth to the ideas of “maritime land” and of “land-water”. The maritime-land is an island, i.e., the base of maritime empire, the pole of thalassocracy. “Land-water” or water within land means rivers, which predetermine the development of overland empires. On the river we find the city, the capital, the pole of tellurocracy. This symmetry is symbolic, economic and geographical all at once. It is important to note that the statuses of Island and Continent are defined not so much on the basis of physical magnitude as by the peculiarities of the consciousness typical of their populations. Thus, the geopolitics of the US is of an island nature despite the dimensions of North America, whereas the island of Japan geopolitically represents the continental mentality, etc.

One more detail is relevant: historically, thalassocracy is linked to the West and the Atlantic Ocean, whereas tellurocracy is associated with the East and the Eurasian continent. The above-mentioned example of Japan is explained, thus, by the stronger “attractive” effect of Eurasia.

Thalassocracy and Atlanticism became synonyms long before the colonial expansion of Great Britain or Portuguese and Spanish conquests. Long before the first sea migration waves, the peoples of the West and their cultures had already begun their shift to the East from their centers located in the Atlantic. The Mediterranean was also mastered from the Gibraltar to the Middle East, and not the other way around. Meanwhile, excavations in Eastern Siberia and Mongolia demonstrate that ancient pockets of civilization once existed there, which means that none other than the central lands of the continent were the cradle of Eurasian mankind. 

The Symbolism of Landscape

Besides these two global categories of Land and Sea, geopolitics also operates with more particular definitions. Maritime and oceanic formations can be differentiated among thalassocratic realities. For instance, the maritime civilizations of the Black Sea or Mediterranean Sea are rather qualitatively different from the civilizations of the oceans, i.e., insular powers and peoples dwelling on the shores of the open ocean. More particular divisions also exist between river and lake civilizations with relation to continents.

Tellurocracy also has its own particular forms. One can distinguish between the civilization of the Steppe and civilization of the Forest, the civilization of the Mountains and the civilization of the Plains, the civilization of the Desert and the civilization of Ice. In sacred geography, diverse varieties of landscapes are understood as symbolic complexes linked to the particularities of the state, religious and ethical ideologies of different peoples. Even in those cases where we are dealing with a universalist, ecumenical religion, the concrete embodiment of such in a given people, race or state will be subject to adaptation to the local sacred-geographical context. Deserts and steppes represent the geopolitical microcosm of the nomads, and it is precisely in the deserts and on the steppes that the tellurocratic tendency reaches its climax, as the “water” factor is minimally present. Desert and Steppe empires should therefore logically be the geopolitical springboards of tellurocracy. As an example of a Steppe empire, one might consider the Empire of Genghis Khan. A typical example of a Desert empire was the Arab Caliphate, which arose under the direct influence of nomads. 

Mountains and mountain civilizations are more often than not archaic and fragmentary. Mountain countries are generally not sources of expansion, in fact, they tend to gather the victims of other tellurocratic forces’ geopolitical expansion. No empire has its center in a mountainous region. Hence the often repeated maxim of sacred geography, “mountains are inhabited by demons.” On the other hand, the idea that mountains can conserve the residual traces of ancient races and civilizations is reflected by the fact that it is precisely in mountains that the sacred centers of Tradition are placed. One could even say that mountains correspond to some kind of spiritual power in tellurocracy. 

The logical combination of both concepts – the mountain as a hieratic model and the desert as a regal one – yields the symbolism of the hill, i.e., a small or average height. The hill is a symbol of imperial might rising above the secular level of the steppe, but it does not reach the limit of supreme power as is the case with mountains. A hill is a dwelling place for a king, a count, an emperor, but not a priest. All large tellurocratic empires’ capitals are placed on a hill or hills (often on seven hills – the number of the planets; or on five – the number of elements, including the ether, and so on).

The forest in sacred geography is similar to the mountains in a definite sense. The symbolism of the tree corresponds to the symbolism of the mountain (both the former and the latter designate the world axis). Therefore, in tellurocracies the forest also plays a peripheral function, as it too is the “place of the priests” (the druids, the magi, the hermits), but also at the same time the “place of demons”, i.e., archaic residuals from a vanished past. Thus, a forest cannot serve as the center of an overland empire.

The tundra represents the Northern analogue to the steppe and the desert, although the cold climate makes it much less significant from a geopolitical point of view. This “peripherality” reaches its apogee with the icebergs which, similarly to mountains, are deeply archaic zones. It is telling that the Eskimo shamanic tradition calls for a future shaman to depart alone on the ice, from where the world beyond will be opened to him. Thus, ice is a hieratic zone, the threshold of another world.

Taking into account these essential and most general characteristics of the geopolitical map, it is possible to define the various regions of the planet according to their sacred qualities. This method can also be applied to the local features of a landscape at the level of individual countries or even of individual localities. It is also possible to trace the convergence of the ideologies and traditions of what are seemingly very diverse peoples. 

East and West in Sacred Geography

In the context of sacred geography, cardinal directions possess a special, qualitative nature. Visions of sacred geography can vary across traditions and periods in accordance with the cyclical phases of a given tradition’s development. Hence why the symbolic functions of cardinal directions often vary. Without diving into the details, it is possible to formulate the most universal law of sacred geography with regards to East and West.

Sacred geography, on the basis of “cosmic symbolism”, traditionally considers the East to be the “land of the Spirit”, the paradisal land, the land of perfection, abundance, the sacred “homeland” in its fullest and most complete form. In particular, this idea is mirrored in the Bible, where Eden has an Eastern position. The exact same understanding is characteristic of other Abrahamic traditions (Islam and Judaism), as well as many non-Abrahamic traditions, such as the Chinese, Hindu and Iranian traditions. “The East is the mansion of the gods”, states the sacred formula of the Ancient Egyptians, and the very word “East”, or neter in Egyptian, simultaneously meant “god.” From the point of view of natural symbolism, the East is the place where the sun, the Light of the World, the material symbol of Divinity and the Spirit, ascends, or vostekeat in Russian, hence the Russian word for “East”, vostok.

The West has the opposite symbolical meaning. It is the “land of death”, the “lifeless world”, the “green country” (as the Ancient Egyptians called it). The West is “the empire of exile” and “the pit of the rejected” in the expressions of Islamic mystics. The West is the “anti-East”, the country of the setting of the sun (zakat in Russian), decay, degradation, and transition from the manifest to the non-manifest, from life to death, from wholeness to need, and so on. The West [zapad in Russian] is the place where the sun descends, where it “sinks down” (zapadaet).

It is in accordance with this logic of natural cosmic symbolism that ancient traditions organized their “sacred space”, founded their cult centers, burial places, temples and edifices, and interpreted the natural and “civilizational” features of the planet’s geographical, cultural and political territories. Thus, the very structure of migrations, wars, campaigns, demographic waves, empire-building, etc. was defined by the primordial, pragmatic logic of sacred geography.

Peoples and civilizations possessing hierarchical characters stretched along the East-West axis – the closer to the East, the closer they were to the Sacred, to Tradition, to spiritual abundance. The closer to the West, the more the Spirit decayed, degraded and died. 

Of course, this logic was not always absolute, but at the same time it was neither minor nor relative as it has so wrongly been considered by many “profane” scholars of ancient religions and traditions today. As a matter of fact, sacred logic and the tracing of cosmic symbolism were much more consciously recognized, understood and practiced by ancient peoples than is acceptably believed today. Even in our anti-sacred world, the archetypes of sacred geography are almost always retained in their integrity on the level of the “unconscious”, and are awoken at the most important and critical moments of social cataclysms. 

Thus, sacred geography univocally affirms the law of “qualitative space”, in which the East represents the symbolic “ontological plus”, and the West the “ontological minus.” According to the Chinese tradition, the East is Yang, or the male, bright, solar principle, and the West is Yin, the female, dark, lunar principle.

East and West in Modern Geopolitics

Now we shall see how this sacred-geographical logic is mirrored in geopolitics, which, in the capacity of the exclusively modern science, merely fixates on the factual arrangement of affairs, leaving sacred principles themselves out of its framework and out of the picture. 

Geopolitics in its original formulation by Ratzel, Kjellén, and Mackinder (and later by Haushofer and the Russian Eurasianists) took as its point of departure the peculiarities of different types of civilizations and states in relation to their dependence on geographical disposition. Geopoliticians established the fact that there is a fundamental difference between “insular” and “continental” powers, between “Western”, “progressive” civilization and “Eastern”, “despotic” and “archaic” cultural forms. Insofar as the question of the Spirit in its metaphysical and sacred understanding is generally never raised in modern science, geopoliticians have also brushed it aside, preferring to evaluate situations in different, more modern terms than those of the “sacred”, “profane”, “traditional”, “anti-traditional”, etc. 

Geopoliticians have identified major differences between the political, cultural and industrial development of Eastern regions and Western ones over the past few centuries. The picture thereby derived is the following: the West is the center of “material” and “technological” development. On the cultural-ideological level, “liberal-democratic” tendencies and individualistic and humanistic worldviews prevail in the West. On the economic level, priority is assigned to trade and technological modernization. The theories of “progress”, “evolution”, and the “progressive development of history”, which are completely alien to the traditional Eastern world (and also to Western history in those periods when a rigorous sacred tradition was still in place there, as was the case in the Middle Ages), appeared for the first time in the West. On the social level, coercion in the West acquired only an economic character, and the Law of Idea and Force was gradually replaced by the Law of Money. A peculiar “Western ideology” was gradually cast in the universal formula of the “ideology of human rights”, which became the dominant principle in the most Western regions of the planet – North America, first and foremost the United States of America. On the industrial level, this ideology has corresponded with the notion of “developed countries”, and on the economic level is related to the concepts of the “free market” and “economic liberalism.” 

The whole aggregate of these features, along with the purely military, strategic integration of different sectors of Western civilization, is defined today by the concept of “Atlanticism.” In the previous century, geopoliticians spoke of “Anglo-Saxon civilization” or “capitalist, bourgeois democracy”, but the “geopolitical West” has since found its most pure embodiment in the “Atlanticist” form. 

The geopolitical East represents the direct opposite of the geopolitical West. Instead of economic modernization, here (in the “less developed countries”) traditional, archaic modes of production of the corporative or shop-manufacturing type prevail. Instead of economic coercion, the state more often employs “moral” or simply physical coercion (the Law of Idea and Law of Force). Instead of “democracy” and “human rights”, the East gravitates around totalitarianism, socialism and authoritarianism, i.e., around various types of social regimes whose only common feature is that the center of their systems is not the “individual” or “man” with his “rights” and his peculiar “individual values”, but something supra-individual, supra-human, be it “society”, “the nation”, “the people”, “the idea”, “the Weltanschauung”, “religion”, “the cult of the leader” etc. The East contradicts Western liberal democracy with a diversity of types of non-liberal, non-individualistic societies ranging from authoritarian monarchies to theocracies or socialism. Moreover, from a pure typological, geopolitical point of view, the political specificity of this or that regime is secondary in comparison to the qualitative division between “Western order” (= “individualist, mercantile”) and “Eastern order” (= “supra-individual – based on force”). The USSR, communist China, Japan until 1945 and Khomeini’s Iran have been representative forms of such an anti-Western civilization. 

It is curious to note that Rudolf Kjellén, the first author to coin the term “geopolitics”, illustrated the differences between West and East in the following example:

“A typical pet phrase of the ordinary American,” Kjellén writes, “is ‘go ahead’, which literally means ‘go forward.’ In this is reflected the internal and intrinsic geopolitical optimism and ‘progressivism’ of American civilization, which is the extreme form of the Western model. The Russians, on the other hand, habitually repeat the word nichego [‘nothing’]. This manifests the ‘pessimism’, ‘contemplation’, ‘fatalism’, and ‘adherence to tradition’ peculiar to the East.” 

If we now return to the paradigm of sacred geography, we see a direct antagonism between the priorities of modern geopolitics (such concepts as “progress”, “liberalism”, “human rights”, and “trade order” etc., are today positive terms for the majority of people), and the priorities of sacred geography, which evaluates different civilizational types from a completely opposite point of view (from the standpoint of such concepts as “spirit”, “contemplation”, “submission to superhuman force or superhuman idea”, “ideocracy”, etc., which in sacred civilizations are exclusively positive, and remain such  to this day for the Eastern peoples on the level of the “collective unconscious”). Modern geopolitics (with the exceptions of the Russian Eurasianists, the German followers of Haushofer, Islamic fundamentalists etc.) analyzes and imagines the world from an opposite perspective than that of traditional sacred geography. But in this, both sciences still converge in their description of the fundamental laws of the geographical picture of civilizations.

Sacred North and Sacred South

In addition to the sacred-geographical determinism along the East-West axis, an extremely relevant problem is posed by another, vertical orientation or axis – that of North-South. Here, as in all other cases, the principles of sacred geography, the symbolism of cardinal points, and the continents related to each, have a direct analogue in the geopolitical picture of the world, which is either naturally built up over the course of the historical process, or is consciously and artificially formed as a result of the purposeful actions of the leaders of this or that geopolitical formation. From the point of view of the Integral Tradition, the difference between “artificial” and “natural” is generally rather relative, since Tradition never knew anything in the likes of  the Cartesian or Kantian dualisms which strictly separate the “subjective” and the “objective” (or the “phenomenal” and “noumenal”). Therefore the sacred determinism of North or South is not only a physical, natural, or terranean-climatic factor (i.e., something “objective”), nor is it merely an “idea” or “concept” generated by the minds of individuals (i.e., something “subjective”). Rather, it is some kind of third form that is superior to both the objective and subjective poles. One might say that the sacred North, or the archetype of the North, was over the course of history split into the natural Northern landscape on the one hand, and the idea of the North, or “Nordicism”, on the other. 

The most ancient and primordial layer of Tradition unequivocally affirms the primacy of North over South. The symbolism of the North corresponds to the Source, to the original Northern paradise from which all human civilization originates. Ancient Iranian and Zoroastrian texts speak of the northern country of Airyana Vaeja with its capital of Vara, from which the ancient Aryans were expelled by glaciation sent upon them by Ahriman, the spirit of Evil and opponent of the bright Ormuzd. The ancient Vedas also speak of a Northern land as the ancestral home of the Hindus, the Śveta-dvīpa, the White Land lying in the Far North. The Ancient Greeks spoke of Hyperborea, the Northern island with the capital Thule. This land was considered to be the homeland of the bright god Apollo. In many other traditions, one can detect the most ancient traces, so often forgotten and fragmentary, of this “Nordic” symbolism. 

The fundamental idea traditionally associated with the North is the idea of the Center, the Immobile Pole, the point of Eternity around which revolves not only the cycle of space, but also the cycle of time. The North is the land where the sun never sets even at night, it is the space of eternal light. Every sacred tradition honors the Center, the Middle, the point where contrasts converge, the symbolic place that is not subject to the laws of cosmic entropy. This Center, whose symbol is the Swastika (which stresses both the immobility and constancy of the Center, and the mobility and changeability of the periphery), has acquired different names for each tradition, but it has always been directly or indirectly linked to the symbolism of North. Therefore, we can say that all sacred traditions are, in essence, the projection of the One Northern Primordial Tradition adapted to all different historical conditions. The North is the Cardinal Point chosen by the primeval Logos in order to reveal itself in History, and each of its further manifestations has only re-created this primordial polar-paradisal symbolism.

In sacred geography, the North corresponds to the spirit, light, purity, completeness, unity, and eternity. The South symbolizes something directly opposite – materiality, darkness, mixture, privation, plurality and immersion in the stream of time and becoming. Even from a natural point of view, in polar areas there is one long semi-annual Day and one long semi-annual Night. This is the Day and Night of the gods and heroes, of the angels. Even decayed traditions remember this sacred, spiritual, supernatural Cardinal North, recalling the Northern regions to be the dwelling place of “spirits” and “forces from beyond.” In the South, the Day and Night of the gods are fragmented into human days – here the primordial symbolism of Hyperborea has been lost, and its memories became mere pieces of “culture” or “legend.” The South generally often corresponds to culture, i.e., to that sphere of human activity at which the Invisible and the Purely Spiritual acquire material, hardened, visible outlines. The South is the reign of substance, life, biology and instincts. The South corrupts the Northern purity of Tradition, but preserves its traces in materialized features.

The North-South pair in sacred geography is not reduced to an abstract opposition of Good and Evil. It is rather the opposition of the Spiritual Idea to its coarsened, material embodying. In normal cases, in which the South recognizes the primacy of the North, there exist harmonious relations between these “parties of light”; the North “spiritualizes the South”, the Nordic messengers bring Tradition to the Southerners and lay the foundations of sacred civilizations. If the South fails to recognize the primacy of the North, then thus begins the sacred confrontation, the “war of continents.” In the view of Tradition, the South is responsible for this conflict in breaking sacred rules. In the Ramayana, for instance, the Southern island of Lanka is considered the dwelling place of demons that have stolen Rama’s wife, Sita, and declared war on the continental North with its capital of Ayodhya. 

Thus, it is important to note that in sacred geography, the North-South axis is more important than the East-West axis. But being the more important one, it corresponds to the most ancient stages of cyclical history. The great war of North and South, of Hyperborea and Gondwana (the ancient paleo-continent of the South) belongs to “antediluvian” times. In the last phases of the cycle, it becomes more hidden, more veiled. The paleo-continents of North and South themselves disappear. Thus, the baton of opposition is passed to East and West.

The shift from the vertical North-South axis to the horizontal East-West axis typical of the last stages of the cycle nevertheless saves the logic and symbolic connection between these two sacred-geographical pairs. The North-South pair (i.e., Spirit-Matter, Eternity-Time) is projected on the East-West pair (i.e., Tradition and Profanity, Origin and Decay). The East is the downwards horizontal projection of the North. The West is the upwards horizontal projection of the South. Out of this transition of sacred meanings, one can readily obtain the structure of the continental vision peculiar to Tradition. 

The People of the North

The Sacred North determines a special human type, which can have a biological, racial embodiment, but also might not have such a thing at all. The essence of “Nordicism” consists in the capacity of man to raise each object of the physical, material world to its archetype, to its Idea. This quality is not a simple development of a rational origin. On the contrary, the Cartesian and Kantian “pure intellect” is by its very nature incapable of overcoming the thin border between the “phenomenon” and “noumenon”, whereas it is precisely this ability that lies at the heart of “Nordic” thinking. The man of the North is not simply white, “Aryan” or Indo-European in terms of his blood, language, and culture. The man of the North is a particular kind of being endowed with a direct intuition of the Sacred. To him, the cosmos is a texture of symbols, each of them pointing towards the First Spiritual Principle that is invisible to the eye. The man of the North is the “solar man”, Sonnenmensch, who does not absorb energy, as black holes do, but allots it – the streams of creation, light, strength, and wisdom flow out of his spirit.

Pure Nordic civilization disappeared with the ancient Hyperboreans, but its messengers laid the foundations of all present traditions. This Nordic “race” of Teachers stood at the origins of the religions and cultures of the peoples of all continents and colors of skin. Traces of a Hyperborean cult can be found among the Indians of North America, among the Ancient Slavs, among the founders of the Chinese civilization, and among the natives of the Pacific, among the blonde Germans and black shamans of Western Africa, among the red-skinned Aztecs and among the Mongols with their wide cheek-bones. There is no people on the planet that does not have a myth about the “solar man”, Sonnenmensch. True spirituality, the supra-rational Mind, the divine Logos, and the capacity to see through the world to its secret Soul – these are the defining qualities of the North. Wherever there is Sacred Purity and Wisdom, there, invisibly, is the North – no matter what point in space or time we inhabit. 

The People of the South

The man of the South, the Gondwana type, is directly opposite of the Nordic type. The man of the South lives in a circle of effects, of secondary manifestations; he dwells in the cosmos, which he venerates but does not understand. He worships exteriority, but not interiority. He carefully preserves traces of spirituality, their embodiments in the material environment, but he is not able to proceed from “symbolizing” to “the symbolized.” The man of the South lives by passion and speed, he puts the psychic above the spiritual (which he simply does not know) and worships Life as a higher authority. The cult of the Great Mother, of matter generating the variety of forms, is typical of the man of the South. The civilization of the South is a civilization of the Moon, which only receives light from the Sun (North), and preserves and diffuses it for some time only to periodically lose contact with it (the new moon). The man of the South is a Mondmensch.

When the people of the South stay in harmony with the people of North, i.e. recognize their authority and their typological (not racial!) superiority, harmony reigns among civilizations. When they claim their supremacy because of their archetypical relation to reality, there arises a distorted cultural type, which can be globally defined by adoration of idols, fetishism or paganism (in the negative, pejorative sense of this term).

As is the case with the paleo-continents themselves, purely Northern and Southern types existed only in remote ancient times. The people of the North and the people of the South confronted one another only in the primordial epochs. Later, whole peoples from the North penetrated the Southern lands, sometimes founding bright expressions of Nordic civilization, such as ancient Iran and India. On the other hand, peoples from the South sometimes went far northward, bearing their cultural type, such as Finns, Eskimos, Chukchi etc. The original clearness of the sacred-geographical panorama gradually became muddy. But in spite of all of this, the typological dualism of the “people of North” and the “people of the South” has been preserved in all times and epochs, only not so much in the form of an external conflict between two miscellaneous civilizations, as an internal conflict within the framework of any given civilization.

The type of the North and the type of the South have since some moment in sacred history opposed each other at every turn, irrespective of concrete places on the planet. 

North and South in East and West

The type of the people of North can be projected in the South, East and West. In the South, the Light of North generated great metaphysical civilizations such as the Indian, Iranian or Chinese, which in the situation of the “conservative” South for a long time preserved the Revelation, were entrusted with it. However, the simpleness and clearness of Northern symbolism turned here into complex and miscellaneous tangles of sacred doctrines, sacraments and rites. The further to the South, the feebler are the traces of the North. And among the inhabitants of the Pacific islands and Southern Africa, Nordic motives in mythology and sacraments are preserved only in extremely fragmentary, rudimentary and even distorted form.

In the East, the North manifests itself as classical traditional society founded on the univocal superiority of the supra-individual above the individual, where the “human” and the “rational” are retracted in view of the supra-human and supra-rational Principle. If the South gives civilization “stability”, then the East defines its sacrality and authenticity, the major guarantor of which is the Light of the North.

In the West, the North is manifest in heroic societies, where such a tendency peculiar to the West as fragmentation, individualization and rationalization surpassed itself, and the individual, becoming the Hero, grew out of the narrow framework of the “human, all too human” personality. The North in the West is personified by the symbolic figure of Heracles who, on the one hand, releases Prometheus (the purely Western, titanic, “humanist” tendency), and on the other, helps Zeus and the gods to defeat the rebellion of the giants (i.e. serves for the sake of sacred rules and spiritual Order).

The South, on the contrary, projects itself on all three orientations according to an opposite image. In the North, it gives the effect of “archaism” and cultural stagnation. Even the most Northern, “Nordic” traditions, when under the Southern influence of “Paleo-Asiatic”, “Finnish” or “Eskimo” elements, took on the traits of “idol-worshipping” and “fetishism” (this is characteristic, in particular, of the Germano-Scandinavian civilization in the “epoch of the Skalds”).

In the East, the forces of the South surface in despotic societies, where the normal and just Eastern indifference towards the individual turns into denial of the great Supra-human Subject. All forms of Eastern totalitarianism, both typological and racial, are linked to the South.

Finally, in the West, the South is manifested in the extremely rough, materialistic forms of individualism in which the atomic individual reaches the limit of anti-heroic degeneration, worshipping only the “golden calf” of comfort and egotistical hedonism. That this combination of two sacred-geopolitical tendencies yields the most negative type of civilization is obvious, since it overlaps two orientations which are already in themselves negative – South on the vertical line and West on the horizontal line. 

From Continents to Meta-Continents

If, from the perspective of sacred geography, the symbolic North unambiguously corresponds to positive aspects, and the South to negative, then in the exclusively modern geopolitical picture of the world, everything is much more complex – and to some extent even upside down. Modern geopolitics understands the terms “North” and “South” as wholly different categories than sacred geography does.

First of all, the paleo-continent of the North, Hyperborea, has not existed for many millennia on a physical level, but remains a spiritual reality towards which the spiritual gaze of the initiated yearning for primordial Tradition has been directed .

Secondly, the ancient Nordic race, the race of the “white teachers” who descended from the pole in the primordial era, does not at all coincide with what is today commonly called “white race” based only on physical characteristics, skin color, etc. The Northern Tradition and its original population, the “Nordic autochthones”, have not existed for quite some time as a historical-geographical reality. Judging by things as they stand at present, even the last remnants of this primordial culture disappeared from physical reality some millennia ago.

Thus, ‘the North’, looked at in terms of Tradition, is a meta-historical and meta-geographical reality. The same can be said about the “Hyperborean race” – it is not a ‘race’ in the biological, but rather, in a purely spiritual, metaphysical sense. The topic of “metaphysical races” was developed in detail in Julius Evola’s work.

The continent of the South, ‘the South’ as it exists in Traditionalist terms, and its most ancient population have not existed for quite some time. In a certain sense, the “South” at a certain  moment came to make up practically the entire planet, as the influence of the original polar initiatic center and its messengers dissipated across the entire world. The modern races of the South represent a product of multiple mixtures with the races of North, and skin color in general long ago ceased to be a distinctive sign of belonging to one or another “metaphysical race.”

In other words, the modern geopolitical picture of the world has very little in common with the fundamentally supra-historical and meta-temporal view of the world. The continents and populations of our epoch are extremely far removed from those archetypes to which they corresponded in primordial times. Therefore, today there exists not merely a discrepancy, but an almost inverse correspondence between actual continents and actual races (the realities of modern geopolitics) on the one hand, and meta-continents or meta-races (the realities of traditional sacred geography) on the other.

The Illusion of the “Rich North”

Modern geopolitics refers to the concept of the “North” most frequently alongside the adjective “rich”  – the “rich North,” the “advanced North”. This term refers to an aggregate of Western civilization which attaches fundamental attention to the development of the material and economic side of life. The “rich North ” is rich not because it is more clever, more intellectual, or more spiritual than the “South”, but because it has built its social system on the principle of maximizing the material that can be extracted from social and natural potential, from the exploitation of humans and natural resources. The racial image of the “rich North” is linked to people with white skin, a feature which is central to various versions, whether explicit or implicit, of “Western racism” (in particular Anglo-Saxon racism). The success of the “rich North” in the material sphere was raised to a political and even “racial” principle in those countries which became the vanguard of industrial, technical and economic development, i.e., England, Holland, and later Germany and the US. In this case, material and quantitative welfare amounted to a qualitative criterion, and it is on this basis that the most ridiculous prejudices about the “barbarism”, “primitiveness”, “underdevelopment” and “untermenschlichkeit” of the Southern peoples (i.e., those not belonging to “rich North”) came about. Such “economic racism” was clearly manifested in Anglo-Saxon colonial conquest. Later, an embellished version was introduced in the most coarse and contradictory aspects of National-Socialist ideology. Nazi ideologists often blended vague guesses about pure “spiritual Nordism” and the “spiritual Aryan race” with the vulgar, mercantilistic, biological racism of the English variety. This substitution of sacred-geographical categories with categories of material and technical development was the most absolutely negative aspect of National-Socialism, and the element which led to its political, theoretical and military collapse. Yet, even after the defeat of the Third Reich, this kind of “rich North” racism has not disappeared from political life. Now, the US and its Atlanticist partners in Western Europe have become its primary bearers. In the most recent globalist doctrines of the “rich North”, questions of biological and racial purity are not stressed; nevertheless, in practice, the rich North’s relations with undeveloped and less developed countries of the Third World still advance the “racist” haughtiness typical of both English colonialists and the German National-Socialists’ orthodox Rosenberg line. 

In fact, the “rich North”, in geopolitical terms, refers to those countries where forces directly opposed to Tradition have won out – the forces of quantity, materialism, atheism, spiritual degradation and emotional degeneration. The “rich North” is radically distinct from “spiritual Nordism” and the “Hyperborean spirit.” The substance of the North in sacred geography is the primacy of spirit over matter, the definitive and total victory of Light, Justice and Purity over the darkness of animal life, the arrogance of individual passions and the mud of base egoism. The globalist geopolitics of the “rich North”, on the contrary, means exclusively material welfare, hedonism, the consumer society, the “problem-free” and artificial pseudo-paradise of those whom Nietzsche called “the last men.” The material progress of technological civilization has been accompanied by the monstrous spiritual regress of all truly sacred culture. From the point of view of Tradition, the “wealth” of the modern, “advanced” North cannot serve as genuine criteria of any real superiority over the material “poverty” and technological backwardness of the modern “primitive South.”

Moreover, the material “poverty” of the South is quite often conversely linked tied to Southern regions’ conservation of genuinely sacred forms of civilization. Spiritual wealth is sometimes disguised behind ostensible “poverty.” At least two such sacred civilizations still exist in the Southern space today despite all the attempts by the “rich (and aggressive!) North” to impose its own measures and path of development on the whole world: Hindu India and the Islamic world. In terms of Far Eastern traditions, there are various points of view: some see certain traditional principles that have always been definitive for Chinese civilization, even beneath the “Marxist” and “Maoist” rhetoric. These Southern regions are inhabited by peoples who have maintained their devotion to very ancient, nearly forgotten sacred traditions. Compared to the atheist and utterly materialistic “rich North”, these peoples are “spiritual”, “whole” and “normal”, while the “rich North” itself is “abnormal” and “pathological” from a spiritual point of view.

The Paradox of the “Third World ”

In terms of globalist projects, the “poor South” is de facto a synonym for the “Third World.” This part of the world was referred to as the “third” during the Cold War, a notion which presupposed that the other two “worlds” – the advanced capitalist and less-advanced Soviet – were more relevant and significant to geopolitics than all other regions. The expression “Third World” has a pejorative connotation: according to the utilitarian logic of the ”rich North”, such a definition renders Third World countries tantamount to a “no man’s land”, to little more than human resource reservoirs slated for subservience, exploitation and manipulation. In so doing, the “rich North” has skillfully played on the traditional political-ideological and religious characteristics of the “poor South” by subjugating it to its exclusively materialist and economic interests and structures which are, in terms of spiritual potential, far superior to the “rich North” itself. The “rich North” has almost always succeeded in this subjugation, since the very cyclical moment of our civilization is conducive to perverted, abnormal and unnatural tendencies. This is due to the fact that, according to Tradition, we are now in the latest period of the dark age, the ‘Kali Yuga.’ Hinduism, Confucianism, Islam and the indigenous traditions of the “non-white” peoples are but an impediment to the material conquests and aims of the “rich North”; yet, at the same time, certain aspects of Tradition are often appropriated to achieve their mercantile goals by manipulating contradictions, religious peculiarities or national problems. Such utilitarian appropriations of various aspects of Tradition for exclusively anti-traditional aims have been an even greater evil than the outright denial of all Traditional values, since the highest perversion is for the great to be made subservient to the “nothing.”

In reality, the so-called “poor South ” is only “poor” on a material level precisely because of its spiritual attitudes, having always reserved only a minor and unimportant place for the material aspects of existence. The geopolitical South in our time has preserved a uniquely traditionalist attitude towards the objects of the external world, a calm, detached, and even indifferent attitude which starkly contrasts the obsessions of the “rich North” with materialist and hedonistic paranoia. The people of the “poor South”, by virtue of living in Tradition, to this day have fuller, more profound and even more magnificent existences. Participation in sacred Tradition bestows upon all aspects of their personal lives’ a meaning, an intensity and a saturation, of which the “rich North” has long been deprived. The latter is left hysterical with neuroses, material fears, inner desolation and a completely pointless existence. It is little more than a languid kaleidoscope with pictures as vivid as they are empty. 

It could be said that the correlation between North and South in primordial times has a directly inverse correlation in our present epoch, as it is the South which today still preserves some links with Tradition, whereas the North has definitively lost them. Nevertheless, this statement does not cover the whole picture of reality, since true Tradition cannot abide such humiliating treatment as that practiced by the aggressively atheistic “rich North” against the “Third world.” The fact of the matter is that Tradition has been preserved in the South only in an inertial, fragmentary, partial form. It holds a passive position and can only resist, it is permanently on the defensive. Thus, the spiritual North has not fully transferred itself to the South in the End Times – the South only accumulates and preserves spiritual impulses that once came from the sacred North. No active traditional initiative can come from the South in principle. Meanwhile, the globalist “rich North” has managed to harden its pernicious grasp on the planet due to the specificity of the Northern regions that are conducive to activity. The North was and remains by its very nature the chosen place of power. Thus, truly effective geopolitical initiatives come from the North.

The “poor South” today has a spiritual advantage over the “rich North”, but it cannot serve as a serious alternative to the profane aggression of the “rich North”, nor can it offer the radical geopolitical project capable of subverting the pathological vision of the modern world. 

The Role of the “ Second World”

In the bipolar geopolitical picture of “rich North” vs. “poor South”, there has always existed an additional component of self-sufficient and critical significance. This is the so-called “Second World”, which is conventionally understood to mean the socialist camp that was integrated into the Soviet system. This “Second World” was not quite the “rich North”, since it had definite spiritual motives that secretly influenced the nominally materialistic ideology of Soviet socialism, nor was it really the “Third world”, since overall an orientation towards material development, “progress” and other exclusively profane principles were at the heart of the Soviet system. The geopolitically Eurasian USSR was located both in “poor Asia” and “civilized” Europe. During the socialist period, the planetary belt of the “rich North” was broken in Eastern Eurasia, thus complicating the clarity of geopolitical relations on the North-South axis.

The end of the “Second World” as a special civilization left the former USSR’s Eurasian space with two alternatives: either integration into the “rich North” (that is, the West and the US), or being thrown down to the “poor South”, i.e., to turn into a “Third world country.” One possible compromise would be the separation of some of the regions to the “North” and some to the “South.” As has often been the case over the last few centuries, the initiative of redistributing geopolitical spaces was the prerogative of the “rich North”, which cynically used the paradoxes of the “second world” itself to fix new geopolitical borders and break up zones of influence. 

National, economic and religious factors are regularly instrumentalized by the globalists as tools in their cynical and deeply materialist-motivated operations. It is therefore no surprise that, in addition to false “humanist” rhetoric, almost blatantly “racist” pretexts are now increasingly invoked to incite Russians to demonstrate a “white superiority complex” towards Asian and Caucasian Southerners. This correlates with the inverse process of the former “Second World” being driven finally towards the “poor South” which has been accompanied by manipulations of fundamentalist tendencies, of the peoples’ inclination towards Tradition and of the revival of religion. 

The disintegrating “Second World” is being broken apart along the lines of “traditionalism” (the southern, inertial, conservative kind) and “anti-traditionalism” (the actively Northern, modernist and materialist kind). This dualism, which is only being strategized today but will become the predominant phenomenon in Eurasian geopolitics in  the near future, is predetermined by the spread of the globalist understanding of the world in terms of “rich North” and the “poor South.” Any attempt to save the former Soviet Great Space, and any attempt to save the “Second World” as something self-sufficient and balancing halfway between North and South (in their exclusively modern meaning), cannot be successful without altogether questioning the fundamentally polar conception of modern geopolitics as understood and realized in its actual form, brushing aside deceitful humanitarian and economic proclamations. 

The “Second World” is disappearing. There is no more place for it on the modern geopolitical map. At the same time, the pressure of the “rich North” on the “poor South” is increasing, with the latter left to fend against the aggressive materialistic technocratic society of the “North” in the absence of an intermediate power, such as the Second World was. Any other possible destiny for the “Second World” will only be possible if accompanied by a radical rejection of the planetary logic of the North-South dichotomy in its globalist vein. 

The Project for the “Resurrection of the North”

The rich globalist North is spreading its domination across the planet through the partition and destruction of the “Second World.” In modern geopolitics, this has also been called the project of the “New World Order.” The active forces of anti-tradition are consolidating their victory over the passive recalcitrance of the Southern regions which continue to preserve their economic backwardness and defend their residual forms of Tradition. The inner geopolitical energies of the “Second World” face a choice – either be annexed into the “civilized Northern belt” and decisively lose any connection with sacred history (which is the project of leftist globalism), or become an occupied territory allowed to partially restore some aspects of tradition (the project of right-wing globalism). Events are developing in precisely this direction today and they will continue to in the near future. 

As for an alternative, it is theoretically possible to formulate a different path for geopolitical transformation based on rejecting the North-South globalist logic and on returning to the spirit of genuine sacred geography – to the extent that such is possible now, at the end of the dark age. This is the project of the “Great Return” or, in other terms, the “Great War of Continents.” In its most general features, the essence of this project is as follows:

(1) The rich North will be opposed, not by the “poor South”, but by the “poor North.” The poor North is the sacred ideal of returning to the Nordic sources of civilization. Such a North is “poor” because it is based on total asceticism, on radical devotion to the highest values of Tradition, on utter hatred of the material for the sake of the spiritual. The “poor North” exists (in a geographical sense) in Russia, which, essentially being the “Second World”, has socio-politically resisted the adoption of globalist civilization in its most “progressive” forms to the present moment. The North Eurasian lands of Russia are the only territories on earth which have not been completely mastered by the “rich North.” They are inhabited by traditional peoples and are terra incognita in the modern world. The “path of the poor North” for Russia means refusing to be annexed by the globalist belt and refusing to have its traditions archaized, reduced to the folkloric level of an ethno-religious reservoir. The “poor North” must be spiritual, intellectual, active and aggressive. Potential opposition by the “poor North” to the “rich North” is possible in other regions as well, perhaps manifesting itself in part of the Western intellectual elite radically sabotaging the course of mercantile civilization and rebelling against the modern world of finance for the sake of the ancient, eternal values of the Spirit, Justice and Self-Sacrifice. The “poor North” could thus launch a geopolitical and ideological battle against the “rich North”, rejecting its projects, destroying its plans from the inside and out, combating its stainless efficiency and thwarting its social and political manipulations.

(2) The “poor South”, incapable of independently opposing the rich North, will enter a radical alliance with the poor Eurasian North and begin a liberation war against the Northern dictatorship. It is especially important to strike at representatives of the ideology of the “rich South ”, i.e., those forces which, working for the “rich North”, stand for the “development”, “progress” and “modernization” of traditional countries, which will otherwise lead to a further departure from what remains of sacred Tradition.

(3) The “poor North” of the Eurasian East, together with the “poor South”, will surround the entire planet, concentrating their forces against the “rich North” of the Atlanticist West. These efforts will put an end to the ideologically vulgar versions of Anglo-Saxon racism and praise of the “technological civilization of the white peoples” along with its accompaniment globalist propaganda. Alain de Benoist expressed this idea in the title of his famous book  Europe, Tiers Monde – même combat [“Europe and the Third World: The Same Fight”], which argues for a “spiritual Europe”, a “Europe of peoples and traditions” instead of the “Maastricht Europe of commodities.” The intellectualism, activism and spiritual profile of the genuine, sacred North will return the South’s traditions to their Nordic Source, and raise the Southerners in a planetary uprising against the common geopolitical enemy. In so doing, the passive resistance of the South will form a beachhead in the planetary messianism of the “Nordicists” who radically reject the degenerated and anti-sacred branch of white peoples who have followed the path of technological progress and material development. This could spark a planetary, supra-racial and supra-national Geopolitical Revolution based on the fundamental solidarity of the “Third World” with that part of the “Second World” which rejects the project of the “rich North”.

Over the course of this struggle, the flame of the “resurrection of the spiritual North”, the flame of Hyperborea, will transform geopolitical reality. The new global ideology will be that of Final Restoration, putting a final end to the geopolitical history of civilizations – but this will not be the end which the globalist spokesmen of the End of History have theorized. The materialistic, atheistic, anti-sacred, technocratic, Atlanticist version of the End will give way to a different epilogue – the final Victory of the sacred Avatar, the coming of the Great Judgement, which will grant those who chose voluntary poverty the kingdom of spiritual abundance, while those who preferred wealth founded on the assassination of the Spirit will be condemned to eternal damnation and torment in hell.

Lost continents will arise out of the abysses of the past. Invisible meta-continents will appear in reality. A New Earth and a New Heaven will arise.

Thus, the path is not from sacred geography to geopolitics but, on the contrary, from geopolitics to sacred geography.

 

Eurasia and Eurasianism in the 21st Century: Security, Identity, and Alliance Culture

Authors: Konstantin Kurylev, Sergey Bazavluk, Leonid Savin, Vladimir Yurtaev

Translator: Jafe Arnold

Originally published in the journal Informatsionnye voyny [Information Wars] 3:51 (2019), pp. 47-51.

***

The establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) has a history going back much further than that of the Customs Union and Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC), and bears potential exceeding the geographical boundaries of the union itself. The EAEU is indirectly connected to the history of Eurasianism and, since the joint Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS summit held in Ufa in 2015, has gained additional vectors, such as linking up with the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative as well as the activities of the SCO encompassing countries of both Central and South Asia. This points to three interrelated factors: the role of alliances, their identities, and security regimes in the broadest sense of the term. In this article, the authors attempt to analyze these factors concerning the EAEU and, more broadly, the SCO as a similar structure operating in Eurasia. A descriptive methodology and interdisciplinary approach are employed, and an attempt is made to yield geopolitical foresight (forecast) with regards to several scenarios.

The process of integration within the Eurasian Economic Union, besides questions of trade regulation, the adaptation of national legislations, and the forging of favorable conditions for the development and growth of participating countries’ economies, inevitably involves questions of ideology and security. The EAEU project itself implies a supra-state identity which is in need of ideological conceptualization and substance. Insofar as, since the collapse of the USSR, all of its former republics have to one degree or another begun to engage in the development of their own national ideologies and politics of identity, any supra-state superstructure will need, in the very least, to re-conceptualize national projects and include them into a broader agenda. A more detailed and systematic approach necessitates the construction of a complex, adaptive architecture linking ethno-national factors, regional security, geo-economic challenges, and inclusive political methods. In technical terms (and in line with one of the principles of the integration strategy of the European Union towards new members) we can speak of the presence of multiple referential layers of integration and of the possibility of enacting varying paces.

The scope of such a study inevitably points towards the geopolitical context and geopolitical dynamics of regional processes. If from the standpoint of classical geopolitics the EAEU embodies the Heartland of Eurasia, which implies adhering to the strategy of land power and, as follows, confronting the challenge of sea power, then through the prism of critical geopolitics this binary opposition is rendered secondary, and instruments of power transcend borders. Unlike classical geopolitics, critical geopolitics pays greater attention to the “lower” levels of power rather than macro- or global economic processes. Critical geopolitics emphasizes not so much the sources and structures of power as the everyday practices of realizing power relations and the mental models which ensure them. Alongside political geography, critical geopolitics posits that spatiality is not limited to territoriality. State power is not wielded only within the territory of a state.[1] 

Such a posing of the question allows for a more flexible approach to projecting inter-state and supra-state projects without depreciating the significance of national sovereignties. In the post-Soviet space, there are two interconnected functioning projects, the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the first of which emphasizes economic development, while the second is associated with questions of regional security. However, upon more detailed consideration, the development of the Eurasian integration project – even if exclusively of an economic trajectory – cannot be realized in isolation from security issues.

As pointed out by Professor A.D. Ursul, “security, in its most general form, is a means of preserving a given object in the face of different types of internal and external negative influences…The point of ensuring security lies in preserving an object in a form in which it can continue to exist and develop.”[2]  In previous time, security has been discerned according to rather limited criteria, in which the emphasis was put on the political, social, or ideological dimensions. A certain trend also focused on security in the face of man-made catastrophes and the surrounding environment. Only later did it become clear that, alongside ecological security, it is important to include other characteristics of the real process of development, such as the economic, political, legal, demographic, and informational dimensions, etc.[3] These postulates are also appropriate for the EAEU. Yet disputes are arising over what should be of priority: the economic aspects of integration, or political structure. Nominally, given the name of the union, economics should predominate. However, economics is an instrument for the pursuance of the economy (khoziaistva) of society. In a state, politics is primary before economics, insofar as the very existence of the state depends on such. Certain economic criteria can be set as goals of the state and reflect the ethical code of the people. From Russia’s position, the economic aspect will always be a secondary element.

It has been noted that “Russia’s strategic goal should be the economic and military-political integration of the post-Soviet space.”[4] The EAEU has a special function to fulfill to this end: “Eurasian integration presents Russia with the opportunity to return to ‘superpower status’, one which will not belong to Russia single-handedly, but as one (albeit the largest) element within the construction of the Eurasian space.”[5]

Insofar as the EAEU is an open project, the question of the interests of potential new members is fully, naturally logical. In the opinion of Professor A.I. Smirnov, interest in joining the EAEU will be tied to geopolitical expediency, while economic components will only be secondary.[6] The experience of the European Union and its inclusion of new members from among the countries of Eastern Europe confirms the geopolitical and not economic character of integration within this union. Moreover, the reluctance of multiple countries to abandon their national currencies and switch to the Euro is demonstrative of political priorities. The neutrality of multiple EU members towards NATO as well as, conversely, the active engagement of other members in the North Atlantic Alliance, and the creation of the Visegrad Group out of Eastern European countries – which became possible only after their joining the EU and NATO – must be taken note of. The situation with Brexit is also a reflection of geopolitical contradictions within the EU, not economic instability.

At the same time, the creation of a new geopolitical construct with corresponding security components – even if the role of all participants is agreed upon in technical order – inevitably raises the topic of ideology. When connected to the projection of power, ideology has several dimensions. As pointed out by Franklin Ankersmit, “ideology is always metaphorical. Ideology defines a point of view from which we are invited to see social and political reality.”[7] In Ankersmit’s opinion, “if metaphor defines a certain political ‘point of view’ from which social reality is conceptualized, it is the state onto which this point of view can be projected. The state enables us to translate ideological, metaphorical insight into concrete political action. Without a state, ideology is helpless, without ideology the state has no program for political action.” [7] As follows, there should be some kind of interface or connection where philosophical, cultural, and religious aspects can feed political decisions. Ankersmit also holds that “the nonideological state is a stupid and ineffective state, and its capacity to learn will decrease accordingly.”[8] The absence of ideology automatically means losing one’s position within alliances as well as a decrease in one’s ability to respond to external challenges, insofar as ideology is also directly tied to the foreign policy vectors of a state, whether concerning neighboring or distant countries, partners or opponents.

Independent of whatever school of International Relations, there exists the opinion that “ideologies, or actors’ foundational principles of domestic political legitimacy, are likely to impact leaders’ foreign policies by affecting their perceptions of the threats that others pose to their central domestic and international interests. The greater the ideological differences dividing decision makers from different states, the more likely they are to view one another as substantial dangers to both their domestic power and the security of their respective countries.” [9]

Among such external challenges, “the expansion of NATO and its advance up to the borders of our country has become one of the key geopolitical problems of the present.”[10] In 2014, the contradictions which had accumulated in dialogue between Russia and Western countries reached a critical point and caused an unprecedented aggravation of relations.[11]

Insofar as the space of the former USSR has seen the evolution of so-called “geopolitical pluralism”, it is very difficult to count on the development of deep integration. The good neighbor belt which has been one of Russia’s foreign policy priorities has been fractured, and the West has successfully formed part of an anti-Russian buffer zone.[12] This creates risks for further integration processes in general, and for Russia’s role in the Eurasian space in general. Under the pressure of the West, it is necessary to more articulately substantiate decisions and alternative scenarios for both EAEU partners and other alliances.

A more flexible mechanism for responsive measures and planning can be achieved through the synchronization of key elements of the strategic cultures and national interests of EAEU countries (and more broadly those of the SCO). Firstly, insofar as the main tendencies in international relations are tied to the school of political realism in its different variations, the role of strategic culture and the interests of states will remain rather high. Secondly, the interconnection of strategic culture and national interests will directly shape an ideology on the basis of which a political agenda can be formed. Thirdly, allied partners’ perceptions of their national interests as their own can best be achieved given common value-based motives in cultural and political tradition(s).

Russian military experts have repeatedly noted the need for such a mechanism of a systemic nature, even if such has not been characterized as an ideology per se, but expressed in other terms. Such is often raised in the shape of the notion of a development strategy. “The will to wage war is, in essence, when considered in terms of prospects, the will to rule after war. Therefore, the aim of each side’s army is to develop and choose a strategy for victory for its side. The winning strategy will thereby, for some time, become the strategy of the whole global community.”[13]

Taking into account the ongoing confrontation and potential for conflict, measures for deterring rivals should also take into consideration a detailed analysis of strategic culture, since “Deterrence…as a typical strategic concept, is concerned with influencing the choices that another party will make, and doing it by influencing his expectations of how we will behave.”[14]

Insofar as strategic culture directly reflects collective identity, this latter concept is also in need of clarification. Identification is a complex phenomenon encompassing self-understanding, community, and connectedness. Rogers Brubaker discerns the existence of relational and categorical forms of identification. The first assumes the existence of some kind of network of connections, whereas the second points towards belonging to a class or group having common attributes, such as nationality, race, language, etc. A state can be a powerful “identifier” insofar as it “has the material and symbolic resources to impose the categories, classificatory schemes, and modes of social counting and accounting.”[15] The optimal scenario is seen as the combination of both forms, in which clusters with clear identities are immeshed in deep and inextricable relationships. This ideal type for the state is somewhat more difficult to realize in systems of associations, unions, and alliances. No single recipe exists. In the West, the emphasis is on Transatlantic values and traditions; in Muslim countries the appeal is made to religious identity (e.g, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation), and in ASEAN countries the accent is on poly-cultural dialogue and the need for regional cooperation. At the present moment, the main emphasis within the EAEU is on the common historical past and geographical proximity. Another pivotal (albeit not accentuated) element within the EAEU is the course towards establishing a multipolar world. This provision has been enshrined in the foreign policy strategy of the Russian Federation.

As noted by A.Ya. Shcherbakova: “The Russian Federation is the most active state, after the US, on questions of the formation of a new world order, and it meets the following principles: Russia is a member of the UN Security Council, it is increasing its political and military prestige, using the diplomatic experience which it has obtained in resolving the conflict in Syria, it is defending its own sovereignty, strengthening national security, and actively fighting terrorism on a global level.”[16] It has also been pointed out that “our country wields all that is necessary to take a leading position in both the economic and cultural spheres in the new multipolar world.”[17]

However, in strategic documents, multipolarity has been primarily of a declarative character. There has been no precise definition of multipolarity nor – and this is important – has Russia expressed a vision of how a multipolar architecture ought to be built beyond its criticism of the US’ unipolarity and besides its statements on the need to participate in various associations.

Considering Eurasian integration, it has also been noted that “the implementation of a set of measures for strengthening the framework of the EAEU and its consolidation on the current integration track demands the development of an ideology of Eurasian integration.”[18] This testifies to the vacuum of ideas in the current political process. It is obvious that the process of Eurasian integration is rising to a new level, and with time will lead to the formation of a new geopolitical center of world politics.[19] A targeted ideology aimed at developing the EAEU might potentially represent one version of a strategy for multipolarity.

Yet another serious question is the practical realization of potential theoretical models. Specialists have noted that old methods and tool kits are no longer effective, in connection with which there is heightened interest in an “exit strategy”, in the rethinking of traditional views of strategic planning mechanisms, and in continuing work on integrating the priorities of national security policy into Russia’s macro-strategy.[20] 

Without a doubt, it must be agreed that “it is necessary to intensify the work of the EAEU scientific community on formulating an ideology of Eurasian integration.”[21] Russian international affairs experts frequently suggest the use of “soft power” methods for the attainment of set goals. On the one hand, “part of soft power is the potential of partnership, flexibility, negotiability, and the ability to transform – all of these factors determine soft power as a key instrument of integration processes.”[22] On the other hand, however, soft power cannot be used as a “one-for-all.” This is merely a general description of the phenomenon which demands authentic content. Yet there is another side, and “cultural-civilizational differences determine the development of societies to a greater extent than other factors. The transplanting of institutions, methods, practices, and technologies into a different culturo-historical system is not only ineffective but is, quite frankly, often harmful.”[22]

Therefore, it is necessary to prepare multiple development scenarios which have the same priorities and target groups. In the case of a positive development in the situation, several scenarios can be combined to impart overall strategy with a synergetic effect and translate such into a field of integrated complexity.

One such scenario would be an integrated-adaptive approach. In accordance with this option, the EAEU should develop a sufficiently clear ideology to be applied as an umbrella model for members of the union. Such should be flexible, and its main postulates should correspond to the national interests of all the states belonging to the EAEU. To some extent, this also applies to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, but then there arises the question of correctly understanding the Chinese perception of world order and Beijing’s long-term strategy.

A second scenario would entail a normative approach. This case envisions the gradual amendment of the Constitutions of the states belonging to the EAEU, as well as the adjustment of the organization’s Charter. This seems unlikely in the short term.

A third approach would be a multilateral mode of interaction. According to this scenario, the EAEU, CSTO, and SCO, as well as other initiatives such as the Belt and Road, would develop autonomously, without visible integration with one another, but within the context of the common interests of all these structures. This is the most likely development scenario. At the same time, it should be taken into consideration that the activeness of all organizations will differ in terms of the scales of tasks and responsibilities. In one way or another, Russia and China will play the role of the two motors, insofar as they are “regional powers belonging to the same subsystem of international relations, as well as great powers which have interests in practically all corners of the world.”[23] The application of the umbrella ideology of Eurasianism in its various versions would be expedient in this scenario.

As for a fourth approach, insofar as the post-Soviet space has already experienced unsuccessful projects, such as the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development and the Commonwealth of Independent States, it cannot be ruled out that the EAEU’s activities might freeze, or even that a member-country may leave for one reason or another. Without a doubt, such would be the most negative turn of events, but such also demands analysis in order to foresee and provide for the timely blocking of such processes. The first three scenarios, including their synthesis in various formats, are therefore the most desirable.

Footnotes: 

[1] Maruev, A.Yu., Medvedev, D.А., Gulina Е.V. Теоретические аспекты проектирования геополитического пространства в арктическом регионе [“Theoretical Aspects of Projecting the Geopolitical Space in the Arctic Region”],  Стратегическая стабильность [Strategic Stability] No 2 (83), 2018, p. 9.

[2] Ursul А.D. Безопасность в контексте глобальной устойчивости [“Security in the Context of Global Stability”] // Информационные войны [Information Wars] No 2 (46) 2018. p.64 – 65.

[3] Ibid., 66.

[4] Глобальная безопасность: инновационные методы анализа конфликтов [Global Security: Innovation Methods for Conflict Analysis]. Edited by A.I. Smirnov. Мoscow: Obshchestvo “Znanie” Rossii, 2011. p. 159.

[5] Ibid., 164.

[6] Ibid., 167.

[7] F.R. Ankersmit, Aesthetic Politics: Political Philosophy Beyond Fact and Value. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996. p. 357.

[8] Ibid., 358. 

[9] Mark L. Haas, The Ideological Origins of Great Power Politics, 1789-1989. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2005. P. 1.

[10] K.P. Kurylev. Украинский кризис и международная безопасность [The Ukrainian Crisis and International Security]. Мoscow: LENAND, 2018. p. 171.

[11] Ibid., 173.

[12] Ibid., 198.

[13] Yuri Matvienko, Военный аспект Четвёртой политической теории [“The Military Aspect of the Fourth Political Theory”] // Geopolitica.ru, 06.08.2012 [https://www.geopolitica.ru/article/voennyy-aspekt-chetvyortoy-politicheskoy-teorii%5D

[14] Thomas Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict. Harvard University Press, 1980. p. 

[15] Rogers Brubaker, Ethnicity Without Groups. Harvard University Press, 2004. p. 43. 

[16] Shcherbakova А.Ya. Место России на геополитической карте современного мира [“Russia’s Place on the Geopolitical Map of the Contemporary World”] // Информационные войны [Information Wars] No 1 (45) 2018. p. 24.

[17] S. Baykov. Россия и новый миропорядок XXI века [“Russia and the New World Order in the 21st Century] // Постсоветский материк [Post-Soviet Continent] No 1 (13), 2017. p. 11.

[18] Tkachuk, S.P., Mityaev, D.А. “Мягкая сила” науки и образования в развитии евразийской экономической интеграции [“The ‘Soft Power’ of Science and Education in the Development of Eurasian Economic Integration”] // Экономические стратегии [Economic Strategies] No 2 (152), 2018. p. 182.

[19] Iskakov I.Zh. Политические институты России и Казахстана в процессе евразийской интеграции [“Political Institutions in Russia and Kazakhstan in the Process of Eurasian Integration”], Глобальные тенденции развития мира. Материалы Всероссийской научной конференции [“Global Trends in World Development: Materials of the All-Russian Scientific Conference”] (Moscow, 14 June 2012, INION RAN) Мoscow: Nauchny ekspert, 2013. p. 306.

[20] A.G. Makushkin. Обеспечение стратегического контроля в области планирования безопасности социально-экономического развития [“Ensuring Strategic Control in the Field of Planning the Security of Socio-Economic Development”],  Экономика обороны и безопасности и аналитика [The Economics of Defense, Security, and Analysis]. Edited by A.N. Kanshin. Мoscow: Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, 2013. p. 82-87.

[21] Tkachuk, S.P., Mityaev, D.А. “Мягкая сила” науки и образования в развитии евразийской экономической интеграции [“The ‘Soft Power’ of Science and Education in the Development of Eurasian Economic Integration”] // Экономические стратегии [Economic Strategies] No 2 (152), 2018. p. 188.

[22] Kazarinova D.B. Политический краудсорсинг, социальные медиа и фабрики мысли как новые акторы глобальной политики: факторы мягкой силы [“Political Crowdsourcing, Social Media, and Think Tanks as the New Actors of Global Politics: Factors of Soft Power”] // [“Global Trends in World Development: Materials of the All-Russian Scientific Conference”] (Moscow, 14 June 2012, INION RAN) Мoscow: Nauchny ekspert, 2013. p. 533.

[23] D. А. Degterev. Прикладной количественный анализ и моделирование международных отношений [Applied Quantitative Analysis and Modeling in International Relations]. Мoscow: RUDN, 2016. p. 415.

Alexander Dugin – NOOMAKHIA: The Logos of Turan – “Turan as an Idea”

Author: Alexander Dugin

Translator: Jafe Arnold

Introduction to Noomakhia – The Logos of Turan: The Indo-European Ideology of the Verticle (Moscow: Academic Project, 2017)

***

Turan and Eurasia: Similarities and Differences between Concepts

The space of North-Eastern Eurasia upon which Russia has established itself as a state and civilization over the past 500 years represents a special existential horizon. We can call this the Eurasian Horizon and speak of a specific Eurasian Dasein. This territory acquired the name Turan in Iranian sacred geography, and this name can by all means be seen as an analogue to the notion of “Eurasia.”[1] Insofar as we will examine Russian civilization and its Logos in a separate volume, and given that in Russian civilization the Eurasian element is largely predominant, it is natural to apply the notion of Eurasia to the study of the Russian Logos, as did the Eurasianist philosophers, such as N.S. Trubetzkoy [2], P.N. Savitsky [3], G.V. Vernadsky [4], N.N. Alekseev [5], L.N. Gumilev [6], etc. In this case, the civilizations of Eurasia, united by a common horizon preceding the emergence of Russia as an historico-cultural axis, can be integrated into the concept of Turan.

In Noomakhia, by Turan we mean the civilizations and cultures which took shape on the territory of North-Eastern Eurasia (with the exception of Russian civilization which is examined in a separate study). This, of course, is a rather conditional division, as Russian civilization itself can be studied from different angles of view, whether as part of the Slavic world, as a most important component of the Byzantine Orthodox space, as something self-sufficient and unique (samobytnoe, in the likes of “Continent Russia” [7]), or as one historical expression of the existential horizon of Turan. In the present volume of Noomakhia, we will focus on those peoples who took shape on the territory of Turan before and/or parallel to the Russians. In this case, establishing a correspondence between the Logos of Turan and the Russian Logos might be the next important step allowing for a better understanding of both.

Yet another important consideration to be taken into account is that, originally, we planned for this volume of Noomakhia to examine all the civilizations either belonging to the Eurasian group or figuring under Eurasian influence. Thus, as we have just said, for us Turan and Eurasia were to function as synonyms. However, over the course of working on this subject, we have found that such might be divided into two components: firstly, we can speak of the Indo-European (and only Indo-European!) nomadic cultures that formed on the territory of Eurasia, more precisely in the space of the Great Steppe, in the period from the fifth millennium BC to the first millennium AD; secondly, we can consider those non-Indo-European peoples, on whom the influence of the nomadic Indo-European societies of the Great Steppe was decisive and fundamental, and who subsequently inherited the Indo-Europeans’ mission starting in the first centuries AD, with the invasion of the Huns, and continuing up to the 19th century.

Thus, we have divided our study into two volumes. In the first, present book, The Logos of Turan, we focus exclusively on the Indo-European peoples who arose in the Great Steppe and spread their influence across virtually the whole territory of the Eurasian continent. In the second volume, The Horizons and Civilizations of Eurasia: The Indo-European Legacy and the Traces of the Great Mother, we follow the transfer of this steppic, nomadic, martial tradition to other, non-Indo-European peoples, first and foremost of the Altaic family, and we study the influence of Indo-European culture on other neighboring civilizations, such as the Siberian (and Paleo-Asiatic), the Tibetan, the Finno-Ugric, and the Caucasian.[8] For the sake of clarity of exposition, we have thus had to divide our preliminary conceptualization of the shared identity of the notions of Turan and Eurasia into two postulates: we understand “Turan” to be the civilization created in the space of the Great Eurasian Steppe by the Indo-European peoples and then transmitted directly to other nomadic peoples (first and foremost the Altaic); by “Eurasia”, we mean the much wider spectrum of existential horizons, including Turan – as the core of the Eurasian continent, both Indo-European as well as post-Indo-European (Turko-Mongolian) – and the totality of civilizations and cultures that formed around the periphery of the Great Steppe which were influenced (both directly and indirectly) by Turan and the Indo-Europeans.

Thus, Turan should be considered the core, center, and heart of Eurasia, and Eurasia itself as the broader geosophical context including both Turanian and non-Turanian elements, both Indo-European and non-Indo-European cultures. This situation is further complicated by the fact that, moving throughout the space of Eurasia, some Indo-European cultures lost their primordial, axial identity (for example, the ancient Lydians and Phrygians in Anatolia, or the peoples of Western Europe in Modernity), while at the same time some non-Indo-European peoples (above all the Altaic peoples, as well as the Tibetans, the Uralic peoples, the peoples of the Caucasus, and even some Paleo-Asiatics, such as the Kets) adopted and laid such at the foundation of their cultures.

It is precisely with regards to this dialectic that the title of the second volume of Noomakhia dedicated to the question of Turan and Eurasia features an appeal to the gestalt of the Great Mother. If the Logos of Turan is at the center of the Eurasian continent and represents pure Apollonianism, then on the (noologically) opposite pole is the Logos of Cybele.[9] In the projection of this noological structure onto the geographical map we can see that the Logos of Cybele exerts decisive influence around the periphery of the Eurasian continent, i.e., it is built into the geosophical structure of Eurasia. If the Logos of Apollo dominates in Turan (the Great Steppe), then in the periphery traces of another civilization can be noted, one in which chthonic motives, Titanism, and matriarchy predominate. Turan (Apollonianism) exerted its influence, embodied first and foremost and most lucidly of all in the Indo-European nomadic, warrior cultures, on all the peoples and cultures of Eurasia, but its strength diminished insofar as it neared the coastal zones of the Eurasian continent where, on the contrary, the Logos of Cybele has been proportionally strong. This constitutes the main geosophical map of Eurasia and the dialectical essence of the Eurasian horizons. But in order to be convinced of this thesis, we need to study and dissect first the structures of the Indo-European civilizations and cultures of Turan, in order to determine their noological nature, and then, with the achieved results, turn to surveying other peoples and societies. The conceptual difference between Turan and Eurasia will be fully clear upon acquaintance with these two volumes of Noomakhia, which represent a whole, or two parts of one and the same study.

As follows, it bears recalling that the methodological foundation of Noomakhia was expounded in the first two volumes, The Three Logoi: Apollo, Dionysus, and Cybele and Geosophy: Horizons and Civilizations,[10] and the examination of individual societies and cultures belonging to the circle of the Indo-European horizon has already been undertaken in the individual Noomakhia volumes dedicated to the study of the Germanic, French, Latin, and Greek Logoi, to the civilization of Great Britain, the Semitic world, and the Indian and Iranian cultures.[11-18] All of the latter volumes of Greater Noomakhia are of principal importance to adequately understanding the Logos of Turan just as, in turn, this volume and its closely adjoined companion, Horizons and Civilizations of Eurasia,[19] can be considered key to the above-cited. Taken together, all of these works constitute a most important cornerstone of the Geosophy of Eurasia.

The Turanian Proto-Culture á la Oswald Spengler

As the special space of a self-sufficient civilization, Turan has only rarely been the subject of what have been rather narrowly specialized and thematic studies. One exception to this is the work of Oswald Spengler (1880-1936), who discerned Turan to be a particular civilizational field of principle significance to mankind as a whole. Spengler developed his theory of Turan in his unfinished work under the working title The Epic of Man, fragments of which have been published and made accessible to scholars only recently.[20-21] In this work, Spengler describes the voluminous field of history as consisting of four main stages or phases: A, B, C, and D.

Phase A lasted from the undetermined time of the first signs of Homo sapiens to the Upper Paleolithic. Spengler generally adheres to the concept of evolution, but he imparts such with a particular cyclical dimension. For our part, we categorically reject this theory and appeal to such exclusively from the standpoint of describing cultures while discarding any genetic continuity, much less hierarchy between societies built on notions of “more ancient vs. more modern”, where “more modern” is seen as more developed, perfect, and differentiated than “ancient.” The first signs of reasoning man might appear in one or another epoch only to disappear in another. Everything depends on how we understand “reason”, a question which is in itself conditioned by a specific culture and mythology. Therefore, no universal criteria can be accepted here, and all the more insufficient are any attempts at building a progressive sequence from “less rational” types of society and man towards “more rational.” If we engage in such, we are simply projecting the criteria of our own society (e.g., modern Western or Western-centric) onto all types of society in general, which is in itself illegitimate and incorrect ethnocentrism. Therefore, for Spengler, Phase A is purely a conditionality meant to inform us that we know nothing for sure of this epoch and can advance no hypotheses on this matter.

Phase B, according to Spengler, is situated in the interim from 20,000 to 6,000 BC and is characterized by man’s discovery of the “inner world”, the soul, and the phenomenon of death. Spengler metaphorically likens this period to his beloved crystals and minerals. Phase B, according to Spengler, means the presence of self-consciousness, distinguishable by the modern scholar, and identifiable in the traces of ancient cultures. Although Spengler and many of our contemporaries in general conceive of such “self-consciousness” as “simpler”, this does not mean that it really was such.

Spengler calls both Phase A and Phase B “non-organic”, and the two following, C and D, “organic.” Spengler compares the third phase, C, to the slowly but autonomously moving simplest animal, the amoeba.[22] In this phase, proto-cultures are formed which will later, in Phase D lasting up to the present day, lie at the heart of all the historically known historico-cultural types. Spengler enumerates three “proto-cultures”, three “civilizational amoebas” at stage C: (1) the Atlantic, (2) the Kushite, and (3) the Turanian.

The Atlantic culture, in Spengler’s view, claimed the Western parts of Europe and Africa, and was distinguished by a heightened concern with the post-mortem worlds. In classical archaeology, the pre-Indo-European population of Europe, to which belonged the Minoans, the Pelasgians, the Basques, the Sicels, the Iberians, and the Leleges (to which some would also add the Picts, and so on), is generally considered to be the bearer of this Atlantic culture. This is the “culture of the otherworld.” Hence the immense monuments erected for the deceased, the cult of the “otherworld” and its divinities, and the cyclopean constructions typical of this culture, such as the megaliths. This culture was preoccupied with questions of genetic identity, blood, which connects the living to the world of the dead. Hence the beginning of mummification, embalmment, and luxuriant burial rituals. The Atlantic culture was the culture of “living death.”[23]

The second proto-culture of epoch C was the Kushite culture, whose center Spengler situates in the South of Eurasia between India and the Red Sea. This proto-culture was typified by a preoccupation with the of idea of “fate”, as if such were a mathematical law of the world embodied in the Sky to which all processes on Earth are subject. The Kushite culture was indifferent towards death and life, instead concentrating all of its attention on the study of the mathematical patterns of the world. In Phase D, the Kushite style would be most fully of all expressed in Assyrio-Babylonian civilization.

The third type of proto-culture is that of Turan, and it is here that we arrive at ideas which resonate with both Noomakhia and some of the philosophical and historical intuitions of the Russian Eurasianist thinkers. The proto-culture of Turan, according to Spengler, represents a pure “heroic style.” At its center stands the battle of the hero against the forces of death and fate. The hero and his “I” are put in the forefront and recognized to be a divine element. The world is full of the forces of life and is the field of endless battle. Neither fate (of the Kushite style) nor death (in the Atlantic style) are higher values for the man of Turan. Immortality is achieved only through battle, and a dignified life was believed to be one lived with a high-raised head. The gods of the martial civilizations of Turan embody this archetype: they are warriors, fearless, and indomitable. Spengler considers the chariot to be the most important symbol of the Turanian style. The identification of the chariot with the Indo-Europeans is not only Spengler’s hypothesis, but is the common ground of archaeology. Indeed, the most ancient traces of chariots are to be found in Eurasia, in the South Urals around 2000 BC, and the first whole chariots were found in the Sintashta cultural circle dated to the end of the 21st century BC. Around 2700 BC, the first  traces of carts, which preceded the first war chariots (the Maikop culture), are also to be found in Turan. It is from the South Urals that chariots began to disperse throughout the surrounding regions, including all the way up to the Caspian and Aral Sea, and across Eurasia in both directions – to Western Europe, all the way up to the Atlantic, and to the Far East.

Around 1200 BC, waves of warlike peoples on chariots descended towards the Mediterranean and founded new types of cultures. The Achaeans flooded Greece and settled in Mycenae. The Hyksos invaded Egypt, and the Kassites seized Babylon. In the very same period, Indo-European warriors on chariots advanced into Hindustan and built the Vedic culture of India on top of the remains of the ancient Mohenjo-Daro and Harappan cultures (which, in Spengler’s view, belonged to the Kushite type). In China, the bearers of the Zhou civilization also arrived on chariots and conquered China. Thus, almost simultaneously, the bearers of the Turanian element (the “civilization of amoeba C”) founded the three “high cultures” of Phase D: the Chinese, the Indian, and the Hellenic (in parallel with the Turanian invasions of the Babylonian and Egyptian civilizational zones). Thus, according to Spengler, the Indo-European peoples of Turan and their heroic style exerted decisive influence on the birth of the majority of the classical civilizations of the Old World, in whose shadow we continue to live to this day.

Lev Gumilev and the Study of Eurasia and the Nomadic Empires of Turan

The study of the nomadic civilizations of Eurasia, less known to European scholarship, constituted the core of the historical works of the Russian historian Lev Gumilev (1912-1992). Developing the particular approach of the Eurasianist philosophers, Gumilev devoted increased attention to the nomadic empires and ethnoi of Turan, demonstrating their fundamental influence on both the formation of Russian statehood and the histories of other civilizations. In his works on the Huns, the Ancient Turks, the Mongols, the Sarmatians, and other ancient nomadic peoples, Gumilev showed that the latter were not “barbarian tribes”, but rather the bearers of a special cultural code associated with a particular value system, worldview, and ethics peculiar to the inhabitants of the steppes and the warrior nomads of Eurasia.[24-26] This ethical model was established in the Great Yasa Code of Genghis Khan and was addressed towards a particular type of people: “the people of long will.”[27]

According to Gumilev, Eurocentric perspectives hinder full appreciation of the dignity of the civilization of Turan: for the historical Europeans, such was seen as the territory of “barbarians”, from which the danger of attacks and invasions emanated from time to time. Perceiving the space of North-Eastern Eurasia in such a manner, Europe thus considered this land to be the “periphery of civilization”, where one could find only scattered and incoherent relics taken from more developed cultures of the Mediterranean or India. But Gumilev demonstrated that if we look at the surrounding peoples and civilizations from the standpoint of Turanian man, through his own eyes, then we are revealed an entirely different picture, one saturated with nuances and hints, with a fully-fledged and complex historial, and with a special identity and numerous overlapping cultural circles in need of attentive and scrupulous study.

The civilizations of Turan were predominantly nomadic, and this is their distinctive trait. In the eyes of the sedentary civilizations, the culture of the nomadic peoples was constantly perceived to be hostile and alien. Moreover, nomadic conditions were not conducive to the development of literary and architectural objects, which necessarily poses difficulty to any study of this culture’s content. Gumilev nevertheless called for overcoming both Eurocentrism and the cliches of the settled civilizations, and urged us to attempt to reconstruct, on the basis of the data we have in myths, chronicles, legends, travelers’ accounts, etc., the structure of Turanian identity as it remained unchanged at its core, independent of the numerous peoples who subsequently or simultaneously became its bearers.

Leo Frobenius: Telluric Culture and the Feminine Sun

The theories of the German historian and anthropologist Leo Frobenius (1873-1938) might also be of use for identifying the typology of the civilization of Turan. Frobenius associates every culture (in his terminology: paideuma) with earth, land and the organization of landscape.[28] Relations with and approaches to land therefore determine the essence of a given human culture. Thus, Frobenius proposed the following formula:

Культура есть земля, ставшая организмом через посредство человека.

Kultur ist durch den Menschen organisch gewordene Erde

Culture is earth that has become organic by means of man. [29]

On these grounds, Frobenius constructed a dual topography of culture using the metaphor of plants. According to Frobenius, the paideuma can be seen as a plant, having roots and a stem with branches and leaves. Such is the composition of the two halves of one organism: one part moves into and under the earth, which Frobenius called the “chthonic element”, while the other draws upwards from the earth – this is the “telluric element.” Both are tied to earth, to land, but in different ways: the chthonic is drawn to that from which it came, while the telluric strives towards the other, away from the soil from which it emerged. Both trajectories constitute the life of a culture.

Thus, according to Frobenius, cultures (paideuma) can be divided into two types or poles. One pole, the chthonic, is tied to the matriarchal element and exhibits centripetal tendencies, being drawn towards contraction, being closed or self-absorbed. The second, telluric pole is associated with the patriarchal element, with centrifugal motion, the feeling of expansion, overcoming limits, dynamism, and striving to break away from roots. Turan, in Frobenius’ account, is the principal space of telluric culture.

While matriarchal cultures are inclined towards creating dwellings in caves, pits, and in dugouts, then patriarchal cultures erect homes and, at times, “great homes”, which reflect the aspiration to create something large and gigantic. Such “great homes” served religious aims, initiations, and ceremonies among archaic peoples. Patriarchal societies are also constructed along a vertical geometry: the child reaches upwards from the earth, and society and social institutions are conceived as the branches of a tree, the point of a spear or an arrow, and become symbols of the axis around which hunting, war, and rituals are organized. Patriarchal cultures appreciate that which strives upward, especially fire. Hence the rites of cremating bodies. Death is understood as a prelude to new birth, like the seeding of plants. Matriarchal, chthonic cultures, on the other hand, value above all the material, the corporeal, and the maternal, and all that is associated with the lower levels of the universe, with that which is hidden within earth. Hence the social practices of gathering roots, berries, and mushrooms.

Both poles of culture envision space differently, on which point Frobenius emphasizes:

Теллурическим является покой неограниченного простора; хтоническим – тесное место, исполненное беспокойством.

Tellurisch ist Ruhe im unbegrenzten Raum. Chthonisch Unruhe im begrenzten Raum.

The telluric is the peace of unlimited space; the chthonic is the unrest of confined space. [30]

In Frobenius’ view, it is the polarization of these two types of culture and their subsequent impositions upon one another that established the social architecture of civilizations with which we have to deal up to the present day. The territory of Turan, and more specifically the steppe zones of Eurasia, the Great Steppe, were the primordial hearth of the centrifugal cultures of the telluric (patriarchal) type, while the coasts of the Mediterranean and South Asia represent the zones of centripetal matriarchal cultures. The expansion of mobile, masculine cultures into the territories of the chthonic zones led to the emergence of the “great cultures” of India, West Asia, the Aegean zone, Rome, France, and England. Moreover, in Frobenius’ view, these patriarchal cultures carry strength and vital life forces, while the matriarchal element imparted them with plastic forms. It is in this synthesis, in this dialectic between the telluric and chthonic that Frobenius sees all of world history. The telluric impulse, according to Frobenius, ceaselessly emanated from the territories of Turan.

Also of extreme importance to discerning the civilizations of Turan is Frobenius’ study of various symbols, which he proposed to differentiate between types of society. Alongside the chthonic and telluric, Frobenius drew attention to another detail: the gender of the two celestial luminaries, the Sun and the Moon, across the languages and mythologies of all the world’s peoples. Working through an enormous mass of linguistic and mythological material, Frobenius discerned an extremely interesting pattern, according to which all cultures can be distinguished as belonging to one of three basic groups with relation to the following symbols:

  1. The masculine sun and feminine moon, envisioned in the form of man and wife or as brother and sister (joined in incestuous, but not explicitly censured marital bond).
  2. The feminine sun and masculine moon, or Lunus, envisioned only as brother and sister, whose incestuous relationship is explicitly taboo. The violation of this taboo (generally by the moon) is understood to be a catastrophe and drama.
  3. The masculine sun and masculine moon as two brothers.

The systematization of such an enormous mass of materials on the basis of all the sources available to him led Frobenius to construct a series of maps designating the zones dominated by each of these three forms. One is immediately struck by the fact that these zones represent stable poles which remain uninterrupted by the borders running between ethnoi, cultures, peoples, and civilizations. Moreover, the commonality of this symbol can even be found among cultures which otherwise lack anything similar and are even to be found on different civilizational levels.

The map of the distribution of the masculine sun and feminine moon looks thusly: we can clearly follow an uninterrupted strip running from England in Northern Europe through the Northern Mediterranean, Anatolia and the Middle East to India, South China, Polynesia, and up to Central America and the North-Eastern coast of South America. All of the indigenous cultures of these regions exhibit stable attributions of the male gender to the sun.  According to Frobenius, cultures of this type are of a matriarchal orientation and cultivate everything associated with space.[31] To a significant extent, sacrality is derived from the number 4 (as in the four directions/orientations of space).[32]

Screen Shot 2019-08-09 at 7.40.48 PM.png
Map of distribution of the languages and myths of the masculine sun and masculine moon

The following map delineates the distribution zone of cultures in which the sun is depicted as female and the moon as of male gender[33]: 

Screen Shot 2019-08-09 at 7.40.57 PM.png
Map of distribution of the languages and myths of the feminine sun and masculine moon

Here we can see that the territory of Turan is the core of the cultural space of the male moon and female sun. This space is distinguished by its patriarchal orientation, and at the center of its attention are time and symbolic and religious systems in which the number 3 occupies the central place. Thus, the telluric character of Turan is confirmed in its distribution of the pair of the male moon and female moon as well as by the predominance of the symbolism of time and the number 3.[34]

René Guénon: The Culture of Abel and the Civilization of Mantras

Insofar as Turan is principally the zone of nomadic civilizations, the symbolism of nomadic societies is crucial to the study of Turanian identity. The French Traditionalist philosopher René Guénon (1887-1953) drew attention to the symbolic peculiarities between the structures of nomadic societies (nomadism) and settled peoples (sedentarism). According to Guénon, in the Biblical context the figure who most generally represents nomads and pastoralists is Abel.[35] Guénon writes: “They [Cain and Abel] are the types of the two sorts of peoples who have existed since the origins of the present humanity, or at least since the earliest differentiation took place, namely that between the sedentary peoples, devoted to the cultivation of the soil, and the nomads, devoted to the raising of flocks and herds.”[36]

According to Guénon, the notions of Iran and Turan also reflect this dualism, even etymologically: in Guénon view, the term arya, from which is derived the word Iran or Aryana, the “land of the Aryans”, originally referred to someone engaged in agriculture – in this case from the Indo-European root *ar-, hence the Latin arare (“to plow”), arator (“plowman”), and arvum (“field”).[37] The Ancient Jews were nomads and shepherds, and therefore their sacred texts unequivocally take the side of Abel as the victim of Cain. Abel is considered to be the righteous, while Cain is the brother-killer and cursed.

Guénon believed that pastoralists and nomads conceptualized the principle of time as unfolding in front of them, as their priority object, their element, all the while as they enjoyed the quality of unending space. Settled peoples, who conversely embody the permanence (or synchronism) of space, have time as their main object.  Settled societies live in a fixed place, and therefore time is “closed” and constant. Living long cycles in the same place, settled cultures begin to attentively observe time, study its structures, and investigate its patterns. They thereby conceive themselves to be the historial and an historical phenomenon, i.e., something “lasting”, uniting past and future.

Nomadic peoples, for their part, do not create anything “solid” or “long-term.” They live in open space, which is their existential element. They unfold their potential in space, while time remains a secondary matter. They do not devote extensive attention to time or the method of its dimension. In Guénon’s view, settled cultures therefore embody the principle of “compression” or “squeezing”, while nomadic ones exhibit “stretching” and “expansion.” The fact that nomads are primarily engaged in the herding of cattle symbolically corresponds to their mobility. Cereal and plant cultivation, conversely, are peculiar to settled cultures which, like plants, are immobile and tied to one place. Thus, settled cultures assign priority to the development of visual forms of sacred art, such as paintings, sculptures, architecture, etc. In Hinduism, such sacred images are called yantra. For nomadic peoples, meanwhile, visual depictions are often taboo, whereas the symbolism of sound is considerably more developed, as is the case with the Hindu mantras. In Guénon’s analysis, vision is related to space, while hearing is tied to time. As follows, settled cultures develop “plastic” forms of art, while nomadic peoples tend to develop sonorous forms, such as music, poetry, etc.

As a concept, Turan is undoubtedly the field of nomadic civilization, the civilization of Abel. This does not exclude the presence in Eurasia of significant enclaves of settled societies, but the dominant identity of Turan is none other than nomadism. Hence the dominating factor of space, the scarcity of visual monuments, the absence of developed writing, and many other traits specific to Turanian culture. Turan, for Guénon, is the civilization of mantras.

The Turanian Factor: The Vertical Diurne

By correlating these introductory considerations, we can obtain a preliminary picture of the object of our study. Turan is the horizon of North-Eastern Eurasia coinciding with the Great Steppe, stretching from Transylvania in the West to Manchuria in the East. In terms of culture, this horizon is primarily the zone of inhabitance of nomadic peoples. We are dealing with a nomadic civilization dominated by the militaristic and patriarchal element, i.e., a culture of the telluric type. The influence of Turan is associated with expansion (as in accordance with Guénon); indeed, historically, Turanian expansion to the South and West repeatedly led to the establishment of new states, cultures, and developed civilizations, in which the peoples of Turan became the ruling class, the legislators of patriarchal style and, quite frequently, the bearers of the dominant language. The civilizations and polities of Rome, Greece, Anatolia (the Hittite kingdom, the Mitanni state, Urartu, etc.), Iran and India, Western Europe, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and others were created under the direct cultural and linguistic dominance of the Indo-European peoples of Turan as they expanded beyond the Great Steppe.

The role of this Turanian factor in the origins of historically known states is veritable with numerous historical examples, in which nomadic peoples subjugated settled populations and only jointly thereafter established political structures resembling or being states in the full sense of the word. The nomadic peoples assembled city-fortresses as centers for the storage and the protection of tribute exacted from the conquered farmers. They also became the core of the military aristocracy of socially differentiated societies. In this sense, the Turanian factor is a state-forming factor. On this note, it is telling that neither nomads nor farmers create states on their own, and any forms of intertribal associations among themselves are short-term and unstable.[38] This principle was first conceptualized by the Arab scholar Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), and in the 19th century this theory was developed in detail by the Polish-Austrian philosopher and sociologist Ludwig Gumplowicz (1838-1909).[39-40]

The civilization of Turan is founded on the basic envisioning of open space and, in accordance with Frobenius, Turanian civilization cultivates the symbolism of the number 3. Moreover, in many of the myths and languages of the peoples of Turan, we theoretically ceaselessly encounter a male gender for the moon and a female gender for the sun.[41] The telluric character of the Logos of Turan is expressed in its foremost and rigidly, emphatically vertical orientation. The horizon of Turan structures the world along a vertical axis. This is expressed in the religion, cosmology, socio-political hierarchy, and psychological mode of Turanian societies. In the terminology of the sociology of the imagination [42] as developed by the French sociologist Gilbert Durand (1921-2012), this type of society corresponds to the psychic regime of the diurne. This regime is typified by:

  • A high degree of strict divisions
  • An attraction towards light and crystal clarity
  • An aspiration towards cleansing itself from materiality and corporeality
  • The sacralization of the Sky, luminaries, and elements of flight
  • High speed, rapidity
  • Militancy and heroism
  • Challenging death
  • Masculinity (virility)
  • Cutting and piercing weapons
  • Dualism, pairs of opposites
  • Hierarchies founded on subjugation and force

All of these considerations allow us to suggest from the very onset that, in the horizon of Turan, we are dealing with the predominance of the Logos of Apollo. This follows from everything that we know about the roots of European civilization and from theories on the Indo-European languages and cultures. We are tasked with determining to what extent this equivalence is convincing, justified, and legitimate, whether or not there are exceptions among the Indo-European cultures and, if there are, what has conditioned them.

***

Footnotes:

[1] See: Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – The Iranian Logos: The War of Light and the Culture of Awaiting (Moscow: Academic Project, 2016).

[2] N.S. Trubetzkoy, Nasledie Chingiskhana (Moscow: Agraf, 1999). In English: The Legacy of Genghis Khan and Other Essays on Russian Identity (Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications, 1991).

[3] P.N. Savitsky, Kontinent Evraziia [Continent Eurasia] (Moscow: Agraf, 1997).

[4] G.V. Vernadsky, Nachertanie russkoi istorii (Moscow: Algoritm, 2008).

[5] N.N. Alekseev, Russkii narod i Gosudarstvo [The Russian People and the State] (Moscow: Agraf, 1998).

[6] L.N. Gumilev, Ot Rusi do Rossii [From Rus to Russia] (Moscow: Ayris-press, 2008); Ibidem, Drevniaia Rus’ i Velikaia Step’ [Ancient Rus and the Great Steppe] (Moscow: Mysl, 1989); Ibidem., Tysiacheletie vokrug Kaspiia [The Millennium around the Caspian] (Moscow: AST, 2002).

[7] See: Alexander Dugin, “Continent Russia” in Absolutnaia Rodina (Moscow: Arktogeia, 2000).

[8] Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – The Horizons and Civilizations of Eurasia: The Indo-European Legacy and the Traces of the Great Mother (Moscow: Academic Project, 2017).

[9] Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – The Three Logoi: Apollo, Dionysus, Cybele (Moscow: Academic Project, 2014).

[10] Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – Geosophy: Horizons and Civilizations (Moscow: Academic Project, 2016).

[11] Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – The Germanic Logos: Apophatic Man (Moscow: Academic Project, 2015)

[12]  Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – The French Logos: Orpheus and Melusine (Moscow: Academic Project, 2015)

[13] Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – The Latin Logos: The Sun and the Cross (Moscow: Academic Project, 2016)

[14] Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – The Hellenic Logos: The Valley of Truth (Moscow: Academic Project, 2016); Ibidem, Noomakhia – The Byzantine Logos: Hellenism and Empire (Moscow: Academic Project, 2016)

[15] Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – England or Britain? The Maritime Mission and the Positive Subject (Moscow: Academic Project, 2015).

[16] Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – The Semites: Monotheism of the Moon and the Gestalt of Ba’al (Moscow: Academic Project, 2017)

[17] Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – Great India: Civilization of the Absolute (Moscow: Academic Project, 2017)

[18] Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – The Iranian Logos: The War of Light and the Culture of Awaiting (Moscow: Academic Project, 2016)

[19] Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – The Horizons and Civilizations of Eurasia: The Indo-European Legacy and the Traces of the Great Mother (Moscow: Academic Project, 2017)

[20] Domenico Conte, Catene di cività: Studi su Spengler (Napoli: Ed. Scientifiche Italiane, 1994).

[21] Anton Mirko Koktanek, Oswald Spengler in seiner Zeit (Munich: 1968).

[22] Heidegger devoted heightened attention to amoebas, the very existence of which he tried to conceive in philosophical terms in his cycle of lectures on boredom. See: Martin Heidegger, Die Grundbegriffe Der Metaphysik (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1983). It is suggestive that Heidegger spoke of amoebas with a certain “tenderness”, as when he called amoebas “little animals” or Tierchen.

[23] The Lithuanian scholar of Ancient Europe, Marija Gimbutas (1921-1994) believed this culture to be matriarchal and bearing the cult of the “Great Goddess.” Gimbutas called the cultures belonging to this type “Old Europe.” See: Marija Gimbutas, Tsivilizatsia Velikoi Bogini [The Civilization of the Great Goddess] (Moscow: Rosspen, 2005).

[24] L. Gumilev, Hunnu [Xiongnu] (Moscow: Izd. Vostochnoi literatury, 1960).

[25] L. Gumilev, Drevnie tiurki [The Ancient Turks](Moscow: Nauka, 1967).

[26] L. Gumilev, Tysiacheletie vokrug Kaspiia [The Millennium around the Caspian] (Moscow: Harvest, 2008); Ibidem., Otkrytie Khazarii [Discovering Khazaria] (M. Di-dik, 1996); Ibidem., Drevniaia Rus’ I Velikaia Step’ [Ancient Rus and the Great Steppe] (Moscow: Mysl, 1992).

[27] L. Gumilev, Chernaia legenda [Black Legend] (Moscow: Ayris-press, 2008).

[28] See the discussion of Frobenius in: Dugin, Noomakhia – Geosophy: Horizons and Civilizations.

[29] Leo Frobenius, Das unbekkante Afrika: Aufhellung der Schicksale eines Erdteils (Munich: C.H. Becksche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1923), 67. Frobenius is also responsible for the following formula: “Human culture should be seen as an independent organic being.” [Menschliche Kultur ein selbständiges organisches Wesen sei] – L. Frobenius, Paideuma: Umrisse einer Kultur- und Seelenlehre (Munich: Beck, 1921), 39.

[30] Frobenius, Das unbekkante Afrika, 75.

[31] Leo Frobenius, Von Kulturreich des Festlandes (Berlin: Wegweiserverlag, 1932), 53.

[32] If in Eurasia and the Pacific this model of Frobenius’ overall coincides with the geosophical map which we have constructed in Noomakhia, then with regards to Central America and South America we have arrived at diametrically opposite conclusions. See: Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – The Civilizations of the New World: Pragmatic Dreams and Split Horizons (Moscow: Academic Project, 2017).

[33] Frobenius, Von Kulturreich des Festlandes, 55.

[34] Once again, with regards to Eurasia, the Geosophy of Noomakhia coincides with Frobenius’ theses, while contradicting them entirely when it comes to North America. See: Noomakhia – The Horizons and Civilizations of Eurasia: The Indo-European Legacy and the Traces of the Great Mother.

[35]  René Guénon, Le règne de la quantité et les signes des temps (Paris: Gallimard, 1945), 295; René Guénon, The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times (Hillsdale: Sophia Perennis, 2004).

[36] Ibid., 145.

[37] Ibid., 146.

[38] See: Alexander Dugin, Etnosotsiologiia [Ethnosociology] (Moscow: Academic Project, 2014). In English as: Alexander Dugin, Ethnos and Society (translated by Michael Millerman, London: Arktos, 2018); Ibidem., Ethnosociology: The Foundations (London: Arktos, 2019).

[39] Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History, 3 vol. (New York: Princeton University Press, 1958).

[40] L. Gumplowicz, Die soziologische Staatsidee (Graz: Leuschner & Lubensky, 1892); Ibidem., Der Rassenkampf: Soziologische Untersuchungen (Innsbruck: Wagner, 1928).

[41] This is explored in: Alexander Dugin, “Russia and Virgo Solar” in Mysteries of Eurasia.

[42] Alexander Dugin, Voobrazhenie: Filosofiia, sotsiologiia, struktury [The Imagination: Philosophy, Sociology, and Structures] (Moscow: Academic Project, 2015)

[43] G. Durand, Les Structures anthropologiques de l’imaginaire (Paris: Borda, 1969).

Petr Savitsky – “Eurasianism” (1925)

Author: Petr Savitsky

Translator: Jafe Arnold

First published in the journal Evraziiskii vremennik [The Eurasian Chronicle] in 1925, abridged version re-published in and translated from: Alexander Dugin (ed.) et al., Osnovy Evraziistva [The Foundations of Eurasianism] (Moscow: Arktogeia, 2002). 

***

I.

The Eurasianists are representatives of a new element in thinking and life; they are a group of figures actively working to radically transform hitherto predominant worldviews and life-systems, and to do so on the basis of a new approach to the root questions that define life, an approach which has arisen out of everything that has been endured over the past decade. At the same time, the Eurasianists have proposed a new geographical and historical understanding of Russia, as well as that whole world which they call Russian or “Eurasian.”

The Eurasianists’ name is of geographical provenance. The point is that they, the Eurasianists, have – where previous geography has counted two continents, “Europe” and “Asia” – discerned a third, middle continent on the mainland of the Old World, that of “Eurasia”, from which they derive their name…

In the opinion of the Eurasianists, the notion of “Europe” as a totality of Western and Eastern Europe is, in a purely geographical sense, inane and farcical. In the West, in terms of geographical outlines, one finds the richest development of coasts, the thinning of the continent into a peninsula, an island; whereas in the East there is a solid, continental mass whose only disconnect is to be found towards the sea coasts. Orographically, the West is constituted by a most complex arrangement of mountains, hills, and lowlands; whereas the East is home to the enormous plains whose outskirts alone are edged by mountains. Climatically, the West is of a seaside climate with a relatively small difference between winter and summer. In the East, this difference is sharply pronounced with hot summers, harsh winters, and so on and so forth. It could be rightfully said that the Eastern European, or as the Eurasianists call it, the “White Sea-Caucasian” plain is in its geographical nature much closer to the West-Siberian and Turkestan plains lying to the East than it is to Western Europe. These three plains, together with the elevations separating them from one another (the Ural Mountains and the so-called “Aralo-Irtysh” watershed) and bordering them from the East, South-East, and South (the mountains of the Russian Far East, Eastern Siberia, Central Asia, Persia, the Caucasus, Asia Minor), represent a special world, one which is united in and of itself and geographically distinct from the countries lying both to the West, East, and South of it. If you apply the name “Europe” to the first and the name “Asia” to the second, then the world just named, as the middling and mediating world, will bear the name “Eurasia.”

The necessity of distinguishing on the mainland mass of the Old World not two, as hitherto done, but three continents is not some mere “discovery” by the Eurasianists. Rather, this discernment also arose out of views previously expressed by geographers, especially Russians (for example, Prof. V.I. Lamansky in his work of 1892). The Eurasianists sharpened this formula and once again gave to this “seen” continent the name that was once attached to the whole landmass of the Old World, to both old “Europe” and “Asia” in their totality.

Russia occupies the main space of the land of Eurasia. The conclusion that Russia’s lands are not split by two continents, but rather together constitute a certain third, independent continent, is not only of geographical significance. Insofar as we also ascribe to the notions of “Europe” and “Asia” some kind of culturo-historical content, and as we think of “European” and “Asian” or “Asiatic” cultural circles as something concrete, then the designation of “Eurasia” also acquires the meaning of a compressed culturo-historical character.[1] This designation indicates that Russia’s cultural being, in its internally comparable proportions, has come to include elements from the most diverse variety of cultures. The alternating influences of the South, the East, and the West, have consistently prevailed in the world of Russian culture. The South manifested itself in these processes mainly in the paradigm of Byzantine culture, whose influence on Russia was long and fundamental. The special intensity of this influence can be seen in the era from approximately the 10th to the 13th centuries AD. The East, in turn, acted mainly in the form of “steppic” civilization, which is conventionally considered to be characteristically “Asian” (“Asiatic” in the above sense). The example of Mongol-Tatar statehood (Genghis Khan and his successors), which managed to master and govern an enormous portion of the Old World for a definite historical period, undoubtedly played a positive role in the creation of Great Russian statehood. The lifestyle of the steppes of the East also exerted broad influence on Russia. This influence was particularly strong from the 13th to the 15th centuries. Starting with the end of the latter century, the influence of European culture prospered and reached its height by the 18th century. Among the categories which, while not always precise, nevertheless highlight the real essence of the division of the Old World’s cultures into “European” and “Asiatic-Asian”, Russian culture belongs to neither one nor the other. Russian culture combines elements of both and converges them towards a certain unity. Therefore, from the point of view of specifying distinctions between cultures, the qualification that Russian culture is “Eurasian” expresses the essence of the phenomenon more than any other…Of all the cultures of the past, two of the greatest and most versatile cultures known to us were genuinely “Eurasian”: (1) Hellenistic culture, which combined elements of the Hellenic “West” and ancient “East”, and its continuation, (2) Byzantine culture in the broader Eastern Mediterranean cultural world of late antiquity and the middle ages (these prosperous realms both lie exactly South of the main historical core of the Russian regions). The historical connection between Russian and Byzantine culture is highly noteworthy. The third great “Eurasian” culture was to a certain extent born out of the historical succession of the two preceding ones.

The “Eurasian”, Russian cultural environment, in terms of the geographical, spatial terms of its existence, received its grounds from and, as it were, strengthened the skeleton of historical culture from another “Eurasian culture.” With the subsequent, successive superposition of Asiatic-Asian (the influence of the East) and European (the influence of the West) layers on Russian soil, this quality of Russian culture was strengthened and affirmed.

By defining Russian culture as “Eurasian”, the Eurasianists act as the conscious bearers of Russian cultural identity. On this matter, they boast even more precedents and predecessors beyond purely geographical definitions. All those thinkers of a Slavophile orientation, including Gogol and Dostoevsky (as philosophers and authors), ought to be recognized as such. The Eurasianists, in the chain of ideas, are the heirs to the powerful tradition of Russian philosophical and historiosophical thinking. This tradition most immediately traces back to the ‘30s’ and ‘40s of the 19th century, when the Slavophiles began their activities.[2] In a broader sense, a number of works of Old Russian literature, the oldest of which date back to the 15th and 16th centuries, should be counted as part of this tradition as well.

When the fall of Tsargrad [Constantinople] in 1453 sharpened Russians’ consciousness of their role as the defenders of Orthodoxy and the heirs to Byzantine cultural succession, Russia gave birth to ideas which, in a certain sense, can be considered the precedents for later Slavophile and Eurasianist ideas. Such “pioneers” of Eurasianism as Gogol or Dostoyevsky, as well as other Slavophiles and associated thinkers like Khomiakov, Leontyev, and others, surpass the contemporary “Eurasianists” in terms of the sheer scale of their historical figures. But this does not annul the condition that they and the Eurasianists share the same thoughts on a number of questions, and that the Eurasianists’ formulation of these thoughts has been more accurate than their predecessors. Insofar as the Slavophiles relied on “Slavdom” as the element that defines the culturo-historical uniqueness of Russia, they took up positions which are difficult to defend. Without a doubt, there is a culturo-historical and, above all, linguistic connection between Slavic peoples. But as an element of cultural uniqueness, the notion of Slavdom, in its empirical content as it has developed up to the present time, has little to offer.

The creative revelation of the cultural identity of the Bulgarians and Serbo-Croat-Slovenians belongs to the future. In a cultural sense, the Poles and Czechs belong to the Western “European” world and represent one of the latter’s cultural regions. Russia’s historical uniqueness clearly cannot be defined as exclusively, or even predominantly, belonging to the “Slavic” world. Intuiting this, the Slavophiles appealed in thought to Byzantium. But while emphasizing the importance of Russia’s ties with Byzantium, Slavophilia did not and could not offer a formula that fully and proportionately expresses the character of the Russian culturo-historical tradition and which captures the “oneness of nature” of Russia and its Byzantine cultural continuity. “Eurasianism” expresses both to a certain extent. The formula “Eurasianism” takes into account the impossibility of explaining and defining the past, present, and future cultural uniqueness of Russia in terms of any preferential appeal to the notion of “Slavdom”; it also points to the source of this uniqueness in Russian culture’s combination of “European” and “Asiatic-Asian” elements. Since this formula affirms the presence of the latter in Russian culture, it establishes the connection between Russian culture and the broader creative world of “Asiatic-Asian” cultures in their historic role, and this connection is exhibited as one of the strong sides of Russian culture, and it compares Russia with Byzantium, which in this very sense also wielded a “Eurasian” culture…[3]

II.

Such, in brief, is the place of the Eurasianists as conscious expounders of Russia’s culturo-historical uniqueness. But the Eurasianists’ doctrine is not limited to this recognition. Rather, with this recognition they substantiate a common concept of culture and derive from this concept concrete conclusions for interpreting what is happening in the present. First we shall present this concept, and then move on to conclusions concerning the present time. In both cases, the Eurasianists feel themselves to be the successors of the ideological cause of the above-named Russian thinkers (the Slavophiles and adjacent thinkers).

Independently of the views expressed in Germany (by Spengler), but approximately simultaneously with the appearance of the latter, the Eurasianists put forth the thesis of denying the “absoluteness” of modern “European” (i.e., in common terminology, Western European) culture, of denying the claim that the latter’s qualities constitute the “perfection” of the whole hitherto process of the cultural evolution of the world. Until altogether recently, the affirmation of such “absoluteness” and such a quality of “European” culture was firmly insisted upon, and today persists in the brain of “Europeans”; moreover, this assertion has been blindly accepted in the form of a faith by the higher circles of “Europeanizing” societies and peoples, particularly by the greater part of the Russian intelligentsia. The Eurasianists have challenged this situation with the recognition that many of the achievements and structures of “European” consciousness, especially those of an ideological and moral nature, are relative. The Eurasianists have noted how the European has time and again called “savage” and “backwards” everything which can by no means be objectively seen as standing below its own achievements, and everything which is simply not similar to the European’s own manner of seeing and acting. Even if it were possible to objectively show the superiority of the latest science and technology in some fields over all the other achievements of this type accomplished over the course of observable world history, it is still essentially impossible to offer any such proof when it comes to matters of ideology and morality. In light of the internal sense of morality and freedom of philosophical conviction which, for the “Eurasian” concept, are the only criteria for evaluating the ideological and moral fields, the much younger and more modern Western European turns out to be not only not superior but, on the contrary, inferior in comparison with the corresponding achievements of various “ancient”, “savage”, and “backwards” peoples. [4] The Eurasianist concept signifies a decisive rejection of culturo-historical “Eurocentrism”, and this rejection stems not from some emotional worries, but from certain scientific and philosophical preconditions…One of the latter is the rejection of the universalist perception of culture which reigns among modern “European” notions. This universalist view encourages Europeans to indiscriminately qualify certain peoples as “cultured” and others as “un-cultured.” It bears recognition that in the cultural evolution of the world we encounter “cultural environments” and “cultures”, some of which have achieved a great deal, while other less. Yet determining precisely what a given cultural environment has achieved is only possible upon distinguishing between branches of culture.

A cultural environment which is low in some sectors of culture might time and again prove to be higher in others. There can be no doubt that the ancient inhabitants of Easter Island in the Great [Pacific] Ocean “lagged behind” the modern English in very many branches of empirical knowledge and technology, but this did not prevent their culture from manifesting a measure of originality and creativity against which the sculpturing of modern England can lay no claims. Similarly, Muscovite Rus of the 16th-17th centuries was behind Western Europe in many industries, but this did not hinder it from creating a “self-initiating” epoch of artistic creativity, from developing its own unique and remarkable types of “towered” and “patterned” churches which cannot but force one to admit that, in terms of artistic creation, Muscovite Rus stood above the majority of Western European countries of its time. The same is the case in other eras of the existence of this very same “cultural environment.” Muscovite Rus of the 16th-17th centuries gave birth, as previously said, to a “self-initiating” era of church building, but its developments in iconography marked a clear decline in comparison to the achievements of Novgorod and Suzdal in the 14th and 15th centuries. We have cited such examples from the sphere of fine arts as the most visual. But also in the case of knowledge of an external nature, if we distinguish between the fields of “theoretical knowledge” and “living vision”, then it would turn out that the “cultural environment” of modern Europe, while attaining success in the field of “theoretical knowledge” has, in comparison with many other cultures, seen decline in the field of “living vision.” The “savage” and “black man” perceives a number of natural phenomena more subtly and precisely than the most learned modern “naturalist.” Examples of this could be multiplied to infinity; let us say further that the whole sum of “facts of culture” is but one continuous example of the fact that only upon examining culture with a view to deconstructing and differentiating between fields can we arrive at any complete knowledge of its evolution and character. This examination can be accomplished with three basic concepts: “cultural environment”, the “eras” of the latter’s existence, and “cultural fields.” Any analysis is duly confined to a certain “cultural environment” and a certain “era.” Where we draw the borders of these depends on the point of view and purpose of study. The character and degree of division of “culture” into “fields” depends on these factors. It is important to emphasize the fundamental necessity of division, as it eliminates the uncritical examination of a culture as an undifferentiated totality…A differentiated consideration of culture shows that there are no indiscriminate “cultured” and “un-cultured” peoples, and that the most diverse peoples whom “Europeans” call “savages” by all means wield “culture” in their customs, traditions, and knowledge and in some fields and from some points of view stand high.

III.

The Eurasianists are drawn to those thinkers who deny the existence of any universal “progress” which is, at any rate, determined by the above-presented concept of “culture.” If the evolutionary line moves differently in different fields, then this means that there is not and cannot be any common upward movement, any gradual, steady, common “perfection”, insofar as one or another cultural environment, or a whole number of cultural environments, while “improving” from one or another point of view, might often be declining in another. This postulate is applicable to the ‘European’ cultural environment in particular: its scientific and technological “perfection” has been bought, from the point of view of the Eurasianists, at the price of ideological and most of all religious impoverishment. This dual nature of its achievements is clearly expressed in its approach to the economy. For many long centuries in the history of the Old World, there existed a certain common relationship between the ideological-moral-religious element on the one hand and the economic on the other. More precisely, there existed a certain ideological subordination of the economy, and it is precisely this permeation of the whole approach to economic matters by the religio-moral element that allowed historians of economic doctrines (for example, the old 19th century German-Hungarian historian Kautz, whose works retain a certain significance to this day) to unite into one group, in terms of their approaches to economic matters, such diversely ranging landmarks as the literature of China, the Iranian laws of the Vendidad, Mosaic law, and the works of Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle, and Western medieval theologians. The economic philosophy of these milestones is, in a definite sense, a philosophy of “subordinated economy.” These doctrines emphasize, as something necessary and due, the link between the satisfaction of our economic needs and the common elements of morality and religion. The economic philosophy of the European “new ages” is the opposite of this view. Although not always in direct words, but often enough in the foundations of its worldview, the new European economic philosophy asserts the circle of economic phenomena to be something self-sufficient, a value in itself which encompasses and manifestly exhausts all the ends of human existence…It would be a sign of spiritual blindness to deny the enormity of those purely cognitive achievements and successes in understanding and envisioning the economic phenomena which the new political economy has realized and amassed. But in acting as an empirical science, and being to a certain and large extent none other than such, the new political economy, in a number of its postulates, imposes itself upon minds and eras as a metaphysics…Similar to how the economic ideas of ancient legislators, philosophers, and theologians were associated with certain metaphysical views,  so are the economic ideas of modern economists tied to such values. If the metaphysics of the former was the philosophy of “subordinated economics”, then the metaphysics of the latter is the philosophy of “militant economism.” The latter is, in a certain sense, an ideological price which the new Europe has paid for the quantitatively enormous economic rise that it has experienced in the modern age, especially over the past century. There is something instructive to be found in this picture: at the end of the Middle Ages and in the early modern centuries, the ancient wisdom of the primordial moral covenant which restrained man’s selfish instincts with words of exhortations and denunciations – in a word,  the philosophy of “subordinated economics” – collapsed under the pressure of the new ideas of modern times which presumptuously asserted the theories and practices of “militant economism.” [5] Historical materialism is the most complete and acute expression of the latter.

Thus, the link between the philosophy of “subordinated economics” on the one hand, and “militant economism” on the other, in terms of a certain approach to matters of religion is observable in empirical ideological reality. If the philosophy of “subordinated economics” is and has always been an appendage to one or another theistic worldview, then historical materialism is ideologically tied to atheism. Hence the atheistic essence concealed within historical materialism which, like the wolf of a fairy tale, conceals itself from time to time with the mask of the sheep’s clothing – that of empirical science. In Russia, the atheistic worldview has accomplished an historic triumph, as state power is in the hands of atheists and has become an instrument of atheistic preaching. Without going into the question of the “historical responsibility” for what is happening in Russia, but while also not wishing to annul anyone’s responsibility, the Eurasianists understand that the essence which has been received and subsequently introduced into life by Russia – by virtue of the receptivity and excitement of its spiritual being – is, in its source, in its spiritual origin, not the Russian essence. The Communist sabbat has dawned in Russia as a perfection of more than two centuries of “Europeanization.” Recognizing that the spiritual essence of the Communism of the ruling state in Russia is, in a special way, the reflected ideological essence of European modernity (the “new ages”) is a postulation which is empirically grounded to a high degree. Here one should also consider the origins of Russian atheism in the ideas of the European “Enlightenment”, the introduction of socialist ideas into Russia from the West, the link between Russian Communist “methods” and the ideas of the French Syndicalists, as well as the significance and “cult” of Marx in Communist Russia. In seeing the ideological essence of the European “new ages” in such a way, taken to its logical conclusion, the Russians who have not accepted Communism and, at the same time, have not lost their abilities to think consistently, understand that they cannot return to the foundations of modern “European” ideology. The experience of the Communist revolution implies for the Eurasianists’ consciousness a kind of truth, both old and new. Healthy social housing can only be built on an inseparable connection between man and God, man and religion. Non-religious housing and a non-religious state must be rejected. This rejection harbors no preconceived claims regarding specific constitutional-legal forms. Such a form, in the Eurasianists’ view, could exist harmlessly under certain conditions, such as in the “separation of Church and state.” But in essence, it is yet highly significant that what is perhaps the first government in world history to be consistently atheist and which has turned the profession of atheism into the official confession of the Communist government, has turned out to be, as in the prophetic words of the most profound Russian philosopher of the late 19th century, Leontiev, “organized flour” – that is to it say it has become a system of shocking and destroying the “common blessing” or “common good” (supposedly in whose name the Communist authorities have installed themselves), of such abuse of the human personality that all images fade and all words are powerless in describing the terrible, unprecedented, blasphemous atrociousness of this reality. We shall repeat: the circumstance that the domination of the first consistently atheistic government has turned out to be the domination of all that is beast-like is not a coincidence. Historical materialism and its complementing atheism unveil and unleash all those primordial, creatural instincts, including those primordially economic ones which, in the final analysis, amount to extortion. The main determining force of social being under the conditions of the ideological reign of materialism and atheism is hate, and its worthy fruit is the torment of all which, sooner or later, cannot but lead to the final fruit: the torment of the tormentors.

Russia has seen through the triumph of historical materialism and atheism, but the laws which have manifested themselves over the course of its revolution far from concern Russia alone. The cult of primordial economic interest and  animalistic primordiality has, by virtue of abundant germination, sprouted in the consciousness of peoples beyond Russia. Yet this cult cannot form the basis for long and prosperous community outside of Russia. The destructive forces that have accumulated under these conditions will sooner or later exhaust the forces of social creation. This problem must be beheld in all its depth and breadth. The pressure of materialist and atheist views must be opposed with an ideological essence whose content must be  precious and voluminous. There can be no hesitation.

With hitherto unprecedented directness and uncompromising determination, and on the broadest possible front – everywhere – it is necessary to initiate and lead a struggle against all that is to even the slightest degree related to materialism and atheism. The evil must be traced back to its roots, it is necessary to literally eradicate it. It would be superficial and impotent to attempt to combat only the most acute manifestations of historical materialism and atheism and one communism. The problem is posed much deeper and more substantially. We must declare war on “militant economism” wherever it manifests itself. In the name of a religious worldview, we must gather forces to fight with passionate feeling, clear thoughts, and full understanding against the specific spirit of the new Europe.

Insofar as the latter has reached its historical and ideological limits, at which it finds itself presently, it can be said with great certainty that at some point in the future one of the two following scenarios will happen: either the cultural environment of the new Europe will perish and dissipate like smoke in torturous, tragic shock, or the “critical epoch”, as the Simonists term it, which began in Western Europe with the end of the Middle Ages, will come to its end and be replaced by an “organic epoch”, an “epoch of faith.”

Ancient wisdom cannot be flouted with impunity beyond well known limits for sake of the fact that it is truth. It is not on the basis of erecting a higher principle out of primordial, selfish human instincts as taught by the philosophy of “militant economism”, but on the basis of curbing and restraining these instincts with an enlightened religious pulse that the highest measure of the “common good” possible on earth can be achieved.

A society which succumbs to an exceptional concern with its earthly goods will sooner or later be deprived of them – such is the terrible lesson that is translucent in the experience of the Russian Revolution. The Eurasianists have attempted to fully and entirely understand and consciously grasp this experience, to derive all the lessons that stem from it, and to be fearless on this matter unlike those who, reeling in turmoil and timidity from the bestial image of Communism, cannot refuse themselves that which constitutes the basis or root of Communism – those who, holding the plow, look backwards; those who try to pour new wine into old furs; and those who, upon seeing the new truth of the abomination of Communism, are incapable of renouncing the old filth of “militant economism” in any and all of its forms…

Personal faith is insufficient. A faithful person must be part of the greater spiritual community. The Eurasianists are Orthodox. The Orthodox Church is that light that illuminates the path ahead of them. The Eurasianists call upon their countrymen to strive towards Her, towards Her Gifts, and towards Her Grace. The Eurasianists are not disconcerted by the terrible distemper that has been instigated by the atheists and theomachists that are rising in the Russian Orthodox Church. The Eurasianists believe that there is enough spiritual strength, and that struggle leads to enlightenment. The Orthodox Church is the realization of higher freedom. Its primordial element is that of conciliation, unlike that of the element of power which prevails in the breakaway Roman Church. It seems to the Eurasianists that in harsh worldly affairs one cannot do without harsh authority, but in spiritual and Church affairs, only graceful freedom and conciliation compose the essence of good leaders. “Europe”, meanwhile, in some of its parts, is destroying the effectiveness of government and is introducing tyrannical power into Church affairs.

The Orthodox Church has for many centuries only shined upon those peoples who have remained faithful to Her; she has shed light through the truths of her creed and the feats of heir ascetics. Perhaps new periods are dawning now, as the modern Orthodox Church, continuing the line of succession of the Ancient Eastern Church, has received to be the main principle of its existence a complete lack of bias towards approaches to forms of economic life (as opposed to the methods of the Western Church, which for many centuries fought against charging loans with interest), and towards the achievements of human thought. Perhaps it is for this reason that none other than the Orthodox Church has been called upon, to the greatest extent and as part of the new religious epoch, to cover the achievements of the latest economic technology and science, to cleanse them of the ideological superstructures of “militant economism”, materialism, and atheism, just as in the times of Constantine, Theodosius, and Justinian, the Ancient Eastern Church succeeded in encompassing, in the genuine and inspired “era of faith”, an altogether complex and developed economic life as well as significant freedom in theological-philosophical thinking.

In modern economic technology and empirical science, regardless of their hitherto development, there is nothing that would exclude the possibility of their existence and prosperity in the bosom of a new era of faith. The combination of modern technology and science with the ideology of “militant economism” and atheism is by no means necessary and inevitable. From a religious point of view, economic technology is, regardless of the limits of its abilities, a means to realize the Covenant bestowed by the Creator upon the creation of the human race: “They may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground” (Gen 1:26). Empirical science is, from a religious point of view, the revelation of a picture of the Divine world that, as knowledge progresses, more perfectly, fully, and evermore clearly reveals the Wisdom of the Creator.

IV.

Eurasianism is not only a system of historiosophical or theoretical doctrines. It strives to combine thought and deed and to ultimately lead to the affirmation of a certain methodology of action alongside this system of theoretical views. The main problem which stands before Eurasianism in this regard is the problem of synthesizing a religious view of life and the world with the greatest empirically founded practicality. The posing of this problem is substantiated by the whole character of Eurasianism. The Eurasianists are essentially and at once advocates of religious principles as well as consistent empiricists. Their ideology is born out of facts. In their characterization of the Russian world as “Eurasian”, it is as if their bodies are adjoined to each expanse of their native land, to each section of this world’s history.

Understanding facts is insufficient. Facts need to be governed in the plastic process of history. As people who perceive and feel the world religiously arrive at this task, they find themselves faced with the problem of evil in all of its nakedly glaring and mystically shocking reality. The Eurasianists feel the reality of evil in the world to the utmost extent – in themselves, in others, and in private and social life. They are the least utopian of all. In their consciousness of the damage of sin and the empirical imperfection of human nature arising out of such, they in no way agree to build their calculations on the premise of the “goodness” of human nature. Insofar as this is the case, the task of acting “in the world” arises to be a tragic task, for the “world lies in evil.” The tragedy of this task is inescapable. The one thing towards which the Eurasianists strive is to be in harmony in their thoughts and deeds at the very height of this tragedy. Firm philosophical conviction and, we would say, the very nature of the Russian historical and national character in which the Eurasianists participate, exclude the possibility of sentimentally approaching this task. Consciousness of the sinfulness of this world does not exclude but, on the contrary, demands courage in empirical decisions. No ends justify the means. Sin always remains sin. But while acting “in the world”, sin must not be feared. There are situations in which one must take burden upon himself, for idle “holiness” would be an even greater sin. In the practical sphere, for the Eurasianists, the problem of “right” versus “left” political and social solutions has been annulled. This subdivision is irresistibly important to those who, in their ultimate ends, cling solely to the limited realities of human existence, and have lost their minds amidst the notions and facts of political and economic application. Whoever relates to these questions in this manner has no other values beyond concrete political and social resolutions of “left” or “right”; and for every such resolution, every such person is supposed to stand steadily and “with frenzy”, for beyond such resolutions and himself, like of the spiritual heights, nothing remains. If a political or economic direction which has been adopted turns out to be unsuitable to the demands of life and impractical, then any consistent person must nevertheless cling to it, for the direction is he himself. This is not the approach to practical solutions of a Eurasianist. For the Eurasianist, religious reliance is essential, and it is acquired beyond the sphere of political and economic empiricism. Insofar as decisions in the latter sphere allow for religious appraisals, a “right” or “left” decision may be good in different situations, just as one or the other may be bad in others. The greatness of number of practical resolutions is seen indifferently from a religious point of view. While understanding all the whole importance of political and economic applications, and while simultaneously not attributing supreme values to them, the Eurasianists can bring to the religiously-indifferent spheres applications with an open-mindedness and freedom inaccessible to people of other worldviews. In all practical decisions, the demands of life are, beyond any prejudice, the guiding principle of the Eurasianist. Hence in some decision the Eurasianist may be more radical than the most radical, while in other cases more conservative than conservatives. Historical perception is organically inherent to a Eurasianist, and the sense of continuing historical tradition is an integral part of his worldview. But this feeling is not regenerated in a pattern. The Eurasianist is bound to no patterns whatsoever – only the subject of the matter, with the full understanding of the nature of phenomena, shines through to him from the depths of every problem.

The present Russian reality more than any other demands precisely such an approach “to the essence.” The Eurasianists’ approach to the spiritual element of the revolution has been expressed previously, but in its material-empirical guise, in the ratio of political power between separate groups which it has created, and in the new distribution of property, the revolution should in large part be seen as an unavoidable “geological” fact. A sense of reality and elementary state-feel compels this recognition. Out of all the acting groups of a “non-revolutionary” spirit, the Eurasianists might be the ones who can go further along the path of the radical and encompassing recognition of this fact. Facts of political influence and the distribution of property, which in this case the matter concerns, are not of primary, self-evident importance to the Eurasianists, but are only secondary values. This eases the task of recognizing fact for the Eurasianists. But the fact in many cases is the product of abomination and crime. In this lies the severity of the problem. But since abomination and crime have been allowed by the Will of God to become an objective historical fact, it must be considered that the recognition of this fact does not contradict the Will of God. Whatever be the extent of the direct worship of fact lies in the empirical necessities of the era which must find a way out of the revolution. In religious terms, this necessity of fact-worship can be equated to temptation through which one must pass: to give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s (that is, to take into account all the empirical political-economic demands of the era), without surrendering and harming God. From the point of view of the Eurasianists, the task at hand is to redeem and to transform this abomination and crime with the establishment of a new religious era that will shine its radiant light upon all that is sinful, dark, and terrible. This is possible not in the order of the dialectical disclosure of history, which mechanically and “Marxistly” turns all “evil” into “good”, but in the process of the internal accumulation of moral force, in the face of which even the necessity of fact-worship would pose no overwhelming temptation. 

***

Footnotes:

[1] In Russian and some Romano-Germanic languages, two adjectives for “Asia” have been produced: “Asian” and “Asiatic.” The first, in its historical meaning, referred primarily to the Roman province encompassing the Western part of Asia Minor, and then to the diocese, whenceforth the mainland continent of the Old World acquired this name. “Asia”, “Asian”, and “Asians” were employed in the original, narrower sense in Acts of the Apostles 19:20. The adjective “Asiatic” concerns the whole continent. The root of the words “Eurasia”, “Eurasian”, and “Eurasians” is the first, more ancient designation, yet not because “Asianness” was constructed exclusively for the Roman province and diocese, but rather because the Eurasianists appeal to a much wider historical and geographical world. Due to a number of misconceptions, the word “Asiatic” has on the tongue of Europeans acquired an odious connotation. This odious seal, which testifies only to ignorance, can be removed by way of appealing to the more ancient name, as is accomplished in the designation of “Eurasianism.” In this term, “Asian” refers to the cultural circle not only of Asia Minor, but of “Greater” Asia. In particular, the Eurasianists highly appreciate the cultures that inhabited Asia in the apostolic and subsequent centuries, i.e., Hellenic and Byzantine culture, and the Eurasianists by all means seek paradigms for modern spiritual and cultural creativity in some branches of this culture.

[2] From the point of view of historiosophical concepts, Eurasianism as a matter of course lies in the same sphere as the Slavophiles. However, the problem of the relationship between these currents cannot be reduced to that of a simple succession. The prospects opening up before Eurasianism are conditioned, on the one hand, by the scale of the ongoing catastrophe and, on the other, by the emergence and manifestation of completely new culturo-historical and social factors which, naturally, did not play a role in the construction of the Slavophile worldview. Moreover, much of what the Slavophiles considered to be foundational and indisputable has since become obsolete over the past several decades or has been exposed to be essentially inconsistent. In some sense, Slavophilia was a provincial and “domestic” current. Now, in connection with the real opportunities opening up before Russia to become the center of a new European-Asiatic (Eurasian) culture of the greatest historical significance, any conceptualization and realization of a holistic, creatively conservative worldview (as Eurasianism considers itself to be) must determine its appropriate, unparalleled paradigms and scales.

[3] The latter definition can claim substantial historical accuracy. The essence of Byzantine culture was determined by a combination of the most diverse elements. Currents of religious, artistic, and other impulses which flowed from the East – from Palestine, Syria, Armenia, Persia, and Asia Minor, as well as some parts of Africa – mixed with perceptions of the Western state and legal tradition (as in the existence and development of Roman law in Byzantium). Moreover, the contact with steppe cultures that was so definitive to the forming of Russian culture did not fail to leave its traces in Byzantium as well. Much in Byzantine fashions and mores can be traced back to being borrowed from the steppe “barbarians” who in successive waves closed in on the borders of the empire.

[4] The same situation applies to the field of art, and in particular to some branches of fine art (artistic architecture, sculpting, painting), where the inadequacy of the latest “European” creations is especially evident in comparison with that achieved in more ancient epochs and by other peoples.

[5] Militant economism, as an element in the sprit of the human being, has existed and exists everywhere. Yet it is significant that it is in the new Europe that this principle has been elevated to be an ideological principle.

[6] The Eastern Church, in rejecting the proposal of a ban on borrowed interest at the Council of Nicaea in 325, thereby recognized authoritative interference into economic life to be unbefitting  of the Church. The Eastern Church stood on this position in all subsequent centuries and continues to stand on it today. The practice of the Western Church has been different: the ban on the charging interest on loans was maintained for a millennium and still in the 18th century Turgot was forced to reckon with such as a reality of life.

The Star of the Invisible Empire: Jean Parvulesco

Author: Alexander Dugin

Source: Open Revolt

Article first published in 1994 in the newspaper Zavtra, re-published in Alexander Dugin, Knights Templar of the Proletariat (Moscow: Arktogeia, 1997). 

 

Profession: Visionary

Jean Parvulesco is a living mystery of European literature. A mystic, poet, novelist, literary critic, expert in political intrigues, revolutionary, and friend and confidant of many European luminaries of the second half of the 20th century – from Ezra Pound and Julius Evola to Raymond Abellio and Arnaud Breker.

Parvulesco’s true identity remains a mystery. A Romanian who fled to the West in the 1940’s, he became one of the most prominent French stylists of modern prose and poetry. But whatever his works might have been, from tantric dances to complex occult novels to biographies of his great friends (especially The Red Sun of Raymond Abellio), Parvulesco’s real vocation is that of a “visionary”, a direct and inspired contemplator of the spiritual spheres which reveal themselves to the chosen behind the gloomy and flat visibility of the modern profane world.

At the same time, Parvulesco has nothing in common with the vulgar representatives of the modern neo-mysticism that is so widespread today as a kind of instrumental compensation for the techno-information routines of everyday life. Parvulesco’s vision is dark and tragic; he has no illusions as to the hellish, infernal nature of the modern world. In this sense, he is akin to a Traditionalist. The infantile optimism of the Theosophists, occultists, and pseudo-mystical “conserves” of New Age are extremely foreign to Parvulesco. But unlike many Traditionalists of an “academic” temperament, he does not restrict himself to skeptical lamentations of the “crisis of the modern world” and bare, marginal condemnations of the material civilization of the end of the Kali Yuga. Jean Parvulesco’s texts are full of the Sacred, which speaks directly through them, on the dreamlike, almost prophetic level of a strange revelation, a “visit” which makes its way from the higher spheres through the magical blockade of dark energies which fill today’s world and the collective and cosmic psyche.

Parvulesco is an authentic visionary. He is sufficiently profound and doctrinally honed, enough so as to not lead one to mistake the first phantoms of subtle reality for “messengers of light.” At the same time, he strains his intuition to the extreme in a dangerous and risky “journey inward” towards the “center of the Black Lake” of the modern spirit, so as to go without fear beyond the limits of fixed rational and dogmatic norms (hence the multi-leveled paradoxes which saturate Parvulesco’s books).

Parvulesco’s message can be defined in the following manner:

The Sacred has disappeared from the daily reality of the modern world, and it is completely obvious that we live in the End Times. This Sacred has not disappeared (since, being eternal, it cannot disappear), but it has passed into the nocturnal, invisible matrix and is now ready to descend upon the human, physical cosmos in a terrifying apocalyptic moment – the apogee of history, the point at which the world, having forgotten its spiritual nature and disowned it, will be forced to confront it in the harsh flash of Revelation.

This has not happened yet. Humanity is fast asleep in its dark, material illusions, while only the chosen, the visionaries, the members of the secret brotherhood, the Apocalyptic Order, are watching awake, secretly preparing the path for the coming of the Final Hour, the Kingdom of Heaven, the Great Empire of the End.

Parvulesco considers himself to be not a writer, but a herald of this Invisible Empire (thus is titled his final book – The Star of the Invisible Empire), a speaker of the Occult Parliament of the planetary elite of the “awakened.” His personality doubles, triples, and quadruples in the characters of his novels, where the author himself is at work alongside his counterparts, his occult doubles, real historical figures, otherworldly shadows, the shells of the “outer twilight”, and the secret agencies of occult intelligence services.

Parvulesco unveils not merely a scenography of individual phantasies or memories, but a whole parallel world. The populations of his texts are genuinely frightening; their strange (quite often dark) humor sometimes reaches the sacred relics of religion, dogma, and canons, thereby awakening and freeing their their inner, secret essence from the stupid fetishistic veneration which kills the spirit. Following the prescriptions of Tantra, Parvulesco makes language come alive, he makes it rapid and “operational.” This is why his texts are more than literature. They are magical spells and scandalous revelations. They are provocations of events and predictions of their meaning. They are immersion into the Ocean of Interiorness, into the underground tunnels of the Hidden, into the frightening empire of that which dwells inside each of us. This is why Parvulesco can at times be just as frightening as any true genius. He attentively and scientifically studies us from within, and his experiments at times overstep well-established boundaries. Parvulesco is a visionary anatomist.

In the Beginning was Conspiracy

Parvulesco answers clearly and paradoxically at once that reality is dual in nature. Secret agents of Being and Oblivion are present in all key spheres of governance in the modern world, directing all processes of civilization. The fabric of actual, concrete history is derived from the superimposition of these energetic vectors of two occult networks upon one another. Generals and terrorists, spies and poets, presidents and occultists, Church fathers and heresiarchs, mafiosi and ascetics, Freemasons and naturalists, prostitutes and blessed saints, salon artists and workers movement activists, archaeologists and forgers are all merely obedient actors in a saturated conspirological drama. Who knows what social identity hides a higher initiate. A robber or beggar often turn outs to be the curator of the President or the Pope, and a military commander or banker can be puppets of a salon poet, behind the grotesque and imaginative personality of whom lurks a cold master and architect of harsh political history.

Against Demons and Democracy

The Star of the Invisible Empire is Parvulesco’s final and key novel. It ties together all the threads of his previous books. It describes the nearing of the final denouement of the transcendent meta-history of which our author has been a chronicler. Here is his résumé:

All across the planet, especially in France and Portugal (as well as Peru and Mexico), and in the magical “acupuncture points” of the occult West, the agents of Oblivion have erected black pyramids – physical and supra-physical installations designed to facilitate the direct invasion of the world by demonic energies, the hordes of the Gogs and Magogs. This apocalyptic project bears the secret name “Project Aquarius.” Corresponding to the relevant astrological symbolism, the “Age of Aquarius” dawns and carries with it not joy and harmony (as the agents of Oblivion try to reassure humanity), but decomposition, decay, chaos, death, and “dissolution in the lower waters.” The hero of Star of the Invisible Empire, Tony d’Antremont, describes his prophetic vision of the onset of the “Aquarian epoch” thusly:

I see, together with Lovecraft, the swarming of gigantic, repulsive masses, moving in endless waves, advancing on the last, residual crystal structures of the resistance of the spiritual elite; I behold in the ecstatic powerlessness of my hallucinatory awakening a flickering black foam, a foam of black dissolution, the terror of the democratic stench, and the terrible apparatuses of these convulsing corpses which – in the make-up of dirty whores with deceitful smiles, with the Californian beach smile of European anti-fascists, with the smile of mannequin whores from glittering showcases (I would define them as such) – are preparing our final defeat, are leading us whither not even they know or, rather, know all too well, all along the way sucking the bone marrow out of us; these are the hallucinatory leaden cloaks of Human Rights, the fecal-vomit emissions of Hell – although by saying such I am insulting Hell.

The servants of Aquarius, by opening the way to the human world for the black “shells” of the outer twilight, are striving to present their counter-natural advent as a blessing, as salvation, as the peak of evolution, while hiding their essence, the Vomito Negro (“Black Vomit”) under the political and Spiritualist slogan of the New Age or New World Order.

Against the conspiracy of Aquarius, in which the whole terrifying “meta-galactic” network of the agents of Oblivion seeking their final embodiment in the “New World Order” is concentrated, are fighting those who represent the Western order of Atlantis Magna. The Woman, known under the mystical name Licorne Mordore, or the “red-brown Unicorn”, plays a special role in the rituals of this order. In physical reality, she bears the name Jane Darlington. However, the true nature of this woman fundamentally transcends the limits of individuality. Rather, she represents some kind of sacred function distributed among all women of the order, whose personal and everyday relationships reflect the ontological hierarchy of being itself (one of them corresponds to the spirit, another to the soul, and another to the body). The men of the order, including the main hero Tony d’Antremont, are also hardly individuals in a strict sense: the descriptions of death and adultery which fill Parvulesco’s novel illustrate the purely functional essence of the main characters. The ritual death of one merely activates the conspirological activities of another, and when their women are unfaithful to them, they find that they remain true to one and the same essence. Thus, Atlantis Magna weaves its continental network of struggle against the conspiracy of Aquarius. On the higher, transcendental level, this means the ritual tantric realization of the eschatological Phenomenon corresponding to the coming of the Consoler and the Wife. Only on this level can those who are building the “black pyramids” be defeated.

The preparation and organization of the most mysterious ritual of the “red circle” constitutes the main trope of the novel. On their way to accomplishing this procedure, the members of Atlantis Magna embark on symbolic journeys, analyze mystical texts, seek the true causes behind political transformations, explore the oddities of the history of various ancient European ancestral lines, they decipher esoteric ideas (appearing like information leaks in ordinary tabloid literature), experience love-filled and erotic relationships, are subjected to assassination attempts, and become victims of kidnapping and torture. But all of this concrete flesh of the fascinating, detective-like novel is a continuous reading and clarification of the interconnected visionary reality of the Final Event of history, the manifestation of the Great Eurasian Empire of the End, the Regnum Sacrumor Imperium Sacrum, whose reflections are discernible in all aspects of the modern world.

On the level of political conspiracy, the novel’s heroes operate actively and decisively. The spiritual resistance to New Age and neo-Spiritualism, for whose representatives (from Alice Bailey to Teilhard de Chardin and Sai Baba) Tony d’Antremont proposes to arrange an “occult super-Auschwitz, a super-Majdanek”, is projected onto political opposition to the New World Order, Americanism, and Liberalism, a confrontation which forces the “agents of Being” to weave a network of global conspiracy with all those political forces opposed to globalism. Palestinian terrorists, underground European neo-Nazi groups, social revolutionaries and Red Brigades, the descendants of aristocratic families who hate “democracy” and secretly wish to end the liberal epoch, members of the Italian mafia, Gaullists and Francoists, Third World revolutionaries, shamans from America and Asia, communist leaders, and German bankers all become participants in a geopolitical project aimed at the establishment of a final Eurasian Empire. Diplomatic receptions, foreign trips, confidential talks, and intelligence gathering make up the political aspect of the conspiracy of the “agents of Being” and a special storyline of the novel, superimposed over occult conversations and the long esoteric monologues of the story’s heroes.

Parvulesco’s novel is not structured along the traditional logic of a complete narrative. It is altogether characteristic that the novel comes to an abrupt end mid-word on page 533. All the preceding contents have brought the reader close to the eschatological denouement of the occult war, but here the literary world ends, and actual reality begins. The majority of the novel’s characters are historical figures, some of whom have died, while others are still alive. The books and texts cited in the tale really exist. While many of the book’s episodes and retold legends are fictional, many are not. One characteristic detail is that the majority of the names mentioned are provided in parentheses with dates of birth and death.

After reading Star of the Invisible Empire, a natural question arises: What exactly have we just read? A novel? Fiction? Fantasy? Surreal literature? Or, perhaps, an esoteric tract?

Or is it a real revelation of the true background to modern history, seen from the standpoint of metaphysical fullness in all its volume, beyond hallucinations which are in essence all banal, everyday views explaining nothing and extremely far from the truth?

In the dedication that adorns the copy presented to me, Jean Parvulesco himself called his novel a “most secret and most dangerous initiatic novel in which Absolute Love presents its final weapon of Absolute Power and lays the occult foundations for the future great Eurasian Empire of the End, which will be akin to the Kingdom of Heaven, Regnum Sanctum.”

Nothing more nor less.

The Red-Brown Shiva

During one of our discussions, when I was telling Parvulesco about the meaning of the term “ours” in Russian political terminology, Parvulesco became very animated and showed me a place in one of his early novels (from the mid 1970’s) in which he providentially employed the very same term in a strikingly similar sense. For him, “ours” are the members of the conspiracy of Being, a secret network of agents of influence who are united by a common occult goal beyond political differences, and who stand against the cosmopolitan and profane civilization that has been established on the planet.

Moreover, my Italian friends once sent me the copy of an article of Parvulesco’s from the late 1960’s in which he spoke of “Eurasianism”, the geopolitical project of a Continental Bloc, the need for a Russo-German alliance (a renewed Ribbentrop-Molotov pact), and even the need to merge red and brown into a single revolutionary, anti-globalist front! It is altogether strange how the texts of this amazing man – which remain popular only as literary works while provoking the condescending smile of “academic” Traditionalists – pre-emptively described many years ago with an almost prophetic clairvoyance precisely that which has become a political fact only in recent years – in Russia, far from Europe.

All of this leads to quite disturbing thoughts as to the true nature of this genius writer. Who are you, in the end, Mr. Parvulesco? The commander of Altavilla? Whoever he is, Parvulesco is undoubtedly “red-brown”, not least because his sympathies are with the mysterious female figure whom certain really existing initiatic societies call the “Red-Brown Unicorn.”, Licorne Mordore. It should be noted that the French word mordoré means, more precisely, “red-brown with gold or a golden tint.” Besides this squeamish and derogatory term “red-brown” which has long since branded the most interesting political forces in Russia, there is also the royal, regal shade of this color – the final, eschatological coronation, with Alchemical Gold, of the great, continental Eurasian Revolution. This Revolution is being prepared and carried out today by “ours” – the secret and overt agents of Being. Yet another personage of sacred tradition is bestowed this color: the Hindu god Shiva, who is liturgically called the “red-brown” and “the terrible.” This god’s character is close to the element of our Red-Browns. Yes, this element is terrible and destructive in its outer manifestation. But the terrible red-brown Shiva is the keeper of the secret of Eternity, that which is revealed in all its entirety in the End Times, when it denies with its “terrible” being the beginning of the Age of Aquarius. Red-brown Shiva is the patron of the tradition of sacred Love, Tantra – the very same Tantra to which one of Jean Parvulesco’s first books, La Miséricordieuse Couronne du Tantra (The Merciful Crown of Tantra), was dedicated.

The agents of the Inner Continent are awake. In the night sky of our repulsive civilization appears the magic Star heralding the imminent transformation of the Inner into Outer. This is the Star of the Invisible Empire, the Empire of Jean Parvulesco.

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Noomakhia: Eastern Europe: The Slavic Logos

Alexander Dugin, Noomakhia – Eastern Europe: The Slavic Logos – Balkan Nav and Sarmatian Style
(Moscow: Academic Project, 2018)

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Table of Contents:

PART I: The Civilization of the Goddess and the Peasant Ecumene of Europe

Chapter 1: Eastern Europe as a Geosophical Concept

Chapter 2: The Matriarchal Pole of Eastern Europe

Chapter 3: The Turanian Invasion

PART II: The Eastern European Nav

Chapter 4: The Worlds of Nav and the Gestalt of the Vampire 

Chapter 5: The Witch, the Idiot, and the Languages of the Nocturne 

Chapter 6: The Indo-European Element: The Homeland of Dionysus

PART III: The Proto-Slavs

Chapter 7: The Structures of Slavic Identity: The Paleo-European Mother and the Indo-European Father

Chapter 8: At the Dawn of Slavic History

PART IV: The South Slavs: Bulgarian Katechon and the Mission of the Bogomils

Chapter 9: The Bulgarian Historial

Chapter 10: The Parallel Historial of Bulgarian Identity

Chapter 11: Macedonia: Gospel of the Vampire 

Chapter 12: The Structure of the Bulgarian Logos

PART V: Illyrian Civilization: Fiery Serbia and other South Slavs

Chapter 13: The Serbian Historial

Chapter 14: Bosnia: Bogomils and Islamization 

Chapter 15: The Serbian Wail 

Chapter 16: In Search of the Serbian Logos

Chapter 17: The Historial of the Croats 

Chapter 18: The Croatian Logos: Pan-Slavism and/or Nationalism

Chapter 19: Slovenia

Chapter 20: Slovenian Style: Euro-Integration and Nihilism

PART VI: The West Slavs: The Moravo-Bohemian Logos

Chapter 21: The West Slavs in the Slavic World

Chapter 22: Sources and Flight of the Czech State 

Chapter 23: The Czech Logos of the Hussites 

Chapter 24: The Czechs and Modernity

Chapter 25: The Philosophy of the Czech Renaissance

PART VII: The Polish Horizon: Sarmatian Spirit and European Mission

Chapter 26: The North-West Slavs in Antiquity 

Chapter 27: The Polish Historial

Chapter 28: Old Polish Religion

Chapter 29: Union, Partitions, Modernization, Freedom

Chapter 30: Polish Pride and the Polish Logos: The “Christ of Europe”

Chapter 31: Polish Terror

Chapter 32: The Polish Structure

Conclusion: On the Path Towards the Slavic Ereignis

“Noomakhia is the war in the sphere of the mind. The author of Noomakhia examines human history and the present as a ceaseless war between diverse civilizational projects founded on three noological paradigms (the Three Logoi of Apollo, Dionysus, and Cybele). The panorama of humanity presents in all its fullness and diversity the many dialogues, combinations, juxtapositions, appropriations, and annihilations of the Logoi which yield numerous types of rationality, mythologies, philosophies, religions, metaphysics, and constitute the plurality of civilizational constructs.

The space of Eastern Europe is a frontier between two civilizations – Western European and Russian. Precisely here ran the border between the nomadic, Indo-European, patriarchal civilizations of Turan and the matriarchal civilizations of Old Europe (which emerged in Anatolia and spread to the Balkans and Southern Europe), between the Catholic (Latin) Celto-Germanic West and the Russian-Orthodox East. The mosaic of this pivot region’s peoples and religions has never in history been geopolitically united, but this does not mean that the peoples of Eastern Europe cannot develop civilizational unity in the future and retrieve a cultural identity founded on the common Eastern European Dasein.

Since the fifth-sixth centuries A.D., the Slavic peoples have played a decisive role in the space of Eastern Europe. This volume of Noomakhia examines the Slavic horizon of Eastern Europe, which the author calls “Great Slaviania.” In question is not a concrete polity, but the inner unity of the Slavic Dasein, language, and ethno-sociological structure, constituted by the predominance of the settled agricultural population and the allogenic superstructure of a ruling warrior elite, the latter being an indirect trace of Sarmatian, Turanian, or Germanic influence. Alexander Dugin believes that, despite the powerful impact exerted on Slavic horizon of Eastern Europe by a number of non-Slavic peoples and powerful civilizational poles – such as Byzantium, Rome, Germany, France, England, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire – the mosaic of the West and South Slavic peoples, being the foci of mixed, self-sufficient cultures, can in the future form a multi-faceted and fully-fledged civilizational unity.

Baron Ungern: God of War

Author: Alexander Dugin

Source: Open Revolt

Episode 6 of Alexander Dugin’s “Historico-Magical Meditative Radio Show” FINIS MUNDI

Petrograd, 1920. Feliks Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky is finishing up a report for comrade Lenin:

It seems that Ungern is more dangerous than Semenov. He is stubborn and fanatical. Clever and ruthless. He occupies key positions in Dauria. What are his intentions? To attack Urga in Mongolia or Irkutsk in Siberia? To swing around to Harbin in Manchuria, and then on to Vladivostok? To march on Beijing and restore the Manchurian dynasty to the Chinese throne? His monarchical plans are limitless. But one thing is clear: Ungern is preparing a coup. He is our most dangerous enemy to date. Destroying him is a matter of life and death.”

Dzerzhinsky attached to his report to the Supreme Soviet an excerpt from a letter that had fallen into the hands of Siberian partisans:

The Baron pronounces the words ‘commissar’ and ‘communist’ with hatred, often adding ‘will be hanged.’ He has no favorites, he is unusually firm, adamant in matters of discipline, very cruel, and very gullible…He lives surrounded by Lamas and shamans…Out of addiction to the scandalous and unusual, he calls himself a Buddhist. It is more likely that he belongs to some far-right Baltic sect. His enemies call him the ‘Mad Baron.’”

Baron Roman Fedorovich von Ungern-Sternberg was born on December 20th, 1885 in Graz (Austria) to a family of Baltic aristocrats living in Estonia. His family can be traced back to at least the 18th century. According to reliable data, two of his ancestors belonged to the Knights of the Teutonic Order and fell at the hands of the Poles. His family members served the Order, then Germany, and, finally, the Russian Tsar and Russian Empire. According to the baron himself, his grandfather converted to Buddhism while in India, after which his father and he himself also became Buddhists. The baron graduated gymnasium in Reval (Tallinn) and attended a cadets school in St. Petersburg, where in 1909 he was sent to a Cossack corps in Chita. During an officers quarrel in Chita, the baron challenged his opponent to a duel and wounded him. The baron himself sustained a serious injury, as a result of which he would experience severe headaches throughout the rest of his life, to the point that at times he lost the ability to see.

Because of this duel, the baron was expelled from the corps in July of 1910, from then onwards beginning a journey around Siberia accompanied by only one companion – his hunting dog Misha. Somehow he ended up in Mongolia, which was destined to be his fate. This strange, desert-stretched, wild, ancient and harsh country fascinated Ungern. In Mongolia, the baron managed to get into personal contact with the living Buddha, Kutuktu, the supreme figure of Mongolian Lamaism. At the time, Mongolia was experiencing a revival of imperial sentiments and was seeking independence from China. In Urga, the Mongolian capital, the baron’s determined character was soon noticed, and Kutuktu himself appointed Ungern commander of the Mongol cavalry. Taking advantage of the unrest and revolution in China, the Mongols succeeded in expelling the Chinese occupants from their country, and in 1911 the “living Buddha” established an independent monarchy in Mongolia. 

The baron’s military services for Kutuktu were duly noted, and he became a deeply revered figure in the Mongol world. Before his departure from Mongolia, Baron Ungern, accompanied by his friend Prince Djam Bolon. At the latter’s insistence, Ungern visited a clairvoyant of a most ancient and respected shamanic line. In this fateful moment, in a trance, the clairvoyant revealed to Baron Ungern the secret of his spiritual nature:

I see the God of War…

He rides a gray horse across our steppes and our mountains. You will

Rule over a vast territory, oh white God of War.

I see blood, lots of blood…

A horse…

Lots of blood.

Red blood…

I see no more. The White God of War has disappeared.”

In 1912, Ungern visited Europe – Austria, Germany, and France. According to the testimonies offered in Krauthof’s book on Ungern, Ich Befehle (“I order”), in Paris the baron met and fell in love with the woman of his heart, Danielle. This was just on the eve of the First World War. True to his duty and on the order of the Tsar, the baron was compelled to return to Russia to take his place in the ranks of the imperial army.

Ungern set off back to the Homeland with his sweetheart, Danielle. But in Germany he was threatened with arrest for being an officer of the enemy army. The baron took an extremely risky journey on a small boat across the Baltic Sea. The little vessel was wrecked in a storm, and the lady was killed. The baron’s survival was nothing more than a miracle. From that time on, the baron would never be the same. Thenceforth he paid no attention to women. He became extremely ascetic and extremely, inhumanely cruel. In his review of Krauthof’s book, Julius Evola wrote: “Great passion incinerated all the human elements inside of him, and from then on only the sacred force that stands above life and death remained in him.”

The maelstrom of war pulled him in. The baron fought with inimitable courage against the Austrians, sustaining multiple wounds and being awarded the Cross of St. George and the Sword of Honor for his bravery and selflessness. After the Bolshevik revolution, Ungern was one of the first to engage in merciless battle with the Reds under the command of Ataman Semenov. And in this war, he distinguished himself with unbridled courage, steadfastness, and superb knowledge of military strategy.

Ungern gradually organized his own division consisting of Russian officers, Cossacks, and indigenous Siberians (especially Buryats) who remained faithful to the Emperor. Its full name was the Asian Cavalry Division. Incredible, inhuman discipline reigned in Ungern’s units. The slightest offenses were punished in the most merciless manner up to the death penalty.

Major Antoni Aleksandrowicz, a White officer of Polish origins and former Mongolian artillery instructor, wrote:

Baron Ungern was an outstanding man, extremely complex both psychologically and politically. (1) He saw in Bolshevism the enemy of civilization. (2) He despised Russians for having betrayed their legitimate sovereign and failing to cast off the communist yoke. (3) Nevertheless, among Russians he singled out and liked ordinary peasants and soldiers while he fiercely hated the intelligentsia. (4) He was a Buddhist who was obsessed with the dream of creating a knightly order in the likes of the Teutonic Order and Japanese Bushido. (5) He strove to create a gigantic Asian coalition, with which he wanted to set off on a conquest of Europe to turn it towards the teaching of the Buddha. (6) He was in contact with the Dalai Lama and the Muslims of Asia. He wielded the title of Khan of Mongolia as well as the title of ‘bonze’, or an initiate of Lamaism. (7) He was ruthless to an extent that only an ascetic could be. The absolute absence of sensitivity that was typical of him can be encountered only among beings who know neither pain, joy, pity, nor sorrow. (8) He possessed an extraordinary mind and considerable knowledge. His ability as a medium allowed him to completely accurately understand the nature of whomever he spoke with from the first minute of conversation.”

This account of Baron Ungern, left by a man who served him, was published in 1938 by none other than René Guénon himself in the main Traditionalist organ, the journal Études Traditionnelles.

***

Mongolia once again lost its independence, and its capital, Urga, was occupied by Chinese troops who actively cooperated with Bolshevik agents and provocateurs among the local population. Kutuktu, the living Buddha, was arrested. The absolutely sovereign, spiritually-incarnated, theocratic ruler of Great Free Mongolia was made into a pathetic prisoner.

The White Cause gradually lost on all fronts. After Kolchak’s defeat, only Ataman Semenov and Baron Ungern posed serious, fierce resistance in the East. Pressed on all sides by the Reds, the Asian Cavalry Division entered Mongolia. Its ranks were composed of representatives of many peoples – both European and Asia. Having lost the Russian Empire, the heroes of the Asian Cavalry Division, faithful to the Principle, marched on to restore the Mongol Empire.

Ungern gradually devised a desperate geopolitical plan to create a unique zone in Asia, or more precisely in Mongolia, free from both Bolshevik influence and the troops of the profane West. It would be a unique world in which the ancient laws of the Sacred Tradition would be in force. Ungern was familiar with the books of Saint-Yves d’Alveydre, and knew of the existence of the secret, underground country of Agarttha, where the laws of time are not in effect and where the King of the World, the Chakravarti, resides. Like the Knights Templar, who not only guarded European pilgrims from the Saracens, but also protected the great mysteries of spiritual knowledge from degenerate Catholicism and the secularizing French monarchy, Ungern aimed to create a special zone between the shrines of Tibet, where according to legend lies the entrance to Agarttha, and the rest of the world.

The Name of Mongolia – Khalkha – means ‘Shield.’ It is the ancient homeland of Genghis Khan, the restorer of the Empire of Ram. The mission of Mongolia is to serve as an obstacle in the path of the rabid hordes of apocalyptic humanity – the Gogs and Magogs of Bolshevism, democracy, and the profane world, the freaks of the modern world…Here, and none other than here, Tradition must be restored and a fight be put up against the forces of the West, the citadel of perversion, the source of Evil. The whole destiny of my line is that of going to the East, to the Rising Sun. I have no heirs and I have reached the Eastern edge of Eurasia myself, on my own. There is nowhere further to go. From this magical point of sacred geography shall begin the Great Restoration…Khalkha – the sacred steppes, the Great Shield.”

Ungern entered Mongolia not as a leader of the last unit of an army battered by the Reds, but as a “mythological hero”, an incarnation of the God of War, as the fulfiller of the Swedish mystic Swedenborg’s testament that “only the sages of the Eurasian steppes of Tartary” – Mongolia – “can find the key to the mysteries of the sacred cycles and the original mystical manuscript long ago lost by humanity under the strange title “The War of Jehovah.”

Ungern’s troops neared Chinese-occupied Urga. On February 3rd, 1920 the baron ordered an attack on the Mongol city of Urga, defended by a Chinese garrison which greatly outnumbered the baron’s warriors. Thanks to a rapid and frantic operation in which Ungern himself took part, his men managed to free Kutuktu, the living Buddha, who was guarded by a large and well-armed Chinese unit. Afterwards, the Asian Cavalry Division, together with Mongol units that joined the baron, attacked Urga. It was a brilliant and extremely important Victory. Tradition and Order were restored in Mongolia. Kutuktu appointed the baron the absolute dictator of Mongolia. Baron Ungern became the first European to receive the title Khan of War, Khan-Chan-Chun.

The first part of this mad plan, parallels to which can only be found in the magnificent and brilliant Middle Ages, not in the “skeptical” and “cynical” 20th century, seemed to be coming true. Henceforth, the dictator of Mongolia, Khan-Chan-Chun, or simply Ungern-Khan, the cruel and noble ascetic, initiated his plan to restore the sacred meaning of Khalkha, the magical Shield of the earth.

No, this is not a fairy tale, not a hallucination. This really happened. Relatively recently.

In dark times, the purity of a hero draws such resistance from the degenerate surrounding environment that curbing and subordinating it necessitates extraordinary means. It is only a matter of course that the majority of officers and soldiers of the Asian Cavalry Division, the Russian Cossacks, and servants did not comprehend the sacred ideals of the mad baron. Kolchak and Wrangel’s failures, apathy, and fatigue all demoralized the army. Many could not resist drinking, stealing, looting, and deserting…The corrupting spirit of the decomposing emigration, the Harbin Russian saloons, and vacant spaces among Parisian taxi drivers – all with Russian tears, saliva, and sighs – all irresistibly tempted the broken fragments of Kolchak’s army.

The Khan of War had to resort to extreme measures. He organized a system of severe punishments. 18 officers, some of whom were decorated veterans personally loyal to Ungern, were thrown into the icy, stormy Mongolian river for drunkery. He spared no one and nothing. Some of those who could swim survived. Some didn’t. But the drinking stopped among them and the rest of those who saw the frozen-blue, frostbitten corpses of their comrades. Such was a kind of forced conversion of the Cossacks to shamanism – after all, swimming in the river in winter in one’s clothes by virtue of internal heat, tapas, and then drying one’s clothes on the shore with the warmth of one’s own body, is a typical shamanic practice. There could not have been more appropriate conditions for indulging in such a national custom.

Colonel Sipailov, Ungern’s shadow, nicknamed the “Thug” in the army, behaved even more grimly. Sipailov was a typical “dark twin” [to Ungern]. Such grotesque characters very often accompany the personal path of great men, embodying the dark aspects of the soul of the hero. If Ungern’s brutality was founded on high spiritual asceticism and was akin to a kind to holiness, then Colonel Sipailov was a genuinely mad sadist. For abusing a yard dog, Sipailov shot the best Cossack commander in all of Ungern’s army and put his corpse on public display. Some were beaten to death with whips for all types of faults, even the tiniest spoils. Sipailov was Ungern’s Dzerzhinsky. All the means by which Ungern imposed order in Mongolia and his army strikingly resembled the Bolshevik terror – no wonder the Bolsheviks respected Ungern more than other leaders of the White movement. Behind it all one could glimpse some kind of inner affinity, a unity of common type at that magical point where extreme right meets extreme left, where opposites coincide.

Sipailov’s atrocities were wild and senseless. Only for a short time did this “black double” of Ungern soften, when he met a girl who melted the stale heart of this sadist. For some time, the officers and soldiers sighed with relief as Sipailov, so it seemed, devoted all his time to pretty little Mashenka.

However, according to eyewitnesses, the following scene eventually took place in Ungern’s quarters. Mashenka had prepared a pie for the commanders. Ungern made an exception and allowed for some champagne to be drunk. Sipailov was extremely lively and unexpectedly kind. When the officers asked him to call Mashenka to thank her for such an amazing dish, Sipailov turned pale, went out, and came back with a strange bag in his hands. He pulled the bloody, severed head of his lover out of it and, with a yellow gleam in his eyes, dumped it on the table in front of the dumbfounded officers. He added laconically: “Bolshevik agent.”

***

Mongolia was still in good hands, but the situation became increasingly ominous. The Bolsheviks were winning on all fronts. Ungern gathered his officers at his quarters in Urga:

Gentlemen, bad news. Ataman Semenov has left Chita. The Soviet General Blücher, a Red Teutonic pig, has just occupied the city. His headquarters are in Verkhneudinsk near Lake Baikal. All of Siberia is now Bolshevik.”

And Crimea?”

Crimea is gone. The remnants of Wrangel’s army have fled on the ships of our Western pseudo-allies.”

The situation was as simple and deadly as the tip of a sword. The Baron summed up in one simple phrase:

Gentlemen, there is only one combat-ready White army left: the First Asian Cavalry Division.”

Well, we are the last ones then.”

This is a catastrophe.”

No, Boris Ivanovich, it is not a catastrophe. It is an honor.”

For Ungern, Honor meant Faithfulness. Or, as the profound contemporary poetess Savitri Devi Mukherji said on an altogether similar matter: “‘Faithful when all become unfaithful—while we never forget, never forgive.”

The storm clouds were gathering. Jean Mabire’s book on Baron Ungern describes Ungern’s last meeting with Kutuktu before the Khan of War left Urga forever to move North, to Siberia, where he would put up one last fight against the Bolsheviks.

Kutuktu, the Living Buddha, took his place. His face, in black glasses, was impenetrable as always, but his terrible fatigue was felt in all its force. Only with great difficulty did the old man restrain a nervous shiver. A huge throne with a high gilded back, littered with yellow silk pillows. Ungern bowed. He glanced around. The Baron was not one to deliver long speeches, he restricted himself to an announcement of his decision:

In a few days I am leaving Mongolia. I am going to Baikal to fight our common enemy, the Reds. Your country is henceforth free, and its sons, scattered around the world, should return to their Homeland. Soon the Empire of Genghis Khan will be reborn. You must preserve the freedom that we have won.’

But in his [Kutuktu’s] soul, a storm raged: without Ungern’s support he was nothing, just a blind old man, too feeble and impotent to drive young revolutionaries like Sukhbaatar and Choibolsan out of the country.  Kutuktu asked the Baron to follow him into his office to talk one-on-one.

The divine Kutuktu walked over to a safe oddly framed against the oriental decor of the room. He fumbled with the lock for a long while. Finally, a heavy door slowly opened…Kutuktu reached up the metal shelves for a casket carved out of ivory. Inside was a ruby ring with a solar sign, the Hackenkreuz, the symbol of ancient Aryan conquerors.

Genghis Khan never took this ring off of his right hand.’

Roman Fedorovich von Ungern-Sternberg stared at the jewel in a daze. As if in a dream, he extended his hand to Kutuktu. The old man was shaking and hardly managed to put the ring of the great conqueror onto the Baron’s finger. The Living Buddha blessed Ungern. Putting his hands on his head, he pronounced:

You will not die. You will be re-incarnated in a more perfect form of being. Remember this, living god of war, Khan to whom Mongolia is owed.’

Ungern felt as if the ring was burning his hand.

The Prince of Mongolia and loyal vicar of Kutuktu went out of the palace of Nogon-Orgo. The Lamas parted in front of him. In his resolutely ringing spurs, Ungern swiftly exited the corridor, never once turning back, and went beyond the palace, where he powerlessly collapse into the back seat of a car.

To headquarters’, he told Makeev.

The Baron felt the circle closing.”

Ungern’s forces once again marched onto Russian land. Now it was no longer a war they were waging, but guerrilla operations. Nevertheless, Ungern very seriously worried the Reds. He appeared where least expected, like lighting, suddenly, and would leave destruction and death in his wake. For him, the God of War, this was natural. The best units of the Red Army in Siberia were thrown at him, and General Blücher was made personally responsible for the whole operation.

But this was already agony. In the material world, everything reaches its fateful, fatal point. Ungern, however, was submerged in another reality, where he saw pictures of triumph and victory and the realization of a cherished dream. His being imperceptibly passed on to another, subtle plane which began to interfere with ordinary reality. His subordinates increasingly came to understand that their commander was insane.

Ungern rose, brought out maps, and unfurled them. Laying them out on the grass, with a bamboo cane he traced an imaginary route. He told his faithful assistant, General Rezukhin:

More fantasy, Boris Ivanovich! We go up to Selenga. It’s worse with Urga. We need to choose. Remnants of the White armies are hiding in western Mongolia. They will start to flock to us. Not all the Atamans and Cossacks have died. Together we will go further to the west. Now we are in Altai amidst mountains, caves, gorges, and shepherds who still believe in the incarnated god of war. We can easily cross the border of western Turkestan.’

In Xingjiang the Chinese will arrest you.’

We’ll deal with them quickly and head further south. We have to go through China. Does such a possibility scare you, Boris Ivanovich? The country is falling apart, revolution is in full swing. The only people we’ll come across are cowardly looters and deserters. All together it’s some thousand kilometers, and we are in an impregnable fortress. And we can start everything all over again. Absolutely everything.’

Tibet?’

Yes. The roof of the world. The Dalai Lama, the highest priest of Buddhism, is in Lhasa. Kutuktu occupies the third tier in the hierarchy compared to him. I made a mistake in the very beginning: the center of Asia is not in Mongolia. Mongolia is only the outer circle, the Shield. We should go to Tibet.’

The baron slapped the map with his bamboo stick right on the mountain chain of the Himalayas.

There, among the peaks, we will find people who have not forgotten their Aryan ancestors. On the dizzying border of India and China, my empire will be reborn. We will speak Sanskrit and live according to the principles of the Rig Veda. We will gain the law that Europe has lost. And once again the light of the North will shine. The eternal law, dissolved in the waters of the Ganges and Mediterranean, will prevail.’

The baron rose. His eyes shined. His voice broke into a rasp. A light stubble covered his sunken, fatigued cheeks. He threw back his hair, revealing an enormous forehead. He was the lone and fragile commander of a people absorbed by the shadow of centuries. He continued:

My Order will be on the mountain tops. Between Nepal and Tibet, I will open a school where I will teach strength, which is needed more than wisdom.’

With feverishly shining eyes, he shouted:

Everything is ready! They are waiting for me in Lhasa! I will reveal the secret of the runes that came from the North and hidden in the secret caches of temples. My Order of warrior-monks will be transformed into an army the likes of which have never been seen before. Asia, Europe, and America will tremble.’

‘No’, Rezukhin said.

For the first time, a little general had dared to stand up to Ungern. But this time, it was beyond his own power. He could no longer obey unconditionally. He forgot about discipline and friendship. His hands trembled, his eyes filled with tears. He repeated:

‘No, Roman Fedorovich, no.’

The Baron winced and looked at him. It was as if the word “no” had suddenly destroyed his dream, as if a runaway avalanche had swept away his Buddhist temple perched on a cliff and he flew into the abyss with his mills for prayers and bonzes in saffron robes.

I don’t understand your plans’, Rezushin, ‘I know only one army – the Tsarist. And one religion – Christianity. But that is not the point. The point is that we will never make it to Lhasa. Look at the map. We can’t cross Chinese Turkestan. And Manchuria is just a stone’s throw away. It’s enough to just head East.’

Never!’, the Baron cried out, ‘Only Tibet!’

Ungern was almost alone, if not for the lot of those who had not been killed and who remained loyal, who had Honor, like him, and Faithfulness too. Ungern rode across the Altai highlands on his favorite filly, Masha, and visions overcame him.

Here on the fortress monastery flies a banner with the golden horseshoe and solar sign of Genghis Khan. The waves of the Baltic Sea break against the mass of Tibet. The ascent, the eternal ascent to the roof of the world, where there is light and force. Ascent…”

The grey horse stumbled on a stone. The dream disappeared, absorbed by mirage that enveloped the sweltering earth.

The dreams of the God of War were a premonition of what is sure to happen – not now, but on another turn of the Eternal Return. He who is truly alive will never know death.

1921. The end. Betrayal. Ungern was captured by the Reds. General Blücher had ordered that Ungern be treated like a Soviet officer. The Red Guards took him to the company command post of the revolutionary military committee of the Yenisei.

Blücher personally met Ungern and proposed that he join the Bolsheviks. Both spoke in German. Blücher spoke of Eurasianists, National Bolshevism, and a special line in the Soviet leadership, a national one, which was merely superficially covered with “Marxist phraseology”, and which was striving to build a gigantic, continental, Traditionalist state not only in Mongolia, but throughout all of Eurasia. Blucher promised the Baron full amnesty and a high position. At the same time, in a secret department of the OGPU, headed by the Martinist Gleb Boki, plans were being developed for an expedition to Tibet, for the transformation of spiritual Bolshevism into a new kind of spiritual reality.

The Baron refused all the offers. Or at least that’s what official history maintains. On September 12th, 1921, Baron Ungern-Sternberg was shot. The God of War was dead.

But do Gods die? If you are asking this, you are absolutely right. They can go away, but they cannot die.

To this day, a legend circulates through Mongolian and Buryat religious circles: “From the North came a white warrior who raised the Mongols, called on them to break the chains of slavery fettering their free land. This white warrior was the embodiment of Genghis Khan, and he predicted the coming of an even greater one…”

The “even greater one” is the Tenth Avatar, the Avenger, the Triumphant, the Fearsome Judge. All Traditions call him by different names. But the essence does not change. The defeat of “ours” is only an eschatological illusion. To embrace it is immoral. Our duty is to stand to the end. It does not matter if we lose every last one and everything losable. Our Honor is in Faithfulness.

To challenge the doom of the dark ages – this gesture itself already harbors the highest reward.

And then a little later the avengers will catch up…the Last Battalion…the Wild Hunt of Odin. “Our” forces – with a golden banner flaunting the black rune UR, the sign of the Cosmic Midnight, the personal standard of the God of War, Baron Roman Fedorovich Ungern-Sternberg, harbinger of the Avatar.

Dugin in Shanghai: China in International Relations

“China in International Relations: Geopolitics, Globalization, and Hegemony” 

Author: Alexander Dugin

Transcript prepared by Jafe Arnold

Lecture #4 delivered at the China Institute of Fudan University, Shanghai, China, December 2018 [VIDEO]

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Today’s lecture will be dedicated to Chinese identity in different fields of science. In the first lecture I explained the main structure of the science of international relations, the main concepts, theories, schools, and debates. In the second lecture I explained what geopolitics is. We have explored the geopolitical vision of Sea Power vs. Land Power. In the third lecture I explained multipolarity and multipolar theory, which insists that there should be more than 4 poles, or at least 4 poles – the US, China, Russia, and Europe – and not only one, Western pole. Today, I will try to put China in all of these fields of research in order to better understand what modern China is in these three contexts.

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We are going to study the main, most important, or I would say central question: What is China? But we cannot start from the parts in order to come to the whole, because we cannot understand the meaning of the parts without knowledge of the whole. We cannot proceed in the opposite way either, because we do not know the whole. We need to use the philosophical method of hermeneutics in order to discover what China is through the process. We do not know what China is – nobody knows. China is a mystery. We are not going to reveal or explain this mystery, but we are going to enter this mystery, to try and think about Chinese identity, and put China’s identity into different philosophical, geopolitical, and intellectual contexts, to find China’s place in the world, but at the same time to define what China is here. The world is presumed to be whole, while China is only a part, but without knowing what China is or what the world is, we cannot find find the place. We are going to proceed together in this hermeneutic approach from Schleiermacher.

We should establish some hypothesis on what China is, after which we can make a kind of reality-check. This is not a dogmatic definition of China, but a kind of presumption or phenomenological approach. In order to understand this, we need to make some very important statements. Every statement here is of crucial importance.

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China is a civilization. That means not whole Civilization, obviously, as there are civilizations outside of China. China is one of the many civilizations. Being a civilization, China represents something complete and perfect, autonomous, and self-sufficient. To be a civilization means to have one’s own measure inside, not outside. A civilization can measure its control and define its own values, progress or failure, using its own tools. Civilization means many things. It is the highest point of more complex, integral concepts. It is something that Professor Zhao Tingyang, whom I met in Beijing and I have a great impression of, means by Tianxia (天下). Tianxia (天下) is not a country, it is a system or civilization.

In geopolitics, China is a Big Space. For example Canada, which is a big country, is not a big space, because it could not represent this space as unified, centralized, historically united. North America is a big space, not Canada. Not every geographical big space is a geopolitical big space, but China is. China historically controls a big geographical zone that is united politically, socially, culturally, historically, religiously, by writing, by Han identity, and so on.

China is a culture. Chinese culture is more than the Chinese state, because the people of Taiwan and some non-Chinese, non-Han people share more or less the same culture, such as the Vietnamese, the Koreans, and partly the Japanese. Their identities and cultures were formed under the huge impact and influence of Chinese culture. Chinese culture is something supra-Chinese, something more than Chinese, because this culture can be given to others, and they can share this culture, such as the writing system for example.

China is a power, because it has political, economic, demographic, geopolitical, strategic, and military resources. It can oblige others to do something. If someone wanted to attack China, China could respond in any way. China is a power that can defend its sovereignty.

China is a pole in the multipolar system. I will explain later what concretely this means. When we are speaking about multipolarity, we immediately imagine the Western pole without any doubt as to it being a civilization, power, and big space. But next to the West today, China is also immediately a most important pole in the world.

China is hegemony, but obviously China is not the only hegemony, or leading force. There are other hegemonies outside of China. China is a regional hegemony. It could lead and exercise leadership in some circle around China beyond its borders, but not too far. In some definite space, the same with culture, civilization, and power, China is a kind of center of hegemony that, compared to other countries that are close to China, is a real leading force.

China is an empire, not only in the traditional sense, but also in the idea of unifying national, political units. An empire is not one political state, but something more – a system. Tianxia  (天下)can be mentioned here. It is something that unites more than one political subject and can expand its influence over greater space.

Thus, finally, China is Tianxia (天下).

All of these definitions should not be considered in an absolute sense, as all these definitions can be applied to China only if we add “one of several, not unique.” It is one civilization, but there are others. It is one big space, but there are others. It is a culture, but there are other cultures. China is a power, but there are other powers. China is a pole, but there are certainly other poles. China is hegemony, but there are other hegemonies. China is an empire, but there are other empires. That is precisely what we argued with Zhao Tingyang concerning the meaning of Tianxia (天下). I will explain later, but the idea in my opinion, the point of divergence with Zhao Tingyang is that China is one possible Tianxia (天下), not the only one, as there are other global structures. For example, there is the American concept of a global world; there can be imagined the multipolar concept of a global world, and there is one Chinese investment in globalization in the form of a universal organization based on the Tianxia theory (天下 体系). We need to understand this project as one of several. Zhao Tingyang, who is the founder and author of Tianxia theory (天下 体系), has said that his concept has been hijacked by some American professor who has written a book on the American Tianxia. According to this professor, only the American Tianxia is the real Tianxia and China’s is only a provincial version. This means that you can propose your global system, but you cannot be sure that it will be accepted by everybody else, at least theoretically.  There is a fight for Tianxia (天下). This is already important because American scholars are beginning to borrow Chinese concepts – that is a very great and positive sign, a real sign of multipolarity.

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The identity of traditional China can be summed up with other definitions. We are speaking about cultural identity. The Yin-Yang system (陰陽) is based on some important sentences, axes, or laws. Relations are more important than ontological units. It is not of importance what is one thing and what is another, but how they relate to each other – relations and the relativity between two things, rather than these things themselves, because there is no eternal essence. It is not essentialism. Things are changing and relations between them are changing as well. But relations are more stable than things themselves. That is a completely non-Western vision. The Western vision is that things or essences are much more important than relations. Relations could change, but things not. China is quite the opposite. Nature can be flexible, but relations stay. That is the Yin-Yang (陰陽) concept of relations. That is the Yin-Yang (陰陽) vision. Relations are eternal. Harmony should prevail. Harmony is balance, not the victory of Yin over Yang or Yang over Yin. There is no radical opposition between them. There is a kind of play. All oppositions are relative.

Order is based on ethics more than power. Ethics is the highest of things; it is balance and the recognition of the rules of the “play.” Ethics are not a result of the balance of power, as in the Western attitude. There is neither pure subjectivity nor pure objectivity. This is an application of the concept that relations prevail. There is no Western Cartesian subject, nor Western object. There is something subjective in nature, in human culture. You cannot trace here such a radical dividing line as in Western culture. That is why you, Chinese, have such a great admiration for stones. Stones are made by nature. You see the subjective element in stones, for example in Confucius’ temple here in Shanghai which I’ve visited here with Dr. Wang Pei. These stones are considered to be works of art, because nature is the artist, and man is a little bit of nature.

The Dao () is everywhere and nowhere. You cannot say that there is a God, Beauty, or a most important value. When you show your ideal, you lose it. When you speak the word, you lose the word. This is a kind of appreciation of silence. As Dr. Pei Wang has reminded, if you listen to silence properly, you can hear the sound of thunder. If you say that the Dao () is everywhere or just nowhere, that is a lie. The Dao () is outside, as the highest value that encompasses and surrounds everything and is at the center of the thing. It is relational.

Matter and spirit form a kind of “fold.” You can go the way of matter and come into the spirit. There is no strict dividing line between soul and body, because matter and spirit are not in opposition, but are relative. They are something that you cannot define radically as in “here is the body, and there is the soul.” They are intermingled in some way. So there is not only care for the body, because in caring about your body, you are caring about your soul, and vice versa. That is the Tai Chi (太极拳) principle. This is the Chinese way of understanding things.

The prevailing symmetry in Chinese identity is the Center vs. Periphery, not Top vs. Bottom. At the center is the Yellow Emperor Huangdi (黃帝) and there is the periphery. But there is no radical opposition between Top vs. Bottom. Rather it is a matter of concentration and degrees of ontological concentration.

Extremities are dangerous. When you come to the extreme, you lose relations with the whole. Going to extremes, you can lose relations with Being, the Dao (), harmony, and the game of proportions.

Time is circular; it is not linear. The year starts again exactly at the same point where you begin, the New Year.

There is inclusiveness, not exclusiveness.

These are the main characteristics of Chinese identity. When we go to Western identity, we lose something important, these two points: the Yin and Yang.

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We are coming to a radical dualism that is completely different from Chinese identity. If we try to describe the Western, not Chinese, we will see almost immediately totally different sentences: relations are secondary, and essences are of more importance; competition and struggle, not harmony, should prevail; all oppositions are radical and irreducible. There cannot be an intermediary term between, for example, Good and Evil. There is a dividing line in all the structure of this non-Chinese identity. Order is based on power, not on ethics. Power comes first, while ethics is of secondary importance. There is pure subjectivity and/or pure objectivity – all systems of Western thought are based either on subjective idealism, which in its radical form denies the reality of the external world, or objective materialism, in which case the subject is regarded only as a reflection or mirror of matter. The subject and object are always outside of Chinese culture and philosophy.

Transcendence with God or without God. Transcendence is the absence of something common between the creator and creation. That is a basic aspect of monotheistic religion: God is transcendent, which means that he is incompatible with reality. Only God is; reality is not. In the materialist version, there is the same, only reality is; God does not exist. That is the modern version of the same transcendental attitude. In the modern sense, only material reality exists. As Nietzsche has said, God is dead – we have killed. him So transcendence at the same time prevails in the normal monotheistic theology of Western religions, or without them.

Matter and spirit are two natures. That is an absolute principle of Western identity.

In terms of symmetry, there is the top and the bottom, hierarchies, and taxonomies of different kinds, in which everything is included only based around the vertical line. The top is everything; the bottom is nothing. The top is Paradise or Heaven; the bottom is Hell.

Extremities are constitutional and very important in Western identity, because they create the space, because they go first.

Time is linear. Time is an arrow. Time is not seasons, but is an event that can never, or very rarely, be repeated. The difference between the event and the season is that an event does not repeat.

Exclusiveness, not inclusiveness, means that you organize reality by making strong differentiations between elements. The only way to understand something is to analyze it. What is analyzing in Greek? It is division, separation. To understand a thing, you should kill it and separate it apart, and afterwards try to re-combine and revive the dead system.

That is duality. Chinese culture is non-duality. This is important, because this means that Chinese identity is clearly not Western, but is also not sub-Western or would-be-Western. It is a completely different world organized on a different basis.

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Now we see how deep Chinese identity is. When we speak about the China State, 中国(Zhōngguó), we can say that there is a national identity supported by the Chinese state. This means that the things I have mentioned exist only because of the state, the Confucianist state, the Imperial state, the Communist state – through all of Chinese history, there was a state that promoted these values, the values of Chinese culture, with an educational system, traditions, and way of life – everything was based on these continuations of Chinese identity. But when we go to China Town (唐人街) in the West, there is no China State. There is no necessity to follow this route by going abroad, and one can easily accept the values of other cultures. Sometimes there are no obstacles. But in Washington, in modern days – I was there in 2005 – near the White House, there is a huge Chinatown where everyone is Chinese – with Chinese restaurants, Chinese names, Chinese food, and Chinese speaking Chinese. They are not obliged; there is no state obliging them to be Chinese, but they prefer to stay Chinese. So here we have something more than an artificially constructed identity. We have something deeper than that. If we say that by changing the Chinese state, you will receive another culture, then Chinatown is a great example that this is not so simple. Sometimes Chinese live abroad 10, 20, sometimes 30 years, return to China and they are totally devoted to the Communist Party, to Chinese identity and Confucianism.

That is the great resistance of identity. Identity is not only about the state, nationality, and education; it is much deeper. Chinese identity can be preserved, developed, affirmed, and conserved in different situations and societies. Between the Chinese in China and the Chinese abroad, there is an important dialectical relationship. Chinese identity could exist outside of the state, and if you were to ask Chinese outside what kind of order they prefer, they will almost totally prefer the Chinese order and way of life. That is existential. “Chinese” is defined by Chinese culture, not by the outside, external structure of the state or society. The meaning of Chinese identity is such that it is already included in it. Outside, things can change, while inside there can be a balance – this is the relations-state. For example, you could modernize some part of your society, but other parts will be more conservative, in order to preserve the balance. That is flexible, not radical; this is an inclusive, relations-based, and very stable Chinese identity. It is eternal, like the seasons, or the Mandate of Heaven – you could lose such with one emperor or system, but you will certainly find it with another. You can return to the same point and start the next cycle, the next year.

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What we get from this analysis, this comparison of the China State and Chinatown, is that Chinese identity is deeper than both. The China state, and the Chinese living outside of China, have a main, common denominator. I call this the Chinese Dasein (汉的此在). Dasein (此在) is Heidegger’s term. I do not think we should use here the concept of Zhōngguó (中国) because it is too political, national, or related to the State. We should use here Han (), that is precisely the core of the Chinese Dasein (汉的此在). You can transform into Han nomads from the North or the population of the South of China, but Han is the core of Chinese identity. Han-Being is existential and ontological.

We can describe the Chinese Dasein (此在) using Heidegger’s methods in terms of Being-Chinese. You cannot be without being Chinese first. Being Chinese, you understand what Being means for Chinese, but without that you have no access to this existential understanding. Being-in-the-World, Im-der-Welt-Sein, is translated here as Being-in-the-Chinese-World. The Chinese world does not mean Zhōngguó (中国), the Chinese State, but is the world you interpret, see, and create over the course of this interpretation. You can live in a Chinese world while living inside or outside of China. Being-With, Mit-Sein in German, another concept of Heidegger’s, is the core of Chinese identity, as you cannot be alone, but always surrounded by other Chinese. You are with your family, ancestors, with the Other, the Chinese writing system, your thoughts. That is the Chinese dialogue. You are always with. With what? With something Chinese.

Being-Toward-Chinese-Death is the most radical definition of Being-Here, or Dasein (此在). I once told the last living disciple of Heidegger, Professor Friedrich von Hermann in Freiburg, that I believe in a multiplicity of Daseins – there is not only one universal Dasein for everybody, because there are different cultures and their own different descriptions of Being-Here. He said that Heidegger would not approve of that, because Heidegger believed in the universality of Dasein (此在), and the argument for such is the universality of Death. I responded: Not at all! In different cultures, there are different deaths. For atheists, death is the end of everything. For Christians, the way of death is based on the soul and post-mortem journey into Heaven and Paradise. These are completely different experiences. I think that there is or should be a Chinese understanding of Death inscribed in the Chinese culture of the return of the ancestors. The family, the house, the tradition are more important than Death. Entering into Death or coming to the world, there is this circular rotation. It is not a kind of interruption of continuity. There is continuity in Death. There could be a Chinese Death, a very special one. Being Russian, I could speak more about the Russian meaning and way of Death, but I leave it to you to explore this existential of Chinese Dasein (此在) more.

As for the Chinese Logos, this is is a more evident part of Chinese identity because it is explicit. If existential identity is implicit, or hidden on the existential, basic level of presence in the world, then the Logos is quite clear. In traditional society, we have the Chinese Logos with Confucius, Laozi, and Chinese Buddhism – these are the three great systems of Chinese culture and traditional society. Tianxia (天下) is precisely a traditional concept, not imagined byProfessor Zhao Tingyang. In the Zhuangzi text there is a chapter called “Tianxia.” It is the 33rd and the last in traditional division of the whole book (Miscellaneous Chapters —雜篇 Zapian).

Ethical order and meritocracy. Professor Daniel Bell has written a very interesting book on the Chinese model of meritocracy, which I recommend – “The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy”.[1] 

And so, there are very explicitly developed systems of how to understand the basic identity on the level of Logos. All the definitions we used in the beginning can be found here, very rich, with details, in books, systems, and schools. This is a huge cultural and intellectual heritage based on Chinese identity.

Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 9.40.02 PMIn modern society you have another form of the Chinese Logos: Mao Zedong, socialism, and Chinese modernity are a kind of new form of the Chinese Logos adapted to new challenges in your history. In your present situation, this is just as important as the heritage of traditional Chinese identity. These are new names for things. Confucius said that we need to improve the names of things. Mao Zedong has improved some names to adapt them to reality without destroying relations between things, while continuing the same Chinese identity. In this situation, Deng Xiaoping added to this vision some new features, such as opening to the West – but not in order to give up your identity, but with the flexibility to empower your identity, to stay Chinese in the new global world.

It is not globalization that is using China. It is China that is trying to use globalization. This is very interesting, but very dangerous, because in coming into a world that is not Chinese and is organized on a completely different set of concepts and values, it is easy to lose identity. Maybe not for you, as we have discovered that your identity is so strong that you can accept this challenge. This is the difference between Chinese and Russian history. Russian identity is not so strong. Coming to meet the West, we have failed, we lost our country, and almost lost our soul. In the last moment, Putin appeared. Our situation was extremely critical in the 1990’s, and entering into globalization, we accepted it too deeply, we let it enter too deep into our system and it almost destroyed our society.

Now we are coming to future Chinese society, what I call the Great Synthesis of the traditional and modern society. That is precisely what Comrade Xi Jinping declares. He declares the Chinese Dream. China’s Dream is not only an imitation of the American dream, with consumption and comfort, but is a dream to re-affirm your eternal identity in new conditions, to join traditional society with its values and modern society. It is precisely Confucianism and Maoism – the traditions of ancient China and modern China. That is a kind of Chinese post-modernity or Chinese future. That is the Logos based on Chinese Dasein (此在).

In order to reinforce and empower this Logos for future Chinese identity, you could use some European authors who are very critical of the European Logos and European Modernity, which are very useful to promoting your understanding of the West.

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René Guénon, the founder of Traditionalism, and his defense of sacred tradition and radical critique of modernity are important to defending your traditional values, such as Daoism, Buddhism, and all the traditions of your society. It is a defense of Traditional society.

You can use Martin Heidegger’s new or fundamental ontology, which is already being done in Chinese society as I have remarked with great pleasure, and I am happy that Heidegger is very well known here. That is something incredibly rich and important.

Carl Schmitt’s political realism helps with reading many different aspects of Western political thought.

I would also recommend the ideas of the New Right, Eurasianism, Geopolitics, the sociology of hierarchy (first of all the French sociologist Louis Dumont), and the concept of Conservative Revolution.

The Great Synthesis should include revolutionary and traditional elements. These are all considered more or less on the Right, but as for the Left, I think that anti-capitalism and the anti-capitalist ethics of Karl Marx are extremely important, maybe not the technical aspects of his thought which is a little outdated. Anti-imperialism is an important concept as well. Mao Zedong, as the founder of Chinese socialism, included the peasantry and traditional society in the revolutionary class, whereas in Russia Lenin excluded the peasants from the revolutionary class. That was the reason for the near genocide of the Russian people. You were much more clever.

And I suggest Antonio Gramsci, many of whose ideas, such as Caesarism, are very important now and applicable to the present situation. The historical pact of intellectuals and Gramsci’s concept of hegemony, are of use as well.

Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 9.40.14 PMThe next step is China in International Relations.

Liberalism in IR is based on the full spectrum-domination of Western values. We should not mistake this situation. All the classical theories of Liberalism in IR are based on the idea that Liberal Western values should prevail on the global level. You have no chance to have Chinese identity or Chinese sovereignty within this concept, because Liberalism in IR explicitly thinks that there should be the dissolution of the nation-states, the dissolution of all forms of collective identities in favor of only one type of identity – the individual – and that there should be an international structure or institution over states whose authority should be recognized as law.

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That would mean the end of China not only as a state, but also Chinatown – the end of Chinese identity as a community. Sooner or later, the liberals will remark that the Chinese prefer their cultural identity, and they will attack that, try to destroy it. This is not religious because all the religions of the West are more or less destroyed already by Liberalism in the West. When the Liberals remark that there is something not so much Western and individualistic with Chinese identity, then they will begin to attack not only the state, but also Chinese culture.

Liberalism in IR excludes China. It is unadaptable. It is a projection of Western hegemony,  the Western system of values, and unipolar model which, in the eyes of Liberals, should be imposed on a global scale.

Realism in IR is Western-centric and modern, but at least it recognizes the right of China to preserve her sovereignty. Realism does not enter into the details of civilization. Civilization does not matter to realists. But realists think that if there is a power that can defend itself, then we should take it into consideration. That is a little better than Liberalism. They will compete with you, maybe fight, maybe conclude an alliance or peace, but a priori this is not planned destruction [of China] as in Liberalism.

Marxism in IR is completely different from what you might think. It is not the idea of Soviet or Chinese international politics. Marxism in IR is based on the idea that all nation-states should be dissolved and global capitalism should prevail; there should be the destruction of all societies, and the transformation of humanity into two classes with no nation, identity, state, or type of civilization. This is cosmopolitanism. The global population is made into a mixture of cultures, peoples, ethnic groups to create a post-national, post-ethnic, post-national confusion of all races and ethnic groups, in order to divide them into two classes: the global proletariat and global bourgeoisie. That is applied to IR by authors such as Wallerstein.

In Wallerstein’s global system, there should be the transformation of the global world with one center of developed countries and the periphery of underdeveloped countries. In between them, China, Russia, India, Brazil, and the semi-periphery, should be destroyed, but the oligarchic, capitalist part of these semi-periphery countries should be integrated into the global elite, and the others should become more and more poor. Immigration is an ideological concept to promote this, a tool, to accelerate this process. Through mass migration, they will transform the world into a culturally homogenous structure with the only dividing line being between poor and rich – and after this will start the global proletarian revolution. Thus, in the short term, Marxists in IR serve the Liberals because they say that first capitalism should prevail. They regard Stalinism, Sovietism, Russian socialism, Chinese socialism, and Maoism not as authentic socialist experiments, but as kinds of “National Bolshevism” or “National Marxisms.” They think that you do not have socialism, but a kind of national-bureaucratic, totalitarian state ruled by a political elite that should be destroyed. Marxists in IR are not friends. Beware of these “Marxists” and “Leftists.” They are a Fifth Column of Liberals in IR. China has nothing to do with them.

The English school is rather interesting – above all, the IR author Barry Buzan. The English school thinks that there should not be a global government, as the Liberals insist, but a set of rules established by a club. The most powerful countries should accept, as a club, some rules and relations that will be a kind of constitution of the club. A club is not an authority, but a matter of self-respect and social position, not something that you are obliged to follow. You are not obliged to follow the rules of the club, but it is “better” that you accept them to increase your status. The “great countries” of the G20 and G7 are a club. Their decisions are not obligatory, but are important to follow. If someone is thrown out of the club, as we, Russia, were after Crimea, we are supposed to feel “awkward” – not in the face of an authority that can punish us like a criminal, but in the face of a kind of “moral disapproval from the club.” The English school of IR explains this perfectly.

Post-positivst theories are useful in order to deconstruct the Western imperialist narrative in IR. The post-positivists propose almost nothing, but their radical criticisms and deconstruction of discourse with post-modern tools are very useful when we have to defend our identity. It is a tool for defense and offense. If a Chinese specialist in IR can understand what post-positivist IR theories are all about, they will be completely free from any kind of complexes – they could speak with any Western critics of the Chinese system using their own tools. This is a marginal sector of IR that is growing in importance. I recommend above all two authors that should be carefully read and which are very important for Chinese IR in general: that is the Australian scholar now living in Great Britain, John Hobson, and his The Eurocentric Conception of World Politics. He is anti-racist, rather left-wing and a Gramscianist, but his work is perfect, remarkable. He is accepted as a normal scholar, as not too much of a radical, but his work is quite a miracle in its criticism of all kinds of IR theory based on the manifestation of Eurocentric and racist -isms. His offers the best criticism of racism that I have met in the field of IR. The next, maybe more technical author is Stephen Gill and his work, American Hegemony and the Trilateral Commission, which is a Gramscian application of deconstruction to the temptation to create global government on the part of some American internationalist, liberal institutions.

You can use these two books in order to not only defend Chinese identity and politics, but as well to lead the intellectual attack on those who come and say that you have no human rights, no democracy, a totalitarian system, and so on. You can immediately cite a few pages from these two books and they will disappear, because their discourse against yours would be a defense of pure imperialism, racism, and nationalism. This is very important from a theoretical point of view.

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There are some versions of Chinese International Relations theory. I think that there is a Chinese way of globalization. Professor Zhao Tingyang thinks that the global world and global governance should be organized based on the Tianxia principle. I don’t believe in that, but it is a very good idea if you insist on your own globalism: “Let’s hear what we, Chinese – strong, powerful, rich, a rising power – have to say with our own version of globalization.” That is a very smart move and very interesting concept, but I hardly can imagine that the globalists who have a completely different understanding of what globalization is, could seriously speak about that.

The Chinese realism of Yan Xuetong as a concept is not pure realism. Yan Xuetong proposes that a realistic understanding of the balance of power, alliances, should include an ethical dimension, something completely unknown to realism. This is a kind of “moral realism” (王道外交) or “ethical realism”. That is Chinese vision of realism in which there is not only the relation of powers, badao, but also an ethical dimension, wangdao.

As for the Chinese analysis of the British school, I could say that the China Model of Professor Zhang Weiwei is kind of that. “Let us have some rules for international behavior, some club, but do not impose on us your rule in an authoritarian way. We can hear you, we are open to debate and dialogue”, and Professor Zhang Weiwei represents this brilliantly with his travels through the West. He perfectly well explains Chinese identity without letting others convince him or insisting too much on the Chinese truth. This English club-school way of promoting Chinese identity is very inclusive, mild, harmonious, polite, and Confucian. 

One interesting idea of Qin Yaqing insists on the Guanxi concept that relations are more important than essences. We need first of all to concentrate on relations between countries and try to moderate relations and meta-relations without going into the essence of “good”, “bad”, “real power”, “pretending power”, etc. On the basis of relations, we can construct some specific balance for the system of IR.

So, while there is not yet a Chinese IR theory, but there are some fruitful approaches.

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Now for China and geopolitics. In classical geopolitics, on Mackinder and Spykman’s maps, it is absolutely clear that China represents Rimland, the coastal area of Eurasia. All zones of Rimland are divided between the pivot area, Heartland, and Sea Power. But at the same time, Rimland, and such a huge part of Rimland as China, could have its own Heartland, its own continental core, next to its coastal component. China is its own world that could apply geopolitical principles to China herself. It is too great to be only a part of Rimland. It could also be an independent part of Heartland, having its own Rimland or coastal area. In traditional geopolitics, Heartland and Land Power are Tradition, and Sea Power is modernization. The same is in the case of China: China’s coastal area is much more modernized and involved in capitalism, while the inner part is more traditional.

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China, as Rimland, is a zone in the balance of global power between two civilizational powers, Land Power and Sea Power, fighting together for control [over Rimland] from Europe through the Middle East and Central Asia to China. All of this region is a kind of zone for world rule.

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There are two classical formula:

“Who controls Eastern Europe, controls Heartland; who controls Heartland, rules the World.” (Mackinder). This version of Mackinder’s was from the beginning of the 20th century.

In the middle of the 20th century, when the importance of other places of Rimland came to be understood in the process of de-colonization, another geopolitician and follower of Mackinder, Spykman, transformed this geopolitical formula:

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“Who controls Rimland, controls Heartland; who controls Heartland, rules the World.” (Spykman)

If Eastern Europe was the most important space to contend Heartland and Russia, according to Anglo-Saxon global politics, then Rimland is in a much broader sense, but with the same logic of the opposition between Sea Power and Land Power.

Now there is a formula for the 21st century, when China is the greatest power of Rimland:

“Who controls China, controls Rimland; who controls Rimland, controls Heartland; and who controls Heartland, rules the World.”

We have this new definition and formula because now that China is not an object, as Rimland was 60 or 70 years ago, and China is a giant, a rising power, it is no longer going to be controlled by external powers. It is quite out of the question and impossible in the present situation that Russia could pretend to control China, and there is no desire, will, resources, possibility, capacity, or ability to do so. The West, Sea Power, is also more and more understanding that it cannot control China.

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Thus, maybe as Graham Allisson says, there is a growing danger of confrontation precisely because the most important part of Rimland today is not controlled by the West. That is a serious challenge to Sea Power. That is Allissons’s interpretation of Thucydides Trap.[2]

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There is only one thing that could change. If China will recognize herself as Heartland, it will rule herself and maybe Rimland, and maybe thereby including the Russian Heartland, the world. But now we cannot imagine that as a result of occupation, expansion, imperialism, and so on. It is only free will, based on China’s free decision. It is very interesting how the balance of geopolitics during the century has changed. I think that the rise of China changes everything.

China has a Land Power dimension (the North, West, rural area, Traditional Empire, and the Chinese Communist Party). China has a Sea Power dimension as well (the East, Coast, capitalism, trade, modernization, globalization, G-2 project). Going in the Sea Power direction, China could be part of the globalist construction. But there is also the core China, the Central China [the Middle Country, Middle Kingdom, Central] dimension of China that is precisely what unites the two sides of China – the Land Power and Sea Power. This is the key to the geopolitical future.

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Western hegemony is represented in strategy, civilizational values, technology, liberal democracy, and universal type of social organization, such as cosmopolitanism and individualism and so on. Unipolarity is something that happened after the fall of the Soviet Union. In that moment, Fukuyama wrote his famous text on the End of History because, according to him, there was only one pole, one system, one hegemony, and no one at the time could imagine a challenge to it. That was the unipolar moment based on the clear domination of the West. That was not globalization as a sum of different cultures and peoples coming and living together and sharing values. The Western values – liberal democracy, global capitalism, individualism, cosmopolitanism, and the Western modern and post-modern liberal understanding of man – were taken as universal and imposed on everybody. The last formal power that fought against that, the Soviet union, had fallen. That was the logic of unipolarity.

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The unipolar world leaves China as a civilization no place. The unipolar world gives a place to Chinese as individuals, but only as how they understand Chinese should be: they should be individuals striving for comfort, a career, good living, materialist standards, and being part of the global world with the same iPhone, jackets, interests, movies, entertainment, food. Chinese as individuals will be accepted as any other, but Chinese identity will be rejected. The password for the unipolar world is “I am an individual, let me in.” You cannot join the unipolar world as Chinese individuals with all the baggage of your Dasein (此在), your existential ground, your Logos, your Communist Party, and Confucius.

This is the special exclusiveness of liberalism. The main book of modern Liberalism and Neo-Liberalism, is Karl Popper’s The Open Society and its Enemies. There is class war in Marxism. There is race war in National Socialism. And there is the war between the Open Society and its Enemies in Liberalism. This is absolutely racist. If you are considered to be one of these enemies, you are out, you are excluded, you are called a fascist, communist, Stalinist, Maoist, and so on, the Gulag and Auschwitz and so on, you are just barbarians. You can enter only accepting what they think you should be, not what you are or want to be. They will try to control your desires, your will, your interests, your sympathies, choices, and demands. You should follow their rules, protocols, system, and only after that will you be a “friend of the Open Society.” The Open Society is an exclusive concept.

What is the difference? Fascists regard other fascists positively. Communists can consider other communists friends. If liberals consider all other liberals friends, then this is the same. But fascists started to destroy the other races, considered to be un-human. The communists, in our experience, almost destroyed millions of our population, considering them to be bourgeois or not revolutionary. Liberals destroy the enemies of the liberal Open Society by bombing Libya, destroying Iraq, and so on. Everyone who is against the Open Society should be eliminated, destroyed, killed. That is nothing new, maybe something simply more or less human, but we should clearly understand what unipolarity and Western hegemony mean. They might be friendly, but they are hiding a knife. We should be aware of this in the very least.

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Here we can see a soft version of unipolarity. The West proposes to the other powers, Europe and China, to be friends, as in the G2 or NATO concept. But what goes on in other parts of the world? Bloody chaos, civil wars, radical political and religious extremist forces, killings – as has already happened in North Africa. The same fate is destined for Russia in the writings of Zbigniew Brzezinski, who said that Russia should be Balkanized. When Bush was in Moscow once in the early 2000’s, he said to Putin: “Please wait, you will have the same democracy as in Iraq.” That was precisely when the US was in the process of killing hundreds of thousands of people there. Putin was very shocked because he somehow imagined Russia’s future differently. But that is the idea of what will go on outside of these zones – a kind of manipulated chaos.

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There are three ways for China to deal with hegemony.

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1. It could accept Western hegemony, which is not so strange, I think. Since Deng Xiaoping’s concept of transformation, there is some kind of threat of Chinese society going to deep into the consumer society, the Western way of life, and capitalism and globalization, towards finally accepting Western hegemony. If we do not care about Chinese identity, maybe accepting Western hegemony is the solution, or at least an option. If every Chinese accepts this global society, with some skills and talents allowed for the Chinese people, maybe there will be some solution, but there will be no Chinese identity. Some people care about Chinese identity and sovereignty; others don’t. I do not think that there are too many of them, but theoretically this could be so, because hegemony is not only the strategic domination of the West, it is also values and standards. So a liberal, pro-Western, pro-Popper, pro-Soros trend could be identified in Chinese society. I presume that there could be some educational structures, professors, and trends in cultures – maybe not dominating, because you have the Communist Party, the main guard of Chinese identity and the present Logos, and tradition. Nevertheless you have taken in a little poison, and poison can be active in some cases.

2. You can affirm and develop Chinese regional hegemony. That is the realist, nationalist trend. You could call this the badao, with wangdao adding an ethical dimension. That will be your Chinese way. But I think that this is the best way for China to consider hegemony. You could say that your hegemony is more or less in some area, maybe in some ways outside of Chinese borders and including other spaces, but you could also make differences – in one situation, political, in another economic, in a third hegemony could be cultural. Hegemony is not bad in itself. But the most important thing is to have a just model for hegemony. For that balance and harmony, Chinese culture has many experiences. Balance is a part of Chinese identity. Chinese hegemony could be based on your own character and identity, not on some universal rules of hegemony.

3. Lastly, you could try to put Chinese hegemony on a world scale, to propose a Chinese globalism. I have heard a kind of fear or idea among serious people in the US, the West, and Russia of the myth of Chinese globalization. Maybe you have no idea or project to impose hegemony on a world scale, but others think that you have such plans. You need to accept them, because if someone thinks that there is something, that means that on the social level there is something, maybe only in their minds, but that is how the world is shaped – by projections of our thoughts. You should not say that you have no such [hegemonic] idea. There are many people in different cultures who are absolutely sure that you have such ideas. You need to take that into consideration. If you know that there are such people, you will speak to them more carefully. You should somehow promote your version taking into consideration how they regard China.

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The theory of the multipolar world, mostly developed by us in Russia, by the Eurasianist school and Russian school of geopolitics, means acceptance of differences between civilizations. Civilization is the main actor in IR, not the state. The difference here is of huge importance. For example, if we develop Huntington’s idea and recognize that it is civilizations and big spaces that are the main actors, then we have a totally different vision of IR system which is not yet present in the manuals of IR. This is not only because it is at the first stage of development, but because it contradicts any kind of globalist, Western understanding.

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What is civilization? Civilization is a relative absolute, or an aspect of the absolute. I would like to stress this. What does it meant to be an aspect of the absolute? It means to be absolutely absolute – but not alone. If you are fully, totally Chinese, you could understand something or someone who is not Chinese only if you have fulfilled this absolute dimension of identity. Then, from the center, not the outside, you can understand the Other. The only way to arrive at a real “globalization”, a real understanding of each other, is to start with ourselves. We cannot understand the Other if we do not understand ourselves. If we are not ourselves, we cannot deal properly with the Other. Then we would be only half Chinese, half Russian, half English, or half German. The real German should be based on the German Dasein (“Being-Here”), German Logos, German Tradition, German Identity. Only in the depth, core of this identity, can they understand others.

All problems are not in this deep realization of identity, but come when we start to pretend that we have already realized this identity, when we are only halfway along the path. People who enter a new religion are more radical and fanatic than people living in that religion for all their life. This is a kind of “too early” reaction. Nationalism, racism, xenophobia, the hatred of the Other, are possible only on the middle-path towards oneself. When we are arriving at ourself,  we cannot be xenophobic, nationalist or racist. When we have fully realized our identity, our self, we are much more open to the other, because we consider, for example, that it is not only Russia that is absolute, but that by being more and more Russian, by discovering more and more the profound Russian identity, we are arriving towards the Absolute. Here, at that central point, we can meet the real, perfect, absolute Chinese. The Absolute Chinese meets Absolute Russian in the center of their civilization. We could compare Laozi or Confucius with Dostoyevsky or the Russian Orthodox Christian tradition. By realizing relative aspects of the absolute, we are coming to the meeting-point of civilizations – not outside, not being totally destroyed as a cultural unity and fragmented into individuals. Individuals cannot understand other individuals, because the pure individual is the most “primitive” form of being, totally limited to simplistic desires. The individual is like a robot, as a robot is a man without tradition or identity, a simulacrum of man.

Civilizations should be understood in the plural. There are Chinese, Russian, European, Islamic, African, Latin American, Western civilizations that can interact, peacefully coexist, try to exchange their identities. For example, to become Russian, you can come to Russia, learn our language, accept our values, if you want or you do not have to. This concept of civilization is therefore inclusive. But we cannot propose a single unique civilization for all of humanity. Maybe it will be the result of the Absolute, when everyone will go to the center of themselves, and we will arrive at the meeting-point of unique civilizations, but in order to do so we must make the long path within ourselves. That is the main meaning of the multipolar world.

A pole is a Big Space + civilization, an idea + power, autarchy + sovereignty, hegemony + culture, force + authority.  These are the formal concepts for understanding what a pole in the multipolar world theory is.

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So, what could be the Chinese version of the multipolar world? This means the application of the same principles to China’s case. China is Identity + Sovereignty. If you stress sovereignty too much, you can lose identity, and if you stress only cultural identity, you could lose the practical capacity to defend your sovereignty. China should unite identity and sovereignty, and that is precisely what modern China is doing and what Xi Jinping wants to do. That is Greater China, the Chinese Dream.

China is a civilization, which must be affirmed. There is the danger that if you forget this, you will be treated as population, masses, and individuals. But you should educationally promote your civilization as such. You should call it a civilization.

China is a regional hegemony in South Asia and the Far East – and beyond, as long as your power, will, and capacity let you expand your hegemony. But such should be linked to your understanding of what is justice, what is balance. If you expand too much, you can overstretch your hegemony. Hegemony should be put in just limits. That was precisely our case. From time to time, Russia overstretched our empire and we couldn’t manage. We should expand only within the limit in which we can assimilate, rule, manage, as well as develop our relations with the people who join us – we should always give them something, not humiliate them. I think that is important in dealing with Xinjiang and Tibet now. You should have them under your control, but you should understand them as the Other and include them somehow. That demands always updating and adjusting.

China is much more than a state, and that is where Zhao Tingyang’s concept is of radical importance: affirming China as Tianxia. The growth of this Tianxia should be in harmony. You could say: let’s not start with the global, but start with our region, let’s install practically now the Belt and Road project, let’s install it here, demonstrate how it works, and if humanity will be seduced by this Tianxia moment, maybe others will accept it. The importance is to start with China within your possible capacities to introduce this inclusive concept based on relations, justice, ethics, and hegemony. China should be recognized as a pole in all senses. There you have already the basic aspects of a Chinese version of multipolar world theory.

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Here on this map we see the basic civilizations which could sooner or later be the poles of the multipolar world. Some of them are already present, such as the West, or European civilization if it will be affirmed as independent outside of globalist American hegemony, and there are the Eurasian, Chinese, and Islamic worlds – the latter of which is trying to affirm its identity, up to now not so successfully – and Africa. It is interesting that in South America multipolar thinking is very developed There are many theorists there, many partisans of multipolar world theory and South or Latin American identity.

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Chinese International Relations theory can be based on multipolarity. In that sense, all the other  factors that I have already mentioned can play an important role. Tianxia theory applied on an original scale could create this constant pole. The theory of moral realism of Yan Xuetong could be as well applied not only to China as a country, but Chinese civilization, and here his idea of ethics plus power acquires its implicit meaning. There are also analogues of the British school, with the relativization of Western rules for the club in which China is supposed to impose rules in the club that China would like to be a member of. In the present situation, the G7 is a Western club which imposes rules that are alien to Chinese culture. Here Zhang Weiwei and Qin Yaqing’s concepts can be very useful.

Here we can see a kind of beginning of the multipolar world in the form of 4+.

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If China is on the side of Land Power, then the world order is already multipolar. We are not so far from multipolarity. If China chooses multipolarity, this is not necessarily an alliance with Russia. China could be Heartland herself, as Europe could be a continental Heartland as in classical geopolitics, and there is of course the Russian Heartland. These three heartlands could cooperate and create multipolarity very soon. This is an invitation to other civilizations as well.

And so, to end, the geopolitical axiom of the 21st century is: Who controls China, controls Rimland; who controls Rimland, controls Heartland; who controls Heartland, rules the World.

We, Russia, cannot change our position in geopolitical space. We can exist as Eurasia, as Heartland, or we could not exist. We have no choice. It is difficult for Europe to make a choice in the present situation with the present elites. The only great power that in the present situation can make a choice, and has enough power to do so, is China. China has the choice as Rimland. Heartland cannot. America cannot, although it is trying to get out of this globalization and Sea Power with Trump – not Trump himself, but his words and the votes for him – the American people tried to get out of this globalist concept, to reaffirm themselves as an American pole, not global. That is a very good sign. But now it is really only China that can make the choice.

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There are three solutions or choices for China.

China can be controlled by the US/NATO. That means that the West will rule Rimland, Heartland, and the World. If the globalists manage to promote their control over China through globalization, through influence on the young generation, technology, global capitalism, and liberal theories, they could rule the world.

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In the old version of geopolitics, China could be controlled by Russia (Heartland). This is absolutely impossible today. It was not so impossible in Tsarist times, or including in Soviet times, when Stalin tried to help Mao and Russia influenced China. But today there is no way, will, desire, possibility, or resources to do so. We cannot control China. China is so huge and developed that this is out of the question. Our weakness is therefore a very good thing for multipolarity. If you logically, rationally no longer fear Russia, you are free to accept us not as a threat, but as an ally, not as asymmetrical as before. The Turks have understood this. The Turks from time to time still commit some errors, but as they they have come to understand that Russia is no longer a threat, they have become “pro-Russian” oriented on many things. It would be great if China would learn this lesson.

Finally, China could be controlled by China herself. In that sense, China should emphasize its Heartland identity, its traditional identity represented today by the Communist Party’s order in Chinese society.

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If the choice will be made in favor of China, that will mean multipolarity. On the one hand, there is the West that proposes its own system of values, identity, and civilization, while on the other hand there is the Russian Heartland, which does not propose anything a-symmetric. Russia does not propose anything, except that China Become China Again and to Make China Great Again.

Footnotes:

[1] Daniel A.  Bell, The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy, Princeton University Press, 2015.

[2] Graham Allison,  “The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?”, The Atlantic (24/9/2015). 

Dugin in Shanghai: Multipolarity, Unipolarity, and Hegemony

“Multipolarity, Unipolarity, and Hegemony: Theories and Concepts”

Author: Alexander Dugin

Transcript prepared by Jafe Arnold

Lecture #3 delivered at the China Institute of Fudan University, Shanghai, China, December 2018 [VIDEO]

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Today’s lecture is very charged with meaning. The content of this lecture is very dense. I am going to present a new approach to International Relations. I made the first lecture here on classical and post-positive theories of International Relations, and in the second lecture I presented the basic principles of Geopolitics. Now I will evoke and use these concepts of International Relations as well as Geopolitics in order to explain what unipolarity, multipolarity, and hegemony are.

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Let us establish some relations. In order to understand what multipolarity and the Theory of the Multipolar World are, we need to understand what unipolarity is. Unipolarity is precisely what we have in concrete politics after the fall of the Soviet Union. That was declared the “unipolar moment.” 

Multipolarity is the concept or theory that challenges this unipolarity. There is a kind of opposition or confrontation between the unipolar and multipolar world visions. Unipolarity is based on some theoretical principles – geopolitical, ideological, and economic – and the same will be the case for multipolarity.

But unipolarity exists, whereas multipolarity does not exist yet – it is in transition, but not yet achieved. We are speaking about something that is in reality, but that is ending, and something that is new, that hasn’t yet come or been totally realized. We are in a transition from unipolarity towards multipolarity. We know what unipolarity is, but we do not know what multipolarity will be. This is an open, very passionate question. It is a little bit of a futurological perspective.

There are many theories from International Relations. One of the most famous theories is that of the bipolar world system proposed by Kenneth Waltz, with the division into capitalist and socialist camp, or West and East, which, according to Waltz, represented a kind of balance. In this system, one pole limits the other, they can cooperate, and their dialogue, confrontation, and opposition creates this system. The Third World was possible because of bipolarity and a kind of space between the two. Thanks to the bipolar system, everybody else could exist “on the margins” of this general world system.

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But when the Soviet Union collapsed, the new idea of unipolarity was promoted by some realists in International Relations, first of all Robert Gilpin. Instead of a bipolar system of plus and minus, of two poles interacting in opposition, for example in which the Americans and the West are the plus, and ourselves, the “Eastern”, being the minus, Gilpin proposed a different concept or system for International Relations in which there is one pole, the absolute center of everything, i.e., there is no more minus, only the center on the rise. Robert Gilpin won his theoretical debates with Kenneth Waltz, because Waltz supposed that bipolarity would last forever in some way, because it was a more conservative, stable world system. Gilpin proposed the possibility of a unipolar situation.

Unipolarity gained ground in theoretical debates in International Relations after the collapse of the Soviet Union. That moment was precisely declared the “unipolar moment” by Charles Krauthammer. The “unipolar moment” meant the creation of the concept of a unipolar system with one pole and a periphery in concrete reality. But Krauthammer was not sure if this would last forever, or if it would end in time. He was not sure if it was a world order or some temporary situation. So he called the “unipolar moment” by this very correct term. After the end of the Soviet Union, there was precisely a confirmation of the unipolar system, for example on other levels, such as declared by Francis Fukuyama as the “End of History.” There were no confronting poles or systems, there was only one system: liberal capitalist democracy with the market society, with the West recognized by everyone as the “global leader.” Thus, there was the West and the Rest. The Rest should follow the West – that was the essence of unipolarity. There is only pole, one system, a global system – that is globalization. So unipolarity was the understanding, in realist terms, of the same concept as globalization, the End of History, or the unipolar moment.

It is interesting that in the very beginning of the 2000’s, this same Krauthammer declared that maybe the unipolar moment has ended. This was after the 9/11 attack by Islamic terrorists on the New York Trade Center, and after Putin’s coming to power. Then it seemed that the unipolar moment was no longer a unipolar world order, that something went “wrong” with unipolarity. “Normally” there should not have been such a thing as the terrorist attack of 9/11, because there was no state that could attack the United States, no civilization, no political system, no nuclear weapons – nothing structural or symmetric with American power and American domination. Russia at that moment was in a very low situation with Yeltsin, and was on the verge of collapse after the Soviet Union. But Putin began to reaffirm Russia as a sovereign country. This was a kind of challenge to the unipolar system. For example, in 2007 Putin made his Munich speech which challenged precisely unipolarity and Western hegemony. In 2008, despite American support for Georgia, Russia intervened in Ossetia and Abkhazia. In 2014, we reunified with Crimea, and then we intervened in Syria. In parallel, there has been a huge rise in China’s model – as Zhang Weiwei says – China’s model was a kind of new hegemony appearing on the horizon.

This means that there was something moving against unipolarity. Yet unipolarity still prevails in the global analysis. Unipolarity is ending, but the unipolar moment is lasting, it is still here. It is absolutely clear to everybody that something is wrong with unipolarity, that unipolarity is unstable and in decline, but it is still here, and no other political or international system has arisen. We are living in the end of unipolarity.

screen shot 2019-01-22 at 1.39.17 pmUnipolarity includes different aspects. For example, we could divide unipolarity into groups of concepts – open or “explicit”, and hidden, “secret”, or “implicit” unipolarity.

Open (explicit) unipolarity is Neoconservatism in the United States and the Project for a New American Century promoted by the Neocons. They declare that the Liberal word should rule the world, and that Liberal countries should prevail and openly dominate everybody else. America should rule the world, and give the example and install the norms for other countries and cultures. Niall Campbell Ferguson, an English scholar of IR, has declared that we need to use the word “empire” to qualify what unipolarity is: it is a modern or post-modern Western empire that should dominate the whole planet. Ferguson says that we should not hesitate to use the word “empire”, which has been demonized and criticized, but we are now living in an empire. The metropolis, the center of this empire, is the Western world, the Rich North, and there are other “provinces” of this “empire” that should be ruled from the center. So let us speak about the Western, post-modern, global, liberal, capitalist, neo-colonial empire in all of these senses. This is open, explicit unipolarity as it is presented in IR debates.

The Pentagon’s vision of unipolarity is clear if we take a look at the strategic map of the planet. We will see American military bases all around, except in China and Russia. That is a concrete manifestation of unipolarity. The United States has tried to control the Pacific, Asia, Europe, Africa, the Arab world, and with NATO. The Pentagon vision is still absolutely unipolar. American national interests and American security are considered by the Pentagon to be a universal value. In their vision, it is your duty, for all of you and us, to defend American interests. Everyone who challenges American domination is a “terrorist” and is treated theoretically or practically as very dangerous. Any man, movement, or country who does not agree with this Pentagon vision is an enemy. That is open unipolarity. Regarding Europe, this idea is translated into Atlanticism and represented by NATO. NATO is the European world under the military control of the United States. That is one of the expressions of unipolarity. NATO is a unipolar organization which tries to control the world for the benefit of only one pole. That is explicit, manifested unipolarity.

There is another, “hidden”, “secret” or “implicit” unipolarity, that is globalism, multilateralism, and the so-called “No Polarity” promoted by the chief of the Council on Foreign Relations. We roughly call this “globalization.” Globalization means that all systems, societies, peoples and countries in the world will accept the Western way of progress, development, human rights, democracy, and liberalism. And when this happens, there will be no great differences between the United States, Russia, China, or Africa. Everyone will be “equal.” But in what sense? Everybody will become Americans, Western, and everybody must like liberal democracy and human rights. This is a special kind of globalism. It is not a dialogue between countries, cultures, and civilizations. For example, Russia has proposed Russian values, and China has proposed a Chinese identity. But there should not be any collective identity in this concept of globalization. Everybody should be equal precisely because everyone should only be statistical individuals – no cultures, no religions, no ethnic roots. That is the idea of “human rights”, to put together citizen and man. Every man is already a citizen. There are no countries, no nations, only the “global society” and “global civil society.” This is not openly unipolar, because globalists do not say that America will rule the world, but that “you, citizens of the world, will rule the world in a global government” in which everyone will “participate.” Everyone will be equal “if you accept our system of liberalism, democracy, progressivism, human rights, individualism, and our culture” – you will no longer be treated in a hierarchical manner. The “world citizen” or “cosmopolitan” is a program that is unipolar on the level of values. That is pure unipolarity in a special, hidden sense.

Multilateralism is the geopolitical application of globalism. Multilateralism is a form of unipolarity, but it consists of the proposition that the United States should rule the world “with.” This is a kind of sharing of responsibility for ruling the world through proxies of the United States. Multilateralism is precisely giving to others the responsibility to rule the world with the United States as proxies, as vassals of the US. There are different countries that want to do this because they will have some special preferences within the global world-system.

Screen Shot 2019-01-22 at 1.39.24 PM.pngStrategic unipolarity includes Atlanticism, Sea Power in geopolitical terms, and full spectrum dominance doctrine, which affirms that in order to dominate the world totally, the West should not only use hard power or military power, but also soft power, culture, technology, network services, networks, and social services, that should control other societies from the inside, not only from the outside. That is the idea of full spectrum dominance – domination of the air, the cosmos, space, sea, land, and inside human brains. That is a project of controlling human behavior, psychology, being, and human minds, by coding them through different methodologies.

Here is the geopolitical vision of unipolarity with the United States in the center.

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This is also the classical geopolitical map of how Sea Power should control Land Power. From the seas and oceans, Sea Power – the United States and the global West – should control Land Power. The idea is to fight for Rimland, which is the zone between Land Power and Sea Power, the coastal zone. This is the classical vision which is still the main basic map of the Pentagon. The Pentagon understands the world more or less with this map. China belongs to the coastal area, to Rimland, so it is considered to be neither a radical enemy, nor a friend, but a zone to control.

Here is implicit unipolarity,  multilateralism, quite different from unipolarity.

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In multilateralism, there is the main power, the global hegemon, and two main satellites – Europe and China. Europe is inscribed and embedded in the latent structure, and for China the globalists have proposed the G2 project. Hillary Clinton came to Beijing in order to propose this to the Chinese government. That is more or less the idea of how the world will be if unipolarity and multilateralism prevail. In the other spaces, there should be only chaos – not pro-American governments, because they don’t need pro-American governments, which are too difficult to manage, and they have indeed already destroyed pro-American governments in Tunisia and Egypt. They don’t care anymore if you are pro-American or anti-American, because you should all only follow the Americans, or you will die in bloody chaos. And they have started this bloody chaos in North Africa, promoting cultural revolutions, supporting all kinds of terrorist groups in order to have reasons to intervene. By creating chaos in this region, unipolarity conserves its power. Russia has the same destiny. If we read carefully Zbigniew Brzezinski’s book, The Grand Chessboard, he has written that Russia should be torn apart and Balkanized, transformed in conflict between different ethnic and religious groups.

There are two parties in the United States and global government – the explicit unipolar and implicit unipolar. There is the “soft” version, and the previous map is the “hard” version. These are the pigeons and the hawks.

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Ideological unipolarity entails the universalism of Western values and Human Rights ideology with the concept of human vs. citizen. The concept of human in Human Rights theory is against the nation-state and against the concept of citizen. If you say that the human being has the same rights as the citizen, you destroy citizenship. Migration and the defense of migrants are not purely humanitarian, but ideological. It is the idea to destroy the concept of citizenship, nationality, and the state. That is one of the main goals of the so-called human rights movement. It is purely ideological – as much ideological as Marxism or National Socialism. It is pure propaganda, nothing humanitarian. If you share human rights values, you are globalists on one side, sharing an ideology just like racism in National Socialism or communism and the proletarian position in classical Marxism. Human rights is a liberal ideology. It is not neutral. It is not self-evident. It is purely ideology, just as belongingness to the Aryan race or the capitalist or proletarian classes is. If you are in favor of human rights, you are already totally controlled by ideology.

The deconstruction of the nation-state is the main goal of Liberalism in IR. Globalization is the technological and economic process, and globalism is the ideology of the unification of humanity under a world government. They are different, but are not in contradiction. By promoting the same technology and economy, at the same time you are preparing the ground for political integration – from globalization to globalism there is one step. They are two levels of the same process. You could promote the theory that we need global government in order to avoid war and the destruction of the humanity, or you can put it into practice without expecting that everyone will accept it. So globalism and globalization are two different things, but are converging forces.

Liberalism in International Relations is the theoretical basis for this ideological unipolarity, as it is itself an ideology. The idea of world government is not an obsession of conspiracy theorists. It is part of the classical manuals of International Relations. If you carefully read any and all of the manuals on IR, you will discover that Liberalism in International Relations affirms that there should be a world government, a supranational system that will replace states in the future and progress in order to secure world peace. This is not a conspiracy theory – it is purely a theoretical term from IR as an established discipline.

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Hegemony has different meanings. First of all, there is the strategic dimension. This Greek word means “leadership” – a hegemon is a leading force or leading power. Hegemony could be understood and read as unipolarity as in Gilpin’s system. If we use the term hegemony in its singular form, with one hegemon or one empire, then we are speaking about unipolarity. In the singular, hegemony represents the concept of a dominating pole – that is the Western pole.

Relative hegemony is an interesting concept of Mearschmeier, an American specialist in International Relations, who tries to impart a kind of relative approach to hegemony. According to Mearschmeier, there is no clear or abstract law as to whether we should have one or many hegemonies. It is an open question: let us consider hegemony as an existing phenomenon without predicting that there will be only one, two, three, or four.

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In the case of the globalist vision, hegemony acquires a purely ideological dimension. It is not leadership in the military and strategic domination, but it is ideological and cultural, a domination of values and cultural patterns. Therefore, you are under hegemony, because you follow rules that are not established by you. These rules are so-called “universal” because the West was capable of imposing these on everyone else.

The Neoconservative version is the same as unipolarity – the strategic, open, explicit hegemony of the American Empire. Or there is Trump’s vision for the New Liberal Order which is a little less defined, and not so much scientific. But Trump says “Let’s Make America Great Again.” What he means – nobody knows. He is against the globalist version, which he criticizes. His is not so much Neo-conservative, because he was criticized during his election campaign by Neocons very severely. This is a rather “rare” hegemony, which might not be hegemony at all. Trump uses some concepts with no clear meaning. This is important, because it could serve as a kind of transition from hegemonic order to post-hegemonic order.

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The main question of hegemony is whether there is one hegemony or hegemonies. The same question is whether there is one civilization or civilizations in the plural. This letter “s” at the end of the word changes everything – whether you are an enemy or friend, black or white, old or young. If there is only Civilization, there can be but one ideology, but if there are civilizations, there are completely different, even opposite ideologies and world visions. Whether we recognize the multitude of civilizations and hegemonies, or if you consider only one hegemony or empire, one letter divides two world visions.

In the Western mind, there is an implicit hierarchy dealing with different kinds of societies – either in the historical way, or in International Relations. There is a hierarchy in International Relations in a cultural sense as well. All types of societies are clearly divided (by the West) into three categories: Civilization, which is the West, Barbarity, which is the East, and Savagery, which is the South. Civilization is “good” and “perfect order”; Barbarity is not so good and only semi- or quasi-ordered; while Savagery is not order at all. Before the end of the Second World War, before racist National Socialism, the West used the metaphors of skin [color] in order to explain this hierarchy. Civilization was “white”, Barbarity was “yellow”, and Savagery was “black.” That was a normative racist attitude. But after the end of the Third Reich, it was impossible to use this racist approach anymore, and everybody became “internationalists.” This racist mark was abolished and “forgotten.” But the sense of the hierarchy is the same, only in other terms. For example, there is the technologically developed West with Human Rights, liberalism, individualism, and social security. This is a kind of law that cannot be challenged. There is the most developed society that is Western civilized society, there is the second world of the BRICS countries trying to keep up with the West to have the same standards but still in “delay”, and there is the Third World that cannot enter Civilization. Even without biological racism, we have the same concept of racism in this distinction, because there is only one Civilization, only one example, only one norm – the West. Corruption, totalitarianism, and authoritarianism are reserved for the Rest under the West or the “second-hand West”, such as Russia and China. In Wallerstein’s doctrine, there is the core, the Rich North, the semi-periphery, and the periphery. We deal with this hierarchy everywhere – today without “Racism” proper, but racism is embedded in this attitude.

If we consider this concept carefully, we can deconstruct all the discourses in International Relations on the West. John Hobson’s book on the Eurocentric conception of International Relations explains that perfectly.

The very idea of hegemonies and civilizations is based on the fact that there are many civilizations, not only the Western one. Other civilizations are neither barbarous nor savage, but merely of different types. If we are dealing not with barbarity or ‘under-civilization”, the West loses its universal, normative meaning. It is one among different possible civilizations. This hierarchy is destroyed, deconstructed, because there is no common universal measure of more or less “developed.” If you consider living in the forest with animals and without technological devices your choice or destiny, you have all the rights to do so and we will not teach you how to behave – that is a very humanistic attitude.

If we accept the fact of civilizations, then all of this system, the Western colonial system of hegemony and unipolarity, explodes immediately, because it loses ground in International Relations – there is the total decolonization of the world. There could not be any hierarchy between civilizations – all civilizations are equal, not in the sense of similar, but in that their differences cannot be put into an hierarchical taxonomy. We need to accept them as existing not only in different spaces, but different times, ontologies, and anthropologies. We cannot judge one civilization by criteria taken from another.

For example, in your case, the Chinese could think that some rites or rights in Christianity, liberal society, or in African tribes are disgusting or unacceptable. You will treat them from the Chinese point of view. The same for them: they could find something completely unacceptable in your civilization or ours. But nobody can say “you are wrong, we are right.” There are no unique, universal criteria. We need to accept this diversity in a positive way. Let it be like it is. That means a total, absolute epistemological revolution against Western universalism. And that demands de-colonization.

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Antonio Gramsci used the term hegemony in an ideological sense. How could a Marxist, supposed to be a materialist and explain everything in terms of economic relations, arrive at an ideological understanding of hegemony and capitalism as hegemony? Gramsci proposed a very interesting vision which is very important for the Chinese. Economics is at the base, while politics is on the top as, according to Marx, economics is essential for politics, which are only the expression of economics. But when Gramsci analyzed the Soviet experience and Leninism, he arrived at the conclusion that in the Russian Empire there was no proletarian class. Our country, Russia, in the beginning of the 20th century, was not industrialized and there was no proletarian class. So a revolution from a Marxist point of view was impossible. Marx and Engels affirmed exactly the same thing for Russia and the East – before their full capitalization, including through their colonial experience, towards which Marx was very positive and even in favor of, because it brought capitalism into pre-capitalist societies and prepared the future proletarian revolution. But what was Leninism? How was a proletarian revolution possible without a proletarian class?

Gramsci explained by his theory that sometimes the will of a political group can go ahead of economic processes. In some situations, political will can replace the economic basis and transform the economy in order to satisfy all the conditions of Marxism – to create artificially a proletarian class out of peasants. The other way was Mao’s theory, who recognized – against Marx – the peasantry as a revolutionary class, which was much more honest and sincere in Mao’s case, less so in the case of Lenin, but Gramsci grasped this well. Gramsci developed this idea to affirm that sometimes culture is more important than politics. You can be active in culture without being linked to a political, proletarian communist party and without any relation to politics or economics. You can create a kind of historical pact. Intellectuals can make a pact with capital and serve capital without being part of the bourgeois class. You can serve capital in your mind. Or, even being rich, prosperous, and a part of this bourgeois system, you can choose the working class and fight against capitalism. Thus, culture has the same autonomy from politics as politics has from economics. That is maybe the case of China: you are using capitalism, but in order to promote your society and your ideals.

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Hegemony in Gramsci means that the West and global capitalism try to use not only economics and markets, and not only the political expression of such, democracy and parliamentarism, but also culture. Precisely those intellectuals who make the historical pact with capital are the worst.

Hegemony is first and foremost a cultural phenomenon. This means that it is not a political ideology, but a kind of metaphysical decision. You can be in favor of capital as a system, as a metaphysical principle of the total liberation of the individual from any kind of collective identity, or you can choose fidelity to the working class, country, society, identity. It is up to you. Nothing can oblige a human being to serve political or economic interests. The intellectual, who represents all of society, since everybody according to Gramsci is a little bit of an intellectual, represents the integrity of human society as professional thinkers. But an intellectual cannot think outside of the main metaphysical choice between capital and the working class.

So, hegemony is first and foremost a metaphysical principle. You could be on the side of hegemony while living in a socialist society, or being poor, or being a member of a Communist Party. To choose hegemony is an inner orientation. Hegemony penetrates society not only with political and economic structures, but in the mind and heart. It is a metaphysical virus. Hegemony is metaphysical liberalism, under which you work only in its favor.

Now we finally arrive at multipolarity.

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In order to clarify what multipolarity is, we need to establish some oppositions. Multipolarity is against unipolarity. Multipolarity is against globalism. Multipolarity is against multilateralism. Multipolarity is against hegemony in the singular. Multipolarity is against hegemony on three levels – first of all strategic, i.e., against the American military domination of the world with American military bases everywhere in the world except for American soil. America for Americans – maybe that’s what Trump meant. “Yankee go Home.” Multipolarity is against ideological hegemony as globalization, liberalism, and human rights. Multipolarity is against hegemony in Gramsci’s concept as a metaphysical, historical pact made by organic intellectuals. The last definition is that multipolarity is pluriversal – this is a concept introduced by Carl Schmitt. In universalism, there is one unique concept of norms and values. “Pluriversal” means free movement in different directions without one measure for all kinds of societies.

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Multipolarity in geopolitics also deals with Carl Schmitt’s concepts of Big Spaces or Grossraum, and it is here that we come to the concept of “pole” in multipolarity.  How do we define a pole? A pole is a Big Space and a civilization. A pole is not only strategic or political; it is linked to a civilization as a culture or special type of society with special values. At the same time, it is not only a culture, but also a strategic space. Thus, in the concept of pole, we have both meanings: power and idea. The ideological and cultural levels and military force are inscribed into the pole in space, in political geography, and in cultural geography at the same time.

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Here we can see a very approximate map of different big spaces that should or could be poles of the multipolar world order. Some of them are already poles – such as the United States of America. The European big space could exist, and has many possibilities to become an independent pole; China is certainly the main precedent for an independent pole; and Putin’s Russia is trying to be a pole by acting independently from others. That is clear enough in the fact that Russian sovereignty has been regained in Putin’s time. And there is, for example, the Indian big space: economically and demographically India has the possibility to become such a pole. Latin America thinks in the same terms. The Islamic world tries, at least on the theoretical level, to become a pole as well. Africa is less developed and the Pacific big space are less developed. This does not mean “developed” in the sense of culture of civilization – they have their own great civilizations – but as a pole, on the level of power, they might only become poles in the future multipolar system. That is the map of the multipolar world order. I have already shown the maps of the globalists, the Pentagon, and CFR. This is the Russian map of multipolarity.

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But what is important on the practical level is what we have now, or what we will have tomorrow, and that is a kind of aspiration towards multipolarity. We can see three poles accepted more or less in the multilateralist, globalist version – the American zone, the European zone, and the Chinese zone. But as we have seen, the multilateralist approach is hidden unipolarity and thinks that there should be chaos everywhere outside of these three.

The majority of Western experts and analysts are totally biased, because the science of International Relations itself is totally biased and Eurocentric. Before being accepted into academic society, you have conclude your pact with capital. They try to use the Gramscian concept as well – they do not let persons who do not share their Western-centric vision. One Canadian-Jewish man, Michael Millerman, wrote a philosophical thesis on my ideas, and he was threatened with being thrown out of the academic field and Western universities because he treated my ideas in a neutral way, and not blatantly. His was a more or less balanced or neutral philosophical analysis, but he was threatened by the academic society with being thrown out, because if you are on the Western side, you should only criticize and demonize the opponent – that is the normal rule.

In mainstream political analysis, there is no recognition of the fourth pole of Eurasia – it is absent in all descriptions of future reality. There are different versions on the fate of Europe, how China will be, whether it will become the main enemy of the United States, and there are many details that differ and different viewpoints that are accepted. But when they approach Eurasia and Russia, there is a univocal decision of all scholars that there will be “no Russia” and ‘no fourth pole.” Because if there is this fourth pole today, then every situation in the world order changes – it is not bipolar world order at all, because Russia is big even after losing half of its territory and population after the collapse of the Soviet Union. With us as a pole, the meaning of China, the meaning of Europe, and the possibility for all other countries and civilizations to affirm themselves as independent poles, is gained. That is a crucial point. Russia, once more in history, is in the right place at the right time. That is the key problem for multipolarity.

If we accept that there will be no more Russia, only a Balkanized, chaotic territory as was more or less the case in Yeltsin’s time, then we have unipolarity, hegemony, and globalization, and China and Europe are proxies of the West in the multilateral world vision. But with the fourth pole, we have a completely different situation thanks to the existence of this fourth pole, which could not be universal, which could not be dominating through hegemony over China or Europe – we just cannot, we have no universal ideology or ideology at all in Russia. Our weakness could be used in our favor, because now we are in a position when we can save Russia by saving others – Europe and China – from Western domination. Without this, we cannot be sure of our future. That is a purely pragmatic vision.

With this fourth pole, we have real multipolarity, with the opportunity for the independence of Latin America, possible independence for the Islamic world, possible independence for the African world, and India – everybody acquires the chance to transform into a pole and defend their own civilization. This time, Russia proposes neither colonialism, as in Tsarist times, nor some ideology. We just want to defend ourselves as a civilization different from both Eastern and Western. In the concept of multipolarity, Russia is not a country or Western country, but an independent civilization that is partly Western, partly Eastern, but neither Eastern nor Western – a particular Russian civilization.

The acceptance of this fourth pole changes the whole picture. Now we have multipolarity. Starting with these four poles, we can go further and propose a special role to India, the Islamic world, and Latin America, as is more or less represented in BRICS.

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Here we can see the difference between the multipolar and multilateral maps. They are completely different approaches. I call this “more-than-three-polar” world or “4+ world” the precise dividing line between two world orders that can be established in the future.

Now we are in a transition. We are at the bifurcation point, we can go either way. Nothing is granted. We are living in the end of unipolarity, but we have not yet created a multipolar world order. This process is open. We could be successful or unsuccessful. We are here precisely in-between.

Screen Shot 2019-01-22 at 1.40.58 PM.pngThis state of things is more or less consciously understood by some academic groups in the world. We can call that the “multipolar world theory.” My own book in Russia, The Theory of the Multipolar World, which has been translated into French, is in the process of being published in English, and has been translated into Portuguese, Spanish, and other languages, presents this theory, and tries to put all of these elements that I have explained together.

Eurasianism is also being developed by our group as a political philosophy that insists that Russia is not a country, but a civilization and part of multipolarity. The Fourth Political Theory is another theory developed by us in Russia, along with French and Italian intellectual groups, that invites to overcome the classical Western political ideologies – Liberalism, Communism, and Fascism. The Fourth Political Theory invites to go beyond Liberalism, and to be anti-Liberal, but not to be Communist, Fascist, or Nationalist. It is outside of them, because the Fourth Political Theory does not recognize the universalism of the modern West. For us, it is an invitation to provincialize the West, to show that it is one province of the world, not the center. There are many centers and provinces in multipolarity. The Fourth Political Theory is the political expression of multipolarity.

In China, Professor Zhao Tingyang, with his concept of Tianxia Tixi, has developed the concept of a special Chinese model that is not only pure domination by force of strength, badao, but as wangdao, by moral and ethical hegemony. The concept of wangdao describes not only China as a state, but also other countries that China influences not necessarily in a direct, hegemonic way as in badao. This is a very multipolar approach among Chinese scholars. Yan Xuetong is a realist in International Relations, but his defense of Chinese identity can be regarded as part of multipolarity. At the same time, he challenges the concept of pole and prefers to speak about “units.” Your famous Zhang Weiwei offers a very important defense of the particularity of the Chinese way of development. It is a defense of Chinese identity. There is also Qin Yaqing, who applies to IR a conceptualization of different interactions, casual and ordered, that form a kind of “game”, based on different factors that can be summarized in the traditional Chinese divination system.

In Europe, there is the New Right school. The European New Right is anti-liberal and anti-capitalist, and also includes Traditionalists. It is not the classical, American, or British “new Right” that is liberal. Alain de Benoist is the main philosopher of this school. They have developed a multipolar vision in which Europe should be an independent pole – completely independent from the United States of America, and very friendly towards Russia. They are promoting this in a theoretical way with the concept of Pluriversum, as they are followers of Carl Schmitt. They are a very influential and interesting group of thinkers.

In Latin America, there are different multipolar schools, for example the theory of “foundational non-subordination” promoted by Marcelo Gullo Omodeo in Argentina. There is the “Meridianalism” of Andre Martin in Brazil, concerned with the Global South, which is very close to the Eurasianist vision. There is also Norberto Ceresole, who was a Left Peronist and very influential on Hugo Chavez, his main ideologue, and a partisan for the unification of the Latin American space.

What is interesting here is that there are theories of multipolarity dealing precisely with where the possible poles are. We can see this in Russia, trying to develop multipolarity and affirm herself as a pole, in China trying to be more and more independent from Western hegemony, in Europe, which is trying to challenge Atlanticism, unipolarity, and American domination, and in Latin America. What is strange is that we lack an Islamic concept of a multipolar world. We have only a caricature in the Salafi version of the Caliphate that should be global, and that is impossible as well as theoretically unexplored. But an affirmation of Islamic identity and accepting of the realities of the world is lacking – I do not know why. My works have been translated into Turkish, Persian, and Arabic. There is a huge interest, but I do not know any serious theoretical constructions defending an independence of Islamic civilization. Everyone in Islam is in favor of that, but I am speaking not of the mood in the Islamic world, but of theoretical constructions. The same is the case in India. India pretends to be a very powerful hegemon in South Asia, but there are no texts – it is a very profound, metaphysically developed civilization, but it does not show any signs of a theoretical multipolarity.

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So, the theory of the multipolar world, the multipolar approach, challenges Eurocentrism, Modernity, Universalism, and Hegemony. It is based on the presumption of a multitude of civilizations and refuses a hierarchy of them. The multipolar approach is based on anthropological pluralism, a positive evaluation of diversity and a new reading of the concept of Other. The Other is not the same or “more or less the same”, it is completely unknown to the West, for whom the Other is “worse” in the traditional racist colonial attitude, or in the liberal attitude the Other is the same. The West lacks a third definition of the Other. Globalists say the Other is exactly the same as ourselves, while racists, colonialists, and nationalists say that they are better [than the Other]. Nowhere here is there the Other, because both are completely obsessed with themselves in a hyper-egoistic attitude. They put the Other only as the worst or the same, but where is the Other? The meaning of the Other is lost.

The theory of the multipolar world is an anti-Eurocentric project for the re-provoncialization of Europe, a return to the pre-Columbian vision. If we regard the pre-Columbian vision, we immediately discover that there was a perfect world order from a civilizational point of view, with no colonialism or Western domination. There were traditional empires – the Iranian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, the Chinese Empire, Arab Empire. Everybody was in the perfect place from a civilizational point of view, but Western Modernity imposed colonialism and hegemony on the planet. The separation between America and Europe that is part of the multipolar world is itself a kind of return to the pre-Columbian time. Now, in the present day, in Syria, the ancient empires have reemerged – we see Iran on the rise, Turkey on the rise, and we can see Russia and China. This is a sign of the return to the pre-Columbian world.

The theory of the multipolar world is anti-modern because modernity is Western. We could say that we propose an alternative modernity or alter-modernity, but we do not agree that modernity is destiny. Modernity was a choice of part of Western society and civilization that led to catastrophe. Maybe it was the path of the historical destiny of the West, but it was not our destiny. Modernity is a Western concept. The theory of the multipolar world rejects the principles of the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment is optional. Here I suggest reading the French author René Guénon, a French-born Catholic, a philosopher who converted to Islam in Cairo and spent the rest of his life there, entering a Sufi order. He is the greatest author, the founder of the Traditionalist school with a radical critique of modernity and Western universalism. I also recommend Julius Evola.

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Finally, the theory of the multipolar world is counter-hegemony. The theory of the multipolar world regards the main actor not to be the state, but the civilization. Relations between civilizations are considered more or less in a realist perspective, but the difference between realism and multipolar world consists in the main aspect: the theory of the multipolar world deals with civilizations and Big Spaces, not states like in classical realism. But it does affirm sovereignty. In the multipolar world theory, there is a shift from the sovereignty of the state to the sovereignty of the civilization, after which we can apply realism to the differences of subjects. A pole is a Big Space plus civilization.

The geopolitics of multipolarity entails another shift in our understanding of geopolitics. Classical geopolitics thinks in terms of Sea Power, represented by the West, and Land Power, represented by Heartland, Russia. Now Sea Power, in the geopolitics of multipolarity, is unipolarity, hegemony, and globalism, but Land Power is no longer only Heartland. Land Power is all systems of poles except the United States. Everybody is Heartland in some symbolic sense. This is not bipolar geopolitics, but a multipolar geopolitics that considers Land Power to be traditional civilizations. Land, in Carl Schmitt’s interpretation, is first of all tradition, roots, fixed space that is the civilizational living-space. This is a very important change in the concept of Land Power in the multipolar version of geopolitics.

Screen Shot 2019-01-22 at 1.41.24 PM.pngHere we can see civilizations corresponding more or less to Big Spaces and strategic analysis. Eurasianism and the Fourth Political Theory are a part of this.

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Herman Wirth’s Theory of Civilization

Author: Alexander Dugin

Translator: Jafe Arnold

Chapter 22 of Part 2, “Theories of Civilizations: Criteria, Concepts, and Correspondences”, of Noomakhia: Geosophy – Horizons and Civilizations (Moscow, Akademicheskii Proekt, 2017).

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The Cultural Circle of Thule

Bachofen’s idea of primordial matriarchy and his theory of “cultural circles” were developed by another historian, archaeologist, and specialist in paleo-epigraphy, Herman Wirth (1885-1981).

Wirth’s theories are based on the hypothesis borrowed from the Indian author Bala Gandhara Tilak (1856-1920) [1], that the original Proto-Indo-European civilization was formed in the late Paleolithic (the Aurignacian culture) in the lands of the Northern polar circle. This hypothesis was based on the interpretation of the data of Indian astrology, Vedic texts, and the myths of the Hindus, Iranians, and Greeks which speak of the existence in remote antiquity of a populated country lying in the Far North (Hyperborea). This continent was described in the Vedas as the “land of the white boar”, Varahi, and the “island of light”, or Sweta Dvipa. The Zoroastrian tradition speaks of the ancient abode of the first man, the city of Vara, located in the Far North, from which he was forced to descend southwards as the dark deity Angra Mainyu, the enemy of the god of light, Ahura-Mazda, unleashed a “great cold” across these lands. Tilak argues for the existence of this “Nordic” proto-civilization on the basis of Indian astrology, the symbolism of which, according to Tilak, becomes clear only if we accept that the constellations were originally observed in the circumpolar regions, where the day of the gods is equal to the year of men.

Wirth adopted this hypothesis and constructed his own theory upon it, the “Hyperborean theory” [2] or theory of the “cultural circle of Thule” [3], which represents the Greek name for the mythical city lying in the country of the Hyperboreans. According to this theory, before the latest wave of global cooling, the circumpolar zone in the North Atlantic Ocean was home to inhabitable lands whose inhabitants were the creators of a primordial cultural code. This culture was formed under conditions when the natural environment of the Arctic was not yet so harsh, and when its climate was similar to the modern temperate Central European climate. There were present all the annual and atmospheric phenomena which can be observed in the Arctic today: the Arctic day and Arctic night. The yearly solar and lunar cycles of the Arctic are structured differently than their counterparts in middle-range latitudes. Thus, the symbolic fixations of the calendar, the trajectory of the sun, the moon, and the constellations of the zodiac necessarily had a different form and different patterns.

On the basis of an enormous swathe of archaeological, paleo-epigraphical (cave paintings, Paleolithic symbols, ancient carvings, etc.), mythological, and philological material, Herman Wirth undertook an attempt to reconstruct the primordial system of this Arctic proto-civilization’s cultural code. At its heart he put the reconstructed proto-calendar, the last traces of which Wirth believed are constituted by the Scandinavian runes, which he attributed to remote antiquity. Wirth proposed to examine this calendar, which records the key moments of the Arctic year, as the key to all later versions of mythological, religious, ritualistic, artistic, and philosophical heritages which continued and developed this primordial algorithm over the course of the wave-like migrations of the bearers of “Thulean culture” into the southern regions. When applied to other climatic conditions, however, many of the symbolic patterns of this calendar, otherwise crystal clear in the Arctic, lost their meaning and rationale. They were partially transferred to new realities, partially frozen as relics, and partially lost their meanings or acquired new ones.

First and foremost, this change entailed a fundamentally new understanding of the basic unit of time: instead of the Hyperborean day, equal to a year, the daily circle, which is much more clearly defined in the regions south of the polar circle, became the measure of events of human life. What is more, the localizing points of the spring and autumn equinoxes changed in relation to southward movement. All of this gradually confused the crystal clarity and simplicity of the primordial matrix.

Wirth believed that his reconstruction of the sacred complex of the culture of Thule lay at the heart of all historical types of writing and language, as well as musical tones, the symbolism of colors, ritual gestures, burials, religious complexes, etc.

Studying this culture formed the basis of Wirth’s attempts at reconstructing what he called the “proto-writing” or “proto-script” of humanity. Wirth published the results of his studies in two monumental works, Der Aufgang der Menschheit (The Emergence of Mankind) [4] and Die Heilige Urschrift der Menschheit (The Sacred Proto-Script of Mankind) [5], both equipped with an enormous lot of synoptic tables, comparative illustrations of archaeological excavations, writing systems, etc.

Nordic matriarchy

Wirth embraced Bachofen’s notion of primordial matriarchy and attributed to the “Thule culture” a matriarchal form of civilization. He suggested that the belief that the female gender is inclined towards materiality, corporeality, chthonicity, and empirical specifics is purely a product of patriarchal censorship, and that matriarchy could be no less, indeed even more of a spiritual phenomenon than patriarchy. Wirth believed that societies dominated by women and female priesthoods, religions, and cults represented the more advanced types of Hyperborean culture, which he termed the “culture of White Ladies” (weisse Frauen).

Wirth thus presented an altogether peculiar view on the relationship between matriarchy and patriarchy in the archaic culture of the Mediterranean region. In his point of view, the most ancient forms of culture in the Mediterranean were those established by bearers of the Hyperborean matriarchy, who in several stages descended from the circumpolar regions, from the North Atlantic, by sea (and that ships with shamrocks on the stern were characteristic of them). These were the people mentioned in ancient Near Eastern artifacts as the “sea-peoples”, or am-uru, hence the ethnic name of the Amorites. The name Mo-uru, according to Wirth, once belonged to the very main center of the Hyperboreans, but was transmitted along with the natives of the North in their migration waves to new sacred centers. It is to these waves that we owe the Sumerian, Akkadian, Egyptian (whose pre-dynastic writing was linear), Hittite-Hurrian, Minoan, Mycenaean, and Pelasgian cultures. All of these Hyperborean strata were structured around the figure of the White Priestess.

Patriarchy, according to Wirth, was brought by immigrants from Asia, from the steppe zones of Turan, who distorted the primordial Hyperborean tradition and imposed upon the Mediterranean cultures quite different – rude, violent, aggressive, and utilitarian -values which contrasted (for worse) the pure spiritual forms of the Nordic matriarchy.

Thus, in Wirth we have the following reconstruction: the Hyperborean cultural circle’s primordial, spiritual and highly-developed type of matriarchal culture spread from a circumpolar center, mainly be sea, penetrating the Mediterranean, scraping Africa, and even reaching the southern coast of Asia all the way down to Polynesia, where the Maori culture still retains traces of the ancient Arctic tradition. Another offshoot of the center of Mo-uru in the North Atlantic migrated to North America, where it laid the foundations of the cultural code of many tribes. One of Wirth’s undertakings was to demonstrate a homology between these two branches that dispersed out of the culture of Thule – the European, Mediterranean, and further African and Pacific on the one hand, and the North-American on the other.[6]

Meanwhile, in continental Asia there formed a cultural pole which represented the embryo of proto-patriarchy. Wirth associated this culture with crude naturalism, phallic cults, and a martial, aggressive, and utilitarian type of culture, which Wirth believed to be lower and Asian. We have devoted a whole separate volume to a more detailed outline of Herman Wirth’s views.[7]

The significance of Wirth’s ideas to geosophy

Many aspects of Herman Wirth’s unjustly forgotten works deserve attention in the study of plural anthropology. First of all, his extremely fertile hypothesis of the cultural circle of Thule, which is usually discarded from the outset without any careful analysis of his argumentation, is so rich that it deserves serious attention in itself. If such an hypothesis allows for the resolution of such numerous historical and archaeological problems associated with the history of symbols, signs, myths, rituals, hieroglyphs, the calendar, writing, and the most ancient views of the structure of space and time, then this alone is enough to warrant thorough inquiry. Even though Wirth’s works contain many claims which seem either unequivocally wrong or highly controversial, we can set them aside and try to understand the essence of his theory which, in our opinion, is an extraordinarily constructive version that expands our understanding of the archaic epochs of the ancient history of mankind. The theory of the cultural circle of Thule need not be unconditionally accepted, but an assessment of its interpretive potential is necessary.

Secondly, Wirth’s positive appraisal of matriarchy is extremely interesting and adds weight to sympathy for Bachofen. Indeed, we are dealing with an interpretation of a conditionally reconstructed matriarchal civilization from the position of what is the, in the very least nominal, patriarchy to which our society has become accustomed. Wirth proposes an alternative interpretation of the female Logos, an attempt to view the Logos of the Great Mother through different eyes. This is also an extremely unconventional and fertile proposal.

Thirdly, in Wirth’s theories we can see clear analogues to the reconstructions of both Spengler and Frobenius. If Frobenius and especially Spengler took the side of Indo-European (Turanian, Eurasian) culture, i.e., the side of patriarchy as they interpreted it, then Wirth proposes to look at things from the standpoint of the civilization of the White Ladies, i.e., from the position of the primordial Mediterranean culture that preceded the invasion of the “people on war chariots.”

Footnotes:

[1] Tilak, B.G., Arkticheskaiia rodina v Vedakh (Moscow: FAIR-PRESS, 2001). In English: Tilak, B.G., The Arctic Home in the Vedas: Being Also a New Key to the Interpretation of Many Vedic Texts and Legends (Poona City: Tilak Bros, 1903). 

[2] Dugin, A.G., Znaki Velikogo Norda: Giperboreiskaiia Teoriia (Moscow: Veche, 2008). English translation of introduction available here

[3] Wirth, H., Khronika Ura-Linda. Drevneishaiia istoriia Evropy (Moscow: Veche, 2007). In German: Wirth, Herman. Die Ura-Linda Chronik (Leipzig: Koehler & Amelang, 1933).

[4] Wirth, H., Der Aufgang der Menschheit. Forschungen zur Geschichte der Religion, Symbolik und Schrift der atlantisch-nordischen Rasse (Jena: Diederichs, 1928).

[5] Wirth, H., Die Heilige Urschrift der Menschheit. Symbolgeschichtliche Untersuchungen diesseits und jenseits des Nordatlantik (Leipzig: Koehler & Amelang, 1936).

[6] The full title of Wirth’s Die Heilige Urschrift der Menschheit specifies “on both sides of the North Atlantic.” See footnote 5. 

[7] See footnote 2.