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: The 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).

***

The Cultural Circle of Thule

Bachofen’s idea of primordial matriarchy and his theory of “cultural circles” were developed by another historian and archaeologist, a 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. 

Dugin in Shanghai: International Relations and Geopolitics – Lecture 1

“International Relations: Theories, Paradigms, Concepts, Schools, Debates”

Author: Alexander Dugin

Transcript prepared by Jafe Arnold

Lecture read at Fudan University, Shanghai, China, December 2018 [VIDEO]

Slide02

This lecture will include all knowledge of International Relations. It is dedicated to the discipline, the science, that is called International Relations. The general course will have four lectures. The first lecture is dedicated to International Relations as a discipline. The second, to geopolitics. The third, to the theory of the multipolar world. The fourth will be dedicated to China in all these fields of theoretical and academic thought.

But we cannot follow the logic of this course without knowing the basis of International Relations, geopolitics, and multipolarity. We need to understand that International Relations is a Western discipline. What does “Western discipline” or “Western science” mean? Now, in the present situation, we should be very careful, because knowing what post-modern is, modern critiques, and modern anthropology, we should carefully distinguish what is “Western.” The Western science and Western approach often tries to impose itself as the universal one. This is the imperialist aspect of the Western mind. It is racism that is implicitly present in any kind of Western thought. Western thought is ethnocentric and, more than ethnocentric, it does not recognize itself as ethnocentric. This kind of implicit racism is worse than explicit racism. Western liberals say “we are defining universal values”, but when you ask them what they mean by “universal values”, they begin to explain Western values as universal – individualism, libertarianism, progress, materialism. There is no place for metaphysics, the spirit, no belief in the soul or afterlife. This is a product of Western civilization, an historical product, that pretends to be universal.

Slide03

When we forget that International Relations, and many other, indeed, almost all sciences which we study at university, are Western, then we are losing a very important aspect. We fall into the trap of regarding this discipline, theory, and science as something universal. We need to always remember that we are dealing with the Western vision – in International Relations more than elsewhere. Because that is the Western vision of how things are.

Slide04

Above all, in China or in Russia today, if we consider ourselves to be subjects of history, not simple objects of history made by others, then we need to always remember this distinction. This does not mean that we should refuse Western science, resist against Western science, or ignore Western science. It means that we must always remember that it is a Western ethnocentric vision. We need a kind of theoretical Chinese wall in the epistemological field.

When you stop some internet connections at the border of your country, you are trying to make a distinction between what is wrong and what is possible for Chinese culture. We need to establish the same wall in the epistemological field.

International Relations deals with the State as such. This is very important. In the very name of this science, this discipline, there is the concept of “nation.” In the Western understanding, the nation is a political value. The West thinks of politics in terms of the “national State” that is normative since the Westphalian peace, and is the normative attitude. The Nation is the national State (Etat-Nation), it is not the people or an ethnic group. International Relations are relations between these States. What kind of State? Modern, Western States. This is the first, very important principle. When we are dealing with the concept of the State, we are dealing with historically Western concepts about how political reality should be organized and studied.

This is a modern paradigm. “Modern paradigm” means Western, but not in all the history of the “West”, but only in modernity. Modernity has transformed the Western mentality and has taken only part of the traditional Western mentality of the middle ages or antiquity and transformed it into a new kind, a new version. International Relations was born as a discipline in the beginning of the 20th century. It is Western and modern. Western modernity is different from Western pre-modernity. This is very important from an historical point of view.

The next point is that there is always an implicit hierarchy in International Relations. We can say that this is a “hidden” hierarchy. The Western concept of International Relations is based on the idea that there are examples of a “normal” State and “normal” relations, and that is precisely the Western world. All the rest are thought to be un- or underdeveloped and under-Western, but striving and tending to become Western. This is a kind of hierarchy.

These are the four principles which we should always remember in studying International Relations, and, I would suggest, other sciences as well. International Relations is a Western and modern discipline. The science is not universal, but is historically, geographically, and ethnically defined. It reflects Western ethnocentrism or “Eurocentrism.”

International Relations is not universal, but reflects the standpoint of the Western part of humanity. This remark opens up the possibility or question of how non-Western International Relations theory should look. Are they possible? Are they desirable?

International Relations is essentially a modern discipline which deals with the modern State and international system created under the Westphalian treaty, when there was a very important shift from pre-modernity in the international political system to modernity, when national, sovereign States were accepted as normative actors in global politics. This was not the case before, when religion and dynasties played an essential part. There was no concept of purely rational calculation of national interests or the sovereign body as the State. Instead, the State had a mission, a religious mission, a religious dimension – such as with Catholic politics in Europe. With the end of the Thirty Years War, a new political system was established that was accepted as universal, normative, progressive, and necessary for everybody else.

Slide05

IR was born in the beginning of the 20th century in England and Switzerland as “tentation” to conceptualize international political science, and now it is established as an acknowledged academic science and discipline in the West, and in imitation of the West elsewhere. When I was teaching International Relations in Russia, it was exactly as it was represented in the rest of the world.

Slide06

So, International Relations studies the relations and interactions of States. The fundamental subject is State-to-State relations, not people-to-people or culture-to-culture. The State is considered as the modern Western State – sovereign and secular. Secular means that there is no religious aspect or mission recognized in the State, so it is purely rational. Sovereign means that there is no higher government above the State. The State is the highest point. There is no god above the State, and the State is the prophet of itself. This is a kind of absolutization of the liberty of the State to do anything and everything. There is no other authority. That is the basic concept of sovereignty. Sovereign is he who has no other ruler or legitimate instance above himself. That is Jean Bodin’s definition of sovereignty. It was applied first in the Protestant concept of politics, and directed against the authority of the Catholic Church, which pretended to be a supranational authority above the State, and after that it was recognized as normative. Sovereignty is modern in its essence, and it is anti-empire.

For example, in Chinese history, according to Professor Zhao Tingyang [1] (赵汀), badao (霸道) and wangdao (王道). Badao (霸道) is power based on the force of hegemony, which does not recognize any other authority. Wangdao (王道)is a kind of moral and spiritual or mystical power of the emperor. This is not only the biggest, but is completely different, a qualitative change. This is not sovereignty. It is a mission. Wangdao (王道) is a mission. Sovereignty is modern and is badao (霸道).

The State is conceived as separate from religion, ethnic traditions, culture, and civilization. The State is national. But what does national mean in the modern political sense? The State is based on individual citizenship. The concept of the normative State considers the individual to be the subject of the State, and all individuals, united in the nation-State, are citizens. He who is not a citizen is outside of the State. All citizens are politically equal. The concept of nation-State is bourgeois and modern. It is not traditional. It does not recognize classes or other forms of professions or different layers of society – they have no political meaning in the modern national State. Nationality is based on individual citizenship.

The modern State, as the subject of International Relations, without a mission, is rational, egoist, and has clearly calculable national interests. It is a rational body. The nation is a rational creation [which exists] in order to organize individuals and to propose to them some kind of order and structure. If individuals are not happy with that, they can change it. Hence the concept of “social-public treaty” (contract). Because the State has nothing transcendental, nothing above it, no mission, it can be reshaped, recreated, destroyed, and created anew, if individuals or citizens decide to do so. It is based on a public treaty or agreement, that is the contractual nature of the modern State. It is almost like a contract agreement between, for example, economic groups. They can decide to put together their capital, and they can decide to stop and to create a new firm. So the State is conceived or is thought to be a kind of commercial firm. This is bourgeois in its roots.

This modern State is believed to be sovereign, so there is no higher authority above it. And the modern State is opposite to empire. It is opposite to the religious State, to the archaic community. It is based on the concept of progress. It is regarded as something that comes historically “after” empire, religious States, and archaic communities, all of which are considered to be pre-modern,  while the modern State is “new” and the “more progressive” form of political organization. So the modern State, as a bourgeois concept, obtains or acquires a sense of meaning only in the context of “progress.” If we challenge the concept of progress, everything will fall apart. No modern State has any sense outside of progress. Progress, modernity, and the modern State always go together. The concept of progress is embedded implicitly in the concept of the modern State.

The implicit hierarchy in International Relations conceives all States as being “Western” or “similar to the West”, “modern”, and “equal”, and deals with them as such. Reality is different, because States, as they are, not as they are thought to be, are not equal. There are big States, huge States, and small States – all of them are “sovereign”, and all of them have a place in the United Nations organization, but Monaco and small Luxembourg – sovereign States – and China, for example, are incomparable, like the huge sun and a small grain of sand. They are not equal.

Slide07

But, interestingly enough, the hierarchy of International Relations contradicts the basic concept that every sovereign State is equal to one another. [2] Nevertheless, it exists, and there are debates in International Relations on how to explain and represent this hierarchy. The old Western racism comes into play here. [3] Racism was formed during colonial times and, little by little, step by step, acquired three layers. Normative racism consists of the first class of humanity – “white” humanity, a second, “yellow” class of humanity, and the third class, the lowest of all, is “black” humanity. This was reflected in the so-called “anthropology” of the 19th century, in Morgan, for example, with some explanations for these terms. “White” means “civilization”; “yellow” means “barbarity” or “quasi-civilization”, something like “civilization”, but not “civilized”, and “black” means “savagery”, or “savages” with no image of civilization, living in wild forests as gatherers, small farmers, and hunters.

Now we can see the exact same in International Relations – although formally without racism, because it was discredited by Nazi Germany – where we have an implicit, unofficial hierarchy that divides all countries into three groups: the First World, or the center in Wallerstein’s system [4], which is the Rich North. This is precisely the Western, white, European, American civilization. This is an old racist concept, in which the “whites” are the First World because they are “more progressive”, richer, more “developed”, have more “human rights”, are more liberal, freer, and happier. This is the old, normative ethnocentric history of the imperialist, hegemonic, colonial system. Although now it is not linked to “racism”, the First World is a purely racist concept. It is a transposition of the old racism onto the new, liberal political plane. The Second World in Wallerstein’s system is called the “semi-periphery”, represented by China, Russia, Latin America, India, and some eastern States, presented as “barbarity.” The West says that they are “corrupt”, “authoritarian”, “totalitarian”, and do not have proper “human rights.” They have dictatorships and corrupt Caesarist regimes, but they are like “us” – that is the First World – “in delay”, and we will “help them” to develop human rights, liberal values, transparency so that they will, one day, maybe, catch up with us and will be “white.”

Then there is the Third World. This is the “periphery” and, as Thomas Berger and Huntington said, this is the “rest” of the “West and the rest.” It is undeveloped and under the influence of the hegemonies of the second and first.

This is a more or less implicit hierarchy. We cannot understand anything in International Relations if we ignore this implicit hierarchy. The most sincere authors, such as Krasner [5], Hobson [6], and others, recognize this. But this is a little bit of an awkward moment, because to recognize the implicit hierarchy of International Relations is the same as to recognize the “racist” nature of the liberal way of thinking. This is a problem for “political correctness”, so they try to avoid this aspect. But it is implicitly, always, in any case present.

Now we will see the content of the science of International Relations.

Slide08.jpg

International Relations as a discipline has different schools. They are different in many senses. The first, fully established, “classical” school is the positivist school. What does “positivist” mean? Positivism means that this school recognizes that there is an “external” or “material” reality that is the subject of International Relations. There are States, interactions between States, nations, and economies, and these exist somehow independently of how we describe them. There is the “positivist” fact that can be regarded, studied, and explored without our subjective relation to it. This is a pre-quantum-mechanical vision. It is “good old materialism” that regards that everything goes by itself, and the human presence is here to describe or deal with the positive reality that is always there outside of and independent of our interpretation. Our interpretation depends on reality, which is not dependent on our interpretation, but is as such.

Slide09

There is also the post-positivist school, which has been gaining more and more ground in the science of International Relations. It is based on post-modernism, such as Michel Foucault’s epistemology, which challenged the existence of the positive fact and described the positive fact as an epistemological struggle. The will to knowledge is the will to power, according to Michel Foucault. This is the basis of post-modernist, hyper-critical ontology, that does not believe in the existence of anything outside of our explanation. This is a quantum-mechanical attitude. In quantum mechanics, the position of the observer is linked to the process itself. Processes with and without observers are different. This is a concept introduced into post-modern philosophy based on the deconstruction of discourse. According to post-positivists, there are no International Relations. There is only discourse on International Relations. There are no States without explanations, documents, and texts. Everything is written, everything is in speech and discourses, and by changing discourse, we change reality. This is very important. I suggest Chinese students to study post-modernism very carefully. It is a growing field of research, and without understanding the basic principles of post-modernism, we cannot understand anything in the present West. Because the present West affects us, we would not be able to understand ourselves without understanding post-modernity. The semi-periphery does not pay sufficient attention to post-modernity. We need to study it because, otherwise, we will be easily tricked in many aspects.

Slide10

The post-positivist school does not believe in the existence of independent material reality. They think that material reality is created in the process of speaking, thinking, and discussing this “material reality.” This is the late concept of Wittgenstein that there is no positive fact, because the positive fact is always embedded in the interpretation. This is the so-called “language game” that creates meaning. Without meaning, there is no thing. The thing is born in the process of the language game. This is the basic principle of post-modernity.

The post-positivist school challenged the status quo in modern science generally, and in International Relations. Post-positivists attack the positivist school as “idiots” affirming things that belong to the past. Post-modernists are progressivists as well, but critical progressivists. The majority of them are from the left, such as from Cultural Marxism, from Trotskyism, from nihilism, and different forms of the leftist, socialist, and pro-communist schools. That is why post-positivist challenges exist in the world order. This is a little revolutionary, because it tries to transform the epistemology of International Relations and, thus by this means, transforms the reality, which is the same as the discourse about reality. This is the test in Derrida’s version. There is nothing but the text. If we change the text, we change reality. This is the revolutionary aspect of post-modernism and the post-positivist school.

The positivist school is fully established with a hundred years of debates, schools, different conferences, and hundreds and thousands of books and manuals written in favor of one or another theory. And there is controversy.

But post-positivism in International Relations is new, is gaining more and more ground, and needs to be taken into consideration. At any conference dedicated to International Relations, there will normally be a representative of this school. They create scandals and may look marginal, but now they are part of an established attitude. In modern manuals dedicated to International Relations, a part is always reserved for expositing post-positivist doctrines. It is not an innovation anymore. Now it is already a part of the discipline, developing and growing,  remaining controversial and scandalous, but as a part of the discipline.

There is a third kind of school of International Relations that does not exist in the form of an accepted academic theory in the proper sense yet. But it is has been born and is beginning to expand. Only the first steps are being made. I call it the multipolar school that is in the process of creation. It does not exist as an established school, but this approach is making its first steps. It is precisely to this concept that I will dedicate the third lecture, explaining it in more detail, but in order to have a general vision of International Relations, we must introduce it.

Slide11

The multipolar school challenges Eurocentrism, modernity, universalism, and the global hegemony of the West. It forms a kind of parallel to some post-positivist structures. It is based on the presumption that there is a multitude of civilizations, which is not the case for post-modernists. Post-modernists are universalists, progressivists, and believe in liberation, democracy, and enlightenment, but they try to “enlighten enlightenment”, to “develop development”, and to “make modernity more modern.” They think that modernity is not modern enough. They try to liberate and bring to its end the process of liberation. Post-modernity is a kind of futuristic modernism.

The multipolar school does not accept linear progress nor the normative status of the West. The multipolar system deals with different civilizations, with no hierarchy at all. It is based on the complete incomparability of different civilizations, which we need to study without regard for any normative status for the West. That is the new aspect of multipolarity. It is based on anthropological pluralism and a positive evaluation of diversity. Here the concept of the Other is decided completely differently than in the traditional Western approach. We can say that the multipolar approach is not Western, and is an anti-Western school of International Relations. That explains why it is not so much developed and why it is not present in manuals, and why it is not mentioned during discussions and debates. It stands outside of globally “understood” Western-centrism. It is not Eurocentrism. So it is not by chance that this theory has been developed in the semi-periphery. Based on the new anthropology of Eduardo Viveiros de Castro and of Eduardo Kohn, which affirms that archaic traditions have their own ontology and gnoseology and that we need to accept them as human and not as sub-human, as in progressivist, racist, Western-centrist epistemology.

Slide12

But as for the main, positivist school of International Relations, there are two main schools: Realism, represented and founded by Morgenthau and Carr, and Liberalism, represented by Angell, US President Woodrow Wilson, and Zimmerman. At any normal university, you can pass exams if you understand realism and liberalism, because these are the main approaches which they teach about International Relations in conventional, normative, Western (and non-Western) institutions.

What is realism in International Relations? Realism is the idea that there should not and cannot be supranational organizations. Realists believe in sovereignty in the sense as I have explained it. Because realists believe in sovereignty, they think that there is chaos in International Relations. Chaos in International Relations is something other than “chaos” in normal language. It is not disorder, but is the absence of a higher level of authority which could legally oblige the State to do anything. States are absolutely free, and if you cannot oblige them to do one thing or prevent them from doing another or punish them legally, then you can only punish and oblige illegally. So International Relations as a field is always based on this chaos, because sovereignty is sovereign, and by recognizing sovereignty as an absolute principle, there can be only relations of power. If you are more powerful, you can oblige another, but not by law, legally, but by force. That this is possible and normal – that is realism. You measure forces. For example, how can survive countries and States survive? Either there is something that is “bigger” or “biggest” that is against the other “bigger.” For example, there is small Ukraine and big Russia. Russia attacks Ukraine, and Ukraine calls Washington and says “please, come here, we are attacked by Russians”, and the Russians don’t come. There is always an open situation. But when Ukrainians repress Russians living in Ukraine, they call Russia: “Moscow, please, come here, we want to go back to the motherland.” Everything here is not “legal” or “equal” – these are relations of power. If you can do it, just do it. Take Crimea, take Taiwan, take Hong Kong, if you can do it. You cannot wait when you will be strong enough. That is the realist attitude. You can accept that you will be disappointed with some position, and you can be a loser, or you could gain; you could deplore or you could start a war, and you can conclude a peace. War is not destiny in that situation, but it is possible, and it is real during all of history.

Slide13

That is realism – the idea that everything will be like this forever, as in history, as now, and as forever. The greater part of American experts are realists. When we speak about the West, and above all the United States or Great Britain, at least half, maybe more of them, are openly realists. That is not nationalism, not fascism, but is called realism in International Relations, which represents a school of thought which is implicitly Eurocentric, and was created in Europe based on the normative concept of the State and sovereignty.

The other “half” are liberals. What is liberalism in International Relations? It is different from liberalism in arts, politics, and the economy. Liberalism has a very special and precise meaning in International Relations. It is not a liberal, funny hipster guy who is open and friendly, while realists are hawkish, evil, and aggressive. In International Relations, the term liberalism has a concrete and precise meaning. What does it mean? It means that there is progress in International Relations, which proceeds from State systems, or from a realist system, towards a new world system with a world government. The idea of liberalism in International Relations recognizes the necessity of creating a supranational level of decision-making that should be legally applied to every State. This is the creation of another type of State – a State above a State. In this sense, when the global government is established, everyone should follow the order of the global government just as citizens should follow the orders of nation-State governments. It is the same system, but established on a global, planetary level. This is explained with the concept of progress. Both realists and liberals accept progress, but realists accept it in some relative sense, while globalists believe in progress more than anything else. There is pacifism as well in liberalism, because they might consider war to be the worst and try to avoid war by means of manipulation and destruction of those who think otherwise than they themselves. War for them is to kill those who don’t accept global government.

Slide14

This idea, as well as human rights theory, is based on liberalism in International Relations. It tries to make citizens and humans equal, which is possible only on a supranational level if we recognize the same rights of a citizen, as part of the nation-State, and man as a human being with no concrete connection to political status, in a cosmopolitan version. If you recognize both as legally equal, then you need a global government in order to empower and force this. You need a kind of level of authority that should oblige different nation-States to treat human beings as the global government of liberals thinks they should – legally. Liberalism tries to weaken nation-States, to reduce their sovereignty, and to install an international order instead of chaos. That is precisely the other half of Western scholarship of International Relations.

Liberalism in International Relations is globalization, cosmopolitanism, individualism, human rights ideology, progress, and the idea of destroying nation-States and destroying any form of citizenship in order to create “citizens of the world.” In order to do so, you should dissolve nation-States, because they pretend to be sovereign.

The debate between these two schools represents the history of the twentieth century. The creation of the League of Nations after the First World War, the creation of the United Nations, the Hague Tribunal, the European Union, and the European Court of Human Rights – all of these moments were forms of implementing the theory of liberalism in International Relations. This is not by chance, by agreement between States, but is an idea of liberalism in International Relations. It is a theory based on progress and the affirmation that the Nation-State is not the best thing, as realists affirm, but a stage in human social, political, and cultural development.

Slide15.jpg

Globalism and globalization are first of all a theory, a thought, not a fact. They are a discourse represented by liberals. Liberalism in International Relations openly advocates the creation of a world government and the deconstruction of Nation-States. This is not a conspiracy theory. It is part of manuals, which you can see if you carefully read any existing manual on International Relations in any country. Perhaps with astonishment, you will discover that the concept of global governance is not a conspiracy theory or the idea of some small elite trying to impose it, but is an openly recognized theory – one of the two main theories of International Relations.

There are two other schools, which are also positivist. One is the English school, which is a kind of “middle way.” Representatives of the English school say that there should be the sovereignty of States, and no world government, but more progressive States should create a “club” that will not punish, but exclude or put pressure on others – such as when the G8 was transformed into the G7. Russia was punished by the “club” in the English school. It was illegal. There is no such institution – it is a club. They can accept some and exclude others. This is a constant of the English school – there can be order, but based on agreements and the rules of the club – not law, not global government, but a global club. Hedley Bull, John Burton, and Barry Buzan, who is one of the brilliant scholars of the English school – I like him very much – and who explains the transformation of the international system through history, in an historical sociology of International Relations.

Slide16

There is the Marxist school in International Relations. But it is not so familiar to you or to us because it is not Stalinist, Maoist, or Soviet. It is rather Trotskyist. Our Chinese and Russia politics and traditions in China and Russia were based on realism, with some special “details” about progress, socialism, and social systems, but they were more or less openly Russia-centric or China-centric. But the Marxist school in International Relations is something different. It affirms that there has been a global world from the beginning: capitalism. Capitalism is global, and the divisions between nation-States are a kind of formality that does not represent reality. Capitalism was born in the West, and it should expand to all the earth. And only when everybody will be capitalist and will be liberal, there will be no more nations, peoples, or races, but only classes – two of them: capitalists on top, international in nature, and proletarians below, also international. Marxists in International Relations are against the Russian and Chinese examples because they are a kind of “national version” of communism. They insist that International Relations – everything – should be absolutely international – no nationality, no tradition, no languages, only class relations between the international bourgeois and the international proletarian. And when they say international, they mean that capitalism should win. And after that will come revolution. But first of all, it should be global. So they are very close to the liberals: they say “let them win, and after that we will come.” This is Negri and Hardt’s concept of the multitudes and Empire. [7]

Slide17

These are more or less the two main schools, representing the majority of discourse in International Relations. In the United States, for example, everybody is either liberal or realist. That is the normal position, even if they debate. Trump is a realist, and Hillary Clinton is a liberal. So there can be good realists, bad realists, crazy liberals – this does not mean anything. We are speaking of ideas.

Slide18But the post-positivist schools are much more interesting in my opinion. There is the normativist theory that affirms that if we create a norm, then it does not reflect reality, but creates the reality, and everybody will follow the norm. If you try to punish people who violate some rule on the street, little by little this norm, which does not reflect anything, creates people who very carefully behave “correctly” because of these norms. By changing norms, we change reality – that is the modest version of post-positivism.

Slide19.jpg

Critical theory, such as that of Cox [8], Gill [9], and Linklater [10], tries to criticize the ideas of the liberals and realists which are inconsistent from the post-modern point of view, showing that they defend the status quo and are biased – politically, intellectually, structurally. Critical theory shows how discourse in International Relations is biased. That is their main purpose. Post-modern theory, such as that of Ashley [11] and Der Derian [12], says that International Relations consists of texts and only texts. This is an application of Derrida to International Relations. If you deconstruct texts, you will see that there is nothing behind them. Everything is based on corrupted information currents. If you change the information currents and rearrange the “facts”, you immediately receive a completely different image and reality. This is the “tail wearing the dog.” Soft power is an applied part of this idea. Post-modern theory is based on the deconstruction of the discourses of International Relations.

Next is the feminist theory of Enloe [13], Tickner [14], and Donna Haraway [15]. Feminists in International Relations affirm that all International Relations have been made, conceived, described, proposed, and promoted by males in what is a kind of hierarchy…If we put a female instead of male, she presumably will create peace, prosperity, friendship, and good relations between countries. There will be no State, no patriarchy, no hierarchy, no verticality in International Relations. There will be a completely different description of reality. If a woman will not pretend to be a man in dealing with International Relations, and if the woman tries to wrest “the woman” and describe reality from a woman’s point of view, then there will be a completely different construction of International Relations. This is a relativization of male dominance in International Relations. This is a growing theory, and I suggest that feminism should be taken seriously. It is not a joke; it is part of modern civilization.

In the historical sociology of International Relations, Hobden and Hobson [16] try to put the discourse of International Relations in historical contexts. They criticize the Western-centric, Eurocentric point of view.

And there is the constructivist theory of Onuff [17], Katzenstein [18], and Wendt [19]. They affirm more or less the same as the others. They say that we need to construct, and not only deconstruct, International Relations. Onuff’s main thesis is the “world of our making.” We live in a world which we make. There is no world. The only world that exists is the world we are making. This is the main idea. We are dealing with a fixed, frozen hallucination or imagination. There is no positive reality, so let us construct the world we dream of, the world we want. This is possible because we are living in an imaginational order.

Slide11 (1)

The multipolar school, which I will only evoke some aspects of, includes Eurasianism and the Theory of the Multipolar World and Fourth Political Theory, which is precisely what I am working on. There are many texts which are more or less accepted as the position of the Russian strategy in International Relations and the Russian tradition of realism. This is gaining popularity in Russia. You can see how Putin has introduced the Eurasian Union. Multipolarity is very important and has been approached by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lavrov. That is something I am working on.

There is the Chinese school, including Zhao Tingyang (赵汀阳) [20], Qin Yaqing (秦亚青) [21], Yan Xuetong (阎学通) [22], and Zhang Weiwei (张维为) [23]. The concept or approach of these authors is not only realism, but Yan Xuetong is mostly a realist. Nevertheless, all of them try to establish the particularity of Chinese civilization, and I like above all the concept of Tianxia Tixi (天下体系), which regards the historical relations of China and other people not as a pure hegemony, not as an order of force or imposition. For example, Vietnam is a very interesting case. It accepted all of Chinese culture up to the details, but never recognized the direct right of physical, brutal rule, fighting against Chinese attempts to submit, at the same time being part of the Chinese universe, as opposed to the case of the Japanese who subjugated Korea. The empire of Tianxia (天下) is not only China as such as a State, but China as a pole of civilization with multiple layers. The idea of defending it in the present situation is a revolutionary idea, because it challenges all other discourses, just as Eurasianism challenged Western-centrism. There are many similarities between them.

There is also the European New Right of Alain de Benoist, the French GRECE and French New Right. They are not liberal, but are right anti-liberal, not nationalists, but Europeanists, not Catholic or Christian, but pagans, with the very interesting idea to recreate European civilization by returning to pre-modernity. Because they are living inside of globalization and modern Western civilization their remarks and theories are very important for the countries and cultures outside of the West.

La Teoría de la Insubordinación Fundante [24] is a very interesting theory of Marcelo Gullo Omodeo from Argentina which represents the idea that, basically, Latin America should not submit to North America and global world order. This is an idea that is very famous and developed in Latin America. It is growing in importance. Marcelo Gullo Omodeo is part of this multipolar discourse which is completely new in International Relations.

And there is the Brazilian author, Andre Martin, with his O Meridinalismo, which is the important idea that the South should be a united alternative to the North, not following or trying to catch up with the North, but creating different links between Latin America and, for example, Africa, and South Asian countries. This is a very interesting concept based on multipolarity.

What is important in all of these is that they challenge Eurocentrism. They consider International Relations to be provincial in its present State, a provincial Western concept with hegemonic, universalist, colonialist, imperialist pretenses. They try to reduce Western theory of International Relations in a much broader context, defending the rights of peoples and civilizations instead of modern States or global government. They are liberals and realists and post-modernists.

We can also consider the debates in International Relation, such as that of Realism against Liberalism in International Relations. That is a major part of the science. The discipline of International Relations is dedicated to this question: how liberals think that universal peace is possible if we reduce the sovereignty of the State, and how realists respond that such is not the case, because everyone will try to use this international institutions in their favor. The realists say that the United Nations fails, while the liberals say that it is better than the absence of international institutions. There are thousands of books on this. Precisely what is going on in International Relations on the practical level in the West is only about that. The Americans speak honestly about this and call things by their names. They have no shyness and speak about hegemony, realism, chaos, internationalism, confronting arguments, and attacking each other. But they are honest in that, and only they are. When they come to Europe, there is pure political correctness. There is no realism in Europe. In Europe it is impossible. In Europe realists in International Relations are “fascists”, with whom there can be no good relations. There is an overwhelming liberalism in International Relations in Europe. In manuals, certainly, you will read the debates of realism and Morgenthau, Carr, and chaos in International Relations, but in official debates in European diplomacy, there prevails exclusively liberalism in International Relations. And the realization of it is the European Union, which is a supranational structure that shows how to turn liberalism in International Relations in reality. They are not joking. They are liberals. Before there were different points, such Gaullism of Charles de Gaulle, for example. There was realism in the history of Europe, and all of its modern history were struggles, wars, and fights between Nations, but now liberalism is absolutely and overwhelmingly prevailing. Realists don’t recognize that. That is hypocrisy. They are promoting human rights always and everywhere, including when they simply destroy some countries in order to rob them, as with Libya, for example, but that was all about “human rights.” You can kill in favor of human rights, invade, destroy, and support radical Islam if it corresponds to “human rights.” Americans can say “it’s our business, business like business, nothing personal” and close our eyes to Saudi Arabia in some situations because they are our allies, and open our eyes when something is happening in Russia, and when nothing is going in Russia, we will just imagine and create a story.

In that sense, I suggest America as an example of a normal and honest field of debate between realists, who are recognized as an absolutely normal part of this society – half of American politicians are realists – and the other half are liberals, who try to demonize the realists now, and this is the European case, as in Trump’s election. He is a realist, he is honest, they are allies, America First, and the liberals go “no no, that is nationalism.” And they, the liberals, have lost. That is a sign that realism is half of the population of the political spectrum of the political elite of the United States, and they recognize that – “nothing personal.” There is a pure and honest International Relations school in the United States of America. In Europe, there is now no such clear possibility. Liberals try to demonize the realists, call them “fascists”, “extremists”, “Putin’s agents”, “Russian hackers”, and so on. But now, for example, in Italy, Hungary, and so on there are realist governments. There are left and right realists. Realism exists in Europe in spite of the European rules of political correctness and globalism.

The other debate – more interesting and charged with irony and humor – is that between positivism versus post-positivism, which is philosophical, but which in International Relations acquires a special dimension. I suggest philosophers, and Chinese philosophers, to pay attention to post-modernism in International Relations as broader than post-modernity. It is not only abstract philosophy and playing with concepts as in Deleuze’s plateau or Lacan, but in the everyday life of International Relations you will see how post-modernity works.

The next terms of debate are universalism and Eurocentrism versus the plurality of civilizations. This is precisely the multipolar theory that is only in its first stage of development. The main principles of realism are:

absolute sovereignty

  • chaos in International Relations,
  • national interests which discount everything based on rational calculation,
  • mercantilism in foreign trade, which means that the State should control foreign trade by taxes,
  • no supranational legitimacy,
  • anthropological pessimism

It is interesting how realists explain that the State should be because men are “evil”, and in order to put them order, we should have a State – otherwise they will behave in an unpredictable way and destroy everything. So they are pessimists and try to put humans in their place based on mutual agreement. They do not believe that human nature can be changed in progress. Humans are more or less the same.

The main principles of liberalism are:

relative sovereignty

  • from chaos to order in International Relations creating a supranational legal system, international interests should prevail – which is something incomprehensible to realists, for whom there are no international interests as there can be no international interests
  • liberalism in foreign trade, direct seller-buyer links with no State monopoly on foreign trade, no taxes, and no regulation in foreign economic policy
  • and universal peace is an imperative. War is worst of all, if it is not a ‘holy war’ against the enemies of the open society
  • world government, political globalization, and internationalism (and sometimes “pacifism”)
  • anthropological optimism, or the idea of progress, that humans can be better, more peaceful, more friendly, more hipster, more equal
  • education and progress should be political means destroy Nation-States using epistemology in order to promote their vision
  • human rights and the individual are the universal norm. There is no concept of the citizen as in realism, but the individual is a global concept.

If we put these together, we can see quite a symmetric opposition – term against term, affirmations against negations. What realists affirm and accept, liberals in International Relations challenge and deny. We see a symmetry in this debate and, to say the truth, we can find some intellectual bases in both. It is not a case of “stupid” against “wise.” This is one form of mentality against another form of mentality. You can choose your position.

For the English school or “middle way”:

States are sovereign

  • there is no legitimate supranational organization, but chaos in International Relations should be organized somehow nevertheless. This can be done through the concept of the club of the most powerful. The club of the less powerful has no influence.
  • States form the International system, and this system can be reflected, corrected, and indirectly controlled by the club.
  • Potestas indirecta (in Latin), a concept developed by Carl Schmitt

For Marxism in International Relations:

  • the capitalist system is global
  • Nation-States are fictions,
  • the differences between realists and liberals are useless and misleading, and the division between the capitalist States are lesser than vertical antagonism between the bourgeois and proletarian.
  • Capitalism, globalization, cosmopolitanism, and the reduction of society to the individual status are necessary. This creates real internationalism.
  • Contradictions in the capitalist system will grow – this is the difference with liberals, for whom contradictions will decline.
  • The growth of the middle class is a lie according to Marxists, and pauperization will become total.
  • All peoples and cultures of the world are obliged to repeat the economic development of the West. In that sense, they are racists.
  • In the globalist future, the proletarians will also become global, will rise from the global revolution and will overcome the bourgeoisie. This is the difference in the far future.

The main principles of post-positivism are:

  • the theoretical fields of International Relations are an artificial construction.
  • There is no independent reality, and the subjects of International Relations are not States, peoples, and civilizations, but are created in the process of discourse. By speaking of International Relations, we are creating the subject of International Relations.
  • All discourses are necessarily biased – you cannot have neutral or scientific, objective discourse, because you serve one or another power. International Relations reflect not the State but the will of their creators.
  • International Relations is the fight for domination and hegemony, and nothing else. This is pure political propaganda. All International Relations, according to the post-positivists, is nothing but direct political propaganda in order to submit all of humanity and install their operational system instead of others.
  • There is a need to create a new critical theory against discourses of power in International Relations. There is hard criticism of of all positivist theories as varieties of dominant, authoritative discourse – this is a post-modern concept.
  • There are a variety of proposals that should be based on post-positivist version of IR. It is very diverse, not united.

 

Footnotes

[1] Zhao Tingyang (2005). Tianxia Tixi: Shijie Zhidu Zhexue Daolun [Tianxia System: An Introduction to the Philosophy of World Institutions]. Nanjing: Jiangsu Jiaoyu Chubanshe.

[2] Krasner S. Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999.

[3] Hobson J.M. The Eurocentric Conception of World Politics: Western International Theory, 1760–2010. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2011.

[4] Wallerstein I. Geopolitics and Geoculture: Essays on the Changing World-System. Cambridge:Press Syndicate, 1991.

[5] Krasner S. Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999.

[6] Hobson J.M. The Eurocentric Conception of World Politics: Western International Theory, 1760–2010. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2011.

[7] Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire, Harvard University Press, 2000; Idem. Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire, New York: Penguin Press, 2004.

[8] Cox R.W. Production, Power and World Order: Social Forces in the Making of History. New York: Columbia University Press, 1987.

[9] Gill S. American Hegemony and the Trilateral Commission. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991

[10] Linklater A. Critical Theory and World Politics: Citizenship, Sovereignty and Humanity. L, NY: Routledge, 2007.

[11] Ashley R. The Eye of Power: The Politics of World Modeling // International Organization. Vol. 37. No. 3 Summer 1983.

[12] Derian Der J. Antidiplomacy: Spies, Terror, Speed, and War. NY; London: Blackwill, 1992.

[13] Enloe Cynthia. Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics.London: Pandora Press 1990.

[14] Tickner A.B., Wæver O. International Relations Scholarship around the World. N.Y.: Taylor & Francis, 2009.

[15] Haraway Donna. “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century” // Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. New York; Routledge, 1991. C. 149–181.

[16] Hobden Stephen, Hobson John M. Historical Sociology of International Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

[17] Onuf Nicholas. World of Our Making: Rules and Rule in Social Theory and International Relations. Columbia: University of South California Press, 1989.

[18] Katzenstein Peter J. Civilizations in World Politics: Plural and Pluralist Perspectives. London, UK: Routledge, 2010.

[19] Wendt Alexander. Social Theory of International Politics, Cambridge University Press, 1999.

[20] Zhao Tingyang (2005). Tianxia Tixi: Shijie Zhidu Zhexue Daolun [Tianxia System: An Introduction to the Philosophy of World Institutions]. Nanjing: Jiangsu Jiaoyu Chubanshe.

[21] Qin Yaqing. (2007). “Why Is There No Chinese International Relations Theory”// International Relations of the Asia Pacific. vol. 7, No.3.

[22] Yan Xuetong. (2015). Shijie quanli de zhuanyi: zhengzhi lingdao yu zhanlue jingzheng [The Transition of World Power: Political Leadership and Strategic Competition]. Beijing: Beijing daxue chubanshe.

[23] Zhang Weiwei. China Wave, The: Rise Of A Civilizational State. New Jersey: World Century Publishing Corporation, 2012.

[24] Marcelo Gullo Omodeo. La Teoría de la Insubordinación Fundante. Buenos Aires: Biblos, 2008.

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Turan: The Key to Understanding the Russian Logos

Author: Alexander Dugin

Translator: Jafe Arnold

From Ekspertiza Dugina #17. (The following is a partial transcript of Alexander Dugin’s video talk on his recent new Noomachy: Wars of the Mind volume: The Logos of Turan: The Indo-European Vertical Ideology (Moscow, 2017). 

The task of describing Turanian civilization in the recent volume of Noomakhia was inseparable from the fact that Turan is gone. The book was therefore a reconstruction of a past society, an archaeological volume, in which Turanian civilization had to be restored bit by bit on the basis of archaeological research, linguistic analysis, what we know about ethnology and ethnography, and essentially artificial methods.

A few Turanian peoples can be named. For example, the Ossetians are the last heirs of the Sarmatians, there are the various Pashtun tribes, and the direct descendants of the Indo-European nomads in the Great Steppe. There are also descendants in Nuristan, the Kalash in Pakistan and Afghanistan, enclaves of direct Turanian cultures and Indo-Europeans nomadic tribes. But, of course, this is largely a conditional reconstruction.

What is the importance of Turan? The very concept of Turan is sometimes misinterpreted. We know it from Suhrawardi and Shahnameh, which speaks of a confrontation between Iran and Turan. By Iran Shahnameh meant settled Iranian civilization, whereas by Turan was understood nomadic civilization.

Ferdowsi wrote this in a period when the Turkic peoples had already for several centuries largely taken over the role of nomads. Hence the impression that Turan is related to the Turks, ( [the names of] which are of the same or similar root), and as follows, the confrontation between Turan and Iran was between the Turkic and the Indo-European, particularly the Iranian world. But this is not true etymologically or historically, because Ferdowsi took the term Turan from the Avesta, from the oldest layers of pre-Islamic culture where this term existed since time immemorial, when there were still no Turks on the expanses of Eurasia and the Eurasian steppes.

When we begin to consider the term, this Indo-European term, it meant none other than “people.” It is very similar to the Lithuanian concept of Tauta (“nation” or “people”) and Deutschen and Teutonen. In fact, this [Turan] was the name of the very same ancestors of the Indo-Europeans, the very same Iranians, only the nomadic ones, who lived on the territory of the Great Eurasian Steppes. Some of them moved to Persia, closer to Elam, to Media, where they settled and came to be called Iran. Those who continued to live under the same conditions came to be called Turanians. In Iranian civilization, Turan is understood as the realm of the nomadic Iranians, whereas Iran is the area of the settled Iranians.

Thus immediately arises a completely different vision of Turan which has nothing to do with the Turks. If we look closely at where they came from and who the Iranian nomadic tribes in Eurasia were, then it turns out that they were always there – precisely in the Eurasian steppes. Regardless of whichever archaeological hypothesis we accept – that is, regardless of whether the Indo-Europeans originated closer to the Black Sea, the Azov Sea, the Caspian Sea, or in the Southern Urals – in any case we are dealing with the space of Turan, the space of the Great Eurasian Steppe.

The Turanian world was in all actuality represented by none other than the warlike nomadic tribes who domesticated the horse, built chariots, and began to use the wheel, who boasted colossal militancy, and began to spread across the whole Eurasian mainland, going all the way to the West, where their descendants became the Celts, Germans, Italic peoples, the Illyrians, Thracians, and to Greece (as the ancestors of the Hellenes), to Anatolia (one of the first Indo-European tribes, where they laid the basis for Serbian civilization). The Slavs and Balts are bearers of the Turanic element, because these are the same Indo-European peoples who moved together with the Kurgan culture, according to Gimbutas, to the West, at some point settling on different territories. There are the Iranians and Indians as well.

This Turanian world is the key, ancestral homeland and proto-matrix of all of Indo-European civilization.

By what means were they able to extend their influence to practically the whole of Eurasia? The wheel. We can see how this process of the Indo-Europeans’ expansion continued into the colonial period. Even today’s cars are part of the Turanian worldview, the new chariots. This is the line of the expansion of chariots, the expansion of martial style, the Indo-European languages, and the Indo-European political system – which is patriarchal, masculine, and androcratic.

Androcracy is the rule of men. The power of androcratic societies created the historical-political landscape of nearly all of Eurasia, with the exception of the Chinese, Southeast Asia, and perhaps some of the Semitic regions of the Middle East. Palestine was once inhabited by the Hittites, the chariots of the Hurrians, perhaps the Indo-Aryans, and the Mittani went to Egypt – hence the appearance of the chariot in Egypt.

In other words, Turan itself is a kind of paradigm. It is Indo-European nomadism, which most likely spread from the Southern Urals. I think that this is the most accurate hypothesis.

Later this initiative of the Indo-European, patriarchal, androcratic societies was taken on by other peoples, such as the Huns, Turks, and Mongols. And it was then that the space of Turan was brought a very similar nomadic culture by other – non-Indo-European and post-Indo-European – ethnoi.

If we put this all together, then we see a colossal picture of all Indo-European societies, their source model, and their differences, which are relative to degree of remoteness from the Indo-European homeland, which was the Turanian homeland. When the Indo-European peoples moved away from this homeland and mixed with more matriarchal, agricultural societies, they created a mixed type of culture. In the final analysis, Turan thus acquires an entirely different significance, another dimension. If we are not indifferent to our roots, then this Indo-European Turan, as the homeland of Indo-European cultures, is in my opinion an extremely important element for understanding ourselves, because our country is the territory of Turan.

After many centuries and millennia, after Turan had originally been the territory of the Indo-Europeans, after the Indo-European peoples had passed their initiatives to other non-Indo-European peoples, such as the Altaic and partially the Uralic, the heritage of Turan once again returned to Russia. We, the Russian Indo-European people, are the keepers of this gigantic territory of Turan. The mission of the Indo-Europeans has made a full circle, starting with Indo-Europeans and ending with Indo-Europeans, in coming to us.

Thus, Eurasianism acquires an entirely different dimension, and the notion of Turan is transformed radically. And, of course, if we are sensitive towards our own identity, and if we are not indifferent toward our roots, our past, and our future, then I think that this book would find very wide resonance in another state of society…

But we live in a world of some kind of pause. I look to the future with optimism, as the present time of dark mental illness in society will pass, and we will return to the search for ourselves, return to our Russian rebirth, to our roots. And then the idea of Turan, which allows us to look at all of our history in a completely different way, including the Mongol conquests, our relations with the Turks, the Turkic peoples, and projects such as the creation of the Eurasian Union, which has now been declared in policy or is being implemented (albeit in the form of a simulacrum) – all of this will truly acquire meaning. 

The Strength of the Weak

Author: Petr Petrovich Suvchinsky

Translators: Yulian Orlov and Jafe Arnold 

Source: Exodus to the East: Forebodings and Events: an Affirmation of the Eurasians (Sofia 1921), accessible in Russian here

What happens if one has not yet begun to be disturbed,
while another has already come up against a bolted door
and violently beaten his head against it?
The same fate awaits all men in their turn unless they walk in the saving road of humble communion with the people.

– Dostoevsky (Pushkin Speech) [1]

At the current time, an event of global importance is unfolding, the true essence and consequences of which are impenetrable even to the most perceptive. This event is the Russian Revolution, not in its socio-political meaning and importance, but rather in its national-metaphysical essence. As a manifestation of a socio-political order, it is most likely submissively flowing forth through the watercourse of revolutionary legitimacy. Its secret lies in its national and global sum.

The West, in trying to surround Russia with barriers, is not only afraid of the communist contagion. Europe has understood (albeit it unclearly and without confidence) or rather felt, the future result of the Russian Revolution and has already shuddered before it and, finally, taken defensive measures. She has understood that this result is defined not by the revolutionary energy of Russian communism, but by the historical predestination of the entire Russian people. She has understood that before the eyes of the world a former European province is rising up and growing in strength; a province that will unavoidably have to engage in combat, a province that will strike first, without even waiting for a lofty challenge, and engage itself in a war of reproof, reproach, and rage against its recent and apparently eternal parent state.

Russia has been a great power and has never been a state [2]. The state habits of every people is determined resultant state consciousness of all individuals that compose it. This great-power essence is the predestined potential of the authority, scope, and overflow of the entire essence of a people. It is the subconscious feeling of power, the fateful weight of the entire mass of the people, a mass that dislodges and moves the environment that surrounds it. It is involuntary self-confirmation, the droit sacré of one’s own being. The great-power essence sometimes arrogantly sprouts up, and sometimes weakens, disintegrates, thereby transforming the apparently strong flesh of the state into a crumbling, weak, collapsing human substance. Sometimes, the gift of the great-power essence coincides with developed aptitudes for the building of a state; sometimes, however, they are mutually exclusive… 

The glory of Russia is not consciously dependent on the governmental capabilities of her people. The glory is that Russia has been blindly endowed with its great-power essence. It is by this essence that the entire history of the Russian popular collective has been determined, the Russian person is fully subordinate to it, the traits of the Russian soul and will are contingent on it, and, to be more precise, even the character of the mass flows forth from the character of the person. Similar to the ebb and flow of the great-power essence of the Russian state collective, the Russian person is on the path to spiritual ascension, on the path of a vital test, all the while wavering, reeling between rise and fall, ascending and stalling. Ascension astounds with its rising force, as if an unseen hand extends from heaven and swoops it up. Stalling is always horrific through the void of the fall, through the loss of the Image of God.

And then humility and obedience border on servility, cowardliness, the dirty feeling of personal lostness: at times, bravery turns into insanity, yielding pride. In this wavering lies the law of the history of the Russian people, as does the law of the life of every individual person of the Russian people. In this interchange of exaltation and humiliation the popular [3], elemental Russia lived, at times limitlessly like a great power, at times powerless and enslaved when the mysterious forces of popular effort and elasticity suddenly dried up, ran out, were pushed together like the gigantic wings of a frightened bird.

The Russian intelligentsia has long accustomed to interpreting European culture not on an equal footing, but by seeing it as superior, obligatory, exclusive, and right. This servility and submission are undoubtedly rooted in the very essence of the Russian nature: if one acknowledges oneself as unequal, allows someone’s superiority to take hold over one, then it is necessary to submit, acquiesce, cowardly rejecting one’s own. This is a kind of servility, even a form of self-betrayal. In relation to other peoples, elemental Russia was either like a great power i.e. dominant, or spasmodically compressed herself, collapsing, involuntarily submitting, surrendering, while simultaneously hiding her covenants in the depths of the popular soul…  

Pan-human ideas are reflected by different peoples in the forms of diverse cultures. By developing within herself the genius of pan-human ideal capacity, the Russian intelligentsia actually combined, absorbed within its conscious all varieties of alien European cultures up to the level of total congeniality, thereby harming the self-discovery and affirmation of Russia’s own culture. As a result of this, the Russian intelligentsia was internationally enlightened, but de-personalised.

A specific “intelligentsia” does not, of course, deplete Russia as a great whole. In the manifestations of dominant great-power essence and in creative work, she guards examples of a unique, exclusive, and true national will as a valuable property.

In our days, in an era of the greatest tragedy of the decline, the paralysis of the sovereign forces and will of the Russian people, in an era where the whole concentration of Russian statehood [4] has weakened and become blurred, and thereby its internal interrelationships must be born anew and structured, the popular element has unconsciously yet powerfully begun a persecution of revenge and reproof against its conscious/responsible part, when it could not provide the people during a time of tribulation with a familiar, comprehensible, popular, national culture. We cannot say that the entire intelligentsia has been banished; however, we can confidently state that, with small exceptions, only the intelligentsia has been banished.

Through the medium of this banishment an awesome judgement has been passed on that form of the reception of Western culture that was seen as the Russian consciousness from the times of Peter [5] as immutable and true. As much as the creative, prophetic genius of Russia is free and unique, in equal measure is it accommodating and assimilative, and this genius revealed itself in all its shyness and submissive conditionality. The intelligentsia finds itself atomised all over the world. Simultaneously, the popular element is once again acquiring its mysterious, great-power forces through torturous battles and passions, forces that will sooner or later spread it out, pour it out into its former glory and strength. The Russian intelligentsia, which has for the first time been confronted face to face, person to person with the civilised peoples of the world must thereby, finally, deservedly self-assess its capabilities, most importantly its national, popular roots and begin to experience the redemptive process of belated self-discovery and self-confirmation. Only in this forceful, virtual contraposition, not from the “beautiful far-away” or the process of blind adoption has the Russian intelligentsia really felt the line that has been drawn between it and its spiritual idol of yesterday. It has understood and remorsefully shuddered as its own has turned out to be too invaluable and precious,  and the foreign too obsolete and poor. Powerless and banished, the intelligentsia has begun its rebirth and, if it does not interrupt this process, then in the near future it will regain its true strengths and rights. The people gather their strength in collective struggle, while the intelligentsia(s) in the experience of personality. At this moment they are enemies, as in its thirst for self-identification and liberation from alien forms of thought and life, the people placed the intelligentsia on the side of its European enemies; however, it would be a great mistake to think that the Russian people is fighting Europe and the intelligentsia with the sword of communism. On the contrary: communism is the final likeness that the intelligentsia has taken in its fanatical defence of the principle of equalisation and universality.

Having banished its false ideological leaders in a burst of hatred, in its search for conscious truth, the Russian people has followed its usual submissiveness put its fate in the hands of another, subjected itself to slavery once again, to the dictatorship of that very same intelligentsia that had ruled to that very moment until the revolution had actually manifested and did not reside anymore in the realm of fanatical will. The unaccountable, rebellious forces of the intelligentsia, selected in a blind drive towards global socialist ideas, have focused a terrifying, painful energy into the unhealthy, overheated atmosphere of the emigre community and the underground. This will is  fiery, merciless, vengeful, without any restraint; it has now grabbed the popular masses, which have lost their star, in its grasp. However, its guiding truth is alien and hateful towards the true Russia as much as its predecessor; after all, the Bolshevik international is but a volitional consequence of the cosmopolitan errors and temptations of the godless, sinful spirit of the Russian intelligentsia – sinful, because the dream of the global and true cannot be righteous outside of the Church. All will understand this sooner or later, after which the volitional (final?) dictatorship of the intelligentsia will be wiped out with the very same elemental fury. Then the great covenant of Russia will be fulfilled, her prophetic mystery will come into being: the wisened and calmed people and the enlightened intelligentsia will, reconciled, unite under the single great and all-solving cupola of the Orthodox Church

Translator’s notes:

[1]: The full speech is accessible in English here.

[2]: That is to say, Russia has never been a state in the European, Westphalian sense of the word.

[3]: The Russian term народ has no direct equivalent in English. It corresponds best to the German term Volk, which has a limited analogue in English folk or “the people”.

[4]: As has been noted above, this does not mean that Russia is a European state; rather, this is a reference to the loss of Russia’s territorial integrity and great-power essence.

[5]: Peter the Great.  

Iran and Multipolarity

Author: Leonid Savin

Translator: Jafe Arnold 

The following is an excerpt from a forthcoming book…

At the turn of the millennium, Irani’s President from 1997-2005, Mohammad Khatami, proposed the concept of dialogue of civilizations. Initially being a counter-thesis to Samuel Huntington’s work, The Clash of Civilizations, Khatami insisted on and argued for the need for discussion between different religions and cultures, especially during his address to the 53rd session of the UN General Assembly (1998-1999) when he officially declared 2001 to be the Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations. The peculiarity of Mohammad Khatami’s theory of “dialogue of civilizations” rests in that it offers a systematic, scholarly, and practically feasible and purposeful use of exchange between civilizations to overcome barriers of alienation between different players on the global political scene to prevent crisis situations in the world taking into account the modern level of technological and communication development and with an eye towards global problems which threaten the very existence of mankind.[1]  Khatami said:

We should not forget that cultures and civilizations always have interaction and mutual influence. New abilities were formed due to their interaction. Non-dialogue paradigm leads to a deadlock, to overcome which we inevitably appeal to the dialogue approaches. Constructive indicators of dialogue certainly must not be limited only to the spheres of politics and culture. Not all constructive indicators of culture are only cultural ones; since economic, social, cultural and educational aspects participate in this formation. Therefore, promotion of dialogue of civilizations should be recognized as a multi-sided necessity.[2]

In 2001, however, a terrorist attack struck New York and the American neoconservatives subsequently triumphed in their insisting on the necessity of military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan under the pretext of fighting terrorism and finding (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction. The harsh dualism put forth as an ultimatum by the George W. Bush Administration to the tune of “those who aren’t with us, are with the terrorists” buried any efforts at establishing such a dialogue of civilizations.

During the presidency of Khatami’s successor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran became yet another pretext for the West’s contrived “concerns.” Meanwhile, on the other hand, Iran became an object of interest for all those forces resisting Washington-led unipolar globalization. High prices and demand for oil contributed to Iran’s economic development, although sanctions imposed by Western countries and later the UN hampered the Iranian economy. Despite this, Iran demonstrated political resilience to outside influence, remained loyal to its ideological principles, and affirmed its right to be an influential player in the region. In addition, Iran under Ahmadinejad began actively cooperating with those Latin American countries which adopted an anti-imperialist foreign policy course.

The fact that these countries’ leaderships, and first and foremost Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Bolivia adhered to socialist views did not hinder the establishment of an alliance which set for itself the goal of political multipolarity based on respect for the sovereignty of states and their peoples’ cultural traditions. Cooperation with Russia, China, and African countries was also amplified.

Moreover, similar views came to be shared by other senior politicians of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In May 2006, the Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, General Yahya Rahim Safavi, stressed that “Today, taking into account countries such as Russia, China, India, an Iran, the world is moving in the direction of multipolarity contrary to the desire of the USA.”[3] Ahmadinejad continued Iran’s course towards multipolarity during his second presidential term as well. At the 65th session of the UN General Assembly in October 2010, Ahmadinejad said:

The inefficiency of capitalism and existing global governance and its structures has manifested itself for many years, and the majority of countries and peoples are in search of fundamental changes for the sake of justice in international relations…The world is in need of the logic of compassion, justice, and universal cooperation, not the logic of force, domination, unipolarity, war, and intimidation…The Iranian people and the majority of peoples and governments of the world are against the current, discriminatory global governance. The inhumane nature of this governance has brought it to a standstill and requires radical revision. Universal cooperation, pure thoughts, and divine and humane governance are needed to remedy the situation in the world and to transition to peace and prosperity.[4]

The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, also stressed the pursuit of multipolarity. During his speech at the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran in August 2012, Khamenei pointed out the need to reform the UN, drew attention to the West’s unilateral imposition of its programs undermining the principles of democracy, the destructive work of monopolized mass media, and problems of weapons of mass destruction. Khamenei proposed the doctrine of a “Middle East without nuclear weapons” by which, of course, he meant Israel as an outcast in this issue, and highlighted the need to improve “political productivity in global governance.”[5]  Without a doubt, such a venue as the Non-Aligned Movement’s summit is not only for political reports advising the need for high morality and justice, but is a platform for criticizing neo-imperialism. It is a powerful pooling of leaders and senior officials of states from all continents to meet and take advantage of a decent opportunity to reach agreements, discuss the prospects of joint projects, and reduce possible friction in diplomatic relations.[6] Iran’s role in this regard is very indicative.

If Iran de facto is and has been before a geopolitical center, then the changing international situation has opened the possibility for it to transform its status and rise to the level of a geopolitical pole. If Iran is approached not only as a sovereign nation-state, but as a center of Shiite Islam, then we undoubtedly see that Iran’s influence in a number of countries with Shiite populations makes it a geopolitical subject of a different level and significance. Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Palestine are states which depend on support from Iran through various mechanisms.

The Iranian international relations expert Behzad Khoshandam posits that 2016 was a turning point for Iran in regards to choosing its international course, which was finally confirmed to be that of multipolarity. This is due to several interconnected factors: (1) the signing of the nuclear deal with six countries (a manifestation of the logic of Iran’s strategic patience in political, trade, economic, and other interests); (2) rapprochement with Russia; (3) Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections; (4) understanding the hostile intentions of the numerous countries conducting proxy wars against Iran (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel); (5) and the overall serious turn towards Eurasia.[7] To this we can add the strategic agreement with China announced in January 2016 which includes Beijing actively supporting Iran in acquiring full membership in the SCO.[8]

Indeed, in the opinion of Iranian scholars, the country’s national interests are best protected in none other than the multipolar paradigm of global politics. Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri from Tehran University believes that only in a multipolar international system can regional cooperation and balanced relations with all powerful states help countries achieve their national interests.[9]

The Iranian political scientist Massoud Mousavi Shafaei from Tarbiat Modares University has proposed that Iran take advantage of the fluidity of the international system and the emergence of new conditions for active operations in different regional environments. Insofar as Iran is located between the Middle East and Central Asia, it indeed does have a choice. The Middle East is submerged in chaos, ethnic conflicts, wars, and terror, and this crisis will likely continue for an indefinite period of time. In these circumstances, the restoration of order in the region under the leadership of a single hegemonic power or even under the pressure of large powers is seen as practically impossible.[10] Given that the US instrumentalizes most Arab countries to contain Iran’s geopolitical ambitions, this thesis is justified. Washington simply will not allow Iran to be more actively engaged in the region even if Iranian intentions are altogether benevolent and noble. Therefore, in Massoud Mousavi Shafaei’s opinion, Iran must reorient itself and its geo-economic logic towards Central Asia and Southeast Asia. However, this does not mean an end to Iranian presence in the Middle East necessary to defend its vital national security interests.

The opinion has also been expressed that Russia, Iran, and China “all feel that [a] multipolar world is the only condition for future development of our planet and its inhabitants. They have experienced again and again that unilateral dictates emanating from US, instead of solving problems, generates more and more of them. So it is obviously in their interests, to get united on the issue of multi-polarity, and insist – through various institutions like US, or press, or even new military alliances – that the business as usual – is not going to be accepted.[11]          

Iran understands that joining the multipolar club inevitably means pressure from the West. Thus, Tehran can expect new challenges, as can the other architects of the multipolar world order. In this vein Tehran University Professor Jahangir Karami has noted that although Russia can effectively restrict the US’ unilateral approach through the UN, NATO expansion challenges Russia’s efforts, as was the case with the crises provoked in Ukraine and Syria aimed directly against Moscow.[12]

Nevertheless, Iran has a long history of withstanding Western hegemony and other forces from the first contacts with the Portuguese in the early 16th century to the seizure of the US Embassy during the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Indeed, opposing US sanctions and working to develop their own economic approaches and conduct in international affairs are characteristic of Iran’s course towards multipolarity.

Footnotes: 

[1] Мелихов И.А. М. Хатами: межцивилизационный диалог и мусульманское сообщество/ «Дипломатический вестник», серия «Дипломатия, наука и общественность». № 9. 2001.

[2] Seyyed Mohammad Khatami. Dialogue among Civilizations. High-Level Conference. Eurasia in the XXIst Century: Dialogue of Cultures, or Conflict of Civilizations? Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan, 10 and 11 June 2004. Paris, 2005. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001465/146593E.pdf

 [3] Иран и Российская Федерация: Россия, Китай, Индия и Иран – линия мощной силы, 10 мая 2006. http://www.iran.ru/news/politics/39484/Iran_i_Rossiyskaya_Federaciya_Rossiya_Kitay_Indiya_i_Iran_liniya_moshchnoy_sily

[4] Выступление президента Ирана на 65-й сессии Генеральной Ассамблеи ООН, 04 октября 2010 http://www.iran.ru/news/interview/68545/Vystuplenie_prezidenta_Irana_na_65_y_sessii_Generalnoy_Assamblei_OON

[5] Выступление аятоллы Хаменеи на саммите Движения неприсоединения.// Геополитика. 31.08.12 http://www.geopolitica.ru/Articles/1483/

[6] Савин Л.В. Иран, Движение неприсоединения и многополярность. Геополитика.ру, 17.09.2012 https://www.geopolitica.ru/article/dvizhenie-neprisoedineniya-iran-i-mnogopolyarnost

[7] Behzad Khoshandam, Iran’s Foreign Policy in 2016, Iran Review, DECEMBER 28, 2016      http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Iran-s-Foreign-Policy-in-2016.htm

[8] Iran, China Announce Roadmap for Strategic Partnership, Farsnews, Jan 23, 2016.       http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941103001266

[9] Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri, Russia Bracing for Multipolar International System, Iran Review, September 21, 2015  http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Russia-Bracing-for-Multipolar-International-System.htm

[10]   Massoud Mousavi Shafaei, Iran’s Foreign Policy Needs Paradigm Change: Transition from Middle Eastern Terror to Geo-economics of Asian Hope, Iran Review, JANUARY 31, 2017 http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Iran-s-Foreign-Policy-Needs-Paradigm-Change-Transition-from-Middle-Eastern-Terror-to-Geo-economics-of-Asian-Hope.htm

[11] Prof. Golstein: ‘Russia, Iran, China Feel Multi-Polar World is Only Condition for Future Development’, Jul 17, 2016    http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950421000941

[12]          Jahangir Karami, Russia, Crises in Syria and Ukraine, and the Future of the International System, Iran Review, APRIL 15, 2014    http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Russia-Crises-in-Syria-and-Ukraine-and-the-Future-of-the-International-System.htm