Petr Savitsky – “Eurasianism” (1925)

Author: Petr Savitsky

Translator: Jafe Arnold

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

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I.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

II.

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

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

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

III.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IV.

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

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

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

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Footnotes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Noomakhia: England or Britain? The Maritime Mission and Positive Subject

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

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TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Introduction: England – The Homeland of the “Modern World”

Part I: England or Britain?

Chapter 1: From Britain to England: Ethnoi and States

Chapter 2: Anglo-Britain in the Middle Ages: Two Churches

Chapter 3: The Norman Invasion and the House of Plantagenet: The Franco-English Epoch

Chapter 4: English Theology

Chapter 5: Knights, Damsels, and Fairies in the Anglo-British Lai

Chapter 6: The Reformation

Chapter 7: English Thought at the Foundation of the Paradigm of Modernity: Locke’s Heartland

Chapter 8: Dreams on the Eve of Modernity

Chapter 9; The Yates Paradigm

Chapter 10: Pax Britannica: The Mercantile-Maritime Empire

Chapter 11: In Love with the Mind and in Trust of Feelings

Chapter 12: The Romantics: Gods and Titans in the Meadows of Green England

Chapter 13: Liberalism: The Positive Individual Subject

Chapter 14: Realism and Irony

Chapter 15: The Subtle Charm of Decadence: Pre-Raphaelites, the Dandy, and Satanists

Chapter 16: The 20th Century: Historial and Empire

Chapter 17: English Positivity

Chapter 18: Imperialism, Tradition, and Utopia in English Literature

Chapter 19: The British Invasion

Chapter 20: Conclusion

Part II: The Celtic Pole

Chapter 21: The Celtic Pole of Anglo-British Civilization

Chapter 22: Wales: The Titanomachy of Trees

Chapter 23: Scotland: The Drowsy Titans

Chapter 24: Ireland

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). 

The Indo-Europeans

Author: Alexander Dugin

Translator: Jafe Arnold

Dugin’s Guideline – 

Greetings, you’re watching Dugin’s Guideline.

Let’s talk about the Indo-Europeans. Why is this important? Because over the last few millennia, the Indo-European peoples in both the West – in Europe – and in the East – in Iran and India – have stood in the center of all of the most significant events and processes on a planetary scale. Far from all of these events have beem graceful or wonderful, but the ups and downs of the last millennia are the work of none other than the Indo-Europeans. Today, as the fate of the Indo-European peoples and cultures is becoming all the more problematic with each passing day, and as a crisis of identity, demographic catastrophe, and overall some kind of obvious clouding of consciousness stare Indo-Europeans in the face, it is time to pose the question: who are the Indo-Europeans? What unites them, if anything unites them at all? What are they approaching in this critical moment of their history and fate?

This is also important because we, Slavs, are also part of Indo-European civilization. Our language, culture, and history are Indo-European. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of historians and linguists are convinced that the first Indo-European tribes – the ancestors of the peoples of Europe, India, Iran, and even the Malaysian Hittites – came from the lands that have been the territories of our country, Great Russia, for centuries.

The Indo-Europeans’ identity rests in the following. These are none other than the peoples who since antiquity worshipped the heavenly, fatherly gods of light. In ancient times, polytheism predominated among the Indo-Europeans, but after the birth of Christ exactly 2017 years ago, more and more Indo-Europeans, starting with the Greeks and Romans, embraced Christianity. Not all of Europe became Christian, but in this case the God of the Trinity was conceived as the uncreated Light, the Heavenly King and, after all, loyalty to light and the sky was an integral feature of the Indo-European religion.

The Indo-European peoples are of the patriarchal family. They did not humiliate women, nor did they consider them to be objects or slaves, but they did not give them free will. Indo-European patriarchy originated from the principle that the sky is the father and the earth is the mother. This does not belittle earth or women, but the vertical is obvious.

The French historian Georges Dumézil substantiated and proved that all Indo-European societies were built on a triadic model founded on three castes or estates. Priests, sacred kings, and the priesthood were the first caste. The priesthood was inseparably tied to the kingdom. The reign of an usurper, a rapist, or an idiot was considered to be an anomaly.

The second caste was that of professional warriors. The Indo-Europeans knew no equals in this regard. They could fight and always did. The Indo-Europeans domesticated the horse and invented the chariot which, of course, they used to attack, to fight, and to win. With such a spirit, the Indo-Europeans created all of the states of Europe and many of the states of Asia. In some sense, thanks to the second caste, the Indo-Europeans gradually achieved world domination. Whether this is good or bad is another question. But it is a fact that they did. It is none other than warriors who create states, and the Indo-Europeans realized this superbly.

The third caste of the Indo-Europeans consisted of peasants and laborers. Among the nomadic peoples, such as the Scythians, Sarmatians, the Jasz, the Kushan, the Saka, the Parthians, and the Vedic Aryans, this caste was made up of herdsmen. Material production, wealth, food, and women belonged mainly to the third caste, i.e., they stood at the very bottom of the Indo-European hierarchy.

The priests and king corresponded to the sky, the warriors to the air, and the peasants to the land. The Indo-Europeans’ whole system of values was founded on this, and thus it was for millennia. All types of Indo-European religions, societies, cultures, myths, tales, historical chronicles, and economic systems were built on this trifunctional, patriarchal model. This means that being an Indo-European means belonging to the society of priests, warriors, and laborers.

“But how does this relate to merchants, traders, and usurers?,” you ask. In no way. Such kinds were despised in Indo-European societies. Capitalism appeared only once Indo-European values began to be rapidly forgotten, degraded, and degenerate. Indo-European societies also did not know equality, a sign of degeneration. They did not know feminism or sodomy, by which differed the matriarchal lands and non-Indo-European cults such as the cult of Cybele.

European modernity, which abolished religion, faith in the King and the Heavenly Father, the castes, the sacred understanding of the world, and essentially patriarchy, was the beginning of the fall of Indo-European civilization. Capitalism, materialism, egalitarianism, and economism are all the revenge of those societies against which the Indo-Europeans waged war, subjugated, and strove to remedy, which composed the essence of all Indo-European peoples’ history. Modernity was the end of Indo-European civilization. It naturally corresponds to the nadir. This is not an abstraction, for it affects us in the most direct ways.

All the best, you’ve been watching Dugin’s Guideline on the deep crisis of Indo-European civilization.

No compromises will help us. Either we will disappear and be dissolved, or we must restore our Indo-European civilization in its entirety, with all of its values, ways, and metaphysics. If we want to preserve ourselves as a people, as an Indo-European people, we must wake up and be reborn in contrast to all that has been taken for granted in the world of modernity. To hell with this world of modernity.

 

© Jafe Arnold – All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without expressed permission. 

Mysteries of Eurasia: Continent Russia

Author: Alexander Dugin

Translator: Jafe Arnold

Chapter 1 of Mysteries of Eurasia (Moscow, Arktogeya: 1991/1999)

 ***

The country within

Land-masses hold symbolic meanings which are as much linked with cultural stereotypes as with real-life experiences. Europe holds different meanings for the European who lives there, for the American who originated from it, for the African who is freeing himself from its influence, for the Pacific islander, and so on. Stereotypes of the continents have not remained purely and simply products of cultures born of more or less accurate knowledge, more or less lively feelings and more or less clear awareness. They have sunk into the unconscious with so strong an emotional charge as will emerge in dreams or in spontaneous reactions, often linked with unconscious racism. At this point a continent will no longer represent one of the Earth’s five land-masses, but will symbolize a world of images, emotions and desires. For example, Dr Verne has clearly shown in the analysis of one of his patients’ dreams that she did not regard Asia as a memory of, goal of, or desire for intercontinental travel, but as a symbol of ‘the return to something holy, to the world of the absolute, the mystery of out of the body experience, the way towards the oneness which bears the message of the true and real’. Asia had become an inner continent, like Africa, Oceania, or Europe. These continents and what they symbolize will differ from person to person. This inner dimension may fasten upon any place, be it town or locality; what is important is to know what it means to each individual, what images, feelings, emotions, and prejudices it carries, since these comprise the subjective truth of the symbol. Geography generates as much geosociology and geoculture as it does geopolitics.”[1]

Such is the content of the entry “Continent” from the French Dictionary of Symbols by Jean Chevalier and Alain Gheerbrant. We have permitted ourselves to give such a long quotation in full since it immediately defines the plane upon which our study will unfold. Often amidst a rise of national feeling and even racism, and in flashes of patriotism among different peoples, irrational elements stand out on the surface which, at first glance, cannot be explained by logical reasoning or an analysis of egotistical motives behind such an ideological complex. The awakening of national, racial, or continental memory often occurs without any external reason. Deep archetypes of the unconscious simply and suddenly burst and, like a chain reaction, awaken the whole complex of a collective worldview that seemed to be long gone. Examples of this include the stability of Celtic-Irish, Jewish, Korean, African, and Japanese nationalisms which continue to live and grow despite all the social and historical preconditions objectively contributing to their extinction.

In principle, this is exactly the same case with the “enigma of Russian patriotism.” Mystical Russia, the “White India” of Klyuev, the “Holy Rus” which Yesenin set above Paradise and which Tyutchev equated to a religious principle in which one has to believe – imagine how absurd “Holy Australia” or “Faith in the Czech Republic” would sound! – is undoubtedly a deep reality of national psychology, an “Inner Continent” synthesizing in itself the worldview of a giant nation. The memory of “Continent Russia” may lurk and sleep in the depths of consciousness for many long years, but sooner or later it will come to life and, when the time of Awakening arrives, it will become a storm, a vortex, a scream.

However, the psychological reality of “Inner Russia,” in order to be effective and specified, should have an archetypal structure fully corresponding to objective historical processes and geographical areas. In this way, it is not merely a passive reflection of the external, but a paradigm which forms and structures the surrounding temporal and spatial space. In this regard, the famous historian of religions, Mircea Eliade, keenly observed: “Nature is something determined by culture (culturalmente condizionata); some of the ‘laws of nature’ vary depending on what the peoples of this or that culture understand by ‘nature.’”[2]

Russian Sweden

What is the archetypal structure of “Inner Russia?” On what is the concept of “Holy Rus” based? What are the origins of the complex of the imperial God-bearing people? We can find traces of this ancient tradition in the linguistic archetypes that date back to the formation of Indo-European unity and which, with remarkable resistance, are preserved in toponyms, myths, legends, and even in the ordinary correspondences between symbols and words. In addition, this entire complex of purely religious symbolism is closely linked with this ancient tradition. Otherwise, the baptism of Rus could not have happened so harmoniously and easily. The totality of Christian doctrine, in its ritualistic and symbolic paradigm, is consistent with the logic of older cults which were not abolished but transformed by Christianity into a new synthetic unity. The cycles of Russian lives and the specifics of Russian Orthodoxy present us with thousands of pieces of evidence of this. One canonical example of this is the summer festival of the prophet Elijah, who became the Orthodox expression of the old Aryan “god” of thunder, sky, and light, Il (from the same root of the ancient Russian word for “sun,”, solntse, which in old Aryan means “good light”).[3] Let us consider some aspects of the archetypal combinations which define the logic of the Russian national mentality. We will start with the concept of “Holy Rus.”

It is curious to note that evidently long before the arrival of the Slavs to the territory of Russia, the region of the Southern Russian steppes from the Black Sea to the south of the Urals was named by the Aryans inhabiting it “Dwelling of the Gods – Great Sweden” or “Cold Sweden,” and only much later did this shift with the Germanic tribes to Scandinavia, which became “Dwelling of people – Little Sweden.” The sacred rivers of the ancient Aryans flowed into this “Great Sweden”: the Don (Tanaksvil or Vanaksvil – “the branch of the river where the Vanir live”) and the Dnieper (Danapru or, in Greek, Borisphen). The very Russian word for Sweden, Shvetsiia – Sweden, Suetia – most likely meant “bright, white, luminous.” And this Indo-European root szet is possibly, and quite logically, etymologically similar to the Russian word for holy, svyaty. In addition, the Hindu tradition to this day still remembers Śveta-dvīpa, the “White Island” or “White Continent” lying to the North of India.

In most cases, Śveta-dvīpa meant the symbolic island of Vārāhī, the place where the Hindus’ ancestors originally resided at the North Pole. By analogy, it is appropriate to transfer this name to the territory of the temporary settlement of the Aryans before their migration to India. That the ancestors of the Hindus – the carriers of the Vedantic tradition in its earlier form – lived for a certain period of time on the territory of what is now Southern Russia is confirmed by modern archaeological excavations. Therefore, the light, white holy country was associated in ancient times with the Russian lands, a view which could take deep root in the consciousness of peoples, such as the Aryans, contact between whom was maintained even after their linguistic and traditional unity was destroyed, as well as other indigenous paleo-Asiatic peoples who on more than one occasion have demonstrated the unique capacity to preserve the mythological complexes which they received from the Indo-Europeans for entire millennia.

The second component of the combination of “Holy Rus” is the very name “Rus.” One of the most likely and acceptable etymological interpretations of this word is the Aryan root ros (compared with German rot, Latin russus, French rouge, English red, and Sanskrit rohita) which means red, ginger, or pink. It is entirely unimportant if Russia was named after a Slavic or Scandinavian tribe. The main point is that, on a subconscious level, red is closely associated with Russia, and was one of the favorite colors of the Russian princes, and the very Russian word krasny, besides denoting the color red, in the ancient Slavic language meant “beautiful”, “distinguished,” etc. It is also curious that another Russian word for designating the color red is chermny, which is etymologically close to the word cherny for black. In ancient Indian, the root krisna also meant “black” and “beautiful.” It cannot be ruled out that this etymological connection was somehow imprinted in language associations and in half-effaced semantic structures of linguistic thinking lending the meaning of the word red a kind of semi-conscious connection with the word black (i.e., “distinguished,” “clearly defined,” etc.). If we combine these two lines, then we see that the concept of “Holy Rus” might be translated into the colorful symbolic dyad: “white – red” or even “light – dark.” And, not incidentally, the combination of “white-red” was one of the most common among Russian princely heraldry, national costumes, ornaments, paintings, etc.

Khvarenah – Royal happiness

One of the most significant aspects of “Inner Russia” was the sacred mission of the Russian monarch. Holy Rus always had its sacred center. Just as it had its capital (first Kiev, then Moscow), it also had a living and personified pole of national sanctity: the Tsar, the Anointed by God. Interestingly enough, some of the Turkic peoples preserved the tradition of venerating the Russian monarch up into the 18th century. For example, the Buryats believed Catherine to be the incarnation (embodiment) of the White Tara, one of the greatest Bodhisattvas of Lamaism. Such  universal importance assigned to the monarchy within the framework of the Empire once again shows that Russia has never recognized itself to be something purely ethnic. By contrast, she is a reality of a higher level, a reality of the geosacred Tradition in which different peoples had their proper place. Therefore, the Russian White Tsar was simultaneously the Tsar of all ethnoi inhabiting the Empire.

The Russian monarchical tradition began, as is known, with the calling of Rurik from the Varangians to kingship over a group of Slavic and Finno-Ugric tribes. In the later period, descent from the first prince Rurik was the spiritual and genealogical justification of royal authority, its legitimacy and sacred legality. This tradition was so persistent and deep, so self-evident and absolute in Russians’ understanding, that it simply could not have been inconsistent with the indigenous archetypes of ancient forms of consciousness which, although moved into the sphere of the unconscious, nevertheless did not lose their efficiency and validity. In our opinion, the calling of Rurik from among the Varangians was seen as a great, nationwide mystery embodying in itself the script of the supernatural origin of royal power that is characteristic of all ancient, traditional dynasties.

Let us try to clarify the sacred underpinnings of this mystery which confirmed the sacred-dynastic center in the space of “Inner Russia.” First of all, we can refer to Zoroastrianism, in which the mystical side of royal power was elaborated in detail and had a significant impact on the structure of the consciousness of the peoples who have inhabited the ancient Russian lands. Zoroastrians believed that the emperor has a special, more than merely given, right to rule. This sanction is embodied in the possession of a light-bringing force – Khvarenah. Khvarenah (or farn) is a condensed light energy which renders a person equal to a god. The symbol of Khvarenah was traditionally believed to be the falcon Vargan and sometimes the ram. On the other hand, Khvarenah was identified with the element of fire, which only naturally strives upwards towards heaven. Every Iranian king had his own personal fire symbolizing the possession of Khvarenah.

If we return to Rurik, called from among the Varangians to kingship, we see that he etymologically embodies this entire complex of Zoroastrian ideas (and apparently, some common Aryan ones). Rurik, in Scandinavian, means “falcon,” that is, the predominant symbol of Khvarenah. In addition, the word rurik is startlingly close to the Old Church Slavonic rarog, i.e., “fire” or “spirit of fire” (in fact, the old Church Slavonic rarog also meant “falcon”). With the baptism of Rus, Tsar Rurik also became anointed by God, endowed with the power of Christ, and referred to as the “Lamb.” Thus, the idea of the Christian monarch was the spiritual development and sacred confirmation of the ancient monarchical tradition perceiving the calling of Rurik as a nationwide acquisition of heavenly blessing, or Khvarenah. In this case, as in many others, Christianity did not abolish, but rather exalted and confirmed the ancient, pre-Christian faith.

Now about the Varangians. Without entering into the debates over the ethnic identity of this tribe (which is unimportant for us), we will try to identify the symbolic meaning of this name. Zoroastrianism once gave us some keys, so we turn to it once again. The word “Varangian”, in terms of sound and possibly also in terms of origin, is close to the name of the Zoroastrian god Varhorn (or Verethragna). Varhorn is one of the seven supreme “gods” of Mazdaism, the god of victory. It was none other than this god who was believed to be the fundamental carrier and bearer of Khvarenah, and he was traditionally associated with the falcon Vargan (compare: vargan, varingr, i.e., varyag which is Russian for “Varangian” or “viking”), as his constant companion or even his incarnation. Thus, the Varangians, in addition to their historical specificity, could represent some kind of symbolic meaning, the embodiment of full Khvarenah, royal happiness, one precious part of which – Rurik-Falcon – descended, like manna, on the grace-hungry tribes. But the mythological, etymological chain doest not end there. The word varyag is also quite comparable with the Sanskrit root svar, or “sky,” “sunlight,” (in fact, it is also very close to the Persian hvar from which Khvarenah is derived). It is possible that the Russian word for north, sever, is also related to svar, as the North was considered to be of a “heavenly, divine orientation” by the ancient Aryan peoples. Therefore, the correlation between the Varangians, the North and the sky perfectly corresponds to the very mysterious logic of the calling of the first Tsar.

It is possible to go still further. Varharn is the Persian equivalent of the Sanskrit word vritra-han, i.e. “Slayer of Vritra,” the epithet of the Heavenly Tsar, the god Indra. Indra is the Hindu archetype of all kings, who dwells and is found, according to traditional Hindu cosmography, in the sky – svar. The very name “Indians” and “Hindi” is by all means likely the theophoric (god-bearing) name of the “people of Indra,” and therefore a god-bearing people. The Varangians, for their part, as one of the Indo-European tribes, could have essentially been the theophoric people of Vargan or Vergarn-Veretragna, i.e., essentially the same as Indra, the “Slayer of Vritra.” Nor can it be excluded that the distant echoes of these mythological correspondences, living on in the depths of the national unconscious, gave rise to the concept of Russia as the “White India” among poets of a folk-mystical orientation, such as Klyuev and Yesenin. The Russian monarchical emblem, the Byzantine, two-headed eagle, can also be compared to Falcon-Rurik, the carrier of the magical power of Khvarenah. Another curious detail is that Moscow, the capital of the Russian state and the seat of the Russian Tsar, has as its emblem St. George slaying a serpent (the emblem of Prince Yuri Dolgoruky). Varharn (the god of Khvarenah) is first and foremost the god of victory, and St. George is also the victory-bearer. In addition, the very name Varharn-Veretragna, as we said above, means “Snake-Slayer,” or “Slayer of Vritra,” and St. George is usually depicted as killing the Serpent. It is also characteristic that Iranian mythology contains a number of tales depicting a struggle between a solar hero (Kersaspa, Traeton, etc.) and a Serpent or Dragon, the conflict of which is over the right to possess the mystical power of Khvarenah, a right for which the opponents challenge each other. Thus, the combination of these symbols in the coat of arms of the capital – the residence of the Tsar – along with the eagle as the symbol of Russia in general, yield the paradigm of the ancient structure of the monarchical mystery.

Another traditional symbol of royal authority and the state is the orb mounted with a cross – the symbol of the earth in ancient astrological texts. The state of the Russian Tsar, naturally, is identified with the Russian land. And here once again we are talking about “Inner Russia,” which we spoke about in the beginning. It is especially important that in the national sacred tradition, it is precisely the Tsar, the Anointed by God, the messenger of heaven, and the bearer of supernatural fire, who protects and keeps in his hands a gigantic land (hence the title “autocrat” from the seven secret saints of the Christian tradition on whom the whole weight of the world rests).

All of Russian history is permeated with the deepest understanding of the sacred role of the Tsar. This understanding contributed to a much more religious relationship between the Orthodox and the monarch than that seen between the Catholics and their kings.[4] Moreover the Orthodox idea of the Tsar sharply differs on a theological level from the corresponding Catholic concept. In Russia, there was never a division between purely spiritual life, subordinated to the spiritual hierarchy, and purely secular life, subordinated to kings, as in the case of the Catholic West. In the idea of Holy Russia and Tsarist Russia, all levels of the sacred way of life are combined. The Church, as the spirit of Russia, did not set itself above the Tsar, but recognized his supernatural and legal authority, and gave blessing to his power, without which the state would have lost its sacred pole. Thus, the “inner continent,” Russia, had its “inner center,” the sacred monarch. Their merging (their symbolic hierosgamos) accounts for the specific Russian fate and the deep dimension of Russian history.

The mystery of the pole

Now we would like to mention a study by the French Traditionalist Gaston Georgel devoted to historical cycles and the logic of the cultural development of ancient civilizations, which bears direct relevance to our topic. Georgel’s book under consideration is called Rhythms in History.[5] In this extremely interesting work, there is a small section which examines the patterns of the movement of the centers of this or that ancient civilization around the Eurasian continent. Without delving into the essence of the author’s interpretation of certain patterns, we will simply provide the facts which are given and which have direct relevance to “Inner Russia.” Studying the geographical location of the centers of ancient civilization, Georgel noted one astonishing peculiarity. Starting with Elam (around 4,000 B.C.) and finishing in our times, we can observe a shift of certain cultures from East to West. Georgel endeavored to draw a single line connecting the ancient center of Elamite civilization, located not far from the town of Kelat, the ancient Sumerian city of Ur, Greek Athens, and French Paris. The result exceeded all expectations.

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The arc connecting these centers turns out to divide them almost exactly into sectors of 30 degrees. According to the author’s notes, at exactly 30 degrees along the eclipse, the point of vernal equinox moves over a period of time equal to 2,160 years, that is, the time separating the epochs of these cultures is 4,000 years up to Elam, 2,000 up to Ur, a bit more than 2,000 years ago to Athens and, finally, to the contemporary “capital of Europe”, Paris. The arch extending over the East at 30 degrees leads to the location of the capital of Tibet, Lhasa, and the same arc of the same curvature, merely belonging to a circle of a larger radius, connects Jerusalem and Rome. But where does the center of this circle reside? Here once again is a strange thing: it lies at the intersection of the Meridian at 60 degrees east of the Arctic circle, i.e., on the territory of Russia, North of the Ural mountains (let us note that Moscow is located near to the radius which connects Athens with the center of the circle). It is with this, in fact, that Georgel ends his account.

We can go one step further and point to even more bizarre patterns. It is generally known  that the line of the North Pole is the projection of the circle of the celestial sphere, along which the North Pole of the World shifts (due to a phenomenon termed in astronomy the precession of equinoxes) around the pole of the eclipse. But if the celestial sphere is stationary, then the globe rotates in space relative to it, or more precisely, relative to the eclipse plane which is identical to the plane of the orbital rotation of the earth at 23.5 degrees. This shift of 23.5 degrees is fixed on the line of the Arctic circle. If we compare the point of the North Pole of the earth with the current north star – Alpha Ursae Minoris – then the center of the eclipse, and hence the true pole of the sky (the most immobile of all, as the earth’s axis makes a circle around it over a vast period of time – 25,960 years), will be projected on the line of the Arctic circle. But how can we determine which exact point?

Here the first globes of the Renaissance era come to our aid, on which at the same angle of 23.5 degrees, a projection of the eclipse inclined towards the earth’s equator and marking respectively the northern Tropic of Cancer and the southern Tropic of Capricorn was marked. What is important is on what meridian the projection of the sign of Capricorn is placed, which then allows one to logically determine the order of the projection of constellations on the globe, as well as to find in the Arctic circle the point corresponding to the center of the eclipse. All old maps and globes answer this question unambiguously: on the basis of late Medieval and Renaissance geographical knowledge, the sign of Capricorn, the southernmost point of the eclipse, is projected on the meridian which passes through the Ural mountains (the Ripheans, as the Greeks called them), the symbolic border between Europe and Asia. On this very meridian, 60 degrees East longitude, Gaston Georgel conducted his study of the geography of ancient civilizations! This means that the pole of the eclipse, the true celestial pole, when projected onto the globe, corresponds to the pole of the circle around which the focus of civilizations shifts over millennia.

 

screen-shot-2018-07-26-at-12.22.07-pm.pngIf today we are now capable of making similarly logical inferences on the basis of an elementary knowledge of astronomy and geography, then why should it be excluded that the  ancients, holding such knowledge (this is proven by a swathe of modern research on the ancient observatories of the Chinese, Sumerian, Celtic, and other traditions), and not being burdened by technocratic and agnostic prejudices, were perfectly well aware of the correlations between the earth and the sky, and built on these correspondences their sacred geography and the logic of their sacred history? It is most likely that the completeness of this synthetic knowledge gradually drifted into the realms of mental archetypes, fairy tales, fables, and legends, manifesting itself most openly in especially rotary periods in the history of mankind.

Russians and Hyperboreans

This French Traditionalist’s empirical discovery of the hypothetical pole of civilizations might help explain not only a number of enigmatic facts of humanity’s past, but also yield the keys to understanding one of the most strange secrets of our time – the secret of “Russian patriotism”, which can in no way be reduced to the banal nationalism of a particular ethnic group. “Russian patriotism,” in its deepest dimension, is universal and “pan-human” has F.M. Dostoevsky said, himself connected with the “inner continent,” with the central continent located in the vicinity of the fixed point of the “wheel of life,” the circle of the wandering human soul. And perhaps it is only appropriate that the city closest to the point of this Northern center was the city of Inta, which is similar to the name of the Peruvian sun god Inti and the Aryan Indra. Moreover, if we project celestial constellations onto land on the basis of the above-mentioned correlations, then our center, as well as the center of the eclipse, falls on the constellation of the Dragon, the eternal enemy of Indra and the “sun gods” of victory.

Interestingly enough, the abode of Indra in Hinduism is believed across various accounts to be in the North-East, and the name of Indra’s elephant, Airavata, coincides with the Jain name of the northernmost countries on earth. But this land, as we have already said, was also called Varahi, i.e., “land of the Wild Boar,” which precisely corresponds to the Greek root bor, i.e., “North”, the country of Hyperborea (“lying in the Far North”), the abode of the Sun of Apollo, who is also a “dragon slayer.” It is no coincidence that Ancient Greek sources tell of the Hyperboreans sending symbolic gifts of wheat to Delphi via the Scythian and more Northern Russian lands. It is curious that the word varahi reminds us also of varyagi, i.e., the legendary people who gave the Russians the sacred monarch.

In legends of the Hyperboreans, the “herbal” nature of their gifts, such as ears of wheat, is always emphasized. The ancient tradition believed that agriculture was the most important ancient occupation of people, prior to livestock breeding. The metaphysical view of the ancients on this reflects a fundamental peace and fixation (the sedentariness of farmers) which is put above dynamism and variability (nomadism and pastoralism). Moreover, the most characteristic occupation of Russians has always been agriculture. In this regard, the following fact is of interest: one of the old names for the Slavs in general was vene or Venety, as was one of the names of one of the Slavic tribes. And to this day, the Estonians and Finns still call Russians vene. In all of this it is impossible not to notice the obvious parallels with the Vanir of the Nordic sagas. The Vanir are the group of gods engaged in agriculture (in contrast to the nomads and pastoralists of the Aesir), who embody the traits of sacred peace-loving and, according to the ancient sagas, inhabited the lower reaches of the Dnieper and the Don. Here it is appropriate to recall that one of the favorite and most frequent Russian names is Ivan. Although the latter is derived from the Hebrew name John, it can be assumed that the self-designation of the Slavs survived in this Christian form. Moreover, there is a peculiar symbolic coincidence between the gospels’ tale about the head of John the Baptist and the ancient Germanic myths of the Vanir and the head of the giant Mimir, which the Vanir cut off and sent to the Aesir. This same story of beheading is central in the life of John the Baptist. Just as Odin, the leader of the Aesir, enlivens the severed head of Mimir, which foretells him of the beginning of the Final Judgement (Ragnarokr), so do the Christian parables tell us of the miraculous finding of the talking head of John the Baptist. Here it should be added that the warning of the Final Judgement from the head of Mimir is a direct parallel to the eschatological warning of the prophet John about the coming of the Messiah.

In our opinion, all of this can be explained by the existence of a united, primordial mythological complex that was rooted in the Indo-European peoples in primordial times. Historical outbreaks of this complex are always correlated with certain cyclical patterns and certain territories. The “inner continents” and their mythologies could slip across the planet together with their tribes, their bearers. They could be clearly fixed at certain places of the earth. They could be transferred from people to people. And finally, they could be integrated into different religious structures, thereby composing the archetypal unity of traditions. For us, the most important in all of this is identifying the specific logic of the archetypal tradition and its spiritual and symbolic content. The ethnoi which in this or that period became bearers of this Tradition soak in it, turning into theophoric (god-bearing) or idea-bearing ethnoi, thus becoming the earthly body of some kind of heavenly entity, a living idea, or an archangel.

Whatever might be the fleeting historical reasons behind the sacred association of these lands, and whatever peoples might have inhabited them, “Inner Russia” was, in its deepest dimension, identified with “earthly paradise”, with the territories of the Golden Age and, moreover, the symbolism of Hyperborea, Varahi, and the Vanir-Ivan tillers. Across the most different traditions, “Inner Russia” is constantly associated with none other than the ancient homeland of the free, immortal ancestors. To speak of a “national identity” of Paradise is quite ridiculous. It is for this reason that every upsurge in the unconscious archetypes of “mystical patriotism” in the Russian people has never been comparable to any ordinary, small nationalism. The Russians themselves call “Russians” all those who are in solidarity with them in their deep intuition of the sacrality of the lands upon which they live. This fundamentally distinguishes Russians from other peoples and, in particular, from other Slavs, who are much more soberly and rationally conscious of national boundaries. Although something of the sort has always been characteristic of truly imperial peoples, in Russia this was and is revealed in a special form with a special force.

Mystical Russia

Let us draw a few conclusions:

The self-consciousness of the peoples and nations traditionally inhabiting the territory of Russia is fundamentally connected with the specific, sacred geography of this territory.

In the complex of sacred geography, the lands of Russia occupy a central place in accordance with the ancient logic of astronomical and astrological correlations.

Consciousness of the uniqueness of Russia from the perspective of sacred geography largely determines the mystery of “Russian patriotism.”

“Russian patriotism” is imbued with a cosmic fate and is not only a fact of history. He who lives and learns Russia lives and learns the secret bequeathed to distant generations of ancestors who fought under the banner of Alexander the Great, galloped across the steppes among Tatar cavalry, worshipped the the Son of God in Byzantium, lit the sacred fires on the altars of Ahura-Mazda, listened to the teachings of the druids under the oaks of Europe, beheld in spiritual ecstasy the eternal dance of Shiva-Nataraja, built the ziggurats of Assyria, destroyed Carthage, and sailed the seas in boats with the curved neck of the Hyperborean Swan at the nose, always remembering the Heart of the World, the “golden heart of Russia” (Nikolai Gumilev) and “Mystical Russia.”

We are approaching an important spiritual milestone. Global forces are stretched to the limit, and in many ways the fate of our country today determines the fate of the planet. Therefore, it is important to break through to the depths of the sacrality of Russia and its prehistoric roots in order to understand its strange and sorrowful path, and to muster strength for the revival of this Holy Country and the rebirth of Continent Russia together with its secret, permafrost-covered center.

 

***

Footnotes:

[1] Jean Chevalier and Alain Gheerbrant, The Dictionary of Symbols (London: Penguin, 1996), 233.

[2] Mircea Eliade, L’épreuve de labyrinthe. Paris, 1985.

[3] See Alexander Dugin, The Metaphysics of the Gospel, Chapter 36.

[4]  From a theological point of view, there exists a huge difference between Tsar, King, and Prince. The Tsar is the Emperor, the Basileus, the head of the church-going Orthodox Empire who unites under his reign a number of countries, kingdoms, and principalities. The principle of the Emperor-Tsar is associated not only with temporal power but also with the mystery of “Katechon,” “the one who withholds,” while royal dignity belongs to an ontologically different, lower, secular and administrative level.

[5] Gaston Georgel, Les rythmes dans l’Histoire. Belfort, 1937.

 

 

© Jafe Arnold – All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without expressed permission.