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Empire or Nationalism?

We have become used to living under pax Americana that our analysis of almost all situations presupposes its continued existence, ironically even when such analysis calls for a new world…

We have become used to living under pax Americana that our analysis of almost all situations presupposes its continued existence, ironically even when such analysis calls for a new world order. Take as an example the proponents of ethnonationalism, in its most universalistic form, they demand that all peoples who aspire to a state of their own should be given one. Ethnonationalists argue this will prevent conflict by removing internal divisions over race and even ethnicity, to as large of a degree as possible. Furthermore, neighbouring countries will have fewer reasons to enter into conflicts, with their respective countrymen all being contained within a single state. We will have our little Flanders, little Scotland, and little Catalonia peacefully trading for their natural resources, following a global non-aggression principle. In their view there is no need for a united European state. These little statelets will form a defensive alliance that some ethnonationalists believe will be strong enough to prevent invasions from extra-European powers. But, anyone examining the historical record should find this ideology suspect. The entente powers split apart their opponents into relatively close approximations of ethnostates, compared to what came before. The fact that the greatest war in history came after this does not seem to bide well with the petty nationalist vision, perhaps real ethnonationalism has never been tried. They would reiterate that Germany started WW2 as a response to the dismemberment of their country, they would not be completely wrong. But, petty nationalists have no solution for the multiple other causes of conflict between states: to create defensible borders, to secure resources, secure captive export markets, build foreign military bases that can be used to project power, and in general to enlarge their spheres of influence. They handwave these aspects of foreign policy away, in the European context, with rather utopian sentiments of our common European brotherhood felt by today’s European nationalists, as if the feelings of people outside the halls of power will stay the same if they enter them. According to them trade will proceed as it does now, with or without the American empire; to say otherwise is to admit to chinks in their petty nationalist armour. Empire is unnecessary, “look today you can buy bananas in Moscow all the way from Central America”; what they forget is that the American post-WW2 system makes most of this unprotected global trade possible. The world that the petty nationalist desires, in fact, requires the existence of the American Empire.

Before we start discussing the faults with petty nationalism, it is important to discuss the unprecedented effect the American Empire has had on global trade. The importance of American naval supremacy cannot be overestimated. Prior to 1945 most trade was conducted within an imperial trading block or with immediate neighbours. As ocean going trade required a large navy to convoy ships to their ports of call, this was the primary role of the Royal Navy throughout most of its history. Since European powers might be involved in conflicts with each other, trade outside of your sphere of influence was quite risky since these imports would cease during war. Trading overseas was even more risky. The American system forced states within their Atlanticist sphere to decolonize, replacing the imperial trading block, where colonial powers extracted primary resources from colonies and used them as captive export markets, with the system of global and relatively free trade. Colonies once restricted to trading with their overlord now could trade with any nation and importantly, they were now open to American corporations.

There was a pax Britannica preceding the American order and global trade under this order grew to a degree, but this growth pales in comparison to the huge increases in trade post-1945. The growth of globalization has been a manifestation of the politics of the American order, rather than an emergent trend resulting from economics and technological progress. The United States created their order as a way of securing alliances against the threat of the Soviet Union. The huge American market was opened to their European and East Asian allies, allowing those states to trade their way back to prosperity. The United States cracked open the colonial world allowing both the victors and defeated powers of WW2 access to any natural resources they required, without military expansion or colonial holdings. The United States navy, virtually unchallenged globally, was committed to the freedom of the navigation, preventing any disruption of global sea trade. Subsequently, the price of shipping decreased drastically allowing supply chains that once were dispersed throughout a single country now to be dispersed throughout the world creating the global economy we have today.

Pax Americana

After the fall of the USSR, the United States opened this global system to practically the entire world. This brought on the biggest artificial boom in history; states that have never been wealthy in their existence can now use trade to offset serious geographic weaknesses. This has allowed global populations in agriculturally poor states, such as those in Africa and the Middle East, to explode. China and to a lesser extent India have seen a massive growth in GDP. China has progressively climbed the value-added ladder, making their economy more and more advanced all in thanks to trade with the United States. But, the underlying reason the United States created this system was not to promote order and prosperity in the 3rd world but to contain and defeat the Soviet Union. American cold war policy sought to prevent the formation of a Eurasian hegemon, which would have controlled most of the world’s oil, resources, and population. The fall of the Soviet Union undermines the American order’s reason for its own existence and has become a serious conundrum to the global order, one that has been only exacerbated by President Trump. Namely this order was created primarily for political reasons not economic ones, the economic growth was only a by-product. The reality of the demise of the USSR has finally caught up with the United States, they are asking themselves the questions of why they should support trade deals designed to buy alliances. Deals that usually were at the expense of American industry for a war that is over, why should they underwrite the defence of the NATO? This trend of shirking away from their position as leaders of the global order is only being accelerated by the shale revolution, which has now made the United States a net exporter of oil. The United States has few economic incentives to continue the global order; those who argue the United States should pay for global stability seem to be losing the debate. In fact, the American economy is the least dependent on foreign trade amongst all the major powers; this is even more apparent when you consider the largest sources of American trade is to its neighbors: Mexico and Canada. Therefore, little by little, the American order will retreat to North America, and likely continue to support a few key partners such as Britain and Australia.

Eventually, some crisis will force a state’s hand to attack a rival’s shipping, perhaps to interdict oil shipments back home. If the United States doesn’t respond this will trigger a slow return to the old norm of naval power determining the reach of a countries merchant marine. As an aside, this could be triggered by an East-Asian tanker war over diminished gulf oil exports due to a direct Saudi Arabian-Iran military conflict disrupting production. The future order the petty nationalists require may cease to exist in the coming decade. The small states of Europe will find themselves in a very different world where your next shipment of oil is no longer guaranteed, and your exports could have no buyer. Let us then return to analyzing the claims of the petty nationalists in regard to the future of Europe.

The internal cohesion of Europe is waved aside as a non-issue since most of today’s nationalists are united by the common crisis that is affecting every European ethnicity. Is that the proper basis from which a European order can be created? Greg Johnson outlines the petty nationalist position on minimizing intra-European crisis:

As for white fratricide: the best way to defuse white ethnic conflicts is not to combat “petty” nationalism but to take it to its logical conclusion. If different ethnic groups yoked to the same system are growing restive, then they should be allowed to go their own ways. Through moving borders and moving peoples, homogeneous ethnostates can be created, in which each self-conscious people can speak its own language and practice its own customs free from outside interference. Such a process could be mediated by a European treaty organization, which could insure that the process is peaceful, orderly, humane, and as fair as possible to all parties. (Johnson, 2015)

Geopolitical decisions in the petty-nationalist world are decided by morale principles rather than by cold calculations. They do not seem to consider the effects of these various decisions on the relative standing of the state in question to its competitors. Taking Quebec as a test case for these beliefs, under the petty nationalist world order Quebec would have long ago separated from the Canadian state. The Canadian state would surely be weakened by the loss of the vast natural resources of Quebec, its industrial base, and control over the St. Lawrence seaway which connects the Canadian core, Ontario, with the wider world. The fact that Quebec separatism was indulged on two separate occasions with a popular vote, and close ones at that, is indicative of the power of the American system. Losing such a large piece of territory would deprive that state of manpower, industry, resources, and provide an opportunity for rival powers to take this new state into their sphere of influence. This would only be compounded in the example of Quebec, where suddenly Canada would be cut off from its best ports in the East and from its most important trade route, the St. Lawrence. In the era preceding pax Americana, a successful separatist movement would have jeopardized the continued existence of a state by weakening its ability to defend itself. If Quebec were to have separated in the 19th or 20th century, Canada would likely have been absorbed by the United States. Today Canada could survive such an event because we are subjects of the American Empire. Today access to global resources markets and very likely the passage of goods through Quebec would be guaranteed, the United States not desiring economic chaos in its biggest trading partner. It is of no coincidence that separatism in states under the aegis of the American Empire is no longer considered a treasonous activity, unless that separatism is opposed to the American order of course. As well, it makes sense how in states outside of the American orbit, separatist regions and movements are not tolerated; examples can be seen in the Russian Federation and mainland China. The survival of these states as independent geopolitical entities means they do not have the luxury of supporting liberal moralism when it comes to the supposed right of self-determination.

Quebec Separatist protest during the 1960 Quiet Revolution

The existence of global American power and the European Union gives the illusion that small European states can adequately function as independent entities. States with indefensible borders, tiny populations, little resources, and even without any access to the sea can thrive today. There is a common line of thinking that the horrors of the two world wars have made conflict between European nations unthinkable. But, this is not due to some fundamental pacifistic enlightenment spread after the destruction of WW1 and WW2, where we eschew violence and competition with our neighbours. It is because of the once bipolar and now unipolar nature of the current era, that we exist in an imperial paradigm. In his article “Grandiose Nationalism”, Greg Johnson lauds this as the vindication of ethnonationalism, as smaller states once subject to the Soviet Empire free themselves from tyranny:

Since the fall of the Soviet Empire, the tendency in Europe has been toward  ethnonationalism, either by the Czech and Slovak road of peaceful partition or Yugoslav road of war and ethnic cleansing. What is a more realistic path to peace: putting Yugoslavia back together, then Czechoslovakia back together, then unifying them both in a single state, with all the rest of Europe — or allowing peoples with long historical grudges to completely disentangle their affairs and lead their own lives? What is more likely to produce European amity: a shotgun wedding or an equitable divorce? (Johnson, 2015)

But, these new states have not become truly independent entities. They quickly joined both NATO and the European Union for access to protection and the American global trading network. The use of military force as a means of furthering foreign policy aims has become unthinkable outside of Africa and the Middle East. To even consider that European states may enter into conflicts in the future, especially in the Northern European core, seems ludicrous. Geopolitical analysis is seen as something rather funny. It’s almost provincial to be concerned about the control of resources when any input the state needs can be purchased from almost anywhere on the planet. Not only can they be purchased, but they will arrive and arrive on time. Add to these conditions the overwhelming military superiority of America, where any aggressive action that destabilizes its order is dealt with punitively, and you can begin to see where our naive thinking on geopolitics comes from.

This is why Czechoslovakia can be split in two and it has little knock-on effects for the prosperity of the two nations as a whole. The Czech state need not be concerned with access to import and export markets, or even its own security. It does not even have to negotiate trade deals with its neighbours thanks to the European Union. The benefits of Slovak industry, manpower, and resources were useful to pre-war Czechoslovakia, but today the ability to defend your borders against aggressive neighbors is unnecessary. The emergent nation states that petty-nationalists laud are products of the very system they, generally speaking, oppose. If you take away this American pre-eminence and their control of the sea, which underwrites the existence of global trade, we land in a very different world. The Utopian thinking of the petty nationalist will be fundamentally challenged by the realities that states previously had to contend with in the pre-1945 world.

There is also a general pacifism in the views of the petty nationalists. This passage by Greg Johnson displays the naivete on the topic of foreign policy that is present in the petty-nationalist sphere:

The threat of non-white blocs should not be exaggerated. France, the UK, or Russia alone are militarily strong enough to prevail against anything that Africa, India, or the Muslim world can throw at us — provided, of course, that whites are again morally strong enough to take their own side in a fight. A simple alliance of European states would be able to deter any Chinese aggression. Thus a defensive alliance between European states would be sufficient to preserve Europe from all outside forces, whether they be armed powers or stateless masses of refugees and immigrants. (Johnson, 2015)

What is most interesting about this passage is what is missing; everything is about deterrence and defensive alliances, but what about the projection of power? This is where the uni-polar world of the American Empire rubs off on us the most. It is here that there remains a large degree of liberalism in the dissident right. Europe needs only to defends its own borders; it does not to contend for the domination of Eurasia. But, that leaves Europe in a very tight spot. Europe is practically at the mercy of Russia to supply almost all of its oil and natural gas. If Europe is to be united together even in a simple defensive alliance this fact becomes very problematic. In a world where the United States has evacuated from Europe, Russia can use its near monopoly over much of Europe’s supply of oil to bring nations along its border back into its orbit. Europe as a loose alliance would practically be defenseless since its enemy controls such an important commodity, like Damocles sword handing over Europe’s head. If the tiny states of the petty-nationalist dream are to remain sovereign, they will have to at least form some alliance for the mutual extraction of resources, most importantly oil. This means they must project power into the Middle-East, North Africa, and/or West Africa to gain control over the distribution of oil, as well as protecting the convoy routes bringing it back to Europe. That fundamentally means engaging with China, Russia, Turkey, Iran, etc in a great power conflict. That brings us back to the flaws in petty-nationalist thinking, how can this assortment of sovereign states with uncoordinated militaries project power to compete with these powerful rivals?

The economies of scale required to maintain an adequate defense has been continuously increasing throughout history. Take for example the Dutch republic, which successfully defended itself against the much more powerful states of Spain and neighboring France throughout its early years. Denmark resisted various German states attempts at expansion northwards for centuries. Compare the success of these states in defending themselves a few centuries later against the Wehrmacht. What were once defensible and relatively powerful states were now defeated in a matter of days. As warfare has industrialized, larger industrial bases are required for the production of more advanced weaponry. The R&D can be spread across different states, think the Eurofighter, as we see in Europe; but still small states cannot adequately adopt the full range of technologies required for a fully functional offensive military. This goes out the window if cooperation amongst European states were to break down. Designing cutting edge military hardware has become so very expensive, especially in terms of new aircraft, the per unit cost would be unaffordable for most states if the research was done alone. To utilize the full strength of combined arms in the 21st century requires a nation on the scale of the United States, Russia, or China. The cost of employing progressively more advanced weaponry prohibits small states from having capable defensive and especially offensive forces precluding substantial support from outside sources.

Military band of the Chinese people’s Liberation Army in Jiujiang.

A European military would be able to project power outside of Europe, securing valuable resources the continent does not have. In a world with America as an absent superpower, the ability to trade globally will be determined by the strength of one’s navy and their ability to defend crucial seagoing trade routes. Major European powers such as England, France, and Germany could, after rearmament, still be able take control of West African oil reserves; but to compete with China or Russia, especially in the Middle East, will be far easier with most of Europe, especially the north, united. Furthermore, united they would be able to control far more resources and to regain control over lost territories. The vacuum created by America could allow the Chinese, Russians, or some other power to gain control over a large percentage of the Eurasian oil and strategic resources. This would force Europe to enter into a subservient relationship even without a military defeat, threatening the future prosperity of the continent. Or in another scenario where oil output dramatically decreases as various actors within the Middle East and Asia engage in conflicts prevented by American largess; for example, an Iran-Saudi war over Iraq or the Saudi Oil fields themselves.

Petty-nationalists claim that uniting much of Europe into a single state will create the intra-European conflicts that unity was meant to prevent. Deeply rooted ethnic animosities would bring this pan-European state down in its infancy. But, as of 2020 constant predictions about the imminent collapse of the European Union have not precipitated. The European Union remains a broadly popular institution across the continent. The European Union has moved to increase its power progressively over time without much resistance. At least in the present order, if the EU moved to centralize powers much further, I cannot foresee any conflicts arising from this, as long as France and Germany were cooperating. Like all states touched by the destructive effects of liberalism, the European Union has very major flaws; but these are matched and superseded by most of the member state’s national governments such as the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. The talking point describing the EU as the key instrument of some Kalergi plan is ludicrous as foreign immigration has clearly been spearheaded by the member states. As was mentioned previously, a Europe of sovereign states will be likely be dependent on foreign powers for its resources. Europe could be a location of proxy battles between extra-European great powers as they compete with each other for control of the Eurasian world island. A united Europe would be far less susceptible to interference by foreign states peeling off European nations into their spheres of influence.

Surely there will be conflict within a pan-European system and there will be a core population(s) which dominates the state. But, there has never existed these free and “sovereign” nations of petty nationalist dreams. Strong nations whether or not they are within a political union will come to exert large degrees of control over their weaker neighbours. In the case of pan-Europeanism, this relationship has been formalized allowing the greater integration of European militaries and economies into a global power more capable of projecting power. Poorer nations to the east and South will obviously have less of influence in the direction of such an empire compared to the wealthier Northern European states, but since the beginning of the industrial era this has clearly been the norm. The choice is not over a Europe of sovereign nation states proudly independent, but still respectful of each other, or Empire. It is between larger European nations, as they have always done, dominating the weaker states or an Empire that formalize this conflict inside its imperial system. Obviously, such a state will not be unitary but will be federal in nature; this could actually allow the partial autonomy of smaller nations like Catalonia that the petty- nationalists desire. The economy, military, science, and foreign policy would be controlled at the European wide level.

In fact, the European Union as an institution could be the fertile ground where Europe reforms itself as American power recedes. In this post-American scenario, no one state can partially monopolize the use of force to further its foreign policy objectives. In this world, the scope of useful state policies will decrease dramatically. The liberal dogmas concerning immigration and race will become impediments to national cohesiveness. The feminized society is not a society conducive to struggle. The attack on every western states core population will necessarily be stopped. The end of the prosperity and peace of the American era would likely act like Darwinism in the realm of politics. Due to the selection factors of the American order, states could follow liberalism to its ultimate logical conclusion. Prior to this order, decadent nations could not persist without reforming or falling to more virile external forces. The destructive effects of liberalism while still acting were at least held back by the necessity of national defense, that all changed in 1945 and radically accelerated after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

This Darwinism at the level of the state can be clearly viewed by comparing the early years of the Soviet Union with the Stalinist era. The Soviet Union attempted radical anti-hierarchical and feminist experiments during its inception. Many of the progressive policies of the Soviet Union were subsequently put on hold and reversed as the Soviet Union was threatened by outside powers, especially at the start of WW2. Stalin eliminated abortion as a means of increasing population growth during the great patriotic war. Many ideological leftist dogmas that threatened the state’s ability to make war were thrown aside while many of those previously associated with reaction were brought back. Russian nationalism and a subservient church were far more useful for the expansion and war making ability of the Soviet State than internationalism and radical experiments in family organization. This occurred out of necessity, either a state reforms and abandons degenerative policies or eventually it would be defeated by its rivals.

There is likely not much we can do prior to the challenging of American power by some exterior force. When that day comes the political sphere will open as some elites will search for useful ideas as to how to strengthen the ailing American state. We must be there with a coherent set of ideas that will be useful for the searching elite in the coming post-liberal era. The same will occur in Europe; there are already some stirrings in the water from President Macron about the need for a European army in a post NATO future. Macron has signaled a slight change in tack on the immigration question, perhaps it is a cynical ploy to steal attention from National Rally. Or it could be the beginnings of a European reorientation responding to the absenteeism of the American superpower. If our ideas are correct, the stop-gap benefit of mass immigration which is aimed at combating the very real problem of our aging demographics will quickly become a liability for various states survival in a more chaotic world. A distinctly possible scenario where the EU fractures as a response to the withdrawal of American support, and likely Russian interference, would lead to a far worse conflict than tensions between different constituent EU member states, which are constrained within the bureaucratic framework of the EU. Europe’s declining population is already requiring extra-European export markets for a growing percentage of industrial and luxury goods. Without the ability to sell these items abroad at competitive rates; Europe faces severe economic problems as a norm, especially combined with the ever-growing public spending associated with an aging population. This could lead more powerful states within the EU, out of economic necessity, to force neighbors into subservient relationships to create some market for their goods, acquire natural resources, and to use military technology created with the excess production. A state encompassing most of the Europe could apply these energies outside of Europe, particularly towards securing oil reserves and export markets in the Middle East and West Africa as well as containing an aggressive Russia, moving west in search of more defensible borders.

Ernst Junger, 1920

Now that we have questioned whether the world desired by universalist ethnonationalists is possible, let us ask the question, is it even desirable? If you could supply all of Europe with the resources it needs to function, ensure its defense, and prevent conflict: would it be good to carve Europe into many independent states? If your only goal was the survival of individual European ethnic groups and some sort of traditionalist cultural rejuvenation, then this position would be sufficient. Given the history of the European civilization, this does not seem to be a sufficiently lofty goal for the Faustian man. To be cocooned in our respective countries untroubled by the outer world but also not exerting our will to power upon it, is an unsatisfying future. The true universalistic ethnonationalist position resembles only a slightly altered version of Francis Fukuyama’s own prediction. A world of ethnostates, stable due to homogeneity, frozen in place due to a lack of conflict. If you followed the logic of the proponents of ethnonationalism you would find history over, completed. It is easy to choose interesting times over stability from the comfort of your own home. But, who on the right can look through history and wish there will be no more empires to rival Rome, no grand conquests, no new mythic battles like Trafalgar and Agincourt? To make sure the surely unpleasant and violent, but oftentimes heroic, side of human nature stays in the history books. We would create no men in our own times to rival Ernst Junger, a true aristocratic of the soul. We would be left with a civilization stuck in the Spenglerian “culture” phase; either reproducing the same styles of art, architecture, and music that has come before or following the rabbit hole of deconstructionism further into the abyss. Perhaps the advanced technics of such a civilization could stop external enemies from defeating it, even for centuries. Such nations would be like enclaves depicted in the film Zardoz, highly civilized but ultimately stagnant.

That is why we must support Empire over our continued obsessions with little nation states. Even if these states could survive and even thrive after the decline of the American Empire, it would only lead to our own spiritual deaths. Faustian man needs to finally embrace the Spenglerian “civilization” phase of our existence. To unite the different European peoples under one flag, giving us the power to step away from the precipice we are inching towards. Then to spread our flag to the different corners of the globe, to create an Empire worthy of those that came before. We must think on a grand scale, first to ensure our premier place on this planet, to protect its environmental viability, and to provide enough resources so we can look towards the stars. It might never be possible to economically mine distant asteroids or to create self-sufficient colonies on Mars. But, this to me seems like a much more inspiring future than to aspire to a return to the small states and the small scale thinking of a bygone era. We should strive for a future where the full range of human existence is possible, both comfort and security but also the self-actualization through combat, which Junger and others have described. Perhaps the dream of a united Europe is also not possible without American military support; that the European nations will fall into conflict as the demographic replacement leads to our civilizational eclipse. But, let us aim for a future that is grander and far more interesting with new cultures, new empires, and new horizons than mere existence, as prescribed by the petty nationalists.


REFERENCES

  1. Johnson, Greg. “Grandiose Nationalism”. Counter Currents. February 6, 2015. https://www.countercurrents.com/2015/02/grandiose-nationalism/.
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It’s Called the Death of the West

Now that even our YouTube live streams get shadowbanned like a controversial Twitter account, you will want to use that (not-so-sweet) quarantine leisure to keep up with the latest RADIX discussions!

Now that even our YouTube live streams get shadowbanned like any truly controversial Twitter account, you will want to make sure to use that (not-so-sweet) quarantine leisure to keep up with the latest RADIX discussions!

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Beyond NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization came into being on April 4, 1949, in Washington, DC. NATO’s first Secretary General, Lord Ismay, described its purpose with rare candor: “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

Today, some 67 years after the signing of the treaty and 77 years after the war that precipitated it, it is time to take a hard look at NATO and reach an inevitable conclusion—it has to go.

The geopolitical enemies that justified the creation of NATO—National Socialist Germany and the Soviet Union—have long since disappeared from the world stage. They have been replaced by new threats, both conventional and unconventional, that cannot be adequately faced through NATO and are, indeed, exacerbated by NATO’s antiquated defense orientation. There is a great deal of truth to Richard Sakwa’s caustic assessment that Washington is trapped in a “fateful geographical paradox—that Nato exists to manage the risks created by its existence.”  

For the good of the United States and our allies in Europe, NATO must be dismantled and replaced with a new, updated organization prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Introduction

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization came into being on April 4, 1949, in Washington, DC. NATO’s first Secretary General, Lord Ismay, described its purpose with rare candor: “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”[1]

Today, some 67 years after the signing of the treaty and 77 years after the war that precipitated it, it is time to take a hard look at NATO and reach an inevitable conclusion—it has to go.

The geopolitical enemies that justified the creation of NATO—National Socialist Germany and the Soviet Union—have long since disappeared from the world stage. They have been replaced by new threats, both conventional and unconventional, that cannot be adequately faced through NATO and are, indeed, exacerbated by NATO’s antiquated defense orientation. There is a great deal of truth to Richard Sakwa’s caustic assessment that Washington is trapped in a “fateful geographical paradox—that Nato exists to manage the risks created by its existence.”[2]

For the good of the United States and our allies in Europe, NATO must be dismantled and replaced with a new, updated organization prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The Origins of “Atlanticism”

NATO, like most treaties, is inescapably a product of its time. The Atlanticist school of thought was based on the idea of a strategic bond between the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe.[3] But this no longer has the hard geopolitical grounding it did in the days of the Interwar and Cold War periods. There is no longer a hostile superpower on the eastern edge of the Atlantic sphere. And the familiar binary of “Freedom vs. Socialism” is no longer a useful model for describing the ideological and political divisions in today’s world.

Reality has moved on, but Atlanticism has stayed put.

1. Hitler’s Germany

Adolf Hitler’s Germany was the main threat to Atlanticist (that is, British, French, and American) power up until the end of the Second World War in 1945. Despite Germany’s leniency towards retreating British forces in the early days of the war, and its attempts at a reconciliation with London, Churchill’s Britain was fundamentally unable to accept a peace agreement.[4]

The continuation of the war required a willing ally in the United States, provided by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Lend-Lease and the Atlantic Charter of 1941 were early indications of this Atlantic alignment against continental power (centered in Berlin). The “Allies” coalition and United Nations followed, and were crystallized in postwar NATO. The Atlantic Charter was ratified by Washington and London on August 14, 1941—months before the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States’ full entrance into the war. Lend-Lease, which supplied materiel to the UK, France, China, and Soviet Union, was begun even earlier, in March of that year. While Lend-Lease demonstrated Washington’s commitment to defeating Germany, the Atlantic Charter outlined the Atlanticist vision of the world after the war: free trade, freedom of the seas, “self-determination” of individual nation-states (with echoes of The League of Nations and Woodrow Wilson), and global cooperation for social welfare and the disarmament of “aggressor states.”[5]

While the Allies were assembled primarily to defeat Germany, NATO was designed to keep it defeated. And after near-total physical destruction in 1944-45, the replacement of existing German political institutions with U.S.-created ones, and an extensive policy of “de-nazification,” West Germany became a U.S. protectorate. (An analogous process with East Germany occurred in the Soviet sphere.) Put bluntly, Germany was humiliated, divided, and neutered. And even after reunification in 1990, it has never presented a real threat to Washington’s objectives.

2. Stalin’s Russia

While Germany inspired NATO’s precursors, Stalin’s Soviet Union inspired NATO itself.[6] After extensive cooperation with the Atlantic powers during the Second World War, the USSR became the chief competitor to the United States, Britain, and France immediately following 1945. In the wake of the annihilation of Hitler’s Germany, the Soviet Union became such a threat that the Allies developed a contingency plan “to impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire.”[7] Though this plan remained unimplemented due to its low odds of success—and potentially catastrophic consequences—the geopolitical balance of power between the two superpowers (the U.S. and the USSR) was set in stone for the next four decades. The Cold War had begun.

Predictable economic, political, and moral problems eventually led to the collapse of the Soviet Union in the chaotic period of 1989-91.[8] The Russian Federation, the legal successor state to the USSR, was half the size of its predecessor in population. American interests quickly waged economic war on a weakened Russia, manipulated major elections[9], and expanded the influence of NATO and U.S.-backed organizations like the European Union, all the way into former Soviet states on Russia’s border.

In February 1990—after the Berlin Wall had been dismantled but before the Soviet Union had dissolved—Washington and Moscow negotiated the reunification process for Germany. West Germany would effectively absorb East, and the new state would enter NATO; however, James Baker (George H. W. Bush’s Secretary of State) offered “ironclad guarantees that NATO’s jurisdiction or forces would not move eastward,” according to declassified transcripts.[10]

Baker’s “Not one inch eastward” was a promise Washington was unwilling to keep. By the turn of the century, NATO membership had been offered to Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland, followed a few years later by Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania. This was accompanied by NATO’s “humanitarian” bombing campaign in Yugoslavia (a traditional Russian ally), and Washington’s attempts, in conjunction with various non-governmental organizations, to inspire changes of regime in various countries in the former Soviet sphere (the “Color Revolutions”).[11]

It is understandable that Russian foreign-policy makers view NATO, not as a “defensive” organization, but as one bent on encircling Russia, perhaps even engaging in regime change in Moscow. Moreover, despite the American and Western European media’s depiction of Russian military activity in Ukraine and Syria as “aggressive,” the geopolitical reality is that they are last-ditch attempts to prevent U.S. encroachment into Russia’s remaining circle of influence around its own borders and few foreign military bases. A Russian invasion of Western Europe, let alone the American mainland, is the stuff of a fever dream or Hollywood blockbuster.

New Enemies, New Threats

While Germany has been remade into a vassal and Russia, displaced from superpower status,[12] threats to the United States and Europe have not subsided—they’ve multiplied. The new threats do not come from traditional European great powers, however, but from a number of non-European states and unconventional non-state actors. History has not ended, as Francis Fukyama imagined in the 1990s,[13] but has taken unforeseen and unpredictable turns.

1. The Specter of Radical Islam

The morning of September 11, 2001, marked a turning point in America’s place in the world. Radical Islamic terrorism— inspired by Wahhabi Islam out of Saudi Arabia—established itself as a major threat to Western hegemony and set the stage for the next decade of American foreign policy.[14]

Islamic terrorism, as it is understood today, did not exist during the creation of NATO in 1949, and was effectively unthinkable. Arab states spent the Cold War mostly aligned with the atheist Soviet Union, and they flirted with secular pan-Arab nationalism (the Ba-ath Party, founded in 1947 and existing to this day, being a prime example). It was not until the late 1970s that the seeds of contemporary Islamic terrorism were sown, ironically, largely by the U.S. and its NATO allies.[15]

Even before the Soviet Union’s ill-advised entrance into Afghanistan in 1979, Washington had funded and trained radical Muslim insurgents in the region.[16] During the 10-year Soviet-Afghan War, the U.S. used these non-state actors (“the Mujahideen”) as pawns to be played against a greater power. It was a strategy with terrible unintended consequences, as the networks and individuals (which included none other than Osama bin Laden) would soon exchange one “Great Satan” for another.

After two major U.S. wars in the Muslim world and an international “War on Terror” that has stretched on more than a decade, radical Islamism has not been defeated; it has exploded.[17] Buoyed and supported discreetly by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Western (particularly U.S.) intelligence agencies playing fast-and-loose with Islamic proxy groups, Islamic terrorists have attained a greater position than ever before. This dangerous strategy is particularly obvious in the current Syrian war.

Their reach is evidenced by more frequent, more violent, and more brazen attacks on civilian and military targets in France, Germany, Belgium, and the U.S. mainland, such as the recent atrocities committed in Paris, Nice, and San Bernardino. NATO’s conventional military structure is ill suited for dealing with non-state threats like these, to put it mildly. Garrisons stretched across the European continent—which made NATO powerful in confronting the Soviet Union—are close to useless in addressing the challenge of Islamic terrorism.

2. Turkey—A Dangerous Ally

In 1951, Turkey joined NATO as a junior partner. Today, an increasingly Islamist and assertive Turkey, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, dreams of re-creating the Ottoman Empire.[18] Erdogan’s moves have directly supported and emboldened radical Islamic terrorist groups, destabilized the Middle East, and threatened the safety of millions of Europeans who are supposedly under U.S. protection.

Turkey’s substantial support of the Islamic State (IS) and other criminal groups in Syria is an open secret.[19] Moreover, Turkey’s complicity in the 2015-16 “refugee” crisis continues to endanger Europeans and Americans. Its control over the flow of millions of non-European migrants who want to reach Europe is an unacceptable bargaining chip that has corroded European sovereignty and security. Ankara has exploited its geographic location, promising to cut the refugee flow for billions of Euros in aid and accelerated EU membership talks.[20] Attempts by Turkey to reassert its erstwhile dominance over the Balkan Peninsula (which includes Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, and Greece) can be expected if NATO remains as it is.

3. Managing the Rise of China

Enmeshed in a brutal civil war until 1950, China was not an immediate threat to U.S. or European interests, despite the eventual victory of Mao Zedong’s Communist forces over the nationalist Kuomintang and the alignment of China with the Soviet Union.

China’s fortunes turned around considerably in the 1970s under the reign of Deng Xiaoping, following the death of Chairman Mao. China was on the rise as early as 1971-72, with the transfer of the permanent Chinese seat on the United Nations Security Council from the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the People’s Republic of China and U.S. President Richard Nixon’s famous “visit to China.”[21]

Today, with the world’s largest population, China’s economy is greater than the United States by some measures.[22] The Chinese leadership is putting its newfound might to use militarily, testing their reach in the South China Sea and elsewhere.

Speculation about a Chinese superpower has not been unfounded. Though economic relations are good and military confrontation is unlikely, China’s trajectory puts it on a direct collision course with the U.S. presence in Asia, in the form of military installations in Japan and South Korea. Indeed, being that America and China have achieved such economic interdependence —a relationship commonly known as “Chimerica”–Washington should seriously consider continuing such a presence, which can only be viewed by Beijing as a threat or expression of superiority.

Chinese intelligence operations and cyber-warfare will only intensify in the United States and NATO-aligned countries as time goes on. Much as with terrorism, NATO is neither equipped nor designed to deal with this kind of threat coming from this region of the world.

4. The Collapse of Mexico

Mexico has never been a paragon of stability and security, but the total collapse of the Mexican state and surrender to narco-terrorists and drug cartels in the last 20 years is unprecedented. With a relatively unguarded 2,000-mile border with the United States, Mexico’s colossal drug trade and the associated violence have spilled over into the U.S.[23] Such chaos has rendered some areas of the United States effectively controlled by Mexican drug cartels, according to local law enforcement.[24] This violation of national sovereignty should be of paramount concern, but goes unaddressed, while Washington pursues spectacular boondoggles in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

The outdated, Eurasian orientation of NATO has more than a little to do with this failure of defense policy. The threat posed by non-state actors in Mexico to the United States homeland is not just outside the bounds of NATO but unrecognizable to it. Without a major change in defense and foreign policy, particularly policy regarding NATO, incursions across the U.S. border will only increase without any way for U.S. defense forces to reorient themselves away from Eurasia and towards Central America.

Replacing NATO

In the seven decades since the formation of NATO, the greatest threats to U.S. and European security have shifted from Russia and Germany to the Middle East, China, and Mexico. The dissolution of NATO would require a new treaty or set of treaties to formalize a foreign policy current with the latest geopolitical developments.

This new defense orientation would require the following three key principles.

1. Cooperation with Russia

American policy towards Russia since 1991 has consistently been one of aggression, typically cloaked under the guises of economic and political “development.” Based largely off Cold War inertia, this policy culminated in the 2013-14 U.S.-backed coup in neighboring Ukraine, which threw the country into chaos and prompted a military response from Russia.[25]

The threat of nuclear war—Russia inherited the Soviet Union’s entire arsenal—precludes an attempt to intimidate or force Russia into submission. The threats from Islamic terrorism, a rising Turkey, and an ascendant China require cooperation with the only significant power in the region with major exposure to all three—Russia.

Recognition of the changes in the security situation since 1949 requires sincere cooperation with Russia and the cession of Russia’s traditional sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, the Caucuses, and Central Asia. A stable power equilibrium will need to be reached to defend against external threats common to both the U.S. and Russia.

2. Reviving Western Europe

Western Europe has depended heavily on the U.S. military for defense since the end of the Second World War. Size and spending of the U.S. military dwarf those of Washington’s closest European allies and former colonial powers.[26]

With the Soviet Union broken up and Russia returned to its traditional status, it is time to also break up the unnecessary American “empire” in Europe. The dissolution of NATO must send a strong message to Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and the rest of Europe that they must defend themselves.

The defense of Europe from Soviet Communism required tremendous American might and a unified military command, but the threats faced by Europe today require strong national militaries, intelligence services, and borders. Cooperation between the U.S., Europe, and Russia must be done on the basis of sovereign states with mutual interests, not clients servicing behemoths and far-off imperial capitals.

Europeans, in turn, must get tough and recognize that the American shield they have lived under for some 70 years will, eventually, vanish, due to Washington’s unwillingness to maintain Cold War-era military structures or its bankruptcy.

3. An Eye to Common Threats

The threats to Atlantic security outlined above—Islamic terrorism, Turkey, and China—also directly threaten the states of Europe and Russia. (Mexico is a North American problem.)

Europe and Russia[27] are prime targets of Islamic radicals in the Middle East, both due to interventions in the Middle East and large, troubling Muslim minorities at home that provide safe haven to terrorists. Russia’s bipolar relationship with Erdogan’s Turkey is well-known, as is Europe’s combative and losing diplomatic war against him. China, though a tentative ally of Russia, is eyeing sparsely-populated Siberia.[28] Chinese money flows freely into Europe, buying property and influence.

A post-NATO U.S. foreign policy needs to be based on countering the common threats faced by the U.S., our European allies, and the Russian Federation.

Conclusion

The change in the geopolitical situation since 1991 demands the dissolution of NATO and a common pan-European defense policy that allows the United States, Europe, and Russia to work as allies against clear and rising threats from across the globe, rather than repeat the unsustainable and outdated dynamics of the Cold War.

While the 20th century might have demanded NATO, the 21st century requires something very different. In this regard, it’s helpful to return to Lord Ismay’s famous trinity of “out,” “down,” and “in.” The U.S. needs to keep, not Russians, but Islamic radicals out of Europe. The Germans do not need to be kept down, but the Turks and Chinese most certainly do. And it’s debatable whether America needs to be in Europe at all.


  1. Jospeh Nye, The Paradox of American Power (London: Oxford University Press, 2002), 33. ↩︎
  2. Richard Sakwa, Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands (London: I.B.Tauris, 2015), 4. ↩︎
  3. Tim Dunne, “‘When the shooting starts'”: Atlanticism in British security strategy,” International Affairs, Vol. 80, October 2004, 893–909. DOI: 10.1111/j. ↩︎
  4. Benjamin Schwarz, ”Rethinking Negotiation With Hitler,” New York Times, November 24, 2000, accessed October 1, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/25/arts/rethinking-negotiation-with-hitler.html. ↩︎
  5. Douglas Brinkley and David Facey-Crowther (Eds.), The Atlantic Charter, The World of the Roosevelts (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994). ↩︎
  6. “A Short History of NATO,” North Atlantic Treaty Organization, accessed October 1, 2016, http://www.nato.int/history/nato-history.html. ↩︎
  7. David Reynolds, From World War to Cold War: Churchill, Roosevelt, and the International History of the 1940s (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006), 250. ↩︎
  8. Leon Aron, “Everything You Think You Know About the Collapse of the Soviet Union Is Wrong,” Foreign Policy, June 20, 2011, accessed October 1, 2016, http://foreignpolicy.com/2011/06/20/everything-you-think-you-know-about-the-collapse-of-the-soviet-union-is-wrong/. ↩︎
  9. Michael Kramer, “Rescuing Boris: The Secret Story of How Four U.S. Advisors Used Polls, Focus Groups, Negative Ads and All the Other Techniques of American Campaigning to Help Boris Yeltsin Win,” Time, July 15, 1996, Vol. 148, Issue 4, accessed October 1, 2016, http://people.bu.edu/tboas/Kramer.pdf. ↩︎
  10. Mary Elise Sarotte, “Not One Inch Eastward? Bush, Baker, Kohl, Genscher, Gorbachev, and the Origin of Russian Resentment toward NATO Enlargement in February 1990,” Diplomatic History, Vo. 34, No. 1, January 2010.

    Joshua Shifrinson, “”Not an Inch East”: How the West Broke Its Promise to Russia,” November 3, 2014, accessed October 1, 2016, http://russia-insider.com/en/germany_military_politics_ukraine_opinion/2014/11/05/04-31-59pm/not_inch_east_how_west_broke_its.

  11. See Andrew Korybko, “Hybrid Wars: Syria & Ukraine,” Oriental Review, March 11, 2016, accessed October 1, 2016, http://orientalreview.org/2016/03/11/hybrid-wars-2-testing-the-theory-syria-and-ukraine/. ↩︎
  12. Ashley Wiederhold, “Russia: Not The Super Power It Once Was,” World Policy Journal, World Policy Institute, April 25, 2014, accessed October 1, 2016, http://www.worldpolicy.org/blog/2014/04/25/russia-not-super-power-it-once-was. ↩︎
  13. Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (New York: Free Press, 1992). ↩︎
  14. George Friedman, “9/11 and the 9-Year War,” Stratfor Geopolitical Weekly, Stratfor Enterprises, September 8, 2010, accessed October 1, 2016, https://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20100907_911_and_9_year_war. ↩︎
  15. Deepak Tripathi, Breeding Ground: Afghanistan and the Origins of Islamic Terrorism (Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2011). ↩︎
  16. Robert Gates, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996), 145-46. ↩︎
  17. Lauren B. O’Brien, “The Evolution of Terrorism Since 9/11.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 8, 2011, accessed October 1, 2016, https://leb.fbi.gov/2011/september/the-evolution-of-terrorism-since-9-11. ↩︎
  18. Ishaan Tharoor, “Why Turkey’s President Wants to Revive the Language of the Ottoman Empire,” Washington Post, December 12, 2014, accessed October 1, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/12/12/why-turkeys-president-wants-to-revive-the-language-of-the-ottoman-empire/. ↩︎
  19. Nafeez Ahmed, “The elephant in NATO’s room: state-sponsorship of Daesh,” Medium, July 22, 2016, accessed October 1, 2016, https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/turkeys-secret-pact-with-islamic-state-exposed-by-operative-behind-wave-of-isis-attacks-6b35d1d29e18#.nu9tjjkv7. ↩︎
  20. “EU, Turkey: In Search of a Lasting Migrant Deal,” Stratfor, June 9, 2016, accessed October 1, 2016, https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/eu-turkey-search-lasting-migrant-deal. ↩︎
  21. Margaret MacMillan, Nixon and Mao: The Week That Changed the World (New York: Random House, 2007). ↩︎
  22. Ben Carter, “Is China’s Economy Really the Largest in the World?” BBC News, British Broadcasting Corporation, December 16, 2014, accessed October 1, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30483762. ↩︎
  23. Yelena Tuzova, “Cartels at war: Mexico’s drug-fueled violence and the threat to US national security,” Small Wars & Insurgencies, Vol. 24, Issue 4, 2013, 769-70. ↩︎
  24. Jerry Seper and Matthew Cella, “Signs in Arizona Warn of Smuggler Dangers,” Washington Times, August 31, 2010, accessed October 1, 2016, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/aug/31/signs-in-arizona-warn-of-smuggler-dangers/. ↩︎
  25. Conn Hallinan, “NATO’s Dangerous Game: Bear-Baiting Russia,” Foreign Policy In Focus, Institute for Policy Studies, May 2, 2016, accessed October 1, 2016, http://fpif.org/natos-dangerous-game-bear-baiting-russia/. ↩︎
  26. Adam Taylor and Laris Karklis, “This Remarkable Chart Shows How U.S. Defense Spending Dwarfs the Rest of the World,” Washington Post, February 9, 2016, accessed October 1, 2016, http://fpif.org/natos-dangerous-game-bear-baiting-russia/. ↩︎
  27. Gillis, Charlie. “Unwanted Exposure.” Maclean’s 127.2 (2014): 28-29. Academic Search Complete. Web. 17 Sept. 2016. ↩︎
  28. Frank Jacobs, “Why China Will Reclaim Siberia,” International New York Times, January 13, 2015, accessed October 1, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/07/03/where-do-borders-need-to-be-redrawn/why-china-will-reclaim-siberia. ↩︎
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Why the Conservative Movement Needs Dugin

What is needed is an enemy that the Beltway Right can portray as fascist–preferably White–so that the Left won’t be able to deploy their usual taunts about “bombing brown people,” and an entity that doesn’t threaten the corporate interests that own the conservative movement.  Putin’s Russia fits all of these characteristics. 

Russia, the Necessary Enemy

American conservatism is a scam.  The “movement” exists to exploit the symbols, institutions, and figures associated with White America in order to get those same people to support an agenda that displaces and destroys them. The various elites governing the Hollow Empire based in Washington get to use the power of the United States to destroy their own enemies and the rent-seekers in the Beltway Right get to play the game, feel important, and make a living.  Nothing positive is ever accomplished, but then, that is the point.

It’s a delicate balance, as White Americans have to be fed enough nationalism to be willing to fight for Old Glory, but not enough so that they actually have a sense of themselves as a people with authentic traditions or collective interests.  The scam breaks down if White Americans are ever offered an alternative that allows them, for once, to fight in their own self-interest.  Therefore, much of the resources of the Beltway Right are dedicated to stamping out anything that can’t be fully controlled and reframing it as a deadly threat to right thinking conservatives.  Usually this takes the form of calling it “fascist” somehow.  There’s Eco-fascism, Islamo-fascism, and of course, liberal fascism.

Of course, the best solution is a foreign enemy.  Unfortunately for the noodle armed field marshals of American conservatism, credible enemies are getting harder and harder to find these days.  True, Sunni Muslims under the banner of ISIS are carving out a mini-Caliphate in the area we were supposed to have “liberated.”  But if the United States does anything about this, it will mean aligning with Iran, which Americans have been told for the last decade or so was the next Nazi Germany.  Not surprisingly, most Americans are more disgusted with our own blundering leadership than outraged at the chaos in Iraq.

China is increasingly aggressive in the Pacific, but the same American business interests that own the conservative movement are not likely to welcome a Cold War with the country that makes all of their crappy products.  Armed Mexican troops habitually cross into American territory but for obvious reasons, American conservatives don’t want to create a scenario that would create pressure to actually solve the immigration crisis by locking down the border Israeli style.

What is needed is an enemy that the Beltway Right can portray as fascist–preferably White–so that the Left won’t be able to deploy their usual taunts about “bombing brown people,” and an entity that doesn’t threaten the corporate interests that own the conservative movement.  Putin’s Russia fits all of these characteristics.  Glenn Beck can giggle about opposing “hetero-fascism.”  Conservatives can flatter themselves that they are fighting a conventional White army, thus re-enacting the eternal drama of the “Good War” against the “tyranny” of militaristic Europeans wearing scary uniforms.  And perhaps best of all, Russia’s reliance on energy supplies and consolidation of its assets under Gazprom means that American corporations actually can point to something they don’t control.  If Putin’s Russia can be broken, American companies actually have something to gain.

If Putin’s Russia did not exist, the Beltway Right would have had to create it.  The only thing that is missing is the ideological dimension.  Russell Kirk famously defined conservatism as the “negation of ideology,” but American conservatives have largely ignored his teachings in practice.  (After all, it’s not like they followed his endorsement of Pat Buchanan and his warning about Israeli influence.)  Instead, the American Right has built a movement around a series of abstractions, “values” that can be professed as timeless while actually being readjusted to accommodate each new left wing cultural victory.

Similarly, enemies must also be defined in grand, sweeping terms and defined by ideological abstraction.  After all, national interests and Realpolitik would concede that the American nation and identity is concrete and limited rather than abstract and open to everyone who shares in its universal values of freedom, liberty, and democracy.  Therefore, we don’t just need an enemy, we need a creed to rally against.  And it must be defined as absolute evil.

This is difficult to do.  Vladimir Putin and his United Russia party lacks a systematic ideology, with the catchall of “sovereign democracy” losing prominence in recent years.  Instead, Putin is falling back on traditional Russian patriotism and the desire of the Russian people to once again have a strong voice in international affairs.  While Russian society has a certain degree of intellectual freedom compared to Europe when it comes to discussing issues of Tradition, Islamization, and White identity, the government persecutes dedicated White nationalists just as fanatically as any Belgian human rights council.   Opposition to “fascism” is the stated justification given to Russia’s intervention in its near abroad.  It’s hard to see Putin’s rule, characterized by an alliance with major business interests in the country as some kind of revolutionary nationalist regime.  Instead, it is an autocracy far more mild than the regimes of Pinochet or Franco (both supported by American conservatives in their day) designed to provide stability, economic growth, and a vague, non-ideological patriotism.

Fortunately for the Beltway Right, they discovered Alexander Dugin.  Dugin is one of the most important thinkers confronted by the American Dissident Right, and his complex and innovative theories are a constant source for inspiration and furious debate among English speaking traditionalists.  While holding to a somewhat caricatured view of Americans and our political tradition, his Fourth Political Theory provides a framework for Americans to work out the flaws in our own overarching liberal tradition, and his Eurasianism speaks to the most important geopolitical issues of the day.  Even those who radically disagree with him can help but rejoice to see serious ideas about Conservative Revolution entertained by men with institutional backing.

This is a threat to Conservatism Inc. which after a generation of repeating nonsense slogans has produced hacks who know nothing else.  After all, as Jonah Goldberg (who passes for an intellectual in the Beltway Right) says, both the American Right and Left are part of the “tribe of liberty” constantly fighti
ng to expand the “universality of human rights.”   The scam is up if Americans figure out “conservatism” might mean something more than Big Gulps and Enlightenment slogans that were nothing but half-baked dribble when first penned.  Therefore, when confronted with an alternative ideology of the Right, American conservatives react with far more frenzy and hostility than they can summon towards their supposed enemies on the Left.

So Much for Respectability

The job of stamping out Dugin’s influence among the Beltway Right has mostly (but not solely) fallen to Robert Zubrin at National Review.  Zubrin is known as one of the more influential proponents of Mars colonization and was a 2012 campaign footnote in influencing Newt Gingrich towards his politically disastrous musings on moon bases.  However, whereas Richard Spencer preaches space exploration as a kind of Faustian attempt to fulfill the Occidental imperative to be ever rising, Zubrin wants to do it to spread egalitarian humanism.  In space, no one can hear you scream – especially if it’s something undemocratic.

Zubrin also writes on energy policy, urging the United States to mandate flex-fuled vehicles and reduce American dependence on oil exports.  Obviously, this kind of approach is also eagerly embraced by conservatives angry at Putin’s ownership of gas and oil reserves and who want him to be enslaved to the financial establishment of London and New York.

He’s a ferocious opponent of environmentalism, placing an almost unlimited faith in human beings to overcome natural limits and population increase.  He believes in global warming but calls it a “good thing” that will make the Earth “more fertile.”  Of course, environmentalism also allows him to riff on the evils of immigration control, the Third Reich, and the why conservatives should welcome a Third World increase in population.

Naturally, like all good Beltway conservatives, Zubrin evidently believes that “freedom” resides in the dirt of North America (or, evidently, Mars) and therefore we can simply replace the American population with immigrants who will be taught to believe in whatever National Review comes up with this week.

In short, Zubrin is one of those cranks who enjoys the benefits of major media promoting his half-assed and superficial ideas about environmentalism, energy, and foreign policy because it serves the established order.  Unlike those who shriek about peak oil, chemtrails, or the Illuminati, everything Zubrin writes perfectly fits into the concrete interests of the American conservative movement.  The logical conclusion of what he writes is that we should continue to bring in as much cheap labor as possible, not worry about pollution, and basically assume everything will work out for the best.  When he confronts something that challenges this, like Dugin’s ideology, he becomes hysterical and we realize how utterly unhinged he and his sponsors really are, channeling science fiction more than anything that exists in this reality.

In S.M Stirling’s alternate history The Pershawar Lancers, the entire Northern Hemisphere is all but destroyed by an ecological disaster.  The British Empire relocates its capital to India and France shifts to Africa.  However, in Tsarist Russia, things take a darker turn.  Russia relocates to Samarkand, forming a dark empire based on mystical visions and human sacrifice that renounces the “Traitor Christ,” worships the pagan death god Chernobog, and seeks to bring about the end of the world.

Apparently, this is what Zubrin thinks is happening in Russia right now.  The magazine of the “respectable right” allowed him to argue that “[T]his time, our cold-war opponents will not be secular Communists, but true believers of a death-worshipping cult that would like to bring about the end of the world.”  Zubrin calls Dugin a “mad philosopher” whose work is marked by an association with “various Thule Society-like organizations,” the “anti-democratic European Nouvelle Droite,” and “Nazi theorists.”  In Zubrin’s eyes, Dugin’s philosophy is a combination of the anti-liberal creeds of Communism, Traditionalism (which is designed to eliminate free thought), and “demagogic” Ecologism.  “All the rest is straight out of Nazism.”

In fairness, Zubrin does accurately write that Dugin identifies the central enemy as the American, Atlanticist liberal world order which undermines more conservative forms of social organization.  However, instead of giving us a reason why people on the Right should militantly defend liberalism (classical or otherwise), Zubrin just keeps calling Dugin a Nazi.  When Dugin indulges in mysticism about the end of the age and the coming of new heroes, Zubrin says that this is an expression of Dugin’s willingness to literally end the world and kill us all.

But the piece de resistance is Zubrin’s identification of the Eurasianist symbol as the “eight pointed star of chaos.”  Evidently pivoting from The Pershawar Lancers to Warhammer 40K, Zubrin speaks of “Dugin’s worship of Chaos, and the adoption of the occult symbol of the eight-pointed ‘Star of Chaos’ as the emblem (and, when inscribed in gold on a black background, the flag) of the Eurasianist movement.”  In short, says, Zubrin, “Dugin’s Eurasianism is a satanic cult.”  In a triumphant conclusion, Zubrin successfully triggers “Godwin’s law,” comparing Dugin to Hitler.

Of course, back in the real world, it is Vladimir Putin who actually defended the Christian character of Europe and some pretense of traditional morality.  Dugin is not a worshipper of Nurgle, Lord of Decay or one of the other gods of Chaos that Zubrin picked up from his space fantasies — Dugin is an Old Believer in the Orthodox Christian tradition.  The Eurasianist logo is centered more on the idea of spatial expansion according to the laws of Geopolitics, not an occult sign of devotion to the dark gods.  And when Putin speaks on international relations, it tends to be the same disappointing liberal pap and World War II agitprop everyone else offers, not a cry of “Blood for the Blood God!  Skulls for the Skull Throne!

But let us be fair.  Zubrin is mostly quoting from a book hilariously entitled, “The American Empire Should Be Destroyed: Alexander Dugin and the Perils of Immanentized Eschatology”  (The American conservative movement continues to use the same crappy slogans even after fifty years of overuse).   The author is one James Heiser who is on the Board of Directors of the Mars Society (the “link,” as the SPLC would say).&nbs
p; He is also a Evangelical Lutheran Bishop – and, interestingly, one of the
featured speakers for the John Birch Society.  This is the same John Birch Society that National Review can’t stop bragging about “excommunicating.” 

Zubrin isn’t scared of conspiracy theories.  He has some of his own.  He accuses President Putin of being the “prime suspect” behind the death of 42 pro-Russian activists in Ukraine.  This is not a conspiracy theory akin to 9/11 Trutherism, Zubrin says, because the FSB (Russian intelligence) exists to “oppress” Russians.  In contrast, our own military-intelligence and police agencies exist to “protect” us.  After all, if an open-borders National Review contributor is telling us that the Washington regime has Middle America’s best interests at heart, that’s good enough for me

The Eternal Enemy to the Right

When it comes to policing the right, anything is permitted to Conservatism Inc.  National Review would never dream of calling Barack Obama “Satanic” or “evil” as he protects abortion, aggressively pushes homosexuality into public institutions, and does his best to ensure that Christians throughout the Middle East are purged from their historic communities.  However, these labels are gleefully deployed if they are directed against perhaps the leading Christian statesman in the world today, even if they are offered by cranks who seemingly base their work on Dungeons and Dragons.  The respectable Right would never quote the likes of the John Birch Society or various eschatological speculations to attack the American Left – but when it comes to someone on the Right, the gloves are off.  Anything is justified to make sure that White American Christians are convinced they are fighting the Antichrist instead of understanding that they have more in common with the Russian government than the one that rules the United States.   

But conservatism is a scam and Zubrin is one of those quacks that found a way to profit off it.  And the sad spectacle of degraded American patriotism, sophomoric phony theology, and egalitarian religion is proof enough that the scam is on its last legs.  That is a hopeful sign to be taken from this unedifying spectacle.  American conservatism can’t even fake an attraction for intelligent people anymore.  And the long overdue end to this pathetic huckstering might not just open up room for a “Fourth Political Theory.” It could open up a Second Political Alternative in the United States to that tired Enlightenment liberalism that the conservative movement has been protecting for so long.

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A Warning On Nationalism

Today, Ukraine is where methods of exerting influence from either side are put to the test. As propaganda becomes more sophisticated, the ways in which competing powers confront each other evolve as well. This much is certain: the protests on Kiev’s *Maidan* cannot be taken for face value.

Originally published at The Soul of the East

Three years ago I met Oleg Kalugin, the ex-KGB general whose well-known case of defection earned him the ire of the Russian authorities. In an interview, Kalugin once stated his belief that Vladimir Putin was “a temporary twist in history”, and perhaps this belief is why he found so much support among his American associates. I personally spoke with Kalugin on the future of Russia and its people, he told me it would be inevitable that Russia would collapse and break apart. Knowing the consternation that Americans often come to when dealing with the New Russia, is this the implicit goal of the Atlantic powers?

Even with the experience that Mr. Kalugin acquired in his time working for Soviet intelligence, he could not have not predicted Putin’s rise to power, describing the President as “a mere operative, one of the 3,000 who walked along our corridors”. It was twelve years ago that General Kalugin was found guilty in absentia for high treason. A known critic of the Putin administration, he became a naturalized citizen of the US and has remained there since. It seems like US government officials and turncoats alike are betting on the collapse of Russia, and it’s not uncommon to hear about a “crumbling” Russia from media commentary. But why does this mentality remain, and why are so many hopeful for the demise of the Russian state?

At the time of my meeting with Kalugin, before Ukraine and before Syria, I found no credence in spy’s forecast. Today the world has set its sights on Kiev as the cornerstone in determining who will take the lead in defining the century. Lines are being drawn and the terms of the game are being set. Make no mistake, a contest for hegemony is underway, and actions take precedence over ideology. Russia is not surrendering, and it is prepared to challenge the West in a way that perhaps only China has also done.

Today, Ukraine is where methods of exerting influence from either side are put to the test. As propaganda becomes more sophisticated, the ways in which competing powers confront each other evolve as well. This much is certain: the protests on Kiev’s Maidan cannot be taken for face value.

What can be said of the nationalists of Ukraine, whose employment of Nordic symbols and rhetoric runs directly opposed to some of the stated goals of the country’s new leadership? Although the Maidan riots began as the result of many groups participating, the breakthrough of Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) as the face of the Ukrainian uprising has attracted political fanatics of the right from other parts of the continent to join the protests. This was a deliberate move on the part of outside elements to lend them exposure and resources, knowing that European nationalists are usually on the side of Russia against the West. The matter is currently one of the most divisive topics among reactionary and nationalist political circles at the moment, and it has almost succeeded in undermining Putin’s most profound forms of overseas support. For all of the Russian media’s claims that the Ukrainian nationalists are the Wahhabists of Europe, the conclusion has solid premises, as unfortunate as that may sound. How is inviting foreign elements to fight in Kiev different from radical Islamists from the UK and US joining their brothers in Syria?

There is also the testimony of a former activist from Pravy Sektor, who admits the group’s cooperation with American military officials in (allegedly) trading looted documents for money, or the presence of Chechen militants side-by-side with the Pravy Sektor protestors on the Maidan. From a diplomatic perspective, even the Pravy Sektor’s meeting with Israeli officials wouldn’t have seemed so suspiscious if it wasn’t announced with enthusiasm from the group’s leadership. Respectable far-right organizations from other countries, such as Hungary’s Jobbik, have condemned them. But this is a sidenote in a time of soft power. Political extremists are now convenient tools of geopolitical influence, regardless of what they themselves might think.

The amount of attention vested in the situation in Ukraine, especially from the US government itself, suggests that there are more interests at stake than merely allowing Ukraine access to the European Union. In December, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland bragged that America invested five billion dollars over two decades toward a “democratic Ukraine” while urging the government to “listen to its people,” all while standing in front of the logos of Chevron and Exxonmobil. Her flagrant disregard for EU interests in relation to Ukraine, revealed in her now-notorious phone conversation with the US Ambassador in Kiev, confirms Washington’s own less-than-altruistic ambitions for the country.

But the US and its economic assets could never gain leverage in Ukraine simply on their own; even John Kerry’s promise of billions in future investments cannot happen immediately. This is why men like Oleg Kalugin are so highly valued – their use of politics as a tool of subversion is an alternative to outright war. Indeed, the predictions that Russia’s involvement in Crimea would not lead to war are so far correct, but the potential is building. The division of Ukraine shows what political factionalism is capable of: the coordinated efforts of Leftists, gay activists, EU businessmen, ultra-nationalists, Jewish organizations, various churches, Chechens, Tatars, and still others demonstrate how external forces manipulate affairs of state.

None of the aforementioned groups would normally have anything to do with each other, and while some of them may be conscious of their role as pawns in a global game of influence, they can do little about it but fight on. I am reminded about another former Soviet spy I knew of, one based at the University of California, Berkeley during the 1960s, whose efforts to agitate radical college students into social unrest enjoyed some success. He too, eventually defected. Nevertheless, the methodology was effective.

I once stood on the Maidan nearly half a decade before it became what it is today, before outside players were involved to the degree they are now. It’s sufficiently clear that the unrest in Kiev is an engineered uprising, the likes of which have been seen as recently as Syria and as far back as Guatemala. For all of the manufactured regime changes across the world since the Second World War, the US has relied on a single factor to achieve these revolutions – the uncertainty and desperation of a people faced with adjusting to a rapidly-changing market and global environment. But viewing the masses gathered in Odessa, Simferopol, Kharkov, Donetsk, Sevastopol, and elsewhere, we see this is not the case in Ukraine. As some journalists have remarked, it was the people, not the police, who took back government buildings from the Kiev-based opposition. These are not pro-government “titushki,” as the opposition would label them, but the people, and they have spoken. These are the citizens who believe the Russian and Ukrainian people are one, a more genuine assertion of identity as opposed to the arbitrary goals of a political party.

There is, however, an almost unanimous agreement on the corruption of Yanukovych’s presidency, something which is undisputed even by the Russian government. Why would the people of Ukraine ask to join the European Union now, anyway? The East has shown itself to be a formidable player in international politics while the other side faces endless scandals and crises. Furthermore, the relationship between many Ukrainians with Russia goes beyond short-term economic goals; it is cultural. Insult is added when the West supports the ultra-nationalists behind the violence and mends their reputation, considering the emphatic efforts of elites to ‘fight hate’ in their own countries while simultaneously supporting it elsewhere.

A genuine cause for concern must arise when two global superpowers are so closely opposed to each other. Recall that the presence of Russian soldiers securing key infrastructure in Crimea echoes the events of 1999 in Pristina, when Russian paratroopers took control of an airport, resulting in a standoff with NATO. But a war is too costly. Defeated presidential candidates Clinton, McCain, and Kerry (among other politicians) have spoken harshly about the Kremlin’s involvement in Ukraine, at times making stale and hypocritical comparisons to past historical events. Critics, meanwhile, have noted Washington’s relative impotence as a global leader and Obama’s inability to seriously confront Putin’s actions.

Should we be afraid? If my experiences with spies, defectors or otherwise say anything, then yes, we should be. The situation can be described as the Man in Berkeley’s activities on a grand scale. Consider how both the government and media outlets played to the liberal sentiment of the American people during the Sochi Olympics, to the point that any semblance of failure or shortcoming at the events was desperately sought after while violent illiberal political groups have been receiving support and aid from the West in Ukraine and elsewhere. Nothing is as it seems. Action trumps ideology, and in this instance, the critical mass of the Maidan was wielded by the Western powers. Military threats are a last resort for NATO and the US; the true goal of their designs is subversion.

Speaking on the events of the Maidan, Dmitry Dyomushkin, leader of the ethnopolitical movement ‘Russians’ and a noted supporter of Chechen independence, has urged other nationalists in Russia to support the Maidan protestors and encouraged the distancing of Ukraine from Russian affairs. This would seem odd for a man that stands behind the Russian Imperial flag, but his sentiment is shared by other figures in the nationalist sphere. Nationalism is a historic facet of the Russian mind, an inescapable fact, and today’s nationalists want their country to take an even more conservative turn than it already has. Yet this can be exploited, much as ethnic sentiment in Ukraine has been used against Ukrainians.

The nationalists are already willing to come out and stand with Leftists and Communists against Putin, as was the case in 2012. If proper scrutiny is not given to the development of nationalism in Russia, the politics of pride, once used to advance the interests of the state, will be used against it.
Radical Islam has been used against Islamic states, so it cannot be excluded that subversion in Russia will arise with the face of fierce nationalism or religious fanaticism, and in the case of Doku Umarov and Dmitro Yarosh, it already has.

At this point, it is necessary to understand how propaganda has changed over the last century, because many approach the concept with 20th-century conceptions. We should look beyond the flags and shields and try to ascertain the true ideology of the people actually running the uprising.
Mr. Kalugin knows things I do not, and was his prediction of Russian balkanization an informed warning or an angst-ridden reaction to his conviction for treason back in Moscow? The resurgence of Russia is a “temporary twist” perhaps in the eyes of the West, whose drive to exert influence across the entire globe is now impeded by this counterbalance. The example of how Pravy Sektor has been used for harmful ends is an unwelcome warning to many of its would-be supporters, but it is a warning nonetheless.

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The War on Russia

The war against Russia is currently the most discussed issue in the West. At this point it is only a suggestion and a possibility, but it can become a reality depending on the decisions taken by all parties involved in the Ukrainian conflict – Moscow, Washington, Kiev, and Brussels.

This article was originally published at Open Revolt; it was edited by John Morgan. 


The coming war as concept

The war against Russia is currently the most discussed issue in the West. At this point it is only a suggestion and a possibility, but it can become a reality depending on the decisions taken by all parties involved in the Ukrainian conflict – Moscow, Washington, Kiev, and Brussels.

I don’t want to discuss all the aspects and history of this conflict here. Instead I propose to analyze its deep ideological roots. My conception of the most relevant events is based on the Fourth Political Theory, whose principles I have described in my book under the same name that was published in English by Arktos Media in 2012.

Therefore I will not examine the war of the West on Russia in terms of its risks, dangers, issues, costs or consequences, but rather in an ideological sense as seen from the global perspective. I will instead meditate on the sense of such a war, and not on the war itself (which may be either real or virtual).

Essence of liberalism

In the modern West, there is one ruling, dominant ideology – liberalism. It may appear in many shades, versions and forms, but the essence is always the same. Liberalism contains an inner, fundamental structure which follows axiomatic principles:

  • anthropological individualism (the individual is the measure of all things);
  • belief in progress (the world is heading toward a better future, and the past is always worse than the present);
  • technocracy (technical development and its execution are taken as the most important criteria by which to judge the nature of a society);
  • eurocentrism (Euro-American societies are accepted as the standard of measure for the rest of humanity);
  • economy as destiny (the free market economy is the only normative economic system – all the other types are to either be reformed or destroyed);
  • democracy is the rule of minorities (defending themselves from the majority, which is always prone to degenerate into totalitarianism or “populism”);
  • the middle class is the only really existing social actor and universal norm (independent from the fact of whether or not an individual has already reached this status or is on the way to becoming actually middle class, representing for the moment only a would-be middle class);
  • one-world globalism (human beings are all essentially the same with only one distinction, namely that of their individual nature – the world should be integrated on the basis of the individual and cosmopolitism; in other words, world citizenship).

These are the core values of liberalism, and they are a manifestation of one of the three tendencies that originated in the Enlightenment alongside Communism and fascism, which collectively proposed varying interpretations of the spirit of modernity. During the twentieth century, liberalism defeated its rivals, and since 1991 has become the sole, dominant ideology of the world.

The only freedom of choice in the kingdom of global liberalism is that between Right liberalism, Left liberalism or radical liberalism, including far-Right liberalism, far-Left liberalism and extremely radical liberalism. As a consequence, liberalism has been installed as the operational system of Western civilization and of all other societies that find themselves in the zone of Western influence. It has become the common denominator for any politically correct discourse, and the distinguishing mark which determines who is accepted by mainstream politics and who is marginalized and rejected. Conventional wisdom itself became liberal.

Geopolitically, liberalism was inscribed in the America-centered model in which Anglo-Saxons formed the ethnical core, based upon the Atlanticist Euro-American partnership, NATO, which represents the strategic core of the system of global security. Global security has come to be seen as being synonymous with the security of the West, and in the last instance with American security. So liberalism is not only an ideological power but also a political, military and strategic power. NATO is liberal in its roots. It defends liberal societies, and it fights to extend liberalism to new areas.

Liberalism as nihilism

There is one point in liberal ideology that has brought about a crisis within it: liberalism is profoundly nihilistic at its core. The set of values defended by liberalism is essentially linked to its main thesis: the primacy of liberty. But liberty in the liberal vision is an essentially negative category: it claims to be free from (as per John Stuart Mill), not to be free for something. It is not secondary; it is the essence of the problem.

Liberalism fights against all forms of collective identity, and against all types of values, projects, strategies, goals, methods and so on that are collectivist, or at least non-individualist. That is the reason why one of the most important theorists of liberalism, Karl Popper (following Friedrich von Hayek), held in his important book, The Open Society and Its Enemies, that liberals should fight against any ideology or political philosophy (ranging from Plato and Aristotle to Marx and Hegel) that suggests that human society should have some common goal, common value, or common meaning. (It should be noted that George Soros regards this book as his personal bible.) Any goal, any value, and any meaning in liberal society, or the open society, should be strictly based upon the individual. So the enemies of the open society, which is synonymous with Western society post-1991, and which has become the norm for the rest of the world, are concrete. Its primary enemies are Communism and fascism, both ideologies which emerged from the same Enlightenment philosophy, and which contained central, non-individualistic concepts – class in Marxism, race in National Socialism, and the national State in fascism). So the source of liberalism’s conflict with the existing alternatives of modernity, fascism or Communism, is quite obvious. Liberals claim to liberate society from fascism and Communism, or from the two major permutations of explicitly non-individualistic modern totalitarianism. Liberalism’s struggle, when viewed as a part of the process of the liquidation of non-liberal societies, is quite meaningful: it acquires its meaning from the fact of the very existence of ideologies that explicitly deny the individual as society’s highest value. It is quite clear what the struggle is attempting to achieve: liberation from its opposite. But the fact that liberty, as it is conceived by liberals, is an essentially negative category is not clearly perceived here. The enemy is present and is concrete. That very fact gives liberalism its solid content. Something other than the open society exists, and the fact of its existence is enough to justify the process of liberation.

Unipolar period: threat of implosion

In 1991, when the Soviet Union as the last opponent of Western liberalism fell, some Westerners, such as Francis Fukuyama, proclaimed the end of history. This was quite logical: as there was no longer an explicit enemy of the open society, therefore there was no more history as had occurred during the modern period, which was defined by the struggle between three political ideologies (liberalism, Communism and fascism) for the heritage of the Enlightenment. That was, strategically speaking, the moment when the “unipolar moment” was realized (Charles Krauthammer). The period between 1991 and 2014, at the midpoint of which Bin Laden’s attack against the World Trade Center occurred, was the period of the global domination of liberalism. The axioms of liberalism were accepted by all the main geopolitical actors, including China (in economic terms) and Russia (in its ideology, economy, and political system). There were liberals and would-be liberals, not-yet liberals, not-liberal-enough liberals and so on. The real and explicit exceptions were few (such as Iran and North Korea). So the world became axiomatically liberal  according to its ideology.

This has been the most important moment in the history of liberalism. It has defeated its enemies, but at the same time it has lost them. Liberalism is essentially the liberation from and the fight against all that is not liberal (at present or in what has the potential to become such). Liberalism acquired its real meaning and its content from its enemies. When the choice is presented as being between not-freedom (as represented by concrete totalitarian societies) or freedom, many choose freedom, not understanding it in terms of freedom for what, or freedom to do what… When there is an illiberal society, liberalism is positive. It only begins to show its negative essence after victory.

After the victory of 1991, liberalism stepped into its implosive phase. After having defeated Communism as well as fascism, it stood alone, with no enemy to fight. And that was the moment when inner conflicts emerged, when liberal societies began to attempt to purge themselves of their last remaining non-liberal elements: sexism, political incorrectness, inequality between the sexes, any remnants of the non-individualistic dimensions of institutions such as the State and the Church, and so on. Liberalism always needs an enemy to liberate from. Otherwise it loses its purpose, and its implicit nihilism becomes too salient. The absolute triumph of liberalism is its death.

That is the ideological meaning of the financial crises of 2000 and of 2008. The successes and not the failures of the new, entirely profit-based economy (of turbocapitalism, according to Edward Luttwak) are responsible for its collapse.

The liberty to do anything you want, but restricted to the individual scale, provokes an implosion of the personality. The human passes to the infra-human realm, and to sub-individual domains. And here he encounters virtuality, as a dream of sub-individuality, the freedom from anything. This is the evaporation of the human, and brings about the Empire of nothingness as the last word in the total victory of liberalism. Postmodernism prepares the terrain for that post-historic, self-referential recycling of non-sense.

The West is in need of an enemy

You may ask now, what the Hell does all of this have to do with the (presumable) coming war with Russia? I am ready to answer that now.

Liberalism has continued to gain momentum on a global scale. Since 1991, it has been an inescapable fact. And it has now begun to implode. It has arrived at its terminal point and started to liquidate itself. Mass immigration, the clash of cultures and civilizations, the financial crisis, terrorism, and the growth of ethnic nationalism are indicators of approaching chaos. This chaos endangers the established order: any kind of order, including the liberal order itself. The more liberalism succeeds, the faster it approaches its end and the end of the present world. Here we are dealing with the nihilistic essence of liberal philosophy, with nothingness as the inner (me)ontological principle of freedom-from. The German anthropologist Arnold Gehlen justly defined the human as a “deprived being,” or Mangelwesen. Man in himself is nothing. It takes all that comprises its identity from society, history, people, and politics. So if he returns to his pure essence, he can no longer recognize anything. The abyss is hidden behind the fragmented debris of feelings, vague thoughts, and dim desires. The virtuality of sub-human emotions is a thin veil; behind it there is pure darkness. So the explicit discovery of this nihilistic basis of human nature is the last achievement of liberalism. But that is the end, and the end also for those who use liberalism for their own purposes and who are beneficiaries of liberal expansion; in other words, the masters of globalization. Any and all order collapses in such an emergency of nihilism: the liberal order, too.

In order to rescue the rule of this liberal elite, they need to take a certain step back. Liberalism will reacquire its meaning only when it is confronted once more with non-liberal society. This step back is the only way to save what remains of order, and to save liberalism from itself. Therefore, Putin’s Russia appears on its horizon. Modern Russia is not anti-liberal, not totalitarian, not nationalist, and not Communist, nor is it yet too liberal, fully liberal-democrat, sufficiently cosmopolite, or so radically anti-Communist. It is rather on the way to becoming liberal, step by step, within the process of a Gramscian adjustment to global hegemony and the subsequent transformation this entails (transformismo in Gramscian language).

However, in the global agenda of liberalism as represented by the United States and NATO, there is a need for another actor, for another Russia that would justify the order of the liberal camp, and help to mobilize the West as it threatens to break apart from inner strife. This will delay the irruption of liberalism’s inner nihilism and thus save it from its inevitable end. That is why they badly need Putin, Russia, and war. It is the only way to prevent chaos in the West and to save what remains of its global and domestic order. In this ideological play, Russia would justify liberalism’s existence, because that is the enemy which would give a meaning to the struggle of the open society, and which would help it to consolidate and continue to affirm itself globally. Radical Islam, such as represented by al-Qaeda, was another candidate for this role, but it lacked sufficient stature to become a real enemy. It was used, but only on a local scale. It justified the intervention in Afghanistan, the occupation of Iraq, the overthrow of Gaddafi, and started a civil war in Syria, but it was too weak and ideologically primitive to represent the real challenge that is needed by liberals.

Russia, the traditional geopolitical enemy of Anglo-Saxons, is much more serious as an opponent. It fits the needed role extremely well – the memory of the Cold War is still fresh in many minds. Hate for Russia is an easy thing to provoke by relatively simple means. This is why I think that war with Russia is possible. It is ideologically necessary as the last means to postpone the final implosion of the liberal West. It is the needed “one step back.”

To save the liberal order

Considering the different layers of this concept of a possible war with Russia, I suggest a few points:

  1. A war with Russia will help to delay the coming disorder on a global scale. The majority of the countries that are involved in the liberal economy, and which share the axioms and institutions of liberal democracy, and which are either dependent upon or directly controlled by the United States and NATO, will forge a common front once more behind the cause of the liberal West in its quest to oppose the anti-liberal Putin. This will serve to reaffirm liberalism as a positive identity when this identity is beginning to dissolve as a result of the manifestation of its nihilistic essence.
  2. A war with Russia would strengthen NATO and above all its European members, who will be obliged once more to regard American hyperpower as something positive and useful, and the old Cold War stance will no longer seem obsolete. Out of a fear of the coming of the “evil Russians,” Europeans will again feel loyal to the Unite
    d States as their protector and savior. As a result, the leading role of the U.S. in NATO will be reaffirmed.
  3. The EU is falling apart. The supposed “common threat” of the Russians could prevent it from an eventual split, mobilizing these societies and making their peoples once again eager to defend their liberties and values under the threat of Putin’s “imperial ambitions.”
  4. The Ukraine junta in Kiev needs this war to justify and conceal all the misdeeds they carried out during the Maidan protests on both the juridical and constitutional levels, thus allowing them to suspend democracy that would impede their rule in the southeastern, mostly pro-Russian districts and would enable them to establish their authority and nationalistic order through extra-parliamentary means.

The only country that doesn’t want war now is Russia. But Putin cannot let the radically anti-Russian government in Ukraine dominate a country that has a population that is half-Russian and which contains many pro-Russian regions. If he allows this, he will be finished on the international and domestic levels. So, reluctantly, he accepts war. And once he begins on this course, there will be no other solution for Russia but to win it.

I don’t like to speculate regarding the strategic aspects of this coming war. I leave that to other, more qualified analysts. Instead I would like to formulate some ideas concerning the ideological dimension of this war.

Framing Putin

The meaning of this war on Russia is in essence the last effort of globalist liberalism to save itself from implosion. As such, liberals need to define Putin’s Russia ideologically – and obviously identify it with the enemy of the open society. But in the dictionary of modern ideologies there are only three primary iterations: liberalism, Communism and fascism. It is quite clear that liberalism is represented by all the nations involved in this conflict except for Russia (the United States, the NATO member states, and Euromaidan/the Kiev junta). This leaves only Communism and fascism. Therefore Putin is made out to be a “neo-Soviet revanchist” and a “return of the KGB.” This is the picture that is being sold to the most stupid sort of Western public. But some aspects of the patriotic reaction emanating from the pro-Russian and anti-Banderite population (i.e., the defense of Lenin’s monuments, Stalin portraits and memorials to the Soviet involvement in the Second World War) could confirm this idea in the minds of this public. Nazism and fascism are too far removed from Putin and the reality of modern Russia, but Russian nationalism and Russian imperialism will be evoked within the image of the Great Evil that is being drawn. Therefore Putin is being made out to be a “radical nationalist,” a “fascist” and an “imperialist.” This will work on many Westerners. Under this logic, Putin can be both Communist and fascist at the same time, so he will be depicted as a National Bolshevik (although this is a little bit too complicated for the postmodern Western public). It is obvious that in reality, Putin is neither – he is not a Communist nor a fascist, nor both simultaneously. He is a political pragmatist in the realm of international relations – this is why he admires Kissinger, and why Kissinger likes him in return. He has no ideology whatsoever. But he will be obliged to embrace the ideological frame that he has been assigned. It is not his choice. But such are the rules of the game. In the course of this war on Russia, Putin will be framed in this way, and that is the most interesting and important aspect of this situation.

The main idea that liberals will try to advance to define Putin ideologically will be as the shadow of the past, as a vampire: “Sometimes they come back.” That is the rationale behind this attempt to prevent the final implosion of liberalism. The primary message is that liberalism is still alive and vital because there is something in the world that we all must be liberated from. Russia will become the object from which it must be liberated. The goal is first to liberate Ukraine, and by extension Europe and the rest of humanity, who will likewise be depicted as being under threat, from Russia, and in the end Russia itself will be said to be in need of rescue from its own non-liberal identity. So now we have an enemy. Such an enemy once more gives liberalism its raison d’être. So Russia is being made out to be a challenger from the pre-liberal past thrown into the liberal present. Without such a challenge there is no more life in liberalism, no more order in the world, and everything associated with them will dissolve and implode. With this challenge, the falling giant of globalism acquires new vigor. Russia is here to save the liberals.

But in order for this to happen, Russia is being ideologically framed as something pre-liberal. She must be either Communist, fascist or perhaps National Bolshevist. That is the ideological rule. Therefore, in fighting with Russia, or in considering to fight her, or in not fighting her, there is a deeper task – to frame Russia ideologically. It will be done from both the inside and the outside. They will try to force Russia to accept either Communism or extreme nationalism, or else they will simply treat Russia as if it were these things. It is a framing game.

Post-liberal Russia: The first war of the Fourth Political Theory

In conclusion, what I propose is the following:

We need to consciously counter any provocation to frame Russia as a pre-liberal power. We need to refuse to allow the liberals to save themselves from their fast-approaching end. Rather than helping them to delay it, we need to accelerate it. In order to do this, we need to present Russia not as a pre-liberal entity but as a post-liberal revolutionary force that struggles for an alternative future for all the peoples of the planet. The Russian war will not only be for Russian national interests, but will be in the cause of a just multipolar world, for real dignity and for real, positive freedom – not (nihilistic) freedom from but freedom for. In this war, Russia will set an example as the defender of Tradition, conservative organic values, and will represent real liberation from the open society and its beneficiaries – the global financial oligarchy. This war is not against Ukrainians or even against part of the Ukrainian populace. Nor is it against Europe. It is against the liberal world (dis)order. We are not going to save liberalism, per their designs. We are going to kill it once and for all. Modernity was always essentially wrong, and we are now at the terminal point of modernity. For those who rendered modernity and their own destiny synonymous, or who let that occur unconsciously, this will mean the end. But for those who are on the side of eternal truth and of Tradition, of faith, and of the spiritual and immortal human essence, it will be a new beginning, an Absolute Beginning.

The most important fight at present is the fight for the Fourth Political Theory. It is our weapon, and with it we are going to prevent the liberals from realizing their wish of framing Putin and Russia in their own manner, and in so doing we will reaffirm Russia as the first post-liberal ideological power struggling against nihilistic liberalism for the sake of an open, multipolar and genuinely free future.

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To Survive—One Hour Longer Than the Machine

The crisis that began in 2008 with the bursting of the subprime mortgage bubble is no ordinary downturn. All observers understood this intuitively. Something has gone wrong with our world, something lying at the very foundation of our way of living, producing, and consuming—and even of our way of thinking.

This something that has just been broken is our faith in the millenarian mechanism of Progress.  

The following is the Foreword to the French edition of Survive—The Economic Collapse.


The crisis that began in 2008 with the bursting of the subprime mortgage bubble is no ordinary downturn. All observers understood this intuitively. Something has gone wrong with our world, something lying at the very foundation of our way of living, producing, and consuming—and even of our way of thinking.
This something that has just been broken is our faith in the millenarian mechanism of Progress.

For three centuries, Western man has had the idea that he does not need God, since he is his own savior. Humanity is the messiah of humanity: thus proclaimed the new religion. A religion that entered into Catholicism on tiptoes with Descartes. A religion, also, that ended up substituting itself everywhere in the place of the ancient faith.

People sometimes laugh at Juche, that ridiculous North Korean ideology whose only article states that man can transform nature indefinitely. Wrongly. In more sophisticated forms, all contemporary systems rest upon the postulate of human omnipotence. China has razed the house of Confucius and frenetically converted to the religion of growth. Eternal India—yes, even India—has set itself to conceiving the future as a rising curve.

All mankind has gradually entered into the naïve communion of the new religion, much less rational than it seems: technology to perform miracles, banks to serve as temples of the monetary idol. Monetarist neoliberalism—the last ideology, standing victorious upon the corpses of Jacobinism, classical liberalism, social democracy, communism, and fascism—would lead man to the millennium, the long-lost terrestrial paradise soon to be regained.

It was a false promise and a trap. We ought to have been suspicious. For the past few decades, the facade of the progressivist temple has begun to crack. . .

Since the 1970s, various Cassandras have been warning us: a project of indefinite growth cannot be carried out in a finite world. Their arguments have been swept under the rug as “not taking account of scientific perspectives.”

In the 1980s, the collapse of the USSR following the Chernobyl catastrophe provided food for thought for anyone willing to think: “so, an extremely large, over-integrated system can collapse suddenly, once a certain threshold of fragility is reached?” Here again, we have refused to draw the lessons from the event, preferring to blame the collapse on communist ideology without posing the question of over-concentration and over-integration as such.

During the 1990s, the West was giddy with triumph. Those were the mad years of the Internet bubble. “Who cares that the material world is finite: capitalism will invade virtual worlds of its own construction!” But the dream ended abruptly when the model of the new economy revealed its real nature—it was a mirage, an illusion. If there was a dizzying fall at the turn of the millennium, it was not that of the Twin Towers, but the collapse of hopes placed in virtual reality, the escape hatch through which were pushed the ever more insurmountable internal contradictions of a capitalist system driven mad by the permanent confusion between the monetary map and the economic landscape.
Once again, people decided to see nothing, to learn nothing. In order to maintain at all costs the illusion that the millenarian utopia could construct the meaning of history, the financial oligarchy put the economic system on life support, giving the American economy fix after fix of debt. It was an absurd effort that, besides, pointed out the absurdity of neoliberal monetarist semantics.

This absurdity could only endure for so long. In the fall of 2008, its time was up.

A great shiver ran down the spine of the hundred-thousand-headed beast—the ruling class. Amidst the crash, still more dollars were injected into the system, like so many symbols that concealed nothing, but which once more, for a few years, perhaps, allowed the neoliberal propaganda machine to keep grinding away at all costs.

These were just the last, dilatory maneuvers that will not change anything in the end: it is all an illusion. It hardly matters that financial indices are artificially maintained by lowering interest rates to zero. Breaking the thermometer never cured a fever.

Economic rationality alone is not able to provide the meaning of history. Technology cannot accomplish everything. A project of infinite development cannot be conducted on a finite planet. Man cannot have everything he wants; he must want what he is able to get.

We are faced with a return to limits.
Mankind will not be its own messiah—the humanist religion is a failure.

The beast with a hundred thousand heads is, indeed, behaving like a beast—in particular, it is as dangerous as a wounded animal that feels its hour has struck. Back from the failure of the credit system that served as an ideological shelter for their power, the elites and their trustees are now struggling to save their power, to preserve the messianic fiction, while gradually restricting it to themselves. On the one hand, a superior humanity that wants to be a messiah for itself and itself alone; on the other, an inferior humanity sent back into the symbolic shadows of thought’s absence, the non- existence of meaning—in fact, into the negation of its status as an autonomous subject, where it is forbidden to define a mental space free of the constraints placed upon it. A humanity skinned of its spirit.
Such is the generative schema of the next decades. The future is menacing. We might as well understand this. The humanist religion is going to transform itself into an anti-human ideology.
This turnabout, the creating of a monster by those who sought to make an angel, has been underway since the 1970s. But the 2010s will mark a perceptible acceleration in this process. And life, in consequence, will soon be very difficult for many of us.
In this context, the stakes of the game, for true men, will soon be to survive. That’s all—to survive.

Going back to the ranks of the powerful madmen is not an option. You might obtain the intoxicating illusion of superiority, and certainly easier living conditions, but only at the price of your soul. Resigning yourself to vegetating among the mass of the ruled is hardly less depressing. (And amidst that oppressed and impoverished body, violence will be the norm.) Our contemporaries have too deeply assimilated the perverse logic of the consumer society to convert suddenly to the voluntary simplicity that might save them.

Survival will almost certainly play itself out away from today’s bustle, in refuges we must know how to create and defend. Physical survival, yes; but also psychological and spiritual survival.

Of course, this is no exalted ideal. But at this stage, resisting the inhuman machine will often mean passing by it unnoticed, and above all, being able to do without it.

A modest struggle, but hardly a contemptible one.

For one day, when that machine has exhausted all the possibilities of its original élan, it will totter and fall. Then, for us, it will be enough to be numerous, to maintain solidarity, so as collectively to regain control of our Earth after we have fiercely defended our few areas of retreat. It is in order to be there, at that decisive moment, that we must survive now. So do not be ashamed: let us build our refuges! Remember that a rebel wins if he can hold out one hour longer than his adversary. Let us organize ourselves to do so.

So, my friend . . . wipe away that sad, drawn smile. Raise up those eyes you have kept lowered for so long. Look straight ahead at the horizon. Hold your chin up. Your life has meaning—to survive one hour longer than the machine.

Pass the word on: comrade, our children are counting on you!


Michel Drac is a writer, political commentator, and economist. For fifteen years, he worked as a controller. He is the author of numerous books and the founder of the publishing house Le Retour aux Sources. He is also a member of the national association Equality & Reconciliation.

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On the Bridge Between Two Interesting Years

“What we will likely see in 2014 will be an even more complete alignment of the mainstream Right on the Left, which will leave a bigger and bigger space for us.”

2013 In Retrospect, And My Predictions For 2014

All clichés aside, the world has become too unstable to make precise predictions for a whole year. Looking back at the one that has just finished, it seems that at any point of it, it was close to impossible to foresee what would happen a month or sometimes even a week from then.

Not only because history is, by essence, the realm of the unexpected— Edward Snowden’s confessions were sudden and unforeseen, but they nevertheless strongly affected the relations between the United States, its European satrapies, and the other world’s powers, chiefly Russia and China.

But even for phenomena that had begun much before, 2013 has been full of surprises. Take Syria. Western chancellories had been pushing since 2011 for a war on Damascus’s legitimate government, and 2013 looked like the “right time” for yet another war in the Middle East.

Bashar al Assad was promised to a fate similar to those of Saddam or Gaddafi, but Syria’s strongest ally, Moscow, managed to overturn the moral advantage in favour of the opponents of a war. The official —Western — narrative was that a brutal, oppressive Syrian military junta was massacring innocent “freedom fighters” by the thousands along with their wives and children. The truth — that if there had to be a “good side,” it was al Assad’s government and not the cannibal, Christian-slaughtering terrorists fighting on behalf of foreign governments — played a role in Putin’s moral victory against the pro-war coalition.

By the time when Putin published his decisive letter in the New York Times, the knowledge of the atrocities committed by the so-called “Free Syrian Army” was too widespread in the West for Western governments to gain wide enough support for a new Near Eastern entanglement. In that propagation of the truth, the Internet’s role was important, though not predominant.

Still, what a difference it made with much more evident manipulations that have occurred since the end of the Second World War. While the Western media and political elite were praising Mao when he died in 1976, those in the West who were questioning the official narrative were inevitably depicted as “conspiracy theorists.” Though the mainstream media keeps being dominant, its hegemony has begun eroding somehow.

Which brings me to the rough predictions I would like to make for 2014. If political repression against dissidents — even benign ones — is an indication, we will likely witness a worsening of the situation in the West. 2013 was an instructive year in that respect. In America, two important political purges occurred on the mainstream Right. Jason Richwine’s firing from the Heritage Foundation for daring to discuss the cognitive level of Hispanic immigrants to the United States proved to those who were still deluded about the Republican establishment that “Conservatism” will be of no help against the subversion operated by the egalitarian Left.

Jack Hunter’s resignation and vain apology after a media campaign revealing his “racist” past also proved that “Libertarianism” will, likewise, align itself with the Left on the selective “freedoms” it advocates: issues like gay marriage, cannabis legalization, mass abortion and euthanasia will be fine, but the disturbing questions raised by Murray Rothbard on the banking system or Hans-Hermann Hoppe on state-enforced third-world immigration and integration will somehow remain unanswered. For good.

As grim as these developments are, they offer an opportunity to our movement. The utter inability of mainstream “conservatism” to challenge the liberal Left’s intellectual and cultural domination means that increasingly, the only force standing in the way of the egalitarians will be us, and only us. Hence the growing interest of the mass media for White nationalism and traditionalism, as was illustrated last year by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow’s report on the National Policy Institute and Richard Spencer.

What we will likely see in 2014 will be an even more complete alignment of the mainstream Right on the Left, which will leave a bigger and bigger space for us. As I had noted in an article entitled “Rearguard Action and Vanguard Politics” last year, which was dealing with the anti-gay marriage demonstrations in France, these obviously history-losing events led to the creation of more radical movements, especially since the more mainstream personalities dropped out as soon as they were attacked. Eventually, only the more radical were standing.

Here at RadixJournal.com, we’ll ensure that those right-wingers who have become uninterested in tepid publications like the National Review will find a new voice, eager to really deal with the issues of our age.

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