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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 They have been replaced by new threats, both conventional and unconventional, that cannot be adequately faced through NATO and are, indeed, exacerbated by NATO’s antiquated defense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 They have been replaced by new threats, both conventional and unconventional, that cannot be adequately faced through NATO and are, indeed, exacerbated by NATO’s antiquated defense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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The Camp of the Saints: Where Literature and Life Collide

The Camp, although so redolent of Gitanes and High Mass at Nȏtre Dame, was in some strange way about me. It suggested that I was part of a cultural continuum that transcended national boundaries, which somehow encompassed Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, and Latin; Classicism, Christianity, and humanism; conservatism as well as liberalism.

There is something about the sea that makes it a useful metaphor for change—a combination of its constant movement, its exhilarating ozone, its swift mutability, its vastness and mystery. Depending on what shore one stands on, the sea is a road or rampart, highway to freedom or gateway for invaders, origin of life or cause of death—or all of these things at once.

Nineteenth-Dynasty Egyptians fearing another descent by the Sea Peoples, or Lindisfarne monks glimpsing at longships, understandably had less agreeable ideas of Ocean than Portugal’s Henry the Navigator, England’s Walter Raleigh, or all those other swaggering Europeans from the Age of Discovery. But always, to look out to sea is to invite introspection, consider possibilities.

One numinous day in 1972, a forty-something French novelist named Jean Raspail looked out over the Mediterranean from Vallauris, west of Antibes. He was privately-educated and widely-travelled, the winner of the Académie Française’s Jean Walter Prize for empathetic writings about the unlucky native peoples of South America, a traditionalist Catholic acutely aware of his country’s position in the world. He had seen pulsating poverty around the globe, knew the realities of overpopulation and ethnic conflict, and now he had a revelatory vision of his prosperous Provence suddenly so engulfed. “And what if they came?” he asked himself. “And what if they came?”

He records that The Camp of the Saints almost wrote itself, with him starting to write each morning without quite knowing where the story would have taken him by evening. There was certainly no shortage of source-material, now that Situationists and Soixante-huitards were the mainstream, and all of European civilization—under ideological attack. “The Wretched of the Earth” had been co-opted as auxiliaries by Marxists and as potential consumers by capitalists; the colonies were being abandoned; Catholicism was in freefall; and traditions had become trammels. Judging from permitted public discourse, everyone—from bishops, politicians and academics to actresses—was united in embracing an idea of “France” as outmoded and morally reprehensible. France needed to atone, according to this new narrative, for empire and exploitations, to reinvent herself for a post-national age, effectively commit suicide in order to save her soul.

To Raspail, such ideas were risible, as they probably seemed to the majority of the French—but he also knew that they needed to be taken seriously. He saw that darkly comic notions could have revolutionary consequences. So he stitched real-life quotations from contemporary public intellectuals and celebrities into an epic imagining of a million-strong convoy of India’s poorest and most misshapen, setting out inchoately from the mouth of the Hooghly in rust-bucket ships, and across the Indian Ocean towards the Cape of Good Hope, and so around to Europe—a Promised Land of plenty, trailing the stench of latrines. This reverse colonization by the Tier Monde’s least enterprising was the perfect antithesis of the elitist European navigators, the old continent recoiling back in on itself in tiredness and toxic doubt. Old Europe, expansive Europe, Christian Europe, the Camp of the Saints (Revelations, 20:9)—and for that matter easygoing Europe, too—was suddenly a shrinking island in a world of angry water.

In lambent language, Raspail visualizes the multitudinous currents that ebb and flow through his fictive France as “The Last Chance Armada” creeps through preternaturally calm waters en route to disembarkation and destiny. He tells all too believably of moral grandstanding—the mood-mélange of calculation, foolishness, hysteria, and myopia—the excited solidarity that surges through France’s marginal minorities—the ever-shriller rhodomontade about international obligations, human rights and anti-racism – the cowed silence or wry acceptance of the minority of realists. A river of hypocritical canards flows South from studios even as their utterers decamp in the opposite direction—leaving in their rubbish-strewn wake fellow French too poor or old to move, and a tiny number of patriots too attached to their homeland to consider forsaking it even in extremis.

These last-standers hold out on a hilltop, as all of France and Europe fall to what Raspail brilliantly termed “stampeding lambs”—immigrants, who are simultaneously individually inoffensive and cumulatively catastrophic. For a brief spell, the diehards assert their identity as their ancestors had always been prepared to do, patrolling their tiny borders, using hunting rifles to pick off interlopers, revelling in simply being French and in France (although one is an Indian volunteer). This is even though—or because—they guess it is only a matter of days before their own annihilation, which is inevitably ordered by Paris.

The Camp was highly original—Raspail’s realization that immigration was the defining issue of his (and our) age, his clear-eyed examination of intellectual trends then still far from their logical denouements, his uncompromising commitment to la France profonde, and to Christianity—all rendered in strong and sonorous prose. His narrative, howsoever exaggerated for effect, was a distillation and condensation of observable reality. He laid bare the weaponization of words—gentle words like “tolerance,” “compassion,” “non-discrimination”—and the harsh facts underlying ‘liberal’ contemporaneousness. “I see the UN has decided to abolish the concept of race”, one Camp resistant remarks sardonically. “That means us!”

Acclaimed authors were not expected to have such retrograde attitudes, and mainstream publishers (Laffont in France, Scribner’s in America) were not supposed to publish anything that emanated from the Right Bank. So there was a savage backlash from littérateurs (although Raspail also had intellectual allies), who saw the book as a betrayal by one of their own. Some must also have recognized themselves, or elements of themselves, in the book’s more contemptible characters. Reviewers dutifully assailed it in hyperbolical terms; one typical American article called it “a fascist fantasy…a disgusting book”. The reviewers thus morally purged, and the book (from their point of view) sluiced hygienically down the pissoir, it fell into abeyance, read chiefly by those on the furthest Right fringes of French life.

Yet it never went out of print in France, and every few years showed itself dangerously above the surface, usually in response to some news story paralleling his plot. It has now entered a new half-life, still sometimes ritualistically condemned, but increasingly accepted as a part (albeit a slightly embarrassing part) of the literary landscape. The novel undoubtedly helped create the intellectual space, which has made it possible for Alain Finkielkraut, Michel Onfray, Michel Houellebecq, Renaud Camus, and Éric Zemmour to examine some of the countless dilemmas of immigration, often on prime-time media slots—‘a cathode-ray apocalypse’, according to one terrified old-timer.

Some early denunciators have sportingly admitted that they had been wrong to condemn The Camp—but it has dogged Raspail’s career nonetheless, and undoubtedly prevented him from being elected to the Académie Française in 2000. Yet even if he was forbidden to join the ranks of “les immortels” (as Academicians are nicknamed), ironically his book is likely to live for longer than most of those produced by present Academy members (except, maybe, Finkielkraut). As the author observed in a September 2015 interview,

“What’s happening today isn’t important, it’s anecdotal, because we are only at the beginning…Politicians have no solution to this problem. It’s like the national debt—we pass it on to our grandchildren.”

When Sea Changes was published in 2012, several commentators pointed out similarities to The Camp—a comparison more flattering to me than Raspail—and similarities could indeed be found, although also major differences. The Camp, which I read when I was nineteen, had unquestionably been an influence on me, helping crystallize pre-existing intuitions. It had proved to my youthful satisfaction something I had always felt (despite always being told I must not)—that immigration really mattered, more than almost any other political question. The book suggested not just that it was reasonable to take an interest, but that it was irresponsible not to do so. Raspail linked ancientness to modernity and aesthetics to demographics, and there was a fey romance in his worldview, so at odds with the boring mainstream (within which every choice seemed to come down to either Leftish vapidity or Rightish philistinism).

The Camp, although so redolent of Gitanes and High Mass at Nȏtre Dame, was in some strange way about me. It suggested that I was part of a cultural continuum that transcended national boundaries, which somehow encompassed Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, and Latin; Classicism, Christianity, and humanism; conservatism as well as liberalism. I was in Raspail’s redoubt, even though I was not French, nor Catholic, indeed whether or not I believed in Christianity. When Raspail’s character Professor Calgues peers out from his seventeenth-century house towards the ominous beachhead, he was someone, whose motivations I could comprehend, and on whose side I instinctively aligned.

Ever afterwards, when I heard of some new landmark in loss—more restrictions on free speech in Belgium, liberalization of German citizenship laws, immigrant rapists in Malmo, riots in Bradford, a mosque opening in Granada (the first one since the Reconquista)—they seemed to be of more than local significance. I watched passive-aggressive phalanxes overwhelm one old bastion after another, and wondered when somebody with power would take notice, do something. But like the fifth-century Romans, who were cheering so enthusiastically at the Colosseum that they did not hear Alaric’s attack, twentieth-century Europeans seemed dangerously distracted from their dispossession. I was clearly a bit of a prig, yet I still think I had a point.

Then 9/11 sparked mass interest in immigration for the first time since Enoch Powell. Overnight there were newspaper columns, radio and TV programmes, think-tank reports…and then those dead were fading into memory, and immigration was continuing just as before. Even new bombs in London, Madrid and elsewhere did not slow the flow (cliché notwithstanding, it was never a “tide”, because tides go out again). Politicians, who projected Western power often violently abroad, were fostering weakness at home—even as public concern against mass migration, always considerable, continued to grow. The protesting-too-much, Stakhanovite rhetoric about diversity somehow equalling strength was heard much less often, but the underlying disease (literally dis-ease) remained untreated. If anything, the temperature kept rising, the boils—suppurating.

By now, I had exchanged Deptford for Lincolnshire, and a 1990s flat for an 1840s house across a field from a 1380 church, near a beach on which Viking rings have been found. It was only natural that I should imagine this ghosted frontier as besieged, not now by Danish pirates, but by soft-power cannon-fodder, human shields for an internationalist army. Hesitantly, with frequent halts, and feeling rather inadequate to the task, I started to makes notes for Sea Changes.

It mattered that the unwanted incomers should be comprehensible, sympathetic people doing exactly as I would have done. (I am, after all, an immigrant too.) Ibraham Nassouf had every reason to flee Basra, and every reason to think he would find a home in Britain. Who could not feel sorry for a man doubly betrayed, first, by his own culture, and then, by the West? But it mattered even more that the unwilling recipients should also be comprehensible and sympathetic, because this was the perspective usually absent from media discussions about immigration. The name of Dan Gowt given to my decent, out-of-his-depth farmer had several connotations—Daniel in the lions’ den, the old-fashioned disability of gout, and the old landscape, in which he had long-ago lodged so securely (gowt being an Anglo-Saxon term for a “drain” or “dyke”).

I wanted also to dissect the contemporary leftist mentality, which loves to see itself as ‘radical’, yet which is so reminiscent of previous religious outbreaks. So I named my chiliastic, self-regarding journalist John Leyden, in a nod to the especially obnoxious Anabaptist preacher John of Leyden. It just remained to give the too-British-to-be-quite-British name of Albert Norman to my never-quite-serious conservative journalist to have all the principal protagonists, after which, like Raspail, I let the action partly write itself.

Less happens in Sea Changes than in The Camp. The scale is smaller, the tone—more intimate. It is undoubtedly a more ‘English’ book in its slightly untidy, unsystematic approach to even this hugest of events—at times, more like reportage than a novel. Sea Changes is also more plangent—few of The Camp’s calumniators remarked on its essential calmness, Raspail’s belief that the time of the Europeans was over, and this was irresistible, part of a great cosmic cycle, in which sometimes one and sometimes another group rotates to the top. The ending of Sea Changes is much less dramatic, in fact, inconclusive—there could theoretically be a Sea Changes II.

Maybe there will need to be, because despite Raspail’s efforts, the Europe of 2015 is in an even sorrier psychological state than it was in 1972. To take one small but piquant example, Raspail suggests that French radio broadcasts Eine Kleine Nachtmusik as an instinctive response to the Last Chance Armada’s landfall, instead of the previously prevailing pop and trivia. This now sounds wildly romantic—today, the pop and trivia would continue unabated. (That cheering from the Colosseum…)

In retrospect, 1970s can seem like a decade of realism. They were certainly freer years intellectually. Would The Camp find a mainstream publisher now, in any Western country? Maybe, but most publishers, howsoever nominally committed to freedom of expression, when given an obviously controversial and not obviously commercial text, would probably prefer some other publisher to exercise that right. At the least, the text would probably be redacted to reflect today’s neuroses. France, like every European country, has a manically active and, at times, aggressive Left always looking for things to hate, to give them a raison d’être in a universe emptied of meaning—and they are usually acceded to by publishers, universities, institutions, and governments, because it is easier that way. Certainly, I found it impossible to place Sea Changes with any major firm, or even an agent, despite its more-in-sorrow-than-anger decidedly un-apocalyptic tone. Although it sounds immodest, I do not think Sea Changes is any worse than many of the books published by big firms (and I had no problem finding an agent for other books)—so I am compelled to conclude that the problem was the subject-matter.

That subject-matter is every day being added to, as real events catch up with Raspail’s plot-line (once called so unlikely). Europeans of all classes stare in compassion, but also dismay, at the oncoming pulses from Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, and all points East and South, encouraged by a worldly-unwise Roman Cathartic Pontiff and an angst-ridden German Chancellor so desperate to erase her people’s past that she is willing to convulse their present and sell their future. (And these are the conservatives.) The ultra-Left, of course, welcomes the turmoil, full certain that Jerusalem will be built here as soon as Europe falls. Mainstream opinion squats guiltily in the middle, morally obese, dining chiefly on sweets, wallowing in a diabetic kind of delusion. “Britain opens its arms to refugees”, gushed a Times headline—below a photo of a child staring through a rain-streaked Hungarian train window—the editors never seemingly considering that the effect is more like an opening of veins.

Few of our many self-appointed gatekeepers (who are also our gaolers) ever seem to ask themselves, “What happens next?” Of course, genuine refugees ought always to be assisted—as they would (presumably) help us if our situations were reversed. Few Europeans would object to costed and conditional schemes to assist those really in need, with refugees returned as soon as it is safe for them. Many Europeans would also accept that some of their governments bear much responsibility for the catastrophes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. But we also know that many of the new arrivals are economic opportunists, who know their human rights (and maybe even Islamist infiltrators), that those, who come, will stay, and their families will join them—and that behind this vanguard, whole new hosts shuffle on from all horizons.

How many will there be? Where will they live? How will we pay for them? What mental baggage do they bring? How will they adjust to us—or will we be told yet again to adjust to them? How will their being here affect the idea we have of ourselves, and our communal identities? Will there even be an “us” several decades hence? A Jesuit priest, who had spent most of his life in Africa and Asia, noted he had been “called home” to Italy to oversee arrivals—but if this continues, how much longer will he have a “home”? Will our children and grandchildren be better or worse off living in a continent even more divided than now, and more likely to be majority Muslim? Fifty years hence, what will be the state of the fought-for freedoms of the Left, or Christianity, stable states, and free economies of the Right—innovations and inheritances alike engulfed in a sea of perpetual Otherness?

It is possible to find inadvertently comic touches even in the midst of compulsory métissage, as we watch the tergiversations of politicians straddling contradictory demands, unwilling either to “embrace” or to be “left behind”: the Finnish Prime Minister, who so crassly offered to put up refugees in one of his houses; Sinn Féin’s wolfishly-grinning Gerry Adams toting a sign saying “Refugees welcome”; the English bishop, who demanded 30,000 more refugees, yet declined to offer any house-room in his mansion; that the Royal Naval flagship picking up Mediterranean migrants was H.M.S. Bulwark (rather than, say, Sponge); the German open-borders activist, who understandably felt “very sad” after being stabbed by clients.

To the sardonically-inclined, the present spectacle is, at times, reminiscent of religious ecstasies—mass swoonings, passionate and ostentatious self-flagellations (too passionate, too ostentatious to be true), votive offerings, and even icons, in the shape of little, drowned, doll-like Aylan Kurdi, lying so rigidly to attention at the margin of the Aegean. There is vast emotion out there in the hinterland—but how deep does it go? How many truly feel for people they do not know? Already, there are panicky pull-backs by mainstream—politicians suddenly seeing what they have allowed, upswings for non-mainstream parties representing old Europe, surging demonstrations, hostels burned…and these are just the immediate effects.

Then there are the absorbing psychological puzzles, like Chancellor Merkel—rectory-reared like so many of the worst (and best), privately haunted by the idea of Europe dying, yet pursuing policies guaranteed to expedite this, somehow believing that economic prudence, strong institutions, and family life can be achieved without social solidarity. The outwardly stolid operator would seem to be a little girl inside, aghast at the nature of the world, seeking inner absolution by changing everyone and everything else. Her ignoble example filters all the way down to the likes of the Hessian provincial politician, who told a restive audience of his own people that if they did not like the idea of 400 immigrants being deposited in their little town, they should be the ones to leave.

Unsatisfied with this, Merkel is offering Turkish EU membership as a bribe for helping halt the Syrian tsunami—all too ably assisted by foreign equivalents like David Cameron and the European Commission’s suitably-named Jean-Claude Juncker. To offer European membership to a developing nation with a burgeoning population, dominated by an historically antithetical faith, unstable and corrupt, riven by terrorism and bordering Syria, Iraq, and Iran is a stroke of geopolitical genius that might be disbelieved if suggested by a satirical novelist, just as Raspail’s forecasts were ridiculed by so many of his contemporaries.

Human beings notoriously tend towards short-term thinking, but we can sometimes make serious attempts to avert looming catastrophes, as seen in relation to climate change. Why can we not similarly exert ourselves to protect unique national cultures, irreplaceable efflorescences of the human spirit? Must our continent of cathedrals and charters be overcome, drowned as surely and sadly as the Kurdish boy? Must all that is excellent and European be agglomerated down in the name of a spurious equality?

Or maybe there is still a way to break free from merciless logic through some blend of activisms that can remind us of who and what we were, and could be again. Maybe we can turn our alleged end into a brave beginning. History is fluid, we have resources, and there is scope for practical idealism. We, who have inherited this most enviable of civilizations, need to believe that and look for a future—because the alternative is unspeakable.

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National Nihilism

Ever since a US-backed junta seized control of Ukraine in February, the country’s ethnic, cultural and linguistic fault lines have been accentuated to deadly effect. The predominantly russophone south and east have already paid a terrible price for resisting the new liberal-nationalist regime, from a fiery massacre in Odessa to outright war against Donetsk and Lugansk, two regions bordering Russia that have declared their independence.

Originally published at Soul of the East

Strategies for full-spectrum dominance encompass far more than just military means – their entire point is found in politics, the struggle for power. Movements proclaiming themselves the champions of national salvation thus deserve extra scrutiny, since they might serve precisely the opposite end.

 Ever since a US-backed junta seized control of Ukraine in February, the country’s ethnic, cultural and linguistic fault lines have been accentuated to deadly effect. The predominantly russophone south and east have already paid a terrible price for resisting the new liberal-nationalist regime, from a fiery massacre in Odessa to outright war against Donetsk and Lugansk, two regions bordering Russia that have declared their independence. Had Vladimir Putin not moved to secure Crimea, the peninsula today would be suffering an analogous fate. When we consider the atrocities committed against the inhabitants of historical Novorossiya (New Russia), it must be understood that Kiev’s counterinsurgency is far more significant than a local conflict – it is a proxy war the Pax Americana wages against Russia in order to command the Eurasian heartland. 

In the quest to “contain” and destabilize Russia, Washington has found willing and eager proxies in Ukrainian nationalists. Longtime enemies of Moscow, outfits like Stepan Bandera’s Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Rebel Army (UPA) worked in close partnership with Nazi Germany during the Second World War. With the Reichstag still smoldering and the new Cold War underway, the United States would continue where the Abwehr and SS left off, dropping nationalist agents into western Ukraine to conduct sabotage and guerrilla campaigns against the Soviet government until the early 1950s. The Berlin Wall may no longer stand, but US/NATO employment of Ukrainian nationalists in subversion programs continues to this day. Aside from the $5 billion the US has openly spent over twenty years to suborn Ukraine, it stands to reason that substantial clandestine assets were also dedicated to that objective.

Supported by the CIA as well as Polish intelligence, Kiev has attempted for the past two months to bring the east to heel, yet the regime has little to show for the effort other than dead and wounded in the thousands, while towns such as Slavyansk and Kramatorsk are pulverized under sustained bombardment. The regular Ukrainian army, demoralized, underfunded and under-equipped, hasn’t taken to the repression with the revolutionary fervor expected of them by the junta. Rather, Kiev has relied on the newly-instituted National Guard, foreign mercenaries and paramilitaries bankrolled by billionaire oligarchs like Dnepropetrovsk governor Igor “Benya” Kolomoisky, an ardent Zionist with a business empire reportedly built on ruthless criminality. Filling the ranks of these “special battalions” are motivated but often inexperienced thugs from neo-fascist Right Sector, the group that played a pivotal role in the success of February 22nd’s Maidan putsch. The death squads have proven adept at terrorizing civilians, but they haven’t fared so well in combat with local resistance forces.

Possible outcome of the Ukraine crisis: Novorossiya and already Russian Crimea (South/East), Malorossiya-Ukraine and Galicia (North/West).

Underlying the regime’s disastrous attempt to smash the revolt in the east is the utter incoherence of Ukrainian nationalism. Ukraine as a nation-state has all the natural viability of Belgium, for it is an artificial country hopelessly divided within Soviet-era borders. Civil war has erupted because ethnic Russians and culturally Russian Ukrainians, for generations living on traditionally Russian lands, refuse to accede to a poisonous chauvinism demanding the surrender of their religious, cultural and linguistic heritage. The armed ideologues who come to impose “ukrainianization” might as well be foreign invaders seeking to wipe out a subjugated people’s very identity, and this is why bands of rebels in the Donbas are fighting to the knife.

While far from the only case, the fabricated nature of militant Ukrainian nationalism becomes clearer through the lens of great-power competition. The shaping of “Ukraine” (originally Malorossiya – Little Russia – plus Galicia and Volynia) as an entity implacably hostile to “Muscovy” is an ongoing Western geopolitical project launched in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when Poland and the Vatican maneuvered to fracture the unity of Orthodox Eastern Slavdom. From that time and in succession, Austria-Hungary, Germany, and now the United States have all found fostering and further inciting this antagonism as an economical means to undermine and even attack Russia itself. Though foolish and extremely dangerous, America’s latest bid to incorporate Ukraine into the “free world” is thus well-founded in historical precedent.

Also set in historical precedent is US collaboration with fascists. Far from limited to sponsorship of Pinochet-style military governments in Latin America, it’s worth recalling that Wall Street actively financed Adolf Hitler’s rise to Weltmacht. And so today the ultra-nationalists of Ukraine enjoy Washington’s tacit support as they drive to ethnically cleanse the country’s south and east of Russians and attain a pyrrhic victory for their ideology. Since Right Sector, Svoboda and other radical parties are enraptured by the legacy of National Socialism, they would do well to remember not only its fate, but also its dialectical function. The wholesale destruction and dehumanization wrought by Nazism merely cleared the way for the triumph of international capital, which from the end of World War II has enforced its dictates through liberal political economy, cultural Marxism and American military power. As US President Barack Obama elaborated in a recent speechin Warsaw:

We have a solemn duty — a binding treaty obligation — to defend your territorial integrity.  And we will.  We stand together — now and forever — for your freedom is ours.

The banksters are at liberty to subvert, invade and expropriate across the world forever. A key condition for the IMF’s extension of its $18 billion loanto Ukraine is “territorial integrity” – in their war on Novorossiya, nationalists act as the foot soldiers of predatory multinationals. They march not for their fatherland, but for the greater glory of Exxon-MobilMonsanto, and Lady Gaga; they are expendable, and so is Ukraine. Fantasies of a state from the Carpathians to the Caucasus seem quaint compared to the vision of planetary rule decreed by the masters of the dialectic, and the parochial nihilism of Bandera’s disciples represents only a transitory stage toward universal enslavement and the dissolution of all peoples.

Globalist elites design their policies according to the classical maxim of divide et impera, yet its esoteric corollary is solve et coagula, the alchemical process applied to entire societies. Behind inane sloganeering on freedom, democracy and human rights lies a relentless desire to destroy. Sovereignty must be ended, sex and the family distorted unto grotesquery, and God usurped by Mammon. The nation – the great extended family – must be annihilated. What the Brave New World needs are neither Russians nor Ukrainians, but demographic biomass engineered for exploitation.

Ukraine’s tragedy provides us a ready example of nationalism manipulated for the benefit of internationalist oligarchs. And Russia must meet its own challenge of upholding traditional identity against the onslaught of the West’s postmodern imperium. The organic, tribal nationalism of the blood can be reconciled with the higher demands of the spirit; such has been the mission of the Church and state in forming a wider Russian Orthodox civilization. In the meantime, the mounting outrages and provocations of the Kiev junta are catalogued for the sake of justice – to be meted out at a time of the Kremlin’s choosing.

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Dark Hero

Over the past decade Vladimir Putin has proven a consummate practitioner of statecraft in this fashion, as well as an able defender of the national interest. Yet where is he leading Russia?

Originally published October 2011. Soul of the East

Not in vain is Russia heir to the traditions of Byzantium; intrigue, secret diplomacy and espionage are integral to the Third Rome’s strategic culture. Over the past decade Vladimir Putin has proven a consummate practitioner of statecraft in this fashion, as well as an able defender of the national interest. Yet where is he leading Russia? The answer remains a mystery. His formidable will and predisposition to action are impressive, but only in the service of a higher principle will these gifts signify greatness.

Barring any extraordinary surprises or disasters, Putin will again be president of the Russian Federation by spring of next year. His liberal protégé, Dmitry Medvedev, is slated for a return to the premier’s seat (now occupied by VVP, as he is referred to in Moscow), thereby flipping the leadership “tandem” back to its natural state. Titles in contemporary politics carry limited meaning. It’s clear that Putin was and is the Gosudar’, Russia’s ruler; he’s a Byzantine emperor, Petersburg technocrat and KGB veteran all at once. And his operating methods today still reflect the formative years he spent in Soviet intelligence.

Stories of interactions with Putin are telling in this regard. He has been known to inject some dark humor into his dealings with opponents, often with an acute eye to psychological advantage. Before a trip to Moscow, a senior U.S. State Department official made a series of press statements condemning Russia’s security services for the usual “human rights violations” and persecution of dissidents. Upon the diplomat’s arrival in the country, Putin invited her to a party at a compound on the outskirts of Moscow. Only after stepping out of her motorcade and into the sumptuous dacha would she discover that it was a birthday celebration for FSB heavyweight Nikolai Patrushev.

A significant element of Putin’s mystique has been his ability to confound and punish enemies. When he began his first term as president in 2000, oligarchs like Boris Berezovsky expected to control the Kremlin as they did under Yeltsin. Stripping Russia of her resources and impoverishing her people had proven a wildly lucrative endeavor. Instead, when Putin moved against their empires in his quest to rebuild the state, they were lucky to escape with their ill-gotten gains to more hospitable accommodations in London and Tel Aviv. Since American-supported Open Society magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky refused to take analogous hints, he ended up in a prison cell. Meanwhile the Kremlin waged brutal war against Chechen rebels and largely arrested Russia’s disintegration toward regional and ethnic separatism.

It is most notably in the realm of international competition that Putin has shown himself a statesman. He maneuvered Russia back to primacy within her Eurasian sphere of interests and worked to effectively reverse the tide of Washington-generated “color revolutions” from Ukraine to Kyrgyzstan. The August 2008 war with Georgia, provoked by the unstable U.S. client Mikheil Saakashvili, served as Moscow’s unsubtle warning to the West that certain red lines need not be crossed. Putin has at the same time engineered a fruitful economic partnership with Germany, with this year marking the inauguration of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline across the Baltic. Should Berlin ever come to rethink its current cultural and geopolitical orientation, a Russo-German entente would field enormous strategic potential.

Western media commentators have been uniform in their expressions of dismay at the return of “Batman”, as Putin was crowned in a State Department cable, to his subterranean throne beneath the Kremlin. Such despondency from the manufacturers of opinion is somewhat encouraging; it could be taken as a sign that Russia’s once and future president has made some remarkable achievements in safeguarding his country. Orthodox Patriarch Cyril recently thanked him for preventing its collapse. Nonetheless, Putin stands before several daunting challenges.

Like the rest of Europe, Russia must undertake radical action if it is to have a future. Modernity in its Bolshevik iteration laid waste to the Slavic lands. Post-Soviet demographic decline will demand the expansion of pro-natal policies that Putin has at least begun to implement[1]. The energy-based economy he was content to promote during the past decade must be diversified if Russia is to attain dynamism and infrastructure commensurate with a talented and well-educated population base. In the Muslim North Caucasus, instability, crime and clan warfare are systemic, having already swallowed enormous federal resources and spread to Moscow itself. Ordinary Russians are fatigued by ubiquitous corruption, and the price of bribes keeps rising – from those required for government and business services to university admissions and traffic stops. All this transpires as the Pentagon deploys its missile-defense infrastructure- a new ring of “containment”- ever closer to Russia’s western frontiers.

As Putin enters his third presidential term, his task – the restoration of Russia – will require no less than the exertion of a Peter the Great. The feuding clans that comprise the power structure will not make this any easier (Putin is their main arbiter). It would be unwise to rely so heavily on “political technologists”, confidence men who reduce ideologies to mere marketing campaigns and breed only cynicism. Replicating the silly manipulations practiced by Western politicians in the pay of financial elites is beneath the dignity of a sovereign state with a thousand-year history of rule. Russians have long valued representative institutions like the zemstvo at the local and regional levels; they’ve also understood from experience that issues of national survival depend upon the will of the autocrat. As the poet Alexander Pushkin once expressed, “supreme power does not tolerate a weak hand”.

Putin could be the autocrat Russia needs, though it still remains to be seen whether he will explicitly formulate and lead a cause of national salvation. He certainly has earned admiration from Russian conservatives and some traditionalists in the West for his positions against U.S. hegemony, not to speak of his very style. Yet the Putin who delivered the 2007 Munich speech against NATO encroachment also delegated Dmitry Medvedev and his liberal advisors presidential power the following year. In addition, the Kremlin has worked to marginalize sincere and articulate Russian nationalists. These men have not shied away from opposing massive immigration flows from the Caucasus and Central Asia as well as the moral and spiritual degradation of society wrought through
the media. Their analysis of Russia’s predicament is part of a wider reaction against anarcho-tyranny regnant throughout the whole of European civilization.

European peoples are the target of a campaign aimed at their dissolution. Were Putin to affirm the Great Russian ethnos and its right to an independent existence as Tsar Alexander III did before him, he would in one stroke create a basic framework of resistance to the global democracy offensive. An astute populist like Putin should recognize this. But at the rhetorical level, he often still employs liberal semantics. His new proposal for a Eurasian Union, a geopolitically sensible project, is publicly justified with a call for open borders and open markets- tools for the erosion of national identity.

In his work The Counter-Revolution, Thomas Molnar analyzed the phenomenon of the counter-revolutionary hero, a charismatic figure who will use supportive rightists for certain objectives, only to betray them at a later time. This type of actor might possess certain counter-revolutionary sentiments, but concludes that to retain power he must cooperate with the revolutionary media and cultural establishment, thus ultimately furthering their program of subversion. Charles De Gaulle, who after a triumphal return to power abandoned the colonsin Algeria and surrendered French society to the leftists of May 1968, embodied for Molnar this projection of false hope:

“If one examines this phenomenon from all sides, one cannot but conclude that what impressed them in De Gaulle were the imponderables of his personality, what I called repeatedly style. An absolute rigor, the cult of loneliness, the iron will, the sense of mission, all this created an image that overwhelmed the counter-revolutionaries even though they were aware of his past record. Objectively examined, De Gaulle was the last person they ought to have trusted…”

One could rightfully say that Putin is no De Gaulle, as he has deftly neutralized dissent and potential uprisings, which are in turn often sponsored by a network of Western NGOs (and the governments that coordinate them). At the same time, propaganda to insurrection against traditional order enjoys a wide bandwidth in Russia- it is potent and nearly omnipresent through television and other electronic media. Pornography, for example, can be viewed on state channels. Through the business ventures of Wall Street and Hollywood, Washington holds means other than force to subdue its foes; weapons like MTV shatter national morale as no barrage of cruise missiles ever could. If Putin is truly serious about protecting Russia, he will prosecute a cultural counter-revolution[2]. To defy the Brave New World requires the discipline of repentance.

The struggle for renewal is fought in depths unseen; it is spiritual in nature. From Communist rule and genocidal wars to the seductions of a free and equal consumer paradise, Russia walks her Way of the Cross. Her unknown fate has been charged to the ruthless and enigmatic Vladimir Putin. May he come to be not a De Gaulle, but a Constantine, and rally against the forces of postmodern Mammonism a sacral empire.

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[1] Ending the abomination of infanticide, known euphemistically throughout the developed world as abortion, would be a major step in demographic recovery among Russians. While the rate of abortions has been declining, there were still 74 for every 100 births in the country in 2009. Only through the resurgence of Orthodox culture and its hierarchy of values can this phenomenon, as well as alcoholism and drug addiction, be effectively curtailed.

[2] In this regard, Brazilian Catholic traditionalist Plinio Correa de Oliveira wrote: “It also must be recognized that if a person managed, for example, to put a stop to immoral or agnostic movies or television programs, he would have done much more for the Counter-Revolution than if, in the course of the everyday proceedings of a parliamentary regime, he had brought about the fall of a leftist cabinet.”

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Jobbik Makes Gains In 2014 Hungarian Election

Yesterday (Sunday, April 6), the national parliamentary elections, which are held every four years, took place in Hungary.

Yesterday (Sunday, April 6), the national parliamentary elections, which are held every four years, took place in Hungary. This election was particularly notable in that it was the first time that those of Hungarian ethnicity who reside in other countries were allowed to participate – a significant change considering how many Hungarians live outside of Hungary’s borders at the present time, most especially in those territories which it lost following its defeat in the First World War.

The Hungarian parliamentary elections work in a somewhat unorthodox manner, with voters having to choose both from a list of candidates from each particular party on the national level, as well as for deputies from those parties for their own specific county or district.

No one seriously expected that the popular Center-Right party Fidesz, which has governed Hungary continuously since 1998, would not be victorious again, and sure enough, Fidesz, in a coalition with the Christian Democratic People’s Party, won over 44% of the vote, giving it 133 out of 199 seats in parliament, and securing a two-thirds supermajority in representatives, which means it can continue to make changes to the national constitution without the consent of the opposition.

Nevertheless, Jobbik, the more radical contender on the Right in Hungary whose success has been inspirational to nationalist movements across Europe, made significant gains. Having been founded just over a decade ago in 2003, Jobbik polled at less than 2% of the total vote when it fought its first election in 2006. It surprised the world by placing third among Hungary’s parties and garnering over 16% of the vote in 2010. Yesterday, Jobbik won over 20% of the vote and 23 parliamentary seats, again placing third, and making gains even in the highly liberal capital city, Budapest. This was quite an extraordinary feat for a party that has been branded as “extremist” and “fascist” both at home and abroad, and whose message reflects an uncompromising commitment to a genuinely Right-wing perspective and traditionalist values. Jobbik is known for its defense of the Hungarian people, both within and outside Hungary, and particularly as against Hungary’s Roma population; opposition to liberalism and globalization; opposition to Zionism; and opposition to the European Union, the United States and NATO (part of its party program is to take Hungary out of the EU), which it says treats smaller countries like Hungary as nothing more than a cheap labor force to be exploited.

I was fortunate enough to watch the election returns as a guest of Jobbik at their campaign headquarters yesterday evening, and I had the opportunity to speak with Márton Gyöngyösi, Jobbik’s International Secretary, about what the party’s hopes had been going into the election and their reaction to the results. He told me that Jobbik’s primary goals in this year’s election were to displace Unity, the Leftist coalition, for the number two spot among the parties; to prevent Fidesz from securing another supermajority; to capture the deputy positions in as many counties and districts as possible; and to increase their general numbers among the national electorate. It was only in the last point that Jobbik was ultimately successful.

Unity is not itself a party, but rather a coalition of five socialist/Leftist parties who joined together simply for the purposes of fighting in the election, given the severe loss in support suffered in the 2010 elections by the previous number-two party in Hungary, the Hungarian Socialist Party (which regards itself as the successor to the Communist party which ruled Hungary between 1956 and 1989). Jobbik does not see Unity as serious political rivals, however, since the parties involved have little history of working together outside of the election campaign. Nevertheless, Unity was successful in securing nearly 26% of the vote and 38 seats in parliament, and won the deputy races in two counties, as well as in the deputy races in many districts of Budapest.

It should be noted that the fourth-place party after Jobbik was the Lehet Más a Politika (“Politics Can Be Different”), a Green party, which garnered less than 6% of the vote, and only 5 parliamentary seats. This was just barely sufficient to enable the party to enter parliament at all (5% being the minimum required). This is a clear indication that Jobbik has handily established itself as one of the only serious contenders for national leadership.

During the early phases of the election returns, it seemed as if Jobbik would win the deputy slot in Miskolc, the fourth-largest city in Hungary and a long-time stronghold of Fidesz, but once all the returns were in Fidesz managed to maintain a razor-thin majority. As a result, Jobbik did not win in any of Hungary’s deputy races.

Despite these setbacks, the fact that Jobbik is an actual party, as opposed to Unity, which is merely an alliance of many parties that are unlikely to work together in parliament, means that Jobbik stands as the second-most powerful political party in the Hungarian parliament today.

Márton Gyöngyösi noted that the balance of power between Hungary’s parties was largely unchanged from the 2010 election, which was disappointing for Jobbik. Nevertheless, he was pleased to see the increase in the number of voters who supported them, indicating that their message is beginning to resonate more and more with Hungarian voters.

When asked what Jobbik needed to do to position itself as a serious challenger to Fidesz’s domination, Gyöngyösi said that the party needs to find a way to appeal to voters in historically liberal Budapest. A look at the numbers shows that Jobbik is already the second-most popular party in many of the rural regions of the country, which are traditionally, and unsurprisingly, the most Right-leaning sector of the nation. While Jobbik increased its numbers in Budapest as well, it still received only slightly more than 10% of the votes there. With a population of two million out of a nation of nearly ten million people, a party’s success in the capital city is crucial to achieving victory. But as of now, Jobbik hasn’t succeeded in finding a way to attract significant support there, which Gyöngyösi said would be a top priority for the party moving forward.

Several Jobbik members also suggested to me that Fidesz’s popularity largely hinges upon that of its charismatic leader, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and that his eventual departure from the party could greatly reduce their appeal. Several Hungarians I have spoken with have also indicated that many voters who once supported Fidesz unconditionally have grown more skeptical about it, and their support for Fidesz was more reserved and hesitant this time around given Hungary’s persistent economic troubles. This is supported by the numbers, as Fidesz, while it remained dominant, saw its numbers drop significantly from what they were in 2010.

Gyöngyösi sees hope for his party’s future in the fact that Jobbik has attracted a great deal of popularity among Hungary’s youth, and most especially among university students. Opinion polls have indicated that Jobbik is the most popular party among approximately one-third of students. If present trends continue, as these young people grow older and become more active, Jobbik could be well-positioned to surpass its rivals in 2018 or 2022, barring any unforeseen changes to Hungary’s political landscape.

Those of a Rightist inclination should not be disappointed that Fidesz remains in power, however. While I find the policies and general political philosophy of Jobbik to be much more compatible with a “true Right” (to use Evola’s term) perspective, it cannot be questioned that Fidesz has done a great deal of good for the country, and would itself be considered “extremist” by Western European or North American standards. (I have been told that articles by the French “New Right” gurus, Alain de Benoist and Guillaume Faye, have been published in Fidesz’s party newspaper, for example.) Given that Jobbik and Fidesz combined accounted for 65% of the votes cast, this would seem to indicate that Leftist parties simply lack appeal for the vast majority of Hungarians and are unlikely to reestablish themselves in the immediate future. I suppose this is unsurprising in a country that had Communist rule forced upon it for nearly half a century, something that is still fresh in the memories of many Hungarians.

What is certain is that Jobbik is not a passing phenomenon, nor a force that can be ignored, and it is likely to remain a significant factor in Hungarian, and European, politics for years to come. This poses a serious counterargument against those who hold that the only way that Rightist parties can succeed is by moderating, since Jobbik has little history of watering down its messages, which are quite bold, to assuage the complaints of its critics. Given Jobbik’s highly innovative geopolitical stance (which favors an alliance of Hungary with Russia, Turkey and Germany as a bulwark against the EU and the United States), its critique of capitalism, and its adoption of some of the perspectives of traditionalists such as René Guénon and Julius Evola, this also suggests that many people are looking for new and innovative ideas on the Right as opposed to the recycling and repackaging of the same, tired conservative slogans of the past. The Right of the future, if it is to achieve anything, will be a very different Right (and may scarcely be “Right-wing” at all, in conventional terms).

Given the sudden increase in popularity of “radical” Right-wing parties across Europe in recent years, most notably in France, Jobbik seems to be only a part of a growing trend. Europeans, and young people in particular, have awakened to the fact that liberalism has and is continuing to fail to meet the needs and desires of our people. If we want to see where the vigor and innovation lies in the European political scene today, we must look to the Right. Tomorrow belongs to us.

John Morgan is Editor-in-Chief of Arktos Media. He currently resides in Budapest.

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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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