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Tag: Vladimir Putin

The Hard Road for Putin

While there are many unanswered questions about the disaster and the dishonesty and hysteria of Western propaganda goes without saying, the objective political reality remains the same. The narrative has already solidified in the West–and Putin is to blame. 

The glee with which the Washington foreign policy establishment greeted the crash of flight MH-17 is matched only by their silence about the continuing slaughter in Eastern Ukraine. Not only did they get to move the Central American invasion off the front page, the media and politicians got a chance to play their favorite sport of bear-baiting. While there are many unanswered questions about the disaster and the dishonesty and hysteria of Western propaganda goes without saying, the objective political reality remains the same. The narrative has already solidified in the West–and Putin is to blame.

Only a few weeks after being regarded by friend and foe as a master geopolitical strategist, Vladimir Putin is suddenly faced with a far more hostile Europe. In his attempt to pin the blame for the crash on Ukraine, President Putin also casually conceded that the area was Ukrainian territory. Perhaps this was his objective all along, as he has not been especially enthusiastic about aiding the “Novorossia” separatists. However, if the end result of the Ukrainian crisis is the tenuous seizure of Crimea (unrecognized by the rest of the world), the reduction of Russian influence in Ukraine and Europe, and the defeat of pro-Russian forces in the east, Putin will appear weak for the first time.

Russia is also under increasing economic attack designed to break the regime. “Capital is a coward” as they say, and the hallmark of American foreign and domestic policy is to harness corruption and degeneracy to further the country’s own ends. Russian billionaires are already feeling pressure and are being confronted with a choice of turning on Putin or jeopardizing their economic relations in the West.

Ironically, pressure on Putin is intensifying at the very moment he is acquiescing to the West’s wishes. He has held back from invading Ukraine. Russian nationalists are no longer enjoying access to the media, and even Alexander Dugin’s star has faded within officialdom. However, even as Putin is becoming more “pragmatic,” the pressure for sanctions is increasing.

Part of Putin’s problem is that he has been too clever by half. Throughout the crisis, Russia has maintained that Ukraine is being run by “fascists” and “Nazis.” While it’s true the only overt “Nazis” that seem to be fighting in the area are fighting for Ukraine, the nationalists seem to have little power within the current Ukrainian government and are mostly being used for cannon fodder.

Unfortunately, outside Galicia, Russia’s only real friends in the West are on the right. From Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen in Europe to Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan in the United States, Putin only gets a fair hearing from what can roughly be called the Dissident Right in the West. Social democrats and neoconservatives are too busy raging against him as a “tyrant” because he doesn’t allow enough gay pride parades. Occasionally, this even leads to what can only be called coded appeals for pre-emptive war against one of the greatest powers in the world–what Steve Sailer called “World War G.”

Since the beginning of his time in office, Vladimir Putin’s number one goal has been to prevent a State Department/Soros funded color coded “revolution” on the streets of Moscow. For that reason, he has imposed restrictions on foreign “activist” organizations backed by foreign money. Even his supposed crackdown on homosexuals is a ban on homosexual “activism,” not private sexual behavior. Unlike the nations of the West, Putin’s Russia has a government that actually governs, as opposed to serving as a jobs program for various minorities.

However, in today’s world, even a mildly conservative “sovereign democracy” is enough to inspire the fanatical rage of the Washington governing class and its pet media. The American media resorted to outright falsity when portraying the conflict in South Ossetia years ago. More recently, when Russia hosted the Winter Olympics, Western newspapers were filled with taunts and stories portraying the country as a kind of Third World disaster out of Borat. Strangely, the mass riots and collapsing infrastructure of World Cup host Brazil went all but unmentioned.  When Pussy Riot disrupted a mass with an obscenity filled protest, the American Secretary of State posed with them for a picture, and National Review’s John O’Sullivan called them “virtuous” and “religious.” The liberal American media is far more hostile towards Putin’s Russia than they were to the Soviet Union, and conservatives seem excited to fight a politically correct enemy rather than more hapless brown people.

While Putin himself is usually sure footed in his responses, Russia’s larger public relations effort often seems hapless and confused. Russia Today, supposedly designed as a counter to the American media, usually appears like a kind of grab bag of left-libertarian features that wouldn’t seem out of place on Democracy Now. Though there is the occasional conservative guest who would be cut from the American mainstream media, the network keeps inviting guests who are almost guaranteed to be hostile. For example, RT invited on Jamie Kirchick—someone whose entire identity, ideology, and outlook on foreign relations revolves entirely on his predilection for sodomy—who promptly made a precious little spectacle of himself. RT also has a problem with its anchors quitting in order to receive the worshipful applause of the American press.

There is nothing Russia can do that will win over the Western press and the American government short of Putin resigning and Gazprom cutting a reparations check to GLAAD. None of the propaganda targeted at Western liberals seems to be taking. Russia is also being forced into an untenable financial position unless it caves unilaterally on all Ukrainian issues. Putin cannot do this without losing domestic support and risking Russia’s international position.

The alternative is to attack–and for Russia to support the only people inclined to support them, Traditionalists and conservatives. The West will not allow Russia to be a “normal” country while Putin is in power and while it insists on relatively conservative social stances. Therefore, Russia needs to take the cultural war into the heart of the West, where restive populations are already looking for an excuse to revolt against their political class over mass immigration, Islamization, political cor
rectness, and incompetence in foreign and domestic policy.

Let Washington, DC choke on it when Russia starts “Radio Free Amerika” to broadcast every day about how American corporations are helping the government spy on its citizens. Let RT start sending its reporters to the border to get some video of the MS-13 members the American government insists on calling “children.” Let’s see how the Huffington Post reacts to American audiences being introduced to Alexander Dugin. And let’s see what the reception will be if the People’s State of Donetsk makes like the Ukrainian forces and starts accepting foreign volunteers.

The strategic advantage has shifted to the West and stagnation is death for Russia. If the West is going to treat the Third Rome like a rogue state no matter what it does, it might as well act like one.

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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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Why the Conservative Movement Needs Dugin

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

Russia, the Necessary Enemy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So Much for Respectability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Eternal Enemy to the Right

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

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

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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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A Warning On Nationalism

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

Originally published at The Soul of the East

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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