On March 7, 2011, The Inter-American Institute's President, Olavo de Carvalho, and leader of the International Eurasian Movement, Aleksandr Dugin, started a written debate on the topic "The USA and the New World Order." Professor de Carvalho is a philosopher currently residing in the United States. He teaches the Institute's 5-year Philosophy Seminar to more than 2000 international students, and his opinion columns are published twice a week in Brazilian newspapers. Professor Dugin is Vladimir Putin's geopolitical strategist, leading organizer of the Eurasian Movement, and considered the most influential Russian thinker of the post-Soviet era.

The previous three parts of the debate have already been published by our website and can be accessed through the following links:

Below we reproduce both Aleksandr Dugin's and Olavo de Carvalho's final remarks. If you prefer to read the entire debate in one single PDF file, click here.


DUGINOLAVO22


FINAL REMARKS

Olavo de Carvalho


My debate with Prof. Aleksandr Dugin is over, there only remaining for each side to present their conclusions, which, since they will be published in tandem, will break away from the pattern of replies and rejoinders that properly constitutes a debate.

I have a clear conscience of having proven my points, whereas my opponent has proven absolutely nothing. Nor did I expect him to. It is of the nature of ideological discourse to take as unquestionable premises the very beliefs and values that it seeks to uphold, thus enclosing itself in a circular reasoning that excludes, in limine, the possibility of proof.

Diderot never proved anything, nor did Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx, Lenin, Adolf Hitler, Che Guevara.

Ideological discourse does not prove anything: it gives orders, concealing them, so as not to offend the most sensitive, beneath an imitation of judgments about reality.

A proof is only possible when you descend from the semantic level of current discussions, which is stuffed with hidden assumptions and murky connotations, analytically dismember a whole topic into explicit judgments, and confront them with the initial, universal, and self-evident data of human existence.

Philosophical meditation essentially consists in stepping back from ideas and opinions toward the founding experiences of all human knowledge. These experiences are at the same time universal and individual: they repeat themselves more or less equally in all human beings and incorporate themselves at the bottom of the soul of each one of them as data of their deepest intimacy.

An example is the experience of the structure of space, which I described in two notes posted on a blog which I have abandoned to the moths, if there are electronic moths (see “The Junior Philosopher” and “Memoirs of a Brontosaurus” at www.olavodecarvalho.org/blog). Another instance is the experience of the continuity of the substantial, real self beneath the mutability of psychic states and of the form of the body, as well as the inconstancy of the subjective, Cartesian self. I explained this extensively in my course “The Consciousness of Immortality,” which I hope will be published in book form this year (see the program of the course at www.olavodecarvalho.org/avisos/curso_out2010.html).

The discourse of the political agent is inevitably based on conventions and pseudo-consensuses which must be insulated from every possibility of analytical examination for that discourse to achieve its goals.

Philosophical meditation decomposes these conventions, revealing and bringing their implicit premises to judgment at the tribunal of the founding experiences, the utmost—or maybe sole—measure of our sense of reality.

The reader who is patient enough to compare my newspaper articles with the explanations on the philosophical method which I have scattered through my books, class handouts, and recorded courses, will understand that those articles never have a “stand-taking” character, but are examples—terribly condensed ones—of application of the philosophical method to the analysis of current political discourse.

The fact that some hasty readers try to explain them as expressions of some “ideology” of mine only shows that they ignore the basic condition of possibility of all ideological discourse: the existence of a social and political group to which the speaker is bound by organic ties of commitment and participation. As this condition in my case is not filled even in dreams, that is, as this group does not exist, my ideological cataloguers find themselves forced to make one up, nominating me as a representative of the Israeli government, of “Opus Dei,” of the “Tea Party,” or of any other organization with which I only maintain relations of complete mutual ignorance. In this, Prof. Dugin has exceeded my most depressing expectations, classifying me as spokesperson of Western globalism, which I abominate, or at least of its “conservative wing,” which for me is not at all different from its opposite wing.

Overlooking these theatrical displays which denote some insecurity in my opponent, I would wish only to add to what has been said a few notes of a historical nature, which I hope will be useful for the understanding of the issue being debated.

In the field of conspiracy theories Prof. Dugin is something like an authority. Not only has he written a book about them—covering Martian invasions, underground temples, and even a caste of ruling reptiles—, but he has also distinguished himself, if not as an inventor, at least as a successful propagandist of one such theory, certainly the most presumptuous of them all.

That theory is presumptuous not only in the reach of its alleged explanatory power, which encompasses nothing less than all human history, but also in the politico-military effects that it aspires to unleash: the alliance of Russia with China and the Islamic countries, as well as with part of Western Europe, in a total war against the United States and Israel, followed by the establishment of a worldwide dictatorship.

Prof. Dugin is not a dreamer, a macabre poet creating imaginary hecatombs in a dark dungeon infested with rats. He is the mentor of the Putin government and the brains behind Russian foreign policy. His ideas have long ceased to be mere speculations. One of their material incarnations is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which gathers together Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan and intends to be the center of a restructuring of military power in the world.[1] Another one is the Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis, which has been the apple of the eye of Russian diplomacy for years.[2]

The “war of the continents” theory was created by an English geographer at the turn of the twentieth century, under the impact of one of the most interesting episodes of that time: England’s struggle against Germany and Russia for dominion of Central Asia. The “Great Game,” as Rudyard Kipling called it, was an entangled story which involved, besides military personnel and diplomats, a whole cast of spies, bribed politicians, thieves, smugglers, tribe chieftains, secret sects, visionary mystics, sorcerers, corrupt maharajahs, seductive courtesans, and an army of men of science: geographers, linguists, botanists, zoologists, and ethnologists.[3] At the time, what the London government feared the most was that an alliance between Russia and Germany would sink its claws into that area which was so much coveted by its natural wealth and strategic position and thereby put the security of the British Empire at risk. The conflict dragged on for decades, with an advantage now for one side now for the other, ultimately flowing into World War I.

On January 25, 1904, the geographer and political scientist Halford J. Mackinder (1861-1947) presented to the Royal Geographic Society the thesis that Central Asia was the “pivot of History” and that in the following decades Russia, based on that area, was in a most advantageous position to expand its power.[4]

200px-Halford_Mackinder

Halford J. Mackinder

With no intention of creating a general theory of History, or of postulating a geographical determinism à la Buckle, and rather recognizing that all he could do was to speculate about “some aspects” of the geographical determinants of the historical process, Mackinder stressed that geography imposed precise limits upon human initiative, favoring some actions and rendering others difficult.

The geographical configuration of the Russian steppe had specially favored the action of nomadic hordes which, coming from the depths of Asia, rode through the area on horseback to invade Western Europe.[5] The consequences of this had been portentous:

“A repellent personality performs a valuable social function in uniting his enemies and it was under the pressure of external barbarism that Europe achieved her civilization.”[6]

“For a thousand years a series of horse-riding peoples emerged from Asia through the broad interval between the Ural mountains and the Caspian sea, rode through the open spaces of southern Russia, and struck home into Hungary in the very heart of the European peninsula, shaping by the necessity of opposing them the history of each of the great peoples around—the Russians, the Germans, the French, the Italians, and the Byzantine Greeks.” [7]

What swayed the tides of fate in favor of the Europeans were two factors. First, the intrinsic limitations of the barbarians’ attack potential:

“That [the barbarian invasion] stimulated healthy and powerful reaction, instead of crushing opposition under a widespread despotism, was due to the fact that the mobility of their power was conditioned by the steppes, and necessarily ceased in the surrounding forests and mountains.”[8]

Secondly, the evolution of maritime technique, which inaugurated the era of the great navigations:

“The all-important result of the discovery of the Cape road to the Indies was to connect the western and eastern coastal navigations of Euro- Asia, . . . and thus in some measure to neutralize the strategical advantage of the central position of the steppe – nomads by pressing upon them in rear. The revolution commenced by the great mariners of the Columbian generation endowed Christendom with the widest possible mobility of power...

“The broad political effect was to reverse the relations of Europe and Asia, for whereas in the Middle Ages Europe was caged between an impassable desert to south, an unknown ocean to west, and icy or forested wastes to north and north-east, and in the east and south-east was constantly threatened by the superior mobility of the horsemen and camelmen, she now emerged upon the world, multiplying more than thirty-fold the sea surface and coastal lands to which she had access”.[9]

But this did not lead to the end of land-power. If this kind of power was concentrated in the East, while the West further developed maritime power, it was not only due to diversity of geographic conditions, but because of a difference of cultures:

“It is probably one of the most striking coincidences of history that the seaward and the landward expansion of Europe should, in a sense, continue the ancient opposition between Roman and Greek. Few great failures have had more far-reaching consequences than the failure of Rome to Latinize the Greek. The Teuton was civilized and Christianized by the Roman, the Slav in the main by the Greek. It is the Romano-Teuton who in later times embarked upon the ocean; it was the Graeco-Slav who rode over the steppes, conquering the Turanian. Thus the modern land-power differs from the sea-power no less in the source of its ideals than in the material conditions of its mobility.”

If the era of the great navigations had favored Europe, in more recent times, the evolution of technique indicated that land-power, hence Euro-Asia, received a fresh invigoration:

“A generation ago steam and the Suez canal appeared to have increased the mobility of sea-power relatively to land-power. Railways acted chiefly as feeders to ocean-going commerce. But transcontinental railways are now transmuting the conditions of land-power, and nowhere can they have such effect as in the closed heart-land of Euro- Asia, in vast areas of which neither timber nor accessible stone was available for road-making. . . The Russian army in Manchuria is as significant evidence of mobile land-power as the British army in South Africa was of sea-power.”[10]

In the medium term, everything favored Russian hegemony:

“The spaces within the Russian Empire and Mongolia are so vast, and their potentialities in population, wheat, cotton, fuel, and metals so incalculably great, that it is inevitable that a vast economic world, more or less apart, will there develop inaccessible to oceanic commerce.”

At this point came a decisive generalization, which would make Mackinder famous:

“As we consider this rapid review of the broader currents of history, does not a certain persistence of geographical relationship become evident? Is not the pivot region of the world’s politics that vast area of Euro-Asia which is inaccessible to ships, but in antiquity lay open to the horse-riding nomads, and is today about to be covered with a network of railways?
. . . Russia replaces the Mongol Empire. Her pressure on Finland, on Scandinavia, on Poland, on Turkey, on Persia, on India, and on China, replaces the centrifugal raids of the steppemen. In the world at large she occupies the central strategical position held by Germany in Europe. She can strike on all sides and be struck from all sides, save the north. The full development of her modern railway mobility is merely a matter of time.”[11]

And the prediction that would become so influential on international politics in the twentieth century:

“The oversetting of the balance of power in favour of the pivot state, resulting in its expansion over the marginal lands of Euro-Asia, would permit of the use of vast continental resources for fleet-building, and the empire of the world would then be in sight. This might happen if Germany were to ally herself with Russia. The threat of such an event should, therefore, throw France into alliance with the over-sea powers, and France, Italy, Egypt, India, and Korea would become so many bridge heads where the outside navies would support armies to compel the pivot allies to deploy land forces and prevent them from concentrating their whole strength on fleets. . . . The development of the vast potentialities of South America might have a decisive influence upon the system. They might strengthen the United States…”

In Mackinder’s piece, the following features are rather visible:

1) He does not propose any general theory of history, except for a methodological rule, quite obvious, by the way, according to which “the actual balance of political power at any given time is, of course, the product, on the one hand, of geographical conditions, both economic and strategic, and, on the other hand, of the relative number, virility, equipment, and organization of the competing peoples.”[12]

2) The generalizations he puts forward are quite prudent and limited to a determined length of time, accessible to historic verification: the period that begins with the first barbarian invasions and culminates in the epoch of the “Great Game”.

3) He does not create any plan for world domination; on the contrary, he insists on the balance among the relative forces of the several powers—the “balance of power”.  Describing Russia’s growth potential, he does not, in any moment, suggest it should be obstructed or frustrated, but only that measures should be taken in order to avoid that the incomparable land-power of the Russian Empire might be also transfigured into a dominant sea-power, for if that came to pass,  “the world empire would then be at hand.”

Prudent, rational, and balanced at each of its steps, Mackinder’s exposition has become a model of that which could have become a “geopolitics” with a just claim to being a scientific study.

Yet, his successors would transform it into something very different.

Mackinder, of course, described the situation from the point of view of a “sea-power”. His theory, however, was enthusiastically adopted by the adversary power, but with an inverted sign, and soon it became one of the foundations of the new science, or pseudoscience, of “geopolitics”. Its name was coined by Swedish political scientist Rudolf Kjellén (1864-1922), a disciple of German geographer Friedrich Ratzel, who was a friend of Darwin and Haeckel and who created the racial concept of the state. One of the first to reform Mackinder’s theory according to a “land” perspective, however, was German general Karl Haushofer, who, according to several sources, was a disciple of the Armenian thaumaturge Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff and also founded the secret society Vril, which held a belief in a civilization of superior men which existed in the center of the Earth.  According to the testimony of the respected physicist Willy Ley, who fled Germany in 1933, Vril, which was founded on the eve of the Nazi’s rise to power, proclaimed to have secret knowledge that would enable the improvement of the German race to the point of making it identical with the underground men. The name of the organization was inspired by Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s novel The Coming Race (1871), where the word “vril” meant a subtle energy, distantly analogous to the Chi of the Chinese traditional cosmology and the Hara of the Japanese, and capable of conferring extraordinary powers on those who managed to awaken it through ascetical practices.

When Adolf Hitler was in jail with his collaborator Rudolf Hess, Haushofer, who had been Hess’ professor, visited both of them several times and conveyed to them, if not the teaching of Vril, at least the rudiments of his own geopolitical doctrine, whose influence became quite visible in Mein Kampf.

The origins of this doctrine go back to Haushofer’s sojourn in Japan, where he was able to verify how effective the local government’s international plans were in comparison with the resounding failure of Kaiser William II’s imperialist projects.

At the time, the government of Prime Minister Prince Katsura kept the population in a permanent state of alert by warning it, through vast propaganda campaigns, against the imminent risk the Japanese economy’s destruction should the following two closely linked problems not be vigorously attacked:

1. Surrounded by countries with a much larger population, Japan would soon be out of the game if the number of Japanese did not rise by 40 million, reaching the figure of 100 million.

2. It was impossible to squeeze 100 million people into the exiguous Japanese territory.

The obvious conclusion, soon accepted by all the population, was that the country needed to enlarge its territory through a bold policy of conquest.

Redoing the calculations, Haushofer noted that if the first premise was a reasonable conjecture, the second one was a patent lie: the density of Japan’s population was smaller than that of Germany, and the Japanese territory could house another 40 million people without any inconvenience. The policy proposed by the Katsura government did not stem from any objective need, but from a choice, an act of will. Japan did not need foreign territories: it just really, really wanted to become an imperialistic power.

However, rather than being a disappointment to Haushofer, this policy was received by him with enthusiasm, and gave him the idea of adopting it as a model for German policy-making: if the Japanese government obtained the enthusiastic adherence of its population to its imperialistic projects through a system of lies and half-truths based on demographic data well-arranged for this end, why could the German government not do the same?[13]

Yet, lying to the people should not imply that the government would fool itself. A serious study of political and economic geography, well coordinated  with an objective strategic consideration of the possibilities of imperialistic expansion, should lay the groundwork for the unification of the national will through the impact of an intense campaign of propaganda.

It was to this synthesis of geography, strategy, deceit and propaganda that he gave the name of “geopolitics”. However, those three elements have not always remained distinct and rationally coordinated throughout his works and the intense pedagogical action that Haushofer came to exert upon German intellectuals, politicians, and military men.

Haushofer

Karl Haushofer (left) with Rudolf Hess.

 

The theory of the “war of the continents” was also adopted by Russian nationalists, such as the renowned linguist Nicolay Trubetskoy, and many changes and additions have been made to it over the decades until it has been given its current form by the hands of Prof. Aleksandr Dugin.

Dugin gives Mackinder a non-negligible credit for having “understood the precise objective laws of the political, geographic and economic history of mankind,”[14] an honor which had previously been bestowed upon Montesquieu, Hegel, Giambattista Vico, Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer (in partnership with Charles Darwin) and Karl Marx, although each one of them discovered “objective laws” which were quite different from those of the others.

The Mackinder-Dugin Theory certainly enjoys the merit of simplicity: everything in history is reduced to contest for power between world powers that dominate the seas and those that rule over great extensions of land. Cultures, laws, institutions, costumes, values, symbols, and even religions are all born out of that contest. As simple as that. It is indeed the case of asking: “Why hasn’t anyone told me about that before?”

I cannot swear that Mackinder, a simple geographer and strategist with no greater philosophical ambitions, would approve of the transfiguration of the “war of the continents” into that metaphysical duel of titans depicted by Aleksander Dugin.  Clarifying this issue would require a time investment which I cannot make now.  In any case, I use the expression “Mackinder-Dugin theory” in order to distinguish it from Mackinder’s original theory. Also the Duginian theory could not have gone very far in its generalizing impulse had it started from Mackinder’s ideas alone. In order to formulate it, Dugin had to dig for other sources, especially the teachings of Helena Petrovna Blavatski (1831-1891)[15] and Alice Bailey (1880-1949).

For Dugin, the conflict is not just about a struggle among states. It takes on the proportions of a war between two worldviews, two systems of opposed and irreconcilable values which preserve their respective identities through the ages and go on as if reincarnating, since the remotest times, in successive historical agents—states and nations—, which are not always aware of being moved, as Chinese shadows on a wall, by these invisible and omnipotent super-agents: “Atlantism” and “Eurasianism”:

“In the ancient history the ‘maritime’ powers who became the historical symbol of the ‘maritime civilization’ as a whole were Phoenicia and Carthage. The overland empire opposing Carthage was Rome. The Punic war is the purest image of the opposition of ‘maritime civilization’ and ‘overland civilizations’. In the Modern Age and in the recent history the ‘insular’ and ‘maritime’ pole became England, ‘Mistress of the seas’, and later the giant island-continent America. England, as well as the ancient Phoenicia, mostly employed sea trade and the colonization of the coastal areas as its basic instrument for domination. The Phoenician-Anglo-Saxon geopolitical type generated a special ‘mercantile-capitalist-market’ pattern of civilization founded first of all on economic and material interests and the principles of economic liberalism Therefore, despite all possible historical variations, the most general kind of  ‘maritime’ civilization is always linked to the ‘primacy of economics above politics”.

As against the Phoenician pattern, Rome represented a sample of warlike-authoritarian structure based on administrative control and civil religiosity, on the primacy of ‘politics above economics’. Rome is the example of a non-maritime, overland, purely continental type of colonization, with its deep penetration into the continent and assimilation of the submitted peoples, automatically ‘Romanized’ after the conquest. In Modern History incarnations of the ‘overland’ power were the Russian Empire and also Central European imperial Austro-Hungary and Germany. ‘Russia – Germany – Austro-Hungary’ are the essential symbols of ‘geopolitical land’ during Modern History.”[16]

Dugin insists on the essential and millennial unity and continuity of the conflict, as well as of the two adversaries considered separately:

“So generalizing the ideas of Mackinder, it is possible to say that there is an historical ‘conspiracy of the Atlantists’, pursuing through the centuries the same geopolitical purposes oriented to the interest of the ‘maritime civilization’ of neo-Phoenician kind.”[17]

The theory clearly fits into the Kantian tradition of aprioristic determiners, which set boundaries to the field of human perceptions and actions, from above the horizon of individual consciousness, and secretly guide the course of events:

“Therefore, we are dealing with a ‘secret conspiracy’ of the most ancient kind, whose meaning and intrinsic metaphysical cause frequently remain completely obscure to its basic participants and even to its leading characters.”[18]

Mackinder’s ideas, limited as they were to the British outlook, could not reach such a level of generality prior to being complemented by their opposite—“oriental” and “terrestrial”—version. Dugin informs us that this fusion took place during the “frequent meetings of Russian Eurasianists with Karl Haushofer in Prague,” and he also tells us that around 1920 the overall Eurasian strategy, which stressed the need for a geopolitical alliance between Russia, Germany, and Japan, was ready—that very alliance which the cleverness of the British policy had been successful in frustrating since the middle of the preceding century.

In formulating this new strategy, continues Dugin, the Eurasianists and Haushofer “for the first time (…) expressed what stood behind the whole European political history of the last millennium, having traced the path of the ‘Roman imperial idea,’ which from Ancient Rome through Byzantium had passed to Russia, and through the Medieval Holy Empire of the German nations to Austria-Hungary and Germany.”[19]

The millenary opposition between the two blocks was not only geopolitical, but ideological and cultural:

“Against ‘Atlantism’ personifying the primacy of individualism, ‘economic liberalism’ and ‘democracy of a Protestant kind’, stands ‘Eurasianism’, necessarily presupposing authoritarianism, hierarchy and the establishment of ‘communitarian’, national-state principles over the simply human, individualistic and economic concerns.[20]

The struggle between the two blocks crosses the millennia by means of two networks of mysterious agents who invisibly direct the course of events.  On the Atlantist side,

We can define . . .  the “Atlantic ideology”, the ideology of “New Carthage”- the one that is common to all “influential agents”, to all secret and occultist organizations, to all lodges and semi-closed clubs which served and serve the Anglo-Saxon idea in the 20th century, penetrating the network of all continental “Eurasian” powers. And naturally, in the first place this immediately concerns English and American reconnaissance services (especially the CIA), which are not simply the “sentinels of capitalism” or “Americanism”, but the sentinels of “Atlantism” . . . working not only in the interests of each separate country, but in the interest of a special geopolitical and, in the end, metaphysical doctrine representing an extremely multi-planed, miscellaneous and wide, but nevertheless essentially uniform worldview.[21]

On the Eurasian side,

“All those who restlessly worked for the Eurasian union, those who hindered for centuries the propagation on the continent of individualist, egalitarian and liberal-democratic concepts (reproducing as a whole the typical Phoenician spirit of the ‘primacy of economics above politics’), those who aspired to unite the great Eurasian peoples in the atmosphere of the East, instead of in an atmosphere of the West – be it the East of Genghis Khan, the East of Russia or East of Germany – all of them were ‘Eurasian agents’, bearers of the special geopolitical doctrine, ‘the soldiers of the continent’, ‘the soldiers of Land’. The Eurasian secret society, the Order of the Eurasianists, does not start at all with the authors of the manifest ‘Exodus to the East’ or with Haushofer’s ‘Geopolitical Journal’. This was, briefly speaking, only the revelation, the outcome of a definite knowledge which existed since the beginning of time, together with its relative secret societies and network of ‘influential agents.[22]

Dugin leaves no room for doubt that all or practically all wars in history are nothing more than chapters of that sole and endless war between Atlantists and Eurasianists, and that such war constitutes therefore the ultimate explanation of all human glories and miseries:

"Order of Eurasia against Order of Atlantic (Atlantides).  Eternal Rome against Eternal Cartage.  Occult Punic war invisibly continuing during millennia.  Planetary conspiracy of Land against the Sea, Earth against Water, Authoritarianism and Idea against Democracy and Matter. Does not the endless paradoxes, contradictions, omissions and vagaries of our history become more clear, more logical and more reasonable, if we to look at them from the perspective of an occult geopolitical dualism?" [23]

What is more: geopolitical dualism not only offers a causal explanation for so many evils and sufferings, but also their definitive moral justification:

“Will not in this case the countless victims, by which mankind in our century pays the bill for unclear political projects, receive a deep metaphysical justification?”[24]

The excerpts quoted thus far suffice to uncover an eminent feature of Prof. Dugin’s style, one which, for being purely graphic, is not obscured by translation: I refer to his alternating use of certain expressions which are now written with attenuating quotation marks and now without them, denoting his free transition, or better said, confusion between literal and figurative meaning.

So, for example, the term Eurasian Order sometimes appears as a figure of speech meant to amass into a hypothetical unit “all those who restlessly worked for the Eurasian union” (sic), even though they had no idea that they had been serving some secret organization; and sometimes it designates the organization itself as a concrete historical entity with a date of foundation, hierarchies, rules, oaths, initiation rites, etc.

This introduces into the mind of the reader a twofold confusion. On one hand, it mixes into an indistinct paste both historical research and “conspiracy theory”. On the other, it violates Georg Jellinek’s classic warning, already mentioned in my second message to the debate with Prof. Dugin, that historical processes cannot be explained according to the same criteria when they arise from planned and controlled action and when they result from a purely accidental convergence of actions of several separate and unconnected agents. In the first case, the rational nexus precedes the action; in the second it is projected upon the action, ex post facto, by the imagination of the historian. The degree of certainty in both cases is rather different.[25]

This twofold confusion enables Prof. Dugin to concoct pseudo-historical conceptions which are infected to their marrow with the three typical features of the revolutionary mentality—the inversion of time, the inversion between subject and object, and the inversion of moral responsibility—, which rigorously reduces the scientific value of his speculations to nothing, while at the same time strengthening the force of their appeal to the imagination of the militant masses, over which the confusion itself exerts the fascination of a Sorelian myth.

In order to see this with utmost clarity, one must begin by realizing that “a great war of the continents” has never happened in history. If there were some wars of “sea-powers” against “land-powers,” there also were just as many wars of sea-powers among themselves, and the same being true for the land-powers, and precisely the latter two groups of wars are among the most notable and devastating of all time. The Napoleonic wars and the invasion of Russia by Adolf Hitler are examples that speak for themselves.

Never, at any point in history, do we find a general alliance of “Eurasianists” against a confederation of “Atlantists”. At most, there were localized conflicts between the two blocks, punctuated with equally significant conflicts within each block (supposing, ad argumentandum, that they are blocks). The “great war of the continents” is not a chapter of history: it is a future goal, a plan conceived by Prof. Dugin and his predecessors to be carried out in the subsequent decades, creating a conflict between Russia, China, and the Islamic countries on one side,and America and her allies on the other.

It is by taking this future ideal as a premise for the interpretation of the past that Prof. Dugin performs the magic trick of making a typical and demential “conspiracy theory” look like a respectable historical hypothesis.

To this end, he has to dissolve all borders between well-characterized ideological groups—Nazis and communists, for example—and reassign their members one by one, by forcedly enlisting them in the secret troops of “Atlantism” or “Eurasianism,” often attributing to them unconscious intentions which do not have anything to do with their avowed goals and with the visible course of their actions.

For example: since Germany and Russia are defined beforehand as “land powers,” being therefore natural allies against “Atlantism,” the mortal struggle between the two during World War II has to be attributed to the action of “infiltrated British agents” who manipulated Hitler and Stalin—the poor devils, so naïve!—and induced them into a fratricidal conflict instead of joining them as brothers in the fight against the common enemy.[26] What happened in the first half of the twentieth century is thus explained according to what Prof. Dugin thinks would have been better for the attainment of his plans for the twenty-first century.

Among the British agents in the German High Command, he singles out Admiral Canaris, “betrayer of the Reich,”[27] as being one of those most responsible for turning Germany against Russia instead of uniting them against England. For decades, Hitler had promised to “crush Bolshevism,” making this one of the avowed goals of the Nazi regime. Once in power, he unleashed ferocious persecution against the communists, while at the same time he prepared an attack against the USSR well in advance. But to Prof. Dugin all this does not mean anything. It was all the fault of some “British agent”.

Likewise, World War I—when Russia sided with “Atlantist powers” against its “natural allies,” Germany and Austria-Hungary—resulted from the action of Atlantists infiltrated among Slavophile patriots, who convinced the Tsar that Russian racial identity was more strategically decisive than the territorial unity among different ethnicities (a hypothesis that Dugin imagines would have led to an alliance with Germany). An identical maneuver would have been carried out by Atlantist agents in the Germany of the 1930s, who deceived the poor Nazis into believing in the identity of “Blood and Soil” when they should have noticed that it was necessary to choose between either one or the other.

Thus, the greatest events of the real history of the twentieth century were nothing more than illusions. The true history is Prof. Dugin’s  ideal narrative, which those events have maliciously concealed.

For the hypothesis of a “war of the continents” to enjoy some historical viability it would be necessary to prove, at least, that the wars among land and sea powers were more frequent or had more portentous consequences than other wars, above all the ones fought among land powers or among sea powers themselves. But it will be hard to find in Russian history wars which were vaster and more full of consequence than the invasions of Russia by France and Germany— two land-powers, according to Haushofer and Dugin—or than the war between Russia and Japan, also a land-power according to the same authors.

If the mere existence of a “war of the continents” is a hypothesis that goes up in smoke, even more chimerical would be to try to prove the existence of permanent conspiracies behind those wars, not to mention the existence, over the millennia, of secret organizations—an “Atlantist Order” against a “Eurasian Order”—devoted to their waging. Prof. Dugin sidesteps any confrontation with this question by his alternating use of words written with quotation marks or without them, by sometimes denoting a mere figure of speech and sometimes a presumption of the concrete existence of the organizations in question. In this way he is free to reason as if such organizations really existed, drawing from this the most daring conclusions, as well as to escape from trouble. when pressed against the wall with a demand for concrete evidence, by alleging that the names of the organizations were just figures of speech used to designate the spontaneous and unpremeditated convergence of the actions of “all those who restlessly worked for” the Atlantist or the Eurasian cause, even if they had imagined they had been doing something entirely different (fighting for mere national interests, money, or the propagation of faith, for example). At this point, the confusion between the anticipated unity of a plan and the retroactive unity of a historical account is more than evident.

By reason of its own confusion, the “Eurasian” idea hangs in the air like a chiaroscuro cloud, fascinating the audience with the power of a poetic-rhetorical discourse adorned with false scientific glitter.

The greatest evidence that such an idea does not work as a scientific concept is the very description of the current Eurasian block, such as presented in the statements of Prof. Dugin. According to him, this block essentially includes Russia, China, and the Islamic countries. I permit myself to quote what I wrote about it months ago:

“The three main agents of the globalizing process, as we have seen in a previous article, are not species of the same genus: one is a group of governments, the other an international community of billionaires, the third a borderless religious culture, which is found scattered even throughout enemy territory.

“Only the first of them can be depicted in the usual terms of geopolitics, but to the extent that the project of the Russian Empire expands into a “Eurasian Empire,” every attempt at defining it geopolitically runs into insurmountable obstacles. As the Eurasian dominion also encompasses Islam, it is almost comic that the great Russian strategist Aleksandr Dugin presents the contest for power in the world as a struggle between “land empires” and “sea empires,” classifying “Eurasia” among the former and the USA among the latter. On one hand, Islam, after occupying with great ease its neighboring territories, reached global projection mainly as a sea power. As soon as the second half of the ninth century—as Paolo Taufer writes in his magnificent study on Espansionismo Islamico Ieri e Oggi: ‘all major sea routes were in fact controlled by the Muslims: from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Sea of China, from the ports of Egypt that communicate to the Red Sea to the ones of Syria.’ As for Russia itself (then the USSR), its power in the twentieth century was based less on the strength of its armies than on the active presence of the Communist Party and of the Soviet secret service in all nations and continents. There was nothing “terrestrial” in the tentacular expansion of the Kremlin in Africa or Latin America. I cannot believe that Nikita Khrushchev’s soldiers carried on foot the missiles they installed in Cuba in 1962. The combat between the Land and the Sea has no value even as a symbol, for a symbol only works as such when it bears,  embedded in itself, in a synthetical fashion, a multitude of real facts, not fictions. The Eurasian empire is not a symbol; it is a Sorelian myththat is to say: it is an immense carrot-on-a-stick, a hypnotic contraption conceived to engage millions of idiots in the pursuit of a future that will never be what it promises.

“If, in obscure times, the mission of intellectuals is to call a spade a spade, to exorcize empty words and to replace stupefying slogans with an exact representation of the state of things, the “Eurasians” miserably fail to fulfill their duty. The only thing they can allege as an attenuating circumstance is that the strategists of the two other globalizing blocks are also notorious less for their realism than for their prodigious capacity of concealing the world behind the projective image of their respective interests.[28]

 



[1] See my article “A Suggestion to the Right-Thinking: Check into a Mental Hospital,” Diário do Comércio (Sao Paulo), January 30, 2006, http://www.theinteramerican.org/commentary/265-a-suggestion-to-the-right-thinking-check-into-a-mental-hospital-.html .

[2] See Jean Parvulesco, Vladimir Poutine et l’Eurasie.

[3] See Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game. The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia, New York, Kodansha, 1994, e Karl Mayer and Shareen Blair Brysac, Tournament of Shadows. The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia, Washington D.C., Counterpoint, 1999.

[4] Halford J. Mackinder, “The geographical pivot of History”, The Geographical Journal, No 4, April, 2004, Vol. XXIII, pp. 421-444.

[5] “Thus the core of Euro-Asia, although mottled with desert patches, is on the whole a steppe-land supplying a wide-spread if often scanty pasture, and there are not a few river-fed oases in it, but it is wholly unpenetrated by waterways from the ocean. In other words, we have in this immense area all the conditions for the maintenance of a sparse, but in the aggregate considerable, population of horse-riding and camel-riding nomads.” Op. cit. p. 429.

[6] P. 423.

[7] P. 427.

[8] Id. ibid.

[9] p. 432-433.

[10] P. 434.

[11] P. 435-36.

[12] P. 437.

[13] See Andreas Dorpalen, The World of General Haushofer. Geopolitics in Action, Port Washington (NY), Kennikat, 1942, pp. 7-13.

[14] Alexandre Douguine, La Grande Guerre des Continents, Paris, Avatar Éditions, 2006, p. 12. An English version is available at:  http://www.amerika.org/texts/the-great-war-of-continents-aleksandr-dugin/

[15] See Helena P. Blavatski, Isis Unveiled, London, J. W. Bouton, 1877, and The Secret Doctrine, London, Theosophical Publishing House, 1888. See also René Guénon, Le Théosophisme, Histoire d’une Pseudo-Réligion, Paris, 1921.

[16] Alexandre Douguine, op. cit., pp. 13-14.

[17] Alexandre Douguine, op. cit., pp. 16-17.

[18] Loc. cit.

[19] Op. cit., p. 18.

[20] Op. cit., p. 14.

[21] Op. cit., p. 15.

[22] Op. cit., p. 19. I do not know what date for the publication of the manifesto Dugin refers to, but the first issue of the Haushofer’s “Geopolitics Review” (Zeitschrift für Geopolitik) was published in January 1924.

[23] Loc. cit.

[24] Loc. cit.

[25] Here I use the same recourse to quotation marks, but with an opposite goal: when the word comes between quotes, it desginates what Prof. Dugin seems to understand by it; without quotes, what I understand myself.

[26] Op. cit., p. 25.

[27] Loc. cit.

[28] “Hypnotic Contraption” (“Geringonça hipnótica”), Diário do Comércio (São Paulo), March 7, 2011, http://www.olavodecarvalho.org/semana/110307dc.html.


DUGINOLAVO22


ENDNOTES. AGAINST POST-MODERN WORLD

Aleksandr Dugin


I would like, at the conclusion of this debate with Mr. Carvalho, to sum up the most important points:

Now I see that he was rather right in the beginning stressing that the asymmetry in our respective positions would eventually damage the whole task. So it was. I don’t see any use in continuing the mutual critics because it doesn’t help understand anything at all (for us and for the readers). I can now sincerely confess that I find the position of Mr. Carvalho too personal, idiosyncratic and irrelevant. So I would like to concentrate myself on other theoretical points that seem to me of real importance for the cause of the Tradition, of anti-imperialist and antimodern struggle that is my first and only concern.

First of all I insist that the current world is unipolar with the global West in its centre and with the United States as its core. The opposite arguments of Mr. Carvalho didn’t convince me at all.

This kind of the unipolarity has geopolitical and ideological sides. Geopolitically is the strategic dominance of the earth by North-American hyperpower and the effort of Washington to organize the balance of forces on the planet in such a manner to be able to rule the whole world in accordance with its own national (imperialistic) interests. It is bad because it deprives other states and nations of their real sovereignty.
When there is only one instance to decide who is right and who is wrong and who should be punished we have a kind of the global dictatorship.we should fight against it. If someone deprives us from our freedom we have to react. And we will. The American Empire should be destroyed. And at one point it will be.
I am convinced that is not acceptable.

Ideologically the unipolarity is based on the Modernist and Post-Modernist values that are openly anti-traditional ones. I share the vision of Rene Guenon and Julius Evola who considered the Modernity and its ideological basis (the individualism, the liberal democracy, the capitalism, the comfortism and so on) to be the cause of the future catastrophe of the humanity and global domination of the Western attitudes as the reason of final degradation of the earth. The West is approaching to its end and we should not let it push all the rest  with it into the abyss.

Spiritually the globalization is the creation of the Grand Parody, the kingdom of the Antichrist. And the United States is in centre of its expansion. The American values pretend to be “universal” ones. That it is new form of ideological aggression against the multiplicity of the cultures and the traditions still existing in the other parts of the world. I am resolutely against the Western values that are essential Modernist and Post-Modernist ones and promulgated by the United States by force or by the obtrusion (Afghanistan, Iraq, now Libya, tomorrow Syria and Iran) .

So, all traditionalists should be against the West and the globalization as well as against the imperialist politics of United States. It is the only logical and consequent position. So the traditionalists and the partisans of the traditional principles and values should oppose the West and defend the Rest (if the Rest shows the signs of the conservation of the Tradition – partly or entirely).

There can be and there are really men in the West and in the United States of America who don’t agree with the present state of things and don’t approve the Modernity and Post-Modernity being the defenders of the spiritual tradition of the Pre-Modern West. They should be with us in our common struggle. They should take part in our revolt against Modern World and Post-Modern world. And we would fight together against a common enemy. Unfortunately that is not the case of Mr. Carvalho. He shows himself partly critical of the modern Western civilization, but partly agrees with it and attacks its enemies. It is a kind of “semi-conformism” so to say. It is frankly irrelevant and of no interest to me. There are friends and there are foes. Only that matters. All the rest is without any importance. Mr. Carvalho is neither. It is his choice. His anti-soviet and anti-Russian pejorative myths, stupid conspiracy theories, implicit cultural Western racism, the ressentiment to his own native country are not  even worth of critics. No comments.

The other question is the structure of the possible anti-globalist and anti-imperialist front and its participants. I think that we should include in it all forces that struggle against the West, the United States, against the liberal democracy, against Modernity and Post-Modernity. The common enemy is the necessary instance for all kinds of political alliances. The Muslims, the Christians, the Russians and the Chinese, the leftists or the rightists, the Hindus or the Jews who challenge the present state of things, the globalization and the American imperialism are virtually friends ands allies. Let our ideals be different but we have in common one very strong thing: the present reality that we hate. Our ideals that differ are potential (in potentia). But the challenge we are dealing with is actual (in actu). So that is the basis for new alliance.  All who share negative analysis of the globalization, westernization and post-modernization should coordinate their effort in creation of new strategy of the resistance to the omnipresent evil. And we can find the «ours» in the United States also – among those who choose the Tradition against the present decadence. Mr Carvalho doesn't belong to such kind of persons. He has convincingly explained that during the debate.

At this point we could raise a really important question: what kind of ideology should we use in our opposition to the globalization and its liberal democratic capitalist and Modernist (Post-Modernist) principles? I think that all anti-liberal ideologies (the communism, socialism as well as fascism) are not anymore relevant. They tried to fight the liberal-capitalism and they failed. Partly because in the end of time it is evil that prevails; partly because of their inner contradictions and limitations. So it is time to make the accomplish deep revision of the antiliberal ideologies of the past. What is their positive side? - The very fact that they were anti-capitalist and anti-liberal, as well as also anti-cosmopolite and anti-individualist. So these features should be accepted and integrated in the future ideology. But the communism doctrine is Modern, atheist, materialist and cosmopolite. That should be thrown out. On the contrary, the social solidarity, social justice, the socialism and general holistic attitude to the society are good in themselves. So we need to separate the materialist and Modernist aspect and reject them.

On the other hand in the theories of Third way (dear up to certain point to some traditionalists as Julius Evola) there were some unacceptable elements – first of all racism, xenophobia and chauvinism. That is not only moral failures but also theoretically and anthropologically inconsistent attitudes. The difference between the ethnos doesn't mean superiority or inferiority. The difference should be accepted and affirmed without any racist appreciation. There is not common measure dealing with the different ethnic groups. When one society tries to judge the other it applies its own criteria and so commits the intellectual violence. The same attitude is precisely the crime of the globalization and Westernization, as well as the American imperialism.

If we free the socialism from its materialist, atheist and Modernist features and if we reject the racist and narrow nationalist aspects of the Third way doctrines we arrive at a completely new kind of the political ideology. We call it Fourth Political Theory (first being the liberalism, that we essentially challenge, the second the classical form of communism, the third the national-socialism and the fascism). Its elaboration starts from the point of intersection between different antiliberal political theories of the past (the communism and the Third way theories). So we arrive to the national-bolshevism that represents the socialism without materialism, atheism, progressism and Modernism and the Third way theories without racism and nationalism. But that is only first step.The mechanical addition of deeply revised versions of the antiliberal ideologies of the past doesn’t give us the final result. It is only first approximation, preliminary approach. We should go further and make appeal to the Tradition and to Pre-Modern sources of inspiration. There we have Platonic ideal State, the medieval hierarchic society and theological vision of the normative social and political system (Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Jewish or Hindu) . This Pre-Modern source is very important development of the national-bolshevism synthesis. So we need to find a new name for this kind of ideology and “Fourth Political Theory” is quite appropriate for this. It doesn't tell us what  this Theory is, but rather what it isn't. So it is a kind of invitation and appeal rather than the dogma.

Politically we have here the interesting basis for conscious cooperation of the left-wingers and the right-wingers as well as with the religious or other anti-modern movements (the ecologists for example). The only thing that we insist on in creating such cooperation is to put aside anti-communist as well as antifascist prejudices. These prejudices are the instruments in the hands of liberals and globalists with which they keep their enemies divided. So we should strongly reject anticommunism as well as antifascism. Both of them are counter-revolutionary tools in the hands of the global liberal elite. At the same time we should strongly oppose any kind of the confrontation between the religions – Muslims against Christians, the Jews against Muslims, the Muslims against the Hindus and so on. The interconfessional wars and hatred work for the cause of the kingdom of Antichrist who tries to divide all the traditional religions in order to impose its own pseudo-religion, the eschatological parody. Mr. Carvalho works here as proponent of such division of the religions. That is very logical for his position.

So we need to unite the right, the left and the religions in the common struggle against common enemy. The social justice, the national sovereignty and the Traditional values are three principles of such ideology. It is not easy to put all this together. But we should try if we want to overcome the foe.

In French there is a slogan: “la droite des valeurs et la gauche du travail” (Alain Soral). In italian it goes: “La Destra sociale e la Sinistra identitaria”. How exactly it should sound in English we will see later.

We could go further and try to define the subject, the actor of the Forth Political Theory. In the case of the communism in the centre there was the class. In the case of the Third way movements in the centre was the race or the nation. In the case of religions – it is the community of the faithful. How the Fourth Political Theory could deal with this diversity and the divergence of subjects? We propose, as a suggestion, that the The subject of the Fourth Political Theory can be found in the Heideggerian concept of Dasein (being-t/here). It is a concrete but extremely profound instance that could be the common denominator for the further ontological development. What is crucial here – that is the authenticity or non-authenticity of the existence of the Dasein. Fourth Political Theory insists on the authenticity of the existence. So it is the antithesis to any kind of alienation – social, economic, national, religious or metaphysical.

But the Dasein is a concrete instance. Any man and any culture possess their own Dasein. They differ between each other but they are present always. Here I can only mention a topic that needs further explanations (given in my books and articles).

The last point is the place of Brazil and the Latin America as whole in the actual global structure of the world. I see the role of Brazil as something comparable with the role of Russia-Eurasia. That is the very particular country with specific culture where the Western elements are mixed with the indigenous components. It is based on the mixtures of different blocks of values. Exactly as Russian culture is. We call this feature in our country “Eurasianism” stressing that we are dealing with original synthesis of the European and Asiatic patterns and attitudes. The Brazil in some metaphoric way is also «Eurasian»; the West is mixed with non-West in the very roots of the society. The Brazil as well as the other Latin America countries has its own particular identity. But among the other countries that is Brazil that is developing now with the greater speed and is managing to affirm more and more its political and economical independence. Such independence is considered first of all vis-a-vis the USA. So here the affirmation of cultural identity goes hand in hand with the growth of the economical and geopolitical power. We need to interpret the leftist sympathies of the major part of the Brazilian society as a sign of a search for its particular social identity that doesn't fit into individualist and liberal pattern of North-American society. So, Brazilian and wider Latin American socialism has in itself many ethnic and national features. The catholic religious factor and the spiritual synthesis of the popular religious beliefs are very important elements in the present awakening of the new sovereign identity of Brazil. It is in some aspects comparable with the geopolitical, cultural and spiritual renaissance of the modern Russia.

So this affinity on the geopolitical, cultural and social levels makes our situation similar and gives us the ground of the mutual cooperation and geopolitical alliance. The Russia as well as the Latin America or Islamic countries, or China see the future world essentially as multipolar, where the United States and the West in general should be no more than the separate poles among the other. Any claim of imperialism, colonialism or universalism of values should be severely rejected. So we are in the same camp. And we must concentrate on it.

Accepting that we should progress to the elaboration of the common strategy in the process of the creation of the future that should fit to our demands and our visions. So such values as social justice, national sovereignty and traditional spirituality can serve us as the clue.
I sincerely believe that the Fourth Political Theory, the national-bolshevism and eurasianism can be of the great use for our peoples, our countries and our civilizations. The key word is “multipolatity” in all senses – geopolitical, cultural, axiological, economical and so on.

The important vision of Nous (Intellect) of Greek philosopher Plotinus that correspond to our ideal. The Intellect is one and the multiple at the same time, because it has all kinds of the differences in itself – not uniform or mixed, but taken as such with all their particularities. The future world should be noetic in some way – the multiplicity, diversity should be taken as the richness and the treasure and not as the reason of inevitable conflict: many civilizations, many poles, many centres, many sets of values on one planet in one humanity.

But there are some who think otherwise. Who are against such a project? Those who want to impose the uniformity, the unique thought, the one (American) way of life, One World. And they are doing it by force and by persuasion. They are against the multipolarity. So they are against us. Mr. Carvalho is one among those. From now on we know it. The debate is closed but our struggle is in the very beginning.

I hope sincerely there are in Brazil  other kinds of the traditionalists, intellectuals and philosophers who are closer to Eurasian point of view and more consistent and coherent in their rejection of the Modernity and Post-Modernity as well as the globalization, the liberalism and North-American Imperialism and more Brazilian also…


 

Category: Olavo de Carvalho