Chapter 6 - Neo-Eurasianism
6.1 Eurasian passionarity Lev Gumilyov
The most striking student of the Eurasian Savitsky was the famous Russian scientist historian Lev Nikolayevich Gumilyov. He did not touch upon geopolitical topics per se, but his theory of ethnogenesis and ethnic cycles clearly continues the line of the "organic" approach and partly "geographical determinism", which already constitute the essence of geopolitics in Ratzel, Chellen, Haushofer, etc.
Gumilyov’s research is particularly important in relation to the ancient periods of the ethnic map of Eurasia, the steppe, nomadic peoples and their civilizations. From his works, an entirely new vision of political history is formed, in which the Eurasian East acts not just as barbaric lands on the periphery of civilization (equivalent to Western civilization), but as an independent and dynamic center of ethnogenesis, culture, political history, state and technical development. The West and its history are relativized, the Eurasian culture and the constellation of Eurasian ethnic groups are revealed as a multidimensional and completely unexplored world with its own scale of values, religious problems, historical laws, etc.
Gumilev develops and brings to a logical limit the common Eurasian idea that ethnically Great Russians, Russians are not just a branch of the Eastern Slavs, but a special ethnic group based on the Turkic-Slavic merger. This indirectly implies the validity of Russian control over those Eurasian lands that are inhabited by Turkic ethnic groups. The Great Russian civilization was formed on the basis of Turkic-Slavic ethnogenesis, which was realized on a geographical plane as a historical alliance of the Forest and the Steppe. It is the geopolitical combination of Forest and Steppe that makes up the historical essence of Russia, predetermining the nature of its culture, civilization, ideology, and political fate.
Gumilev, following Spengler and Toynbee, identifies the cycles of civilizations and cultures, as well as the corresponding ethnic groups. From his point of view, the ethno-cultural formations of the nation, state, religious communities in everything are like living organisms. They go through periods of birth, youth, maturity and aging, and then disappear or become so-called. relics. In this again, the influence of "organic philosophy", common to all continentalist geopolitical schools, is clearly noticeable.
Gumilyov’s theories regarding the causes of ethnogenesis are extremely interesting. birth of a nation or state. To describe this process, he introduces the term “drive” (23). This is an inexplicable synchronous surge of biological and spiritual energy, which suddenly sets in motion the sluggish historical existence of the" old "peoples and cultures, capturing various established ethnic and religious groups in a dynamic rush of spatial, spiritual and technical expansion, which leads to conquests and the fusion of diverse residual ethnic groups into new active and viable forms.High and full-fledged passionarity and a dynamic process of ethnogenesis in the normal case lead to the emergence of a special superethnos that corresponds not so much to the national-state form of political organization as to the empire.
Passionarity is gradually decreasing. In place of “passism” (for Gumilyov this is a positive category, which he equates to “heroism”, the ethical desire for selfless creation in the name of fidelity to the national tradition) comes “actualism”, i.e. preoccupation only with the present moment in isolation from tradition and without regard to the fate of future generations. In this phase, “passionary breaking” occurs and ethnogenesis enters the negative stage of conservation and the onset of decay. This is followed by the “futuristic” phase, in which the type of powerless “dreamers”, “dreamers”, “religious escapists” dominate, who lose faith in the surrounding being and tend to go into the “otherworldly”. Gumilev considers this a sign of final decline. Ethnicity is degrading, super-ethnoses break up into components, empires collapse.
This situation continues until a new “drive”, when a new fresh ethnos appears and provokes a new ethnogenesis in which the remnants of old structures are remelted. Moreover, some ethnic groups remain in a “relict” state (Gumilev calls them “chimeras”), while others disappear in the dynamics of a new ethnogenetic process.
Gumilyov’s assertion that the Great Russians are a relatively “fresh” and “young” ethnic group, rallying the “superethnos” of Russia-Eurasia or the Eurasian Empire around it, is especially important.
The following geopolitical conclusions suggest itself from Gumilyov’s Eurasianism (which he himself did not make for obvious political reasons, preferring to remain strictly within the framework of historical science).
- 1.Eurasia is a full-fledged "local development", fertile, rich soil of ethnogenesis and cultural genesis . Therefore, we must learn to consider world history not in the unipolar optics of “the West and everyone else” (as is characteristic of Atlantist historiography), but in multipolar, with northern and eastern Eurasia being of particular interest, since they are the alternative source of the most important planetary civilization processes to the West. . In his works, Gumilyov gives a detailed picture of Mackinder's thesis about the “geographical axis of history” and gives this axis concrete historical and ethnic content.
- 2.The geopolitical synthesis of Forest and Steppe, which underlies Great Russian statehood, is a key reality for cultural and strategic control over Asia and Eastern Europe . Moreover, such control would contribute to a harmonious balance of East and West, while the cultural limitations of Western civilizations (Forest), with its desire for domination, accompanied by a complete misunderstanding of the culture of the East (Steppes), leads only to conflicts and upheavals.
- 3.Western civilization is in the last descending stage of ethnogenesis, being a conglomerate of "chimeric" ethnic groups . Consequently, the center of gravity is sure to move to younger nations.
- 4.It is also possible that in the near future there will be some unpredictable and unforeseen “drive”, which will dramatically change the political and cultural map of the planet, since the dominance of “relict” ethnic groups cannot last long.
6.2 New Russian Eurasians
Gumilev himself did not formulate geopolitical conclusions based on his picture of the world. This was done by his followers during the period of weakening (and then cancellation) of Marxist ideological censorship. Such a direction as a whole was called " neo-Eurasianism, " which, in turn, has several varieties. Not all of them inherit Gumilyov’s ideas, but on the whole his influence on this geopolitical ideology is enormous.
Neo-Eurasianism has several varieties.
The first (and the most basic and developed) represents a complete and multidimensional ideology, which was formulated by some political circles of the national opposition, opposing liberal reforms in the period 1990 1994. This is a group of intellectuals, united around the newspaper "Day" (later "Tomorrow") and the magazine "Elements" (24).
This neo-Eurasianism is based on the ideas of P. Savitsky, G. Vernadsky, Prince. N. Trubetskoy, as well as the ideologist of Russian National Bolshevism Nikolai Ustryalov. Analysis of historical Eurasians is recognized as highly relevant and fully applicable to the current situation. The thesis of a national ideocracy of an imperial continental scale is opposed both to liberal Westernism and narrow-ethnic nationalism. Russia is seen as the axis of the geopolitical “large space”; its ethnic mission is unambiguously identified with imperial construction.
At the socio-political level, this trend clearly gravitates toward Eurasian socialism, considering the liberal economy a characteristic feature of the atlantist camp. The Soviet period of Russian history is seen in the shift perspective as a modernist form of the traditional Russian national desire for planetary expansion and "Eurasian anti-Atlantic universalism." Hence the "pro-communist" tendencies of this version of neo-Eurasianism.
The legacy of Lev Gumilyov is accepted, but at the same time the theory of passionarity is coupled with the doctrine of the "circulation of elites" by the Italian sociologist Wilfred Pareto, and Gumilyov's religious studies are corrected on the basis of the school of European traditionalists (Genon, Evola, etc.).
The ideas of traditionalists are “crisis of the modern world”, “degradation of the West”, “desacralization of civilization”, etc. are an important component of neo-Eurasianism, supplementing and developing those moments that were presented by Russian authors only intuitively and fragmentarily.
In addition, European continentalist projects (Haushofer, Schmitt, Nikish, the “New Right”, etc.) are thoroughly studied, due to which the horizons of the Eurasian doctrine extend to Europe, understood as a potential continental force. This motive is completely alien to the historical Eurasian émigrés, who wrote the main works in a situation where the United States did not yet have independent geopolitical significance, and the thesis of the difference between Europe and the West has not yet been properly developed. Neo-Eurasianism, while listening to European continentalists, recognizes the strategic importance of Europe for the geopolitical completeness and usefulness of the Eurasian “Great Space”, especially given that it was the factor of unstable division of the geopolitical map of Europe that led to the defeat of the USSR in the Cold War.
Another feature of neo-Eurasianism is the choice of Islamic countries (especially continental Iran) as the most important strategic ally. The idea of a continental Russian-Islamic alliance lies at the heart of the anti-Atlantic strategy on the southwest coast of the Eurasian continent. At the doctrinal level, this alliance is based on the traditional character of Russian and Islamic civilizations, which unites them in opposing the antitraditional, secular-pragmatic West.
In this direction of neo-Eurasianism, the picture of all geopolitical projects in relation to the current situation is being completed to its fullness, since ideologically, strategically, and politically, and positionally, the Neo-Eurasian project is the most complete, consistent, complete and historically substantiated antithesis of all varieties of Western geopolitical projects (both Atlantic and mondialist).
Mondialism and Atlantism express two varieties of the geopolitical ideology of the extreme West. Europeanism and moderate continentalism of European geopolitics is an intermediate reality. And finally, the neo-Eurasianism of The Day, and especially of the Elements, expresses a radically anti-Western point of view that fits in with all other alternative geopolitical projects from European national Bolshevism to Islamic fundamentalism (or Islamic "socialism") up to national liberation movements in all corners Third World.
Other varieties of neo-Eurasianism are less consistent and represent the adaptation of the whole complex of the above ideas to changing political reality: either we are talking only about pragmatic economic “Eurasianism”, designed to recreate the economic interaction of the former republics of the USSR (project of the President of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev), or justification expansionist theses (V. Zhirinovsky’s “great-power” project), or a purely rhetorical appeal to the “Eurasian community” to preserve the unity of Russian and national minorities (mostly ethnic Turks and Muslims) as part of the Russian Federation (draft of some figures of the government of B. Yeltsin) or a purely historical interest in the heritage of the Savitsky, Trubetskoy, Suvchinsky, Karsavin circle, etc. in exile.But all these versions are necessarily artificial, fragmented, inconsistent, and cannot claim independent and serious geopolitical ideology and methodology. Therefore, dwell on them does not make much sense.
We only note that any appeals in Eurasianism and Eurasia, no matter how limited meaning those people use them, directly or indirectly refer precisely to that neo-Eurasian project that was developed in opposition circles and framed in the writings of the authors of "The Day" and "Elements", since only in this context the use of the word "Eurasianism" is justified both by the continuity of the Russian geopolitical school and its correlation with the general fan of geopolitical projects of a planetary scale existing outside Russia.
6.3 Toward a New Bipolarity
Neo-Eurasianism, in addition to its intellectual heritage and the general principles of continental geopolitics, faces the latest problems posed in the form of the latest geopolitical projects of the West. Moreover, this geopolitical trend is gaining importance to the extent that it can not only explain the geopolitical logic of current historical events, but also develop a coherent futurological project that can withstand Western projects.
The victory of the West in the Cold War conceptually means the end of the bipolar and the beginning of a unipolar world. Moreover, if pure Atlantists (Huntington) assume that this unipolarity will be relative, the winning West (The West) will be forced to constantly settle growing inter-civilizational conflicts with "the rest of the world" (The Rest), then the Mondialists (Fukuyama, Attali) see a problem-free domination The West needs the whole planet as something already happened. Even the most controversial version of Professor Santoro presupposes, in the end, the establishment of a World Government.
These are projects of geopolitical winners, which today have undeniable advantages and a strategic initiative that must be reckoned with in the highest degree. All of them agree on one thing: sooner or later, Western-style universalism must prevail on the planet, i.e. an atlantist, thalassocratic value system should become dominant everywhere. The bipolar world of the Cold War is considered to be completely overcome. Eurasia and Eurasianism in such a picture simply does not have a place. All this is logical and follows directly from the works of the first Anglo-Saxon geopoliticians who sought to weaken the forces of Sushi in every way, undermining their power and restraining their development by various strategic methods, especially the “anaconda” strategy, that is tight control over ever larger sectors of rimland.
Neo-Eurasianism cannot, while remaining itself, recognize the legitimacy of this state of affairs and is doomed to seek opportunities to reverse all these processes. And it begins with the most central question with the question of unipolarity. Unipolarity (the dominance of Atlantism in any form, either in its pure form or through mondialism) dooms Eurasia as a heartland to historical non-existence. Neo-Eurasianism insists that this unipolarity should be resisted.
This can only be done through a new bipolarity .
This requires clarification. There is a point of view that after the confrontation between the USA and the USSR, the world itself will go over to a multipolar device, China will rise, demographic processes will bring Islamic countries to the category of geopolitically central, the Pacific region will declare its competitiveness with Europe and America, etc. All this is possible, but it does not take into account that such a new multipolarity will be held under the sign of the “Atlantist value system”, i.e. it will be only territorial varieties of the thalassocratic system, and in no way a genuine geopolitical alternative. The challenge of the West, the market and liberal democracy is universal. After the victory of heartland, all attempts of peoples and states to follow some other way, except for the west, lost their main support. And pro-Soviet regimes, and all "non-aligned" countries that insisted on a" third path "existed only due to bipolarity, due to the gap that existed between the West and the East in their positional geopolitical struggle. The modern victorious West will henceforth dictate ideological and economic conditions to anyone who claims to be developed region. Therefore, any multipolarity while maintaining the status quo will be fictitious and mondialist.
This is well understood by Western strategists, who are well aware that the main geopolitical task of the West at this stage is to prevent the very possibility of forming a large-scale geopolitical bloc of continental volume, which could be comparable in some way with the forces of Atlanticism. This is the main principle of the military-political doctrine of the United States, which is formulated in a report by Paul Wolfowitz. In other words, the West most of all does not want a return to bipolarity. It would be mortally dangerous for him.
Neo-Eurasianism, based on the interests of the "geographical axis of history," asserts the exact opposite of the West. The only way out of this situation can be only new bipolarism, since only in this direction could Eurasia gain the prospect of true geopolitical sovereignty. Only a new bipolarity can subsequently open the way for such multipolarity, which would go beyond the framework of the thalassocratic liberal democratic system, i.e. the true multipolarity of the world, where each people and each geopolitical bloc could choose its own system of values, has a chance to be realized only after liberation from global Atlantic domination through a new planetary confrontation.
Moreover, it is important that the Eurasian continental bloc cannot become a simple recreation of the Warsaw Pact. The collapse of the former geopolitical continental structure is irreversible and rooted in its very structure. The new continental alliance should either include all of Europe to the Atlantic and several important sectors of the southern coast of Eurasia, India, Iran, Indochina, etc., or ensure friendly neutrality of these same spaces, i.e. get them out of control of atlantism. A return to the old bipolarism is impossible for many reasons, including ideological ones. The new Eurasian bipolarism should proceed from completely different ideological premises and be based on completely different methods.
This theory of "new bipolarism" is sufficiently developed in neo-Eurasian projects, being a theoretical justification for all non-conformist geopolitical theories of Europe and the Third World. Just as heartland is objectively the only point capable of being the bridgehead of a planetary alternative to thalassocracy, neo-Eurasia is the only theoretical platform on the basis of which a whole fan of planetary strategies can be developed that deny the world domination of Atlantism and its civilizational system of values: market, liberal democracy, secular culture, philosophy of individualism, etc.