Chapter 1 - Overview

The development of geopolitical thought in the second half of the 20th century as a whole followed the paths outlined by the founders of this science. The story of Haushofer and his school, over which there was an ominous shadow of intellectual cooperation with the Third Reich, made authors involved in this discipline look for roundabout ways so as not to be accused of "fascism." So, the American Colin S. Gray generally suggested using two words to refer to geopolitics: the English "geopolitics" and the German "Geopolitik". The first should indicate the Anglo-Saxon and pragmatic version of this phenomenon, i.e. the works of those authors who succeed the approach of Mahan, Mackinder and Speakman, and the second "continental version", the legacy of the Haushofer school, which takes into account some "spiritual" or "metaphysical" factors.Of course, this division is very arbitrary and serves only as a demagogic move dictated by considerations of "political correctness."

The American and, more broadly, atlantist (thalassocratic) line in geopolitics developed practically without any breaks with tradition. As American projects to become a “world power” were carried out, the post-war Atlantean geopolitics only specified and detailed the particular aspects of the theory, developing applied areas. The fundamental model of "sea power" and its geopolitical perspectives has evolved from the scientific developments of individual military-geographic schools into official US international politics.

At the same time, the formation of the United States as a superpower and entering the last stage preceding the final planetary hegemony of the thalassocracy forced American geopolitics to consider a completely new geopolitical model, in which not two main forces, but only one participated. Moreover, there were basically two options for the development of events, either the West’s final victory in a geopolitical duel with the East, or the convergence of two ideological camps into something single and the establishment of a World Government (this project was called "mondialism " from the French word "monde", "peace"). In both cases, a new geopolitical understanding of this possible outcome of the history of civilizations was required. This situation has brought to life a special direction in geopolitics "geopolitics of mondialism“ Otherwise, this theory is known as the doctrine of the “new world order .” It was developed by American geopolitics since the 70s, and for the first time it was announced loudly by US President George W. Bush at the time of the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

European geopolitics as something independent after the end of World War II practically did not exist. Only during the rather brief period of 1959 1968, when the “continentalist” Charles De Gaulle was the president of France, did the situation change somewhat. Since 1963, De Gaulle has taken some clearly anti-Atlantic measures, as a result of which France withdrew from the North Atlantic Alliance and attempted to develop its own geopolitical strategy. But since this state alone could not resist the thalassocratic world, the question of intra-European Franco-German cooperation and strengthening ties with the USSR was on the agenda. From here the famous Gaullist thesis "Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals" was born.This Europe was conceived as a sovereign strategically continental entity in the very spirit of the moderate. "European Continentalism."

At the same time, by the beginning of the 70s, when geopolitical studies in the United States became extremely popular, European scholars also began to be included in this process, but at the same time, their connection with the pre-war geopolitical school was in most cases already interrupted and they were forced to adapt to the norms of the Anglo-Saxon approach. So, European scientists act as technical experts of international organizations of NATO, UN, etc., engaged in applied geopolitical research and not going beyond narrow specific issues. Gradually, these studies turned into something independent in the "regional geopolitics", quite developed in France ("Yves Lacoste’s school", publisher of the Herodotus magazine). This "regional geopolitics" abstracts from the global schemes of Mackinder, Mahan or Haushofer, pays little attention to fundamental dualism, and only applies geopolitical techniques to describe interethnic and interstate conflicts, demographic processes and even the "geopolitics of political elections ."

The only continuous tradition of geopolitics that has survived in Europe since the pre-war era was the property of fairly marginalized groups, to one degree or another related to post-war nationalist parties and movements. In these narrow and politically peripheral circles, geopolitical ideas developed that went directly to “continentalism,” the Haushofer school, etc. This movement collectively received the name of the European "New Right." Until a certain point, public opinion simply ignored them, considering them “remnants of fascism”. And only in the last decade, especially thanks to the educational and journalistic activities of the French philosopher Alain de Benoit, serious scientific circles began to listen to this direction. Despite the considerable distance,separating the intellectual circles of the European "new right" from the authorities and their "dissent", from a purely theoretical point of view, their works are a huge contribution to the development of geopolitics. Being free from the framework of political conformism, their thought developed relatively independently and impartially. Moreover, at the turn of the 90s, such a situation developed that official European geopolitics (most often immigrants from left or extreme left parties) were forced to turn to the “new right”, their works, translations and studies to restore the completeness of the geopolitical picture.

Finally, Russian geopolitics. Officially recognized as “fascist” and “bourgeois pseudoscience” geopolitics as such did not exist in the USSR. Its functions were performed by several disciplines of strategy, military geography, the theory of international law and international relations, geography, ethnography, etc. And at the same time, the general geopolitical behavior of the USSR in the planetary arena reveals the presence of a rather rational, from a geopolitical point of view, model of behavior. The desire of the USSR to strengthen its position in the south of Eurasia, in the "coastal zone", penetration into Africa, destabilizing actions in South America (designed to split the space controlled by the North American States according to the Monroe Doctrine) and even the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (for that to dissect the American “anaconda,"seeking to bring the strategic borders of "thalassocracy" close to the southern borders of the "geographical axis of history"), etc. Such a consistent and geopolitically substantiated policy of the USSR indicates the existence of some kind of “decision center”, where the results of many traditional sciences should have been brought together and on the basis of this “information”, “synthesis” the most important strategic steps were taken. However, the social localization of this “cryptogeopolitical” center seems problematic. There is a version that it was about some secret department of the Soviet GRU.

In fact, geopolitics developed exclusively by marginal "dissident" circles. The most prominent representative of this trend was the historian Lev Gumilyov, although he never used the term “geopolitics” or the term “Eurasianism” in his works, and, moreover, he strove in every possible way to avoid a direct appeal to socio-political realities. Thanks to this "cautious" approach, he managed to publish several books on ethnographic history even under the Soviet regime.

After the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR, geopolitics became relevant again in Russian society. The abolition of ideological censorship made it possible, finally, to call a spade a spade. Not surprisingly, the first to take part in the revival of geopolitics were national-patriotic circles (the newspaper Den, the journal Elements). The methodology turned out to be so impressive that some “democratic” movements seized the initiative. Soon after perestroika, geopolitics became one of the most popular topics in the whole of Russian society.

Related to this is the increased interest in Eurasians and their legacy in modern Russia.