Chapter 2 - State and Territory
2.1 Three critical geopolitical categories
Most disputes regarding the new geopolitical picture of the world are centered around three fundamental categories:
- 1.Nation-state" ("Etat-Nation"), i.e. traditional historically developed centralist state (such as France, Italy, Germany, Spain, etc.);
- 2.Region , i.e. such an administrative, ethnic or cultural space that is part of one or more nation-states (Etat-Nation), but at the same time has a significant degree of cultural and economic autonomy (for example, Brittany in France, Flanders in Belgium, Catalonia, Galicia and the Basque country in Spain, etc.);
- 3.A large Space , “commonwealth” or “community”, which unites several nation-states (“Etat-Nation”) into a single economic or political bloc.
Many "Europeans", both left and right, believe that the category of "nation-states" (Etat-Nation), i.e. the traditional centralist state has completely outlived itself, and that emphasis should be placed precisely on two other modalities on regionalism and even autonism, on the one hand, and on the continental unification of regions into a single bloc, on the other hand. It is significant that the points of view of the polar political spectra converge here: the "new left" consider the Etat-Nation too "right", too "totalitarian" and "repressive", too "conservative" education, which should be abandoned in the name of progress, and " the new right, "on the contrary, the same nation-state (Etat-Nation) is considered too" modernist ",too anti-traditional stage of European history, when the truly traditional European Empire was destroyed by nihilistic and secular French absolutism. In addition, the “new right-wingers” see in regionalism a return to ethnic traditions and to the principle of ethnocultural differentiation, which is the axis of all “new right-wing” thought.
On the other hand, there is a rather broad category of politicians who, on the contrary, upholds the values of the “nation-state” (Etat-Nation). Once again, commitment to state centralism can unite the “right” and the “left”. But, as a rule, in this position are not “new”, but “old” right and left. It is characteristic that in France the opponents of the European unification were three political forces: the National Front of Le Pen (extreme right), the communists of Marche (extreme left) and the socialist centrists with national sympathies of Jean-Pierre Schevenman. It follows from this that within the framework of one and the same geopolitical project the ideological and political sympathies farthest from each other can be combined.
And yet, each political force has its own understanding of the three fundamental versions of the geopolitical structure of modern society. It would be interesting to build a diagram of how all three projects of different forces evaluate their own ideologies in the future. For clarity, we will talk about extreme positions, which, of course, are surrounded by nuances and shades as we approach the political center.
2.2 Regionalism of the right and left
The general complex of left-wing ideologies focuses on weakening the influence of the state, administrative and political structures on public life. This implies the principle of decentralization, gradual evolution from one center of power to several and, in the future, to a large number of them. At one time, this theory was developed by the famous anarchist Proudhon. Leftists seek to weaken and gradually abolish totalitarian and authoritarian forms of government, which means that their geopolitical orientation is directed against the preservation of the traditional state, with its borders, the bureaucracy, repressive bodies, etc. All this follows from the main ideological orientation of the left on “humanism”, on the value of the atomic individual, and not on some super-individual structures that limit his freedoms.On this ideological basis, modern European regionalism has developed as a fairly stable tendency to socio-economic decentralization, to abandon the principle of the State-Nation, which is traditional for the West of recent centuries.
This liberal tendency of the left in the limit denies the very concept of "state", and the very concept of "nation" as a historical relic. These principles are opposed by the “humanistic” idea of “human rights,” which has long ceased to be an abstract philanthropic slogan and has turned into a rather aggressive ideological complex openly directed against the traditional forms of collective existence of people as members of a nation, people, state, race, etc. Hence, the leftist emphasis on regionalism is logical, since the administrative independence of the territorial parts of the state, from their point of view, brings the value standard closer to the individual, removes the halo of unconditional authority and control function from wide social categories.
Obviously, this tendency of the left contradicts national-state ideologists, i.e. "etatists" and "nationalists", for whom it is the historical and political unity of the people embodied in the Etat-Nation, is the highest value. The confrontation between nationalist nationalists and regional liberals is a constant of heated debate over the main geopolitical projects in almost all countries where political processes are developing actively and dynamically.
But there is also “right-wing regionalism,” which is closely related to the problem of tradition and ethnos. In such a region, lism proceeds from the assumption that the modern centralist state is only an instrument of cultural and ideological leveling of its members, that it has long lost its sacred functions and turned into a repressive apparatus, oriented against the remnants of genuine cultural, ethical and ethnic traditions. “Right-wing regionalists” see decentralization as an opportunity to partially restore the ritualistic, cultic form of life of peoples, traditional crafts, and restore such forms of government that were characteristic of traditional civilization before the advent of a purely modern world. In fact, such "right-wing regionalism" exactly corresponds to the concept of "soil cultivation." Basically,the right-wingers implicitly have in mind some “natural” differentialism, characteristic of the inhabitants of the provinces, who react much more sharply and hostilely to foreigners than the inhabitants of large cities.
Thus, a second line of political confrontation is taking shape: “right-wing regionalists,” who often appeal to ethnic-racial purity, and “left-wing statists,” who believe that the best way to introduce “progressive,” “liberal” values into society is state centralism, which protects society from the possible restoration of the "overlooked by progress" relics.
2.3 The New Large Space: Mondialism or the Empire?
With regard to supra-state integration, there is also a rather controversial political layout. On the one hand, there is a “mondialist project”, which envisages the complete abolition of traditional states and the creation of a planetary civilization field controlled from a single center, which can conditionally be called a “world government”. In principle, such a project is the logical conclusion of liberal tendencies, striving to destroy all traditional social structures and artificially create a single "universal" space, consisting not of peoples, but of "individuals", not of states, but of technocratic associations and industrial laborers. It was in this light that the United States of Europe’s mondialies of the beginning of the century sawwhich both liberal capitalists (Monet, Kudenof-Kalegri, etc.) and communists (Trotsky, etc.) dreamed of. Later, these same ideas inspired both the designers of Maatstricht and the ideologists of the “new world order”.
But in parallel with such a mondialist perspective, there is an alternative that is defended by non-conformist political forces. We are talking about the theorists of the New Empire, who consider modern nation-states to be the result of the tragic collapse of traditional empires, which can only fully correspond to the truly sacred organization of society based on qualitative differentiation, on a spiritual hierarchy, on a corporate and religious basis. This understanding of the “New Large Space” does not stem from a purely quantitative approach to integration (as among the Mondialists), but from a certain spiritual and supranational principle that would be transcendental to existing historical formations and could combine them in a higher sacred synthesis. Depending on the circumstances of the "imperial project"takes as a basis either the religious factor (Catholic supporters of the restoration of the Austro-Venus Heroic Empire), or racial (ideologists of the European Empire, united by the unity of origin of the Indo-European peoples, in particular, the French "new right"), or geopolitical (theories of the Belgian Jean Tyriar), or cultural (projects of Russian Eurasians).
Consequently, there are two opposite political poles here, which see similar geopolitical realities, but in the opposite perspective.
So, in each of our geopolitical projects, we have identified two radically different, opposite approaches, which together determines all the main possibilities of the ideological struggle around fundamental issues. Thanks to such a scheme, various political alliances between fairly distant forces can be classified.
2.4 Geopolitics of Russia
The general problems of the geopolitical structure of the modern world are directly related to Russia, where we meet with the same basic geopolitical projects. The three categories of regionalism, nation-state and Great Space have direct analogues in our geopolitical reality.
Regionalism corresponds to separatist tendencies within the Russian Federation, both in the case of national republics and districts, and in the case of claims for complete autonomy of purely territorial entities (projects of the Siberian, Ural and other republics).
The centralist-state model is advocated by supporters of the geopolitical project "Russia within the framework of the Russian Federation."
Those who advocate the restoration of the USSR, the reconstruction of the Russian Empire within the framework of the USSR or the creation of the Eurasian Empire belong to the category of ideologists of the New Large Space.
As in the general scheme, supporters of a project do not necessarily adhere to the same political convictions. Moreover, each project can have two polar signs, which, conditionally, are defined as “right” and “left”.
Let us try to identify the positions of the "right" and "left" in Russian political life in their relation to the three geopolitical options.
Separatist tendencies on the extreme “left” flank are used by those forces that also stood behind the collapse of the USSR. Considering the Soviet state as a bulwark of "reactionary" and "totalitarianism", Russian liberals have long put forward the ideas of "Russia within the borders of the XIV century," etc., which implies the fragmentation of Russian territories into separate fragments, both on ethnic and purely geographical principles. For such "leftists" the unity of the Russian nation and the power of the Russian state not only do not represent any historical value, but, on the contrary, are seen as a hindrance to universal human "progress". This regionalist project is upheld by some extreme liberals who openly want the collapse of the Russian Federation.
Such an ultra-liberal version is consonant with some ideas of a certain part of the opposite, extremely nationalist camp, which believes that the Russians need to create a compact mono-ethnic state based on the principles of racial purity and ethnic isolationism. This is the idea of creating the "Russian Republic". Among non-Russian ethnic groups inhabiting the territory of the Russian Federation, there are essentially similar projects for the creation of independent mono-ethnic states.
The “left” version of the national-state program within the framework of the Russian Federation embodied the post-Gorbachev Russian leadership, convinced that it was most advantageous to use centralist methods for reforming, subordinating all Russian regions to Moscow’s hard line. According to these forces, state centralism is the best and quickest way to transform Russia's socio-political reality in such a way as to bring it to “universal,” “progressive,” and, in fact, “western” and “atlantist” standards. In regionalism, the "left" centralists naturally see a danger to the realization of their goals, since decentralization and autonomy of regions can contribute to the creation of such regimes that would reject the logic of liberal reforms and suggest otheralternative (conditionally "right") socio-political projects. Imperial expansion is also unacceptable to these forces, since the restoration of the USSR may entail corresponding ideological consequences.
There is and is actively gathering strength movement of "right" statists. These are patriots who reconciled with the collapse of the USSR and who believe that the creation of a powerful centralized Russian state from the Russian Federation will serve to unite the nation and organize a powerful independent autarky space. The “right-wing” statesmen reject both separatism and imperialism, believing that the fragmentation of the Russian Federation means the loss by the Russians of their territories, and the imperial expansion will bring many foreign elements and threaten the national domination of the Russians.
Among the theorists of recreating the Empire, there are also two poles. The “left” Russian mondialists, who are mainly oriented towards Gorbachev and his lobby, consider it necessary to create the “united democratic space” as soon as possible both in the CIS and wider within the Eurasian space.
The “right” understanding of the New Large Space was embodied in the political programs of the opposition, irreconcilable with respect to the regime. Most representatives of this opposition, both national communists and traditional imperialists, believe that Russia within the framework of the Russian Federation is not only a territorial but insufficient geopolitical entity, but a fundamentally false decision to protect the strategic interests of Russia as a great power. “Right-wing” Eurasianism proceeds from a purely imperial understanding of the historical mission of Russia, which should either be an independent autarky “continent” or deviate from its historical and geopolitical mission.
So, we can reduce all the options for geopolitical projects regarding the future of Russian statehood into one scheme that takes into account the ideological orientation of various forces.