Theory of Multipolar World: An Interview with John Morgan by Natella Speranskaya
Natella Speranskaya (NS): The collapse of the Soviet Union meant the cancellation of the Yalta system of international relations and the triumph of the single hegemon – the United States, and as a consequence, the transformation of the bipolar world order to the unipolar model. Nevertheless, some analysts are still talking about a possible return to the bipolar model. How do you feel about this hypothesis? Is there a likelihood of emergence of a power capable of challenging the global hegemon?
John Morgan (JM): I’m not certain about a return to the bipolar model anytime soon. While we have seen the rise of new powers capable of challenging American hegemony in recent years – China, India, Iran, and of course the return of Russia to the world stage – none of them are capable of matching the pervasive influence of the American economy and its culture, nor of projecting military power around the world as NATO has been doing. At the same time, we can plainly see now that America and its allies in Western Europe have already passed their economic limits, now racking up unprecedented debt, and their power is beginning to wane. This process is irreversible, since the post-1945 American lifestyle is unsustainable on every level. America may be able to coast for a few more years, or at most decades, but the “American century” that began at the end of the Second World War will probably be over by mid-century at the latest. Rather than the return of a bipolar world, I think we will see the emergence of the multipolar one, as Prof. Dugin has suggested, in which several nations wield significant power but none reigns supreme above all. In order to protect their interests, stronger nations will need to forge alliances with weaker ones, and sometimes even with other strong nations. But I think the era of the superpower is rapidly coming to an end.
NS: Zbigniew Brzezinski openly admits that the U.S. is gradually losing its influence. Here it is possible to apply the concept of “imperial overstretch”, introduced by renowned historian Paul Kennedy. Perhaps, America has faced that, what was previously experienced by the Soviet Union. How do you assess the current state of the U.S.?
JM: As an American, I have witnessed this firsthand. I don’t think the American era is over just yet; it still possesses awesome military might, and will most likely retain this advantage for a little while longer. But the persuasive powers of a country whose defense spending comprises nearly half of all global military expenditures each year are obviously on the wane. My understanding of the collapse of the Soviet Union is that it occurred more because of domestic economic problems rather than as a direct result of its military failure in Afghanistan in the 1980s, even if that exacerbated the problem. Similarly, while the many wars the U.S. has engaged in over the past decade have unquestionably weakened it, it is the ongoing financial crisis, brought about by America’s reliance on debtor spending, that is the most important factor in the decline of American power. And actually, America’s military adventures have brought little in terms of benefits. The Iraq War has really only served to strengthen Iran and Syria’s position. Afghanistan remains a sinkhole in which America stands little to gain, apart from ongoing humiliation as the failure of its policies there is as plain as day. Nations like Iran and North Korea have been emboldened, since they know that America isn’t interested in challenging them militarily, at least for the time being. This has no doubt been a large factor in the increasing use of drones by the U.S., as well as its return to waging proxy wars against enemy regimes through concocted “rebel” movements, as it did during the Cold War against the Soviets, and as we have seen in Libya and now in Syria. Regardless, the primary factor in American decline is definitely its economic predicament. But if it returns to its earlier policies of attempting to spread democracy and the free market through war, this will only hasten its end. Obama seems to be aware of this and has sought to keep America from engaging directly in wars at all costs, but we don’t know who his successor will be.
NS: The loss of global influence of the U.S. means no more, no less, as the end of the unipolar world. But here the question arises as to which model will happen the transition in the nearest future? On the one hand, we have all the prerequisites for the emergence of the multipolar world – on the other, we face the risk of encountering non-polarity, which would mean a real chaos.
JM: This is an interesting question, but I think it is difficult to answer definitively at the present time. The United States as a whole has still not acknowledged the fact of its own inevitable decline, and for the time being I expect it to continue to attempt to maintain the unipolar world for as long as it possibly can. Once the fact of the death of the hegemonic system can no longer be denied, I can see several possible directions. The U.S. may adopt some sort of primitive, imperialistic nationalism and attempt to restore its position through military means. Or, it may become too overwhelmed with its own domestic problems, as they increase, and perhaps disengage from the world stage, opening up possibilities for new geopolitical orders that have been restricted by American power for nearly a century. But since we do not yet know how severe the coming economic and political collapse will be, or what its impact will be globally, we cannot know whether it will lead to multipolarity or non-polarity. We can only attempt to set the stage for the former and hope that circumstances permit it.
NS: The project of “counter-hegemony,” developed by Cox, aims to expose the existing order in international relations and raise the rebellion against it. For this, Cox calls for the creation of counter-hegemonic bloc, which will include those political actors who reject the existing hegemony. The basis of the unipolar model imposed by the United States is a liberal ideology. From this we can conclude that the basis of the multipolar model just the same has to be based on some ideology. Which ideology, in your opinion, can take replace the counter-hegemonic one, capable of uniting a number of political actors who do not agree with the hegemony of the West?
JM: I agree with Prof. Dugin that the three ideologies which dominated the twentieth century have already exhausted themselves as paradigms for the nomos of the Earth. What I imagine and hope to see will be the emergence of blocs which may be similar to the Holy Roman Empire and other ancient empires, in which there will be loose confederations of nations and communities where there is indeed an overarching central political authority (perhaps a monarchy, as Evola prescribed) that will defend the sovereignty of its subjects, but in which most of the political power will rest with local, communal authorities. They may not have a specific ideology in themselves. However, there may be variations in how this is realized within the various communities which comprise them. Some peoples may choose to return to some variant of socialism or nationalism, or perhaps even some sort of pre-modern form of social organization. And these communities should be free to choose the particular form of their social organization, in accordance with their unique traditions. Liberalism, however, which depends for its survival on the consumption of all attainable resources, will completely die, I believe, since before long everyone will understand that it only leads to short-term gains followed by total destruction on every level.
NS: If we project the multipolar model on the economic world map, then we’ll get the coexistence of multiple poles, and at the same time, will create a complete matrix for the emergence of a new economy – outside of Western capitalist discourse. In your opinion, is the concept of “autarky of big spaces,” suggested by List, applicable for this?
JM: I have not studied Friedrich List in any detail, so I’m not familiar with this concept, although of course I am in favor of the development of a new economic order to supplant the current, capitalist model. I do know that List opposed the justification of individual greed favored by the English liberal economists, in contrast to an economic model that considers the needs of the community/nation as a whole, as well as the impact one’s actions have on future generations. Given that the destructiveness of the current economic order is the result of its shameful neglect of these two factors, List’s conception is much better.
NS: We are now on the verge of paradigmatic transition from the unipolar world order model to the multi-polar one, where the actors are no more nation-states, but entire civilizations. Recently in Russia was published a book, Theory of Multipolar World [теория многополярного мира], written by the Doctor of Political and Social Sciences, Professor Alexander Dugin. This book lays the theoretical foundation, basis, from which a new historical stage can start, and describes a number of changes both in the foreign policy of nation-states and in today’s global economy, which involve a transition to the multipolar model. Of course, this also means the emergence of a new diplomatic language. Do you believe that multipolarity is the natural state of the world and that transition to the multipolar model is inevitable?
JM: Yes, and my company, Arktos, will soon be making an English edition of this vital text available. I absolutely agree that multipolarity is both necessary and desirable. If we survey human history, this was always how the world was ordered in ages which we, as traditionalists, consider to have been far superior to the way the world is today. It is only from the unique, and degenerative, conditions of modernity that unipolarity has emerged in recent centuries, first in the efforts of the European colonial powers to dominate the planet, and culminating, of course, in American hegemony, which is the direct heir to the European colonial project. As we can see with our own eyes, hegemony hasn’t been good for anyone, neither for those peoples who have enjoyed its ephemeral material benefits nor for those who have been dominated by it. The unipolar idea is what brought the “Third World” into existence and perpetuates it (since, today, it has even conquered these peoples culturally and psychologically). Simultaneously, it has deprived those nations which pursued it, both in America and Europe, of security, stability, sustainability, and most importantly, of any form of genuine culture or identity, replacing it with plastic consumer culture and identities. Ultimately, unipolarity has victimized everything in human civilization that is good while offering nothing apart from the purely material benefits temporarily reaped by those in charge of it in return, and even that will soon cease. We can only hope that multipolarity will re-emerge, since it is obvious to anyone who looks at the world with an open mind that unipolarity is rapidly coming to an end.
Morgan, John. “Theory of Multipolar World: An Interview with John Morgan by Natella Speranskaya.” Interview by Natella Speranskaya. Global Revolutionary Alliance News, 28 May 2013. <http://granews.info/content/theory-multipolar-world-interview-john-morgan >. (See this article in PDF format here: Theory of Multipolar World – An Interview with John Morgan by Natella Speranskaya).
Note: See also the closely related interview with John Morgan on the Fourth Political Theory: <https://neweuropeanconservative.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/interview-on-the-fourth-political-theory-morgan/ >.
Readers may also be interested in the overview of this theory provided by Lucian Tudor in the excerpt “The Vision of a Multipolar World” (which also cites the major sources on this theory): <https://neweuropeanconservative.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/vision-of-a-multipolar-world-tudor/ >.