Tag Archives: Eastern Europe

What is Wrong with Europe? – Dugin

What is wrong with Europe?

By Alexander Dugin

Edited by Daniel Macek

 

In order to understand correctly the nature of the present crisis we need to make short analysis of situation. I suggest three levels:

  • Ideologically,
  • Economically,
  • Geopolitically.

Liberal ideology is the source of problem

Ideologically the problem is liberalism as the unique and only ideology imposed on the Europe and the rest of humanity by the Anglo-Saxon world. Liberalism affirms only individual identity and prohibits any kind of collective or organic identity. So liberalism step by step refuses religion, nation and gender belongingness in order to set individual completely free from any kind of holism. Gender is the core political problem because the liberals insists on the optional nature of gender, a gender as individual choice (before the struggle was around religion as individual choice or nation as individual choice). The other crucial point is immigration. The liberalism refuses to acknowledge religious or cultural identities as well as the gender one: so the immigrant is not considered as the bearer of different identity but as one numerical atomic individual more. Thus liberalism destroys any collective identity. Logically liberalism destroys European identity (with so-called tolerance and human rights theories). Together with intensive destruction of sexual identity it accelerates the end of society as such. The end of Europe is granted by the very fact of acceptance the liberalism as mainstream ideology.

The last step in developing liberalism will be negate human identity as collective one. So welcome to trans-humanism. That is the liberal agenda for tomorrow.

Liberalism is nihilist ideology. It insists on liberty from any kind of collective identity but never suggests something positive. In the past competing wit the totalitarian ideologies – communism or fascism – the liberalism was concrete and attractive because it negated the concrete totalitarianism positing itself as alternative. It was a real alternative. But when the totalitarianisms were overcome, the nihilistic nature of liberalism was revealed. It can only negate. It cannot affirm anything. It is not the ideology of positive freedom, it is ideology of negative liberty. Yesterday it wasn’t so explicit. Now it is.

Liberalismhas turned totalitarian. You do not have  the liberty to be non-liberal. You must be liberal. You can choose to be left liberal or right liberal or centre liberal. You can be – in the extreme case – be far left liberal or far right liberal. But always liberal. If you are judged illiberal by liberals you are finished – labelled as extremist, terrorist and so on. The liberals can tolerate only tolerant people. If you are not tolerant (in liberal sense) you are intolerable.

What can we oppose to liberalism? In XX century there were two options: communism (socialism) and fascism. Both failed historically – politically, philosophically, military, economically. They exist now as simulacra. They are hyper marginal or are manipulated by liberalism: hence the liberal-communism of post-modernists, anarchists and trotskistes, or liberal-fascists serving the liberals to promote their cause exactly as Islamic fundamentalism is used as weapon of USA. So my idea is to oppose to liberalism (first political theory) not second political theory (Marxism), nor third (fascism), but the fourth. I have developed this idea in book The Fourth Political Theory, translated in many languages – in German as well. We need combat liberalism, refusing it and deconstructing it totally. At the same time we need to do so not in the name of the class (as in Marxism) or in the name of nation or race (as in fascism), but in the name of the organic unity of People, social justice and real democracy. Liberals interpret democracy as the rule of minorities. We need to restore the original meaning of the term: the democracy is the rule of the majority, of the organic majority, a majority sharing a common identity – that is the rule of the People as the historic and cultural unity.

Financial capitalism is a catastrophe

Economically the problem is in financial capitalism pretending to overcome the real sector of industry in favour of financial markets technology. Such capitalism is monopolistic and creates bubbles instead of the development of the economic infrastructure. Such economy is based on financial speculations (of the G. Soros type) and cherishes the illusion of infinite growth. That contradicts the reality check. The middle class is not growing anymore. The growth of the financial markets doesn’t correspond to the growth of the real sector. Putting all the attention to financial institutions, promoting the delocalization of the real sector to the Third World countries in the course of the globalization, is the way to the abyss. The first waves of the crisis have already passed, but new waves will be here soon. The economic collapse of the Southern European countries such as Greece, and in the near future Italy and Spain, is only the visible peak of the immense catastrophe. The European unity is based on the full acceptance of the financial capitalism logistic. Only Germany struggles now in order to keep the economy in touch with industrial realities, refusing embark on the train into the nothingness. That is the reason for anti-German hysterics in Europe and in USA. German economy is may be the last real economy, the rest is already virtual economy.

So we need to reconstruct Europe on an alternative economic basis.

The infinite growth is but a liberal illusion. The fall of the middle class is the severe reality. The way out of this is complete revision of the myths of the financial capitalism.

Atlanticism is wrong

Geopolitically, Europe is today an Atlanticist entity. The geopolitics imagined by the Englishman Sir H. Mackinder declares that there are two types of civilizations – the civilization of the Sea (Seapower) and the civilization of the Land (Landpower). They are constructed on opposite systems of values. Seapower is purely mercantile, modernist and materialist. The Landpower is traditionalist, spiritual and heroic. That dualism corresponds to the pair of Werner Sombart’s concept – Händlers (Traders) and Helden (Heroes). Modern European society is fully integrated in the Civilization of the Sea [Seapower]. That is manifested in the North-American strategic hegemony and in NATO.

This situation prevents Europe from becoming an independent geopolitical entity. More profoundly it perverts the geopolitical nature of Europe as a continental entity – a Landpower.

So there is a need to change the situation and to restore the Landpower strategy based on the real European sovereignty. Instead of Atlanticism, Europe needs to become a continental strategic power.

Europa and Russia

If we summarize the points, we can logically deduce where we are in European-Russia relations. The Present Russia is

  • Relatively hostile towards liberalism (more traditionalist and conservatively inclined);
  • Economically trying to free itself from the dictatorship of the World Bank and WMF;
  • Geopolitically continental and anti-Atlanticist.

That is the reason why Russia is under attack – in Ukraine, in Moscow, everywhere. The recent killing of the liberal Boris Nemstsov was a provocation that serves to demonize Russia more and more in the eyes of the West. The liberals, the global financial oligarchy and the Atlanticists (the USA and the financial elite) try to provoke hostility between Russia and Europe, as well as trying to save their shaking rule by promoting ethnic conflicts. The war in Ukraine is the first step in a series of ethnic conflicts on European soil. The global liberal elite plans the ethnic war not only in Ukraine or Russia, but in Germany, France, Eastern Europe and elsewhere. The liberal Empire tries to save their hegemony from falling apart by dividing us.

We need to resist in order to construct better Europe, the truly European Europe. And in such situation, Russia is the friend and the USA is the enemy. We have to work on a Russian-European alliance not because Europeans love Russia or Russians love Europeans. The reason is different; we need to be together in order to save each one of us before the danger that menaces everyone.

I wish you gathering all the best and I would like to add that I appreciate very much the impact of the Zuerst magazine led by the brave Manuel Ochsenreiter and its struggle for a better Germany promoting real European case.

 

—————

Dugin, Alexander. “What is Wrong with Europe?” The Fourth Political Theory, August 2015. <http://www.4pt.su/en/content/what-wrong-europe >.

 

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Foundations of Russian Nationalism – Steuckers

Foundations of Russian Nationalism

By Robert Steuckers

Translated by Greg Johnson

 

Translations: Czech, Portuguese

Throughout its history, Russia has been estranged from European dynamics. Its nationalism and national ideology are marked by a double game of attraction and revulsion towards Europe in particular and the West in general.

The famous Italian Slavist Aldo Ferrari points out that from the 10th to the 13th centuries, the Russia of Kiev was well-integrated into the medieval economic system. The Tartar invasion tore Russia away from the West. Later, when the Principality of Moscow reorganized itself and rolled back the residues of the Tartar Empire, Russia came to see itself as a new Orthodox Byzantium, different from the Catholic and Protestant West. The victory of Moscow began the Russian drive towards the Siberian vastness.

The rise of Peter the Great, the reign of Catherine the Great, and the 19th century brought a tentative rapprochement with the West.

To many observers, the Communist revolution inaugurated a new phase of autarkic isolation and de-Westernization, in spite of the Western European origin of its ideology, Marxism.

But the Westernization of the 19th century had not been unanimously accepted. At the beginning of the century, a fundamentalist, romantic, nationalist current appeared with vehemence all over Russia: against the “Occidentalists” rose the “Slavophiles.” The major cleavage between the left and the right was born in Russia, in the wake of German romanticism. It is still alive today in Moscow, where the debate is increasingly lively.

The leader of the Occidentalists in the 19th century was Piotr Chaadaev. The most outstanding figures of the “Slavophile” camp were Ivan Kireevski, Aleksei Khomiakov, and Ivan Axakov. Russian Occidentalism developed in several directions: liberal, anarchist, socialist. The Slavophiles developed an ideological current resting on two systems of values: Orthodox Christendom and peasant community. In non-propagandistic terms, that meant the autonomy of the national churches and a savage anti-individualism that regarded Western liberalism, especially the Anglo-Saxon variety, as a true abomination.

Over the decades, this division became increasingly complex. Certain leftists evolved towards a Russian particularism, an anti-capitalist, anarchist-peasant socialism. The Slavophile right mutated into “panslavism” manipulated to further Russian expansion in the Balkans (supporting the Romanians, Serbs, Bulgarians, and Greeks against the Ottomans).

Among these “panslavists” was the philosopher Nikolay Danilevsky, author of an audacious historical panorama depicting Europe as a community of old people drained of their historical energies, and the Slavs as a phalange of young people destined to govern the world. Under the direction of Russia, the Slavs must seize Constantinople, re-assume the role of Byzantium, and build an imperishable empire.

Against the Danilevsky’s program, the philosopher Konstantin Leontiev wanted an alliance between Islam and Orthodoxy against the liberal ferment of dissolution from the West. He opposed all conflict between Russians and Ottomans in the Balkans. The enemy was above all Anglo-Saxon. Leontiev’s vision still appeals to many Russians today.

Lastly, in the Diary of Writer, Dostoevsky developed similar ideas (the youthfulness of the Slavic peoples, the perversion of the liberal West) to which he added a radical anti-Catholicism. Dostoevsky came to inspire in particular the German “national-Bolsheviks” of the Weimar Republic (Niekisch, Paetel, Moeller van den Bruck, who was his translator).

Following the construction of the Trans-Siberian railroad under the energetic direction of the minister Witte, a pragmatic and autarkical ideology of “Eurasianism” emerged that aimed to put the region under Russian control, whether directed by a Tsar or a Soviet Vojd (“Chief”).

The “Eurasian” ideologists are Troubetzkoy, Savitski, and Vernadsky. For them, Russia is not an Eastern part of Europe but a continent in itself, which occupies the center of the “World Island” that the British geopolitician Halford John Mackinder called the “Heartland.” For Mackinder, the power that managed to control “Heartland” was automatically master of the planet.

Indeed, this “Heartland,” namely the area extending from Moscow to the Urals and the Urals to the Transbaikal, was inaccessible to the maritime powers like England and the United States. It could thus hold them in check.

Soviet policy, especially during the Cold War, always tried to realize Mackinder’s worst fears, i.e., to make the Russo-Siberian center of the USSR impregnable. Even in the era of nuclear power, aviation, and transcontinental missiles. This “sanctuarization” of the Soviet “Heartland” constituted the semi-official ideology of the Red Army from Stalin to Brezhnev.

The imperial neo-nationalists, the national-Communists, and the patriots opposed Gorbachev and Yeltsin because they dismantled the Eastern-European, Ukrainian, Baltic, and central-Asian glacis of this “Heartland.”

These are the premises of Russian nationalism, whose multiple currents today oscillate between a populist-Slavophile pole (“narodniki,” from “narod,” people), a panslavist pole, and an Eurasian pole. For Aldo Ferrari, today’s Russian nationalism is subdivided between four currents: (a) neo-Slavophiles, (b) eurasianists, (c) national-Communists, and (d) ethnic nationalists.

The neo-Slavophiles are primarily those who advocate the theses of Solzhenitsyn. In How to Restore Our Russia?, the writer exiled in the United States preached putting Russia on a diet: She must give up all imperial inclinations and fully recognize the right to self-determination of the peoples on her periphery. Solzhenitsyn then recommended a federation of the three great Slavic nations of the ex-USSR (Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine). To maximize the development of Siberia, he suggested a democracy based on small communities, a bit like the Swiss model. The other neo-nationalists reproach him for mutilating the imperial motherland and for propagating a ruralist utopianism, unrealizable in the hyper-modern world in which we live.

The Eurasianists are everywhere in the current Russian political arena. The philosopher to whom they refer is Lev Gumilev, a kind of Russian Spengler who analyzes the events of history according to the degree of passion that animates a people. When the people are impassioned, they create great things. When inner passion dims, the people decline and die. Such is the fate of the West.

For Gumilev, the Soviet borders are intangible but new Russia must adhere to the principle of ethnic pluralism. It is thus not a question of Russianizing the people of the periphery but of making of them definitive allies of the “imperial people.”

Gumilev, who died in June 1992, interpreted the ideas of Leontiev in a secular direction: the Russians and the Turkish-speaking peoples of Central Asia were to make common cause, setting aside their religious differences.

Today, the heritage of Gumilev is found in the columns of Elementy, the review of the Russian “New Right” of Alexandre Dugin, and Dyeïnn (which became Zavtra, after the prohibition of October 1993), the newspaper of Alexander Prokhanov, the leading national-patriotic writers and journalists. But one also finds it among certain Moslems of the “Party of Islamic Rebirth,” in particular Djemal Haydar. More curiously, two members of Yeltsin’s staff, Rahr and Tolz, were followers of Eurasianism. Their advice was hardly followed.

According to Aldo Ferrari, the national-Communists assert the continuity of the Soviet State as an historical entity and autonomous geopolitical space. But they understand that Marxism is no longer valid. Today, they advocate a “third way” in which the concept of national solidarity is cardinal. This is particularly the case of the chief of the Communist Party of the Russuan Federation, Gennady Zyuganov.

The ethnic nationalists are inspired more by the pre-1914 Russian extreme right that wished to preserve the “ethnic purity” of the people. In a certain sense, they are xenophobic and populist. They want people from the Caucasus to return to their homelands and are sometimes strident anti-Semites, in the Russian tradition.

Indeed, Russian neo-nationalism is rooted in the tradition of 19th century nationalism. In the 1960s, the neo-ruralists (Valentine Raspoutin, Vassili Belov, Soloukhine, Fiodor Abramov, etc.) came to completely reject “Western liberalism,” based on a veritable “conservative revolution”—all with the blessing of the Soviet power structure!

The literary review Nache Sovremenik was made the vehicle of this ideology: neo-Orthodox, ruralist, conservative, concerned with ethical values, ecological. Communism, they said, extirpated the “mythical consciousness” and created a “humanity of amoral monsters” completely “depraved,” ready to accept Western mirages.

Ultimately, this “conservative revolution” was quietly imposed in Russia while in the West the “masquerade” of 1968 (De Gaulle) caused the cultural catastrophe we are still suffering.

The Russian conservatives also put an end to the Communist phantasm of the “progressive interpretation of history.” The Communists, indeed, took from the Russian past whatever presaged the Revolution and rejected the rest. To the “progressivist and selective interpretation,” the conservatives opposed the “unique flow”: they simultaneously valorized all Russian historical traditions and mortally relativized the linear conception of Marxism.

Bibliography

Aldo FERRARI, «Radici e prospettive del nazionalismo russe», in Relazioni internazionali, janvier 1994.

Robert STEUCKERS (éd.), Dossier «National-communisme», in Vouloir, n°105/108, juillet-septembre 1993 (textes sur les variantes du nationalisme russe d’aujourd’hui, sur le “national-bolchévisme” russe des années 20 et 30, sur le fascisme russe, sur V. Raspoutine, sur la polé­mique parisienne de l’été 93).

Gerd KOENEN/Karla HIELSCHER, Die schwarze Front, Rowohlt, Reinbeck, 1991.

Walter LAQUEUR, Der Schoß ist fruchtbar noch. Der militante Nationalismus der russi­schen Rechten, Kindler, München, 1993.

Mikhaïl AGURSKI, La Terza Roma. Il nazionalbolscevismo in Unione Sovietico, Il Mulino, Bologne, 1989.

Alexandre SOLJENITSYNE, Comment réaménager notre Russie?, Fayard, Paris, 1990.

Alexandre DOUGUINE (DUGHIN), Continente Russia, Ed. all’insegna del Veltro, Parme, 1991. Extrait dans Vouloir n°76/79, 1991, «L’inconscient de l’Eurasie. Réflexions sur la pensée “eurasiatique” en Russie». Prix de ce numéro 50 FF (chèques à l’ordre de R. Steuckers).

Alexandre DOUGUINE, «La révolution conservatrice russe», manuscrit, texte à paraître dans Vouloir.

Konstantin LEONTIEV, Bizantinismo e Mondo Slavo, Ed. all’insegna del Veltro, Parme, 1987 (trad. d’Aldo FERRARI).

N.I. DANILEVSKY, Rußland und Europa, Otto Zeller Verlag, 1965.

Michael PAULWITZ, Gott, Zar, Muttererde: Solschenizyn und die Neo-Slawophilen im heutigen Rußland, Burschenschaft Danubia, München, 1990.

Hans KOHN, Le panslavisme. Son histoire et son idéologie, Payot, Paris, 1963.

Walter SCHUBART, Russia and Western Man, F. Ungar, New York, 1950.

Walter SCHUBART, Europa und die Seele des Ostens, G. Neske, Pfullingen, 1951.

Johan DEVRIENDT, Op zoek naar de verloren harmonie – mens, natuur, gemeenschap en spi­ritualiteit bij Valentin Raspoetin, Mémoire, Rijksuniversiteit Gent/Université d’Etat de Gand, 1992 (non publié).

Koenraad LOGGHE, «Valentin Grigorjevitsj Raspoetin en de Russische traditie», in Teksten, Kommentaren en Studies, n°71, 1993.

Alexander YANOV, The Russian New Right. Right-Wing Ideologies in the Contemporary USSR, IIS/University of California, Berkeley, 1978.

Wolfgang STRAUSS, Rußland, was nun?, Österreichische Landmannschaft/Eckart-Schriften 124, Vienne, 1993.

Pierre PASCAL, Strömungen russischen Denkens 1850-1950, Age d’Homme/Karolinger Verlag, Vienne (Autriche), 1981.

Raymond BEAZLEY, Nevill FORBES & G.A. BIRKETT, Russia from the Varangians to the Bolsheviks, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1918.

Jean LOTHE, Gleb Ivanovitch Uspenskij et le populisme russe, E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1963.

Richard MOELLER, Russland. Wesen und Werden, Goldmann, Leipzig, 1939.

Viatcheslav OGRYZKO, Entretien avec Lev GOUMILEV, in Lettres Soviétiques, n°376, 1990.

Thierry MASURE, «De cultuurmorfologie van Nikolaj Danilevski», in Dietsland Europa, n°3 et n°4, 1984 (version française à paraître dans Vouloir).

Source: http://euro-synergies.hautetfort.com/archive/2010/06/14/fondements-du-nationalisme-russe.html

 

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Steuckers, Robert. “Foundations of Russian Nationalism.” Counter-Currents Publishing, 16 April 2014. <http://www.counter-currents.com/2014/04/foundations-of-russian-nationalism-2/ >.

 

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Roots of Identity – Dugin

Roots of Identity

By Alexander Dugin

Translated by Nina Kouprianova

 

Translator’s Note: Contemporary Russian philosopher and Eurasianist Aleksandr Dugin is no stranger to controversy. He’s been labelled by the Western media as “Putin’s brain” as well as vilified as a “fascist,” a claim especially ironic given that Washington is actively supporting self-described fascists in Ukraine to advance its strategic agenda in Eurasia and considering the fact that his book, The Fourth Political Theory, explicitly renounces fascism (along with communism and liberalism). According to establishment commentators, anyone who rejects Enlightenment liberalism is somehow a dark-age fascist, except, of course, for jihadists in Syria and the Right Sector in Ukraine – they’re freedom fighters, we’re told. Far from exhibiting any “craziness,” Dugin’s following analysis is both incisive and sympathetic, showing a deep understanding of the gradations to be found in questions of identity between Russia and Ukraine.

***

In order to analyze a series of new tendencies in politics linked to the growth of the identity factor more accurately, I suggest the following methodological approach, which explains the three levels of collective identity in societies.

1. Diffuse identity. The overwhelming majority of society’s members possess this type of an identity as a vague and, most often, subconscious perception of one’s unity, belonging to a people, history, state, language, and religion. Diffuse identity almost never dominates daily life, being secondary or even tertiary as compared to an individual’s identity. For the carriers of diffuse identity, it is characteristic to prioritize one’s “I,” comfort, feelings, sentiments, and safety, followed by one’s family and friends. Only afterward comes vague comprehension of belonging to specifically this (and no other) society, people, etc. Under normal circumstances, diffuse identity does not call for any special actions, is perceived weakly, and its carriers may not even have any idea about its contents and structures. It awakens only in exceptional cases: wars, conflicts, political cataclysms, or, at times, in the form of successes in sporting events on the part of one’s homeland or some other significant achievements. Diffuse identity does not encourage one to belong to a certain party and can describe those with very different worldviews and ideologies.

2. Extreme identity. This form is characteristic of those that are focused on collective identity as a priority. They do not simply feel it acutely, but also attempt to grasp it and give it shape. The carriers of extreme identity form patriotic or nationalistic (identitarian) ideologies turning identity into the greatest value, use it as the basis for political programs and projects. Extreme identity is constructed over the diffuse version, but emphasizes only certain parts thereof in a rather exaggerated, intense form. Therefore, the carriers of diffuse identity often fail to recognize themselves in the carriers of its extreme variant: the structures are different in both cases. By exacerbating certain aspects of diffuse identity, the carriers of extreme identity (“nationalists”) often lose sight of other aspects thereof or distort them. Diffuse identity is natural and organic, whereas extreme identity is artificial, constructed, and mechanical. Extreme identity is more common during the times of collective stress, national catastrophes, war, and so on.

3. Deep-rooted identity. The third form of collective identity is a conscious intellectual paradigm of the kind of an identity that undergoes diffusion during its projection onto the masses. If diffuse identity is a product of dissemination, then deep-rooted identity is that which undergoes dissemination, the core of a people’s spirit, hieroglyph of history, existential center of a people’s and society’s Being. This deep-rooted identity may be discovered by philosophers, myths, prophets, focused not on construction, projection, and political manipulation (like the carriers of extreme identity), but on finding, releasing, and expressing a people’s spirit per se rather than the way it is imagined. Therefore, deep-rooted identity is not a structure over diffuse identity, but rather its basis, root (radix), its foundation. Deep-rooted identity is an Idea making a particular society into what it is, a people into what they are, a culture into a culture, and a civilization into a civilization. It fans out diffusely through generations and masses, always maintaining its uniqueness and freshness. Extreme identity is always relative, individual, and conditional. Deep-rooted identity is absolute, universal—within the framework of a particular society—and does not depend on individual expression. Extreme identity is a particular product of diffuse identity. Deep-rooted identity precedes diffuse identity and functions as a spiritual power constituting it.

This analysis is extremely relevant for developing an accurate comprehension of the growth of nationalism in today’s world.

In Russia, diffuse identity (patriotism) is currently on the rise. It is focused on the state and Putin, specifically, especially after Crimea. The Olympics helped cultivate and revitalize these particular forms.

A broad range of Russian nationalist movements represents extreme identity. They are disparate, offer their own particular formulation of nationalism, led by vain and incoherent leaders, fighting among themselves and having no support from those who possess diffuse identity.

Deep-rooted identity is at the center for those who are sincerely occupied by searching for the Russian Idea not as an artificial ideological construct but as a deeply spiritual foundation.

What we see in Ukraine is the opposite, i.e., the growth of extreme identity in the caricatured “Banderite” Western Ukrainian form. This model distorts natural diffuse identity completely—ignoring deep-rooted identity and attempting to impose this artificial construct onto all Ukrainians—despite the fact that the structures of diffuse identity and deep-rooted identity at its base have little in common with it. This remark prioritizes the following question: what is the Ukrainian Idea? It is not a Banderite caricature, not vague, diffuse nationalism, but neither is it the Great Russian Orthodox-Imperial or nostalgic Soviet understanding of the Ukrainian problem. In the face of the catastrophic events and the ongoing schism in Ukraine, this may seem like an excessively abstract observation. The search for the deep-rooted identity in Ukraine, the comprehension of the Ukrainian Idea, its “evocation” are, on the contrary, a paramount challenge.

The same applies to Europe, in which we witness the rise of the identitarian wave. Diffuse nationalism of European communities is growing despite the anti-national Liberal politics of European elites. As a result, there is also a rise in extreme identity represented by nationalist and, at times, openly neo-Nazi groups and movements. But amid all this, we cannot overlook the greatest problem: the question of Europe’s deep-rooted identity. After all, Ukraine revealed an entire series of problems, questions, and challenges of colossal historic importance. They stand far beyond the framework of Ukraine’s situation specifically or Russian-Ukrainian relations.

Today, it is identity that is at the center of all most acute contemporary problems in Europe and beyond.

————–

Dugin, Alexander. “Roots of Identity.” The Soul of the East, 16 May 2014. <http://souloftheeast.org/2014/05/16/roots-of-identity/ >.

 

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What Eastern Europe Can Teach the West – Morgan

What Eastern Europe Can Teach the West

A report from Ukraine and Hungary

By John Morgan

 

Introductory Note: Our audience should keep in mind that this article was written on May 2, 2014, and was written from a limited perspective. Therefore, it does not take into account the many negative consequences of the Ukrainian revolution which occurred in later months due to the anti-Russian chauvinism of the Western Ukrainian government. However, despite this issue, John Morgan presents many valid points on philosophical and strategic matters, and it is for that reason that we choose to republish it here. – Daniel Macek (Editor of the “New European Conservative”)

***

Before I begin, I want to make a disclaimer. I’ll be discussing a number of groups that I’ve had contact with, but I don’t want that to be seen as an unqualified endorsement of any of their programs or policies. I think that all of them are interesting, but I’m not here to act as a spokesman or promoter for any of them.

I’ll begin by describing two scenes that I witnessed in January of this year. The first was in Kiev, in the Ukraine, the night I first arrived, as I was approaching the Maidan, or Independence Square, in the center of the city. From far away, I could smell the smoke wafting from the many barrel fires used by those camped out on the Maidan for warmth and for cooking. As I got closer, I could hear the sounds from the speakers attached to the stage that had been set up by the revolutionaries. As I was to learn later, the revolutionary committee maintained a 24/7 schedule on the Maidan. Whether one ventured there at 4:00 in the afternoon or 4:00 in the morning, there was always something happening: either a speaker, a musical performance, a patriotic drama, or some such thing. This was true of the entire Maidan: It was just as bustling in the middle of the night as during the middle of the day. The protesters wanted to make sure that the government understood that their rage was not a passing phenomenon.

When I reached the square, I could see that it had been transformed into an enormous, self-sufficient city of tents and other makeshift structures. This miniature city-within-a-city extended for many blocks in both directions, to the barricades that had been hastily set up against the police the previous month and that were still being guarded by volunteers. Occupy Wall Street had nothing on these guys. Hundreds of activists had been living there for over a month, in the middle of winter, and would continue to do so for many weeks thereafter, knowing full well that the police might attack them at any moment and possibly even kill them. Some of them are still camped there as I speak. Flags and patriotic slogans festooned everything. There was no doubt in my mind, as I surveyed the scene, that change was inevitable.

The other image I want to convey is something I saw only a few days later, in Budapest, Hungary. I was invited to the Annual Congress of the nationalist party Jobbik, or the Movement for a Better Hungary, the only party in Hungary today that stands as a serious rival to the ruling Center-Right party, Fidesz. The Congress was held in an indoor sports arena on the western outskirts of the city.

When I arrived, the first startling fact was that, unlike most events of a similar nature that I’d attended in Western Europe or the U.S., there were no protesters. It came as a surprise to me that views considered “extreme” in the West are usually considered normal in the East. The second startling thing was the size of the audience. This wasn’t a hundred or so people, as is typical for nationalist-related events I attend. This was an entire arena that could seat thousands. In addition to the bleachers, the floor had been filled with chairs. Both were filled to capacity.

The day’s program consisted of speakers and musical acts, with many of the speakers and performers beginning their presentations with the cry of “Talpra, Magyar!” which was always echoed by the audience. This means, “Arise, Hungarians!” and are the opening words of the poem, “National Song,” that was written by the Hungarian poet Sandor Petofi for the 1848 revolution. The enthusiasm of the participants was palpable: They were motivated to save their people. And this is no marginal phenomenon. Three months later, in the national parliamentary elections, Jobbik went on to win over 20 percent of the vote and establish itself as the second-most powerful party in the nation.

My immediate reaction to the events both in Kiev and Budapest was the same: “Something like this could never happen in Western Europe or the United States.” But the main thing that these experiences taught me is that concern for the future of our people, which I was accustomed to seeing consigned to the margins of society, is no fringe subculture in Eastern Europe. There, nationalism—by which I mean genuine nationalism, and not what masquerades under that name in America today under the auspices of Fox News and such—is still very much a mainstream phenomenon.

What Is Happening in Ukraine

I don’t want to discuss the politics of the Ukrainian situation in great detail, since there has already been so much written and said about it. The one comment I’ll make is that, outside of Ukraine, it is always framed as a dispute over geopolitics: Russia or the EU. I can say only that, while that was certainly a catalyst, that was not the main issue for most of the people I talked to. For them, the Maidan movement was about getting rid of the Yanukovich regime, which was seen pretty much universally, as far as I could tell, as corrupt, anti-democratic, and self-serving. And certainly, the activists I talked with were more interested in ensuring the existence of an independent Ukraine as opposed to one that was merely a vassal of Washington, Brussels, or Moscow.

I was invited to speak to the Kiev revolutionary council by some friends in the nationalist party Svoboda, or “Freedom,” who were familiar with my work with Arktos. In the last election in 2012, Svoboda won more than 10 percent of the national vote, and is likely to do much better in the upcoming election, so, like Jobbik, it is more than a marginal phenomenon. Svoboda’s platform is one of anti-liberalism and anti-Communism, as well as opposition to immigration, and it calls for a return to spiritual and traditional values. (As a side note, I’ll mention that I was informed that the term “European values” is code for “traditional values” in Ukraine, which is understood to mean those values that prevailed before Communism and, later, liberal rule.)

My speech was held in the Kiev city council building, which is just off the Maidan. Members of Svoboda had stormed and occupied the building a month earlier, in early December, and it had been converted into a revolutionary headquarters. Different areas of the building had been assigned to the various political parties involved in the Maidan, and Svoboda itself occupied the main hall. Once the guards at the entrance let me in, I was greeted by the strong smell of a building in which many men were living, but which obviously hadn’t been cleaned for some time. I went there several times, both during the day and at night, and people were always busy at work on something related to the Maidan. For me, it was a unique, inspirational experience to be at the nerve center of a revolution in progress.

In the main hall, chairs had been set up auditorium style so that those volunteering on the Maidan could sit and rest during breaks. Films were projected on a screen at the front of the hall, most of them about activists who had been tortured or killed by the police. Off to one side of the hall, next to a Christmas tree, was a collection of sleeping bags, where Svoboda’s volunteers got some rest whenever they could.

Many of these people came from other parts of Ukraine, and had been away from their families and friends for weeks, just to serve the cause of the Maidan. The walls were adorned with the flags of the various parties, as well as the image of Stepan Bandera, the founder of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists that had opposed the Soviets in the mid-twentieth century, and who continues to serve as an inspiration to nationalist activists today. Once again, I was impressed by the austerities these people were willing to undergo for the sake of their people.

My own talk was on “European Values and European Patriotic Movements.” In essence, I said that the most important issue facing the Maidan wasn’t Ukraine’s geopolitical orientation, but rather how best it could orient itself to combat liberalism. To underscore my point, I outlined some of the many horrors that liberalism has wrought in North America and Western Europe in recent decades. My talk seemed to be well-received, and many people approached me afterwards with questions. It became apparent that while some Ukrainians still aspire to the mirage of the lifestyle that they imagine we have here in America and Western Europe, many of them also understand that America today represents something that should be avoided at all costs.

I’ll mention another anecdote from that evening. After my talk, a rumor started to spread through the Maidan that the police were going to storm it that very night. This turned out to be false, but we had no way of knowing that. An old man who had listened to my speech approached me and asked, “Aren’t you afraid of being beaten?” At first I laughed, but upon reflection, I realized that what he was suggesting was a real possibility. As one of my Ukrainian friends had told me, “Once they find out you have an American passport, they’ll let you go, but if they come charging in here with truncheons they’re not going to bother to ask you first.”

I realized that I had never had to think about such a thing before. I’ve been publicly associated with what could be loosely termed the “New Right” for about seven years now, but I’d never had to worry about much more than being heckled by antifa or getting an occasional nasty e-mail. But here I was faced with the prospect of actual, physical violence. Had the police attacked that night, would I have been able to stand firm, as so many others did at the Maidan, in the face of the possibility of being injured or killed? I hope and believe that the answer is yes, although I have no way of knowing for certain until the moment actually comes.

This brought home for me the fact that activism for us in the West tends to be something very abstract, a battle waged in the pages of journals or in online comments sections rather than on the streets. In the East, it still has a very palpable, existential character, with real and immediate consequences. I think this is something that we would do well to keep in mind as we go about our activities. Identity is not an idea, but something we embody and live, and as such, it should be something visible in the world around us, insofar as we have the ability to affect it. The struggle in the world of ideas is important, certainly, but ultimately this is not merely a debate, but an attempt to reshape and redefine the world—a world that is always going to fight back.

No matter how one looks at it, there are certainly aspects of what has been happening in Ukraine since the revolution that are worrisome—as in any revolution, I suppose. Nevertheless, when viewed from the perspective of European nationalism, I think the fact that, regardless of whatever one thinks of the ends they were pursuing, thousands of ordinary Ukrainians were willing to give up their time and comforts for the sake of living in tents for months, and to risk their lives for the sake of their nation—and certainly without the sense that they were being manipulated by outside forces—is something that should inspire anyone looking for real nationalist activism in the world today.

The Story of Jobbik

The story of Jobbik is much less dramatic, since it is a traditional political party pursuing power through the democratic process in Hungary, and the political situation there is quite stable at the moment. What makes Jobbik particularly interesting is the degree of its success and the ideas it propagates. Thus far I have encountered nothing like it in European politics. Jobbik was founded just over a decade ago, in 2003, and when it fought its first election in 2006, it won less than 2 percent of the vote. As I mentioned before, in this month’s election Jobbik won more than 20 percent of the vote, which, in terms of sheer numbers, ranks it as the most successful nationalist party in Europe apart from the National Front in France.

I believe Jobbik has attained this success by appealing to the growing dissatisfaction of many Hungarians with their membership in the European Union, since exiting the EU is one of the planks of the party’s platform. Increasingly, Hungarians are beginning to see the EU as nothing more than a way for the major Western European powers to amass cheap labor while Hungarians see few benefits in return. Likewise, many Hungarians, especially in the countryside, are beginning to worry about the gradual erosion of their traditional values and customs. Jobbik stands for a return to those values, and plans to increase incentives for Hungarians who are working abroad to come home, and to ensure that immigration, which is currently not a major factor in Hungarian society, stays that way. Jobbik also makes an issue out of the international capitalist system, which it claims is the primary force eroding all cultures and traditions in the world today. Jobbik favors a return to a more locally-based economic model.

Much of the rest of Jobbik’s program is highly unorthodox. Jobbik favors stronger ties with Turkey, Russia and Germany, all of which have been Hungary’s historical enemies, but which Jobbik sees as essential for constructing a bulwark against the continuing encroachment of American and Western European liberalism, under the auspices of NATO and the EU. Notable in this regard is Jobbik’s close cooperation with the Eurasia Movement in Russia of Professor Alexander Dugin, which is worth discussing in its own right.

Professor Dugin has long been an unofficial adviser to Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin, in addition to his prodigious work as an author (my own Arktos publishes his books in English) and as a professor at Moscow State University. All of his work is directed at combating the prevalence and proliferation of liberalism throughout the world, and is unique in that he is one of the few to attempt to apply the ideas of the European “New Right,” as embodied by such thinkers as Alain de Benoist, to geopolitics. The spiritual traditionalism and perennial philosophy that was originally taught by figures such as René Guénon and Julius Evola is also central to his thought. Many of Jobbik’s writings, programs and public statements show the influence of Professor Dugin and his work.

One of the most controversial aspects of Jobbik’s program is its desire for alliances with Asia and the Middle East, and the Islamic world in particular. Jobbik views the anti-Islamic stance assumed by many other nationalist parties in Europe as an error. Jobbik’s leader, Gábor Vona, said in a widely publicized statement last year that the Islamic world is the best hope in the world today to combat liberalism—although what is usually left out is the rest of that sentence, in which he said, “and I say that as a Catholic.” This statement alarmed many, but it has usually been misrepresented, since Mr. Vona has made it clear elsewhere that he doesn’t favor immigration from Islamic countries into Europe, doesn’t favor the Islamicization of Europe, and doesn’t think Turkey belongs in the EU.

Jobbik’s attitude is consistent with the metaphysical perspective of the aforementioned traditionalism of Guénon and Evola, which holds that all traditional religions share a common core and that all stand in opposition to liberalism and the excesses of the modern world. I don’t think it’s possible to understand Jobbik without some understanding of traditionalism. After Jobbik’s congress in January, I spoke with a man who was introduced to me as one of their top ideologues, who said to me, “Politics is nothing; traditionalism is everything!”

One of the party’s major magazines, Magyar Hüperión, contains translated essays by the central thinkers of traditionalism (including Guénon, Evola and Frithjof Schuon), along with articles on politics from a traditionalist perspective. Traditionalism is one of the major elements of Jobbik’s worldview, so one can understand Mr. Vona’s statements only in those terms. When he calls Islam one of the major forces that can combat liberal values—as can all traditional faiths—he does so in reference to Islam as a religion, rather than as a call for an alliance with the more radical and distasteful elements of political Islamism and jihad.

Why Not Here?

Why can’t nationalist movements be successful here? I think the answer is simply that the cultural foundations for such movements are still present in Eastern Europe while they have long since been eroded here. Whatever one may think about the Soviet Union, for half a century the Iron Curtain prevented Cultural Marxism and the worst excesses of liberalism from penetrating into the East. Thus, those societies remained ethnically cohesive and retained a strong sense of national identity, and even their religious institutions, while officially suppressed, only grew in strength by being cast into a dissenting role. Those are the factors upon which any sense of a national or ethnic culture must be founded. This is not to say that liberal trends that threaten to cancel out this advantage are not taking root in Eastern Europe. They are–particularly in the urban areas. But the rot hasn’t yet proceeded to the point where change has become impossible.

So the question is: What can Eastern Europe teach the West? Since the vital foundations of identity, culture and religion have already largely evaporated in any real sense, what is left for us? The situation is dire.

Nevertheless, I think Eastern Europe, and also what I have seen taking place in my own publishing house Arktos, can be instructive. My conclusion is that if any progress is to be made, we need to approach the problem culturally, and in terms of ideas, rather than politically. Any political movement is doomed to failure unless it can reflect the desires of a large number of its community. At the moment, what we are offering is not what most of our people desire. For that to change, we have to influence the culture. This is what the European “New Right” has been saying for nearly half a century now. Little attempt has been made to put this into practice, but I think this is the way forward. More importantly, I think we need to inspire the passions and imaginations of our people, which we have also been failing to do.

The Identitarian movement, which has been extremely popular among the youth in Europe in recent years is, in my view, the first spark of such a development. The Identitarians have shed the old language and hang-ups of conservatism without sacrificing its values, and are winning popularity by adopting many of the tactics of the radical Left: street-level activism, snazzy videos, and the like. In short, it’s cool. Also, the Identitarians have recognized what the core issue really is: identity, going beyond mere politics and ideology to something visceral. People can feel what it is to be a Hungarian or a Frenchman—it is something obvious. It’s not something that needs to be expressed in words or concepts.

Identitarianism is good for Europe, and I have hope for it; the problem is how to transfer it to the United States. What sense of identity do the majority of those of European descent have in America today? Perhaps here in the South, something still remains of the venerable Southern tradition that could still be revived. But the situation in the rest of the country seems hopelessly tragic.

Identity has become a matter of consumerism: your identity is the slogan on your shirt or which television series you like. Appeals to the benefits of the American identity of the 1950s or earlier, for most Americans today, is something as foreign and unappealing as asking them to assume the identity of ancient Egyptians. Some have suggested “white nationalism” as a solution to this problem. For me, this is insufficient, first because it’s a slippery concept in itself, and also because I find it hard to become enthusiastic about the idea that I’m “white.” A Hungarian or a Pole or a Swede has an entire history and tradition to look back on. “Whiteness,” to my mind, is too vague.

If Americans don’t have an identity to draw on, what remains? We still have the remaining factors of culture and religion to consider. Again, Eastern Europe is still rich in these things, and they are what form the basis of nationalist politics there. In America today, all we have is consumer culture and liberal platitudes. The heady days of America’s early years, which produced such wonders as Transcendentalism and the American Renaissance in literature, are long gone. And most of what passes for “religion” these days is either thoroughly compromised by liberalism or else thoroughly moronic—often both.

But what I have observed through my dealings with Arktos’ readers is that there is a great hunger, especially among young people, for new perspectives on culture, politics, and religion that are suffused with the authentic values of the traditional West, to give them something to aspire to. What they want, I believe, are new ideas and myths to inspire them and to give them a sense of purpose.

This does not mean merely conservatism in a new guise; what is wanted is more radical thinking, in the sense of going beyond the limits of what is normally considered Right-wing. In some cases, it may even involve synthesizing ideas and approaches more traditionally identified with the Left. Likewise, conservatism in the West has decayed to the point that even much of what would normally have been traditional or “Right-wing” in Western thought in previous eras now seems new and revolutionary if presented in the proper way.

It should be clear by now that the ideals that first took root in the 1960s and that have dominated our society ever since are becoming more and more shopworn. The reality that young people see around them today is full of evidence of the failures of the attempts to enact these ideals. More to the point, they are growing tired of hearing these same old catchwords trotted out again and again. I firmly believe that the cultural vigor of the West as a whole is passing, if it hasn’t already passed, from the Left to the Right. By this I don’t mean the Republican Right, which is just as liberal as its opposition, but rather what Evola termed the “true Right”—the Right founded on the timeless principles and traditions of our people.

If we continue to offer fresh perspectives in an intriguing manner, and if people continue to respond to them, I think the rest will follow. It is not enough to offer a critical, purely negative view of our civilization as presently constituted. We must offer a positive, constructive alternative vision of what we want that can be attractive to people, and that indicates to ourselves where we want to be heading.

In our own modest way in Arktos, we are trying to offer the appetizers to inspire a greater hunger in our people for a more authentic mode of living and being. Books about the realities of race and of social trends are important, and we must continue to promote them. However, I think it is even more important to offer new ideas in politics, culture, philosophy and religion, and also to produce more creative works that reflect our worldview: fiction, poetry, art, music, videos, and hopefully one day even fully-fledged films. Nothing can inspire people more than a creative vision with which they can readily identify. I hope many more groups will follow in Arktos’ footsteps in this regard.

I’ve mentioned religion, and I think I should delve into this briefly. This isn’t universal, but I have noticed a distinct attraction among many young people towards more traditional forms of spirituality and the sorts of books that Arktos publishes in this area. Traditionalism is certainly part of that. I think this is only natural, since religion at its best offers one of the last refuges of authenticity amidst a society that has become mostly plastic and virtual. And certainly many of the most highly motivated movements and activists I have known on the Right have drawn their sense of purpose, at least in part, from a sense of the spiritual.

This is particularly true of Jobbik. I think the sacred must be an integral part of any attempt to forge a new nationalist culture. This is not to say that we should attempt to propagate a specific religion, as I think such an effort could create divisions, but the cultivation of authentic forms of spirituality, provided that they are consistent with our own norms and values, is a worthy undertaking. A spiritual sense of purpose is the most highly effective way to inoculate oneself against the diseases and temptations of the liberal world.

Hopefully, all this will lead to something corporate America learned was the key to power decades ago: the creation of a subculture, and the identity that follows from that. And, given the right circumstances, a subculture can very quickly influence the prevailing culture. If this happens, it might not even be necessary to have a political movement as such—the perspectives we offer will become commonplace and second-nature—in effect, an identity, and society will be inevitably transformed as a result. I realize this may sound overly idealistic, but the power of ideas and cultural forms should never be underestimated.

In conclusion, then, I’ll say that what Eastern Europe has shown me is that the political struggle is only the outward form of a battle that is really more cultural, and culture rests on what lies within each individual who participates in it. In order to be willing to sacrifice the comforts of home and camp out in the freezing cold, or to risk being hit by a policeman’s baton, a solid sense of identity is required.

Unfortunately, what Eastern European nationalists are born and instilled with is something that we must strive to create for ourselves, if we want to form the basis of something capable of transforming the societies we live in. And once we have achieved that for ourselves, we will provide an example that others will strive to imitate. As that great politician Gandhi once said, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do.” I think we can do this.

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Morgan, John. “What Eastern Europe Can Teach the West.” American Renaissance, 2 May 2014. <http://www.amren.com/features/2014/05/what-eastern-europe-can-teach-the-west/ >.

 

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The West against Europe – Sunic

The West against Europe

By Tomislav Sunic

The following is the English translation of my speech in French, given in Lyon, France, on May 25, for the French identitarians (students, members of the “GUD” and “Europe Identité.”) The speech was delivered in honor of the late Dominique Venner, a historian and philosopher who committed suicide on May 21. On May 26, the day after my speech in Lyon, many GUD and “Europe Identité attendants participated in mass demonstrations in Paris against the recently adopted law by the French government on “same sex marriage.”

The term ‘Occidentalism’ exists only in the French language and has a very specific meaning. Often the words ‘Occident’ and ‘occidentalisme’ obtain specific meanings according to its user and the user’s profile. The term ‘occidentalisme’ is never used in the German or in the English language. Even the French word ‘l’Occident’, having a wider geographic significance, is translated into the German language as the ‘West’ — der Westen. The same goes for the English language in which the French noun ‘l’Occident‘ is translated into English as “the West,” a subject of many books and translations. In this regard Patrick Buchanan, a former adviser to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and a conservative large-circulation author, published a decade ago his bestseller The Death of the West (La Mort de l’Occident), where he laments about the West being invaded by millions of non-Christian immigrants. According to Buchanan, America and Europe are both part of the West.

Yet we know well that America and Europe are not synonymous despite the fact that they are for the time being still populated by majorities of pure-bred Europeans. Very often in our recent history, these two large continental land masses, despite their quasi-identical population, have waged terrible wars against each other.

In the Slavic languages the noun ‘Occident’ and the adjective ‘occidental’ do not exist either. Instead, Croats, Czechs or Russians use the noun ‘Zapad’, which means “the West.”

The French noun ‘occidentalisme’ (‘westernization’) indicates a notion of an ideology, and not an idea of a stable time-bound and space-bound entity as is the case with the noun ‘L’Occident’. I’d like to remind you that the French title of the book by Oswald Spengler, Der Untergang des Abendlandes, or in French, Le déclin de l’Occident, does not accurately reflect the meaning of the German title. The German word ‘Untergang’ signifies the end of all the ends, the final collapse, and it is a stronger word than the French term ‘déclin’, which implies a gradation, a “declination of evil” so to speak, leaving, however, an anticipation that a U-turn could be made at the very last minute. This is not the case in the German language where the noun ‘Untergang’ indicates a one-way street, an irreversible and tragic end. The same goes for the German noun ‘Abendland’, which when translated into French or English, means “the land of the setting sun”, having a largely metaphysical significance.

I must bring to your attention these lexical nuances in order to properly conceptualize our subject, namely ‘occidentalisme’ i.e. Westernization. One must keep in mind that the phrases “The Occident” and “the West” in different European languages often carry different meanings, often causing misunderstandings.

No doubt that the terms the West (‘L’Occident ‘) and Westernization (‘occidentalisation’) underwent a semantic shift. Over the last forty years they have acquired in the French language a negative meaning associated with globalism, vulgar Americanism, savage liberalism, and “the monotheism of the market”, well described by the late Roger Garaudy. We are a long way off from the 60’s and 70’s of the preceding century when the journal Défense de l’Occident was published in France comprising the names of authors well known in our circles. The same goes for the French politico-cultural movement Occident, which back in the sixties, held out a promise both for the French nationalists and the entire European nationalist youth.

The two terms, ‘Occident’ and ‘occidentalism’ which are today lambasted by the French identitarian and nationalist circles, are still the subjects of eulogies among East European identitarians and nationalists who suffer from an inferiority complex about their newly found post-communist European identity. In Poland, in Hungary or in Croatia, for example, to invoke “the West” is often a way to highlight one’s great culture, or a way to boast of being a stylish man of the world.

I’d like to remind you that during the communist epoch East Europeans were not only annoyed by communist bullying and ukases, but also felt offended by their status as second-class European citizens, especially when Westerners, namely the French and the English, used the term ‘East’ in order to describe their neck of the woods in Europe, namely “Eastern Europe” or “l’Europe de l’Est.” Moreover, the French language uses a parallel adjective “oriental” in designing eastern Europe, i.e. “L’Europe orientale” — an adjective whose disambiguation, frankly speaking, makes East Europeans furious. The French adjective “oriental” reminds East Europeans of the Orient, of Turkey, of Arabia, of Islam — notions under which they absolutely refuse to be catalogued. Even those East Europeans who are perfectly proficient in the French language and know French culture, prefer, in the absence of other words, that the French-speaking people label their part of Europe as “Eastern Europe”, but never as “l’Europe orientale.”

Balkanization and Globalization

The history of words and semantic shifts does not stop here. All East Europeans, whether left or right, anti-globalists or globalists, and even the ruling political class in Eastern Europe like to identify themselves as members of “Mitteleuropa” and not as citizens of Eastern Europe. The German term Mitteleuropa means “central Europe”, a term harking back to the nostalgic days of the Habsburg Empire, to the biedermeier style, to the sweetness of life once delivered by the House of Austria where Slovaks, Poles, Croats, Hungarians, and even Romanians and Ukrainians belonged not so long ago.

The notion of adherence to Europe, especially in this part of Eastern Europe, is further aggravated by the inadvertent usage of words. Thus the term ‘the Balkans’ and the adjective ‘Balkan’, which is used in a neutral sense in France when describing southeastern Europe, have an offensive connotation in Croatian culture, even if that designation carries no pejorative meaning. The perception Croats have about themselves is that they are at loggerheads with the Other, namely their Serbian or Bosnian neighbors.

And there is a big difference between how the term ‘Balkans’ is seen among the French or English where it typically carries a neutral connotation, as one often sees in geopolitical studies, However, in the eyes of Croats, the terms ‘Balkan’ and ‘Balkanization’ signify not only a geopolitical meltdown of the state; especially among Croat nationalists and identitarians, these terms provoke feelings associated with barbaric behavior, political inferiority, and the image of racial decay of their White identity.

In addition, the term “balkanesque’ in the Croatian language often induces negative feelings referring to a blend of various racial and cultural identities originating in Asia and not in Europe. One can often hear Croats of different persuasions teasing each other for their allegedly bad behavior with the quip: “Wow, you’re a real balkanesque dude!” In the Croatian daily vernacular, this means having an uncivilized behavior, or simply being a “redneck.”

In Serbia, this is not the case. Since the Serb identity is real and well-rooted in the historical time and space of the Balkans, it has no pejorative meaning.

The Germans, who know best the psychology of the peoples of Central Europe and of the Balkans, are well aware of these conflicting identities among the peoples of Eastern Europe and the Balkans. In fact, the German term “der Balkanezer” has a strong offensive meaning in the German vocabulary.

Which Europe?

Let us move further to Europe. Of course, to the famed European Union. What exactly does it mean to be a good European today? Let’s be honest. In view of the massive influx of non-European immigrants, especially from the Middle East and North Africa, all Europeans, whether native French, native English, or “natives” from all parts of Europe, have become good “balkanesque Balkanisers.” Indeed, what does it mean today to be a German, to be French or to be an American, considering the fact that more than 10–15 percent of Germans and French and more than 30 percent of U.S. citizens are of non-European and non-White origin? Visiting Marseille feels like visiting an Algerian city. The Frankfurt airport resembles the airport of Hong Kong. The areas around Neukölln in Berlin emit an odor of the Lebanese Kasbah. The soil, the turf, the earth, the blood, so dear to Dominique Venner or Maurice Barrès, so dear to all of us, what does it mean today? Absolutely nothing.

It would be easy to blame the aliens (“allogènes”) as the only guilty ones. One must admit, though, that it is ourselves, the Europeans, who are primarily responsible for the Westernization and therefore for the loss of our identity. While doing so, no matter how much one can rightly blame the alleged ignorance of the Americans, at least the Americans are not torn apart by small time intra-European tribalism. Possibly, the Americans of European descent can become tomorrow the spearhead of the rebirth of the new Euro-white identity. One must confess that racial identity awareness among White American nationalists is stronger than among European nationalists.

In the Europe of tomorrow, in the possible best of all the worlds — even with the aliens gone for good, it is questionable whether the climate will be conducive to great brotherly hugs between the Irish and the English, between the Basques and Castilians, between the Serbs and the Croats, between the Corsicans and the French. Let’s be honest. The whole history of Europe, the entire history of Europeans over the last two millennia has resulted in endless fratricidal wars. This still applies to “l’Europe orientale”, namely “Eastern Europe,” which continues to be plagued by interethnic hatreds. The latest example is the recent war between two similar peoples, Serbs and Croats. Who could guarantee us that the same won’t happen tomorrow again even under the presumption that the influx of Asians and Africans would come to an end?

To “be a good European” means nothing today. Declaring oneself a “good “Westerner” is meaningless as well. Being rooted in one’s soil in the globalist world has absolutely no significance today because our neighborhoods, being populated by aliens, along with ourselves, are subject to the same consumer culture. There might be something paradoxical happening with the arrival of non-Europeans: endless wars and disputes between European nationalists, i.e. between the Poles and Germans, between the Serbs and Croats, between the Irish and English — seem to have become outdated. The constant influx of non-Europeans to our European lands makes the designation of “European Europe” a lexical absurdity.

Our duty is to define ourselves first as heirs of European memory, even though we may live outside Europe; in Australia, Chile and America, or for that matter on another planet. One must admit that all of us “good Europeans” in the Nietzschean sense of the word, all of us can change our religion, our habits, our political opinions, our land, our turf, our nationality, and even our passports. But we can never escape our European heredity.

Not the aliens, but the capitalists, the banksters, the “antifas” and the architects of the best of all the worlds are our main enemies. In order to resist them it behooves us to revive our racial awareness and our cultural heritage. Both go hand in hand. The reality of our White race and our culture cannot be denied. We can change everything and even move to another planet. Our inheritance, that is, our gene pool, we must never change.

Race, as Julius Evola and Ludwig Clauss teach us, is not just biological data. Our race is our spiritual responsibility which alone ensures our European survival.

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Sunic, Tomislav. “The West against Europe.” The Occidental Observer, 2 June 2013. <http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2013/06/the-west-against-europe/ >.

 

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Wilson’s Defeat in Yugoslavia – Sunic

“Woodrow Wilson’s Defeat in Yugoslavia: The End of a Multicultural Utopia” by Tomislav Sunic (PDF – 487 KB):

Woodrow Wilson’s Defeat in Yugoslavia

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Sunic, Tomislav. “Woodrow Wilson’s Defeat in Yugoslavia: The End of a Multicultural Utopia.” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Fall 1994), pp. 34-43. This file was originally retrieved from: <http://www.tomsunic.info/essays/woodrowwilson.pdf >.

Note: This essay was also republished in Tomislav Sunic’s Postmortem Report: Cultural Examinations from Postmodernity – Collected Essays (Shamley Green, UK: The Paligenesis Project, 2010).

 

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America in the Eyes of Eastern Europe – Sunic

America in the Eyes of Eastern Europe

By Tomislav Sunic

While a massive amount of both critical and laudatory literature on America is circulating in western Europe, only a few critical books on America and the American way of life can be found in today’s postcommunist eastern Europe. This essay is my attempt to add to that literature.

Before attempting to tackle this complex subject (an eastern European account of America), one needs to define terms. People living in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, or Slovenia do not like being called eastern Europeans; the term eastern Europe has a ring of an insult to their ears. They consider themselves, despite their region’s undemocratic past, full-blooded Europeans–as much if not more so than west Europeans. There may be some truth in this semicomplacent attitude. From the ethnic point of view, all postcommunist countries in eastern Europe are highly homogeneous, with only a few non-Europeans living on their soil. By contrast, western Europe, or what is today part of the fifteen states of the European Union, has a non-European population of approximately 7 percent. Moreover, the population of the United States–which can be thought of as an extension of western Europe–is well over 25 percent non-European in origin.

Ironically, due to the closed nature of its communist past, eastern Europe has never known a large influx of non-Europeans. The paradox is therefore twofold: the label eastern Europe is viewed by many as ideologically colored, its derogatory meaning referring to the formerly Soviet-occupied and communist-ruled part of Europe. Second, although claiming to be 100 percent Europeans, all east European nations, and particularly the newborn nation-states in the region, are well aware of their ethnic roots–certainly more so than are west Europeans. For decades, if not centuries, and even during the darkest hours of communism, east Europeans had a strange love for America, while displaying strange resentments toward their next-door European neighbors.

Any American who travels to Budapest, Zagreb, or Warsaw, be it in a public or private capacity, is welcomed. An American backpacker may enjoy passing through Copenhagen or Amsterdam, but he will never be so warmly embraced by west Europeans as he will be by his east European hosts. The communist rule, which lasted well over forty years in eastern Europe and seventy in Russia, created a mental atmosphere whereby the very term West became synonymous with America, and only to a lesser degree with nearby western Europe. The West, in the eyes and ears of east Europeans, was not so much the rich and opulent Germany or France, but rather the distant, Hollywood-hazed America.

While one could find scores of Marxist true believers in American academia during the Cold War, most east Europeans privately nurtured strong anticommunist and pro-American feelings. Former Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan had more true, albeit hidden, constituents in communized Poland, Hungary, and Albania than on the West or East Coast. It was difficult for many east Europeans, particularly those who physically suffered under communism, to grasp the motives of young American students during the anti-Vietnam protests in the late sixties. Of course, pro-American and anticommunist sentiments among the wide layers of eastern European society had to be skillfully hidden. But a great majority of people in eastern Europe privately applauded the U.S. bombing of Vietnam and the harsh anticommunist rhetoric of Nixon and Reagan. They were all persuaded that, sooner or later, American GIs would liberate their homelands from the red plague. But today east Europeans are beginning to realize that America had other fish to fry than liberating Hungary in 1956 or Poland in 1980.

The Passing of the American Age

After the fall of communism, the United States is still perceived by many east Europeans as the incarnation of good, a symbol of enormous wealth, and a place of boundless economic opportunity. To some extent, east European attitudes toward America resemble those of west Europeans following World War II. In their eyes, America was a myth that surpassed the often-gloomy American reality. Many east Europeans are now going through similar psychological convulsions and self-induced misperceptions. The first cracks in their imaginary image of America are beginning to appear.

On a political level, with the end of the bipolar system and the breakup of the Soviet Union, America has become the only role model in the neighborhood. Whether they like it or not, east European politicians know that entrance into the international community means, first and foremost, obtaining a certificate of good democratic behavior from Uncle Sam, and only much later a passing grade from the fledgling European Union (EU). Challenging and opposing U.S. foreign policy in this region is a luxury that no east European ruler can afford, short of paying a hefty price (as Serbia did a half-decade ago).

But contradictions, if not outright hypocrisy, abound on both sides of the Atlantic. Even a self-proclaimed anti-American in eastern Europe will accept with great mistrust EU arbitration of a regional or ethnic dispute or armed conflict. He will always turn his eyes first toward America. Even among America-haters, the unwritten rule is that only America, due to its historical detachment, can be an honest broker. Despite almost grotesque cravings to join the EU exhibited by the entire east European political class, in the back of everybody’s mind the quest is to join NATO first. The recent entry of Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic into NATO had far more psychological significance for people in the region than the protractedly scheduled entry into the European Union. Even the most cultivated east European opponent of the American way of life or the harshest critic of U.S. foreign policy does not dispute the fact that America elicits more confidence and sympathy among east Europeans than does the next-door European neighbor, who is traditionally and historically suspected of double deals and treachery.

While western Europe is often decried and derided by European conservative intellectuals as a protectorate of America or a subject of U.S. cultural imperialism, the fact of the matter is that everybody finds something inexplicably attractive about America. One can rave and rant about its decadence, its highest per-capita prison population, poor educational system, or military overextension, but every citizen in Europe, both west and east, is subconsciously enamored with either the real or surreal image of America.

Even gloomy projections of an apocalyptic end of America must be taken with caution. Many erudite conservative authors depict America as the belated aftershock of the late Roman Empire, with a willful, albeit often dangerous, desire to export global democracy by means of paleo- puritan and neoliberal messianism. But features of globalism and political messianism were common to all great powers in Europe throughout centuries. The Jacobin and post-Jacobin France at the end of the eighteenth century, for example, was no less a globalist power than America is today. The case was similar with the now-defunct Soviet Union.

Many Europeans, let alone east Europeans, do not realize that America is not just a continent but a planet with enormous differences in lifestyles and worldviews–despite its often-derided “McDonaldization” or its “Have a nice day” daily discourse. One learns to appreciate the allegedly decadent American system only after great distance in time and space. The supreme paradox is that many ancient and traditional European values were better defended intellectually by the Confederates in 1863, than by conservative Europeans, then and now.

But is America still the same country today as it was just a decade ago? Certainly it has changed dramatically over the past ten years, not just due to a massive influx of non-European immigrants but also to an infusion of new role models and mindsets that they have brought with them. Only fifty years ago the overwhelming majority of American immigrants were Europeans, who saw in their newly adopted homeland an “extension,” albeit a distant one, of their unfulfilled European dream. The very geographic distance from Europe made them accept wholeheartedly their new American destiny, yet they continued to honor their old European customs, often better and more colorfully than they had done on the other side of the ocean. This hardly seems to be the case with the new immigrants today. Many of these immigrants, especially those coming from Latin America, do not experience a geographic gap from their abandoned homeland because they live in its close vicinity. What is more, due to the rising tide of globalism, their loyalty is often split between their old homeland and their new American one. They may often experience the American dream as just another passing journey, looking instead to whatever will bring them greater financial and economic success. Early America was grounded in the roots of the Western heritage and had no qualms about displaying the badge of traditional Christian and European values, such as chivalry, honor, and the sense of sacrifice. This seems increasingly difficult to preach to new would-be Americans whose religious customs, cultural roots, and historical memory often stretch to the different antipodes of the world.

Contradictions, paradoxes, and hypocrisies abound. Probably one of the best early observers of postmodernity, the conservative author and novelist Aldous Huxley, wrote in a little-known essay that America would be the future of the world–even if and when America, as a separate country and jurisdiction, fades into oblivion. The American system of soft ideology–that is, the dictatorship of well-being and the terror of consumerism–makes it globally appealing and yet so self-destructive. As an English sophisticate and aristocratic conservative, Huxley deeply resented the massification of America, in which he foresaw both a blueprint and a carbon copy of softened communist totalitarianism. But was he not a contradictory person himself, despite his visionary predictions? Did he not choose sunny, ahistorical, decadent, and uprooted California as his deathbed, not his own rainy England or somewhere else in rooted Europe? And did he not spend much of his later life on LSD-induced trips?

American vs. Soviet Man

Eastern Europe’s distorted image of America, coupled with an often ludicrous love of the imaginary America, was a logical response to the endless anti-American rhetoric propagated by its former communist masters. Even when communist apparatchiks aired slogans that carried some truth about racial discrimination, poverty, and high crime rates in the United States, the east European masses refused to believe them. This was understandable. How could they believe communist officials, given the fact that the communist system was founded on the big lie and could only function by lying on all wavelengths twenty-four hours a day. Instead, east Europeans opted for their own self-styled vision of America, which real Americans would have found hard to believe in. The gloomier the picture of America presented by the communists, the more east Europeans believed in its opposite pastoral and pristine side.

Ten years after the fall of communism, eastern Europeans are gradually toning down their illusions about quick Americanization–that is, a sudden outbreak of affluence–in their countries. Hence another paradox: Ten years ago, communist mendacity, police repression, and economic scarcity prompted them to kick out the red plague, but today it is American-style capitalism that makes them cry out for more communist-style security and economic predictability, saying to themselves, “Who says, after all, that totalitarianism cannot be democratic, and that an individual always knows what is in his own best interests? Sometimes a leader, a strongman, führer, caudillo, or vodj, best knows the answer.”

The legacy of communism in eastern Europe is hard to grasp even for scholars of substantial culture and intellectual probity. Communism created distinct patterns of behavior that will take longer to discard than the ideological or juridical legacy of communist repression. The shrewd traveler to eastern Europe, whether businessman, politician, or student, will notice that citizens of today’s Prague, Bucharest, Budapest, or Zagreb still display behavioral traits of the communist system. The communist culture of social leveling created a peculiar mind-set of base survivalism, visible today even among individuals who brag that they are ardent anticommunists. American businessmen are often amazed with the way the new postcommunist political elites conceptualize a free market, forgetting that beneath the style and rhetorical veneer of the new class, the substance of communism was never uprooted. Indeed, from the Balkans to the Baltics, the majority of politicians in eastern Europe are basically recycled communists, who for obvious geopolitical reasons converted to Americanophile opportunism. It is questionable to what extent they are true democrats now, and to what extent they were true communist democrats twenty years ago. Thus, there are many misunderstandings and misperceptions on both sides of the Atlantic.

The culture of postcommunist mediocrity and mendacity cannot be wished away by State Department officials or would-be UN Samaritans. Generally speaking, the American attitude toward eastern Europe is based on pragmatic (albeit too idealistic) models and schemes that foresee a solution, or at least a contingency plan, for every crisis. But formulas or models do not work in postcommunist eastern Europe. An average east European is still prone to irrational emotional outbursts and continues to harbor paranoid conspiracy theories. Given that he sees others, including Americans, as crooks, he will himself continue cheating and pilfering, and do his best to double-cross others.

In essence, past communist terror badly weakened what we might call the genetic pool of eastern Europeans. Therefore, many east Europeans accept the vaunted transition toward democracy–i.e., American-style capitalism–only on a purely rhetorical level. Initiative, commitment, and self-reliance, which are taken for granted by Americans, are nonexistent in eastern Europe. The imbedded communist practice of double deals presents a formidable barrier in east European–American business or political relationships. Numerous U.S. scholars and politicians think that these barriers will fade away with the brutal implemention of free markets, but they are wrong.

The primitive appeal of communism abided in the psychological security and economic predictability it provided. Most east Europeans would now like to have it both ways: They would like to retain the economic and political security of communism, while having all the imagined glitz and glory of projected Americanism. For eastern Europeans, the American dream basically boils down to transplanting themselves physically into the imaginary yet real soaps of Santa Barbara or Melrose Place. One may argue, as does Jean Baudrillard, a theorist of postmodernity, that America is utopia achieved. This is true in a sense, if we disregard the ever-increasing economic inequalities and growing social anonymity that could spell the end of the American dream. Conversely, eastern Europe today is a laboratory where different and sometimes obnoxious ideas are officially heralded one day, only to be discarded the next. Americans frequently observe that little can be achieved in this tragic part of Europe by role-modeling or preaching democracy.

Eastern Europe skipped the most important part of its modern history; it never carried out wholesale decommunization, and it never began educating its masses in civility. Consequently, a strong irrational element in human behavior will continue to exist in eastern Europe. Eastern Europe has already had too much of verbal democracy. What it needs is civility.

During the initial postcommunist phase, east Europeans became ardent anticommunists who thought that by hollering anticommunist slogans, they would immediately open up the road to rich America. It is no accident that the first governments in postcommunist eastern Europe were made up of radical anticommunist and nationalist spokesmen. Then, during the second phase, which is still in progress, east Europeans, particularly the political class, engaged in a grotesque mimicry of America. Everybody regurgitates the words economic growth, privatization, globalization, and Euro-Atlantic integration without knowing what they stand for. This phase is coming to an end, leaving a dangerous vacuum behind and a minefield of mass anxiety ahead.

The unpredictable nature of the European character is obvious. Who could have foretold the fall of the Berlin Wall, the brutal war between two similar peoples (Croats and Serbs), and the never-ending reshuffling of the EU? One may not rule out that after the experiment with “made in the U.S.A.” style ultraliberalism, east Europeans may suddenly, out of defiance, revert to ageless domestic hard-liners. Security comes first; democracy may be a distant second. The rapid process of Americanization of eastern Europe, with its self-induced, self-gratifying dreams, may have its nasty drawbacks. If Americans themselves start raising questions about the veracity of their elections and the honesty of their leaders, their poor imitators in eastern Europe will flock to the large trove of their own strongmen. A parallel could be drawn with former European colonies, which after the end of French and English colonial rule, reverted to their own often unsavory customs. Moreover, the surplus population they keep sending to open-armed Europe and America bears witness to the decline of the West.

Additional Reading :

Jean Baudrillard, America, translated by Chris Turner, Verso, New York, 1989.
Noam Chomsky, Secrets, Lies and Democracy, Odonian Press, Tucson, 1994.
Tomislav Sunić, Against Democracy and Equality: The European New Right, Peter Lang Publishing, New York, 1990.
Alexander Zinoviev, The Reality of Communism, Victor Gollancz, London, 1985.

 

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Sunic, Tomislav. “America in the Eyes of Eastern Europe.” The World and I, Vol. 16, No. 11 (November 2001), p. 292. <http://www.tomsunic.com/?p=23 >. (See this essay in PDF format here: America in the Eyes of Eastern Europe).

Note: This essay was also republished in Tomislav Sunic’s Postmortem Report: Cultural Examinations from Postmodernity – Collected Essays (Shamley Green, UK: The Paligenesis Project, 2010).

We may also note that the Eastern European critical perspective of America may also be found in Valdas Anelauskas’s Discovering America As It Is (Atlanta, GA: Clarity Press, Inc., 2002). See webpage: <http://members.efn.org/~rolanda/discovering/america.html >.

 

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