November 28, 2015 –
By J. Arnoldski for Fort Russ –
Geopolitics is not Personalities
People raised in the contemporary West tend to see only the trees and not the forest. As a result of our upbringing in the conditions of rampant consumerism, the commodification of anything and everything, the confusion of post-modernity, and the endless repetition of liberal cliches, we are predisposed to take interest in global events. Yet, we forget world matters at the same tempo which mainstream, corporate media runs and drops that same coverage.
All of this leads us to mistake deep and protracted conflicts for a sparring match between this or that political personality. The alienated, atomized Homos Americanus is raised in such a way as to lack critical, analytical thinking, feature an extremely limited attention span, and see the individual actor and associated temporal occurrences as an end in itself.
In the context of the global geopolitical confrontation which outlets such as Fort Russ strive to document and scrutinize, this reality manifests itself just as clearly as in other contexts. Many of us from the West miss the undertones, the nuances, as well as fail to see the larger map and arrangement of contradictions which are hidden behind sensationalist headlines and personified simplifications. In contrast, the larger map contains profound dimensions which are camouflaged by the mirages of Fourth Generation Warfare, and excluded by the restrictive framework of liberal political discourse.
Thus, instead of a planetary geopolitical showdown, class struggles, cosmic war, epistemological dilemmas, information war, and the fundamental shift in the historical paradigm, we see only the statements, attributed actions, and PR reflections of personalities: Putin, Obama, Merkel, Hollande, Juncker, Assad, Erdogan, Zakharchenko, Poroshenko, Xi Jinping, etc.
Our liberal conditioning restricts our view to the plane of the isolated, material individual, who acts within given conditions and makes headlines. This is especially true in the case of Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation. “Putin has a cunning plan,” “Putin outsmarts Obama,” “Putin comes to rescue Assad,” “Putin destroys ISIS,” “Putin exposes the New World Order,” etc. The list goes on. It is as if everyone should just step aside so that the Russian president can take care of the world’s problems.
Using the paradigm against itself
On the one hand, this plays an important role. The spotlighting of Vladimir Putin as a strong male figure, calculating leader, cautious yet sternly swift geopolitical actor, faithful representative of a certain civilization, and all-rounded personality is presented within the liberal conceptual framework. This targets the audiences in question while utilizing the liberal framework to promote a figure who is supposed to represent a quite different force. Although he might be presented within the language of liberal corporate media, his PR figure is itself a slap in the face to the model of the discredited and castrated, pathetically indecisive and dishonest “leader” which the liberal paradigm spawns.
This is somewhat of a paradox. The disillusioned American who is more than tired of the “politically correct” self-castration, monotone droning, systemic crisis, and pompous deceit of “democracy” and liberalism, sees in Putin a breath of fresh air and an invigorating “savior.” This had the same value to many Russians who suffered terribly during the catastrophic reign of the drunken, brainless, manipulated Yeltsin and saw in Putin a promising strongman. Yet, while Putin is presented within the semantics and aesthetics of liberalism and is even promoted as a “defender” of “real”, “workable” “democracy,” the forces which he is supposed to be the unconscious or conscious vanguard of, are those which seek to weaken, destroy and replace this very Atlanticist paradigm.
What is lost in the immediately visible “cult of personality of Putin,” which nonetheless has its place in the information war and is a phenomenon with objective (our liberal-conditioned tendency to personalize and individualize) and subjective parameters (the attraction of a charismatic PR figure), is the larger picture – the greater struggle, the meaning of symbolism, the deeper contradictions, and an historic trajectory.
The present global confrontation: Deracinating Atlanticist Hegemony vs. Multipolar and self-determination
The present global confrontation is not one between personalities, individual states, or competing interest groups. It is not even, or not only, Russia vs. the US, Putin vs. Obama, NATO vs. Russia, or now Russia vs. Turkey. While in certain circumstances these may be pushed to the forefront as direct manifestations and instances of this struggle, they are not the point. We are witnessing and participating in (whether we like it or not) a heightened collision between two paradigmatic projects: the Eurasian one and the Atlanticist one.
This war, which is currently being waged in hybrid form, is called by different names and seen at different levels in different ideologies and world views. In geopolitics, this is the antagonism between Land and Sea. For conspirologists, this is an occult struggle. For Marxists, this is a manifestation of the struggle between labor and capital at the stage of national liberation and anti-imperialism. For the liberals themselves, this is a struggle for maintaining their precious neo-liberal capitalist “open society” and thwarting the “enemies of the open society.” For Eurasianists, this is a struggle for a multi-polar world against the unipolar “globalization” of the Atlanticists and the multi-faceted hegemony of the North American superpower. For Traditionalists, this struggle is against the destructive forces of modernity and what the Hindu tradition calls the Kali Yuga, the Christian tradition the Kingdom of the Antichrist, the Islamic tradition names Masih ad-Dajjal, etc. All of these struggles relate to, intersect with, and are woven into the fabric of the planetary confrontation of two alternative models of approaching human societies, organization, and interactions on a global scale.
– Click photo to see video –
Aims of the Atlanticists
The Atlanticist project seeks to, at a minimum, maintain the status quo or, at best, rewind history to the 1990’s and early 2000’s when the “End of History” was declared, the US oligarchy imposed its diktat on its unipolar, hegemonized world with little to no resistance. Liberalism and neo-liberal capitalism, as enforced by American imperialism, were upheld as the “natural,” “inevitable,” and “universal” fate of humanity. This project envisions a New World Order in which the United States, in cultural, ideological, economic, geopolitical, and socio-political terms, rules a subordinate Europe, a splintered Eurasia, a war-torn and manipulable Middle East, a looted and cannibalistic Africa, a ruthlessly exploited Latin America, and an Asian cheap-labor reservoir. The sum total of this is the “end of history,” the victory of “progress.”
Aims of the Continentalists
The Eurasian, Continentalist project, on the other hand, aims for a multi-polar world as a framework which benefits the vast majority of the world’s states and civilizations, including both their ruling elites and their popular masses in different ways. A multipolar world offers the most promising opportunities for a genuine, international “dialogue of civilizations,” in which the world’s peoples are guaranteed the right to pursue their own developmental models, cultural norms, and suitable systems of governance without the interference of a single hyper-power. The present, but fading mono-polar power has a near monopoly on the meaning of terms such as “terrorism” and “revolution”, the use of force, and conceptions of human nature and desires.
The multi-polar world does not in itself guarantee the “victory of socialism” for Marxists, the “destruction of imperialism” for national-liberation struggles, the “restoration of Tradition” for Traditionalists, the “strategic parity or dominance of Land” for Eurasian geopoliticians, the “defeat of the global conspiracy of [insert group here]” for conspirologists, or the “supremacy of collective identities” for all the “enemies of the open society,”. It nevertheless presents itself as the most realistic and functional framework based precisely on the fact that the legal foundation of a multi-polar world would recognize and appreciate the existence and plurality of such a diversity of world views, civilizational types, cultures, and socio-economic and political models.
The Eurasian project is seeking to reform, and indeed revolutionize, global structures and discourse in a way that benefits, at a base level, everyone except the Atlanticists. Whether this project intersects with or is driven by the “revanchist” or “imperialist” interests of this or that regional power is irrelevant and, indeed, a counter-productive inquiry which, moreover, is wrong in the opinion of the author.
“A Eurasianist is anyone who acts against the end of history”
A global contradiction
Thus, we are confronted with a global contradiction which unites along the Eurasian axis a number of varying forces and ideologies which, however different they interpret history or envision its ideal trajectory, are nonetheless fundamentally united, consciously or unconsciously, in a broad front against the Atlanticist project. This is the common denominator.
In examining the fleeting events and geopolitical maneuvers which Fort Russ strives to do, in opposition to mainstream, corporate Western media; to present and analyze from an alternative perspective, it is necessary to integrate temporal phenomena into an understanding of the much larger historical process which is unfolding.
This process is unfolding with greater ferocity and rapidity day by day, and its significance is belittled or obscured with labels which, at best, only scratch the surface. Fort Russ provides cutting-edge reports and analyses which lay bare realities which mainstream Western media actively distorts, obscures, or flat out conceals. This is absolutely crucial.
Yet, there is more. We need to contextualize this “alternative perspective” not only as a mere “alternative view” but as an objectively active proponent of a project whose intrigues and analyzed tendencies are but the glimpses that meet the naked eye, an “alternative” which day by day becomes a necessity, and whose real significance is its hinting at the deeper tectonics which we habitually shelf under the cliche tag of “geopolitics.”
Syria: a case study
The ongoing conflict in/over Syria is a prime example. A cursory glance indicates that the fight is for or against Assad. But this isn’t about Assad. This isn’t about Syrian democracy. It’s not even about Syria itself, and it’s not about Russian “interests” in Syria. This isn’t merely a geopolitical clash between powers with differing economic or other strategic assets.
This is a war for a new structure to global politics, a new discourse, a new arrangement of subjective and objective contours. In short a new paradigm. Moreover, the defeat of the Atlanticist-backed “Syrian rebels” and ISIS would have consequences that reach far beyond the region and whose effects would not merely effect geopolitical forces, but the way in which such conflicts are conceptualized and pin-pointed on both visible and “invisible” maps.
Although the conflict might be presented by conscious Eurasians in the same language or format as Atlanticist media, this is merely a tactic, with important implications, of the information war. Today, terms such as “information war’ have become common speech, deconstructing the false “truth” of the liberal paradigm while laying the foundations for a new, radically reconsidered one. Obviously much more could be said on this in the case of the war in/over Ukraine, but the volumes of analysis which could be dedicated to this historic experience exceed our present scope.
Eastern Europe, the information war, ”Pro-Russian” spectre
This bears direct relevance to the rapidly proliferating label of “pro-Russian.” Over the past two years, Western corporate media has whipped up a global storm of fear and hysteria about the omnipresence of “pro-Russia” agents, deemed “Putin’s trolls,” who have supposedly wormed their way into social movements and information services.
In Latvia, the government is considering corralling those considered “pro-Moscow activists” into areas especially controlled by police and security services. In Poland, activists of the new political party Zmiana, even before the party’s official founding in February, were relentlessly slandered in newspapers as the “Russian Fifth Column in Poland,” “agents of the Kremlin,” “Russian spies,” and “Putin’s trolls.” In the United States, the chief of the state media board ranked the news service Russia Today among the same list of threats as ISIS and Boko Haram, on account of its promotion of “their [Russia’s] own point of view.”
The list goes on and on, and the current witch-hunt is undoubtedly reminiscent of the McCarthyite days of the Cold War, when sly agents of the Soviet Kremlin were purported to be subverting the Western world in every sphere of life, either as well-intentioned, yet “misled” individuals or conscious agents. “Pro-Russian” has become a catchall categorization which some Eurasian-oriented activists, information warriors, and analysts (regardless of their ideological affinities) have begrudgingly begun to accept.
No actual explanation as to the meaning of being “pro-Russian” has been given. And for good reason. If the Atlanticists seriously drew out for their audiences what it means to be a “pro-Russian” in contemporary global conditions, the response of those dissatisfied with the current state of affairs would more likely than not welcome the idea.
The reality at hand is that, rather than maliciously subverting the Western world with a flood of agent-provocateurs, Moscow represents an emerging, alternative pole to the American Empire and its vassals, and an ever-increasing number of people are realizing the fact that “fighting on the side of the Russian Federation” is a manifestation of and vehicle for a global, syncretic struggle against Western imperialism for a qualitatively new multi-polar world.
Once again, however, the point is not Russia itself as an actor or being “pro-Russian,” although these are certainly pertinent facts on one level. The real matter at hand is that the contemporary geopolitical and political-economic state that is the Russian Federation is the leading representative, rallying point, direct and indirect, and conscious and unconscious supporter of the Eurasian struggle on various levels by the very nature of its position and movements. Its value is only granted on the basis of its interlocking with deeper forces.
The role of the Russian/”pro-Russian” side of the information war and its media, which Fort Russ makes available for Western readers, cannot be reduced to a mere propagandistic promotion of “Russia’s interests.”
Regardless of the aims of the authors or the views of readers, this media itself is a qualitative, paradigm-changing, initiating force which, in the conditions of post-modernity, outlines meaning out of what appear to be jumbled bits of information, and points the way towards a new compound in the experiment of the laboratory of ideas.
Welcome to Fort Russ
Thus, Fort Russ cannot be reduced to Fort Russia, Fort pro-Russia, or Fort Putin. In reality, Fort Russ is “Fort Multi-Polar World”. It unites and informs otherwise different forces, and its very objective existence as a news service and analytic-informational portal is a manifestation of, and participant in, a greater war for a better world. Its content is not only “superior” or “more honest” than that of Western mainstream media, or questionably financed and managed sites promising an “inside view of Russia”: it contains whispers of, hints at, and conduits for a potentially emerging paradigm, and the subterranean war for it, which Homos Americanus might just be beginning to sense.
 Flores, Joaquin. Russia vs. US: Total War is the Obliteration of Reality