Ideological Dilemmas of the Eurasian Alternative


March 8, 2017 – Fort Russ – 

Jafe Arnold (J. Arnoldski), Silk Route 2.0 – 

Only 25 years have passed since the liberal ideologue Francis Fukuyama hailed the End of History, i.e., the irreversible triumph of liberalism and the unipolar supremacy of the American paradigm of globalization. Yet already today, the liberal camp and mainstream media are bemoaning the dawn of a new, anti-liberal historical era. While this revolution has been largely attributed to Trump’s election as US President and the rise of “Eurosceptic” parties in the EU, this tectonic shift has its main impetus, and future, on the Eurasian continent.

The crisis of unipolar globalization and liberalism’s supposedly unstoppable processes of individualization, massification, desacralization, rationalization, and universalization [1] is not only, or not so much due to the impasse in Washington and Brussels as it is the challenge posed to varying degrees by the emerging Eurasian alternative. The steady, albeit reactionary rise of the Eurasian Economic Union, the alternative resources being accrued by BRICS, and ambitious integration and development projects such as the Chinese-initiated One Belt One Road, and the overtures by these and analogous endeavors towards other continents, including Europe, are dialectically contributing to a new world order – a post-liberal and inevitably anti-liberal, multipolar world order. This is the fundamental trajectory of the 21st century which the liberal camp has denied and by which it is therefore increasingly being overwhelmed. 

As one of the founding fathers of Eurasianism, Nikolay Trubetzkoy, presciently deciphered in 1920 [2], the liberal and Atlanticist project, by claiming for itself the mantle of “humanity” and “civilization,” existentially threatens the rest of humanity, and therefore has the potential to unite them in common opposition. This natural historical imperative is precisely what we are seeing today. A diverse number of states, cultures, and civilizations, threatened by liberal globalization which, neither created nor governed by them, has ultimately nothing to offer them but the role of “junior partners” or neo-colonialism, are being spurred to pursue joint developmental alternatives. The law of uneven and combined development typical of late capitalism on the one hand and the processes of globalization on the other are increasingly, objectively driving these countries into each other’s arms, while evermore confronting them with the dilemma of transitioning from being objects of global processes to being conscious actors recognizing the “need to formulate the geopolitical context themselves, not under its influence.”[3] Paradoxically, the unipolar nature of globalization and corresponding monopolization of the classical capitalist model of development by the West is leading them to subject, or channel the logic of capital into necessitated solidarity and multilateral projects which prioritize strategic development, mutually-beneficial terms, and cautious allowance for the preservation of sovereignty over the raw logic of the market.

In effect, the Eurasian Union, BRICS, One Belt One Road, and related initiatives are thus for now spurring a kind of counter-globalization, or multipolar realism which offers numerous more opportunities and justice than the End of History. This begs a number of theoretical questions which deserve deliberation. Are the socialist or Third Way projects of the 20th century outdated for this axis of resistance? Russian President Vladimir Putin’s commentary on the Soviet vs. Russian Federation’s contours of strategic development and the example of the Chinese model are instructive in this regard. In these examples and others, such as that of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, we can clearly see the intriguing implication that detaching from the global capitalist system would entail more hardships than are necessary for long-term just and sovereign development in the 21st century. Could the intimate intertwining of the Eurasian supercontinent through integration and infrastructural projects call into question both Karl Kautsky and Vladimir Lenin’s theories of imperialism? Will the limits of capitalist development be reached and begin to conflict these unions, i.e., will there surface objective and subjective preconditions for “imperialist” conflicts between them? This new, unique, unfolding experience demands a review of Marxian and Third Way doctrines just as the very emergence of these blocs has shaken the foundations of liberal dogma. 

For now, the Eurasian alternative is still reactive. This can clearly be seen in the fate of Novorossiya, in which the vanguard, ideologically-charged elements of Eurasian integration and the revolution in Russian geopolitical consciousness were ultimately exhausted by Russia’s cautious and long-term strategy or, as some continue to argue, indecisiveness. But no one can soberly blame Russia for this just as no one can blame China for not launching a full-scale occupation of the South China Sea Islands or blame Serbia for not liberating occupied Serbian lands at the first opportunity. We are in a transition period, and transitions that are marked by too costly leaps forward always fulfill the prophecy of the original meaning of the word “revolution.” Moreover, contextualizing ourselves on the Eurasian continent, we are dealing with civilizations that are naturally conservative.

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While geopolitics forms the base inertia of this resistance and alternative, it is insufficient as a mediator in itself, as the tensions between India and China, two key players on the Eurasian continent, painfully display. The main dilemma facing any qualitative advancement or legitimization of the Eurasian alternative is therefore ideological in nature. It is no coincidence that the recent global shift has been accompanied by frantic “discoveries” of ideological intuitions and anticipations of the emerging anti-liberal order. The so-called European New Right [4], Eurasianism [5], the Fourth Political Theory [6], and the caricatural “Alternative Right” are symbolic in this regard. While the latter is in no position to be compared to the former two schools, some of its marginal elements have been influenced by or caricatured the so-called European New Right. As the lack of ideological resolve or direction among the conscious actors of the Eurasian alternative begins to make itself felt amidst inertia-restricted reaction and purely technical mechanisms, the analyses, theses, proposals and growing relevance of the European New Right and Eurasianism will prove indispensable. 

The European New Right, with its organic and dynamic critique of liberalism, globalization, and Modernity offers a transformed Europe that is not only open to cooperating with emerging Eurasian projects, but which seeks to altogether re-integrate Europe “back into itself” and, by extension, back into the common Eurasian supercontinent’s heritage and geopolitical potential. Eurasianism, on the other hand, with its classical birth among the interwar Russian emigres and its newest fertilization in post-Soviet soil, offers a Russia which realizes its role as a unique civilizational bridge between Europe and Asia whose raison d’etat is multipolarity. It bears crucial recognition that many scholars and analysts have attributed the contemporary Russian Federation’s leading role in resistance to Atlanticism and initiative in building Eurasian integration to precisely this school of thought’s confirmed relevance. These open schools of thought, transcending rigid political divisions into “left” and “right” and lending themselves towards metabolization by Eurasia’s many other civilizations, deserve close study and application to integration processes. Indeed, with their collaborative convergence in the form of the Fourth Political Theory, they are striving to revitalize and re-arm the very values which Eurasian counter-globalization is trying to protect and rejuvenate for future generations. Herein arises the possibility of a Silk Road connecting more than just economies. 


[1] These are the five processes attributed to Modernity by the so-called “European New Right” in its Manifesto for a European Renaissance. 

[2] See Nikolay Trubetzkoy’s Europe and Humanity (1920) 

[3] Leonid Savin, “Eurasianism in the Context of the 21st Century”, <>

[4] See Michael O’Meara’s New Culture, New Right: Anti-Liberalism in Postmodern Europe (2004)

[5] See Alexander Dugin’s Eurasian Mission: An Introduction to Neo-Eurasianism (2014)

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[6] See Alexander Dugin’s The Fourth Political Theory (2009)

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