On June 17th, 2018, Fort Russ News’ parent organization, the Center for Syncretic Studies, launched a brand new column series by FRN editor and CSS fellow Jafe Arnold: “The Multipolar Revolution: Syncretic Perspectives.” Arnold’s new series which involves elements of the esoteric is necessary reading.
Those beloved readers familiar with the work of the Center for Syncretic Studies surely know that if there is one thing that makes us stand out, it is our commitment to discourse which avoids both dead-end specializations and gross generalizations.
Since day one, we have been interested in formulating a “holistic”, syncretic, open discourse on history, politics, and religion which defies the Fachidiotismus to which some aspects of modern academia and modern political discourses have dragged the critically thinking public. Our mission statement clearly points out that we are vested in presenting the public with works which promote interdisciplinary studies, “popularize an appreciation for the discipline of contemplation”, i.e., original, critical synthesis, and which “work towards reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties; by they in philosophy, ideology, or religion as they relate to social and political movements.”
CSS, as many probably know, has been involved in promoting critical discourse on multipolarity, which we believe will be a defining experience of the 21st century that will not only contribute to the correction of past injustices, but will also re-open our world’s civilizations’ to cooperation and free thinking beyond the limits of modernity.
In fact, it is precisely critical discourse on multipolarity which defines Arnold’s ambitious new series of columns on the historical and ideological questions posed by multipolarity. Indeed, as the author suggests, the fact that multipolarity is increasingly recognized as a reality has often not been accompanied with an appreciation of what this really means. Arnold writes:
“The historic drama of this process is not always appreciated for what it is: we are on the way towards a world order promising unprecedented cooperation between civilizations based on the refusal of hegemony of any one state, ideology, and identity. From the point of view of international relations, political science, geopolitics, and the history of civilizations, this is a revolution.”
Arnold thus poses the hard-pressing questions:
“While the object of resistance – Atlanticism, Liberalism, unipolarity – has become more clearly recognized and palpably weaker, the ideological alternatives for the future world order have been undecided. If, as trends and forecasts affirm, Liberalism and its paradigm are on the way out, then what is on the way in? Do we turn to Communism? Do we turn to Fascism? Do we turn to some imagined earlier form of Liberalism? Do we preserve modern international law as is? Will Capitalism remain the world system? Do we turn to the past or to the future?”
In the first column published today, “From the Indo-Europeans to the ‘New World'”, Arnold lets on to his vision for the “Multipolar Revolution” series:
“The investigation hereby commenced, as I envision it, will take us down into the depths of prehistory, up into the heights of metaphysics, between the lines of language, throughout the “secret histories” of esotericism and religion, into the thick, throes and paradoxes of modern political ideologies, over the pivots and flash-points of geopolitics, and ultimately towards a syncretic conceptualization of the profundity of the paradigm-shift towards multipolarity which, although unfolding before our very eyes, is by no means restricted to the visible plane of the modern Weltanschauung. This processual inquiry, it is hoped, will contribute to an appreciation of the unique dilemmas posed by multipolarity to the world’s precious diversity of peoples and Logoi.”
Arnold’s first column is a tour de force introduction. While it may seem eclectic, Arnold quickly “initiates” the reader into his line of thinking: he weaves etymological arguments into the need for a multipolar ideology, evokes Indo-European studies as crucial to understanding Russia and the United States’ confrontation with multipolarity, and ambitiously provides a sweeping critique of modernity with a call on geopolitics to provide some guiding orientations for coming processes, to which he promises to devote his next column.
Here are three major points for a critical review of Arnold’s new endeavor.
First of all, it is intellectually overwhelming. It is immensely dense and bombards the reader with complex philosophical questions and references to both prehistory and 21st century geopolitics. While his line of argumentation is coherent, it remains an open question whether Arnold will be able to prove the relevance of the schools that he employs, such as Indo-European studies and esotericism, the latter of which is Arnold’s formal education.
Secondly, “The Multipolar Revolution” is clearly an open exploration. What ideas and dimensions Arnold will explore along the way will be seen in due time, and so will the topics that Arnold does not address. This means that Arnold’s “Multipolar Revolution” will keep us on the edge of our seats, but the show itself might be open-ended, which necessitates broader discussion.
Thirdly, and most importantly, this new project promises to be an example of the syncretic thinking which CSS strives for and which is direly needed in the post-unipolar world. As such, it should be seen as an exciting attempt by someone personally involved in the work of the Center and the cause of multipolarity to provide their unique perspectives for wider discussion and discourse. In the very least, Arnold’s new column is a testimony to the mission of the Center for Syncretic Studies and an exciting new undertaking in ideological creativity which I wholeheartedly recommend to our critically thinking FRN readers.