VIDEO: What is the Strategy of Eurasianism? A Critical Examination in Brief

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The below video is an excellent exposition of Eurasianism, but not without defect which I’ll be exploring in brief.

 

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One weakness which it does inadvertently highlight in Eurasianist theory is this:

The “peninsula of peninsulas” at the western extremity of the Eurasian land-mass is still part of Eurasia.
“Europe” is not a continent of itself.
“Europe” is only a peninsula of Eurasia.
But that immediately makes the Eurasianist geographical definition of Eurasia problematic.

Let’s look at it from the perspective of intellectual history.

Where did the intellectual building-blocks of “European civilization” come from?
They are mostly of Persian, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Judaic, and Greek origin.

There was no “Greek civilizational miracle.” There was a Mesopotamian civilizational miracle. Greece was the historical site wherein a number of different Persian, Mesopotamian and Egyptian influences “impregnated” each other.

And then on the other hand, Russia’s own intellectual culture absorbed many “European” influences long before the Atlantic world started to become hegemonic.

Hegelianism had a huge effect on 19th century Russian intellectual history.
Hegel was neither liberal nor Atlantocentric. He paid zero attention to anything which had ever happened on the North American continent.

Is anybody really trying to maintain that 19th century Russian Hegelians such as Khomyakov or Kireyevsky (the founders of the Slavophile movement) were liberals or western sellouts?
That suggestion would be more than a little silly, wouldn’t it?

So whether we like it or not, there is Eurasia-wide intellectual cross-pollination, and there has been as far back as recorded history goes.

And that history of cross-pollination links Germany and Russia.
To think that western Europe itself is not part of the Eurasian continuum is simply silly.

But that in turn makes it silly to define “Eurasia” as “practically every part of the Eurasian land-mass EXCEPT western Europe.”

If that geographical definition of “Eurasia” is presupposed, then Eurasianism becomes just a knee-jerk anti-westernism. And negative conceptions of identity such as this, which define themselves primarily in terms of not being something else, are always ultimately nihilistic.

Furthermore, “the west” itself does not exist.
So once Eurasianism defines itself implicitly in terms of anti-westernism, then it defines its own values in opposition to those of a civilizational bogeyman which does not even exist.

There is a certain tendency in Eurasianist discourse to be preoccupied with an east-west dichotomy which does not really reflect the historical trajectory of development of our shared intellectual heritage. “The west” is a retroactive historical fantasy, which enables the Atlantic world to appropriate all hitherto human cultural and intellectual achievement, and falsely claim authorship for them.

On the other hand “the east” is just a euphemism for self-romantcization. It is simply a corollary of orientalist discourse. There is no “east.” There is no “west.” In both its geography and its intellectual history, the Eurasian land-mass is contiguous.

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