Eurasianism as the reconciliation of the French Revolution with the Gospel

September 15, 2017 at HSE in Moscow the reknown German researcher of Eurasianism, PhD (History) Leonid Luks gave a report, titled “Russia’s and Germany’s special ways in the 19th and 20th centuries.” Yuri Kofner, Chairman of the Eurasian Movement of the Russian Federation took part in the event.

The moderator of the lecture was Vladimir Kantor, head, research center of the Russian-European intellectual dialogue, HSE, Doctor (Philosophy). The researcher of legal aspects of Eurasianism, associate professor, HSE Bulat Nazmutdinov also took part in the discussion.

At the beginning of his report, professor Luks admitted that he certainly was biased. He is a staunch supporter of what he considers to be “Western” values: freedom, democracy, progress.

Therefore, at the beginning of his report, he noted that the twentieth century, which ended in Europe with the victorious procession of democratic ideas (1991), began with a riot against the liberal political theory of modernity. The subject of liberalism is the individual, and the main symbol of this theory is the concept of freedom. In its radicalism, this revolt against the West surpassed all previous of its kind.

European Germany (1918 – 1945) and Eurasian Russia (1917 – 1953/91) formed the centers of this uprising against the values that are commonly associated with the West. And in our time, a potential axis of the political forces of Germany and Russia, primarily in the form of the concept of a continental alliance “from Lisbon to Vladivostok,” may become the beginning of the end of the global hegemony of the West.

At the same time, Mr. Luks said, it one ought to keep in mind that this anti-liberal rebellion in Germany, on the one hand, and in Russia on the other, was inspired by diametrically opposing ideas.

In his opinion, in Germany this revolt was directed against mechnical modernity, i.e. against the intellectual fruits of the French Revolution. This was expressed in the active development and promotion of the conservative political theory, primarily in the form of the Conservative Revolution, and, Nazism. The German conservatives (Spengler, Schmitt, Junger, van den Bruck, Hitler) were nostalgic of the pagan and holistic society of the pre-modernity, where traditions, myths and sacred values prevailed. The subject of German conservatism is the nation, and its main symbol is the concept of brotherhood.

In Russia, however, this revolt, although it was anti-Western, exalted the cold reason of modernity and the results of the French Revolution. Communism is a political theory developed by Germans (Marx, Engels), but the Russian Communists (Lenin, Plekhanov, Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Stalin), when implementing their policy, quickly were forced to implement many non-European concepts: Soviets, anti-Westernism ( anti-imperialism), red empire-building. At the same time, Soviet communism was “eschatological.” In contrast to conservatism, communism looks ahead towards the future, i.e. towards building a utopia – “a future paradise on earth.” The working class became the subject of communism, and its concept is equality.

Thus, we see that in the 20th century the slogan of the French Revolution – “Freedom, equality, brotherhood” – was embodied in different ways. In the Anglo-Saxon world, as the assertion of liberalism (freedom) and “Western” values, in Germany and Russia, as a riot against the West in the form of the political theories of conservatism (brotherhood) and communism (equality).

In response to a question by Yuri Kofner, Professor Luks admitted that the triumph of Hitlerism in Germany was not, after all, an inevitable result of the intellectual activity of the thinkers of the Conservative Revolution. Nevertheless, he believes, they were naive in relation to the danger of Nazism. Conservative resistance to Nazism (von Stauffenberg) was too little too late.

The Chairman of the Eurasian Movement of Russia expressed the opinion that Eurasianism as an anti-Western ideology is nevertheless an ideal synthesis of the best principles of liberalism, communism and conservatism. Current neoclassical Eurasianism is aimed at overcoming postmodernism and asserting neomodernity by reconciling the French Revolution with the Gospel, i.e. by returning the slogan “Freedom, equality, brotherhood” to its original Christian understanding. This more global philosophical aspect of Eurasianism (that is, the one that is not tied to the specific space of “Russia-Eurasia”) is also called the “Fourth Political Theory”. Kofner also introduced the term “aletheism” (from the ancient Greek “alethea”, ἀλήθεια “- truth) The subject of aletheism (the Fourth political theory, neoclassical Eurasianism) is the symphonic personality (sobornost), and its symbol is the re-Christianized trinity “Freedom, equality, brotherhood”.

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