FULL ARTICLE WITH LINKS: http://nyyrc.com/blog/2014/03/geopol...ans-explained/
The New Order in Europe, Redux?
Every day in newspapers, writers on foreign affairs use the term “geopolitics.” It evokes a nebulous mix of geography, economics, politics, peoples, resources, and other ideas having to do with the world of international politics. Yet very few people known the origins of this term, and that it has a menacing alternate meaning and a diabolical past.
Still fewer realize that it is the guiding doctrine behind Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Below is a short history of geopolitics.
In 1924, The Journal for Geopolitics (Zeitschrift für Geopolitik) was founded in Germany. It was dedicated to expounding the half-baked ideas of its editor, General and Professor Karl Haushofer. The crux of the doctrine was that Germany was a land-based empire (hence the geo in geopolitik, meaning literally “earth”). Accordingly, the journal’s semi-mystical doctrines explained, Germany, as a land-based empire, must ultimately prevail over the sea-based empires (or Atlanticist) of Great Britain and America. The precise views of the editor were infamously opaque, primarily due to the Haushofer’s inability to escape a kind of mythology around land and the people attached and settled to it.
Still, at the risky of simplifying, one can distill the Geopolitical agenda of Haushofer down to a few key ideas:
Germany, a central European country, is a by nature land-based empire. The Germanic peoples are attached to their land and therefore have developed certain traditions. These traditions have given the German people a definite superiority over other cultures. Therefore, the traditions must be nurtured and preserved for the good of Germany.
England and America are sea-based empires. They are liberal and cosmopolitan, and have a tendency to foster hegemony (i.e., cultural sameness). This threatens the land-based, tradition-based Germans.
These two types of empires, in perpetual tension, must ultimately clash with each other in the form of war.
To prevail, the land-based empires must conquer enough land to attain autarky, or economic self-sufficiency.
In this fight, the land-based empires should not be limited to conventional warfare, but must use, to the fullest extent possible, the power of economic and political warfare as well. This includes manufacturing crises as a pretext for invasion.
Haushofer, a highly respected academic and warrior, went on to be the mentor of Rudolph Hess, who would go on to be Deputy Fuhrer under Adolph Hitler. It was Hess who introduced Haushofer to Hitler, while he was serving time in Landsberg Prison following the failed Beer Hall Putsch. It was in Landsberg that Hitler wrote his (barely readable) political tract Mein Kampf. He, Haushofer, and Hess spent countless days and hours refining the ideas of Hitler into something with a veneer of academic respectability. Of his time with Haushofer, Hitler said that his time in Landsberg “was my university education at state expense.”
As explained in a paper entitled “The Daemon of Geopolitics: Karl Haushofer, Rudolph Hess, and Adolph Hitler,” on the website of the U.S. Air Force Academy, it was from Haushofer that the Nazi Party assimilated the idea of “Lebensraum,” or “living space.” This idea implied that if the German people were to survive and prosper, they must have enough space to live. Space, otherwise interpreted, means land. Lebensraum is thus, essentially, an excuse to conquer. Closely related to this concept of lebensraum is the idea of a “heartland,” which is everything within the borders of said land-based empire.
Haushofer was notorious in his hatred of America. The paper explains in this regard:
“The entry of the United States into the war in April 1917 snapped his self-control. ‘Better to die European,’ he viciously wrote Martha, ‘than to rot American.’ He quickly developed ‘a fiery, deeply burning hate’ against the Republic. He rejoiced when Lenin and ‘the Bolshevik filth’ ended Wall Street’s ‘slavery of banks and capital’ in Russia. America, this ‘deceitful, ravenous, hypocritical, shameless beast of prey,’ had entered the war simply to stuff its ‘insatiable dollar-greedy stomach.’ The Old World, he mused, had first ‘blessed’ the New World with syphilis; now the New World was returning the favor with Yankee imperialism. ‘Americans are truly the only people on this world that I regard with a deep, instinctive hatred.’ There was only one escape: “I hope that the yellow race will avenge us.’”
Haushofer committed suicide in 1946 with his wife. He was being investigated for war crimes in connection with the Nazi reign of terror in Europe. Of his actions, a biographer of Haushofer explained that he served as a “cultured advertising executive of the Third Reich.”
Russia’s Turn at Geopolitik
Since Russia invaded the Ukraine on March 1, the west has woken up to a new reality of American-Russian relations. Gone are the days of Communism, Lenin, and Marx. It’s now the turn of the formerly suppressed Russian Fascists, who were suppressed along with other Czarists when the Bolsheviks won the civil war following the October Revolution.
Of all the theorists of a new Russia writing and speaking today, probably the most prolific is Aleksandr Dugin. Founder of the Eurasia Party in Russia, Dugin’s infatuation with Haushofer’s geopolitics and fascism is obvious. Dugin was expelled from Moscow Aviation Institute for translating a work of Julius Evola, a prolific Italian fascist of the 20th century. One of Dugin’s most popular books, published in 1997, is called “The Foundations of Geopolitics: Russia’s Geopolitical Future.” Dugin calls for a Russian empire that stretches from “Dublin to Vladivostok.” (Incidentally, Vladivostok means “Rule the East.”) The influence of this work on modern Russian politics cannot be overstated.
In a 2003 review of this book, posted publicly on Dugin’s website for his “Fourth Political Theory,” an explicitly fascist political program, John B. Dunlop of The Hoover Institution wrote,
“There has probably not been another book published in Russia during the post-communist period which has exerted an influence on Russian military, police, and statist foreign policy elites comparable to that of Aleksandr Dugin’s 1997 neo-fascist treatise, Foundations of Geopolitics… Dugin’s book is presumably being used at present as a textbook at the General Staff Academy.”
Now the head of Moscow State University’s International Relations Department, and a close confidant of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill I, he is also the mentor of both President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Yet how many people in the United States had heard of Aleksandr Dugin before this month?
On Dugin’s preferred method of expanding Russian territory, Dunlop explains,
“It should be noted, moreover, that Dugin does not focus primarily upon military means as a way of achieving Russian dominance over Eurasia; rather he advocates a fairly sophisticated program of subversion, destabilization, and disinformation spearheaded by the Russian special services, supported by a tough, hard-headed use of Russia’s gas, oil, and natural resource riches to pressure and bully other countries into bending to Russia’s will. While Dugin, apparently, does not in the least fear war, he would prefer to achieve his geopolitical goals without resorting to it.” [emphasis added]
How does one avoid war and still conquer territory? Under Haushofer’s tutelage, the Third Reich depended heavily on fomenting ethnic strife between foreign Germans and their host countries as a pretext to invasion. Germany depended on propagandizing “atrocities” against the German speaking peoples of Poland, for example, to justify the invasion in 1939.
As far back in 1997, the unique character today’s Ukrainian crisis could have been predicted. From Dunlop’s article, quoting Dugin’s book:
“’Ukraine as a state has no geopolitical meaning. It has no particular cultural import or universal significance, no geographic uniqueness, no ethnic exclusiveness’ (p. 377). ‘Ukraine as an independent state with certain territorial ambitions,’ he warns, ‘represents an enormous danger for all of Eurasia and, without resolving the Ukrainian problem, it is in general senseless to speak about continental politics’ (p. 348). And he adds that, ‘[T]he independent existence of Ukraine (especially within its present borders) can make sense only as a ‘sanitary cordon’…’ (p. 379). However, as we have seen, for Dugin all such ‘sanitary cordons’ are inadmissible.”
In the days since the Crimean referendum to join the Russian Federation, several articles (here, as well) have compared the situation of the infamous Anschluss of Austria. The tactics used in both instances were deplorable, in particular intimidation and threat of imminent war with a larger military. At the time of Anschluss – 1938 – Haushofer still held considerable sway in the Third Reich at the highest levels. (It was not until the departure of Hess to Scotland in 1941, ending in his imprisonment, that Haushofer’s stature declined in Nazi circles.)
The Role of Propaganda Mirrors the Third Reich’s
An article in The Guardian this month explains the Russian program for propaganda relating to the Ukraine. There are 5 steps:
1. Muzzle the
2. Rebrand the Revolution
3. Sound furious, signify nothing
4. Bend the rules
5. Follow your script
Students of the Third Reich and Nazi propaganda recognize this playbook. A member of the Russian parliament put it succinctly: it is an “information war.” Josef Goebbels couldn’t be prouder. A study of Nazi propaganda, derived from Goebbels’ own diaries, outlined the following principles.
Avoid abstract ideas – appeal to the emotions. (Number 3)
Constantly repeat just a few ideas. Use stereotyped phrases. (Number 5)
Give only one side of the argument. (Number 4)
Continuously criticize your opponents. (Number 2. I.e., it’s a war to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine.)
Pick out one special “enemy” for special vilification. (Numbers 2 and 3. I.e., Blame the West.)
A short excerpt from an OKW (Nazi Supreme Command) pamphlet, called The Officer as Leader in Battle against Enemy Propaganda, can show the importance that the Eurasianists attribute to effective propaganda.
“No German officer may forget the terrible lesson history taught us then: propaganda is a crucial weapon in modern warfare. The officer must be able to destroy this weapon of the enemy and make his own troops immune against its attacks. This battle is just as important as combat itself at the front!”
Inasmuch as Haushofer did not limit warfare to simply military affairs, nor does Russia depend solely on military might, so much as effective PR tactics, to occupy Ukraine.
The Eurasian Empire
The entire Eurasianist project echoes Haushofer’s designs from nearly a century ago, that ended finally in the near total destruction of Europe. Dunlop explains, using excerpts from Dugin’s work,
“Deprived of an empire, Russians will ‘disappear as a nation’ (p. 251). The sole viable course, therefore, in Dugin’s view, is for Russians to rebound from the debacle of 1989-1991 by recreating a great ‘supra-national empire,’ one in which ethnic Russians would occupy ‘a privileged position’ (pp. 251-252). The result of such a rebuilding effort would be ‘a giant continental state in the administration of which they [Russians] will play the central role’ (p. 253). This ethnic model, Dugin notes, is quite similar to that of the former Soviet Union.”
Dugin has updated Lebensraum, calling it instead “Grossraum.” Grossraum, meaning “big land,” will be all the land within the new Russian empire he is seeking to build. Dugin further divides the world: India and Pakistan, for example, will be Hinduland, and be an extended part of Dugin’s Eurasian empire.
India is poised to elect a new prime minister from the BJP, the nationalist party of India, in a few weeks. Although this writer has his personal doubts on whether Russia and the BJP will find common ground to a great extent, this fact should be noted.
Japan, also, will be afforded a special position in Dugin’s new Russia. Writes Dunlop,
“The cornerstone of Dugin’s approach to the Far East lies in the creation of a ‘Moscow- Tokyo Axis.’ In relation to Japan, he emphasizes, ‘the principle of a common enemy [that is, the United States]’ will prove decisive (p. 234). As in the case of Germany, Japan is to be offered an imperial Grand Bargain. Dugin recommends that the Kuriles be restored to Japan as Kaliningrad is to be restored to Germany (p. 238). For future expansion purposes, Japan is to be encouraged to impose ‘its own ‘new order,’ which it planned to carry out in the 1930’s, in the Pacific Ocean.’”
Haushofer’s hatred of America has already been noted, and Dugin’s is evident in the passage above. It will be recalled that Dugin himself declared war on the United States in 2008, during the Russian invasion of Georgia. He said “I think it is important for those who are concerned with the fate of Russia, especially for the youngsters who want to prove their patriotism, to go to South Ossetia right now and fight for our interests, our government, our geopolitics, and our Russian values with armaments in hand. And thereby to battle our fundamental national foes: NATO, America.”
Unlike India, China will not be invited to join Dugin’s new empire. Dugin’s designs include marginalizing China through Japan and India. Much like the Berlin-Tokyo Axis of the Second World War, Dugin’s affinity to Japan has roots in Haushofer. Haushofer’s role model was Yamagata Aritomo, whom he met while appointed to be Bavaria’s first military observer to Japan. Aritomo was a field marshal, home minster, and twice prime minister of Japan. Haushofer found imperial Japanese culture positively alluring, especially the hyper-nationalistic element including the Bushido suicide cult. Indeed, his dissertation, written for Munich University, was called Dia Nihon (Great Japan). In Dugin’s own words (the ‘new order‘ in Asia), he implicitly approves of the racial atrocities carried out by the Japanese in China.
Finally, the current Prime Minster of Japan, Shinzo Abe, is, like Dugin, an overt nationalist. With other prominent far-right leaders, he visited the Yasukuni war shrine, where several notable Japanese war criminals from the Second World War are interned. Joining him were other right wing leaders from Hungary, France, Austria, Britain, and Belgium. Underscoring the friendliness between Japan and Russia, both countries are now talking of signing a formal peace treaty to end the Second World War, which would further economic ties between the two nations. Currently, there is only a formal cease fire.
The Russian designs for Europe and the world have their roots in Haushofer’s geopolitics, which were a major strategic component of the Third Reich’s war strategy. Aleksandr Dugin’s influence on this movement cannot be overstated. The techniques employed by the Russian military and propaganda outlets nearly mirror those used by Hitler and OKW in the early war years. Moreover, the conception of Russians as one people under the Russian Orthodox Church provides a simple unifying theme for future mobilization, much as the idea of the master race coalesced German patriotic fervor throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Hitler did not stop at Czechoslovakia; instead he advanced onto Poland. Americans and western Christians should remain very wary of the intentions of a new imperial Russia.
FULL ARTICLE WITH LINKS: http://nyyrc.com/blog/2014/03/geopol...ans-explained/