The Multipolar Revolution: Syncretic Perspectives – Part I

Small Logo By: Jafe Arnold

From the Indo-Europeans to the ‘New World’


old-english-calligraphy-alphabet-the world’s diversity of cultures has successfully defied the “globalization” of the Atlanticist, Liberal, unipolar “End of History” scenario proclaimed in the 1990’s. It is increasingly recognized both de facto and de jure that we are in transition towards a multipolar world order. 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 indeed the history of civilizations, this is a revolution.

In the modern world, we also often forget to appreciate the original meaning of words. “Revolution” is usually etymologically traced back to Latin revolutio, or “the act of revolving”, meaning a radical change aimed at restoring an original position in a cycle. However, “revolution” as a word and concept can be pursued not only even further back to Greek verbs meaning “to wind around” or “to enfold,” but the Latin, Greek, and other Indo-European linguistic expressions of “revolution” all trace back to the original Proto-Indo-European root welh- or kʷel- literally meaning “to turn” or “to rotate” but more often than not connoting “surrounding.” The original Indo-European term encompasses the origins of the concept of “revolution” as it would be derived in all the complex understandings of the Indo-Europeans’ descendant languages and cultures, among which Greek and Latin are prominent European cases. [1]


The Indo-European homeland and linguistic evolution a la Anthony

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Indo-European languages in 21st century Eurasia


Global distribution of Indo-European languages by state

The original Proto-Indo-European set of terms that would yield “revolution” referred to the most important aspects of life for the original Indo-European people: war (the military maneuver of “surrounding” an enemy, which vanquishes a threat and therefore “returns” the cosmic balance), pastoral life (the cycle of herding and grazing livestock, the cattle cult sacrifice cycle in their cosmogony), and the celestial-divine (the gods “surrounding” men with powers, protection, tribulations, the celestial cycles, etc.). The Proto-Indo-European kʷel- is also the root for the word “wheel”, or kʷékʷlos, which was of supreme importance to the Proto-Indo-Europeans’ view of the cosmos and their historical movement: the wheel or circle of the cosmos and life is predominant in Indo-European mythologies and it was thanks to the Indo-Europeans’ domestication of the horse (another linguistic correspondence: h₁éḱwos) and their utilization of wheel and chariot technology that allowed them to spread across the globe, with which they left a primordially and still relatively similar cultural and linguistic sphere stretching from the European peninsula to the Indian sub-continent (hence the 19th century term “Indo-Europeans”). These are not merely intriguing linguistic observations: the Indo-European conceptual and linguistic roots of “revolution” have informed many of the earth’s cultures’ understanding of such complex concepts as radical change, “revolving order”, or “restoration.” That these roots or significations have been denied or lost does not mean that they do not exist. 

What does this have to do with multipolarity? Multipolarity, as a revolution, is of both the past and the future: it is a radical negation of Atlanticist, Liberal, unipolar modernity in favor of a new international system and it is a restoration of or return to the world’s natural diversity of civilizations, identities, and ideologies.

In this multipolar revolution, we have seen two main (even “archetypal”) opposing poles, both of which have archaic Indo-European roots: Russia and the United States of America. Multipolarity is not bipolar, but it has been given impetus out of the pivotal conflict between these two major juxtaposing poles. Both Russia and the United States embody certain paradigms that emerged out of Indo-European civilizations. These seemingly remote, deep roots are relevant because they belong precisely to that deep level of identities which will surface in the evolution of the “new-old” multipolar world in the 21st century.

Russia is the original homeland of the Indo-Europeans. The Indo-European homeland has been most convincingly linguistically, archaeologically, and to a certain extent genetically traced back to the Russian-Ukrainian Pontic-Caspian Steppe [2]. Many Indo-European mythological traditions and linguistic commonalities remember and refer to their northern origins in terms that are clearly identifiable with Russia. Moreover, these primordial Indo-Europeans have been shown to be genetic descendants of the Ancient North Eurasians who inhabited prehistoric Northern Siberia. We also know that in primordial Indo-European society, the Eurasian brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos – Russia’s national animal) was central: it was revered and even feared to the point that it was called only by euphemisms [3] and embodied the “taboo” aspect of the Indo-European conceptualization of the “sacred”. This tradition continues to this day in some places in Russia. One esoteric theory even posits that the name Russia comes from the word for bear [4]. What’s more, the Russian steppes are also where the horse was first domesticated and finally ridden, which we know was the Indo-Europeans’ innovation thanks to which they expanded across the globe.

In other words, Russia stands at the archetypal center of Indo-European origins, unity, and diversity. This is the factor undergirding why Russia’s multipolar mission emits such a force of attraction in what modern scholars would call an “irrational” illusion or “reification”, but which is in reality an historically observable shared cognitive, cultural, linguistic, and socio-political Indo-European heritage. Russian statehood and identity have historically retained some of the key Indo-European socio-political traditions that have been lost elsewhere, such as: (1) a strong sense of sacrality inseparable from politics (religious reverence of the leader, the immortalization of warriors, a sense of cosmic, eschatological mission, etc.); (2) a unifying apperception beyond ethnic, “national”, and linguistic divisions; and (3) a geopolitical propensity towards connecting and including “West” and “East.” [5]

These are the deep factors behind that mysterious propensity towards “Russophilia” which manifests itself on all angles of the political spectrum, from “conservatisms” praising Russia’s “tradition” to “activisms” idealizing Russia’s revolutionary experiences.

These deep-seated archetypes also explain, although with crucial differences, why so many people are also drawn towards “Americanophilia”, the “American Dream”, or the “New World.”

North America was colonized and the United States of America was established largely by Anglo-Saxons, who are also descendants of the Indo-Europeans, but with one extreme qualification: this people and some of its cultural cousins in Europe embarked on something called “modernity”. Their societies were increasingly shaped according to one ideology of modernity – Liberalism – and one political-economic system – Capitalism. Modernity meant denying the values and worldviews – both orthodox and heterodox – rooted in Indo-European traditions, paradigmatically inverting perceptions of the cosmos, life on earth, and human beings, and establishing new civilizational values and priorities. The paradigm of modernity entailed several key elements:

  • the disenchantment or “de-sacralization” of the world around us, or materialization
  • the atomization of humans as individuals, or individualization
  • the “massification” of individuals into uniform objects or subjects
  • the instrumental “rationalization” of society and worldviews
  • the “progressification” of history as a monotonic process from worse to better
  • the insistence that these notions are universal to all humans

Modernity produced the construct of the “West” and the liberal, rational, individual, semi-secular, democratic “Western tradition” juxtaposed to an archaic, savage, irrational, collective, mystical, despotic “East.” These principles, some of which had ancient roots while others were recent innovations, were raised to the level of an ideology in Liberalism, and these ideas achieved dominance in Western European, especially Anglo-Saxon societies in correlation to the growth of the capitalist mode of production and relations. Over the course of the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment, the paradigm of modernity established dominance in the “West.”  This “West” would then be taken to the extreme, to the Far West, in search of a blank slate for realization.

Modernity – in its form of Liberalism and Capitalism – was transplanted onto the North American continent by the Anglo-Saxons and was ideologically justified as constructing a “New World” on a tabula rasa, a new territory whose inhabitants, as is known, were exterminated in the name of this new “Civilization.” The dystopian island of Plato’s Atlantis myth was taken as the model utopia, as Francis Bacon hailed the “New Atlantis” of individual freedom, scientific progress, and rational conquest of the material universe. While modernity would also spread across the globe to other Indo-European and non-Indo-European peoples through colonialism and various forms of hegemony, North America was the “pure” laboratory, the prime prodigy. As is well known, the United States of America would become an astounding success of modernity – within 200 years it rose to be the single most powerful hegemonic pole in history, and in the 1990’s its socio-political representatives proclaimed the “End of History” on American terms.

The emergence of 21st century multipolarity has been largely predicated on opposition to the unipolar American trajectory of modernity. The world’s diverse civilizations have gravitated towards cooperation in resisting this American “End of History” and constructing a new world order, whose indispensable common denominator is the refusal of any one hegemony. Instead of such is the prospect of unprecedented cooperation between civilizations with the right to their own identities. This multipolar revolution is of profound significance to the massive swathes of the world’s Indo-Europeans whom Russia’s multipolar Eurasianist project seeks to re-integrate, as well as to the world’s other, non-Indo-European, unique civilizations who are on an historic rise: such as China, the Islamic world, African civilizations, and quite possibly a unique Latin American civilizational project.

America is also changing: it has not undergone a process of ethnogenesis, and the collapse of America’s Liberal, Atlanticist identity project and empire suggest that the United States is extremely unlikely to survive imperial reform – if it manages to break through its establishment’s inertia – with its present form and identity [6]. Moreover, it is likely that Indo-European roots will not be the defining basis of a future America that has been ideologically and geopolitically pushed back to its hemisphere away from the Eurasian continent.

In this revolutionary process, the possibilities opened by future multipolarity have posed existential dilemmas to the vitality of existing identities and socio-political ideologies. The question is naturally posed: who will the poles of this multipolar world be and how will their identities adapt to this new global system? What will happen to the ideologies of the modern world? In other words, the inertial resistance to unipolarity and the open questions of how multipolarity will be have thus revealed a crisis of ideas. As the objective process of multipolarity becomes the subjective project of multipolarity, this project’s poles will need orientations.

While the object of resistance – Atlanticism, Liberalism, unipolarity, modernity – 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? Are all peoples supposed to answer these questions – and in the same way?

The rejection of the paradigm of modernity entails the rejection of universalism. As follows, the logic of multipolarity dictates that there will be no single hegemonic ideology, especially of modern heritage. With the recognition of different civilizations as the foundation of the future multipolar world order, we are likely to see a unique set of processes that might be called “archeofuturistic.” On the one hand, pre-modern identities and values (the “archaic”) will return and be re-appealed to or re-invented in delineating the worlds’ poles, i.e., its civilizational and geopolitical large-spaces. On the other hand, technological development and unprecedented, cutting-edge integration projects spanning much of the earth’s land surface will demand new, “futuristic” approaches to solving new problems that cannot be dealt with in the confines of pre-modernity or modernity.






Shanghai Cooperation Organization

In other words, multipolarity poses existential dilemmas to old and new identities and ideologies. Identities and ideologies, however, as the history of humanity and especially the Indo-Europeans shows, change. Identities do not exist without corresponding material conditions: otherwise they become anomalies, not identities. The horse, the wheel, and the steppe shaped the Proto-Indo-European worldview, language and historical dispersion; the relations of capital on the European peninsula shaped Liberalism and modernity as the perfect shell; the material relations of the Soviet collapse shaped the contours and setting for a new Eurasian identity project; the US’ changing base will shape its crumbling superstructure; and the political-economic relations of production that emerge on the integrated Eurasian continent will influence the proportions of the “archaic” and the “futuristic” in the polar identities of the multipolar world.


Multipolarity via “big spaces”?

In order to understand the relations shaping the multipolar paradigm-shift, and in order to determine the possible identities and ideologies at play in multipolarity, we must first turn to one of the main levels of reality on which this revolution manifests itself: geopolitics. In our next installment, we will hermeneutically explore the history and significance of geopolitics as a framework of analysis and as a worldview capable of shedding light on the larger trends defining the transformation of Indo-European civilizations in view of multipolarity and their potential relationship with the world’s old and new non-Indo-European poles.

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



[1] See Geoffrey Morrison, The Greek origins of the idea of revolution (Doctoral dissertation, University of Massachusetts Department of History, 1983).

[2] See David W. Anthony, The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World (Princeton University Press, 2007); Robert S.P. Beekes, Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An Introduction (John Benjamins, 2011); Alain de Benoist, The Indo-Europeans: In Search of the Homeland (Arktos, 2016); J.P. Mallory, In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology and Myth (Thames and Hudson, 1989). See also the chapter “The Religion of the Indo-Europeans: The Vedic Gods” in Mircea Eliade, A History of Religious Ideas: Volume 1 – From the Stone Age to the Eleusinian Mysteries (University of Chicago Press, 1978). J.P. Mallory and D.Q. Adams’ Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture (Fritzroy Dearborn, 1997) and The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World (Oxford University Press, 2006) are also useful standardized references.

[3] The original Proto-Indo-European h₂ŕ̥tḱos meant “that which destroys”, and such euphemistic references have been preserved in Indo-European languages. For example: Russian medved’ means “honey-eater”; English bear means “brown” or “dark”; Lithuanian lokỹs, Latvian lācis, and Old Prussian clokis denote “hairy” or “shaggy”; Sanskrit rákṣas means “something guarded against or thwarted”, etc.

[4] See Vladimir Karpets, “The Rus of Rurik” (Eurasianist Internet Archive).

[5] The esoteric identification of Russia with Hyperborea and the northern homeland of the Indo-Europeans is the subject of Alexander Dugin’s Mysteries of Eurasia (1991/1999), available in English at Eurasianist Internet Archive

[6] See Joaquin Flores, “The Disintegration of the United States and the Fourth Political Theory: A Brief Overview” (Center for Syncretic Studies, 2015); “From Pax Americana to Pan Americana” (Journal of Eurasian Affairs 4:1, 2016); J.V. Capone, “The Fourth Position and the New American Revolution” (Center for Syncretic Studies, 2013).


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