Shaping the Discourse: CSS Activity Report to the Public

A Review of the Center for Syncretic Studies’ Recent and Upcoming Work

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Screen Shot 2018-07-31 at 9.38.58 PMs enumerated in our mission statement and “Our Goals” section, the Center for Syncretic Studies is committed to shaping intellectual and political discourse in an interdisciplinary, and ultimately syncretic manner through a diverse range of media. In this spirit, many of our research fellows and associates’ contributions to such fields as political science, international relations, geopolitics, and religious and esoteric studies can be found across a plethora of different journals, sites, and media interfaces independent of the Center’s own direct projects of Fort Russ News and Eurasianist Internet Archive

In recent months, our colleagues have committed a number of significant works to external publication which deserve highlighting. Additionally, we will inform the public of some of our present internal projects to the extent possible.  Continue reading

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From Socialist Revivalism to Socialist Futurism

Small Logo By: John Stachelski 

A Review of Caleb Maupin’s Getting Rich Without Capitalism

Shanghai, China aerial view over Yan'an Elevated Highway.

Caleb Maupin’s provocatively titled Getting Rich Without Capitalism: America’s Way Out (2018) is a collection of essays which cover a range burning political questions in geopolitics, economics, and cultural theory.

Maupin covers a wide array of topics, such as neo-McCarthyism and the real reason for sanctions against Russia, how Ayn Rand’s philosophy can be linked to the psychology of mass shooters, and the Trump phenomena in the context of the history of American populism.

This book is an audacious challenge to radicals of the left and the right, and thus has the potential to frustrate many of its readers. The premise is as radical as its title and essays (the chapter entitled “In defense of socialist billionaires” comes to mind immediately), the left at a certain point in history made an abrupt turn away from tenants that it formerly held sacred, for reasons that Maupin suggests are extremely unsavory. Meanwhile the socialism of the 21st century is being developed in unexpected places by unexpected people.51RAaDNaaCL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_ Continue reading

The Economic and Geo-Strategic Function of the Ideological Abuses of Science in the Contemporary Occident

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babc46b8-f641-4b98-a6e5-a9d0334ca7a8  By: Padraig McGrath

Introduction: To understand why ‘scientism’, (the contemporary vulgarization of ‘the’ scientific method),  exists in a perpetual state of cuspness – promoting the view that scientific inquiry is always seemingly ‘on the cusp’ of a final and absolute answer or truth – Gadamer’s ‘Horizon’ metaphor has yet another practical application. Gadamer put’s forward this metaphor in his development of Heidegger’s philosophical hermeneutics as articulated in the latter’s 1927 masterpiece ‘Being and Time.’ The utility of Gadamer’s metaphor goes beyond textual analysis and has application in multiple broad fields. Beyond a criticism of the possibility of applying the same vulgarized scientific method used in the physical sciences to the social sciences and humanities, these criticisms indeed may apply to the physical sciences themselves, which then asks us to make inquiries towards the viability of a revised epistemology. Marxist and later syncretic systems are also raised in relation to how the above is problematized. This allows us to see through a dialectical materialist lens how the ideological abuse of science in the contemporary Occident has not only an economic but also a geostrategic function   – J. Flores

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502377n his 1960 magnum opus “Truth and Method” (“Wahrheit und Methode”), Hans-Georg Gadamer attempts to develop a theory of how we might be able to rescue overarching norms from the flux of history. To this end, Gadamer employs his famous “horizon”-metaphor. Gadamer’s idea is that one starts from a certain time and place inside history, and that as one learns and experiences more and more, the individual continuously approaches the horizon (the borders of ones worldview, the delimitations of ones culturally set-up version of reality, etc).

But as one continuously approaches the horizon, something strange becomes noticed – the horizon itself keeps moving farther away.

No matter how much one learns, history is never transcended. A terminus called “objectivity” is never reached. One remains forever embedded in “the history of effect” (“Wirkungsgeschichte”). Gadamer remains one of the twentieth century’s foremost exponents of German historicism.

Gadamer’s horizon-metaphor is applicable, not only to the discourse of history-culture-ethics-politics, but also to the natural sciences.

Continue reading

Polish-Russian Relations: Russian Guilt and Polish Exceptionalism

Seal   By: Andrew Korybko

 

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old-english-calligraphy-alphabet-the Center for Syncretic Studies is pleased to present another original academic piece, in full, from our Russian collaborator, Mr. Andrew Korybko. This analytic monograph was a previously in-house submission to the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.  The subject of Russian-Polish bilateral relations is a significant one, and has been one of the focuses of the work of CSS. Mr. Korybko’s original dedication read as follows:

“This report is dedicated to all Poles and Russians in the hopes that they and their governments may one day have the brotherly and fraternal relations that both sides deserve.”

 

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“The thesis holds that Poland is developing and exploiting these two concepts within the institutions of the EU and NATO in order to advance its policies in the region at Russia’s expense. Poland is using Russian Guilt to normatively justify Polish Exceptionalism in the court of international opinion, thereby also damaging Russia’s soft power potential. It will be seen that an objective investigation into the topic will reveal that the moral bases of Russian Guilt and Polish Exceptionalism are extremely subjective and manipulated for self-serving interests. In all actuality, the aforementioned concepts will be exposed as being mental and emotional constructs that, although being expected to serve as highly effective ideological weapons in advancing certain foreign policy priorities, have little relevance to historical facts. Perceiving the Polish-Russian experience through a neutral perspective will undercut the moral foundation of the theories to the targeted audiences and present vulnerabilities that could be harnessed to defend the Russian Federation from this new form of intangible aggression.”

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The Russian Spring in Donbass

War and Statecraft in the Donetsk People’s Republic 

flag-novorossiya2.jpg By: Dmitry Muza – translated by Jafe Arnold

Dmitry Evgenyevich Muza is a doctor of philosophical sciences, a correspondent-member of the Crimean Academy of Sciences, a professor at the Department of Sociology at Donetsk State University of Management, a professor at the Department of International Relations and Foreign Policy at Donetsk National University, and the co-chairman of the Izborsk Club of Novorossiya (Donetsk People’s Republic)

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Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 20.57.26y including the processes and event-related phenomenon “Russian Spring,” “war,” and “statecraft” in the title of this article, I am by no means implying any kind of intellectual provocation or attempting to realize a political order. On the contrary, the intended position here can be associated with the existence of millions of people who have in one way or another engaged (during wartime) in the creation of a completely distinct region, a will and fate of more than just one century tied to the fate of the Russian world.

Proposed below is a feasible analysis of three interrelated events: the “Russian Spring” in Donbass, the war [1], and attempts at state-building, each of which deserves separate reflection and evaluation from the position of both an “internal” and “external” observation.

All of these factors, I believe, are tied to an immanent logic which can be articulated as a centripetal process of reintegrating Donbass into the Russian civilizational, i.e., Russian-Eurasian, Orthodox space.[2]

In addition, a general exposition of what is happening in Donbass and with Donbass today requires some clarification of the region’s pre-crisis state. Such a clarification concerns both the recent and distant past directly associated with the region under consideration. By going through these layers of history, I intend to show the composition of Donbass in relation to the larger Russian civilizational space. 

First of all, it is necessary to recall that the now forgotten regional referendum of March 27th, 1995 in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions was intended to restore socio-economic ties with the Russian Federation and enshrine the Russian language as a regional one in functional norms. Of no small importance is that this referendum was consistent with the Ukrainian law “On all-Ukrainian and local referendums,” but was still ignored by Ukrainian authorities. Secondly, it was Russian Donbass that accounted for the electoral base of Presidents Kuchma and Yanukovych who flirted with the ideas of closer integration with Russia and the Russian language (granting it a special status). Thirdly, there were considerable expectations surrounding the post-Maidan congress in Northern Donetsk in November of 2004 which expressed the region’s collective will on establishing genuine federalization, including economic autonomy for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Fourthly, it is important to emphasize that the significance of the recent “Euroregion Donbass” project which involved the Rostov, Belgorod, and Voronezh regions from Russia and the Donetsk and Lugansk provinces from Ukraine entailed tightening their cooperation, albeit with European investments and guidance. Continue reading