About Jafe Arnold

Jafe Arnold is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Eurasianist Internet Archive.

The Multipolar Revolution: Syncretic Perspectives – Part III

Small Logo By: Jafe Arnold

Marx and the Indo-European Mode of Production

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Of the three main socio-political ideologies of modernity – Liberalism, Marxism, and Fascism (and their offshoots) – Marxism is arguably the most complex, scientific, and paradoxical. On the one hand, the theories of Karl Marx are no less contextually rooted in their 19th century Western European environment than other thinkers and currents that contributed to the first and third political ideologies. On the other hand, Marxism proved to be something more historically commanding and globally relevant than the myriad of other 19th century frameworks and theories which proposed a socio-political trajectory of modernity based on one or another meta-historical philosophical narrative. Societies claiming to be consciously guided by Marxist ideology and realizing its political pivot – the “dictatorship of the proletariat” – once covered nearly half of the globe for half of the most turbulent 20th century, thereby shaping a unique experience of modernity for more than a billion people and rather convincingly insisting that communism would be “the end of history.”

In this installment, we will address the dilemma of Marxism from two standpoints: (1) weighing the benefits, downsides, and paradoxes of Marx’s framework, and (2) demonstrating the relevance of Marxism’s identification of the relations of production and class to understanding the mythological, sociological, and political-economic developmental trends that uniquely affected primordial Indo-European society. With these analyses integrated into our arsenal, we can move ever closer to understanding the modernity that we are leaving, how it came about, and the multipolar world into which we are moving.  In order to broach such, we must first establish why it is worth picking Marx up again at all. Continue reading

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The Multipolar Revolution: Syncretic Perspectives – Part II

Small Logo By: Jafe Arnold 

Initiatic Geopolitics 

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“Geopolitics”, coined in 1902 by Rudolf Kjellén and informed by Friedrich Ratzel’s 1897 “political geography”, is an esoteric term. Most generically, geopolitics is presented as the science of the relationship between geography and politics in international relations; and for this seemingly materialistic binding of the complexity and passions of human politics to physical earth and resources, geopolitics is often berated as “cynical”, “deterministic”, “reductionist”, or “materialist.” Of course, this misrepresentation is immediately based on an overlooking or misreading of the 19th and early 20th century founders of geopolitics, but the problem runs much deeper: it lies in a loss of the meaning and implications of space as encapsulated in geo- and politics.

The word geopolitics is nominatively composed of Greek (“earth”) and politika (“of, concerning the polis”). The definitions of polis and politika are the subject of immense controversy and are generically translated as “city-state” and “of, by, and for the city-state and/or its citizens”, although it is clear that in both cases we are dealing with the common denominator of a space with superstructural content – a socio-political space. If we trace the etymology of earth back to Proto-Indo-European, we have dheghom and h₁er-, whereby we arrive at a sense of earth as the space of humans, what they inhabit, what they dig in, what they are made out of – indeed, from this sense arises the notion of man as a microcosm of the earth as seen in numerous Indo-European linguistic and cosmological derivations.[1] Here must be added Ancient Greek khôra, which might be from the Proto-Indo-European gher (“to yearn for” as well as “to enclose”) and/or ghoros (ritual surrounding, e.g., with dance, music, etc.), and which nominally refers to “land” or “country”, particularly that surrounding the polis, but whose interpretations generally concern qualitative space. In Plato’s designation, khôra is the dimension of the “country” that shapes Being, the transitional realm between between forms and their realization. [2] In other words, we are dealing not merely with “earth-places” or, in the most scientific sense, “geography”, but space in a dimension that encompasses humans, their polities and politics, and is indivisible from their intimate sense of being part and parcel of the cosmos. At its etymological-cum-conceptual core, geopolitics thus deals with space as something qualitative, as something tied to subjectivity and humans; it deals with man and space as inseparable, not disconnected and not disenchanted.

In his Foundations of Geopolitics, Alexander Dugin summates: “Geopolitics speaks of ‘spatial man’ defined by space, formed by it, and conditioned by its specific quality…This conditioning vividly manifests itself in man’s large-scale social manifestations in states, ethnoi, cultures, civilizations, etc…” The quality and magnitude of these manifestations of space “are only seen at a certain distance from the individual”, as “civilizations” themselves are  “one of the largest concepts that the historical consciousness of mankind is capable of generating…which possess extensive spatial, temporal, and cultural boundaries…[and] possess a considerable volume, i.e., they should last a long time, control significant geographical areas, and produce a special, expressive cultural and religious (and sometimes ideological) style” [3]. We have quoted Dugin’s presentation of geopolitics in his 1997 textbook not only because it has shaped the discourse and heavily influenced major actors of geopolitics in the 21st century, but because its value also lies in Dugin’s cogent argument that the worldview of modernity and the worldview of geopolitics are ultimately opposed. Here should resonate Dugin’s side-by-side theses that “the path is from geopolitics to sacred geography” and that, simultaneously, geopolitics has become the essentially defining barometer of contemporary processes, particularly multipolarity. The resulting deduction is that the geopolitics of the current period are taking us towards the archaic. Continue reading

The Multipolar Revolution: Syncretic Perspectives – Part I

Small Logo By: Jafe Arnold

From the Indo-Europeans to the ‘New World’

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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]

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The Indo-European homeland and linguistic evolution a la Anthony

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Indo-European languages in 21st century Eurasia

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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. Continue reading

CSS defends Syria, builds multipolarity at international security conference

SealBy: Jafe Arnold and Paul Antonopoulos – CSS Project Director;  MENA and Latin America Research Fellow.

CSS Research Fellow Paul Antonopoulos speaks at “Threats to Security in the 21st Century: Finding a Global Way Forward” in Lahore, Pakistan

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old-english-calligraphy-alphabet-the international conference, “Threats to Security in the 21st Century: Finding A Global Way Forward”, was held on May 5-6 and hosted by the School of Integrated Social Sciences at the University of Lahore, Pakistan. The Center of Syncretic Studies was represented at the conference, the first of its kind in Pakistan, by Research Fellow Paul Antonopoulos.

Continue reading

Western ‘Anti-Imperialist’ Contradictions in Syria

A Sober View on the US-YPG Affair 

sealBy: Paul Antonopoulos – CSS Project Director;  MENA and Latin America Research Fellow.

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The following is a sample preview of a much larger article that appears in Volume 5 of Journal for Eurasian Affairs

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old-english-calligraphy-alphabet-the most confusing aspect of the Syrian conflict has been the response from most of the Western Left and anti-imperialist organisations. Whereas most post-colonial states and their respective Leftist Parties, as well as former Soviet states, have supported the Syrian government from the onset of the war, the majority of Western Leftist groups, with the exception of a small number of non-Trotskyite communist organisations, have supported reactionary militant groups in Syria.

The Western Left look at the war in Syria as an internal revolution by progressive forces to overthrow a brutal dictatorship, while the majority of the Left in post-Colonial states recognise the external factors and imperial ambitions occurring in Syria. Whereas the Western Left masquerades as anti-imperialist, they refuse to acknowledge imperialistic designs on Syria from the United States, Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. For this reason, it is only ample that they are referred to as the “Imperial Left”.

As most of the Imperial Left in the West do not have historical memories of being colonised by imperial powers, they generally view the world through the paradigm of only a class struggle between Capitalists and Workers. Therefore, with the eruption of the Syrian War, they failed to acknowledge the external factors at play and believed it to be a Workers’ struggle against a dictatorship that tolerated a bourgeois class. This simplistic view of not acknowledging external factors also meant the Imperial Left’s support for the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi. It is through this simplistic mechanism that the Imperial Left apply their White Saviour Complex and view the post-colonial world as consisting of two types of people – dictators and victims. Continue reading