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

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CSS participates in conference: “History and Perspectives of Cooperation between Slavic Countries”

SealBy: Jafe Arnold – CSS liaison to Poland

CSS participates in conference: “History and Perspectives of Cooperation between Slavic Countries”

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Photo credit: Tomasz Trump

On December 10th in Wroclaw, Poland, the Association for Poland-East Cooperation hosted an interdisciplinary conference entitled “History and Perspectives of Cooperation between Slavic Countries.” Organized by the Grunwald Patriotic Workers Union, the conference brought together a diverse range of scholars, activists, and organizations to discuss the many facets of historical and contemporary ties between the Slavic states of Eurasia. The Center for Syncretic Studies was represented at the event by its Poland-based researcher and liaison Jafe Arnold.

The broad subject of the conference was matched by the equally broad spectrum of participating individuals and organizations. The organizing group, the Grunwald Patriotic Workers Union, is itself one of the handful of initiatives that have appeared on the Polish political scene over the past few years with the aim of bridging the gap between “right” and “left” in approaching the issues of national sovereignty and social justice in Poland. Grunwald’s representatives opened the conference specifically by referencing the need to approach the history and prospects of cooperation between Slavic peoples from a variety of perspectives. The end goal was declared to be the constructive affirmation of Poland’s past with an eye to collaborating on envisioning a sovereign future for the country currently subject to US-NATO occupation. Grunwald was joined in this endeavor by representatives of the political party Zmiana, the Center for Sustainable Development, the Association for Poland-East Cooperation, the Faithful to Sovereign Poland Association, Falanga, the Center for Syncretic Studies, the All Slavs Committee, and a number of guest professors from Polish universities.  Continue reading

An Overview of Syncretism in Russia: Orthodoxy and Sovietism

socialist-clipart-K9cR4BbTeBy: Padraig McGrath

The Synthetic Public Ideology of Putin’s Russia

The reconstruction of the Cathedral of Saint Alexander Nevsky is a microcosm of a broad social reality

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OLDENGLIituated adjacent to the Crimean Parliament building in Simferopol, the newly rebuilt Cathedral of Saint Alexander Nevsky is a magnificent structure. Gilded onion-domes, Greco-Roman columns and pediments – it looks every bit as classy as a well financed Orthodox cathedral should be. On entering, a question occurs to me, however – why are the icons not completely flat? The depictions of the various saints seem almost crypto-Catholic, more three-dimensional than you’d expect, not like Byzantine iconography. Novgorod it ain’t.

My friend Nikita explains that the local bishop is a western Ukrainian, so this style of iconography just seems more natural to him. Locals refer to it as “Disney-style.” I smile at this answer – is there a residual attempt toward “Ukrainianization” at work? Nikita doesn’t think so – any Orthodox bishop in present-day Crimea pushing an agenda of “Ukrainianization” on any level whatsoever would very quickly find himself without an office – sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

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The Rise and Transformation of American Militarism and Imperialism after World War Two

Small Logo  By:  Andrés Barrera González, – PhD in Political Science and Sociology, Profesor Titular at the University Complutense of Madrid.

Edited by: Joaquin Flores

The Rise and Transformation of American Militarism and Imperialism after World War Two

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Part I:  Europe After World War Two

old-english-calligraphy-alphabet-throughout the 19th century world affairs were dominated by Europe’s great colonial and imperial powers: Britain, France, Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, and the Ottomans on the south-eastern fringes of the continent.  Rivalry and competition for the world’s resources between the European ‘great powers’ and colonial metropolises reached a peak at the end of the century. And this was the background setting that brought Europe to war and catastrophe during 1914-18.  It was the first act in the dramatic demise of Europe’s world hegemony.  The second and final act of the fall of Europe as the axis of global power took place during the 1939-45 war, which again had the continent as its main theatre of operations. World War Two caused unprecedented material destruction, and it took an appalling toll in human life. It also led to the first nuclear holocaust, triggered by the arbitrary decision of the government of the United States to test-drop recently built atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 [i].

As a consequence of the war, most of Europe (including the Soviet Union) was left thoroughly devastated and worn out; which set the ground for the uncontested hegemony of the United States, given that its territory and economy remained untouched by the disasters of the war.  Thus Western Europe became fully dependent, and increasingly subordinated to the United States in all fundamental dimensions: economic, political, and military.  A turn of events that was reinforced with the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949; namely to counter the perceived-stated threat coming from a former war ally, the Soviet Union, unwilling to yield to the emerging world power configuration headed by the United States. The USA, its Western European ‘allies’ stalking along, thus raised the stakes in its confrontation with the Soviet Union, declaring the inauguration of the Cold War.

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A Brief History of Serbian Socialism, Part I

Small Logo  By: Stevo M. Lapchevich – translated from Serbian by Novak Drashkovic                                  & edited by Joaquin Flores

A Brief History of Serbian Socialism,
Part One

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The First Serbian Uprising inspired Serbian socialist thought and was connected to the early abolition of feudalism and landlordism

old-english-calligraphy-alphabet-the development of socialist ideas in the Balkans is closely tied to the political life of Serbia in the second half of the 19th century. Arising in a tributary country semi-independent from the occupying Ottoman Empire, in a land of lords and impoverished peasants living on the edge of survival, Serbia is a land of a people that was the first one in Europe to liberate itself from feudalism in the fourth decade of the 19th century.  We should recall here that Serbian prince Miloš Obrenović I issued a decree according to which arable land could only be owned by the people that are farming it, as opposed to the rising Serbian aristocracy.  Serbian socialist idea, unlike almost any other at that point in time, strived not only for the creation of a socially just, but also nationally independent and free state that would on the basis of self-government and self-determination unify the entire Serbian people.

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