The Theory Of A Multipolar World: A Traditionalist Foreign Policy And Antidote To The “New World Order”
On September 11th 1990, during the ongoing disintegration of the Soviet Union, then US President George Herbert Walker Bush announced the arrival of a “New World Order”. Much ink has been spilt and many-a-video has been made about this phrase by those whose tinfoil hat is fastened around their heads perhaps a little too tightly, and thus have largely misunderstood the implications of this phrase, wound up by hyperbolic conspiracy mongers and distracted by dystopian visions of Satanic orders and a global police state.
That’s not to say that the standardized global order organized by the US commercial empire and it’s various banks, foundations, allies, and “civil society” institutions isn’t dystopian, and fundamentally a rebellion against nature, just that these types conceptualize this problem within the paradigm of – most often classical – liberalism, (usually served with a healthy dose of Protestant evangelism) which serves to distort the entire picture.
The problem isn’t “authoritarianism”, all social orders are authoritarian in that there always exists an individual (monarch or dictator) or a group of individuals (aristocracy, oligarchy or plutocracy) that exercises sovereignty, which as defined by Carl Schmitt, is he (or those) that determine the exceptional case, or decide the exception in extraordinary circumstances, such exceptions are made in moments where the existing legal code is insufficient or is de facto null and void due to one set of circumstances or another (ie in a state of emergency).
The problem with liberalism of all flavours is that it conceals the exercise of sovereignty under the veil of so-called “democracy” and “popular sovereignty”, – a contradiction in terms – as well as layers of bureaucracy, which conceals the exercise of power and thereby enables the forces of capital to slowly usurp the levers of power under the veil of a libertarian style “freedom” that liberates capital from subordination to any superior interest, thus allowing it to take control of politicians, social movements, media, academia, in short every institution that projects both hard and soft power in a social order.
This is the essence of the current international system or the “New World Order” which was triumphantly hailed after the fall of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War. With the Soviets out of the way American elites believed the door was open for the extension of this paradigm – the sovereignty of Western capital – to every corner of the world, and thus acted accordingly. The rise of the current international system, and the sovereignty of global capital is a long and complicated tale, too much so to succinctly recount here, but it has its roots in the British commercial empire as the dominant world power of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which shifted to the United States when the British Empire could no longer sustain herself at the end of the Second World War.
Since the fall of the USSR and the proclamation of the “End of History” by liberal triumphalist and ideologue Francis Fukuyama, American elites – drunk on their own sense of self importance – have been on a messianic mission to rebuild the world order in their own image, as an unbridled and open space for Western capital, devoid of any authentic ties to Tradition, with the only ideal permitted by US cultural hegemony being an abstract and disintegrating “liberty” or “freedom”, focused on “human rights”, and “civil society”.
All of these buzzwords of course, are just that, empty platitudes which America uses to project its interests abroad. Through a clever narrative that projects America as some “shining city on the hill”, the US during the twentieth century was able to position itself as the standard to which all other nations should measure themselves. It was in this way that American elites were able to use their foundations to project their interests abroad. So called “civil society” is composed of US NGO’s that are funded by US billionaires and corporations. So called “human rights” are simply a shibboleth used by American elites against rivals that don’t sufficiently acquiesce to US hegemony or might even pose a threat to that hegemony, and so called “liberty” and “freedom”, simply means the liberty and freedom of US capital and corporations to plunder with impunity, and all the cultural degradation that goes along with it.
Because the American international system is, like it’s predecessor the British Empire, a seapower commercial empire, it seeks markets and profit, which creates the necessity for standardization. Therefore the American messianic mission is to reduce or eliminate all regional cultural particularities. It wants a world of shopping malls, a culturally empty wasteland filled with nothing but big box stores and corporate chains, where every town, city, and nation is homogenized and standardized, where the sight of emblems of American corporations expand into the horizon as far as the eye can see. It’s a world where true culture and Tradition are completely wiped from the face of the planet, or at least safely relegated to the museum where such things won’t interfere with the standardization of humanity, the establishment of cultural hegemony or acquisition of new markets, all just expressions of power.
This is the true impetus of America’s promotion of mass immigration, multiculturalism, anti-racism, and gay rights abroad. Its not that these issues matter in and of themselves, but Americanism cannot thrive in anything resembling the world of Tradition where difference and particularity reign in the form of age old customs, unique to the cultural context of each individual civilization. It’s commercial empire would not be optimally efficient – and likely would not even function – in a world where there are unique and mutually exclusive distinctions between different peoples and cultures. Thus the only solution is to undermine them in the form of it’s global commercialistic anti-culture. You see, it can’t market it’s mass produced and mind-numbing anti-cultural commercial trash to people who are steeped in their authentic Traditions and cultures, and if they can’t do that, then they can’t project themselves as the virtuous “shining city on the hill”, and if they can’t project themselves as the virtuous “shining city on the hill”, then they can’t position themselves as the moral centre of the international order, and if they can’t position themselves as the moral centre of the international order, they can’t conceal their naked pursuit of power for it’s own sake, and if they can’t conceal their naked pursuit of power for its own sake, they can’t coax the world to go along with their agenda under the pretext of morality, and thus demonizing their rivals for pursuing their own self interests based on power politics becomes a nightmare, if not impossible.
So as you see, America’s anti-cultural imperialism, or we could say “colonization” to use the vernacular of the day, is of utmost importance. It is the practical projection of their power. Cultural hegemony, is a part of their strategy of global hegemony. Its all about prolonging the world’s unipolar moment indefinitely.
While America’s self proclaimed status as the “shining city on the hill” has admittedly taken a beating in the last twenty years, due to her Middle East adventures on one hand, and the frenzied and hyperbolic media narrative surrounding the Trump Presidency on the other, by framing the geostrategic competition – between America and her allies on one side and Russia and China on the other – as “democracy vs autocracy”, narrative spinners are busily attempting to rehabilitate America’s global image through a PR and propaganda campaign. It’s the state equivalent of a corporate rebranding. Its still the same terrible sauce – but with a slightly updated label!
It therefore becomes increasingly necessary for those who oppose America’s malignant cultural influence globally to also oppose her geopolitical agenda, and vice versa, those who oppose America’s geopolitical ambitions need to oppose it’s cultural hegemony, this includes all appeals to Western concepts of “human rights” and “democracy”.
To do this, one of the first steps is to create the theoretical and moral discourse to oppose American hegemony and to present a counter-argument to it’s presumption of moral superiority via liberal values and the so-called “rules based liberal international order”.
Enter Alexander Dugin.
It’s popular these days to refer to this or that public figure as, “the most dangerous _______”, yet with Dugin to call him the most dangerous philosopher in the world might not be hype. Alexander Dugin is banned from North America and Europe for his uncompromising declaration of war against the puppets of Washington in Ukraine, for which he was roundly condemned and not only resulted in his being banned form the above mentioned continents, but also in being dismissed from his position at the University of Moscow.
Dugin has influence in the Kremlin and has gone abroad on diplomatic missions for Moscow. He’s also a seasoned street activist and was an intellectual dissident in the Soviet Union.
Yet, despite all his extracurricular activities, it’s his intellectual work that he’s most known for.
In the latest english translation from the Russian author, published by Arktos Media, The Theory of a Multipolar World, Dugin picks up from the same intellectual line of inquiry he began with his celebrated book, The Fourth Political Theory, yet this time applying the same model to the field of international relations (IR). In this book Dugin skillfully dissects the existing theories of international relations to piece together the outlines of his Theory of a Multipolar World (TMW).
The Theory of a Multipolar World casts away the Westphalian system of nation-states in favour of a world order where civilizations, instead of nations, are the main actors. The Westphalian system is decisively proven to be an obsolete legal fiction, which has not actually been functional for a very long time. This is due to the fact that only one power, America, has for the last thirty years had the practical ability to project power. The Westphalian model posits a world where national sovereignty is sacred and where no state has the right to intervene in another’s affairs, this is something that simply hasn’t worked in practice. This is because small states cannot stand alone against great powers, but the “large space” of civilizational blocks could indeed prove up to the task, if we look at China and Russia as examples, both of which are emerging powers that – according to the model presented – represent not just nation states but civilizational centres.
Indeed, one of the foundations of TMW is that civilizations must be able to project actual sovereignty within the parameters of their civilizational spaces. A civilization must be integrated in such a way where no outside force can use methods such as economic sanctions – a favourite tool of the American elite – to bring a civilization to its knees. To prevent this state of affairs from ever prevailing again, TMW calls for a complete reconstruction of the global economy, and the subordination of the economy to politics, not politics to the economy. According to TMW instead of an interconnected world economy, civilizations should be economically integrated inwardly and strive to be economically self sufficient, and while international trade would still exist, no civilization should be dependent on the trade of another for it’s material prosperity.
TMW calls for not only the radical reorganization of just the global economy but the radical reordering, if not complete destruction of the system of international finance. This of course means that in TMW international capital cannot be sovereign, to the degree that capital exists, it must be tied to landed interests with in each civilization and therefore must be subordinated to the institutions of sovereignty and hence cannot itself be sovereign. In this way TMW is a declaration of war against the interests of global finance.
Dugin roughly divides the civilizations along the same lines as Samual Huntington in his seminal work, The Clash of Civilizations, and by doing so Alexander Dugin not only grounds his theory within the canon of geopolitical literature, but by taking this concept further then Huntington – to it’s logical conclusion and presupposing innate and irreconcilable differences between civilizations – immediately de-universalizes the forms of Western modernity, implicitly making TMW a Traditionalist theory of IR. Any coherent division of civilizations will be along lines of culture, religion, ethnicity, and geography, which not only implies, but demands particularity. This immediately exposes any presumption of universality of so-called “Western values” as nothing but the veiled will to power by the very worst of types. Indeed, this concept of moral universality is precluded outright by TMW, as each civilization will have, and in fact already does have it’s own concepts of morality, along with innate cultural, religious, and governmental forms. Therefore the attempt to impose such universal standards on foreign cultures is seen as nothing less then a hostile act. TMW is the direct antithesis of the current international system and the antidote of the so called “New World Order”, which as a project today appears to be losing steam, carried out by an increasingly out of touch elite.
The Theory of a Multipolar World, is incredibly subversive in the best sense of the term. Dugin uses the logic of postmodernism against its own advocates, pointing out how appeals to the values of Western modernity such as “human rights”, “democracy”, and “equality” by postmodernists, critical theorists and other professional critics of Western Civilization ultimately prove that – despite their pretence to critique and deconstruction – these would be iconoclasts still find themselves trapped within the moral discourse of Western liberal modernity, a thoroughly bourgeois discourse.
By pointing out that these values are not only just the cultural expression of one of a myriad of civilizations, but in fact only the product of one epoch of that civilization, Dugin thereby relativizes them, showing how their presumption to universality is absurd and thus opens the space for a return to Traditional values, norms, and institutions. This theoretical space opens the path for each civilization to pursue its own good, and its own cultural forms without the coercion to conform to the norms and institutions of a stultified Western Civilization perhaps entering its last phase of decline.
Ultimately, the project of multipolarity might prove in the end to be a much needed boon to the decaying West. As each civilization pursues its own good and either returns to its Traditional cultural and institutional forms, or pursues new cultural forms and institutions – the success of such projects would prove once and for all that the inevitable triumph of Western liberalism was nothing more than an ideological myth. Such a result could finally free the West from its ideological stupor. Thus the existence of a multipolar world order might prove to be the impetus for Western Civilization to look beyond the stultification of its current ideological, cultural, and institutional forms, thereby providing the inspiration for a new project of cultural exploration where Western man can once again discover the truths of Tradition, manifesting them in new and innovative ways.