Traditionalists of all countries, unite!

The inauguration of President Putin marks a new stage in Russia’s history. Some lines from previous periods will surely continue. Some will reach a critical threshold. Some will be curtailed. But something new must also emerge.

I would like to draw attention to the ideological aspect, which could become a fundamental vector for Russia’s further development in the international context.

In our fierce confrontation with the West, teetering on the brink of nuclear conflict and a third world war, the problem of values is becoming increasingly apparent. The war in Ukraine is not merely a conflict of states with their quite rational national interests but a clash of civilisations, with all of them fiercely defending their value systems.

Today, it is already clear that Russia has decisively committed to defending traditional values and sees them as integral to the fundamental processes of strengthening its civilisational identity and geopolitical sovereignty. This is not just about the various interests of individual subjects within the same — Western — civilisation, as the escalating conflict between Russia and the collective West could have been interpreted until recently. It is now obvious that two value systems are clashing.

The modern collective West staunchly defends:

  • Absolute individualism;
  • LGBT and gender politics;
  • Cosmopolitanism;
  • Cancel culture;
  • Posthumanism;
  • Unrestricted migration;
  • Destruction of all forms of identity;
  • Critical race theory (according to which previously oppressed peoples have every right to oppress their former oppressors in turn);
  • Relativist and nihilistic postmodern philosophy.

The West ruthlessly censors its own history, bans books and artworks, and the US Congress is preparing to remove entire passages from the Holy Scriptures, allegedly offensive to certain groups of people based on ethnicity and religion. Moreover, the development of digital technologies and neural networks has raised the issue of transferring global governance from humanity to artificial intelligence — and several Western authors already hail this as an incredible success and the long-awaited arrival of the singularity.

In contrast to all this, Putin’s Russia offers an entirely different set of values, many of which are legally enshrined in Decree No. 809 of 9 November 2022. Russia firmly defends:

  • Collective identity against individualism;
  • Patriotism against cosmopolitanism;
  • Healthy family against the legalisation of perversions;
  • Religion against nihilism, materialism, and relativism;
  • Humanity against posthumanist experiments;
  • Organic identity against its dilution;
  • Historical truth against cancel culture.

There are two opposing orientations, moreover — two antagonistic ideologies and worldviews. Russia chooses tradition — the West, on the contrary, everything non-traditional and even anti-traditional.

This makes the conflict in Ukraine, where these two civilisations have clashed in a fierce decisive battle, much more than an ordinary conflict of interests. There is indeed a conflict of interests, but it is not the main point. The main point is that two models of humanity’s further development have entered into confrontation — the liberal, globalist, anti-traditional path of the modern West or the alternative, multipolar, polycentric path preserving tradition and traditional values, for which Russia is fighting.

It is time to note that a multipolar world, to which Russia declared its loyalty during the previous stage of Putin’s rule, only makes sense if we recognise each pole. Each civilisation (as represented in BRICS today) has the right to its identity, its tradition, and its value system. Multipolarity becomes meaningful and justified if we proceed from the plurality of existing cultures and recognise their right to preserve their identities and develop based on internal principles. This means that the poles of the multipolar world, unlike the globalist unipolar model, where Western values dominate as universal by default, follow Russia’s path to some extent but utilising their own — each of them different — traditional values.

We see this clearly in modern China. Not only does it reject globalism, liberalism, and global capitalism as dogma, retaining many features of the socialist system, but it increasingly turns to the eternal values of Chinese culture, reviving the political and social ethics of Confucius, which have inspired and organised society for thousands of years. It is no coincidence that one of the leading theories of international relations in modern China is the ancient idea of Tianxia, where China is thought of as the centre of the world system, with all other nations surrounding the Middle Kingdom on the periphery. China is its own absolute centre, open to the world, but strictly guarding its sovereignty, uniqueness, and originality.

Modern India (Bharat) is moving in the same direction, especially under Narendra Modi’s rule. Again, here the deep identity, Hindutva, dominates, reviving the foundations of the ancient Vedic culture, religion, philosophy, and social structure.

The Islamic world even more categorically rejects the value system of the collective West, which is in no way compatible with Islamic laws, rules, and regulations. In this case, the emphasis is on tradition.

African nations are also moving in this direction, entering a new round of decolonisation — this time of consciousness, culture, and mindset. More and more African thinkers, politicians, and public figures are turning to the origins of their indigenous cultures.

Latin America, too, is gradually discovering these new horizons of traditionalism, religion, and cultural roots, increasingly coming into direct conflict with US and collective Western policies. The peculiarity of Latin America is that the anti-colonial struggle was long carried out mainly under leftist slogans. The situation is now changing: the left is discovering the traditional and conservative roots of their struggle (for example, in liberation theology, where the Catholic factor dominates), and the conservative anti-colonial front is growing (for example, the theology of the people).

But so far, none of the civilisations oriented towards multipolarity and preferring tradition has entered into direct armed conflict with the West, except for Russia. Many are hesitating, waiting for the outcome of this dramatic confrontation. Although most of humanity potentially rejects the hegemony of the West and its value systems, no one besides us is ready to enter into direct confrontation with it yet.

This gives Russia a unique opportunity to lead the global conservative turn. The time has come to openly declare that Russia is fighting against Western civilisation’s claim to the universality of its values and stands entirely and wholly for tradition, both its own (Russian and Orthodox) and all others. For they too face inevitable destruction if globalism triumphs and Western hegemony persists.

All civilisations of the world are conservative; this constitutes their identity. And they are becoming increasingly aware of this. Only the postmodern West has decided to radically break with its classical Christian roots and has begun to build a culture of degeneration, perversion, pathology, and the technical replacement of humans with post-human organisms (from AI to cyborgs, chimaeras, and genetically engineered products). Even within the West, a significant part of society rejects this path and increasingly and vehemently opposes the course of the ruling postmodern liberal elites towards the final abolition of the cultural-historical identity of Western societies themselves.

In Putin’s new presidential term, it would be quite logical to proclaim the protection of tradition — in Russia and worldwide, including the West — as his main ideological mission. Vladimir Putin is already seen by humanity as a great leader playing this role, heroically resisting Western hegemony. Now is the time to declare Russia’s global mission, consisting of protecting civilisations and their traditional values. Enough of playing along with the West and using its strategies, terms, protocols, and criteria. Civilisational sovereignty consists of each nation having the full right to accept and reject any external directives and to develop in its own unique way, regardless of someone else’s dissatisfaction.

Recently, on 7 May, the British newspaper The Mirror declared ten words from President Putin’s inauguration speech a ‘chilling threat to the West’. These words were: ‘The destiny of Russia will be determined by ourselves only.’ Any hint of sovereignty is perceived by the West as a declaration of war. Russia has embraced this and is ready to support all those who will stand as decisively for their sovereignty as it does.

Of course, each civilisation has its own traditional values. But today, all of them are under attack from one aggressive, intolerant, deceitful, and perverse civilisation, which wages a ruthless war against any tradition — against tradition as such. In such a situation, Putin’s Russia can openly declare itself the bearer of the opposite mission — to become the defender of tradition and normality, continuity and identity.

In the 20th century, Russia’s influence in the world was primarily based on the leftist movement. But today, it has gradually faded away — either absorbed by liberalism or exhausted itself (with rare exceptions, often allied with anti-colonial conservative trends). Now it is time to bet on conservatives and supporters of civilisational identities. And so, a new slogan is born: Traditionalists of all countries, unite!

We should not be shy, ashamed, or conceal this. The more confidently we embark on this path, the faster and more reliably our influence in the world will grow. Having chosen an orientation towards multipolarity, we must be consistent in this.

Everyone already considers Putin a key figure in the conservative revival. It is time to proclaim this openly. Criticism from the West is inevitable in any case, but now the decisive factors in relations with it are entirely different. And our allies — actual and potential — will support Russia with new vigour. They will clearly understand our far-reaching goals and objectives. They will trust us and, without any doubt or hesitation, begin to build a fair and balanced world together with us in the interests of greater humanity.


Translated by Constantin von Hoffmeister