Three Pillars of Eurasianism
Russia is a Civilization
The first and most important statement is that Russia is an independent, original civilization. This statement is the axis around which there should be constructed any (absolutely everything, and not just Eurasian) conservative thought. What does it give us? First, we understand that the world is not global, not united, not homogeneous. The world consists of many civilizations, each of which is not reducible to each other. That is, Chinese, Indian, European, American, Russian – all these civilizations are equal.
This seems like a simple, trivial thought, but I suggest focusing on it. If we look at the mainstream that dominates now, what do we see? There is a certain Western way of development: there are countries of the first world, the second, the third one. And it would be good for everyone to be like the West, following a preassigned path, that is, to be countries of the first world. Even if we discard the practical side of this issue, discard what this rhetoric is designed to hide - the colossal inequality between countries, the monstrous gap, racism, if you like - it is obvious that in the very formulation of the question there is some mistake, some flaw: the division of countries into the first - second- and third-rate ones.
The civilizational approach suggests that all civilizations - it is civilization, and not a country and not a state with this approach that is the subject of world politics - are equivalent and cannot be reduced to each other. Civilization is sometimes equal to the country and the state, as in the case of Russia at some stages: in the Russian Empire, in the Soviet Union, the borders of the state were approximately equal to the civilizational borders. Sometimes a civilization includes several states, but, one way or another, it is civilization that is the subject. And it is civilization that is the highest value of mankind. Civilizations may differ in character, in style, but there is no hierarchy between them. This is a fundamental point; it is impossible to assert the superiority of one or another civilization over others.
If we take such a point of view, then we will see a picture that is completely different from the generally accepted one: we cannot be globalists - liberal, communist, national, or anything else (namely, it is now customary to describe reality from the point of view of globalism). But we must recognize the diversity and complexity that reigns in the world.
Moreover, the civilizational approach is an absolutely Russian idea and, if you like, primarily a Russian idea. Why? It was formulated by two remarkable Russian thinkers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Konstantin N. Leontiev and Nicholas Ya. Danilevsky. Can we find something similar in other peoples? Supposably in the Europeans, for example in the Germans? Yes, we can find the phrase of the philosopher J. G. Herder, which sounds like this: “The peoples are the thoughts of God.” This phrase is not far from the civilizational approach. However, it fell to the Russians to formulate this as an independent concept.
Turning to Dostoevsky, who speaks of universal humanity, we will find exactly the very idea that underlies the civilizational approach. Let us note that Dostoevsky's all-humanity is often understood in a simplified way. All-humanity is both a “sharp Galic sense”, and a “gloomy German genius”, and something else. But "something else" is certainly from Europe. Maybe something Spanish, Portuguese, English. But, if we stand on the positions of a civilizational approach, it becomes necessary to recognize “something” Iranian, Brazilian, Japanese, Chinese ... It is this kind of all-humanity that is a genuine civilizational approach, and this is the true essence of a Russian person.
However, in this all-humanity, the Russian person does not dissolve: he becomes open to the world. He is ready to perceive the new, the best - and to refuse what is contrary to his nature. In this case, he is absolutely free. Like a Eurasian cross-shooter (wind rose), which is directed in eight directions at once, so is a Russian person: he moves in breadth in all directions at once, including all the immensity of the world, while remaining Russian and Eurasian.
This is the first thesis: Russia is an independent civilization. Independent, original, irreducible to others. And even if we remove the word “Eurasianism” from here, then we can unite under it a fairly wide range of conservative, traditionalist thinkers as well as trends and currents of thought. The natural idea for a Russian human is to feel his/her identity.
Developmental Space: The Will of Space
The second thesis is more specific. I would designate it as "the will of space". It means that space is not a mechanical landscape, not some kind of map, which is marked with a dry, lifeless grid, where each individual square is equal to each other. Space is alive, it breathes. Each space has its own spirit, its own genius loci: accordingly, there exists its own will.
This approach is not specifically Eurasian, but finds its own original expression among the Eurasians in the concept of “developmental space” (“mestorazvitie”). It simultaneously appears in Peter N. Savitsky and George V. Vernadsky, reflecting the attitude of Eurasians to space. Russia-Eurasia is distinctive because it found itself in certain geographical conditions that shaped the style of our people, which includes many ethnic groups, both Slavic and non-Slavic. And this special style that unites them is formed primarily by geography and historical conditions. As the saying goes, "geography is a sentence." Or, more accurately, geography is destiny. The common fate of our ethnic groups, caused by geography (namely, by the will of space), is the second thesis - “developmental space” (“mestorazvitie”).
Ethnogenesis: Union of Spirit and Blood
And finally, we turn to the third specifically Eurasian thesis, which can be denoted by the word "ethnogenesis": by it, speaking a little more fully, we mean the union of Slavs and Turks (as well as other Eurasian ethnic groups), of Woods and Steppes (and other space zones).
Of all the Eurasians, Lev N. Gumilyov especially insisted on this position. Indeed, the influence on Russian culture by the Turks - Tatars, Mongols, who passed through the territory of our empire like a fiery whirlwind - is undeniable. And their impact was not only negative. We see not only the destroyed churches that were left after the Mongols, not only the enmity that once existed between the Tatars and the Russian state. But we also see the Tatar nobility, which became part of the new Muscovite, Russian state. We observe a certain style that we inherited from the empire of Genghis Khan, which was adopted by the Moscow princes and preserved by the Russian rulers to this day. We recognize certain historical tasks, a special approach to the conduct of state life, which cannot leave us indifferent. This is what Eurasians are talking about.
Another thing is that the degree of influence of the Turks (Tatars, Mongols or other ethnic groups) on the Russian civilizational core is disputed by many Eurasians. Lev Gumilyov believes that this influence is exceptionally great, other Eurasians are more wary of him, but everyone recognizes him.
We can add on our own that the influence of not only the Turkic and Slavic ethnic groups is exceptionally great. Turning to “The Tale of Bygone Years”, which describes the moment of the organization of the Russian state, let us recall the tribes that called Rurik, according to the annals. Who will we see? - Krivichs, Chud, Merya, Ves’ and Vod’. That are both Slavic and Finno-Ugric tribes. Thus, the Finno-Ugric peoples should not be deprived of attention either: they were at the very core of the Russian state - and we also adopted a peculiar approach to life, a certain style, meaningful words, rituals, elements of clothing from them and still carefully keep all of it.
It is on this kind of ethnogenesis, on the imperial essence of the Russian-Eurasian people, that the Eurasians insist. It can be described schematically: there is a certain core, basically Slavic, and other ethnic groups are carefully attached to this core, as a result of which a single Russian-Eurasian people is formed, which exists now - which we have carried through the centuries.
It is important to note that people are not a static concept. A group of people can proclaim themselves a people, but this is not enough. A people is a common destiny, common ancestors, common descendants, a common vector of development, a common shed blood; sometimes this blood is shed in fratricidal battles.
If we turn to the present time, we will see how not long ago the Russians were at war with the Chechens, and now the Chechens already call themselves Russians, we call them Russians. And when our enemy says: “The Russians have come,” he also means the Chechens. When our civilians hear: "Akhmat is Power", they understand: "The Russians have come!" Thus, the common blood that has been shed in our land has a unifying influence. Yes, this is a tragedy. Yes, often it does not pass peacefully, but it gives great seedlings.
Therefore, a common fate, common wars, a common historical goal must be treated very responsibly. This is precisely what the Eurasians insist on, and this is where our third, specific thesis originates. And if we want to be called Eurasians, we must accept it.
Let's go back to the beginning. We have identified three theses. If, after reading this, you want to become Eurasians, you must accept not only the third one, but also the first two. What are they?
- Russia is an independent, original civilization, irreducible to others: no worse and no better, one of.
- The will of space (developmental space/mestorazvitie) determines the historical fate of the people.
- The Russian Empire is the result of ethnogenesis, during which the union of Slavic, Turkic, Finno-Ugric and other ethnic groups took place, which made up a single Russian people in all its diversity.
Would you like to become a Eurasian? Accept these three theses. If you do not agree with them, write us please - we will enter into a discussion with you. We will definitely win. You will definitely become a Eurasian, to our common joy.
Translated by Maxim Medovarov – candidate of historical sciences, member of the International Eurasian Movement.