The following is a compilation of the best content from my VK account which I am in the process of closing.
The less you eat, drink, buy books, go to the theatre or to balls, or to the public house [ Br., pub], and the less you think, love, theorize, sing, paint, fence, etc., the more you will be able to save and the greater will become your treasure which neither moth nor rust will corrupt — your capital. The less you are, the less you express your life, the more you have, the greater is your alienated life and the greater is the saving of your alienated being. Everything which the economist takes from you in the way of life and humanity, he restores to you in the form of money and wealth. And everything which you are unable to do, your money can do for you; it can eat, drink, go to the ball and to the theatre. It can acquire art, learning, historical treasures, political power; and it can travel. It can appropriate all these things for you, can purchase everything; it is the true opulence. But although it can do all this, it only desires to create itself, and to buy itself, for everything else is subservient to it. -Marx
Progress, unqualified liberty and equality are pillars of liberal ideology. Liberalism is the ideology of bourgeoisie power, established at the expense of the ancien regime; it is republicanism, parliamentary democracy, ‘private property über alles,’ industrialization, commercialization, bureaucratization, nihilism, quantification and commodification of all things. Its intellectual handmaidens are positivism, scientism, instrumental rationality, analytical philosophy, cognitive behavioural psychology, and postmodernism.
Liberalism overthrew the Hobbesian order thanks to the enormous bourgeois wealth brought by commercial colonial empire, the conquering of ‘virgin’ continents and particularly the flow of precious metals from the New World to Europe. Liberalism and the enlightenment are built on post-columbian prosperity in the same way the Renaissance was built on the rape and pillage of Byzantium. Liberal democracy thrives really only in those countries that profit(ed) most from colonial conquests, and those countries that the colonists powers choose to let thrive, via the Marshall Plan, for example. Democracy, rule of law, low corruption and sound institutions do not produce prosperity, they are a luxury built upon a foundation of (neo) colonial prosperity. Therefore the Liberal powers are obscenely disingenuous in pointing fingers at others for not following their norms, while extracting from them the wealth necessary to maintain those norms exclusively.
Despite being born in slavery and genocide from America to Africa to India, liberalism must constantly reaffirm its progressive and emancipatory credentials ad absurdum. For example, by promoting the idea of gender equality – actually a totally meaningless concept. On average, women necessarily have much harder lives than men and no amount of ‘equality’ on paper is going to change that. The best society wouldn’t be a feminist one, it would be a female supremacist one, in that men should find joy through fulfilling their duty to try to make women’s lives easier, more secure, and happier while infringements on women’s well-being should be punished disproportionately, indeed with the wrath of god. A healthy society would share decision-making between the genders, as Turkey’s HDP party promotes. A good argument could even be made for giving women precedence in decision making.
Other badges of emancipation of which liberals love to boast, like LGBT rights are little more than that; something in which they can find self-affirmation while, for example, the material prosperity of their society, including that of its sexual minorities (though all major studies show that fluidity of sexual orientation is fundamental in the human individual; sexual tribalism is a social construct), is predicated on the wage-slave labour of millions of largely teenage girls in Asia. Giving them rights would actually cost us access to cheap goods, establishing gay rights doesn’t really cost anything. It just makes us feel liberal.
As the post-Columbian wealth and hydrocarbon reserves are dissipated, the world will return to the mean in socio-political order, something resembling the Hobbesian/Confucian state, guided by stability and harmony rather than progress and ill-defined liberty. Liberalism and the 20th century reactions to it ask ‘what is the best way to engineer society (and everything else)?’ A better question might be, where is unqualified liberty on the hierarchy of needs really ? How rational and capable of engineering our environment, society and selves are we? How do the demands and limitations of human nature determine social organization? Human nature doesn’t progress, and technology will save us neither from fundamental resource exhaustion nor from our own caprice and hubris. Please, read some Dostoevsky.
Liberals’ self-righteous and totalitarian insistence that all must subscribe to their view is the very rot from within by which their stale mythology will collapse. They are barely aware that intelligent criticism of their worldview exists, let alone who composed it or what they wrote. Hyper-critical of all those who don’t subscribe to liberal hypocrisy, in contrast to whom they self-affirm and self-define, liberals are completely incapable of self-criticism, of questioning their childish idealism. They are tiresome.
This documentary describes how the mania for ‘progress’ has debased art.
Roman Dmowski’s prophecy on the Ukrainian question (Świat powojenny i Polska/The Postwar World and Poland, 1931)
There is no human force capable of preventing Ukraine, separated from Russia and transformed into an independent state, from becoming a crowd of conmen from all over the world, who have been chafing in their own countries; capitalists and those seeking capital, organizers of industry, technicians and traders, speculators and schemers, thugs and organizers of any kind of prostitution: Germans, Frenchmen, Belgians, Italians, Englishmen and Americans would rush [into Ukraine] with the help of locals or nearby Russians, Poles, Armenians, Greeks… A peculiar League of Nations would gather here…
These elements, with the participation of smarter, more skilled in business Ukrainians would produce the guiding layer, the elite of the country. But it would be a special elite, probably because no country could boast such a rich collection of international scoundrels.
Ukraine would become a thorn in the flesh of Europe; people dreaming of cultural production, of a strong and healthy Ukrainian nation, maturing in their own country, would be convinced that rather than their own country, they have an international company, and instead of healthy development, rapid progress of decay and rot.
Whosoever thought that the geographic location of Ukraine and its area, that the state in which the Ukrainian element finds itself, with its spiritual and material resources, and finally, that the role which the Ukrainian question has in today’s economic and political position of the world could be otherwise – he does not have an ounce of imagination.
The Ukrainian question has various advocates, both in Ukraine itself and abroad. Among the latter especially, there are many who know very well what they are doing. There are those, however, who would solve this issue by separating Ukraine from Russia, which they present as very idyllic. Those who are so naïve would do well to keep their hands away from her.
The British Empire has been succeeded by the US, not much else has changed. Friederich List:
“in this country we are at liberty to judge a
man’s intention by his conduct, not according to the
pretexts he may invent to mask the true motives
of his actions. We are in the habit of finding out
at first a man’s aim : sometimes we consult history,
from which we learn that nations, during ages
and centuries, like individuals, are prosecuting
some one principal aim. Inquiring after the aim
of England, we find that it consists in raising her
manufacture, commerce, and naval power beyond
the competition of all other nations. For reaching
this aim we see her support at home liberal
principles ; play the conqueror in Asia, and use and
support their despotic powers ; whilst contenting
herself in the West Indian islands and Canada
with a paternal Government, mixed and sweetened
with some rights and some free institutions. We
see her give the republic of Genoa, her former ally,
to a monarch, and restore the Hanse Towns to their
former independence (in order to possess staple
places in Germany for her manufactures) : we see
her hire armies against the French Republic, and
manufacture a free constitution for Sicily : we
see her subsidize the armies of the European
monarchies to conquer France, and convert the
republic of Holland into a kingdom : we see her
suffer the destruction of a free constitution in
Spain, call a number of republics into existence in
South America, project a free constitution for
Portugal, defend it against the aggressions of the
fanatics, and treat with France for the evacuation
of Spain. When we judge this conduct by
principles, there is nothing but contradiction ; but
when we look at the aim of the country, there is
nothing but conformity. Her aim was always and
ever to raise her manufactories and commerce, and
thereby her navy and political power, beyond all
competition of other nations, and always she
accomplishes her conduct to circumstances using
at one time and in one place liberal principles, at
another, power or money either to raise freedom
or to depress it, as it suited her. Even her
measures against the slave trade are said to
have originated from her interest, and gave her a
pretext to prevent other nations’ colonies from
supplying themselves, whilst her own possessed
already the necessary quantity.”
Свобода не в том, чтоб не сдерживать себя, а в том, чтоб владеть собой.
There is a true law, a right reason, conformable to nature, universal, unchangeable, eternal, whose commands urge us to duty, and whose prohibitions restrain us from evil. Whether it enjoins or forbids, the good respect its injunctions, and the wicked treat them with indifference. This law cannot be contradicted by any other law, and is not liable either to derogation or abrogation.
Neither the senate nor the people can give us any dispensation for not obeying this universal law of justice. It needs no other expositor and interpreter than our own conscience. It is not one thing at Rome and another at Athens; one thing today and another tomorrow; but in all times and nations this universal law must for ever reign, eternal and imperishable. It is the sovereign master and emperor of all beings. God himself is its author,—its promulgator,—its enforcer. He who obeys it not, flies from himself, and does violence to the very nature of man. For his crime he must endure the severest penalties hereafter, even if he avoid the usual misfortunes of the present life.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero
The European Union was originally dominated by Western European former colonial empires each with about half a millennia of intercontinental interaction, i.e. colonial enrichment (Other early members were the former fascist states who were completely reshaped by the allied powers under unconditional surrender. No domestic agents were able to contest or influence the Anglo-American-driven establishment of liberalism in Germany, Austria or Italy). New EU members in Eastern Europe have a completely different history and identity, one without transcontinental interaction or enrichment, the conditions under which liberalism developed ‘organically.’ Much of the rationale of the EU was to reconcile France and Germany after hundreds of years of animosity and brutal Nazi occupation of the former. Yet the EU tolerates and nurtures a similar animosity, which forms the dominant narrative of self-definition in many eastern European member states, usually vis a vis Russia. Defining a nation on a grudge, on fear and loathing is not healthy or sustainable. Allowing these member states to influence NATO and EU policy corrupts the basic original rationale of peace-building and reconciliation.
Admittedly, this happens in conjunction with western statesmen like Zbigniew Brzezinski, a long-time foreign policy guru, mentor to Obama. His father fought in the Polish-Soviet war, (which the Bolsheviks waged out of a socialist international rationale, not a Russian imperial one) entrenching a deep hate of all things Soviet and Russian in this highly influential policy maker. There are many similar examples, Carl Bildt, Ayn Rand, Biden, Soros, McCain and so on. This nexus of Cold Warriors and East European nationalist who refuse civilized reconciliation feel that they won the cold war, and to the victors should go the spoils.
The Soviet Union had overcome far worse crises than the stagnation of the 80s. The Nomenklatura decided to become oligarchs of its own accord, and expected grateful reconciliation for ending the cold war from the west. Putin was a close collaborator with Sobchak, mayor of Petersburg, and one of the most pro-west liberals of the period. Putin personally ensured that the hard-line Aug. ’91 Soviet coup plotters who wanted to reverse Gorbachev’s reforms failed to take control of Russia’s second city. In the 90s Gorbachev’s foreign minister is quoted as saying that ‘Russia has no interests separate from those of the US.’ The west not only wanted to spread liberal values, but follow Brzezinski and Wolfowitz’s plan of preventing the resurgence of any geopolitical competitor in Eurasia. They also wanted unfettered western corporate access to Russia’s natural resources, mainly oil. In this context a Harvard team was sent to help Gaidar et al reform Russia, but de facto helped rapidly turn the country into a lawless favela. When Putin put the reigns on this process, reintroducing the state’s monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, payment of salaries and core social services while slowing the flow of capital to London and Switzerland, the west decried the ‘threat to democracy.’ Russia is still one of the most brutally neoliberal economies in the world, but high finance doesn’t dictate the shape of ‘democracy’ there as it does in Europe and North America, and this is Putin’s true crime.
At the end of the war, highly skilled western statesmen were guided by a terror that liberalism might fail in return to great depression, fascism or the spread of communism. They carefully designed the post-war order to prevent this, mainly through social democratic policies and reconciliation. After the Cold War, elites who had been made soft on a few decades of prosperity (though cracks had begun to show in the oil crises of the 70s and rising sovereign debt levels) assumed that liberal consolidation was inevitable, allowing the lazy-minded chauvinistic cold war triumphalists listed above to ally with the east European anti-reconciliation nationalists to create an enemy where there needn’t be one, in Russia. The west constantly expects Russia to collapse at any moment out of its ‘unstable illiberalism,’ while happily cooperating with far less liberal China and Saudi Arabia with no such expectation. Arguably there can be no reconciliation as long as Russia has 7000 Nuclear weapons, making it the only country which could wipe out the west and indeed the entire world.
Either way, the west is not willing to cooperate on the basis of respect and equality, today high finance must manage all resources and policy decisions to ensure stable capital accumulation. It represents the invisible hand of the market, the ultimate good, all parochial national interest is either instrumentalized by it or are anathema. But I believe they would have been wiser to smother Russia in kindness, focusing on the big prize rather than antagonizing it with NATO expansion which offers the original members zero security benefit and which ultimately caused Saakashvili’s adventurism in South Ossetia and, via a clause on military cooperation in the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, the Ukraine crisis. Constantly bleating about your noble values is pointless if your actions are hubristic, unwise and counterproductive. The liberal order is now leading to war and instability in Eastern Europe, directly in contradiction to its self-proclaimed foundational rationale. And the anti-reconciliation nationalist nations will be the first to be soaked in blood.
It’s the hundredth anniversary of the Bolshevik coup d’etat. It would have been better if anarchists hadn’t assassinated Alexander II, giving more time to reform before his inept son and grandson took power in extremely challenging circumstances.
International Socialism failed with the abortive German Revolution, as Lenin recognised shortly before he died. Its replacement, Marxism-Leninism, had some great successes and some great tragedies, the tragedies no greater than those of nationalism with its holocausts or classical liberalism with its slavery, Amerindian genocide, ‘dark satanic mills,’ work houses and debtors prisons.
In fact, besides the accumulated wealth of colonialism, the only reason liberal Western countries have been desirable places to live is the challenge posed by the Bolshevik coup. Afraid that Western masses might be inspired to kill them and/or dispossess them of their property, Western elites made concessions which culminated in the post-war social democratic order envied worldwide. As noted by the President of the RF at Valdai, Without the bolshevik coup, Western countries would still be ‘dickensian,’ with no health care, weekends, 8 hour workdays, pensions, unemployment insurance, workplace injury compensation, maternity leave, sick leave, overtime pay, minimum wage, child labor laws, women’s suffrage, popular suffrage, progressive taxation, subsidised higher education, legal ethic equality, and more.
The geography of western Europe promotes division, competition, and innovation, but not necessarily social progress or justice. These things are never guaranteed, especially in the post- Cold War age of austerity, when the inspiration for them, the threat of organized masses overthrowing the order of private property, has been neutralized. At heart the West’s only values are private property and capital accumulation.
Marxism-Leninism and liberalism share the same flaw – excess faith in the ability of human reason to reshape the world and society in a predictable and desirable way. What we consider rational conscious thought is just the tip of the iceberg of our mental activity. It exists only to vet thoughts suitable for verbal communication. The important stuff that makes us who we are happens below the surface in the subconscious, beyond our ‘rational control.’ By sharing this over-estimation of human reason, liberalism is as doomed to fail as Marxism-Leninism.
A strong, IR-realist Russia is good for global order and stability. What Russia and Eurasia need is unity and reconciliation. Anyone who gives unqualified support for, or condemnation of, the legacy of the bolsheviks is, in my opinion, an agent of disorder. Engels (naively) wrote in the definitive summary of his and Marx’s thought, “Anti Düring,” that religion could only be defeated through education, not repression. The tragedies of Marxism-Leninism happened because things didn’t go according to plan (due to the fatal flaw mentioned above); the ‘dogma’ itself was fluid. You can’t say the same thing for the tragedies of nationalism- their tragedies and holocausts were completely intentional.
My good friends, things cannot go on well in England, nor ever will until everything shall be in common, when there shall be neither vassal nor lord, and all distinctions levelled; when the lords shall be no more masters than ourselves. How ill they have used us!… They have wines, spices and fine bread, when we have only rye and the refuse of fine straw; and if we drink, it must be water. They have handsome seats and manors, when we must brave the wind and rain in our labours in the field; but it is from our labour they have the wherewith to support their pomp.… Let us go to the king, who is young, and remonstrate with him on our servitude, telling him we must have it otherwise, or that we shall find a remedy for it ourselves.
-John Ball, English priest, 1338-1381
Enrichment of a president is corruption, but enrichment of a monarch is a price of his undying alignment of interest with ‘the greater good’ of the state and populous.
Human nature does not progress and is not perfectible. Graft and nepotism will always exist, monarchy is a way of taming and employing them for ‘the greater good.’ As the vast wealth from colonial empire, the industrial revolution and cheap oil fades into heavy state, corporate and private debt levels, corruption in ‘advanced western countries’ will increase. History moves in cycles of order and chaos, not in linear progress.
The left-right political spectrum is a harmful metaphor which only causes confusion, causing absurd polarization and preventing effective policy. The reductionism is not rectified by conceiving of it as a circle joined at the extreme ends. The liberal and radical liberal (socialist/communist) conceit that they have a monopoly on morality or humanity is a delusion. But their opponents define themselves in confused reaction to the ‘progressives,’ cobbling destructive and immoral modern ideas like nationalism and libertarianism together in various ways under the delusion that they are conservative or traditional. Both synthetic ‘sides,’ often manipulated by vested interest, neglect real tradition, the wisdom accumulated over millennia of human experience.
Equality, liberty and reason are all stupid concepts to organize a society on, or appeal to as highest arbiter. There is no equality. I’m not equal to a pedophile or to a hero of the Donbass resistance. The modern history of ‘equality’ is dark. It starts as slave owners demanding that the monarch is not superior to them and able to limit their treatment of their human property. Equality was later evoked to give corporations status as legal persons, allowing shareholders to remain anonymous and avoid culpability for rapacious methods of capital accumulation.
Unqualified liberty has no meaning. Liberty from slavery, serfdom or debt is a noble cause. Liberty from the ego and liberty from alienation from divine grace are equally important. Politically, elections don’t mean liberty, particularly in high debt societies or those where monetary policy doesn’t even fall under the pretense of being democratically managed. Liberty, democracy or elections don’t appear on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. We do however, have an evident need for feeling that our life is made meaningful by contribution, sacrifice and belonging to a larger group or higher cause. Human nature also tends to prefer leadership to disorder. That’s not to suggest human nature is rigid; it is expressed differently in, for example, conditions of abundance and scarcity.
Reason is a slippery branch to cling to. Human motivations are murky and capricious, bubbling up from the depths of the subconscious. We then rationalize them to ourselves as both individuals and groups and claim reason is on our side. A mechanical, reductionistic way of thought where everything is quantified (and commodified) has become like a new god, at the expense of intuition, that is, almost all of the thought processes going on inside our heads, albeit subconsciously. Critiques of this regression in the western intellectual tradition have endured from Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground, to Heidegger to Heller’s Catch-22 and A Clockwork Orange, yet it endures, particularly in the English-speaking world and its closest vassals.
Far better guiding stars than equality, liberty and reason are justice and nature. We can strive for perfection but only in the knowledge that it is unattainable.We can enjoy the benefits of technological progress if we recognize the dilemmas it brings in equal measure, and if we recognize the fact that our nature does not progress. No matter how we try, society will be mainly shaped by flawed people with their vested interests, delusions and lies. We’d make it easier on ourselves by trying to shape society in a way that recognizes our flawed, capricious humanity.
Racism is a uniquely modern, western idea, born of the early modern trans-Atlantic slave trade. In the Roman Empire, Germans and Africans were enslaved with equal readiness. There is nothing natural or traditional about racism. The logic of extractive western maritime slave empires was fundamentally different from the multi-ethnic continental empires like Russia, the Ottoman or Austro-Hungarian. The elites of any group conquered by Russia were granted noble status equal to that of the original Russian nobility, Tatars, Georgians, even Jews. Eastern European racism is a sad cry of people manipulated and controlled by the west to falsely believe they are inferior. Not only is racism a reaction to this feeling, it is an concession that western ideas of status, like race, are more valid than eastern ones, which is simply untrue. The west brags about its liberal moral progress because its early modern empires practiced exploitation and discrimination far worse than the eastern continental empires, which were, therefore, generally more stable and long-lasting. The east will prosper by casting off its subservience to western ideas of status and progress.
Konstantin Leontiev made several predictions that turned out to come true. He prophesied that in the 20th century, there would be a bloody revolution in Russia led by an “anti-Christ” that would be socialist and tyrannical in nature and whose rulers would wield even more power than their tsarist predecessors.
He also predicted that Germany would grow strong enough to make up to two wars against Russia and that China also would eventually threaten Russia’s power.
Max Blumenthal: In 2007, the US’s Georgia proxies live-tested new American-designed LRAD weapons on pro-democracy protesters in Tblisi, who were demonstrating against Saakashvili’s authoritarian regime.
Don’t forget Yuri Mamleev, DH Lawrence and Ha Joon Chang