Geopolitics as “intermediate” science
Geopolitical concepts became the major factors of modern politics since a long time ago. They are built on general principles allowing to easily analyze the situation of any particular country and region.
Geopolitics in its present form is undoubtedly a worldly, “profane”, secularized science. But maybe, among all modern sciences, it saved in itself the greatest connection with Tradition and traditional sciences. René Guénon said that modern chemistry is the outcome of the desacralization of a traditional science — alchemy, as modern physics is of magic. Exactly in the same way one might say that modern geopolitics is the product of the laicizing and desacralizing of another traditional science — sacred geography. But since geopolitics holds a special place among modern sciences, and it is often ranked as a “pseudo-science”, its profanizing is not so accomplished and irreversible, as in the case of chemistry or physics. The connection with sacred geography here is rather distinctly visible. Therefore it is possible to say that geopolitics stands in an intermediate place between traditional science (sacred geography) and profane science.
Land and sea
The two primary concepts of geopolitics are land and sea. Just these two elements —Earth and Water — lie at the roots of human qualitative representation of earthly space. Through the experience of land and sea, earth and water, man enters into contact with the fundamental aspects of his existence. Land is stability, gravity, fixity, space as such. Water is mobility, softness, dynamics, time.
These two elements are in essence the most obvious display of the material nature of the world. They stand outside of man: everything is heavy and fluid. They are also inside him: body and blood. (The same happens also at a cellular level.)
The universatility of the experience of earth and water generates the traditional concept of Firmament, since the presence of the Higher Waters (the source of rain) in the sky also implies the presence of a symmetric and necessary element —earth, land, the celestial vault. Anyway, Earth, Sea, Ocean are in essence the major categories of earthly existence, and for mankind it is impossibile not to see in them some basic attributes of the universe. As the two basic terms of geopolitics, they preserve their significance both for civilizations of a traditional kind and for exclusively modern states, peoples and ideological blocks. At the level of global geopolitical phenomena, Land and Sea generated the terms: thalassocratia and tellurocratia, i.e. “ power by means of the sea ” and “ power by means of the land ”.
The force of any state and any empire is based upon the preferential development of one of these categories. Empires are either “thalassocratic”, or “tellurocratics”. The former imply the existence of a mother country and colonies, the latter of a capital and provinces on “common land”. In the case of “thalassocracy” its territory is not unified into one land space – which creates an element of discontinuity. The sea — here lies both strength and weakness of “ thalassocratic power ”. “Tellurocracy”, vice-versa, has the quality of territorial continuity.
But geographical and cosmological logics would at once complicate the seemingly simple scheme of this division: the pair “land—sea”, by reciprocal superimposition of its elements, gives birth to the ideas of “ maritime land ” and of “land water”. The maritime land is the island, i.e. the basis of maritime empire, the pole of thalassocracy. Land water or water within land are the rivers, which predetermine the development of overland empires. Just on the river is located the city, that is the capital, the pole of tellurocracy. This symmetry is symbolic, economic and geographical at the same time. It is important to notice that the status of Island and Continent is defined not so much on the basis of their physical magnitude, than on the basis of the peculiar typical consciousness of the population. So the geopolitics of the US has an insular character, despite of the size of Northern America, while insular Japan geopolitically represents an example of continental mentality, etc.
One more detail is relevant: historical thalassocracy is linked to the West and the Atlantic Ocean, while tellurocracy to the East and the Eurasian continent. (The above mentioned example of Japan is explained, thus, by the stronger “attractive” effect of Eurasia.)
Thalassocracy and Atlantism became synonyms long before colonial expansion of Great Britain or Portuguese-Spanish conquests. Already since the beginning of sea migrations waves, the peoples of West and their cultures began their Eastward movement on from the centres located on the Atlantic. The Mediterranean also did rise from Gibraltar to the Near East, rather than the other way. And on the contrary, excavations in Eastern Siberia and Mongolia prove that exactly here were the most ancient centres of civilization – that is, the central lands of the continent were the cradle of the Euroasian mankind.
Symbolism of landscape
Besides these two global categories — Land and Sea —geopolitics operates also with more particular definitions. Among thalassocratic realities, there is a differentiation between sea and oceanic formations. So, for instance, the sea civilization of the Black Sea or Mediterranean Sea are rather qualitatively different from the civilization of the oceans, i.e. insular powers and peoples dwelling on the shores of the open ocean. More particular divisions exist also between river and lake civilizations, linked to continents.
Tellurocracy too has its particular forms. So it is possible to distinguish a civilization of the Steppe and a civilization of the Forest, a civilization of the Mountains and a civilization of the Plains, a civilization of the Desert and a civilization of Ice. The varieties of landscape in sacred geography are understood as symbolical complexes linked to the specificity of state, religious and ethical ideology of the different peoples. And even in that case, when we deal with universalistic ecumenical religion, its concrete embodying in such or such people, race, or state will be identically subject to adaptation according to the local sacred-geographical context.
Desert and steppes represent the geopolitical microcosm of the nomads. Precisely in deserts and steppes the tellurocratic tendency reaches its summit, as the“water” factor here is minimally present. The empires of Desert and Steppe should logically be the geopolitical bridgehead of tellurocracy.
As an example of the empire of Steppe, one might consider the empire of Gengis Kahn, while a typical example of the empire of Wilderness is the arabian khalifat, arisen under direct influence of the nomads.
Mountains and the civilizations of mountains more often represent archaic, fragmentary. Mountain countries not only are not sources of expansion; on the contrary, there are concentrated the victims of the geopolitical expansion of other tellurocratic forces. No empire has its centre in mountain regions. Hence the so often repeated motive of sacred geography: “mountains are populated by demons”. On the other hand, the idea of the conservation of the residuals of ancient races and civilizations on the mountans is shown in the fact that precisely on the mountains the sacred centres of tradition are placed. It is even possible to say that in tellurocracies a mountain corresponds to some spiritual power.
The logical combination of both concepts — mountain as a hieratic image and plain asa regal image— became the symbolism of the hill, i.e. a small or average height. The hill is a symbol of imperial might raising above the secular level of the steppe, but not reaching the limit of supreme power (as it is in the case of mountains). A hill is a dwelling place for a king, a count, an emperor, but not for the priest. All capitals of large tellurocratic empires are placed on a hill or on hills (often on seven hills – the number of the planets; or on five — thye number of elements, including ether; and so on).
The forest in sacred geography is close to the mountains in a definite sense. The symbolism of the tree is related to the symbolism of the mountain (both the former and the latter designate the world axis). Therefore in tellurocracies the forest also plays a peripheral function — it, too, is the “place of the priests” (druids, magi, hermits), but also at the same time the “place of demons”, i.e. archaic residuals from a vanished past. Neither the forest zone can be the centre of the overland empire.
The tundra represents the northern analogue to the steppe and the desert, although the cold climate makes it much less significant from a geopolitical point of view. This “periphericity” reaches its apogee with ices, which, similarly to the mountains, are deeply archaic zones. It is indicative that the eskimo shamanic tradition implies departing alone among ices, where to the future shaman the world beyond is opened out. Thus, ices are a hieratic zone, the threshold of a different world.
From these primary and most general characteristics of the geopolitical map, it is possible to define the various regions of the planet according to their sacred quality. This method can also be applied to the local features of the landscape at a level of single countries or even of single localities. It is also possible to trace the likeness of ideologies and traditions of the most (apparently) different peoples, in the event that the native born landscape is the same.
East and West in sacred geography
Cardinal Ponts in the context of sacred geography have special qualitative characteristic. In the various traditions and in the various periods of these traditions, the picture of sacred geography can vary according to the cyclical phases of development of the given tradition. Thus the symbolic function of Cardinal Points often varies also. Not going deep into details, it is possible to formulate the most universal law of sacred geography with reference to East and West.
Sacred geography on the basis of “space symbolism” traditionally considers the East as “the land of Spirit”, the paradise land, the land of a completeness, abundance, the Sacred “native land” in its fullest and most perfect kind. In particular, this idea is mirrored in the Bible text, where the eastern disposition of “Eden”is treated. Precisely such understanding is peculiar also to other abrahamic traditions (Islam and Judaism), and also to many non-abrahamic traditions — Chinese, Hindu and Iranian. “East is the mansion of the gods”, states the sacred formula of the ancient Egyptians, and the same word “east” (“neter” in aegyptian) meant at the same time “god”. From the point of view of natural symbolism, East is the place where ascends, “vos-tekeat” [in russian] the sun, Light of the World, material symbol of Divinity and Spirit.
The West has the opposite symbolical meaning. It is the “country of death”, the “lifeless world”, the “green country” (as the ancient Egyptians called it). West is “the empire of exile”, “the pit of the rejected”, according to the expression of Islamic mystics. West is “anti-east”, the country of “zakata”[in russian], decay, degradation, transition from the manifest to the non-manifest, from life to death, from completeness to need, etc. West [Zapad, in russian] is the place where the sun goes, where it “sinks down”[za-padaet].
According to the given logics of natural cosmic symbolism, the ancient traditions organized their “sacred space”, founded their centres of cult, burial places, temples and edifices, and interpreted the natural and “civilizational” features of geographical, cultural and political territories of the planet. In this way, the structure itself of migrations, wars, campaigns, demographic waves, building of empires etc. was defined by the original, pragmatic logics of sacred geography. Along the East-West axis were drawn peoples and civilizations, possessing hierarchical characters — closer to the East were those closer to Sacral, to Tradition, to spiritual wealth. Closer to West, those of a more decayed, degraded and dying Spirit.
Of course this logicis was not absolute, but at the same time it was neither minor nor relative — as it is today wrongly considered by many “profane” scholars of ancient religions and traditions. As a matter of fact, sacred logics and the following cosmic symbolism were much more consciously realized, understood and practised by the ancient peoples, than it is agreed to esteem today. And even in our antisacred world, at an “unconscious” level almost always archetypes of sacred geography are preserved in their integrity, and are awoken in the most relevant and critical moments of social cataclysms.
So sacred geography univocally affirms the law of “qualitative space”, in which the East represents the symbolic “ontological plus”, and the West the “ontological minus”. According to the Chinese tradition, the East is Yang, the male, bright, solar principle, and the West is Yin, the female, dark, lunar principle.
East and West in modern geopolitics
We shall observe how this sacred-geographical logics is mirrored in geopolitics, which, being an exclusively modern science, is only focused upon the factual situation, leaving out of the frame the most sacred principles.
Geopolitics in its original formulations by Ratzel, Kjellen and Mackinder (and later by Haushofer and the Russian eurasists) just refrained from connecting the features of the different kinds of civilizations and states to their geographical disposition. Geopoliticians stared at the fact of a fundamental difference between “insular” and “continental” powers, between “western”, “progressive” civilization and “eastern”, “despotic” and “archaic” cultural forms. Since in general the question about Spirit in its metaphysical and sacred comprehension never arose in modern science, geopoliticians left it aside, preferring to evaluate the situation in different, more modern terms, rather than through the concepts of “sacred” and “profane”, “traditional” and “antitraditional” etc.
Geopoliticians established the major differences between political, cultural and industrial development of Eastern and Western in the last centuries. The final picture is the following. The West is the centre of “material” and “technological” development. At the cultural-ideological level, there “liberal-democratic” tendencies, individualistic and humanist world views are prevailing. At the economic level, priority is given to trade and technical modernization. In the West theories about “progress”, “evolution”, “progressive development of history” for the first time appeared, completely alien to the traditional Eastern world (and also to those periods of Western history, when a rigorous sacred tradition existed there too – as it was, in particular, in the Middle Ages). Coercion at a social level in the West acquired only an economic character, and the Law of Idea and Force was gradually replaced by the Law of Money. Gradullay a peculiar “Western ideology” was cast in the universal formula of “ideology of human rights”, which became a dominant principle in the most western regions of the planet —Northern America, and first of all the US. At an industrial level, to this ideology corresponded the idea of “developed countries , and at an economic level the concept of “free market, of “economic liberalism”. The whole aggregate of these features, with the addition of the purely military, strategical integration of the different sectors of the Western civilization, is defined today by the concept of “atlantism”. In the past century geopoliticians spoke about an “Anglo-Saxon kind of civilization” or about “capitalist, bourgeois democracy”. In this “atlantist” type the formula of “geopolitical West” found its most pure embodying
Geopolitical East represents in itself the straight opposition to geopolitical West. Instead of economic modernization, here (in the “less developed countries”) traditional, archaic modes of production of corporative, shop-manufacturing type prevail. Instead of economic coercion, more often the state uses “moral” or simply physical coercion (Law of Idea and Law of Force). Instead of “democracy” and “human right” the East gravitates around totalitarianism, socialism and authoritarianism, i.e. around various types of social regimes, whose only common feature is that the centre of their systems there is not the“individual”, “man” with his “rights” and his peculiar “individual values”, but something supra-individual, supra-human — be it “society”, “nation”, “people”, “idea”, “weltanschauung”, “religion”, “cult of the leader” etc. The East opposed to western liberal democracy the most various types of non-liberal, non-individualistic the societies — from authoritarian monarchy up to theocracy or socialism. Moreover, from a pure typological, geopolitical point of view, the political specificity of this or that regime was secondary in comparison with the qualitative dividing between “western” (= “individualist – mercantile”) order and “eastern ” (= “supra-individualist – based on force”) order. Representative forms of such anti-western civilization were the USSR, communist China, Japan about 1945 or Khomeini’s Iran.
It is curious to notice that Rudolf Kjellen, the first author to use the term “geopolitics”, illustrated the difference between West and East in this way. «A typical pet phrase of the Americans, — wrote Kjellen — is “go ahead”, that literally means “forward”. In it the interior and natural geopolitical optimism and “progressism” of the American civilization, being the extreme form of the western pattern, is mirrored. Russians usually repeat the word “nechego” [nothing] (in Russian in Kjellen’s text — A.D.). In it are shown “pessimism”, “contemplation”, “fatalism”and “adherence to tradition,” all peculiar features of the East ».
If we now return to the paradigm of sacred geography, we shall see the direct contradiction between the priorities of modern geopolitics (such concepts as “progress”, “liberalism”, “human rights”, “mercantile order” etc., are today positive terms for the majority of people) and the priorities of sacred geography, evaluating the various kinds of civilizations from a completely opposite point of view (concepts like “spirit”, “contemplation”, “resignation to superhuman force or superhuman idea”, “ideocracy” etc. in sacred civilizations were exclusively positive, and so remain till now for the Eastern peoples at the level of “collective unconscious”). So modern geopolitics (except for Russian eurasists, German followers of Haushofer, Islamic fundamentalists etc.) evaluate the picture of the world from an opposite perspective than traditional sacred geography. But thus both sciences converge in the description of fundamental laws of the geographical picture of civilizations.
Sacred North and sacred South
Besides the sacred-geographical determinism on an East – West axis, an extremely relevant problem is represented by the other, vertical, orientation axis — the North – South axis. Here, as well as in all remaining cases, the principles of sacred geography, the symbolism of cardinal points and the related continents, has its direct analogue in the geopolitical picture of the world, which either is naturally built up in the course of the historical process, or is consciously and artificially formed as a result of purposely actions of the leaders of such or such geopolitical formations. From the point of view of the “integral tradition”, the difference between “artificial” and “natural” is generally rather relative, as Tradition never knew anything similar to carthesian or kantian dualism, strictly separating the “subjective” from the “objective” (“phenomenal” and “noumenal”). Therefore the sacred determinism of North or South is nor just a physical, natural, landscape-climatic factor (i.e. something “objective”) or just “idea”, “concept” generated by the minds of such or such individuals (i.e. something “subjective”), but something of a third kind, exceeding both the objective and subjective poles. One might say that the sacred North, the archetype of North, halving itself in history in northern natural landscape, on the one hand, and in the idea of North, “nordism”, on the other hand.
The most ancient and original layer of Tradition univocally affirms the primacy of North above the South. The symbolism of North relates to a Source, to an original northern paradise, from where all human civilization originates. Ancient Iranic and Zoroastrian texts speak about the northern country of “Aryiana Vaeijao” and its capital “Vara”, from where the ancient arians were expelled by glaciation, which sent them Ariman, spirit of Evil and oppositor to the bright Ormudz. The ancient Veda too speak about the Northern country as the ancestral home of the Hindu, about a Sveta-dipa, White Land laying in the far north.
The ancient Greeks spoke about Hyperborea, the northern island with capital Thule. This land was considered as the motherland of the bright god Apollon. And in many other traditions it is possible to detect most ancient tracks, often forgotten and become fragmentary, of a nordic symbolism. The basic idea traditionally linked to the North is the idea of Centre, Immobile Pole, point of Eternity around which the cycle turns not only of space, but also of time. North is the land where the sun never goes even at night, a space of eternal light. Any sacred tradition honors the Centre, the Middle, the point where contrasts appease, the symbolical place not subject to the laws of cosmic entropy. This Centre, whose symbol is the Swastika (stressing both immobility and constancy of the Centre, and mobility and changeability of the periphery), received a different name according to each tradition, but it was always directly or indirectly linked to the symbolism of North. Therefore it is possible to say that all sacred traditions are in essence the projection of a Single Northern Primordial Tradition adapted to every different historical condition. North is Cardinal Point chosen by the primeval Logos in order to reveal itself in History, and each of its further manifestations only restored that primeval polar-paradise symbolism.
Sacred geography correlates North to spirit, light, purity, completeness, unity, eternity.
The south symbolizes something directly opposite — materiality, darkness, mixture, privation, plurality, immersion in the stream of time and becoming. Even from the natural point of view, in polar areas there is one long semi-annual Day and one long semi-annual Night. It is the Day and Night of the gods and heroes, of the angels. Even decayed traditions remembered this sacral, spiritual, supernatural Cardinal North, including the northern regions as the dwelling place of “spirits” and “forces from beyond”. In the south the Day and Night of the gods are fragmented into a set of human days, the original symbolism of Hyperborea is lost, and its memories become a piece of “culture”, of “legend”. South generally often corresponds to culture, i.e. to that sphere of human activity where the Invisible and the Purely Spiritual acquires material, hardened, visible outlines. South is the reign of substance, life, biology and instincts. The South corrupts the northern purity of Tradition, but preserves its traces in materialized features.
The North – South pair in sacred geography is not reduced to an abstract opposition of Good and Evil. It is rather the opposition of Spiritual Idea to its coarsened, material embodying. In normal cases, as the primacy of Northis recognized by the South, between these parties of a light there exist an harmonious relation — the North “spiritualizes” the South, the nordic messengers give the southerners Tradition, lays the foundations of sacred civilizations. If the South fails to recognize the primacy of North, the sacred opposition, the “war of continents” begins, and from the point of view of tradition the South is responsible for this conflict by breaking the sacred rules. In the Rama-Yana, for instance, the southern island Lanka is considered as a home of the demons which have stolen the wife of Rama, Sita, and declared war to the continental North with capital Ayodjya.
Thus it is important to mark that in sacred geography the North – South axis is more relevant than the East – West axis. But being the more relevant one, it corresponds to the most ancient stages of cyclical history. The great war of North and South, Hyperborea and Gondvana (ancient paleo-continent of the South) refers to “antidiluvian” times. In the last phases of the cycle it becomes more hidden, veiled. The paleo-continents of North and South themselves disappear. The testimonial sign of opposition is passed to East and West.
The shift from the vertical North – South axis to the horizontal East – East axis, typical of the last stages of the cycle, nevertheless saves the logic and symbolical connection between these two sacred-geographical pairs. The North – South pair (i.e. Spirit – Matter, Eternity – Time) is projected on the East – West pair (i.e. Tradition and Profanity, Origin and Decay). East is the horizontal downward projection of North. West — the horizontal upward projection of the South. From such transference of sacred meanings one can easily obtain the structure of the continental vision peculiar to Tradition.
The people of the North
Sacred North defines a special human type, which can have a biological, racial embodying, but can also not have it. The substance of “nordism” is consist in the capability of man to raise each object of the physical, material world to its archetype, to its Idea. This quality is not a simple development of rational origin. Vice-versa, carthesian and kantian “pure intellect” for its nature is not able to overcome the thin border between “phenomenon” and “noumenon”- but just this ability lies at the bases of “nordic” thinking. The man of North is not simply white, “arian” or indoeuropean for his blood, language and culture. The man of North is a particular kind of being possessing a straight intuition of the Sacred. To him the cosmos is a texture of symbols, each of them called out of secret by the eye of the Spiritual First Principle. The man of North is the “solar man”, Sonnenmensch, not absorbing energy, as black holes do, but outlining it, pouring out light, force and wisdom from its spiritual flow of creation.
The pure nordic civilization disappeared with the ancient Hyperboreans, but its messengers have laid the bases of all present traditions. This nordic “race” of Teachers stood at the origins of religion and culture of the peoples of all continents and colours of skin. Traces of an hyperborean cult can be found among the Indians of Northern America and among the ancient Slaves, among the founders of the Chinese civilization and among the natives of the Pacific, among the blond Germans and among the black shamans of Western Africa, among the red-skinned Aztecs and among the Mongols with wide cheek-bones. There is no such people on the planet, which would not have a myth about the “solar man, Sonnenmensch. True spirituality, supra-rational Mind, divine Logos, capacity to see through the world its secret Soul — these are the defining qualities of the North. Wherever there is Sacred Purity and Wisdom, there invisibly is the North – whatever the point in time or space we are in.
The people of the South
The man of the South, the gondvanic type, is directly opposed to the “nordic” type. The man of the South lives in a circle of effects, of secondary manifestations; he dwells in the cosmos, which he venerates but does not understand. He worships exteriority, but not interiority. He carefully saves tracks of spirituality, its embodying in the material environment, but is not able to proceed from symbolizing to symbolized. The man of the South lives by passions and rushes, he puts the psychic above the spiritual (which he simply does not know) and worships Life as a higher authority. The cult of the Great Mother, of the matter generating the variety of forms, is typical of the man of the South. The civilization of the South is a civilization of the Moon receiving the light from the Sun (North), preserving and diffusing it for some time, but periodically losing contact with it (new moon). The man of the South is a Mondmensch.
When the people of the South stay in harmony with the people of North, i.e. recognize their authority and their typological (not racial!) superiority, harmony reigns among civilizations. When they claim their supremacy because of their archetypical relation to reality, there arises a distorted cultural type, which can be globally defined by adoration of idols, fetishism or paganism (in the negative, pejorative sense of this term).
As in the case of paleocontinents, pure northern and southern types existed only in remote ancient times. The people of North and people of the South opposed one another at the origins. Later all peoples of North penetrated into southern lands, founding sometimes bright expressions of the “nordic” civilization — ancient Iran, India. On the other hand, those of the South sometimes went far northward, bearing their cultural type —Finns, Eskimos, Chuckchi etc. Gradually the original clearness of the sacred-geographical panorama became muddy. But in spite of everything the typological dualism of the “people of North” and the “people of the South” was preserved in all times and epochs – but not as much as an external conflict of two miscellaneous civilizations, as an internal conflict within the framework of the same civilization. The type of North and the type of the South, since some moment in sacred history, oppose each other everywhere, irrespective of the concrete place of the planet.
North and South in East and in West
The type of the people of North could be projected in the South, East and West. In the South, the Light of North generated great metaphysical civilizations such as the Indian, Iranian or Chinese, which in the situation of the “conservative” South for a long time saved the Revelation, entrusted by it. However, the simpleness and clearness of northern symbolism turned here into a complex and miscellaneous tangle of sacred doctrines, sacraments and rites. However, the further to the South, the feebler are the traces of the North. And among the inhabitants of the Pacific islands and Southern Africa, “nordic” motives in mythology and sacraments are saved in an extremely fragmentary, rudimentary and even distorted form.
In the East, North is shown as the classic traditional society founded on the univocal superiority of the supra-individual above the individual, where the “human” and the “rational” are erased before the supra-human and supra-rational Principle. If the South gives the civilization a character of “stability”, the East defines its sacrality and authenticity, the major guarantor of which is the Light of the North.
In the West, North was shown in the heroic societies, where such tendency, peculiar to the West, to fragmentation, individualisation and razionalisazion surpassed itself, and the individual, becoming the Hero, grew out of the narrow framework of the “human – too-human” personality. North in West is personified by the symbolical figure of Heracles who, on the one hand, releases Prometheus (the pure western, titanic, “humanist” tendency), and on the other, helps Zeus and the gods to defeat the rebellion of the giants (i.e. serves for the sake of sacred rules and spiritual Order).
The South, on the contrary, projects itself on all three orientations according to an opposite image. In the North, it gives the effect of “archaism” and cultural stagnation. Even the most northern, “nordic” traditions under the southern influence, “paleo-asiatic”, “Finnish” or “Eskimo” elements acquire the characters of“idol-worshipping” and “fetishism”. (This is characteristic, in particular, of the German-Scandinavian civilization in the “epoch of the Skalds”.)
In the East, the forces of the South are shown in despotic societies, where normal and fair eastern indifference to the individual turns into the denial of the great Supra-human Subject. All forms of Eastern totalitarianism, both typological and racial, are linked to the South.
And at last, in the West the South is shown in the extremely rough, materialistic forms of individualism, when the atomic individuals reach the limit of antiheroic degeneration, worshipping only “the golden veal” of comfort and egoistical hedonism. That exactly such combination of the two sacred-geopolitical tendencies gives the most negative type of civilization is obvious, since in it two attitudes, already in themselves negative — the South on the vertical line and the West on the horizontal line – are laid one upon the other.
From continents to meta-continents
If from the perspective of sacred geography the symbolical North univocally corresponds to positive aspects, and the South to negative, in an exclusively modern geopolitical picture of the world everything is much more complex, and to some extent even turned upside down. Modern geopolitics understands the terms “North” and “South” as wholly different categories than sacred geography does.
Firstly, the paleocontinent of North, Hyperborea, since many millennia already does not exist on a physical level, remaining a spiritual reality, on which is directed the spiritual look of the intiated, exacting the original Tradition.
Secondly, the ancient nordic race, the race of the “white teachers”, coupled with the pole in the primordial epoch, does not coincide at all with what is commonly agreed to call today the coupled with white race”, based only on physical characters, on the colour of the skin etc. Northern Tradition and its original population, “nordic autochtones” since a long time do not represent any more a concrete historical-geographical reality. By common judgement, even the last remains of this primordial culture have disappeared from physical reality already some millennia ago.
Thus, North in Tradition is a meta-historical and meta-geographical reality. The same can be said also about the “hyperborean race ” — a “race” not in the biological, but in pure spiritual, metaphysical sense. (This theme of “metaphysical races” was in detail developed in the works of Julius Evola).
The continent of the South and the whole South of Tradition, too, since a long time ago do not exist any more in the pure state, no lesser than its most ancient population. Somehow, the “South” from some moment onwards became practically the whole planet, as the influence of the original polar initiatic centre and its messengers on the world diminished. The modern races of the South represent a product of multiple mixtures with the races of North, and the color of the skin for a long time already ceased to be the distinctive sign of belonging to such or such “metaphysical race”.
In other words, the modern geopolitical picture of the world has very little in commun with the principial vision of the world in its supra-historical, meta-temporal cut. The continents and their populations in our epoch have gone extremely far from those archetypes, which corresponded to them in primordial times. Therefore between real continents and real races (the realities of modern geopolitics), on the one hand, and meta-continents and meta-races (the realities of traditional sacred geography), on the other hand, today there exist not just a simple discrepancy, but almost an inverse correspondence.
The illusion of the “rich North”
Modern geopolitics uses the concept of “north” most frequently with the definition “rich” — “the rich North ”, and also “the advanced North ”. This connotates the whole aggregate of the western civilization, giving its basic attention to the development of the material and economic side of life. “Rich North ” is rich not for being cleverer, or more intellectual, or more spiritual than the “South” but because it builds its social system on the principle of maximizing the material which can be taken from the social and natural potential, from the exploitation of human and natural resources. The racial image of “Rich North ” is linked to those peoples having white skin, and this feature lays at the roots of the various versions, explicit or hidden, of “western racism” (in particular Anglo-Saxon). The success of “rich North” in the material sphere was raised to a political and even “racial” principle in those countries which were the avantgarde of industrial, technical and economic development — i.e. England, Holland, and later Germany and the US. In this case, material and quantitative welfare was equalled to a qualitative criterion, and on this base the most ridiculous prejudices about “barbarism”, “primitiveness”, “underdevelopment” and “untermenschlichkeit” of southern (i.e. not of belonging to “rich North”) peoples were developed. Such “economic racism ” was especially clearly shown in the Anglo-Saxon colonial conquests, and afterwards its embellished version was introduced in the most rough and contradictory aspects of the national-socialist ideology. Thus, often Nazi ideologists simply blended vague guesses about pure “spiritual nordism” and “spiritual arian race” with vulgar, mercantilistic, biological racism of the English kind. (By the way, precisely this substitution of categories of sacred geography with categories of material and technical development was also that most negative side of national-socialism which led it, eventually, to its political, theoretical and even military collapse). But even after the defeat of the Third Reich, this kind of a racism of the “rich North” has not disappeared at all from political life. However its bearers became first of all the US and their atlantic partners in Western Europe. Certainly, in the most recent mondialist doctrines of “rich North” the question of biological and racial purity is not stressed, but nevertheless, in practice, in its relations with the undeveloped and less developed countries of the Third world, the “rich North ” also today shows only “racist” haughtiness, typical both of the English colonialists and of the German national-socialist orthodox followers of Rosenberg.
Actually, “rich North” geopolitically means those countries where forces directly opposite to Tradition have won – forces of quantity, materialism, atheism, spiritual degradation and emotional degeneration. “ Rich North ” means something radically distinct from “spiritual nordism”, from “hyperborean spirit”. The substance of North in sacred geography is the primacy of spirit above substance, the definitive and total victory of Light, Equity and Purity above the darkness of animal life, the arrogance of individual passions and the mud of base egoism. “Rich North” mondialist geopolitics, on the contrary, means exclusively material welfare, hedonism, consumer society, the unproblematic and artificial pseudo-paradise of those whom Nietzsche called “the last men”. Material progress of the technical civilization was accompanied by a monstrous spiritual regress just of sacred culture, and consequently, from the point of view of Tradition, the “wealth” of modern “advanced” North cannot serve as a criterion of genuine superiority above material “poverty” and technical backwardness of modern “primitive South ”.
Moreover, material “poverty” of the South quite often is conversely linked to the conservation in southern regions of the genuinely sacred forms of civilization; this means that behind such “poverty” a spiritual wealth is sometimes disguised. At least two sacred civilizations still exist today in the Southern space, in spite of all attempts from “rich (and aggressive!) North” to impose on everyone its own measure and path of development. These are Hinduist India and the Islamist world. As the Far East tradition is concerned, there are various points of view: some see even under the layer of “Marxist” and “Maoist” rethorics some traditional principles, which were always undiscussed for the Chinese sacred civilization. Anyway, even those southern regions inhabited by peoples saving their devotion to very ancient and almost forgotten sacred traditions, all the same in comparison with atheized and utterly materialistic “rich North”, exhibit “spiritual”, “rigorous” and “normal” features – whereas the “rich North” itself, from a spiritual point of view, is completely “abnormal” and “pathological”.
Paradox of the “ Third World ”
The “Poor South” in mondialist projects is actually synonym ot “the Third world”. This world was called “Third” during the cold war, and this concept supposed that the other two “worlds” — advanced capitalist and less advanced Soviet — are more relevant and significant for global geopolitics, than all remaining regions. Basically, the expression “Third world ” has a pejorative sense: according to utilitarian logics of tthe ”rich North”, such definition actually equates countries of the “Third world ” to “nobody’s” bases of natural and human resources, which should only obey, be exploited and be used for its own purposes. Thus “rich North ” skilfully manoeuvered the traditional political-ideological and religious features of the “poor South ”, trying to asserve to its exclusively materialist and economic concerns those forces and structures, which on spiritual potential much more exceeded the spiritual level of “North”. This was almost always possible to it, as the same cyclical moment of development of our civilization favours perverted, abnormal and unnatural tendencies – since, according to the Tradition, we are now in the latest period of the “dark century”, Khali-Yuga. Hinduism, Confucianism, Islam, the autochthonous traditions of the “not white” peoples became for the material conquerors of the “rich North” simply a drag on the accomplishment of their purposes, but at the same time they have often used the separate aspects of Tradition for achieving their mercatilistic purposes — exploiting contradictions, religious features or national problems. Such an utilitarian use of the various aspects of Tradition for exclusively antitraditional purposes was an even greater evil, than the straight denial of all Traditional values, since the highest pervertion consists in that the great is asserved to the insignificant.
Actually “ the poor South ” is “poor” at a material level precisely because of its spiritual attitudes, always giving the material aspects of existence a minor and unimportant place. The geopolitical South in our time saved in general an exclusively traditionalist attitude towards the objects of the external world — a quiet, detached and, eventually, indifferent attitude — in stark contrast to the material obsession of the “rich North”, to its materialistic and hedonistic paranoia. The people of the “poor South” normally dwell into Tradition, and till now their existences are fuller, deeper and even more magnificent, as the active comparticipation in sacred Tradition bestows on all aspects of their personal lives that sense, that intensity, that saturation of which have been deprived for a long time the representants of the “rich North”, – made hysterical by nevroses, material fears, internal desolation, complete aimlessness of existence, representing just a bright glass kaleidoscope, only an empty picture.
It could be said that the correlation between North and South in original times is polarly opposite to their correlation in our epoch, as it is the South that today still preserves some links with the Tradition, whereas the North has definitively lost them. Nevertheless this statement does not absolutely cover the whole picture of reality, since the true Tradition cannot admit in relation to itself such humiliating reference, as the practices of aggressive-atheistic “ rich North ” with the “Third world”. The fact is that Tradition is preserved in the South only in an inertial, fragmentary, partial way. It holds a passive position and resists, only defending itself. Therefore the spiritual North does not fully transfer itself to the South at the end of times – in the South there is only an accumulation and preservation of spiritual impulses, never coupled with the sacred North. In line of principle, the active traditional initiative cannot emanate from the South. And on the contrary, the mondialist “rich North” has managed so to harden its pernicious effect on the planet due to the specificity of northern regions, predisposed to activity. North was and remains the elective place of force, therefore true efficiency belongs to the geopolitical initiatives coming from the North.
The “Poor South” possesses today all spiritual priority before the “rich North”, but it thus cannot serve as a serious alternative to the profane aggression of the “rich North”, nor can offer the radical geopolitical project capable to subvert the pathological picture of modern planetary space.
The role of the “ Second World ”
In the bipolar geopolitical picture “rich North” — “poor South” there always existed an additional component having self-supporting and very relevant meaning. It is the “second world ”. Under the expression “second world ” it is conventionally understood to mean the socialist camp integrated into the Soviet system. This “second world” was neither the present “rich North”, as definite spiritual motives secretly influenced the nominally materialistic ideology of the Soviet socialism, neither the present “Third world”, since as a whole the attitude to material development, “progress” and other only profane principles laid at the roots of the Soviet system. The geopolitically eurasian USSR is located both on the territories of “poor Asia”, and on the lands of sufficiently “civilized” Europe. During the socialist period, the planetary belt of the “rich North” was broken in eastern Eurasia, complicating the clearness of geopolitical relations on an the North – South axis.
The end of the “Second world” as a special civilization leaves to the Euroasian space of the former USSR two alternatives — either to be integrated in the “rich North” (that is, the West and the US), or to be thrown down to the “poor South”, i.e. to turn into the “Third world”. As a compromise variant, the separation of regions (part to the “North”, and part to the “South”), is also possible. As always has been in the last centuries, the initiative of redistributing geopolitical spaces in this process belongs to the “rich North”, which, cynically using the paradoxes of the same concept of “Second world ”, fixes new geopolitical borders and breaks zones of influence. National, economic and religious factors serve the mondialists only as instruments in their cynical and deeply materialistically motivated activity. It is not surprising, that besides false “humanist” rethorics the “racist” reasons invoked to inspire the Russians a complex of “white” superiority in relation to the Asian and Caucasian south will even more often and almost openly be used. To this is correlated the inverse process — the definitive rejection of southern territories of the former “Second world ” to the “poor South ” is accompanied by playing the the card of fundamentalist tendencies, people’s inclination to Tradition, and the revival of religion.
The “Second world”, being disintegrated, is broken along the lines of “traditionalism” (the southern, inertial, conservative kind) and “antitraditionalism” (the actively northern, modernist and materialist kind). Such dualism, which is only planned today, but in the near future will become the dominant phenomenon of the Euroasian geopolitics, is predetermined by the expansion of mondialistic understanding of the world in terms of “rich North” — “poor South” “. Any attempt to save the former Soviet Great Space, any attempt simply to save the “Second world” as something self-supporting and balancing halfway between North and South (in their exclusive modern meaning), cannot be crowned with success, without putting into doubt the fundamental polar conception of modern geopolitics, understood and realized in its real nature, leaving aside all deceitful declarations of humanitarian and economic mood.
The “Second world” disappears. There is no more place for it on the modern geopolitical map. At the same time, the pressure of the “rich North” on the “poor South” increases, being one with an agressive materialistic technocratic society in the absence of an intermediate power, that existed till yesterday – the “Second world”. Any different destiny for the the “Second world”, than the total partition according to the dictating rules of the “rich North”, is possible only through a radical waiving of the planetary logics of a dichotomic North – South axis, considered in a mondialist key.
The project of the “Rising North”
The “Rich mondialist North” globalizes its domination over the planet through partition and destruction of the “Second world”. In modern geopolitics this is also called as the “new world order”. The active forces of antitradition consolidate their victory over the passive recalcitrance of southern regions, preserving their economic backwardness and defending Tradition in its residual forms. The internal geopolitical energies of the “Second world ” are put before a choice — either to be incorporated in the system of the “civilized northern belt” and definitively to tear off any connection with a sacred history (project of leftist mondialism), or to turn into an occupied territory being allowed a partial restoration of some aspects of tradition (project of the rightist mondialism). In this direction the events today are developing and will develop in the near future.
As the alternative project it is possible theoretically to formulate a different path of geopolitical transformation based on rejecting the North – South mondialist logics and on returning to the spirit of genuine sacred geography — as far as it possible at the end of dark era. It is the project of the “Great Return” or, in different terminology, of the “Great War of Continents”.
In its most general features, the essence of this project is as follows.
1) The “Rich North is opposed not to the “poor South”, but to the “poor North”. The “Poor North ” is an ideal, the sacred ideal of returning to the nordic sources of civilization. Such North is “Poor” because it is based on total ascetism, on radical devotion to the highest values of Tradition, on the complete despise of the material for the sake of the spiritual. “Poor North” geographically exists only on the territories of Russia, which, being in effect, “ by the Second world ”, socio-politically resisted until the last moment to the final adoption of a mondialist civilization in its most “progressive” forms. Northern eurasian lands of Russia are the only territories on earth which have been not completely mastered by the “rich North”, inhabited by traditional peoples and being a terra incognita of the modern world. The path of “Poor North ” for Russia means the refusal of incorporating in the mondialist belt, of achaicizing its own traditions and of reducing them to the folkloric level of an ethno-religious reserve. “Poor North” should be spiritual, intellectual, active and aggressive. In other regions of the “rich North” a potential opposition of the “poor North” is also possible too – which can be shown in a radical sabotage on part of the intellectual western élite to the establishied course of the “mercantilistic civilization”, in the rebellion against the world of finance for the ancient and eternal values of Spirit, equity, self-sacrifice. “Poor North” starts a geopolitical and ideological fight with the “rich North”, rejecting its projects, blasting from the inside and from the outside its plans, bating its stainless efficiency, crashing its social and political manipulations.
2) The “Poor South”, unable to counter itself the “rich North”, engages a radical alliance with the “poor (eurasian) North” and starts a liberation struggle against “northern” dictatorship. It is especially important to strike the representants of the ideology of the “rich South ”, i.e. those forces which, working in the “rich North”, stand up for “development”, “progress” and “modernization” of traditional countries, which practically will mean only an increasing withdrawal from the remains of sacred Tradition.
3) The “Poor North” of the eurasian East, together with the “poor South”, extending on a circle around the whole planet, concentrate the forces struggling against the “rich North” of the atlantist West. Thus an end is forever put to the ideologically vulgar versions of Anglo-Saxon racism, hailing the “technical civilization of the white peoples” and echoing the mondialist propaganda. (Alain de Benoist expressed this idea in the title of his famous book “The Third world and Europe: the same fight” [L’Europe, Tiersmonde — même combat]; its argument is, of course, “spiritual Europe”, the “Europe of the peoples and traditions”, instead of the “Maastricht Europe of goods”.) Intellectuality, activity and the spiritual profile of the genuine sacred North make the traditions of the revert to a nordic Source, and raise the “South” to a planetary revolt against the only geopolitical enemy. The passive recalcitrance of the “South” acquires thus a fulcrum in the planetary messianism of the “nordics”, radically rejecting the degenerated and antisacred branch of those white peoples which followed the path of technical progress and material development. Flares the planetary supra-racial and supra-national Geopolitical Revolution based on the fundamental solidarity of the “Third world” with that part of the “Second world” which rejects the project of the “rich North”.
During the struggle, the flame of the “resurrection of the spiritual North”, the flame of Hyperborea transforms the geopolitical reality. The new global ideology is the ideology of Final Restoration, putting the final dot to the geopolitical history of civilization – but not that dot, which wanted to put thhe mondialist spokesmen of the End of History. The materialistic, atheistic, antisacral, technocratic, atlantist variant of the End is turned into a different epilogue — the final Victory of the sacred Avatar, the coming of the Terrible Destiny, giving those who chose voluntary poverty a reign of spiritual abundance, and to those who preferred wealth founded on assassination of Spirit, eternal damnation and torments in hell.
The missed continents are lifted from the abysses of the past. Invisible meta-continents appear into reality. A New Earth and New Heaven arise.
This path is not from sacred geography to geopolitics, but on the contrary, from geopolitics to sacred geography.
This text appeared under the title “Ot sakral’noy geografii k geopolitike” in Elementy n. 4, and as the chapter 7 of “Misterii Evrazii” (Moscow 1996)