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Alain de Benoist, a famous philosopher, a historian, who founded the New Rights movement forty years ago, is now in Moscow, he was invited by the Social faculty of MGU. A patriarch of classical European conservatism. We will ask him how he sees the f
5 марта 2009
Conservatism as a way out

Alain de Benoist, a famous philosopher, a historian, who founded the New Rights movement forty years ago, is now in Moscow, he was invited by the Social faculty of MGU. A patriarch of classical European conservatism. We will ask him how he sees the future of Europe and Russia’s relationship. 

Europe is an element of a large continent, where Russia is the centre. As for America, it’s a sea state, that has always, historically and geopolitically been an opponent of continental states. In fact, the term “the West” has been used so many times that it has lost its sense. The Atlantists use this word to stress a bind between Europe and the USA, but a closer look on the basic principles of geopolitics  will disprove it. Europe’s and the USA’s values and aims are absolutely different. Aleksands Dugin asks what Europe is. Europe is a historical phenomenon, but it is also a necessity, as state-nations’ role is being diminished. State-nations appeared as products of Modernity. Today, when Modernity is no more, we are entering Post-Modernity where their significance if ceasing. If we don’t want globalization to be a homogeneous unification, the centers of force, the main poles should be regulators of this process. 

There is an important idea in Alain de Benoist’s works: there is a hidden racism being the basis of unification, when a certain civilization, a West European civilization, for example, claims to be the measure of all things, the only instance that shows the vector of development, there is colonization, racism, chauvinism behind it. Remember the immense superciliousness of the West. And Alain de Benoist’s movement have pushed a new thesis against all of this: pluriversalism against universalism. 

It’s simple. Universe is the final logical conclusion of that I have called “Ideology of one and the same”, or “Ideology of the sameness”. This ideology have taken many forms, but the result was one and the same: the disappearance of diversity. If we think that Man is one and the same everywhere, then don’t take the diversity of the human culture into account. We will try to unify everyone. And at the same time, this ideology, that claims to be universal, is a form of racism, a one-sided setting of criteria. Poliversum is the opposite, this is a desire to keep this diversity. The diversity can result into clashes, but the aftermath will be less frightful, than the aftermath of the unification’s road roller. 

The New Rights movement is a rigid criticism of Americanism. From their point of view, America is the worst part of Europe, now is not even a part of it. It’s a misunderstanding, it’s a threat to everyone. And in due time, in the 70-ties, when there was a danger of, let us say, the occupation of Europe by the USSR, Alain de Benoist said a shocking phrase for the conservatives: “I prefer a Soviet helmet to a NATO uniform”. It’s a shame, we had such strong supporters during the Soviet era, but the Marxist dogma was hindering close ideological contacts. We didn’t recognize them then. Anti-Americanism is a many people’s attitude of mind. Of the Europeans, the Frenchmen, the Germans, the Italians, the Spaniards. And the New Rights movement is one of the main classifiers of this mood. What is the status of Anti-Ameriacnism in Europe

It is a critical world outlook. But that is not a caricatural Anti-Americanism, not a phobia. I have no phobias. Besides, I know the USA very well, I’ve been there more than 30 times. I like many things there. But, historically and geopolitically, the USA is a member of Europe’s opposes. There are two policies in America that formally contradict each other, but that are interrelated. That is the isolationism line, dating back to the Founding Fathers, who believed that the outer world is a thereat you have to hidden yourself from, on a new land. And the line of intervention, that results in the USA  from the beginning of World War I, meddling in different conflicts around the world, exporting their hegemony and their paradigm. The concept of “Manifest destiny”. These models result from one and the same thing: from the opinion that your state is the best, that your society is the best. Not to mention that this thesis is doubtful, the UAS have always wanted to construct a world they wanted. Thus we see that universalism is just a mask to conceal egocentrism. But the criticism of the USA doesn’t mean an attempt to cross it out. It’s an attempt to grant an amnesty to other ways of development. 

And to finish the first meeting with political, intellectual circles, that is maybe being watched by  some people from the Russian state authority, intelligentsia, ordinary people, I’d like to ask Alain de Benoist if he has some words for our elite. 

I am not a prophet, I’d like to formulate a friendly message: for all historical periods Russia has always had to choose between two roads: a road that fits its essence, and a road that changes its bases. This dilemma is a constant in all Russia’s history. Is was here during the Tsar era, the Soviet era, it is present even today. But what is new, many peoples today, especially European peoples, have found themselves in the same situation. They have to choose too: either to remain themselves of to become something different. The western way is the way of liberalism and Americanism. It’s a historical moment; the choice will affect future generations. We can either go our way or to reject this right and become an aspect of someone else’s history. Of course I want Russia to choose its own way, not only because I like this country, but because we all need it. If Russia rejects this right, we, people of the continent of Eurasia, will loose our balance.


Andrew Ulianov

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