By Pepe Escobar – republished from Asia Times by permission of author
Late afternoon in May 29, 1453, Sultan Mehmet, the third son of Murad, born of a slave-girl – probably Christian – in the harem, fluent in Turkish, Arabic, Greek, Latin, Persian and Hebrew, followed by his top ministers, his imams and his bodyguard of Janissaries, rides slowly towards the Great Church of St Sophia in Constantinople.
It’s unlikely that Sultan Mehmet would be sparing a thought for Emperor Justinian, the last of quite a breed: a true Roman Emperor in the throne of Byzantium, a speaker of “barbarous” Greek (he was born in Macedonia) but with a Latin mind.
Much like Sultan Mehmet, Justinian was quite the geopolitician. Byzantium trade was geared towards Cathay and the Indies: silk, spices, precious stones. Yet Persia controlled all the caravan routes on the Ancient Silk Road. The sea route was also a problem; all cargo had to depart from the Persian Gulf.
So Justinian had to bypass Persia.
He came up with a two-pronged strategy: a new northern route via Crimea and the Caucasus, and a new southern route via the Red Sea, bypassing the Persian Gulf.
The first was a relative success; the second a mess. But Justinian finally got his break when a bunch of Orthodox monks offered him to bring back from Asia some precious few silkworm eggs. Soon there were factories not only in Constantinople but in Antioch, Tyre and Beirut. The imperial silk industry – a state monopoly, of course – was up and running.
A fantastic mosaic in Ravenna from the year 546 depicts a Justinian much younger than 64, his age at the time. He was a prodigy of energy – and embellished Constantinople non-stop. The apex was the Church of St. Sophia – the largest building in the world for centuries.
So here we have Sultan Mehmet silently proceeding with his slow ride all the way to the central bronze doors of St Sophia.
He dismounts and picks up a handful of dust and in a gesture of humility, sprinkles it over his turban.
Then he enters the Great Church. He walks towards the altar.
A barely perceptible command leads his top imam to escalate the pulpit and proclaim in the name of Allah, the All Merciful and Compassionate, there is no God but God and Muhammad is his Prophet.
The Sultan then touches the ground with his turbaned head – in a silent prayer. St Sophia was now a mosque.
Sultan Mehmet leaves the mosque and crosses the square to the old Palace of the Emperors, in ruins, founded by Constantine The Great 11 and ½ centuries before. He slowly wanders the ancient halls, his fine velvet slippers brushing the dust from the fabulous pebbled floor mosaics.
Then he murmurs two verses of a Persian poet:
“As the spider weaves the curtain over the palace of the Roman Caesars
The owl sings the time of the house of Afrasiab”
The Byzantine empire, founded by Constantine The Great on Monday, May 11, 330, was over on a Tuesday, May 29, 1453.
Sultan Mehmet is now the Lord of Constantinople and the Lord of the Ottoman Empire. He’s only 21 years old.
Back to the Magic Mountain
Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan re-christened Hagia Sophia from a museum back into a mosque. He may have done it because his popularity is waning; his proxy wars are a disaster; his AKP party is shattered; and the economy is bleeding badly.
But what’s striking is that right at the beginning of his official televised speech, Erdogan quoted exactly the same verses by the Persian poet murmured by Sultan Mehmet in that fateful afternoon in 1453.
Erdogan’s latest move – which is part of his perennial master plan to claim leadership of global Islam over the decrepit House of Saud – was widely interpreted in myriad latitudes as yet another instance of clash of civilizations: not only Orthodox Christianity vs. Islam but once again East vs. West.
That reminded me of another East vs. West recent derivation: a revival of the Settembrini vs. Naphta debate in Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, promoted by a Dutch think tank, the Nexus Institute, which aims to “keep the spirit of European humanism alive”. The debate pitted Aleksander Dugin against Bernard-Henri Levy (widely known in France as BHL). The full transcript of the debate is here.
Dugin is a leading Eurasianist and the conceptualizer of the – largely banned in the West – Fourth Political Theory . As a philosopher and political theorist, Dugin is cartoonishly demonized across the West as “Putin’s brain”, a closet fascist and “the most dangerous philosopher in the world”.
BHL, hailed as “one of the West’s leading intellectuals”, is a vain poseur who emerged as a “nouveau philosophe” in the mid-1970s and ritually regurgitates the usual Atlanticist mantras enveloped in flowery quotes. He managed, among other feats, to write a book about Pakistan without knowing anything whatsoever about Pakistan, as I thrashed it on Asia Times back in 2002.
Here are a few interesting talking points throughout the debate.
Dugin stresses the end of Western hegemony and global liberalism. He asks BHL, directly, how, “interestingly, in your book, you define the American empire or the global liberal system as a system of nihilism, based on nothing.” Dugin does define himself as a nihilist “in the sense that I refuse the universality of modern Western values (…) I just challenge that the only way to interpret democracy is as the rule of minorities against the majority, that the only way to interpret freedom is as individual freedom, and that the only way to interpret human rights is by projecting a modern, Western, individualistic version of what it means to be human on other cultures.”
BHL, which seems not to have read his own, dreary, book – this is something Dugin told me in person last year in Beirut, after the debate – prefers to resort to proverbial, infantile Putin bashing, picked up over and over again, stressing “there is a bad, dark wind of nihilism in its proper sense, which is a Nazi and a fascist sense, which is blowing in the great Russia.”
Later on in the debate, BHL adds, “I really believe that there is a link between, on the one side, your and Huntington’s way of thinking; and, on the other side, the occupation of Crimea, the 30,000 deaths in Ukraine and the war in Syria with its bloodbath, tragic and horrible.”
On racism, Dugin is adamant: he does not defend it. For him, “Racism is an Anglo-Saxon liberal construction based on a hierarchy between peoples. I think this is criminal.” Then he defines “a new Manichean division, a new racism. Those who are in favor of Western values, they are good. Everybody who challenges that, in the Islamic tradition, in the Russian tradition, in the Chinese tradition, in the Indian tradition, everywhere, they are populists, and they are classified as fascism. I think that is a new kind of racism.”
BHL prefers to concentrate on “the civilization of human rights, freedom, individual dignity, and so on. This deserves to be universalized. This should be conceived, except if you are a racist, as profitable for the entire humanity.” And then it’s Anti-Semitism all over again: “All the men who you quoted and from whom you draw your inspiration – Spengler, Heidegger, who is also a great philosopher of course, and others – are contaminated, corrupted, infected by this plague which is antisemitism. And alas – you too.”
In Paris circles, the joke is that the only thing BHL cares about is the promotion of BHL. And everyone who does not agree with one of the “leading Western intellectuals” is Anti-Semitic.
BHL insists he’s interested in building bridges. But it’s Dugin who frames the real heart of the matter: “When we try to build bridges too early, without knowing the structure of the Other – the problem is the Other. The West doesn’t understand the Other as something positive. It is all the same, and we immediately try to find bridges – they are illusions, and not bridges, because we are projecting ourselves. The Other is the same, the ideology of the same. We first need to understand otherness.”
BHL totally ignores Levi-Strauss. It’s Dugin who refers to Levi-Strauss when talking about The Other, describing him as one of his teachers:
“This anthropological pluralism, I agree, is precisely the American and French tradition. But it is not reflected in politics, or it is reflected in a very perverted way. So I think there is a big contradiction between this anthropological thought in American universities and French universities, and a kind of very aggressive colonial neo-imperialist form to promote American interests on the world scale with weapons.”
BHL is left with – what else – Putin demonization: “The real imperialism, the real one who is interfering and sowing disorder and interfering in the affairs of others, alas, is Putin. And I need not speak of America, where it is now proved that there has been a huge, crude, and evident Russian intervention in the electoral process of the last election.” BHL, who does not even qualify as a neophyte in geopolitics, is oblivious to the absolute debunking of Russiagate.
BHL is adamant “there is today a real clash of civilizations. But not the one you mention in your books, between the north and the east and the west and the south and all of that; there is a clash of civilizations all over the planet between those who believe in human rights, in liberty, in the right for a body not to be tortured and martyred, and those who are happy with illiberalism and the revival of authoritarianism and slavery.”
Dugin’s challenge for years has been to try to conceptualize what may come next, after the failure of Marxism, fascism and liberal democracy. As much as he thinks Eurasian, he’s inclusive – incorporating “Euro” with “Asia”. BHL for his part simplistically reduces every “evil” to “illiberalism”, where Russia, China, Iran and Turkey – no nuances – are thrown in the same dustbin alongside the vacuous and actually murderous House of Saud.
Now let’s attempt a light-hearted ending to our mini-triptych on the clash of civilizations. Inevitably, that has to do with the ongoing US-China Hybrid War.
Around two years ago, the following dialogue was a smash hit on Chinese Weibo. The Great Helmsman Mao Zedong – or his ghost – was back in town, and he wanted to know about everything that was goin’ on. Call it a – revisionist? – realpolitik version of the clash of civilizations.
Mao: “Can the people eat their fill?”
Answer: “There’s so much to eat they’re dieting.”
Mao: “Are there still any capitalists?”
Answer: “They’re all doing business overseas now!”
Mao: “Do we produce more steel than England?”
Answer: “Tangshan alone produces more than America.”
Mao: “Did we beat social imperialism (as in the former USSR)?”
Answer: “They dissolved it themselves!”
Mao: “Did we smash imperialism?”
Answer: “We’re the imperialists now!”
Mao: “And what about my Cultural Revolution?”
Answer: “It’s in America now!”
The problem with so-called Western values is the same as it is with economic liberalism, the idea that everyone should be left to his own economic devices instead of being controlled by the state. The problem? It only applied to Europeans. The rest of humanity was subject to colonization, racism, brutal enslavement, and forcefully stealing of their land and resources. It doesn’t take a Putin to tell us how hollow and hypocritical this.
On top of that, economic liberalism in the West has devolved into corporate fascism where everything and everyone is controlled by a few ultra-rich, ultra-powerful, and ultra-inhuman oligarchs. You can call them the Davos crowd, or the Deep State… whatever. They have completely subverted the democratic process in the USA as the two major parties are totally beholden to these same ultra-rich entities.
Thankfully, the whole system will come crashing down, sunk like the Titanic, although that ship sank after a horrible accident. the AngloZionist Empire has been torpedoed by the COVID-19 bio-weapon. These ultra-inhuman entities (Are they even human?) have come to the conclusion that there are way too many humans on the planet and the herd needs to be culled of useless eaters like the elderly, the unemployable, and especially people of color and of course the indigenous. They are all dying in record numbers. It’s kinda like what the US did in the 19th Century, giving small-pox infested blankets to Native Americans.
After galloping climate change, horrible plandemics, and maybe all-out nuclear war, Earth will only be fit for cockroaches and robots. Actual human beings will be so last-century.
“These ultra-inhuman entities have come to the conclusion that there are way too many humans on the planet and the herd needs to be culled of useless eaters like……..”
“These” (they) or YOU???
Or perhaps you are unaware of the massively documented fact that the AGW Molochian Religion (for it is not science, but clearly rigged computer “modelling” for the express purpose of making sure there are far less people soon enough….and a dumber few to boot……..) is pushed by these very same genocidal “entities” you purport to oppose??
Oh, I see: You don’t really oppose them. You need them for something to complain about, and play the victim.
You could use this quote I emailed my 18 yr old son within the hour:
The trick is in what one emphasizes.
We either make ourselves miserable,
or we make ourselves happy.
The amount of work is the same.
– Carlos Castaneda
Judging by what you love to suggest is hopeless, you’ve made an unfortunate choice……and guessing at the average demographic here….which I would be surprised you don’t fit squarely in the middle of…..you have a lot less time to change it than he does!
Time’s a wastin’………..LOL
“Or perhaps you are unaware of the massively documented fact that the AGW Molochian Religion (for it is not science, but clearly rigged computer “modelling” for the express purpose of making sure there are far less people soon enough….and a dumber few to boot……..) is pushed by these very same genocidal “entities” you purport to oppose??”
Well, Bro, you got my interest in looking into the so-called Molochian religion. It does, indeed, involve human-sacrifice and oddly has not been totally repudiated by Talmudic Judaism…
“No one today seriously suggests present-day Jews sacrifice children to Moloch, an Old Testament god whom the Hebrews worshipped from time to time, and to whom they sacrificed their children. The Babylonian Talmud, however, still permits Jews to sacrifice children to Moloch — under certain conditions.”
These “entities” I referred to are even above the banksters and the big corpse. Their god is Mammon, not Moloch, but they have no problem with human-sacrifice, especially millions of “useless eaters” like the elderly, the unemployable, and people of color… if there is a monetary advantage to getting rid of them. Which there is. They may not even be human, just some computer profit algorithm that makes all the decisions, like the way hedge-funds are run.
My G-d is all about justice, compassion, and truth. My hope is that those values will ultimately prevail.
It may not be a case of too many humans, it may a case of too many unhealthy humans, and as such not only do the stronger ones have to wean the weaker ones back to life, they then become a greater burden to society rather than productive ones to the human cause of evolutionary advancement.
So by weeding out, or separating, the unhealthy ones the virus not only thins the herd, but reduces the burden to society at large so as to be free to be productive rather than redundant.
Once a country loses site of this reality, they run the risk of stressing out an industry with little of nothing to show for it in the way of productivity.
It just may be me but this is a weird melange from Pepe today.
Byzantine Empire, Erdogan, Dugin and BHL, and a resurrected Mao.
Far too much of BHL.
I thought for certain he would give us profundities regarding Erdogan who right now, thought “failing”, is winning in Syria (the Kurds are almost on their own and Assad can’t take Idlib because the EU, UN and US will declare him a war criminal, and maybe, Russia smeared also; he beat the snot out of Haftot’s mercenaries, Wagner PMC, included, in Libya, has Azerbaijan and Armenia at war, with Russia caught in the middle, and has hardened 15,000 Uyghur terrorists in Idlib to send against China in Xinjiang and nearby Central Asia.)
I agree it was bizarre.
I had a listen to what Sheik Imran Hosein had to say about the clash of civilisations we are witnessing these days.
Sorry if it’s already been posted in another section, it’s a few days old:
(The part about geopolitical events in the End Times starts around 22′)
For those who interested in the Sheiks predictions here is a summary:
– we are on the brink of Armageddon/ Malhama/ Great War (Russia, China, USA)
– Erdogan’s conversion of Hagia Sophia is on the path of events leading up to Armageddon/Malhama
– Jerusalem and Constantinople will take centre stage
– the conquest of Constantinople that is prophesised in the Koran did not take place 600+ years ago. It will take place after the Great War.
-The Muslim army that vanquishes the Turks will liberate Constantinople and give Hagia Sophia back to the Orthodox Christians
– After Hagia Sophia becomes a Church, in a time frame of 7 months – 7 years the Devil (Dajjal) will appear in human form in Jerusalem.
@ Serbian girl
Yeah, right. Sheik said.
Incidentally, who do you think is better at reading tea leaves, Imran Hosein or … baba Vanga?
Correction Serbian girl….the Dajjal is not the Devil but the Anti-Christ.
And Sheikh Imran Hosein is absolutely correct on the Quranic and Hadith end time prophecy that the liberation of Constantinople has still to take place.
The prophet of Islam Mohammed (peace and blessings upon him) literally called the city in its Arabic form “Konstantinya”. This is an indication that the city will not only be liberated but that its name will return once again to its pre-1930 name that was changed by Kemal Attaturk.
The city of Constantinople will be therefore liberated from the Turkish nation state or whatever state or alliance this land will be in, indicating that the current nation state of Turkey will be no more. And God knows best.
There is no need to liberate Istanbul because it is majority Turkish where Turks have lived for centuries. We do not live in the middle ages when such barbaric acts like empire building (in the classical sense) were commonplace. Turks have been building their city for centuries, it is not “ours” or Greek anymore.
A thing’s rightful owner is the one who made it, or the one who stole it?
Does a stolen item become one’s own, ethically speaking, if ten thousand years pass?
Is robbery not robbery if it is committed by an army?
Not an excellent point. If you stole a Volkswagen Polo, replace the parts including engine and brakes with expensive Porsche manufactured parts, and 10 years go past, is the rightfully owner entitled to the Porsche engine?
If you liberate Istanbul, do you want to liberate it from the Turkish people too?
The Turkish people are an Asiatic race that originated in Mongolia. True Turks can be found in Central Asia, and also in some parts of Iran, eg. the Qashqai Turks.
The people of modern Turkey are Greeks in the west and Iranians in the east, with such a minor Turk element that is basically indistinguishable.
Turkish language and Islam was forced on them by the Seljuk soldiers that invaded their land.
What exactly are you trying to say? That it is good to invade other people’s land, forcefully convert them to your religion, make them forget their ancestral tongue, and appropriate their holy places as your own?
After the great war, Al-Malhama Al-Kubra (the Great battle in Arabic), and possibly a thermo-nuclear one (and God knows best), as I mentioned, there will be no more Turkish Nation State as it is at the moment.
The world will be in another historical stage unlike the one we now live in.
Taj Mahal and other structures in south Asia were preciously palaces or temples taken by invaders, some Turks along with Persians and Arabs. As the Sheikh is of Indian descent and has alot to say about India and Pakistan, I do wonder what he has to say about all that was taken from native Indians by invaders, least of which were buildings and land (the took many women and children you see).
I highly doubt he so magnanimous towards non Muslims in the subcontinent as he is to Russian orthodoxy.
As Zarathushtra said many millenia ago; there is only one path, the path of truth.
The path of self-interest is not genuinely in our interest. Truth is the real self-interest.
Muslims, Christians, Jews, and all the rest of mankind, have forgotten this, and they believe that the interests of their particular tribe, nation, ethnic group, and religion are separate and distinct from the interest of mankind, and by extension, of all life.
Human beings are members of a whole
In creation of one essence and soul
If one member is afflicted with pain
Other members uneasy will remain
If you have no sympathy for human pain
The name of human you cannot retain
There are no Muslims, Christians, and Jews, only confused people.
Tajmahal was not a palace converted into Tajmahal. It was built by Shahjahan, the Moghul emperor in memory of his deceased queen, Mumtaz Mahal. The greatest tribute on the planet to eternal love.
L445, it is clear that PE is not a linear thinker… so following him sometimes requires a bit of imagination and an ability to synthesize. This piece features vignettes from the ‘clash of civilizations’ film, with the common thread of a ‘clash.’ Makes sense to me (though, honestly, not sure why anyone would care what BHL says… he is such a pretend-intellectual (and that’s being very nice)). Anyway, I really appreciate all of PE’s work.
All new concepts require a bit of imagination and ability to synthesize.
For examples : The continued importance of poetry, despite the efforts, of every authoritarian who ever existed, to burn it, or bury it in mental diarrhea. The theory of quantum mechanics was pretty much an arcane mystery, until Richard Feynman invented a language to describe it. Jazz melody, like poetry, developed by experience and inspired practice, until there were sufficient bodies of recordings, scores, and people who developed (or learned from others) their own understandings.
In all three cases, there are those who actually understand, those who happily hum along, and those who quote and attempt to employ academic papers.
Many years ago, a philosopher, famous in that time and place, told me that formal logic was a game, wherein the accepted rules are judiciously applied to the accepted objects. He wrote a few books describing the accepted rules and objects, required undergraduate purchase, but no new philosophy.
Almost anybody can understand the simple rules and objects of games like Chess and GO; but very, very few can play a game which might be featured on a youtube channel like agadmator. A lot of people can compose a grammatically correct sentence in English or whatever language their parents spoke. Not many can compose an exposition, much less a poem, which will be copied&pasted tomorrow, or dismembered by school teachers a century hence.
It’s a great pleasure to visit Pepe Escobar’s writing, and ruminate with him in the grand rooms of his experience. And I noticed seeing him on Grayzone that the second most interesting thing to do is watch him listening; the first, of course, to hear him speak.
It’s Hafter, not ‘Haftot’.
And he certainly did not beat the snot out of anyone in Libya. The LNA made a wise tactical retreat, at the behest of Russian, Chinese and Egyptian military advisors.
The GNA made it difficult for the LNA in Tripoli due to Tripoli being one of the most densely populated cities in the Middle East. and the LNA were trying thier best to avoid civilian casualties all the while fighting very far from home. So some Turkish drones naturally went after the LNA’s supply lines.
the Turks are the ones that recently got very embarrassed when someones air force staged very pin point accurate strikes on Al-Watiya Air Base south of Tripoli while the base was being visited by many Turkish high ranking officers including Generals. many wounded, and probably dead. Turkish made military equipment like live radar, satellites didnt anticipate the strike, including Turkey’s much vaunted anti air defense military equipment at the base, which were destroyed. This obviously was the work of the Russians which got revenge for Turkey taking out a few Pantsir’s.
Then there’s the huge embarrassment of Egypt stopping the big , rapturous plans of the Turks in Libya by President Sisi making just just one speech. Sending the Turkish plans to a screeching halt.
Erdogan is hardly the tough guy, and Libya will eat him up like quick sand.
Bill Gate’s Moderna is testing vaccines in the Ukraine. Four Ukrainian soldiers dead so far
5 people in total
I am unfamiliar with both philospohers cited in this article and was unable to connect to sites including Wikipedia to further research them. However, it cannot be denied that Arfican nations, like Iran have both the prize and the curse of desirability, in Iran, it is primarily geographic, in Africa, it is primarily geologic, and its richness in resources that have resulted in centuries of being invaded by the British, Dutch, Germans, French, Arabs, Israelis, and Chinese, in what has undeniably been a centuries long concerted effort to keep conflict in the nations high, to keep the populations as uneducated as possible so that they would be oblivious to what has been taking place, and to steal as much as possible, as well as enslve the population. So, while many that had previously were in the slave and trafficking trade, they simply moved to Africa, and are enslaving and stealing from them, and have been for centuries. It was Mao that went to Tanzania, and it is the resources and slavery from Africa that permited the possibility of Chinese communism, and European Democratic Socialism, in addition to the oil and international banking revenues that the Europeans are so reliant on. So, they can all preach about racism in America, and how Black Lives Matter, while they are all practicing racism, theft, and slavery in Africa. It is the theater of the absurd to claim that the Chinese will be better than Americans. If you would rather be a slave than die in a reasonless war, maybe the point could be argued. That is not defend America’s policies or wars, but just to point out the total absurdity of the pots calling the kettles black.
Not to mention the obvious oil and natural gas reserves in Iran.
This link should take you to most of Alexander Dugin’s essays on the web: https://katehon.com/person/aleksandr-dugin
It was Arab slavers who began the slave trade in Africa (East Africa)—working of course with the local chiefs.
Just to get that straight.
Clash of civilisation or clash between the truth and the pseudo ?
Pepe is serious investigating analyst . Thanks Pepe.
Dugin is uncovering lot of west/east, right/left delusions.
Search for Truth is hard work , lie is easy and cheep .
these days Pepe is over my head… my humble simple head… to read Pepe these days you will have to be familiar with lots of books, writings …. etc etc etc and etc… that I am not interested in… having worked in 35 countries most of them in Africa and Asia … I have lived and observed… I have ”studied” their history their 1000’s of years of history… and and see the truth of ”Empires come and go” …
I can relate. As a long-time reader of Pepe, it seems now that there are moments in his writing where I’m not quite sure what he’s talking about, but still, I know what he’s saying, if that makes any sense. I always learn something new from him.
I like Pepe’s writings, but sometimes it seems like he plays the Minstrel, The Silk Road Muse…mixed with Jack Kerouac ..with a lot of poetic license and questionable strategic focus…more than the reporter…or analyst…and then I don’t worry too much about making perfect sense of all of it in every particular article.
Because I sense that he doesn’t worry about it that much either, in every single article he writes.
Most of the time, yes. But not ALL of the time.
Nice to read Pepe Escobar in geopolitical top form again, well done (although it’s a repost)! Colorful vocabulary and excellent command of composition. Dugin vs BHL is always a treat! Also, that Mao-Weibo meditation is a beast!
“BHL, which seems not to have read his own, dreary, book”
Perhaps someone else writes his stuff and his persona is a propaganda construct. There’s a lot of it about.
An article on three subjects, but still a treat to read, thanks Pepe.
Turkey is also a bully on the school yard. Every time Erdogan makes a move, my first reaction is ‘now he’s overplaying his hand’. However, he’s still there. Turning the Hagia Sophia in a mosque? Pure symbolism I guess. There are enough mosques in Istanbul, and they are not even completely filled. It’s meant as a trigger for Turkish nationalism to support him. Unfortunately that is forgotten fast when the Turkish Lira devaluates further.
His Ottoman empire dreams? Will not happen on his shift. His military adventures in Syria and Lybia? Doomed to fail, my gut feeling tells me that he may have been encouraged by ‘the usual suspects’ to bring other actors like Russia in an awkward position.
Another adventure that should not be forgotten is the illegal drillings to gas in the Eastern Meditteranean, in the Cyprus sphere. That is a powder keg. Even the EU is getting fed up with him, the last time he wanted to blackmail the EU by sending a flood of immigrants, the border was closed with barbed wire and military, and Austria has already proposed to keep that permanent.
That BHL is just a babble box for the AZ empire, I already knew. I hadn’t read Aleksandr Dugin, but I’m up to it (thanks, @D-ring, for that link).
“When we try to build bridges too early, without knowing the structure of the Other – the problem is the Other. The West doesn’t understand the Other as something positive. It is all the same, and we immediately try to find bridges – they are illusions, and not bridges, because we are projecting ourselves. The Other is the same, the ideology of the same. We first need to understand otherness.”
Hammer, nail, hit. This is exactly the achilles heel of AZ ‘policy’, and will eventually implode on themselves.
That dialogue with Mao is hilarious. It reminds me of a movie I saw just 2 weeks ago, based on a cult book in Germany: ‘Er ist wieder da’ (He’s here again). In years I haven’t laughed so much about a movie. It evolves around the unusual and sudden awakening of Hitler in Berlin in 2011. After concluding that he is okay, he looks aside and his first text was ‘Ist der Dönitz auch hier?’ (Is Dönitz also here?)
He starts to walk around, is shocked by how Germany has changed – several scenes are shot with real people, just improvising – to show how they react on him. Surprised he meets nowadays technology.
He’s caught by a tv company that wants to make him into a star, the whole time thinking that he is a brilliant imitator.
Here’s an extended trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUZi67BmY_M
And here his attendance on a live tv-show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBqwtHnc9ho
The eerie thing is not only is that he’s very well imitated by actor Oliver Masucci, but his spoken texts are quite right also…
I can’t spend much effort on articles like this, especially when philosophers are part of the topic. Some of them use so many words to say so little, and often deceptively at that. And then everyone sits around all day debating what they meant and fawning over their great thinking.
The one thing I feel certain of is that the ‘philosopher’ BHL spouts on about freedom and human dignity and liberal values when he is nothing but a spin doctor, liar, and propagandist. How can such a one really care about the values he claims to support?
Erdogan is such a weak man. He keeps trying to demonstrate himself as a great leader of Islam by constantly sticking his nose where it does not belong and betraying agreements made. The Russian leadership, under great provocation, has consistently tried to extend a better way, one that involves mutually beneficial trade and this idiot keeps trying to insult and stab in the back those who would help him.
I first became aware of BHL soon after9/11 when looking into the weirdness of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh (the convicted abductor of Daniel Pearl but now with conviction overturned).. There were also Indian reports of the head of Pakistani ISI (Pakistani’s CIA equivalent) at the time authorizing $100,000 to be sent to Mohamed Atta. This same ISI director was In DC meeting with chairmen of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, Senator Bob Graham on the morning of 9/11. I now forget why BHL was commenting on this. I eventually concluded that Pakistan was going to be the fall guy for a limited hangout if people didn’t believe in the official conspiracy of 9/11. This was not necessary. Occasionally as more and more people do not believe the official conspiracy theory that Osama did it from his cave in Afghanistan. The NSA had been monitoring his satellite communications for over a decade. I mean a former US green beret helped Osama move from the Sudan to Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia is floated as a limited hangout fall guy for 9/11. That is also going to be used if the US decides to takeover Saudi Arabia . Anyway BHL was pushing Pakistan’s involvement at that time early after 9/11. Then I read other things BHL has to say. I don’t even remember what they were – they were so dumb that I didn’t note them. He was obviously just a shill for the anglo Zionist empire.
BHL: ”There is a bad, dark wind of nihilism in its proper sense, which is a Nazi and a fascist sense, which is blowing in the great Russia.”
If so, this incredible ’philophe’ BHL even makes Nazism/fascism worthy of respectful investigation. His own Weltanschau merits little more than ”a piece of cake”, if you know what I mean.
Really amusing the ”second coming” of Chairman Mao! Should be rammed down the throats of Pindo Sinophobes, LOL.
Os monges eram nestorianos, não “ortodoxos”, segundo o prof. Yoshiro Saeki.
The monks were Nestorians, not “orthodox”, according to prof. Yoshiro Saeki.
Most likely he’s right. Nestorians expanded in the Eurasian Steppe. Gumilev wrote a lot on this.
So e.g. Sartaq Khan (who became sworn brother of Alexander “Nevsky” — a turning point for Middle Eurasia, since it made the Prince of Novgorod an acknowledged “son” of a Great Khan, deliberately as the first step toward the first of Rus principalities becoming a vassal of the Horde on formally respectable conditions) was one, though his uncle was Muslim. By the time The Horde hit its civil war, the major factions were Nestorian, Muslim and Buddhist. Nestorians lost, lots of them ran to North-West and got sworn in as minor nobles (you’re a Prince and good cavalry wants to join, what do), that’s why so many Russian aristocrats had “Tatar” style last names.
Mao was never a fascist. But Trump used Hitler’s tactics of racial hate-speech and racist demonisation (he is on record as saying that the world is better off without the Chinese) to gain power.
What is happening now in America is more like Hitler’s Germany. Only that there are still level headed people in America to at least impede him if not stop him altogether.
BHL sounds like a dork, and in fact anyone who tries to link the ideas of Western philosophy (many of which are valuable) with support for (and smokescreening of) Western imperialism, colonialism and so on, is inevitably a dork or worse.
But that doesn’t mean I have to be impressed with Dugin. So he debated some hack who was caught in massive contradictions between different things he wanted to simultaneously be for, and handed the guy his ass. That doesn’t take much. Doesn’t mean his own philosophy is great.
I don’t believe in hyperindividualism. But there’s a problem with approaches that jettison the whole individual rights thing: While the Thatcherite “there is nothing but individuals” notion is foolish and obviously false, opposing that with an emphasis on groups that pays little heed to the individual is even more incoherent. The fact is that individuals exist and groups are made up of them. And everyone is a minority in SOME way. If you’re not a racial minority or a religious minority or a sexual minority or a political minority or a linguistic minority or an ethnic minority, you might be a philosophical minority or a sports minority or the only person who hates Star Wars. Or POOR.
Ultimately, group welfare is built up from the welfare of the individuals in the group. You can’t have a group that is doing well if all the actual people in the group are doing bad. I don’t think there is actually much tension between individual rights, freedoms and whatnot and social, communal, group welfare. To the contrary, individuals do better if there is attention to their social needs and organization, and society is at its best when it’s devoted to the welfare of the individuals in it.
Sure, the Americans insist that the two things are somehow diametrically opposed, but Americans didn’t invent human rights, and lots of societies with far more belief in group cohesion and responsibility than the US also have strong respect for individual rights . . . and indeed include a lot more rights than the Americans do, and are a lot more genuine in trying to ensure them.
The moment you draw some line and say “We don’t have to care about THOSE people in our society, they’re less equal than everyone else” I start wondering if there’s really going to be a commitment to ANY people in that society. Especially if the basis is that they’re somehow bad for group cohesion–that could be anyone. If you can make excuses to dump one group, you can make excuses to dump anyone–you give up valuing people for being people, only value the right people, then where’s the foundational basis for establishing who counts? Anyone you find fault with is surplus.
So I think there’s actually a lot of pitfalls the moment you abandon the Western human rights discourse; it’s not so easy to put something solid in its place, and I haven’t heard that Dugin has been successful at that. Or the Chinese, for that matter.
Good. Let them bark at concrete trees. :]
Everyone who doesn’t goosestep to the tune is cartoonishly demonized. Even the ultra-loyalists Chomsky and Rowling, for slightly hedging bets in case their allies turn on them or fail. Which can only cause more hedging by any of them with half a brain.
Doesn’t mean he’s actually relevant other than in area of getting all those panties in a twist, or that his political formula (“theory” is just self-aggrandizing in Progressive style) is viable.
I’d like to read transcripts of that debate, but probably couldn’t take it very seriously if tried.
Will either of these two prove more important than minor dead-end Progressive movements, like veganism or Church of Xenulogy? Consider the following:
Dugin starts with “liberal democracy” as the first of the three greet whales on whom the world sits.
Lévy is against acknowledging all that other red herring as other whales, much less riding them.
By now, one of the “cool things” are variations of neo-reaction. That is, a large part of political philosophy as discussed by people on internet moved to areas where the very existence of “liberal democracy” as anything more than a layer of paint may or may not be acknowledged at all, and “the common and different traits between the original Puritans and millennial Trigglypuffs” topic is not shocking, but almost too trivial, and worth bothering with only for possibility of a larger comparative analysis.
Whether this will matter depends on the influence. But…
Dugin tries to cut another Overton Window next to the currently and decreasingly dominant one, cares about how they are arranged relatively to each other and argues with one of its washers.
Trump exploits the mechanisms of the Overton Window maintenance and movement into self-destruction, with much success — which makes more cracks in the wall, increasing accessibility of the areas OW doesn’t serve. There are fixes, but not very solid (how’s Quillette, especially after picking a fight with Taleb? Oh.) Thus making it more likely that NRx may produce a “big” offshoot, and/or something else will emerge.
Moldbug recently returned to making more tiny holes in that wall, arranged along its likely crack propagation lines.
Taleb works the ventilation and teaches all willing to hear why Overton Window always makes the air stale.
…while the Internet is still here, still not quite tamed and still largely Anglophone. My bet is on the Internet.