Sunday, June 20, 2010

Another interesting group in the Russian Revolutionary era were the original Eurasianists, NOT the ones currently existing in Russia

The people who are now organized under the Eurasianist banner are racists and neo-fascists, pure and simple. Dugin is not a person to admire. But the original Eurasianists were interesting in that they built on Russia agrarian populism and non-chauvanist Slavophilism, different than pan-Slavism, by saying that Russia was unique culturally because it was a mixture of Asian culture imposed by the long dominance of the Mongol Golden Horde and European culture. And that this was a positive thing that should be preserved and encouraged, along with progressive social reform. The different Asian, Central and other, cultures in the Russian Empire would have been autonomous. But mostly it was a movement that tried to emphasize a unique way of viewing the world that has much in common with some Third World progressive philosophies that tried to anchor social change in indigenous ways of viewing the world, whether that meant Middle Eastern, African, or Asian (to a lesser extent). Some of these were in fact far right, others, like Ali Shariati's movement in pre-revolutionary Iran, were in fact progressive and tolerant. Troubetzkoy's book "The Legacy of Genghis Khan" is available for a very high price from University of Michigan publishers. The whole thing, including the movements in the Third World, presents an interesting questioning of the whole idea of what 'West' really is. Hard to directly apply it to the United States, but even that can be done if you're creative, which doesn't mean applying arguments that were formulated for Russia to the United States but deconstructing Western identity in the United States to include the multiple perspectives that a multi-cultural society should bring.

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