Dromocraty: Speed as Power

In today’s world, speed plays a huge role. In everything. In the Special Military Operation (SMO), we found that in war—in modern warfare—it is also one of the key factors. How soon you can get intelligence, report it to the firing squad, and make the decision to strike, as well as quickly change where the firing assets have just been located, determines a great deal—almost everything. Hence the enormous role of UAVs and drones, satellite communications, and the time it takes to transmit enemy coordinates, the mobility of combat units, and the speed with which orders can be relayed to the firing unit. Clearly, this was underestimated during preparations for the SMO; and now we have to make up for it in a critical environment.

Similarly, we underestimated our dependence on the West for digital technology, chips, and precision manufacturing. Preparing for a frontal confrontation with NATO and at the same time relying on technological elements developed and produced either in NATO countries or in Western-dependent states is not evidence of great intelligence.

But this is not about Western-dependence now, but about the speed factor. The French philosopher Paul Virilio, who studied the importance of speed to modern technical civilization, proposed a special term: dromocracy. From the Greek dromos (speed) and kratos (might, power). Virilio’s theory is based on the assertion that under the new civilizational conditions, the winner is not the one who is stronger, smarter, or better equipped, but the one who is faster. It is speed that decides everything. Hence the desire to increase by any means the speed of processors; and, accordingly, all digital operations. This is what most of the technical innovative thought is focused on today. Everyone is competing for speed.

The modern world is a struggle for acceleration. And whoever is faster gets the most important prize—power, in all its senses and dimensions (political, military, technological, economic, cultural).

In this case, the most valuable in the structure of dromocracy is information. It is the speed of information transmission that is the concrete expression of power. This applies both to the functioning of the world’s stock exchanges and to the conduct of military action. Whoever is able to do something faster, gains complete power over the one who hesitated.

At the same time, dromocracy as a consciously chosen strategy, that is, the attempt to dominate time as such, can also lead to strange effects. The factor of the future comes into play. Hence the phenomenon of futures transactions and related hedge funds, as well as other financial mechanisms of a similar vein, in which major transactions are made with something that does not yet exist.

The ideal of media dromocracy is to be the first to report an event that has not yet happened, but which is quite likely about to happen. This is not just fake, it is working with the realm of the possible, the probable, the probabilistic. If we take a probable future event as something that has already happened, we buy time, and thus gain power. Another thing is that it may not happen. Yes, that it is possible; but sometimes the failure of expectation is uncritical; and vice versa, a confirmed forecast, taken as a fait accompli beforehand, offers enormous advantages.

This is the essence of dromocracy: the element of time is not simple, and the one who manages to subdue it gets total global power. In the development of supervelocity, reality itself is warped, and the laws of non-classical physics—anticipated in Einstein’s theory of relativity and to an even greater extent in quantum physics—come into play. Ultimate speeds change the laws of physics. And it is in this realm that the planetary struggle for power plays out today, according to Virilio.

Similar theories are found in a more applied and less philosophical field—the theory of network-centric warfare. And it is precisely this kind of network-centric warfare that we encountered in the course of the SMO in Ukraine. The main feature of such a war is the rapid transfer of information between individual units and centers of command. For this purpose, soldiers and other combat units are equipped with numerous differently oriented cameras and other sensors, the information from which converges to a single point. To this is added data from helicopters, UAVs and satellites. They are integrated directly with combat and firing units. And this full network integration provides the most important advantage—speed. This is exactly how the HIMARS, mobile group tactics and DRGs work. Starlink satellite communications was also used for this purpose.

Theories of network-centric warfare recognize that speed of decision-making often comes at the expense of their justifiability. There are a lot of miscalculations. But if you act quickly, then even after making a mistake, there is always time to correct it. Here the principle of hacking or DoS-attack is used—the main thing is to pound on the entire location of the enemy’s troops, looking for weaknesses, the back door. The losses can be quite high, but the results, if successful, are quite significant.

Further, network-centric warfare includes as its integral component open channels of information—primarily social networks. They do not simply accompany the conduct of hostilities, communicating, of course, only what is beneficial and what is not, hiding or distorting beyond recognition, but also operate with a probabilistic future. The principle of dromocracy again. What we perceive as fakes today is nothing more than probing and artificially stimulating a possible future. A lot of fakes turn out to be empty, just as attempts to break through hacking defenses are often futile, but occasionally they reach their goal—and then the system can be hijacked and subjugated.

Dromocracy in the political sphere allows for deviations from rigid ideological rules. In the West itself, for example, racism and Nazism are, to put it mildly, not openly encouraged. But in the case of Ukraine and some other societies, sharpened to defend the geopolitical interests of the West, an exception is made. Anti-Russian Nazism and Russophobia flourish there, but the West itself does not notice it, cleverly avoiding it. The fact is that for the rapid construction of a nation where none ever existed, and if there are in fact two peoples on one territory, you simply can’t do without nationalism. In order to do this as quickly as possible, we need extreme forms, including outright Nazism and racism. And this is again a question of dromocracy. It is necessary to create a simulacrum of a nation quickly. This is done by taking a radical ideology, any images and myths of our own exceptionalism, even the most ridiculous ones, and putting it all into practice quickly (with complete control of the information sphere; in the end, Western societies simply do not notice it).

Then comes the equally rapid propaganda of these ideas, which have nothing to do with Western liberal democracy. What follows is war, and the aggressors are portrayed as victims and the saviors as executioners. The main thing is to control the information. And if everything goes according to the plan of the globalists, then a quick resolution follows, and after that the neo-Nazi structures themselves are cleaned up just as quickly. Almost the same thing we saw in Croatia during the breakup of Yugoslavia. First, the West helped the Croatian Nazis, the neo-Nazis, and armed them against the Serbs; and then it cleaned them up so that there was no trace of them. The important thing is to do everything very, very quickly. Neo-Nazism quickly appeared, quickly fulfilled its role, quickly disappeared. And it’s as good as gone.

That’s exactly the secret of Zelensky. The Mercurial comedian was not chosen as the ringleader by accident. His psyche is volatile and prone to rapid change. The perfect politician for a fluid society. Now he says and does one thing; in a moment he is doing something else. And what was a second ago, no one remembers, as the speed of the information flow is steadily increasing.

And against this background, how do we look like? As soon as we began to act swiftly, decisively and almost spontaneously (the first phase of NWO), tremendous success followed. Almost half of Ukraine is under our control.

As soon as we began to slow down the operation, the initiative began to go to the enemy. This is where it turned out that the network-centric nature of modern warfare and the laws of dromocracy had not been properly taken into account. As soon as we took a reactive stance, switched to protection and defense, we lost the speed factor. Yes, the Ukrainian victories are mostly virtual; but in a world where the tail wags the dog, where almost everything is virtual (including finances, services, information, etc.), this is hardly enough. The anecdote about the two Russian paratroopers in the ruins of Washington, D.C. lamenting—”we lost the information war”—is funny, but ambiguous. After all, this is also something virtual, an attempt to probabilistically encode the future. When it comes to reality checks, however, not everything is that smooth. Here it is necessary either to bring down all dromocracy, virtuality, the whole network-centric postmodernity; that is, all modernity and the entire vector of the modern West (but how can this be done at once?); or to accept—even if in part—the rules of the enemy, that is, to speed ourselves up. The question of whether we Russians will be able to enter the realm of dromocracy and learn to win network-centric (including informational!) wars is not an abstraction. Our Victory depends directly on it.

To this end, we must first of all comprehend—in the Russian, patriotic way—the nature of time. The slowness with which we understand everything, the slowness with which we lag, and the slowness with which we put things into practice, even disproves the adage that “Russians harness long, but ride fast.” This is the point at which, if we don’t go very fast, the situation could become very dangerous.

The faster we do it, the faster we fix it. I am not even talking about outfitting our warriors with network attributes, speeding up the command process, and implementing effective information security measures. But it is simply necessary to be at par with a well-equipped enemy.

And again, if the “Voentorg” speculation on the price of minimum uniforms for the mobilized has not been immediately followed by a rapid wave of direct repression from the authorities, this is a very bad sign. Somebody in the government is imagining that we are still harnessing up, although we are already rushing at full speed. We need to come to grips with this as a matter of urgency. Otherwise, it may turn out that we are racing—how shall I put it gently—a bit in the wrong direction.

Dromocracy is no joke. It is not about overtaking the West. It should be swept up in its dizzying hubris. But to do that we have to act with lightning speed ourselves. And sensibly. Russia no longer has the right or the time for slumber and lethargy.

Alexander Dugin is a widely-known and influential Russian philosopher. His most famous work is The Fourth Political Theory (a book banned by major book retailers), in which he proposes a new polity, one that transcends liberal democracy, Marxism and fascism. He has also introduced and developed the idea of Eurasianism, rooted in traditionalism. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitica.

Featured: “Espansione x velocità Velocita d’automobile” (Expansion x Speed Velocity of a Car), by Giacomo Balla; ca. 1913-1914.