The Rainbow Left, or the Kafkaesque Metamorphosis

“Lilies that fester, smell far worse than weeds” (Shakespeare, Sonnet 94). These lines may rightly be considered the most realistic description of the fate that has mercilessly engulfed the Left in the western quadrant of the world after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

To evoke a further literary figure, the neo-leftists have undergone a Verwandlung, a “metamorphosis” similar to that described by Kafka. A metamorphosis that has caused them to plunge into the abyss in which they have found themselves since 1989 and, to an even greater extent, since the arrival of the new Millennium. The situation may seem tragicomic at times, if one considers that currently the slogans of Capital and the desiderata of the ruling classes (less State and more market, less ties and more fluidity, less community belonging and more individualistic liberalization) find in the programs and lexicon of the rainbow Neo-Left a punctual response, an energetic defense and an uninterrupted celebration. Without hyperbole, the order of the dominant, in the framework of capitalist globalization, presents in the decaffeinated Neo-Left an apology and a sanctification no less radical than those it finds in the Right, traditional seat of the cultural and political reproduction of the hegemonic nexus of force.

Regression and barbarism, which have not ceased to accompany Capital, are no longer answered by the Left by appealing to the desire for greater freedoms and ennobling futures; au contraire, they are obstinately defended and presented by the Left itself as the quintessence of the movement of that progress of claritate in claritatem which—to say it with Marx—has not ceased to resemble “that hideous, pagan idol, who would not drink the nectar but from the skulls of the slain.” No more “socialism or barbarism,” but “capitalism or barbarism,” this seems to be the new and magnetic mot d’ordre of a Left that, by denying itself and its own history, has become the most faithful guardian of neoliberal power.

We call the “New left”—expressly in the “English of the markets” that is so dear to it—the postmodern and neoliberal New Left, enemy of Marx, of Gramsci and of the working classes and, at the same time, friend of Capital, of the neoliberal plutocracy and of the global turbo-capitalist New Order. We use this terminology to carefully distinguish the rainbow neo-left from the red old-left which, with various gradations and with differentiated intensities (from reformism to revolutionary maximalism, from socialism to communism), tried in different ways, in the eighteenth century and later during the “short century,” to “storm the heavens,” to alter the balance of power, to realize the “dream of one thing” and to put into practice the “elusive simplicity.”

The more noble the traditional, socialist and communist old-left appears, with its successes and conquests, but also with its failures and defeats, the more it arouses the unpleasant effect of the “rotten lilies” of which Shakespeare wrote, the rainbow New left reduced to the status of guard of the iron cage of Capital (with the polytheism of consumer values incorporated); a sui generis guard however, which, in order to preserve its own identity—in reality long lost—and the old consensus of strength on the side of the rights and the weak, and thus to be able to lead the masses towards the silent acceptance of the power of neo-capitalism, it must permanently resurrect again definitively extinct enemies (the eternal fascism) or invent new lateral struggles (the identity micro-struggles for gender and for the green economy), which allow it to appear to be part of the offensive against the evils of an existent to which it has un-confessedly sworn allegiance.

Herein lies the truly trash element of the everyday neoliberal Left. In specie, the most trash element of the postmodern rainbow New Left resides in considering itself, with a necessary false consciousness, as the advanced front of universal development and progress, without realizing that the development and progress it promotes coincide with those of Capital and its classes; development and progress that, consequently, are accompanied by disempowerment, impoverishment and regression for the national-popular classes, that is, those that the “anti-populist” neoliberal Left now openly considers its main enemies—and that the red old-left assumed as its own social and political subject of reference, in the eagerness to provoke the emancipation of the prose of capitalist alienation. There is no doubt: for the liberal-progressive New left the main enemy is not capitalist Globalization, but everything that has not yet yielded to it and still resists it.

Anti-fascism in the absence of fascism and identity micro-struggles for rainbow rights or, in any case, for issues sidereally distant from the capitalist contradiction, allow the New left to gain a triple advantage: (a) to have an alibi to justify its now integral adherence to the program of postmodern neoliberal civilization; (b) to maintain its own identity and its own consensus, through the fiction of the struggle against dead and buried enemies (fascism) or against instances which, in any case, do not question the global reproduction of techno-capitalist society; c) to lead the masses of militants—whom, often, it would be appropriate to call “militants”—straight towards adherence to the efficient anarchy of liberal neo-cannibalism, presented precisely as progressive and “left-wing”.

The inertial consensus from which the rainbow Neo-Left still benefits, thanks to a glorious past on the side of labor and emancipation, serves in this way to take advantage of and thus legitimize what the old red left had fought against. In support of the thesis that evidences this process of metamorphosis, which began with May ‘68 and manifested itself in its most radical form after the annus horribilis of 1989; suffice it to recall that, since the 1990s of the “short century,” every success of the Left in the West tends to coincide with a resounding defeat of the working classes.

In the name of Progress, the Left, with even greater diligence than the Right, has become the promoter of consumerist liberalization and privatization, of the casualization of labor and the imperialist export of Human Rights; that is to say, it has carried out, with scientific method and admirable rigor, the tableau de bord of the neoliberal oligarchic bloc. And it has done so by always supporting—and ennobling as Progress—the extension of the merciless market logic to every sphere of the world of life, to every corner of the planet, to every crevice of consciousness, symmetrically delegitimizing (as “regression,” “fascism,” “totalitarianism,” “populism” and “sovereignism”); everything that could still contribute, in the words of Walter Benjamin, to pull the emergency brake, to stop the “mad flight” towards the nothingness of barbarism and nihilism.

In the postmodern political lexicon of the rainbow-colored New Left, there is no trace of the rights of the workers, the people and the oppressed: au contraire, “populism” is the derogatory label, increasingly in vogue, which—as masters of the neo-language patented by Orwell—delegitimizes a priori any national-popular claim of the working classes and the suffering people, any deviation from “Progress,” id est of the development program of neo-liberal civilization. There is no doubt about it: le discours du capitaliste, as Lacan qualified it, and the neoliberal “new way of the world” have also saturated the imaginary of a Left now philo-Atlantist and mercantilist, which has cynically and unabashedly moved from the struggle against Capital to the struggle for Capital.

Such integration into global capitalism is rarely openly admitted for what it really is: a conscious alignment with the world in opposition to which the politics of the socialist and communist Left had been legitimized for much of the twentieth century. In diametrically opposed fashion, the New Left almost always justifies itself by resorting to the hypocritical, liberating and de-responsibilizing formula of “there is no alternative” or its variant—on which the new economic theology is based—according to which “it is what the market demands.” Not infrequently this is praised on the Left as adherence to the rhythm of progress, omitting to point out that the progress in course coincides with that of Capital and its triumphal march of self-affirmation.

This obscene apologetic adherence to the reifying prose of capitalist inégalité parmi les hommes and its vertiginous increase, is pretextualized in the left quadrant by recourse to the theorem of the identification of the status quo, intrinsically undemocratic, with the perfectly complete “democracy” that must be protected from dangerous attempts at “fascist subversion,” which in turn are made to coincide ideologically with any pretension to set in motion the exodus from the neoliberal iron cage.

The anti-totalitarian rhetoric, as Losurdo and Preve have shown, plays a decisive role in the consolidation of the consensus towards neoliberal civilization: it allows the glorification of the capitalist mode of production as the kingdom of freedom, liquidating as “totalitarian” the historical noucentista communism and, in perspective, any movement that might propose alternative routes of emancipation with respect to capitalism itself. On the one hand, the only really existing totalitarianism today—that of the totally administered society of techno-capital—is venerated as the open society of perfectly implemented freedom; and, on the other, the idea of socialism is condemned without appeal, inducing adaptation, euphoric or resigned, to the neoliberal “iron cage.”

The assumption of the anti-totalitarian paradigm contributed decisively to the metamorphosis of the New Left into a liberal-Atlantist force complementing the hegemonic power relationship. It should not be forgotten that already in May 1989, that is, a few months before the fall of the Wall, Achille Occhetto and Giorgio Napolitano—leading figures of the Italian Communist Party—were in Washington (it was, moreover, the first time in history that a “visa” was granted to a Secretary of the PCI). Occhetto had set the PCI on the road to the Kafkaesque metamorphosis (“svolta della Bolognina”) into the New Left, that is, into a radical mass party. For his part, Napolitano would occupy successively for two times the office of President of the Republic (from 2006 to 2015), without opposing either the imperialist intervention in Libya (2011) or the advent of the ultraliberal “technical government” of Mario Monti (2011).

In this same metamorphic wake, under the sign of anti-totalitarian rhetoric, one should read the statement of the Secretary of the Communist Refoundation Party, Paolo Ferrero, in the newspaper Liberazione on November 9, 2009, regarding the “political judgment on the fall of the Berlin Wall”: “it was a positive and necessary fact, to be celebrated.” Ferrero’s words could have been the same words uttered by any politician of firm liberal-Atlantist faith.

The Kafkaesque metamorphosis of the New Left appears all the more clearly if one considers that, for its part, communism was the most seductive promise of a happiness other than that available, but also the most glacial critique of the civilization of the commodity form: it was, at least in theory, the greatest attempt ever made in the history of the oppressed to break the chains, with nothing to lose and only a world to gain.

Also, for this reason the post-Marxist and neoliberal Left appears among the least noble realities that exist under heaven: it has operationally determined or, at any rate, it has docilely favored the silence of the “dream of a thing,” its gloomy conversion into the “dream of things” and into reconciliation with the world of exploitation and inequality, of reification and alienation.
Varying the well-known formula used by Benedetto Croce in relation to Christianity, there was a time when it was impossible not to declare oneself “left-wing,” just as now, for the same reasons, it is impossible to call oneself “left-wing.” Attempting to reform or re-found the Left is an intrinsically impossible and uselessly energizing operation, since—as we shall try to show—its paradigm is contaminated from the beginning by that contradiction, which explodes completely in two phases: the first with May ‘68, and the second with 1989. From Marx, from Gramsci and from anti-capitalism, the path in search of the emancipated community can be restarted, under the banner of democratic relations between equally free individuals. But to do so it is necessary, at the same time, to say goodbye to the paradigm of the Left, animated as it is—the studies of Boltanski and Chiapello, those of Michéa and Preve have taught us—by an unreflective adherence to the myth of Progress and to the erroneous belief that the approval of the bourgeois world and its culture produces emancipation by itself. It is necessary to “disconnect” Marx’s paradigm from the Left and its internal aporias, to start again from Marx himself and venture towards a new—and yet to be imagined—anti-capitalist communitarianism, beyond the Hercules columns of the Right and the Left.

Therefore, we consider it useless and also counterproductive to obstinately “howl with the wolves,” to take up the happy formula that Hegel used in Frankfurt to explain how it was not possible to reform anything in the Frankfurters. We live in the time of the “impossible Left.” If, as Preve liked to affirm, “the message is inadmissible when the addressee is irreformable,” it is necessary to go further, without worrying about the virtuous chorus of the howling wolves. The latter, immersed in intellectual agoraphobia, will oppose any theoretical innovation and any possible theoretical-practical production of new paradigms with the capacity—to take up the explosive hendiadys questioned by Marx—to theoretically criticize and practically change the order of things.

The glamorous Neo-Left, in fact, seems definitively entrenched in its own paradigm. And, at the mercy of its permanent intellectual agoraphobia, it is unwilling to expose itself to a dialogue on issues and problems related to it and to its own vision: its unavailability for a rational and problematizing discussion means that anyone who dares to criticize it is, for that very reason, ostracized as an enemy to be expelled and as a fascist infiltrator who—new heretic—tries to penetrate the “pure” citadel in order to corrupt it.

Even in this, the New Left plays a non-negligible apologetic function with respect to neoliberal globocracy: more specifically, an apotropaic function.

In fact, in the wake of its past, the Left continues to treacherously present itself as the side of emancipation, just now when it only defends the reasons of the neoliberal oligarchic bloc: and by this means, with its claim to be monopolistically on the side of the defense of the dominated (which in reality it contributes daily to disempower), it contributes to delegitimize any attempt to criticize and overcome capitalism, immediately branding it as “not leftist” and therefore reactionary by definition.

In short, the paradox lies in the fact that if the Right fully embodies the paradigm of those who, in various ways, are comfortable with the status quo, the New left claims to represent exclusively any possible critical instance, in the very act with which—no less than the Right—it is organic to the order of the markets. And in doing so, it guarantees its gatekeeping function in the best possible way.

Diego Fusaro is professor of the History of Philosophy at the IASSP in Milan (Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies) where he is also scientific director. He is a scholar of the Philosophy of History, specializing in the thought of Fichte, Hegel, and Marx. His interest is oriented towards German idealism, its precursors (Spinoza) and its followers (Marx), with a particular emphasis on Italian thought (Gramsci or Gentile, among others). he is the author of many books, including Fichte and the Vocation of the IntellectualThe Place of Possibility: Toward a New Philosophy of Praxis, and Marx, again!: The Spectre Returns. This article appears courtesy of Posmodernia.

Interview With Tucker Carlson: Issues of Terminology

The interview with Tucker Carlson in Russian has been translated hastily and not quite correctly. On the whole, everything can be understood. But there are a few nuances. I am talking to an American and addressing the American public as a priority. Judging by the thousands of comments, they understood me perfectly well.

So here it is: in the political language of the modern States there are common terms—for example, woke, wokeism—that we do not use. It is a call to all liberals to immediately write denunciations of those who differ from the LGBT (banned in Russia) agenda, or from critical racial theory (the same needs clarification, but that is for another time), who question internationalism and globalism, who question the need to protect illegal and any migration. Then there is the vilification of all patriots and conservatives (present and historical) by accusing them of “fascism.” Apparently wokeism is now being actively mastered by the younger generation of the CRPF, but they are not the ones I am addressing.

The logic is as follows: woke left-liberal identifies a victim (conservative), writes a series of denunciations, makes a video on YouTube, Instagram (banned in Russia), gathers a flash mob, etc., and then canceling comes into play—inspections at the place of work, biased interviews reminiscent of interrogations, commissioned articles, and then dismissal, ostracism, search pessimization in social networks, financial checks, ban on loans, account disconnection—in extreme cases, murder (of the figurehead himself or a relative). A complete cycle of left-liberal terror. With a historical figure, the same thing is done to his legacy—books (paintings, movies) are censored or banned, his place in the query hierarchy drops dramatically in search engines, a defamation section appears on Wikipedia that cannot be removed. This process can affect Dante, Dostoevsky, Rowling, and even Scripture if it is found not politically correct enough.

Therefore, when I say “woke” I am immediately understood by everyone in the USA. But in our country, we would have to publish a whole article with explanations and examples, after which many of our domestic leftists and left-liberals would be ashamed (if they have a conscience, and this still needs to be proven).

Further, there is also the familiar US meaning of the term “progressive” or “progressist.” This is the self-designation of left-wing liberals, deadly opponents of Trump, Tucker Carlson, conservatism, religion, family, traditional values. We do not use the term “progressive” or “progressist” in this sense either.

There is a real war going on in the United States between “progressives” and “conservatives.” The “conservatives” believe that the “progressives,” though mistaken, have the right to exist, while the “progressives” brand all “conservatives” as “fascists” and insist that they have no right to life and their ideas. They are “enemies of the open society” (Popper), who must be destroyed before they destroy the “open society” itself. That is, “progressives” are woke and canceling. The core of the “progressives” are Trotskyists, both direct the left wing of the Democratic Party and those who have become neocons (like Robert Kagan, Bill Kristol, Victoria Nuland, etc.). In essence, “progressives” are supporters of World Revolution (only liberal, globalist) and Jacobin terror.

And finally, the most difficult term, “liberals.” It means several things at once in modern American political parlance:

  1. The entire American political system as a whole, that is, recognizing the legitimacy and supremacy of capitalism, can be called liberalism. In this sense, “liberals” in the US are everyone: the left liberal Democrat Party, the right liberal Republican Party (GOP). The former are more in favor of free migration, perversion and wokeism, the latter are more in favor of flat tax and big capital.
  2. More narrowly, and in a bipartisan discussion, it is usually the “liberals” who are referred to specifically as “left liberals,” that is, those who are for wokeism, cancel culture, and who are “progressive.” Sometimes they—being real fascists—appear as “anti-fascists.” Their logic is: “if you don’t send a suspected ‘fascist’ to a concentration camp in advance, he will send you there.” Such “liberals” believe that Republicans, and especially Trumpists, i.e., the republican conservative flank, should be locked up, or even cut out. And again—until they cut them out themselves (see the new movie “The Civil War”—it is about exactly that and accurately captures the mindset of American—left-wing—liberals).
  3. In an entirely different context, one might call “liberals” (though this is increasingly rare) “old liberals”—such as Tucker Carlson himself. Sometimes the term “libertarians” is used to distinguish them. They are most like anarchists, only right-wing rather than left-wing. “Progressives” often identify them as “fascists” because they interpret “liberalism” quite differently than the liberal left themselves. And anyone who is not a left liberal is a “fascist” and should be “abolished.” Libertarian liberals are in favor of a flat income tax or no income tax at all and are against state and government involvement in the economy. They are also in favor of bearing arms (2nd Amendment to the Constitution) and the complete and unrestricted freedom to do what you want, say what you want, and be whoever you want. Such “old liberals” believe that the “new liberals” (woke, LGBT, “progressive”, internationalists) have taken over the Federal Government and want to build “Stalinism” or “communism” or a “corporate state” in the US.

So, when talking to Tucker Carlson about liberalism, I had to take into account all three meanings of the term, and as the comments show, the American audience understood me perfectly well. If I were to explain all this in more detail, Tucker Carlson would really, as in the memes, turn gray and grow old. And for the Russian audience I would have to organize a whole course on liberalism, its history, its origins, its mutations (from right-wing Hayek to left-wing Soros—and this is only at the very last stage), and on contemporary political semantics in the United States. And then another course showing that it has nothing to do with us—then what was the first course for, those who will understand the second will ask? Actually, I have done this many times—including at the Center for Conservative Studies at Moscow State University, at the Tsargrad Institute, at the Ilyin Higher Political School, in countless lectures, courses, videos (short and long), textbooks and monographs.

That said, the American public is also a bit prepared for my ideas. There was a wild campaign of globalists and left-wing liberals for my total vilification. Sometimes I was even referred to as a “Trump advisor” to make it easier to destroy him. In other words, for “progressives,” Wokeists and “liberals,” I am a “Dr. Evil” of global proportions, “the most dangerous philosopher in the world.” At the same time, Dimitri Simes Jr., son of the prominent political expert, thinker and analyst Dimitri Simes Sr., who grew up in the United States, told me that he became acquainted with my books (in English, of course—at least a dozen of them translated and published in the United States) at school. His fellow students showed him, sub rosa, The Foundations of Geopolitics or The Theory of a Multipolar World, bragging about their access to dissident literature—until some woke Afro-lesbian noticed and wrote a denunciation—with imminent expulsion.

But I did not have such a format of addressing Americans as I did in the case of the interview with Tucker Carlson and especially after the historic phenomenal interview of our President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin with the world’s number 1 journalist. The globalist media shows only what is favorable to them, and everything I say is not favorable to them. That is why they say all kinds of invented and absurd things on my behalf. And the alternative American media, where I appear from time to time, do not have much coverage and are themselves semi-legal—as are the bright, freedom-loving journalists—like Alex Jones or Larry Johnson. Tucker Carlson is an exception. He and his program are still mainstream American, and his views are at complete odds with the totalitarian dominated ruling class of “progressives,” “woke,” “liberals,” and “anti-fascists.”

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 Geopolitika.

Are We in a Liberal Regime?

The moral depression and intellectual disorientation that have taken possession of our country over the past twenty years have one main cause: we no longer know which political regime we are living under. More precisely, the regime we live in is no longer the one we are supposed to live in. We are supposed to be living in a liberal democracy, but the institutions of this regime are running on empty and are incapable of fulfilling their function. Which regime are we actually living in?

The liberal-democratic regime is based on the association of two principles which must be closely linked if the regime is to function properly, but which are in themselves distinct and can be separated, as we see precisely today in Europe and especially in France.

First principle: the State is the impartial guardian of the rights of citizens and members of society, protecting the equal freedom of each and every individual. Second principle: government is representative—representative of the interests and wishes of a historically constituted people, representative of its way of life and its desire to govern itself. These two principles are linked by a third, that of the sovereignty of the people.

Thus, in the modern regime, a historic people governs itself sovereignly, on condition that the equality and freedom of citizens are respected in the formation and application of the law. The State is impartial, but necessarily partial parties alternate in government. This alternation allows the opinions and interests that divide the civic body to feel sufficiently represented by the governing institutions. This system, which allows for the fiercest opposition, is at the root of the greatest stability, because it enables a moral and emotional exchange between rulers and ruled, between the confidence of the ruled, if not in the governing party, at least in the system that organizes the alternation, and the sense of responsibility of the rulers, who know to whom they are accountable.

Today, this moral and emotional exchange is virtually frozen, as alternation has been deprived of its representative and purgative virtue. From the 1970s and 1980s onwards, both the Right and the Left abandoned their respective “peoples” of reference—the Right the nation, the Left the “workers”—and the representative system came up empty. The so-called “governing” Right and Left came together in a common reference to “Europe,” but what seemed to promise a less partisan politics led instead to mistrust, and even a kind of secession, of the two “peoples” thus neglected. The ruling class now draws its legitimacy not from a representativeness that eludes it, but from its adherence to “values” that it intends to inculcate in recalcitrant populations. In this way, we have allowed representative government to atrophy, shifting the bulk of political legitimacy to the State as producer of the impartial norm. To be perfectly impartial, to be beyond suspicion, the norm would eventually have to detach itself entirely from the body politic in which the State was rooted, and to whose legitimacy its own legitimacy was closely associated.

The Depoliticization of the State

We can see where this movement is taking us. If the institution of the State is willing and able to effectively guarantee the equal rights of its members, as well as the free and undistorted pursuit of their particular interests, do we really need a representative government with that ever-precarious moral and emotional exchange between rulers and ruled that I mentioned? Why should the State, guarantor of our rights and interests, be closely, indissolubly attached to the historical body politic known as France? The shift in legitimacy we are witnessing is because of the fact that a State attached to a particular political body will always appear less impartial than a State detached from any political affiliation. Only the complete depoliticization of the State can guarantee its perfect impartiality. According to the new legitimacy, the right of the “climate migrant,” for example, prevails without contest over the right of the body politic, which has only its “common good” to invoke—a notion that is actually unintelligible today for the judge, administrative or judicial, who only wants to judge in the name of humanity in general, of humanity without borders. Thus—and this is the immense revolution we are now witnessing, or rather, acting in and victimizing, in this new regime—it is the body politic of which we are citizens that is at the root of all injustice, because of the self-preference it cannot help feeling and exercising. This is a point well worth considering.

For the opinion that governs us, every political body, every republic, is an arbitrary circumscription in the seamless fabric of humanity. What right do we have to separate ourselves from humanity in this way? What right do we have to declare as the “common good” that which is, at most, the good of a few, of a “we?” What is more, within our own arbitrary borders, “we” exercise no less arbitrary power over all sorts of groups—”minorities”—on whom we impose this supposed “common good.” The work of justice, then, is to bring the oppressed minorities to light, to make their cry heard—an indefinite task, an interminable task, for we cannot guess today what new oppressed minority will come to light tomorrow. Note that those who call for a new right usually put forward no other justification than generic “equality,” without bothering to establish that this criterion is applicable or relevant in the context under consideration.

Why are new rights exempt from the obligation to justify them? Why this refusal to argue? Quite simply because deliberation, the exchange of arguments, necessarily presupposes a constituted society, a civic conversation, a shared form of life, a common world—in short, everything that the minority claim denounces and rejects as its oppressor, its suffocator, its executioner. Indeed, debate presupposes not agreement on political, religious or any other truth, but at least that minimum of shared meaning and trust that makes discussion possible, and which the minority claim rejects as the most insidious form of majority oppression.

Europe’s False Promises

What is most deleterious about this double movement I am trying to define is that, outwardly as well as inwardly, it obeys a principle of limitlessness. We will never be done abolishing borders, just as we will never be done emancipating minorities. We will never finish deconstructing what the political animal has built, undoing what it has so painstakingly ordered.

We might never have embarked on such a fruitless adventure had we not believed that the erasure of national borders promised a “new frontier,” the “external frontier” of Europe, or that the erasure of the national “common” promised the new “common” of the European Union. The proof that this promise was illusory is that the European Union is incapable of putting an end to its “enlargement.” Yet each step in this direction has meant a political weakening of Europe, both by increasing its internal heterogeneity and by diminishing its capacity to relate judiciously to the outside world. This compulsion to enlarge ignores the fact that the more we expand, the more we come into contact with new contexts and unprecedented difficulties, demanding ever greater capacity to deliberate, decide and act—something Europe has lacked since the very beginning.

Thus, far from substituting its strength for the weakness of the nations that make it up, the European Union merely confirms and renders irreversible the abandonment of the representative republic, which was the regime in which our countries, France in particular, found in the modern era that alliance of force and justice that is the very purpose of political existence.

Pierre Manent is a political philosopher at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Centre de recherches politiques Raymond Aron, and Boston College. His many books are widely translated into English, including, Metamorphoses of the City: On the Western DynamicA World beyond Politics?: A Defense of the Nation State, and Modern Liberty and its Discontents. This article appears courtesy of La Nef.

Featured: Vuelo de brujas {The Flight of Witches), by Francisco Goya; painted in 1798.

Revel: A Liberal between Paris and Washington

Known and recognized for his talent as a polemicist and his unquestionable erudition, Jean-François Revel added to these qualities the strength of his personal convictions against the current of his time and his country. Of his time—he defended an uncompromising liberalism against all forms of totalitarian temptation when almost no one was grumbling against the Marxist doxa. Of his country—he was an atypical exponent of a pessimistic and skeptical current in the nation that has probably deposited more militant faith in the transforming capacities of politics. However, as we shall see later, these two considerations need, if not total amendments, at least partial ones.

A Liberal of the Land who Loved Ideas

Born in Marseille in 1924, a student of the elite École Normale Supérieure and a philosophy graduate, he taught in Algeria, Mexico and Italy before abandoning teaching and devoting himself to an independent intellectual and journalistic career. He was a cosmopolitan spirit, an attitude that radiated in his writings and was reflected in his philias and phobias, but very French in an essential sense: that of the utmost fidelity to that national spirit summed up in the formula that the British historian Sudhir Hazareesingh coined for his How the French Think: “that country that loved ideas.” For, although every great nation considers itself to be an exceptional homeland, France’s particularity is that it associates that status with the genius that allows it the greatest theoretical feats and the greatest intellectual prowess. As a historian of ideas, philosopher, journalist, literary and political editorialist, director of collections in various publishing houses, Jean-François Revel’s biography fits like a glove with the epochal sense of what Michel Winock baptized as “the century of intellectuals.”

In his case, however, the slogan so often repeated in the Parisian 1960s can be reversed: unlike a whole generation seduced by that “cabal of devotees” (title of the book in which he criticized the intellectual caste infected by totalitarian ideologies), Revel preferred to be right with Aron rather than wrong with Sartre. He challenged with the weapons of the committed intellectual the kind of anti-capitalist and anti-liberal gnosticism that manifests itself in the disdain for facts and the real man. Against the prophetic attitude of his guild, which proclaims itself, as Voegelin noted, “connoisseur of the means to save the human race,” Revel dared to proclaim the nakedness of ideologies surrendered to radiant futures that pass for unwavering and sanctimonious adherence to the iron fist wielded by the salvific powers of the earth. As his boss wrote in the newspaper l’Express, Olivier Todd, he was a declared enemy of jargon, systems, gurus, social projects and utopias.

But this is, as we have already warned, only a half-truth, which leaves Revel, so to speak, on the good side of history in view of the well-known outcome of the Cold War. Because Revel’s liberalism came from the humanist left and he did not end up separating himself from a certain idea of socialism that he cultivated since his youth as a resistance fighter during the German occupation of France. He wrote his first works against the right (Lettre ouverte à la droite), against General de Gaulle and against the monarchical architecture of the Fifth Republic. He came to the conclusion that the greatest enemy of the socialism he desired was communism. He knew Mitterrand very well, and even became a candidate on his electoral lists during the long desert crossing of the socialist leader, whose political youth was, as is well known, quite different from his own (perhaps for that reason Revel was one of the first to portray that cold and impenetrable sphinx who arrived at the Elysée Palace in 1981). To put it in Oakeshott’s terms, Revel’s liberalism proceeded from the politics of faith but ended up being anchored, perhaps to his regret, in the politics of skepticism. Though never quite.

In How Democracies Perish, Revel warned that liberal democracy risks being a brief parenthesis in history, if the mental framework of Western leaders and public opinion remains a prisoner of bad conscience and political blindness. Almost naturally, and perhaps hastily, he shifted his interpretation of the red totalitarian threat to a new actor that was to replace it after the establishment of the New World Order: Islamist terrorism. This coalition of enemies explains to a large extent his bet on the American model, even though Revelian liberalism was, however, decidedly anti-Fukuyamaesque. In fact, he could rather be reproached for an excess of pessimism in his prognoses. The astuteness of reason seemed to lean toward the perverse side of history. Precisely at the moment when humanity perceived the need for a universal democracy, Revel understood that the Western democratic system “is corrupted, denaturalized, falsified at its core.” Little trace of messianism or democratic soteriology in his worldview.

An unrepentant liberal, Revel proposed in his works various remedies against democratic defeatism. This historical therapy could also be interpreted as an inner struggle against the psychological needs that the various forms of totalitarianism satisfy: overcoming nationalism, re-establishing the separation and balance of powers, matching the progress of knowledge with the efficacy of political action and decision. His theory of useless knowledge is, in this sense, symptomatic of his civilizational pessimism. The increase of knowledge in multiple fields of knowledge does not, according to Revel, have repercussions in a public space impervious to the rationalism of facts that thrives in civil society. By their attachment to the legends and prejudices of ideologies, the political-intellectual clercs continue to lead the masses along the path of chimeras.

This general attitude makes their increasingly enthusiastic defense of the United States a problematic and symptomatic element of their thinking. “If you erase anti-Americanism, you erase eighty percent of French political thought, both left and right,” he went so far as to say in an interview. This position undoubtedly reveals his public dissent. However, even he did not manage to remain aloof from the deformed image of the United States that prevails in the Hexagon.

Neither Marx nor Jesus?

For Revel America practically invented the idea of the future. While all previous societies, including modern ones, had their models in the past (the anticomania, for example, of the French revolutionaries, marvelously restored by Claude Mossé), the United States populates its imaginary with a society to come, a city on the hill to be inhabited by new men without stain. And Revel aspired precisely to a type of planetary democracy born of a second world revolution. According to the daring interpretation of Ni Marx ni Jésus [Neither Marx or Jesus], this second coming of the revolutionary spirit could only sprout by virtue of the particular historical dynamism of the United States of America, a “laboratory society” called to infect its way of life to all the countries of the world, for “revolution breaks down into two words: crisis and innovation.” It is here where one of the great errors of his understanding of historical facts can be pointed out.

Undoubtedly, he was right in understanding, perhaps before anyone else, that the revolution would not come from Moscow but from America. But, neither Marx nor Jesus? The American revolution is nothing but a particular and heterodox way of other Christians for another socialism. There is the Woke spawn to prove it, religious acrobatics, unhinged heresy of iconoclastic followers of both Marx and Jesus, twinned in the common devotion of victimocratic religion. It is no coincidence that the new European left expresses an undisguised admiration for this liberal and progressive America that fits in perfectly with its aspirations. When Revel was vituperative of the residues of totalitarian mentality in the European left despite the undeniable failures of real socialism, he was not wrong: his socialism could feel better represented in Washington. In a way, Augusto del Noce’s formula can be repeated: Marxism failed in the East because it triumphed in the West.

Edgar Morin, who by his own admission had lived his militancy in the French Communist Party during the forties and fifties of the last century as a form of religious mysticism, returned ecstatic from his stay with the “socialists” of California in the sixties. Thus he found an ideal that rejuvenated him and which he could not have defined in better terms: “Neo-Rousseauism, yearning for Christian purity, childlike warmth, libertarian tradition, utopian communism, Kathmandian rejection of the West.” Jean-Marie Domenach put it less nuanced in Esprit magazine in the 1970s, shortly after the publication of Neither Marx nor Jesus: “The United States is today the greatest communist country in the world.” Annie Kriegel recalled that communists “in their own way love America, as they feel attuned to its aspirations, its needs, the expectations that preside over the persistent use of the New World metaphor.” And he added: “Whether the entrance into the Promised Land is through migration or conversion, in both cases it has been necessary to tear oneself away from the ancient land of the Fall and Sin; it has been necessary, in person, to choose, to choose a new way of being in the world. The emigrant and the communist share the same brutal experience which is that of rupture.”

Trotsky, for his part, in a particularly revealing text, confirms this essential anthropological reality that nests in a revolutionary spirit common to modern Promethean projects: the Founding Fathers of Bolsheviks and Puritans share the same ancestors. After the Revolution, noted the creator of the Red Army, human life has become a Bivouac, that is to say, one of those camps set up provisionally to spend the night outdoors while waiting for the definitive dwelling. He wrote: “What is the use of solid houses,” the old believers of yesteryear asked, “if we are waiting for the coming of the Messiah? The Revolution does not build solid houses either; to compensate, it moves the people, crowds them in the same premises and builds barracks. Provisional barracks: such is the general aspect of its institutions. Not because it awaits the coming of the Messiah, not because it opposes his ultimate goal to the material process of organizing life, but because it strives, by constant research and experimentation, to find the best methods for building its final home. All its actions are sketches, drafts on a given theme.”

French Liberal… and American

Revel could have joined the mainstream of French liberalism, which is not that of giants like Tocqueville, but that other one portrayed by Lucien Jaume from his studies on Jacobin democracy and the 19th century. Far from enthroning the individual like the Scottish Enlightenment, French liberalism erases him. The French-style liberal individual, consecrated by the Reformation and confirmed by the Declaration of the Rights of Man, must contend with the sovereign state of the Bodinian matrix, which, far from being weakened, was strengthened by the Revolution. In figures such as François Guizot and Victor Cousin, this effort to erase the individual by submitting him to the geometric spirit of administrative centralization was manifested. French liberalism was an eminently statist liberalism, also colored with a missionary and collectivist spirit, of genuine republican civil religion. The liberalism of figures such as Madame de Staël or Benjamin Constant, supporters of the protection of individual conscience and the rights of the individual against the State, did not join the main stream of the majority liberalism in France. The Jacobin anticomania leaned to the side of the liberty of the ancients, which demands that the interest of the City should absorb the energy of all. In The Republic of the French Republicans, the interpretation of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen was always selective. The Frenchman would only be recognized as a citizen in the capacity of soldier, taxpayer, voter or pupil of the republican school. The long shadow of Rousseau did not fade with Robespierre. French liberal humanity, beyond the universalist rhetoric, circulated along the path of a citizenship domesticated by the State. Paradoxes of French liberalism, Jaume calls them.

If we expand on this point, it is simply to point out that Revel could have perfectly followed the course of this French-style liberalism without betraying the foundations of his thought. If he did not do so, perhaps it was because Paris was no longer the Mecca of the Revolution and Moscow could not be. Washington remained as the Third Rome of socio-liberal cosmopolitanism. There was no lack of philosophical sources on which to base an American-style progressive liberalism. In fact, in the United States the liberal is, broadly speaking, a praying social democrat. This is the line of Herbert Croly, who called for the creation of a New Republic of “Jeffersonian ends with Hamiltonian means.” These are aspects that Patrick Deneen reminds us of in Why Liberalism Failed? For this new American liberalism “Democracy could no longer mean individual self-reliance based upon the freedom of individuals to act in accordance with their own wishes. Instead, it must be infused with a social and even religious set of commitments that would lead people to recognize their participation in the ‘brotherhood of mankind.'” Baptist pastor Walter Rauschenbusch deepened this sensibility by proposing a Kingdom of God on earth, a new form of democracy that would not accept human nature as it is, but move it in the direction of its improvement.” Dewey proposed a “public socialism” and Croly a “flagrant socialism,” but for both of them this socialism was at the service of the construction of a new individual freed from the bonds of the past. It is a current that reaches as far as Saul Alinsky in the 20th century, Obama’s inspiration, Robin Hood of the Chicago suburbs, friend of the Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain (another convert, alas, to Americanism) and the subject of Hillary Clinton’s doctoral thesis.

Aron recalled in his memoirs that at the end of the 1970s Revel still considered himself a socialist, although in the paradoxical sense that “only liberalism can fulfill the hopes of socialism.” A liberal by the name of socialist, this particular vision manifested itself in a privileged way in The Totalitarian Temptation, whose first lines read: “Today’s world is evolving towards socialism. The main obstacle to socialism is not capitalism, but communism. The society of the future must be planetary, which can only be realized at the cost, if not of the disappearance of the nation-states, at least of their subordination to a world political order.” It is not forcing things too much to affirm that this bet on socialist-liberal, globalist and anti-national, de-ideologized and technocratic future-centrism makes Revel an intellectual precursor of Macronism, that is, a form of international-socialism of a Saint-Simonian cut operating behind the mask of European institutions impatient to dissolve the nation-states that founded them—institutions immersed in a federalist race that only disguises, with a kindly countenance, the true reality of the American hegemon to which they have bowed, at least since Jean Monnet. “He is not the man of the Americans,” de Gaulle said with derision about the French investment banker and “Father: of Europe, “he is a great American.”

Liberalism: A Socialism with a Human Face?

When a country subordinates its foreign policy to its domestic policy, that is to say, to the well-being of its citizens,” said Revel, “it can be considered more socialist than when it acts the other way around.” Here, at last, is the socialism with a human face so often invoked on the other side of the Wall. A socialism centered on the administration of things from which emanates the idol of material well-being. And autistic in terms of the internal concord and external security that defines the government of men. It was nothing new, in fact. It was not for nothing that Baron Hertling had already warned of this turn in contemporary politics in 1893: “It was not so long ago that word politics exclusively designated foreign policy. The respective strengths of the various states, their reciprocal relations, friendly or strained, their varying alliances, their projects and aspirations: such was the exclusive object of interest to diplomats and statesmen… Then the political interest changed direction, falling especially on questions of internal order, such as the constitution and administration of the state, brought up to date by the then so-called constitutionalism.” It is a tendency that Revel tirelessly cheered in his work, however much his pessimism made him lament, once again, the lamentable nationalist resistances of the nation-state. Socialist internationalism is perfectly expressed in this affirmation of the “liberal” Revel: “As long as the system of nation-states persists, democracy will retreat. And as long as democracy regresses, socialism cannot be established.” This socialism is nothing other than the liberal utopia of a disembodied democracy. And we can say that never has so much progress been made as in our time in this suicidal direction. Would Revel have deplored it?

The reality is that the political model of the European Union has long since veered towards a new form of liberal-socialist Welfare totalitarianism, a system, therefore, that defies Revel’s rigid antitheses: the convergence of liberal democracy and a new form of totalitarianism without violence. Did Revel forget the lessons and prophecies of the great Tocqueville about the disturbing horizon that looms over a democracy given over to paternalistic despotism? Would he have celebrated this evolution or would he have interpreted it as the fulfillment of his darkest prognoses about the inevitable infection of totalitarian ideological residues in the weak Western democracies? If so, if liberal melancholy had definitively prevailed over his socialist faith, the hypothetical Revelian analysis would resemble today the one offered to us from the post-communist East by authors such as Ryszard Legutko, who in The Demons of Democracy presents a merciless diagnosis of the European Union: the EU is today the EURSS. Contrary to what many think,” says Legutko, “the demoliberal world does not deviate too much, in important aspects, from the world dreamed by the communist man who, in spite of his enormous collective efforts, was unable to build within the communist institutions. To tell the truth, there are differences, but not so great as to be appreciated and accepted unconditionally by someone who has had first-hand experience with both systems and has passed from one to the other.” It is precisely this biographical experience that places this Polish philosopher, MEP of the conservative group, above the outdated vision of Revel, who never really suffered totalitarianism in the flesh, even though he always denounced it with vehemence and courage. Compared to this lucidity coming from the East, his judgments today seem petrified in a world that is no longer ours.

Yankee Apocalypse: The Return of Trotsky

If Revel ignored the fact that the totalitarian utopia was introduced under other guises in the mainstream of liberal democracies, his bet on the United States also overlooked a feature that John Gray masterfully exposed in Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia. This apocalyptic tendency of American politics was especially aggravated in the wake of the 9/11 attacks of 2001. ” In claiming a foundation in a universal ideology,” Gray asserts, “the United States belongs with states such as post-revolutionary France and the former Soviet Union, but unlike them it has been remarkably stable.”

Revel’s ideological evolution does not differ much from that of the old leftists of the Trotskyist matrix who in the United States founded the Neocon current, such as Irving Kristol, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Daniel Moynihan or Midge Decter. Michael Novak confirms: “Practically all of this group had been men and women of the left, and more specifically, of the sectors that were further to the left than the Democratic Party, perhaps among the most left-wing 2 or 3% of the American electorate. Some were economic socialists; others were political social democrats.” Gray, for his part, is very explicit about the revolutionary Marxist invoice of the thinking of this group of authors: “It is too simple to view neo-conservatives as reformulating Trotskyite theories in rightwing terms, but the habits of thought of the far Left have had a formative influence. It is not the content of Leninist theory that has been reproduced but its style of thinking. Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution suggests existing institutions must be demolished in order to create a world without oppression. A type of catastrophic optimism, which animates much of Trotsky’s thinking, underpins the neoconservative policy of exporting democracy.” It is the policy that Revel supported in his last years, albeit in the minority of a French atmosphere very hostile to the United States and its geopolitical projects.

Like the neocons, the planetary project of disembodied democracy defended by Revel retained a utopian matrix that dispensed with the national body, presenting both (democracy and nation) almost as opposites. Revel even spoke out in favor of the humanitarian right of interference, together with Bernard Kouchner and Mario Bettati. The latter, a French jurist and professor of international law, retains his good or bad reputation thanks to his terrible apothegm, worthy of appearing in the pages of the Yankee Apocalypse: “sovereignty is the mutual guarantee of torturers.” Very bad company. It was not necessary to wait twenty years of US military occupation in Afghanistan to understand that a democracy without a body is a much more utopian project than that of a body without democracy. The return of the Taliban to power is a great lesson against the multicolored democratism of the armed missionaries and against the discourse of the beautiful souls who support it.

Sovereignty as the Origin of all Evils: The Leap towards Utopia

It is one of the great errors of Revel’s political vision, which manifests itself in his rejection of the idea of national sovereignty. To a large extent this error is explained by his typically modern conception of political concepts. He probably understood, not without reason, that the French understanding of sovereignty, which starts with Bodin’s absolute and perpetual power and culminates in Rousseau’s general will, was incompatible with the liberal society to which he aspired. But this is precisely the impasse of a certain liberalism. Instead of betting on an alternative model of popular sovereignty, such as Althusius’ medieval one, it bet on the anti-political denunciation of national sovereignty. With modern sovereignty Revel despised not only a historical concept that can (and should) be criticized but the very essence of the political, which cannot be rejected without denying reality itself. It is what is called in France jeter le baby avec l’eau du bain (throwing the baby out with the bath water). Liberalism’s distrust of political power is all the more paradoxical because liberals began by conceding everything to the Leviathan in the construction of the new man and the new society. To take back with one hand what they have given with the other: this is the uncomfortable position of the liberal soul, eternally in conflict between its anarchic pole and its macro-archic pole.

Raymond Aron, who was personally fond of Revel and who collaborated with him in their common journalistic vocation, masterfully portrayed in his memoirs the aporias of his thought: “What impressed me in him as a writer was the simultaneous presence of an authentic culture and the art of making the polemic comprehensible to all readers. His books, which simplified without vulgarizing the great debates, were inspired by an anti-communism that he himself described as ‘visceral’ and found a large audience on both sides of the Atlantic, which demonstrated his success in such a difficult genre. At the same time, I was cross—and I told him so when our relations became closer—at his insistence on calling himself a ‘socialist’, of the leap he was taking towards utopia by rising up against national sovereignties, in his opinion the evil par excellence, the origin of all evils.” Once again, there is in Revel a skepticism that does not get off the ground, a utopia that refuses to die.

Indeed, Revel had written in The Totalitarian Temptation that Maurras had triumphed and Marx had failed. A puzzling judgment: with the principle of national sovereignty and the cult of the nation associated with the State, the principles of absolute monarchy were clandestinely triumphing in the modern world. This partly explains the anti-Gaullist origin of his intellectual career and his support for Mitterrand. His first works, Le style du général [The General’s Style] and L’absolutisme inefficace [The Inadequacies of Absolutism], fired their argumentative ammunition against General de Gaulle and the monarchical architecture of the Fifth Republic. As an interpreter of the genealogy of ideas he was not without reason but, in this respect at least, he failed to see that in contesting the Gaullian enterprise against the incipient Europeanist federalism and the military hegemony of NATO he was siding with another totalitarian temptation, a temptation perhaps more subtle but ultimately also more effective than that embodied by the Soviets.

In the 1980s, with the reprinting of his book against de Gaulle, he did not renounce his judgments against the general and what he considered as historical errors of his interpretation, but he ended significantly with these words: “De Gaulle was great, not because he was infallible, but because he was capable of that speed of decision and action which is the only mark of true leaders, and which allows us to say that, had they not been there, better or worse, the world would in any case have been different. Of how many can the same be said?” Had he finally understood that the greatness of the great stylists of politics ends up being in the end indispensable to sustain, not only democracy but also the prosperity of free peoples? We do not know what Revel would have said or written about the course of events between his death in 2006 and today. But perhaps this sentence pointed in a more stimulating direction than the one he reflected in previous writings.

Carlo Gambescia has masterfully portrayed in Liberalismo triste the features of a realistic liberal tradition, sentinel of the facts and attached to the regularities of politics. It is a melancholic tradition that knows well, as Berlin pointed out, that “from the twisted wood from which man is made… nothing entirely straight can emerge.” This sad liberalism has its feet firmly on the ground and feels awkward trying to lift them off. “It is melancholy proud in Burke; benevolent in Tocqueville; Faustian in Weber; aloof, perhaps too much so, in Pareto; restless, notwithstanding scientific habit, in Mosca; reasoning in Ortega; feverish in Röpke, methodical in Jouvenel; serene in Aron; humble in Freund; autoironic in Berlin.”

There are no willows in Revelian melancholy to inhabit this Olympus of thought. His vision did not entirely expurgate the utopias which, on this or the other side of the Atlantic, imagined “new heaven and a new earth” for men. He did not become a true sad liberal. Fortunately, he was not a sad liberal either. Let’s keep that.

Domingo González Hernández holds a PhD in political philosophy from the Complutense University of Madrid. He is a professor at the University of Murcia. His recent book is René Girard, maestro cristiano de la sospecha (René Girard, Christian Teacher of Suspicion) He is also the Director of the podcast “La Caverna de Platón” for the newspaper La Razón. He has explored the political possibilities of Girardian mimetic theory in more than twenty studies and academic papers. His latest publication is “La monarquía sagrada y el origen de lo político: una hipótesis farmacológica” (“Sacred monarchy and the origin of politics: a pharmacological hypothesis”), Xiphias Gladius, 2020. This article appears through the kind courteesy of La gaceta de la Iberosfera.

Robert Badinter, or the Errors of a Wise Man

The unanimous tributes paid to Robert Badinter leave a large part of his work in the dark, and overlook certain flaws in his thinking, certain deleterious effects of his political decisions, the price of which we are cruelly paying today, and certain ideological inconsistencies. We take a critical look at the career of this great figure of the humanist left, and the consequences of his actions.

By a natural law of things, without any relief of sentence, without the race to the abyss suffering any special consideration, at the end of his old age turned into a prison, following an irrevocable sentence, tortured for a long time, life has just condemned Robert Badinter to death. After the august Jacques Delors, who had the right to a national tribute at Les Invalides under the great European flag, his imaginary true nation, it is now the turn of the venerable Robert Badinter to pass, without a trace of irony, to head off into the sunset. One by one, the French giants of the early 20th century are departing.

A committed man gifted with charisma and a singular art for the phrase, his intellectual positions and biases, however questionable, do not prevent him from being shown a certain respect, like that owed to one’s adversary, and take on an obstinate and courageous air. Badinter, a life-long struggle, as we like to repeat since his death. This intellectual of the law, professor and academic, Minister of Justice, sage among the sages of the Palais Royal, then Senator, was a leading figure—a figure of the progressive left; a humanist figure; a heroic figure in defense of the oppressed. A totem without taboos. A certain section of the Catholic press praised “this force of law” and “this bulwark against populism,” whose aim was to bring the law fully into the Republic, so that, through the Constitutional Council, respect for fundamental principles would triumph.

Once we have said all that, and given Robert Badinter his due, it is time to return to the many pitfalls of his work and thought. Some have said that he was one of the last men of the Enlightenment. He was, for the better, a disciple of Condorcet in finesse and elegance, in his ideas on liberty and tolerance, in his mathematical sense applied to ideals in the form of constitutional equations. And above all, for the worst, born into a class that had succeeded, through social mobility, in replacing the old ruling class and seizing power, while carrying the new ideas of his time, universalist, generous and tolerant, Monsieur de Badinter was one of the great bourgeoisie of the left, capable of great indignation, lavish in humanism, generous in virtue and abundant by decree, sure of his duty: to impose his ideas on the people as a whole, applying them to reality without worrying about their consequences. This liberal, progressive bourgeoisie, who reaped the benefits of the French Revolution, was always at the forefront, on the correct side, marching with the party of order. It is easy to rant about the plight of criminals from below when you are not looking up to those above; it is easy to make humanist judgments about migrants, welcoming people, the Other, when you have spent your life in four arrondissements of Paris. It is easy to be comfortable in your own office, condoning and condemning with relativism, but it is also easy to have class contempt. There are the enlightened know-it-alls, who have understood; and then there are the others, the lowly folk, inhabited by all manner of wrongs, vices and crimes. Robert Badinter, his eyebrow furrowed, had the arrogant facility to declare that if you were in favor of the death penalty, you were a fascist; that if you were in favor of the obvious regulation of immigration, you were a racist; so many cookie-cutter, self-righteous judgments that never suffer debate.

Robert Badinter was passionate about human rights. What a passion that was! It was this passion that drove him for years to defend the oppressed, the persecuted of every stripe. In the name of human rights! Joseph de Maistre’s gentle irony of knowing the rights of Italians, Frenchmen and Russians, but ignoring those of a bodiless, abstract man, pure concept. Karl Marx spoke of the rights of the bourgeois, which made it possible to lecture others while ignoring the misfortunes of those closer at home. And it is at this very moment that Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s words in Emile make sense: “Beware those cosmopolitans who search far and wide in their books for duties they disdain to fulfill around them. Such a philosopher loves the Tartars, so as to be exempt from loving his neighbors.”

To Bernard Pivot’s question: “What would you like to be reincarnated as?” the wise man replied: “As a fox, because even if he is trapped, he can cut off his own tail to be free.” Ah, freedom! Cherished freedom! The one that Eluard’s poem haunts school classes about! Here too, it is astonishing that Mr. Badinter, shouting his passion for freedom at the top of his voice, had nothing to say about the vaccination pass and the suspension of unvaccinated hospital staff. No outcry, no humanist, left-wing, indignant reflection for poor people who find themselves with nothing from one day to the next. Similarly, when Edouard Balladur’s government sought in 1991 to work, supposedly, against massive and unregulated immigration, it was the Constitutional Council, of which Badinter was president at the time, that rejected the Pasqua bill in the name of France’s humanist and universalist values. The former Ricard executive himself denounced the “dictatorship of judges,” who, depending on circumstances favorable or not to their ideas, use the law and its values to make politics rain or shine.

When the Yellow Vests demonstrated and brandished the President’s head on a pike, in 2020, it was this same defender of freedom who vituperated these good people, finding it odious, almost fascist, that such an effigy should be brandished. But democracy is not all smooth sailing! It cannot be summed up in a conversation on the set of a TV Parliamentary Channel, nor can it be reduced to parliamentary palaver. Violence is a fact of politics, because it is exercised as a perpetual balance of power, and it can be seen in history as resolutely tragic.

Robert Badinter was not a politician. Like Jacques Delors, of the same generation but operating at a different level, he was never an elected official. His career can be summed up by the fact that, in the 1980s, he was the strongman of the judiciary, accompanying the ideas and interests of a new category of decision-makers known as Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (VGE), Jean-Jacques Servan Schreiber, under the leadership of Pierre Mendès-France, an anti-Gaullist and Atlanticist whose involvement and influence on political ideas in the early years of the Fifth Republic is still unmeasured. Badinter, a handsome man with slicked-back hair, an elegant suit and modern, close-cut hair, was a figure of change that was to follow the end of Gaullism, which, it should be remembered, was a national rally for a sovereign France against Europeanist yes-manism and American Atlanticism. The much-vaunted liberation of society, applied on those down below, needed to find figures from above to make it palatable in politics. It found Robert Badinter.

His famous battle was for the abolition of the death penalty. He was the driving force behind this project; he was its face. It would be all too easy to believe that a single man can, by his own will, change things in this way, without there being any underlying trend. The abolition of the death penalty was already on the shelves of the cupboard of the Second Republic; it was already supported by Victor Hugo, it was enacted in other countries in the 19th century, in Portugal or in the Netherlands; it was already in the program of VGE in 1974.

The death penalty is a thorny issue to defend point-by-point and peremptorily. Such a problem does not presuppose a dogmatic solution. It is not that either party is wrong to be for or against it. Robert Badinter was not a man of faith or the law. He started from very precise and fixed ideas, the effects of which must be assessed. We refer you only to Father Raymond-Léopold Bruckberger, Yes to the Death Penalty, which summarizes the conceptual history of the death penalty and debunks the very modern idea that it is a denial of civilization, when in fact it has been practiced within civilization. It was the sacredness of life that justified the death penalty, at least from a traditional point of view: “Thou shalt not kill” was, like incest, a prohibition. Its transgression earned the murderer radical exclusion from the human community, following a public ceremony. This same death penalty in 1981 threatened so few people that it should have been the last measure taken by a left-wing government. It was the first under François Mitterrand.

Opposition to the death penalty remained numerous: religious opposition, which questioned whether a human community could substitute itself for God by taking life, turning the “Thou shalt not kill” principle against itself; conservative and Catholic opposition, which was also logically opposed to abortion. In the face of this “right-wing” opposition, progressive “left-wing” abolitionism advocated its humanist logic of the credit due to every human being, first and foremost a victim of his or her environment. This has led to a kind of lax degeneration of justice, allowing a judge to see a custom in the rape of a woman by a Pakistani migrant.

The first flaw in Robert Badinter’s thinking is that it is permeated by that bourgeois instinct for whom, outside profit, nothing is sacred, neither death nor life, and which makes it criminal to take the life of a despicable murderer, but normal to take it from a future innocent baby—to be both, without the slightest problem, against the death penalty and in favor of abortion. This Left, therefore, good in every way, is in fact a simulacrum of the Left to lyrically conceal the abandonment of concrete progressivism, the kind that was not intended to save the heads of a handful of scum, but to improve the lives of ordinary people. It was at this very moment that a vast abolitionist nebula, meditated in universities in the aftermath of 1968 by agents of French Theory, sought to create a tohu-bohu, a notion dear to Michel Foucauld, in society. Our twisted and tainted elites had to dismantle the totems of our society and break down its taboos. A few years ago, a few renowned intellectuals and committed figures had sought to abolish the age of sexual consent and decriminalize relations with minors under the age of fifteen.

Another pitfall is the assumption that man is infinitely good and infinitely lovable, that it is society that perverts him and that he is unintentionally evil. The death penalty had been applied in a Christian society, based on the Gospel itself. Jesus was on the cross, with two thieves at His side. One mocks Jesus, the other rebukes him: “What is happening to us is just, while he is innocent” and adds, “Jesus, remember me when you are in your kingdom.” This prompts the Lord to say, “Truly, I say to you, you will be the first to enter the kingdom of heaven.” In a few lines, everything is there: a man can be condemned for his crime; by the justice of men, he can be led to die, but he can be saved by divine justice. Traditional Christian society played both sides: God’s justice and man’s justice, earthly life and metaphysical life, body on one side and soul on the other. Our post-Christian society, secularized to the extent that it has digested Christian ideas and done away with them, is witnessing the emergence of a form of justice that gives itself the proper role of executioner and priest. This kind of justice condemns while absolving; it punishes while judging a man’s redemption. In his 1981 speech to Parliament, Abbé Badinter, dare we say it, explained that “however terrible, however odious their acts, there are no men on this earth whose guilt is total and which one must always totally despair about.” This secularized mercy, this unshakeable faith in redemption, forgiveness, conversion to virtue and goodness, sometimes contributes to an obscene fascination that made Fourniret, Bodin or Dutroux famous, and sometimes to an unhealthy victimization that makes the executioner as much a victim as his own victim. Forgiving an executioner is a personal process, and that of little Philippe Bertrand’s mother commands respect, but it is not up to justice to show mercy and have feelings. In short, Patrick Henry is a kind of Saint Blandine, a martyr of the arena? Is it not dishonest to equate an innocent with a scoundrel?

Badinter made a major intellectual error: he confused philosophy with justice. They are two different categories. A man is not guilty, yes, as a concept. When we put a man on trial, we do so in the context of his crime, in relation to the law, and not on the basis of a concept. This philosophy is accompanied by a rhetorical art of clichés, peremptory elucidations, evasions and slips, ideas asserted with authority, false truths and true political ideas, adulterated concepts mixed with pathos and lyricism—which has raised almost no criticism.

The death penalty is capital punishment, because it is at the top of the pyramid of punishments. It is the basis for all possible sanctions in response to crimes or misdeeds. The abolition of capital punishment has shaken the pyramid of penalties and sanctions to the point of disordering the whole, and leading to a tohu-bohu in society where, to caricature, as Jean Ferrat sang in “Tout Berzingue” [“Full-Throttle”]: “steal an apple and you’re done for, shoot a man, you get probation.” All these arguments—”the death penalty is not a deterrent,” “it doesn’t make people think,” “it adds blood on top of blood”—have their share of truth, if only the debate did not stop there. If we believe that justice is reparation by equivalence, then it is only natural that when an innocent person is murdered, justice should give itself a monopoly on legitimate vengeance, to prevent all hatred and personal vengeance, to make reparation for a crime and balance the loss of a life against a criminal whose imprisonment would ensure him, at times, certain moments of happiness—when he has taken a life. And besides, is there not a worse failure of justice and Mr. Badinter’s lofty ideals when a rehabilitated criminal relapses into crime, when a murderer takes another life, shatters a family that will never recover, when prison no longer terrifies the bad souls it houses? It is enough to make one despair of the naivety that fails to see that man is on the slippery slope to evil. Mr. Badinter’s justice system has caused suffering and harm to the people; society has been traumatized by cases, victimized by insecurity, demoralized by injustice, disgusted by the failure of justice. This naïve and generous ideal allowed furious, ideological magistrates to give free rein to their whims, and degenerate intellectuals to spend their pity on criminals. The death penalty had its aesthetics in Montherlant, de Maistre and Baudelaire; the scoundrel became an idol of the counter-culture; the underworld theater of those years had its Cid with Roberto Succo.

“The system is simple: we have a justice of freedom.” In his almost five years as minister, Robert Badinter profoundly transformed the justice system: he abolished the State Security Court, put an end to the “Security and Freedom” text, reformed the Napoleonic penal code; he worked to reintegrate criminals, abolished the high-security wings, while conforming to European law. At the end of his life, he came to believe that prison was torture. Man as a concept is not guilty, and if we like to think that freedom defines man, then we cannot lock him up, either. Man’s inseparability is replaced by his “inclosability.” Let’s abolish prisons! What a program!

“Of all the trials a lawyer can go through, we had forty-five minutes to save a man’s life, that’s the most frightening vertigo a human being can have.” Fair enough. But why, then, did he never write a line, never dwell on the fate—just or unjust, that is not the question—about Bastien-Thiry, Degueldre and Claude Piegt? Jean Dutourd, the bête noire of the German-Pratin world, had the beginnings of an answer: the death penalty should never be abolished for political enemies. The same Badinter, when asked if he would have voted for the death of the king, replied that “the king’s head had to fall for the people to be sovereign.” There you have it. If there is one more inconsistency to be found in his body of work, we have found it.

Nicolas Kinosky is at the Centres des Analyses des Rhétoriques Religieuses de l’Antiquité and teaches Latin. This articles appears through the very kind courtesy La Nef.

Drone Ideology for Volunteers

In the realm of ideology in Russia we have the following picture.

The state has done a lot to marginalize radical liberals. This process began in 2000 and took 24 years with several administrations. The influence of liberals on Russia’s ideology has steadily declined, but it is still very significant—primarily in culture, education, and science. Only liberals or those who do not receive clear and precise instructions from above can fight liberalism in such an uncertain and protracted manner.

At the same time, patriotism was growing steadily, but just as slowly—sometimes freezing on the same frame for a year or more. This was demanded by both our Crimea and the Special Military Operation (SMO). But even here the authorities acted as cautiously and uncertainly as they did with the dismantling of liberalism.

But new cadres had to be trained, and the main focus was the training of a special type—pure volunteers, ideological drones, managerial drones. This is how an interesting phenomenon emerged—a class of ideologically neutral statesmen oriented toward power and the managerial vertical as such.

At first, they tried to introduce a simulacrum of ideology, but then they gave up on that, too. Mass training of young and not so young volunteers of power has given birth to a whole new managerial class. It somewhat resembles the functioning of a computer or Artificial Intelligence. It does not matter what data the operator loads, what commands he gives. A computer is not supposed to reason. The main thing is that the algorithms work correctly.

Volunteers—carriers of zero-ideology—are now trained on an industrial scale. This is half good (they are not liberals), half bad (they are not patriots). The SMO and the war with the West (it is a long time coming, maybe forever) requires a further and rapid shift in the center of gravity toward an ideology of meaningful patriotism. Zero-ideology carriers are perfectly fine-tuned drones, and they are perfectly suited for this purpose—to process a patriotic program. But the operator has to hit the “enter” button. And the operator’s finger trembles. And the government volunteers are still processing what they have. For now—it is a testing ground and a laboratory. But it is time to get the program up and running.

But this principle was transferred to ideology, where such a model looks strange. An ideological class with zero ideology, a political drone. It is no longer liberal (minus-ideology), but not yet patriotic (plus-ideology).

At the same time, other neural networks are gradually forming in society and the nation—with a pronounced patriotic content. These are not zero-volunteers, but plus-volunteers—volunteers, heroes of the front and rear. The state stands on them. They create Victory, and therefore history. They are ruled by the spirit.

Zero-volunteers have nothing against patriots. But they have nothing for them, either. They have a different algorithm. It is time to unite these networks.

I hope that after the elections the authorities will hit the “enter” button to upload to society a full-fledged patriotic program, the general outlines of which are quite clearly outlined by the President, the decree on traditional values, the concept of foreign policy, etc. Plus-ideology, the foundations of patriotism are announced and outlined by the authorities. It is logical if their implementation starts in full force after the elections.

After all, it is time for us to start winning.

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 Geopolitika.

Featured: Golconde, by René Magritte; painted in 1953.

Vladimir Putin and Tucker Carlson: The Geopolitics of Dialogue

Why is Tucker Carlson’s interview momentous for both the West and Russia?

Let us start with the simpler part—Russia. Here, Tucker Carlson has become a focal point of convergence for two different—polar—segments of Russian society: the ideological patriots and the elite Westernizers who nevertheless remain loyal to Putin and the Special Military Operation (SMO). For the patriots, Tucker Carlson is simply ours. He is a traditionalist, a right-wing conservative, a staunch opponent of liberalism. This is what walking to the Russian Tsar looks like in the 21st century.

Putin does not often interact with the brightest representatives of the fundamentally conservative camp. And the attention that the Kremlin pays him kindles the heart of a patriot, inspiring him to continue the conservative-traditionalist course in Russia itself. Now it is possible and necessary to do so: the Russian authorities have decided on an ideology. We have taken this path and we will not turn away from it. But patriots are always afraid that we will turn back. No.

On the other hand, the Westernizers have also breathed a sigh of relief: “Well, everything is not so bad in the West, and there are good and objective people there; we told you! Let’s be friends at least with such a West, Westernizers think, even though the rest of the globalist liberal West does not want to be friends, but only bombards us with sanctions and missiles and cluster bombs, killing our women, children and the elderly. We are at war with the liberal West; let there be friendship with the conservative West.
Thus, in the person of Tucker Carlson, Russian patriots and Russian Westernizers (already more and more Russian and less Western) have come to a consensus.

In the West itself, the situation is even more fundamental. Tucker Carlson is a symbolic figure. He is now the main symbol of an America that hates Biden, liberals and globalists and is preparing to vote for Trump. Trump, Carlson and Musk, and Texas Governor Abbott, are the faces of the impending American Revolution, this time the Conservative Revolution. And now Russia is tapping into this already quite powerful resource. No, it is not about Putin’s support for Trump; that could easily be minimized in a war with the United States. Carlson’s visit is about something else: about the fact that Biden and his maniacs have actually attacked a great nuclear power with the hands of Kiev terrorists, and humanity is about to be destroyed. Nothing more, nothing less.

And the world globalist media continues to spin Marvel-series for the infantile, in which the spider-man Zelensky magically defeats the Kremlin’s “Dr. Evil” with the help of superpowers and magic piglets. But that is just a cheap, silly TV series. And in reality, it is all about the use of nuclear weapons and possibly the destruction of mankind. Tucker Carlson has offered a reality check: does the West realize what it is doing, pushing the world towards the Apocalypse? There is a real Putin and a real Russia, not these staged characters and sets from Marvel. Look at what the globalists have done and what we are standing right up to! And it is not the content of the Putin interview; it is the very fact that a man like Tucker Carlson visited a country like Russia and a politician like Putin at a time like this.

Tucker Carlson’s arrival in Moscow may be the last chance to stop the extinction of humanity. And the gigantic billion-dollar attention to this momentous interview on the part of humanity itself, as well as the frenzied inhuman rage of Biden, the globalists, and the world’s decay-addled philistines, is evidence that this humanity is aware of the seriousness of what is happening. The only way to save the world is to stop now. And to do that, America must elect Trump. And choose Tucker Carlson. And Ilon Musk. And Abbott. And we get a chance to stand on the edge of the abyss. And compared to that, everything else is secondary. Liberalism and its agenda have brought humanity to a dead end.

Now the choice is: either liberals or humanity. Tucker Carlson chooses humanity, and that is why he came to Moscow to see Putin. And everyone in the world realized what he came for and how important it was.

The content of the interview was not sensational. Much more important is its very fact. And the photo of President Vladimir Putin talking to the hero of American patriotism, the indomitable Tucker Carlson. Conservatives of all countries united. In a multipolar world, the West, too, must have its share. But Western civilization will be the last to join BRICS.

Sleepy Joe then came to, and having watched with horror Putin’s conversation with Tucker Carlson, decided to interfere in world affairs. At first, Blinken and Nuland advised him to just declare that no such interview had even happened, that it was fake news, readily “disproved” by fact-checkers, and anyone who claims that there was an interview was a bellowing conspiracy theorist. But that initial plan was rejected, and Biden decided to honestly state that, contrary to the findings of the prosecutors’ probe, he is not a senile old madman out of his mind. “That’s not true, I’m not a senile old madman,” Biden indignantly denied the prosecutors’ findings…. And then forgot what he wanted to say next.

President Putin has spoken clearly about our Old Lands. It is important. The West will not get them. And Ukrainians live on them and will live on them, if Zelensky, Umerov and Syrsky, who have the most distant relation to the Malorussians, do not destroy all Malorussians and Malorussian women in the near future. Then there will be no Ukrainians left. And the Old Lands will have to be populated by someone else. God forbid we live to see that. On the agenda is the revolt of the Malorussians against the anti-Ukrainian puppet government, which has subjected Ukrainians to a real genocide by its policy.

The interview of Putin with Tucker Carlson is the most successful move by the Russian media strategy during the entire time of the SMO. Of course, the initiative clearly came from the brilliant American journalist himself, but responding to it and supporting it was a creative, brilliant decision by the Kremlin. Carlson hacks into the system of globalist propaganda by telling the truth of the people, of society, in spite of the systematized lies of the elites. A win-win, but difficult, a heroic move: the truth of the people against the lies of the elites. Putin has something to say to both the West and the East. And they want to hear his speech, his arguments, to know his picture of the world, his views on the future of Russia and humanity. On this depends, in many respects, whether this humanity itself will exist or not. Ask honestly, you will get an honest answer.

The number of views of Putin’s interview with Tucker Carlson on social network X has far exceeded 100 million [as of this article]. I think cumulatively the interview will be viewed by a billion.

Let us emphasize once again: Tucker Carlson is not just a journalist and not even just a non-conformist journalist, he is a well-established and consistent (paleo) conservative with a clear and well-thought-out ideology, value system and world picture. And his visit to Russia is not a pursuit of sensation, but part of an ideological program. It is a political visit. With Tucker Carlson’s visit, the conservative wing of American society (at least half of it) will come to define its attitude toward Russia and Putin. Tucker Carlson is a conservative politician, traditionalist and public figure. In his person, conservative America asked the President of Russia the questions it was really interested in and got answers. This is a double blow to the globalist liberal lobby in the US—external from Putin and internal from Tucker Carlson (read Trump). Interestingly, there is also such a thing as MAGA communism in the US—Jackson Hinkle, Infrared, etc. These are friends of conservative Tucker Carlson, yet Marxists who support Trump and call for Make America Great Again (MAGA). Thus, there are also normal leftists. And together they are determined to crush liberal hegemony.
Vladimir Putin’s interview with Tucker Carlson has already led to Biden’s unseating in the presidential race and essentially Trump’s victory in the US election. That is what real soft-power is—just one thing, and history now flows in a different direction.

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 Geopolitika.

Against Liberal Totalitarianism

Liberal Totalitarianism

In all seriousness, liberal hegemony is still very strong in the country. The fact is that practically all the basic attitudes transmitted in education, humanities and culture since 1991 have been built on strictly liberal models. Everything in our country is liberal, starting with the Constitution. Even the very prohibition of ideology is a purely liberal ideological thesis. After all, liberals do not consider liberalism itself an ideology—for them it is the “truth in the final analysis;” and by “ideology” they mean everything that challenges this “liberal truth”—for example, socialism, communism, nationalism, or the political teachings of traditional society.

After the end of the USSR, liberal ideology became dominant in the Russian Federation. At the same time, it acquired a totalitarian character from the very beginning. Usually liberals themselves criticize totalitarianism, both right-wing (nationalist) and left-wing (socialist), and liberalism itself (without reason and hastily), identified with “democracy,” is opposed to any totalitarian regimes. However, the profound philosopher and student of Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, astutely noted that totalitarianism is a property of all political ideologies of the New Age, including liberal democracy. Liberalism is not an exception; it is also totalitarian in nature.

As in any totalitarianism, it is about a separate group of society (representing a known minority) announcing that it is supposedly the “bearer of universal truth,” i.e., knowledge about everything, about the universal. Hence totalitarianism—from Latin totalis, all, whole, complete. And further proceeding from the fanatical conviction in the infallibility of its ideology, it imposes its views on the whole society. Totalitarian “everything” is easily opposed to the opinion of the majority or various ideological groups actually existing in society. As a rule, the ruling totalitarian top justifies its “rightness” by the fact that it supposedly “possesses knowledge about the meaning of history;” “holds in its hands the keys to the future;” “acts in the name of the common good” (open only to it). Most often, the theory of progress, development, or the imperative of freedom, equality, etc., plays the role of such a “key to the future.” Nationalist totalitarian regimes appeal to nation or race, proclaiming the superiority of some (i.e., themselves) over others. Bolsheviks act in the name of “communism” which will come in the future, and the party top brass are seen as the bearers of awakened consciousness, the “new people.” Liberals believe that capitalism is the crown of development and act in the name of progress and globalization. Today they add gender politics and ecology to this. “We rule you because we are progressive, protecting minorities and the environment. Obey us!”

Minority Theory and the Critique of the Majority

Unlike the old (e.g., Hellenic) democracy, the majority and its opinion in totalitarian regimes, including totalitarian liberalism, is irrelevant. There is an argument for this: “Hitler was elected by the Germans by majority vote; so the majority is not an argument; it may not make the right choice.” And what is “right” only the “enlightened / awakened”(Woke) liberal minority knows. Moreover, the majority is suspect and should be kept under strict control. Progressive minorities must rule. And this is already a direct confession to totalitarianism.

The totalitarianism of the Bolsheviks or Nazis is unnecessary to prove; it is obvious. But after the victory over Germany in 1945 and after the collapse of the USSR in 1991, liberalism remained the only and main planetary ideology of the totalitarian type.

The Totalitarian Nature of the Rule of Liberal Reformers in the 1990s

Liberalism came to Russia in this form—as a hegemony of pro-Western liberal minorities, the “reformers.” They convinced Yeltsin, who had little understanding of the world around him, that their position was without an alternative. The ruling liberal top brass, consisting of oligarchs and a network of American agents of influence, as well as corrupt late-Soviet top officials, formed the backbone of the “family.”

From the very beginning they ruled with totalitarian methods. Thus in 1993 the democratic uprising of the House of Soviets was suppressed by force. The liberal West fully supported the shooting at the Parliament. After all, this was demanded by “progress” and “movement towards freedom.”

After the 1993 elections to the Duma, the right-wing opposition LDPR won; but it was equated with “marginalists” and “extremists.” The majority had no significance in the eyes of the “family.” Zhirinovsky was first declared “Hitler,” then reduced to the status of a clown helping to blow off steam (i.e., to rule solely and indiscriminately over a people who were completely dissatisfied with and disapproved of the basic liberal course).

In 1996, the elections were won by another (this time left-wing) opposition, the CPRF. Once again, the ruling liberal top brass, representing a minority, failed to notice. “The majority can be wrong,” this minority asserted, and continued to rule undividedly, based on liberal ideology, without paying any attention to anything.

Liberalism established its principles in politics, economics, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, jurisprudence, ethnology, cultural studies, political science, etc. All humanities disciplines were completely taken over by liberals and supervised from the West through a system of rankings, scientific publications, citation indices and other criteria. Hence, not only the Bologna system and the introduction of the USE, but most importantly, the content of the scientific disciplines themselves.

Putin’s Realism versus Liberal Hegemony

Putin’s rise to power changed the situation only in that he has brought in the principle of sovereignty, i.e., political realism. This could not but affect the overall structure of liberalism in Russia, since liberal dogma denies sovereignty altogether and advocates that nation-states should be abolished and integrated into a supranational structure of World Government. Therefore, with Putin’s arrival, some of the most consistent and radical liberal minorities rose in opposition to him.

However, the majority of (systemic) liberals decided to adapt to Putin, take a formally loyal position, but continued to pursue the liberal course as if nothing had happened. Putin simply shared power with the liberals—he got realism, the military, and foreign policy, and they got everything else—the economy, science, culture, and education. This is not exactly liberal, but it is tolerable—after all, in the U.S. itself, power fluctuates between pure liberal globalists (Clinton, Obama, Biden) and realists (such as Trump and some Republicans).

Medvedev played the role of the Russian liberal from 2008-2012. And when Putin returned in 2012, it caused a storm of indignation among Russian liberals, who thought that the worst was over and Russia would again (without Putin) return to the 1990s—that is, to the era of pure and untainted liberal totalitarianism.

But even back in 2012, Putin—contrary to his program articles published during the 2012 election campaign—decided to leave the liberals alone, pushing back only another batch of the most odious ones.

In 2014, after reunification with Crimea, there was a further shift toward sovereignty and realism. And another wave of liberals, sensing that they were losing their former hegemonic position, drifted out of Russia. However, Putin was then stopped in his battle for the Russian World, and the ruling liberal top brass went back to their usual tactics of symbiosis—Putin gets sovereignty and the liberals get everything else.

The SMO: Final Break with the West

The Special Military Operation has changed a lot, as the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine has finally come into conflict with the liberal dogma: “democracies do not fight each other.” And if they do, someone else is not a democracy. And the West easily identified who. Russia, of course. And specifically Putin. So, the liberal West finally refused to consider us “liberals.”

But the impression is that we still want to prove at any cost: “No, we are real liberals. It is you who are not liberals. You are the ones who deviated from liberal democracy by supporting the Nazi regime in Kiev. And we are loyal to liberal dogmas. After all, they include anti-fascism. So, we are fighting Ukrainian fascism, as liberal ideology demands.”

I am not saying that everyone in the Russian government thinks this way, but certainly a lot of people do.

They are the ones who fiercely oppose patriotic reforms, throwing themselves into the firing line so that sovereignty does not affect the most important thing—ideology. Antonio Gramsci called “hegemony” the control of the liberal worldview over the superstructure—first and foremost, culture, knowledge, thought, philosophy. And this hegemony is still in the hands of liberals in Russia.

We are still dealing with “sovereign liberalism;” that is, with a (contradictory and hopeless) attempt to combine the political sovereignty of the Russian Federation with global Western norms; that is, with liberal totalitarianism and the omnipotence of liberal Western elites who seized power in the country back in the 1990s.

And the plan of the Russian liberals is as follows: even during the SMO, to maintain their power over society, culture, science, economy, education, so that—when all this is over—they can again try to present Russia as a “Western civilized developed power,” in which they managed to preserve liberal democracy, i.e., totalitarian domination of liberals, even in the most difficult times of adversity. It would seem that Putin signed Decree 809 on traditional values (directly opposed to the liberal ideology); and the Constitution includes provisions on a normal family; and God as an immutable basis of Russian history is mentioned; and the LGBT movement is banned as extremist; and the list of foreign agents is constantly updated; and a new wave of the most radical liberals and oppositionists fled to the West; and the Russian people were declared a subject of history, and Russia a State-Civilization. And the liberal hegemony in Russia still persists. It has penetrated so deeply into our society that it began to reproduce itself in new generations of managers, officials, workers of science and education. And it is not surprising—for more than 30 years, in Russia, a group of totalitarian liberals remains in power, who have established a method of self-reproduction at the head of the state. And this is despite the sovereign course of President Putin.

Time for a Humanitarian SMERSH

We have now entered a new cycle of Putin’s re-election as the nation’s leader. There is no doubt about it—the public knowingly and unanimously chooses him. Consider him—already chosen. After all, he is our main and only hope for getting rid of the liberal yoke; the guarantee of victory in the war and the savior of Russia. But the bulk of Putin’s opponents are on this side of the barricades. The liberal totalitarian sect does not think of giving up its positions. It is ready to fight for them to the end. They are not afraid of any patriotic forces in politics; they are not afraid of the people (whom they have learned to keep under the table on pain of severe punishment); they are not afraid of God (they do not believe in Him, or believe in their own, fallen one); they are not afraid of rebellion (here some tried to show disobedience in the summer). The only thing holding them back is Putin, with whom they will not dare to have a head-on collision. On the contrary, systemic liberals are concentrated in his camp, if only because there is no other camp.

But the problem is very acute—it is impossible to justify Russia as a Civilization, as a pole of the multipolar world, with reliance on liberal ideology and preserving the hegemony of liberals in society, at the level of public consciousness, at the level of cultural code. We need something similar to SMERSH in the field of ideas and humanitarian paradigms; but there is clearly no determination, no personnel, no institutions, and no trained competent specialists for this purpose—after all, liberals have been in charge of education in Russia for 30 years. They have secured themselves, by blocking any attempt to go beyond the liberal dogma. And they succeeded in doing so, making the humanities either liberal or sterile.

The remnants of Soviet scholars and their methods, theories, and doctrines are not an alternative. Firstly, their approaches are outdated; secondly, they themselves have forgotten them because of their advanced age; and thirdly, they do not correspond to the new civilizational conditions at all.

And all this time, the totalitarian top liberals have been training only and exclusively their own cadres. Liberalism in its most toxic forms permeates the entire humanitaries sphere.

Many will say: right now, it is the SMO and elections; we will deal with liberals later. This is a mistake. We have already missed the deadline. The people are awakening; the country needs to focus on Victory. Everything is still very, very serious, and Putin never tires of talking about it. Why does he so often mention that everything is at stake and Russia is challenged to be or not to be? Because he sees it soberly and clearly—if there is no victory in Ukraine, there will be no Russia. But it is simply, theoretically impossible to defeat the West in Ukraine and preserve the totalitarian omnipotence of liberals inside the country. As long as they are here, even Victory will be Pyrrhic.

Therefore, it is now time to open another front—a front in the field of ideology, worldview, and public consciousness. The totalitarian domination of liberals in Russia—first of all in the field of knowledge, science, education, culture, determination of values of upbringing and development—must come to an end. Otherwise, we will not see the century-mark of Victory.

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.

Why Does Capitalism Now Prefer the Left?

The old bourgeois capitalism, in the dialectical phase, preferred the culture of the Right, with its nationalism, its disciplinary authoritarianism, its patriarchy, its alliance with the altar and its values, at that time functional to the reproduction of the mode of production.

Today, the post-bourgeois turbo-capital of globalization, of the free market and free desire, in the absolute-totalitarian phase, prefers the culture of the Left, with its celebration of anthropological deregulation and of the unlimited openness of the imaginary and of real borders, with its dogmatics of the de-sovereignization of the States and the falsely rebellious deconstruction of the old bourgeois norms. Therein lies—in Preve’s words—the “profound affinity between leftist culture and the fact of globalization.”

Right-wing capitalism, of nationalism, discipline, patriarchy, religion and compulsory military service, gives way to the new leftist capitalism—that is, to progressive neoliberalism—of cosmopolitanism, consumerist permissiveness, post-family individualism and ERASMUS as the new “compulsory military service” for the education of the new generations in the values of precariousness and nomadism, of openness and deregulated enjoyment.

The order of the hegemonic discourse managed by the heralds of the culture of the champagne-Left, on the one hand, celebrates globalization as a natural and intrinsically good reality. On the other hand, with a symmetrical movement, it delegitimizes as dangerous ethnic and religious, nationalist and regressive reactions; everything that in various ways calls it into question. However, as Preve has suggested, it would be enough to “gesturally reorient” the gaze to gain a different perspective, from below and for those from below. Instead of “globalization,” we should speak of American-centric capitalist imperialism without borders. And instead of ethnic and religious, nationalist and regressive reactions, we should speak of legitimate national and cultural resistance to the falsely humanitarian violence of capitalist globalization of misery and homologation.

It is what Nancy Fraser has called “progressive neoliberalism,” synthesizing well the honeymoon between the class fanaticism of the market economy and the liberal-libertarian instances of the “artistic critique” of the new Left referent in struggle against any figure of tradition and limit, of community and identity, of people and transcendence. The 1960s substitution of the Marxian revolutionary, who fights against capital, for the Nietzschean hooligan rebel, who transvalues the old bourgeois values, provokes this inclined plane that leads to the paradoxical present condition: “the right to reefer” and the “surrogate womb” are conceived by the neo-Left as more important and emancipatory than any act of transformation of the world, or of taking a stand against the neoliberal exploitation of labor, colonial exterminations and imperialist wars hypocritically presented as “peace missions.”

Herein lies the deception of “civil rights,” a noble title used entirely improperly by progressive neoliberalism to: a) divert attention from the social issue and labor rights; and b) lead the Left and the dominated classes to the assumption of neoliberal points of view, for which the only struggles worth fighting are those for the individualistic liberalization of customs and consumption (we repeat, “civil rights” liberal Newspeak calls them), along with the necessary export, by missile, of those rights to areas of the planet not yet subsumed under the free market and its progressive neoliberalism.

Particularly in philosophy, the relativistic and anti-metaphysical nihilism of postmodernist “weak thought” is presented idealiter as the pinnacle of anti-conformism, when in reality it is the ideal Weltanschauung to justify the foundationless society of the liberal-nihilistic globalization of the relativistic fundamentalism of the commodity form. The individualistic liberalization of lifestyles is based on the philosophy of postmodern relativism, thanks to which values and “the immutable”—to say it with Emanuele Severino—are dissolved, and everything becomes “relative,” that is, in exclusive relation to the desires of consumption of the desiring subject.

Nihilistic relativism and anti-veritative utilitarianism are the ideal forma mentis for the liberal-market cosmos, since they imply that all representations can be equally useful, as long as they do not conflict with the market and, in this way, favor it. The postmodernist Left finds its clearest expression in the philosophical work of Richard Rorty—convinced that leftist thought is based on the “ironic” deconstruction of absolutes and metaphysical foundations—and in the apparently very different thought of Slavoj Žižek, a bizarre example of “postmodern Marxism” that, in addition to transforming Marx and Hegel into trash phenomena, ends up delegitimizing resistance to Atlanticist globalization as totalitarian and terrorist.

Gianni Vattimo’s “weak thought” itself, regardless of its ultimate objectives in an anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist sense—otherwise in contradiction with its basic philosophical presuppositions—owes its success not least to its high degree of compatibility with the new liquid and post-metaphysical structure of capitalism. Theorizing the “weakening” of the fundamental metaphysical and truthful structures, Vattimo outlined, back in the 1980s of the “short century,” the new ideological frame of reference of absolute-totalitarian commercialism, effectively confirming Jameson’s thesis about the nature of postmodernism as the cultural logic of late capitalism.

Turbo-capitalist society is no longer based on supposed transcendent truths (Christian religion) or on correspondence with human nature (Greek philosophy). It is based, on the contrary, solely on the verification of the correct capitalist reproduction actually given. For this reason, the turbo-capitalism of the global market society expresses itself economically in utilitarianism and philosophically in relativistic nihilism. As foreshadowed by Preve and as we ourselves emphasized in Difendere chi siamo (2020), the turbo-capitalist society needs homines vacui and post-identitarians, consumers without identity and without critical spirit. And it is the leftism of sinistrash that zealously produces the ideal anthropological profile for capitalist globalization, the postmodern and “open-minded” homo neoliberalis, that is, “empty” of all content and ready to receive whatever the production system wants from time to time to “fill” it with.

In fact, post-metaphysical turbo-capitalism knows no moral, religious or anthropological limits to oppose to the integral advent of exchange value as the only accepted value: the ideal subject of turbo-capitalism—homo neoliberalis—is, then, the left-wing individual, engaged in rainbow battles for the whims of consumption and disinterested in social battles for work and against imperialism; in a word, he is the post-bourgeois, post-proletarian and ultra-capitalist Nietzschean Superman, bearer of an unlimited will of consumerist power, economically right-wing, culturally left-wing and politically center-wing. It is, to stay in the lexicon of philosophy, the realization of the “protagoric man,” whose subject—understood as a desiring individual is—πάντων χρημάτων μέτρον—”measure of all things.” Thus, politics itself becomes, for the new Left, a struggle against all the limits that in various ways hinder the realization of the subjective desires of that protagoric man.

Moreover, the Left oriented individual is the ideal subject of turbo-capital, since tendentially—let us think mainly of the generation of 1968ers—he is a figure disappointed by the proletarian and communist “illusions.” And, eo ipso, he provides a depressive psychological basis in the name of “disenchantment” (Entzauberung); almost as if he were an ideal “figure” of the Phenomenology of Spirit, historicist disenchantment; that is to say, the loss of faith in the advent of the redeemed society is dialectically invested in the acceptance—depressive or euphoric—of the planetary reification of the neoliberal order. The post-modern can rightly be understood as the fundamental figure of the rationalization of disenchantment and reconciliation with the nihilism of capital elevated to the only possible world, with the addition of the definitive decline of belief in emancipatory “grand narratives.”

For this reason, the liberal new Left also presents itself as a “postmodern Left,” the guardian of relativistic nihilism and the disenchantment of the end of faith in the great narratives of overcoming capitalism: the “strong thought,” veritative and still radically metaphysical of Hegel and Marx, is abandoned by the new Left in favor of the “weak thought” of a Nietzsche reinterpreted in a postmodern key as a sulphurous “hammerer” of values and of the very idea of truth, and as a theorist of the Superman with an unlimited consumerist will to power.

As for relativistic nihilism, which the neo-Nietzschean Left celebrates as “emancipatory” with respect to the metaphysical and veritative pretensions of the Absolutes, this is precisely the foundation of capitalist disempowerment, which turns everything relative to the nihil of the commodity form and, neutralizing the very idea of truth, annihilates the basis of the critique of falsehood and of the insurrection against injustice. Nihilism does not lead to the emancipation of the multiplicity of lifestyles, as Vattimo believes, but rather leads to the disenchanted acceptance of the steel cage of techno-capitalism, within which differences proliferate in the very act with which they are reduced to articulations of the commodity form. From this point of view, Foucault also tends to be “normalized” and assimilated by the neo-Left, which has elevated him to the category of postmodern critic of the inevitable nexus between truth and authoritarian power. And, thus, they make liberation coincide with the abandonment of any pretension to truth.

As for disenchantment, it coincides with the profile of the “last man” thematized by Nietzsche. Der lezte Mensch, “the last man,” becomes aware of the “death of God” and the impossibility of the redemption in which he had also believed, and reconciles himself with meaninglessness, judging it as an irredeemable destiny. This anthropological and cultural profile finds timely confirmation in the existential adventure of the “generation of 1968” and of Lyotard himself, the theorist of the Postmodern Condition. He lost his original faith in socialism (he was a militant of the Marxist group Socialisme ou Barbarie) and reconverted to capitalist nihilism, lived as an inescapable steel cage but with consented spaces of individual freedom (in a rigorously alienated and marketized form, ça va sans dire). For all these reasons, postmodernism remains a philosophy of the rationalization of disenchantment and, at the same time, of the conversion to the acceptance of techno-capitalist nihilism understood as an emancipatory opportunity.

Diego Fusaro is professor of the History of Philosophy at the IASSP in Milan (Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies) where he is also scientific director. He is a scholar of the Philosophy of History, specializing in the thought of Fichte, Hegel, and Marx. His interest is oriented towards German idealism, its precursors (Spinoza) and its followers (Marx), with a particular emphasis on Italian thought (Gramsci or Gentile, among others). he is the author of many books, including Fichte and the Vocation of the IntellectualThe Place of Possibility: Toward a New Philosophy of Praxis, and Marx, again!: The Spectre ReturnsThis article appears courtesy of Posmodernia.

Featured: Cut with the Kitchen Knife, collage by Hannah Höch (1889-1978); created in 1919.

End of the Right and the Left: Triumph of Turbo-Capitalism

Following the “adventures of dialectics,” as Merleau-Ponty called them, the transition to turbo-capitalism (or absolute-totalitarian capitalism) can be interpreted as the historical transition from a form of capitalism characterized by the presence of two classes (the bourgeois and the proletarian) to an unprecedented form of “post-class” capitalism, which is no longer distinguished by the existence of classes in the strict sense (as subjectivity in se and per se) and, at the same time, is characterized by generating maximum inequality. This evolutionary process has also determined the profound reason for the obsolescence of the Right-Left dichotomy, “two now useless words.”

By “post-classist” capitalism, i.e., literally “classless,” we should not understand a mode of production devoid of individual and collective differences of knowledge, power, income and consumption. In fact, these differences increase exponentially in the context of neoliberal cosmopolitization (whose mot d’ordre is precisely the slogan “Inequality”). But not forming, in se and per se, “classes” as conscious subjectivities and bearers of cultural and ideal differences. For as “classes,” in se and per se, neither the national-popular Servant nor the global-elitist Lord can be taken into consideration. Paradoxical as it may seem, just when (Berlin, 1989) capital begins to become more classist than ever and to give rise to more radical inequalities than those previously experienced, classes understood as groups endowed with “in-se-ness” and “per-se-ness” become eclipsed.

More concretely, the proletarians do not cease to exist, and even grow in number, because of the increasingly asymmetrical concentration of capital. But they no longer possess the antagonistic “class consciousness” and, strictly speaking, the proletariat itself becomes a “precariat,” condemned to flexibility and nomadism, to mobility and the breaking of all solid ties, according to the new systemic needs of turbo-capitalism. The bourgeois class, for its part, loses its unhappy consciousness and, along with it, also its material condition of existence. It becomes proletarianized and, since 1989, gradually plunges into the abyss of precariousness.

While the capitalist system, in its dialectical phase, was characterized by the division into two classes and two opposing political areas, it was, ab intrinseco, fragile. It was, in fact, crisscrossed by contradictions and conflict, as manifested in unhappy bourgeois consciousness, in proletarian struggles for the recognition of labor, in future-centric utopias of world reorganization, and last but not least, in the “redemptive” program of the Left (whether socialist-reformist, or communist-revolutionary). Hegelianly, capital found itself in its own being-other-of-itself, in its own self-estrangement which it had to dialectically “overcome” in order to be able to fully coincide with itself in the form of overcoming its own negation.

Capital, like the Substance about which Hegel writes, coincides with the movement of self-position and with the process of becoming other-of-itself-with-itself. It is, therefore, self-constitutive equality after the division. To say it again with Hegel, it is the becoming equal to itself from its own being-other. Its essence is not the abstract Selbständigkeit, immobile equality with oneself, but “becoming equal to oneself”: identity “with oneself” is not given, but is achieved as a result of the process. For this reason, like the Spirit theorized by Hegel, Capital can also be understood as das Aufheben des seines Andersseyn, “overcoming one’s own being other.” By developing according to the rhythm of its own Begriff, that is to say—following the Science of Logic—as an ontological reality in dialectical development, capitalism produces an overcoming of both the antagonistic classes, and of the Right-Left dichotomy and, in perspective, of any other dialectical element capable of threatening its reproduction.

In specie, this process, along the slope that runs from 1968 to 1989 and from there to the present, develops—as Costanzo Preve has shown—subsuming under capital the whole sphere of antagonisms and contestations, both from the Right (in primis cultural traditionalism and the protests of the petty bourgeoisie against proletarianization), and—above all—from the Left, whether democratic, socialist or communist (Keynesian reformism, redistributive practices, welfarism, revolutionary praxis, utopia of egalitarian reorganization of society). Right and Left are dialectically “overcome” (aufgehoben), in the Hegelian sense. And they are transformed into abstractly opposed and concretely interchangeable parts of capitalist reproduction. They appear as poles which, alternating in the management of the status quo, deny the alternative. And they deceive the masses about the existence of a plurality that, in reality, has already been resolved forever in the predetermined triumph of the articulated single party of turbo-capitalism.

For this reason, the overcoming of the adversarial Right-Left pair should be understood neither as the simple result of a “betrayal” by the leaders of the Left, nor as a subtle contemporary attempt by the radical Right to infiltrate the “world of the good guys.” It is, on the contrary, a process in actu coessential to the dialectical logic of capital development; and in synthesis, the inability to correctly interpret the real context, constitutes the error of the still generous and naive hermeneutic attempts of the old surviving Marxism; still guided by the illusory pretension of superimposing on turbo-capitalism the schemes of the previous dialectical framework now dissolved, thus falling into the theater of the absurd; a theater of the absurd on whose stage the conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat continues to be represented, and consequently, the Left can be “re-founded” through a return to the unjustly forgotten past—when the naked truth is that the really existing conflict, today, is that between “above” and “below,” between “the top” of the financial oligarchy and “the bottom” of the middle classes and the workers, more and more reduced to misery.

The Left cannot re-founded itself mainly for two reasons: a) the historical framework has mutated (which, therefore, requires new philosophical-political paradigms that understand and operatively contest capitalist globalization and progressive neoliberalism); b) it harbors from its origin in a part of itself—as Jean-Claude Michéa has shown—a double fundamental vulnus: 1) the conception of progress as a necessary break with traditions and with preceding ties, i.e., the decisive element that will unfailingly lead it to adhere to the rhythm of neoliberal progress; and 2) the enlightenment individualism inherited from the Enlightenment, which necessarily leads to neoliberal competitive monadology. The defense of individual value against the society of the Ancien Règime is inverted in capitalist individualism and its monadological anthropology, just as the overthrow of traditions en bloc generates the integration of the individual no longer in the egalitarian community, but in the global market of consumer goods.

The foundation of absolute-totalitarian capitalism, in the socio-economic context, is no longer the division between the bourgeoisie on the Right and the proletariat on the Left. And it is not even, politically, the antithesis between Right and Left. The new fundamentum of global-capitalism is the non-classist and omni-homologizing generalization of the commodity form in all spheres of the symbolic and the real. Precisely because it is absolute and totalitarian, capitalism overcomes and resolves—in the capitalist sense, it is understood—the divisions that threaten in various ways its reproduction. For this reason, turbo-capitalism is neither bourgeois nor proletarian. Nor is it right-wing or left-wing. In fact, it has overcome and resolved these antitheses, valid and operative in its previous dialectical phase.

With the advent of turbo-capitalism, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie are “surpassed” and “dissolved”—not “in se” and “per se,” as Hegel would say—into a new postmodern plebs of individualized and resilient consumers, who consume commodities with stupid euphoria and endure with disenchanted resignation the world subsumed under capital; that is, a world increasingly ecologically uninhabitable and anthropologically dehumanized. Hence the society of Narcissus, the postmodern god of selfies, of “self-portraits” of sad people who immortalize themselves smiling.

Similarly, Right and Left are “overcome” and “dissolved” in a bipolar homogeneity, articulated according to the now treacherous alternation without alternative of a neoliberal Right dyed in pink and a neoliberal Left dyed in blue. They do not fight for a different and perhaps opposing idea of reality, based on different orders of values and on their irreconcilable Weltanschauungen. On the contrary, they compete to realize the same idea of reality, the one sovereignly decided by the market and the neoliberal oligarchic bloc, with respect to which they now play the role of simple butlers, albeit with livery of a different color. At the top, on the control bridge, there is a new post-bourgeois and post-proletarian class, which is neither Right nor Left, neither bourgeois nor proletarian. It is the class of the cosmopolitan financial patriciate which, more precisely, is of the Right in the economy (competitiveness without frontiers and integral commodification of the world), of the Center in politics (alternation without alternative of the center-right and the center-left, equally neoliberal), and of the Left in culture (openness, anthropological deregulation and progressivism as philosophie du plus jamais ça).

In short, the transit towards the new figure of absolute-totalitarian capitalism develops along a trajectory that has accompanied us from 1968 to the new Millennium, crossing the epochemachend date of 1989. In fact, from 1968 until today, capitalism has dialectically “overcome” (aufgehoben) the contradiction which it itself had provoked in the antithetical-dialectical phase, represented by the double nexus of opposition between bourgeoisie and proletariat, and between Right and Left. Thus, absolute-totalitarian capitalism of today is characterized on the one hand, by the eclipse of the symbiotic link between the two instances of the bourgeois “unhappy consciousness” and the proletarian “struggles for the recognition of servile labor;” and on the other, by the elimination of the polarity between Right and Left, now converted into the two wings of the neoliberal eagle. Turbo-capital has “overcome” those antitheses, proper to the moment of the “immense power of the negative” (that is, of the being-other-of-itself), and has “subsumed” them under itself, reconquering its own identity with-itself at a higher level than in the thetic phase, as the fruit of the transit through its own self-estrangement.

Diego Fusaro is professor of the History of Philosophy at the IASSP in Milan (Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies) where he is also scientific director. He is a scholar of the Philosophy of History, specializing in the thought of Fichte, Hegel, and Marx. His interest is oriented towards German idealism, its precursors (Spinoza) and its followers (Marx), with a particular emphasis on Italian thought (Gramsci or Gentile, among others). he is the author of many books, including Fichte and the Vocation of the IntellectualThe Place of Possibility: Toward a New Philosophy of Praxis, and Marx, again!: The Spectre ReturnsThis article appears courtesy of Posmodernia.

Featured: Mural at Carmelo Street, in Barcelona, Spain, by the anonymous street artist, Blu; undated. The full mural.