The Special Military Operation (SMO) as the Most Important Event in World History
Many are beginning to realize that what is happening is in no way explained by national interest analysis, by economic trends or energy policy, by territorial disputes, or by ethnic contradictions. Virtually any expert who tries to describe what is happening in the usual terms and concepts of pre-war times looks at the least unconvincing, and more often than not, simply stupid.
To make even a superficial understanding of the state of affairs, one must turn to much deeper and more fundamental categories, to the everyday analysis that is almost never involved.
The Need for a Global Context
What is still referred to in Russia as the SMO, but is in fact a full-fledged war with the collective West, can only be understood in the context of large-scale approaches such as:
- Geopolitics, based on the consideration of the deadly duel between the civilization of the Sea and the civilization of the Land, identifying the ultimate aggravation of the great continental war;
- Civilizational analysis—the clash of civilizations (modern Western civilization claiming hegemony against rising alternative non-Western civilizations);
- Definition of the future architecture of the world order—the contradiction between a unipolar and a multipolar world;
- The culmination of world history—the final stage in the formation of the Western model of global dominance, which faces a fundamental crisis;
- a political economy macro-analysis built on the fixation of the collapse of world capitalism;
- and finally, religious eschatology describing the “last times” and their inherent conflicts, confrontations and disasters, as well as the phenomenology of the coming of the Antichrist.
All other factors—political, national, energy, resource, ethnic, legal, diplomatic, etc., for all their importance, are secondary and subordinate. In effect, they do not explain or clarify anything in essence.
Let us place the SMO in the six theoretical contexts which we have identified, each of which represents entire disciplines. These disciplines have received little attention in the past, preferring more “positive” and “precise” fields of study, so they may seem “exotic” or “irrelevant” to many. But understanding truly global processes requires considerable distance from the private, the local, and the detailed.
The SMO in the Context of Geopolitics
All geopolitics is built on the consideration of the eternal opposition between the civilization of the Sea (thalassocracy) and the civilization of the Land (tellurocracy). Vivid expressions of these beginnings in antiquity were the confrontations between land-based Sparta and port-based Athens, land-based Rome and maritime Carthage.
The two civilizations differ not only strategically and geographically, but also in their main orientation: the land empire is based on sacred tradition, duty and the hierarchical vertical, headed by the sacred Emperor. It is a civilization of the spirit.
The maritime powers are oligarchies, a trading system dominated by material and technical development. They are essentially pirate states. Their values and traditions are contingent and constantly changing—like the element of the sea itself. Hence the progress peculiar to them, especially in the material sphere, and, on the contrary, the constancy of the way of life and the continuity of the civilization of the Land, the eternal Rome.
As politics became global and took over the entire globe, the two civilizations finally acquired spatial embodiment. Russia-Eurasia became the core of the Land civilization, and the pole of the Sea civilization became fixed in the zone of Anglo-Saxon influence: from the British Empire—to the US and the NATO bloc.
That is how geopolitics sees the history of recent centuries. The Russian Empire, the USSR and modern Russia inherited the baton of the civilization of the Land. In the context of geopolitics, Russia is the eternal Rome, the Third Rome. And the modern West is the classic Carthage.
The collapse of the USSR was a major victory for the civilization of the Sea (NATO, the Anglo-Saxons) and a terrible disaster for the civilization of the Land (Russia, the Third Rome).
Thalassocracy and Tellurocracy are like two communicating vessels, so those territories that went out of Moscow’s control began to go under the control of Washington and Brussels. First of all, this affected Eastern Europe and the Baltic republics that broke away from the Soviet Union. Then it was the turn of the post-Soviet states. The civilization of the Sea continued the great continental war with the main enemy—the civilization of the Land, which had survived the blow, but had not collapsed completely.
In this case, the defeat of Moscow led to the fact that in Russia itself, in the 1990s, was established a colonial system—the Atlantists flooded the state with their agents, put in the highest positions. This is how the modern Russian elite was formed—as an extension of the oligarchy, a system of external control by the civilization of the Sea.
A number of former Soviet republics began to prepare for full integration into the civilization of the Sea. Others followed a more cautious strategy and were in no hurry to break the historically established geopolitical ties with Moscow. Thus, two camps were formed: the Eurasian camp (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Armenia) and the Atlantic camp (Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and Azerbaijan). Azerbaijan, however, moved away from this extreme position and began to get closer to Moscow.
This led to the events of 2008 in Georgia, and then, after the pro-NATO coup in Ukraine in 2014, to the separation of Crimea and the uprising in Donbass. Some territories of the newly formed units did not want to join the civilization of the Sea and rebelled against such a policy, seeking support from Moscow.
This led to the beginning of the SMO in 2022. Moscow as a civilization of the Land had strengthened enough to enter into direct confrontation with the civilization of the Sea in Ukraine and reverse the trend of increasing Thalassocracy and NATO to the detriment of Tellurocracy and the Third Rome. This is how we came to the geopolitics of today’s conflict. Russia, like Rome, battles Carthage and its colonial satellites.
And what is new in geopolitics is that Russia-Eurasia cannot act today as the sole representative of the civilization of the land. Hence the concept of a “distributed Heartland.” Not only Russia, but also China, India, the Islamic world, Africa and Latin America become the poles of the land civilization in the new conditions.
Moreover, if we assume the collapse of the Sea civilization, then western “big spaces”—Europe and America itself—may turn into corresponding “Heartlands.” In the U.S., Trump and the Republicans, leaning precisely on the red, inner-continental States, are almost openly calling for this. In Europe, populists and supporters of the “Fortress Europe” concept intuitively gravitate toward this scenario.
The SMO in the Context of the Clash of Civilizations
A purely geopolitical approach corresponds to a civilizational approach. But, as we have seen, an adequate understanding of geopolitics itself already includes the civilizational dimension.
At the level of civilizations, two main vectors collide in the SMO:
- Liberal-democratic individualism, atomism, the dominance of the material-technical approach to man and society, the abolition of the state, gender politics, essentially abolishing the family and gender itself, and finally a transition to the rule of Artificial Intelligence (all called “progressivism” or “the end of history”);
- faithfulness to traditional values, the integrity of culture, the superiority of spirit over matter, the preservation of family, power, patriotism, the preservation of cultural diversity and, in the end, the salvation of man himself.
After the defeat of the USSR, Western civilization gave its strategy a particularly radical character, insisting on finalizing—and immediately!—its attitudes. Hence the forcible imposition of multiple genders, dehumanization (AI, genetic engineering, deep ecology), state-destroying “color revolutions,” etc. Moreover, Western civilization has openly identified itself with all of humanity, calling immediately for all cultures and peoples to follow it. And this is not a proposal, but an order, a kind of categorical imperative of globalization.
To some extent, the influence of modern Western civilization has affected all societies—including ours, where, since the 1990s, the Western liberal approach has been dominant. We have adopted liberalism and postmodernism as a kind of operating system and have not been able to free ourselves from it, despite 23 years of Putin’s sovereign course.
But today, the direct geopolitical conflict with NATO and the collective West has also aggravated this civilizational confrontation. Hence Putin’s appeal to traditional values, rejection of liberalism, gender politics, etc.
Although not yet fully realized by our society and our ruling elite, the SMO is a direct head-on collision between two civilizations:
- The postmodern liberal-globalist West, and
- traditional society, represented by Russia and those who keep at least a certain distance from the West.
Thus, the war has moved to the level of cultural identity and acquired a profound ideological character. It has become a war of cultures, a fierce confrontation of Tradition against Modern and Postmodern.
The SMO in the Context of the Confrontation between Unipolarity and Multipolarity
In terms of the architecture of world politics, the SMO is the point at which to determine whether the world will be unipolar or multi-polar. The victory of the West over the USSR ended the era of the bipolar organization of world politics. One of the two opposing camps disintegrated and disappeared from the scene, while the other remained and declared itself the main and the only one. This is when Fukuyama proclaimed “the end of history.”
At the level of geopolitics, as we have seen, this corresponded to a decisive victory of the civilization of the Sea over the civilization of the Land. More cautious specialists in international relations (Charles Krauthammer) called this situation a “unipolar moment,” thus emphasizing that the formed system has a chance to become stable, that is “unipolar world” itself, but may not hold and may give way to another configuration.
This is exactly what is being decided today in Ukraine: Russia’s victory will mean that the “unipolar moment” is irreversibly over and multipolarity has come as something irreversible. Otherwise, the supporters of the unipolar world will have a chance to delay their end at least at any cost.
Here we should again turn to the geopolitical concept of “distributed Heartland,” which brings an important correction to classical geopolitics: if the civilization of the Sea is consolidated today and represents something united, the planetary system of liberal globalism under the strategic leadership of Washington and NATO command, then, though the directly opposing civilization of the Land represents only Russia (which refers to classical geopolitics), Russia fights not only for itself, but for the principle of the Heartland itself, recognizing the rightfulness of the unipolar world.
For this reason, Russia embodies a multipolar world order, in which the West is given the role of only one of the regions, one of the poles, with no reason to impose its criteria and values as something universal.
The SMO in the Context of World History
But modern Western civilization is the result of the historical vector that has developed in Western Europe since the beginning of the New Age, the Age of Modernity. It is neither a deviation nor an excess. It is the logical end of a society that has become desacralized, de-Christianized, rejecting the spiritual vertical, on the path of atheistic man and material prosperity. This is what is called “progress,” and such “progress” includes the total rejection and destruction of the values, foundations and principles of traditional society.
The last five centuries of Western civilization are the history of the struggle of Modernity against Tradition, of man against God, of atomism against wholeness. In a sense, it is a history of the struggle between the West and the East, since the modern West has come to embody “progress,” while the rest of the world, especially the East, has been perceived as the territory of Tradition, the preserved sacral way of life.
Western-style modernization was inseparable from colonization, because those who imposed their rules of the game made sure that they worked only in their favor. So gradually the whole world came under the influence of Western Modernity, and from a certain point no one could afford to question the justification of such a “progressive” and deeply Western-centric picture of the world.
Modern Western liberal globalism, the Atlanticist civilization itself, its geopolitical and geostrategic platform in the form of NATO and, in the end, the unipolar world order itself is the culmination of the historical “progress,” as it is deciphered by Western civilization itself. It is precisely this kind of “progress” that is called into question by the conduct of the SMO.
If we are faced with the peak of the West’s historical movement toward the goal that was outlined 500 years ago and is almost achieved today, then our victory in the SMO will mean—no more and no less—a dramatic change in the entire course of world history. The West was on its way to its goal, and at the last stage Russia thwarted this historical mission, turned the universalism of the Western-understood “progress” into a local, private, regional phenomenon, and took away from the West the right to represent humanity and its destiny.
This is what is at stake and what is being decided today in the trenches of the SMO.
The SMO in the Context of the Global Crisis of Capitalism
Modern Western civilization is capitalist. It is based on the omnipotence of capital, the dominance of finance, and bank interest. Capitalism has been the fate of modern Western society since it broke with Tradition, which rejects obsession with the material aspects of existence and sometimes severely restricts certain economic practices (such as interest rates) as deeply ungodly, unjust and immoral.
Only by shedding religious taboos could the West fully embrace capitalism. Capitalism is inseparable neither historically nor doctrinally from atheism, materialism and individualism, which in a fully spiritual and religious tradition are not tolerated at all.
It is precisely the unrestrained development of capitalism that has led Western civilization to atomization, dissipation, the transformation of all values into commodities, and, in the end, the equating of man himself with a thing.
Philosophers critical of the modern West have unanimously identified this capitalist impulse of civilization as nihilism. First there was the “death of God” and then, quite logically, the “death of man,” who had lost any fixed content without God. Hence posthumanism, AI and human-machine splicing experiments. This is the culmination of “progress” in its liberal-capitalist interpretation.
The modern West is the triumph of capitalism at its historical peak. Again, the reference to geopolitics clarifies the whole picture: the civilization of the Sea, Carthage, and the oligarchic system were based on the omnipotence of money. Had Rome not won the Punic Wars, capitalism would have come a couple of millennia earlier. Only the valor, honor, hierarchy, service, spirit and sacredness of Rome could have stopped the Carthaginian oligarchy’s attempt to establish its world order then.
The successors of Carthage (the Anglo-Saxons) were more fortunate and over the past five centuries were finally able to accomplish what their spiritual ancestors had failed to do: impose capitalism on humanity.
Of course, Russia today does not even remotely imagine that the SMO is a revolt against global capital and its omnipotence.
And yet that is exactly what it is.
The SMO in the Context of the End Times
Usually, we look at history as progress. However, this view of the essence of historical time has taken root only recently, beginning with the Enlightenment. We can say that the first complete theory of progress was formulated in the middle of the 18th century by French liberal Ann Robert Jacques Thurgot (1727-1781). Since then, it has become dogma, although originally it was only a part of liberal ideology, which was not shared by everyone.
In terms of the theory of progress, modern Western civilization represents its highest point. It is a society in which the individual is practically freed from all forms of collective identity, that is, as free as possible. Free from religion, ethnos, state, race, class, even gender, and tomorrow from the human race. This is the final frontier that progress is meant to take.
Next, according to liberal futurologists, there will be a singularity moment, when humans will hand over the development initiative to Artificial Intelligence. Once upon a time (according to the same theory of progress) apes passed the baton to the human species. Today humanity, ascending to the next stage of evolution, is ready to pass the initiative to neural networks. This is what the modern globalist West is directly leading to.
But if we take away the liberal ideology of progress and turn to the religious worldview, we get a completely different picture. Christianity (as well as other religions) sees the history of the world as a regression, as a departure from paradise. And even after the coming of Christ and the triumph of the universal Church there must come a time of apostasy, severe trials and the coming of the Antichrist, the son of perdition.
This is destined to happen—but believers are called to stand their truth, to remain faithful to the Church and God and to resist the Antichrist even under such extremely difficult conditions. What to the liberal is “progress,” to the Christian is not merely “regress,” but a diabolical travesty.
The latest phase of progress—total digitalization, migration to the meta-universe, the abolition of gender and the overcoming of man with the transfer of the initiative to Artificial Intelligence—in the eyes of the believer of any traditional denomination is a direct confirmation that the Antichrist has come into the world. And this is his civilization.
Thus, we get another dimension of the SMO, which is increasingly being spoken of directly by the Russian President, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Secretary of the Security Council, the head of the SVR, and other high-ranking Russian officials, seemingly quite far from any mysticism or prophetism. But that is exactly what they are: they assert the pure truth, which corresponds to the traditional society’s view of the modern Western world.
And this time it is not a metaphor, with which the opposing sides of the conflict have sometimes rewarded each other before. Now it is more than that. Never has Western civilization, even in modern times, been so close to a direct and blatant embodiment of the kingdom of the Antichrist. Religion and its truths were abandoned by the West long ago, moving on to aggressive secularism and an atheistic materialistic worldview, taken henceforth as the absolute truth.
But it had never yet encroached on human nature itself, deprived it of sex, of family, and soon, of human nature itself. Five hundred years ago, Western Europe embarked on the path of building a society without God and against God, but this process has only now reached its climax. This is the religious and eschatological essence of the “end of history” thesis.
In essence, it is a declaration, expressed in the language of liberal philosophy about the arrival of the Antichrist. At least, this is how it looks in the eyes of people of religious denominations belonging to traditional society.
The SMO is the beginning of an eschatological battle between sacred Tradition and the modern world, which precisely in the form of liberal ideology and globalist politics has reached its most sinister, toxic, radical expression. This is why more and more often we speak of Armageddon, the last decisive battle between the armies of God and Satan.
The Role of Ukraine
At all levels of our analysis, it turns out that the role of Ukraine itself in this fundamental confrontation, no matter how we interpret it, is on the one hand key (it is the field of Armageddon). On the other hand, the Kiev regime is not even remotely an independent entity. It is only a space, a territory where two global, cosmic, absolute forces came together. What may appear to be a local conflict based on territorial claims is, in fact, something else entirely.
Neither side cares about Ukraine itself. The stakes are much higher. It so happens that Russia is destined for a special mission in the history of the world—to stand in the way of civilization of pure evil at a critical moment in world history. And by starting the SMO, the Russian leadership has undertaken this mission. The border between two ontological armies, between two basic vectors of human history is precisely on the territory of Ukraine.
Its authorities have sided with the devil—hence all the horror, terror, violence, hatred, ferocious repression of the Church, the degeneration and sadism of Kiev. But the evil is deeper than the excesses of Ukrainian Nazism—its center is outside Ukraine, and the forces of the Antichrist are simply using the Ukrainians to achieve their goals.
The people of Ukraine find themselves divided not only along political lines, but also in spirit. Some came to the side of the civilization of Dryland, Holy Russia, to the side of Christ. Others, on the opposite side. Thus, society split along the most fundamental—eschatological, civilizational and simultaneously geopolitical boundary. Thus, the very land that was the cradle of ancient Russia, our people, became the area of the great battle, even more significant and extensive than the mythical Kurukshetra, which is the subject of the Hindu tradition.
But the forces that have converged on this field of destiny are so fundamental that they transcend any inter-ethnic contradictions many times over. It is not just the split of Ukrainians into Russophobes and Russophiles; it is the split of humanity on much more fundamental grounds.
Alexander Dugin is a widely-known and influential Russian philosopher. His most famous work is The Fourth Political Theory (a book banned by major book retailers), in which he proposes a new polity, one that transcends liberal democracy, Marxism and fascism. He has also introduced and developed the idea of Eurasianism, rooted in traditionalism. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitica.
Featured: Battle of Grochów, by Bogdan Willewalde; painted ca. 1850.