The multipolar world. An interview with Alfredo RR de Sousa



Natella Speranskaya: The collapse of the Soviet Union meant the cancellation of the Yalta system of international relations and the triumph of the single hegemon - the United States, and as a consequence, transformation of the bipolar world order to the unipolar model. Nevertheless, some analysts are still talking about a possible return to the bipolar model. How do you feel about this hypothesis? Is there a likelihood of emergence of a power capable of challenging the global hegemon?


A.R.R.S: There is much talking nowadays about the emergence of the People's Republic of China as the superpower thatwould restore the bipolar model in the context of global geopolitics. Nevertheless, I believe that such a viewpoint expressesan excessively ‘economicist’ approach of the matter.  China lacks the military capability needed to match American hegemony, and we all know that relations of power are defined ultimately by sheer force. Thus, I believe that theprogressive consolidation of the links established by the SCO-Shanghai Cooperation Organization (a mutual security treatysigned in 2001 between the governments of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, involvinghigh level military cooperation between the signatory States ) soon will become one of the axes of gravity of global geopolitics, as opposed to the 'Atlanticist' block championed by the U.S.. We’ll have therefore a bipolar model integrated by multipolar actors. Observers States of the SCO, such as Iran and Pakistan, on one hand; and U.S. satellites at othercontinents besides Europe, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, will continue to orbit around the power centers mentioned above.



Natella Speranskaya: Zbigniew Brzezinski openly admits that the U.S. is gradually losing its influence. Here it is possible to apply the concept of "imperial overstretch", introduced by renowned historian Paul Kennedy. Perhaps, America has faced that, what was previously experienced by the Soviet Union. How do you assess the current state of the U.S.?


A.R.R.S: The absorption of all spheres of human action by the cold logic of the free market , according to which only have'value', ultimately, people, contexts and activities that can generate some sort of income  (a dynamic that guided thecurrent model of social organization in the U.S. throughout the twentieth century), is simply collapsing. Therefore, if thecommodity form has always been the basic cell of Capital, converting the products of human labor into merely abstract values, alienated from its sensible qualities, such a process of abstraction was greatly exacerbated in recent decades: withindustrial activity losing its centrality as a privileged locus where capitalism extracts the resources for its enlarged self-reproduction, the axis of the system moves quickly towards the financial sector, supreme realm of the 'tautological self-movement' of money , unfolding ‘ad infinitum’ in spirals of artificial profitability devoid of real ballast. It appears, therefore,with a growing impotence, that financial assets, circling around the globe and connecting markets in real time, no longercorrespond to actual earnings, and the economic agents themselves, as well as banks, multilateral institutions and mechanisms of state control and regulation, they begin to lose control of all this incessant dynamic. This is the keyexplanation for the decline of the US.



Natella Speranskaya: The loss of global influence of the U.S. means no more, no less, as the end of the unipolar world. But here the question arises as - to which model will happen the transition in the nearest future? On the one hand, we have all the prerequisites for the emergence of the multipolar world, on the other – we face the risk of encountering non-polarity, which would mean a real chaos.


A.R.R.S: I do not believe in the advent of a state of non-polarity, simply because such a scenario would have never occurred throughout human history. There is, therefore, in historical terms, except as merely transitory situation, nothing like a 'power vacuum', as the fall of a great empire soon is followed by the ascension of another one.. In fact, what really happens is the alternation between periods in which an agent gains the relative hegemony (Roman Empire, British Empire,etc..) and periods where several actors share the stage (the Middle Age, Europe between the XVII and XVIII centuries,etc.).



Natella Speranskaya: The project of "counter-hegemony," developed by Cox, aims to expose the existing order in international relations and raise the rebellion against it. For this, Cox calls for the creation of counter-hegemonic bloc, which will include those political actors who reject the existing hegemony. The basis of the unipolar model imposed by the United States, is a liberal ideology. From this we can conclude that the basis of the multipolar model just the same has to be based on some ideology. Which ideology, in your opinion, can take replace the counter-hegemonic one, capable of uniting a number of political actors who do not agree with the hegemony of the West?


A.R.R.S: One needs to break especially with the rigor mortis of ideological schematisations,  the sterile stillness of monochromatic dogmatisms, and stay alert to what remains valuable in each ‘leftist’ or ‘rightist’ school of political thoughthistorically engaged in the fight against capitalism, liberalism and the whole ideological framework behind the 'Open Society'.

Thus, it is possible to adopt, for example, certain aspects of Italian fascism, particularly with regard to its incorporation ofsorelian distinction between the notions of 'myth' (meaning a political-ideological term) and 'utopia' (ideal). The'revolutionary myth' acts as 'self-fulfilling prophecy', in order not to depend on transcendent factors to be carried out; in my view, Mussolini realized this with impressive acumen. We can also admire, in the same key of the ideological spectrum, the'Code of Honor' of the Cornelius Codreanu’s Legiunea Arhanghelul Mihail and his land reform program, inspired by thenotion of an unitary and organic rural gemeinschaft; moreover, we can  advocate too,  on leftist perspective, the ideas of the peruvian marxist José Carlos Mariátegui about the social revolution, which for him is not a phenomenon that can be interpreted by a 'scientific analysis', since it cannot be understood in the light of epistemological and methodological assumptions of logical reasoning, but rather, it’s much more like a phenomenon of mythical-religious nature, unsuitable forrationalist approaches. We must, therefore, to recreate all political action on a new basis, incorporating what's usable in every perspective and discarding the rest.



Natella Speranskaya: If we project the multipolar model on the economic world map, then we’ll get the coexistence of multiple poles, and at the same time, will create a completematrix for the emergence of a new economy - outside of Western capitalist discourse. In your opinion, is the concept of “autarky of big spaces”, suggested by List, applicable for this?


A.R.R.S: The broader and multifaceted a geopolitical block becomes, the larger becomes the possibilities of organizing it in an autarchic way. Thus, a block formed, for example, by the Member States of SCO and the Islamic Rep. of Iran, couldperfectly implement an economic model of autarchic nature, since it would not lack human or material resources to do so.What prevents the adoption of  an 'autarky of big spaces' is precisely the capitalist model that privileges the interests oftransnational private actors, and therefore does not allow each country or group of countries to conduct its own economic agenda. The liberal globalization corresponds exactly to the absorption of politics by economics, and also to the destructionof the sovereignty of the national States, a process that an author of the stature of Carl Schmitt already denounced since the early decades of the twentieth century. We must reverse this catastrophic  dynamics.



Natella Speranskaya: We are now on the verge of paradigmatic transition from the unipolar world order model to the multi-polar one, where the actors are no more nation-states, but entire civilizations. Recently in Russia was published a book "Theory of multipolar world," written by the Doctor of Political and Social Sciences, Professor Alexander Dugin. This book lays the theoretical foundation, basis, from which a new historical stage can start, and describes a number of changes both in the foreign policy of nation-states and in today's global economy, which involve a transition to the multipolar model. Of course, this also means the emergence of a new diplomatic language. Do you believe that multipolarity is the natural state of the world and that transition to the multipolar model is inevitable?



A.R.R.S: I turn here to another reflection carried out by Prof. Dugin: to rethink, within the framework of 'sacred geography', categories of analysis traditionally employed in geopolitical studies. While geopolitics operates in the sphere of economic reasoning, military doctrines, trade, relations between different political forces, etc., 'sacred geography' delves into the world of myths and archetypes, that is to say, in the vey arcane substrate that constitutes the symbolic origin of each civilizational complex. And That process involves, more specifically in the ideological realm, the innermost quest for ‘telurocratic’ and / or eurasian cultural traditions and civilizations, whose the very foundations goes deeper against the ‘thalassocratic atlanticism’,  ' the 'Open Society', the Enlightenment and liberalism.


Thus, we have here the notion of TELUROCRACY (a term originally coined by the British geographer Halford Mackinder, but employed by Dugin with a somewhat different meaning), which literally means ' Land Power / Empire / Government ‘, as opposed to THALASSOCRACY, ie, 'Sea Power / Empire / Government'.


Such is the opposition that was essentially masked during the brief interlude represented  by American unipolarity: the antagonism between telurocratic ethos, grounded on the archetype of PERMANENCE, and thalassocratic ethos, that reverberates the archetype of CHANGE. It’s very illustrative to assert that this contraposition corresponds, in terms of mythical symbolism, to the opposition between ETERNITY and TIME, especially in the context of Platonic / Augustinian metaphysics (which are the backbone of Western metaphysics) and Vedic doctrines (the central pillar of Hindu metaphysics).

Thus, I believe in the emergence of some kind of ‘bipolar multipolarity', given the cultural differences between nations aligned within the two large  intercontinental blocks, the telurocratic one, led by Russia and China, and the thalassocratic one, under the aegis of USA.