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Russian Empire (dark green) and sphere of influence (light green) in 1866
The Eurasianists (Russian: Евразийцы, Evraziitsy) was a political movement in the Russian emigre community in the 1920s. The movement posited that Russian civilization does not belong in the "European" category (somewhat borrowing from Slavophile ideas of Konstantin Leontyev), and that the October Revolution of the Bolsheviks was a necessary reaction to the rapid modernization of Russian society. The Evraziitsi believed that the Soviet regime was capable of evolving into a new national, non-European Orthodox Christian government, shedding off the initial mask of proletarian internationalism and militant atheism (which the Evraziitsi were totally opposed to).

The Evraziitsi criticised the anti-Bolshevik activities of organizations such as ROVS, believing that the emigre community's energies would be better focused on preparing for this hoped for process of evolution. In turn, their opponents among the emigres argued that the Evraziitsi were calling for a compromise with and even support of the Soviet regime, while justifying its ruthless policies (such as the persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church) as mere "transitory problems" that were inevitable results of the revolutionary process.

The key leaders of the Evraziitsi were Prince Nikolai Trubetzkoy, P.N. Savitsky, P.P. Suvchinskiy, D.S. Mirsky, K. Čcheidze, P. Arapov, and S. Efron. Philosopher Georges Florovsky was initially a supporter, but backed out of the organization claiming it "raises the right questions", but "poses the wrong answers". A significant influence of the doctrine of the Evraziitsi can be found in Nikolai Berdyaev's essay "The Sources and Meaning of Russian Communism".

Several organizations similar in spirit to the Evraziitsi sprung up in the emigre community at around the same time, such as the pro-Monarchist Mladorossi and the Smenovekhovtsi.

Several members of the Evraziitsi were affected by the Soviet provocational TREST operation, which had set up a fake meeting of Evraziitsi in Russia that was attended by the Evraziitsi leader P.N. Savitsky in 1926 (an earlier series of trips were also made two years earlier by Evraziitsi member P. Arapov). The uncovering of the TREST as a Soviet provocation caused a serious morale blow to the Evraziitsi and discredited their public image. By 1929, the Evraziitsi had ceased publishing their periodical and had faded quickly from the Russian emigre community.

The ideology of the movement was partially incorporated into a new movement of the same name after the fall of the Soviet Union, when the Eurasia Party was founded by Alexander Dugin.

Neo-Eurasianism

Neo-Eurasianism ( ) is a Russianmarker school of thought, popularized in Russia during the years leading up to and following the collapse of the Soviet Union, that considers Russia to be culturally closer to Asia than to Western Europe.

The school takes its insipiration from the Eurasianists of the 1920s, notably Prince N.S. Troubetskoi and P.N. Savitsky. Lev Gumilev is often cited as the founder of the Neo-Eurasianist movement, and he was quoted as saying that "I am the last of the Eurasianists."

At the same time, major differences have been noted between Gumilev's work and those of the original Eurasianists. Gumilev's work is controversial both for its scientific methodology (using his own conception of ethnogenesis and the notion of "passionarity") and for overtones of anti-semitism. At any rate, Gumilev's work has been a source of inspiration for the Neo-Eurasianist authors, the most prolific of whom is Aleksandr Dugin.

Gumilev's contribution to Neo-Eurasianism lies in the conclusions he reaches from applying his theory of ethnogenesis: that the peoples of the Eurasian steppe, including the Russians, but also the Turkic-speaking nomadic peoples of Central Asia, constitute a "super-ethnos" (a notion comparable to the "civilizations" that many authors have used to describe like minded groups of nations or cultures—such as Samuel P. Huntington in his Clash of Civilizations. It should be noted that Neo-Eurasianists are fiercely opposed to Huntington's taxonomy of civilizations on the Eurasian continent).

The idea of Eurasianism contrasts with Konstantin Leontyev's Byzantism, which is similar in its rejection of the West, but identifies with the Byzantine Empire rather than with Central Asian tribal culture.

Greater Russia

The movement is sometimes called the Greater Russia and is described as a political aspiration of pan-Russianmarker nationalists and irredentists to retake some or all of the territories of the other republics of the former Soviet Unionmarker and territory of the former Russian Empiremarker and amalgamate them into a single Russian state. Some have seen the Soviet Union as effectively being a Greater Russia due to the dominance of Russian political interests in the state. The idea of a Greater Russia has important relevance in modern-day Russian politics, as expanding the Russian state to include Belarusmarker is an important topic in Russian political affairs, as well as the political aspirations of Russian nationalists especially in Moldovamarker and Ukrainemarker to have their people reintegrated with Russia.

Outside Russia

Since the late 1990s Eurasianism has gained some following in Turkeymarker among nationalist (ulusalcı) circles. The most prominent figure who is associated with Dugin is Doğu Perinçek, the leader of the Workers' Party.

See also

References

  1. Laruelle, Marlène "Histoire d'une usurpation intellectuelle: Gumilev, 'le dernier des eurasistes'? (analyse des oppositions entre L.N. Gumilev et P.N. Savickij" in Sergei Panarin (ed.) Eurasia: People & Myths, Moscow, Natalis Press, 1993 (Russian lang.)
  2. Mehmet Ulusoy: “Rusya, Dugin ve‚ Türkiye’nin Avrasyacılık stratejisi” Aydınlık Dec. 5 2004, pp. 10-16



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