The USA assumed the mantle of the thalassocratic world power from Britain. Thalassocracy is based around the mercantile spirit. The Zeitgeist that was epitomised by Britain was that of the shop-keeper empowered with a war-fleet. The capitalist ethos was under British auspices, and provided the economic doctrine of the Manchester School, under which much the world now endures. Contra this thalassocratic economics is the German School of Friedrich List, whose doctrine is that of the autarchy of continents and great land-masses. The world wars were fought around these contending world-views. It was a pyrrhic victory for Britain however; indebted, its empire soon crumbled.
While Britain’s tradition was that of the Indo-European ethos, the ethos that dominated the founding of the American colonies and the later USA was predominantly Puritan/Calvinist. The USA was the legacy of a Civilisation that had already entered its Late epoch of decay to use the Spenglerian analogy (although Steuckers does not refer to Spengler other than in a single allusion). The USA was the end of something old, not the beginning of something new. Money was its religion from the start, and according to the Puritan ethos culture is regarded as nothing other than a frivolous distraction from work. In this regard Steuckers makes this important point that the USA was founded upon Calvinist/Puritan messianism. Max Weber wrote of capitalism and the Puritan ethic, and although not mentioned by Steuckers in these essays, Weber could be advantageously consulted on the character of the USA and the character of capitalism as a messianic creed. What it means, and what is well appreciated by the Russian Eurasianists, is that the fight between world creeds has a metaphysical dimension.
It is a moot point to argue whether the dominant messianism that motivates US world policy, is one of Jewish origin and purpose, and about the Jewish character of Puritanism. What the Russian Eurasianists (and Steuckers) refer to as “Atlanticist” geopolitics based around Anglo-American thalassocratcy has been willing to sacrifice the interests of Israel and Zionism, and those “Court Jews” such as Kissinger, assumed by certain elements of the Far Right to be nothing more nor less than elders of Zion, have also been willing to sacrifice Israeli interests. In this regard Steuckers refers to Israel as a pawn of US geopolitics, rather than the common assumption among the US Far Right and others, that the USA is a pawn of Israel. One might recall that it was also the position of the USSR, which published some excellent books on Zionism for world-wide consumption, such as Caution: Zionism!, that Zionism was always a pawn of oligarchic geopolitics.
This collection of essays does not include extensive discussions on defining “Europe”, although there are plenty of allusions to historical figures, politicians and academics, each briefly identified with nearly 500 footnotes provided by Dr Jacob. It does however include a brief consideration of what a “reich” is. Steuckers finds the Hitler reich falls short of the traditional concept that is defined by a transcendent Idea that is capable of being inclusive to sundry ethnies while being antithetical to the liberal multiculturalism fostered by US-led capitalism whose artificial character, otherwise called “globalism” is bereft of any sense of permanence, place and identity that gives what it is to be human its very essence of being. Indeed, it can be said that a reich as an imperial concept is organic, and what the banal Left has been calling “neo-imperialism” is inorganic and indeed antithetical to what is genuinely imperial. For definitions and history of the regal Idea and what constitutes an imperium in a traditional sense, one might refer to the works of Julius Evola, whose primary books have in recent years bene translated into English, probably for the most part due to the revival of interest in esotericism which happens to be the predicate of his political ideas. In reaching back to the origins of the reich Idea, Steuckers goes beyond Europe to the “proto-Persians” whose knightly and regal ethos of duty and obedience was wide-ranging and provided the social basis for the pre-capitalist organic communities for millennia.
What the Steuckers’ collection does focus on is certain practicalities of European unity that are not so frequently discussed, such as the importance of telecommunications, a European space programme, satellite communications, Continent-spanning roads and other communications systems. Europe’s sovereignty requires the elimination of US corporate dominance in such areas. It is here that Russia would provide an important role, among others. Here also the “Eurasian” vision enters, as it does with revival of Russian influence that would, in conjunction with a European geopolitical strategy, confound US “Atlanticist” thalassocratic strategy, the aim of which is to keep Europe and Russia confined. Steuckers calls such a geopolitical break-out “de-enclaving”, of breaking out to US imposed strictures, which have been most evident in the “colour revolutions” in the former Soviet states and Central Asia, and in the turmoil created in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Beyond this Steuckers factors in the importance of a European policy of alliances with Iberian America, with the natural focus being Bolivarian Venezuela. Indeed this is the vision officially held by Venezuela of a united Bolivarian bloc; the vision, it can be added, of Juan Peron, whose geopolitical diplomacy included Gadaffi’s Libya as an important player (See Bolton, Peron and Peronism, 2014).
It is of passing interest in this regard, that Peron while exiled in Spain, was a follower of the Belgian geopolitical theorist Jean Thiriart, in whose legacy Steuckers works. A further convergence is the cross-pollination of thinking that has taken place between the Nouvelle Droite, Steuckers, de Benoist, and Thiriart, and the Russian neo-Eurasianists headed by Dugin. Common factors include the referencing of the geopolitics of Mackinder and Haushofer, with the important concepts of the “Heartland and Rimland” in defining geopolitical spheres, sea-power and land-power in defining inherently conflicting world-views; and the legal philosophy of Carl Schmitt in defining identity and opposition. Both Steuckers and Dugin place importance on cultivating allies in Asia. BRICS is a manifestation of the influence that Dugin and the Eurasianists have on the Putin regime, and partly why Putin is regarded as inherently evil by the “Atlanticists”. Steuckers and Dugin both place importance on China as an ally in “de-enclaving” Eurasia. Steuckers states that China, like Japan, does not have a proselytizing religion, nor does it interfere in internal politics when dealing with a state, in contrast to the USA, which has long used moral slogans as a primary strategy. China (like Japan) retains its traditions while adapting to technology, although Steuckers does state that China has adopted “western” and “social Darwinist” models of development. For whatever it is worth, this is the one major point about which I am hesitant, perhaps because of unconscious Antipodean parochialism, and my resistance to the infatuation New Zealand political and business circles have had with China since Mao’s time. While Steuckers addresses the matter of oil and other resources, one of this reviewer’s preoccupations has been with approaching “water wars” as a major factor particularly in Eurasia, with China having pursued a policy of controlling the head-waters of much of Asia in Tibet, and certain major problems even now between Russia and China on the issue. (See Bolton, Geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific, 2013).
A further interesting and contentious (among the Right) aspect of Steucker’s thinking will be his rejection of separatist and “identitarian” politics among the numerous European ethnies. He sees this phenomenon as a regression of European unity and the premises of these identities as superficial. Considering what Steuckers calls the “Eurocracy” of the European Union, the emergence of such identities in reaction to the levelling materialism and hedonism of the EU, derived from the USA, with a Jacobin-Freemasonic ideological impetus, is understandable. However, Steuckers does not seem to consider these national and ethnic movements as offering anything of cultural depth. Steuckers’ concern is that the separatist reaction is a further step away from a true European reich, and that Europe will become more fractured. Certainly one sees in many such movements of the “Far Right” a policy foundation based on neo-liberalism and Islamophobia, to the point of serving as a hurrah chorus for Israel, in a manner similar to the way sections of the “Right” during the Cold War parroted the anti-Soviet and anti-Russian slogans concocted by embittered Trotskyites.
Steuckers aptly identifies today’s misnamed “neo-conservative” movement with this Trotskyism, that maintains much influence over US foreign policy, and which has resurrected its Cold War rhetoric in combatting the new enemies: “Islamofascism”, as the neo-con Trots coined it, and Russia, the perennial enemy. As Steuckers states, the “permanent war” promoted by the USA is a derivative of the “permanent revolution” that the Trotskyites made an essential part of US foreign policy. Actually what the neo-con geopolitical strategists specifically call this perpetual state of instability promoted by the USA is “constant conflict”. In coining the term as the heading of a seminal paper on foreign policy, American geopolitical strategist Ralph Peters wrote that the primary element in what he overly called the destructive policy, is cultural degeneracy using MTV, Hollywood and the like to eliminate every vestige of tradition, and to fracture a targeted society. We see how this operates through the US State Department’s promotion of “Hip Hop” and the like among the young in Europe and elsewhere, reminiscent of the CIA-founded, Trotskyite-led Congress for Cultural Freedom using jazz and abstract expressionism during the Cold War, but now on a much broader and more debased scale. (See Bolton, Babel Inc., 2013).
Above all, for this reviewer, Steuckers identifies the enemy of Europe and of Russia as the USA, and the rift to be one of metaphyseal dimensions; a conflict of differing world-missions. The USA constitutes the “outer enemy”, if I might utilise a Yockeyan term, the enemy which in Carl Schmitt’s concept of the other, can help unify and form the European ethnos, revitalised by a symbiosis with Russia. Interestingly also, Steuckers draws not from Spengler, but from Arnold Toynbee. He sees in Toynbee’s theory of civilisation as emerging through “challenge and response” a creative dialectic that can revive what Spengler would consider a Civilisation in its Winter epoch heading towards senility and death. Europe’s response to challenges might provide that impetus for renewal. Certainly Russia has set that course, and with its own consciousness of mission could also provide Europe with a new sense of destiny.