Existential geopolitics of Carlo Terracciano
Existential geopolitics of Carlo Terracciano
By Alexandr Dugin
The choice of Carlo Terracciano
I think Carlo Terracciano is one of the major European geopoliticians of recent decades. I am convinced that he will be recognized as one of modern classical authors of this discipline. I had the opportunity to know Carlo Terracciano personally, and I always admired the rightness of his ideological position in life: geopolitic was for him an existential choice; he lived his life in full accordance with its principles, demonstrating the unthinkable in our time Roman, Olympic personal attitude – the loyalty, the full addiction to the cause, complete moral wholeness with no regard to the effects of pressures of modernity.
Carlo Terracciano was a man of ideas and man of action, at the same time. In his case, the theory and practice merged into something indivisible. What was his main idea and what was his essential deed?
The birth of geopolitics from the sea foam
Carlo Terracciano inherited geopolitical tradition of European continentalism. In his writings (assembled in a series of articles "Nel Fiume della storia"), he traces the ideological genesis of this school. British imperialist H. Mackinder war first to articulate the main geopolitical law – dualistic opposition between the civilization of the Sea (thalassocracy) and the civilization of Land (tellurocracy). Mackinder himself was a brilliant representative of the thalassocracy and ensured the transfer of the tradition of thallasocratic strategy, the procedure of geopolitical apperception from Great Britain to the United States. Mackinder was one of the founders of the London School of Economics, contributed to the emergence of "Chattem House", the Royal Centre for Strategic Studies, and inspired the first team of CFR (Counsel on Foreign Relations), publishing in «Foreign Affairs» his later articles. From him to the American A. Mahan is a straight line of atlanticist geopolitics, coming to American realism (and some "muscular liberalism", transnationalism and globalism) up to Kissinger, Brzezinski, D. Rockefeller, on one hand, and the neocons on the other. The planetary hegemony of the United States and the idea of global thalassocracy with the World Government all that derives from a planetary vision of Mackinder, brought to its logical limits. The world can become really global, only when the Sea Power would definitively defeat the Land Power (or vice versa). That was the stake of Mackinder’s life. And now we see that many of his projects are fulfilled: he insisted on the dismantlement of Russia, on the creation of a "cordon sanitaire" in Eastern Europe, on the necessity to defeat Germany and Russia, and all this is somehow realized at the end of XX century, providing thus the conditions for the emergence of a unipolar world and U.S. global hegemony. This thalassocratic empire before our eyes, becoming a reality.
But in the first quarter of the twentieth century, the conceptual challenge H. Mackinder was accepted by the geopoliticians who positioned themselves on the side tellurocracy. It was, first of all, the German school of Karl Haushofer, who began to develop a basis tellurocratic geopolitics, Geopolitics-2 (whereas the Anglo-Saxon, thalassocratic geopolitics can be called "Geopolitics-1"). Since the foundation was laid for the continentalist tradition.
The Haushofer’s school offered to Germany to realize its tellurocratic nature and to unify Europe on the continental basis; to accomplish that it was necessary to conclude an alliance with the Soviet Union and to strengthen the alliance with Japan and thus destroy the world thalassocracy – the alliance of England, USA and France. The consolidation of all Land Powers was the only way to get rid of the Sea Powers and the their temptation to organize the world space on the thalassocratic model. This conception was developed by the project of a new division of the world on the basis of the Pan-Ideas - four areas that were to be integrated economically, politically and strategically along the meridian - from North to South. Haushofer created a major conceptual bulwark of the Geopolitics-2, laying thus the foundation for the European continentalism where Germany was conceived as a center of European tellurocracy (the natural fact recognized by Mackinder himself).
After the defeat of Germany and the Axis powers in World War II tellurocratic geopolitics has been discredited for a long time and walked away into the shadows. American authors have even suggested to distinguish Anglo-Saxon «geopolitics» from German «Geopolitik», identifying the first with “fully acceptable method of analysis of political science in the realm of international relations", and the other – with "imperialist fantasies." In such definitions of what is "scientific" what is not we see only typical double standards or direct political propaganda of the winners. Sea Power defeated the Land Powers, and established a colonial discipline - including in the scientific field, because knowledge, as Michel Foucault has shown, is synonymous with power.
Nevertheless, the continentalist school of tellurocratic geopolitics continued to exist in Europe in marginal conditions also after the Second World War. The examples are works of Austrian General Jordis von Lohausen, the Belgian theorist and the founder of Pan-European “Young Europe” movement Jean Thiriart (which by chance Carlo Terracciano met for the first time in Moscow in my apartment in 1992) and a prominent French philosopher Alain de Benoist. The main characteristic of this continentalist Gepolititcs2 is vision of the world see from a of Land point of view. From this we could easily deduce the role of every player in the "great war of continents." Those who are on the side of the Land are automatically against the Sea, that is, against Anglo-Saxon world, against U.S. domination and against the Western type of globalization (mondialism).
Carlo Terracciano’s tellurocratic testimony
Carlo Terracciano was a direct successor of continentalist geopolitical tradition, the most striking and consistent theorist and practitioner of Geopolitics-2. His work is perhaps the most complete and consistent example of this tradition. He does not just continue recyceling preexisting theory, but applies the basic principles of tellurocratic Geopolitics-2 to analyze the current situation in the world. He did not let a shade of doubt in his personal choice: he speaks on behalf of the continent of Europe, of tellurocracy. In the conditions of atlanticist occupation and thalassocratic domination it is a virile gesture of spiritual and cognitive revolt. Thus Terracciano carries out an important symbolic act: he constitutes thus the subjective pole, endowed with the will and the mind, which grows out of the dumping ground of post-modern Europe, becoming an alternative revolutionary project of other Europe. This possible but not yet realized Europe arises – let it be only in theory - over the ruins of ending modernity. Terracciano is a kind of geopolitical witness; in his writings and actions he testifies that the victory of the Sea is not absolute and that in Europe there rest the resolute network of geoplitical continentalist resistance and that this network is fully aware of the nature, purpose and stakes in the great war of continents. Thus, Carlo Terracciano is saving the traditional European continental geopolitics, preparing by this the theoretical reset of Europe.
Terracciano as Eurasianist
Further, the decisive moment in the evolution of Carlo Terracciano’s theories was his encounter with the Eurasianist geopolitical tradition re-established in Russia since the late 80s. The modern Russian Eurasianist school of geopolitics was founded in the late 80's as a post-Soviet geopolitical reflection on Mackinder’s world vision, as a kind of a response to thalassocratic challenge. The logic of construction of Eurasianist geoplitics was very similar to the genesis of German geopolitics from Haushofer’s school. But in the case of Russia, the symmetry was even more perfect: Mackinder indicated as the main enemy of Sea Power the Heartland, whose control ensured thalassocracy the world domination. The Russian eurasianists in late '80s accepted the main frame of geopolitical map and agreed to acknowledge the essence of Russian history in the tellurocracy. The Russia is the Heartland, so Geopolitics-2 is the Russian cause. Thus were laid the foundations of modern neo-Eurasianism.
Russian Eurasian geopolitics met the European continentalism in 1992 - during a joint visit to Moscow of Carlo Terracciano and Jean Thiriart. Jean Thiriart was the author of the concept "Euro-Soviet empire from Vladivostok to Dublin" and Carlo Terracciano at that time has written his programmatic work "In the foam of history" (“Nel fiume della Storia”). Since European continentalism and Russian eurasianism became almost the same geopolitical line. Something similar was described in the project Haushofer continental concept of geopolitical block “Berlin-Moscow-Tokyo”. The same idea was revived on the theoretical level in the early 90s in Russia. The close Russian – European geopolitical dialogue started then in Moscow and is continuing and growing up to present day. At the same time, other European geopolitics, in particular, Alain de Benoist, Claudio Mutti visited Moscow, entering the same direction of geopolitical considerations. In France, a very similar views were held by an excellent traditionalist writer Jean Parvulesco.
Carlo Terracciano played in this Eurasian friendship the leading role. With passionate energy he began to develop this Eurasian trend, inviting to unite all the nonconformist anti-status quo orientated forces in the continental tellurocratic block. His work ,albeit it was developed at the level of an intellectual elite and geopolitical schools, has made considerable impact. Ideas do matter, and any political action always starts with the project, program, strategy.
Islam and tellurocracy
Analysis of the current situation has led Carlo Terracciano to the conclusion that many Islamic countries and Islamic civilization as whole should be regarded as a crucial ally in tellurocratic alliance in the common struggle against American hegemony and plutocratic globalization. Thus, the importance of the Islamic factor has become a critical component of modern neocontinentalism. Terracciano should be considered as one of its founders. Islam is a tellurocratic Power - this was the resolute conclusion of Carlo Terracciano. It became from then on a kind of geopolitical axiom for contemporary Eurasianism.
Terracciano made a series of trips and gave a series of conferences in the Islamic countries - Iran, Syria, etc., promoting everywhere the Eurasian continentalist geopolitics. Ideas and actions, as always in the case of Carlo Terracciano did not differ.
Formation of geopolitical views have been accompanied by Terracciano by corresponding ideological and political shifts. The appeal to the geopolitical criteria, concepts and evaluation of the crucial meaning of tellurocracy demanded the revision of the political foundations of the classical European patriotism, which usually refers to the "Third Position" (anti-liberalism and anti-communism), in the spirit Evola, Heidegger and Yockey. If we accept the Land Power point of view, the Soviet Union transformed immediately from one of the two enemies in Europe (together with the liberal capitalist West, personified in USA) to an ally. This required a radical revision of the "Third Position" and the transition to a fusion between Europeanism and Sovietism, the national-bolshevism. In the mid-80's a similar evolution have undergone the views of chief theoretician of the European "Nouvelle Droite" Alain de Benoist. Unlike many other 'national revolutionaries' Carlo Terracciano, without hesitation, accepted national-communist ideological direction and became one of the leaders of national communism in Italy. Anti-Sovietism and anticommunism (especially now, after the end of the Soviet Union) became obsolete and serve as tools in the hands of thalassocracy, liberals and globalists. So every consistent European national revolitionaire should resolutely end with that and actively cooperate with all the leftist forces, fighting against American hegemony and the liberal capitalism, which embody the essence of thalassocracy and civilization of the Sea. This shift to the left of Terracciano was the logical conclusion of his geopolitical analysis, and he has made most decisive steps in this direction joining thus the tradition of “Young Europe” (following the example of Claudio Mutti, a friend and colleague of Carlo Terracciano), and becoming a pioneer of a new national-communist and Eurasian trends in modern Italian and wider European politics. To this political stand Carlo Terracciano consacrated the entire book under the expressive name of "National communism".
Social justice is the value of traditional society. Hierarchy, based on the material principle, class stratification, which lies at the basis of capitalism is absolute evil and must be overthrown. The fight against liberalism, capitalism and the global oligarchy for freedom, justice and social order based on solidarity and mutual aid is the main task of national revolutionaries. No compromise can be tolerate with the bourgeoisie and their mercantilist, materialistic and egoistic values. Man is a social being. Tradition is a cause of the collective being, a social cause. In order to affirm traditional society and implement it on a global scale, it is necessary to destroy the capitalist cosmopolis founded on the unconditioned veneration of "golden calf". And in this case left the forces fighting for social justice, are allies and friends, as well as the right forces, defending traditional values – such as spirit, faith and allegiance to the roots (in fact these values are also incompatible with capitalism and commercial spirit).
Traditionalism and geopolitics of the Sacred
Finally, the crucial aspect of thought of Carlo Terracciano is associated with traditionalism and Tradition. Terracciano himself followed the path charted by Julius Evola, regarding himself as the bearer of the spiritual traditions of the West, dating back to the depths of antiquity, to the Greco-Roman Neoplatonism. He was respectful in a confront to Islam and Hinduism, he felt sympathy for the Greek and Russian Orthodoxy, but up to the end of his days he refrained from clarifying his religious views as the concrete confession. He was a traditionalist and a strong partisan of the ancient Indo-European values. These values, in his opinion, had to stand in the center of the holy war which he waged against the modern world.
The Tradition is linked to the Land. The Modernity is linked to the Sea. Tellurocracy mean Ttradition, modernity mean thalassocracy. So geopolitics of Terracciano obtains the sacred dimension. It is not just a technical tool for the correct political analysis or strategic planning, but an ideology, a spiritual choice, a call for a holy eschatological battle, Endkampf, requiring us to mobilize our entire being.
Very good warrior
Carlo Terracciano gives us an example of what life of a real geopolitician should be in the domain of science, theory, existence, ontology, eschatology. This is the total mobilization of the soul, full payment for the beliefs by all the content of the heroic and tragic life.
Today many complain that there is no more place for heroic acts and fights , all is doomed to be lost from the beginning, nothing could give any empirical results. This is only prove of weakness, cowardice and ignobility. If we believe something and our believe is string enough, we are always able to change the world. There is no enemy, which would be unbeatable for the burning human spirit. Carlo Terracciano gives us an example of a man who up to his last breath defended his beliefs. His beliefs are our beliefs. His struggle is our struggle. And the struggle of those who will come after us.
I confess to not be interested of what kind of man was Carlo Terracciano, albeit his friends claim he was great, kind, honest. It does not matter. It's subjective. Objectively, he was a hero. The real hero of the continent, a civilization of Land, of Eurasia. And it's much more important. Only the idea does matter. And another thing does matter also – the human life thrown into the fire of great belief and great cause.
The traditional Japanese proverb says: isn’t good that warrior who serves honestly a good State; good is the warrior that serves honestly to any State – including the very bad one; and this honest service is that makes the bad State good. The Carlo Terracciano was a really good warrior. The warrior of Europe.