On October 28, in Moscow, a conference was held in the "search of a party of a new type," organized by the Center for Political Thought and Ideology ("Sulakshin's Center") with the participation of Igor Strelkov.
Besides political, organizational, strategic and tactical questions and others, the key question raised was that of the Idea which can become life and real political power.
This what was said in particular (I am leaving it in the Russian original):
«А по поводу идеологии? Вы же сказали, что такие планы есть?»
Подводя итоги научно-экспертной сессии, генеральный директор Центра Степан Сулакшин заявил, что Центр научной политической мысли и идеологии в научно-экспертном плане исследует проблему грядущей политической трансформации в стране. В частности, сказал:«Она неизбежна. И отведет страну от пагубного и критически губительного либерального курса, который превратился в официальную программу и политическую линию правящего режима в стране, ее руководства и ее президента Владимира Путина. Эта линия для страны губительна. Поэтому прогноз говорит о том, что в стране обязательно зародятся и сформируются и в какой-то перспективе получат ответственность за ее развитие силы, стоящие на иной ценностной платформе. На платформе, отрицающей расслоение, социальный паразитизм, ослабление государственности, игнорирование цивилизационной идентичности, ценностной основы в государственном управлении.
Это уже фактически формирующаяся новая идеология и новая политическая платформа, которая может в недалекой перспективе лечь в основу формирования новой политической партии в стране. Но не надо понимать ее как еще одну в ряду многих десятков партий, которые зарегистрированы в Министерстве юстиции РФ и играются в игрушки по недобросовестным правилам игры. Надо понимать так, что «партия нового типа» имеет цель преобразования облика страны, а не занятия одного-двух кресел с хорошей стипендией в каком-нибудь Парламенте, и что это сила поставит целью изменение самих правил игры. Важно, что речь идет о законных, мирных и ненасильственных путях трансформации. Поэтому войдут в эту партию люди здоровые, патриотичные, сыны своего Отечества, люди с представлением о праведном, о правильном, и такие в стране есть. Сейчас они поднимают голос, начинают находить друг друга, эта сеть в ближайшие годы вырастет в общественно-политическую силу, и может быть она будет называться и не партией. Главное, что страна должна возродиться, так называемая социальная иммунная система, которая больной организм спасает от чужеродных ему вирусов и бацилл».
So perhaps time has come for me to post here a paper I presented last year in Sweden and which the organizers of the conference, led by Russian ex-pats, then refused to publish because they dismissed it as "propaganda," while they also dubbed Novorossiya and the Russian Mir "imaginary." I have been sitting on the paper then for almost a year. But at last here it is the way it was submitted. Perhaps there is something in it which can strike some cord with those who want and need to formulate the meaning of Russian revival. If this paper ran into undisguised hostility of the (Russian) opponents of Russian Mir, then perhaps the defenders of Russian Mir might find here something of value or interest.
Lessons of a Virtual Activist from the Ukrainian Battles for Eurasia
(The Message Is the Medium, and the Message Is Great Power)
Paper prepared for
Eurasia 2.0 Conference 2014,
“Post-Soviet Geopolitics in the Age of the New Media”
UCRS Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies
Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden,
3-4 November 2014
“When you say the medium is the message, you’re uttering an obvious contradiction, because normally you reserve the word ‘message’ for the content and ‘medium’ for the container, as it were. … In fact, it doesn’t mean what it appears on the surface, and the trouble with it comes from most people not delving below the surface. … [My father] may have had tongue in cheek … but he was quite precise.”
“The people running the world right now are insane, and the public is sleep walking into a tragedy. If you want to alter the course that we are on, there’s only one way to do it. We have to wake up that public. Even the most powerful weapons of war are neutralized if you reach the mind of the man behind the trigger.”
“Geopolitics of World War III,” SCG News
“In essence, the principal fight for Novorossiya is the battle for hearts, minds, and souls of people. Who wins this principal battle will win the war. In this battle politicians are not playing the main role at all. The main fighters are journalists, artists, and, especially, poets.”
“На самом деле главный бой за Новороссию - это бой за сердца, умы и души людей. Тот, кто выиграет этот главный бой, - выиграет сражение. В этом бою политики играют далеко не главную роль. Главные бойцы - это журналисты, писатели, художники и, безусловно, певцы. И среди многих, Вика Цыганова на передовой.”
Oleg Tzarev, a Novorossiya leader
“Now people understand that it is not necessary to believe in leaders. We don’t need to believe in any Yanukovich, we don’t need to believe in a Party of Regions. We need to organize ourselves by ourselves--and to remember our own history, remember our own culture. That is our foundation. So thank you to all the Banderites who have come into Kiev, and who have made people remember who they are, who they are in the world, and above all why they are here on this earth.”
A man from Kramatorsk
“Something woke up in my soul, and I realized that my place is here, that Russians are my brothers and that their pain is also my pain. I am happy now for my life is becoming meaningful; I am Russian in the spirit now.”
Christien Gillion, a French volunteer with the Army of Novorossiya
“The struggle for Novorossiya is a struggle for hearts, minds, and souls of people. Who wins this principal struggle will win it all.”
“Бой за Новороссию - это бой за сердца, умы и души людей. Тот, кто выиграет этот главный бой, - выиграет сражение.” 
Reports from the Militia of Novorossiya
The Medium is the Message
Let’s begin with Marshall McLuhan’s foundational dictum: “The medium is the message.” Great familiarity with this axiom of the media and modern political techniques and its corresponding facile overuse has become a password allowing us to repeat things which we don’t understand or no longer bother to think too much about. But others have already heard it and are familiar with it and, thus, when we say it too, we obtain a nod and are let into the ranks of the familiar spirits and of those who approve of the like as we do.
The statement worthy of a real marshal thus becomes like many other things part of the buzzing noise on our anthill or beehive. The more we clothe ourselves and others in its sound, which is required to produce McLuhan’s sentence, the more its meaning or depth is being worn off together with our own distinctive thinking or consciousness.
McLuhan’s Delphic oracle then becomes a cliché, a notion inversely related to having a clue. Unbeknownst to us, we are thus robbing ourselves of thought, depth, and the key to our own mind. Cliché is from clicher, which is expressive of the action when one is struck—struck by a solid, “stereotype block” or mold—and when, as a result, one becomes a common print, a “trite phrase, worn-out expression.”
Cliché, stereotype, and triviality then belong together and are symptomatic of a common état, condition, or disease. Stereotype is from a French word for a “solid plate of type,” further from Greek stereos that means solid and which sounds perilously close to sterile. The sense of “perpetuated without change [or life]” was followed in 1920 by a notion of something “preconceived and oversimplified.”
Stereotypes and clichés are then figures of mental ossification—of thoughts lacking spark, penetration, originality, insight and truth. If Medusa’s early victims were turned into stone under her terrible gaze, modern man and his mind get comfortably numbed and killed by steady and repetitive doses of trite “truths,” echoed stereotypes, and automatic clichés. When improperly or all too commonly handled, McLuhan’s “Medium is the message” becomes one such petrifaction or a sign of petrifaction, which makes its carrier flat, lifeless and dumb in the face of the terrible and evils.
According to McLuhan himself, the medium and its message is supposed to work as a cliché in order to do its work efficiently: “[As] the new artifact or technology pervades the host culture as a new cliché, it displaces, in the process, the old cliché or homeostasis …” Thus, the media and their messages, whatever they are, including the cliché “The Medium is the Message,” are supposed to “pervade the host” and displace its content, its originality. In other words, we have here a formula for perfect parasitic colonization, that is to say, a figure of Western imperialism and its ideal. The least reflected and understood it is, the more unconscious to the host it is, the more perfectly and efficiently it is supposed to work: “We are all robots when uncritically involved with our technologies.” That’s also McLuhan.
Interestingly though, the cliché, the superficial and the thoughtless, apparently unleashing its power and flood on the world, also match the otherwise seemingly untranslatable Russian idea of a great sin known as poshlost. As Nakobov explains, it is a systemic normalization and ritualization of dishonesty and a vulgar, promiscuously indiscriminate spirit (an anti-thesis of the spirit, that is):
“Poshlust,” or in a better transliteration poshlost, has many nuances, ... corny trash, vulgar clichés, Philistinism in all its phases, imitations of imitations, bogus profundities, crude, moronic, and dishonest pseudo-literature—these are obvious examples. Now, if we want to pin down poshlost in contemporary writing, we must look for it in Freudian symbolism, moth-eaten mythologies, social comment, humanistic messages, political allegories, overconcern with class or race, and the journalistic generalities we all know. ... The flowers of poshlost bloom in such phrases and terms as “the moment of truth,” “charisma,” “existential” (used seriously), “dialogue” (as applied to political talks between nations), and “vocabulary” (as applied to a dauber). ... One of poshlost’s favorite breeding places has always been the Art Exhibition; there it is produced by so-called sculptors working with the tools of wreckers, building crankshaft cretins of stainless steel, Zen stereos, polystyrene stinkbirds, objects trouvés in latrines, cannonballs, canned balls. There we admire the gabinetti wall patterns of so-called abstract artists, Freudian surrealism, roric smudges, and Rorschach blots—all of it as corny in its own right as the academic “September Morns” and “Florentine Flowergirls” of half a century ago.
Poshlost is the “essence” of dead souls, the new form of spiritual, political, moral, and cultural enslavement in the hands and in the minds of new bourgeois masters, who are themselves the concentration of that anti-quality, which may also be defined as the fake, the false and lacking spirituality (dukhovnost). As Gogol explains: ”[Pushkin] used to say of me that no other writer before me possessed the gift to expose so brightly life’s poshlust, to depict so powerfully the poshlust of a poshlusty man [poshlost’ poshlogo cheloveka] in such a way that everybody’s eyes would be opened wide to all the petty trivia that often escape our attention.”
If poshlost was in Russia identified soon enough as man’s and society’s great disease which needs to be exposed and fought against, in the West, poshlost has become an aggressively demanded and promoted form of bourgeois proper conduct. Though in Russia, the battle against poshlost is said to have ended by the 1960s—that’s when Russia (or the Soviet Union then) became more and more ready for its sell-out by the communists themselves and the return back into the bourgeois and oligarchic fold.
Poshlost, or the ability to think only in phrases and clichés (and, if not, to draw a dead blank), can be seen at work in an interview with a Ukrainian special forces captain from Western Ukraine, which was published by Anna News. “As one listens to the captain, it becomes quickly obvious that he draws upon a store of clichés for all of his thoughts and responses.” When he is put in a spot where no cliché comes to his rescue, he immediately becomes lost for thoughts and words and does not know what to think or what to say. He did acknowledge that Aidar battalion is firmly and openly Nazi, but this gave him no further thought or idea about the fact that he was fighting and killing on the same side with them and under the same high command and leadership. He also understands that his grandfathers were fighting against Nazism, Hitler, and Bandera, but again he cannot formulate or conceive a thought, idea, or opinion about his own fighting and killing for what his grandfathers were fighting against. He went to make war in Donbass because it was an order and because the certainty of prison, if he refused, would be a much greater risk for him than the possibility of dying in Donbass or the certain necessity of killing as ordered. When he is asked about the Odessa massacre, he has no thought or opinion either. He is not from Odessa, he was not there when the massacre or “it” happened, and to form any thought or opinion, he would need to see again pictures. Otherwise, he considers himself a well-educated, thoughtful and thinking man and he is sure that his officer’s honor has not been anyhow impaired. At first, he did now know about the Volyn massacres of the 100,000 Poles by Bandera’s soldiers; then he corrects himself and says that he read a little about it in journals such as “men’s magazine” Maxim so that “he cannot tell anything useful about this information”:
Pictures on TV are true, but the sound [interpretation] is not. … When they show pictures on Ukrainian TV channels, they are showing exactly how it is … To say who started this war is very difficult. It is not a matter of opinion. For this one would need to know a lot of facts. But if one should sort it out, then I believe that Yanukovich started the war. Because students came to Maidan … because Yanukovich was adopting those laws and was robbing people … I have nothing in common with Aidar Battalion … It is hard for me to say anything about Odessa [the Odessa massacre] because I don’t remember a single picture. One would need to see it on the news. Simply I don’t remember pictures showing how it was there. I am not Odessite. I don’t know how it was there, if I had been there, then … Yes, I knew that I was not going [to war] for a walk … I am for equality. … But [as a captain] I was not in command. A sergeant was in charge [of my group], it was not me. I don’t have that qualification. … They say that a blunt pencil is better than a sharp memory; the most important thing is to know where to get information and not to remember it. … What they are showing us that’s what I watch. … To ask me about what separatism means is not a competent question for me, you need to ask Poroshenko or Yatsenyuk … No one can do anything. No one can do anything. … Of courses, losses are everywhere. … But I was not ready to sit in prison [if I refused orders] … 
Trivial, commonplace and vulgar, literally means belonging to the crossroads. Trivium is where three roads meet. As a symbol of man’s possible destinies and cardinal choices, the trivial then points not only toward a possible “banality of evil,” but also to a radical devaluation of one’s fate and its meaning—to the danger of falling for exchanging one’s mind for useless information and going down the road of the least resistance by making banal decisions and choices.
A man loaded with phrases, with blocs of phrases that are blocking his mind, loses a great deal of what it means to be homo sapiens, what it means to be alive and well. One certainly becomes adjusted, but adjusted in a very mediated way, which for McLuhan means to be “perfectly adapted to propaganda” and hence to oligarchy or a society of robots:
Propaganda cannot succeed where people have no trace of Western culture. …. [For] to talk about critical faculties and discernment is to talk about something far above primary education and to consider a very small minority. The vast majority of people, perhaps 90 percent, know how to read, but they do not exercise their intelligence beyond this. They attribute authority and eminent value to the printed word [the media], or, conversely, reject it altogether. As these people do not possess enough knowledge to reflect and discern, they believe—or disbelieve—in toto what they read. And as such people, moreover, will select the easiest, not the hardiest reading matter, they are precisely on the level at which the printed word can seize and convince them without opposition. They are perfectly adapted to propaganda.
As one sees more and more students coming equipped and fully armed with clichés and then commensurately upset when this progressing phenomenon is pointed out to them (in a society of clichés, pointing out clichés is offensive), society also becomes more and more and ever better adjusted to rising Nazism as well. That’s also the point at which what was once liberal thought starts assuming a shape and taste of a corpse and hence also the tastes of fascism and its necrophilia and love of death.
With respect to the phrase “The Medium is the Message,” McLuhan’s son explains the inside joke encoded in it:
“The medium is the message” is pregnant with all kinds of meanings. My father used this phrase as the title of a book that came out in the late sixties. Only he gave it a little twist. He called the book The Medium is the Massage. There are four puns in that little phrase. First, “the medium is the message”—the familiar phrase. Split “message” into two words: mess-age. Every new medium makes a mess of the age. It messes up the current situation. The “message”: every new medium gives the culture a working over and a complete message—both unexpected and unwanted. Then split “massage” into two words: mass-age—The medium is the mass age, meaning our present media and mass audiences. So there are four levels of meaning in that title, and he intended all four.
The media like the message then becomes an extension of the cloning of mass society, a society of robots. Coincidentally, the word robot is a neologism coined by Czech writer Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. The word is not just derived from the Slavic word robota, labor, but more directly from the word rob, which does not mean to rob; in Serbian, it means a slave. McLuhan’s own idea of these new robots via Western culture, media and technology means nothing less than “the suppression of … conscience, so as to remove all fear and circumspection … [so that] such a man becomes as the dead, who have passed beyond the necessity of taking thought about the proper course of action.”
In this way, the robotic man then becomes adjustable to any prompt “instantly and without guilt.” He becomes an instrument, a flute and an ear that cannot help but obey the incoming tune. The robot becomes the functional, efficient it, which is “freed … to respond to virtually any suggestion, especially of a sensuous or symbolic nature, and [is] a fair game for the non-rational self.” The robotic man “easily falls into the dark”—into a “boundless, directionless” chaos in which “individualism is lost.” Or, as McLuhan put it elsewhere, to be “well-adjusted” is to be a “user [who is] sound asleep.”
When and inasmuch as this is achieved, the middle man and mid-level management—and the previous mediation standing in-between—could be then eliminated as well. Thus, under globalization, “whole layers of middle management have been stripped out of both public and private sector organizations …” As this progression is happening, the mediating role and screen of democracy and liberalism is also being withdrawn. Capitalism, originally established as the ascendancy of the middle class and a regime of the peddlers and middle men, is then not only changing as well, but it might also be entering its penultimate phase. In fact, “the reality of modern [late] democracy is that many political decisions are taken by small groups of highly qualified and knowledgeable individuals … in [their essentially] private worlds …” In this way, a new, different landscape and order might also emerge—provided that one could still see it or form a true idea about it.
As McLuhan insists, this robot man is supposed to have his “(left-hemisphere) thinking atrophied.” And we can add that, with the loss of left-hemisphere thinking, genuinely leftist thought and alternative would need to atrophy as well. When and once this happens, the world, as we know it, will pass, and a “second phase of the original creation” or a new world order will come. In this world, new thinking and holism will emerge “controlled by a considerably smaller group of management elite;” and only “a small elite will become the guardian at the temple gate.” The political implications of this transformation will “create a world government.”
The “speed” and technology of the system will “inhibit the humanity ability to decode [it].” “A new robotic corporate entity” will be the true constitution of this new world order—a point otherwise dutifully lost at the end of McLuhan’s chapter, “Global Robotism,” in the heap of other words on page 129.  And it is the ego trip and selfies which are taking us there—into that destination—for a ride.
What political regime does best or most closely correspond to a society of such robot-slaves or the dead? Here both political thought and the crisis in Ukraine are presenting us with a potent answer.
Yet the message—”The Medium is the Message,” which has its own solid banalization literally programmed and projected into it—was, according to McLuhan, its author, not simply a comment or utterance, but an all-powerful formula, into which he folded a “new science” or even “the new science” of the media, technology, and “all human artifacts,” and its four categorical “laws” or four-fold negations of negations: 1) extension-amplification; 2) rendering obsolete or numb; 3) retrieval of what was previously lost or made obsolete; and 4) reversal or inversion when reaching the limit. In other words, for McLuhan, “the Medium is the Message” was or is to be the Nomos of all the four Nomoi of everything that man ever did, does or is bound to do and, therefore, in its very essence, is nothing trivial or of little significance at all. The Medium is the Message is thus supposed to be not simply a method, but the universal, all-powerful method to all human wisdom and folly alike as well as the ultimate key to locking or unlocking mankind’s destiny as such.
McLuhan’s groundbreaking reflections on the media were taking place during the parallel and inter-related revolutions, which included: cybernetics, behavioralism in political science, the cultural revolution in the US (as opposed to the dead-end one in China), and, certainly not least, CIA-led MK-ULTRA mind control re-enslavement experiments built off the earlier work of Nazi experts (who were brought to the US after World War II as part of operation Paperclip).
As there is a method to madness as well as power, there is also a method to the Empire and its “managed chaos.” Briefly put, the method is to make us forget what matters most. When one forgets what matters, it costs less or very little (or even nothing at all) to buy a man. One might be bought for as little as a cliché. Furthermore, a man who does not know what truly matters would not be able to fight for what he does not know—for what really matters.
When, after World War II, the US became a global hegemon, the search and demand for the right scientific method (of knowledge, power, and control) produced in (American) political science a whole new discipline and requirement called “Research Methods,” a child of the “behavioralist revolution” and, in turn, the faux-revolution’s disciplinary enforcer. If one chooses to follow what one might call a British opinion on the subject –a comparatively more traditional or liberally oriented opinion (“political science in Europe used to defend its own comparative style and methods against US Hegemony”)—then reading in-between the lines, one could piece together from an otherwise mundane and typical textbook few considerably less trivial things than what is commonly taught about politics and its present-day mediations.
From the get-go, the method fostered by American political science was putting a premium on universal uniformities, which required, as if in turn, that political thinking be focused on “immediate social problems” and “abandon great issues” for being too “unscientific.” This meant again, as if in turn, to let “the method” displace or devalue substance. Method was to rule over content “even if [this] distorted reality.” Methods were supposedly “more robust than the alternatives.” The new methodology or American political science (for most part), being thus oriented pragmatically, functionally, positively and optimistically, could not “entertain a commitment to ontological depth (hidden generative mechanisms in nature and society)”—not least because that’s where, in those darker, subversive waters, began Marxism and similar monstrosities.
Rather than going dangerously too deep, the way has been open toward ever greater banalities and “an exercise that is ultimately meaningless.” In this way, what is reproduced and recycled are “everyday assumptions of society, and these common perceptions and understandings are encouraged and reinforced by those with access to the media while [the rest is] discouraged as stupid, immoral and illegitimate.” Chomsky quote
Clichés and slogans figuring as thoughts are thus presented as knowledge and common sense, and genuine thinking is greeted as irrational and impolite—it does not meet the method. A concentrated amount of such media, method, and political science, which place a main emphasis on presentation and spin, then produces “a mass,” a great gap between rhetoric and reality or a measured and shared stupidity.
So while “the Medium is the Message,” whereby one may also say and mean nothing at all, the key to this expansive ambiguity conducive to trivia, clichés, and flat-footed stereotypes is, as just indicated, that great, serious issues and questions are lost and forgotten. The media and politics is then not unlike a man-constructed river of Lethe, which, when taken in, forces all to leak and waste the treasures of their minds and souls. So what are these big, yet discarded and neglected questions, which we have forgotten to ask? And how is this forgetting through the insect-like buzz of the media and politicians relevant to or illuminative of what is happening in Ukraine?
Return of the Stranger and the Missing Meaning
One of the books, which I received as a little boy was Ernest Thompson Seton’s novel Two Little Savages Being Adventures of Two Boys Who Lived as Indians and What They Learned (1917). For some strange reason, one passage from the whole book made a lasting and unforgettable impression on me. It is an encounter between a boy and a stranger described in Chapter V, “The Colorless Stranger.” This is how it is introduced and how it unfolds:
Oh, sympathy! The noblest gift of God to man.
The greatest bond there is twixt man and man.
The ten times noble base of noblest love.
More deep than love—more strong than hate—the biggest thing
in all the universe—the law of laws.
More deep than love—more strong than hate—the biggest thing
in all the universe—the law of laws.
Each year the ancient springtime madness came more strongly on Yan. Each year he was less inclined to resist it … How was it that the ponds all around should be full of them calling to him and playing hide and seek and yet defying his most careful search? The voices ceased as soon as he came near, to be gradually renewed in the pools he had left. His presence was a husher. He lay for a long time watching a pool, but none of the voices began again in range of his eye. … He located the spot within a few inches and yet could see nothing. He was utterly baffled, and lay there puzzling over it, when suddenly all the near Peepers stopped, and Yan was startled by a footfall; and looking around, he saw a man within a few feet, watching him. Yan reddened—a stranger was always an enemy; he had a natural aversion to all such, and stared awkwardly as though caught in crime. The man, a curious looking middle-aged person, was in shabby clothes and wore no collar. …
“F’what are ye fynding, my lad?” said he in tones whose gentleness was in no way obscured by a strong Scottish tang. …Yan said: “I’’m not finding anything; I am only trying to see what that Whistling Lizard is like.”
The stranger’s eyes twinkled. “Forty years ago Ah was laying by a pool just as Ah seen ye this morning, looking and trying hard to read the riddle of the spring Peeper. Ah lay there all day, aye, and mony anither day, yes, it was nigh onto three years before Ah found it oot. Ah’ll be glad to save ye seeking as long as Ah did, if that’s yer mind. Ah’ll show ye the Peeper.”
Then he raked carefully among the leaves near the ditch, and soon captured a tiny Frog, less than an inch long. “Ther’s your Whistling Lizard: he no a Lizard at all, but a Froggie. Book men call him Hyla pickeringii, an’ a gude Scotchman he’d make, for ye see the St. Andrew’s cross on his wee back. Ye see the whistling ones in the water put on’y their beaks oot an’ is hard to see. Then they sinks to the bottom when ye come near. But you tak this’n home and treat him well and ye’ll see him blow out his throat as big as himsel’ an’ whistle like a steam engine.”… The Pewee of his early memories became the Phoebe of books. … The stranger warmed, too, and his rugged features glowed; he saw in Yan one minded like himself, tormented with the knowledge-hunger, as in youth he himself had been; and now it was a priceless privilege to save the boy some of what he had suffered. His gratitude to Yan grew fervid, and Yan—he took in every word; nothing that he heard was forgotten. He was in a dream, for he had found at last the greatest thing on earth—sympathy—broad, intelligent, comprehensive sympathy. That spring morning was ever after like a new epoch in Yan’s mind—not his memory, that was a thing of the past—but in his mind, his living present.
Like Seton’s or Yan’s colorless stranger, I think that I too can offer, after some years of reading and thinking, to share a shortcut of sorts and unveil the present, yet for most part disappeared “frogs” or great questions, which also happen to have a direct bearing to Ukraine. Two comparatively lost, neglected and otherwise forgotten big questions are enslavement and tyranny—however archaic or obtuse these questions might appear in the light of our today’s received clichés. These two are related, and I would argue that, without understanding these two, we can neither properly understand Nazism nor the deeper and darker forces at work in today’s Ukrainian crisis.
Thus, in his private letter to Eric Voegelin, Leo Strauss, the great late renovator of American political thought affirmed:
A science that cannot speak of tyranny with the same confidence with which medicine speaks, for example, of cancer, cannot understand social phenomena as what they are. It is therefore not scientific. Present-day social science is the inevitable result of modern social science and of modern philosophy … Once we have learned again from the classics what tyranny is, we shall be enabled and compelled to diagnose as tyrannies a number of contemporary regimes which appear in the guise of dictatorships. This diagnosis can only be the first step toward an exact analysis of present-day tyranny, for [resent-day tyranny is fundamentally different from the tyranny analyzed by the classics.
So tyranny is one of the great and seemingly abandoned questions. Slavery is another. But slavery not as an area of historical antiquarianism or passing cultural anomaly, but as a systemic question linked to capitalism and, in fact, as Emmanuel Wallerstein noted, to “the central political tension” in the heart of the US itself:
We are facing the need to rethink and restate the conceptual frameworks we have inherited from the 19th century in order to under- stand and contribute meaningfully to the long world-systemic transition to socialism which has begun and in which we are living. The publication in 1974 of two major works on slavery in the United States has been an academic event. … The two books speak to, and are designed to speak to, the central sociopolitical tension of American national life: the systematic oppression of Blacks, its causes and consequences, economic, political, and social.
From there, Wallerstein then goes to argue—against the established stereotypes and clichés—that enslavement did not or might not have been merely “transitional … but the heart and essence of capitalism [which] as a mode of production … [does also demand] coerced or semicoerced semiwage labor.” The fact is that “the slave owners were indeed capitalists … they were operating in a capitalist world-economy.” The difference between outright slave labor and wage labor was as much a matter of the force of resistance as a question of cost efficiency and the use of the state, i.e., its means of violence and control, to extract the largest share of the surplus value.
The other singular, yet stereotypically downplayed fact is that capitalism took off with oversea colonization and the discovery of America, which became not only a place where Europe’s indentured and penal labor was shipped, but which also rediscovered and resumed slavery for the West as its key profitable business and political venture.
The fact (albeit now almost taboo) is that the much celebrated Constitution of the United States was a constitution of a slave state. By 1750, slavery was a legal institution in all of the thirteen American colonies. From the 1630s till the American Revolution at the end of 18th century, between one half and two thirds of all European immigrants to America were indentured servants. Besides counting slaves as two-thirds of a free person, the US Constitution had slavery as an institution inscribed in the Fifth Amendment of its Bill of Rights, which states that, “No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”—slaves were understood as property. This constitutional “right” was part of the legal basis for treating slaves as property with Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857). President Lincoln confessed:
American slavery is no small affair, and it cannot be done away with at once. It is part of
our national life. It is not of yesterday. It began in colonial times. In one way or another it has shaped nearly everything that enters into what we call government. It is as much northern as it is southern. It is not merely a local or geographical institution. It belongs to our politics, to our industries, to our commerce, and to our religion. Every portion of our territory in some form or another has contributed to the growth and the increase of slavery. It has been nearly two hundred years coming up to its present proportions. It is wrong, a great evil indeed, but the South is not more responsible for the wrong done to the African race than is the North.”
our national life. It is not of yesterday. It began in colonial times. In one way or another it has shaped nearly everything that enters into what we call government. It is as much northern as it is southern. It is not merely a local or geographical institution. It belongs to our politics, to our industries, to our commerce, and to our religion. Every portion of our territory in some form or another has contributed to the growth and the increase of slavery. It has been nearly two hundred years coming up to its present proportions. It is wrong, a great evil indeed, but the South is not more responsible for the wrong done to the African race than is the North.”
Slaves were a commodity that was sold, bought, or even rented. Furthermore, as McLuhan also pointed out, “the slave plantation was the original factory”—the original paradigm of capitalist efficiency. For a while, the word capital competed for giving the name to the whole system against its kin chattel, which is, however, etymologically related to capital itself via Latin capital property. As a term, chattel also applied to slaves. And it also so happened—and clearly for some grave reasons—that the most progressive capitalist leader, the US, was also the very last among Western powers to abolish slavery (by changing it into effectively indentured labor and apartheid serfdom), but only at the cost of a large civil war. If slavery receded, Wallerstein argues, it was then mainly because of the constraints of the geopolitical standoff between the US and the British imperial hegemony, which did not allow the US to externalize the “bulk of the cost of slave breeding” (i.e., by capturing adult slaves abroad, thus without having to pay the cost for the years of their upbringing).
Exploring the ossified clichés of the system, Wallerstein also uncovered the strangeness of the very terms “bourgeois” and “middle class”: where there is a lie, there has to be a medium, which places us into the unreal—into a gap in front of reality. Speaking of the bourgeois, Wallerstein marvels:
In the mythology of the modern world, the quintessential protagonist is the bourgeois. Hero for some, villain for others, the inspiration or lure for most, he has been the shaper of the present and the destroyer of the past. In English, we tend to avoid the term ‘bourgeois’, preferring in general the locution ‘middle class’ (or classes). It is a small irony that despite the vaunted individualism of Anglo-Saxon thought, there is no convenient singular form for ‘middle class(es)’. We are told by the linguists that the term appeared for the first time in Latin form, burgensis, in 1007 and is recorded in French as
burgeis as of 1100. It originally designated the inhabitant of a bourg, an urban
area, but an inhabitant who was ‘free.’ Free, however, from what? Free
from the obligations that were the social cement and the economic nexus of
a feudal system. The bourgeois was not a peasant or serf, but he was also not a noble.
As Wallerstein indicates, the bourgeois is assumed to be someone who is not a serf (the medieval analogue to the slave) and also someone who is supposed to be free from the nexus of the feudal system, into which he was born. The agent of the capitalist system is thus middling, mediated ambiguity. The bourgeois is then like an Ariadne’s thread, but one that rather leads into a labyrinth of confusion than out of it.
Confusion became mystification, which turned the bourgeois very much upside down or reversed as the sides facing us are reversed in the mirror. Both liberal and Marxist economics taught us to believe that capitalists are after profits as opposed to rents. The trivial, but denied fact is that rent is not an antithesis of profit; rent is the profit’s avatar, and “every capitalist seeks to transform [precarious] profit into rent,” which would be as universal and as eternal as possible. Thus, instead of being the antithesis of feudalism, serfdom and slavery in general, the bourgeois is a master in the making: “the primary objective of every ‘bourgeois’ is to become an ‘aristocrat’”—who would own people as a source of his fixed rent. And such rent is first and foremost political power. Its condition is a monopoly, i.e., a monopoly on violence. And it is this monopoly for which capitalists are striving.
As rent-seekers, the capitalists’ goal is not freedom of mankind, it is mankind’s re-enslavement. To love money-making is to love people as tools, as commodities, as money, which is no love at all—it means to love people as extensions of one’s body, which can’t resist or oppose it.
Under the capitalist mediation, the tyranny of the means displaces the meaning. In a similar way, the media, means and “methods” replace and displace the heart of the matter—the art of thinking. Media are tied to the “middle,” but, originally, rather than being the middle or the heart of the matter, the word denoted not only what was in-between, but also the edge and the boundary. But the limit became soon a medium and then also the center of things, which it displaced. Without right care and thinking, the media, the means, are set to decenter us from reality.
What would then be the most radical decentering of man and society? Man’s new re-enslavement, the loss of his thought that would allow him to oppose and resist this extreme threat.
But what was the original center, the center that held the whole together—if there was any? The measure of things used to be the thinking mind; the measure or modus is cognate with Greek médesthai be mindful, mémos spirit, purpose, intent, Latin mens mind, meditari to meditate, Old Slavic miněti to think, Sanskrit mánas mind. Moreover, the underlying essence of the mind was the idea of paying attention to (to “truly mean it,” we would say it in English today), caring and loving. From thinking as caring or careful, loving thinking, we have also received our words for healing through medicine. In other words, not only is thinking a way of healing and loving, it originally also denoted “the knowledge of the best (true) course.” Means and media are in this regard mediating, mediated thought by dis- and replacing it.
Media and mediocre share the same root, except that medium has also a sense of spirit and “enveloping substance or environment” or persons who “convey messages from and to dead people.” In this regard, the media, modes, methods and means are also a figure not only of exchange, but of change, transformation or metamorphosis, which stand in a radical opposition to the immediacy of living thought and realization and through which we “advance” and are transposed and changed out of our own selves.
While it is true that capitalism derives its name from a notion of head and principal, hence from something that is prime, principal, fundamental, and most important, one also needs to add that capitalism works by continuously destroying and displacing the “head,” principles and what matters or ought to matter by the dictatorship of the means, media, and money. In other words, capitalism is putting the means and the media in the place of the “head” (and ends) whereby the means and the media are not merely intervening in between or mediating, but they are also cutting off the audience from what is and from their own thought.
Under capitalism, man’s head, so to speak, and principles are exchanged (or shortchanged) for other things. More specifically, thought is replaced with cliché, idea with opinion, love with lust, and justice with apathy and a suspension of judgment and thought.
This process characterizes the very genesis of modern capitalism. While it is true that modern capitalism emerged together with new channels of communications, the making of the new system was more specifically tied to the displacement of the institution, the name of which capitalism expropriated and behind the name of which capitalism is hiding its truth—the market, which used to be a circumscribed, open, public, and regulated place of the community.
As Fernand Braudel abundantly shows, modern capitalism actually displaced the traditional markets and asserted itself once the old markets were vanquished by means of private (and intermediary) trading:
[Capitalism introduced itself] as a way of getting around the open or public market, which was closely supervised. The initiators of such private trading were substantial travelling merchants, peddlers and salesmen … That the newcomer with the many faces was detested, hated for his cunning, intransigence, and hart-heartedness is abundantly clear … This new kind of trade … was a revolution which went beyond the economy, into social behavior. … [The new traders were making business] “by whispering in each other’s ear, by speaking low or by signs, and in strange or hidden words.” … [They] contrived to anticipate [and thus pre-empt] the market, by going down the highways in search of the countrymen and relieving him of the goods he was bringing, to sell them at any price they please. … It is also perfectly clear that the labor market—as a reality if not as a concept—was not a creation of the industrial era. The labor market was the market upon which a man offered himself [or was offered by those who owned him] …
Genealogically and politically, the bourgeois is also analogous to Aristotle’s nameless, cipher-like regime, “which is rarely found in practice [and is thus] overlooked” (Politics 1293a35). It is a mixture of oligarchy and democracy and, as such, is a product of “the method of mixing” or mediation (1294a30). The nature of this ambiguous “mixture” is dual; it is a mixture of freedom and wealth, which omits virtue (1294a9). Aristotle thus also calls it “the middle constitution” where a “mean conduct” by “a middle class” (hoi meson), could serve as “the best constitution for the majority of states and the majority of men whose virtue does not rise above that of ordinary people …” (1295a25).
While rare or unnoticed back then, this regime of the mediocrity was for Aristotle bound to serve eventually the majority of people in the majority of states as a form of middle political limbo, which would be “a mean open to men of every kind to attain” (1295a34). Mediocrity without virtue and the ability to tell things apart is then called “moderation,” thus implying that to have a virtue would be immoderate and, therefore, an act of wrongdoing. Moderation—in effect, the lack of virtue and understanding—is then also presented as what is best (1295b1, 1295b34). Such a middle regime encourages all to be “alike” (1295b13).
The desire or need for such an “intermediate constitution” stems from the prudently recognized need to accept this middle ground in the place of defeat, when the aim to rule over others is not realistically achievable under given circumstances (1296a22). In other words, this middle is possible and can be even relatively stable if the intermediate (we can say bourgeois) mediocrity (meritocracy of the mediocre) prevails both over those who “have a superabundance of good fortune, riches, friends … [and] la dolce vita” and those who, in contrast, “are greatly deficient in these qualities” (1296b34, 1295b13). The former “do not know how to be ruled in any way at all, and can command only like a master over slaves.” The latter are “too subservient; they do not know to rule, but only how to be ruled as a slave is” (1295b13). It would be thus also possible to see this political intermediacy not only as a happy mean or moderation, but also as a political stalemate, the continuity of which depends on the inability of the oligarchy to have all its wishes, its desire for slaves, come true. At the same time, the other key premise of the stability of this system is the political ignorance and acquiescence of the majority of the people. And such political ignorance is best made of false and hollow, thoughtless stereotypes and clichés that disable the spirit and the mind.
This middle ambiguity allows for protracted political and ideological confusion and ignorance where most people are deprived of the ability to know and tell which is which, confusing democracies for oligarchies:
When states became larger … the number of sharers in the constitution became larger. For this reason what we nowadays call ‘polities’ [the middle constitutions] were formerly called democracies. But the constitutions of those early times were, understandably enough, oligarchical or royal; owing to the smallness of the population their middle element was not large, and so, being neither numerous nor well organized, they were content to allow others to rule. (Politics 1297b12)
As Aristotle carefully indicates, a system where people are misled and deceived to mistake oligarchy for democracy meets his definition of the middle regime. It is a system where people of average understanding and little virtue are grown to be content to let others to rule since they assume that they live in a different regime than what is actually the case. They have been effectively and successfully demeaned by being sold a fiction of a better regime.
The sense of the underlying question of slavery and its mediation-cum-modification by money, modern culture, and technology is already sounded off in Marx’s and Engel’s Communist Manifesto. While Marx and Engels define “proletariat” as “the class of modern wage laborers … [who] are reduced to selling their labor power in order to live,” the importance of wage quickly for them disappears and proletarians are quickly, repeatedly, and openly called “slaves”:
· Proletarians are nothing but a commodity.
· “Not only they are slaves of the bourgeois class, and of the bourgeois state; they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine …”
· Proletarians have “lost all individual character.”
· Such enslavement “obliterates all [their human] distinctions …”
· “They have nothing of their own …”
· The bourgeoisie rules by “assuring an existence to its slave within his slavery …”
· The proletarian is “a mere instrument of production.”
· Prostitution and proletarian labor belong to the same mode of subjugation and appropriation.
As we can see, for Marx and Engels, difference between wage earners and slaves, i.e., the presence of a wage, quickly or rather immediately dissolves together with all the other human distinctions and qualities, which are denied to the “proletarians.” They are seen merely as tools, instruments, a commodity, and property. This is, indeed, a very radical reductionism and simplification, but this is also precisely what Marx and Engels claim for capitalism as a system in contrast to the liberals, as well as Hegel.
Marx and Engels argue that mediations have come to an end and with them also all moderations, intermediary gradations, veils, and illusions:
Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie,” they argue, “possesses, however, this distinctive feature: it has simplified the class antagonism. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, two great classes directly facing each other: bourgeoisie and proletariat. … In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, [capitalism] has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.”
While Marx and Engels do here injustice to the crucial importance and pervasiveness of mediation, and the modern media, in particular, their point indicates that slavery, and slavery spread and intensified in some new radical way, is the essence of the apocalyptic system. As a result, what has been hitherto “a more or less veiled civil war” is turning into an open and universal civil war, which is transforming a hitherto invisible or unseen ghost, a specter, into a real, open, and manifested power of the new “nether world.”
In his writings on slavery and the Civil War in the United States, Marx did, moreover, foresee a possibility of slavery’s expansion under capitalism:
[Had there been] a peaceful surrender of the contested area to the Southern Confederacy … [the Union would be] reorganized, a reorganization on the basis of slavery, under the acknowledged control of the slave-holding oligarchy [Marx’s own emphases]. The plan for such a reorganization was openly proclaimed … The slave system would thus infect the whole Union. In the Northern states, where Negro slavery is, in practice, inoperable, the whole working class would be gradually reduced to the level of helotry. This would be in full accord with the loudly proclaimed principle that only certain races are capable of freedom, and as in the South actual labor is the lot of the Negroes, so in the North it is the lot of the Germans and Irish or their direct descendents. The present struggle between South and North is thus nothing less than a struggle between two social systems: the system of slavery and the system of free labor. The struggle has broken out because the two systems can no longer peacefully coexist … It can only end by the victory of one system or the other.
Under a closer scrutiny, we see that, as if out of the blue, Marx here sees two systems existing both side by side and against each other in the outward, apparent unity and homogeneity of the capitalist system. If, in The Communist Manifesto, the essential difference between these two systems and even the existence of this double was denied, here it is not only acknowledged, but an argument is made that, at a certain point, the otherwise denied, concealed, or trivialized existence of this double is bound to come to surface, the assumed unity of the system is to be ruptured, and the two systems—and not just modes or regimes—will fight each other to death.
Furthermore, in order to describe and understand this other system—the system of new universal slavery—Marx resorts to a term from ancient political thought (from where also comes the term “proletariat” by the way). Besides the concept of helotry borrowed from ancient Sparta, he also uses the term oligarchy. In this regard, it is noteworthy that this old political term of oligarchy and oligarchs was reintroduced into our political language mainly by the Russian people who spontaneously recovered this term for describing their new system and post-Soviet experience. People’s sense of reality and the need to call it with its proper name has thus bested the sterile political correctness and prevalent adopted clichés in contemporary political science and the learned circles of those who are paid to think and know. In fact, I myself was involved in a debate over the term “oligarchy” with some of these elite gatekeepers who are still convinced that the term should not be used because it is “not neutral,” because it is “biased” and thus inappropriate. As we will shortly see, for the people who rose against the Kiev regime, the principal issue is understood first as a struggle against Nazism and fascism and second as a struggle against oligarchy, which they see not only as a Ukrainian problem, but also as the problem of the whole world system. Their revolt against both Nazism and oligarchy is then commonly and spontaneously understood—despite and against the prevalent clichés and claims of present-day (American) political science—as the revolt against their enslavement by the self-same oligarchs and new Nazis.
In commenting on this great (and more or less suppressed) big question of the capitalist system (which, as we can see, actually contains and often conceals two systems), Marx further noted:
Anxiety to keep the ‘loyal’ slave/holders … in good humor and fear of driving them [away] … in a word, a tender regard for [their] interests, prejudices and sensibilities … have affected the Union with incurable paralysis since the beginning of war, driven it to take half-measures, forced it to hypocritically disavow the principle at issue in the war and to spare the enemy’s most vulnerable spot—the root of the evil—slavery itself.
In addition, Marx also emphasized yet another essential tendency on the part of this capitalist oligarchy: “[T]he political spokesmen, lawyers, moralists and theologians of the slave-holders’ party had tried to prove not so much that Negro slavery is justified but rather that color is immaterial and that slavery is the lot of the working class everywhere”… incidentally, just as Marx and Engels were themselves arguing in their Communist Manifesto. Under either favorable conditions or out of necessity, oligarchy grows powerful and/or radical enough not only to desire slavery, but slavery as expansive as possible.
Once oligarchy evolves or degenerates far enough to embrace slavery as its political, economic, and culture program, conquest and war to generate slaves as spoils of mankind becomes oligarchy’s business. Oligarchy becomes an enslaving oligarchy when it becomes “unrestricted oligarchy.” When that happens and in order to plan and carry out its hunting conquests, oligarchy turns toward tyranny and military dictatorship. In the language of the 20th and 21st centuries, such oligarchy turns toward Nazism. To this effect, oligarchy abandons progressive republicanism and revolutionizes itself as an extreme reaction.
But, as long as oligarchy remains restrained and restricted or, to put it differently, moderated and mediated under the reign of liberal stereotypes and clichés about capitalism, “bourgeois society [is not yet] aware that the ghosts of Rome had watched over its cradle, since it [remains] wholly absorbed in the production of wealth and the peaceful struggle of economic competition.”
As long as oligarchy needs society to stay safely “unheroic,” as long as it does not deserve its Nietzschean self-awakening toward a new beast-superman, oligarchy tries to present itself merely as house-management and emphasizes economics, depoliticizations, separation of politics and economics and its own civility and manners, which it requires from everyone else. Slavery requires enthusiasm and terror.
Before that moment of truth is reached, oligarchy remains limited and so does its “bourgeois content of [its] struggles.” But this also means that, as long as the link between oligarchy and enslavement stays in the dark, capitalist society uses self-deceptions needed to hide its deepest desires and nature. Until then, oligarchy repeats its former crimes and past mainly as a parody and farce, and the role of the media is supreme. When, however, oligarchy reaches the fullness of its time, so to speak, when it recovers its nether spirit again, then “the great historical tragedy” is born again, and reaction completes its full revolution.
Elsewhere Marx describes such consummate, final oligarchy as the rule of financial capital which
makes its own laws, controls the state administration, exercises authority in all public institutions, controls public opinion … [in an] unbridled assertion of unhealthy and vicious appetites in permanent conflict with the bourgeois law itself … [in appetites] in which pleasure becomes debauched [crapuleux], in which money, filth and blood commingle.” Oligarchy in this terminal stage is “nothing but the lumperproletariat reborn at the pinnacle of bourgeois society [Marx’s emphases].
Oligarchy gravitates toward slave-holding with money, filth and blood commingled by its own inner character—by its own class interest and spirit. Here it also needs to be pointed out that Ukrainian oligarchs under a special indulgence of Western oligarchy have reached through Maidan the very point at which money, filth and blood commingle.
Short of its ultimate self-realization, oligarchy needs in the interest of its self-preservation coverings and veils and, for each of its progressive “revolutions” (back to the past), a pretext as general and universal as possible: “The general pretext dulls the perceptions of [the other] classes; it enables [these other classes] to deceive themselves as to the [actual] character of the coming revolution, as to the consequences of [their] own deeds. Every revolution needs a banquet question.” Liberal and democratic slogans usually serve as such pretexts.
The transformation of oligarchy into tyrannical, enslaving oligarchy and a new round of enslavement is also the meaning of Marx’s old enigma and apparent misquotation of Hegel about the doubling of history and the repetition of events as tragedies and farces, together with all the figures of the ghosts, spirits, nightmares, the dead, death-masks, disguises, and old imperial costumes. It was, indeed, a riddle worthy of either a Sphinx or an Oedipus.
Ukraine , the Frontier of the New World Order
So how is this related to Ukraine and to the deep, systemically fundamental character of the present war there, which has also resumed the previous long stand-off between (the rest of) the West and Russia? Where capitalism, oligarchy, tyranny, and (re)enslavement meet, there Nazism is (re)born. As the authors of our previously quoted textbook on Research Methods noted, “new technologies do not resolve old problems; they just make them reappear in new ways.”
And thus it happens that no one else but the Russian people, recovering their own soul, have also recovered a way of using true names for the reality that threatens their very existence. Spontaneously and truthfully, Russian people thus started recovering a possibility of their rebirth and freedom by recovering the ability to use right words and, with right words, also discernment, and, with discernment, also their soul. As Confucius of old indicated:
If something has to be put first, it is, perhaps, the rectification of names. … When names are not correct, what is said will not sound reasonable; when what is said does not sound reasonable, affairs will not culminate in success; when affairs do not culminate in success, rites and music will not flourish; when rites and music do not flourish, punishments do not fit the crimes, the common people will not know where to put hand and foot. … The thing about the gentleman is that he is saying anything but casual where speech is concerned.
No political scientists, no experts, no leaders thought to recover the old political term oligarchy for correctly and incisively defining the type of regime that replaced the late socialist system from Kamchatka to Prague and beyond. Something happened, and without the screens, cues, or prompts from the media, Russian people started calling a spade a spade, and today’s political science has still not dared to catch up with the common sense of the Russian people.
Furthermore, if the official pundits and even the official Kremlin did not want or dare to call the reborn Nazism in Ukraine Nazism, common people in Donbass and Russia knew immediately what force has risen and is at war with them. Without having to be told by the media and the politicians, who would rather tell them anything but the truth, the Russian people have also realized that Nazism is not only man’s morbidity, nihilism, and bestiality, but that it is also the will to power as the will to enslavement.
As a result, the genius of the people has moved far ahead of political science and politics of the day ossified in spiritless cowardice, professional mediocrity or, if you want, high-brow cleverness and cunning, and corresponding spiritless dishonesty. Zbigniew Brzezinski identified this spontaneous political awakening for the US and NATO as the greatest political threat. What we see in Novorossiya is, therefore, a groundbreaking systemic political rupture, which the unholy alliances of oligarchs, liberals, and new aspiring fascist Übermen try to strangle, deny, and hurl back into non-existence.
This struggle and awakening is, however, taking place within the existing world order, hence also within the context and rule of the modern media, and it is not only there where the battle also needs to be fought. But it is also in this very space in which the war over the minds, hearts, and souls has to be won.
Using right names, with which the people’s reviving genius started to manifest itself, is, however, leading a steep uphill battle against the powers that be and the media, which they still control together with the endlessly echoed clichés and misnomers. As Marx realized when diagnosing the deeper political causes of the earlier defeats of the North in the American Civil War over slavery—over the decision which of the two systems should capitalism follow for the time being—political ignorance, prejudices, and fear “affected the Union with incurable paralysis since the beginning of war, driven it to take half-measures, forced it to hypocritically disavow the principle at issue in the war and to spare the enemy’s most vulnerable spot—the root of the evil—slavery itself.”
As long as one does not understand the true character of what is at stake, one is bound to fight wrong battles in wrong ways, for wrong motives, with inadequate determination and misplaced strategies and likely even on the wrong side. Inversely, this also means that one of the most fundamental war strategies is to sell the enemy a wrong idea about the nature of the conflict and what is at stake—for example, by trivializing “the principle at issue.”
The trivialization of the principle at issue is well visible on the part of Russian diplomacy (as the Russian government treats the crisis as a matter of foreign, external policy). The basis for this was laid down in the Geneva Agreement signed by Russia, US, Ukrainian, and EU foreign ministers on April 17, 2014, which, bracketing the anti-Russian oligarchic coup (presented by its Western and Ukrainian organizers as a democratic revolution), were reducing the deep geopolitical stand-off and fundamental political controversy to two problems: 1) “disarming of the illegal groups,” and 2) “returning all illegally seized buildings to legitimate owners” and “vacating all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns.”
On the occasion of signing the Geneva Agreement, Lavrov introduced Moscow’s official line, which has been then repeated with minor variations for months to come. According to Lavrov, it was the new Nazi junta who should “show the initiative,” be more friendly, sit down and just listen more and talk more: “Those who took power in Kiev as a result of a coup—if they consider themselves as representing the interests of all the Ukrainians—must show the initiative, extend a friendly hand to the regions, listen to their concerns, and sit down with them at the negotiation table.” The fact that the Russian government did not dare to even formulate the nature and cause of the conflict was presented as an act of statesmanship. For Lavrov, it was actually the junta itself that from now on ought to be “responsible for the stability in the country” and to sort out demands for language rights: “We did not use any terms… [our goal is only] to send a signal to the Ukrainians that they are responsible for stability in the country and must ensure that each region can protect its history and language.” Lavrov also expressed his confidence that the US and the EU, which just installed in Ukraine an openly and aggressively anti-Russian regime as a foil for regime change in Russia, if not for her destruction, are “genuinely interested in a trilateral cooperation with Russia aimed at convincing the Ukrainians to sit down at the negotiation table.” The fact that the new regime in Kiev was a US proxy and thus also controlled by the US in implementing a long geopolitical strategy against Russia should, according to Lavrov, help resolve the crisis: the Americans now have a “decisive influence” on the Kiev authorities, and that should be used for resolving the crisis. In this connection, Lavrov still called Ukraine—now under a Nazi oligarchic regime—”a friendly state.” Similarly, on September 13, Lavrov claimed that “Poroshenko is interested in a peace deal and needs support, primarily from the West,” since the Russian government already supports him.
In a similar vein, Evgeny Primakov, a former member of Gorbachev’s Presidential Council, a Russian foreign minister (1996-98) and Prime Minister (1998-1999) and Putin’s personal mentor, argued that the early mandate for President Putin to use military force in Ukraine, if necessary, was exclusively tied to Crimea only. Russia “has to do all that is needed to absorb Crimea.” According to Primakov, the Kiev regime knew all along that Russia would not use its troops in south-east Ukraine and thus Russia’s military force was never a means of pressure against Kiev. Russia’s more decisive help to the people in Donetsk “would lead to a dead end” and would also “completely abrogate those good tendencies, which are now developing in the West, tendencies of some withdrawal from the line pursued by the United States.” Primakov is convinced that the Russian media and propaganda exaggerated the nature of the conflict. According to Primakov, “the main task for Russia is to create all conditions for technological development in the country where Russia is lagging behind.” Other issues have to be evidently subordinated to this. Primakov believes that the relations between Russia and Ukraine would be soon normalized (the interview was given on June 25, 2014) by meeting some economic and cultural demands of the people in Donetsk, but within one state under the preserved rule of the current regime. This foreseen “normalization” would “certainly not satisfy those who would want to create their own state within the state or to separate one part from Ukraine.” In Primakov’s view, the junta would and could resolve the crisis “constitutionally.”
In his interview, Primakov made sure that he avoided all fundamental political, geopolitical, or even ideological issues. What he emphasized instead were issues of technology and trade. Alexander Dugin appraised Primakov’s take on the crisis—the greatest geopolitical threat to Russia since the end of the Cold War—in the following way:
The speech by Primakov on Ukraine was completely false, invalid and shallow. These are the words of a traitor. Thank God that this man is old and he does not influence any decisions. But he sharply stinks with the era of Gorbachev and Yeltsin: under such talking points [which he used yesterday] Gorbachev and Yeltsin were dismantling the country. The current fifth and sixth columns appeared in the USSR as early as the 80s. And clearly Primakov like Shevardnadze, Yakovlev and others were all accomplices in this in those distant years. In comparison with the excesses of the oligarchs and Yeltsin in the 90s, Primakov still seemed to have a “grand style”. But this too was, as it gradually became clear, but an optical illusion.
Primakov’s position, which he himself sees as being largely shared by the highest Russian leadership, was foreshadowed already in his early March 2014 response to a letter by consider the events in Ukraine from the point of view of average people, but [in] the way [of] those who dedicated many years of their lives to politics.” According to Primakov, “Moscow was sincerely hoping that [the February 21] agreement would defuse the tension in Kiev.” The agreement, as recognized by Primakov himself and similarly by President Putin, was practically Yanukovich’s capitulation act in the face of the joint pressure from the Nazi-allied oligarchs, the putschists, and the West. Primakov then assured “Putin will do whatever it takes to find political means to resolve this grave crisis”—by means of “a compromise.”
Such Lavrov’s and Primakov’s mediating messages do, however, severely contradict other assessments, as voiced, for example, by Sergey Glazyev, an adviser to Russian president Vladimir Putin. Glazyev’s portfolio includes Ukraine. On March 17, 2014, the next day after the Crimean status referendum, Glazyev was one of the first seven persons placed by President Obama under executive sanctions over Ukraine. Back on March 24, 2014, Glazyev characterized the conflict in these stark, but honest terms:
Our feeling of danger for U.S.-Russian relations is based on more than business relations and sanctions. … The thing is, the entire crisis in Ukraine was orchestrated, provoked, and financed by American institutions in cooperation with their European partners. They financed neo-Nazis. For fifteen years, the U.S. and Europeans financed neo-Nazis’ training, their camps, and preparation. … This work led to the sad situation that now in Ukraine neo-Nazi and neo-fascists ideas prevail, as does admiration for, more than anything, Stepan Bandera’s associates who in their time murdered Jews, Ukrainians, Russians, Poles, and whomever they wanted, burning or otherwise killing them under Nazi leadership. This is very dangerous. We do not understand why the U.S. and the American ambassador for many years and months systematically supported those neo-Nazi ideologies and even methodically trained their followers. … That neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine now is impossible to work with. What we presently see in Ukraine is a symbiosis of neo-fascist groups on the one hand and pro-Western ones on the other … In this way, America created the symbiotic relationship between neo-fascists and pro-Western leaders that make up the basis of the current regime, supported an illegal power take-over—a coup, and is further prodding this regime to go to war with Russia. … So, while they blame us that we have taken over Crimea, where a referendum took place that showed virtually unanimous support for the restoration of sovereignty and joining Russia, at the same time what the EU and U.S. are doing is perpetrating an economic and military-political annexation of the entire Ukraine by imposing on it a treaty that sacrifices its sovereignty and mandates that it follow European policy in foreign and military policy, as well as obey all European directives on trade, the economy, and technical regulations. And actually, the signing of such a partnership from a legal point of view would necessitate changes to the Ukrainian constitution in at least five articles; the current constitution does not allow it. We are watching how our Western and American partners are wittingly forcing on Ukraine illegitimate decisions, signing illegitimate agreements, supporting an illegitimate government, while law violations, violence and terror sweep over the country.
Just two days before Primakov tried to announce a coming “normalization” or appeasement with Ukraine, Glazyev noted something very different:
All in all, any of our attempts to come to a mutually acceptable agreement with the current Kiev regime ... turn out not only completely unsuccessful, but they are also perceived as a demonstration of weakness and lead to more inadequate demands, unacceptable ultimatums, and further growth and escalation of the conflict potential. … The fighters in the people’s militia of Donbass are defenders of the Russian Mir who have been forced to stand on the frontline of the new world war. … People are dying there not only for Donbass—they are also dying for the whole Russian Mir, for the whole mankind, trying to save us from a new world war. We should not assume that, if Russia betrays Donbass, she would thus obtain peace at her borders and tranquility inside the country. … We [therefore] need to act decisively, strongly, and precisely.
While Moscow’s official leadership tried to downplay and dodge the seriousness and meaning of the direct geopolitical threat to Russia by the joint campaign mounted by NATO and new Nazi oligarchy led by the US, Poroshenko, the new president of the Kiev regime on whom the Russian government has been relying for some way out (scripted by the US anyway), continues to make calls for a Western joint war on Russia. Thus, during his visit to the US, Poroshenko exhorted a mightily applauding U.S. Congress to wage a war of Western civilization against Russian “barbarism.” In doing so, he succeeded to mention the war twenty seven times:
Make no mistake: Europe’s, and the world’s, choice right now is not a choice between a uni-polar and a multi-polar order. Neither is it a choice between different kinds of civilizations. It is a choice between civilization and barbarism. And while standing at this juncture, before this great trial – the democratic world cannot shrink or hesitate! We do not want to see all the democratic accomplishments of the last decades to be erased and to have been for nothing. The free world must stand its ground. And with America’s help – it will! …
The post-war international system of checks and balances was effectively ruined [by Russian’s actions]. The world was plunged into the worst security crisis since the US-USSR stand-off of 1962. Today, we are witnessing another attempt at dividing the world, and Ukraine stands at the center of this attempt. … These Ukrainian army, these young boys (underequipped, and often unappreciated by the world) are the only thing that now stands between the reality of peaceful coexistence and the nightmare of a full relapse into the previous century and a new cold war. And should that happen, then this would neither be the end of it, nor the worst of it. …[This] is Europe’s, and it is America’s war, too. It is a war of the free world – and for a free world! … Human dignity is the one thing we have to oppose to the barbarism of those attacking us.
On May 4, 2014, the Kiev regime’s Prime Minister Arsenyi Yatsenyuk paid a visit to Odessa just barely one day after the Odessa massacre, when hundreds of Nazi paramilitaries in coordination with the junta’s police and secret service first trapped around three hundred anti-facist activists and then burned and beat to death over one hundred of them (officially just over 40). In the wake of the massacre, Yatsenyuk declared that there is a state of war between Ukraine and Russia and he called this war “a hybrid war.” In his interview to Sky News, Yatsenyuk further stated that “Russia was waging a real war against Kiev.” The massacre of the unarmed civilians by the Kiev regime was ostensibly part of Russia’s aggression, which was “well planned and plotted.” Sky News did not fail to mention though that, in the immediate aftermath of the mayhem, the junta’s police detained and charged the surviving victims (at least 67 of them) with violence. No one from the hundreds of the Nazi troopers who carried out the killings were detained or charged. Yatsenyuk used the massacre carried out by his own regime and its very place for making this message to the world: “This is the war [with Russia]. And we are the wartime cabinet. This is the truth.” Yatsenyuk’s statement was carried around the world via Western media, which made sure that they did not talk to any of the survivors.
Christopher R. Hill, whose career includes positions of a former US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia, US Ambassador to Iraq, South Korea, Macedonia, and Poland, a US special envoy for Kosovo, a negotiator of the Dayton Peace Accords, and the chief US negotiator with North Korea from 2005-2009, described the geopolitical stand-off over Ukraine nothing less than “the end of the New World Order.” For Hill, this means that the 25-year long post-Cold War period is over. It was an era of “Russia’s acquiescence and commitment to the ‘new world order’ …” In this new “New Order,” as in the previous “New Order,”
Americans would be hard pressed to find Ukraine on a map, [but] they don’t need to. Americans do need to understand the challenge they are facing from a Russia that no longer seems interested in what the West has been offering for the last 25 years: special status with NATO, a privileged relationship with the European Union, and partnership in international diplomatic endeavors. … Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to be settling in for a long diplomatic winter. The US needs to prepare for it, especially in shoring up partners and allies, and ensuring as best it can that Ukraine is Russia’s last victim, not its first.
In its analysis, Lignet (“Langley Intelligence Group Network”) also asserts that, Crimea’s reunification with Russia and Russia’s resistance to the US transformation of Ukraine into its bridgehead (as Brzezinski defined it in his Grand Chessboard plan) signifies “a rejection by Russian President Vladimir Putin of the Western conception of world order since the end of the Cold War.” Thus, according to a solid consensus of Western strategists and analysts, the war in Ukraine is not only a rejection of the New World Order by Russia and/or by far the greatest and most direct challenge to it so far, it is also (because of that) today’s key “battle for the New World Order.”
While many pro-Novorossiya supporters and analysts do also see the war as a defense of Russian civilization as such, Stephen Cohen, a well-known expert and authority on Russia in the US foreign policy establishment, also believes what is being fought over is “absolutely essential in Moscow’s view to its national security and even to its civilization.” From this he also infers that the “the kinds of miscalculations, mishaps and provocations the world witnessed decades ago will be even more fraught with danger.”
From behind the media clichés, we see as an emerging realization that what is happening in Ukraine concerns the very foundations of the world order and its possible fundamental change. Ukraine does mean a frontier, and the world order is not here at its limit and breaking point. The crisis challenges the “order and orientation” of the existing geopolitical system. The hitherto existing system is being unhinged, and one of the reasons is the strange comeback of fascism as a potent political force standing at the edge of the evolution of the post-Soviet oligarchic regime.
The battle for Ukraine is a battle for a new world order in which the continuous existence of existing truths (or clichés) is no longer guaranteed, and neither is the existing system (or the existence of some of today’s states). Ukraine plunged through Maidan (in common, colloquial speech, maidanschik means swindler and thief) into apeiron (or chaos and war) and, at the same time, in Ukraine, the existing order has run into its critical limit, perhaps even into its end (peras). According to McLuhan himself, a moment of such a character means reversal. That is to say, certainly no trivial reversal. It can be thus argued that, with Ukraine, the ground is moving, opening not only a possible abyss, but also opening and revealing the hitherto obscured meanings of Russia, Ukraine, Europe, the EU, the US, but also of capitalism, oligarchy, Nazism, enslavement, and the ambiguous relations in which the media relate either to our political awakening or deeper and deeper slumber.
In Ukraine, the West, modernity, and the New World Order have found its peras—its defining line, its frontier. It is also where Nazism as the most radical modern expression of the spirit of man’s abyss, destruction and chaos (aperion) is being unleashed from its bonds again and is now fighting for its second life.
The unleashing of such a destructive force, that is, a combination of destructive forces in the form of Banderite fascism, thieving oligarchs, and an anti-Russian geopolitical project or war by proxy is also the main reason why Ukraine is now being destroyed. As Lada Ray put it, “Ukraine is the geopolitical fault line between the two worlds. It’s the ground zero of the struggle between the old and the new. A lot is being decided there.”
In Ukraine, the ground of the new order of human things is now being forged and fought over. The issue and its antagonism is fundamental. It goes down to the very root of the question about what it means to be human. The question has been posed again with a great urgency and it has to be answered. If Nazism is back, then also man’s very best needs to be called up to fight it.
To advance toward a better understanding of such re-ordering and re-orientation, it is also necessary to look deeper into the specifically political and otherwise concealed meaning of the “principle at issue,” to use Marx’s expression. Conversely put, what is required is exposing the otherwise buried non-standard, that is, critical political controversy—the great political question—otherwise lost and buried behind our abstract clichés. Specifically, here, it means to raise the almost taboo question of Nazism, and, further specifically, the question of slavery or enslavement (as a process of transformation and deformation) as it helps expose the political and cultural mission of Nazism itself.
To get to the root of Nazism and tyranny requires that one grasp its political meaning. In its essence, politics represents an antithesis to living all by oneself. Man is by nature a political being, as Aristotle famously said. But, again in this case too, one cannot just stop at what became a lifeless, hollow cliché, but one also need to look at what comes after and thus follow the word up or down into the actual thought hidden behind (which is, by the way, also “the method” pursued here with respect to McLuhan’s “The Medium is the Message” and the meaning of the war at the Ukrainian frontier):
Man is by nature a political animal. Anyone who by his nature and not simply by ill luck has no politea [political order in him] is either too bad or too good; either subhuman or superman—he is like the war-mad man condemned in Homer’s words as having no family, no law, no home; for who is such by nature is mad on war: he is a non-cooperator like an isolated piece in a game of draughts. But obviously man is a political animal in a sense in which a bee is not, or any other gregarious animal. Nature, as we say, does nothing without some purpose, and she has endowed man alone among the animals with the power of logos. Logos is something different from voice … Logos serves to indicate … what is just and what is not just. For the real difference between man and other animals is that humans alone have aesthesis [thorough mindfulness, an integrated common sense], realization of good and evil, just and unjust … Whatever is incapable of participating in the association [i.e., logos and aesthesis] which we call politea, a dumb animal for example, and equally whatever is perfectly self-sufficient and has no need to (e.g. a god), is not a part of politea at all. … [Man] is worst of all when divorced from law and justice. Injustice armed is hardest to deal with. … Hence man without virtue is the most savage, the most unrighteous, and the worst in regard to sexual license and gluttony. (Aristotle, Politics I.ii, 1253a1-1253a29)
Man is by nature not a lonely Robinson Crusoe who treats all other human beings as a good Hobbesian would in his “state of nature”—either as enemies to be destroyed or as slaves. Politics is about how we live together and along with others. Nature and the meaning of given politics is thus determined chiefly by how one treats and wants to treat others.
Ukraine’s Message: Some Missed Nazism, and Others Missed Its Meaning
Therefore, in order to understand the political meaning of Nazism, one must ask (specifically and directly) how exactly Nazism wants to treat other people. In this regard, Nazism’s answer is unequivocal: if liberalism treats others (other than oneself) as a commodity, then Nazism’s answer to how others ought to be treated is twofold: either extermination or enslavement. Either death or turning others into helots or slave labor, with bestiality added to it. In this twofold treatment, enslavement is the use of the other merely as a provisional and temporary exchange for life and death.
Reintroduction of helotry or slave labor is the political meaning of the Nazi new order.
In Ukraine, such Nazism—the radical meaning of the so-called Maidan Revolution or “Revolution of Dignity”—was expressed by Tamara Farion, a member of Ukrainian parliament, who delivered a keynote speech in the front of the Verkhovna Rada in Kiev during the official, state-organized celebrations of the 2014 anniversary of the creation of the pro-Nazi UPA (the Ukrainian Insurgent Army). Her program message is a collective execution of all who have a different mindset: “The ideals of WWII Ukrainian nationalists who resisted Moscow should become universal for Ukraine… everyone in Ukraine who lacks Ukrainian soul should be executed… and Moscow has to be erased, for remaining irredeemable black hole European security.” The Ukrainian Maisan “Revolution” is one in which its participants were massively and with gusto shouting death to a whole nation—the Russians: “Moskaliaku na giliaku”—”Ruskies on gallows!” On this openly genocidal slogan, Y.K. Cherson dryly commented: “The famous slogan “moskaliaku na giliaku”- hang Russians on a tree- can sound like a joke, but among the Ukrainian youth of 15-23 years of age from the Western parts of the country, it is no joke; they take it quite seriously, and the Ukrainian social forums and media are full of calls to kill Russians …”
On October 14, 2014, when Farion delivered her genocidal call, Ukrainian most-out-of-closet Nazis organized a 20,000 demonstration and protests in Kiev. They demand ending the “farce” of democracy and the “monstrosity” of liberalism in order to establish a full Nazi military dictatorship. Iryna Farion explained this requires replacing “elections” with executions of Moskals.
How does the Maidan “revolution” look in this regard? In its Machiavellian, PR spin, the oligarchic-fascist regime change is presented and hailed as “a revolution of dignity.”  Štefan Füle, my former Czech co-patriot and MGIMO classmate, but now the EU Commissioner for Enlargement who helped negotiate with Yanukovich the EU Association Agreement much as a unilateral dictate, claimed:
If you ask me what Maidan means, I would say it was first of all about dignity. Lack of accountability and accumulation of wealth in the hands of few at the expense of the prosperity of the whole country made people to show massive support for reform and modernisation. They demonstrated for a better future for their own country, a future free of corruption and where rule of law and human rights are respected. For many, this corresponded with a future based on European values, which as Europeans themselves, they share. ... We in the European Union do not run revolutions. ... Maidan itself will be remembered as one of Europe’s defining moments.
Of course, there has been no sign of the old new oligarchic regime in Kiev to allow for more accountability and less corruption, not to mention spreading the “wealth accumulated in the hands of few at the expanse of the whole country.” All this decay and corruption has only been aggressively intensified with IFM-imposed “reforms”—austerity or oligarchs’ massive attack on social payments and supports, pensions, and salaries, while raising living costs and taxes.
In his speech to US Congress on September 18, 2014, Petro Poroshenko, Ukrainian President, praised Maidan 2014, which he helped to finance like the one back in 2004, in the same rosy colors:
Human dignity was the driving force that took people to the streets. This revolution must result in an education of dignity, an economy of dignity, and a society of dignity. Human dignity is what makes Ukraine’s heart beat and Ukraine’s mind look toward a new and better version of itself. Human dignity is the one thing we have to oppose to the barbarism of those attacking us.
The use of the snipers at Maidan, the killings, torture, and disappearances of the people at the seized House of the Labor Unions in Kiev, the Odessa massacre, the blatant lies about deliberate, systemic shelling of civilians, hailing Bandera and Shukhevich as Ukraine’s national hero, etc. are an inversion of dignity and a negation of “a new and better version of itself.”
On his part, Areseniy Yatsenyuk assured his host, the US Council on Foreign Relations, that the regime “did everything to restore law and order” in the name of dignity : “Let me remind you that just less than seven months ago, Ukraine passed the second revolution in the newest Ukrainian history. It was the revolution of dignity, when people did everything to restore law and order in Ukraine ....”
The choice of dignity as a label and value for Maidan might seem strange. However, if we recall McLuhan’s “fourth law” of the media (“The Medium is the Message”), which is a flip, a reversal, then this strategy starts to make more sense, and even more so, once we realize that Maidan brought about a “revolution” in which Ukrainian oligarchy and Ukrainian Nazism (in its Banderite form) took over the state apparatus and its instruments of violence and control. As argued above, the political “secret” of Nazism is its will to treat others as slaves. In this regard, Aristotle had some interesting thoughts on slavery and the topic of dignity:
The tasks of the various slaves differ … But the use of slaves is not a form of knowledge that has any great importance or dignity, since it consists in knowing how to direct slaves to the tasks which they ought to know how to do. Hence those masters, whose means are sufficient to exempt them from the bother, employ an overseer to take on this duty, while they devote themselves to statecraft or philosophy. The knowledge of how to acquire slaves is different … being a kind of military or hunting skill. (Aristotle, Politics 1255b30)
This Nazi character of Maidan and its desire to treat the other (i.e., the Russians) as slaves or/and as someone made to be killed comes out audibly from the video “poem” by Anastasiya Dmytruk, which went viral after it was posted on March 19, 2014. The original video collected views over 2,200,000 views (as of October 21, 2014), and a song later made with its lyrics reached by October 2014 almost 4 million views. Next to the video “I am Ukrainian” made in English for the global audience by Yulia Marushevska and Graham Mitchell with over 8,250,000 million views as of October 21, 2014),  Dmytruk’s video (in Russian) became the second best known PR stunt of Maidan. In accordance with the imperative “The Medium is the Message,” which emphasizes form and the medium over content, many people became captivated by the appearance of the speaker and by the fact that she is a young female and paid little attention to the content of her message besides its heading “We will never be brothers”:
You have no spirit to be free. … You are many, but without a personality (character). Voliya [a perfectly Russian word for freedom] is the word, which you don’t know about. From childhood, you are all held in bonds. For you silence at home is gold, but, in our hands, Molotov cocktails are set to go, our blood is afire and our eyes are fearless. … Rats [you] are hiding and praying in vain, they will wash themselves in their own blood.
Dmytruk’s message, once one starts listening to its content, becomes clear. For her, Russians are slaves and “rats” deprived of speech and individuality. Moreover, if Maidan used Molotov cocktails as a weapon of choice against the unarmed police, then less than two months after the poem was posted, the Kiev junta did use Molotov cocktails praised by Dmytruk as a main instrument of murder of the antifascists during the Odessa massacre on May 2, 2014.
Not only Right Sector militants or Maidan activists consider Russians barbarian subhumans and slaves, Maidan and the Kiev regime’s leaders are on record saying the same. As already noted above, in his speech to Congress, Poroshenko explicitly and repeatedly attributed “barbarism” to Russia as opposed to the “civilized” character of the Kiev regime:
Neither is it a choice between different kinds of civilizations. It is a choice between civilization and barbarism. … Human dignity is the one thing we have to oppose to the barbarism of those attacking us.
In the official press release at the official site of the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, Kiev Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s call to arms against Russia rendered Russians as “subhumans.” Subhumans not only denote creatures who are, according to Aristotle, deprived of logos, the rational soul, and a full mind, they are for Aristotle also deprived of politea, that is, of basic political and human rights (as we call it today). The term subhumans is also the English equivalent of German Untermensch, a term used by the Nazis to describe “inferior people” often referred to as “the masses from the East,” that is Slavs, Jews, and Gypsies who were either to be ethnically cleansed and exterminated (Hitler’s plan was to kill some 30 million Russians) or to use as forced slave labor.
Andrei Biletsky, a leader of both the Azov battalion, sporting the Nazi Wolfsangel symbol, and the far-right Patriots of Ukraine (which has joined Prime Minister Yatsenyuk’s newly formed People’s Front coalition), defined the program of the Maidan “revolution” and post-coup Ukraine in the same terms: “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival…a crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”
Just after the Minsk Accord was signed on September 5, 2014, coming from a late night meeting of the Ukrainian Security Council, Arsen Avakov, the Kiev regime’s Minister of Interior who also commands the National Guard, gave a pre-election interview in which, with a condescending smirk, he explained how he sees the people in Donbass. For him they are slaves (that’s how he defines here vatniki, a term derogatively used for Russians); they are slaves who, in his view, foolishly decided to revolt. This is how Avakov describes the local people in Donbass:
Who are vatniki, can you tell me? … It is regrettably a very unrich, poor man who has a low paid job, who has a low level of education, who has in this life a little prospect for development or change, who cannot grasp the gifts of civilization, which provides the European choice. It is a man who is completely in the thrall of propaganda and disinformation. It is a man who has been exploited for a long time as a slave by the Donetsk oligarchic regime of Yanukovich and his comrades in every region, and he liked that. And suddenly came a resolution, a great change in his life, and the slave started playing his own Robin Hood. He decided to try an adventure—to play war. … I grant that [some of them] are led by ideas … for example, they made up for themselves an idea of a “Great Russia”or Belarus or something like that. That’s their super-idea. None of them would be able to survive a real debate … [in this new government] I am a representative of eastern Ukraine. I am from Kharkov.
Having followed the Ukrainian crisis on a daily basis from the beginning of 2014, I can attest that, if the Russian people spontaneously reintroduced (to the great chagrin of the oligarchs and standard/liberal political science) the term oligarchy and oligarchs into common usage, many people and members of the militia in Novorosssiya have been also spontaneously defining their struggle from the very beginning as a struggle against oligarchy and against fascism. Furthermore, in the same spirit, they have also continued to define the threat presented to them by the combined forces of old new oligarchy and new Nazism as that of slavery. Such is also the existing political consensus and prevalent view among the people in Novorossiya, which is also widely shared among the people in Russia, as well as those who are sympathetic to Novorossiya’s cause.
Alexander Zakharchenko, Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, sees the situation in the same way. For him too, Nazism is either slavery or death:
In the Soviet Union … we were confident, proud, and we could look into each other’s eyes. We did not feel to be degraded or oppressed. Then they changed our psychology and made of us, proud Slavs, slaves. …The first time I felt that I [was] a slave was when a man in front of me beat up another, and I went through all the institutions, and there was no justice. He was excused. Then, I understood that the system sees me as a slave. … We are looked down upon as people who took up arms because of poverty and hunger. But the fact is that Donbass is one of the richest regions in Ukraine.
A member of the Novorosssiya militia under the name de guerre Parpor, who fought together with Igor Strelkov from the very beginning in Slavyansk, explained the main reason why people volunteer to fight against fascism and oligarchy not merely in terms of Russian patriotism, but by defining such Russian patriotism by the revolt of the spirit against enslavement:
Yes, these are Russian people. The volunteers are Russian people, with Russian mentality. The [powers that be] attempted to turn them into slaves. I wouldn’t say that about the Soviet system. That system did not make slaves, but it did need somewhat passive people who would be receptive. But the work [that changes people into slaves] certainly reached its apogee after the territory which is now called Ukraine was separated during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In [post-1991] this production [of slaves] has reached its apogee because people were zombified day and night, day and night, to make them feel to be slaves, that they are vatniki [slur to call Russians or anyone who does not support West-supported oligarchs] and so on and so on. They were insulting them every day. The slogan “Kill the Moscowite [Russian]” has been a leitmotif of such propaganda for twenty three years of existence of this Ukraine. And people were becoming much upset about it, but they also kept tolerating it. But then change happens quickly. … Information accumulates and grows; one hears this, sees something else, something is said, and it all gathers. And then something switches inside, and a man who used to be completely politically passive yesterday wakes up the next morning and realizes that he must do something to change such life so that he does not just die in vain, that he must act, that he must change something in this life and not just die in bed.
The issue of the relation between slavery and Soviet communism is, of course, neither simple, nor straightforward, no matter what Western propaganda or once popular “theories of totalitarianism” created for the needs of the Cold War had to say about this. Nevertheless, the question is as important as the question about the relations between capitalism and slavery, without which one cannot be properly grounded and really orient oneself in politics. Marxism was on the offensive as long as it was promising emancipation to the enslaved masses of the world and as long as this promise was effective and convincing. At the same time, Marxism was and remained a child of the Western modern project and brought along economic determinism and materialism to the people treated and perceived as “masses.” Nevertheless, its raison d’être was social justice, which, in the West, has already been dissolved into hedonism, egoistic pleasure-seeking, and the optimism that “greed is good.”
In this regard, better again than any political scientist-on-the chair’s highbrow thoughts on the issue is, in my view, a statement made Igor Strelkov’s comrade in arms from Slavyansk with a name de guerre Sever (North). Speaking from a seat in an armored vehicle captured from the Ukrainian army, he asserted that there has not been a better system than Soviet socialism. Why? Because of two basic things: 1) everyone had a work, and the right to work was the grounding of man’s dignity, 2) related to that was Soviet socialism’s early achievement (as opposed to its officially “developed” or decadent and dying form) encapsulated in the slogan and greeting: “Honor to work.”
Honor, a virtue, previously a supposedly aristocratic value, had been won by the people. This concept of honor was and is very different from the liberal, bourgeois or American sense of “being special” whereby one caresses one’s ego/egoism.
The Soviet sense of honor was tied (horror of horrors!) to the common good: “Everyone is free to win honor if s/he serves the common good according to one’s abilities.” To achieve honor meant to serve the common good. Part of this agon (quest, striving, struggle) for honor was for men to serve in the army. In other words, what was truly animating the system and giving it its energy, life, and purpose was a moral, ethical idea of the intertwined notions of honor and the common good.
Indeed, honor or virtue, on the one hand, and slavery, on the other, are mutually exclusive—unless one is deceived at least about one of them. As Aristotle indicated: “He who is excluded from the honors of the state is no better than an alien. But when his exclusion is concealed, then the object is that the privileged class may deceive their fellow inhabitants” (Aristotle, Politics 1278a34; trans. Benjamin Jowett).
When Soviet leadership and bureaucracy became dead to the idea of honor and the common good—hence to the idea of the good, the system started to die and stink from the head down. For, in this way, the leadership, as opposed to the majority of the people in the Soviet Union, died to what was making the system alive.
Novorossiya: Its Meaning and Message
Fighting for Novorossiya and thus also for the Russian nation’s rebirth, Sever has won his honor back. The struggle of Novorossiya is bringing honor back to people who were and are treated by oligarchs and Ukrainian Nazis as slaves. Strelkov’s men and women are bringing the idea of honor and the common good back to life. They are bringing Russia back to life.
In what Slavyansk.org deservedly characterized as a “Poem of Courage and Love,” Risa Jabar, an orphan from Afghanistan who joined the Novorossiya militia, explained the cause of Novorossiya as follows:
I’m not here for the Russian government or for any other government. I’m here for the Slavs, for these people, the friendliest people—a people who are nevertheless targeted for extermination. …
My comrades fighting at my side: they’re Ossetians, Russians, Cossacks, Kalmyks, Yakuts—an entire family of the Soviet Union’s fighting alongside me! We’re the union of tribes, as it used to be, understand? And Ukrainians are here with us too! You can’t split people like that! … These Ukrainians who forgot their roots, they no longer consider themselves to be Slavs. But even they’ll have no place here! The need slaves here! … The Slavs, they’re that layer which carries its own civilization, its own civilizational imperative. And at its root, [this imperative] is contrary to all this business, contrary to all this world domination. They don’t want the Slavs, understand? They don’t want their spirit. …
It’s written in the Qur’an that one should never act for money—yeah, one’s allowed to trade. One can trade, buy and sell, but only within permitted limits. One’s forbidden from doing low, disgusting things—like the things they do. And that’s why I’m here. … There’s in principle nothing surprising in the fact—that certain Muslims are taking the side of the Slavs now. That’s because the world’s split into two camps, and small countries, small states—they can’t live on their own any longer. … I’d like to say this: “Don’t worry, we’re all with you, you have all of us—Russians, Ossetians, Chechens, Afghans—we’re all here, right beside you, like one big family.
A volunteer from South Ossetia voices the same attitude:
How much time is needed for people to wake up? … But it will happen sooner or later. I understand that it is hard, especially in Novorossiya now. But the choice is either whether you want to be a slave or whether you don’t want to be a slave, and the more so under the Nazis. One has to support the people and be with the people in this.
Igor Strelkov too presented the dilemma in a similar way: “Either we return to our own self and restore faith, our traditions, our values, our sovereignty, or we dissolve in a global West only to fall into slavery and disappear as a lost civilization.”
Judging from the actions and demands of the Kiev regime, one cannot avoid an impression that the Ukrainian oligarchs building their ideology on Banderism 2.0 are not only open about their hate of Russia and the Russians, but, by refusing to pay for Russian supplies of gas, while demanding new gas supplies paid only with hollow and insincere promises for the future, they are also determined to treat Russia as a slave who either ought to give them his resources for free or die.
This attitude is also reflected in the anti-Russian course led by the US. Dmitry Medvedev explained it rather candidly at the XIIIth Investment Forum in Sochi on September 19, 2014. The crisis in Ukraine does, indeed, bring one era in global politics to an end. To this effect, the US is trying to create a “New World Order,” in which the US and its allies don’t want to recognize that Russia has or ought to have her own national interests. An analogue to a slave at the level of relations between nations is a colony. Neither a slave nor a colony is supposed to belong to one’s own self and to have one’s own interests:
Everything changed in 2014. I’m sure that this year will go down in history as a turning point not only for Russia but also for the rest of the world. It provided a point of reference for a new age. Confrontation in Ukraine, which has deteriorated into a civil war, Crimea’s reunification with Russia … the introduction of sanctions against Russia and, regrettably, a cooling in relations with our Western partners have forced us and our foreign colleagues to rethink the global system of reference we lived in before. Unfortunately, our views of this system differ. We in Russia sometimes think that many of our Western partners – though not all of them, of course – stopped recognizing the fact that Russia has its own national interests, that thousands died in the centre of Europe, and that the very system of European security has been threatened alongside basic values, the future of globalization and, actually, the very philosophy of peaceful development after World War II.
In his interview to Rossiyskaya Gazeta on October 15, 2014, Nikolay Patrushev, Secretary of the Russian Security Council, however, argued that the US desire and demand that Russia have no national interests of her own (and hence no sovereignty) was already its firm political line after the demise of the Soviet Union:
In 1991-1996 the bodies that shaped our country’s foreign policy did not officially even have any such concept as “national interest”. They nurtured groundless expectations of gratitude for obedience from the Western partners and some kind of special benefit for our country from close and unconditional cooperation with the United States. In practice our American partners almost immediately stopped taking us seriously and only gave us a condescending “slap on the shoulder”, so to speak, from time to time.
This greater meaning of Novorossiya’s struggle thus carries not only a new potent message, but it also presents a new (potential) (re)orientation of the existing order. In this light, we also need to see, I would argue, the political (and I would even say philosophical) program of Novorosssiya’s struggle, which Alexey Mozgovoy was able to formulate:
People coming to join the militia are of a higher class today. The people that are coming are first and foremost a people led by a firm idea. For us, the greatest problem today is to unshackle personality from the depths of men and women and to extinguish in them the slave. That’s the main thing. Today, people that are coming to us are namely those who are ready to do just that. Such people are coming to us every day. These people are inspired by the idea of justice associated with the promise of Novorossiya. That’s the idea. This is also the idea of Russian Mir’s rebirth. This is the point. This is also the starting point, the beginning which we have reached and established. .... This is also the uniting idea. So far, for all these years, we have been divided, and political parties worked on dividing us because they have been dividing us from our own self. As a result, we have been losing faith in ourselves too. No existing party has a power to unify. Existing political parties offer only consumerist values—values which are consuming our own selves. But there was and is no spirit in them. Only spirit can truly unite us again--spirit which will establish personality where has been a slave.
Earlier, in the same spirit, Alexey Mozgovoy also argued:
What it takes not to surrender [in the face of the terrible]? Only people with clear conscience can endure to the very end. Those [whose conscience is clouded] will start surrendering in order to keep their business, portfolios, etc. … We have only spirit, honor, and conscience. That’s why we can go to the end. The end minimum is a military victory. The end maximum is to effect change in the spirit of man so that at least a portion of people come to understand that we are not slaves, a mere biomass or little people (homunculi) …
Thus as Vladimir Golstein argues, “fascism is not the fringe phenomenon that western governments and media say it is, but is central to Ukrainian politics and is the key to understanding Ukraine’s political crisis and the way that crisis is evolving … yet [it] expresses itself with the same genocidal language against Russians that fascists of the 1930s and 1940s used against Slavs and Jews.”
The Lost Ground in Western Civilization and Its Message
Now, it is time to return to the beginning. But not just return, in this case to McLuhan’s “The Medium is the Message,” but to use what we have established, bring it together and tackle the fundamental question of order and its reordering, which the war in Ukraine has brought into the open.
Modern politics or the long-term modern project of the West begins, in earnest, with Machiavelli’s Prince (1513), and especially its “doctrine of appearances” laid out in Chapter XVI:
But it is necessary to know well how to color this nature, and to be a great dissembler; and men are so simple and so obedient to present necessities that he who deceives will always find someone who will let himself be deceived. … [The prince] should appear all mercy, all faith, all honesty, all humanity, all religion. And nothing is more necessary to appear to have this last quality. Men in general judge more [by] their eyes than by their hands, because seeing is given to everyone, touching to few. Everyone sees how you appear, few touch what you are, and these few do not oppose the opinion of many … For the vulgar are taken in by appearance and the outcome of a thing, and in the world there is no one but the vulgar …
Machiavelli does offer some advice as to the Prince’s effective method to these ends and also a structure of sorts to the deceptive, manipulative disappearances. For Machiavelli, what is or rather what is presented or represented is nearly always divisible into two. Appearances are doubles, and so are the nature of appearances (appearance and the reality behind) and also the nature of the prince. For Machiavelli, he is “half-man, half-beast” who fights “with two kinds” of means—laws and force, and for Machiavelli, force seems to be more important than the laws.
Under a close look, it becomes evident that when Machiavelli speaks of arms and force, he does not mean arms/armed (arma/armare) and force (forza) literally, but rather as exoteric ciphers. Arms are what make the people the Prince’s own property, “his own creatures,” a “total owner,” his “capital.”
So, while an unsuspecting reader would take forza and armare literally, Machiavelli carefully indicates that this is not how these key terms are intended. Forza is pointing to Francesco Sforza, who, in turn, is connected by Machiavelli with Cesare Borgia and both then to Machiavelli’s “architecture” of the new world order and its “great foundations.” That is also where lies the crux of Machiavelli’s teaching and there is “no better” one:
To both of the modes, mentioned of becoming prince, by virtu or by fortune, I want to bring two examples … these are Francesco Sforza and Cesare Borgia. Francesco became duke of Milan by proper means and with a great virtu of his own; and that which he had acquired with a thousand pains he maintained with little trouble. … For, as was said above, whoever does not lay his foundations at first might be able, with great virtu, to lay them later, although they might have to be laid with hardship for the architect and with danger to the building. Thus, if one considers all the steps of the duke, one will see that he had laid for himself great foundations for future power, which I do not judge superfluous to discuss; for I do not know what better teaching I could give to a new prince than the example of his actions.
To own these “arms” (arma) and thus people means to control what people love, desire, and fear (amare et temere), and to control that also means to control what they perceive—the appearances or deceptions, which, as such, are as if decapitating them—taking away the heads which they could otherwise think for themselves.
The “force” is thus supposed to be a beastly rather than human “force” or new scientific method to mislead and deceive so that people, or more precisely their aesthesis, mind and perception, come to be possessed and controlled by the Prince. This psychological method is also the secret “power over [the people] [from an empire] which they [are] not to perceive.”
For this to happen—”to gain the people entirely to oneself, the spirits of people [ought to be] purged … stupefied.” If this project is successful, then “memories and causes of innovations are eliminated”—for the minds and in the minds of the people. This, in turn, can be achieved by corrupting first the desires, habits, and character of the people. This stage on the way towards “acquiring” the people and the minds, in turn, is to be obtained by “creating [it] within an oligarchical state [i.e., state of mind].” All in all, the result then ought to be a condition, which, for Machivelli would be analogous to a state or condition in which Hebrews were found before Moses established his lasting “empire” over them—”reducing [them] to the condition … [in which they are] more enslaved than the Hebrews, more servile than the Persians, more dispersed than the Athenians, without a head, without order [my emphasis], beaten, despoiled, torn, pillaged, and having endured ruin of every sort.”
But the key step, the cornerstone of the “great foundation” of a new empire, is not to trust in the “fortresses” (an ancient trope for the soul), for the key is to avoid being hated by people. And for this to happen, people would need to be deprived of their own sense of justice, their own ability to think for themselves; in a word, of their own soul or independent spirit.
Thus, as Machiavelli realized, while trying to keep it obscured in-between the lines, the new “great foundation,” the ground, of the new order of things are people, or more precisely, the spirit and minds of people radically transformed:
And let no one resist my opinion on this with that trite proverb, that whoever founds on the people founds on mud. … [For] when a prince who founds on the people knows how to command and is a man full of heart, does not get frightened in adversity, does not fail to make other preparations, and with his spirit [of a beast] and his orders keep the generality [literally, universe] of people inspired [verb animare—infused from the prince’s spirit], he will never find himself deceived by them and he will see he has laid foundations well.
We have said above that it is necessary for a prince to have good foundations for himself; otherwise he must of necessity be ruined. The principal foundations that all states have, new ones as well [as] old or mixed, are good laws and good arms. And because there cannot be good laws where there are not good arms, and where there are good arms there must be good laws, I shall leave out the reasoning on laws and speak of arms.
What experience and Platonic philosophy allows us to extract from Machiavelli is possible to uncover in the thought of McLuhan as well.
As we have seen, the crisis in Ukraine is justifiably seen as the frontier, the limit, and the turning point of the New World Order and the end of the post-Cold War era. For McLuhan, who died well before the Ukrainian crisis and who would know very little of Ukraine as such, but who studied the media, modern communications, and political technologies as one with access to the Holy of Holies, the inner temple, our age—already from the 1960s and1970s on—had reached the point of reversal, that is, the limit (peras), which marks an end of much longer civilizational processes. Thus, according to McLuhan, these times are, thanks to the media, the end-point and the point of reversal not only of the sense and supposed meaning of the modern age, but also of the whole hitherto religious and political history, marked by the Trojan War and the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery:
[T]he political implications of spaceship earth create a world government. The satellite will be used as a prime instrument in world propaganda war for the hearts and minds of men. The last part of this century will see a war of icons not bombs. … The ever-thickening satellite surround will reverse [the line of] of 400-year development.
[McLuhan’s] New Science replaces the current Old Science of media and artifacts, which is too narrow and too rigid, having drawn its techniques from the abstract Method used since the Renaissance.
The present electronic age … presents the first serious threat to the 2500-year dominance of the left hemisphere [critical thinking].
We are entering the age of implosion after 3000 years of explosion. … Western culture [is turning again] into an exposed, ill-tempered spider squatting in a thrumming web, resonating with all other webs … [and] he is resentful of the fact.
[The last] 2500 to 3000 years [of civilization] … pushed to the limit flip [now] into an opposite effect.” … [This is the moment of] chiasmus [where] the process tends to reverse or flip suddenly.
Visual space is the mind-set of Western civilization as it has proceeded over the last 4000 years to sculpt its monolithic linear self-image—a self-image which emphasized the operation of the left hemisphere of the brain and which, in the process, glorifies quantitative reasoning.
As McLuhan explains, when “the Medium is the Message,” the sense of which extends to the whole Western civilization, reaches “a total saturation,” it ought to produce “a reversal of the original intent”—into “the diabolical,” or “a psychological death for all mankind,” the end of West’s “ego trip … through Narcissus-like self-involvement.” Metaphorically, our age, and, as manifested through the unfolding war and crisis in Ukraine, is to be “the second phase of the original creation,” in which (political, moral, psychological, and ontological) chaos becomes the new great power and the dominant, hegemonic medium of radical change and reorientation.
This reversal creates a new world order, which will be “seemingly chaotic” or what man “has by now identified with chaos”—the antithesis of what was considered natural. This world of “chaos” is to be “a new robotic corporate entity” in which “the more information one has to evaluate, the less one knows” and where “without restraint, [power and man] can become boundless, directionless, falling easily into the dark of the mind …”
This new order or great inversion, like supposedly all “tribal cultures,” will “regard robotism [automated slavery or zombistan] as a desirable form.”In this brave new world, man is supposed to “live as one already dead” and hence “free”—in a perverse, reversed sense of the word.
The point is that, like the media, so the McLuhan meta-law “The Medium is the Message” is supposed to function as “rhetoric,” the political know-how of the elite, which reverses and inverts the human mind of the people—which “usurps,” “degrades,” “expropriates,” and closes “our interior life.”
So the question is how is this achieved or what is the key to the fundamental, radical attack on man’s mind and soul. As McLuhan implies, the “how” as a means has its hidden why, which is kept obscured and concealed. But here it is. The “Archimedean” point in appropriation and expropriation of man’s mind lies in the mind’s reduction and narrowing, which corresponds to the narrowing of Aristotle’s four cases to one—to the third, the efficient cause—and man thus down to efficiency or a mere means or instrument in accordance with the new “technological” order. While, exoterically, the third cause is often rendered as the cause of agency, for McLuhan and his party, the efficient cause means “external compulsion that bodies [men] have to obey.”
If man is being transformed so that he does not resist external commands (medium-cum-messages) to be fully functional and “efficient,” and to be efficient he is supposed to think only of efficiency and not its why, a concealed, but intensive attack on man’s aesthesis is being mounted by disordering, fragmenting and narrowing the mind and the personality. In this regard, there are two basic directions: 1) making the mind as deep as skin or mirror that has to copy mindlessly whatever it receives from the outside, i.e., a blank slate, or 2) making (managed) chaos out of order. These are also the formulas for making the interconnected dyad of a Superman and Untermenschen.
Let’s recall Aristotle’s definition of a political man, a man by nature:
But obviously man is a political animal in a sense in which a bee is not, or any other gregarious animal. Nature, as we say, does nothing without some purpose, and she has endowed man alone among the animals with the power of logos. Logos is something different from voice … Logos serves to indicate … what is just and what is not just. For the real difference between man and other animals is that humans alone have aesthesis [thorough mindfulness, an integrated common sense], realization of good and evil, just and unjust … (Aristotle, Politics I.ii, 1253a1-1253a29)
Man as a political being is one with Logos, which is more than voice, and it is not just rationality. It is aesthesis, a thorough mindfulness, a common sense, which is not just a common opinion, but an intelligent use of one’s complete, integrated mental abilities. It is this complete sense or thorough mindfulness (awakening) that allows man to know the difference between good and evil and to understand what is just and what is not. Aesthesis gives man access to Logos—what we would call higher thinking skills as well as intuition at a level that transcends prejudice, lies, illusions, [and?] clichés. As Aristotle already taught and as, before and after him, generations of mankind’s masters taught, to enslave man requires disconnecting man from his “common sense”—from aesthesis.
Here is McLuhan’s informed and shrewd (elitist) tack on the issue:
The term senus communis [aesthesis] in Cicero’s time meant that all the senses, such as seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touch, were translated equally into each other. It was the Latin definition of a healthy natural state, when physical and psychic energy were constant and distributed in a balanced way to all sense areas. In such a condition it is rather difficult to hallucinate. In any cultural arrangement, trouble always occurs when only one sense is subjected to a barrage of energy and receives more stimulus than all the others. … As psychologists understand sensations, overstimulation and understimulation can cause thought and feeling to separate. … Hypnosis is [such] a steady assault on one sense, like a tribal drumbeat. Modern torturers in Chile break down prisoners by putting them in cells where everything—walls, furniture, utensils, window covers—is painted white. … unexpected beatings and random electric shocks create sharp peaks of floating anxiety and subsequently a ready uncritical conviction. Without being aware of it, North Americans have created the same kind of violence [and hypnosis] for themselves.
Thus depoliticization not only enslaves man, it also radically denatures him—like the captured US astronauts and human native survivors in the movie, Planet of The Apes.
Dostoevsky was also referring to this very method in his apocalyptic story of the Grand Inquisitor in the Brothers Karamazov; for the “new world order” to prevail, man is to be radically narrowed down (down to Sodom perhaps):
But enough poetry! … I want to tell you now about the insects to whom God gave “sensual lust.”
To insects—sensual lust! I am that insect … All we Karamazovs are such insects, and, angel as you are, that insect lives in you, too … sensual lust is a tempest—worse than a tempest! … Yes, man is broad, too broad, indeed. I’d have him narrower. The devil only knows what to make of it! … Is there beauty in Sodom? Believe me, that for the immense mass of mankind beauty is found in Sodom. … Listen, now to come to facts.
Or, as in one French movie exploring such enslavement and rather showing the process, human beings are reduced to pain beings, pleasure beings or merely sexual beings and to numb beings devoid and deprived of logos. Much of enslavement, if not all of it, depends on obedience and acquiescence, which means a corresponding state of mind.
Hypnosis as a narrowing of the mind and separation of the mirror or skin of the mind from the mind (“separation of feeling and thought”) serves here as a model (in McLuhan’s aphoristic words, “in the electric age we wear all mankind as our skin”).
To this effect, McLuhan then also constructs his theory of figure and ground (at first developed by gestalt psychology and then applied by the Danish art critic Edgar Rubin), which, however, also points back to Heidegger’s Grund and Freud’s It and the “repressive” moral prohibitions of civilization and further to Nietzsche’s dichotomy between Dionysian orgiastic and tragic darkness and Apollonian “superficial” rationality and plasticity. McLuhan’s concept of figure and ground has also a direct relation to the deeper sense and intention behind “the Medium is the Message.” McLuhan explains:
[W]e broadened Rubin’s usage to take in the whole perception and consciousness [viz aesthesis]. All cultural situations are composed of an area of attention (figure) and a very much larger area of inattention (ground). The two are in a continual state of abrasive [mutually negating] interplay, with an outline or boundary or interval [peras] that serves to define both simultaneously. … For example, at a lecture attention will shift from the speaker’s words to his gestures, to the hum of the lighting or street sounds, or to the feel of the chair or a memory or association or smell, each new figure alternately displacing the others into ground. …
The common sensorium [viz aesthesis], which is Goethe’s proper use of the word Weltinneraum, contains all potential figures … In this respect, ground provides the structure of or style of awareness, or the way of seeing or the terms on which a figure is perceived. The study of ground on its own terms is virtually impossible. … In the order of things, ground comes first. The figure arrives later. …. The medium is the message. As an old ground is displaced by the content of the new situation, it becomes available to ordinary attention as a figure.
Figure is then what becomes obvious and apparent. It is a particular appearance, whereas the ground is “the total situation”—the whole where resides hidden “the real meaning” of the presumably real figures.
Clichés are then McLuhan’s figures torn out of the ground, and the ground is both the larger context, which holds the meaning and the great questions (and hence greater thoughts) that are ignored or simply unseen. As such, the ground is analogous to the dark matter, which, unseen, holds the universe together, but, in itself, appears to be an antithesis of all that there is or what is coming out of it into the field of our perception. As McLuhan claims, “the study of ground on its own terms is virtually impossible.”
In the end-state of our era, the overload of figures is, however, to reverse and act as a ground, which appears as chaos in which men “will without witting and are whorled without aiming.”
Elsewhere McLuhan explains that, for him, the ground is the medium, and if one focuses only on a particular figure or message, then one misses the real message which is the ground, the total “environment,” the overall context, all existing or potential consequences. Yet, at the same time, a figure too can create, according to McLuhan, “a totally new environment or ground”:
Look at the ground around the figure … around any technology … Now the ordinary attention is fixed on the figure rather than the ground, on the wheel rather than the [whole] system … It never occurred to [ordinary people] that this figure of the car [for example] might generate a huge [new] ground … far bigger than the figure was ever thought to be. In other words, the car created a totally new environment or ground … that we have come to associate with the American way of life. By not looking at the ground around the automobile you miss the message of the car. For it is the ground of any new technology that changes everybody, and it is the medium that is the message of the technology, not the figure.
Here, one thing needs to be noted. By having one’s attention and mind narrowed down and zeroed on the figure, one’s mind can also be correspondingly narrowed or zeroed down, and, simultaneously, one can easily lose the view of the whole, that is, the ability to think systematically, to understand the ground or principles of the system. And with the loss of the ability and habits to think systematically, that is, to think in the proper sense of thinking, one cannot even read or understand the figure, which has occupied and seized his mind. When this happens, the figure becomes just a flat, fragmentary, hollowed cliché, trivial information, which is filling the emptied space of mind that froze at that point. This also indicates that aesthesis as a complete, wholesome mindfulness allows one to understand reality at its systemic level. For to truly knows something means to know not parts or bits, but the system. And to know the system means to know its true principles—its ground and how these relate to yet greater principles, which structure our existence.
For the “content of any medium is always another medium,” that is, the ground is always a ground of yet another ground (behind every mind there might be another more clever, wiser, deeper, or truer mind somewhere). It is the mind that matters. In McLuhan’s witty self-praise:
I am in the position of Louis Pasteur telling doctors that their greatest enemy was quite invisible and quite unrecognized by them. Our conventional response to all media … is the numb stance of a technological idiot. For the content of a medium is like the juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind.
Figures can serve as distractions, fillers, diversions, for eclipsing, hypnotizing, shallowing and disconnecting the mind from itself so that just a film with printed commands remains. Man then becomes a mental slave, his master’s “well-adjusted” program, with few thoughts of his own. To make a slave requires such breaking up of the personality and the person’s mind. This emptying of man of himself, the loss of identity, is, according to McLuhan, “the way we live.” It is a way of violence, and the man who does that to man is “a tragic hero.”
In this regard, “The Medium is the Message” actually stands for a compressed and encrypted formula of the global mind control program of the Empire, the New World Order. As, cryptically rendered, “the medium is the message means that there is no content in any medium … [except that] the user [man] … is the content.” Through this transformative method, the user (or subject) is emptied of his own content, becoming a means, a tool, merely an extension of the medium. Man, with his own content, inner mind, is mediated into no essential content.
McLuhan argues that no one before him really knew or understood the ground. Where Hegel’s and Heidegger’s attempts failed on top of all hitherto philosophy, his own “tetrad” consisting of what he calls the four laws of the media and technology ought to allow us to deal for the first time with the otherwise unseen ground. In a word, McLuhan “resolved the dilemma” of how to grasp the hidden ground with his tetrad.
But McLuhan’s “four laws” are really just four verbs: 1. enhance, 2. diminish, 3. retrieve, 4. reverse. A negation of the negation of the negation of the negation joined into a loop of sorts. In this regard, it might appear that we have reached a dead end. And we did. Almost.
According to McLuhan, his “The Medium is the Message” and its Tetrad “renders obsolete all groundless dialectical and systematic Marxist approaches to interpretation of social processes and technological transformations of culture by flipping the discussion into a kind of linguistic of real words”—what we might call today postmodernism. Here McLuhan is declaring nothing less than it is his Tetrad (and not, for example, Heidegger’s Nazi-friendly existentialism) that had finished off all the hitherto philosophical and political thought with a notable emphasis on singled-out dialectical philosophy (which would be first and foremost Platonism) and Marxism.
Thus, according to McLuhan (who is here also quietly following Hegel, Nietzsche, and Heidegger etc.), philosophy is now supposed to be kaput (i.e., utterly finished; unable to function, hopelessly outmoded …). All that there is is but rhetoric—rhetoric victorious, which is “found in the human body itself.” McLuhan’s Tetrad thus renders at last and for good all what man does as nothing but “prosthetic devices, mutations, metaphors of the body.” The dominance of Western technology and the media is, therefore, the unconditional triumph of Western rhetoric over the world and all the other alternatives, even within Western civilization itself:
The laws of media in tetrad belong properly to rhetoric and grammar, not philosophy. … This is to place the modern study of technology and artifacts on a humanistic and linguistic basis for the first time.
The funny or ironic thing is that had McLuhan applied his own tetrad and its laws to himself, he could have foreseen a retrieving reverse back into dialectical thought, perhaps renewed Platonism itself, at the end point or dead end of the existing system. As we have seen in the case of Ukraine that marks the system’s frontier, limit, and fissure, people of Novorossiya are now on their own spontaneously retrieving their spirit and souls, socialist ideals, the ideal of justice, the idea of honor, and political understanding of oligarchy and slavery, which are now united in returned, retrieved Nazism. Retrieval as well as revolutionary reversal of the dominant and otherwise advancing reaction is becoming a possibility again, and millions of people in Novorossiya are inspired by it and are fighting for it against the powers that be.
Nazism, Zombiland, or Global Corporate Robotism?
However, McLuhan’s lapse, while hostile to philosophical thought and hence to man’s liberation, is not a complete lapse. In fact, it is where McLuhan’s “The Medium is the Message” flips into its own hidden dark ground of McLuhan’s and Western message and mediation. Furthermore, this still darker ground of McLuhan’s message makes a revival of genuine dialectic, i.e., Platonism, even more critical and urgent.
McLuhan’s apparent self-contradiction is namely both a veil and sign of the ultimate meaning of his Tetrad and “the Medium is the Message”—the end of the ultimate reversal and (ultimately amplified) loss, from which no retrieval is to be possible. McLuhan leaves few hints, but an average Platonist could see them with a bit of experience and gradual adjustment to the shadowy maze of the New Tower of Babel, which looks more like a refurbished cave from Book VI of Plato’s Republic.
To see that, one only needs to be able to retrace McLuhan’s steps that lead into the heart of this labyrinth. Thus, in an exposition of his Tetrad or four laws of the media, McLuhan asserts, while making a quiet reference to Aristotle and his concept of man as a political animal by nature:
As we show (and as anyone can test), the laws [of the Tetrad] apply only to human utterances and artifacts: they reveal nothing about animal products, such as webs or dams or nests, except perhaps thereby confirming the ancient observation that is chiefly speech that us human are distinct from the rest of creation.
All words (and language), each of them manifests the same four-part structure. There are no exceptions. … All non-verbal artifacts—whether safety pins or ICBMs, including all laws of science and institutions—share this same four-part logos-structure in the manifestations and effects. The tetrad is only applicable to human artefacts and not, for example, to birds’ nests or spiders’ webs.
Now, let’s recall the relevant parts from Aristotle’s outline of a political man:
Man is by nature a political animal. Anyone who … has no politea … [is] either subhuman or superman—he is like the war-mad man condemned in Homer’s words as having no family, no law, no home; for who is such by nature is mad on war … But obviously man is a political animal in a sense in which a bee is not, or any other gregarious animal. … For the real difference between man and other animals is that humans alone have aesthesis and logos], realization of good and evil, just and unjust … Whatever is incapable of participating in the association [i.e., logos and aesthesis] which we call politea, a dumb animal … Hence man without virtue is the most savage, the most unrighteous, and the worst in regard to sexual license and gluttony [my emphases]. (Aristotle, Politics I.ii, 1253a1-1253a29)
But, now, let’s look more closely at how McLuhan’s describes “global robotism,” the regime, which, in his view, corresponds and defines his vision of an emerging global order or “world government” through the media, technology, and the last phase of Western civilization.
Into what is man to be radically and totally transformed at this would-be end of all ends? This is how McLuhan presents it:
As man succeeds in translating his central nervous system into electronic circuitry, he stands on the threshold of outering his consciousness … We are entering the age of implosion after 3000 of explosion years… our entire Western culture will turn turtle. Visualize an amphibian with its shell inside and its organs outside. Electronic man wears his brain outside his skull and his nervous system on top of his skin. Such a creature is ill-tempered, eschewing over violence. He is like an exposed spider squatting in a thrumming web, resonating with all other webs. But he is not flesh and blood; he is an item … easily forgotten, and resentful of the fact. … As new technological man races toward this totality … he will no longer, as in earlier times, have an experience of nature … He will have lost touch … [where] touch is not simply skin pressure but a grasp of all senses [aesthesis] at once … When we lose nature … we lose … the touchstone of natural law.
McLuhan makes hints and winks and also tries to conceal what he reveals. Yet it is possible to string together the message. At this apocalyptic end of Western politics and global rule, man is to become a dumb animal deprived of logos and aesthesis. He is to become depoliticized—without law, without natural law, “mad on war … the most savage, the most unrighteous, and the worst in regard to sexual license and gluttony.” Something of a turtle, a spider, an amphibian. But also denatured, denaturalized, totally self-alienated. Both an Überman and an Untermensch. A savage and a Nazi. And an absolute slave. No longer human as defined by the power of speech and reason. Deprived of logos and aesthesis.
This also means that, while McLuhan is proclaiming the universal validity of his “The Medium is the Message” and the Tetrad, he is simultaneously also abrogating its validity, for he is in-between the lines also introducing the total and finite “reversal” and nihilation of the meaning, man, logos, humanity, man’s nature, justice, politics and order.
The new robotic man is no longer human, he is a dumb animal and savage beast, but he is not even an animal. He is a robot, an artificial machine, a new artificial creation dreamed about by Thomas Hobbes when he was designing the new state as a Leviathan who would be both a corporation and machine as well as a virtual Kingdom of Darkness. And it is now in Ukraine where Nazism reborn is feeding this beast with human blood.
The new robotic, corporate man is, however, in some fundamental ways, no longer truly, humanly alive. He is “not flesh and blood; he is an item …” His brain is outside his skull. He is lobotomized, to put it more directly—like the captured specimen in Planet of the Apes, turned into new slaves.
Furthermore, McLuhan’s vision of the post-historical man as a robotic spider or amphibian is not original with McLuhan. Building most notably on Kafka’s Metamorphoses, Dostoevsky’s ant-hill, and Nietzsche’s herd animal, McLuhan’s formulation evokes and echoes Alexander Kojève’s long and famous footnote to a footnote to his Introduction to the Reading of Hegel (1947). This footnote to a footnote, in fact, not only contains the essence of Kojève’s book and its message, it also presents the message most directly and bluntly. And the message is nothing else than the gist of a planetary program for a West or US-led “Universal Homogenous State” or Empire. Kojève added the footnote to the text in 1959. This is what it says:
If one accepts the disappearance of Man at the end of History [in the Universal Homogenous State], if one asserts that “Man remains alive as animal,” with the specification that “what disappears is Man properly so-called,” one cannot say [as Kojève did in his original footnote] that “all the rest can be preserved idefinitely: art, love, play, etc.”
If Man becomes an animal again, his arts, his loves, and his play must also become purely “natural” again. Hence it would have to be admitted that after the end of History, men would construct their edifices and works of art as birds build their nests and spiders spin their webs, would perform musical concerts after the fashion of frogs and cicadas, would play like young animals, and would indulge in love like adult beasts. …
“The definitive annihilation of Man properly so-called” also means the definitive disappearance of human discourse (Logos) in the strict sense. Animals of the species Homo sapiens would react by conditioned reflexes to vocal signals or sign “language,” and thus their so-called “discourses” would be like what is supposed to be the “language” of bees. What would disappear, then, is not only Philosophy … but also that Wisdom itself. For in these post-historical animals, there would no longer be any “[discoursive] understanding of the World and of self.” …
But shortly afterwards (1948) I understood that the Hegelian-Marxist end of History was not yet to come, but was already present, here and now. … [H]umanity virtually attained the limit and the aim, that is, the end, of Man’s historical evolution. … From the authentically historical point of view, the two world wars with their retinue of large and small revolutions had only the effect of bringing the backward civilizations of the peripheral provinces into line with the most advanced (real or virtual) European historical positions. If the sovietization of Russia and the communization of China are anything more than or different than the democratization of imperial Germany (by way of Hitlerism) … it is only because the Sino-Soviet actualization of Robespierrian Bonapartism obliges post-Napoleonic Europe to speed up the elimination of the numerous or less anachronistic sequels to its pre-revolutionary past.
Already, moreover, this process of elimination is more advanced in the North American extensions of Europe than in Europe itself. One can even say that, from a certain point of view, the United States has already attained the final stage of Marxist “communism” … Now, several voyages of comparison made (between 1948 and 1958) to the United States and the U.S.S.R. gave me the impression that if the Americans give the appearance of rich Sino-Soviets, it is because the Russians and the Chinese are only Americans who are still poor … I was led to conclude from this that the “American way of life” was the type of life specific to the post-historical period, the actual presence of the United States prefiguring the “eternal present” future of all humanity. Thus, Man’s animality appeared no longer as a possibility that was yet to come, but as a certainty that was already present.
It was following a recent voyage to Japan (1959) that I had a radical change of opinion on this point. … “Post-historical” Japanese civilization undertook ways diametrically different opposed to the “American way.” … all Japanese without exception are currently in a position to live according to totally formalized values—values completely empty of all human content in the historical sense. … This seems to allow one to believe that the recently begun interaction between Japan and the Western World will finally lead not to a rebarbarization [Americanization] of the Japanese but to a “Japanization” of the Westerners (including the Russians). … such post-historical [Japanese] Man must continue to detach form from content, doing so no longer in order actively to transform the latter, but so that he may oppose himself as a pure form to himself and to others taken as [empty] content of any sort.
Thus, as Kojève indicates, the Western project has come to an end by reaching both its limit and aim—which is the annihilation of Logos, Philosophy, and man as man hence as political being and being of Logos. The post-historical man is seen as an animal completely empty of human content and completely soulless, and this would also make him a “content barbarian”—unless he becomes a Japanese “snob” who can kill oneself or anyone else “as empty of any content” in “a perfectly gratuitous,” that is, spurious, unjustified, needless, way, hence as nothing at all. Al Qaeda offshoots like ISIS in the Middle East and Nazis in Ukraine, who call their victims not more than insects or “Colorado Beetles,” are doing precisely that. In the one case we have a new “post-historical” Nazism, which is donning a mask of religion, in the other case we see Nazism, which, here and there, is still masking itself with liberal and democratic slogan or with nationalism. But more and more both the one and the other are approaching its pure, beastly form.
Kojève also indicates, and he is absolutely convinced of this, that the limit and the aim is not merely chaos, but also a global empire, a “universal state” and hence a political, yet radically anti-political project, which is to universalize and establish an inhuman rule by inhuman means (chaos), yet somehow promises to make both its executors and victims “satisfied” and “content” as mindless post-historical, soulless animals or completely soulless snobs. This supposed contentment posited by a post-historical snob depends on obliteration of fundamental distinctions in the mind of the post-historical man, whether a post-historical master or slave (and the more so on the part of the latter). Chaos (managed darkness and chaos) would be re-instituted as the form of this New World Order in which, to use Plato’s diagnosis of the sophists’ project, “all things would be mixed together in the same place, and there would be no distinction between matters of medicine and health, and matters of pastry baking” (Gorgias 465d, Donald J. Zeyl trans.).
Outwardly, the expansion of this post-historical empire appears and is presented as democratization. More properly it is Americanization, that is, “re-animalization,” that is, “rebarbarization.” More essentially yet, this radical transformation of mankind is the accelerated “elimination” of all other alternatives, and this would-be democratization (which it is not) is “by way of Hitlerism” or Nazism.
This also means that Kojève, the self-professed “Marxist” or, according to Allan Bloom, Leo Strauss’ right hand, “the most thoughtful, the most learned, the most profound of Marxists,” was the first—already before World War II and also after World War II—who, in Bloom’s words, “attempted … [a] moral ménage à trois of Hegel, Marx and Heidegger,” that is, not merely a synthesis or assimilation of Marxism and existentialism, but also of Marxism and Nazism—in a similar way in which, as Kojève argued, Germany was assimilated into the American Universal and Homogenous State by way of Hitlerism. Bloom himself defines the end product of such assimilation of the one by the other as “contemporary radicalism” and advises that “anyone who wishes to understand the sense of mixture of Marxism and existentialism which characterizes contemporary radicalism must turn to Kojève.”
In 1935, as a member of the Nazi party, Martin Heidegger declared his most public and open stance on Nazism and his own theorizing, in which he is staking out a hold of his own thought on the otherwise unknown “inner truth and greatness” of Nazism by defining this secret “true center” as “the encounter between global technology and modern man,” that is, as his own theme:
The works that are being peddled about nowadays as the philosophy of National Socialism but have nothing to do with the inner truth and greatness of this movement (namely the encounter between global technology and modern man—have all been written by men fishing in the troubled waters of “values” and “totalities.’ … [even] Nietzsche did not attain to the true center of philosophy. Even if a future philosopher should reach this center—we of the present day can only work toward it—he will not escape entanglement. But it will be a different entanglement. No one can jump over his own shadow. … To know how to question means to know how to wait, even a whole lifetime.
Leo Strauss described the relation of Heidegger to Nazism, which today’s liberals downplay, deny, or cloud as much as they do it in Ukraine, as follows:
At this point we come face to face with the serious antagonist of political philosophy … [This antagonist] rejects the question of the good society … [because] there is no essential necessity for raising the question of the good society; this question is not in principle coeval with man … [The antagonist] looks down on the permanencies [human nature and good versus bad] because of their objective, common, superficial and rudimentary character … It was the contempt for these permanencies which permitted the most radical historicist [Heidegger] in 1933 to submit to, or rather welcome, as a dispensation of fate, the verdict of the least wise and least moderate part of his [German] nation while it was in its least wise and least moderate mood, and at the same time speak of wisdom and moderation. The biggest event of 1933 [the arrival of Nazism to power in Germany] would rather seem to have proved … that he cannot free himself from the responsibility for answering [the question of the good society] …
As Bloom implies, it is this esoteric Nazification, which allows to correct “Marx’s failure to think through the meaning of his own historical thought” that proves the “profundity” of Hegel and Kojève, as “the profoundest” of all Marxists.
For Kojève, who was for Leo Strauss one of the few who could really understand his teaching, from which US neo-conservatives came into being, man’s slavery was the main thing that happened in history and its principal content (woman’s slavery does not figure in his “dialectics”). On this score alone, he radically differs from the bulk of what political thinking is assumed to stand for, and it is also here where Kojève and Strauss meet—though if Kojève does state slavery as history’s principal/principle openly and boldly, Strauss esoterically dances around it like a Theseus in Athens who waved and reenacted the labyrinth through what he did and not by what he said.
Via Hegel, Kojève thus claims Wisdom in order to declare its definitive disappearance and by way of a lie:
All philosophers are in agreement about the definition of the Wise Man. … man is Wise who is capable of answering in a comprehensible or satisfactory manner all questions that can be asked concerning his acts, and capable of answering in such fashion that the entirety of his answers forms a coherent discourse.
Well the fact is that this is how a Sophist is defined and then denounced by Socrates. As Plato shows, a sophist is the one who claims to be a wise man without being such in fact. Claiming to be wise, sophists not so much defined themselves as advertise themselves to be able to answer any question (Gorgias 447c-448a).
At any rate, man as a post-historical animal (quasi-spider-bee-ant-pig-cicada-bird-frog-or-beast) is, in comparison with a human being endowed with aesthesis, a dumb animal. An animal without Logos. This is how Kojève explains what Logos does and what its absence ought to mean in our post-historical practice: self-consciousness requires Logos since Logos reveals a change and thus also present or committed contradictions and errors. Without Logos, man could fundamentally and continuously commit wrongdoings without ever having any clue about it. And so could sophists and their victims—the post-historical mankind, or Nazis, or their followers. Without Logos, one would never know that one does not even really think, or that one mistakes clichés for thoughts or slavery for freedom. The point is that with Logos (mindfulness and the soul), man as a human being can still be real and he can still resist; “the Real is what resists.”Mindlessness does not resist. It does not know how to mind or what to mind.
On the way towards such a “limit and aim”—which seems to have also inflicted much of Ukraine—mystifications, falsifications, substitutions, and amputations of the mind become “the Medium is the Message.” Kojève himself in passim noted one of such sophistic substitutions on the part of Hegel, which since disappeared from the screens and accounts of contemporary political science. As Kojève points out, when Hegel quoted a Schiller’s poem he made quietly several important, but unadvertised changes:
[T]he modifications made (consciously or not) by Hegel are revealing. I shall not dwell on the fact that Hegel says Geisterreich instead of Seelenreichm although this substitution (which is very “modern”) is extremely significant. What is especially important is that Hegel says dieses Geisterreich instead of das ganze Seelenreich.
What this means is that, like modern political thought, the soul (Seele), the original, is simply edited out of the reader and his mind and replaced with a sophistic, abstract, mimetic construction (Geist) controlled and possessed by Hegel. Moreover, Schiller’s idea of the whole, integral soul (das ganze Seelenreich) becomes this Geist that is written in by Hegel instead. Aesthesis, whole mindfulness, becomes a concept born off Hegel, which displaces and leaves out the former. Transformation is thus quietly performed, and Hegel is its medium.
The anti-human character of such transformation as intended or projected has already been outlined. Its capstone or capital thought is death or, we can say, a cult of death (which, politically and spiritually, is Nazism’s meaning). In this regard, Kojève’s discussion of Hegel’s phenomenology, the Odyssey of the slave toward his post-historical idiotism or spiritual and mental breakdown (“animalization”), takes at the end (an unacknowledged) but otherwise transparent Heideggerian turn. What Kojève ascribes to Hegel reads almost verbatim as Heidegger. Man, that is, the Americanized slave, “can realize and manifest himself as such an individual only by realizing and manifesting death.” In this post-historical homogenous empire, “each has to die for himself, his death is truly his, and only his,” but we already know that such death means above of all to die to one’s former humanness and to annihilate it.
The perfected, accomplished slave is not just the one who does not resist such death, he “goes to [it] without being forced to it.” He is supposed to be either a voluntary victim or a voluntary Nazi. The end, the limit of the Western “civilizing” project, as understood by Kojève, is then not exactly a happy slave, but a content slave—as an “animal” he would not know better. Deprived of mindfulness and aesthesis, one old human quality is to be left for him—his vanity; this one bourgeois quality might be allowed. The post-historical man will be “able and willing to risk [his life], solely for glory or for the sake of vanity alone”—but not for conscience, justice or some common good. Solely for vanity he would also be perfectly willing to kill or wage wars. According to Kojève, this would make a new “total Man.” All these commands and demands would fit Nazism remarkably well. For Kojève’s man is clearly a soulless creature perfectly acquiescing in gratuitous violence. He is essentially a sociopath—like his masters or oligarchic handlers, except that he knows less and is to be ignorant of his masters’craft that transformed him in this radical way and which is to keep him on leash for good. But he is supposed to be a content slave (or a content killer) “conditioned” to do all this and to be content like a Pavlov’s dog.
Kojèvian nihilistic vision coheres with McLuhan’s. McLuhan’s “electric” or robotic slave qualifies as a sociopath too. He is the one who fits the profile of the perpetrators of the Odessa massacre of May 2, 2014:
Electronic man loses touch with the concept of a ruling center [frontal lobe] as well as the restraint of social rules based on interconnection. …[Critical] thinking will atrophy, submerged in [sounds and] space … [which as a medium] becomes unknowable [to him].
Denatured and deprived of logos and soul, he belongs to a “new robotic corporate entity” in which his “body” or part is managed through hypnosis-like processes. The self is thus eliminated—there is no more an “observer-self, no soul … nothing remains” … nothing but prompts. Man, the robot, has no conscience. He is “free” because he is free of wisdom and conscience—“freed from the restraints of the [internal] watchdog, your mind is conditioned to respond to virtually any suggestion, especially of a sensuous or symbolic nature, as you are fair game for the non-rational self.” Robotic slaves “float in a void and sink back into ground, drifting somewhere between fantasy and dream” as a hostage of the dark (mind). When mankind takes on this form, then “Western man takes on the duties of a god.”
This new slave is as perfect as he can be, for he himself “regards [such] robotism as a desirable form;” this makes him a “well-adjusted man, an impercipient automaton.”
The soul is translated as a body and the body as a corpse. Remember, as Fernand Braudel noted, for a while the word capital was competing for giving the name to the key force and organizer of the system with il corpo, le corps and other derivatives of caput. The idea is pointing not only to head or principal, but also to corpse and death. Thus, as McLuhan asserts, this robotic man “becomes as the dead; [he] has passed beyond the necessity of taking thought about the proper course of action.” He is a slave, but, in a perverse sense, also “free” for he is already living as one already dead.
The last stage of capitalism is not imperialism, because imperialism was its first stage and any other stage, but its last stage is Nazism—this cult of death and necrophilia. This too is now being shown in Ukraine. The ovations, exuberance, self-congratulations from Tymoshenko down to the Nazi thugs on the street or in the front of the House of the Labor Unions, the gloating and gleeful praise of the Maidan leaders, mobs and audiences displayed proudly by the Ukrainian media during and shortly after the massacre in Odessa (with more than hundred people brutally burned alive to death) put this right in front of the face of the world and Ukraine itself. But, of course, everything depends on what face or whose eyes meet the sight and the horror.
Tom Darby agrees. Man’s post-historical contentment or “definitive annihilation of Man properly so-called” means and requires “disappearance of wisdom”—both man and wisdom become “eclipsed” through desire. According to Darby’s “unsaid side of [Kojève’s and Hegel’s] dialectic,” the universal empire still contains masters and slaves and, in a radical sense, more than society before. For this Empire is to be a union of these “two primordial types,” but now in the form of “pure mastery and pure slavery.” No unhappy, discontented or self-conscious slaves are to exist anymore (at least a political, cultural, or moral phenomenon), and slave mastery is to be from now on pure art and play. This “conversion” is to be ensured by “propaganda and violence.” According to Darby, what we are bound to see (what we were bound to see when he wrote this back in October of 1989) is the unveiling of “the essence of the Western project,” the aim of which was “obliteration of all boundaries, all markers, all distinctions,” which, for Darby, is the vulgar itself—not just popular, but bad and debased. But it also means the death of the West.
Is There a Way Out?
In between the lines, Tom Darby, a distant offspring of Southern slave owners from the US, does, however, plant a seed of defiance and a key to what he himself calls “deadlock’ of this Empire. While Hegel and Kojève became (very) wise, they failed in one fundamental aspect:
Nietzsche, while taking Hegel’s claims seriously, announced that Hegel failed, and Nietzsche’s agony is a testament to Hegel’s failure. In one sense Nietzsche knew that Hegel was correct, that the New World [Order] Hegel described belonged to us, but he also knew that the citizen of this world is not a sage possessing wisdom: rather he is a last-man or a nihilist. ... [There is either] an acute case of bad conscience born of our consciousness that the soul gets no nourishment from recycled old values [or clichés, or one suffers from] a terrible case of indigestion. … Rather a new beginning must take seriously the darkness of our time. This in itself is a new beginning.
So what is the new hope and beginning according to Tom Darby? It is left in a few lines towards the very end of his book, which are true and hence also very prophetic:
For the truly noble, the sages … can through anamnesis teach virtue to the base ones as if they were slave boy of [Plato’s] Meno.
In fact, Kojève does also inadvertently indicate Achilles’ heel of this perfected and global system of content slaves who are “satisfied” because they are soulless:
We believe in vain that we are satisfied, if someone comes and asks us the question “why” concerning our satisfaction, and we cannot answer, this is enough to make the satisfaction disappear as if by enchantment … Anyone can make this experiment for himself. But one can also simply read Plato’s dialogue, the Ion, in which just such a man appears, one who believes he is satisfied … and who ceases to be satisfied solely because he cannot justify this satisfaction in answering Socrates’ questions.
As the etymology of the Czech word for slave, otrok, shows and confirms, the slave was conceived as a man who was not allowed to speak, to use logos, he could not speak his mind, and he could not question. His mind, his humanity, and logos were, if not aborted, then at least sanctioned denied, and deterred (odročeny).
 Paul Benedetti and Nancy DeHart, eds., On McLuhan: Forward Through the Rearview Mirror (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1997), p. 126.
 “The Geopolitics of World War III,” SCG News, , <http://scgnews.com/the-geopolitics-of-world-war-iii> Accessed on October 20, 2014.
 Interview by Graham Phillips, Kramatorsk, April 19, 2014, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFm38f99qVA> Accessed on October 19, 2014.
 “Протоиерей Олег Трофимов. “Воинам света Православие – «Свет во откровение языков»: духовная победа в Новороссии!” October 10, 2014 < https://vk.com/strelkov_info?w=wall-57424472_22567> Accessed on October 19, 2014.
 The main motto. Сводки от ополчения Новороссии, <https://vk.com/strelkov_info> Accessed on October 20, 2014.
 Marshall McLuhan & Bruce R. Powers, The Global Village: Transformations in World Life and Media in the 21st Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986), p. 18.
 Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore, War and Peace in the Global Village (Singapore: Hardwired, 1997), p. 18.
 Vladimir Nabokov, “The Art of Fiction No. 40,” The Paris Review, No. 41, Summer-Fall 1967, <http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/4310/the-art-of-fiction-no-40-vladimir-nabokov> Accessed on October 15, 2014.
 Nikolai Gogol, “The Third Letter à Propos Dead Souls”, 1843, quoted and translated by Davydov. In Sergej Davydov, “Poshlost,” in V. Alexandrov, ed. The Garland Companion to Vladimir Nabokov (New York: Routledge, 1995), pp. 628–632.
 Svetlana Boym, Common Places: Mythologies of Everyday Life in Russia (Harvard: Harvard University Press, 1994), p. 41.
 “Интервью пленного капитана украинской армии Владислава Паршикова,” Anna News, October 14, 2014,
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQjmr7qwvHI&list=UUcb5-hIw9laY-JYPhSA7snQ> Accessed on October 15, 2014.
 McLuhan is here quoting approvingly Jacques Ellul. Marshall McLuhan & Bruce R. Powers, The Global Village: Transformations in World Life and Media in the 21st Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986), p. 60. My emphases. On McLuhan’s notion of the new rising oligarchy see, Paul Benedetti and Nancy DeHart, eds., On McLuhan: Forward Through the Rearview Mirror (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1997), p. 142.
 Benedetti and DeHart, eds., On McLuhan, op. cit., 134.
 McLuhan, The Global Village, op. cit., p. 67.
 Ibid., p. 70.
 Ibid., p. 87.
 Ibid., p. 98.
 Marshall and Eric McLuhan, Laws of Media: The New Science (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992), p. 128.
 McLuhan, The Global Village, op. cit., 91.
 Peter Burnham, Karin Gilland Lutz, Wyn Grant and Zig Layton-Henry, Research Methods in Politics (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), p. 235.
 Ibid., p. 247.
 McLuhan, The Global Village, p. 92.
 Ibid., p. 93.
 Ibid., p. 107.
 Ibid., p. 118.
 Ibid., p. 120.
 Ibid., p. 129.
 Ibid., p. 174.
 Marshall and Eric McLuhan, Laws of Media: The New Science (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992), pp. viii- x, 3-7, 127-28.
 Peter Burnham, Karin Gilland Lutz, Wyn Grant and Zig Layton-Henry, Research Methods in Politics (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), p. 11.
 Ibid., pp. 19-20.
 Ibid., pp. 25, 27.
 Ibid., p. 32.
 Ibid., p. 83.
 Ibid., p. 250.
 Ibid., p. 255.
 See Plato, The Republic, 621a.
 Ernest Thompson Seton’s novel Two Little Savages, the Project Gutenberg, 2004, <http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13499/13499-h/13499-h.htm> Accessed on October 15, 2014.
 Leo Strauss, “Restatement of Xenophon’s Hero,” in Peter Emberley and Barry Cooper, eds., Faith and Political Philosophy: The Correspondence between Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin, 1934-1964 (Columbia and London: University Of Missouri Press, 2004), p. 49.
 Immanuel Wallerstein, “American Slavery and the Capitalist World-Economy,” American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 81, No. 5 (March 1976): 1199.
 Ibid., p. 1211.
 Ibid., pp. 1211-12.
 Thomas Allan Scott. Cornerstones of Georgia History (Atlanta: University of Georgia Press, 1995).
 David Galenson, “The Rise and Fall of Indentured Servitude in the Americas: An Economic Analysis,” The Journal of Economic History 44(1): 1–26.
 Don E. and Virginia E. Fehrenbacher, eds., Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996), p. 368.
 Wallerstein, “American Slavery op. cit., p. 1202.
 Fernand Braudel, The Wheels of Commerce, trans. Sian Reynolds (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), p. 233.
 Wallerstein, “American Slavery op. cit., p. 1209.
 Immanuel Wallerstein, “The Bourgeois(ie) as Concept and Reality,” New Left Review, No. l67, Jan. Feb. l988: 9l.
 Ibid., pp. 92-93.
 “Thus the concept, bourgeois, as it has come down to us … [is hard to use] as an Ariadne’s thread to interpret the historical development of the modern world.” Ibid., p. 98.
 Ibid., p. 101.
 Ibid., p. 101.
 Ibid., p. 103.
 See the etymology of the middle in Robert K. Barnhart, ed., Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (New York: The H.W.W. Wilson Company, 1988), p. 659.
 Ibid., p. 663.
 Ibid., p. 647.
 Ibid., p. 647.
 See ibid, p. 655 on the etymology of meta-.
 Fernand Braudel, The Wheels of Commerce, trans. Sian Reynolds (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), pp. 47, 49 52.
 Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto (London: Verso, 2000),p. 34, note 1.
 Ibid., pp. 42, 43, 45, 48, 55-57.
 Ibid., pp. 35, 38. My emphases.
 Ibid., pp. 49, 33-34, 41.
 Karl Marx, “The Civil War in the United States,” in Karl Marx, Surveys from Exile: Political Writings, Volume 2, ed. David Fernbach (New York: Penguin Books, 1973), p. 351.
 Ibid., pp. 351-52.
 Ibid., p. 350.
 Ibid., p. 350.
 Ibid., p. 349.
 Ibid., pp. 349-50.
 Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, in Karl Marx, Surveys from Exile, op. cit., p. 148.
 Ibid., pp. 146-49.
 Karl Marx, Karl Marx, The Class Struggles in France: 1848 to 1850, in Karl Marx, Surveys from Exile, op. cit., p. 38.
 Karl Marx, The Class Struggles in France: 1848 to 1850, in Karl Marx, Surveys from Exile, op. cit., p.128.
 Research Methods in Politics, op. cit., p. 223.
 Confucius, Analects, trans. D.C. Lau (New York: penguin Books, 1979), Book XIII.3, p. 118.
 For several years, Brezinski spoke at various strategic and elitist venues ringing alarm bells about the spontaneous political, anti-colonial awakening of mankind. Among his numerous pronouncements on the subject stands his speech concetrated to the 60th anniversary of NATO. Z Brzezinski, ‘An Agenda for NATO - Toward a Global Security’, speech delivered at the NATO Defence Ministers Meeting, Bratislava, Slovakia, October 17, 2009, also published in Foreign Affairs, September / October 2009. Volume 88 No. 5, <http://www.ata-sac.org/ncbc/highlights-news/an-agenda-for-nato---toward-a-global-security-web/ New Challenges Better Capabilities>. Accessed on September 1, 2014.
 Ibid., pp. 351-52.
 “Text of Joint Diplomatic Statement on Ukraine,” The New York Times, April 17, 2014, <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/18/world/europe/text-of-joint-diplomatic-statement-on-ukraine.html?_r=0> Accessed on October 19, 2014.
 “Lavrov: Russia, US, EU, Ukraine agree on de-escalation roadmap,” RT, April 17, 2014, <http://rt.com/news/geneva-document-ukraine-deescalation-224/> Accessed on October 19, 2014.
 “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's interview with the Right to Know programme on TV Centre,” The Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the European Union, September 13, 2014, <http://www.russianmission.eu/en/news/foreign-minister-sergey-lavrovs-interview-right-know-programme-tv-centre> Accessed on October 19,2014.
 Interview with Evgeny Primakov, “
 “А. Дугин о выступлении Примакова,” <http://az-pantarei.livejournal.com/1094683.html> Accessed on October 19, 2014.
 “Yevgeniy Primakov: Events in Ukraine are driven by extreme nationalists,” Kiev Post, March 16, 2014, < http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/op-ed/yevgeniy-primakov-events-in-ukraine-are-driven-by-extreme-nationalists-339549.html> Accessed on October 19, 2014.
“An Interview with Sergey Glazyev,” National Interest, March 24, 2014 <http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/interview-sergey-glazyev-10106?page=3> Accessed on October 20, 2014. On Glazyev’s concept of “Euro-fascism,” the “bureaucratic empire” of the EU and their roles in the current crisis in Ukraine see also Sergey Glazyev, “ЕВРОФАШИЗМ,” May 19, 2014, Sergey Glazyev’s page <http://www.glazev.ru/sodr_ssn/361/> Accessed on October 20, 2014.
 “РЕШИТЕЛЬНО, ЖЕСТКО И ТОЧНО,” June 23, Sergey Glazyev’s page, <http://www.glazev.ru/sodr_ssn/365/> Accessed on October 20, 2014.
 Petro Poroshenko, “Address by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to the Joint Session of the United States Congress,” September 18, 2014, Press office of Ukrainian President, <http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/31252.html> Accessed on October 19, 2014.
 Arsenyi Yatsenyuk, “
 Christopher R. Hill, “The end of the New World Order,” Project Syndicate, April 21, 2014 <http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/christopher-r--hill-calls-on-the-west-to-prepare-for-a-long-struggle-with-a-revanchist-russia> Accessed on October 20, 2014.
 “Putin Mocks World Order With Ukraine Cease-Fire,” LIGNET, September 8, 2014, <http://www.lignet.com/ArticleAnalysis/Putin-Mocks-World-Order-With-Ukraine-Cease-Fire> Accessed on October 20, 2014.
 Pavel Felgenhauer, “Putin: Ukraine is a Battlefield for the New World Order,” Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 11, Issue 121, The Jamestown Foundation, July 3, 2014, <http://www.jamestown.org/programs/edm/single/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=42586&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=27&cHash=1ed99b79c929990e4615bf5b96f7b7cc#.VEWTkPnF--6> Accessed on October 20, 2014.
 Stephen F. Cohen, “The New Cold War and the Necessity of Patriotic Heresy,” The Nation, August 12, 2014 < http://m.thenation.com/article/180942-new-cold-war-and-necessity-patriotic-heresy> Accessed on October 20, 2014.
 Майданить (verb “maidanit”), to steal; to be losing money and property in gambling; быть майданщиком (to be a maindanschik), to run a secret pub or playhouse; майданщик (maidanschik) thief, swindler (usually a petty one); thief at the market or railroad station. Online Russian Dictionaries, <http://slovari. yandex.ru/майданить/правописание/>; <https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%92%D0%BE%D1%80> <http://5.www.onlineslovari.com/slovar_inostrannyih_slov_russkogo_yazyika/page/maydan.26417/>; <http://www.alplekhanov.narod.ru/SLOVAR/12.htm> Accessed on October 15, 2014.
 Lada Ray, “Is Putin Part of New World Order? Signs of the Times, August 15, 2014 <http://www.sott.net/article/285535-Is-Putin-part-of-New-World-Order> Accessedon October 21, 2014.
 To translate aesthesis, the key term here, merely as perception is inadquate and misleading. A beter, more complete sense of the term is “perception by the intellect as well as the senses,” “discernment,” “clear realization” or “having full possession of one’s faculties.” αἴσθησις (aethesis) is from the verb αἰσθάνομαι from a Indo-European compounded root *h₂ewis (“clearly, manifestly”) and *dʰh₁-ye/o- (“to render”); cognate with Sanskrit आविस् (āvís, ”openly, manifestly, evidently”). Henry George Liddell. Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, revised and augmented throughout by. Sir Henry Stuart Jones. with the assistance of. Roderick McKenzie (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1940), Perseus Project, < http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0057:entry=ai)sqa/nomai> Accessed on October 21, 2014.
 Quoted in Vladimir Golstein, “ Ukraine's Descent into Fascism and How the West Turns a Blind Eye,” Russia Insider, October 21, 2014 <http://russia-insider.com/en/ukraine_opinion/2014/10/21/07-17-10am/ukraines_descent_fascism_and_how_west_turns_blind_eye> Accessed on October 21, 2014.
 A video from a youth nationalist gathering in Lvov; the slogan “Ruskies on gallows!” starts at 0:10. “
 Y.K. Cherson, “ How the USA Started a Civil War in Ukraine,” Cherson and Molschky <http://chersonandmolschky.com/2014/06/04/usa-started-civil-war-ukraine/> Accessed on October 21, 2014.
 Vladimir Suchan, “The Empire loves chaos, but even evil has its logic, albeit demonic (which they don't teach in political science classes on Research and Methods),” Logos Politicus, October 14, 2014 < http://vladimirsuchan.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-empire-loves-chaos-but-even-evil.html> Accessed on October 23, 2014.
 Vladimir Suchan, “Štefan Füle: How Does One Get from MGIMO to Spawning ‘Beautiful’ Lies for Banderite, Nazi Oligarchs in Kiev and Saying It Is All for Dignity's Sake?” Logos Politicus, September 12, 2014 < http://vladimirsuchan.blogspot.com/2014/09/stefan-fule-how-does-one-get-from-mgimo.html> Accessed on October 21, 2014.
 Štefan Füle , “What does Maidan mean?” European Commission, September 11, 2014
< http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-14-591_en.htm> Accessed on October 21, 2014.
 Petro Poroshenko, “Address by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to the Joint Session of the United States Congress,” September 18, 2014, Press office of Ukrainian President, <http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/31252.html> Accessed on October 19, 2014.
 Arseniy Yatsenyuk, “Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Ukraine’s Challenges: A Conversation With Arseniy Yatsenyuk, “Council on Foreign Relations, September 24, 2014 <http://www.cfr.org/ukraine/ukrainian-prime-minister-arseniy-yatsenyuk-ukraines-challenges/p33512> Accessed on October 21, 2014.
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jj1MTTArzPI> Accessed on October 21, 2014.
 Yulia Marushevska filmed by Graham Mitchell in Kyiv, “I am a Ukrainian,” February 10, 2014 < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvds2AIiWLA> Accessed on October 21, 2014.
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qv97YeC563Y> Accessed on October 21, 2014.
 Petro Poroshenko, “Address by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to the Joint Session of the United States Congress,” September 18, 2014, Press office of Ukrainian President, <http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/31252.html> Accessed on October 19, 2014.
 “Subhumans” was the exact term, which was originally used. After the statement became a global scandal, the Ukrainian Embassy changed “subhumans” into a supposedly politically more correct term “inhumans.” “Ukraine’s Prime Minister Yatsenyuk: We will commemorate the heroes by cleaning our land from the evil,” Embassy of Ukraine in the USA, June 15, 2014<http://usa.mfa.gov.ua/en/press-center/news/24185-mi-uvichnimo-pamjaty-gerojiv-ochistivshi-nashu-zemlyu-vid-nechistiarsenij-jacenyuk-u-spivchutti-ridnim-i-blizykim-zagiblih-vojiniv-u-lugansyku>; Tony Cartallucci, “America’s Nazis in Kiev: ‘Russians are Subhuman,’”
Global Research, <http://www.globalresearch.ca/americas-nazis-in-kiev-russians-are-subhuman/5389119> “Ukraine: Echoes of the Third Reich - Yatsenyuk's ‘Subhumans’,” Moon of Alabama, June 15, 2014 <http://www.moonofalabama.org/2014/06/ukraine-echoes-of-the-third-reich-yatsenyuks-subhumans-.html> Accessed on October 21, 2014.
 James W. Carden, “The False Promise of Petro Poroshenko,” The National Interest, September 24, 2014, <http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-false-promise-petro-poroshenko-11339?page=2> Accessed on October 21, 2014.
 “Interview with Arsen Avakov,” First Ukrainian TV Channel, September 5, 2014, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyHrcEc3atY> Accessed on October 19, 2014.
 Донбасса,” Начальник
<http://expert.ru/russian_reporter/2014/39/nachalnik-donbassa/> Accessed on October 15, 2014.
 Vladimir Suchan, “What can a Novorossiya soldier, a Strelkov's man, teach all of us, including a Platonist with a Ph.D.?,” Logos Politicus, October 11, 2014, <http://vladimirsuchan.blogspot.com/2014/10/what-can-novorossiya-soldier-strelkovs.html> Accessed on October 23, 2014.
 “An Afghan Freedom Fighter in Donbass: a Poem of Love and Courage,” Slavyangrad.org, July 13, 2014, <http://slavyangrad.org/2014/07/14/afghan-freedom-fighter-july-13-2014/> Accessed on October 22, 2014.
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alOddd9qeQ0&list=UUuRgUSdmne5RXVGjKuHLBCQ> Accessed on October 22, 2014.
 Igor Strelkov, “An Open Letter,” October 17, 2014 <https://vk.com/topic-57424472_31183308> Accessed on October 22, 2014.
 A Russian official translation notably deviates from the Russian original in one important point. Instead of “many of our Western partners – though not all of them, of course – stopped recognizing the fact that Russia has its own national interests” (“не все, но во всяком случае многие наши западные партнёры перестали признавать тот факт, что у России есть свои национальные”), the English text softens and dilutes the meaning as follows: “many of our Western partners – though not all of them, of course – no longer remember that Russia has its own national interests.” Thus, instead of “stopped recognizing the fact …”, the English translation says “no longer remember that …” Dmitry Medvedev’s Speech at the Plenary Session, XIIIth Investment Forum Sochi-2014, Sochi, September 19, 2014, Government of the Russian Federation, <http://government.ru/news/14835/>; “Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s address at Sochi-2014 International Investment Forum,” Russian Permanent Mission to the European Union, September 19, 2014 “<http://www.russianmission.eu/en/news/prime-minister-dmitry-medvedev%E2%80%99s-address-sochi-2014-international-investment-forum#sthash.wkRfzVQR.dpuf> Accessed on October 22, 2014.
 “Cold War II: Interview with Nikolay Patrushev, Secretary of the Russian Security Council,” Rossiyskaya Gazeta, October 15, 2014, posted by Mideast Shuffle, October 22, 2014 < http://mideastshuffle.com/2014/10/22/cold-war-ii-interview-with-nikolay-patrushev-secretary-of-the-russian-security-council/> Accessed on October 22, 2014.
 Alexey Mozgovoy, “
 Alexey Mozgovoy, “
 Vladimir Golstein, “ Ukraine's Descent into Fascism,” op. cit.
 Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, trans. Harvey C. Mansfield (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1998), pp. 70-71.
 Ibid., p. 21-23, 48, 58, 69.
 Ibid., vi.25, xii.48, xiii.55 and 57, xvii.68, xiv.60, xvii.68, xx.83,xxvi. 104-105 (chapter and page).
 Ibid., vii.26 and 27.
 Ibid., xxi.88.
 Ibid., vii.30.
 Ibid., ii.7.
 Ibid., vii,26.
 Ibid., v.20. More specifically see xvii.66 and 67.
 Ibid., xx.87.
 Ibid., ix.41.
 Ibid., xii.48.
 McLuhan briefly lets the reader unto the existence of the long tradition of the Western or Anglosaxon elites’ esoteric political craftsmanship: “For these practitioners, tradition had the same … resonance and simultaneity that T.S. Eliot (a modern grammarian of ancient ilk) had proposed in his essays on poesy. For more than fifteen centuries, most of our Western history—the Ciceronian program—itself a retrieval of the old Greek liberal education program … was a retrieval of the oral logos, was the basis of liberal education and humanism …” McLuhan, The Global Village, op. cit., pp. 32-34.
 McLuhan, The Global Village, op. cit., pp. 118-19.
 McLuhan, The Laws of Media, p. 3.
 Ibid., p. 62.
 Ibid., p. 94.
 Ibid., pp. 138-39.
 Ibid, p. ix.
 Ibid., pp. vii, xii-xiii.
 Ibid.,p. 93.
 Ibid., pp. 131-32, 134.
 Ibid., pp. 98. 129.
 Ibid., p. 66.
 Ibid., p.67.
 Ibid., p. 27.
 Ibid., p. 77.
 Ibid., pp. 37-38. My emphases.
 Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers, E-book, the Project Gutenberg, <http://www.gutenberg.org/files/28054/28054-h/28054-h.html> Accessed on October 24, 2014.
 Benedetti and Nancy DeHart, eds., On McLuhan: Forward Through the Rearview Mirror, op. cit., p. 47.
 McLuhan, The Global Village, op. cit., pp. 5-6.
 Ibid., pp. 21, 26.
 McLuhan, Laws of Media, op. cit., p. 5.
 Ibid, pp. 11-12.
 Benedetti and DeHart, eds., On McLuhan: Forward Through the Rearview Mirror, op. cit., p. 153. My emphasis.
 Ibid., p. 128.
 Ibid., p. 131.
 Ibid., p. 98.
 McLuhan wrote in a letter to Edward T. Hall in 1971: “On page 167 of The Greening of America, Charles Reich notes that ‘the medium is the message means that there is no content in any medium.’ This statement is actually one of the few useful remarks that has ever come to my attention about anything I have written. It enables me to see that the user of the electric light—or a hammer, or a language, or a book—is the content. As such, there is a total metamorphosis of the user … It is the metamorphosis that I consider the message.” Ibid., p. 109. On the essential link between imperialism and the media or communications see ibid., pp. 106, 138.
 McLuhan, The Global Village, op. cit., pp. 3-13, 16-18, 78-79. McLuhan, The Laws of Media, op. cit., p. 125ff.
 McLuhan, The Global Village, op. cit., p. 6. McLuhan, The Laws of Media, op. cit., p. 128.
 McLuhan, The Global Village, op. cit., pp. 8-9. McLuhan, The Laws of Media, op. cit., p. 6.
 McLuhan, The Laws of Media, op. cit., p. 127.
 McLuhan, The Laws of Media, op. cit., p. 128.
 Ibid., p. 128.
 Ibid.,p. x.
 Ibid., p. 127. My emphases.
 To translate aesthesis, the key term here, merely as perception is inadquate and misleading. A better, more complete sense of the term is ”perception by the intellect as well as the senses,” “discernment,” “clear realization” or “having full possession of one’s faculties.” αἴσθησις (aithesis) is from the verb αἰσθάνομαι from a Indo-European compounded root *h₂ewis (“clearly, manifestly”) and *dʰh₁-ye/o- (“to render”); cognate with Sanskrit आविस् (āvís, “openly, manifestly, evidently”). Henry George Liddell. Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, revised and augmented throughout by. Sir Henry Stuart Jones. with the assistance of. Roderick McKenzie (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1940), Perseus Project, < http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0057:entry=ai)sqa/nomai> Accessed on October 21, 2014.
 McLuhan devotes to “global robotism” specifically his whole Chapter II in McLuhan, The Global Village, op. cit., pp. 81-144.
 Ibid., pp. 94-95. My emphases.
 Alexandre Kojève, Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit, Allan Bloom ed., trans. James H. Nichols, Jr. (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1993), pp. 159-62. Most emphases are mine.
 Ibid., p. 162n.
 Allan Bloom’s Introduction, ibid., pp. vii-viii.
 Ibid., p. viii.
 Martin Heidegger, An Introduction to Metaphysics, (Yale: Yale University Press, 1987), pp. 199, 206.
 Leo Strauss, What Is Political Philosophy? And Other Studies (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1988),pp. 26-27. My emphases.
 Alexandre Kojève, Introduction to the Reading of Hegel, op. cit., p. xi.
 Ibid., p. 224ff, i.e., p. 248n.
 Ibid., p. 75.
 Ibid., p. 87.
 Ibid., p. 156.
 Ibid., p. 167.
 Alexandre Kojève, Introduction to the Reading of Hegel, op. cit., p. 251.
 Ibid., p. 252.
 Ibid., p. 254.
 Ibid., p. 159n.
 Ibid., p. 226.
 Ibid., p. 231.
 Ibid., p. 231.
 Ibid., p. 160n.
 McLuhan, The Global Village, op. cit., pp. 92-93.
 Ibid., pp. 93-94, 129.
 Ibid., pp. 65, 67.
 Inbid., p. 67.
 Ibid.,p. 87.
 Ibid., pp. 97-98.
 Ibid., p. 66.
 Fernand Braude, The Wheels of Commerce, op. cit., p. 233.
 McLuhan, The Global Village, op. cit., p. 67.
 Tom Darby, The Feast: Meditations on Politics and Time (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990), pp. 172-73.
 Ibid., p. 186.
 Ibid., p. 226.
 Ibid., p. xiii.
 Ibid., p. xiii.
 Ibid., pp. xviii-xix.
 Ibid., p. 186.
 Kojève, Introduction to the Reading of Hegel, op. cit., p. 77.