Traditionalism, Liberalism and Neo-Nazism In the Current Political Space

Conceptual Evolution of Modern Neoliberalism

Aleksandr Shchipkov


The beginning of the 21st century suggests that we are dealing with a permanent abrogation of moral values in the world politics. On the external, propaganda level, this process hides behind neoliberal rhetoric with its messianic theses on "the sustainable development", "modern challenges" and "the right and the wrong side of history". To some extent, the globality of historical and political problems makes neoliberalism look like Marxism-Leninism. However, it should be noted that Protestant fundamentalism in its specific geopolitical version is substituted for the doctrine of historical materialism. The fundamental concept of this theory can be represented by the basic provisions of dispensationalism a very popular doctrine among American social elites.

One more common feature exists that unites Marxism-Leninism and neoliberalism. The latter, as well as the former, exists in two forms: as an economic theory and a philosophical construction. Moreover, the theory is sacrificed to the philosophy. In this way, the real "market economy" in the framework of neoliberalism is a non-thing and an empty slogan, because the economy is extremely monopolized in reality. On the other hand, the monopolized global economy generates a "market society" based on the values of status consumption and commodity fetishism.

All this fundamentally distinguishes the neoliberal doctrine from the communist doctrine. The neoliberal doctrine is also distinguished by global economic inequality based on the global differentiation of labor. The neoliberal world is divided into "golden billion" districts (centers) and their economic colonies (perimeter zones). There is a constant capital outflow from the colonies to the centers (a sort of a modern tribute). For example, cheap goods are produced in Third World countries and are sold in expensive western markets. However, nobody shares profits with the manufacturer. Moreover, the financial system and financial resources of peripheral countries are wholly pegged to similar institutions in "central" countries.

Even more differences between the neoliberalism and the communism can be found in the fields of information and propaganda. The attack of information of the neoliberal world order is cruder and more dictatorial than the authoritarian communist ideology. Publicist Fyodor Lukyanov characterizes the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, shot down over Ukraine in 2014, in this vein: "Unfortunately, the international information environment is so structured that no evidence is needed. Look at that: there is no evidence, there are a lot of questions, but the world generally believes that the plane was shot down by the insurgent fighters. It is almost an axiom. The version alluding to responsibility being held by Ukraine is considered by almost nobody except Russia. Cynically speaking: is evidence really necessary? It will do as it is. It should be noted that the media is a very powerful weapon. This is a sphere in which western hegemony still persists, although it weakens in other spheres, such as economics and politics." [34]

The Soviet ideologists had a moral philosophy, albeit one of class philosophy. Modern liberals have no other moral philosophy except the most archaic and longstanding idea of the "civilization vs. barbarism" confrontation. However, in the days of the ancient Romans, the personality of "barbarians" was a constant value (everybody knew who the barbarians were, where they lived and where they could come from). Within the modern political doctrine of the United States and their allies, potential barbarians are determined by the appointing gesture depending on short-term political interests of the ruling elites. For example, Serbians became "barbarians" in 1997. Iraq, Libya, Syria – after September 11, 2001. Russia and ethnic Russians in Ukraine in 2014.

The fight against "barbarism" (and the imposition of "turnkey democracy") is conducted by means of "revolutions" staging. At the same time, nobody is worried by the fact that fundamentalists such as Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood replace moderate authoritarian and enlightened regimes. Moreover, a corrupt neo-Nazi regime is replacing the equally corrupt government in Kiev. The result is not important but rather the participation. In the event the facts do not conform to the theory, so much the worse for the facts. All these processes indicate a recourse of Western elites to new forms of neocolonialism, which was physically impossible during the period of confrontation between the "two systems". Consequently, there remains the point of fundamental distinction between neoliberalism and communism despite their general tendency towards authoritarian methods.

Before the 20th century, the ideology of European colonialism was shaped in purely romantic terms and phrases such as "white man's burden" or "necessity of enculturation", etc. This vocabulary became obsolete when Marxism gained momentum. Under the influence of Marxism, phenomena such as global inequality and global dependence were described in the language of political economy for the first time ever. During the Cold War, both Soviet and American propaganda discussed the confrontation of two socio-political "systems" instead of "two cultures" or "two civilizations". This is not by accident. The very existence of a political alternative, even illusory (Soviet) one, forced the use of a more or less "decent" sublimated language. However, after the collapse of the Soviet bloc, the liberal mainstream has returned to the Discovery doctine and not an economically-disguised colonialism.

Currently, the "confrontation of civilizations" (the problem proposed by Samuel Huntington) is currently on the agenda. This terminological twist was not accidental. It meant that taste and decency were finally left behind and the concept of global domination stepped back into the days of the British East India Company. Only one thing had to be translated into the language of political concepts of the 21st century: the political rhetoric of the age of "the empire on which the sun never sets." This stylistic metamorphosis in politics has become one of the signs of the centurys turn.

A new language allowed free discussion revolving around the tightening of semantics and its archaic style within a liberal discourse. From here, the ideas of cultural exclusivity and biological superiority laid just one step away. Global social inequality is once again justified by culturally-racist doctrines. However, the replacement of "cultural inferiority" by "nonconformance to democratic standards" can hardly deceive anybody. Euphemisms are a product of language rather than political reality. Moreover, new political realities were lined up with the new language. The harshest fundamentalist forces were used to overthrow the secular "dictators" in the Middle East (who were actually moderately authoritarian leaders typical for this region). Therefore, American interests against Bashar al-Assad in Syria were defended by "al-Qaeda" hostility to American politicum in the past. In Ukraine, the bets were placed on the ethnic war and an ethnic Russian genocide prosecuted by descendants of Banderovites and the Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian National Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO).

The comparison of information war methods used under communism and neoliberalism is not in favor of the latter. The informational dictatorship is more dangerous than the former ideological dictatorship. Infocracy is more dangerous than ideocracy. It declines all responsibility for the consequences of its actions and is in disagreement with reality. In contrast with communism, the neoliberal doctrine affords internal contradictions. For example, an appeal to the "universal human values" as a single paradigm logically contradicts the thesis on "pluralism". However, nobody is interested in logic when it comes to the only correct doctrine acquirable in a very short time by installing the appropriate set of definitions accompanied by "relevant information" related to the agenda.

Neoliberalism tacitly reserves the right to internal contradictions, the right to immunity to criticism and the right not to "descend" to polemic because it supposedly covers "the plentitude of the achievement of human ideas". In the days of classical liberalism, this gnosticism was forced out of the theory with some degree of success: the remnants of Christian morality served as limiters. However, it is in demand today. Hence, Francis Fukuyama and his followers proclamation of the "end of history" is quite reasonable.

It is not surprising that the neoliberal political universalism has a quasi-religious character. Moreover, its form is more of an imperative: instead of "I believe because it is absurd" [33, p. 1] it is more appropriate to say "Believe, because it is absurd!" Otherwise, you are a barbarian, and, in the words of Barack Obama, you are standing "on the wrong side of history". Thus, neoliberalism uses quasi-religious grounds, as well as cultural and racist concepts that were out of the question within the Marxism-Leninism doctrine. Such cultural and racist adjustments require legitimation and self-justification, which is possible only in the presence of an incontestable and unquestionable reason. For this purpose, one needs an "imperfect" opponent that does not fall within the principles of good and evil: a subhuman, ein Untermensch.

For example, ethnic Russians in East Ukraine play the role of "Untermenschen" who are being compared with insects ("potato bugs") by American henchmen in Kiev. These henchmen demand via these journalists to reduce the number of these insects. Journalist Bogdan Butkevitch made a shocking statement in a live broadcast on the Ukrainian public channel "Donbass is not just a depressed region. There are plenty of needless people residing there. There are about four million people in the Donetsk region, at least one and a half million are just useless there. I do not know the recipe on how to do it quickly. However, the single most important thing to do remains: there are people who just must be killed". Previously, Yulia Tymoshenko suggested "shooting 8 million Russians with nuclear weapons". Such statements are not only a norm for the Ukrainian media. They have long become guidelines for the Ukrainian army, including in their destruction of residential quarters by means of bombing and multiple launch rocket systems. Nevertheless, European and the U.S. officials fully endorse this practice and even thank the Ukrainian authorities for the "moderate violence" (Jen Psaki).

Why is that happening?

The demand for legitimation of expansionary goals inevitably leads neoliberalism to the creation of an auxiliary doctrine of absolute evil which automatically eliminates excessive moral reflections. Such an appeal to the "absolute evil", the "axis of evil" and so on is initially amoral. It can be compared to the mood of the Inquisition and religious wars ("Kill them all! Surely the Lord discerns which ones are his"), although this is much more expansive. The basis of this understanding of evil is a neopagan mindset rather than a Christian one. It is quite obvious that this matrix of the consciousness is historically inherent in fascist regimes. Evidence can easily be found in Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf and well-known pamphlet Untermensch. The oecumenical evil is intended to shield the daily evil associated with the actions of specific people. The presence of this universal evil can be only postulated. It cannot be proven. This is a sign of a quasi-religious consciousness, typical for members of totalitarian sects.

Thus, the analysis of contemporary neoliberal discourse suggests it has much more in common with fascism than with the communist doctrine. This commonness has a long-term connection throughout European history.