The category of the Project has been introduced into our daily lives. The very thoughts and feelings of the human person have been turned into a Project. It is happening in Russia and America. It is happening in philosophy and science. It’s also happening in geopolitics.
This is not a global conspiracy. It is a global trend. Still, one can’t help wondering whether or not the Grand Designer behind it isn’t the same one that the American hieromonk, Fr. Serafim Rose, was referring to back in the early 1980s when he wrote: “It is later than you think.”
It was through geopolitics that I first came to my understanding of the category of the “project,” so I will begin my analysis at the time, back in the late 1980s, early 1990s, when I first started examining geopolitical issues. Back then I was not yet burdened by much in the way of theoretical baggage – my thinking was still ‘naïve’ in that respect ― but naiveté is a condition with both plusses and minuses. At that time I had two sources of information about how politics is done.
First, because fate had brought me to Yerevan, I was able to observe closely what was happening in Armenia on the eve of the collapse of the USSR and also immediately after that collapse. My methodology involved close reading of the media and paying attention to street gossip and the like (as an ethno-psychologist, I attached great importance to the latter).
Second, at this same time I was working on my Ph.D. dissertation, “The Russian and British Empires in the Near and Middle East in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries: Ideology and Practice,” which gave me the opportunity to survey some of the history of Russian-English-German rivalry, a rivalry whose circumstances and logic underwent various changes over time. These great powers increasingly resorted to, if I may put it this way, the ‘functional’ use of certain territories. Some countries were made use of by one of the powers as a buffer against its rival, as a means of getting that rival bogged down. Often it was considered beneficial for the population of one of these buffer countries to be reduced to a state of political, cultural and psychological prostration. There were also ethnic groups whose aggressive qualities were encouraged, so that the great powers could better make use of them in their struggles against their rivals. Sometimes they found it beneficial to encourage the growth of national pride in a given country, so as to facilitate manipulating it into undertaking foreign adventures which, though otherwise counterproductive for the country in question, would kick start political processes useful for the outside power.
I am not making any judgments at this point, I am simply pointing out that, at least since the end of the 19th century, geo-political players have concerned themselves with the mental characteristics of the territories in which they play their geopolitical games. The big powers knew that there exists a certain gamut of mental conditions that can be encouraged, and these powers did, in fact ― sometimes more successfully, sometimes less successfully – foster the creation of just such ‘mental states.’ As will be seen below, what we are discussing here also relates to the origins of “color revolutions.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.