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THE BALKANS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN IMPORTANT – AND THIS WILL ALWAYS REMAIN THE CASE

This text is the English version of the interview with Andrew Korybko which was recently published in the Italian journal “Eurasia: Rivista Di Studi Geopolitici“:

Mr. Andrew Korybko, thank you for your availability. First of all, can you please introduce yourself to our Italian readers?

I’m an American Moscow-based political analyst who has been living and working in Russia for the past six years. I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from The Ohio State University with three majors in International Relations, International Studies (Eastern Europe), and Russian language in 2010, after which I eventually moved to Moscow and received my master’s in International Relations from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). I’ve been closely following international affairs for the past half-decade and regularly analyze the latest happenings all across the world. In addition, I published my first book, “Hybrid Wars: The Indirect Adaptive Approach To Regime Change”, in 2015 and am preparing to release my second co-authored one later this summer about Pakistani geostrategy and perception management in the 21st century.

What do the Macedonian name change and recent SDSM victory represent for North Macedonia, primarily, and, more generally, for the Balkans?

The Republic of Macedonia — which used to be the country’s legal name and can be argued still is because it was changed through illegal means after the relevant referendum on this issue failed to meet the constitutional threshold for implementation — has been the victim of a rolling regime change operation over the past few years intended to block multipolar influence from the Balkans and geopolitically re-engineer the region. Russia’s TurkStream could have in theory run parallel to China’s planned Balkan Silk Road high-speed railway from Budapest to Piraeus had Prime Minister Gruevski remained in office and the Hybrid War on Macedonia never happened, though it’s precisely because of the grand strategic impact that this would have had on European geopolitics and consequently the course of the New Cold War that the said destabilization campaign was initiated. Moreover, Macedonia’s demographic composition makes it ripe for externally triggered destabilization and a prime target of the so-called “Greater Albania” plan, which in this case would lead to the erasure of Macedona from the map and catalyze a chain reaction of other geopolitical changes in the region as well, such as in Serbia and Bosnia.

The recent “name change” and SDSM victory represent the success of the most immediate goals of the regime change operation, though the US’ plan for Macedonia is still far from over. The end result envisioned by American strategists is to “decentralize” the country into a collection of Albanian and Macedonian “cantons” prior to its “federalization” and eventual partition, after which the rump state will either remain geopolitically irrelevant or be annexed by neighboring Bulgaria. The US wants to reward its Albanian client state for its loyalty over the years as well as trigger other regional changes in Serbia and Bosnia vis-a-vis Kosovo and Republika Srpska, all of which would weaken Europe and thus entrench America’s influence through classic divide-and-rule tactics. In addition, Macedonia is a testing ground for perfecting political technologies that will be applied elsewhere such as the application of cutting-edge Color Revolution techniques and “Identity Federalism” (the “Bosnification” of identity-diverse states), which is why it’s so important for people to study who are interested in what might be coming next elsewhere in the world.

IDENTITY AND SOVEREIGNTY: TWO INSEPARABLE NOTIONS – ALAIN DE BENOIST

In certain milieus, there is a tendency to contrast two notions about which everyone is talking today: identity and sovereignty. In the Front National, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen would have represented the first, in contrast to Florian Philippot, who defends the second before all. Does such an opposition seem legitimate to you?

Questioned a few months ago in the magazine Causeur, Marine Le Pen declared: “My project is intrinsically patriotic because it defends the sovereignty and identity of France at the same time. When we forget one of the two, we cheat.” Well, don’t cheat. Why must we see opposed ideas in identity and sovereignty, when they are complementary? Sovereignty without identity is only an empty shell, identity without sovereignty has every chance of turning into ectoplasm. So we must not separate them. Moreover, both are transcended in freedom. To be sovereign is to be free to determine one’s own politics. To conserve one’s social identity, for a people, is to be able to freely decide the conditions of social reproduction.

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THE IDEOLOGY OF THE NEW PARADIGM

As political parties collapse, Traditionalist philosophy is on the rise. Mark Sedgwick assesses the political topography of our strange new days:

Western politics has changed. Sometimes it still seems to fit into a familiar framework, as at least at some points the last British election did, but even then, nothing is quite the same. Despite occasional patronising talk of “the white-van man” and disadvantaged regions, it is becoming clear that something fundamental is shifting. The classic left-right shape of the political contest no longer holds. The broad liberalism that for so long seemed the natural background to Western politics is beginning to look like only one option among many.

There have been changes in what people hope for and what people fear. Underlying these are changes in the way many people live. There have also been changes in the ideologies that inform political life. As well as the familiar trio of liberalism, socialism and conservatism, previously unfamiliar thinkers are now important.

ARISTOTLE’S PHILOSOPHY OF EQUALITY, PEACE & DEMOCRACY

nordic-aristotle

The son of a doctor, Aristotle was born in the city of Stagira in Macedonia in the year 384 BC, and was educated at Plato’s Academy. When his mentor Plato died in 347 BC, the Macedonian went home and became the tutor of Alexander, the son of King Philip of Macedon. His pupil, who later gained the suffix ‘the Great’, was rather fond of his teacher, and is supposed to have said, “I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.”

Aristotle stayed at the court of Alexander until 335 BC, when he founded his own academy, the Lyceum, in Athens. He remained in Athens until 323 BC, when anti-Macedonian sentiments forced him to leave. “I will not allow the Athenians to sin twice against philosophy” he said, with reference to the execution of Socrates, and fled to the island of Chalcis, where he died a year later, in 322 BC.

Reading Aristotle is easier than you might think. Even those who are not able to read him in the original Greek(firstly known as “Koine” language) cannot fail to be enamoured by his enthusiasm. A fascinating thing about Aristotle’s Politika (in English normally translated as The Politics), for example, is the way this enormously erudite man got carried away in his lectures. For instance, Aristotle simply could not help telling his students about a certain Hippodamus, the son of Eryphon. That Fifth Century BC Athenian was “the first man not engaged in politics to speak on the subject of the best Constitution.” According to Aristotle, this first philosopher of politics was “somewhat eccentric in his general mode of life owing to his desire for distinction… [he] lived fussily, with a quantity of hair and expensive ornaments and a quantity of cheap clothes – not only in winter but also in the summer” (The Politics II, 1268a).

This is perhaps a glimpse of how entertaining Aristotle could be when he lectured in his Lyceum – how he could spellbind his audience with seemingly irrelevant but highly entertaining anecdotes. But his aside about Hippodamus also suggests that Aristotle – the founder of psychology, political science, logic, poetics, physics, biology, and many other disciplines – had a childlike joy in telling his audience about all he knew. No wonder Cicero (106-43 BC), the Roman statesman and philosopher, noted that Aristotle’s writings were veniet flumen orationis aureum fundens – “like a pouring out of gold” (Academia Priora, Book II). And yet we don’t even have Aristotelian treatises: his only surviving books are lecture notes.

THE SELF LIQUIDATION OF CHRISTIANITY

The striking phrase, “God is dead,” is the poetical expression of modern unbelief. Much is expressed in this phrase that is not to be found in the more prosaic expressions of modern atheism and agnosticism. A vivid contrast is established between a previous age when men believed in God and based their life and institutions upon Him, and a new age for whose inhabitants, supposedly, this once all-illuminating sun has been blotted out, and life and society must be given a new orientation.

The phrase, itself apparently coined by Nietzsche almost a century ago, was for long used to express the views of a comparatively few enemies of Christianity, chiefly “existentialists”; but recently it has caused controversy by being accepted in radical Protestant circles, and not it has become a concern of common journalism and the mass media. Clearly a responsive chord has been struck in Western society at large; the public interest in the “death of God” has made this phenomenon one of the signs of the times.