At the first glance, Intermarium is a crossroads of extremes, differences, contrasts: West and East, North and South. However, a transitive meaning of this “inter” can attain a negative shade of peripheral and secondary territories which are “no longer Asia but not yet Europe.”
That’s how this area is perceived by Ukrainian reformists who reduce Europeanism to the neoliberal concept of multiculturalism: the “openness” of the borders and the denial of the very opposition between the “own” and “alien”, or simply “another,” that is, the category of cultural otherness. Under the “European integration” they mean the rejection of not only Soviet heritage, but also Eastern European ethno-cultural realism which says that the differences between ethnic groups and cultures are objective and self-sufficient and must not be sacrificed on the altar of the abstract values of progress and humanism.
The very idea of an “own” cultural-civilization project, therefore, for them is “politically incorrect”: it allegedly alienates us from the West and keeps the countries of the Intermarium in the geopolitical orbit of the “empire of evil.” Just like they deem politically incorrect the concept of the “clash of cultures” (which is obviously skeptical about the prospects for the coexistence of incommensurable cultures within the framework of a multicultural society) by Samuel Huntington in the context of the sad chronicity of terror attacks in Western Europe after the beginning of the “refugee” crisis.
Given the diversity of forms of dual geopolitical membership and the realities of multi-vector international politics, such an approach is extremely narrow-minded (just to mention the Nordic Council or the Adriatic-Baltic-Black Sea Group of Croatian Presidents Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic that is comprised of 12 EU member states and was later transformed into the Three Seas Initiative). It’s quite ironic that after the victory of Trump it is they who “alienate” our region from the West: the “European missionaries” who show astonishing timidity if not backwardness when it comes to alternative, even “spare” and “parallel” geopolitical projects. Not incidentally, the classic of island geopolitics, Halford Mackinder considered Eastern Europe both as a “buffer zone” and as a key to the “heartland” (central mainland) and, eventually, the whole world. We choose which of these potentials will be implemented by Intermarium.
Etymologically, Intermarium, or the “land between the seas,” refers to the geopolitical notion of continentalism as a bastion of European values against the background of a mobile and “fluid” strategy of naval states, cultural “formalists.” The outbreak of the hybrid warfare of the Russian Federation in the East of Ukraine along with the rise of the isolationist course in the foreign policy of the naval states (the US openly confronted Russia only in Syria, as long as the traditional denial of the Russian troops’ presence by Putin may be considered as an “open” conflict) are the main conditions to rediscover the Intermarium project in the twenty-first century precisely in its “core” hypostasis.
The idea of a center and being-in-the-middle, in turn, overlaps with the mythopoetic theme of the golden age: the maximum of ontological (existential) potential and the origin of all things. It’s no wonder that the ancient Chinese perceived their “Celestial Empire” as “Middle Kingdom.” Indeed, Intermarium represents not only a spatial, but also a temporal middle (balance), which means: cultural and political. After all, in spatial terms, it is also not about the abstract geographical East and West. Even the transit routes primarily bear a cultural, not economic significance. Therefore, Intermarium is a space where meet different epochs and the very conceptions of time: tradition and history, conservative values and progress, eastern autocracy and Western law, collectivism and personality.
Further, the temporal perspective is inseparable from the tradition of philosophical organicism, in particular, the cyclical “morphology of cultures” of Oswald Spengler, who regards cultures as the beings of the higher type who are born, grow, reach maturity, and die. In this perspective, it is not an exaggeration to say that the EU reflects a minimum of creative energy in the late phase of the civilization cycle, for a lack of the potential difference causes cultural entropy as a payback for unlimited “massivization,” globalization and cosmopolitanism. After all, if within the framework of the linear conception of history, both in a religious and a secular reading, it is possible to speak only about the temporary obstacles on the highway leading to the “end of history,” within the framework of the cyclical conception, for the first time, emerges an understanding that what is happening is a “systemic failure,” and the system itself, accordingly, needs to be relaunched.
However, the need for the regeneration becomes programmatic already within the framework of voluntarist paradigms which, in this respect, are built over organicist (cyclic) and rationalist (progressivist) doctrines as a superstructure (See in more detail “Supercivilization of the Will” by Oleg Bakhtiyarov: http://rozum.info/publ/8-1-0-429) . They are built over without removing the basis that makes this relaunch possible: its subject. These are the smaller cultural units that spatially belong to a single cultural organism, yet temporally (in terms of “age”) relate to its different phases: the peoples. For example, the Germans and the French in the nineteenth century.
Fascinated with the French culture and even critical of “Germanism,” “philosopher of life” (vitalist) and at the same time the voluntarist Friedrich Nietzsche, nonetheless, considered French humanism and skepticism a sign of aging and the “paralysis of the will” which struck the cosmopolitan Europe of that time. Accordingly, in his writings, a recipe for the renewal of Europe was born: primarily the Romano-Germanic synthesis as the unity of the virile forces of German “barbarism” and the cultural potential of the French nation. Those who embodied this promising synthesis, for Nietzsche, were Friedrich the Great, Napoleon, Goethe, Heinrich Heine, Stendhal, Arthur Schopenhauer, Richard Wagner, Beethoven.
The temporal phases of the “beings of the higher type” coincide with the well-known opposition that was also introduced by “Nietzschean” Oswald Spengler: between “culture” and “civilization,” that is, the phase of the birth and flowering of a cultural organism, and the phase of its aging and death, when only a material and technical shell, civilization, remains from once creative vital core of the culture. It is important that Nietzsche looked with hope at the East, that is, the “young” Eastern European peoples, the Poles in particular, who had yet to have their say in history. Actually, even the founder of German nationalism Johann Gottlieb Fichte considered the Slavonic nations “new,” that is, the ones who have not (the XVIII century) manifested their national identity yet, whose national spirit has been just awakening. Today, in the twenty-first century, when both the Germans and the French are in an approximately identical cultural phase, Central and Eastern Europe becomes a true laboratory of the European revival. Moreover, we should not be misled by the attribution of the part of this area to the “Orthodox civilization” by Neo-Spenglerians Arnold Toynbee and Samuel Huntington.
Thus, relying on the legacy of powerful medieval empires (Kyivan Rus, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish Commonwealth), the peoples of Intermarium are still experiencing a national renaissance. Like the Germans of the 19-20th centuries, who did not consider negative their backwardness with regard to the French and the British, and outlined the so-called “special way” of modernization (Deutscher Sonderweg), the “young” peoples of the Intermarium did not lose passionarity (in terms of Lev Gumilev) and understand the difference in the cultural age of their region and Old Europe (at the same time, it’s important to underline that this is a generalization for the sake of theoretic clarity).
For example, the basis of the well-known German doctrine of the Middle Europe (Mitteleuropa) by Friedrich Naumann, and the Ukrainian Black Sea doctrine by Yuri Lypa, is the same intuition of the middle and the critique of the East-West orientation as devastating for the region. The logical consequence of this critique is the search for the “third” geopolitical way between the West and the East, which is closely linked to the aforementioned “special” way of modernization, that is, the “temporal” intuition of arheofuturism: the golden mean between conservation and progressiveness, the unity of traditional values and formulas with technical development and social innovation at a new historical stage. This is the space to implement the 4th Industrial Revolution of Klaus Schwab.
Thus, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), one could say, is the early “cultural” phase of the pan-European organism, which in its Western territories has long entered the late “civilizational” phase. These are countries and peoples “on the verge of two worlds” that are called to “create a new life” (phrases from the Decalogue of Ukrainian Nationalist). This is a literal and a symbolic “dawn” for the Spenglerian “twilight” West.
In turn, Eastern European peoples are interested in sophisticated pan-European doctrines which have been developed by Western European theorists of the Third Way and New Right for decades. The very conception of ethnofuturism that is elaborated by members of Sinine Äratus is an evidence of their fruitful reinterpretation of Guillaume Faye’s French theory of Archeofuturism.
It is no coincidence that the German doctrine of “new nationalism,” both pan-European and organic, which was proposed by Ernst Jünger in the first third of the twentieth century, is now being rediscovered precisely by the nationalist movements of the Intermarium region. Suffice it to mention “Latvian National Alliance,” Estonian “Conservative People’s Party,” Ukrainian “National Corps,” Croatian “Generation of Renewal” and other political parties that cooperate with each other and those Western European colleagues who support an alternative vector of European integration. No doubt, the extremes of ethno-cultural realism, which are criticized by the advocates of the European Union or the purely “buffer” Intermarium, are unlikely to threaten the novel pan-European partnership the very development of which is an evidence of a revision of “old” nationalism as counterproductive under new historical conditions.