Interview conducted by Hristina Hristova with Andrei Fursov for Memoria; Translated from Bulgarian by Borislav exclusively for SouthFront
Andrei Fursov is a well known Russian sociologist, historian, geopolitical analyst and publicist. Director of the Center for Russian Studies at the Moscow Humanities University; Head of the Center for methodology and information of the Institute of dynamic conservatism; academician of the International Accademy of Science (Innsbruck, Austria). Lecturer at many universities in Europe and worldwide.
On October 10, 2016, Andrei Fursov was a guest lecturer at Sofia university “St. Kliment Ohridski “, where a lecture was followed by a discussion on “Capitalism – the most mysterious system in the history of mankind.” The event was organized by the Eurasian Center VIA EVRASIA to the Historical Faculty of the University. The prominent Russian scientist and specialist in contemporary history, professor Elena Ponomareva was the other participant in the forum.
We managed to meet with Andrei Fursov before the event and implement this conversation.
– Mr. Fursov, observing from the side the insane stage in the development of Europe and the European Union, do you have any rational explanation for the absence of any self-reflection and defensive reaction of its so-called political elite and the European population itself? On one hand, for every common intelligent and thoughtful person it is clear that Europe is becoming an increasingly more humble protectorate of the United States. On the other side there is the illegal invasion of the Muslim army from Africa, the Middle East and Asia. How did the lack of any instinct for self-preservation, and the voluntary suicide of a millennial civilization become possible?!
– Today’s situation is the logical development of Western Europe as a protectorate of the United States. After World War II, in the 70s in France, Germany and Italy, ie in the main countries of Europe, the North Atlantic elites managed to educate a generation of politicians and intellectuals who view the world not through the eyes of Europeans, but with the eyes of Americans. There’s also a political vehicle for those interests. This is the European bureaucracy in Brussels, which has nothing to do with the national interests of European countries. These national interests are even suppressed by the European Union. So, thanks to those 70 years, representing three generations who have been brainwashed into certain views, we have the situation we see today.
Moreover, under the guise of criticism of Nazism, upon Europeans was impressed the inability to protect their national interests. Anyone who today tries to protest against the flow of immigrants into Germany is immediately accused of Nazism. A label was created, that can be affixed to any attempt to protect national interests.
As for the intellectuals, today we reap the result from 1968 when the failures at school, the unsuccessful students took to the streets of Paris and other European capitals and began to ask for the impossible, they began to chase professors from the auditorium. As a long-term consequence, education in Europe plummeted and those D- students this bunch, overtime became MPs, deputies, professors. Joschka Fischer (German politician, leader of the Greens, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, presided Council of the EU in 1999 – editor’s note.) is a classic example of how a street hooligan became a minister. So, this dumbing down of Europe is a result of the events of ’68.
If we talk about it from a systemic perspective however, and if we remember how the Roman Empire perished, we will see that when the instinct for self-preservation in the elite disappears, this is always an indicator of the approaching end of the system. We don’t have to go back to the Roman era, it is sufficient to recall the Russian Empire in the early twentieth century. Virtually everyone argued that a revolution is coming, but people continued to behave as if nothing is happening. In 1916, Faberge (a jewellery firm) received the largest number of orders for its products. This is the situation of a feast during a plague.
– But many people in Europe died from the terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice. The victims are hundreds, and among them many children! Is it not absurd that the Europeans rather than protect their own children, and categorically punish all governments for their irresponsible policy towards mass migration, instead voice the same helpless wails of solidarity such as “We are not afraid” and all sorts of nonsense topped with teddy bears. What is actually happening, Mr. Fursov, in the minds of Europeans?
– Europeans are deprived of European consciousness. Europe is a post-Christian, post-Western, post European society. When we ask about what is happening to European society, are we sure that they are Europeans? I personally am no longer sure that they are Europeans.
About the terrorist attacks in Paris, I very much doubt that Arab terrorists could carry out such a coordinated operation in which the blasts occurred at seven sites simultaneously. This is the handwriting of the special services or their former employees. Everything was synchronized to the minutes. The Institute, which I lead, did a simple analysis since the media had information about where and what happened to the minute. It was a brilliantly synchronized and executed operation. Just as with September 11, there is the obvious sign of the secret services. But it was presented as an attack by terrorists to intimidate Europeans and it worked.
If for example, the events of Cologne had happened in Russia, people would not come running to the police; people would decide everything for themselves, and in such a way that the desire among the perpetrators to repeat something similar, would immediately disappear. Incidentally, the events in Cologne coincided with events in other cities, including Helsinki. The Finns just did not write about these cases. It was also a well-coordinated campaign to intimidate. Its not that the police can not prevent such attacks. For example, when a few days later PEGIDA organized a demonstration in Germany, the police violently scattered them. Cologne square is traditionally a place for gatherings of townspeople on holidays. It was clear that Arab youth is also collected there; people rang the police but it did not come. This was done quite deliberately and the police do not protect German citizens, but those who protested.
– Recently, a Christian priest in France was ritually slaughtered while reading mass. Meanwhile churches are destroyed in France to build shopping malls and parking lots, and at the same time mosques are build everywhere. This is happening all over Europe …
– … Besides Russia. In Russia a huge number of Orthodox churches are constructed …
– … Is Christianity exhausted in its attempt to save the world and make sense of human existence?
– I think Catholicism and Protestantism – yeah, Orthodoxy – no, despite the problems that it has. Recently I was invited to give lectures at the School for training priests, and when I asked what topic they are interested in, probably Russian history, they told me – no: we are interested in information warfare, capitalism, the West. In Russia things are different.
As for Protestants and Catholics, we see how the Pope behaves, how he reacts. We remember the Second Vatican Council when the Catholics retreated from many positions and in this regard what is happening in Europe is not surprising. Europe is post-Christian. Once, 10 years ago, I was very sorry for Western Europeans, and then I thought – when a whole society is dominated by the will of death, the will of civilizational suicide, what is there to do?! … People should not be forced to live. When a person has a suicidal complex, what can you do?! You can hospitalize them, but we do not have a collective hospital for an entire society. And once again I want to emphasize that Europeans ceased to be Europeans. Recently my son and I were in Florence, and as I watched the crowds of Italians, I felt that Italians have the same attitude towards the Uffizi gallery, as Arabs do towards the Egyptian pyramids.
– And how does the issue of Christianity stand in Russia? How is it really there? Does Christianity still have its authority, and does it exert any positive impact on the lives of the Orthodox community?
– It’s hard for me to give a full answer because I’m an atheist. But I would like to say two things. First – Orthodoxy is now in a much healthier state than Catholicism and Protestantism, though there are a lot of problems. Second – in Russia there is no widespread problem with Islam, because the Orthodox and Muslims live in Russia side by side and we have never had conflicts on a religious ground. When lecturing in Kazan, Kazan businessmen, many of whom are Muslims, ask me what Russian literature they should give to their children because they feel like part of Russian culture. So you can be a Muslim and a part of Russian culture, you can know Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky. And they are feel as people not inside an empire, but a multinational, multi confessional country.
I am not idealizing things, but what is happening in Europe is not happening in Russia. In Europe things are caused in some extend consciously. And there is something else very important – the Russians were victorious in World War II, the Germans were defeated, and the rest were rescued either by Russians or the Allies. My father signed the Reichstag building. We feel that we are winners; and with us, despite the 90s, can not happen what we see in Europe. Tacitus once said: “The battle is not lost by the weakest, but by those who look down first.” Those who call themselves “Europeans”, lowered their gaze.
– We Bulgarians are also Orthodox people, and some of us feel a special relationship with Russia and still consider it a brotherly country. In our country however, there is a dramatic, unproductive and even sinister divide of pro-Russian and anti-Russian. In your opinion does Orthodoxy have a meaning in relations and interactions between the Bulgarian and Russian people today, or is Russophilia is compensatory mythological projection of the national psyche, Mr. Fursov?
– It is possible that for some it is a compensatory response. But between Russia and Bulgaria there are historical ties in line of Orthodoxy, and with the former Soviet Union. To sever these links is impossible. Furthermore, we are Slavic peoples. So Orthodoxy, Slavics, the Soviet past – there is too much in common.
– How will the battle for Europe turn out? What is your forecast for the future of Europe as a civilization, and in particular the survival of the EU?
– The European Union question is considerably easier. De jure it might stay, but de facto the Carolingian core will remain, ie what was the Empire of Charlemagne. This will be the relatively rich Europe, since it will undoubtedly become poorer and the Arabs and Africans there will become more and more.
The fate of the European civilization – I think it is dying. I feel very, very sorry about this because Russia is not the West, but it is Europe. I disagree with those who say that Russia is not Europe. We Russians should not in any case give up our European nature to the West. The West – that is one side of Europe. There is an ancient Europe, there was a Byzantine Europe, there is also a Russian Europe. Paradoxically, when today we talk about European values, exactly Russia defends traditional European values. And the values of modern Europeans are not European. I think to Europe will happen what happened to the Roman Empire in the IV-VI century. Rome began to rot when the fashion of barbarians was accepted; when men and women began to dress like barbarians. In Europe, by the way, we observe the same. But today everything is happening faster. I think that in the middle of the twenty-first century, Europe will already be completely different and the “European civilization” will have an Arab-African face with a whole series of consequences, not only cultural, but also with a biological nature.
– I would then go to Russia. (Laughter)
– Incidentally, there is another area where it is possible to preserve the European civilization. This is Latin America. Educated Portuguese today, depart for Brazil and uneducated Mozambicans and Angolans go to Portugal. So there will be enclaves of European civilization in a wide range of other countries. I do not think that all of the United States will retain its European core, although Mexicans are part of the European civilization with their Catholicism. So unfortunately to me as a Russian European, I am very sorry that some of my civilization is dying. But this means that the other part of it should be maintained and continued forward.
– And Russia? Will you be able to convince the world that need it to regain its multi-polarity? Will you be able to build the necessary alliances? NATO has pressed you everywhere …
– I’m not only Russian, but a Russian officer because I have a military specialty. I will answer your question like a Soviet officer: “If the enemy comes to our doorstep, we have a worthy response.” Russia remains so far, the only country in the world that can cause irreparable damage to the US, and the Americans know it. So if NATO decided to wage war against us, it will do it with the forces on the perimeter – Ukraine, the Caucasus, Central Asia. Last week a large-scale exercise of civil protection was conducted, and before that in the summer we had a very extensive military exercise. If you want peace, prepare for war. Or like the Soviet song went: “We are peaceful people, but our armored train is standing on the backup line.”
– Russia after Putin?
– Currently I am watching a very interesting process. If in the 90s, young people looked toward the West, today the vast majority of youth looks at the Russian and Soviet past. Recently in the city of Surgut, with money collected by young people, a monument to Stalin was built, which was later removed. Then, there’s the Governor of Orlovska district, who built a monument to Ivan the Terrible. Interest in the Soviet past grows. In this respect, I am cautiously optimistic. Duty must be carried out. After that, whatever happens, happens.
Translation from Russian: Snezhana Loza / Memoria de futuro