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mercredi, 18 novembre 2020

Tocqueville et la démocratie comme prison historique

Goldhammer-toqueville_img.jpg

Tocqueville et la démocratie comme prison historique

par Nicolas Bonnal

Ex: https://reseauinternational.net

Depuis 1815 l’humanité vit dans un présent permanent ; c’est une peine perpétuelle, que j’ai compris jeune en découvrant la conclusion des Mémoires d’outre-tombe. Une génération plus tard, un autre aristocrate français, Tocqueville, devine dans sa Démocratie en Amérique et surtout ailleurs que les carottes sont cuites ; il sera suivi par une certain Kojève, qui analyse tout lui à partir de Hegel et deux dates françaises : 1792 et 1806. Même un matheux dont j’ai parlé ici même et nommé Cournot comprend vers 1860 que nous entrons dans la posthistoire. Raison pourquoi nous pouvons appliquer aussi facilement Marx et d’autres analystes du dix-neuvième siècle (Michels, Engels, Drumont, Sorel, Pareto…) aux situations que nous vivons en ce moment ; tout semble bouger alors que tout est immobile. Tout est devenu de l’actualité, pas de l’histoire. Même les guerres mondiales voulues par l’empire britannique n’ont fait que renforcer un état de choses devenu universel et inévitable. Il fallait mettre l’aristocratie prussienne au pas, a dit Alexandre Kojève (« démocratisation de l’Allemagne impériale »).

Je relisais Tocqueville l’autre nuit en attendant mon vaccin, mon badge et le NWO qui datent de 1815 ; et je me disais : « vous n’avez jamais été vaccinés ? Vous n’avez jamais été massacrés lors des guerres truquées ? Vous n’avez jamais été victimes des banquiers ? Vous n’avez jamais été cocufiés aux élections ? Vous n’avez jamais lu Octave Mirbeau ? Vous n’avez jamais été désinformés par la presse ? Allez, le monde moderne est une colossale tromperie pour zombis. Et comme on ne peut pas tuer ce qui est mort (dixit Michelet), on n’en a pas fini avec lui et sa démocratie, et sa dette immonde, et sa laideur pantomime. »

la-da-de-tocqueville-2.jpgPour imposer cela il a fallu rendre les gens bêtes. On est passé de Racine et Mozart au rap et au rock. Tocqueville écrit :

« Ils aiment les livres qu’on se procure sans peine, qui se lisent vite, qui n’exigent point de recherches savantes pour être compris. Ils demandent des beautés faciles qui se livrent d’elles-mêmes et dont on puisse jouir sur l’heure ; il leur faut surtout de l’inattendu et du nouveau. Habitués à une existence pratique, contestée, monotone, ils ont besoin d’émotions vives et rapides, de clartés soudaines, de vérités ou d’erreurs brillantes qui les tirent à l’instant d’eux-mêmes et les introduisent tout à coup, et comme par violence, au milieu du sujet. »

Et Tocqueville  évoque ensuite notre sujet – le présent permanent –  ici : « comment l’aspect de la société, aux États-Unis, est tout à la fois agité et monotone ».

Sous l’impression d’agitation, Tocqueville note l’immobilité :

« Il semble que rien ne soit plus propre à exciter et à nourrir la curiosité que l’aspect des États-Unis. Les fortunes, les idées, les lois y varient sans cesse. On dirait que l’immobile nature elle-même est mobile, tant elle se transforme chaque jour sous la main de l’homme. À la longue cependant la vue de cette société si agitée paraît monotone et, après avoir contemplé quelque temps ce tableau si mouvant, le spectateur s’ennuie. »

Après c’est l’éternel retour et il me semble qu’on comprendrait mieux Nietzsche en appliquant cette notion à notre situation démocratique, si lucidement dénoncée par Zarathoustra (le dernier homme…) :

« Ils sont sujets, il est vrai, à de grandes et continuelles vicissitudes ; mais, comme les mêmes succès et les mêmes revers reviennent continuellement, le nom des acteurs seul est différent, la pièce est la même. L’aspect de la société américaine est agité, parce que les hommes et les choses changent constamment ; et il est monotone, parce que tous les changements sont pareils. »

L’homme moderne ou démocratique fabrique des objets industriels. Et avant Chaplin, Ellul ou Taylor, Tocqueville comprend que cela le transforme en mécanique industrielle :

« Or, l’industrie, qui amène souvent de si grands désordres et de si grands désastres, ne saurait cependant prospérer qu’à l’aide d’habitudes très régulières et par une longue succession de petits actes très uniformes. Les habitudes sont d’autant plus régulières et les actes plus uniformes que la passion est plus vive. »

Plus sinistre, l’unification du monde. Chateaubriand posait déjà une question :

« Quelle serait une société universelle qui n’aurait point de pays particulier, qui ne serait ni française, ni anglaise, ni allemande, ni espagnole, ni portugaise, ni italienne ? Ni russe, ni tartare, ni turque, ni persane, ni indienne, ni chinoise, ni américaine, ou plutôt qui serait à la fois toutes ces sociétés ? »

Tocqueville remarque de même :

« Ce que je dis de l’Amérique s’applique du reste à presque tous les hommes de nos jours. La variété disparaît du sein de l’espèce humaine ; les mêmes manières d’agir, de penser et de sentir se retrouvent dans tous les coins du monde. Cela ne vient pas seulement de ce que tous les peuples se pratiquent davantage et se copient plus fidèlement, mais de ce qu’en chaque pays les hommes, s’écartant de plus en plus des idées et des sentiments particuliers à une caste, à une profession, à une famille, arrivent simultanément à ce qui tient de plus près à la constitution de l’homme, qui est partout la même. »

75810b374bc1a86311acdee063179394.jpgEt Tocqueville de conclure sur cette mondialisation industrielle et marchande des médiocrités partagées :

« S’il était permis enfin de supposer que toutes les races se confondissent et que tous les peuples du monde en vinssent à ce point d’avoir les mêmes intérêts, les mêmes besoins, et de ne plus se distinguer les uns des autres par aucun trait caractéristique, on cesserait entièrement d’attribuer une valeur conventionnelle aux actions humaines ; tous les envisageraient sous le même jour ; les besoins généraux de l’humanité, que la conscience révèle à chaque homme, seraient la commune mesure. Alors, on ne rencontrerait plus dans ce monde que les simples et générales notions du bien et du mal, auxquelles s’attacheraient, par un lien naturel et nécessaire, les idées de louange ou de blâme. »

La dramatique tragédie (qui est en fait une absence de tragédie bien au sens médical-démocratique) que nous vivons en ce moment couronne le piège historique et terminal que représente l’avènement de la démocratie sur cette planète. C’est bien Tocqueville qui a parlé du pouvoir tutélaire et doux, et du troupeau bien docile, pas vrai ? Avec comme modèle non plus l’occident aristocratique anéanti en 1945 (dixit Kojève), mais la Chine et son totalitarisme basé sur la gouvernance eunuque depuis des siècles.

Nicolas Bonnal

Chroniques sur la Fin de l’Histoire

jeudi, 24 septembre 2020

The Tyranny of Fragility: How Alexis De Tocqueville Foretold the Rise of Victimhood Culture

I know of no country in which, for the most part, independence of thought and true freedom of expression are so diminished as in America … In America, the majority traces a tremendous circle around thought. Within its limits, the writer is free, but a great misfortune will befall those who depart from it. [The dissenter] will face disgusts of all kinds and everyday forms of persecution. [Those who condemn the dissenter] will speak loudly, and those who think like him, without possessing his courage, will stay silent and away. [The dissenter] yields and folds under the pressure of everyday life; he grows silent, as though taken with remorse for having voiced the truth … In Spain, the Inquisition never succeeded in preventing the spread of books that went against the religion of the masses. The Empire of the Majority fared better in America: it suppressed in the masses the very idea of publishing dissent.—Alexis de Tocqueville, my translation

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805­–1869), the great French diplomat, essayist and political thinker, did not live to see the age of identity politics, social media, grade inflation, concept creep, safetyism, the mental health crisis, mass rewritings of history and a public culture increasingly preoccupied with grievances, moral outrage, sanctified victimhood and bottom-up modes of censorship. But, though he never names them in those terms, all these related symptoms are already apparent and crystallizing into something of a cultural syndrome in his study of American democracy in the 1830s, and his analysis of the changing historical conditions that led to the French revolution of 1789. Tocqueville’s work traces the roots of grievance culture to human nature itself, and to the pre-modern cascade of social transformations that culminated in novel, American forms of tyranny: a tyranny of the entitled masses, of the kind that contemporary Tocquevillians and postcolonial theorists alike might recognize as stemming from the elite ethos of North American campuses, via the infrastructure of social media. But this story is much older, and points to a timeless, universal human dilemma.

Fragile Systems and the Paradox of Individualism

It is demonstrable that those who regard universal voting rights as a guarantee of the goodness of choices are under a complete and utter illusion.—Alexis de Tocqueville

Among classical liberal thinkers, Tocqueville is remembered as a defender of liberties and proponent of a strong civil society. To new left thinkers, he is remembered as an elitist aristocrat and suspicious proponent of small government. In his day, Tocqueville sat (both metaphorically and physically) in the centre-left of the French parliament. His biggest motivation was to combat all forms of tyranny, which he saw as an imminent risk, manifesting in the unchecked demands of both individuals and groups—large or small. A system designed to profit a powerful minority would certainly constitute tyranny in his view; so would, albeit in very different ways, one designed to fulfil the growing needs of the majority. “If one admits that a man in his full power might abuse his adversaries,” Tocqueville asks, “why not admit the same of a majority of men?”

515Lw6qN0FL._SX294_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgIn his search for balance between individual and civil liberties, Tocqueville remains one of the most nuanced thinkers of the western political canon—and a fine diagnostician of enduring psychosocial problems and the systemic conditions in which they arise.

Tocqueville’s writings illuminate a deep paradox arising from modern forms of democracy—as is evident in common misconceptions of his critique of the tyranny of the majority. For Tocqueville, the real tyrant in democracy is not so much the group as the individual; or rather individualism as we know it—entitled, selfish, envious, consumerist, insatiable—which arises when certain conditions of collectivist populism are in place. The erosion of extended kinship structures, religion and broader systems of ritual and meaning—which afford both a source of support and a sense of duty to others and to a project greater than oneself—are certainly partly to blame. But Tocqueville also directs our attention to the most perverse level at which modern individuation operates: that of what becomes imaginable, desirable but ultimately unattainable in the democracy of the masses. You might call this the cognitive-affective dimension of democracy. Once a certain ideal of equality—however ill-defined as a normative goal—is in place, envy and upward social comparison become the norm. Since anyone can become more of anything or anyone at any time, something akin to entropy increases. In affective terms, social and psychological entropy become something we now call anxiety. Life scientists tell us that all life forms must resist entropic decay in order to stay alive (self-organized). But the real information-theoretic story is a little more nuanced. Rather than a synonym for chaos, you might think of entropy as the number of possible states that an organism might visit within a given system. Fragility may arise when a system exhibits too few or too many possible states: when it is too rigid and resistant to change, or too jittery to conserve its key adaptive strategies. A healthy dynamic for a system involves reaching the mathematical point of criticality—the optimum number of possible states—near the boundary between order and chaos. An agrarian society that relies on a single crop to feed many people is fragile, as a single failed season will bring it to collapse. A society with too many competing goals and survival strategies is fragile in different ways, as nothing is coherent enough to hold it together as a dynamic system. Tocqueville never employs metaphors from the physical sciences to describe social dynamics, but his work draws similar conclusions. He also points to more literal ways in which modern democracy brings about fragility. “The more people resemble one another,” as Harvey Mansfied sums up the Tocquevillian view, “the weaker one person feels in the face of all the others.” Tocqueville describes the massively anxiogenic effects of the novel forms of social comparison that arose after the American and French revolutions:

The division of fortunes narrowed the gap that separated rich and poor; but in getting closer, rich and poor seem to have found novel reasons for hating each other. Casting on each other a gaze full of fear and envy, they exclude one another from power. For either of the two, the idea of rights no longer seems to exist, and brute force dawns on them both as the foundation of the present and the sole guarantee of the future.

As the good-enough life always lies just beyond the next hill or the next promotion (or in your neighbour’s driveway), people in modern democracies often adopt a deficit-based understanding of their lives. There is nothing wrong with an aspirational mindset—how else would our species have invented and transcended so much? This is all well and good—until this deficit view becomes a raison d’être of modern existence.

The Rise of Homo Fragilis

We note that humans, when faced with an imminent danger, rarely remain at their habitual level;  they rise far above, or sink far below … but it is more common to see, among men as among nations, extraordinary virtues born of the immediacy of adversity.—Alexis de Tocqueville

Neither fragility nor weakness are moral flaws in themselves, or unworthy targets of attention in a good social project. The mutual recognition of each other’s fragility is our species’ greatest strength, and lies at the root of our evolutionary success.

Humans are not only among the physically weakest of mammals; human offspring also have the longest childhoods, the slowest maturation process and the longest period of physical and nutritional dependence on the group. For biological anthropologist Sarah Hrdy, the evolution of human intelligence and sociality rested on two key traits: the ability to care for others and understand their needs, and the ability to elicit care from others. It certainly takes a village, Hrdy tells us, with everyone from sterile grandmothers to never-wedded aunts all working together to raise the weak, and this has been true since at least the Homo erectus lineage, a full two million years ago.

71V1p2t4OFL.jpgWhen and how, then, does fragility become a problem? From babies to the elderly and the sick, weak humans are uniquely skilled at mobilizing the attention and care—at times tyrannically—of others. Take the old problem of sibling rivalry. Signalling one’s needs and the fact that one is suffering—from, for example, hunger, loneliness or cold—is a crucial survival trait. In competing for parental attention and care, children will frequently learn to over-signal their suffering—often to the point of self-deception. Children often implicitly learn to outcompete each other in vulnerability-signalling. Victimhood arises here as a sense of envious injustice for not being recognized and sufficiently accommodated as a deserving sufferer. Children in excessively validating contexts will thus learn to recognize themselves and their relationships with others—to construct an identity in modern lingo—though a sense of victimhood.

Sickness, suffering, weakness, fragility and true victimhood are universally recognized as bona fide ailments to be combatted for the greater good. The extent to which they are perversely elevated as sui generis virtues, however, is variable across societies, and has changed over the course of history. Judging by the masochistic tenets of at least some readings of many religions and of the present historical moment, the veneration of victimhood as a desirable end has remained a problem for all human societies. The mark of a good society—like the mark of good child-rearing—is its ability to foster a balance between necessary dependence and autonomy. “Strengthen him,” as Maimonides said of Tzedakah “so he does not fall”—to which we might add, and so he may in turn strengthen others.

Under what conditions, then, does the tyranny of victimhood arise?

71LJFegXknL.jpgPsychiatrist Robert J. Lifton has diagnosed the present day as afflicted with “solipsistic reality”: an ideology in which the ultimate sources of reality and truth are the experiences and needs of the self. Tocqueville helps us understand how, beyond healthy aspirations to better ourselves, the ultimate demands of mass democracy can often veer towards the perpetuation and competition of incompatible—and unnecessary—fragile selves.

De Tocqueville prophetically foresaw fragility itself as both the defining condition and the ultimate demand of the masses:

Society is at peace, not from reckoning with its strength and well-being, but on the contrary because it believes itself to be weak and sick. Society fears its own death from engaging in the least effort. Each and every one senses Evil, but no one has the courage or energy to seek something better. People feel desires, sorrows, and joys that cannot last, like the passions of old men that only lead to impotence.

Rather than constituting an essentialist mockery of “the masses,” grounded in a naive belief in the natural giftedness of the elite, Tocqueville’s comments on equality describe a maximally entropic social configuration, which, by eliciting too many impossible goals, brings out the most childish and most anxious traits in all of us. Equality, in other words, brings everybody down to the same level, in the most literal affective sense.

“It is impossible, no matter what one does,” he writes, “to elevate the masses beyond a certain level.” For Tocqueville, this basic law of social physics also applies to the naive aim of “democratizing” education—that is, making the ambitious goals of specialized learning (with the resulting promise of high social status) available to everyone, while at the same time adapting the contents and methods of teaching to cater to the quirks and whims of every individual.   “One may make human knowledge accessible, improve teaching methods, and render science cheap,” he contends, “but all one will achieve is to lead people to educate themselves and hone their intelligence without dedicating any time to it.”

According to the natural laws of entropy minimization, it is precisely when information is abundant and cheap that our mental filters will hone in on the most childish and primitive cues that confirm our fears, and our desire to be fragile. It is in this sense that Tocqueville foretold the disaster that is competition over fragility gone wild on social media, and the systemic allergy to nuance and dialogue in the age of clickbait culture: “People will always make judgements hastily, and latch on to the most salient of objects. Thence come charlatans of all kinds all too versed in the secrets of seducing the masses. Most often in the mean time, the masses’ true friends fail in this regard.”

All quotations from Tocqueville were translated from the French by the author, from the book La Tyrannie de la Majorité, an abridged version of De Tocqueville’s Democracy in America

For the original French sources, see the following addendum

00:14 Publié dans Philosophie | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : philosophie, tocqueville, alexis de tocqueville | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

samedi, 10 mars 2012

The Theorists of Occidentism

The Theorists of Occidentism

By Fabrice Fassio

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com/

 

Aleksandr Zinoviev

Translated by M. P.

When he arrived in Germany in 1978, Aleksandr Zinoviev had worked for years in the fields of logic and scientific methodology applied to social systems (models). His personal research and experience in the Soviet world enabled him to publish many works devoted to his country and the communist (socialist) system. According to Zinoviev, communism first developed in Russia during the Stalinist period, then implanted itself in other countries, China in particular.

This social model differs profoundly from its competitor, which was born in North America and Western Europe around 200 to 250 years ago. For various reasons, which he explains in his work, L’Occidentisme: essai sur le triomphe d’une idéologie (Occidentism: Essay on the Triumph of an Ideology [Paris: Plon, 1995]), Zinoviev prefers the terms “Occidentism” or “Occidentalism” to the traditional denomination “capitalism.”

Zinoviev is certainly not the first theorist to attempt to understand the nature of the social system that is so vigorous in contemporary Occidental countries. In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville, after returning from a voyage to the United States, published the first volume of a work that remains relevant today, De la Démocratie en Amérique (Democracy in America). In this book, he shared some of his reflections on American society, which was only a few decades old and was developing before his eyes.

[

Alexis de Tocqueville

Twenty years later, Tocqueville wrote another work, L’Ancien Régime et la Révolution (The Old Regime and the French Revolution). This book is a sociological (not historical) analysis of great profundity. It is, moreover, very interesting to read this book alongside the first chapters of Zinoviev’s book, which are devoted to the history of Occidentism.

When Tocqueville wrote, he was conscious that the Occidentist system, which he called “democratic society,” was in the process of implanting itself in France, where it would definitively supplant moribund feudalism. The Revolution of 1789 had only accelerated an inevitable process. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Tocqueville not only understood that the future of France would belong to Occidentism, but he also predicted the fundamental role that the United States would play in the future in the entire world.

When Aleksandr Zinoviev wrote, 150 years after the publication of Tocqueville’s books, Occidentism was no longer in its infancy, but had long implanted itself in several countries; it had, moreover, won an important victory over its competitor, European communism. It is this triumphant system that Zinoviev describes without pretending to make an exhaustive study. I would like to present a brief overview of Zinoviev’s  theory, in order to show the radically innovative aspect of his idea of Occidentism.

The Three Pillars of Occidentism

The Occidentist model is the ensemble of the traits or characteristics common to Occidental countries; these characteristics have been largely created by the same internal laws, which explains the similarities existing between the way of life of countries as geographically far apart as France, Australia, and Canada. In his work devoted to the Occidentist system, Zinoviev affirms that this model rests upon three “pillars”: the economic, community, and human factors.

The economic factor rests simultaneously upon the rules that govern professionalism in work and which deal with investment and the ability to make profits. Profoundly linked to private enterprise, the Occidental world is therefore a world where discipline in work is very severe, and enterprises have the obligation to be profitable if they want to endure. The Occidental model of the production and distribution of goods and services is a very specific phenomenon, different from that which exists in a socialist society. In the latter, employees performing a given activity generally earn less than their Occidental equivalents, but they definitely work less, they perform the same task in much larger numbers, and they have guaranteed employment; as for enterprises, their survival does not depend on their ability to generate wealth.

The community factor is a phenomenon common to all societies consisting of thousands or millions of people. The division between leaders and led, the hierarchy of leaders, the formation of castes and classes, the creation of an ideology, and the appearance of the state as an organ responsible for the direction of several aspects of social life are community phenomena. Without these things, society can exist only as a totality destined to disappear. The state is therefore a phenomenon common to all human collectivities reaching a certain stage of development, but it takes different forms according to the nature of the social organism that it is required to direct. The Occidental form of the state is traditionally called “parliamentary democracy.” Human collectivities not belonging to the Occidental world have created forms of power other than parliamentary democracy.

The human factor is manifested in the collective acts of the members of a society. Education, culture, ideology, religion, and power have, among other functions, the purpose of regulating the reproduction of the human material necessary for the survival of the collectivity. Individualism, business initiative, the taste for meticulous work, the instinct to save, and the ability to organize oneself are, among other things, psychological qualities that have developed themselves in Occidental countries. The famous “Protestant work ethic” has played, for example, an important role in the formation of the human material in the United States. Elsewhere in the world, populations have developed other qualities necessary for the survival of the social organism to which they belong.

Occidentism is a model that was born and matured in the west of Europe and in other continents that have been populated by European emigrants. It has then spread into several places of the world to Occidentalize other people who have sometimes opposed a ferocious resistance to it. In the nineteenth century, the creation of colonial empires by the European powers was the manifestation of this expansion. Today, this expansion takes different forms from those of the past, but it continues, in Russia for example.

The Question of the Future

[

Aleksandr Zinoviev, Self-Portrait

In the last chapters of his work, Zinoviev raises the fundamental question of the future and his predictions regarding it. We have here an example of the methodological principles Zinoviev elaborated when he worked in Moscow.

In sociology, prediction is possible only upon the base of the analysis of the present. When the researcher analyses a given society, he highlights tendencies (laws) which act in the present and will continue to act in the future if nothing hinders their action. Upon the basis of these laws, the researcher can construct a model of a “possible future.” As Zinoviev remarks at the end of his work, the future is not fatally inscribed in the present.

The Face of the Future

Before concluding his study devoted to Occidentism, Zinoviev lists some internal laws that will determine the future, if nothing happens to thwart their action. I would like to focus on two of these laws.

In the first place, Zinoviev notes that the structure of the Occidental population is changing radically. The proportion of persons employed in the production of goods and services has decreased, while the number of the individuals exercising their activity in the spheres of the direction and administration of the country, as well as the spheres of ideology and the media, has increased.

In the second place, Zinoviev notes that the spheres of ideology and the media are reinforcing their power over the Occidental population. This last point is of great significance.

After the Second World War, the means of communication and information—the press, book publishing, radio, and television—were transformed. New technical inventions, reinforced links between different types of media, and the growth of employment in this sector have provoked a “qualitative leap.” In other words, the media have become an essential sphere of society, as well as the privileged means for the diffusion of ideological themes within the larger public.

This ideology is made up of an ensemble of judgments and ideas designed to fashion the consciousness of the social individual. Among the ideological themes diffused by the media in Western Europe in recent decades, let us cite offhand: “youthism” (jeunisme), or the extreme valorization of youth, the defense of homosexuality, the merits of democracy, ecology and the environment, and a standardized image of countries resistant to Occidental influence. The Occidentist ideology sets up taboos that must be respected: for example, the prohibition of raising questions linked to mass immigration in Europe. It also fabricates “personality cults,” often making mediocre individuals pass for exceptional beings: the stars of sports, politics, and show business.

One of today’s ideological themes occupies a preeminent place: the vision of the Occidental way of life in general, and the American way of life in particular. The best-selling books, the big budget films, and the television broadcasts, made in the United States or conceived upon the American model, present in one fashion or another a valorizing image of the American way of life.

Occidentist ideology and culture form part of what American political scientists call “soft power.” “Soft power” is extremely effective today and suffocates, in the literal sense of the term, cultural forms coming from other countries. The two laws expressed at the start of this chapter have reinforced their action since the second half of the last century. It is therefore legitimate to think that this movement will amplify itself in the future and that we are going to witness in the future an increasingly pronounced ideological conditioning of the Occidental population. “The Single Thought” (La Pensée Unique), designed to regulate the masses and to create a standardized social consciousness, therefore has a bright future ahead of it.

During the Cold War, Zinoviev addressed a letter to me in which he affirmed that he would be interested in studying the Occident, beginning by analyzing its ideology. Zinoviev perceived the colossal extent of the conditioning of the Occidental masses; he also knew that the ideology of the Occident exercised a corrosive effect on the upper classes of his own country. “Soft power” was an effective weapon in the struggle against the Soviet Union. The latter collapsed without the Americans using their armed forces, “hard power.” An extremely bloody conflict was thus avoided. Without rivals on the world scene, at least for a while, the United States has thus become the master of the world, 150 years after the voyage of Alexis de Tocqueville, the first theorist of Occidentism.

Source: http://www.zinoviev.ru/fassio/penseurs_zinoviev.html [4]

 


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URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2012/03/the-theorists-of-occidentism/