Who is Putin's favorite philosopher?

Mashari Althaydi
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Aleksandr Nazarov wrote an intriguing piece in Russia Today on strategic Russian thinking in the current era and how Russian politicians perceive danger in the world.

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently stated that he believed in the theory of passionarity by the Russian historian Lev Gumilev, whom Nazarov describes as great. The passionarity theory that President Putin likes can be summed up into the following: Making sacrifices for public, rather than personal, goals contributes to the founding of nations and the continuity of their power. Putin believes that Russia is going through an evolutionary stage, unlike many Western countries that are rapidly aging and on the verge of fading.

Russian historian Lev Gumilev. (Yury Belinsky/TASS)
Russian historian Lev Gumilev. (Yury Belinsky/TASS)

Lev Gumilev believes that the genesis or end of ethnic groups depends on people who make sacrifices, those who have higher levels of energy, and are willing to make sacrifices for their beliefs and not necessarily in the religious sense. Nations go through the same stages of birth, development, climax, inertia, convolution, and memorial. The self-sacrificing nature of nations, not states (because nations last more than states according to this theory), is the secret behind the survival or annihilation of these nations.

In the stage of "extinction" or "spoiled society", individuality is prioritized over collectiveness while consumption and pleasure become the society’s main values. This is the stage of “bread and amusement”, the stage of extreme individual pleasures.

This is precisely the reason why the European community, and the Western world in general, is weak and spoiled in Russian eyes. This is also what will make this spoiled Western world an easy prey to the groups that have already invaded it and who still believe in the value of self-sacrifice for a greater purpose. When people extremely value their individuality over collectiveness, they will not consider sacrificing their lives for any principle, and in this case, they simply do not wish to fight to protect their homeland.

The West as a civilization, in the historical sense, is going through Gumilyov's last stage. According to his theory, we are facing a Western demographic catastrophe. Therefore, Western countries will suck young workers from other regions and civilizations “like a vacuum cleaner.”

You may agree or disagree with this theory that I summarized from Nazarov's summary, but it is inevitable to acknowledge that it is partially true, especially regarding the weak will of the Europeans compared to the will of the Russians and Chinese for example. It is also unavoidable to pay attention to this theory at least because it is of interest to the Russian president in person.

Muslim Brotherhood logo. (AFP)
Muslim Brotherhood logo. (AFP)

Does this come as a shock?

There is more. Nazarov, who promotes Gumilyov's theory, thinks that given today’s accelerating pace, European cities will turn into capitals for fundamentalist Islamic groups within a generation or two. Who knows, maybe this has already started by taking over some neighborhoods in those cities.

This is not Islamophobic as the supporters of Erdogan and the Brotherhood call it to deter anyone who talks and warns about them. Rather, this is a warning to protect Islam and Muslims from the evils of these groups that may come at us from the West this time.

We do not care about the Russians’ goals, imagination, and complexes; however, this remains some harmless knowledge.

This article was originally published in, and translated from, the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.

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Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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