Igor Nikolaevich Panarin (b. 1958), dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s school for future diplomats, is a geopolitical analyst, political scientist and media commentator, with significant influence on Russian thinking. An examination of his views and public pronouncements is therefore important in discerning the outlook of Russia’s leading academic and political circles, as well as considering what influences are shaping Russian national consciousness. Panarin is a former officer of the KGB. In 1991 he reached the rank of colonel in the Federal Agency of Government Communications and Information, then the Russian equivalent of the US National Security Agency.
Dr. Panarin outlines two eras of US psycho-war against Russia. The first was during the Cold War. The second era, that continues today, is the period after Vladimir Putin became president of Russia. Psychological warfare is Panarin’s specialty, about which he wrote his doctoral thesis. As a strategist, his methodology is based on five stages of response: Forecasting and planning; Organisation and stimulation; Feedback; Operation adjustment; and Performance control. In response to US belligerence, Panarin proposes a centrally controlled information warfare campaign using propaganda, intelligence, analysis, secret agents, and the news media, in defence of Russia’s sovereignty and identity.
Dr. Panarin believes Russia’s destiny is Eurasia. He proposed his own version of the Eurasian Economic Union, ‘Eurasia-Rus’, an interstate formation modelled after the European Union. Panarin has called attention to the messianic legacy of Russia as the ‘Third Rome’, the centre of a new civilisation based on a sacred mission that is an inherent part of the Russian soul. This is an attitude one can discern in much of what Vladimir Putin says. The United States’ opposition to a revived Russia can thus be understood as part of a clash of world outlooks.
This messianic outlook endures in Russia regardless of the outward mode of political expression. It is the ‘eternal Russia’ articulated in various forms by novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky, an array of writers, thinkers and artists of the late 19th century, and the present-day advocates of ‘Eurasia’ such as Alexander Dugin and Igor Panarin. Panarin discerns the contours of ‘eternal Russia’ even under what was nominally called ‘Bolshevism’, but which owed little to Marxism after the purging of Leon Trotsky and others from 1928 onward.1 Panarin explained this dichotomy as a struggle between the world outlooks of international Marxism, under Trotsky, and what has been called ‘National Bolshevism’, under the auspices of Joseph Stalin. He points out:
On 3 July 1941 when Stalin addressed the Soviet people as “Brothers and sisters,” this doctrine became the dominant geopolitical idea of the USSR-Rus and replaced Lenin-Trotsky’s idea of world revolution which was an external (imported) geopolitical project. The Pan-Eurasian nationalism of Trubetzkoy, fused with the “Moscow–Third Rome” idea realised in the conditions of the Soviet order, yielded a result – the USSR won a victory in the global skirmish with Fascism. And the Trotskyist ideas were victorious at the end of the 20th century in the USA, vividly manifested in the ideology of the liberal globalism of the contemporary American political elite.2
Dr. Panarin’s analysis shows a depth of understanding one cannot readily find in the West’s political and scholarly circles. Although it continued using Marxist rhetoric and symbolism, after the elimination of Trotsky the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) transfigured the doctrine of ‘world revolution’ into the old Russian messianic mission. Soviet officials and ideologues, even under the guise of ‘Bolshevism’, evoked Mother Russia, which included an end to the persecution of the Orthodox Church, much to the outrage of Trotsky and his followers in the West.
Of particular note, Panarin sees the United States as the custodian of Trotskyite ‘world revolution’. This will perplex superficial observers, especially the banal academics of the West who understand little of history’s depth. The so-called ‘neocons’, or ‘neoconservatives’, are either ‘former’ Trotskyites or the intellectual heirs of those Trotskyites who took over US foreign policy. Such was their hatred of Joseph Stalin that Trotskyism would eventually metamorphose into a primary ingredient of US foreign policy doctrine – resolute opposition to the Soviet Union.
Founded in 1949 by the CIA, the Congress for Cultural Freedom was a major ideological instrument opposing and undermining the Soviet Union. Its positions were filled with Trotskyites and their apologists. Trotsky’s widow, Natalia Sedova, publicly broke with the Trotskyite Fourth International, charging that her late husband would have supported the United States against the USSR. She stated it was the Soviet Union, not the USA, which was the primary obstacle to “world revolution.”3 Leading Trotskyite ideologue Max Shachtman became another ‘Cold Warrior’ for the USA. After the Congress for Cultural Freedom had been thoroughly exposed as a CIA front, a ‘Shachtmanite’ leader of the American Federation of Labor, Tom Kahn, was instrumental in getting the US Congress to fund the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in 1983. The NED remains the primary centre for world revolution as a leading sponsor of the so-called “colour revolutions.”4
The ‘colour revolutions’ including the ‘Arab Spring’ and those in the former Soviet bloc states are recognised by Panarin as having been fostered by Washington. He has labelled the Soviet Union’s last leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, the “Antihero of Russia” for his pivotal role in the destruction of the USSR.
Gorbachev is feted among the globalist elite for bringing the Soviet bloc to ruin. He was given a gala celebration on his 80th birthday, at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 2011, where he was lauded by Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, among others, as having “ended the Cold War.” Like every good retired head of state in the service of globalism, he has established his own foundation. On the occasion of his birthday celebration Gorbachev publicly threatened Vladimir Putin that should he stand for a third presidential term he might face a revolution.
Igor Panarin is acutely aware of the methods used by the United States to bring down reticent nation-states that do not comply with globalist diktats. Among these are the ‘colour’ or ‘velvet’ revolutions.
It is ironic or, better said, hypocritical, that the US ‘Deep State’ is vociferous in its allegations of Russia having ‘interfered’ in the American presidential election, although evidence is elusive. The United States has been interfering in the political processes of nations for generations. When subversion and political manipulation do not work, mass bombing as in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya is the final resort.
Dr. Paranin’s perception of the USA as the leader of a “neo-Trotskyist world revolution” makes him an astute political observer. He has defined precisely the character of a world struggle between two antithetical outlooks, both messianic, and both having their own world-missions: Russia, the katechon, holding back the Antichrist with an enduring self-perception of its holy mission, as expressed by such writers as Dostoyevsky; and the USA, the Great Whore, heralding the system of the Antichrist. Whether interpreted literally or symbolically, this is the reality of the world-conflict between Russia and the USA. With Europe and Australasia acting as the dupes of the USA, in the name of a ‘West’ that lost any inner meaning centuries ago.
Hence Panarin sees the ‘velvet revolution’ in Czechoslovakia (1989), and the ‘colour revolutions’ in other former Soviet bloc states, along with the ‘Arab Spring’, as manifestations of American geopolitical strategy. A primary element of this subversion is the ‘information war’, in which he specialises. Panarin lists eight different components of information operations.
The first two are “social control” and “social maneuvering” which revolve around “influencing society” to achieve “intentional control of the public aimed at gaining certain benefits.” “Disinformation,” “fabrication of information,” and “information manipulation” all relate to supporting information operations through leveraging incorrect information.5
These tactics are clearly seen in operation against Russia, including the propaganda offensive to undermine Russia’s role in Syria.
The way information war unfolds was first noted in Czechoslovakia in 1971. A nihilistic, no-talent music group called ‘Plastic People of the Universe’ was established, and became a cause célèbre, lauded by The New York Times, Voice of America, etc. From this milieu Charter 77, a key initiative of the ‘velvet revolution’, was founded. Liaising with the Solidarity movement in Poland, these groups received sponsorship from globalist foundations in the US. Vaclav Havel was chosen by the globalists as the first president of a post-Soviet Czech state.6 Like Gorbachev, he was feted by the globalists, awarded the NED’s medal for service, and served on the board of George Soros’ Drug Policy Alliance, among others.
The Soviet geopolitical bloc, once the primary bulwark against globalist hegemony, was brought down by cultural subversion and political agitation sponsored first by the US Congress for Cultural Freedom, then by NED. Later, billionaire financier George Soros and a myriad of other Western-funded NGOs spread the pernicious values of globalism in the emerging nation-states of the former Soviet bloc.
That today Russia is accused of waging ‘information war’ – directed, no less, by Dr. Panarin – is hard to beat for pure chutzpah, even by the standards of US hypocrisy and cant. Historically, the United States sponsored information and culture war of colossal proportions in the name of spreading ‘freedom’. This was described by American geopolitical strategist Major Ralph Peters as nothing short of a contagion designed to undermine the traditional fabric of states reticent about entering the brave new world.7 What Peters called “constant conflict” is tantamount to what Trotsky called “permanent revolution.”
Bret Perry in his well-researched but antagonistic article, states of Dr. Panarin:
Although not officially confirmed, it is believed that the Russian government worked with Panarin to set up an office managed by a presidential special adviser “to oversee an international network of NGOs, information agencies and training institutions” for coordinating Russia’s whole-of-government information operations.8
An article by Matthew Sussex (National Security College, Crawford School of Public Policy, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University) for the Lowy Institute’s The Interpreter, focuses on the measures of ideological counter-insurgency that Russia is allegedly taking under the direction of Dr. Panarin. Sussex comments: “The West is understandably reluctant to openly engage in similar behaviour. One of the main constraints of deliberately manipulating information is that it is deceitful and dishonest.”9 To claim such moral rectitude for the “West” enters the realm of tragicomedy.
It would be naïve to assume that Russia would not respond to an information war waged against it. It is difficult to discern that Russia has anything approaching the network of NGOs, information agencies and training institutions operated by the globalist Russophobes and their dupes around the world, with vast funding from the NED, the George Soros network and a multiplicity of others. One should readily see Putin’s expulsion of this NGO network from Russia as an obvious requirement in the interests of Russia, despite the squeals about ‘democracy’ from the Machiavellian subversives who were given the boot.
Panarin’s view is that Russia needs to respond to the information war for her own “protection.” Russophobia has escalated in recent years, especially after Russia acted to defend her interests in the Ukraine, where US interference was blatant. In a 2015 interview, Panarin explained in regard to the creation of a “Russian internet” that it “is not censorship and regulation, but ‘protection’.” This was condemned as an encroachment on ‘freedom’, but the United States has long used such ‘freedom’ to propagandise and agitate. Panarin’s concern is that ‘colour revolution’ is planned for Russia. It was social media that played a pivotal role, with sponsorship from globalist interests, in the fomenting of ‘colour revolutions’ in the former Soviet bloc states and across North Africa. Russian paranoia? Not at all.
In 2008, with the backing of globalist corporations, an organisation was founded to specifically utilise social media to agitate youth. The Alliance of Youth Movements or Movements.org10 was co-founded by Jason Liebman of Howcast. This group worked with the US State Department and Defense Department. Among its corporate sponsors were: Google, Music TV, Pepsi, CBS News, Mobile Accord, Youtube, Facebook, MSN/NBC, National Geographic, Omnicom Group, Access 360 Media, and Gen Next. The ‘public partnerships’ were with Columbia Law School and the US State Department. Now its partners include the National Endowment for Democracy and Free Russia Foundation (FRF). This is how the Free Russia Foundation is described:
‘The Free Russia Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental US-based organization, led by Russians abroad that seeks to be a voice for those who can’t speak under the repression of the current Russian leadership. Free Russia represents and coordinates the Russian diaspora and is focused on developing a strategic vision of a free and democratic Russia and a concrete program for the transition period.11
The Washington-based SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations is another ‘partner’, acting as a nexus between the US government, NGOs and corporations. It “engages international scholars and students directly with government officials, journalists, business executives, and other opinion leaders from both sides of the Atlantic on issues facing Europe and North America. The goal of the Center is to strengthen and reorient transatlantic relations to the dynamics of the globalizing world.”12
The Free Russian Foundation openly states: “We are focused on developing a strategic vision of Russia ‘After Putin’ and ‘Without Putinism’ and concrete programs for the transition period.” The administrators include those who have worked with the International Republican Institute, Chatham House, US Defense Department, Council on Foreign Relations and the Pentagon.13 The FRF sponsors so-called “civil society”14 which involves so-called ‘activists’ destabilising Russia.
Regardless of what one thinks of Vladimir Putin, the fact remains that Igor Panarin and others are accurate in stating there is a vast network directed against Russia, with sponsorship by the US government. What type of Russia is sought “After Putin” can be discerned from FRF partner the Committee for Russian Economic Freedom (CREF), an organisation comprised of lawyers founded in 2009 to promote ‘free market’ ideology.15 The chairman and founder of CREF, Pavel Ivlev, was “long time legal counsel for YUKOS,” an oil company that Putin nationalised, and its CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky16 is one of the primary oligarchs Putin purged from Russia’s economic life.
Perhaps now the reader clearly understands the actual aims behind the rhetoric about ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ in Russia?
According to America’s apologists such as Australian academic Matthew Sussex, the ‘West’ would not consider such nefarious activities as interfering in the internal politics of a country. Rather, we are told, it is unscrupulous Russians such as Igor Panarin who have the audacity to advocate countermeasures that intrude on ‘democracy’, including the freedom of oligarchs to pillage Russia.
In 2010 Dr. Panarin predicted the USA would balkanise, amidst social conflict, and split into separate states. Certainly the proposition of a ‘United States’ based on constitutionalism rests on weak foundations and has nothing of an organic character about it. There is no defining feature of an American ‘ethnos’, and no basis for a positive symbiotic relationship enduring between the sundry ethnicities. Panarin claims the United States is on course to balkanise due to the stressors of its huge debt, deficit and social protests. “The overlapping financial, economic and social challenges may eventually cause the world’s strongest superpower of the 20th century to collapse,” notes Panarin.17
Far from being a fanciful scenario, the US military recently addressed the same problems emerging from rapid urbanisation in ‘megacities’.
The US military regards ‘megacities’ (populations of 10,000,000 or more) as an approaching problem of instability. The US Army comments that megacities are a unique environment that they do not fully understand.18 One of their reports gives a picture of proliferating criminal networks and underground economies, natural disasters and the inability of decaying infrastructures to withstand stressors. A predicted feature is the breakdown of civic order through ethnic and religious conflict among diverse groups that are forced together to share diminishing resources and utilities.
As resources become constrained, illicit networks could potentially fill the gap left by over-extended and undercapitalized governments. The risk of natural disasters compounded by geography, climate change, unregulated growth and substandard infrastructure will magnify the challenges of humanitarian relief. As inequality between rich and poor increases, historically antagonistic religions and ethnicities will be brought into close proximity in cities. Stagnation will coexist with unprecedented development, as slums and shanty towns rapidly expand alongside modern high-rises. This is the urban future.19
The report comments on the increasingly heterogeneous populations inherent in a megacity as potentially “explosive.”
One of the hallmarks of megacities is rapid hetero and homogeneous population growth that outstrips city governance capability. Many emerging megacities are ill-prepared to accommodate the kind of explosive growth they are experiencing.20
Radical income disparity, and racial, ethnic and sub cultural separation are major drivers of instability in megacities. As these divisions become more pronounced they create delicate tensions, which if allowed to fester, may build over time, mobilize segments of the population, and erupt as triggers of instability.21
The US Army analysis accords with the 2010 analysis of Dr. Igor Panarin. The time has indeed come to seriously consider Panarin’s unique insights into the geopolitics of today’s world and his predictions for the years ahead.
© New Dawn Magazine and the respective author.
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