The Imagery of Eurasianism: From Danilevskij to Dugin

Daniel Rancour-Laferriere, University of California, Davis

Certain kinds of imagery pervade Eurasianist political thought from the late nineteenth century down to the present day. For example, metaphors of unity and disunity - which indicate psychological boundary issues - are common. The Eurasianists were concerned about the temporal gap between pre-Petrine and post-Petrine Russia, the division between the upper and lower layers of Russian culture (Nikolaj Trubeckoj's "verxi" and "nizy"), the disconnection of humans with their natural environment, the split between Russian and Western Europe, the chasm between emigre Russians and the homeland forever left behind, and various other anxiety-producing separations. There were altogether too many of these splits and chasms for the Eurasianists. The Eurasianists welcomed, on the other hand, merging of East Slavs with non-Slavic peoples in the Eurasian expanse, the allegedly "symphonic" wholeness of the Eurasian personality, and, of course, the harmonious union of Europe with Asia in one "Russia-Eurasia" (Petr Savickij). Psychoanalysis of this separation vs. unity issue indicates unresolved feelings about the early relationship with the mother. The aging Savickij, for example, emphasized his feelings of unity with "our Russian moist-mother earth." Nikolai Danilevskij characterized Europe as a "Mama" who tried to order Russia around (this image extends Chaadaev's metaphor of Russia as a "child"). Further investigation of these and other images favored by the Eurasianists will have interesting psychoanalytic implications.