Russian Eurasianism

The purported Asianism of the late nineteenth century must therefore be taken with a pinch of salt; .before Eurasianism in. the 1920s, no Russian intellectual movement displayed areal the Turko-Mongol world. Asia was only ever highlighted under the aspect of Aryanism; it was a mere detour to reinforced claims of Eutopeanness. Most of those theorists who sought to comment on Russia’s alleged distinctiveness, from the Slavophile Aleksandr Khomiakov in 1840 to the Symbolist poet Aleksandr Blok iQ 1918, painted Russia’s identity in identical terms, embodied by Scythia; for them, the Russians were descended directly from the Asian cradle of the European peoples. Even the best-known Pan-Slavists, such as Nikolai Danilevsky ( 1822-85), claimed to prefer Asia over the “Romano-Germanic” world, Islam or Buddhism over Catholicism, and the Turks over the Latins. The idea was that it was Europe’s errors and lack of understanding, the European allegation that the Slavs were “Turanian,”9 that forced the Russians to take this “slanted-eyed” view of Russia, in Aleksandr Blok’s poetic phrase. 10 Thus it took the shock of the Revolution of 1917 and exile to really prepare the ground for Eurasianism’s claims of Asianness.

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