The New Prometheism – Intermarium and Western civilization

Prometheus is not only a symbol of the desire for freedom and rebellion – Prometheus also signifies sacrifice for the good of the whole. Indeed, the Intermarium is the birthplace of heroes: the defeat of Turkish army near Vienna in 1683, which halted further Muslim invasion of Europe, and the stopping of Bolshevik army near Warsaw in 1920 are the most significant examples. In both cases, they resulted in the partition of Poland itself by the countries it saved. However, the reasons were not only external: our region also has historical structural problems that have been exploited by our opponents. The Polish-Lithuanian federation was ethnically and religiously diverse, but its administration was paralyzed by the noble-controlled Sejm, where everyone had the right to suspend any parliamentary decision with their veto. This weakness was exploited by the Russian Empire, which led to the end of the partition of the Polish-Lithuanian state in 1795. In the 19th century, the Intermarium region did not exist as a subject of European politics. The Kingdom of Poland became a puppet state for various European empires, but the Polish uprising against the occupying forces was brutally suppressed. Not only Poles, but also Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians and other Intermarium peoples faced the policy of Russification or Germanization. The geopolitical situation of the 19th century showed that existence of strong German and Russian empires at the same time was the worst situation for the survival of the peoples of Intermarium. Only upsetting of this balance of power could provide a space in which the existence and development of the peoples of Intermarium would be ensured. This balance of power was upset with the outbreak of World War I in 1914. The peoples of the Intermarium found themselves among the millstones of the empires, trying to find positions in their clash that would ensure their independence. After the capitulation of Germany in the First World War, there was an opportunity to unite Central Europe under Polish leadership. This window of opportunity was not used and led to the re-division of the region, but later to full occupation by the USSR. Previously discussed ideas of Intermarium by Piłsudski , as well as variations of these ideas in the interpretations of General Pēteris Radziņš and Yurii Lypa, were based on the geopolitical situation after the First World War, when German and Russian power collapsed simultaneously.

After the collapse of the USSR in 1991, a new window of opportunity emerged in which the region had the opportunity to unite. This time was wasted: in the 1990s, the ruling elites of the West were in euphoria about the “end of history” or the ultimate victory of liberalism. This concept of “end of history” benefited the post-communist political elites of Central-Eastern Europe, who maintained corrupt ties with Russia, calling it a “bridge-building” between West and East. Despite this context, the integration of almost the entire region into NATO is a major achievement, enabling the region to maintain its political stability as a Western border against the Russian aggression that began with Putin’s rise to power in the early 21st century. Within the framework of this political permanence, the idea of Intermarium was starting reborn in a new context.

The bearers of the idea of Intermarium in the 21st century are several military and political projects between the countries of Central-Eastern Europe. Such is the Visegrad Union, which is a political format for cooperation between countries, which has also set up a joint battle group, which also includes Ukrainian soldiers. In his inaugural address on 6 August 2015, the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, announced a plan to form an alliance of Central European countries based on the Intermarium concept.[1] In 2016, the Three Seas Initiative was launched – or the Baltic, Adriatic, Black Sea Initiative, which is a forum for solving various issues between the CE European EU countries. 16 + 1, on the other hand, is a format in which China cooperates with the countries of the region, which includes not only EU countries, but also, for example, Serbia and Montenegro.

Two factors accelerated the integration processes in the Intermarium region over the past decade: First, Russia’s attack on Ukraine led to increased military cooperation between CE European countries and between those countries and the United States. Russia’s military aggression against a European state returned harsh realism to the everyday politics and put an end to the liberal idea of the ‘end of history’ and the move towards an apolitical world in which market decides everything. The failure of Western Europe and the Obama administration to confront Putin’s reckless adventure awakened the peoples of the region from a long sleep of liberalism, returning the national spirit and readiness to defend their homeland against the Kremlin’s hybrid war. Secondly, the immigration wave of 2015 created a huge ideological and political divide between the globalist elites of the old European Union (EU) countries and the countries of Central-Eastern Europe. Attempts to impose immigrant quotas and punish countries that disobey the European Commission alienated the new Europe from the old, but also brought together countries and peoples who still remember the USSR’s imperialist and migratory policies.

The birth of the new nationalism in the West could be mentioned as additional factor. It arose in response to the events of 2015. The new nationalism is characterized by populism, anti-globalism, anti-immigration sentiment and the priority of national identity over dogmas of economics. Brexit and presidency of Donald Trump were pivotal moments of new nationalist victories in the past decade. In this context, the portal “The New Nationalism” was launched in 2016. Its aim was to promote the understanding of the geopolitical dimension of nationalism to the Western national-conservative public. We saw that too many Western nationalists, hungry for some kind of change, were completely uncritical of Russia’s false nationalism, or Eurasianism. We also wanted to develop the ideology of 21st century nationalism, so that it did not manifest itself simply as a reaction to the politics of globalism, but would offer a positive vision of future. Despite the limited resources and counterreactions, the groundwork has been laid for continuing this work in the new decade, focusing on Intermarium as the geopolitical framework for the birth of the nationalist era in the West. Promethism serves as a historical example and unifying term for this metapolitical movement in our region.

More and more people are becoming convinced that Intermarium is the only way for Central-Eastern Europe countries to maintain their freedom from both the towers of Kremlin and Babel (Brussels). At the same time, however, obstacles to further integration of the Intermarium region have emerged. Unfortunately, the scars of the past still hinder cooperation between Poland and Ukraine. Giedroyc doctrine, which was developed after World War II to promote national reconciliation among the peoples of the Intermarium region, is still relevant – the countries of the region should adhere to it so that short-term passions do not blur the long term perspective and we do not once again experience the tragedies of the last century. Another problem is, that unfortunately, the Hungarian government and some Czech politicians see greater prospects for cooperation with Russia than with the countries of the region. In 2018, Viktor Orban formulated five theses for the future of Central Europe: 1) the right of each country to defend its Christian culture and reject the ideology of multiculturalism; 2) the right of each state to defend the traditional family model; 3) the right of each state to defend its economic and market interests; 4) the right of each country to defend its borders and refuse immigration; 5) the right of each country to have equal representation in the EU.[2] Almost every point could be accepted, but it is the third point – the economic and market interests of each country – that is the Achilles’ heel of the region. Russia will always be able to divide and “bribe” each country individually in order to isolate its victims and gradually, as well as in long-term pursue its strategic interests in the region as a whole, just as it did between the First and Second World Wars. The EU’s globalist elite policy towards the countries of the region is also based on the use of internal contradictions to pursue its long-term interests. Both the Visegrad Group and the Three Seas Initiative are not powerful formats enough for strategic decision-making and real coordination of interests between countries. The previous immigration crisis has greatly facilitated cooperation processes, but they have not led to a long-term solution, which may prove fatal in the next crisis.

However, despite the challenges, the idea of ​​Intermarium will play an increasingly important role in the 21st century and will have objective geopolitical factors. US National Intelligence Council in its 2008 report[3] states: The rrise of China and India will lead to a multipolar global system. In 2025, the “international community” will no longer exist, but Western alliances will be weakened. Russia will increasingly challenge Western-led order, and the United States, while still the strongest country in the world, will have less influence. In this time of change, the United States will look for a new way to shape its global policy.

The shrinking size of the US economy no longer allows it to be present and dominant in all global developments. This has been felt by European federalists, who are increasingly openly challenging US power in Europe and seeking closer cooperation with Russia, the US ‘s main geopolitical competitor in Europe. In this context, as a geostrategic inevitability can be predicted further US rapprochement with the key nation of Intermarium, Poland, which is in ideological opposition to Brussels’ globalist elite and in geopolitical opposition to Russian revanchism. Donald Trump’s visit to Poland in July 2017 confirmed the US desire to expand cooperation with the countries of the Three Seas Initiative.[4]

Further integration of the Intermarium region in the 21st century is a “tree with two ends” – there are also challenges and new challenges at the end of every opportunity. Whether these problems and difficulties can be transformed again into new opportunities for cooperation between the Intermarium countries depends solely on a new political elite, the lack of which is the weak point of the young nations of Europe. It would replace the old, post-communist elite, which cannot think in the long run because its economic interests are too intertwined with Russia. By acting proactively, it would be able to turn all challenges into opportunities, thinking about the future potential of greater cooperation between the akin Intermarium countries and peoples. The task of “The New Prometheism” portal is to form and unite this elite.

Struggle for Intermarium should be viewed in the context of the struggle for the fate of Western civilization. In a situation where Western Europe has changed ideologically and ethnically to such an extent that it is subjected to the expansion of much more vital Islamic culture, but Russia is carrying out military aggression from the East, Intermarium still carries the spirit of resistance that once freed itself from occupations of foreign civilizations and later from the tyranny of Bolshevism. Faced with the ideological aggression of the globalists from Brussels and hybrid war of the Kremlin, the Intermarium countries will seek a path to greater independence in a multipolar world and will realize that only by standing together is it possible to resist these superstructures. However, the peoples of Intermarium will not isolate themselves from Western civilization but will create a new basis for the unification of Europe into a confederation of nation states. This will fulfil Arnold Toinby’s observation that in the phase of the decline of civilization, its border becomes the centre for the spread of a new civilization on both directions.[5] The centre of gravity of Europe will have been shifted to the lands between Berlin and Moscow – but they will no longer be subject to either! If in the 20th century the unity of the Intermarium region meant a common destiny in the struggle for national self-determination against the occupying forces, then in the 21st century it becomes more important – Intermarium as the border region of current Western civilization under the leadership of a new civilization elite will become the centre of the regenerated West. It is the new heart of Europe with the economic, geographical and demographic potential not only to safeguard the existence of the peoples of Central-Eastern Europe, but also to usher a new era in the advancement of Western civilization.


[1] Duda’s mission: recover Pilsudski’s Intermarium and Giedroyc’s commitment to Ukraine, Matteo Cazzulani Centre for Global Studies “Strategy XX!”, Viewed: http://geostrategy.org.ua/en/komentari-ta-ocinki/item/800-misiya-dudi-povernennya-do-kontseptsiyi-mizhmor%E2%80%99ya-yuzefa-pilsudskogo-ta-ideyi-ukrayinsko-polskoyi-spivpratsi-ezhi-gedroytsya

[2] Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech at the 29th Bálványos Summer Open University and Student Camp, Website of the Hungarian Government, Viewed: http://www.kormany.hu/en/the-prime-minister/the-prime-minister-s-speeches/prime-minister-viktor-orban-s-speech-at-the-29th-balvanyos-summer-open-university-and-student-camp

[3] Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World. National Intelligence Council. Viewed:  https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/94769/2008_11_Global_Trends_2025.pdf

[4] Trump vows support for Three Seas initiative, Radio Poland, Viewed: http://www.thenews.pl/1/10/ArtykulP/315024,Trump-vows-support-for-Three-Seas-initiative

[5] For example, the border of the former Roman Empire on the Rhine became the new center of the emerging Western civilization in the early Middle Ages. Toynbee, Arnold J., A Study of History. Abridgement of volumes I-VI by D.C. Somervell, Oxford University Press, 1961., pp. 9-15.

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