Thesis 4: The only sustainable foreign policy strategy in our region is New Prometheism – continuation of the historical Prometheist idea in the conditions of the 21st century.

The historical idea of Prometheism developed in early 20th century. Its most important representatives were the Polish leader Juzef Pilsudski (1867-1935), the Ukrainian writer and political leader Yurii Lypa (1900-1944) and the Latvian general Pēteris Radziņš.

Tenets of Prometheism were:

1) The fight against Russian imperialism by supporting self-determination of the nations of Central-Eastern Europe;

2) Unification of these nations in Intermarium Union – an heir of the Polish-Lithuanian federation, which with equal population, resources and favourable geopolitical location would protect the newly-gained independence from the revanchist Soviet Russia and Germany;

3) The crucial role of cooperation between Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic States in the establishment of such a union.

Pilsudski’s mistake was underestimation of ethnic nationalism, which led to a Polish-Lithuanian conflict over Vilnius. The solution proposed by General Radziņš to unite Latvia and Lithuania as Polish partners was based on respecting the Lithuanian nationalist efforts in order to create wider co-operation between the countries. Unfortunately, no solution was found in practice between the countries of Eastern Europe, and the contradictions between Poland and Lithuania were masterfully used by the USSR to prevent the formation of the Intermarium alliance, but in 1939 and 1940 it led to the complete destruction of the independence of these states.

Our history teaches that existence strong German and Russian empires at the same time is the worst situation for the survival of the peoples of Intermarium. Only disruption of this balance of power could provide a space in which the existence and development of the peoples of Intermarium would be ensured. The situation after the First World War was the most suitable for the establishment of the Intermarium Union, but this window of opportunity was not used and led to the partition of the region, but later to the full occupation by the USSR.

After the collapse of the USSR in 1991, a new window of opportunity emerged in which the region had time to unite against possible Russian revanchism. However, this too 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 the “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 the West and the East. Despite this context, the integration of almost the entire region into NATO is a achievement, enabling the region to maintain its political independence as a Western border against 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 Intermarium idea in the 21st century are several political and economic projects between the countries of Central-Eastern Europe – the Visegrad Union (which has also formed a joint battle group with Ukrainian soldiers), Three Seas Initiative, 16 + 1 Initiative and the Lublin Triangle. The intensification of these projects was fuelled by Russia’s attack on Ukraine, wave of immigration of 2015 that divided the European Union (EU), EU’s growing transformation into an ideologically left-wing union, the phenomenon of the populist New Nationalism in the West and the Belarusian people’s struggle against pro-Kremlin usurper Lukashenko. This is the context in which the idea of the New Prometheism was born, which sees Intermarium as the framework for the birth of the era of nationalism in the West, that would ensure the independence of Central-Eastern European countries from both Kremlin imperialists and Brussels ideologues.

There are also challenges for further integration of Intermarium: existing cooperation projects are formats that are not enough powerful for strategic decision-making and real coordination of interests between countries. There is still a tendency for each country to think about its short-term national interests and scars of the past still hinder cooperation between the neighboring countries, which Russia is using against the long-term national interests of all of us. However, the power of the idea of Intermarium will only grow, and this is because of objective geopolitical factors. The shrinking size of the US economy no longer allows it to be present and dominant in all global developments. According to John Mearsheimer’s theory of offensive realism, the anarchic nature of the international system contributes to the aspirations of great powers to become hegemon to the point where they are stopped – and no one seeks a balance of power. Geopolitically, it is practiced by “pan-European” federalists, who are increasingly openly challenging US power in Europe and seeking closer cooperation with revisionist Russia, which is the United States’ main geopolitical competitor in Europe. There is also a growing tendency to form internal coalitions within existing international organizations. In this context, as a geostrategic inevitability, the United States is expected to move closer to Intermarium’s most politically influential nation, Poland, which, together with the United States, opposes attempts by European federalists and Kremlin Chekists to form a single Eurasian bloc “from Vladivostok to Lisbon”.

It is not only in the interests of the United States or Poland to prevent the creation of a ‘Eurasia’. 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 acquires a wider meaning. Despite the naive fantasies of Western European and American nationalists about Russia as the “saviour of white / Christian civilization,” its consolidation brings the whole of Western civilization closer to disaster. The implementation of the “Eurasia” project would mean the destruction of the identity of European nations through neo-Marxist policies and the subsequent “fusion” of peoples into a single geopolitical bloc. In practice, however, this geopolitical bloc could not exist for a long time and given the demographic trends in Western Europe and Russia, would only serve as a soil for the spread of Islamic civilization over almost half of the world.

As Latvian nationalists we also have a responsibility to Western civilization in general. Multipolar world, in which Western institutions must be transformed into instruments for the defence of our civilization, is becoming a reality. There are no pro-European nationalists like the Baltic nationalists – the proximity to Russia makes it much more appreciable what it means to belong to the sphere of Western civilization and its institutions. That is why it is particularly painful for us when, under the name of a Europe, an ideology is imposed that destroys its foundations. The Baltic nationalists will always be the ones to seek the path of reform within the European Union, but it cannot depend on our will alone. Ideological aggression is increasingly alienating Brussels from those countries that sticks to the original idea of the EU, the idea of a union of nation states. This alienation is fuelled not only by ideological cultural wars, but also by conflicts of geopolitical interests.

Germany, an EU leading state, is increasingly abandoning Friedrich Naumann’s (1860-1919) concept as a leader of “Middle Europe”, focusing instead on Russia. Therefore, as long as Europe is not in fact united, the relations of the Intermarium countries with the rest of Europe must be built from a realistic point of view. Also, ideas of a pan-European “nationalist international” are not practical while Germany and France are getting closer to Russia at the expense of interests of Central-Eastern Europe. Russia’s interests in Europe are incompatible with the existence of Poland and Ukraine as independent states, but without them there are no alternative scenarios for development of Europe.

With the growing aggression of other civilizations, the importance of the Intermarium region in Europe will grow. Geopolitician George Friedman predicts that the coalition of Intermarium countries will become a major player in Europe around 2040.[1] Friedman emphasizes that Poland must be at the heart of this coalition. But no less important is Ukraine. The combined demographic (population of 80 million) and economic potential of Poland and Ukraine, as well as their geographical location, make them the basis of the Intermarium Union and an equal force to Germany and Russia. As a balancing force – Latvian-Lithuania union, with Latvia acting as a mediator in Lithuanian-Polish relations, but both taking on the role of mediator between Poland and Ukraine. From a geostrategic point of view, it would be especially important to attract Belarus, whose history is closely connected with Baltic culture and Polish-Lithuanian federation, and whose membership in such a union would prevent de facto isolation of the Baltic States. In a broader scale, the situation must be analysed according by the geopolitical checkerboard principle. As Germany focuses on Russia, Intermarium’s strategic partner is NATO’s strongest country, the United States. The idea of Intermarium is in line with the geopolitical concept of the “sanitary cordon” for the separation of Germany and Russia after the First World War. As long as the US geopolitical logic is not replaced by any ideological considerations, it will be in its interest to strengthen Intermarium’s independence.

In the emerging world of civilizations, Intermarium will emerge as one of the regional powers based on a common identity of civilization. But could Intermarium be the beginning of a new European Union? There are two ways for this possibility: 1) Establishing Intermarium as an alternative EU, involving other European countries; 2) Reforming the EU in the interests of European nations, with the Intermarium countries acting as internal opposition to the neo-Marxist elite. However, it would be best to implement both scenarios at the same time, both by strengthening Intermarium and by fighting for influence in the EU institutions. We cannot predict the sustainability of the EU, nor the consequences of France and Germany’s orientation towards Russia. Current trends are negative for us and for Europe itself. But we can act in accordance with our interests and our understanding of what it means to belong to European culture. Moreover, self-defence is a duty to our ancestors and future generations.

The EU institutions, governed by a self-reproducing bureaucracy overwhelmed with a sense of its indispensability and ideological mission, must be reformed based on the following principles:

1. True Europeanism is not the de facto anti-European ideology of this bureaucratic elite, but a set of values from the European nations themselves, the defence and development of which must be the core mission of a united Europe;

2. In the place of European bureaucracy that wants to centralize its power and control every aspect of European life, the emphasis must be placed on cooperation between nation states;

3. Investment policy should not be focused on infrastructure projects, but on investing in human resources to support local communities, increase wages, education, and demographics.

Such united Europe would be based on natural, universally understood values, the implementation of which would not require aggressive propaganda, as has been the case in the EU. Europe’s potential must simply be unleashed. Intermarium is the new heart of Europe with the economic, geographic and demographic potential not only to safeguard the existence of the peoples of Central-Eastern Europe, but also to usher in a new era in the advancement of Western civilization through reform of Europe.

The realization of this idea depends mainly on one factor – a new political elite that would be able to see the common interests and mission of our region in Western civilization, as well as attract a wider society with this idea.

The new generation, free from the legacy of communism and the economic ties of the post-communist elite with Russia, will be the one that will shape this future. But a unifying idea is needed. Too often, our talented people have served as material for the growth of other nations and goals of foreign empires. We have wasted our living forces on foreign ideas as if had infinite amount of them. That’s enough – we finally must go our own way! The words of Edvarts Virza, written a century ago, are appropriate: “(..) we with our new Republic of Latvia we will be mercilessly wiped off the face of the earth if we fail to organize power against opposing hostile powers that surround us. First and foremost, we must be power ourselves.”[2] For this to be the case, we must not only think about the geopolitical power relations, but also formulate a unifying idea. This idea is National Democratism.


[1] Geopolitical futures: The Road to 2040: Your Crystal Ball into the Future, George Friedman. Viewed: https://geopoliticalfutures.com/the-world-in-2040/

[2] Virza, Edvarts. Jauno valstu savienība. No: Edvarts Virza. Raksti 2. sējums. Sast. Anda Kubuliņa, Apgāds “Zinātne”, 2008., P. 253.

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