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The Orthodox Nationalist: Lev Gumilev and the Theory of Ethnogenesis I – TON 053018

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Lev Gumilev (died 1992) is the best known ethnologist of contemporary Russia. An Orthodox anti-communist, he spent much of his life in the GULag. Still, he managed to gain his education and develop the theory of Ethnogenesis that is important in the east, totally unknown in the west.

Part I deals with the fundamentals of the theory in three forms: first, the notion of "Complementarity" among small groups of people, usually tribes before unification into a nation.

Yet that's question begging, since it assumes a nation before it exists. This comes from the most original of his ideas, the "Passionary" (Пассионарность'). This is the fanatic. This is the man who, through some mental short circuit, takes the nation as his end rather than himself. Knowing his work will lead likely to death or persecution, he does it anyway. This is the ultimate cause of the nation.

Finally, the "shock," or an event that alters how men see the world. Often its a lost war, a massive invasion, a loss of independence or a famine. It either rouses a people to action or acts as the final nail in the coffin.

No understanding of ethno-nationalism is possible without understanding Gumilev's conception of these foundations. The nation is just as much a part of the natural world as the oak tree.

Part II will dive deeper into these essential constructs.

In 2012, Dr. Johnson did a podcast on Gumilev in relation to Hegel's philosophy of history which can be found HERE.

The full bibliography of Gumilev's work can be found HERE

Variations of the spelling are Gumilyov, Gumilev and Gumilov.

Presented by Matt Johnson

The Orthodox Nationalist: Lev Gumilev and the Theory of Ethnogenesis I – TON 053018


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