Geopolitics: a Philosophical Approach




These my brand-new reflections on geopolitics present it as a philosophical field, emphasizing the influence of geography on political strategies and the impact of geopolitical actions on collective identities and human conditions. It integrates classical philosophical thoughts on power and State acts, aiming to deepen the understanding of nations’ strategic behaviours and ethical considerations. This reflective approach seeks to enhance insights into global interactions and the shaping of geopolitical landscapes.


Geopolitics and Philosophy

Part I


It is essential to clarify from the outset the following: this discussion treats philosophy and geopolitics as if they were monolithic entities, which they decidedly are not. Therefore, let us immediately define our points of reference: the geopolitical perspective referred to here can be termed “geopolitical humanism,” found in key journals and think tanks; philosophically, it aligns with the thought of Hegel.
Further clarification is necessary: unlike philosophical orthodoxy, which is quick to excommunicate those who engage with thoughts of others through a “cut and sew” approach—selecting the admirable elements, adding parts, and discarding the rest to construct their thesis—we elevate such excommunication to a virtue. We adhere to the teachings of Alexandre Kojève who stated, “I was relatively unconcerned with what Hegel himself intended to convey in his book; I delivered a course on phenomenological anthropology using Hegelian texts, only expressing what I deemed to be the truth, disregarding what seemed erroneous in Hegel.”
We prefer this approach, extracting the valuable contributions of Hegel, the unparalleled genius from whom numerous thinkers and geopolitical analysts have inevitably drawn insight.
With this premise set, let us begin at the beginning. Geopolitics has become a ubiquitous term. Used either appropriately or inappropriately, praised or obstructed, it is undeniable that it has made significant inroads into public opinion, intellectual circles, and even the academic realm. For many, the explanation for its success is readily articulated: the proliferation of crises and chaos, the reshaping of the international order, and the emergence of new challenges among major powers raise questions to which geopolitics provides answers. However, this response is not adequate. We should first ask why similar success has not been observed for political science and international relations, or why economics, which once seemed sufficient to describe and predict the world’s course, is not appealed to in the same way.
Naïve critics of geopolitics—often belonging to the aforementioned disciplines—superficially attribute its success to media overexposure. This explanation is fundamentally flawed. It suggests exposure as the cause of success rather than its effect and fails to explain why the same principle does not apply to all disciplines that have enjoyed similar visibility.
Reducing the success of any discipline to the mediation of knowledge does a disservice to both humanity and scholarship. This mistake is due to a logical fallacy that imagines the worlds of media and civil society developing in parallel—as if the former is not included in the latter, as if it is not a representation of it.

The success of geopolitics can be explained differently. It addresses the distinctly human need (and often criticized) to understand the world’s full expressive range. The necessity to comprehend the entirety through a holistic approach; to know the whole from every possible angle. Geopolitics is not merely a specialized knowledge but a catalyst of knowledge, and its explanatory power (and thus its appeal) lies precisely in its ability to facilitate dialogue between specific knowledges to achieve a comprehensive representation of the whole. “Truth is the whole. However, the whole is merely the essence completing itself through its development.”
When geopolitics critiques economism, for instance, it is merely cautioning against the fallacy of specialized knowledge. Economics is not excluded from geopolitical analysis; rather, it is not elevated to the role of a deus ex machina of reality.
The need for philosophy and geopolitics arises when history ceases to progress inertly; when the present begins to show its age. When the Aufhebung is underway, humanity feels the need to drive change. It is at this juncture that these disciplines become indispensable: philosophy allows us to understand our own time through thought (as Hegel’s owl of Minerva, which takes flight at dusk, when the phase is just completed) and geopolitics, incorporating this understanding of the previous phase, seeks to determine the next phase based on this awareness.
Truth is the whole because the concrete is the entirety, while the abstract is the partial. Deceived by decades of scientism, we have internalized the notion that, contrary to fact, the concrete is found in the part, in the specificity, in the irreducible multiplicity of diversity which would negate any totality because such a totality would obliterate all heterogeneity “like a gunshot.” This ontological principle correlates with the methodological one, which finds its raison d’être in the experimental method: to isolate the part from the whole to understand its specificity and, from this, attempt to deduce universal laws. This stance is suitable for the natural sciences, but in human affairs, it can only contribute, not dominate. In the impersonality of nature, indeed, an accurate abstraction of the part from the whole can rightly be considered a faithful representation of the Whole itself, if it reproduces its properties. However, humanity has an ontological surplus that prevents such an approach. Consciousness and volition are inseparable from the place and time in which they are immersed. It is not feasible to isolate individuals, study them in a laboratory, and from them derive universal laws that would hold for the past and the future. Thus, contrary to common belief today, the concrete is the whole because only when immersed in the entirety does it reveal its true nature; while separation from the context, the construction of the “case,” and the partiality of observation lead to mere abstractions. These are not falsehoods, but the plausible, hence the non-true. It is clear, then, that the totality of being can only be grasped with the totality of knowing, that is, through knowledge that observes being from various angles and through reason that synthesizes the parts, recognizing them as participants in the determination of the Whole.





Lascia un commento

Il tuo indirizzo email non sarà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *