Astana is the capitol of Kazakhstan and is the “newest” capitol in the world in that the entire city was rebuilt from the ground up in the years following the death of the Soviet Union into a brand new city. However, as many have noted, Astana is also one of the strangest capitols in the world as it is filled with what is at the surface objectively strange imagery that upon deeper observation has direct ties to the occult:
Of all places, why put a city here? From the aeroplane window it’s more of the same: flat, empty and endlessly vast. At 30,000 feet, a few lonely lakes polka-dot the landscape. There is no evidence of human activity. There are scarcely any trees and few distinguishing landmarks. On and on it goes – Kazakhstan is the size of western Europe, and so unremittingly flat, it’s as if some gigantic plasterer has skimmed the land. Here wolves outnumber people. Little wonder the Soviets chose this vast emptiness to hide their Gulags and their space programme, and to test their nuclear weapons. Much of it radioactive, it’s an agoraphobic’s vision of hell.
And then, out of nowhere, Astana comes glistening into view, all shiny metal and glass, implausibly rising up from the Kazakh steppe like some post-modern lego set that has stumbled into the opening sequence of Dallas. Welcome to Astana, one of the strangest capital cities on earth.
There was some early talk of Astana – which means “capital” in Kazakh – being named after the president, Nursultan Nazarbayev. After all, his name and vision are omnipresent. Since independence from the USSR in 1991, he was the first – and has been the only – president of the Republic of Kazakhstan, with an electoral victory earlier this year in which he received a comedy 97.7% of the vote.
All presidents are limited to a term of five years – except, of course, Nazarbayev, over whom the press has suspended any modicum of critical vigilance. Many Kazakh officials are quite open about it: they have chosen to do economic development first, and proper democracy (they hope) will come at some point later.
Given the billions of barrels of oil and gas that have been discovered in the country, and its very low population of only 16 million, every Kazakhstani should be a millionaire by now. One look at Astana and you can see where much of the money has gone: everywhere it’s big, flashy signature buildings, all wearing their architects’ names like fashion labels, all competing for attention like a collection of spoiled teenagers insecurely shouting: “Look at me!”
Take the Norman Foster-designed Khan Shatyr shopping centre, on the road into town from the airport. It’s the world’s largest marquee with total area of 127,000 sq metres and a height along the spire of 150 metres. A special chemical lining protects those inside from the brutal icy winter and helps it maintain its special microclimate. The artificial beach, with sand specially imported from the Maldives, requires a constant 35C. All shopping centres need a beach, of course.
For a centrally planned city, the aesthetic juxtapositions are remarkably discordant. A flashy glass pyramid. A towering set of apartments built to match Moscow University in the Stalinist empire style. A Disney version of the White House. A vase-like tower with a ball on top that the president apparently designed on the back of a napkin during a state dinner. A finance ministry shaped as a dollar bill.
Few of these buildings seem to have been designed with practicality in mind. The lifts in the pyramid go up, then left, then up, then left – it must have been incredibly expensive to get them to waltz like that. My hotel has an impressive light show on the outside of the building … and terrible Wi-Fi.
When the capital was moved here from Almaty in 1997, there was little enthusiasm among government officials who were forced to relocate. Almaty – which finds out this week if it has been successful in its bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics – is more than a thousand kilometres further south, and is a much older and considerably classier affair. This is where Prince Harry enjoyed his winter holiday with Cressida Bonas in 2014, and where government officials spent long weekends cooking plov at their luxury dachas styled on English country houses.
The official reason for relocating to Astana – previously the provincial settlement of Tselinograd, with a crumbling Soviet housing stock – was Almaty’s location in an earthquake-prone region. But its close proximity to the Chinese border and Kazakhstan’s need to strengthen its hold on the north of the country with its large number of ethnic Russians made it logical from a strategic point of view. In this regard, the comparison with Ukraine is instructive: both have high Russian populations.
However, Nazarbayev is playing wise, carefully manoeuvring between Russia, China and the US, and is duly credited for encouraging intra-ethnic – and indeed, intra-religious – harmony. There are several large mosques in Astana, but also churches and synagogues. The baby-blue Beit Rachel synagogue is the largest in central Asia. With the threat of militant Islam on its southern border, healthy ecumenical relations are not just a communal nicety; they are a strategic necessity.
Other positives include Astana’s new university. Opened in 2010, and named after Nazarbayev (who else?), it is a point of pride for many that foreign academics staff many of the departments. Indeed, education has become a legacy issue for the 75-year-old so-called “father of the nation”. Nazarbayev has made it possible for school graduates to study overseas, all expenses paid, provided they return to Kazakhstan to work for at least five years after graduation.
Many of this new breed of foreign-educated Kazakhstanis now make their careers in Astana. Nothing whatsoever like that famous anti-hero of Kazakhstan, Borat, these new go-getting graduates increasingly dominate what is a young city both in terms of its age – Astana celebrated its 17th birthday on 6 July this year (the same day as the president’s) – and overall demographic. You don’t see many over-50s out on the streets.
This flashy toy-city is locked in a fascinating negotiation between a Soviet command-and-control past and an aspirational, market-savvy present. But out on the edge of town, all the architecture stops abruptly. All the frantic energy comes to a halt, and the vast unremitting steppe suddenly begins. Which is why Astana feels like some great existentialist parable, an attempt to overcome the terror of endless emptiness with the frantic distraction of human endeavour.
From 30,000 feet, let alone sub specie aeternitatis, it seems that Norman Foster doesn’t really stand a chance. But who knows? (source, source)
As several blogs have noted, the curious design of Astana points to the encouragement of a religious syncretism as well as the capitol itself being designed in the form of a Freemason temple with an seemingly open emphasis on sun worship:
Conceived by Britain’s most prolific architect, Lord Norman Forster, this giant pyramid is an odd presence in the middle of the Asian Steppes. The building is dedicated to “the renunciation of violence” and “to bring together the world’s religions”. Norman Foster has said that the building has no recognizable religious symbols to permit the harmonious reunification of confessions. In reality, the pyramid is a temple for the occultist’s only TRUE religion: Sun worship. A journey inside this building is a truly symbolic one. It represents each human’s path to illumination….As Manly P. Hall stated, the pyramid is the ultimate symbol representing the mysteries of ancient civilizations. Sublime in their simplicity, divine in their proportions, they embody both the divine knowledge owned by the illuminated and the bewilderment of the masses. Today’s elite, initiated to the occult, are the heirs of this ancient wisdom and use the pyramid as a symbol of power in the modern world. The illuminated/floating/missing capstone represents the divine principle present in the universe as well in each human being. Another symbolic meaning attributed to the missing capstone is the unfinished nature of the New World Order. It is said that the capstone of the Great Pyramid will be reinstated when this age-old project will become reality.
Right on top of the opera house is the central space of the pyramid. It acts as the meeting room for conferences reuniting religious leaders of the world. Take a minute and soak up the symbolism here. You have religious leaders from around the world sitting around a huge figure of the sun, discussing how to reconcile their differences for the coming New Age. The symbolism is blatant: all these theologies are simply an outgrowth of the original object of worship: the Sun. (source)
There are also the curious pillars in the city that bear a striking semblance to those in Freemasonry by their positioning:
And this is shown by air too, as it points to a tower called the Bayterek, which is representative of ancient sun worship in Central Asia:
It is, objectively speaking, a strange capitol. Buy why in Central Asia? Why not somewhere else in the world?
A possible answer that synchronizes current world trends and movements on this has not been proposed. That is, until now.
The Relationship between Economics and Politics.
There is a direct relationship in life between politics and economics. This is as much applicable to individuals as it is to entire societies. One’s parents or teachers may have told a child that “you are what you eat,” or in the words of an employer, “GIGO”, meaning “garbage in, garbage out”, or as some have said, “you only get out what you put in.”
Economics and politics function in the same way, with economics acting as the input and politics as the output. What one consumes for his personal life through the expenditure of his finances is what one will receive in terms of how his life is governed. In a social level, what a country likes to buy or sell directly determines how it interacts with other nations.
Kazakhstan is both a poor and rich nation at the same time. She is poor in that her people are very poor, and her economy is, like Russia and many former Soviet republics with few exceptions (Poland being one of them) is non-existent except for the extraction of natural resources in raw form and then selling said resources to other nations, mostly involving petroleum. Kazakhstan is no exception, with the majority of her economic activity based on selling petroleum and then uranium or other radioactive ores. Most of this money goes to benefit the current president and family of the President in Kazakhstan, who like many a Central Asian Despot uses it to fund his own lavish lifestyle.
But that aside, one must note the relationship between economics and politics, for control is preceded by human social intercourse that comes through exchange, and the struggle for power in this world is often equivalent to the struggle for dominance in terms of finance over a particular region. If one controls the economy of an area, one can to a large extend control its destiny and even the destiny of men.
Physical Presence and Economic Control: The Example of Dade County, Georgia
But merely controlling the means of commerce is not enough to control the world because economic control, even comprehensive control, can be broken. What is needed is a physical presence on-the-ground with real people that maintains semi-regular contact peoples afar and near in order to maintain control. A simple example of this can be found in the tale of Dade County, Georgia.
It is well-known in American history that with the exception of a few cities and counties, most of the area south of the Mason-Dixon line seceeded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America. What ensued was what remains the costliest war yet in American history, the American Civil War, from 1860 to 1865 that left over 625,000 people dead. The Confederacy eventually seceded in 1865, and was occupied militarily by the Union until 1878.
The State of Georgia suffered particularly hard during the Civil War due to the genocidal actions of General William Tecumseh Sherman, who fought the Confederacy as a part of the Chattanooga campaign and after crossing the Tennessee state line into Ringgold, GA, began a “scorched earth” approach where the Union army systematically burned and slaughtered everything in their path on their way to the Atlantic city of Savannah in what is known as Sherman’s March to the Sea. Scarcely an area in Georgia was spared save for the area around Lookout Mountain, which stretches into Tennessee, as it was out of the direct region of the march. Dade county resides on Lookout Mountain west, so was protected from the ravages of the war.
As a result and in an interesting twist of fate, when the rest of the Confederacy surrendered, Dade County did not and while it was not engaged in “military campaigns” against the government, it remained in a technical state of war with the government and even so far went to be called the “State of Dade.” The end of the “State of Dade” came in 1945, when the county officially “ended” its “war” status with the government, and over the next 20 years two major highways – Interstate 24 and Interstate 59 – were routed through Date County.
While the history remains, Dade County is not going to “rebel” again because it is economically and permanently interconnected to the surrounding states through the Federal Highway System. While there are many “rebellious” sentiments in the area, it has been permanently brought into the jurisdiction of the greater state and federal authorities by its placement as a economic routing point. The culture has permanently changed, and it is not an accident that Dade, while a small county nestled between two mountains was chosen, especially noting its past rebellious history that persisted for over eight decades after the end of the Civil War.
The same can be said about other nations or the world. Nations that are “isolated” by their physical separation from other nations are able to maintain a degree of autonomy from other nations even in spite of great economic pressures because of the lack of a tangible, easy to maintain physical presence continually in and passing through the area. If one wants to “bring” an area into economic control that is isolated, one needs a physical presence, and there is seldom a more efficient way to do this than by the road system as it allows people to pass through easily and by its very nature invites human social intercourse.
The Silk Road
A map of the ancient Silk Road. Note that almost all of the routes go through Central Asia
In the ancient world, it was said that “all roads lead to Rome.” Globalism as it is called today has always existed, and it was made no clearer than in the existence of the famous “Silk Road” that connected the Roman Empire at not just Rome, but its most remote outposts in places such as Carnuntum and Anglia with northeast China, Korea, and even Japan, and with all things in between. While the term “Silk Road” was not in existence until the 19th century and was popularized by the famous Swedish Silk Road explorer Sven Hedin, the giant “road” that lay at the heart of Central Asia, eastern Persia, and parts of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Jammu and Kashmir going into going into Xijiang in China and over oases such as Kashgar defined trade for thousands of years, pre-dating but amplified by the empire of Alexander the Great and continuing for all of antiquity.
If one looks at the spread of Christianity, one will note that the routes of the Apostles greatly followed the Silk Road. This was exemplified no greater than by St. Thomas the Apostle. St. Thomas, who is sometimes called “doubting Thomas” because he did not believe Jesus appeared to the other apostles unless he could put his hands into the nail marks and spear wound and then fell to his knees in fear after Our Lord appeared to him and showed His wounds to him, Thomas was the most traveled of all the disciples, going throughout Egypt, Ethiopia, all of Arabia, Iraq, Iran, making converts and establishing churches until he was martyred by being skinned alive in India. To a great extend, he followed the ancient Silk Road during his travels.
The evil armies of Mohammed, upon emerging from the deserts of Arabia in 632 AD after Mohammed’s death, followed the Silk Road for all of their conquests. It was what brought the armies of Islam not only across North Africa and to Spain, but also into Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and all the way through Uzbekistan to the final battle at the Talas River valley in 748 AD at the end of the Umayyad reign and what brought Islam to its easternmost point. It was the conquests of Islam that greatly ended the classical Silk Road and also marked the end of antiquity, and Islamic merchants supplanted the old merchants and trading posts that existed, creating an economic lock on trade within the Middle East and Far East that while trade continued would not be opened up again in a massive way until the 15th century with the first Portuguese explorations by sea to the Far East and Western Hemisphere.
As sea power eventually eclipsed the over-land roads, which were frequently dangerous, prone to caravan robbery, and long-suffering in their ability to bring goods between points, the old roads fell into disuse and the areas were forgotten as compared with their previous significance. As Peter Hopkirk points out in his book, Foreign Devils On the Silk Road, the peoples of the area, who had become very poor, were more than happy to sell artifacts of their culture to adventurers, scientists, and explorers, many who came from Europe and even America and Japan seeking treasure, fame, and fortune during the late 19th and early 20th century.
However, the decline of the ancient Silk Road as a direct does not mean that the road itself lacks geopolitical significance, nor that it could not re-emerge as a significant economic force given the proper conditions.
One may consider the case of Marco Polo and his expedition to China to visit Kublai Khan in this context. Marco Polo, a wealthy Venetian merchant, famously spent seventeen years away from his home in Genoa living among the peoples of China and traveling through Persia and Central Asia during the 13th century. A trader by nature as Venice was also a great and ancient mercantile power, he followed the ancient Silk Road paths on his travels. Other great missionaries from the similar period, such as Blessed John of Montecorvino, traveled the same roads to Xijiang, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan, where he preached the gospel and it is said he made tens of thousands of converts to the Catholic Faith, of which many were sadly annihilated under the rule of Tamerlane during his vicious persecutions of all things he believed were an obstacle to his power.
The significance of the Silk Road is directly tied to Mackinder’s theory of world power (you can read our article about this here). There never was a time that it will not be significant because the nature of the road is that it was born out of natural geographic divisions that translated into physical structures overseen by various empires. The empires and peoples would change, but the land would not and so the road would remain and if unused, its potential could remain to be exploited by those able to adapt the available technologies to bring about its revival.
It is sort of like the seas. St. Brendan, the Irish missionary, is said to have sailed on a raft to Newfoundland and as far south as North Carolina before returning to Ireland. He was carried by the ocean currents, which guided his travels. Those currents existed before him, as they have always existed, and while the people can change, the usefulness of those currents remains for those who could exploit them with the technologies they have available.
Recently, Goldman Sachs announced they were following China into Kazakhstan, with major investments into into the railway industry:
It’s not for the long freezing winters or the haute cuisine, but Goldman Sachs is heading to Astana, the capital of the ex-Soviet republic of Kazakhstan.
Goldman announced on October 1 that it was joining the Astana International Exchange(AIX). Kazakhstan’s reformist-minded financial market is the first of its kind in Central Asia and counts the Shanghai Stock Exchange and China’s Silk Road Fund as shareholders, and the Nasdaq as a technology partner. Goldman did not respond to requests for comment about how much they’ve invested, but their press office confirmed their entry into one of one of the hottest markets in Eurasia. FTSE and MSCI do not yet consider KZ an emerging market.
Goldman Sachs bought 108,480 ordinary shares of the Astana stock market, meaning they own 4.1% of AIX . But just in case this pie-in-the-sky exchange doesn’t work out according to plan, they also entered into a 5-year put option agreement with the one-year-old Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) Authority as insurance.
The Astana International Financial Center is AIX’s home. It is a symbol of modern, pro-Western, pro-capitalist Kazakhstan. Reminiscent of Disney’s spherical Epcot Center, it was built as part of last year’s World Expo 2017 held in Kazakhstan.
AIFC is perhaps the final signature project of Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev. Foreign bond investors like him because he has taken on an ambitious modernization campaign to make the country more competitive through investment in human capital and diversify away from natural resources. Kazakh bonds are investment grade.
There is nothing like this in the former Soviet Republics, especially in Central Asia. The 78-year-old Nazarbayev says he plans on making Kazakhstan one of the 30 top most-developed countries in the world by 2050. It remains a standout. In the latest Doing Business report by the World Bank, KZ beats Russia.
I was told that AIFC is sort of a bootstrapping exercise, not unlike what Singapore accomplished decades ago. Every European investor with money in KZ gives it at least an A for effort, but execution is a different matter.
During the Astana Economic Forum in May, the general consensus among the business community there was that the Center seems like a great idea—an undeniably good opportunity for high finance and big multinationals. But concern remains over how AIFC’s success will translate to the small and midsize business owner’s living outside of Astana.
“One of our main goals is the development of the economy of Kazakhstan and the region,” AIFC’s manager Ayan Adilbekov told me. It’s billed as the Kazakh 21st-century commercial center; with nonfinancial companies and fintech firms like Finclusion from Thailand and U.K.-based Paysend setting up offices there.
The AIFC jurisdiction is based on U.K. law. It brings companies into the fold via tax breaks, including for small and mid-sized operations that can actually move their operations there. So far, some 80 companies are registered within the AIFC, which is like a country within a country in terms of both legal and fiscal benefits.
Chinese finance currently dominates the scene. The China Development Bank, China International Capital Corporations, Hong Kong Securities and Shenwan Hongyuan Securities of Hong Kong are there. A subsidiary of Russia’s Lukoil is one of the official members of the AIFC.
But China is still where the action is.
Kazakhstan is the Central Asia buckle of China’s Belt and Road initiative , receiving hundreds of millions of dollars for infrastructure investments ranging from railroads to oil pipelines and a dry port along its border to ship goods by rail into Europe.
The AIX–Shanghai Stock Exchange partnership makes investing in Kazakhstan that much easier for Chinese stakeholders waiting for Nazarbayev’s privatization plans to kick in.
“We have access to China’s capital pools and liquidity,” says Adilbekov.
Meanwhile, Nasdaq worked with AIX on trading systems and technologies that will make the young AIX work like a modern exchange. AIX allows KZ locals access to global brokers that meet the usual legal requirements. Nasdaq has similar setups in Lithuania.
AIFC did not respond to questions about the government’s privatization plans, however. This is likely one of the key reasons why Goldman is involved in the exchange, to get a first look at the opening up of new state-owned enterprises to foreign investors.
Kazakhstan’s population is smaller than that of Shanghai, with just around 18 million inhabitants. Per capita income in dollars is around $8,500, about $1,000 less than Brazil, according to Focus Economics.
Its unemployment rate sits at around 5%, with real interest rates close to 3%. The country’s public debt as a percentage of GDP is just 26%, compared to around 80% for Brazil and Argentina, though its economy—still heavily reliant on hydrocarbons—is not as diverse as either of them. By comparison, at least, as a smallish frontier market, it has one of the more exciting free-market projects out there.
There is a chance that the reformist-minded Nazarbayev government gives KZ a boost in terms of market prowess; a market which is still all about extraction industries and speculative-grade corporate bonds. Everyone sees it as the best of the “Stans,” those majority Muslim, mostly secular ex-Soviet nations just south of Russia.
Washington likes Kazakhstan. President Nazarbayev visited in January and met with President Trump, and his Uzbek counterpart, Shavkat Mirziyoev followed suit in May. Both Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan announced U.S. private-sector deals worth around $15 billion following those meetups.
Like the Russians, KZ’s central bank has been tasked with fixing the struggling banking sector and cleaning up the financial system. They’ve closed three lower level banks this year.
AIFC’s success is linked with the health of Kazakhstan’s economy and financial markets. State lenders dominate everything, making it harder for certain sectors of the economy, especially small and midsize businesses, to get loans from the big banks. It seems they are aware of this.
“We need to enhance the efficiency of managing pension assets and social insurance system resources, and effectively develop alternative financial tools like a securities market, and insurance,” Nazarbayev said in a State of the Country address on October 5.
That’s the long game for Astana, which is better than no game at all.
“AIFC [will] play a pivotal role in providing business with foreign investment and access to capital,” Nazarbayev said.
If Kazakhstan’s financial center and the AIX succeeds, that’s an opportunity for Goldman Sachs, freezing winters aside. (source, source)
It’s not just the Chinese that are looking to invest in Kazakhstan. It is also the US, who is putting up a lot of funding with China in what Kazakh President Nurbayev is calling the new Silk Road:
China’s “Belt and Road” investments in Kazakhstan are paying off, allowing the Central Asian country to promote itself as an attractive market for the U.S. and other global investors.
During a Jan. 16 visit to the White House, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev declared a “new era of relations” between the two countries. That afternoon, U.S. companies signed 20 commercial contracts with Kazakhstan worth $7.5 billion at a business roundtable.
One of three areas of collaboration named in a joint press statementis agriculture, where Kazakhstan’s trade with China is growing. Produce grown in the central Asian country travels into China through railroads and inland “ports” built as part of the massive regional development program Beijing launched five years ago.
“The Kazakhs have been more successful opening up the agriculture market in China to Kazakhstan for wheat, vegetables and beef than others have been,” said David Merkel, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a U.S.-based think tank. He is also on the board of trustees of Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan.
“Now because of the infrastructure built out because of the [Belt and Road Initiative], they have the market to be looked at more favorably for investments,” Merkel said.
The Kazakhs, he added, are using their success in accessing the Chinese market as “leverage to say to U.S. investors, ‘Invest in Kazakhstan, not just for the Kazakh market but also the Chinese market and what’s beyond China.'” (source, source)
Below is a map of the new “Silk Road” proposed in the agreement. Compare it with the second map below (also earlier in the article) of the rough route of the ancient Silk Road:
If one looks carefully at the route, which passes by the Caspian and remnants of the Aral Sea, one will note that the route is almost exactly the same as it is in ancient times, with the possibility of skirting near to or just outside the reach of Kyrgyzstan, a country that few have heard of in the US and is, as far as economics is concerned, an irrelevant backwater in the recesses of the world. But this was not so once upon a time, for Kyrgyzstan was a central crossing point for millenia on the ancient Silk Road from China to the Middle East and Europe, and her geopolitical location is just as important then as it is being recognized for again today.
Kyrgyzstan, a small Muslim nation but generally secular with Islam as little more than a cultural dressing, and she is regularly involved in violent border disputes with her neighbors. She is the closest ally of Russia within Central Asia, but is also close to the US, as she is the only country in Central Asia which Americans can visit without needing to obtain a VISA, and the same applies for much of Western Europe. Kyrgyzstan is also working on a railroad project with China that will stretch through her neighbor of Uzbekistan, bringing the landlocked nation to the Caspian Sea and due to her proximity with the railway being worked on by Kazakhstan will naturally connect the two lines.
This “railway diplomacy” was picked up by the Jamestown Institute, the same group behind the “Russia in Decline” project that I have written about and lists it as a critical project for the future of Central Asia, and that it will connect Afghanistan and Pakistan to the region, thus having the potential to bring the entire Hindu subcontinent into that part of the world:
An official delegation from Uzbekistan, led by Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov, visited Pakistan on November 1–2. Kamilov and his retinue were received by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and held meetings with Foreign Minister Mahmood Qureshi as well as the host country’s top military brass. In the discussions with Pakistani officials, the Uzbekistani foreign minister proposed several ground-breaking initiatives, including a railroad connection between the two countries that would pass through Afghanistan (The New Indian Express, November 2).
The proposal to build a rail link to Pakistan came one month after Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyaev traveled to India, on October 1. In Delhi, the Uzbekistani head of state invited his hosts to partner in implementing another trans-Afghan railway project, connecting the Afghan cities of Mazar-I-Sharif and Herat. Uzbekistan’s government pledged $500 million from its own funds for this important railway line, which, if realized, will become the shortest transit route to the Iranian port of Chabahar. The Indian government did not immediately agree, however, and is taking its time to consider the Uzbekistani proposal (The Hindu, September 28; Review.uz, October 30).
Trans-Afghan railway plans have existed for many years and currently are part of the Uzbekistani government’s new strategy of developing all-round cooperation with Afghanistan (see EDM, June 27, 2017; December 13, 2017). To facilitate trade, Uzbekistan’s authorities halved transit fees for Afghan railway coaches and trucks in addition to signing a landmark transit agreement with this country, allowing greater access for Afghan goods to Uzbekistan and other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) markets (Eadaily.com, January 24, 2018). Bilateral discussions on creating a free trade zone between the two countries have also begun (Podrobno.uz July 12).
Moreover, Uzbekistan has been encouraging other fellow CIS countries to use its railway connections with Afghanistan. During Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Uzbekistan, on October 19–20 (see EDM, October 22), President Mirziyaev invited Russian companies to open their manufacturing and processing units in Uzbekistan to penetrate the Afghan market (YouTube, October 19).
This invitation could be considered an encouraging new development, showing that the Uzbekistani-Russian strategic dialogue over the situation in Afghanistan might be slowly moving beyond solely security matters. Putin also praised Uzbekistan’s moves to help achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan through direct talks between the Taliban and Afghan government, which could be hosted in Tashkent (YouTube, October 19).
As a result of the Uzbek-Russian Business Forum, held during Putin’s visit to Uzbekistan, one of the largest Russian wheat exporting companies, TH Siberian Giant, announced plans to set up a processing center in southern Surhandarya province, Uzbekistan, with an eye toward the Afghan market (Sputniknews-uz.com, October 22). In a similar fashion, Belarus’s President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, during his visit to Tashkent last September, expressed interest in partnering with Uzbekistan to export Belarusian agricultural equipment to Afghanistan (Podrobno.uz, September 13).
Uzbekistan already implemented a number of vital infrastructure and energy projects in Afghanistan in the past and is arguably Afghanistan’s only neighbor with which the government in Kabul does not currently have any irritants in bilateral relations. Having said that, however, in the broader geopolitical context that involves outside powers vying for influence in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan does not presently wield much strategic influence over developments in this strategically important neighboring country. Perhaps as a result, Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States’ Special Representative to Afghanistan Reconciliation, did not include Uzbekistan in his first regional tour, which recently took him to Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia—traditionally considered influential power-brokers vis-à-vis Kabul (State.gov, October 3).
The importance of linkages to world markets cannot be overestimated for double-landlocked Uzbekistan. Various studies have repeatedly concluded that insufficient development of physical interregional infrastructure is among the main reasons for the high cost of trade between Central Asia and other regions. The magnitude of the high cost faced by the economies of Central Asia in global trade is comparable only with landlocked countries in Africa (Forbes.kz, October 27).
Trans-Afghan railway lines concy is working on these days. The long-elusive China–Kyrgyzstan–Uzbekistan railway is another important and actively pursued linkage (Uza.uz, August 11). Currently, China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are working on its implementation, and the recent warming in relations between Tashkent and Bishkek (see EDM, September 18, 2017; October 17, 2017) has injected some cautious optimism that the three countries will finally be able to reach an agreement. Nevertheless, this cautious optimism has to reckon with a set of challenges that still lie ahead for this railway line’s implementation. (source, source)
Within three weeks after this piece was published by the Jamestown Institute, Russia met with Kyrgyzstan officials to discuss further railroad building projects (source, source).
As I and Ted have continually written about, there are major projects under way to build massive railway networks accompanied by oil pipelines going from Europe and Turkey all the way into Central Asia, which would then naturally connect with those lines. Japan is also working aggressively to build her own railway networks with US help, going through China and connecting to the lines into Central Asia.
If you have not read our articles on the railway networks, please click here and here to read them, as they provide critical information on the western aspect of constructing these networks.
If one looks at a map of the ancient Silk Road, it becomes immediately obvious that the “ancient world” as it is known is making a major revival with the rebirth of the Silk Road, this time with bullet trains as the new caravans, able to transport goods and people in mass with rapid speed between East and West.
As I noted above, economic precedes political control, and in the example of Dade County, GA, the little Georgia county that fought the government for decades but was finally forced into federal control by the construction of major roads that have permanently reshaped its destination, Central Asia is much the same way. Once a major area of commerce relegated to isolation, the new “Silk Road” by the construction of major railways will leave a permanent change in the area, as it will invite the massive influx of people to the region that will bring about an economic revival but also a reborn political control of the region through those who control the financial and economic power in the area.
Returning to Mackinder’s theory, it is out of Central Asia that almost all major world empires have historically emerged. It is also believed by the Germans, Turks, and Japanese that they share a common history born from the Steppes of Central Asia in the lands around the Caspian, known as the Turanian basin. Pan-Turanism, or the calling of all of these said peoples together under the unity of “blood and soil” is taking place as we speak, and even major world governments, such as that of Hungary, are going to Central Asia to open up relations on the basis of this, let alone the major economic ties one can see being brought about between the powers.
Eurasian century, and the new master race
Alexander Dugin, one of the close advisers for President Putin, has often spoken of a “Eurasian century” to define the 21st century. China has also spoken about this, talking about the future of uniting East and West. This is far more than just economic commerce brought about by railroads, but about specific racial ideologies and the destiny of the human race as is believed by the current and upcoming voices of eugenicists.
Years ago when the refugee crisis first emerged, I discussed a man by the name of Count Richard Cloudenhove von Kalergi. A Habsburg nobleman of mixed Japanese descent, he believed that the man of the “future” will be one of “mixed races”, as he notes in his book “Practical Idealism:
The man of the future will be of mixed race. The races and classes of today will gradually disappear due to the elimination of space, time, and prejudice. The Eurasian-negroid race of the future, similar in appearance to the Ancient Egyptians, will replace the current diversity of peoples and the diversity of individuals. Instead of destroying European Judaism, Europe, against her will, refined and educated this people, driving them to their future status as a leading nation through this artificial evolutionary process. It’s not surprising that the people that escaped from the Ghetto-Prison, became the spiritual nobility of Europe. Thus, the compassionate care given by Europe created a new breed of aristocrats. This happened when the European feudal aristocracy crashed because of the emancipation of the Jews [due to the actions taken by the French Revolution]
But what does he exactly mean by “mixed race”?
Here he directly references a “Eurasian-negroid” race, and is clearly referring to the common peoples. However, what is to be said of “elites” or “ruling classes,” who have an open contempt for all the sons of Noah, but in particular the Hamitic peoples as evidenced by the continual exploitation of their labor and service when having control over them? The idea of “mixed race”, thus, does not just mean what Cloudenhove openly proposes, but is also contained in that which he does not say, which is what the future “master race”, who will rule over the “Eurasian-negroid” race of the majority of humanity, will be made of.
For example, it is known that right now, there are many people who believe that humanity is on the “next step” of “evolution,” with major scientists proposing that through a combination of genetic therapy and integration with super technology, man will become an “interplanetary species,” where he will make the next “evolutionary” jump from man to super-man just as in the jump from ape to man.
If you have not read the article on “interplanetary species” and evolution, click here to read it
While none of them say it specifically, what is implied in this “merger” and “species” transformation is also the idea of “selective breeding” in that the “supermen” must not mix with “inferior forms.” This is the basis of “neanderthal theory,” in which Ted exposed the idea being promoted by major evolutionary biologists and academic institutions such as the Max Planck institute that:
In the pseudo-science of these devils in the elite circles of the church of natural selection, the Africans are still stuck in an early stage of human development, while Europeans and Asians have the robust genes of the neanderthal. In fact, the Max Planck Institute believes that the people who migrated out of Africa were not humans, but a different species of human, and that humans, as we know them today, appeared only after their ancestors mated with neanderthals, and modern human beings became their spawn. Its pure science fiction fantasy, but this is what they’re promoting; its their mythology, their religion. Since “modern humans” came as a result of “ancient humans” mating with neanderthals, then that means that Africans are still lower than present day humans.
If you have not read Ted’s article on the Max Planck Institute and Neanderthals, click here to read it
It makes absolutely no sense that if a person so believes in the concept of a “master race” that he would mix with “inferior humans” because it would inherently dilute his “gene pool” and thus stunt his own “evolution.” When one applies this to Cloudenhove von Kalergi’s ideas in context with the statements on Neanderthals and “evolution” with computers and AI, then his proposal of a “Eurasian-negroid” future is really his projection of a darwinistic fantasy onto people based on a racist and eugenicist, epicurean idea that man is just an animal who can be selectively “bred”, and in this case because the assumption is that human dignity and intelligence are related to genetics, that one can create a “dumb slave class” through selective “downbreeding” while the “enlightened class” can through technology and selective breeding “preserve” their genes and emerge as an intelligent master-race set to rule over the “stupid brown masses.”
World War III and a possibly scarier future
As I have noted before, the movements in the financial world indicate that the conditions for a major world war are being set up right now. However, this is not something that one should be surprised about, as it has been desired since the 1950s according to declassified CIA documents, and is directly tied to Operation Gladio, the 20th century variant of the British “Great Game” against Russia, and is meant to reduce Russia to a series of warring, vassal states.
But is the destruction of Russia the final end game, or is it something larger? According to declassified CIA documents from 1954, it noted on the basis of a Soviet operative that the USSR did not want a Third World War because they believed it would be an opportunity for the Soviet satellite republics to break away:
It notes that a resistance would be “impossible” in Siberia due to the situation of the people, but that was almost 70 years ago when this was written. Due to the continual decline of Russia caused by internal problems and social problems, the nation is very weak while the Turkic peoples of Siberia and the Central Asian republics, while also weak, are the only segments of the Russian population reproducing with more than 2 children per family, and even the lowest regions still have more than the average Russian family. This is happening at a time when there is also a large migration from Central Asia into parts of Russia.
It is completely possible at this point, given the situation of Russia, that in a major global conflict involving the US and either Germany, Turkey, or Japan, and absolutely so involving all four, that Russia would lose because she lacks the physical capability to defend herself. Germany is actively planning for a war against Russia, which is the reason why she has been working so ardently with the US and Turkey at setting up gas lines from the Caspian Sea to Europe, as she is attempting to avoid a Battle of Stalingrad scenario that she faced in World War II.
In another document from the CIA archives, the Peron government of Argentina in 1948 was asked about a Third World War between the US and Russia, and the government responded that in the event of this happening, it would be “ideological” instead of based on “political and material interests”:
What specific “ideology” could this be? Communism versus “Capitalism”? Or could it be something deeper than even what Mr. Mariategui could have seen?
Carr’s Forgery, Freemasonry, and a New Pagan Order
Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased. Upon him I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry out, nor shout, nor make his voice heard in the street. A bruised reed* he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench. He will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow dim or be bruised until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching.
Thus says God, the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and its produce, Who gives breath to its people and spirit to those who walk on it:
I, the LORD, have called you for justice, I have grasped you by the hand, I formed you, and set you as a covenant for the people, light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness. -Isaiah 42:1-7
In the New Testament, Jesus warned His disciples that when He returns, will He “find faith on the Earth?” This statement seems to imply a future apostasy from the true Faith, and as with all apostasy, it eventually in final form leads a man to return to the very paganism that Christ came to rescue him from, except that instead of man never having received the Gospel before, he has since had the chance to receive it and has instead chosen to reject it.
What must be made clear here is that what is being proposed is the exact opposite of what Christ came to restore. Christ brought order from chaos, freed man from the eternal debt owed to God by his sinful actions, and showed man the true way to God, healing the wounds between the brothers Ham, Shem, and Japheth, castigating those who called themselves “chosen” because of any innate or associated characteristics, and showing them the meaning of true service, that all men are equal in the eyes of God, that all possess functions of dignity before God and man, and that true service to God is not found in the possession of material things, but in obedience to His commands, perfecting the words of the Old Testament, where God angrily calls Israel “Sodom” and “Gomorrah,” and He says to them through Isaiah:
Hear the word of the LORD, princes of Sodom! Listen to the instruction of our God, people of Gomorrah!
What do I care for the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD. I have had enough of whole-burnt rams and fat of fatlings; In the blood of calves, lambs, and goats I find no pleasure.
When you come to appear before me, who asks these things of you? Trample my courts no more! To bring offerings is useless; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and sabbath, calling assemblies— festive convocations with wickedness— these I cannot bear.
Your new moons and festivals I detest; they weigh me down, I tire of the load. When you spread out your hands, I will close my eyes to you; Though you pray the more, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood!
Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil; learn to do good. Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.
Come now, let us set things right, says the LORD: Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; Though they be red like crimson, they may become white as wool.
If you are willing, and obey, you shall eat the good things of the land; But if you refuse and resist, you shall be eaten by the sword: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken! – Isaiah 1:10-20
If one was to look at the words of the Lord, and the example of history, what would in modern times a world look like that had rejected Christ and returned to paganism?
Some characteristics are obvious. Human life would be cheap, seen only as valuable as to its perceived use. The pursuit of the self and one’s own power and glory would be the focus of life, giving a man over to indulge himself in the basest of hedonism. There would be people of different ethnic backgrounds, and likely stratified by class on the absolute basis of said backgrounds, with the “purest” by whatever measure constituted “pure” as the “ruling” class, and those “impure” forced into progressively lower classes based on their perceived “impurity”. Following in the example of past peoples, there would be attempts to worship things like God or even to have some men attempt to become like God who are then worshiped as God, usually being done by the “rulers” to the “ruled.” Abhorrent practices such as sodomy, abortion, infanticide, and human sacrifice would be seen as normal manifestations of culture and taught to be as such, without any question over the immoral nature of them at all. It would be, ultimately an attempt to restore the disorder of Nimrod when some of the sons of Ham, Shem, and Japheth came together in rebellion against God and tried to make the tower of Babel that they might seek to be like God, and God destroyed their tower, confounded their language, and scattered them throughout the Earth.
It is claimed that the famous American Freemason Albert Pike wrote a letter to Freemason and Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Mazzini in 1871 discussing a “three world wars” scenario. The history of the letter is dubious, and most likely a forgery by W. G. Carr, the first person alleged to have reported it. But, perhaps, was Carr referring to this in an allegorical sense, similar to what many others have claimed about books with controversial or objectively untrue ideas?
Freemasonry, which has been roundly condemned by the Catholic Church since 1734 following a 17-year-long investigation into the organization and membership by a Catholic in the Freemason organization automatically incurs excommunication, was directly tied to the anti-Christian French Revolution. This has been extensively discussed by Fr. Augustin Barruel in his book Memoirs Illustrating a History of Jacobinism, and by the Protestant Professor John Robison in his book, inspired by Fr. Barruel, Proofs of a Conspiracy, both published in the late 1790s only a few years following the storming of the Bastile, and both providing copious documentation showing the connection between the Freemason lodges of continental Europe in France, Italy, and Germany, and their work to destroy the influence of the Church and establish a dictatorship of secular morality as the guiding ethos of society, and at the cost of countless innocent lives.
Freemasonry has continually appeared in the history of the last three centuries in various insidious forms, such as with the assassination of Franz Ferdinand that served as the justification for the start of World War I, or the infamous “Propaganda Due” P2 Freemason lodge tied to Licio Gelli, a confirmed Gladio operative in a scandal that penetrated the Vatican Bank during the late 1970s and early 1980s and lead to a series of scandals and murders, including that of Roberto Calvi. Regardless of the form and other activities the members of the lodge have been involved in, including in the USA, the concept of the lodge itself is that it represents the ideals of a secularized order that is contrary to the order of Christ, and if realized is meant to bring about a world without God or a need for God, essentially reviving ancient paganism and as exemplified by the words of John Lennon’s famous song Imagine:
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace
Returning to Carr’s letter, perhaps what he was speaking of was not actual history but was a history of things that had already passed and was warning of what was being planned superimposed into the mouths of Pike and Mazzini, similar to the French author Maurice Joly’s Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu, which was a veiled criticism of Napoleon Bonaparte. Let us analyse this letter together:
“The First World War must be brought about in order to permit the Illuminati to overthrow the power of the Czars in Russia and of making that country a fortress of atheistic Communism. The divergences caused by the “agentur” (agents) of the Illuminati between the British and Germanic Empires will be used to foment this war. At the end of the war, Communism will be built and used in order to destroy the other governments and in order to weaken the religions.”
It is true that the US/UK and Germany funded the rise of Bolshevism and the destruction of Russia by Lenin and his hooligans. Christianity was virtually exterminated from Russia, and those caught were often times put to death on the spot or sent to Siberia to be worked to death in the camps at Kolyma and other places, known as the “State Camps,” or GULAG.
“The Second World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences between the Fascists and the political Zionists. This war must be brought about so that Nazism is destroyed and that the political Zionism be strong enough to institute a sovereign state of Israel in Palestine. During the Second World War, International Communism must become strong enough in order to balance Christendom, which would be then restrained and held in check until the time when we would need it for the final social cataclysm.”
It is true that while there were many atrocities committed by Germany, there was major collaboration between Nazis and Jews, from the philosophy of National Socialism itself to the financing of the Nazi party. The US worked not only with the USSR, but willingly allowed for the USSR to expand into all of Eastern Europe and continue her reign of terror against her people.
“The Third World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences caused by the “agentur” of the “Illuminati” between the political Zionists and the leaders of Islamic World. The war must be conducted in such a way that Islam (the Moslem Arabic World) and political Zionism (the State of Israel) mutually destroy each other.
Remember, this letter was written in 1952. Islam was scarcely in the public mind at all, but as we have written about, the US government was planning for a Third World War as early as this time, and was also funding Islamic rebels throughout the USSR and in other parts of the world as a part of Operation Gladio, creating “stay behind” groups as a part of an anti-Russian geopolitical strategy that involved often times supporting Islamic terrorist groups such as with Operation Cyclone.
Meanwhile the other nations, once more divided on this issue will be constrained to fight to the point of complete physical, moral, spiritual and economical exhaustion… We shall unleash the Nihilists and the atheists, and we shall provoke a formidable social cataclysm which in all its horror will show clearly to the nations the effect of absolute atheism, origin of savagery and of the most bloody turmoil.
Then everywhere, the citizens, obliged to defend themselves against the world minority of revolutionaries, will exterminate those destroyers of civilization, and the multitude, disillusioned with christianity, whose deistic spirits will from that moment be without compass or direction, anxious for an ideal, but without knowing where to render its adoration, will receive the true light through the universal manifestation of the pure doctrine of Lucifer, brought finally out in the public view.
This manifestation will result from the general reactionary movement which will follow the destruction of Christianity and atheism, both conquered and exterminated at the same time. (source)
It is a curious observation that in recent times, there has been a continual decline in Christianity, stemming from the apostasy beginning in the years following World War II, and at the same time a rise in the support of both atheism and even more recently, an “anti-atheism” movement, while there is an increasing interest in “spirituality” that is little different from a new form of paganism.
It is important to remember that Carr’s letter should not be looked at as a historical document, but as one man’s allegory for what he concluded, based on his readings about how the future may look. It is to encapsulate the spirit of a movement in the context of history rather than an actual movement or historical record itself.
Returning to Astana
Looking at the design of Astana, one can see that clearly it bears a semblance to things found in Freemasonry. However, the question is not if “the Freemasons” are involved in Astana itself or not, because it is what the concept of Freemasonry represents, which is the rebellion against God and the establishment of a naturalistic order in a modern version of what Nimrod and the sons of Ham, Shem, and Japheth attempted to do at Bable thousands of years ago.
There is no accident for the focus on Central Asia, as the rebuilding of the new Silk Road is as much an attempt to revive a real and true economic corridor as it is to instill political and social control in the area as it is tied to the particular concepts of pagan racial supremacy and power and attempting to revive them in what seems to be future plans for an attempt to bring about a new, pagan world order defined by all of the evils that Christ came to fight.
It is said that order is brought about through chaos, and given the known desires of the Turkic peoples in Central Asia and Russia towards independence and rebellion, encouraged by the Americans and rightfully suppressed and discouraged by the Russians, as is documented by the CIA could be realized through a war. This would not be to benefit the peoples, but to subjugate them in a different manner, by billionaires and businessmen in suits instead of direct government force. For the Americans, it would be to eliminate their main geopolitical competitor, for her allies in Germany, Turkey, and Japan, it would be the ability to converge together into the heart of what would be lands formerly under Russian control in the name of Turanian racial unity, and for all it would be the opportunity to apply principles of eugenics in the name of “creating a better world.” It is possible that, as is was predicted that World War III would be based not on economic needs but particular ideologies, that such a war would be a tool to wipe out possibly a large part of the human race and then, from the ashes of destruction, to have birthed anew a pagan phoenix and the call for, as in what happened after World War I with the League of Nations and after World War II with the United Nations, a call for a “united world” of sorts but this time rooted in the same pagan humanistic, anti-Christian, anti-God teachings exemplified by the Freemason rebellion during the 18th century. In an ironic twist of the preternatural, it would be the application of nationalism to bring about a new form of globalism worse than the previous form
The Bible predicted the philosophy of such men in the words of Wisdom 2:
For, not thinking rightly, they said among themselves: “Brief and troubled is our lifetime; there is no remedy for our dying, nor is anyone known to have come back from Hades.
For by mere chance were we born, and hereafter we shall be as though we had not been; Because the breath in our nostrils is smoke, and reason a spark from the beating of our hearts, And when this is quenched, our body will be ashes and our spirit will be poured abroad like empty air.
Even our name will be forgotten in time, and no one will recall our deeds. So our life will pass away like the traces of a cloud, and will be dispersed like a mist pursued by the sun’s rays and overpowered by its heat.
For our lifetime is the passing of a shadow; and our dying cannot be deferred because it is fixed with a seal; and no one returns. Come, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are here, and make use of creation with youthful zest. Let us have our fill of costly wine and perfumes, and let no springtime blossom pass us by; let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they wither.
Let no meadow be free from our wantonness; everywhere let us leave tokens of our merriment, for this is our portion, and this our lot (Wisdom 2:1-9)
In that sense, the French Revolution never actually ended, for it was a war to bring about rebellion against God, His Church, and all order in the name of establishing a dictatorship of man. During the 19th century it was the “wars of independence” in Europe and the Americas that were directly influenced by the lodge or indirectly by its ideals. In the 20th century, it began with World War I that destroyed much of the systems of order established for almost two millenia in Europe, and that was finished off by World War II. In this Christianity survived, but it was systematically ripped out from its places of occupation or relegated to a place of social isolation separate from the moral ethos of society, creating a social contradiction that would force a man to choose between his faith and mere existence in the current society under a semblance of normalcy, and most would elect to follow the latter instead of the former because of the rigor involved.
Could it be that World War III is the catalyst for bringing about not destruction, but the birth of paganism?
All of such is yet to be seen. However, as always, things do not happen for an accident, and as Sacred Scripture teaches, all of history is oriented towards the fulfillment of the prophecies revealed by God to His people, and the rise of paganism, the decline of the Faith, the significance of current and past events, and the record of history all indicate that one must be watchful, prayerful, and prepare oneself accordingly because while one knows neither the day nor the hour, that one must watch the signs of the times and thinks ahead lest he be caught unprepared.