Geopolítica e geografia política


  • Everardo Backheuser


            The author of this article, professor EVERARDO BACKHEUSER, the first to make known in Brazil in 1925 the ideas of the Swedish thinker, Rudolph KJELLÉN, the creator of "geopolitics", feels that it is his duty to cast some light upon the confusion, made by many, between it and either political geography, or politics properly speaking.

            He informs that the word "geopolitics" is, etymologically, on a par with geophysics, geochemistry, geobellics, geopsychics, etc., and, therefore, by analogy, should be defined as "politics in consequence of geographic conditions". It is, therefore, a part of politics, and not of geography".

            He then goes on to treat, historically, the genesis of these confusions. He sums up KJELLÉN's thoughts and the interpretations of geographers whom circumstances made into pioneers of geopolitics. He reminds that the central organ of the new creed widened the horizons of KJELLÉN's geopolitics to the point of confusing the part with the whole, that is, geopolitics with politics.

            He details the conflicts of geopolitics with current history, with politics and with political geography, and cites abundantly authors who advocate each of these points of view, specially K. HAUSHOFER, O. MAULL and R. HENNIG. Counterbalancing all these opinions, he arrives at the conclusion that one should not depart from KJELLÉN'S definition, sufficiently clear and explanatory, that geopolitics is only one of the branches of politics, it not being fair to make it equivalent to either political geography, or, still less, with general politics.

            To render his thought still clearer, the author brings to the fore various examples of the way of facing certain subjects from the point of view of political geography and of geopolitics, such as territorial division and the localization of the capital of Brazil, the plan of highways network and of the building of harbours in our country, and, broadly, the "space" theory which is at the same time basic to one and the other of those two sciences.