“America must be destroyed” declares the Russian Professor Alexander Dugin, and the White House bans him from entering the US. Dugin is not allowed to visit Canada as well. Although Dugin’s position in Kremlin is not like that of Steve Bannon’s in the White House, he is widely represented as “Putin’s Rasputin” or “Putin’s Brain.” It is a common tendency of the general public to see ideas of an intellectual translated into actions of a political leader: Vladimir Putin’s foreign policies are said to be much influenced by Alexander Dugin’s ideas of an Imperial Russia. Dugin was a professor of Sociology at the prestigious Moscow State University: he lost the job in 2014. His ideas are so radical and extremist that he has been labeled as “The Most Dangerous Philosopher in the World.” Dugin is one of the leading figures in the contemporary far-right revival in Europe and the US. Despite his deep-seated hatred towards America, Dugin admires President Trump and believes America will thrive under his leadership. Dugin developed the blueprint to destroy America from within: he shares this in his book which is widely studied by the Russian Military and the intelligentsia.
Dugin, White Nationalism, and the Rise of the Alt-Right
President Donald Trump’s victory has seen, among many other things, the emergence of the radical right: all of us are familiar with White nationalist Richard Spencer who got punched during an interview in DC. But, many of us are not quite sure what the so-called white-nationalist movement aspires to do. However, it is interesting that Richard Spencer’s associate Jason Reza Jorjani, an Iranian American academic who runs Arktos.com, published Alexander Dugin’s article. To understand the white nationalist movement in the US, one can easily start with Dugin.
Dugin: The Fourth Political Theory
Dugin proposes fascism as the solution to the failures of the leading political theories of our time. He calls his proposition “The Fourth Political Theory” and has published a book with the same title which discusses the failure of Western democracy, communism, capitalism, and predicts the inevitability of the Fourth Political Theory which would transcend nationalism and fight against so-called “progress.” More aligned to the ideas of Martin Heidegger who was a great inspiration for the Nazis in Germany, Dugin steadfastly opposes globalism and the current global structure spearheaded by the United States with its (neo)liberal agenda. To Dugin, liberalism’s days are numbered: it is taking the last breaths in this “nihilistic postmodern stage” and paving the way for the fourth political alternative. As he claims, “the Fourth Way cannot be nationalist – it should be imperial, great-continental, traditionalist, metaphysical and sacred”. In an interview Dugin explains his position on liberalism:
“The liberalism insists on the freedom and liberation from any form of collective identity. That is the very essence of the liberalism. The liberals have liberated the human being from national identity, religious identity and so on. The last kind of collective identity is gender. So there is time to abolish it making it arbitrary and optional.”
Dugin wants to return to the “New Middle Ages”—to an Empire dominated by religion and social hierarchy—so that the world is cleansed off the values came with Modernity. And, you guessed it right, he wants Russia at the core of this Empire he envisions. He has formed a movement called International Eurasia Movement as well as a political party with the goal of building this empire: this how he is directly involved with the Russian occupation of the Crimea for which the US imposed sanction on him. Rumor has it that it is actually Dugin’s dangerous philosophy that motivated the Russians to hack the DNC email immediately before the 2016 US election to influence the voters in Trump’s favor. The following quote from his book “The Foundation of Geopolitics” justifies that rumor:
“It is especially important to introduce geopolitical disorder into internal American activity, encouraging all kinds of separatism and ethnic, social and racial conflicts, actively supporting all dissident movements – extremist, racist, and sectarian groups, thus destabilizing internal political processes in the U.S. It would also make sense simultaneously to support isolationist tendencies in American politics…”
Here is Dugin’s view on Obama, Hillary, and Trump:
“The black peacekeeper promised to change everything, but was unable to change anything, nothing at all, and Hilary Clinton, with a quickly aging poker face, doesn’t promise to change anything, maybe Trump will be able to get America’s natural borders back. In Trump, we trust!”
However, Dugin’s assessment of Donald Trump in a Katheon article as “tough, rough, rude, emotional and, apparently, candid” person and his belief that Trump represents “true America” do not resonate with what most leaders’ and thinkers’ views on him.
Dugin: Is He Really Putin’s Brain?
Dugin’s far-right fascist ideologies have been reflected in Vladimir Putin’s recent foreign policies: in 2014 Russia invaded Ukraine claiming it an inseparable part of Russian Empire. More recently, Russia has been mobilizing troops and nuclear missiles to Eastern Europe and preparing a permanent base in Iskander, as NPR reports. And, in 2008 Russia supported the separatist rebels of South Ossetia and recognized it as a separate republic: and, since then Russia occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In 2008, before war broke out between Russia and Georgia, Dugin proclaimed: “Our troops will occupy the Georgian capital Tbilisi, the entire country, and perhaps even Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula, which is historically part of Russia anyway.” Although his influence in Kremlin as well as on Putin is certainly overstated, many of Putin’s actions on foreign policies reflect Dugin’s ideas on Russian Imperialism.
Dugin and Eurasianism: Fascism with a New Name
Dugin rejects the notion that Russia is on the fringe of Europe. European Union and NATO are two organizations that he detests most. To Dugin, Russia shares many things in common not with Europe but Asia, and hence he dreams of a new Eurasian empire that would reunite all the states from the former USSR and include other Asian countries. Although Dugin’s expectation of bringing Iran and China under a totalitarian Russian Empire sounds ridiculous, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are interested in joining the Eurasian movement if not the Russian imperial government.
Dugin: Why is He So Dangerous?
Dugin defends his Eurasianism as an ideology different from Russian communism or German Nazism, even though fascism is what defines it the best. For Dugin, the individual liberty as prioritized in liberal democracy is nonsense: he aspires a society that will negate individual freedoms and glorify the collective identity of the state. Although he is reluctant to use the word totalitarian in defining such a society, he candidly acknowledges that he got the concept from Nazi Germany. Dugin is dangerous because his ideas got momentum as Putin’s Russia has already retained many of the civil liberties and took control of the media. Putin’s authoritarian dictatorship is reaffirmed with the enactment of the anti-gay laws as well as by his aggression in Ukraine which is gloriously supported by Dugin.
Uncritical appropriation of Dugin by white nationalists and far-right groups in the US will only serve the Russian interests: destruction of America as a global power. Dugin’s philosophy is “divide and conquer,”a simple strategy that helped the British dominate the entire world. Alt-right leader Richard Spencer’s wife Nina Byzantina’s translation of Dugin, as it is reported by Business Insider, has a connection with the far-right revival. However, Dugin is already partially successful if we consider the post-election resistance movements in the US. Dugin’s anti-American attitude is reflected clearly in the statement “I think Americans are great. But we want to put an end to America’s hegemony.”