Aleksadr Dugin: A Russian Version of the European Radical Right?

In studying contemporary Russian Eurasianism—both as  a doctrine and as  a political movement—one constantly comes across Aleksandr Dugin. One  of the main reasons that he is relevant to any such study is the quasi-monopoly he exercises over a certain part of  the  current  Russian  ideological spectrum. This spectrum includes a plethora of right-wing groupuscules that produce an enormous number of books and an impressive quantity of low-circulation newspapers, but are not readily distinguishable from each other and display little theoretical consistency or sophistication. Dugin is the only major theoretician among this Russian radical right. He is simultaneously on the fringe and at the center of the Russian nationalist phenomenon. He provides theoretical inspiration to many currents and disseminates precepts that can be recycled at different levels. Above all he is striving to cover every niche on the current ideological  marketplace. He  proceeds  from  the assumption that  Russian  society and  Russia’s political establishment are in search of a new ideology: he therefore owes it to himself to exercise his influence over all the ideological options and their possible formulations.

SLOUCHING TOWARD EURASIA?

Since Vladimir Putin's assumption of the Russian presidency in December of 1999, Moscow's foreign policy has changed course. The norm is no longer President Yel'tsin's sometimes halting embrace of Europe and the West, which persisted in spite of pressures both from hard-liners within his own government (such as Foreign Minister -- and later Prime Minister -- Yevgeny Primakov) and from the secret police and intelligence organs. Instead, under Putin's direction, Russia's manipulation of foreign affairs -- despite fluctuations in tone -- generally appears to be more aggressive and "geopolitical," raising worries about renewed imperial aspirations on the part of the Kremlin.
The post-1999 foreign policy approach is based on an ideological infrastructure. Long relegated to ultranationalists and a handful of "new right" thinkers, the previously obscure doctrine of Eurasianism has emerged as a major force in Russian politics. It is noteworthy not only for its appeal as the basis for a renewed quest for national greatness, but also for the degree to which its tenets appear to have begun to animate many of President Putin's international maneuvers.

Aleksandr Dugin’s Foundations of Geopolitics

One perceptive observer of the Russian political scene, Francoise Thom, noted as far back as 1994 that fascism, and especially its “Eurasianist” variant, was already at that time displacing Russian nationalism among statist Russian elites as a post-communist “Russian Idea,” especially in the foreign policy sphere.  “The weakness of Russian nationalists,” she emphasized, “stems from their inability to clearly situate Russian frontiers.  Euras[ianism] brings an ideological foundation for post-Soviet imperialism.”
There has probably not been another book published in Russia during the post-communist period which has exerted an influence on Russian military, police, and statist foreign policy elites comparable to that of Aleksandr Dugin’s 1997 neo-fascist treatise, Foundations of Geopolitics.3

The impact of this intended “Eurasianist” textbook on key elements among Russian elites testifies to the worrisome rise of fascist ideas and sentiments during the late Yeltsin and the Putin periods.

The Prophet of the New Russian Empire

On June 5, 2007, the Ukrainian government declared Russian intellectual Aleksandr Dugin persona non grata and banned him from entering the country for a period of five years. This exceptional decision was motivated by a series of inflammatory remarks made by Dugin and his followers about Russia’s various pro-Western neighbors, the Ukraine foremost among them. It was not long, however, before Kiev retracted its decision, fearing further deterioration in its relationship with the superpower to the east. Dugin, after all, is not merely a philosopher. He has influential friends in the Russian presidential cabinet and is associated with many leading politicians, as well as prominent academics and celebrities. And indeed, Ukrainian apprehension was justified by the events that followed: That very evening, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykola Zhulynsky and his family, who had arrived in St. Petersburg to visit the graves of their relatives, were deported by the Russian government. This retaliation had no mitigating effects on Dugin’s aggressive public campaign against the Ukraine. On October 12, activists from Dugin’s International Eurasian Movement sawed through the country’s national emblem—a statue of a trident situated on Mount Hoverla—and announced that they had thus "castrated” the Ukraine of its sovereignty. Following this ostentatious act of vandalism, Dugin was again banned from entering the Ukraine. This did not, however, prove to be the end of the affair. Authorities in Moscow were quick to show their support for the provocative thinker, and promptly deported Ukrainian political analyst Sergei Taran. The Russian Foreign Ministry left no doubt about Moscow’s motivations when it announced that Taran’s expulsion was a direct response to the Ukrainian ban.

5 Theses on the meaning of life

Without this, several things are left unclear: the context we find ourselves in, the language we speak, the surroundings we are dealing with. Who does not understand the course of history and its models is as useless as a crow on the edge of a field. He is liable to outer forces, and his intellectual capabilities are minimal. Every single idiot should have at least some idea of the course of history. Once people didn't dare to appear in public without some certain ideas concerning the course of history. Today the very question might seem a bit too abstract for professional philosophers, historians, and presidents. Grease and television have become the brain protheses of the nation. Someone's talking about something - possibly joking, or telling a story about how he just got out of prison. The spirit of our time is against us standing for the understanding of history. Could this be just a coincidence?

Dugin's interview about Putin in 2000 year

Nowadays the situation of the  ruling power is rather complex. Despite the existence of a mighty patriotic potential, which laid at the roots of Putin’s first election, this potential until now has not received any explicit political configuration. In the present moment there are practically no structures which are able to offer an adequate political-ideological support to the president. There is one structure – a self-declared “party of power”, in the person of United Russia– but its very major problems lay just in its political and ideological manifestations. As a matter of fact, this party saw the convergence of the most different characters, left- and right-wing, regional frondists and étatists, smart politicians and mediocre officials... 

Multipolarity as challenge

- The collapse of the Soviet Union has indeed led directly to an American domination of the world affairs. When Bush father proclaimed the new world order in the sands of Iraq, many (in the Western world) even thought that it would be so forever, that the history of ideas had stopped and that the world would from now on forever be under American domination. 

We can see today that those who thought so were wrong, and it only took a decade for History to take back its rights, leading America into wars that will accelerate its decline, while paradoxically, they were supposed to establish its domination. 

During the same decade, Russia was reborn from its ashes and has once again become a strong regional power, a power that has visions of domination of Eurasia, as Vladimir Putin hammered during his first speech as the elected president on May 7, 2012. 

We hear a lot more about the Russia / America confrontation than at the beginning of this century but these countries will probably never be anymore the main key players in the world of tomorrow, unlike America and the USSR in the world of yesterday. 

Demystifying NWO

Hi, my name is Mark Sleboda, and I will be your English language commentator for this section of GRANews, a segment called 'Dissent'.
In this, the time we are living in, it is often difficult, even with the seemingly unending diversity and plentitude of the internet, to find reliable sources of information amid the sea of deceit and disinformation, that the Western Mainstream Media spills into our heads. A veritable 'Tyranny of Choice' indeed. But it is difficult to find perspectives and voices that stray from the narrative of Western governments and the Western MSM. This segment is about deconstructing and dissenting from that tyrannical narrative. I hope to provide an alternative analysis and perspective of International Relations, crises and events informed from a distinctly non-Western perspective. This is our revolutionary act of 'Dissent' from the Western narrative.
Does this mean that 'Dissent' claims to be an 'objective' source of truth that you can trust implicitly? Certainly not. Such a thing does not exist. All media and theory are biased by national, ideological, religious, and economic interests and paradigms. If I may paraphrase Robert Cox, all theory (and media) 'is for someone and for some purpose'. 'Dissent' will strive to examine and deconstruct Western discourse of international relations, crises, and events, and present an alternative non-Western point of view. As with any other source of news and analysis, it is left to you to consider the arguments I raise, verify and compare them with alternate sources and perspectives, and in the end make up your own mind. I simply aim to present an oft unheard and alternative perspective from that presented by the Western government, MSM, and analyst narrative, as if from 'the Other'. Today I will be painting a broad brush stroke of the themes that the segment 'Dissent' will be exploring in the future.

Dugin speaks with Francis Fukuyama

When asked to contribute to this series on the future of conservatism, I hesitated because it seemed to me that in both the US and Europe what was most needed was not a new form of conservatism but rather a reinvention of the left. For more than a generation we have been under the sway of conservative ideas, against which there has been little serious competition. In the wake of the financial crisis and the rise of massive inequality, there should be an upsurge of leftwing populism, and yet some of the most energised populists both in the US and Europe are on the right. There are many reasons for this, but one of them is surely that publics around the world have very little confidence that the left has any credible solutions to our current problems.
The rise of the French Socialists and Syriza in Greece does not belie this fact; both are throwbacks to an old and exhausted left that will sooner rather than later have to confront the dire fiscal situation of their societies. What we need is a left that can stem the loss of rich-world middle class jobs and incomes through forms of redistribution that do not undermine economic growth.

When Russian Eurasianism Meets Turkey’s Eurasia

This is the story of an idea. The political concept of Eurasia, or “Eurasianism,” refers to the spiritual linking of the European and Asian peoples in the history and future of Russia. The idea behind the Eurasia movement derives from the works of Prince N. S. Trubetskoi, P. N. Savitski, G. V. Vernadski, and several others. Trubetskoi believed that the inter- connection of Eastern Slavs and the Turkic and Uralo-Altaic steppe peoples — or Turanian peoples — is one of the main building blocks of Russian history. In the 1920s, this theoretical concept found many followers among Russian émigrés dispersed in Poland, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Germany, France, and Czechoslovakia who were searching for a new theory to combat the ideological thrust of the Marxist- Leninist revolution in Russia. A small “Eurasianists” movement developed, yet Eurasianism put down only weak roots and rapidly declined.

Neo-Eurasianism, inspired by the earlier movement, gained traction and considerable popularity in Russia during the years leading up to and following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Lev Gumilev, often cited as the founder of the Neo-Eurasianist move- ment, developed a theory of ethno- genesis holding that the peoples of the Eurasian steppe included not just the Russians but also the Turkic peoples of Central Asia. Gumilev regarded Russians as a “super-ethnos” kindred to Turkic peoples of the Eurasian steppe, including the Tatars, Kazakhs, and even the Chingizid Mongolians. With this theoretical synthesis, Gumilev and his followers concluded that Russia is not a natural part of “the West,” that it is instead culturally closer to Asia than to Western Europe. Neo-Euransianism thus resonates with many Russian intellectuals and politicians who fear the West and are divorced from its values.

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