The Second Humanism | Alexander Dugin

24 theses on the alternative past, the false start of the Postmodern and the Fourth Political Theory

  1. Modern is divided into two halves: extensive and intensive.

The first half (XVI – XIX century): Modern abolishes Premodern, derides it, denounces its foundations. In parallel, new axioms are introduced. This can be called “the first humanism”. Its essence is the Cartesian subject who makes decisions about everything – about himself, about his cause (God of Deism), about the world (object). The first humanism doubts everything, but only in itself. There is the first immanentization of the topic, the demolition of the vertical hierarchies of the Middle Ages (in philosophy, politics, science, etc.), the transition from theism to deism (religion loses miracles, God becomes a concept), the era of Man begins.

The second half (mid-XIX – 70-ies of the twentieth century): Modern, having already liquidated Premodern, calls into question its own axiomatics, that is, the subject and the whole topic built on it. This is the second humanism, when a person begins to think beyond the early-modernist axiomatics, to be problematized.

  1. The second humanism sets itself the goal of further immanising the philosophical topic and the formation of such an understanding of a person that would be pre-subjective or inter-subjective.

The main thing here is the problematization of man in isolation from the axiomatics of the first humanism, that is, the dismantling of the subject.

  1. In parallel, in the natural sciences, the theory of relativity on the part of time, and quantum theory from the side of space, relativize and dismantle the Newtonian universe, also constructed on the subject-object topic – with the axiomatics of the irreversibility of time and the isotropy of space.

The transition from extensive Modern to intensive, therefore, goes strictly parallel in the field of natural sciences and in the field of humanitarian sciences. This parallelism can be extended further: the reduction of the theory of relativity with quantum mechanics is the main task of constructing a general field theory, which was a fundamental task of physics of the twentieth century. As a result, a new non-Newtonian physics, based on excellent principles, was to be obtained. The theory of superstrings is one of the versions of such a composite theory. In the humanitarian sphere, something similar is the goal of the second humanism: the development of the subjectless human theory as an analog of the general field theory, where not only the scholastic anthropology of the Middle Ages was overcome (this is already achieved in the first humanism), but also the subjective anthropology of the New Age, .

  1. The second humanism calls Modern itself into question, problematizing its prerequisites and questioning its evidences, the theoretical ostensitivity of its concepts.

The second humanism draws attention to the fact that the subject (cogito of Descartes) is not an immanent given, but a concept associated with a certain culture and, accordingly, with παιδεια, that is, educational and scientific practices. Here science comes to the understanding that the dismantling of medieval dogmas has led to the emergence of a new dogmatism – the dogmas of the Enlightenment – the subject, object, reality, matter, cognition, rationality, progress, history, etc. So the prerequisites are laid for what later turned into Postmodern, which, as we shall see later, was, in fact, a false start.

  1. The second humanism was built in parallel in different areas of humanitarian knowledge. And specifically

· Phenomenology (in philosophy) – from Brentano to Heidegger (from Heidegger a separate direction = Dasein-philosophy and partly existentialism);

· Structuralism (in linguistics) – from Saussure to Trubetskoi and Jacobson;

· (New) anthropology – F. Boas, B. Malinovsky, K. Levi-Strauss;

· Sociology – E. Durkheim, M. Moss – in part K. Marx;

· Pragmatism – from Pierce to Quine;

· Philosophy of life – Dilthey, Bergson, M. Scheler;

· Nietzsche and Nietzscheans (will to power, eternal return);

· Psychoanalysis from Freud to Jung (collective unconscious) and J. Durand (anthropological trajectory);

· History of religions (sacred in R. Otto, works by M. Eliade and A. Korben);

· Political geography and geopolitics – the influence of space on culture (F. Ratzel, L. Frobenius);

· Culturology – O. Spengler, A. Toynbee;

· Equipment – Leroy-Guran;

· School annals in history (F. Braudel) and “great duration”;

· Political theology (K. Schmitt, partly E. Vogelin).

  1. All these schools and groups of schools did not bring people out of the subject, but from the intermediate instances – society, consciousness, psyche, enclosing the landscape, communication, culture, paideum, civilization, technology, economy, desire, sacral, unconscious, language, power, Structure, Dasein, etc.

Thus, from time to time, a new reality was described from different sides – the pre-subject man, the pole of the second humanism. The subject was identified as a later secondary superstructure, the product of the “scholasticism” of modern times.

  1. The second humanism came to its culmination in almost all disciplines at the same time – in the 70s of the twentieth century, when interdisciplinary correspondences and homologies became apparent.

During this period, science came close to fixing a common reality for all approaches, that is, to develop a new understanding of man.

  1. However, at this culmination moment, when the Modern itself reached its critical point, there was some kind of failure .

Its meaning was that, instead of positively affirming this new instance, most clearly seen in Heidegger’s Dasein and in his version of the generalizing “new humanism” that concludes the development of phenomenology, there was an explosion of negativity, a throw of strictly negative concepts and theories that remained connected As before, with subjectivity and subject, but in a negative sense. Denial of the subjective nature of man turned into criticism of the subject, and thus, remained firmly tied to the very subjectivity, from which all and tried to free themselves. The new concepts were all anti-subjective, and their style reflected panic, tantrum and complete confusion.

  1. This was called “postmodern” or “poststructuralism”.

Postmodern became a false start of a really prepared and fundamental turning event, his simulacrum, a negative parody of the second humanism. Criticism of Modernism has acquired a neurotic character that does not allow strictly and consistently to complete the construction of the “general field theory” in the humanitarian sphere. So the advent of the second humanism was foiled and forged by Postmodern. Instead of a positive affirmation of the multi-faceted consolidated theory of Dasein, we received a cacophony of historical fragmentations, fragments, marginalia, embodying the collapse of the Modern, but with the continuation of inseparable links with it. Postmodernism was not the overcoming of the Modern, but its continuation, and in the most negative, destructive and chaotic manner. The subject was dismantled, but replaced by a negative caricature – a kind of anti-subject, anti-subject, Deleuze’s rhizome or Derrida texture.

  1. Postmodern came in the 1970s in place of the second humanism and the “general theory of Dasein,” and continues to this day, demonstrating various aspects of its misery.

This became an epistemological catastrophe, which extended for several decades the agony of Modernism, which completely exhausted its historical potential.

  1. From this analysis, you can draw different conclusions.

First of all, it is worth returning to the philosophical situation of the 70s of the 20th century and carefully considering its characteristics and structural features.

Secondly, we must try, knowing what the postmodernists have led to over these decades, to follow a different path , building alternative paths to the future, by which we could come to an alternative version of 2015, by 2015 1 .

  1. This is the possible philosophical program of the second humanism, which was to be completed, but this accomplishment was thwarted.

In one of my lectures on Post-Philosophy, explaining the criticism of the modern post-modernists, I paraphrased St. Apostle Paul: “God do the law”, “nothing is more perfect Modern”. I was referring to the parallelism between the attitude of Christians towards the Old Testament (recognition and at the same time withdrawal) and the attitude of postmodernists towards modernists. Now we can say that “Nothing is more than done Postmodern.” He assumed overcoming the Modern, but could not do this, remaining – even purely negative and destructive – connected with his methods, procedures and concepts, becoming a parody of the Modern, his simulacrum, his negative. Therefore, the proposal to return to the mid-70s, and knowing what we know, to start first building a second humanism, is completely rational and justified. If this existing version of Postmodern does not satisfy us, then we need an alternative Postmodern, built from the moment of possible bifurcation, along a different trajectory.

  1. The construction of a second humanism in its final stage, which was supposed to be something essentially different from the actual Postmodern, requires understanding the causes of the failure of the 70s.

The structure of failure can be explained in many different ways, for the time being we offer a political or ideological analysis, obviously not the only one, and maybe even not the main, but quite possible.

  1. The political analysis we offer in the context of the Fourth Political Theory.

Its principles are simple: there are three classical ideologies of Modernity – 1) liberalism, 2) communism (socialism) and 2) nationalism (fascism, Nazism). Each of them is built around the subject of modern times, but the structure of these subjects is different: the individual in liberalism, the class in Marxism, the nation or the race in nationalism (fascism). All these subjects belong to the field of the first humanism, then to the secular theme of Modern, based on the dismantling of Medieval anthropology, epistemology, ontology and theology. At the same time, there is the following symmetry between these ideologies: an individual of liberalism best suits the paradigm of the subject, and communism and nationalism bring additional elements that can be interpreted both in the spirit of Modernity and partly beyond its limits. That is why, in 1991, we witnessed the end of the second political theory, and in 1945 – the end of the third, and in the final of the twentieth century, the victory for the expression of the very spirit of modernity went to liberalism, that is, an ideology whose subject coincides with the individual.

  1. This ideological analysis allows us to draw the following conclusion: ideologically, the first humanism, and therefore the Modern in its essence, and in its extensive version, and not questioning its axiomatics, if anything, ignorant, unreflective, dogmatic Modern, is most fully embodied In liberalism , whereas the second and third political theories contained the potentialities of the second humanism, which were not properly developed.

Communism and nationalism could be interpreted from the point of view of a non-subject person, whereas liberalism could not. Of course, both communism and nationalism in their orthodox versions also figured themselves in the spirit of the first humanism and subject, but theoretically their doctrines were not so rigidly connected with this subjectivity, as in the case of liberalism. Therefore, the second and third political theories appeared later than the first, as a sequent of critical reflections: communism as a criticism of liberalism, and fascism as criticism of both liberalism and communism. And communism and fascism belong to the period of intensive Modernity, when the second humanism was being prepared, and not to the era of extensive Modernity, the dogmatic culmination of which was liberalism, the first political theory. Therefore, being essentially modernistic, both communism and fascism could be interpreted with a certain effort in the spirit of a non-subject topic, whereas liberalism, with its canonization of the subject in the individual, could not, remaining tightly connected with the first humanism and extensive Modern. Liberalism is obscurantism of the Modern, excluding the very possibility of critical reflection and problematization of the subject.

  1. Consequently, ideological models based on the first humanism can be symmetrically arranged as follows:

· Liberalism is the pure topic of the subject (the only one and his private property, according to Stirner);

• Communism is the topic of a collective subject (in orthodoxy, the class is understood as an agglomeration, but maybe in Russian national Bolshevism or in Maoism it is read and holistic);

· Nationalism (racism) is the topic of a political or biological subject (in the usual case this corresponds to the classical agglomeration of individuals in the spirit of bourgeois Modernity, and the “race” is also a modernist concept, but it can be read holilly as an ethnocultural pre-entity unity).

In any case, the first humanism is entirely dominant in liberalism, but its grip decreases as it shifts from the first political theory to the third.

  1. From this one can draw one curious conclusion. The second humanism could theoretically appear in the context of the second and third political theories, in their heterodox and alternative versions, but could not in any context be interfaced with liberalism and its individual-subject matter.

This is what we see in history: atypical socialists and nationalists (Durkheim or Heidegger) are widely represented among the creators of the second humanism, whereas liberalism in general does not approach this topic and can not come close.

Therefore, the second humanism should ideologically mature in the field of anti-liberalism as the main principle – then overcoming (and only then!) Communism and nationalism in the part where the Modern (subjective, subject-object, or object topics) is presented more fully and Deeper than anything else.

  1. Historically, the common denominator in the 1970s was not anti-liberalism, but antifascism, which created distorted ideological geometry, shifting the center of criticism of the second humanism from liberal individualism to a much more peripheral and local model of nationalism, thereby rehabilitating the individual subject and creating As a starting liberal-communist platform.

This was due to the facts of the Second World War and the specifics of Hitler’s national-socialist regime, however, in the realm of ideas the excesses of practical implementations, and ideologically extravagant and atypical versions of nationalism, such as Hitler’s racial theory, are of secondary importance. But the shock of Hitlerism was so strong that it affected the whole structure of postwar philosophical thought, which led to ideological aberrations and distorted the very structure of the process of overcoming the Modernity in building a coherent model of the second humanism. Nationalism (the third political theory) was not to be rehabilitated, but its criticism was to be built in isolation from historical practice and following the criticism of liberalism (together with Marxism) and criticism of Marxism itself, as the metaphysical scholasticism of the object. The third political theory was somewhat closer to the second humanism than the other two political theories, although it is quite far from it. But putting antifascism on the forefront – instead of anti-liberalism! – created an irreversible aberration. Antifascism, adopted as the basis of ideological strategy before and instead of overcoming liberalism and the holistic correction of Marxism, closed the very possibility of a breakthrough to the finalization of the intense Modern. In this case, fascism, in turn, would also be an insurmountable obstacle – since his dogmatism was rooted in what needed to be overcome. Both antifascism and fascism were incompatible with the emergence of a second humanism on the horizon, but the overcoming of the third political theory was to be realized only after the radical rejection of the first (possibly together with the second) and further, after the correction of the second in an organic-holistic spirit.

  1. From this follows: The Fourth Political Theory should have been historically developed precisely in the 70s of the twentieth century in the course of the planned construction of the second humanism or parallel to it – as a resonance of this more general philosophical process in the zone of ideology.

Certain trends in this direction existed – for example, among the German New Left (Reinhold Oberlerher, Günter Mashke, Horst Mahler, etc.), who discovered in the 1970s more similarities with the atypical thinkers of the third political theory than with the liberals. In the same vein, the evolution of the French New Rights (Alain de Benoit), this time, was drawing closer to the socialists in the general anti-liberal strategy. During this process, representatives of the second and third political theories were to meet in the space of the general rejection of the first political theory, and then proceed to rethink their own prerequisites in the spirit of criticism of the subject – both class and national. But this did not happen precisely because of anti-fascism, and the creation of the Fourth Political Theory was belated for 30 years – until its appearance in 2008.

  1. Parallel to this aberration associated with anti-fascism, later in the 80s and early 90s, the whole socialist camp collapsed, which meant a planetary triumph of precisely the first ideological theory in which it was the first extensive, uncritical phase of Modernism, that is, the first humanism.

With regard to the entire intellectual process of developing a “general field theory” in the field of humanistic knowledge about man, the victory of liberalism meant a serious regression, the deproblematization of the entire content of the intense Modern, striking out the main conclusions of phenomenology, psychoanalysis, Dasein-philosophy, structuralism, etc. From the critical Modern, focused on the second non-subjective humanism, a regressive return to the subcritical Modern was made with its naive “scholastic” dogmatics of the subject-individual. In the field of ideology, the first political theory triumphed, and the demonization of nationalism was supplemented by the demonization of communism (Auschwitz = GULAG). This created a specific cultural and ideological climate, not just not favorable for the maturing of the second humanism, but strictly opposite to it, prohibiting it of course.

  1. Nevertheless, the dispersal of the intense Modern was so significant that the process could not completely collapse in a reversible return to the subcritical phase.

Certain trends moved by inertia further, but in a completely distorted geometry of the ideological field. This gave rise to what we now know as Postmodern. The formation of the second humanism continued, but a number of important points were blocked for reasons of ideological censorship. Therefore, the identification of non-object anthropology and its nucleus (actually Dasein’a) was not a continuous, but selective way, bypassing acute angles. As a result, subjectivity was overcome in postmodern culture, but on the contrary became an ideological dominant in the conditions of planetary victorious liberalism. This created a blockade for any positive strategies, made Postmodern morbid, hysterical, saturated ressentiment, endowed with a “sick conscience”.

  1. Now we can more constructively imagine a general picture of how to make the path from the 70s until 2017, along the trajectory, bypassing Postmodern as a philosophical dead end.

This implies a movement at the point of bifurcation along another branch of the possible formation of philosophy. Intense Modernity reaches its culmination and in the 70s it is on the verge of a qualitative paradigm shift (scientific revolution). At this moment, we should place, like a bathyscaphe, dropped into the waters of the recent past, the ideological module of the Fourth Political Theory, rigidly anti-liberal and devoid of excessive anti-fascist aberrations with vaccinations of heterodoxical adogmatic socialism. This will unlock an alternative Postmodern that has not taken place (banned) in the actual past, but is possible in the imaginatively reconstructed past leading to this primitive (2017 1 ). In this case, the accumulated potential of diverse humanitarian disciplines aimed at substantiating non-subject anthropology could be reduced to the nodes of a new interdisciplinary metatheory, which is the second humanism – immanent, free from any vertical metaphysics, strictly Dionysian, but very far from despair, panic And ressentiment’a postmodern, known to us today. It is rather a full-fledged development of Dasein-philosophy, extended to psychology, sociology, politics, culture, history, geography, etc. Erected to multidimensional branched synthesis. This would, in fact, be an event (Ereignis), the actual ending of Modernity and the New Beginning (Andere Anfang).

  1. Next would be not triumph, but the decline of liberalism, the collapse of subjectivity, the liquidation of the individual and the emergence of an entirely new culture and civilization based on radically different principles than the Eurocentric Modern and the first humanism.

From this point, localized in the possible 70’s or 80’s, it would take a certain amount of time for the philosophical conclusions to be fully formulated and applied in applied fields, stretch into the future of the line of philosophical and ideological formation in the context of the Fourth Political Theory, Until you reach 2015 approx. The whole map of the world and the foundations of civilizations would be different in this case, and theoretically one can even imagine what it is. The world would become multipolar, polycentric, ecological, free from domination of the West and liberal hegemony, and with the Modern in all its versions it would be decisively finished.

  1. We finish. This alternative past is not an idle fiction, it is necessary for us as a very specific intellectual map, which allows us to determine the directions for further philosophical and ideological work.

Why could not we start with 2017 instead of doing complex schematization and introducing an alternative past, as well as a bifurcation point? The fact is that over the three decades of the postmodern state, the state of those humanitarian disciplines of the intensive Modern was lost, which brought us close to the full-fledged phenomenon of the second humanism. If we look at them with the eyes of a man of 2017, behind whom is the entire load of Postmodern, Deleuze, Foucault, Derrida and others, especially in the period after the mid-70s, that is, in fact, all poststructuralism, the picture of the previous stage – in particular , Structuralism or phenomenology will be irreversibly distorted. We will be doomed to instead of authentic models deal with postmodern simulacra, and this will block us from doing something that Postmodern did not. It is necessary to count the last three decades as “uncharted”, to delete them as a misunderstanding and to return to the 1970s to start all over again – without liberalism and antifascism, with the support of the Fourth Political Theory, which should have appeared much earlier, and which is not fatal The past was enough at a critical moment. In this case, we will start from the right position, with which we had to start. And if we do all these operations that are alternative to the real Postmodern – it’s good, we know its routes and therefore we can bypass all its nowhere leading deadlocks – we will come to another 2017, in 2017 1 , which will mean and proceed In a completely different way than it would proceed, we will not do what must be done in our stubborn construction of the second humanism.

This can be called the end of the Dasein philosophy or the constitution of the Dasein policy, which, in fact, is the Fourth Political Theory. But it is necessary to start building it from the past. And a very concrete past.


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