The magic disillusion of a Nationalist Intellectual
Alexander Dugin answers questions from his readers — 1995.
After “Knizhnoe Obozrenie” (Book Review) published an interview with Alexander Dugin, a famous philosopher, politolog, and publicist, in their issue No. 41 (10 Oct 1995), the editorial staff as well as Dugin’s ARCTOGAIA publishing house received a great number of letters with encouragements, fuck-yous, and simply questions about some questions touched in the interview. Today we are glad to represent Alexander Dugin’s answers to some of the readers’ questions, hoping that the publication of these questions and answers will start an intellectual dialogue between famous writers, philosophers, publicists, and the reading public.
1. Why don’t you love the West?
- “Alexander Gelievich, I hane understood that you have a negative approach towards the West, especially America. But their culture is more advanced than ours. Not just food and industrial products, but service and way of life. Aren’t you calling back the days of isolation?”
- (Anna Vasilievna Varennikova, Moscow)
Dugin: I have travelled a great deal in Europe, and I speak many European languages. Thus I have had a chance to get acquainted not only with the outer side, but also from the inside. Under the glossy faзade and shiny wrappers there is a completely different reality – alienation, economical dictatorship, individualism, the fall of collective unity, mutation, loss of all spiritual values. The West is completely alien to us both culturally and ideologically, whatever the political situation in Russia is. Read the works of Dostoevsky or Leskov. They both hated the West and the Western system, although they most certainly weren’t Communists. Take a look at the works of such people as Limonov, Medvedev, Maximov (R.I.P.), Zinoviev, Mamleyev. They had excellent lives within the Western system, but as soon as the understood that emigraton had been a fatal error and that the West means death to a Russian. It is horrible and pitiful to see the terror in the eyes of Westerners, once they open their mailbox. All the endless bills, debts, how they must pay for everything – telepone, water, heating, cold, air… For the Russian soul, as well as for the entire Eurasian character the Western way is narrow, oppressive and unnecessary. Not by a mere chance have we turned our backs at it for one thousand years, maintained our own way of life, our own spirit. I’d like the Russians to know the West by their own experience – there is no better patriotic or even nationalist vaccination on Earth.
However, I do not stand for cutting our relationships with the West. I think they should be maintained on some level. But now the most important thing for Russia is to stand by itself and prove its independence before the aggressive face of West standing against us. It is crawling at us – together with NATO, its aggressive pseudo-culture, its bestial economics. I am completely certain about this, and I am very sorry that our people still hold some doubts and illusions about this.
2. Eurasianism and Zionism
- “Alexander Dugin, with your ideas about Eurasia and the union of Orthodox Christianity with Islam you merely mess up the Russian Nationalist movement and turn us away from our struggle with our main enemy – the peoples of the Caucasus, Fundamentalists and Zionists. Russiand do have allies in the West, in the very America you are against – the Aryan nation. But you want us to make war with the West and peace with the blacks. How dare you call yourself a Nationalist?”
- unsigned (St. Petersburg)
Dugin: I have heard similar criticism more than just once. And not just in anonymous letters, but also on the pages of the Patriotic press. I am most certain that now the Russian Patriots will just have to learn to think Geopolitically, not just counting on the myths of the “Nationalists” and Slavophiles, but on the cold reality of the powers that be. And the powers are such: we have the giant Atlantic block that strategically controls the entire planet, and then we have this constellation of states, nations, and religions that try to stand against this monster, however mixed up or inertial their struggle may be. Even the simplest equation of strategic, military, geopolitical, economical and demographic resources should make it mathematically clear that there is but one result – not just a victory, but an ignition for the real struggle for independence from the Atlantic dictatorship depends on the imminent creation of a wide continental Eurasian block. Russia is the sole possible centre for such a block, but we cannot talk of any possible future without the other “giant spaces” (especially the anti-American Islamic world). Any talk of “the purity of the Slavonic race”, of “blood” or “ethnic cleansing” within such conditions are not just amoral, but irresponsible, especially for the Russian people.
What comes to the myth of “the solidarity of the white race”, it is a complete utopia that leads not only to the Holocaust of the Jews, but also to a genocide of the Slavs. The remains of the Third Reich are a basis for this miserable, contradictory and completely false conception. The Anglo-Saxon world is one sociopolitical and cultural reality. The inhabitants of Central Europe are something different. The Eastern world of Orthodox Christianity and Slavs is a third reality. I am certain that many non-white peoples of Eurasia are a thousandfold closer to us in spirit and culture than Americans. In this question I am 100% affirmative with the visions of L.Gumilev.
But I am extremely against Zionism. On the first place, this very movement contradicts the ideology of Jewish Traditionalism, since the basic Zionist dogma is based on contradiction of the three main Talmudic principles: 1) Not to rise against the peoples, amongst whom the Jews live; 2) Not to assemble on the Holy Land before the coming of Moshiach; 3) Not to speed up the end of time. Whoever breaks these principles cannot be considered a Jew in the Religious, mystical meaning of the word. The books of the New York rabbi Meyer-Schiller include more information about this. Meyer-Schiller is not just the highest authority of the contemporary Judaism, but carries the title of Maggid Shiur, which tells a lot to Judaists.
On the second place, the state of Israel has been from the very start a strategic base for militant Atlanticism (first England, now the U.S.) in Middle east. This state is both ideologically and politically Capitalist oriented and Westernized, what comes to the system of values. These values are completely contradictory to the Russian national world view, as well as the whole idea of Eurasian Geopolitics.
However, I am completely against the Antisemitic racist ideals.
3. My works
- “Thank You for Your books, articles, performances and radio shows. It is a shame that You didn’t pass the elections, although we were with you in spirit. We know very little of You, although, I must confess, Your texts have given new life to our belief in Russia, in our future. If people like You had the power in this country, we might have it better. Me and my husband read everything we can find of Your works. However, I’m afraid we are missing a great deal. How many books have You written all in all, what newspapers do You work with, who publishes Your texts? Why did they close up Your TV show ‘The Cycle of History’? Why did they cancel the promised programme ‘I am the Leader’, where You were supposed to appear with Igor Shafarevich? We heard that You are now dealing with Limonov and that you have left the newspaper ‘Zavtra’ (Tomorrow)?”
- (Lidia Zabrodina, 24 yrs, aspirant at the University of Arts, Tver)
Dugin: I have written the following books – “The Paths of the Absolute” (on metaphysics), “Hyperborean Theory” (on the earliest written monuments of mankind), “Conspirology” (on conspiracies and secret associations; this was the book whose cover with masonic swastika appeared on the pre-election clips of the “Our Home – Russia” organization), “Conservative Revolution” (a compilation of theoretical articles), “The Goals and the Mission of our Revolution” (a philosophico-ideological pamphlet). My book “The Mysteries of Eurasia” was published in Spain (should come out in Russia soon), and in Italy “Continent Russia”. Moreover, now I have finished two new books – one about Orthodox Christianity, one about National-Bolshevism. Soon my main work on Geopolitics – “The Geopolitical Future of Russia” – should see the light of day.
I am the executive editor of “Elements” magazine (7 issues so far, we are working on the 8th) and the “almanah” called “Dearest Angel” (two tomes so far, we are working on the 3rd) that include not only my articles, but also translations, commentaries, recensions, and interesting analytical materials. Moreover, I am the director of ARCTOGAIA publishing house – we publish traditionalist works (Guenon, Evola) and mystics (Meyrink). At the moment I am being printed in “Limonka”, practically every issue. With my friend and colleague Edward Limonov I take part in the organization of the National-Bolshevik Party. My TV-programmes – “The Mysteries of Our Time”, “The Cycle of History” – have been cancelled due to a censorship of sorts, since my views are not exactly the ones of the archaic Patriots or the Liberal Democrats. I hardly work with “Zavtra”, although I do sport great sympathy towards Prokhanov (the main editor of “Zavtra” – translator’s note). I’m sorry to say that I think “Zavtra” has lost the dynamic it had, its nonconformity, its liveliness. “Den'” (Day – the pre-Zavtra paper – translator’s note) was without a doubt the best, most honest, radical, and clever Russian newspaper. Now it doesn’t quite live up to that, but I don’t want to bad-mouth my friends.
(Translator’s note: Since time has passed and wheels have turned after year 1995, when this was written, some of this information is already out of date. Please see Arctogaia main page for updated information.)
4. “The highest Masonic throne”
- “Dugin – you’re a fucking mason, maybe even worse. Nobody understands a shit of what you are writing, and the fucking democrats love you and print you shit – it seems that the feeling is mutual, huh? Himmler was a mason of the 33rd level, how’s that with you? You say you have ‘a manyfold attitude towards Masonism”. Yeah, right, we gotcha. ‘Manyfold.’ So you come out of the closet as a mason, and that’s why you don’t ‘place masonism under heavy criticism’. Yeah, right, ‘place it’, we’ll see it for you… The West pays you for that shit. You just wait, we’ll get your ass as well. That’s why you’re dealing with bastards like Limonov and Kuriokhin. They’re clearly masons.”
- (“National-Patriotic front”, Moscow)
Dugin: Unfortunately, many people think like this fine young man from the so-called “National-Patriotic front”. I’ve had enough of answering questios about how an interest for Masonism does not necessarily imply being one. Masonism is a very complicated reality. It is full of contradictions, paradoxes, unexpected interrelations. It is a eality of its own, where politics come in close relation with theology, atheism and rationalism with mysticism, nationalism with egalitarism, humanism with dictature an hierarchy, etc. Many radical anti-masons are coming from Masonic circles and vice versa: many anti-masons have become “brethren”.
Masonism has always been a coexistence of at least two main lines – the “hot” one of spirituality and mysticism, and the “cold” one of rationality, skepticism, and careers. The hot shots were the ones to arrange revolutions, the cold part collaborated with the system. At some time, Masonism included all forms of Western spirituality that weren’t connected with the narrowest papaic Catholicism. We could say the same of knights’ templars, hermeutic brotherhoods, magic circles, and all the other similar groups that preceded Masonism. Up to a certain point (more concretely, up to the reforms of Peter the Great, the end of Patriarchy and the Orthodox dogma of “the symphony of powers” and the eschatological sacrality of the Orthodox state), there hasn’t been anything similar in the Orthodox world, since all spiritual realizations were in the hand of the Church, which had a completely different meaning that in the West. In other words, the European Masonic circles have from the 17th century on been absorbing the whole specter of non-Catholic spirituality and non-Catholic thought. Quite naturally, the specter is enormous. Not by an accident many Russian and Greek Orthodox priests who were sent to work in the West were more keen on contacting the Masons and Occultists than contacting the limited and intellectually totalitarian Catholic leaders.
I am not saying that Masonism is something positive and needed for Russia, so way. For us, Orthodox Christianity is the most important. But in the West things have been different: there the most uninteresting has been Catholicism, not to mention Protestantism. But in Orthodox Christianity it’s not at all that simple: if we take a look at the spiritual legacy of our Church, we somehow focus on the pre-revolutionary Romanov era, since it is the most recent, but if we look at the situation of Orthodoxy, it is far from the golden age of the adequate tradition, but the epoch of the fall of Church values. What is the holy Synod worth, if it was often run by atheists! This means that in our case, the Orthodox tradition is not something ready, but a mission to be fulfilled. And here we may use the works of Western non-Catholic Traditionalists.
My friends Limonov and Kuriokhin have their own views based on their own experience about what comes to Spiritual problematics. I only know that they have no connection to Masonism. Quite frankly, the idiotically simplified way of giving people stupid names and throwing primitive and absolutely unproven accusations at people is a vice of the Nationalist movement, and the stupid manner of one’s messed-up thoughts is always enough to paint someone completely black. Sometimes, when I have to face this sick paranoia, I just cannot believe it… Some imaginary “masons”, the “jews” behind every single thing, paranoia, mania of being constantly followed – these are all either ways to overcome one’s own incapability of action, some laziness and incompetence, either a banal psychological model. The reality as it is is much more interesting than some archaic myths of old terrorist organizations.
I think today’s Patriotic movement can be divided in two (unequal, I must say) camps: those who read “Limonka” and those who don’t. The first camp belongs to those who are contemporary Nationalists, free of complexes, sober and free of paranoid reactions. Unfortunately, they are a minority. The second group consists of the followers of the newspaper “Molodaya Gvardiya” (The Young Guard), the most stupid pre-revolutionary antisemitism, the clinical ideas of “Russkii Vestnik” (The Russian Journal), or (in the best case) Brezhnevian inertial rhetoric. The author of the given letter belongs to the secong group. Too bad – there’s nothing we can do about that.
5. So, Fascist or non-Fascist?
- “…Dugin, in the ‘Knizhnoe Obozrenie’ interview you managed to get away without answering the question, whether you are a Fascist or not. I have read you articles in ‘Den” and watched your TV programme ‘The Mysteries of Our Age’, where you have talked about Nazi mysticism. Now, would you please answer YES or NO? And stop confusing us…”
- (E. Podpol’tseva, Apreleka, 44 yrs.)
Dugin: I consider myself a Conservative Revolutionary and National-Bolshevik. That is not exactly Fascism, or to say it more clearly, exactly not fascism. There were several periods during the history of fascist movements, and these periods were quite different from one another not only politically, but also philosophically and ideologically. In early Italian Fascism (which I happen to like, and I don’t hesitate saying this aloud) there were many Avantgardist fronts – in social and economic spheres (Syndicalism, trade unions), in art (D’Annunzio, Marinetti, Papini, etc.), in right-wing Hegelianism that created the ideology of the Absolute State (Gentile), within esoterical seeking and Traditionalism (Evola, Reghini), and, finally, in the very Fascist way, where nihilism and anarchism (“direct action, romanticism, exotica”) coexisted with the conservative ideals of nation, ethics, hierarchy, and military values. However, after the Mussolini-vatican pact and the re-established monarchy it all became rather dull, bureaucratic and uninteresting. For a while in 1943-5 the spirit of this left-wing republican Fascism resurfaced in the Salo republic (after the Conservatives betrayed Mussolini to the Americans), but that was something else.
There was also a period that I find interesting within the German National-Socialism: The early National-Socialism, which was still clearly Socialist, Avant-garde, full of ariosophic mysticism and deeply into philosophic problematics that were developed by Conservative Revolutioneers – Ernst Junger, Arthur Mьller van den Bruck, Karl Schmidt, Werner Sombarth, Martin Heidegger, Hermann Wirth, Otmar Spann, Leo Frobenius, Friedrich Hilscher, Oswald Spengler, and others. I see this pleiade of Conservative Revolutionaries the most interesting phenomenon of 20th century Europe. However, practically all these authors were marginalized by Hitler’s regime, or faced heavy repression.
I would like to sincerely answer the author of this letter as she asks: I find the intellectual intuitions, ideas and ideological constructions of this movement very close, but they cannot be called Nazi or Fascist in any way. These were the “dissidents of Fascism”, whose ideas actually historically outlived the pragmatic, suicidal and criminal policies of the powers that controlled Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.
6. The Cardinal in Red and Brown
- “Dear Alexander Gelievich! I am infinitely happy that I read Your interview in Knizhnoe Obozrenie. I have followed Your publications for quite a while, and I seriously think that Your ideas can truly save our nation from a nightmare – the Great State falling apart, the feast of criminal activities, cynic destruction of our National value. Many most important ideas have been considered within Your works – the great National and State ideology (albeit without chauvinism), spirituality (albeit without fanaticism and proselyticism), the cold Geopolitic solution (but also connected with the factors of Culture), great knowledge of the West and its culture (with faithfulness for Russia and its culture). I am proud that we have someone like You. The fact that the leadres of this state don’t ask You for help and intellectual advise is a crime from their side. I have carefully followed Your taking part in the activities of the opposition, and I have taken part in the meetings You’ve organized. I was happy to notice that Prokhanov, Zyuganov, Baburin, Alksnis and other listened to Your advise, but now something seems to have changed. The intellectual opposition seems to be crumbling, and I see this as a result from the fact that You have moved away from them. This worries me quite a bit. Reply, if you may, am I right?
- I wish you all the best, lots of new books and new victories, but not to the ‘grey’, but to our Cardinal in Red and Brown.”
- (Valentin Provotorov, Moscow, 52 yrs.)
Dugin: I am grateful to the author of this letter and to many other people who have expressed their support and solidarity towards me. Yes, it seems that I, together with many of my friends, have somehow moved forward from the intellectual opposition and its leaders. However, this is not about my decision or unwillingness to collaborate. This opposition has buried its ideological and powerful potential. What is left are two politically completely uninteresting, boring conventional, nonconformist fractions in Duma, leaders full of how great they are, once they have gained this tiny little bit of pseudo-power, and poisonous complexes that have swallowed those who made it in the election. In 1992 I was still doubt that a Spiritual Revolution was coming, when the “Red and Brown” are ready to stand up. But this all ended not only with the armed attempt of October 1993, but with a spiritual change that had started somewhat earlier. The fact that many leaders came from the former nomenclature became clear. Whoever seemed to be on the positive side, turned out to be intriguing careerists and opportunists, even conformists. After the 1993 election, the triumph of mediocrity had become 100% clear. From that moment we ended up in the period of alienation. This is a typical interregnum period. The opposition has become stupid, the power as getting wiser with almost criminally slow tempo. I do not hesitate to tell you that I am disappointed with the leaders of the Russian opposition, and never had any illusions about the powers that be. But that’s not so simple. Without mind, spirit, will, honor, and Revolution we cannot stand long. Now, however, this will lead to quakes and catastrophes. That’s when our time will come. You cannot escape from that. Russia is too large to exit the stage of history like that, without a fight, sleeping, caught in grief and swamp. That will never happen.
Translated by Henry Zalkin