AN INTERVIEW WITH ALEXANDR DUGIN: WESTERN ROAD TO HELL
Alexndr Dugin is the most important geopolitician of the new Russian geopolitical school, which, among other things, is testament to his book The Basics of Geopolitics, published in 1997 in Moscow. Dugin is also much more than that – a traditional thinker and esoteric, mystic, politologist, culturologist and publisher of many capital works of Russian and European culture.
The book The Fourth Political Theory has been translated into almost all European languages. In it, Dugin fiercely accuses liberalism, the main thinking flow in the West and its only ideology as racist and totalitarian, and suggests its own alternative. This is the fourth political theory, as an open intellectual project, not a dogma. Unlike the liberal dogma, the fourth political theory takes into account the heritage and tradition of the people, its Logos and „Dasein“ (Martin Heidegger), which has as many nations as possible. It does not come from dictates, but from the need and dialogue of diversity – of nations, civilizations and religions.
You are, in short, “the man who returned geopolitics to Russia”. Also, according to Western media, “Putin`s Rasputin”, ” Putin`s brain” and “gray eminence”, or “shadow that rules the Kremlin”. Paul Ratner has declared you the “most dangerous philosopher in the world”. For others, you are an “extreme Russian nationalist”, a fascist, etc. How do you deal with the real harangue that is being waged against you in the Western media? Is not this some kind of honour and recognition of your work? And who is, in fact, Alexandr Dugin?
My person is absolutely of no interest for myself. I seek to represent but ideas. So, let us deal with them not with me. The liberals project on me their fears, their hatred and their nightmarish phantasms. Let them do that. All that is of no importance.
The new US President Tramp is unpredictable and from him, apparently, we can expect more surprises. However, with his victory seems that one historical era has ended. The appearance of the Trump changed the fundamental political paradigms in the West. Among the former US allies, there are new and deeper divisions and distortions.
Trump is a symptom. Trumpism is more interesting. The trumpism is the set of antiglobalist and realist set of ideas and concepts, the American voters have voted for. It is big deal. American people are not dead and they have refused the globalism, the corrupted elite and started to fight against the Swamp. It is great. The fight has just begun and Trump and trumpism testify that there is a split in the American society – a part is on the side of the globalist elite (Swamp), and the other part – on the side of the people. We wish a victory for People, sure, but in any case, the USA is split and immersed in savage inner struggle. That is good. It gives us a chance.
3. In 2012, your book Fourth Political Theory was published in English, in which you claim that the three main political ideologies of modernism (liberalism, fascism and communism) are no longer capable of responding to current challenges. Liberalism is, in your opinion, a nihilistic and totalitarian ideology. This theory has provoked a series of controversies, especially in the West. Ideas live independently of their authors. Are you satisfied with the reactions caused by this book? What brings the second volume of the Fourth Political Theory, which was recently published – The Rise of the Fourth Political Theory?
Summing up different aspects of reception of 4PT in the West (as well as in the East, where the book is also translated and published), I agree that ideas live their life independently from authors. The idea belongs to one who understands it. If you agree with the logic of 4PT – that liberalism reveals itself being totalitarian and purely nihilistic and that rejecting it we need to go beyond communism and fascism – so 4PT is your position as well as mine. 4PT is an open source intellectual project. If you accept basic principles you can suggest, or construct your version of 4PT by yourself. – The Rise of the Fourth Political Theory continues to deploy the arguments of 4PT. Now I have the data for the third volume. So, it progresses. I would like to point out that there are at least two philosophical books entirely dedicated to development of the Fourth Political Theory – that of José Alsina Calvés in Spanish, and the book Uscire dal XX secolo. Un’idea nuova per il Terzo Millennio. Per una Quarta teoria politica, written by Italian, Roberto Pecchioli. So 4PT becomes the object of growing interest. It is exactly as it should be.
China remained a socialist country, its ideology is, at least nominally, today based on Marxism (with some Chinese specificities). “Marxism is not the end of the truth, it opens the way to the truth,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping recently. What kind of reception does the Fourth Political Theory in China see, can you see the possibility of its development in modern China?
There is no translation of 4PT in China. But the Chinese journalists interview myself from time to time. Not knowing the Chinese language, I have no idea what they think about all that. But I hope in the future the Chinese can discover 4PT that corresponds to their profound identity. Now they have amalgam of three political theories – their economy is liberal, their political structure — communist, their strategy – nationalist. 4PT is not all that together, rather the step beyond all that.
George Washington spoke of America as a biblical and post-apocalyptic “New Jerusalem.” Puritans on the “glistening City on the hill”. It is the complex of “mythical America”, the product of this ideology is the modern ideology of American exceptionalism. The Americans are, in short, “new chosen people” for whom the same rules do not apply as for the other, “less important nations”. These messianic ideas are deeply rooted in the American mentality. The ideology of exceptionalism is one of the constitutive myths of America. Can America at all change its relationship to other civilizations and traditions and begin to treat them with respect?
America is a diverse society. No doubt there is the dimension you are speaking of, but there are many other. I think that alternative to this messianic imperialism we can find in the cultural anthropology (in the left) and in the paleoconservatives (realist, isolationist) in the right.
Trump’s advisor Steve Bannon (who is also a kind of an ideologist and strategist of President Trump) in his documentary Generation Zero talks about four great crises – periods of violence in American history. America is now apparently at the beginning of the „Fourth turning”. You claim that “America is at the threshold of a civil war”.
Something like that is simply unavoidable. “Fourth turning” I interpret as the choice between globalist ideology and 4PT. The Fourth Nomos of the Earth of Carl Schmitt fits here as well.
Liberalism is, according to the Italian historian of the ideas, Domenico Losurdo (in the study Contrahistoria del Liberismo, 2007), “ideology born with two faces”. The hidden and dark face of this ideology is racism. These, mostly English, sleek gentlemen, who uncompromisingly fought for freedom and individual rights, were at the same time convinced racists. With the three glorious revolutions that shaped the modern story – in the Netherlands, England and America – there has been a renewal and development of the institution of slavery in modern times. In the mid-nineteenth century, the number of slaves in the United Kingdom amounted to nearly 900,000 (in the United States it is several times higher).
Yes, exactly. Liberalism is essentially racist. It imposes itself as something universal and obligatory being the product of the historical experience of the Western society of Modernity. The ideology of human rights is also racist – it affirms the individual (liberal concept) as the only way to understand the human nature. Slavery is also Modern phenomenon. In the Christian Middle Ages, it was absent. It began with a shift from traditional society to Modernity, capitalism and liberalism. Liberalism is a totalitarian racist ideology that pretending to give the freedom installs the slavery.
The West of the XIX and XX centuries no longer exists. It was replaced by a weakened “Post-West”, which is no longer interested in modernization. Will such a “Post-West” develop in the direction dictated by “trans-humanism”?
West is not a geographical concept, it is rather a type of society, paradigm of civilization. It becomes more and more independent from the geography, shifting to virtuality and cyberspace. So trans-humanism is essentially Western, it creates new electronic West, network West, cyber West. The moment of Singularity will mean the last victory of the West as metaphysical principle, that is a total decadence and the end of humanity.
After Georgia and the return of Crimea under Russian sovereignty, Russian engagement in Syria followed. Is Russia coming back to its imperial mission? How many Westerners and liberals are influential in today’s Russia? You spoke about the “fifth” and “sixth columns” in Russia, which is between President Putin – between “solar Putin” – and the Russian people.
Russia strikes in Georgia, Ukraine and in Syria against unipolarity and liberal imperialism. It is rather a defence, not an attack. Liberalism is still very strong in Russia. Solar Putin is mirror of Russian identity. But lunar Putin is rather his Doppelganger taken as a hostage by liberal elites.
From Serbs and Serbia, you said on one occasion, nothing more depends. Is that still so? During your recent stay in Belgrade, you held a lecture on the fourth political theory and made several concrete proposals or suggestions to the Serbian authorities: instead of persisting on the idea of Euro integration, which puts into question not only territorial integrity, but also the identity of Serbian people, Serbia can apply for admission to the Eurasian Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and in this way change its uninhibited geopolitical position.
Yes, from Serbs and Serbia nothing more depends. You did struggle to the very end – military and politically. The only chance of salvation is the momentum to join Eurasian Union and transmit to the Russia the responsibility to solve Kosovo problem as well as all the rest. You can do nothing more. When Vucic will be obliged to give up Kosovo definitively, he will face the riot and the future collapse of the country. So, by the logic of circumstances and by his pragmatism he could try to throw the ball to Moscow. If Russia rejects it, Vucic will legitimately sign the paper demanded by EU recognizing the independence of Kosovo. So, we have only one more chance – the last one.
And it is not the dream of Moscow, that is engaged in the difficult situation in Ukraine and Syria, but at the same time I guess Putin will not reject the proposal from the start and will be obliged to deal somehow with the challenge.
One of your ideas is the formation of a geopolitical school in Serbia. The Serbian political elites today are not familiar with geopolitics and, unfortunately, with their own people.
Planned geopolitical school is orientated to intellectual elite – scientific, military and so on. So the interested persons will improve their knowledge of geopolitics and the rest will calmly proceed without it. But the geopolitics today in the era of the end of the ideologies is the only way to interpret the International Relations and some domestic processes correctly. So, the ignorance of geopolitics is the self-robbery. If you are not the subject of geopolitics you are simply its object.
The European Union is a blind spot of European history and tradition, which, according to you, is “anti-Europe”. What, in your opinion, happened to Europeans?
The Europeans did arrive to the last point of their descent to hell. The darkness is so strong that nobody recalls anymore what the light may be. That is the consequence of the revanche of Logos of Cybele mastered in the origins of European civilization by Indo-European Apollonian cultures, but liberated itself from the the chains – like Satan in the Apocalypse story. The metaphysics of technic is the essence of titanism. The present state of things in Europe is not casual, it is a logical stage – the final one – of the process originated with the Modernity and the refusal of Tradition. The Europe without Tradition is not Europe any more, it is Anti-Europe.
You have adopted the philosophy of Martin Heidegger and his term „Dasein“. The “Dasein” of the Russian people must be found from the need, not by order, dictation. This applies to every European and Eurasian nation. You recently wrote a very inspiring text about Serbian history and culture, in which you also mention a Serbian writer Milorad Pavic. It’s about “the timeless map of the Serbian soul“, „Serbian Dasein” and „Serbian Logos“.
There are so many Daseins as peoples and cultures. And all of them are quite original. We can not compare them because there is no common measure. Each “Dasein” has its own measure – its own concept of time, space, man, God, nature and so on. Serbian “Dasein” we could grasp by Serbian culture by Pavic, by Milic of Machva, by Serbian dances and music, by Serbian history (or rather by the historical – Seynsgeschichtliche). Each people has its own manner to die. And Serbian manner is heroic and profoundly Christian, exemplified by Vidovdan.