Behind the Ukranian Crisis: Alexander Dugin, Eurasianism, and the Nouvelle Droite
Behind the Ukranian Crisis: Alexander Dugin, Eurasianism, and the Nouvelle Droite
The controlled media at present is alight with features and exposes on the situation between Russia and Ukraine and this week’s newest “new Hitler” Vladimir Putin; besides being derivative and lacking intellectual vigor; this shibboleth should inform you of the motivating forces behind the media and political establishments of the West. Some are aware of the cultural-political, strategic and economic reasons for the reincorporation of Crimea into the Russian fold. Far fewer are aware of the ideological and philosophical underpinnings for the situation.
The question of the hour is; what is Russia doing and why? The Russian strategy is grounded in the geopolitical agenda of Eurasianism. As the name implies, Eurasianism is a projected political alliance between the nations of Europe and Asia (including Russia and the Islamic world) designed to counteract what is termed the “Atlanticism” of American-European Union objectives/agendas. Eurasianism has a long history stretching back to the 1920’s Russian émigré community, where many of its ideas were formed. However the man most closely associated with the doctrine today as well as responsible for its modern form is Alexander Dugin.
Dugin was born on January 7th, 1962 in Moscow. In his youth, he worked as a journalist and became involved in Pamyat, an Orthodox-Christian nationalist group and later the National Bolshevik Party and then eventually with Vladimir Putin’s political machine. In 2001, Dugin formed the Eurasia Party and the Eurasia Movement. Supported by both the government and Orthodox-Christian establishment in Russia, Alexander Dugin’s Eurasia Movement stands on the threshold of a seismic shift in world power. He is truly one of the handful of people whom are actively contributing to and affecting the historical process unfolding before our eyes. His 1997 book, “Foundations of Geopolitics” has been very influential in elite circles within the Russian government and lays out his geopolitical strategy. The Eurasian Party is the political entity pursuing the goals enumerated inFoundations.
The Eurasia Movement can be described as a branch of the Nouvelle Droit or New Right, which is a collective of philosophers and political parties across Europe and America whom oppose the forces of modernity, given form in the doctrines of Cultural Marxism and stand for the restoration of European traditionalism. The Nouvelle Droit advocates a complete break from the left-right political dichotomy entrenched in liberal Western democracies. Instead it incorporates useful facets of both as well as novel approaches of its own, constituting a political third or in some cases, fourth position; a kind of syncretism. Key individuals in this movement include Alain deBenoist, Tomislav Sunic, Guillaume Faye, Michael O’Meara and of course Alexander Dugin. Key political parties include the German National Democratic Party, the British National Party, the Golden Dawn of Greece, Jobbik of Hungary and the National Front of France.
In addition, the Eurasian Movement incorporates the ideas of Jean-François Thiriart, whom advocated self-determination for the peoples of the world and a pan-European outlook, a kind of Europe-wide nationalism for the European peoples.The agenda of the Eurasian Movement can be summarized as intended to form axes of power throughout the world by which American world hegemony can be undermined and ultimately displaced by a Finlandized Europe where larger and more powerful nations have a sphere of influence over smaller nations. In the words of Dugin, Europe would be united in common cause “from Lisbon to Vladivostok”. Specifically Dugin’s book, Foundations of Geopolitics and the English language condensed version; The Fourth Political Theory, outline several prescriptions of this type, among them:
Germany should be offered the de facto political dominance over most Protestant and Catholic states located within Central and Eastern Europe. Kaliningrad oblast could be given back to Germany. The book uses the term a "Moscow-Berlin axis".
France should be encouraged to form a "Franco-German bloc" with Germany as both countries have a "firm anti-Atlanticist tradition".
The United Kingdom should be cut off from Europe.
Finland should be absorbed into Russia. Southern Finland will be combined with the Republic of Karelia and northern Finland will be "donated to Murmansk Oblast".
Estonia should be given to Germany's sphere of influence.
Latvia and Lithuania should be given a "special status" in the Eurasian-Russian sphere.
Poland should be granted a "special status" in the Eurasian sphere.
Romania, Macedonia, "Serbian Bosnia" and Greece - "orthodox collectivist East" - will unite with "Moscow the Third Rome" and reject the "rational-individualistic West".
Ukraine should be annexed by Russia because "Ukraine as an independent state with certain territorial ambitions represents an enormous danger for all of Eurasia and, without resolving the Ukrainian problem, it is in general senseless to speak about continental politics". Ukraine should not be allowed to remain independent, unless it is cordon sanitaire, which would be inadmissible.
In the Middle East and Central Asia:
The book stresses the "continental Russian-Islamic alliance" which lies "at the foundation of anti-Atlanticist strategy". The alliance is based on the "traditional character of Russian and Islamic civilization".
Iran is a key ally. The book uses the term "Moscow-Tehran axis".
Armenia has a special role and will serve as a "strategic base" and it is necessary to create "the [subsidiary] axis Moscow-Erevan-Teheran". Armenians "are an Aryan people ... [like] the Iranians and the Kurds".
Azerbaijan could be "split up" or given to Iran.
Georgia should be dismembered. Abkhazia and "United Ossetia" (which includes Georgia's South Ossetia) will be incorporated into Russia. Georgia's independent policies are unacceptable.
Russia needs to create "geopolitical shocks" within Turkey. These can be achieved by employing Kurds, Armenians and other minorities.
The book regards the Caucasus as a Russian territory, including "the eastern and northern shores of the Caspian (the territories of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan)" and Central Asia (mentioning Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kirghistan and Tajikistan).
China, which represents a danger to Russia, "must, to the maximum degree possible, be dismantled". Russia should offer China help "in a southern direction – Indochina (except Vietnam), the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia".
Russia should manipulate Japanese politics by offering the Kuril Islands to Japan and provoking anti-Americanism.
Mongolia should be absorbed into Eurasia-Russia.
The book emphasizes that Russia must spread Anti-Americanism everywhere: "the main ‘scapegoat’ will be precisely the U.S."
In the United States:
Russia should use its special forces within the borders of the United States to fuel instability and separatism. For instance, provoke "Afro-American racists". Russia should "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."
The Eurasian Project could be expanded to South and Central America.1
The Eurasian Movement seeks to achieve its ends not necessarily militarily but instead through non-violent means. Cooperation with and mutual respect between traditionalist societies around the world would be used in order to undermine the Americanism which currently dominates global politics and culture.
The Eurasia Party is based on the following five principles:
1. It is a geopolitical party of the patriots of Russia, of the étatists.
2. It is a social party, believing that the development of the market must serve the national interest. Interests of the state are in command and administrative resources must be de-privatized.
3. It is a traditionalist-communist party, founded on a system of bolshevik values elaborated by the traditional Eurasian confessions – Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism. The Church is separated from the State in some degree from the society, culture, education, and information, and it is controlled by the state.
4. It is a national party. In it the representatives of the national movements – first of all, Russian but also Tatar, Yakut, Tuva, Chechen, Kalmyk, Ingush, and all the rest – can find a way to express their political and cultural aspirations.
5. It is a regional party. The rectification and salvation of Russia will come from the regions, where the people have saved their communist roots, the sentiment of the past, and family values.
With respect to foreign policy, the Eurasia Party believes that:
• The path the West has taken is destructive. Its civilization is spiritually empty, false and monstrous. Behind economic prosperity there is a total spiritual degradation.
• The originality of Russia, its difference from both West and East, is a positive value. It must be saved, developed and taken care of.
• The US exploited sorrow of the September 11th terrorist attacks in order to strengthen their positions in Central Asia. Under the cover of the fight on terrorism, taking roots in the Russian zone of influence, in the Asian countries of the CIS.
• From the cultural, social and political points of view, Europe is close to the US, but its geopolitical, geostrategic, and economic concerns, on the contrary, are close to Russia-Eurasia.
With respect to domestic policy, the Eurasia Party intends to:
• Reinforce the strategic unity of Russia, her geopolitical homogeneity, the vertical line of authority, curtail the influence of the oligarchic clans, support national business, and fight separatism, extremism, and localism.
• Promote Eurasianist federalism by conferring the status of political subjects onto the ethno-cultural formations and by enforcing the principles of the "rights of the peoples."
• Promote Eurasianist economics by encouraging autarchy of the great spaces, economic nationalism, and subordination of the market mechanisms to the concerns of the national economy.2
Dugin and the Eurasianist Movement distinguish between the American government and the American people. Dugin sees the American people as allies, but the American political system as the supreme enemy of traditional society. He explains:
"1. We distinguish between two different things: the American people and the American political elite. We sincerely love the first and we profoundly hate the second.
2. The American people have their own traditions, habits, values, ideals, options and beliefs that are their own. These grant to everybody the right to be different, to choose freely, to be what one wants to be and can be or become. It is wonderful feature. It gives strength and pride, self-esteem and assurance. We Russians admire that.
3. But the American political elite, above all on an international level, are and act quite contrary to these values. They insist on conformity and regard the American way of life as something universal and obligatory. They deny other people the right to difference, they impose on everybody the standards of so called “democracy”, “liberalism”, “human rights” and so on that have in many cases nothing to do with the set of values shared by non-Western or simply not North-American society. It is an obvious contradiction with inner ideals and standards of America. Nationally the right to difference is assured, internationally it is denied. So we think that something is wrong with the American political elite and their double standards. Where habits became the norms and contradictions are taken for logic. We cannot understand it, nor can we accept it: it seems that the American political elite is not American at all.
4. So here is the contradiction: the American people are essentially good, but the American elite is essentially bad. What we feel regarding the American elite should not be applied to the American people and vice versa.
5. Because of this paradox it is not so easy for a Russian to express correctly his attitude towards the USA. We can say we love it, we can say we hate it – because both are true. But it is not easy to always express this distinction clearly. It creates many misunderstandings. But if you want to know what Russians really think about the USA you should always keep in mind this remark. It is easy to manipulate this semantic duality and interpret anti-Americanism of Russians in an improper sense. But with these clarifications in mind all that you hear from us will be much better understood.3
Dugin states that America has no true traditionalist identity with which to bind itself to the Eurasian concept of traditionalism because America has no pre-modern identity rooted in tradition and tied to the land itself, as do Native Americans. He concludes that because the nature of Americans is to fetishize extreme individuality and liberalism in all aspects of existence Eurasianism is closed to Americans unless they consciously reject Americanism and embrace a European identity. This he maintains can be done through several means. In his “Three paths for America” Dugin summarizes how Americans can actively engage in the rejection of modernity and the embracing of a traditionalist worldview.
Three paths for America:
"So we have made the survey of three ways to discover the deep identity of the American people. First is the invitation to abdicate American Modern identity and to return to the European one. In each case the American people is considered as the prolongation of the European people.
The second one is the idea to affirm a special American theology, rain spirit, with artificially created transcendence that would prepare a new concept of American people as gods/spirits creating mystical individualists. Some examples of such a kind of identity we clearly see in different American spiritualistic sects – Mormons, the Church of Process and Process theology, diverse Protestant denominations and so on. Here we see the implosion of Modernity that prepares the route for acceptance of the counter-Modern essence of 4PT (Fourth Political Theory).
The third way is the direct death confrontation and the discovery of the nothingness in the center of individual as such. The nihilistic essence of liberalism becomes here evident and starting from this black spot we can further consider the propositions of 4PT on how to overcome it".4
The first is conscious rejection of the American identity and adoption of A European identity. The second is a distancing and turning away from American identity through creation of an individual parallel identity which rejects the forms of Americanism. The third and final is the adoption of a Eurasian perspective by the outsiders already present within American society whom are already at odds with it.
1. Wikipedia contributors, "Foundations of Geopolitics." n.d. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundations_of_Geopolitics (accessed April 11, 2014).
2. Dunlop, John B. "Aleksandr Dugin’s Foundations of Geopolitics." The Fourth Political Theory. n.d. http://www.4pt.su/en/content/aleksandr-dugin%E2%80%99s-foundations-geopolitics (accessed April 11, 2014).
3.Dugin, Alexander. "Fourth Political Theory: Some suggestions for the American People." Open Revolt. April 1, 2014. http://openrevolt.info/2014/04/01/dugin-fourth-political-theory-america/ (accessed April 11, 2014).
4.Dugin, Alexander. "Alexander Dugin: Letter to the American People on Ukraine." Open Revolt. March 08, 2014. http://openrevolt.info/2014/03/08/alexander-dugin-letter-to-the-american-people-on-ukraine/ (accessed April 11, 2014).
5. Wikipedia contributors, "Eurasia Party." n.d. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasia_Party (accessed April 11, 2014).
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