Overseas Coverage as Non secular Warfare: A Dialog With Aleksandr Dugin

Russian thinker, mystic, political strategist, radical bohemian, and geopolitical guru; Aleksandr Dugin is infamous, but…

Russian thinker, mystic, political strategist, radical bohemian, and geopolitical guru; Aleksandr Dugin is infamous, but few within the West know a lot about him. Described by some because the mind of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Dugin is commonly depicted by Western media as a Rasputinesque determine with a dangerously eerie grip over Russia’s political and mental elite.

Whereas it could be true, as numerous articles assert, that Dugin has so much to do with Russia’s present geopolitical technique in Ukraine, much less explored are the spiritual and religious beliefs embedded in his philosophy. These are knowledgeable on the one hand by perennialism and the esoteric traditionalism of the French mental René Guénon, which try and synthesize Jap metaphysics with Western philosophy, and however, by Russian Orthodox Christianity.

Dugin’s political philosophy is aimed on the creation of a multipolar world wherein the U.S. is now not the world’s sole superpower. He additionally envisions a “fourth political idea” that shall be neither capitalist, communist, or fascist, however a completely new compilation adopting the nice sides from all three methods. However not like most political theorists, his beliefs are imbued with occult and mystical hermeneutics. Those that don’t get a grip along with his religious beliefs shall be doomed to a shallow and soulless understanding of his affect.

I interviewed Dugin in February—a number of weeks earlier than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—and requested him to elucidate his Christianity and the way it has influenced his philosophy. It’s a subject that pursuits him vastly, and his response mirrored the depth of his curiosity.

Dugin informed me that his path to Christianity got here in three necessary levels. The primary was his baptism as a toddler on the behest of his nice grandmother. However he didn’t pay a lot heed to the religion whereas rising up beneath the affect of a communist society and an atheistic father.

The second stage got here on the age of 18, when he fell right into a circle of underground Russian radicals who had been intent upon rejecting the utopian maxims and mythos of communism. They launched the younger Dugin to the alien world of esoteric traditionalism via Guénon (1886–1951) and Julius Evola (1898–1974); he stated their teachings stuffed his religious void.

Esoteric traditionalism advocates that each one civilizations and peoples ought to return to the spiritualism of their conventional cultural archetypes—Russians being pure Orthodox Christians, for instance. For Dugin, Guénon and Evola gave him the muse from which he started to critique modernity and look deeply into Russian Orthodox Christianity.

Dugin stated that in the course of the late Soviet interval and within the first 5 years of the Nineteen Nineties, he couldn’t deliver himself to reconcile “true custom with mental Christianity” and that he was discouraged by the outlook of up to date Christian believers. Ultimately, he humbled himself into accepting Orthodoxy, submitting himself to its spiritual self-discipline with a purpose to acquire entry to the sacraments.

This submission in the end led to the third stage; he joined a small department of the Russian Orthodox Church, which, whereas nonetheless in communion with the Moscow Patriarch, practiced the previous ceremony of the pre-Nikon reforms. The previous ceremony appealed to his urge for food for custom, and is considerably much like how a remnant of Catholic traditionalists want the pre-Vatican II liturgy, disciplines, and sacraments. Dugin made it clear to me that he felt a fantastic similarity between his return to the Church and that of the American Guénonian traditionalist and Orthodox priest, Seraphim Rose (1934–1982), who was baptized as a Methodist and transformed from atheism.

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Dugin defined that he selected Orthodox Christianity over Catholicism and Protestantism as a result of he sees the Orthodox Church as embedded into the mythos of Russia and as a part of a convention from which he can’t detach himself. This response led to a trickier query: how does he reconcile the dogmatic absolutism of Christianity with the open method towards Jap religions taken by esoteric traditionalism, which could possibly be seen as indifferentism to the Orthodox thoughts?

Dugin responded that Evola and Guénon taught him to respect completely different sacred religions and to not examine variations between them, however as a substitute to match them towards modernity. Every part anti-modern is sweet, Dugin stated; seeing completely different spiritual traditions in union with this precept permits him to reconcile non-Christian and non-Orthodox traditions.

He admits slightly paradoxically, nevertheless, to the assumption that one should absolutely assent to the teachings of 1’s Christian faith, together with its emphasis that each one different faiths are in error. Dugin indicated that he will get round this tough drawback by discovering ecumenical commonality. He said that, as an illustration, if a Catholic absolutely lives his spiritual custom, then it’s potential to search out commonality with different conventional religions in a mutual opposition to modernity.

Dugin stated his method to promulgating his philosophy of anti-liberalism and Eurasianism shouldn’t be as centered on Christianity as his different concepts. His purpose has at all times been to create a philosophical language that’s universally adaptable to all religions, cultures, and peoples no matter their spiritual beliefs. To do that, he appeals to Guénon’s thought of a communal struggle towards the fashionable world.

In Dugin’s view, Christianity is a sacred faith amongst many current in what he calls “a traditionally eschatological, and apocalyptic time’’ and will subsequently not be preventing towards different religions however towards modernity. All forces should be used “to struggle towards the eschatological trendy Western actuality,’’ which he stated shouldn’t be solely anti-Christian but in addition, at its roots, towards the Western custom (i.e. towards itself), and subsequently threatens all spiritual paradigms.

Having allowed Dugin to make it clear that he takes a broad and ecumenical method, I might argue that he truly locations extra emphasis on Christianity and its position in preventing Western modernity than he likes, for pragmatic causes, to publicly state. Dugin depends strongly on the Christian view of the Apocalypse and believes we live within the age of the Antichrist. This view is basically Christian and is why Dugin strongly expresses the concept that Christians ought to struggle Western modernity. You will need to point out right here that he sees the enemy as Western modernity, not the West itself, and that Christianity will play a serious position in defeating that enemy.

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Christian civilization now not exists, in Dugin’s view. He explains that this disintegration occurred in plenty of levels. The primary was the Nice Schism in 1053 of what he sees as the 2 genuine branches of the Christian Church, the Jap and Roman.

Then the Western Church grew to become extra individualistic and ready a path for liberalism. In response to some, akin to Alain de Benoist, Christianity via an inherent defect in its conception of the person salvation of the soul launched the hazard of individualism into Western thought. Dugin is cautious right here to emphasise his disagreement with this view. Regardless of its emphasis upon particular person salvation, “Christianity didn’t destroy the communal spirit” as seen within the Jap Orthodox Church, Dugin stated. Relatively than a creation of Christianity, liberalism is its perversion.

The descent of the Western Roman Church into liberalism adopted the sample of the promotion of nominalism by William of Ockham and the Franciscan monks within the late Center Ages, which sample Dugin stated created a “proto-liberal anthropology, and proto-liberal society’’ culminating in its apogee, Protestantism. This Protestantism and its work ethic led to capitalism, as described by Max Weber in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1903), and to what Dugin referred to as the creation of “a very secular and hedonistic society.” This society in Dugin’s view has destroyed faith, ushered in a pure state of post-cultural degenerations, and is turning into a post-human technological world.

It was at this level that I urged to him a purpose for optimism: from a reproductive and demographic perspective, it seems that secularism might ultimately wane as spiritual households have extra youngsters than do atheists. Dugin dismissed my optimism, nevertheless, calling it an instance of Anglo-Saxon false hope that higher numbers by themselves will remedy religious issues. Christians, he argued, must be centered as a substitute on saving souls.

Dugin believes that Westerners particularly have an obligation to struggle the drive of the Antichrist—modernity—because it was the West that created modernity. He describes this struggle as a religious struggle wherein “we should not promote our souls to the Antichrist’’ however be keen to “struggle till the tip and to die to win with Christ.”

Aleksandr Dugin

The willingness to struggle modernity is extra necessary than the probability of victory, Dugin stated. God “approves of us” and can save those that are examined in religious battle. This struggle should be directed in the direction of what Guénon referred to as the “Kingdom of Amount,” which Dugin stated manifests itself in the present day as “liberalism, LGBT tradition, synthetic intelligence, banks, and capitalism.”

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Dugin’s dramatic spiritual statements definitely evoke millenarian concepts. In my view, nevertheless, they’re the clearest examples of the ability of the Christian religion that animates his radical political and religious philosophy.

Victory on this religious battle towards modernity would prepared the ground to Dugin’s “fourth political idea,” which might supplant the three political methods of modernity: fascism, communism, and liberal democracy. The fourth idea would deconstruct every of those methods into solely their constructive parts, mixtures of which might be moulded in keeping with the traditions of every civilization. Politics on this system can be neither centered on particular person materialism, class wrestle, or nationalism, however slightly what German thinker Martin Heidegger referred to as Dasein, or being in its particularity.

As a result of america controls overwhelming drive on the earth we stay in a unipolar world. Dugin believes this hegemony should be damaged as much as permit completely different “poles” of world civilization. Examples would come with the Islamic, Eurasian (Russian), and Chinese language poles, with every embodying their very own civilizational custom. This multipolarity is a substitute for globalism; its will permit sociological range and finish political absolutism in favour of cultural relativism.

Ukraine represents the liberal west, in Dugin’s view. That is completely represented in Dugin’s endorsement of an epistle, written by the religious Christian oligarch and media government Konstantin Malofeev, which describes the Russian entry into the Donbass as “a brand new stage within the lifetime of a Millennial Russia.” Malofeev goes on to explain Kiev as having been “taken captive by the forces of hell.” Primarily based on this evaluation, he calls the battle a way of restoring historic justice in a “holy land for all Russian folks,” which is the catalyst for “a brand new nice Russia.” Following the publication of this letter, the U.S. Justice Division filed costs towards Malofeev for attempting, in violation of sanctions, to create new media retailers in a number of European nations. The FBI additionally issued an announcement saying that Malofeev “continues to run a pro-Putin propaganda community and lately described Russia’s 2022 army invasion of Ukraine as a ‘holy struggle.’”

Malofeev’s letter demonstrates how Russians like Dugin view the battle in Ukraine: as a holy struggle that may purge modernity from the Eurasian sphere and finish what Guénon described because the Kali Yuga—the Hindu idea for a decadent age of strife and sin. It’s this deep spiritual and religious motivation behind Russia’s marketing campaign in Ukraine that has been dangerously ignored by Western analysts and has compelled them to misconceive Russian motives.

To the extent that Dugin does affect Putin and different Russian leaders, that affect is deeply spiritual and frames occasions as a battle between the ideologies of modernity and traditionalism. The conclusion of this battle will no doubt have unimaginable penalties upon faith, tradition, and geopolitics for years to return. Dugin’s philosophy is making its mark on the world, proper earlier than our eyes.