Dugin theorizes, and Putin applies

George Cattan
2022 / 4 / 19

Philosophers’ and thinkers’ Ideologies and theories often play a role in justifying politics in authoritarian states. In particular, this concept seems clearer and embodied in Soviet Russia, when Marxist-Leninist ideology played an important role in justifying the domestic policy that established authoritarian “state capitalism” under "socialist" slogans, and an expansionist foreign policy of the Russian state in European and Asian neighborhoods under the slogans of internationalism and the spread of socialism in the world. But the priority of facts over ideological texts prevails in the end. The Soviet -union- collapsed and with it the ideology adopted by the successive totalitarian authorities.
It has been proven that Russian historical facts do not stop playing the first role in the politics of successive eras. Russia moved in history from the Kyiv Empire to the Mongol Empire to the Tsarist Empire of the Romanovs, to the "Soviet", Stalinist, and Brezhnev Empires, until it reached the beginnings of the future empire that "Tsar" Putin seeks to establish since his seizure of power in the year 2000. The reality of history repeating in various forms was only overcome in-limit-ed transitional stages, especially the Yeltsin stage, which did not last long between 1991 and 2000 when political forces tried a transition to a liberal political and economic system that did not seek expansion.
Putin does not lack the personal incentive to expand the borders of his state and recover what the Soviet empire lost after its collapse, from the Soviet republics and peoples in East Europe and Central Asia, and the republics and peoples outside the -union- in Europe and Asia, but it was within the Russian empire that to cover up its reality, it was called the "System of Socialist States". As Stalin had done, especially during World War II, to recover the legacy of Tsarism that Russia lost in World War I, Putin sought to expand in Chechnya, Georgia, and then in Crimea and the Donbas until he reached the current Ukrainian war, after which he is expected to continue his expansion in the Baltic states, and other Eastern European countries. If personal ambition alone is not sufficient to -restore- Putin s expansionist march, supporting him and theorizing him through an ideology plays a useful role in gaining broader support inside and outside the country.
Many Russian elites seek to play this role, but the most prominent and influential of them is the philosopher Alexander Dugin, who was a dissident in the late Soviet era, then opposed Yeltsin and participated in the uprising that led to his overthrow, as a supporter of Putin. He has authored several books, the most important of which are "The Foundations of Geopolitics" in 1997, "The Fourth Political Theory" in 2009, and "The War of the Continents", in which he explained his "Fourth Eurasian theory", as an alternative to liberalism, communism, and fascism, according to his claim. He saw that the world has moved from a struggle between communism and capitalism, as in the Cold War, to a struggle between the "Land Civilization" represented by Russia in its pursuit throughout the history of warm waters, and the "Marine Civilization" by the Americans and the British in particular, and the Westerners in general. It is an inevitable conflict that will not end unless one of the two sides destroys the other, as he claimed, "Russia either wins´-or-destroys the world with nuclear weapons … Any country in the world that wants to live in peace must accept the existence of a great Russia," he said. By the way, the slogan he raised is not very different from the slogan of the followers of the Syrian dictator: "Assad´-or-we destroy the country." As for the liberal Russians, they are, in his opinion, a minority and a fifth column for the West.
Dugin aims to revive the totalitarian Russian Eurasian Empire, which he sees as not just a very large state, but a geopolitical strategic alliance of states, nations, and peoples, that is, “above a state”, and an incentive to build a distinguished civilized world from similar empires. The first step toward this is the rebuilding of the former Soviet -union-, without communism, as the Russians will not become a people except within the framework of the new empire. An empire in a multipolar world whose national identity is Russian above race and nationalism, with a decentralized economy that prevents the game of financial speculation, and the role of the state is to -dir-ect the economy in its strategic horizons only. A conservative empire that rejects liberalism and respects the religious and cultural heritage of the peoples within its framework. The borders of his imagined empire are great Eurasian continental, reaching at its highest stages to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, the Pacific in the east, and the Indian Ocean in the south, all the way to the warm seas.
Dugin sees in his theory that the Eurasian continent is the cradle of human civilization and that liberalism, freedom, democracy, and modernity are ideas alien to Russian culture, and the modern West of Bill Gates, Zuckerberg, and others like them, is "the most disgusting phenomenon," in the history of the West, Russia must hurry to separate from it and return to its roots, which are closer to Asia than to Europe. Russian history is the struggle of the Eurasian civilization against the West. His Eurasian theory in terms of a historical approach has a political perspective that can be, as a whole, an ideology of the desired empire.
His relationship with Putin, although not framed in a specific situation, is almost: "Dugin theorizes and Putin implements." The prosperity of Eurasianism is taking place with every step taken by Putin. Some compare Dugin, in his relationship with Putin, to "Rasputin" who inspired Russian Tsar Nicholas II in the early twentieth century. Dugin had previously announced his opinion about the inclusion of Russian minorities in Russia s neighboring countries, and this has already been implemented in Georgia and Crimea, and now it is happening in the Donbas in Ukraine, which Putin announced recognition and sent his armies to ensure its separation and expansion of its borders and to link Russia with Crimea on the ground. One of the applications of the theory was Anchored by the establishment of the "Eurasian Economic -union-" from the countries of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan in 2014, which he viewed as the birth of the empire and an important step toward a multipolar world competing with the European -union- and NATO, and perhaps a model for other proposed empires such as the Chinese, Persian and Turkish. However, this step failed miserably politically and economically.
Dugin supported Russia s intervention to support the Syrian regime, considering that the conflict there between Russia and its ally against ISIS as an entity produced by the West poses a threat to Russia and its allies. The intervention dictates also the geopolitical necessity in terms of the importance of the survival and expansion of the Russian naval base in Tartus on the Mediterranean. Dugin expresses his admiration for the Syrian dictator Al-Assad, Khamenei, Iran s supreme leader, and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Dugin also explains his identical policy with Putin toward America, where he supported the Trump administration, which does not care about NATO and its expansion, nor the importance of Ukraine, and encourages an American isolationist policy toward Europe and the world, in contrast to his opposition to Biden s extremist Atlantic and global policy, according to his opinion. It also encourages Britain s isolation from the European continent and the attraction of Western Europe to Russia by tempting it with oil and gas. In general, what he calls for is very close to Putin s applications, to the extent that in one of his interviews he said that "Putin is Russia" and that in Russia "the law is nothing and the ruler is everything." To show his narcissism, he said: "There is Putin, there is me, and there are the people!"
Dugin receives attention from the Kremlin, the Duma, and Russia s top leaders, especially the leaders of the army, police, and intelligence services, knowing that his father, was an officer in the Soviet KGB. Dugin has been an advisor to Sergey Naryshkin, the head of foreign intelligence, since 2016. His ideas have attracted the attention of the European far-right, especially the French far-right, which he is fond of for a long time, and some of his books have been translated into English. In what is considered a fascist theorist among Western philosophical schools, Trump supporters admire his ideas and draw comparisons with the theories of Steve Bannon, the Tranpism theorist.
Russia may win in its invasion of Ukraine and achieve its goal of annexing parts of it to Russia and keeping other parts within its influence,´-or-it may get stuck in the Ukrainian quagmire in the face of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people with the support of Western countries that provide Ukraine with arms, financial and humanitarian aid, and impose boycott and severe sanctions on the Russian occupier. But in the end, it is the tangible facts that will determine the outcome of the conflict, not the "theories" of some fascist philosophers, whose natural place will be the dustbin of history alongside Nazi, fascist, Baathist, Assadist, Saddamist, and other theories. In the end, it is freedom, democracy, human rights, and peaceful coexistence among nations that will prevail, despite tyrants and their ideologues.

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