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The Orthodox Nationalist: Explaining Dugin – TON 072617


Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson presents a discussion on Alexander Dugin.

Idiots like James Heiser, Robert Zubrin, Wahid Azal and Claire Berlinski have butchered Dugin in the popular press. With no one to really challenge them, they don't have the background needed to understand the complex metaphysics of Dugin's thought. German idealism, Heidegger, Nietzsche and and an understanding of Pre-Nikonian Russia are the minimum needed to comprehend Dugin's ideas.

The overwhelming majority of Dugin's work has not been translated into English, thus, without a solid knowledge of Russian, one cannot have an opinion on him at all.

Chaos is a term used by him that is the opposite of positivism. It is not our conversational use of the term. It does not mean confusion. Modernism cannot comprehend anything that is not quantifiable.
Words and phrases are identical to the meaning attached to them and nothing else. It exhausts reality. This means those with the ability to alter language can remake reality.

The solution to the problem of modernity for Dugin is the civilization. The civilization is something greater than the nation state, but much less than the globe. The civilization is a self-sufficient cultural unity. It is made up of cultures that are congruent to one another, and quite often, developing together over a long period of time. They are “natural” for this reason – they are used to a long history of more or less constant contact. They create civilizational space largely because they have this interactive history.

Following Hunnington and Toynbee, Dugin lays out a civilizational plot to the world including Arab, African and Russian spaces. With Latin American and North American worlds forming their own space. The point here is to say that the nation state (with possible exceptions such as Russia or China) is just too small to have any real impact on the world. Yet, the cultures created by them cannot be ignored, but synthesized into a higher reality – not the vapid “citizen of the world, “but rather, the man of civilization. Dugin writes in his Fourth Political Theory,

[These civilizations] designate wide and stable geographical and cultural zones, united by approximately common spiritual, moral, stylistic and psychological arrangements of historical experience. . . Each civilization reinterprets its substance in accordance with its own unconscious templates, where religion, culture, language and psychology play a massive and often decisive role.

Dugin is fairly clear here. The arguments for the civilizational type are not too distinct from much older arguments for the nation. Nations are not eliminated, just synthesized into a higher, more or less decentralized, political order of the civilization. Again,

The differences [among civilizations] should be accepted and affirmed without any racist sentiments or consideration. There is no common or universal measure to judge different ethnic groups. When one society tries to judge another, it applies its own criteria, and so commits intellectual violence.

This is the final gnosis of Dugin's basic political approach. Liberalism and capitalism both envisage a global world, largely one without culture or boundaries. The nationalist (strictly speaking) has been overthrown by modern globalization. The civilization can use insights from both to create something new. A large, “pan”- identity that synthesizes the nations with their own neighbors of a similar culture and political approach. Its final political end – to create a multipolar world, one where each civilization can develop its own potential and become more and more self-sufficing. Racism is rejected because it assumes a purely objective mode of comparison that is not possible under a civilizational rubric. 

Civilizations, given the conditions under which they have formed, generate their own standards and criteria. There is no single measuring rod, only balance among civilizational , religious and national forces into a coherent civilizational space. Civilizations are racial, of course, but like everything else, they are apophatic: they are symbols of reality, not reality itself.

It should be noted that Dugin has nothing but respect for western civilization (comprising western Europe and maybe America). The problem is that the (liberal) west has taken the “civilizational” mantle to itself, assuming itself as superior to all others, even to the point of imposing that civilization by violence. Of course, it is also a great assumption to attach liberalism to “the west,” since most of its history has been quite non-liberal. Liberalism is the negation of civilization and hence, since it is connected to global capitalism, becomes the latest revolutionary doctrine.

Western civilization is just as local as the Russian, and both are equally rational. It's the ends of these specific spaces that differ. History provides the ends. Reason universally applies the means. Yet, this can never mean that there is ever “reason” tout court. Reason needs to be embodied in the civilization of its origin.

In his Philosophy of Politics, Dugin defines the civilizational approach to the world:

Civilizational approaches place a particular nation state within a civilization (ie, a cultural-historical type) in a certain geographical area which is regarded as a relatively closed. The boundaries of civilizations are quite sustainable, and each of them lives in its own historical time which may be different from other historical cycles of civilization. It requires an analysis of each culture in isolation, and in accordance with the internal, inherent qualities that she alone generates.

There are two archetypes of civilization; Rome and Carthage. The latter, deriving from Phoenicia, is skeptical, egocentric and based on sea commerce. All is bought and sold; money is the measure of all things and is sufficient to bestow the highest social honors. Its patron is the demon Moloch, where children were burnt alive to the sound of drums to muffle their screams. Little skeletons have been found near the original Phoenician cultic site. This is the “Beast rising from the sea” one finds in revelation.

Rome is based on honor that is, integrity. It is the warrior rather than the merchant; its ethos is heroic and one dedicated to the common good rather than the ego. Today, Rome is Russia and Carthage, the United States, or more specifically, the urban, largely Jewish elite in the major banking centers such as London and New York.

Presented by Matt Johnson

The Orthodox Nationalist: Explaining Dugin – TON 072617


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