Until yesterday, we heard little about Kiev and Kharkiv; the war takes place in regions, cultures almost unknown. But it is difficult to abstain from opinion when the subject touches the soul, which fears suffering, exile and death. Humanly, we are all brothers; invited to feel compassion. That is why – today – it sounds like a declaration of impiety to confess a certain ignorance. For example: that we don’t understand geopolitics, we don’t know Putin’s ambition either, and he never cared about Ukraine.
However, our conscience must not give in to popular pressure to express an opinion on everything; having an opinion is sometimes synonymous with haste. Postmodern immediacy asks us to confuse freedom of thought with the reproduction of third-party opinions, media information that usually takes sides. Suddenly we realize that information is different from knowledge; and above all that isolated facts are not enough to arrive at correct judgments. In this case, one must understand the philosophy behind Putin’s government, which has Alexander Dugin as its main influence.
Presentation of Dugin’s fourth political theory
Putin is a sphinx for the West. After all, we are inserted into the political clash of three theories: liberalism, communism and fascism. The proponent of either path often disagrees with the other vehemently; the debate is increasingly polarized.
It’s no coincidence that Bolsonaro voters abhor Cuba, just as pro-Cuba voters abhor Trump. But the Putin influencer thinks with such unique artifices that he is able to unite opposing ideas, articulating what is theoretically good and bad in each political theory.
Legacy and Critique of Fascism and Nazism in Dugin’s Vision
From fascism, it absorbs the recognition that politics is a cultural phenomenon that must harmonize the abstract and the concrete, the
government and ethosGreek word for the synthesis of the customs of the people . In practical terms, this means that it is unwise to worship a foreign model and apply it to another nation in a transparent way. It would be like importing the American economy to the Russian people, who have a completely different way of life than the the american way of life.
So that – according to Dugin – it is necessary to harmonize the political projects with the religious belief, the linguistic community, the daily life and the natural resources of the people. What the Fascists and the Nazis have always done: they ruled in order to restore the ethos. An example of this is Hitler’s use of opera: the German composer Richard Wagner wrote famous plays, which deal with a mythical Germany predestined to glory, and the dictator used them for the founding of the Third Reich, at the Berlin State Opera. .
However, Dugin does not declare himself a fascist, since he criticizes the third way. He says that fascism is mistaken in defending the sovereignty of a single ethos , in order to oppress the cultural manifestations of other peoples. Thus, Putin’s influencer condemns in his own way racism, which in addition to characterizing skin color, unfolds in civilizational racism, which divides peoples between civilized and barbarian; cultural, which defends the existence of superior and inferior cultures; evolutionist, who confuses Darwinian principles with political theory; technological, which understands progress as technical development; society, which imagines the economy as the basis of humanity in order to separate rich and poor.
Legacy and critique of communism
Finally, with a strong critique of economocentrism, Dugin praises communism. He says followers of Marx perfectly identify the contradictions of capitalism, the political regime that both championed freedom and enslaved workers during the Industrial Revolution. It is easy to agree that the working day – in the rise of capitalism – was inhumane: people were subjected to working up to 16 hours a day, with wages below subsistence level, among other degrading aspects. In addition to the old problems, the superficiality of the bourgeoisie and the alienation of conscience still prevail today.
But Dugin has his critics of communism. First, it condemns the doctrine that history has its basis in the material world and that it is modes of production – rather than consciousness – that determine human life.
The Putin influencer also criticizes the fact that communists think the future will always be better, to the point of devaluing tradition and religion, and failing to recognize that certain changes are not a beacon of progress, but can worsen social reality.
Then he criticizes Marxist work that equates human society with a mechanical system, in order to act independently of the particular man, whose predictions have turned out to be wrong. Marx was convinced that revolutions would take place in industrialized countries, but socialism was respected in agrarian countries, including Russia itself.
Finally, for Dugin, the worst part of communism is the incitement to sectarianism, reducing the antagonistic social classes to the condition of the main historical agent.
Legacy and critique of liberalism
In this aspect, Dugin praises liberalism, which does not accept reducing man to the will of the state or the class, since it values freedom. Without this element, history would cease to be a human science and would become an arithmetic of the facts of nature; but historical science is the general psychology of humanity. It is impossible to understand it without the idea of freedom; the figures of the genius, the artist, the hero, the martyr and the saint.
However, the liberal conception of freedom distances the West from the fundamental religious feeling for the liberation of human beings. As liberals defend individual freedom, they end up displacing it from the idea of belonging, community and divinity, as if it were possible to be autonomous. But who is absolutely independent?
Hence Dugin’s criticism. He says that the excess of subjectivity has led the West to its own ruin. Thus said Sartre: “Man is a prison without walls.” Individualism has pushed human beings not to believe in eternal principles, to dissociate themselves from traditional values, to the point of feeling existential angst and disorientation in the face of a meaningless world. Therefore, liberalism has imprisoned it in its own ego. In the words of Dugin: “Western individualism confronts Russian holism.”
Its defenders praise Dugin’s intelligence, capable of federating rival political theories. They praise their ability to listen to enemies, to learn their techniques on their own, something so rare in this polarized world. Hence the danger of having an opponent like Putin, because when your opponent knows your abilities and weaknesses, as shown in the canonical Sun art of war Tzu, Vele is able to exploit his physical, psychological and economic weaknesses.
However, Dugin’s critics argue that the fourth political theory is nothing more than reformed fascism. It was a necessary formatting, based on the following: since after World War II it became offensive in defending old Russia and Germany, Putin’s government would have serious geopolitical implications if it continued to fill the agenda of the KGB (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti, or Security Committee). State), of which Putin was an agent, in the Soviet Union. It would therefore be more convenient to adopt a new theory, less known in the West, like that of Alexander Dugin.
If his detractors are right, with noble ideas, the political scientist creates a justification for war, the union of the theory of knowledge of the ancient eurasists, with contributions from the traditionalism of René Guénon, from the fundamental ontology of Heidegger , and various currents of structuralism, sociology and anthropology.
In any case, the fact is that Putin’s influencer declares that he is in a Eurasian war against the West. It aims to bring together different nations to resist globalization and destroy Westernization. His war is against the modern mind, which he believes is confined to the West. Thus, he launches an appeal to the Russians, “inviting them to reject the corrupt pro-globalist and pro-Western elite and to return to the spiritual Tradition of Russia (Orthodox Christianity and multi-ethnic empire)”.
Jointly invites “Muslim peoples and their community, as well as all other traditional societies – Chinese, Hindu, Japanese, etc. – to unite in this battle against globalization, Westernization and against the global elite”.
According to him, “the enemy is fighting with new means – with postmodern informational weapons, with financial instruments and with a global network. The Eurasians should be able to fight them on the same bases and appropriate the art of the network offensive.
When he attempts to forge certain alliances with nations outside of Eurasia, it is because he expects that “I sincerely hope that Latin Americans and also some honest North Americans will enter the same struggle against this elite, against postmodernity and against unipolarity, for Tradition, for social solidarity”. and for social justice.
In Brazil, Olavo de Carvalho was one of the main critics of Dugin and Putin. Recently deceased, the professor said: “Dugin is an outspoken preacher of war and genocide. He confesses that he hates all of the West and that his declared objective is to provoke a third world war, to erase the West from the face of the Earth and to establish everywhere what he defines as a universal dictatorship. He has already said that nothing saddens him more than the fact that Hitler and Stalin did not form an alliance to destroy France, England and everything they came across, distributing the benefits to the entire universe. they had already given to the prisoners of the Gulag and Auschwitz. .”
Given this information, finally, it is worth reflecting: what is its interpretative aspect? Do you think the fourth political theory is a good model for combating the evils of modernity, or just reformed fascism? Which side are you on – in philosophy and in war?
*Natalia Cruz Sulman is a professor of philosophy