Jan
31

The Theory of a Multipolar World

This is Part 4 of series on books by Dugin, the Russian philosopher (see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). This post covers his 2021 book, "The Theory of a Multipolar World". The book builds on much of what has already been said in earlier books, here I highlight only two points offered in this relatively short publication (154 pages). The first is Dugin's vision of what a multipolar world is and the second is his vision of what the future multipolar world will be based upon (which draws directly from Huntington and his civilizational theorizing). He writes:

"1. The multipolar world is a radical alternative to the unipolar world (existing in fact today), in that it insists on the presence of several independent and sovereign centers of global, strategic decision-making on planetary level; 2. These centers should be sufficiently equipped and independent materially to have the possibility to defend their sovereignty on a material level in the face of the invasion of a probable enemy, as a model of which we can take the most powerful force in the world today. This demand amounts to the possibility to oppose material, military, strategic hegemony of the US and NATO. 3. These centers of decision-making are not obligated to recognize as a sign qua non Western norms and values (democracy, liberalism, the free market, parliamentarism, human rights, individualism, cosmopolitanism, etc) and can be entirely independent of the spiritual hegemony of the west;" [author continues with additional points] (p. 17)

"Huntington identifies the following civilizations: Western civilization, Orthodox (Eurasian) civilization, Islamic civilization, Hindu civilization, Chinese (Confucian) civilization, Japanese civilization (potential), Latin-American civilization, Buddhist civilization, African civilization. They are destined at a certain historic time to become the poles of a multipolar world." (p. 48) [Dugin continues with sections describing each of these]

On multipolarity, from The Fourth Political Theory, Dugin writes:

"The idea of a multipolar world, where the number of poles and civilizations are the same, will offer humanity a wide range of cultural, philosophical, social and spiritual alternatives. We will have a model with the presence of a "regional universalism" in a particular "large space" that will give to large bands and significant segments of humanity necessary social dynamics (that is typical for globalization and openness), but devoid of the shortcomings that globalism has taken on a planetary scale. However, regionalism can also develop in this situation, as well as local, ethnic and religious communities, since the unifying pressure inherent in nation-states will be significantly weakened." (p. 119)

"There no universal standard - neither material nor spiritual - will be. Each civilization will finally proclaim that it is a measure of things. Somewhere it will be a man somewhere - religion, somewhere - ethics, somewhere - matter. But for realization of this project we have to endure a lot of fights. First and foremost, it is necessary to cope with the main enemy Globalism and the desire of the Atlantic western pole once again to impose all the peoples and cultures of the Earth its sole hegemony. Despite the deep and true observations of his best intellectuals, many of the political establishments in the United States still use the term «civilization» in the singular, implying the «American civilization». That is the real challenge that we all, all nations of the earth, and especially Russian, should simply have to give an adequate response for." (p. 120) 

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Jan
27

Dugin on Racism

Part 3 on Dugin's works (see Part 1 and Part 2).

Many of the attacks and/or associations made of Dugin suggest his philosophy is "far right" and connected with white supremacist movements. While such groups or actors may use his works and some publishers associated with such ideologies, that does not in and of itself mean Dugin holds such views. On race and racism, from his book The Fourth Political Theory (2009 original, 2012 translation), he writes:

"Hitler's racism, however, is only one form of racism – this type of racism is the most obvious, straightforward, biological, and therefore the most repulsive. There are other forms of racism – cultural racism (asserting that there are high and low cultures), civilizational (dividing people into those civilized and those insufficiently civilized), technological (viewing technological development as the main criterion of societal value), social (stating, in the spirit of the Protestant doctrine of predestination, that the rich are the best and the greatest as compared to the poor), economic racism (based on which all humanity is ranked according to regions of material well-being), and evolutionary racism (for which it is axiomatic that human society is the result of biological development, in which the basic processes of evolution of the species – survival of the fittest, natural selection, etc. – continue today). The European and American society is fundamentally afflicted with this type of racism, unable to eradicate it from itself despite all the effort." (p. 44)

"The newest types of racism are glamour, fashion, and following the latest informational trends. The norms are set by models, designers, party socialites, and the owners of the latest version of mobile phones or laptop computers. Conformity or nonconformity with the glamour code is located at the very base of the mass strategies for social segregation and cultural apartheid. Today, this is not associated directly with the economic factor, but is gradually gaining independent sociological features: this is the ghost of the glamour dictatorship – the new generation of racism." (p. 45)

"As one of its essential features, the "Fourth Political Theory" rejects all forms and varieties of racism and all forms of normative hierarchization of societies based on the ethnic, religious, social, technological, economic, or cultural grounds. Societies can be compared, but we cannot state that one of them is objectively better than the others. Such an assessment is always subjective, and any attempt to raise a subjective assessment to the status of a theory is racism." (p. 46)

"Today, we reject and criticize fascism for its racial component, but we forget that this ideology is also built on the ideas of progress and evolution just like the other two political theories of modernity. If we were to visualize the essence of the Nazi ideology and the role of progress and evolution in it, then the connection between racism and evolution would become obvious to us. This connection – in a concealed form – can be seen in liberalism and even in communism. Even if not biological, we see cultural, technological, and economic racism in the ideology of the "free market" and in the dictatorship of the proletariat." (p. 59) 

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Jan
23

The Great Awakening vs The Great Reset

This is Part 2 of a series on the writing of Dugin (see Part 1 here). This post highlights some key points the author makes in his book The Great Awakening vs The Great Reset, translated into English in 2021 (a very short book, more like an essay at 86 pages of well spaced text). Some notes:

""Nominalism" laid the foundation for future liberalism, both ideologically and economically. Here humans were seen only as individuals and nothing else, and all forms of collective identity (religion, class, etc.) were to be abolished. Likewise, the thing was seen as absolute private property, as a concrete, separate thing which could easily be attributed as property to this or that individual owner. Nominalism prevailed first of all in England, became widespread in Protestant countries and gradually became the main philosophical matrix of New Age - in religion (individual relations of man with God), in science (atomism and materialism), in politics (preconditions of bourgeois democracy), in economy (market and private property), in ethics (utilitarianism, individualism, relativism, pragmatism)" (p. 8).

"All who oppose them are, in their eyes, "forces of darkness". And by this logic, the "enemies of open society" must be dealt with in their own severity. "If the enemy does not surrender, he will be destroyed." The enemy is anyone who questions liberalism, globalism, individualism, nominalism in all their manifestations. This is the new ethic of liberalism. It's nothing personal. Everyone has the right to be a liberal, but no one has the right to be anything else." (p. 16)

"Another argument of the Great Awakening lies with the peoples of Islamic civilization. That liberal globalism and Western hegemony are radically rejected by Islamic culture and the very Islamic religion on which that culture is based is obvious. Of course, during the colonial period and under the power and economic influence of the West, some Islamic states found themselves in the orbit of capitalism, but in virtually all Islamic countries there is a sustained and profound rejection of liberalism and especially of modern globalist liberalism." (p. 37)

"The context of the Great Awakening could become an ideological platform for the unification of the Islamic world as a whole as well, since opposition to the "Great Reset" is an unconditional imperative for almost every Islamic country. This is what makes it possible to take the globalists' strategy and opposition to it as the common denominator. Awareness of the scale of the Great Awakening would allow, within certain limits, to cancel out the acuteness of local contradictions so as to contribute to the formation of another pole of global resistance." (p. 38) 

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Jan
17

Fourth Political Theory

This is the first of a series of posts on (translated) works by Alexander Dugin, a Russian philosopher who is suggested to have significant (in)direct influence over the way Putin sees the world. The first book explored in this series is "The Fourth Political Theory", written in 2009 and translated in 2012. Much has been said about Dugin; this book is his effort to outline a fourth political theory, different from fascism, communism, and liberalism. The book starts a discussion, often done in opposition or in contrast to existing positions within other theories but is less explicit about its own new stances (although the author might disagree, it seems a re-positioning of ideas within existing constellations of ideas as opposed to a new theory per se). Some notes:

"Tradition (religion, hierarchy, family) and its values were overthrown at the dawn of modernity. Actually, all three political theories were conceived as artificial ideological constructions by people who comprehended, in various ways, 'the death of God' (Friedrich Nietzsche), the 'disenchantment of the world' (Max Weber), and the 'end of the sacred'. This was the core of the New Era of Modernity: man came to replace God, philosophy and science replaced religion, and the rational, forceful, and technological constructs took the place of Revelation." (p. 25)

"What the "Fourth Political Theory" is in terms of negation is now clear. It is neither fascism, nor communism, nor liberalism. In principle, this kind of negation is rather significant. It embodies our determination to go beyond the usual ideological and political paradigms and to make an effort in order to overcome the inertia of the clichés within political thinking." (p. 35)

"The definition of a historical subject is the fundamental basis for political ideology in general, and it defines its structure. Therefore, in this matter, the "Fourth Political Theory" may act in the most radical way by rejecting all of these constructions as candidates for a historical subject. The historical subject is neither an individual, nor class, nor the state, nor race. This is the anthropological and the historical axiom of the "Fourth Political Theory"." (p. 38)

"Instead of the idea of the monotonic process, progress, and modernization, we must endorse other slogans directed toward life, repetition, the preservation of that which is worth preserving and changing that which should be changed. Instead of modernization and growth, we need the direction of balance, adaptability, and harmony. Instead of moving upward and forward, we must adapt to that which exists, to understand where we are, and to harmonize socio-political processes." (p. 65)

"People have become the contemplators of television, they have learned how to switch channels better and faster. Many of them don't stop at all, they click the remote control and it's already not important what is on TV – is it actors or news. The spectators of Postmodernity don't understand anything at all in principle of what is going on. It's just a stream of impressive pictures. The spectator gets used to microprocesses, he becomes a "subspectator" that watches not the channels or programmes but separate segments, the sequences of programs." (p. 84)

"The American century is thought of as a remelting of the existing world order into a new one, built up on strictly American patterns. This process is conditionally called "democratization", and it is directed to a few concrete geopolitical enclaves that are in the first place problematic from the point of view of liberalism. In this way, there came to be the projects of "the Great Middle East", "Great Central Asia" and so on. The meaning of them all consists in the uprooting of inertial national, political, economic, social, religious and cultural models and their replacement by the operational system of American liberalism." (p. 149) 

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