Alexander Dugin’s The Fourth Political Theory"/>
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Unthinking Liberalism:
Alexander Dugin’s The Fourth Political Theory

1,895 words

Alexander Dugin
The Fourth Political Theory
London: Arktos, 2012

Arktos recently published what we can only hope will be the first of many more English translations of Alexander Dugin’s work. Head of the sociology department in Moscow State University, and a leading Eurasianist with ties to the Russian military, this man is, today, influencing official Kremlin policy.

The Fourth Political Theory is a thoroughly refreshing monograph, combining clarity of analysis, philosophical rigor, and intellectual creativity. It is Dugin’s attempt to sort through the confusion of modern political theory and establish the foundations for a political philosophy that will decisively challenge the dominant liberal paradigm. It is not, however, a new complete political theory, but rather the beginning of a project. The name is provisional, the theory under construction. Dugin sees this not as the work of one man, but, because difficult, a collective heroic effort.

The book first sets out the historical topology of modern political theories. In Dugin’s account, liberalism, the oldest and most stable ideology, was in modernity the first political theory. Marxism, a critique of liberalism via capitalism, was the second. Fascism/National Socialism, a critique of both liberalism and Marxism, was the third. Dugin says that Fascism/National Socialism was defeated by Marxism (1945), that Marxism was defeated by liberalism (1989), leaving liberalism triumphant and therefore free to expand around the globe.

According to Dugin, the triumph of liberalism has been so definitive, in fact, that in the West it has ceased to be political, or ideological, and become a taken-for-granted practice. Westerners think in liberal terms by default, assuming that no sane, rational, educated person could think differently, accusing dissenters of being ideological, without realizing that their own assumptions have ideological origins.

The definitive triumph of liberalism has also meant that it is now so fully identified with modernity that it is difficult to separate the two, whereas control of modernity was once contested by political theory number one against political theories two and three. The advent of postmodernity, however, has marked the complete exhaustion of liberalism. It has nothing new to say, so it is reduced endlessly to recycle and reiterate itself.

Looking to identify what may be useful to salvage, Dugin proceeds to break down each of the three ideologies into its component parts. In the process of doing so, he detoxifies the two discredited critiques of liberalism, which is necessary to be able to cannibalize them. His analysis of liberalism follows Alain de Benoist. Because it is crucial, I will avail myself of de Benoist’s insights and infuse some of my own in Dugin’s explication of liberalism.

Dugin says that liberalism’s historical subject is the individual. The idea behind liberalism was to “liberate” the individual from everything that was external to him (faith, tradition, authority). Out of this springs the rest: when you get rid of the transcendent, you end up with a world that is entirely rational and material. Happiness then becomes a question of material increase. This leads to productivism and economism, which, when the individual is paramount, demands capitalism. When you get rid of the transcendent, you also eliminate hierarchy: all men become equal. If all men are equal, then what applies to one must apply to all, which means universalism. Similarly, if all men are equal, then all deserve an equal slice of the pie, so full democracy, with universal suffrage, becomes the ideal form of government. Liberalism has since developed flavors, and the idea of liberation acquires two competing meanings: “freedom from,” which in America is embodied by libertarians and the Tea Party; and “freedom to,” embodied by Democrats.

Marxism’s historical subject is class. Marxism is concerned chiefly with critiquing the inequities arising from capitalism. Otherwise, it shares with liberalism an ethos of liberation, a materialist worldview, and an egalitarian morality.

Fascism’s historical subject is the state, and National Socialism’s race. Both critique Marxism’s and liberalism’s materialist worldview and egalitarian morality. Hence, the simultaneous application of hierarchy and socialism.

With all the parts laid out on the table, Dugin then selects what he finds useful and discards the rest. Unsurprisingly, Dugin finds nothing useful in liberalism. The idea is to unthink it, after all.

Spread out across several chapters, Dugin provides a typology of the different factions in the modern political landscape—e.g., fundamental conservatism (traditionalism), Left-wing conservatism (Strasserism, National Bolshevism, Niekisch), conservative revolution (Spengler, Jünger, Schmitt, Niekisch), New Left, National Communism, etc. It is essential that readers understand these so that they may easily recognize them, because doing so will clarify much and help them avoid the errors arising from opaque, confused, contradictory, or misleading labels.

Liberal conservatism is a key category in this typology. It may sound contradictory on the surface, because in colloquial discourse mainstream politics is about the opposition of liberals vs. conservatives. Yet, and as I have repeatedly stated, when one examines their fundamentals, so-called “conservatives” (a misleading label), even palaeoconservatives (another misleading label), are all ideologically liberals, only they wish to conserve liberalism, or go a little slower, or take a few steps back. Hence, the alternative designation for this type: “status-quo conservative.”

Another key category is National Communism. This is, according to Dugin, a unique phenomenon, and enjoys a healthy life in Latin America, suggesting it will be around for some time to come. Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez are contemporary practitioners of National Communism.

Setting out the suggested foundations of a fourth political ideology takes up the rest of Dugin’s book. Besides elements salvaged from earlier critiques of liberalism, Dugin also looks at the debris that in the philosophical contest for modernity was left in the periphery. These are the ideas for which none of the ideologies of modernity have had any use. For Dugin this is essential to an outsider, counter-propositional political theory. He does not state this in as many words, but it should be obvious that if we are to unthink liberalism, then liberalism should find its nemesis unthinkable.

But the process of construction begins, of course, with ontology. Dugin refers to Heidegger’s Dasein. Working from this concept he would like the fourth political theory to conceptualize the world as a pluriverse, with different peoples who have different moralities and even different conceptions of time. In other words, in the fourth political theory the idea of a universal history would be absurd, because time is conceived differently in different cultures—nothing is ahistorical or universal; everything is bound and specific. This would imply a morality of difference, something I have proposed as counter-propositional to the liberal morality of equality. In the last consequence, for Dugin there needs to be also a peculiar ontology of the future. The parts of The Fourth Political Theory dealing with these topics are the most challenging, requiring some grounding in philosophy, but, unsurprisingly, they are also where the pioneering work is being done.

Also pioneering, and presumably more difficult still, is Dugin’s call to “attack the individual.” By this he means, obviously, destabilizing the taken-for-granted construct that comprises the minimum social unit in liberalism—the discrete social atom that acts on the basis of rational self-interest, a construct that should be distinguished from “a man” or “a woman” or “a human.” Dugin makes some suggestions, but these seem nebulous and not very persuasive at this stage. Also, this seems quite a logical necessity within the framework of this project, but Dugin’s seeds will find barren soil in the West, where the individual is almost sacrosanct and where individualism results from what is possibly an evolved bias in Northern European societies, where this trait may have been more adaptive than elsewhere. A cataclysmic event may be required to open up the way for a redefinition of what it is to be a person. Evidently the idea is that the fourth political theory conceptualizes a man not as an “individual” but as something else, presumably as part of a collectivity. This is probably a very Russian way of looking at things.

The foregoing may all seem highly abstract, and I suspect practically minded readers will not take to it. It is hard to see how the abstract theorizing will satisfy the pragmatic Anglo-Saxon, who is suspicious of philosophy generally. (Jonathan Bowden was an oddity in this regard.) Yet there are real-world implications to the theory, and in Dugin’s work the geopolitical dimension must never be kept out of sight.

For Dugin, triumphant liberalism is embodied by Americanism; the United States, through its origins as an Enlightenment project, and through its superpower status in the twentieth and twenty-first century, is the global driver of liberal practice. As such, with the defeat of Marxism, it has created, and sought to perpetuate, a unipolar world defined by American, or Atlanticist, liberal hegemony. Russia has a long anti-Western, anti-liberal tradition, and for Dugin this planetary liberal hegemony is the enemy. Dugin would like the world to be multipolar, with Atlanticism counterbalanced by Eurasianism, and maybe other “isms.” In geopolitics, the need for a fourth political theory arises from a need to keep liberalism permanently challenged, confined to its native hemisphere, and, in a word, out of Russia.

While this dimension exists, and while there may be a certain anti-Americanism in Dugin’s work, Americans should not dismiss this book out of hand, because it is not anti-America. As Michael O’Meara has pointed out in relation to Yockey’s anti-Americanism, Americanism and America, or Americans, are different things and stand often in opposition. Engaging with this kind of oppositional thinking is, then, necessary for Americans. And the reason is this: liberalism served America well for two hundred years, but ideologies have a life-cycle like everything else, and liberalism has by now become hypertrophic and hypertelic; it is, in other words, killing America and, in particular, the European-descended presence in America.

If European-descended Americans are to save themselves, and to continue having a presence in the North American continent, rather than being subsumed by liberal egalitarianism and the consequent economic bankruptcy, Hispanization, and Africanization, the American identity, so tied up with liberalism because of the philosophical bases of its founding documents, would need to be re-imagined. Though admittedly difficult, the modern American identity must be understood as one that is possible out of many. Sources for a re-imagined identity may be found in the archaic substratum permeating the parts of American heritage that preceded systematic liberalism (the early colonial period) as well as in the parts that were, at least for a time, beyond it (the frontier and the Wild West). In other words, the most mystical and also the least “civilized” parts of American history. Yet even this may be problematic, since they were products of late “Faustian” civilization. A descent into barbarism may be in the cards. Only time will tell.

For Westerners in general, Dugin’s project may well prove too radical, even at this late stage in the game—contemplating it would seem first to necessitate a decisive rupture. Unless/until that happens, conservative prescriptions calling for a return to a previous state of affairs (in the West), or a closer reading of the founding documents (in America), will remain a feature of Western dissidence. In other words, even the dissidents will remain conservative restorationists of the classical ideas of the center, or the ideas that led to the center. Truly revolutionary thinking—the re-imagining and reinvention of ourselves—will, however, ultimately come from the periphery rather than the center.

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26 Comments

  1. Gilbert De Bruycker
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    “Dugin’s seeds will find barren soil in the West, where the individual is almost sacrosanct and where individualism results from what is possibly an evolved bias in Northern European societies.”

    A few decades ago, the American Dream was synonymous with opportunity: opportunity to endeavor after “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

    The American Dream was imbued with the concept of the individual: each man would reap the fruits of his own labor. America was the land of the rugged individual, who carved out his life with his own hands and accounted to noone but himself for his failures.

    Let us compare this view of the American Dream with that of today. Whereas the American Dream was once equated with certain principles of freedom, it is now equated with things.

    Today, a man would say merely that he has a right to live comfortably; the fact that comfort must be earned is ignored; the question of whether the person is deserving of comfort never arises.

    When people are concerned more with the attainment of things than with the maintenance of principles, it is a sign of moral decay. And it is through such decay that loss of freedom occurs.

    This metamorphosis of the human spirit did not come about unforeseen. Although he was not writing specifically about America, Jose Ortega y Gasset, in his The Revolt of the Masses, clearly delineated the process by which the individual would eventually be sacrificed to the mass-man; the mass-man thereby destroying that which made possible his very existence.

    Respect for the rights of the individual has been the foundation for America’s greatness; it was the reason for the immigration to America from all around the world. It is precisely this respect which has deteriorated as a result of the efforts of the mass-man in America, this laying the groundwork for a totalitarian welfare state.

    http://www.thefreemanonline.org/features/the-american-dream/

    • Ave Marine
      Posted September 18, 2012 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Right. You have to question that if the environment most moderns are raised in today is in anyway a support to human flourishing. In other words, are the people left in the modern West really human in the true sense of the word?

  2. Lew
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I love your prose style; you have a nice way with language. 

    You did a good job anticipating objections from American and Anglo-oriented people like myself who are deeply suspicious of continental metaphysics (not philosophy in general in my experience but rather metaphysics / ontology only).  The benefit of using the Dasein idea is not clear. What does it add? Why is it necessary to Dugin’s argument? Maybe you or Greg or someone here with a deeper understanding of the issues than I have can explain it. 

    Metaphysicians seem to forget that their premises need to be justified and their conclusions proven to be true before metaphysical ideas can be relied on to make decisions about anything. It’s far from clear metaphysics is necessary. Aristotle came up with the rather nebulous idea of the Unmoved Mover in his metaphysical work; however, in his political work, he identified the family as the basic social unit. No metaphysical muss, no metaphysical fuss to identify a social unit other than the individual. 

    If metaphysicians don’t care about justification, it’s their right. But, in this case, they ought to just admit their metaphysical ideas rightly belong in the realm of religion and dogma where proof doesn’t matter than in philosophy where logic and intellectual rigor hold sway. 

    • Posted September 17, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      Lew, Dugin is a philosopher. If you see metaphysics as superfluous or problematic, then chances are you won’t like Dugin’s writing. I would counter-argue, however, that it is the near-total lack of imagination and deep thinking exhibited by the “true Right” in the Anglo-American world since 1945, apart from a few isolated figures, that has led to it making the same, dumb mistakes over and over again, unable to free itself from the failed ideologies and strategies of the past. Europe and Russia are miles ahead of us, in that regard – although fortunately we have vehicles like Counter-Currents, and my own Arktos, which are trying to fill the vacuum.

      • Lew
        Posted September 18, 2012 at 4:47 am | Permalink

        Point well taken. Post-WW2 Anglo philosophers don’t have much to offer in the way of imagination. I’m glad your Arktos project exists to bring these writings to the English-speaking world, and I plan, eventually, to buy many of your works. I have realized for a while now there are limits to how well a person can understand these ideas working only from articles and reviews as opposed to reading the original materials themselves.

      • fnn
        Posted September 19, 2012 at 1:59 am | Permalink

        Very true. What passed for a “true Right” among the post-World War II Anglo-Americans was dominated by images of neo-Klansmen and skinheads. I’m hardly any kind of philosopher, but philosophical failure is clear in the case of the tragic career of an undeniably brilliant man like Enoch Powell. He gave one good speech, was somewhat appalled by the popular support he received , and then retreated into nostalgia for the lost Empire. He seems to have often said that he would have much preferred to have died during the war so he wouldn’t have had to witness the end of British power and glory.

        Very unedifying spectacle compared to the French National Front and the French New Right.

        The bizarre and somewhat farcical political career of Paul Johnson (“… this was no Northern cartoon of a Mississippi Governor; this was a man of civilization and dignity whose deep, serious voice spoke not cornpone but a cultured English—and spoke at once in fear, perplexity, and wistfulness. In his plight one could see half the tragedy of his state.”) provides an object lesson in how Anglo-Saxon philosophical crudity leads to humiliating defeat:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_B._Johnson,_Jr.

      • Posted September 19, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        Lew, thanks for your interest, and yes, I agree, you can’t get a full picture just from what’s available on the Web.

  3. Julian Panteri
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Of great interest. A few moot points: first, surely fascism was defeated by both Marxism and liberalism, not just by the former, because America and Britain played a part, too. Second, one key consequence of liberalism as capitalism today is consumerism, a philosophy that really turns all human beings into mere consuming units, hence overriding all other cultural, historical and religious distinctions. I wonder whether Dugin considers that. Third, reference to Heidegger worries me, as the man’s philosophy seems to me to lack cognitive value. By the way, some transcendent systems, such as eg Islam, also prioritise the community over the individual. Must read the book, as this has stimulated me…

    • Posted September 17, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      ” surely fascism was defeated by both Marxism and liberalism”

      I am of this view.

      • jack
        Posted September 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think that’s true as part of the Stalin counter revolutionary Marxist movement that would later spread to other Communist movements not in the post WW2 Soviet block like China and North Korea became an ethno-centric geopolitical movement rather than have a minority driven ruling elite who are all one people.

        Stalin gradually tried to orientate it towards a more Russian centric Soviet Union re-establishing although tightly controlled Orthodox Church and restrictions on internal as well as external immigration that was initially first introduced during outbreaks of famine to stop people migrating to non-famine regions and creating a greater food crisis, all of which are against the liberal ideology of an open society as conceived by Karl Popper and implemented by George Soros.

        I don’t think you can have liberalism without democracy in fact the term now used by pro-democracy advocates is “liberal democracy” while non-liberal governments are categorised as “authoritarian”.

        “And the reason is this: liberalism served America well for two hundred years”

        I don’t think America has been liberal for 200 years as even prior to WW2 they had eugenics programs in some states and strict immigration and debate even among immigrants from Europe like the Italians in the beginning of the 20th century.

        According to the wikipedia article on immigration it states that 1 in 7 Europeans died during the transatlantic travel to the US.

        “After 1820, immigration gradually increased. From 1836 to 1914, over 30 million Europeans migrated to the United States.[16] The death rate on these transatlantic voyages was high, during which one in seven travelers died.[17] In 1875, the nation passed its first immigration law, the Page Act of 1875.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Quota_Act

        I wasn’t really until the industrial revolution took effect and trade unions and other workers rights formed and the mass influx of Jews from Russia during the pogroms and civil strife in the Pale of Settlement did America and then the world become liberal societies.

  4. rhondda
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this essay. I am told my copy of this book is on its way. Coming from the left, I guess I cannot completely purge my self of it’s ideology because the first book that came to mind after I read this was Herbert Marcuse’s One Dimensional Man. Although he is Jewish and one of the Frankfurt school cultural marxist thinkers, he was regarded by many as one of the most subversive of thinkers. Sometimes, it really does pay to know how the enemy thinks. He probably was the first to really get into the minds of young left leaning people who really had no idea what he was saying and ran willy-nilly with it. (Eros and Civilization based on Freud). His influence is still felt today as in the breaking of all taboos. (I left the left when my group started rejoicing in the murders of Sharon Tate and the others and I was appalled ) I now believe that his goal was the complete destruction of the west. He did not go on to show that there are many dimensions to life which it seems to me that this is what Dugin may be pointing to by ‘time conceived differently in different cultures’; a pluriverse. How wonderful!

    • Posted September 17, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Rhondda, Dugin is clearly influenced, and acknowledges, both Right-wing and Left-wing sources – not surprising for a Russian who was reared when the USSR was still a reality – provided that they are in opposition to liberalism.

  5. excalibur
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Today Western political,social and economic dogma is known as “Liberalism” or “Neo-liberalism”.The terms may be misleading..The accepted fundamental tenets of Liberalism are individualism,equality,universalism.
    Are not given privileges to some people because their racial identity and denied
    equality in job,promotion etc. to some because they are white ?
    Is this “individualism” and “universalism ” ?

  6. Roman Bernard
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    I have yet to read the book, but based on Alex Kurtagic’s review, I am unconvinced.

    The fall of the Soviet Union meant the end of Bolshevism, but Marxism had many other tentacles, which were also operating (oftentimes even more than in the USSR) in the “victorious” West. What is known as Cultural Marxism, and termed “Totalitarian Humanism” by Keith Preston, hasn’t been defeated at all, it is precisely our modern age dominant ideology.

    Another problem lies in the definition the author seems to give (again, I haven’t read the book yet) of liberalism: does he refer to classical liberalism (libertarianism), or modern “liberalism”, which is a mix between classical liberalism and Marxism? If he refers to the former, then a simple look at the share of GDP represented by public expenditures, and its ongoing growth throughout the West, is in itself sufficient to discard the idea that it is today’s dominant doctrine.

    What should be said, however, is that Marxism, as well as what is meant by “liberalism” in America (in Europe, “liberalism” simply means classical liberalism) derives from the liberal doctrine. In that, yes, liberalism is omnipotent in the West, whether it be with the Cultural Marxist Left or the “conservatives”, who are classical liberals driven out by more radical proponents of their own ideology.

    • Posted September 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Roman, Dugin discusses the fact that Marxism remains alive in the present-day world – in fact, several chapters of the book are devoted to this subject. However, as far as North America and Western Europe are concerned, his argument is that Marxist assumptions have been absorbed into and now subsumed into the liberal paradigm, and the two can no longer be distinguished separately. Still, “cultural Marxism” is not the same as Communism.

      Dugin definitely is talking about classical liberalism, and not modern liberalism, in his discussion of the first political theory, which he terms liberalism – although, of course, modern liberalism is an outgrowth of classical liberalism. Both are problematic in Dugin’s eyes.

      • Roman Bernard
        Posted September 18, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        @ John Morgan

        O.K., it makes sense then. Is there a Kindle edition of this book? Thanks.

      • Posted September 18, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        Roman, there will be a Kindle edition later this year.

  7. T
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    The reason why Dugin drew from Heidegger is because in Being and Time Dasien is a eminently temporal and historical being who exists as authentic when it chooses to accept the heritage that is handed down to it. As Dasien comes to understand that it will die and when it does its world will cease to exist, it chooses the “possibility which it has inherited and yet chosen.” Basically human beings are authentic when they understand their finitude and face up to it, while belonging to a historically conditioned community of tradition (which literally means to hand down). Now this is a very condensed and crude description of certain sections of part II of Being and Time but I think it gets the point across.

    I really have to disagree with Heidegger as lacking any cognitive value. He is one of the most heavy hitting anti liberal thinkers that we have got to draw from. I recommend Introduction to Metaphysics if one wants a glance at his view of modern American consumerism and capitalism. I am sure Greg will provide a better account of all this later on. I do not claim to be an expert just a dedicated reader of philosophy.

  8. Nobody
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    American “liberalism” is no longer–if it ever was–about the pursuit of individual happiness based on individual effort and merit. American liberalism has become synonymous with the current program of disprivileging whites and confiscating white wealth to favor non-whites in education, the professions, and essentially all spheres of economic and political activity. Under its banner assorted anti-white racists gather to claim ever more “rights” and reparations. Confusing what passed for “liberalism” in 1789 with today’s liberalism–a program of antiwhite discrimination–is to badly miss the essential truth and moving force driving our nation’s policies. and in fact the world.

    Unless I have misread him completely, Dugin seems to be living in some academic bubble divorced from all reality. God help Russia, if he is the “thinker” they are looking to help them escape the noose that is being passed around their neck. They are not hated because of their ideology. We can embrace a Maoist China and transfer our wealth and technology to them but not a democratic, multicultural Russia. Why? Does anyone believe this has anything to do with ideology?

  9. Vick
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m curious how Dugin handles the concept of difference in a way that doesn’t lead to postmodern anti-humanist nihilism. After all, don’t forget that the post-modernists see themselves as enemies of liberalism as well, in some sense. In the territory opened up by post-structuralists like Derrida, the concept of difference is employed to dismantle the notion of a stable subject. The debris produced by this conceptual wrecking ball is all around us in the form of the leftist coalition of endlessly fracturing identity groups – hyphenated thises and hyphenated thats, biracials, multiracials, hybrids, men that are women, women that are men, gays, bi’s, trans this and that, queers, asexuals, and on and on and on.

    Their project has been to rebel against the notion of the “individual” because in the end it was found that the “voice” of the “individual” was really the voice of the white male patriarch. From there, however, their path has been a sterile death march. What they pass off as “joyful self-invention” and “liberation” has proven to be empty, superficial, and hopeless. Racially suicidal even, as I see in so many quintessentially postmodern hypereducated childless white couples.

    This is all to say that the notion of “difference” is used heavily by the academic left, and that I’m curious how Dugin avoids the pitfalls of relying on the term.

    Hearing that Dugin follows Heidegger sounds promising. Where Heidegger has promise to me is that his notion of Dasein challenges modernity in a radical way, in a way that could propel us past modernity, while also being thoroughly anchored in the most ancient human past. At this point in history, traditional life is so debased that it can’t be re-discovered, it has to be re-imagined. Perhaps the notion of Dasein is a way to do that.

    Anyway, I’m curious to see how Dugin addresses these questions. Guess I”ll have to read the book! Thanks for the review.

    • Lew
      Posted September 18, 2012 at 4:36 am | Permalink

      Where Heidegger has promise to me is that his notion of Dasein challenges modernity in a radical way, in a way that could propel us past modernity, while also being thoroughly anchored in the most ancient human past. At this point in history, traditional life is so debased that it can’t be re-discovered,

      It’s really hard to see how Dasein has even the most remote chance of doing this when few people agree on what it even means. Why wouldn’t simply calling for a return to ancient, pre-modern social forms with autonomy for traditional societies be sufficient to propel us past modernity (that’s a rhetorical question I’m not challenging you to answer). In an European context, it looks like a call to return to social structures and a vision of human life based around early Euro religion or, with no offense intended here to anyone who is religious, what I would call irrational mysticism but with masked by Heideggerean jargon.

      • Vick
        Posted September 19, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

        @Lew

        Heidegger’s notion of Dasein is actually well understood and agreed on by philosophers. I recommend you watch at least the first two segments of this series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaGk6S1qhz0. Dreyfus does a commendable job of explaining Dasein in plain language.

        What I mean by Heideggerian philosophy offering a way past modernity is that I think Heidegger perhaps offers the possibility of a philosophy which allows us a way back to the free expression of our biological, racial essence.

        As white, European “Daseins” we have a unique form of existence. Part of that uniqueness is that we are intensely rational. In fact, we have created a rat’s nest for ourselves by unleashing modernity thanks to our rational nature. For the time being, reason and modernity have clouded our traditional ways of life, leaving us in doubt and alienation, but perhaps Heidegger offers us a counterbalance to this out of whack state of affairs.

        In a certain sense, you’re right, it’s tempting to try to use (or to see) Heidegger as a brand of anti-rational mysticism. I think a better way to put it is as a kind of poetics. It’s not that we have to leave reason behind, it’s that deep, rich, authentic, holistic, traditional life won’t be found through formulas, algorithms, critical theory, self-help books or to do lists. Philosophy, literature and art is where this journey will have to begin.

  10. Ave Marine
    Posted September 18, 2012 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    The economic and social system of the future will be closer to Brave New World than anything else. Liberalism, as practiced for the past three centuries, doesn’t really exist anymore … the new system should be called techno-feudalism.

    To critique the present system is a form of label reading and a waste of time. Society is rotten and ideological speculation is pointless, because managerial corporate dictates determine the structure of the modern world, not ideas.

  11. jack
    Posted September 23, 2012 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Alexander Dugin (Introduction by Mark Sleboda) Identitär Idé 4 / Identitarian Ideas 4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7X-o_ndhSVA

    Alex Kurtagic – Identitär Idé 4 / Identitarian Ideas 4 (28 juli 2012)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O–TKIBPTog

  12. Posted September 27, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    “Finding several things to like and dislike in Alexander Dugin’s “Fourth Political Theory”

    http://civilizingthebeast.blogspot.com/2012/09/finding-several-things-to-like-and.html

  13. Daniel Constantin
    Posted October 15, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Quote Kurtagic: “Evidently the idea is that the fourth political theory conceptualizes a man not as an “individual” but as something else, presumably as part of a collectivity. This is probably a very Russian way of looking at things.”

    This is hardly a “very Russian” way of looking at things, because it is in fact the way nearly all Europeans have looked at things – except in special cases such as democratic Athens (this is what Plato complained about) and after liberalism took over the West in modern times. Too many Americans and other “democratic” people really forget what the world was actually like before all this liberal crap. The idea that Europeans are genetically individualistic is not very common outside the English speaking world. There is very little evidence that Europeans of any branch were actually individualistic; the evidence really points to the fact that they were collectivistic. Now, when I say “collectivistic,” I don’t mean the total exclusion of the individual. This is another mistake people keep making: few people can be described as either totally collectivist or totally individualist.

    Anyway, I find it somewhat ironic that Kurtagic has read Alain de Benoist’s work, yet fails to notice that Benoist himself actually disproves these claims about Europeans supposedly being genetically individualistic. Other works that support the anti-individualist European point of view include those of Adam Muller, Carl Schmitt, Edgar Julius Jung, Werner Sombart, Othmar Spann, Hans Freyer, Julius Evola, Michael O’Meara, and so on.

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