time: 9:56 / 23 words
Russian political philosopher Alexander Dugin explains his new book The Fourth Political Theory, now available in English from Arktos.
Judging from that clip, Dugin has a remarkable energy of mind. Unfortunately, after the dramatic and scintillating buildup to his concept of a 4th political theory, I groaned when he announced its foundation is to be Heideggerean incoherence and the unintelligible (and therefore useless) concept Dasein. Heidegger’s ideas are not necessary to rally opposition to liberalism or to renew traditional societies. It should be enough to point out that all peoples of the world have an interest in opposing liberalism. If they don’t, they will their lose cultures, history, traditions (cease to exist). If this reality won’t motivate them, nothing Heidegger said has a prayer of doing so.
I think you are right. As a matter of fact, we do not even need to use Heideggerian philosophy to understand the kinds of things Dugin and the New Right in general wants people to understand. With thinkers like Oswald Spengler, Ferdinand Tonnies, Hans Freyer, and others of the early 1900s (who probably did not use Heidegger one bit in their thinking), not to mention New Right thinkers like Mohler, Sunic, Venner, etc. (who, even if they read Heidegger, really did not need to in order to learn their important concepts), we really do not need Heidegger at all. Even if a few of these thinkers I mentioned are kind of difficult for some people, at least their works and ideas can actually be comprehended and are certainly much easier to understand than Heidegger.
All societies are racial constructs. To ignore this is to ignore reality.
The only successful societies of the future are going to be racial, eugenic, aristocratic societies.
I forgot to mention something; I also think that using Race as the basis for a new political theory and/or movement would still work out well and is very relevant to our current situation, where everyone is getting more and more concerned about racial survival. Maybe we want to add some special qualifications to our assertion of racial identity, though. Perhaps we want to say that it is both biology and spirit (like Evola or Rosenberg)? I think this would still make a pretty good basis for a political movement. Of course, that doesn’t mean we should care only about race, since we still need to address many other issues the modern world has created.
I found the video to be interesting and I like the fact that Dugin wants to confront modern decadence, but – and I don’t want to sound too unappreciative here – I think there are a few serious problems with his theory.
Firstly, I think his classifications of “first, second, third, & fourth political theory” are a bit too simplistic and ignore the vast variety of thought and positions within each. For example, what he labels as “third political theory” does not have to be focused primarily on either the State or Race, it could just as well be Culture, Religion (Christianity in particular), Ethnicity, and other related things. Not that its main subject is its only subject to begin with.
As for “Fourth Political Theory,” I have the same impression as the first commentor; using “Dasein” as the basis for any political theory is just unrealistic. Heidegger’s philosophy is very difficult to understand and has been given a thousand different interpretations; some people say it’s completely incomprehensible to begin with. I do not think it would be unreasonable to conclude that Heidegger’s main goal, to understand the meaning of Being, is probably impossible because humans can never fully comprehend Being anyway. These kinds of complications makes Heidegger very limited in terms of how he could be used politically.
If you want to form a political theory that confronts modernity, challenges all this harmful high-tech stuff, and reasserts the importance of historical roots and natural identity (this seems to be what Dugin is aiming for), I think there are many better thinkers to turn to than Heidegger. You could just as well use the philosophies of Oswald Spengler, Julius Evola, or many “New Right” thinkers such as Armin Mohler, Alain de Benoist, Dominique Venner, etc. As for what concept to focus on, why not use “Community,” “Identity,” “Culture,” or even “Life”? If you try to use “Dasein,” all you end up with from my perspective is some overly-complex ramblings that most people will not understand or even want to understand.
I don’t think that Dugin believes that armies will go into battle with “Dasein” on their banners, so I think you are somewhat confused here. He is using Dasein as a term of analysis, not as a political slogan or platform or ideology. Dasein is “being in the world” which is concrete, historical, and irreducibly plural. Its contrast term would be any sort of abstract, ahistorical, unified “subject,” specifically the subject of political theory, the “agent” and beneficiary of politics. For liberalism this is the individual; for socialism it is class; for fascism it is the race or nation, which I guess can be criticized as too abstract and “modern.”
But Dugin’s objections to National Socialism and fascism really don’t seem to be connected to “Dasein” so much as the rejection of “racism” by which he means imperialism and genocide. Yet he does preserve fascism and National Socialism’s emphasis on “ethnicity,” understood as concrete, different forms of life. So in spite of his anti-“racism,” he is concerned to preserve the diversity of concrete races and ethnicities.
So although Dugin’s argument strikes me as needlessly complex and confusing, he arrives at conclusions that I think are compatible with my view of the New Right as premised on the rejection of Old Right totalitarianism, imperialism, and genocide. But I think that race is a meaningful scientific category, although it is in a way too general, given that we are concerned not merely with the preservation of our race, but the diversity of our subracial types and cultures as well.
“But Dugin’s objections to National Socialism and fascism really don’t seem to be connected to “Dasein” so much as the rejection of “racism” by which he means imperialism and genocide. Yet he does preserve fascism and National Socialism’s emphasis on “ethnicity,” understood as concrete, different forms of life.”
He also thinks that race is a scientifically invalid concept, so genocide and imperialism are not his only criticisms against NS (the “third” political theory). I haven’t read the book but I heard his talk in Stockholm, and I understood his view of Dasein as more representing “civilizations” than ethnicity.
I think I understand what he’s trying to do with the concept, but my original impressions have not changed much.
As you yourself have just pointed out, races and ethnicities are very much concrete and real things that matter a lot to people. In fact, they have always mattered to people throughout history (despite what “multiculturalist” distorters claim). And even if race was not a “scientifically valid concept” (although it is, I’m only speaking hypothetically) this would hardly reduce its importance and reality, because there are many things which are not understandable through science, or at least not solely through science, but which have reality and are essential aspects of human life.
As I implied in my earlier comment, other related things such as culture, religion, community, identity, etc. are also very important. No one could claim any of these are simply “abstract” and “ahistorical” (although one could even argue that these characteristics do not actually make a concept false) because they describe things that are very real and which matter to people very much. I just get the impression that by pushing these things to the”sidelines” (even though he doesn’t get rid of them completely), Dugin is basically taking a wrong path somehow.
Hard to take this seriously: a new order based on some undefinable muddled concept like “Dasein”? Not race or ethnicity, but some nebulous concept which even philosophers don’t understand? Ridiculous.
I am writing a review of The Fourth Political Theory. I have mixed feelings about it. The review will appear next week.
I agree. It’s stupid to say any major philosophy ever goes away permanently.
Communism for instance was supposedly advocated by an ancient Persian.
Also some of the early Christian communities were supposedly communistic.
And any tribe that ever took land from its neighbors should be considered fascist.
Any political philosophy must have some basis in human nature. Human nature is varied in that there are varied personalities. So therefore so are political philosophies.
And human nature doesn’t change.
It would be nice to read this without having to play constantly with the pause and go buttons.
What does or does not constitute fascism is a little more complex than simple expansionism. The structure of ancient tribes was hierarchical and they did wage war against their neighbours often taking their lands but they were far from fascist.