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Do Nationalists Need Dugin?

1,897 words

weighing_of_the_heart3 [1]

The Weighing of the Heart from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Papyrus of Ani, British Museum

Lithuanian translation here [2]

Postmodern thought, insofar as it consists in the critique of the universality of reason, the Enlightenment, the notion of progress, and so forth, is potentially useful to conservatives (in fact, many postmodern theorists draw heavily from thinkers of the right like Nietzsche and Heidegger). Dugin seems to be believe that this postmodern stage, in which modernity exhausts and undoes itself, opens up possibilities of a return of traditional and premodern forces. Hence his attempts to find parallels between postmodernism and traditionalism, interpreting certain aspects of postmodernity as a rediscovery of tradition “from below.”

The strategy resembles “riding the tiger,” but unlike Evola, Dugin often seems to fail to distinguish between the traditional (in the solar sense) and tendencies that are clearly merely neo-primitivist in character. At the end of history, Dugin claims, time itself becomes a reversible space. It no longer has the linear and irreversible character of history. Traditional and postmodern elements can co-exist as different strata within a single whole, just as traditional and postmodern elements are combined in the fourth political theory.

Dugin’s “fourth political theory” is a postmodern bricolage or assemblage of elements of traditionalism with fragments of various ideologies and ideas of modernity. It tends to create confusion rather than clarity, mixing together concepts and phenomena that appear similar only on a superficial level, but which are on closer examination fundamentally incompatible. The fourth political theory is something of a philosophical trash heap, a mishmash of ideas, the undiscriminating character of which, one suspects, is not unlike Dugin’s multicultural and racially mixed vision of Eurasia.

These contradictions and confusions can be attributed to the fact that the fourth political theory is a project, something unfinished, open, experimental, and provisional: a preparatory sketch, projecting possibilities, opening and inaugurating a new political space. It may also be that theoretical cohesiveness is not the goal, and that the point is just to attack the liberal center from as many positions as possible, circling around it, searching for rifts, openings, vulnerable points, speaking through the various “masks” of nationalism, postmodernity,  traditionalism, Islamic fundamentalism, Orthodox Christianity, etc.

The triumph of liberalism is so total that it has become a kind of second nature, inseparable from the very structure of modern man’s being and way of thinking. As a consequence, the nature of modernity can only be made visible by viewing it from the point of view of its periphery or margins, but these marginal perspectives are always fragmentary and incomplete when taken on their own. In an attempt to break through the neutralization of political thought, the philosophical impasse and conceptual inertia that the triumph of liberalism and the closure of modernity imposes upon us, in order to shake things up, Dugin applies a kind method of perspectivism or cross-reading, viewing “Evola positively from the left,” or “Bolshevism positively from the right” (National Bolshevism).

No doubt, Dugin would argue that National Socialism, Fascism, and conservative revolutionary thought also were eclectic and syncretic, practicing a kind of postmodernism avant la lettre. Armin Mohler claimed that a tendency to borrow theoretical elements from its adversaries lies in the very nature of conservatism, which fundamentally is not an ideology but an existential attitude, an instinct, an ethos. Fascism, National Socialism and the conservative revolution were ideologically eclectic, but they had a clear identity by virtue of their style: the ethical style of the men who made up the core of those movements, and an original and powerful aesthetic style. Dugin and his followers have neither of these. In accordance with the postmodern method, Eurasianist music consists entirely of samplings, and Eurasianist art consists of collages and digital appropriations of already existing imagery. The Eurasianists’ project of recruiting the creative outsiders of the postmodern world has so far failed. It is not a creative chaos from which a new form, a new figure, a new constellation can emerge, but an amorphous trash-heap of sampled and recycled fragments.

Dugin claims that his purpose is not simply to formulate a critique, but to create a movement, to mobilize a resistance. Only elemental realities like race have mobilizing power, not abstract concepts. For all his pretense of demonic anti-conformism, he keeps the disturbingly real, dangerously elemental power of race at a secure distance.

Mussolini famously said that “Fascism is the church of all heresies.” Dugin wants to appropriate elements from heretical or marginal figures in Fascism, National Socialism, and communism for the fourth political theory. He calls this a “metaphysics of debris,” assembling the discarded fragments left behind by the march of modernity (although Dugin carefully avoids those elements that are truly heretical, impure, and “untouchable” in contemporary society: racialism and anti-Semitism). Like the ethnos when it wages war on its neighbors, the fourth political theory has a cannibalistic approach to the other three political theories, first critically “decapitating” them by depriving them of their subject (“head”), and then “eating” and assimilating what remains of them. Like a sort of amorphous blob, it absorbs and digests its adversaries. It is “inclusive and feminine,” like Dugin’s “chaotic logos.”

We should apply the same practice of appropriation to the “fourth political theory” itself, but disregard Dugin’s directives as long as he continues to dismiss the issues that are crucial to us, like race, immigration, and repatriation, and as long as he continues with his petty Russian chauvinist and revanchist rhetoric at a moment when white racial solidarity is of vital importance. We can appropriate whatever there is in Dugin’s writings that could be useful for our purposes, but should refuse to cooperate with the overarching Eurasianist agenda insofar as it is rejects race realism and the repatriation of immigrants – in other words, as long as it is incompatible with our racial survival.

We know, however, that according to Dugin, the concern with identity is “racism” and a “Western disease” on a very fundamental level. It is an expression of the Western “logocentrism.” The Western logos operates by establishing an ordering principle of identity through the “exclusion of the other.” “Logos first appeared with the birth of Western philosophy. The earliest Greek philosophy arose as something that already excluded chaos. Precisely at the same time, logos began to flourish, revealing a kind of mighty will to power and the absolutization of the masculine attitude to reality. The becoming of logocentric culture ontologically annihilated the polar opposite to logos itself – the feminine chaos. . . . Exclusivity and exclusion subdued inclusivity and inclusion.” The logos excludes or blocks other modes of thinking and experience as mad, illegitimate or impossible.

In order to save the world from this Western disease, “we should make an appeal to the alternative inclusive instance that is chaos.” Chaos is pre-ontological and prior to binary logic. The “masculine” logos founds itself through the exclusion and suppression of its own origin: “feminine” chaos. The logos can only know because it does not know and think chaos, in the same way that a fish is unconscious of the element it exists in. Chaos remains unthought. “Logos itself cannot exist without chaos, like fish cannot live without water. When we take a fish out of water, it dies. When the fish begins to insist excessively that there is something other than water around it, even if it is true, it comes to the shore and dies there. It is a kind of mad fish. When we put it back in the water, it only jumps out again. So, let it die this way if it wants. There are other fishes deep in the water. Let us follow them.” Only chaos can “save” the Western logos by including it within itself, presumably the way chaotic, inclusive and multicultural Eurasia must save Europe by absorbing it into itself. The decay of Europe is the decay of the Western logos, and this decay is caused by the fact that the logos cut itself off from its own origin at the very point of its formation.

Dugin declares that “racism is categorically unacceptable [3].” The categorical rejection of “racism” is of crucial importance to the project of the fourth political theory, since it is meant to function as an alibi against the demonizations associated with terms like “racism” and “Nazism.” However, the efficacy of this strategy is dubious. Terms like “fascist,” “anti-Semite,” and “racist” — with all their de-humanizing connotations — are applied by the political and media establishment without any concern for “fair play.” They are simply a way of branding those who are to be silenced, deprived of “subjectivity” and denied political participation. This is part of the “democratic” and “humanitarian” game. Insofar as they are a threat to the establishment, nationalist movements will automatically be demonized in this way, regardless of whether they use the term race or not. Nationalists in the West have known this for a long time now.

And yet nationalist movements are the fastest-growing political force today. This is only because ideas and concepts can always be manipulated, but not intractable, elemental truths like race. Dugin demands that we should abandon the race issue in order to be allowed to join his fourth political theory. But exactly why should we want to join Eurasianism and “the fourth political theory”? Our movement, which Dugin has simply declared dead, is rising – despite the increasingly frantic attempts on the part of the establishment to marginalize us – precisely because it draws its power from elemental forces, not from manipulations of abstract concepts.

Dugin has shown himself incapable of creating a successful political force. He has been fired from his position at Moscow State University and nothing indicates that he has any direct influence on president Putin. Now Dugin would like to co-opt European nationalist movements for Russian “geopolitical interests,” without, as of yet, publicly offering anything in return. (Some European nationalist movements, like France’s Front National, have begun building ties with Russia. This is probably less due to an adherence to Eurasianism than to an awareness that, were they to come to power, they would face economic attacks from the United States, and as a consequence need to look for other points of support, like Russia.)

For today’s European youth, racial nationalism is a harsh and sharply real existential struggle. For a spiritually and materially dispossessed generation, confronted with the brutal, traumatic reality of organized race replacement, racial identity is a visceral truth that cannot be disposed of by means of intellectual sleights of hand. It may not be an acceptable subject of discussion in the seminar rooms of universities or today’s bourgeois “good society,” but it remains a stubborn, intractable existential fact.

The claim that “race is a social construct” is itself a form of violence against the truth, and a justification of the ethnocidal violence of immigration. It is just one of the more wretched lies with which our overlords, who can feel power begin to slide out of their grip, desperately try to mask the poison, corruption, and nihilistic destruction they have flooded our world with. The race issue today is a decisive, discriminating, critical line of separation between friend and enemy. If the Eurasianists will not collaborate with us on this issue, they either fall on the other side of that line, or are irrelevant to us.