Vladimir Putin’s recent ramblings during his long televised speeches have allowed Putin watchers to figure out who his ideological gurus are. David Von Drehle says in this piece that the analysis behind Putin’s speeches are coming straight from “a fascist prophet of maximal Russian empire named Aleksandr Dugin.”
Whilst you & I might not have heard of Dugin, he’s a well known figure in right wing circles in the West: “Dugin’s intellectual influence over the Russian leader is well known to close students of the post-Soviet period, among whom Dugin, 60, is sometimes referred to as “Putin’s brain.” His work is also familiar to Europe’s “new right,” of which Dugin has been a leading figure for nearly three decades, and to America’s “alt-right.”…”
So who is Dugin and what exactly does he want Putin/Russia to do? You might want to carefully read what Von Drehle has to say: “A product of late-period Soviet decline, Dugin belongs to the long, dismal line of political theorists who invent a strong and glorious past — infused with mysticism and obedient to authority — to explain a failed present. The future lies in reclaiming this past from the liberal, commercial, cosmopolitan present (often represented by the Jewish people). Such thinkers had a heyday a century ago, in the European wreckage of World War I: Julius Evola, the mad monk of Italian fascism; Charles Maurras, the reactionary French nationalist; Charles Coughlin, the American radio ranter; and even the author of a German book called “Mein Kampf.”
Dugin tells essentially the same story from a Russian point of view. Before modernity ruined everything, a spiritually motivated Russian people promised to unite Europe and Asia into one great empire, appropriately ruled by ethnic Russians. Alas, a competing sea-based empire of corrupt, money-grubbing individualists, led by the United States and Britain, thwarted Russia’s destiny and brought “Eurasia” — his term for the future Russian empire — low.
In his magnum opus, “The Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia,” published in 1997, Dugin mapped out the game plan in detail. Russian agents should foment racial, religious and sectional divisions within the United States while promoting the United States’ isolationist factions. (Sound familiar?) In Great Britain, the psy-ops effort should focus on exacerbating historic rifts with Continental Europe and separatist movements in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Western Europe, meanwhile, should be drawn in Russia’s direction by the lure of natural resources: oil, gas and food. NATO would collapse from within….
Putin’s double-dealing encroachments into the Middle East are influenced by Dugin’s idea of a Moscow-Tehran axis. (Israel’s government should wake up, smell the samovar and stop playing footsie with Russia.) His seduction of the nationalist government in New Delhi is a reflection of Dugin’s insistence that the Eurasian empire must extend to the Indian Ocean.”
Before you conclude that all is going to plan for Dugin, one small problem for Putin might be Dugin’s view of China: “As important as it is for Western decision-makers to take Dugin’s mystical megalomania seriously, it’s just as urgent for China’s Xi Jinping. Xi and Putin announced a partnership last month to cut the United States down to size. But according to Dugin, China, too, must fall. Russia’s ambitions in Asia will require “the territorial disintegration, splintering and the political and administrative partition of the [Chinese] state,” Dugin writes. Russia’s natural partner in the Far East, according to Dugin, is Japan.”
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