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Author Topic: Thinking of looking into works of Aleksandr Dugin  (Read 564 times)

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Online SkynetTopic starter

Thinking of looking into works of Aleksandr Dugin
« on: May 18, 2017, 12:29:04 AM »
For those not in the know, Alexander Dugin is a Russian political scientist and foreign adviser for a time in the Putin administration. His most notable features include his advocacy of a Eurasian movement, which seeks to incorporate former Soviet territories back into Russia. His geopolitical work apparently has a large following in Russian foreign policy. He also sought a new fourth ideology, Duginism, which seeks to build off of capitalism, communism, and fascism (viewed as the most influential 20th century ideologies) by taking what he sees as what they did well while discarding their weak points.

Given many recent events (invasion of Crimean Ukraine, Russian govt's support of nationalist groups abroad, etc), I'm interested in Dugin's work, even though I don't agree with his overall anti-liberal attitudes. He wrote quite a bit of books, mostly of contemporary events, and I was wondering if any folks here were familiar with his writings. The ones which seem the most known include "The Fourth Political Theory," "Eurasian Mission," and "Last War of the World-Island."

Is there a recommendation to "introductory Duginism" for lack of a better word? How insightful are his findings in regards to the study of Russian politics? Or is he overrated and I'm better served with better authors?

Thank you for any help that you can provide!
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 11:30:31 PM by Skynet »

Offline VonHellsing

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Re: Thinking of looking into works of Aleksandr Dugin
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2017, 10:43:51 PM »
Whether you'll agree with him or not, I'd say go for it. It's always good to expand your horizons by reading new materials. I currently have Hobbes's Leviathan and Lockes's Two Treatises of Governmenton my backlog: two completely different texts with political theories that antagonize each other, but once I finish them I at least have a better vision of how both perspectives operate.

Regardsless, from what you've said about Dugin his works seem very interesting, especially the Eurasian movement. After looking a but into it (i.e a quick gander on Wikipedia) there's a very heavy focus on anti-American/anti-NATO ideas as well as Slavic-Turkic and Slavic-Arab alliances in order to increase their sphere of influence. Much of this is very old thinking, dating back to the Russian Empire pre-World War One: unite the Slavic peoples and exert influence on the Middle-East and Central Asia. Ironically, Dugin constantly criticizes that Putin's expansion and influence is not aggressive enough, and that he must "rebuild the empire."

I'm not sure about Duginism, to be honest. Free market capitalism, fascism, and communism are so wildly different that even the best parts of them may be incompatible. I'd have to actually have to read further into it to be certain, however.

As for an "introductory" reading, I can't really say. If I were you, I'd just pick out what interests me the most and start from there. If you find yourself lost, bored, or in completely disagreement with it, move on to another work and see of that works out better.

Online SkynetTopic starter

Re: Thinking of looking into works of Aleksandr Dugin
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2017, 11:23:43 PM »
I'm not sure about Duginism, to be honest. Free market capitalism, fascism, and communism are so wildly different that even the best parts of them may be incompatible. I'd have to actually have to read further into it to be certain, however.

Yeah, that part made me wonder how much of it was meant to be lofty-sounding propaganda of "take the best from a variety of alternative views" versus an actual belief. If the latter, then I'd seriously doubt his credentials regardless of his standing in Russian politics. Even just from an economic standpoint alone there's no way in hell that a country can be simultaneously communist and capitalist. And the class struggle of communism as a central concept runs counter to fascism's ideal ethno-state.

Offline Noisekick

Re: Thinking of looking into works of Aleksandr Dugin
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2017, 03:53:11 PM »
Ancaps and minarchists, well generally fans of Murray Rothbard and F.A. von Hayek tend to be big fans of Dugin.

I'd rather stick to my Proudhon and Kropotkin.

Online SkynetTopic starter

Re: Thinking of looking into works of Aleksandr Dugin
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2017, 01:49:57 PM »
Ancaps and minarchists, well generally fans of Murray Rothbard and F.A. von Hayek tend to be big fans of Dugin.

I'd rather stick to my Proudhon and Kropotkin.

I believe you, but isn't this a bit contradictory? The dude thinks that Vladimir Putin isn't militaristic enough, for crying out loud.

It would be akin to a neoliberal capitalist thinking that Che Guevara's stances were words to live by.

Offline Oniya

Re: Thinking of looking into works of Aleksandr Dugin
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2017, 02:24:41 PM »
I believe you, but isn't this a bit contradictory? The dude thinks that Vladimir Putin isn't militaristic enough, for crying out loud.

It would be akin to a neoliberal capitalist thinking that Che Guevara's stances were words to live by.

Well, as VonHellsing said, Dugin himself seems to be a bit contradictory.  Wouldn't be the first time that a group has been all 'Hell, yeah!' about what a guy said in one place, and completely overlook the bits that don't fit their world-view that he said in other places.

Offline dead radio

Re: Thinking of looking into works of Aleksandr Dugin
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2017, 07:59:23 AM »
Well, as a Russian politics student, I'm quite familiar with (some of) Aleksandr Gelyevich Dugin's works. If you're looking for an introduction to his geopolitical thought, it would be a good idea to check Marlene Laruelle's writings on Eurasianism. She's a (brilliant) French historian who happens to work in the US - so most of her works have been translated to English. See if you can find Russian Eurasianism: An Ideology of Empire or Russian Nationalism and the National Reassertion of Russia. There's another extremely good book, but I'm afraid you can only find it in French: Le rouge et le noir. Extrême droite et nationalisme en Russie.

If you're eager to go directly at the source, well, my question is: are you fluent in Russian?

Many of Dugin's works have been translated to English by obscure, alt-right publishing houses: a couple of years ago I stumbled on an English translation of "The Fourth Political Theory" and it was inintelligible. Not sure things got better in the meanwhile...

Oh, and you should check some books by Russian novelist Eduard Limonov. He co-founded the National-Bolshevik Party with Dugin in the mid-90s, and his Kniga vody, "The Book of Water", is (IMHO) a true masterpiece.

Well, hope this might help you in your quest into Duginism.

Online SkynetTopic starter

Re: Thinking of looking into works of Aleksandr Dugin
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2017, 07:02:55 PM »
@dead radio: thank you for your informative answers!

Unfortunately English is the only language I know, so I can't go straight to the source. I have noticed that Dugin has some fans in the US alt-right, if only because the man is fond of Trump and speaks negatively of liberalism.

I will definitely check out your recommendations.

Offline dead radio

Re: Thinking of looking into works of Aleksandr Dugin
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2017, 03:50:59 AM »
@dead radio: thank you for your informative answers!

Unfortunately English is the only language I know, so I can't go straight to the source. I have noticed that Dugin has some fans in the US alt-right, if only because the man is fond of Trump and speaks negatively of liberalism.

I will definitely check out your recommendations.

I hope it was useful, dear. I have to say, I'm quite surprised his name has become so popular since 2014 and the annexation of Crimea.