Swampy Common Ground: When Demagogues Speak Truth to Power

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3 Responses

  1. Avatar Han Fei says:

    I couldn’t help to latch on to something when you brought up the dichotomy of terms employed by Dugin between atlantean and telluric civilizations as determined by landmass they occupy. In all this it’s impossible to omit a certain other author, whose influence pervades nearly everything you discuss on this site, from Dugin to the alt-right.

    Julius Evola.

    He too used these exact same terms, but from my understanding of their meaning, “atlantean” and “telluric” has nothing to do with landmass. Rather they were about of differing civilization, even spiritual states of being. The former, atlantean had its roots in the solar Uranian principle of the polar cycle. The latter, or telluric had to do with the feminine maternal Earth cult and the the eternal recurrence of life and death. Both principles represented the Great dichotomy between times, places and people. An example of this is the struggle between the Latin and the Etruscan civilizations, and later the Roman and Carthaginian, which to Evola, represented the extremes of either type. Personally I have a few gripes with this historiographic analysis, but nevertheless we are far too separated in time to know for certain of the truth of which element inherently predominated in a civilization or was the product of syncretism all along (which is the historically supported view).

    It’s highly likely that Dugin is hiding something between words, using the scientific and realist sounding terminology of “geopolitics” to make his words resonate in a political landscape he seeks to influence. The reason why I say this is that, as a student of political science, I simply can’t imagine any meaning in reducing the notion of statecraft to a set of principles based on geopolitical posturing. His strategy is to push a certain philosophy (which in essence is advocating a mystical, Russian spiritual ethos as he understands it, falls under the banner of tellurism) by putting it in terms of something that can be translated into political recommendations. I must say Mr. Dugin is a very effective salesman. He taught himself English and spent a tremendous effort to reach a worldwide audience. This is why non-Russian speakers tend to associate his type of thinking with his name, without knowing that Dugin is part of a very very common mindset in Russia. There are indeed a plethora of such similar theorists and groups (some of which are a great deal more erudite and elaborate than Dugin) but who never bothered to reach outside their narrow Russophonic audience.

    Last but not least, concerning Russia, I believe that she’s simply not strong enough to contend for geopolitical supremacy of any sort, even in terms of so called globalist multipolarity. Which in essence is a silly term, because it is inherently contradictory with respect to the interests of the chief nations allegedly pushing it. For example, China’s goals are very much as monopolar as every other contender in the multipolar world. With the ever shifting balance of power it is simply impossible to maintain the state of multipolarity in a gestalt. On a geopolitical level, Russia’s footing is even weaker than Israel or the Gulf States, a fact that if Putin doesn’t recognize already, he will be reminded of in quite short time. If you look at the internal state of Russian society in face of its basic struggle for survival, any discussions of geopolitical and even regional predominance can’t be even remotely realistic, unless a miraculous reversal can be achieved in its domestic and demographic situation, of which there is no sign as of present.

    • Avatar Malić says:

      Regarding Evola, on first sight you’re completely right, based on Dugin’s own work. Namely, lectures he did at Moscow General Staff Academy were preceded by his article “Great War of the Continents” which developed into a book named “Konspirologija” (Conspirology), where he argues precisely what you point out: that there indeed is a clash of two “orders” influencing the world history and how conspiracy theorists fail to accurately pinpoint just what those orders are and what they intend. He, indeed, acknowledges Evola’s notion of history and points out how he found an “intellectual oasis” in the bosom of SS. The reason being that, in Dugin’s view, they to an extent had a premonition of “geopolitical truth” which, if adhered to, would have won them the WWII. This truth is the Eurasian Empire based on Telluric principle – something Dugin, following his occult mentor Parvulescu, identifies with “Being” as opposed to “non-Being” of Atlantean principle. He proposed, again following Parvulescu, that GRU was a hotbed of “Eurasian order”, fighting KGB to put Russia on the “right” geopolitical track.

      However, I think this is all just bull talk. It is patently obvious, from “Foundations of Geopolitics”, that all those elaborate conspiracy theories and borrowings from Evola or even Guenon end up in the worship of crudest material realities. I would even venture to say that Dugin’s notion of geopolitics as messianic knowledge is a reduction of all things to extension of space. Everything we call culture is only a superstructure reflecting the interactions of, for example, steppe and the forest – nothing else.

      Of course, we can also propose that his ideas are a kind of interweaving of these two outlooks, that is: post-Nazi occultism and Anglo-Saxon geopolitics/German geopolitik, which in my eyes is the most likely, and by far the worst case, scenario.

      You’re perfectly right in pointing out that Dugin is no novelty in Russia. The thing perhaps that singles him out is that he is rooted in the Russian deep state, at the latest from early Nineties, culminating with his meeting with Putin in 2000. and founding of the Eurasian Party with Petar Suslov, a KGB/FSB man working as a liaison between deep state and criminal underworld.

      Anyway, if we observe the sequence of his works, it does vindicate your proposition. But, as I said, I think that in the end it is all about dialectical materialism of a peculiar kind – a dialectical geographism, perhaps.

      • Avatar coco chanel says:

        Very well observed, namely, fact that Dugin or his mind to be more precise, is basically imprisoned or even “encapsulated” in crude materialism, despite all sophistication in the analysis.
        But what is even more interesting, if you carefully observe Richard Spencer, I believe one can see that he is also basically materialist, all his lofty talk and distant ideals and utopias in future or past have to drag all the time this immovable anchor in rude materialism, biological or Darwinist determinism and such.
        So, basically, again and again, the root cause of all this is always the same, good old inability of modern mind to move beyond barrier between the Worlds, the same one that crashed Nietzsche and some others before and almost all after him.
        So, is there any wonder that only consistent result is madness of one sort or the other?

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