Until yesterday, little was heard about Kiev and Kharkiv; the war takes place in regions, cultures almost unknown. But it is difficult to refrain from opinion when the subject touches the soul, which fears suffering, exile and death. Humanly, we are all brothers; invited to feel compassion. That is why – today – it sounds like a declaration of impiety to confess certain ignorance. For example: that one does not understand geopolitics, nor is Putin’s ambition known, nor has he ever cared about Ukraine.
However, our conscience must not give in to popular pressure to express an opinion on everything; sometimes having an opinion is synonymous with precipitation. Postmodern immediacy asks us to confuse freedom of thought with the reproduction of third-party opinions, of media information that usually takes sides. Suddenly, we realize that information is different from knowledge; and, above all, that spaced facts are insufficient to arrive at correct judgments. In this case, one must understand the philosophy behind Putin’s government, which has Alexander Dugin as its main influence.
Presentation of Dugin’s Fourth Political Theory
Putin is a sphinx for the West. After all, we are inserted in the political clash from three theories: liberalism, communism and fascism. The supporter of each path often disagrees with the other vehemently; the debate is increasingly polarized.
It is not by chance that Bolsonaro’s voters abhor Cuba, just as the pro-Cuba execrates Trump. But Putin’s influencer thinks with artifices so unique that he is able to unite opposing ideas, articulating what is theoretically good and bad in each political theory.
Inheritance and criticism of the fascism and Nazism in Dugin’s vision
From fascism, he absorbs the recognition that politics is a cultural phenomenon that must harmonize the abstract and the concrete, the
government and ethos, a Greek word that designates the synthesis of the customs of the people . In practical terms, this means that it is unwise to worship a foreign model and apply it to another nation seamlessly. It would be like importing the American economy to the Russian people, who have a completely different lifestyle from the american way of life.
So that – in Dugin’s view – it is necessary to harmonize political projects with the religious belief, the linguistic community, the daily life and the natural resources of the people. Something the fascists and Nazis always did: they ruled with a view to restoring the local ethos. An example of this is Hitler’s use of opera: the German composer Richard Wagner wrote famous plays, which deal with a mythical Germany predestined to glory, and the dictator used them for the foundation of the Third Reich, at the Berlin State Opera. .
However, Dugin does not declare himself a fascist, since he is critical of the third way. He says that fascism errs in defending the sovereignty of a single ethos , in order to oppress the cultural manifestations of other peoples. Thus, Putin’s influencer condemns racism in his own way, which in addition to characterizing skin color, unfolds in civilizational racism, which divides peoples between civilized and barbaric; cultural, which defends the existence of superior and inferior cultures; evolutionary, which confuses Darwinian principles with political theory; technological, which understands progress as technical development; society, which imagines the economy as the basis of humanity in order to segregate rich and poor.
Inheritance and criticism of communism
Finally, with strong criticism of economocentrism, Dugin praises communism. He says that Marx’s disciples perfectly identify the contradictions of capitalism, the political regime that both defended freedom and enslaved workers in the Industrial Revolution. It is easy to agree that the working day – in the rise of capitalism – was inhumane: the people were subjected to working up to 16 hours a day, with wages below the subsistence level, among other degrading aspects. In addition to the old problems, the superficiality of the bourgeoisie and the alienation of conscience still prevail today.
But Dugin has his criticisms of communism. First, it condemns the doctrine that history has its basis in the material world and that it is the modes of production – rather than consciousness – that determine human life.
Putin’s influencer also criticizes the fact that communists think that the future will always be better, to the point of devaluing tradition and religion, and failing to recognize that some changes are not a torch of progress, but can worsen social reality.
Then he criticizes the Marxian work that equates human society to a mechanical system, in order to act independently of the particular man, whose predictions ended up in error. Marx was confident that revolutions would take place in industrialized countries, but socialism was adhered to in agrarian countries, including Russia itself.
Finally, for Dugin, the worst thing about communism is the incentive to sectarianism, reducing antagonistic social classes to the condition of the main historical agent.
Inheritance and criticism of liberalism
In this aspect Dugin praises liberalism, which does not accepts to reduce man to the will of the State or of the class, since he values freedom. Without this element, history would cease to be a human science and become an arithmetic of facts in nature; but historical science is the general psychology of mankind. It is impossible to understand it without the idea of freedom; the figures of the genius, the artist, the hero, the martyr and the saint.
However, Liberalism’s conception of freedom distances the West from the fundamental religious sentiment for the liberation of human beings. As liberals defend individual freedom, they end up displacing it from the idea of belonging, community and divinity, as if it were possible to be autonomous. But who is absolutely independent?
Hence Dugin’s criticism. He says that the excess of subjectivity has led the West to its own ruin. Thus said Sartre: “Man is a prison without walls.” Individualism made the human being disbelieve in eternal principles, dissociate himself from traditional values, to the point of feeling existential anguish and disorientation in the face of a meaningless world. Therefore, Liberalism imprisoned him in his own ego. In Dugin’s words: “Western individualism confronts Russian holism.”
Its defenders extol the Duginian intelligence, capable of unite rival political theories. They praise their ability to listen to enemies, learn their techniques from themselves, something so rare in this polarized world. Hence the danger of having an adversary like Putin, because when your opponent knows your abilities and weaknesses, as shown in Sun’s canonical Art of War Tzu, Vele is capable of exploiting his physical, psychological and economic weaknesses.
However, critics of Dugin claim that the Fourth Political Theory is nothing more than reformed fascism. It was a necessary formatting, based on the following: since after World War II it became offensive to defend Old Russia and Germany, Putin’s government would have serious geopolitical implications if it continued to fulfill the KGB’s (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti, or Security Committee) agenda. of the State), of which Putin was an agent, in the Soviet Union. So it would be more convenient to adopt a new theory, less known to the West, such as that of Alexander Dugin.
If his critics are right, with noble ideas, the political scientist creates a justification of the war, from the union of the theory of knowledge of the ancient Eurasianists, with additions of René Guénon’s traditionalism, Heidegger’s fundamental ontology, and various currents of structuralism, sociology and anthropology.
In any case, the fact is that Putin’s influencer declares he is in a Eurasian war against the West. It aims to bring together different nations to resist Globalization and destroy Westernization. His war is against the modern spirit, which he believes is confined to the West. Thus, he appeals to Russians, “inviting them to reject the corrupt pro-globalist, pro-Western elite and return to Russia’s spiritual Tradition (Orthodox Christianity and multi-ethnic Empire).”
Jointly invites “Muslim peoples and their community, as well as all other traditional societies – Chinese, Hindu, Japanese, etc. –, to unite in this battle against Globalization, Westernization and against the Global Elite.”
According to him, “the enemy is fighting with new means – with postmodern informational weapons, with financial instruments and with a global network. Eurasians should be able to fight them on the same basis and appropriate the art of the network offensive.”
When he tries to make certain alliances with nations outside Eurasia, it is because he expects “ I sincerely hope that Latin Americans and also some honest North Americans enter the same struggle against this elite, against postmodernity and against unipolarity, for Tradition, for social solidarity and for social justice.”
In Brazil, Olavo de Carvalho was one of the main critics of Dugin and Putin. Recently deceased, the professor declared: “Dugin is an ostensible preacher of war and genocide. He confesses that he hates the entire West and that his declared objective is to provoke a Third World War, to wipe the West off the face of the Earth and to establish everywhere what he defines as a universal dictatorship. He has already said that nothing saddens him more than the fact that Hitler and Stalin did not form an alliance to destroy France, England and everything else they came across, distributing to the entire universe the benefits they had already lavished on Gulag inmates and of Auschwitz.”
Given this information, finally, it is worth reflecting: what is its interpretative aspect? Do you think the Fourth Political Theory is a good model for fighting the evils of modernity, or just reformed fascism? Which side are you on – in philosophy and in war?
*Natália Cruz Sulman is a philosophy teacher