By Max PARRY
It was a surprising admission when The New York Times reported in October that U.S. intelligence agencies finally acknowledged the assassination of Darya Dugina was authorized by the Ukrainian government.
The unexpected confession came more than a month after a car bomb killed the 29-year old journalist and daughter of Russian political theorist Aleksandr Dugin who personally witnessed her violent death in Moscow, resulting in a subsequent heart attack.
In the aftermath, the United Nations called for an investigation into Dugina's murder which came at the hands of an improvised explosive device (IED) planted underneath the driver's side of her father's car.
By the time Western media fessed up to Kyiv's guilt, the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia had already conducted their own inquiry which found the fingerprints of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) all over the August homicide of whom many speculate Mr. Dugin to have been the intended target.
It should be noted, however, that the website of the Ukrainian government enemies list Myrotvorets ("Peacemaker") which included the Dugin family is based in Langley, Virginia, the home of CIA headquarters. If the truth be known, it's more likely the intelligence community not only knew Ukraine was behind it all along but gave the green light to Kyiv themselves. Most Americans who were previously unaware of the Russian intellectual must be wondering-why Dugin?
The elder Russian thinker has long been portrayed as "Putin's brain" and a Rasputin-esque figure by the Western intelligentsia but the exaggerated depiction of his Svengali influence over the Kremlin has only become more widespread since the special military operation in Ukraine began last year.
All this even though Mr. Dugin holds no authority over the war nor has any involvement in the Russian government beyond his previous service as an advisor to the Chairman of the State Duma. Still, this characterization of the prolific writer as the mastermind behind Putin's foreign policy is ubiquitous in corporate media despite the absence of any evidence the Russian president has ever met the man, much less allowed his ideas to shape executive decisions.
It is this same narrative which let the yellow press to get away with disparaging his slain daughter, a noncombatant and innocent victim killed in violation of international law, by defaming her as a disinformation agent instead of the writer and activist she was. There were even attempts to deny the attack constituted an act of terrorism with the implication she was a legitimate military target guilty by association with her father. The Washington Post, the CIA's preferred rag, was especially boastful.
Equally tasteless but perhaps more surprising were the instances when commentators on the so-called left used the car bombing as an opportunity to vilify Dugin and regurgitate the propaganda deployed to justify his progeny's political execution.
Journalist Benjamin Norton, formerly of The Grayzone, took the occasion to share that he is among those who consider Dugin to be a "fascist" - even as Darya Dugina's journalistic work exposing actual Nazis in Ukrainian militias such as Azov, Aidar, and the Kraken was what landed her on the kill list to begin with. Not to mention that the suspected perpetrator is alleged by the FSB to be a member of Ukraine's infamous neo-Nazi regiment headquartered in Mariupol.
Many were also quick to point out the incredible irony that Norton's blog is entitled Multipolarista, in what is clearly a nod to the international relations theory associated with Dugin, though he has apparently renamed the page since.
Within the motherland itself Dugin is considered to be a marginal figure, but even if the Russian geo-strategist is as influential a figure as claimed, is he as reactionary as Norton makes him out to be? At the heart of this question lies a fundamental misunderstanding of both Russia and Dugin's philosophy that is indicative of the shallow state of Western left-wing politics as a whole.
Although he was at one point an early member of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) and helped compose its constitution, Dugin is certainly no longer a communist and far from it. But before one delves into his work, it is important to understand that his controversial views developed at a major turning point in Russian history where an ideological vacuum opened amid the collapse of the Soviet Union with the introduction of extreme free market capitalism in the early 1990s.
Even though he had been an anti-Soviet dissident during perestroika and played a hand in the fall of the USSR, Dugin became equally dismayed by the austerity measures ushered in via the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank under the vodka-drenched administration of Boris Yeltsin. The first president of the Russian Federation's "shock therapy" economic policies quickly led to record unemployment, hyperinflation and a GDP decline which surpassed that of the Great Depression in America. Russia's conversion to the Western model of liberal democracy did not bring political reform as promised and instead plunged millions below the poverty line while creating a new class of mega-billionaires in control of more than half of the nation's resources overnight.
By April 1993, discontent had become so widespread a national referendum was held on Yeltsin's reform program. Once the election results were disputed and the Supreme Soviet blocked his initiatives, a power struggle ensued in the months that followed. By the final week of September, a decree to remove Yeltsin was issued and the pro-Western comprador retaliated by dissolving the elected legislature with orders to vacate the White House parliamentary building.
When members of the Congress of People's Deputies refused to leave the Duma, mass protests and street fighting broke out between Yeltsin's quislings and defenders of the legislative assembly. The resulting massacre left hundreds of Muscovites dead and countless more injured, as rumors swirled of mysterious mercenary snipers on the roof of the American embassy stoking the violence.
Two years earlier, there had been a failed communist coup attempt where Yeltsin and his supporters took shelter in the White House-but this time many of those same deputies had switched to the opposition, leaving Yeltsin to illegally seize power himself. In early October, the standoff and constitutional crisis ended when the U.S.-backed dictator ordered tanks to shell the parliament and troops to storm the burning edifice in the largest incident of political bloodshed since the Russian Revolution.
The post-Soviet elections were marred with voter fraud which disenfranchised the Russian people's support for the anti-austerity coalition. However, left-wing parties were not the only significant political force which opposed Yeltsin's mass privatization, as the resistance included a wide-ranging alliance of conservative pan-Slavic and Russian nationalist organizations alongside the Communist Party.
At the time, Yeltsin referred to the left-right coalition of the National Salvation Front as a " red-brown alliance." Although the notion of a 'cross-front' historically predates Black October (about which this author has previously written), when American pseudo-left writers such as Alexander Reid Ross use the phrase to smear anti-imperialists in reference to Russia today, they are using the same pro-capitalist jargon as Yeltsin when he slandered the popular front elected to stop the austerity forced upon the country.
In an interview with Mint Press News where Dugin is mentioned over a dozen times, Reid Ross provided his own confused definition of the term:
"A red-brown alliance is a political formation that includes leftist and fascist forces. I see a number of red-brown alliances forming today, particularly in the field of political geography. A number of far-right groups view the modern-day axis of Syria, Iran and Russia as a kind of international counterweight to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which has always been seen by fascist groups as a kind of nemesis led by the nations that defeated the Rome-Berlin axis in 1945."
To anyone with any real understanding of World War II history, this is totally false. The nation that did the most to defeat the Axis powers was the Soviet Union, with more than three quarters of all German military casualties occurring on the Eastern front- the same country NATO was created to destroy.
Perhaps this is what Marshal Georgy Zhukov meant when he said, "we liberated Europe from fascism, but they will never forgive us for it." It is equally delusional for Reid Ross to equate three countries in the crosshairs of U.S. imperialism with the Axis Powers considering that NATO itself has incubated fascism since it was founded in 1949, from its partnership with right-wing terrorists in Operation Gladio throughout the Cold War to Ukraine today where bona fide neo-Nazis are being armed to fight Moscow. The truth is that ever since the strategies of rollback versus containment were first debated by American policymakers, Washington has been ceding control to far-right elements in countries allied with the West.
In Against the Fascist Creep, Reid Ross attributes the resurgence of antisemitism in post-Soviet Russia to the Communist Party's decision to align with conservatives against Yeltsin's market reforms. While there was an unfortunate increase in bigotry following the USSR's breakup during which many Jews left to Israel, Reid Ross completely fails to comprehend that any scapegoating stemmed from the restoration of capitalism itself.
Economic historians have produced academic studies demonstrating the social impact of austerity measures in Weimar Germany in the 1930s and the cutbacks by Yeltsin's finance minister Yegor Gaidar and privatization tsar Anatoly Chubais were not unlike those under the German Reich. It certainly did not help matters that many of the country's new oligarchs happened to be Jewish.
However, it should be reminded that there had been persecution of Jews throughout Russia's entire history, especially under the Tsarist autocracy. All through the Cold War, the U.S. made exaggerated allegations of antisemitism against the USSR and placed sanctions on Moscow over its solidarity with Palestine. Nevertheless, the pro-Soviet uprising in 1993 did not receive popular support due to any revival in Judeophobia but because of widespread public disapproval of Yeltsin's neoliberal rule. At the same time, the failure of both the moribund socialist system and the catastrophic transition to a market economy under a former Communist Party bureaucrat made the reappearance of conservative ideas appealing to the Russian people.
Although it failed to prevent the 1993 October coup, ultra-leftists who criticize the decision by Gennady Zyuganov and the Communist Party to provisionally align with conservatives against Yeltsin's counter-revolution should revisit Lenin's "Left-Wing" Communism: An Infantile Disorder." When the proto-fascist Black Hundreds movement first appeared amidst the failed 1905 Russian Revolution, Lenin instructed the Bolsheviks to infiltrate their rallies and steer the workers being seduced by reactionary ultranationalism toward socialism:
"Under tsardom we had no "legal possibilities" whatsoever until 1905; but when Zubatov, a secret police agent, organized Black Hundred workers' assemblies and workingmen's societies for the purpose of trapping revolutionaries and combating them, we sent members of our Party to these assemblies and into these societies (I personally remember one of them, Comrade Babushkin, a prominent St. Petersburg worker, who was shot by the tsar's generals in 1906). They established contact with the masses, managed to carry on their agitation, and succeeded in wresting workers from the influence of Zubatov's agents."
In the chapter " No Compromises? ", the Russian revolutionary also stresses the need to consider political compromises with other political forces and even bourgeois parties based on the circumstances of each situation and whether it is useful in waging class war in the long run:
"The more powerful enemy can be vanquished only by exerting the utmost effort, and by the most thorough, careful, attentive, skilful and obligatory use of any, even the smallest, rift between the enemies, any conflict of interests among the bourgeoisie of the various countries and among the various groups or types of bourgeoisie within the various countries, and also by taking advantage of any, even the smallest, opportunity of winning a mass ally, even though this ally is temporary, vacillating, unstable, unreliable and conditional. Those who do not understand this reveal a failure to understand even the smallest grain of Marxism, of modern scientific socialism in general."
Another expression that is frequently mentioned in association with 'red-brown'-ism is the abbreviation 'Nazbol' which is a direct reference to one of the most significant but idiosyncratic factions involved in the Black October clashes between Yeltsin's thugs and parliamentary forces.
The National Bolshevik Party (NBP) was a splinter group which proclaimed to fuse Russian nationalism with left-wing economics and Alexander Dugin was one its earliest members. Its other co-founder was Eduard Limonov, an eccentric and bisexual punk rock novelist who had spent a great deal of time in the U.S. and Europe during his previous years as an anti-Soviet dissident.
While residing in New York, Limonov was a regular at the punk music venue CBGB's and rubbed shoulders with radical leftists and Trotskyists in the Socialist Workers Party. The influence of hip Western counterculture from his literary exile in both the U.S. and France was reflected in his explicit writings which featured queer characters and continued in the Nazbol's edgy aesthetic choices and emphasis on shock tactics in their propaganda when he returned to Russia.
In fact, the inspiration for the National Bolshevik Party's syncretic logo featuring a hammer and sickle in place of the swastika on the insignia of Nazi Germany is rumored to have come from the 1986 film Sid and Nancy where Sid Vicious (played by Gary Oldman) wears a shirt featuring the design on screen.
In real life, the Sex Pistols bassist had donned the original swastika, but director Alex Cox chose to modify it for the movie. In the 1970s British punk rock scene, designers like the late Vivienne Westwood toyed with fascist imagery in the fashion and aesthetics of the subculture- not in any sincere political sense but for pure shock value and to deliberately offend mainstream sensibilities. As a Western import and provocateur, Limonov adopted this form of stylistic subversion to make the National Bolsheviks cause célèbre in post-communist Russia and it translated relatively successfully.
However, just as was the case with the punk movement, the intent behind the use of such contradictory symbols to be detached from their original meaning often went misunderstood. No more is this clear than in the Western misinterpretation of the NBP as a far right organization when in Russia itself, the National Bolsheviks were mostly considered a left-wing party during their brief existence, albeit one with elements of nationalism but not necessarily associated with conservatism.
All in all, National Bolshevism was an incoherent ideological grouping whose leadership included post-modernists like Limonov, the anarchist poet Yegor Letov, as well as some conservatives such as Dugin, the latter of whom broke from the NBP in the late 90s as he published his most well-known work The Foundations of Geopolitics which laid out his own distinct worldview.
It is crucial to understand that as a strategist, Dugin views the geopolitical landscape in terms of spatial poles and geographical civilizations. He posits that continents which are landlocked tend to be collectivist-based societies whereas landmasses that have access to the seaways contain cultures that are predisposed towards individualism.
Historically, it is true that the European powers were maritime empires built on naval expansion and sea merchant power while the Russian empire was a land power. In this paradigm, Dugin believes Russia occupies a unique space as a self-contained civilization and sovereign pole but one that he places culturally closer to Asia than Western Europe.
Dugin's movement does not consider Russian culture to be on the Eastern periphery of European civilization but reimagines it at the "heartland" of Eurasia, a standalone continent that is as much a part of the Orient as it is under European influence. He argues this symbiotic relationship goes back to the fusion between Eastern Orthodox Christianity adopted under the Byzantine Empire with the Mongol conquest of Kievan Rus in the 13th century. It is from this synthesis which the modern Russian nation-state originated, thereby transforming Moscow into a 'third Rome.'
Throughout history, there have been numerous attempts by hostile foreign powers to conquer the Eurasian heartland, or what the founder of geopolitics Sir Halford Mackinder also referred to as the 'Pivot Area.' However, Dugin looks at the expansion of NATO as more than just the latest encirclement but an attempt by Atlanticist civilization, namely the United States and Europe, to export liberal democracy and decadent Western values onto Russia by force.
Dugin sees the West as aiming to impose its own cultural standards of moral universalism through forceable conversion onto Russia, which has a thousand-year-old collectivistic way of life with ancient traditions and deeply ingrained societal differences. According to Dugin's outlook, the systems of communism and capitalism were both equally Western systems that are inapplicable to Russia. Even though the Cold War ended, no matter which political ideology Moscow adopts, Anglo-American imperialism continues to view Eurasia as a resource-rich land to be balkanized, conquered, and contained.
It is worth noting that the same year Foundations of Geopolitics was published, Polish-American diplomat Zbigniew Brzezinski devised the plan to dominate Eurasia for American global supremacy in his influential book The Grand Chessboard:
"For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia. Eurasia is the globe's largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world's three most advanced and economically productive regions..... About 75 per cent of the world's people live in Eurasia, and most of the world's physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60 per cent of the world's GNP and about three-fourths of the world's known energy resources."
According to Dugin, the 20th century was an ideological battleground between competing political systems during which fascism and communism both failed to defeat liberalism, or Western capitalism, which emerged as the international order in its final decade. In his provocative essay Fascism: Borderless and Red, the Russian theorist describes how fascism doomed itself allying with the national bourgeoisies of Italy and Germany to take power despite an ostensible ideological aversion to capitalism.
From Dugin's perspective, fascism in Europe was short-lived because of the tentative alliance between the West and USSR in World War II and the self-sabotage of Hitler's foreign policy. By the end of the second millennium, liberal democracy stood alone as the dominant world system after the Soviet dissolution with communism joining fascism in the dustbin of history.
Yet despite his portrayal as a far-right nationalist in the West, Dugin self-identifies as a traditionalist in the same vein as perennial philosophers from the interwar period such as René Guénon or Julius Evola and denounces fascism up and down as a product of modernity.
While it may have rejected Western institutions of democracy, it is true that fascism was essentially a modernist movement, albeit a reactionary form, in that it set out to remake mankind with an enthusiastic attitude toward technology and industrialization. In fact, Dugin considers the three main political theories of the last century to have all been equally rooted in modernity and thus insufficient in solving humanity's challenges, hence his call for a 'fourth political theory', or an alternative to liberalism that is neither communist or fascist.
However, he does attempt to redeem the notion of national or civilizational traditions from what he believes to be the misguided racism of European fascism. Once one delves into his prolific body of work, the real reason why he is mischaracterized as a Nazi by Western liberals quickly becomes clear. Holding a mirror up to the orientalism of the English-speaking world, Dugin describes in The Fourth Political Theory how the West's regard for its own values as the only universal truth is itself a form of racism:
"Hitler's racism is only one form of racism. This is the most obvious straightforward and biological and most repulsive. there are other forms of racism - cultural (asserting there are high and low cultures), civilizational (dividing people into those civilized and those insufficiently uncivilized), technological (viewing technological development as the main criterion for the value of a society), social (stating, in the spirit of the Protestant doctrine of predestination, that the rich are the best and the greatest compared to the poor), economic (in which all humanity is ranked according to the degree of material well-being), and evolutionary (for which it is axiomatic that human society is the result of biological development, in which the basic processes of the evolution of species - survival of the fittest, natural selection, and so on - continue today. European and American societies are fundamentally afflicted with these types of racism, unable to eradicate them from itself despite intensive efforts. Being fully aware of how revolting this phenomenon is, people in the West tend to make racism a taboo. However, all this turns into a witch hunt - new pariahs accused of 'fascism' are its victims, often for no apparent reason. Thus, this very political correctness and its norms are transformed into a totalitarian discipline of political, purely racist exclusions.
Undoubtedly racist is the idea of unipolar globalization. It is based on the history and values of Western, and especially American, society are equivalent to universal laws, and artificially tries to construct a global society based on what are actually local and historically specific values - democracy, the market, parliamentarian, capitalism, individualism, human rights, and unlimited technological development. These values are local ones, emerging from the particular development of a single culture, and globalization is trying to impose them on all of humanity as something that is universal and taken for granted. This attempt implicitly argues that the values of all other peoples and cultures are imperfect, underdeveloped, and should be subject to modernization and standardization in imitation of the Western model. globalization is nothing more than a globally deployed model of Western European, or rather Anglo-Saxon ethnocentrism, which is the pure manifestation of racist ideology."
"American values tend to be universal ones. In reality, it is a new form of ideological aggression against the multiplicity of cultures and traditions still existing in the rest of the world. Therefore, all traditionalists should be against the West and globalization, as well as against the imperialist politics of the United States."
To call the man a fascist is not only misleading but trivializes the meaning of the concept. Unfortunately, any attempt to rationalize Dugin is self-defeating seeing as the current neo-McCarthyist political atmosphere vilifies anyone who defends Russia or other nations targeted for regime change. By legitimizing NATO imperialism against Moscow under the slogan of fighting for what Dugin calls Eurocentric and individualistic formulations of "human rights," the liberal left has taken up its own form of " White Man's Burden."
In his 1901 essay " To The Person Sitting in Darkness", Mark Twain satirically retorted Rudyard Kipling's jingoistic poem encouraging the American colonization of the Philippines by mocking the missionary movement as a moral front for imperialism. Upon reading Dugin's critique of globalization, it is difficult not to see parallels between the 'civilizing mission' rationale of manifest destiny in Kipling's ode to imperialism and the Russian philosopher's description of Western liberal values in The Fourth Political Theory.
At no point does Dugin advocate Russian revanchism or ethnic supremacy in his work to counter American unipolarity, nor does he call for the restoration of the Tsarist Empire. Instead, he argues that a multipolar world is needed to protect the inherent heterogeneity of civilizations from being wiped out by globalism and Western universality:
"The future world should be characterized by multiplicity; diversity should be taken by its richness and its treasure, and not as a reason for inevitable conflict: many civilizations, many poles, many centers, many sets of values on one planet and in one humanity. Many worlds."
Dugin's meaning of diversity does not translate to multiculturalism in the Western liberal sense, though he does embrace the ethnopluralism of Russian society and the many nationalities within its borders formerly colonized under the Tsars. If there is any prominent right-wing nationalist who advocates expelling Muslim minorities in the Caucasus from southern Russia, look no further than the Western-backed opposition figure Alexei Navalny. For Dugin, real diversity is civilizational and can be represented only with a multipolar distribution of geopolitical power. So how can his thought be equated with Hitler?
Precisely because the Western liberal conception of fascism is ahistorical and contains no economic understanding. The liberal misreading of fascism is predicated on a fragmented historical timeline which truncates the expansionism of Nazi Germany, Japan, and Italy from its own chronology of European colonialism.
After all, prior to World War II, the Berlin-Rome Axis did not possess the same number of colonies with populations to subjugate and exploit as the British or the French. Before everything, the Third Reich and fascist Italy set out to take over the few remaining territories and corners of the globe which had escaped European domination. For example, Mussolini continued the Italian plundering of North Africa, while Hitler tried to secure the lebensraum by invading the Soviet Union.
However, both Germany and Italy had already previously established genocidal colonies in Africa as great powers prior to adopting extreme nationalism in the 1930s. If this reasoning entered liberal discourse, Western colonialism would be understood as having laid the groundwork for fascism in Europe and NATO itself would inherit the geo-strategic position of the Third Reich today with its containment of Russia.
Instead, the Western liberal "anti-fascist" outlook considers ultranationalist authoritarian regimes an antagonism to the extent they have a revolutionary nature and try to establish collectivist societies centered around the nation-state with new institutions and traditions- not because of empire-building. It is the same reason why the Soviet Union under Stalin is often unfairly lumped in with fascism in canonical texts such as Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism. The Nobel Prize-winning German author Thomas Mann, an early opponent of the Nazis who fled to Switzerland after Hitler came to power, disagreed:
"To place Russian communism on the same moral level with Nazi fascism, because both are 'totalitarian,' is, at best, superficial, in the worse case, it is fascism. He who insists on this equality may be a democrat; in truth and in his heart, he is already a fascist, and will surely fight fascism with insincerity and appearance, but with complete hatred only of communism."
Contrary to Arendt's treatise, fascism is not simply extreme authoritarianism stemming from the decline of the nation-state system in Europe. Nor is it simply a Bonapartist mobilization of an armed wing of the petty bourgeoisie against a socialist uprising by the working class as defined by some sub-branches of Marxism. Although there may be small amounts of truth in those perspectives, they are ultimately inadequate. From a truly Marxist understanding, fascism in its essence as a historical phenomenon occurs during an economic crisis when one section of the ruling class seizes power and organizes forces of violence against workers and groups fighting for social progress in order to preserve capitalism. For example, the far-right monarchist Black Hundreds carried out antisemitic pogroms and terrorized socialists in the middle of mass labor strikes and peasant uprisings to defend the Romanov dynasty during the Russian Revolution. As Upton Sinclair once put it - "fascism is capitalism plus murder."
After Mussolini first became prime minister in the early 1920s, the German Marxist Clara Zetkin observed how the Italian fascists disguised themselves in populist demagogic rhetoric or "deceptive revolutionary phraseology." Or as political scientist Michael Parenti explained in his lecture " Fascism: The False Revolution ", "fascism offers a reactionary solution, not a social solution, to the contradictions of capitalism."
As much as he criticizes liberalism, one valid critique of Dugin is that he too fails to comprehend that fascism was a level of development within capitalism, namely an authoritarian and last resort effort by the ruling class to maintain it. R. Palme Dutt, leader of the Communist Party of Great Britain in its heyday, expanded upon Lenin's definition of fascism as a stage of decaying monopoly capitalism in " Fascism and Social Revolution." Dutt saw fascism as rooted in the free market's inherent contradictions of overproduction and underconsumption:
"Two alternatives, and only two, confront existing society at the present stage of development of the productive forces and of social organisation. One is to throttle the development of the productive forces in order to save class-society, to destroy material wealth, to destroy millions of "superfluous" human beings in the slow rot of starvation and the quick furnace of war, to crush down the working-class movement with limitless violence, to arrest the development of science and culture and education and technique, to revert to more primitive forms of limited, isolated societies, and thus to save for a while the rule of the possessing classes at the expense of a return to barbarism and spreading decay. This is the path which finds its most complete and organized expression in Fascism. The other is to organise the productive forces for the whole society by abolishing the class ownership of the means of production, and building up the classless communist society which can alone utilise and organise the modern productive forces. This is the path of communism, of the revolutionary working class. The issue of these two paths is the issue of the present epoch."
Not only is it a diversionary tactic to mislabel Dugin a fascist, those who do so cannot even keep the details of his political history straight. The significant departure of Eurasianism from the eccentric anti-establishment pranks of the National Bolsheviks is entirely lost on the Western left which often conflates the two strains despite having little to no understanding of either movement. So too is the inconvenient fact that the NBP continued to vehemently protest the Russian government long after Yeltsin appointed his successor, Vladimir Putin, whose administration eventually outlawed the organization in 2007.
Ironically, it could even be argued that the anarchistic provocations of Pussy Riot inherited the legacy of the Nazbols in terms of their shared direct-action methods of protest and association with punk music. For example, a Latvian branch of National Bolsheviks once occupied a Riga church barricading themselves inside with fake grenades to protest the Baltic country's treatment of ethnic Russian minorities and pending NATO integration in 2000.
The main difference is that the Russian feminist collective would use guerrilla-like disruptions of cathedrals to suit a pro-Western agenda. It was only when Putin began to oppose NATO enlargement around the time the NBP dissolved when many of his former critics, including both Limonov and Dugin, began to publicly support his foreign policy moves and this has continued for the duration of the Ukraine crisis. Similarly, it is said that Putin's Eurasian Economic Union integration project must line up with Dugin's theories when it is really a relationship of correlation, not causation. Nevertheless, the man gives a philosophical voice to the Russian side of the New Cold War which is really why he and his family have become a target.
How is it that Dugin's name has become synonymous with an ideology he has condemned in the minds of the Western public? If one visits the Wikipedia page for the Russian political analyst, the very first sentence even states that Dugin is "known for views widely characterized as fascist." Simultaneously, Amazon has banned the sale of all books by Dugin himself while only carrying a number of pro-Western critiques of his work. Quite simply, Americans are permitted to read and hear about the man but never read his words themselves, just as they are never presented with Moscow's perspective on the Ukraine war. Amazon's $600 million dollar contract with the C.I.A. doesn't exactly make the censorship of his writing that surprising, nor does his diabolical presentation in the pages of the Bezos Post. The links between the news media and the intelligence community may be well-established going back to the Church Committee and its revelations about Operation Mockingbird but lesser-known and taken for granted are the connections between Langley and the conflict-of-interest editing of the popular online encyclopedia page. This is a perfect example of how propaganda spreads in the digital age and information warfare
In defiance of all the evidence pointing to the contrary, the undeterred synthetic left has chosen to parrot the big lie disseminated by major media outlets that Dugin is an extremist bogeyman. In Benjamin Norton's case, down to the last details by echoing the groundless charge circulated in imperial news organs that the Russian scholar is a Sinophobe who envisions Moscow one day overtaking and dividing China based on decades-old statements ripped out of historical context. When the national security state isn't manipulating the media to influence public opinion, it can rely on the pseudo-left to do its work for them and unfortunately, the consequences of this go way beyond matters related to Dugin. Ultimately, by mindlessly repeating such war propaganda, it undermines any remaining hope of developing an anti-war movement in the 21st century as the hand of the doomsday clock is pushed to ninety seconds-closer to midnight than at any point during the Cold War.
From a Marxist point of view, no doubt there is much to disagree with regarding Dugin's worldview. Yet no matter what one thinks of his religious conservatism, there is a great deal of insight in his analysis of how the unipolar domination of the Anglosphere has taken shape since the fall of the USSR.
As a matter of fact, his positions have a great deal of overlap with an international left that at one time championed the anti-globalization movement. Perhaps this is why Dugin's message resonates most strongly within the Global South whose political left does not abandon global justice or use social issues as a yardstick in place of opposition to empire.
For instance, his praise of Islam and its shared characteristics with Eastern Orthodoxy and Russian cultural traditions has made him a revered figure within Iran. It is little surprise given that it is Third World countries which would benefit the most from Atlanticist power retreating from its place of global domination. Then again, it could be argued that a multipolar world existed in the lead up to World War I and did not prevent its outbreak. With a third global conflict brewing today, maybe what it is really needed is a doctrine of equality among nations, not polarity or power centers.
During the Cold War, it was the Soviet Union which advocated the former colonies of the world had the right to national self-determination. While it may look as though socialism has been overcome once and for all as an alternative to Western capitalism, Dugin himself praises the mixed economic success of modern China which did not go the same route as the former USSR.
Like Frances Fukuyama before him who conceptualized the so-called "End of History", perhaps the Russian ideologue should consider that the loss of socialism is not as permanent as it appears and until capitalism's inherent contradictions are resolved, its resurgence is not as improbable as he suggests. Until then, we as Marxists should not dismiss those who have picked up the mantle of anti-imperialism since the demise of the former Soviet Union, no matter which political form it takes shape. By denouncing Dugin as a "fascist" and treating his work as unworthy of serious consideration, one is only showing that he is right to say that Marxism has become irrelevant in today's world and Western capitalism is here to stay. The challenge has been issued, it remains to be seen whether we are up to it.