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Putin’s Propaganda, Dugin’s Lunacy, and You
I was asking myself this morning why I felt a special need to emphasize that the biggest threats to Europe may not be the ravening hordes of Muslim invaders (or desperate refugees) swarming across its borders (or dying en masse in the Mediterranean) and threatening to suck on the teat of its precious welfare services (or being promptly deported back to hell). After all, who am I trying to persuade? And why? Few members of Ricochet will be voting in European elections, after all. And I hardly wish to make the point that unlimited immigration to Europe will be an unfettered boon; it isn’t even a point I believe.
It took me the day to sort out my thoughts. Europe is not now under grave threat from either communists or Nazis in their most recognizable historic form. There are some left, of course. But perhaps I don’t need to run through the list of them; I’ll just say that I’m on call should you have any questions about Europeans who might be Nazis and how to recognize them, likewise should you have questions about Europeans who might be communists, I can help you out. (As for the latter, bet you can figure it out without my help. See, for example, the Marxist–Leninist Communist Organization–Proletarian Way, which really exists, as do many such groupuscules. I think time-travelling technology may be involved, or perhaps someone pickled them. Do spend a few minutes on their site, by the way, and tell me whether you think their understandable grievances require our legitimization, given that they’ve got nowhere mainstream to go with their concerns, and Europe’s pointy-headed elite insistently lock them out of the political process. For the record, I am totally in favor locking the Marxist–Leninist Communist Organization–Proletarian Way out of the political process. Call me a pointy-headed European elitist all you like, but I think the world is a better place when people like them are marginalized, mocked, dismissed, and irrelevant.)
My real concern is Russia. It’s Duginism, in particular. But before discussing him, let me take you on a little tour of the kind of Russian propaganda in which Europe’s wallowing — but let me bring it home for you with an example that might feel more personal. Like this:
Have a look at that magazine. Try to figure out what it is. Look first, take your time. Then tell me what you think.
Here’s what I think.
“Veterans Today (VT),” it says,
is an independent online journal representing the positions and providing news for members of the military and veteran community in areas of national security, geopolitical stability and domestic policy. All writers are fully independent and represent their own point of view and not necessarily the point of view of any other writer, administrator or entity.
It has job news. It has a “support the troops” section. It features news about job fairs for veterans — “Unlocking Veterans’ Potential!” will take place, it informs us, on November 9, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm, at the Desmond Hotel, 660 Albany Shaker Rd. Albany, NY 12211. There’s a section on VA Home Loans. Oh, it has a forum, where veterans who have problems can chat. How helpful for our nations veterans. What a great resource for the men and women who’ve served our country with honor and now want to pour their hearts out to Russian intelligence.
I don’t know if I’m right about that, although it wouldn’t be pure paranoia these days to wonder, would it? But do have a close look at the site. Doesn’t this editorial line seem a bit of a strange choice for that audience?
It’s all like that, once you get past the helpful information about VA dental benefits and the UNLV career fair.
“[T]he barrage of misinformation,” reports the Guardian (it takes one to know one) “has convinced some American politicians that the [Russian] propaganda network is the greatest threat to US security in Europe since the Soviet Union evaporated.” These politicians are right to be concerned: It is. But as you can see, it isn’t only aimed at Europe; in this case, it’s aimed at veterans of the United States military, which I take very personally.
“Russia has deployed an information army inside television, radio and newspapers throughout Europe,” congressman Ed Royce, chairman of the House of Representatives foreign affairs committee, told a hearing on Kremlin propaganda. “Russia’s propaganda machine is in overdrive, working to subvert democratic stability and foment violence.”
Royce has warned that Russian propaganda “may be more dangerous than any military, because no artillery can stop their lies from spreading and undermining US security interests in Europe.”
Oh, I’ll vouch for that — they’re all over Europe. The Front National loves them: Russian money’s fuelling that party. And no, it is not, precisely, a Nazi party. But it’s loved up with Putin and Dugan, as are many of these parties.
To be clear: I’m not saying that Putin is bothering to waste his money on this Veteran’s Today conspiracy theory website. To suggest that absent evidence would be to subscribe to precisely the kind of conspiracy thinking to which the authors of this site have succumbed. What I’m saying — and there’s no illogic at all in this suggestion; it’s amply documented and no reasonable person has grounds to deny it — is that right now, Russia’s furnishing the most potent material on the Internet for the world’s most lunatic conspiracy theorists, and that this is sinister in a deeper way than ISIS propaganda, because much of it seems to make deep, plausible sense to many Europeans and Americans. Russia’s become a gigantic, malign, lunatic-conspiracy-theory factory, and the ideology behind it is every bit as expansive, totalizing and destructive as the ideology behind the Soviet Union. The mistake too many make is to see modern Russia as just another authoritarian state, acting rationally in pursuit of its national interests– albeit a mischief-making one with nuclear weapons — rather than a new incarnation of the ideologically-driven Soviet colossus of yore.
This is understating the threat. Russia’s behavior is a product of an ideology, there is a method to its madness; the ideology is, I fear, as insidious as communism, fascism, or Islamism; and must be taken just as seriously. It’s not traditional Russian imperialism, although certainly it has its roots in it. It’s best described as Duginism, after its best-known theorist, Alexander Dugin. For those of you unfamiliar with him, here’s a good introduction by Robert Zubrin in National Review:
Most Americans don’t know anything about Alexander Dugin. They need to, because Dugin is the mad philosopher who is redesigning the brains of much of the Russian government and public, filling their minds with a new hate-ridden totalitarian ideology whose consequences can only be catastrophic in the extreme, not only for Russia, but for the entire human race.
In recent months, as the embrace of Duginist ideas by the Putin regime has become ever more evident, a number of articles have been written calling attention to the threat. But now, with the appearance of “The American Empire Should Be Destroyed”: Alexander Dugin and the Perils of Immanentized Eschatology, by James Heiser, we finally have a book-length treatment. It is well worth reading.
Heiser follows Dugin’s career, moving from his expulsion from the Moscow Aviation Institute for involvement in proto-Nazi mystical circles in the early 1980s, through his continued development in association with various Thule Society–like organizations through the late Eighties, his contacts with the anti-democratic European Nouvelle Droite [new right], his co-founding and career with the National Bolshevik Party in the 1990s, and his subsequent move into the Russian political mainstream following from his realization that he could gain far more influence as an adviser to those in power than he ever could operating as a splinter party on his own.
Heiser then proceeds to dissect Dugin’s political and geopolitical ideology of Eurasianism. The core idea of this is that “liberalism” (by which Dugin means the entire Western consensus) represents an assault on the traditional hierarchical organization of the world. Repeating the ideas of Nazi theorists Karl Haushofer, Rudolf Hess, Carl Schmitt, and Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, Dugin says that this liberal threat is not new, but is the ideology of the maritime-cosmopolitan power “Atlantis,” which has conspired to subvert more conservative land-based societies since ancient times. Accordingly he has written books in which he has reconstructed the entire history of the world as a continuous battle between these two factions, from Rome vs. Carthage to Russia vs. the Anglo-Saxon “Atlantic Order” today. If it is to win its fight against the subversive oceanic bearers of such “racist” (because foreign imposed) ideas as human rights, Russia must unite around itself all the continental powers, including Germany, Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet republics, Turkey, Iran, and Korea, into grand Eurasian Union strong enough to defeat the West.
In order to be so united “from Lisbon to Vladivostok,” this Eurasian Union will need a defining ideology, and for this purpose Dugin has developed a new “Fourth Political Theory” combining all the strongest points of Communism, Nazism, Ecologism, and Traditionalism, thereby allowing it to appeal to the adherents of all of these diverse anti-liberal creeds. He would adopt Communism’s opposition to free enterprise. However, he would drop the Marxist commitment to technological progress, a liberal-derived ideal, in favor of Ecologism’s demagogic appeal to stop the advance of industry and modernity. From Traditionalism, he derives a justification for stopping free thought. All the rest is straight out of Nazism, ranging from legal theories justifying unlimited state power and the elimination of individual rights, to the need for populations “rooted” in the soil, to weird gnostic ideas about the secret origin of the Aryan race in the North Pole.
What Russia needs, says Dugin, is a “genuine, true, radically revolutionary and consistent, fascist fascism.” On the other hand, “Liberalism, is an absolute evil. . . . Only a global crusade against the U.S., the West, globalization, and their political-ideological expression, liberalism, is capable of becoming an adequate response. . . . The American empire should be destroyed.”
Heiser then provides a chilling analysis of Dugin’s theology:
It would be our contention that Dugin’s fusion of Traditionalism and Eurasianism has become a “gnostic mass movement” of the third type, “activist mysticism.” It is not an exaggeration to state that Dugin’s intended goal, his telos, is the End of the World, and that the accomplishment of that end is dependent, he believes, on the implementation of his ideology. As Dugin has proclaimed in his recent book, The Fourth Political Theory: “The end times and the eschatological meaning of politics will not realize themselves on their own. We will wait for the end in vain. The end will never come if we wait for it, and it will never come if we do not. . . . If the Fourth Political Practice is not able to realize the end of times, then it would be invalid. The end of days should come, but it will not come by itself. This is a task, it is not a certainty. It is an active metaphysics. It is a practice.” …
It is hard to know how to react to someone who claims to want to bring about the end of the world. When that desire is expressed with a thick Russian accent, the hearer is all the more likely to simply dismiss the speaker as some sort of “super villain” from a bad “action/adventure” movie. It is a claim which evokes the snicker — until one realizes that the man who thinks that the “meaning of Russia” is “the End of the World” is the man whose geopolitical doctrine is being implemented by the ruler of Russia.
Finally, Heiser comments on Dugin’s worship of Chaos, and the adoption of the occult symbol of the eight-pointed “Star of Chaos” as the emblem (and, when inscribed in gold on a black background, the flag) of the Eurasianist movement. “For Dugin, logos is replaced by chaos, and the very symbol of chaos magic is the symbol of Eurasia: ‘Logos has expired and we all will be buried under its ruins unless we make an appeal to chaos and its metaphysical principles, and use them as a basis for something new.’ Dugin dressed his discussion of logos in the language of Heidegger, but his terminology cannot be read outside of a 2,000-year-old Western, biblical tradition which associates the Logos with the Christ, and Dugin’s invocation of chaos against logos leads to certain inevitable conclusions regarding his doctrines.”
In short, Dugin’s Eurasianism is a satanic cult.
This is the ideology behind the Putin regime’s “Eurasian Union” project. It is to this dark program, which threatens not only the prospects for freedom in Ukraine and Russia, but the peace of the world, that former Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovych tried to sell “his” country. It is against this program that the courageous protesters in the Maidan took their stand and — with scandalously little help from the West — somehow miraculously prevailed. It is on behalf of this program that the Putin regime has created a bloodbath in eastern Ukraine, which, following Dugin, it now terms “New Russia.” It is on behalf of this program that Dugin, with massive support from the Russian government, has organized a fascist international of European fringe parties [my emphasis] and on behalf of this program that the Quislings leading those parties are willing to betray their nations to Kremlin domination.
Without Ukraine, Dugin’s fascist Eurasian Union project is impossible, and sooner or later Russia itself will have join the West and become free, leaving only a few despised and doomed islands of tyranny around the globe. But with Ukraine underfoot, the Eurasianist program can and will proceed, and a new iron curtain will fall into place imprisoning a large fraction of humanity in the grip of a monstrous totalitarian power that will become the arsenal of evil around the world for decades to come. That means another cold war, trillions of dollars wasted on arms, accelerated growth of the national-security state at home, repeated proxy conflicts costing millions of lives abroad, and civilization itself placed at risk should a single misstep in the endless insane great-power game precipitate the locked and loaded confrontation into a thermonuclear exchange.
Only this time, our cold-war opponents will not be secular Communists, but true believers of a death-worshipping cult that would like to bring about the end of the world. Every victory for their expansionist program abroad enhances the Eurasianists’ power within Russia. As a result of the Western capitulation so far, the Duginite movement is growing exponentially, while the forces of sanity are being cowed or crushed. If Ukraine falls, Vladimir Putin may discover that, like the German generals who empowered Hitler, he has fostered the birth of a monster he can no longer control.
Here’s another thoughtful article about Dugan in World Affairs Journal, by Andrey Tolstoy and Edmund McCaffray:
Alexander Dugin, the Russian philosopher and political activist, has attracted sporadic coverage in English-language publications over the past year. He is an engaging figure—prolific, radical, bearded, equally at home in university seminars and posing with tanks in South Ossetia and eastern Ukraine. So adept at self-promotion that he is sometimes not taken as seriously as he should be, Dugin is the intellectual who has Vladimir Putin’s back in the emerging ideological conflict between Russia and the West. At home, Putin uses him to create a nationalist, anti-liberal voting bloc, while abroad Dugin is the lynchpin of numerous irregular networks of anti-liberal political resistance and sabotage. No individual better represents the tactics of the current Russian regime.
Since the late 1990s, Dugin has organized his views into a geostrategic ideology and a complex political metaphysics known respectively as Neo-Eurasianism and Fourth Political Theory. The former posits an ongoing archetypal clash between land and maritime civilizations and holds that there is a struggle between, on the one hand, harmonious, land-based societies organized around history and tradition and, on the other, inherently liberal, “Atlanticist” “empires of the sea,” whose capitalistic drive abhors and undermines tradition. …
According to Dugin, while modern-day Atlanticists, led by the United States, have consolidated their position via international organizations and political hierarchies, their Eurasian opposition is disorganized and largely defenseless. This is because Atlanticism, by prioritizing individual liberties above all else, dissolves social bonds and obligations and devalues cultural legacy, thus destroying the very fabric that allows traditional societies to exist. Its hegemony is pursued by construing any opposition to its political or economic interests as an affront to freedom. …
A prolific writer who has authored dozens of monographs and hundreds of essays, Dugin tours the country and the world lecturing on political philosophy. His objective is to attract like-minded thinkers from the international fringe, involving them in debates and panels that imitate the mainstream discourse that shuns and excludes them. He has been an influence on the so-called new right of Europe, including such parties as Germany’s National Democratic Party, the British National Party, Greece’s Golden Dawn, Hungary’s Jobbik, and France’s National Front.
Dugin’s ideas are given added reach by a group called the Eurasia Youth Union, headquartered in Moscow, which broadcasts news and analysis via a website in Russian, English, Romanian, Serbian, and Ukrainian. The EYU has also supplied manpower for the separatist movement in Ukraine, its members fighting there under the banners of various Russophile armed groups. …
While claiming to be suspicious of the liberalizing effects of modern communication technology, Dugin utilizes it adroitly for his own objectives. Numerous websites that can be traced to him and his allies constantly cross-reference each other (for example, 4pt.su, which is devoted to the Fourth Political Theory, and Evrazia.org, which hosts Neo-Eurasianist content), creating a sort of feedback loop in cyberspace that rivals mainstream news and social networks and serves as an aggregator for political outcasts. Despite Dugin’s professed anti-racism, one of the consistent pathways to his area of the Internet is through American white supremacist media. He doesn’t denounce them because his tactics favor the empowerment of destabilizing agents everywhere, so long as their common enemy is the liberal order.
With its ad hoc, often anti-intellectual worldview, in which the manufactured fact is no less robust than the real one, the Internet is the perfect medium for Duginism. In particular, he has exploited the mechanism of instantaneous publishing on the Internet to retract or dissociate himself from controversial claims without harming their ability to propagate. In a notorious incident on his social network page, he posted the fabricated story of a Russian-speaking boy allegedly crucified in Ukraine by pro-Western militants and released a video in which he declared that the time had come to retaliate and “kill, kill, kill.” Flashing his academic credentials, he added soberly, “I say this to you as a professor.” …
Dugin’s ideology already resonates with both high intellectuals and the conspiratorial fringe. His ideas seem tailor-made to exploit continuing economic stagnation, distrust of EU bureaucracy, anxiety at the continuing influx of immigrants, and, crucially, the anxiety of those immigrants themselves, who fear the assault on their traditions that comes as a part of their resettlement in the West.
Dugin is also obviously intent on maximizing the potential of his ideology through various political, intellectual, and social media networks. He has met with members of the French military who are critical of President François Hollande, the US, and NATO, discussing topics as diverse as preparations for the French intervention in Mali, cyber warfare, terrorism, and friction between China and the US. He has called for even closer ties between Russia and Iran, already united in their subjection to US-led sanctions and their support for Syria. But his crowning achievement is to have become the spokesman for a systematic anti-liberalism that has allowed Vladimir Putin to advance not as an unprincipled tyrant but as the representative of an international philosophy whose writ stretches from the backwaters of Russia to the capitals of Europe.
The Israeli political scientist Vyacheslav Likhachov remarks that, “If one seriously takes the fact that such a person as Alexander Dugin is the ideologist of the imperial dash for the West, then one can establish that Russia is not going to stop as far as the Atlantic Ocean.”
That is, I suspect, correct.
For all the EU’s follies — the pious and intellectually empty multiculturalism; the weak bromides about tolerance; the dishonesty about the impossibility of reconciling national sovereignty with ever-greater economic intergration — the EU is not a malign force; it’s just dopey in a well-intentioned way. Europe’s elites ascribe to earnest, liberal, democratic values; they can be blind to the obvious, but the world they have created is no totalitarian hellhole. Their ideology may lead to malign consequences, if they cannot perceive the threat they’re under from far more vigorous and malign forces — be they Islamism or Duginsism — and it may do so quickly, given that the US has retreated into its Sick Man of the Planet phase.
The Kremlin has long been building bridges with so-called far right parties across Europe. Ukip’s candidates, including Nigel Farage, are the toast of Moscow with their regular appearances on Russia Today; Farage pitches up there almost monthly. Like other parties courted by Moscow, Farage publicly defends Putin’s Ukraine stance.
In Hungary the fascist Jobbik party, bedecked in Nazi uniforms, spouting anti-Semitic rhetoric and babbling about their hatred of the government’s “Euro-Atlantic connections,” is now the nation’s third-most powerful party. It’s widely held that Jobbik’s campaign was financed in Rubles. Jobbik’s leader, Gabor Vona, hailed as “exemplary” the referendum in Crimea, and wants Hungary to leave the EU and join the Eurasian union instead. Bulgaria’s far right Ataka party is firmly in Moscow’s pocket, as documents revealed on Wikileaks made clear.
But it’s not just an Eastern European problem.
The leader of Greece’s Golden Dawn party, Nikos Michaloliakos, has always been open about his links to Russia, and reportedly received a letter of support from Dugin. According to his party’s website, Michaloliakos “has spoken out clearly in favor of an alliance and cooperation with Russia, and away from the ‘naval forces’ of the ‘Atlantic.’”
In France, Marine Le Pen has publicly stated her vision of a Europe of independent nation states controlled by a tripartite axis between Paris and Berlin and Moscow. She was invited in 2013 to Moscow by State Duma leader and Putin friend Sergei Naryshkin, where she met with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. Her party recognised the results of the Crimea referendum and stated in an interview with Voice of Russia radio that, “historically, Crimea is part of Mother Russia.” Le Pen’s party is to receive a €40m loan from a bank with links to the Kremlin to cover part of the FN’s campaigning expenses ahead of the national elections in 2017.
Putin’s strategy makes perfect sense: It’s one thing just to grab Ukraine, but when it comes to the rest of Europe, he can just sit patiently on the sidelines and watch as the far right dismantles the EU for him. And with the financial crisis — and now the immigration crisis — it seems that this is his moment. Perhaps, against all odds, he’ll be able to pull it off.
I hope not.Published in Foreign Policy, General
This sounds like Wittfogel’s “Oriental Despotism” flipped around to take the point of view of Eurasian strongmen.
Yikes! Ironically (for a movement that opposes maritime empires), the sea itself has ancient associations with chaos…. Although I’d describe Biblical sea imagery more fully as chaos tamed by logos.
Interesting. The problem with more and more history being available is that those who wish to dominate will study the history, analyzing what worked and what went wrong. Those who just wish to be left alone tend not to be as interested in history and how to take over a population and bend it to their wills. It leaves the latter unprepared to recognize the former and act early when the problem is small.
I hadn’t heard of Dugin. Thanks very much for the heads up.
So they have Duginism and we have Facebook. Facebook is spreading faster. A billion people log on Facebook every day, and it’s not to discuss Dugin.
Claire, I am still digesting this. This is the first I’ve heard of Dugin.
I consider myself fairly well read but I feel kind of blindsided by this.
This post is an example of why Ricochet is indispensable.
Far-reaching Russian propaganda is nothing new. Vladimir Bukovsky’s 1982 Commentary article, The Peace Movement and the Soviet Union (behind the paywall) details the efforts then Soviet Russia made to ensure that France fell to the USSR’s then ally, Germany; efforts which included encouraging pacifism and defeatism in civilians and military alike. The USSR continued to promote “peace” through Western disarmament and pacifism throughout the Cold War. Those who saw the political upheavals of the late 1960s saw Soviet efforts falling on fertile soil.
Today, in addition to propaganda, Putin is contributing to the EU’s problems by fanning the immigration crisis by his actions in Syria and using his control over much of Europe’s energy supplies; this also fits the schema Claire is outlining.
But the 1930s USSR, while it did seek a secular eschaton and world domination, wasn’t a death cult. Worse, Duginism isn’t the only apocalyptic death cult involved: On the Sunni side, ISIS and on the Shia, Iran.
This is worthy of consideration. But it is patched together with so many linkages, assumptions, correlations, and presumptions.
Say a state uses propaganda and chaos to separate sovereignty from European authority, then what? Will the EU fall? Will nations split apart? Will more independence movements emerge? The trends are already emerging and Dugin is not a major factor in any of them. Europeans have long shown sympathy for a resistance to government and the effects of competition. Their governments have indulged this by largely doling out social programs to buy them off. Now these governments are running out of options. Sovereignty is shaking. Dugin did not create this – western liberal institutions did.
Dugin may be there to rationalize why Russia and China (Eurasia) need to bring global institutions down, but the origins of Dugin-esque thinking emanate from the resentment China and Russia have felt for years toward being subservient to western, and in particular American, created Post-WW II institutions and protocols. They see an existential threat to their regimes posed by these these western liberal institutions – especially control over the disemination of information on the internet.
Russia and China hold much power to influence and rewrite certain aspects of western liberal order. But as they expand beyond their territory, they will engender resentment too. Resentment is not one sided.
American leadership faltered in Iraq by invading and then not persisting. Like the period after Vietnam, American and western ideals will be seriously questioned and challenged. This process might take a decade or more. Recall the Mayaguez, Khmer Rouge slaughter, Helsinki Accord recognizing Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, Iranian Revolution and Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. These events occured in a world emboldened by our military defeat, retrenchment, economic paralysis and national disgrace over Nixon. We lost our standing then, and we lost it again in 2003, won it back by 2008 and gave it up over the past 6 years. But also never forget, after Vietnam and the Nixon debacle the Soviets also tripped up, the Chinese were forced to opened up and the Iranians screwed up.
So, steady. Steady. Think. Navigate.
Add Obama’s fecklessness to that list (and a U.S. media obsessed with election politics), and the odds of Putin patiently sitting on any sidelines over the next 14 months seem exceedingly low. This is not to minimize the kind of long term threat you’re discussing here, but I’m expecting to see bad actors everywhere seizing every possible opening to alter the status quo going into next inauguration day. On the other side of the globe, we’ve got China rattling swords and laying down maritime markers at a feverish pace….
I fear it’s going to be a long, ugly, year.
Jonah Goldberg has spoken of the usefulness of origin stories, that is, accounts how certain things emerged (e.g., fascism, progressivism, etc.) I previously wasn’t sufficiently appreciative of origin stories as history but I realized Jonah had a point; now I notice if new information contains an aspect of an origin story.
Claire, your post was not only about an origin story (i.e. about Dugin’s origin and why he should concern me) but Googling phrases in the NR story about Dugin led me to stumble on to other origin stories that were unknown to me, such as the Thule Society. (I had read that a number of Nazi leaders were pagans but I had no idea they were also pagan mystics who were Thule Society alumni.)
Ricochet improves my understanding 12 different ways.
So now we’ve got mystic, nihilistic Satanists to worry about. Great – like we didn’t have enough on our plate already.
I’m beginning to miss the Bolsheviks. To paraphrase Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski: say what you want about the tenets of godless Communism, Dude – at least it was an ethos.
With the beginning of Hitler’s rise about three generations ago, Germany set off on the road to partially depopulating Europe and murdering the educated men and women in the countries populated by those it deemed subhuman.
Here are some numbers, and a thought provoking summary:
and the summary. Footnotes for the above table are at the link
Very, very interesting.
The technical term is “mashugganah”. I think he classifies as a modern Rasputin.
I doubt that Putin takes him too seriously. However, he will use him as an excuse whenever he needs one.
It may be trite, but it is true that “What’s Old is New Again.”
Dugin sounds like a modern Rasputin; a charlatan dealing in mystic hokum, who has nonetheless acquired a dangerous amount of political influence.
The association between Russia and Western “fascist” politics smells of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
Pretty disturbing stuff. At the heart of its appeal (IMO) is the relentless assault of liberalism (progressive-ism) on any and all traditional values. Even 15 years ago it was considered radical to redefine marriage or gender to the extent that is happening all over the western world. Anyone (myself included) who thinks that this cultural, “creative destruction” of all that came before is a grave threat, could latch onto any wacky ideology that opposes it.
Russia puts out anti-American propaganda.
Muslims put out anti-American propaganda.
China puts out anti-American propaganda.
Europe still seems pretty anti-American unless they need money or protection.
But on the other hand…
Obama puts out anti-American propaganda.
Wait…that’s the same hand, isn’t it?
Is anyone out there pro-American?
Yes, the Americans. We haven’t heard much from them for a while. Maybe they’ll make some waves in 2016.
True, as Claire points out the crash in the birthrate in Western Europe has not yet collapsed its social safety nets, though that sort of catastrophe tends to approach in an exponential curve mirroring the crash in the fertility rates – slope pretty flat until it isn’t.
In Western Europe, the EU’s vision hasn’t led to enough optimism for people to want to produce children in large enough numbers to keep the population stable, let alone support the rapidly aging, and retiring, population. (Patton’s famous adage about men/soldiers who won’t fight comes to mind, but with the modern decoupling of sex and reproduction, it should probably be updated.)
Merkel has given up and decided to import a breeding population sooner rather than later. To the extent that Claire’s “ravening hordes” threaten Western liberal societies, it is a threat inflicted by the EU’s and its predecessors’ policies, which Merkel is still carrying out. Is it a viable compromise to have to take three times as many “refugees” as your small town has citizens instead of five times as first ordered?
Duginism is just the latest of the odious ideologies Putin has embraced, but then Putin has long shown that he will provide the events to justify his actions if necessary.
Putin’s vision has modestly reversed Russia’s demographic death spiral. Whether that’s enough to sustain the population is yet to be seen. Duginism? Russian population collapse? is there a third way?
It’s not just Putin pushing the invasion of Europe. Erdogan is sending migrants as a weapon, too.
It gives a whole new meaning to the nationalist poem Erdogan famously quoted:
Though why Turkish “nationalism” should require pushing the invasion of Europe….
“This is because Atlanticism, by prioritizing individual liberties above all else, dissolves social bonds and obligations and devalues cultural legacy, thus destroying the very fabric that allows traditional societies to exist.”
Even a blind, demented chipmunk can find an acorn now and then. From Mark Steyn:
~Uwe Brandl, the President of the Bavarian Association of Municipalities:
So from 5.8 million out of a population of 81 million, Muslims will now number 20 million out of a population of some 95 million.
Germans have a fertility rate of 1.3 children per couple. European Muslims are estimated to have approximately 3.5…
The 80 million Germans will have 52 million children and 34 million grandchildren. The 20 million Muslims will have 35 million children and 61 million grandchildren. So in two generations there will be twice as many Muslims as Germans. And that’s without a single new immigrant after December 2016.
You’d be wrong about that.
To be less glib: You probably use your Facebook page like most people do — you only make “friends” with like-minded people. My Facebook page is populated with lunatics. I accept “friend” requests from anyone who asks, and the majority are in Eurasia. I use Facebook to keep an eye on trends and currents in lunatic thought, basically. (I didn’t develop this strategy consciously, but it devolved from living in Turkey for a long time and figuring there was no point trusting Facebook’s privacy settings, so I might as well just treat it as an entirely public forum; after a while I began to find it useful to see what people with whom I’d never really be “friends” were posting.)
Russian propaganda — much of it Dugin-themed — is all over Facebook, and most distressing to me, it’s also widely-spread among Americans: see the “Veterans Today” example above; in fact, I found that example on my Facebook feed. Israelis share a lot of it, too. It’s usually shared with total credulity; I’ve often seen Russian propaganda (from RT, usually) on the front page of Drudge. In the first Cold War, Russian propaganda focused on the American left; now it seems to me more focused on the American right. Like all good propaganda in the Internet age, it mixes elements of truth with outright falsehood, understands the legitimate concerns of the target audience well, speaks the target audience’s language fluently, and is slick, well-produced, and made for sharing. RT at least is easy to identify, because they say, “We’re Russian.” But for every site that identifies itself as Russian propaganda, I assume there are a hundred that don’t, and for every site that’s funded be Russia, I’m sure there are a thousand that pick up the lies they peddle — gross or subtle — and regurgitate them unaided.
Free societies are vulnerable to this; and ours is especially vulnerable right now, because we’re not especially confident. The stuff doesn’t work if everyone’s pretty sure their country’s on the right path, but when 73 percent think the country’s heading in the wrong direction, it’s easy to exploit that.
Sure, as any effort to predict the future will be.
Possibly. I can’t offer a more precise answer than that and would be wary of anyone who claims to have one.
Some could, and some are obviously vulnerable to it: Albania, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina; there are separatist movements in France; obviously there are in the UK (Scotland); Spain (Catalan), etc. The Balkans are another obvious flashpoint.
About that, I’d strongly disagree. Russia is nurturing and funding many of these groups. This isn’t to say they’d have no independent existence or raison d’être without them, but they’re being very skilfully exploited to a sinister aim — the immediate aim being to use these divisions to roll back sanctions on Russia. It’s pretty obvious both that Russia backs Le Pen in France, and clear what they want from it, too.
No disagreement at all — Western liberal institutions have real points of weakness that are easy to exploit. This was also true in the first Cold War — remember how they did it then? Segregation was both a real problem that we created and an easily-exploited weakness for Russian propagandists.
Sure, not mutually exclusive.
They’re correct to see that threat. I see both regimes as a threat to us, as well. I’m heartened by the thought that we won the first Cold War, but don’t see it as a reason to think we’ll necessarily do it twice, or find it grounds for thinking there’s nothing to worry about.
This weak shallow argument can only propagate in a vacuum. That is the greatest hidden danger of the Obama administration’s mentality-policies. Their complete refusal to backup basic Western Values plus their total withdrawal from the use of force, no matter how justified, has left a huge moral-political vacuum.
This kind of garbage fills that vacuum. Thirty or forty years ago, even twenty, this bilge would have been laughed off the international stage. Now we have major players investing in it and propagating it across the internet.
Glenn Beck did a series on the rise of these obscure characters earlier this year with his The Root series –
There are 3 parts….
Claire – you’ve been away from Americana for some time……sometimes when there are no words….(this has nothing to do with this post except)…we were watching the local public station while eating dinner and came across Dylan “Ragpicker” Allen……armed with a homemade guitar that he made from his grandmother’s hardwood floor – one foot on the kick drum, the other on the high hat – he wailed the blues like an old pro – I guess he’s on Facebook – sometimes when there are no words, no answers, and you need relief from the insanity, ….there’s always the Blues….
PS I am just now reading this story – so I am not negating the seriousness by posting the above – just giving you a little breather…
cont. from #25
Let us be rid of the Obamite amoral menace as soon as possible, please Gd. If you listen to Putin closely, he doesn’t really sound all that tough (only in comparison the genderless Obamites). He still can’t believe that we aren’t doing a better job than this absurd Obama surrender chorus. He expects us to push back and fill the voids. Otherwise, and he is right about this, there will be disaster for all.
Well, we’ll see soon enough what they’re both made of, I guess. I’m assuming those 50 special forces in Syria were sent to be a tripwire, given that I can’t conceive of any other purpose they could possibly serve. (I have no idea who this guy is or why he’s writing for RUDAW, of all places, but I suspect his analysis is right.) So we’ll soon enough see whether Putin’s afraid to kill them — which would be a reassuring sign of sanity — and if not, whether we’re too afraid to do anything about it, in which case, all hell breaks loose.
“a weak shallow argument”? ….Remember, the Arab Spring (which turned into a forest fire) started through social media…this Dugan is “the” next dragon…..and oddly, the world conditions are giving fuel to his warped vision – even more disturbing, he seems to take a piece of every past evil regime and rolls together into something more heinous than this world can ever imagine or has ever experienced – to not take this seriously, like ISIS was not a JV team…cannot be understated. The 1930’s and 40’s times 1000! There are many ways to counteract evil – ignorance isn’t one. To wait for another election and hope for a strong leader? There’s no time – our adversaries know their window is short – I do take comfort as a Christian, knowing the final chapter is victory, but I won’t lay down and cover my eyes and ears either.