Russia should expand into Europe to safeguard the continent’s interests against the US, our enemy. Propagating views like this makes Aleksandr Dugin a Flop European.
He would like Russia to be the most powerful state in the world and it should, at best, expand to what he calls the ‘Eurasia’ continent. The world according to Aleksandr Dugin can only be inhabited by two powers which fight each other. Successfully promoting such ideas makes the Russian politologist a Flop European.
Since 2008 Alexandr Dugin has mainly worked as a lecturer in the State University of Moscow and as a publicist in magazines, books and textbooks.
Alexandr Dugin comes from Moscow and was born in 1962 to an Army General father. Young Alexandr was more interested in social studies and dissident activities than technical sciences. After being excluded from the Aviation Institute of Moscow, he joined the Yuzhinskii circle. Views differ about what this group is. It is said to be a secretive group of esoteric intellectuals, interested in European and Oriental mysticism, black magic, occultism, and alchemy. However, Dugin himself describes it simply as group of traditionalist intellectuals. It is in Yuzhinskii circle that he probably aquired his later conviction about the importance of traditionalism in Russia foreign affairs strategy, which he introduced later in his ideology, “neo-eurasianism.”
Neo-eurasianism is a movement which began in 1920s and was reintroduced by Dugin when he published the textbook “The Basics of Geopolitics” (Osnovi geopolitiki). While the idea of “the preservation and development of organic national, ethnical and religious cultural traditions” might still seem reasonable, he also argues that “sooner or later, through great accomplishments and at the cost of dramatic fights, the hour of Eurasia shall come.” Russia will be the centre of Eurasia to protect the continent’s security, power, and sovereignty. Hence, all states in Eurasia should have the same interests, which should converge with Russian ones.
According to Dugin’s neo-eurasianism, there should always be a defined enemy in order to create a good geopolitical strategy. An enemy provides policy with a clear vision and direction. For Dugin, the USA is Russia’s main enemy.
The saddest part of all this story is that Dugin’s ideas are now spread widely in the Russian press, radio and TV.
However, on other occasions Dugin proposes a ‘European model’ suggesting that Russia and USA could even be strategic partners and collaborate in weapons productions, so long as the USA doesn’t seek to gain worldwide control.
Impact on Russia
The saddest part of all this story is that Dugin’s ideas are now spread widely in the Russian press, radio and TV. His statements are sensationalist and loud, for example, describing the events in Georgia as ‘genocide’. Some analysts rush to claim his link to Russia’s elite, because his phrases have been used by Putin and Medvedev as well, but this more likely to be a conspiracy theory. But nevertheless he could be useful for the Kremlin, as someone who can propagate ideas with which the Kremlin does not want to be directly associated.
As long as Russia’s foreign policy is not influenced by Eurasianism, there are few reasons to worry. Yet his ideas are bad for Europe because Dugin seeks to influence Russian public opinion, which pushes Russians back from Europe and prevents them from understanding its values.
Cover illustration: Laura Hempel