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Monday, April 09, 2007

"Minor Rally In Central Moscow"

Alexander Dugin's first major "anti-Orange" action was something of a disappointment--for Dugin, at least.

"Nationalists Stage Minor Rally In Central Moscow," was the RadioFreeEurope headline. When announcing the rally in mid-March, Dugin spoke of 1,500 marchers (as against the 5,000 anti-Putin marchers who turned out in St Petersburg at the start of March). In the event he gathered only 600-700 (Moscow Times/Kommersant) or 400 (Associated Press, printed in The Herald Tribune), and they were not even allowed to march. Worse still, according to the Moscow Times, "Several participants . . . said they . . . had come to Moscow because they had been offered a free bus ride."

This disappointment is not surprising. As I wrote in the second edition of Against the Modern World (so far published only in Serbian):
Another reason for predicting little final significance for the Anti-Orange Youth Front is that Dugin’s other ventures into practical politics (the early NBP and the Eurasia Party) were never of much significance, and were certainly far less significant than his intellectual interventions (the ideological cement for the Red-to-Brown alliance, and then the Eurasia Movement itself). Dugin himself seems to accept this. When asked why, in that case, he persisted in such ventures, he responded that he had "never abdicated from concrete politics" and that it was necessary to "try to put into practice things that are impossible to put into practice" as a demonstration of faith, since intellectual activity is related to being.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it a coincidence that in today's BBC Hard Talk, Stephen Sackur asked Russian world chess champion turned political activist Garry Kasparov a similar question?

The number of people in demonstrations that you initiated was only in hundreds. Why do you give up chess for politics? and do you wish to go back?

Despite the fact that Dugin and Kasparov's political activisim are against complete opposite targets, they share one thing in common--fearlessly plunging into their unfamiliar territory which they know is full of landmines.

Kasparov's answer to Sackur was "I did it for my country and I only look forward."

Both Dugin and Kasparov claim to be patriotic. East or West, which path to take to save Russia?

Mark Sedgwick said...

[Gary Kasparov was one of the more prominent speakers at the St Petersburg opposition rally to which Dugin's rally was a response. He was interviewed by the BBC while in London to promote his book How Life Imitates Chess]

Anonymous said...

So, are you implying that Kasparov is more hypocritical whereas Dugin is more of a true patriot? In this case, I think I should read more about Dugin. Any recommended readings?

Mark Sedgwick said...

are you implying that Kasparov is more hypocritical whereas Dugin is more of a true patriot?

No! I don't think there's anything hypocritical about promoting one's books!

Any recommended readings?

There's an excellent paper by Marlene Laruelle, available online.

And since there's nothing hypocritical about promoting one's books, there's also a book of mine, available from the www.traditionalists.org bookstore. This has one chapter on Dugin, and puts him in one of his wider contexts.

Anonymous said...

What I meant was: are you implying, at least alluding, Kasparov is more hypocritically patriotic? Of course there's nothing hypocritical about promoting one's books! and I'm sure your own book is great!

I will read the paper later and get back to you soon. Thanks for the response, very interesting!

Mark Sedgwick said...

No allusions or implications intended. I was just noting why Kasparov was relevant to the discussion, for the benefit of others who read these comments. My job is to observe and record, not to judge anyone's patriotism.

Mark Sedgwick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Understood. I did not notice the [] you used on your comment and certainly was not aware of the importance of it in carrying out meticulously neutral academic discussion. Sorry for my shallowness. Beginners/layman always ask blunt questions without knowing the rules of academia. Thanks again for your patient responses.

Also, a thought just came to my mind. Have you ever researched on Traditionalism in Israel? I don't know if Guenonian Traditionalism has any followers there, but my hunch is that since there are so many immigrants from Russia and all over Europe, there might be a chance. And if indeed it has, it will be another interesting example of Traditionalism in the Middle East.

Mark Sedgwick said...

Beginners/layman always ask blunt questions without knowing the rules of academia.

That's what can keep academics in touch ith reality!

Also, a thought just came to my mind. Have you ever researched on Traditionalism in Israel?

That requires a post in itself.

Bob said...

I'm curious if there are concrete plans for an english version of the second edition of your book. I've been meaning to read it ever since it came out, but if there is supplimentary material in the new version and if it will be available in english before too long, I shall wait.

Thanks.

Mark Sedgwick said...

Bob--Sorry, not coming out in English for now. See full answer here. Why not visit the traditionalists.org bookstore?!