Monday, August 28, 2017

Dugin the puppet-master?

Sometimes it seems that the Western media really loves Alexander Dugin. First we had Dugin as "Putin's brain" (as if Putin didn't have a brain!) and now we have Putin as Dugin's puppet--honestly, and in the Huffington Post, too!
“Okay, so a weird mystical guru is using Vladimir Putin as a puppet to implement his spiritual goal to destroy the West and end the world, in order to bring about the spiritual transformation of society. What can I do about it?”
asks James Carli in "Aleksandr Dugin: The Russian Mystic Behind America’s Weird Far-Right," before suggesting organising against the Right and re-reading Rousseau.

Carli recognises elsewhere in the article that "experts are divided about the extent of Dugin’s influence," but even so he goes on to suggest that Dugin is manipulating Putin. Why is it, one has to ask, that there is this desire to explain the whole of Russian foreign policy in terms of the ideas of one thinker? Is it perhaps to avoid more difficult discussions?


N. Wahid Azal said...

The article exaggerates. However, there is also a grain of truth to what it is saying. Dugin's Foundations of Geopolitics (i.e. his veritable Mein Kampf) -- which I am sure you have not read, Mark Sedgwick, because there are only unauthorized translations of it floating around -- has indeed become Putin's playbook on the global scene, and many of us believe that it is being implemented by Putin in almost everything Russia is doing these days.

Neo-JacobitefromNY said...

Foundations of Geopolitics is very dated snapshot of Dugin's Eurasianism. Very anti-Chinese where Putin's foreign policy from 2000 has a cornerstone of China-Russia Alliance and Eurasianists are huge promoters of this policy. FoG is a 1990's work, pre-Putin have to look at newer works to understand Duginist playbook.

refractario said...

Clearly Putin is not the puppet of Dugin. However, the opposite is true: Dugin is the puppet of Putin. In particular, Dugin is the person in charge of recruiting the extreme right for Russia's imperialist project.

Malić said...

To the contrary, one could argue that Dugin simply remains true to his principle of not being principled. The main ideas from Hyperborean revelation, Konspirologija and Foundations are still there, both in his newer musing and freshly republished in the form of translations of his older articles. No wonder, bearing in mind that prophet of the Endkampf retains absolute right to adjust to such ephemeral things like course and facts of history, as well as transform his old political ideas into their opposite if need be. But dream of Great War and palingenesis remains the same. Also, his idea of the role of geopolitics as all explanatory model for the mass media is a mainstay of English language Russian media and good deal of so called alt media is heavily influenced by them. This is enormous, low cost accomplishment in political subversion. Although, mr. Sedgwick is quite right. Reductio ad Dugin is an exercise in idiocy. However, he is a representative of far wider circles and is a public face of a certain radical policy that is gaining followers in the West.

Malić said...

If anyone is interested in the more elaborate version of this opinion:

Unknown said...

Given the overall mocking and anti-Russian tone of the article, which is typical of all mainstream media coverage involving Dugin, it's no mystery why they try to make it sound as if he is Putin's Rasputin: it makes it easier to try to depict Putin as some sort of sinister madman. Which is exactly the same reason why the media labored so hard to link Evola to Bannon, and then in turn Bannon to Trump. But then this is exactly the sort of coverage that is typical of anything associated with the True Right, and why I don't trust journalists. Academics, if they're doing their job well, pursue the truth. Journalists just try to pass off their own narratives as truth and try to score readers while doing it.