March 11, 2015 by AK
I have always thought of Dugin as a buffoon and charlatan not worth discussing or debating – with the exception of a brief period when I suspected his verbal rave-fests might be a minor art form of their own. I cannot believe that he managed to produce a competent study of any subject, much less an esoteric one like Heidegger’s thought, at least without major help from a trained philosopher.
For the record, I lived in Moscow for most of the 1990s and the 2000s. On Russian discussion boards of the 1990s, Dugin was often quoted by educated young men and women who seemed to hold extremely illiberal views pour épater la bourgeoisie, that is to spite their liberal-minded, dissident-ish, anti-Soviet parents. Most of those quotes sounded like a hodgepodge of nonsense, “Arctogaia blah blah blah… René Guénon blah blah blah… Atlantis (or was it the Atlantic Ocean?) against the primordial Continent blah blah blah…” At best, a jabbering anti-Fukuyama on acid and steroids.
Some time around 2000, I heard Dugin on Ekho Moskvy, the respectable independent radio station, babbling through an all-night talk show. At times he sounded like an eccentric postmodern player: performance art was big with hip Russian intellectuals in the 1990s, names like Kulik, Osmolovsky and Brenner dropped as shibboleths in polite conversation. Dugin reminded me of Sergei Kuryokhin, the uncannily gifted avant-garde musician prone to outlandishness towards the end of his brief life in 1996, and a co-author of the “Lenin was a mushroom” meme – but Dugin had none of Kuryokhin’s artistic talent or achievement to his credit.
Fast forward to May 2014. Dugin is a professor at the Moscow University, department of sociology. A video of his interview appears with Dugin saying of Ukrainians, “Kill them, kill and kill! I’m telling you this as a professor.” Later on, the professor claims he meant “fascists” but it’s too late. The triple “kill” is indelible.
Update 1. The US has just added Dugin and his Eurasian Youth Union to the sanctioned entities list. On the one hand, it means he’s taken quite seriously; on the other, that’s exactly what he wants: look, I’m so important, I’m on the sanctions list!
I find many of the comments on this thread to be utterly remarkable. I can see Dugin’s hoped-for coalition of fascists and socialists and other illiberal elements forming before my eyes. The level of disgust of many on the left with the U.S. dominated capitalist world order has rendered them unable to read a simple denunciation of a dangerous fascist ideologue without immediately reacting that he must be 100x better than our evil capitalist overlords. The logical (and short) next step is to make common cause with Dugin and his ilk in our struggle against the liberal order.