THE FOURTH ESTATE: THE HISTORY AND MEANING OF THE MIDDLE CLASS
RADIX JOURNAL | June 9, 2014
SCIENCE AND IDEOLOGY: A PROBLEM OF METHOD
None of the words we use in the course of social and political discussions and analyses is ideologically neutral. Outside of ideology entirely, such words lose their meaning. And it is not possible to determine one’s attitude toward them unambiguously, since the content of any expression is shaped by context and semantic structures, a kind of operational system. When we live in a society with an obvious ideology, openly maintained as the dominant one, things are clear enough.
The significance of words flows directly from the ideological matrix, which is instilled through upbringing, education, and instruction and is supported by the active ideological apparatus of the state. The state forms a language, defines the meaning of discourse, and sets—most often through repressive measures, broadly understood—the limits and moral tint of the basic collection of political and sociological concepts and terms.
If we lived in a society in which communist ideology dominates, concepts such as “bourgeoisie,” “fascism,” “capitalism,” “speculation,” etc. acquire not only strictly negative connotations but specific meanings, with which capitalists, fascists, and speculators would categorically disagree. The disagreement concerns not only signs, but the very significance of words. The way a communist sees a fascist, or a capitalist seems to the fascist, might seem to a different party to be little more than a caricature or a distortion. And this, of course, works the other way around: fascism seems natural to the fascist, and communism, utterly evil.
For a capitalist, communism and fascism are equally evil. The capitalist most often does not think of himself as bourgeois. Speculation is for him a form of the realization of natural economic rights, and the system he defends he usually regards as a “free” society, an “open” society. Neither the Marxist analysis of the appropriation of surplus value, nor the fascist critique of the web of interest obligations and payments, and the international financial oligarchy, which usurps power over peoples and nations, ever convince him of anything.
Ideologies are similar to religions; hence Carl Schmitt speaks of “political theology.” Each believes sacredly in his own values and ideals, and criticism of or apology for alternative values most often has no effect (except for a few cases of confessional change, which occurs in the history of religion and in the history of political teachings).
Consequently, before speaking seriously about one or another term, it is necessary to determine in which ideological context we will be considering it. Someone will surely object: science must take a neutral position. That is impossible. In this case, science would pretend to the status of a meta-ideology, i.e. a kind of “true ideology,” of which all other ideologies are relative forms. But nobody will agree with this, even it should come into someone’s head to flaunt such ambitions.
In the religious sphere, syncretic teachings periodically arise, claiming that they are the expression of “absolute truth” and that all other historical religions are its relative manifestations. But as a rule, such tendencies do not enjoy great popularity, remaining the property of rather small circles and denied by major confessions as “heresies.” Science, likewise, cannot claim the status of a meta-ideology and remain relevant. But it differs from ordinary ideology by three features:
- It reflects distinctly upon the structures of the ideological paradigm it considers. (Ordinary people do not even suspect that what seems to them their “personal opinion” is a secondary or even tertiary product of ideological processing, the mechanisms of which are entirely hidden from them.)
- In the course of analysis of ideological discourse, it uses the techniques of classical logic (Aristotle’s laws and Leibniz’s principle of sufficient reason).
- It is able to build a comparative matrix of the correspondences between diverse ideologies, juxtaposing structures in their foundations and establishing symmetries and oppositions between separate discourses and their elements.
Thus, in considering any concept or term, it is possible to proceed in two ways: either to interpret it from the position of one or another ideology, not digging into its foundations and not comparing it with other interpretations (this is the level of propaganda and low-quality applied analysis/journalism), or to attend to the scientific method, which does not free us from adherence to an ideology, but forces us to reason, observing the three above-mentioned rules of the scientific approach (paradigm, logic, comparison).
We propose to consider the concept of the “middle class” in precisely this scientific spirit.
FROM CASTE TO CLASS
The concept of the “middle class” is crucial for the liberal-capitalist ideology. Although it appeared later than the Marxist theory of class struggle and the famous communist doctrine of the two antagonistic classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, the very meaning of the term “middle class” has a much longer history and has its roots in the period of bourgeois revolutions and the rise of the Third Estate, which claimed henceforth a monopoly in political and economic spheres.
Before considering the “middle class,” let’s turn to the concept of “class” as such. Class is a concept of the social organization of modernity. Ancient orders and social-political systems were built on the caste principle. “Caste” should be understood as the doctrine that the inner nature of different people differs qualitatively: there are divine souls and earthly (feral, demonic) souls. The caste reflects precisely this nature of the soul, which man is not able to change during his life. The caste is fatal. The normal society, according to this conception, must be built so that those of a divine nature (the elite) are above, and those of an earthly (feral, demonic) nature remain below (the masses). That is how the Indian Varna system is arranged, as were ancient Jewish, Babylonian, Egyptian, and other societies.
This caste theory was replaced by a more flexible estate theory. The estate also proposes a difference in people’s natures (the existence of higher and lower), but here the fact of birth in one or another estate is not considered a final and natural factor in the determination of belonging to a certain social status. Estate can be changed if the representative of a lower estate accomplishes a great feat, demonstrates unique spiritual qualities, becomes a member of the priesthood, etc.
Here, alongside the caste principle, is the principle of meritocracy, that is, rewards for services. The meritocratic principle extends also to the descendants of the one who accomplished the feat (ennobling). Estate society was predominant in Christian civilization right to the end of the Middle Ages. In estate society, the highest estates are the priesthood (clergy) and the military (aristocracy), and the lowest is the Third Estate of peasants and craftsmen. Precisely the same way, in a caste society, priests and warriors (Brahma and Kshatriya) were highest, and lowest were peasants, artisans, and traders (Vaishya).
Modernity became the era of the overthrow of estate society. Europe’s bourgeois revolutions demanded a replacement of the estate privileges of the higher estates (the clergy and the military aristocracy, the nobility) in favor of the Third Estate. But the bearers of this ideology were not the peasants, who were connected with traditional society by the specific character of seasonal labour, religious identity, etc., but the more mobile townspeople and burghers. “Bourgeois” is itself formed from the German word “Burg” meaning “town.” Hence, modernity gave first priority to precisely the townsfolk-citizen-bourgeois as a normative unit.
The bourgeois revolutions abolished the power of the Church (clergy) and aristocracy (nobility, dynasties) and advanced the model of building society on the basis of the domination of the Third Estate, represented by the townsfolk-citizen-bourgeois. This is, essentially, capitalism. Capitalism, in its victory, replaces estate distinctions, but preservesmaterial ones. Thus, the notion of class arises: class signifies an indicator of the measure of inequality. The bourgeoisie abolish estate inequality, but preserve material inequality. Consequently, precisely modernity’s bourgeois capitalistic society is a class society in the full sense of the word. Previously, in the Middle Ages, belonging to an estate was one’s primary social attribute. In modernity, the entire social stratification was reduced to the attribute of material riches. Class is thus a phenomenon of modernity.
The class character of bourgeois society, however, was perceived most distinctly not by the ideology of the bourgeoisie, but by Marx. He elaborated his revolutionary teaching on the basis of the concept of class. At its foundation was the idea that class society and the material inequality characteristic of it, elevated to the highest criterion, exposes the essence of the nature of society, man, and history. In Marx’s class picture, there are always rich and poor, and the rich always get richer, and the poor, poorer. Consequently, there are two classes, the bourgeoisie and proletariat, and their struggle is the motor and meaning of history.
All of Marxism is built on this idea: when we speak of classes, we speak of two antagonistic classes, the difference between which is not relative but absolute, since each embodies in itself two irreconcilable worlds: the world of Exploitation and the world of (honest) Labor. There are two classes: the class of Labor (the proletariat) and the class of Exploitation (the bourgeoisie). In the capitalist system, the class of Exploitation dominates. The class of Labor must become conscious of itself, arise, and overthrow the class of Exploiters. They must create, at first, the Government of Labor—socialism. Then, after the last remnants of bourgeois society have been destroyed, communist society will appear, now fully classless. According to Marx, a classlessness is possible only after the victory of the proletariat and the radical destruction of the bourgeoisie.
For Marx, a “middle class” simply cannot exist. This concept has no independent semantics in Marxist ideology, since everything that is between the bourgeoisie and proletariat (for instance, the petty bourgeoisie or prosperous peasantry) relates essentially either to the bourgeoisie or the proletariat. For Marxists, the “middle class” is a fiction. It doesn’t exist, and the concept itself is nothing but an instrument of the ideological propaganda of capitalists, trying to fool the proletariat, promising a future integration into the class of the bourgeoisie (which, according to Marx, cannot happen, since the appropriation of surplus value prevents the proletariat’s enrichment).
We can draw the following conclusion: the term “middle class” is a fiction for Marxists, an artificial figure of bourgeois ideology, called upon to conceal the real picture of society and the processes occurring in it. At the same time, Marxists admit the fact of a transition from estate society to class society and, consequently, agree with the bourgeoisie that a society of material inequalities (class society) is “more progressive” than a society of estate inequality; they disagree with the bourgeoisie in that, for communists, this is not the “end of history,” but only the beginning of a full-fledged revolutionary struggle. Liberals, on the other hand, insist that material inequality is entirely moral and justified and maintain that the communists’ striving for material equality is, by contrast, amoral and pathological. For liberals, “the end of history” begins when everyone becomes “middle class.” For communists, it begins when the proletariat finally destroy the bourgeoisie and build a communist society of total equality.
The Middle Class within Liberalism
The concept of a middle class is implicitly present in liberal ideology from the very beginning. That said, it only receives full implementation in the course of the establishment of sociology, which endeavors to combine many avant-garde theses of Marxism (in particular, the centrality of the concept of class) and bourgeois conditions. Sociology is thus a hybrid form: ideologically, it is between communism and liberalism; methodologically, it emphasizes a scientific, analytic approach. We can distinguish two poles in sociology, the social (the school of Durkheim, the theories of Sorokin, etc.) and the liberal (Weber, the Chicago and “Austrian” Schools in the United States, etc.)
In any case, the specific character of the liberal understanding of class is the conviction that, in the standard bourgeois society, there is only one class, and all differences between the depths and the heights are relative and conditional. If, for Marx, there are always two classes, and they exist in implacable enmity, for liberals (Adam Smith, for instance) there is always ultimately one class—the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie nominally embraces the entire capitalist society. The poorest layers of this society are, as it were, incompletely bourgeois. The richest, on the other hand, area super-bourgeois. But the social nature of all people is qualitatively identical: all are given equal starting opportunities, setting out from which the bourgeois can either reach a certain level of success, or fail to reach it and tumble down into the incompletely bourgeois.
Hence, Adam Smith takes as a standard situation the following classical liberal narrative:
The baker hires a worker, who has recently come to the city for work. After working as an assistant to the owner, the hired worker learns to bake bread and observes the organization of processes of interaction with suppliers and customers. After some time, the hired worker borrows credit and opens a bakery. After first working independently, he eventually hires a helper, who has come to the city for work, and the cycle repeats itself.
In this model, we see the following. Not only is society thought of as middle class, but there exists the already-middle-class and the not-yet-middle-class. In this picture, the hired worker does not form a peculiar type, but represents the potentially bourgeois, while the ready baker is actually bourgeois (though even he, coming to ruin, can theoretically be in the position again of the hired worker, the not-yet-bourgeois).
According to Marx, the quantity of riches in society is a fixed quantity, and the presence of two classes is based on precisely this: those who have riches will never share them with the poor, since life in capitalist society is a zero-sum game. For Smith, on the other hand, richesconstantly increase. As a result, the boundaries of the middle class continuously expand. Capitalism is based on the presumption of the constant growth of riches for all members of society; ideally, all humanity must become middle class.
At the same time, there are two approaches to the middle class in liberal ideology. The first corresponds to left liberals: they demand that the super-bourgeois (the big capitalists) consciously share a part of the profits with the middle class and petty bourgeoisie, since this will lead to the stability of the system and to an acceleration of the growth of the middle class globally.
The second approach is characteristic of right liberals: they object to the burden placed on the super-bourgeoisie by taxation and welfare projects; they believe these contradicts the spirit of “free enterprise” and slows the dynamics of the development of the capitalist system, since the super-bourgeoisie stimulates the growth of the middle-bourgeoisie, which, in turn, urges on the petty bourgeoisie and the not-yet-bourgeoisie.
Accordingly, the concept of the middle class becomes, for left liberals, a moral value and ideological slogan (as in, “We must build a stronger middle class!”). For right liberals, on the other hand, the growth of the middle class is a natural consequence of the development of the capitalist system and does not demand special attention or elevation to a value.
CLASS AS SOCIAL STRATA IN SOCIOLOGY
In sociology, this basic ideological attitude of liberalism concerning the primacy of the middle class manifests itself in the relativization of the model of stratification. Sociology divides society into three classes: upper, middle, and lower (to this is sometimes added the underclass of pure marginals and social deviants). These classes are not identical to Marxist, nor to strictly liberal class concepts (since liberalism knows only one class, the middle class, while the others are thought of as its variations). This division fixes the dimension of individuals along four indicators: material sufficiency, level of fame, position in administrative hierarchy, and level of education. On the basis of strictly qualitative criteria, any person can be related to one of three social strata.
Here, the concept of class does not have a direct ideological content, but, as a rule, it is applied to bourgeois society, where sociology as a science appeared. This sociological classes, identified with social strata, should be distinguished from Marxist classes and from standard liberal conceptions about the middle class as the universal and single class.
In this case, in a bourgeois framework, the struggle for the rights of the underclass or support of the lower class (in a sociological sense) can be thought of as a left continuation of the liberal approach: attention to the lower layer of bourgeois society stipulates striving to facilitate its integration into the middle class, i.e. to pull them up the level of the bourgeois. For right liberals, such an effort is “amoral,” since it contradicts the main principle of social freedom: initiative and honest competition (the strong win, the weak lose, but such are the rules of the game; all should endeavor to become strong). The extreme version of right or even far-right liberalism is the “objectivism” of Ayn Rand.
THE MIDDLE CLASS AND NATIONALISM
There is one other ideological system of modernity, which we have yet to consider—nationalism. Nationalism is a variation of bourgeois ideology, which insists that the standard horizon of bourgeois society should not be humanity (the “cosmopolitanism” and “globalism” of classical liberals) but society as defined by the borders of a nation-state. The nation or people is taken as the maximal unit of integration. The market is open within the boundaries of the nation. But in the inter-state system, economic activity transitions to the level of the state, not private actors. From here, there arises the legitimization of such instruments as tariffs, protectionism, etc.
Nationalism thinks of the middle class not abstractly but concretely, as the middle class of a given national formation of the state. Nationalism also, like liberalism, accepts as a standard figure of society the townsperson-citizen-bourgeois, but puts the accent precisely on citizen, and what’s more, the citizen of a given national state.
The “nation” as a political formation becomes a synonym of bourgeois society. For nationalists, beyond this society, there exists only a zone of national and social risk. The nation is thought of here as a community of the middle class. And the task consists in integrating the lower layers into the national whole, often with the help of welfare measures. That is why nationalism can possess numerous socialist features, though the ideological basis here is different: pulling the economically weak to the level of the middle class is a task ofnational integration, not a consequence of orientation towards justice and material equality. We see something similar with left liberals, who consider integrating the under-class into broader society as a condition for the stability of the development of the capitalist system.
Nationalism, as a rule, relates negatively to national minorities and especially to immigrants. This is connected with the fact that in the eyes of nationalists, these elements disturb the homogeneity of the national middle class. Moreover, some national minorities are blamed for concentrating in their hands too much material wealth, in other words, those who challenge the national middle class “from above.” Nationalist feelings of injustice are expressed in antagonism towards “oligarchs” and, often times, as “economic anti-semitism,” a sentiment that was not foreign to Marx himself. In turn, other non-nationals (usually immigrants) are blamed for increasing the numbers of the lower strata and underclass, the integration of which is complicated by national differences. A variant of anti-immigrant nationalism consists in the charge that the increase of cheap labor slows the process of enriching the “native” population and the “harmonious” (for nationalists) growth of the middle class.
THE PROBLEM OF THE MIDDLE CLASS IN CONTEMPORARY RUSSIA
After making these necessary methodological refinements, we can finally raise the question: what is the middle class for Russia? What are its prospects? Is it important for us or, on the contrary, are discussions about it optional and secondary?
It is impossible to answer this without turning to one of the three classical ideologies (including the versions contained in each through the polarities of left and right).
If we take the position of right liberalism, the answer is this: we should not pay attention to the middle class; the most important thing is to secure maximum economic freedom (that is, complete removal of government from business, taxes approximating zero, etc.), and everything will fall into place. Right liberals and consistent globalists are convinced that the growth of the middle class in Russia is not the goal; it is a consequence of the nation’s integration into the global economy, the opening of internal markets for external competition, and the prompt dismantling of an overbearing state.
If we take the position of left liberalism, then our attitude changes substantially. The broadening of the middle class is the number one task for our society, since the successful establishment of capitalism in Russia depends on precisely this, as does its integration into the international community. A small and weak middle class facilitates the degradation of society into “lumpens" and “oligarchs” and indirectly helps nationalistic and socialistic anti-liberal tendencies capture the minds of the population. Social injustice and inequality, the volume of the underclass, and the slow growth of the middle class demand special attention and the execution of goal-directed policies, since the fate of capitalism in Russia is at stake. Again, the struggle for the middle class is a slogan of left liberals. And they are the ones who would most likely focus this topic, since it is the core of their ideological positions.
If we are contemporary Marxists by inertia or conscious choice, then any mention of a middle class must evoke our rage, since this is the ideological platform of the sworn enemies of communism—bourgeois liberals. For communists, the following is correct: the narrower the middle class, the sharper the social contradictions and the more acute the imperative of the class struggle of proletariat against bourgeoisie. Thus, the communist perceives a large lower social strata and underclass against the background of prospering oligarchs as the ideal social picture. For communists, the middle class is a lie, an evil, and its absence or underdevelopment is a chance and window of opportunity for revolution. If some “communist” thinks otherwise, then he is not a communist, but a revisionist and compromiser with the bourgeoisie.
If we are nationalists, then the middle class acquires for us an additional dimension. It is thought of as the skeleton of national society in opposition to the “immigrant underclass” and “foreign-born oligarchy.” This is the peculiar notion of the middle class in the nationalist framework. And the cutting edges of this conception of the middle class are directed against oligarchs (the upper class) and immigrants (the lower class and underclass); the middle class itself is regarded as the national class, i.e. as the Russian class, which includes Russianentrepreneurs, Russian proprietors, the Russian bourgeoisie, etc.
It is impossible to speak of the middle class as such, without adhering (consciously or not) to an ideological position. But since in Russia, according to the constitution, there is no state ideology, theoretically we can interpret the middle class however we want. The fact that this concept has become the center of discussions attests to the fact that in contemporary Russia, by the inertia of the ‘90s and early 2000s, a liberal paradigm prevails. In the absence of a state ideology, liberals nevertheless strive to impose on us their paradigm as dominant.
Let’s conduct a thought experiment: a discussion about the middle class is taking place in a socially significant platform, for instance on one of Russia’s major television stations. Representatives of all possible ideologies of modernity are participating: Russian liberals, Russian communists, and Russian nationalists.
The first, a Russian liberals, would say:
The growth of the middle class and elevation of the level of wealth for the citizens of Russia is the main task of our society and government.
The second, a Russian communist:
Illegal privatization in the ‘90s put national property in the hands of oligarchs; look how our people live in the provinces in poverty and squalor!
The third, a Russian nationalists:
Illegal immigrants are taking jobs from Russians, and they’re all led by Jewish and Caucasian oligarchs. That is a catastrophe for the Russian middle class!
Despite the fact that the viewers might like all three positions, the jury and “respected experts” will, undoubtedly, grant victory to the liberals. For ultimately, we still find ourselves in the condition of the ideological dictatorship of liberalism. This would happen despite the fact that society, recognizing the right of liberal discourse, fully and persistently denies its supremacy and absolute right. (In contrast, for the political elite, liberal dogmas remain sacred and unshakeable.)
From this, we can draw a conclusion: the middle class and discussion about it reflect the ideological order of liberals among Russia’s political and economic elite. If we do not share liberal axioms, then we might not consider this topic at all, or else offer an interpretation (Marxist, nationalistic, etc.) that liberals will vigorously reject.
THE FOURTH POLITICAL THEORY: BEYOND CLASS
In conclusion, we can conduct an analysis of the middle class in the context of the Fourth Political Theory. This theory is built on the imperative of overcoming modernity and all three political ideologies in order (the order has tremendous significance): (1) liberalism, (2) communism, (3) nationalism (fascism). The subject of this theory, in its simple version, is the concept “narod,”roughly, “Volk” or “people,” in the sense of “peoplehood” and “peoples,” not “masses.”
In its complex version, the subject of this theory is Heidegger’s category of Dasein. We can say, as an approximation, that narod must be thought of existentially, as the living, organic, historical presence of Russians in a qualitative spatial landscape, in the expanses of Great Russia. But if the subject is the narod and not the individual (as in liberalism), not two antagonistic classes (as in Marxism), and not the political nation (as in nationalism), then all the obligatory elements of the modern picture of the world change. There is no longer materialism, economism, recognition of the fatefulness and universality of the bourgeois revolutions, linear time, Western civilization as a universal standard, secularism, human rights, civil society, democracy, the market, or any other axioms and buzzwords of modernity. The Fourth Political Theory proposes solutions and horizons knowingly excluded by liberalism, communism, and nationalism. (More on this is found in my book The Fourth Political Theory and my new book The Fourth Way.)
On the whole, The Fourth Political Theory, when applied to the problem of the “middle class” says the following:
The transition from caste to estate and from estate to class is not a universal law. This process can occur as it did in modern Western Europe, or it can fail to occur or occur partially, as is happening today in non-Western societies. Hence, the very concept of class as applied to society has a limited applicability. Class and classes can be identified in modern Western European societies, but whether they can replace the caste inequality of the soul and human nature is not at all obvious. Western societies themselves are confident that classes do so. But an existential approach to this problematic can call this into question.
The most important thing is how the human relates to death. There are those who can look it in the face, and those who always have their backs turned to it. But the origins of the social hierarchy, the fundamental distinction between people and the superiority of some to others consists in precisely this. Material conditions are not decisive here. Hegel’s interpretation of Master and Slave is based on this criterion. Hegel thinks that the Master is the one who challenges death, who steps out to encounter it. Acting in this way, he does not acquire immortality, but he acquires a Slave, one who runs from death, lacking the courage to look it in the eye. The Master rules in societies where death stands at the center of attention. The Slave acquires political rights only where death is bracketed and removed to the periphery. So long as death remains in society’s field of vision, we are dealing with rule by the wise and heroic, philosophers and warriors. This is caste society or estate society. But not classsociety. Where class begins, life ends, and the alienated strategies of reification, objectivation, and mediation prevail.
Hence, the Fourth Political Theory thinks that the construction of society on the basis of the criterion of property is a pathology. The fate of man and narod is history and geography—but in no way economics, the market, or competition.
The Fourth Political Theory rejects class as a concept and denies its relevance for the creation of a political system based on the existential understanding of the narod. Even more so does it reject the concept of the “middle class,” which reflects the very essence of the class approach. The middle class, like the middle (that is, average) person, is a social figure situated at the point of maximal social illusion, at the epicenter of slumber. The representative of the middle class corresponds to Heidegger’s figure of das Man, the generalized bearer of “common sense,” which is subject to no verification or examination. (Das Man is often translated into English as “The They,” in the sense of “They say so-and-so will win the election this year…) Das Man is the greatest of illusions.
The middle, average person is not at all the same as the normal person. “Norm” is a synonym for “ideal,” that to which one should strive, that which one should become. The middle person is a person in the least degree, the most ex-individual of individuals, the most null and barren quality. The middle person isn’t a person at all; he is a parody of a person. He is Nietzsche’s “Last Man.” And he is deeply abnormal, since for a normal person, it is natural to experience horror, to think about death, to acutely experience the finitude of being, to call into question—sometimes tragically insoluble—the external world, society, and relations to another.
The middle class doesn’t think; it consumes. It doesn’t live; it seeks security and comfort. It doesn’t die, it blows out like a car tire (it emits its spirit, as Baudrillard wrote in Symbolic Exchange and Death). The middle class is the most stupid, submissive, predictable, cowardly, and pathetic of all classes. It is equally far from the blazing elements of poverty and the perverted poison of incalculable wealth, which is even closer to hell than extreme poverty. The middle class has no ontological foundation for existing at all, and if it does, then only somewhere far below, beneath the rule of the philosopher-kings and warrior-heroes. It is the Third Estate, imagining about itself that it is the one and only. This is an unwarranted pretension. Modernity and capitalism (in the sense of the universality of the middle class) is nothing more than a temporary aberration. The time of this historical misunderstanding is coming to an end.
Thus, today, when the agony of this worst of possible social arrangements still continues, you must look beyond capitalism. At the same time, we must value and take interest in both what preceded it, the Middle Ages, and in that which will come after it and that which we must create—a New Middle Ages.
Translated by Michael Millerman
EMPIRE OF OUR TOMORROW
The Fourth Political Theory
In our Holy Great-Continental State there will be three types (with variations and subtypes, bien sûr):
- philosopher-priests (clergy)
- royal heroes warriors (aristocracy, nobles)
- workers-villagers (people).
If you do not recognize yourself among these three types, you will not be included in this State.
This is the classical structure of Indo-European society, which stood originally and always (forever) was the very essence of social and political ideas of European and Indo-European cultures of Eurasia. It emerges in ancient times, in antiquity, in the Mediterranean civilization in the Middle Ages, and even through the pathology of modern times (in garbled form). Why deal with parodies – we need a Holy Empire.
At the head – sacral Basileus, the Great Monarch.
Look, today everyone puts forward completely utopian projects and do not hesitate to do it. Either universal gay-parade with post-human beings possessed by virtual currency and physical immortality (liberals). Then the global caliphate (wahhabis).
That messianic world center in Israel that feed rod of iron ger-toshav (Zionists). The "realists" and supporters of the status quo (say, nothing will happen and everything will be so as it is now as usual, as if everything had been so as of now, nonsense – everything was always different and it depends on what we are as free human beings want deeply in our hearts) grumble full absurdity – there is nothing more utopian than the desire to preserve all, that exists at the moment. In anyway, we are led by big projects.
Why should we, as traditionalists and fundamental conservatives hide behind the façade of our plans and projects of dry rational calculations (no one believes us anyway). Therefore, it’s possible to speak openly: our goal is Indo-European Empire – from Vladivostok to Dublin. Under the banner of Christ and the Great Monarch. The People’s Empire, ruled by the wise and courageous. Merchants and polit-technologists, oligarchs and usurers won’t exist there.
Everyone who does not like it can go out or sink in the other, disgusting, in my opinion, utopias.
Large Ukraine – is nonsense, unrealizable, spiteful, petty, envious, based on resentment as a national idea. But Great Russia is not nonsense. It was and it will be. Our lands narrow, and then – as a spring – expand.
As always. So beats the Russian heart. In 1991 we were again tightened. With Ossetia, Abkhazia and especially the Crimea and the Novorussia countdown – time of the Empire. Many of us want to restrain us, but will not succeed. We are building a different society in general, other State than the one we have now. From this transition state will not be left one stone upon another, as no stone was left from the Russian Empire and then of the Soviet Union. And we do not go back, but forward.
Eternity is not in the past, it is also always present, and most importantly – the future. All of eternity is ahead. This is the real avant-garde.
Indo-European Sacred Empire of the End – that’s our true future. A current misunderstanding will dissipate like smoke.
Russian return to history and will build a New Russia. Imperial and absolute. Novorussia.
transl. Vladimer Ilin
Comments of translator:
I can outline some things on our path:
1. Spiritual. Protestant and American sects are the primal obstacle. Political always depends upon the spiritual, and we cannot ignore their destructive influence on our orthodox society. We need a conservative reform everywhere.
2. Political. All traitors, cowards and marodeurs are the primal obstacle, those who in Novorussia restrain the process of nationalization of oligarch’s industries and disobey the Commander Igor Strelkov. Dealing with them happens under martial law.
3. Cultural. Image of a people (Laos) is today replaced with Mass-Media. Culture (society of the spectacle) is formed by popular concepts of infernal manipulators and not through the upper caste, as it should really be.
Our political life will live when we purify it with Fire (Idea, eidos), separating the valuable from the invaluable.
Counter-Currents Publishing | October 11, 2012
Alexander Dugin is a popular, well-connected, and academically respected professor at Moscow State University. Unlike his North American and Western European counterparts, his ideas are not censored by Russia’s mainstream media, and he more or less enjoys the favor of Putin’s Russian government. While he’s indubitably the most prominent New Right thinker in Russia, his domestic influence and his ambitious efforts to build international partnerships and relationships have made him arguably the most prominent New Right thinker in the world.
His recently written and translated book, The Fourth Political Theory is a critical milestone in the global development of a New Right school of thought. In it, he strives to speak to a truly global audience, though his parochial biases and perspectives are a regular distraction from that goal. He strives to speak above and beyond modern liberal paradigms and values, but there’s a fair share of self-censorship, cleverness, and . . . Realpolitik . . . to wade through.
Fortunately, those who are intelligent and thoughtful enough to gain anything from this book will be intelligent and thoughtful enough to look past those distractions and at his invaluable insights, strategies, and perspectives. After all, the whole point of Benoist’s pluriversalism (universal pluralism) which he endorses is that the different regions and communities can retain and preserve their own unique narratives and perspectives. In the Russian psyche, “America” is something quite alien to what we Americans experience . . . just as our imaginary “Russia” is surely alien to actual Russians.
Foreigners, especially Russians, almost exclusively see our bad side. In many ways, Russians think more about America’s military and foreign policy than we do. Their exposure to “our” culture is almost exclusively from a handful of Jewish and cosmopolitan hubs which are nearly as alien and hostile to ordinary Americans as they are to Russians. When they visit, they’re more likely to visit those hubs. Just as 20th-century Americans perceived Russia as a villainous caricature of Jewish Bolshevism and belligerent Marxism, contemporary Russians perceive America as a villainous caricature of Jewish liberalism and cannibal capitalism.
In one especially irritating example among many, he explains how American liberal Ayn Rand’s capitalist ideology of Objectivism is the Protestant work ethic taken to its logical extreme. For the record, Ayn Rand was born and raised in Russia, only traveling to America after completing her studies in the very post-secondary university system Dugin works for. The conflation of Rand’s Hegelian inversion of Marxist ideology with Protestant perspectives on predestination could only occur in the fevered imagination of a Russian anti-American polemicist.
Of course, we on the North American New Right are so gauche as to note that she’s actually neither Russian nor American, but a Jewess (actual surname: Rosenbaum), with a secular Jewish identity, attitude, and spirit. If we were to define a clear distinction between a host nation and Jewish culture, we would find that our actual differences are but a filioque relative to the chasm between either of our nations and the Jewish nation.
Dugin’s political theory “rejects all forms and varieties of racism” as one of its “essential features.” This may be a translation issue, but he seems to define “racism” as supremacism, carrying on about the evils of class racism, progressive racism, economic racism, technological racism (Mac vs. PC?), and cultural racism. Fortunately, he declares that his political theory has a “positive attitude toward the ethnos,” which is perhaps a loophole through which biological definitions of ethnic identities could be smuggled.
It’s very easy to denounce racial “supremacism” when both you and your society have had the privilege of being removed from racial strife. Historical examples of “supremacism” were not instances of simple villainy, but emergent reactions to powerful historical forces. Continental Europeans and Russians have plenty of advice to offer and judgment to pass on White South Africans, Australians, and American Southerners who didn’t have the luxury of developing racial attitudes at the comfortable distance afforded to a tenured professor deep in the heart of a largely White country.
Even within America, you’ve had (and continue to have) the aloof Yankees lecturing the South on the immorality of their structured relationship with the Black American people. The Great Migration of Black Americans into the North over the past century has afforded Yankees an opportunity to put their egalitarian theories into practice. Instead of a structured relationship, America’s Northerners opted for no relationship at all. While Southerners merely insisted on “separate but equal” schools, Northerners have avoided, evaded, and neglected their way to a definitively “separate but equal” country.
As the saying goes:
Southerners don’t mind Blacks living nearby . . . as long as they don’t get uppity.
Northerners don’t mind Blacks getting uppity . . . as long as they don’t live nearby.
If Russians are as alarmed by our supposed mistreatment of Black Americans, Amerindians, and other minority groups as they purport to be, perhaps they would consider offering them asylum? Perhaps the disproportionate share of Blacks we’ve imprisoned are political prisoners, political prisoners who will thrive in a less “supremacist” society? I kid. I kid. The Russians aren’t suicidal enough to invite that problem into their country and wouldn’t handle the problem any better than we have. Finally, Black Americans would not accept such an offer. Statistically speaking, Blacks may not be as intelligent as Whites . . . but they’re not stupid. They’re not about to pass up the rather comfortable and privileged position they enjoy in America’s “supremacist” society.
But there’s little point in seriously engaging the racial perspectives of Dugin and other New Right intellectuals abroad, because it’s a subject they clearly don’t take seriously yet. The European and Russian New Right will likely avoid taking racial issues as seriously as the North American New Right does until the sweeping demographic changes present them with serious racial issues. While we in America have a tremendous amount to learn from our brothers abroad, our current status as the primary host of Jewish Power and our intimate historical and direct familiarity with the racial question requires that we approach those problems clearly and directly, without word games, obfuscations, and evasions.
I agree with Dugin and the rest of the New Right that the structured “supremacist” framework of the American South and elsewhere should be retired in favor of ethnic identity and autonomy. I agree with Dugin that the hour has come for a sweeping alternative to the political theories of yesteryear. I agree with Dugin about the basic contours of that political theory: a pluriversalist and multipolar world order constructed upon the time-honored political unit of tribal identity. I agree with Dugin that Western capitalism is at the heart of the problem . . . though I’m not willing to ignore the critical role Jews have historically played and continue to play in advancing and directing that destructive force.
I’ve been and will continue to be very critical of not only America’s subverted and psychotic regime, but of the degenerate aspects of our culture which cannot be blamed on Jews and multinational corporations. A good share of the problem is surely our fault. As we move forward, this problem of anti-Americanism is one we’ll need to parse thoughtfully and carefully. Much of the antipathy coming at us from our European and Russian counterparts is valid, understandable, or easy to brush off. There is, however, a good share of it which amounts to mere abuse, distorted demagoguery which plays well to domestic audiences at the expense of developing the very partnerships and relationships of which Dugin obviously grasps the importance.
The Third Political Theory
Counter-Currents Publishing | April 26, 2013
“We will march to fight for Holy Russia/
And spill as one our blood for her.”
—White Army song
The “Third Political Theory” (3PT) is what Alexander Dugin, in The Fourth Political Theory (2012), calls Fascism and National Socialism.
According to Dugin, National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy were not just militarily, but ideologically defeated in the Second European Civil War (1939–45)—victims of “‘homicide’, or perhaps ‘suicide’.” Thereafter, these two national anti-liberal ideologies allegedly “overcome by history” ceased to address the great challenges facing European man. Then, with Communism’s fall in 1989/91, the second major anti-liberal “theory” opposing the Judeo-financial forces of Anglo-American liberalism collapsed. Today’s anti-liberal struggle, Dugin concludes, requires an ideology that has not “been destroyed and disappeared off the face of the earth.”
There is nothing in The Fourth Political Theory likely to please the Correctorate—which is, perhaps, reason for reading it. Nevertheless, Dugin’s effort to develop a compelling new “theory” appropriate to the global anti-system resistance must be judged (I’ll not be the first to say) a “failure”—an interesting failure, admittedly, but one also constituting a possible snare for the anti-system opposition, especially in its misleading treatment of 3PT and its implications for the anti-system resistance.
In early 1992, not long after the Soviet collapse, Alain de Benoist, the Paris-based leader of the French “New Right” (who was then just discovering le facteur Russie), was invited by Alexander Dugin to meet in Moscow. Though elements within the Correctorate immediately raised the specter of a “red-brown alliance” (which apparently caused Benoist to keep his distance) and though petty differences continued to divide them, Dugin was eventually accepted as a kindred, anti-liberal spirit, sharing, as he does, the New Right’s Traditionalism (Evola), political theology (Schmitt), Heideggerian ontology, anti-Americanism, and tellurocratic geopolitics (Haushofer). In recent years, their differences seem to have succumbed to all that link their closely related projects.
Dugin has since become a prominent fixture in the NR constellation, sharing the heavens with Benoist. This prominence is entirely deserved, for the gifted Dugin (something of a one-man think tank) is conversant in all the major European languages, erudite in the anti-liberal and esoteric heritage the NR rescued from the postwar Memory Hole, and, above all, an uncompromising, metapolitically-prolific opponent of the United States, “the citadel of world liberalism” and thus the principal source of evil in our time.
The exact nature of Dugin’s project (embracing various elements shared by Europe’s anti-system opposition) has, though, never been entirely clear when viewed from afar. This seems due less to the many bad English translations of his early articles or the numerous conflicting interpretations that can be found of his work—than to a remarkable political itinerary (possible only in the last sovereign white nation on earth) that took him from the political fringes to the heights of power: an itinerary that began with his membership in the ultra-nationalist and anti-Semitic Pamyet Party in the late 1980s, followed by the post-Soviet Communist Party of Gennady Zyuganov, next the National Bolshevik Party and certain other Eurasianist formations, then the Orthodox-monarchist Rodina bloc, and, for the last decade, after achieving national prominence as a “public intellectual,” an occasional adviser to Vladimir Putin and the Russian Duma.
These formations and capacities, each respectable, together raise certain obvious questions about the nature of a political project that spans such a wide spectrum of belief and blends such an eclectic mix of seemingly incompatible ideas (Evolean Traditionalism, NR thought [already a pot-pourri des idées divergentes], Eurasianism, inter alia) into a worldview suitable to the post-Soviet Russian state.
Arktos’ nicely translated and edited publication is such a publishing event precisely because it gives the Anglophone world its first book-length exposure to Dugin’s thought and thus a clearer view of his NR project.
Though still difficult to pigeonhole, I’ve become increasingly critical of Dugin over the years, mainly on account of his Eurasianism—which is not a National Bolshevism in the German sense (of allying Russia and Europe and hence overcoming the narcissistic differences dividing the Greco-Slavic East from the Romano-Germanic West), but rather something of a prospective state ideology inclusive of the Jews, Muslims, and Turks occupying Russian lands—more concerned thus with geopolitical than ethno-civilizational (state power rather than Russian) hegemony—and hence something potentially anti-cultural. This threat is underscored by Dugin’s formal allegiance to the ethnopluralist, multiculturalist, and communitarian principles (spin-offs of the Western universalism he formally opposes) that are key components of Benoist’s culturally-relativist “pluriversum.”
Though unintended, these principles shared by Dugin and Benoist cannot but endanger Europeans, for they legitimize Islam’s colonization of their historic lands, just as they risk turning European Russians into a Turkic-Slavic or Asian people, and thus away from the destiny they share with other Europeans (the “Boreans”: the white or Indo-European peoples of the North).
In his talk at Identitär Idé IV, Dugin the ethnopluralist even toyed with the Left-wing fiction that “race” (as a scientific or zoological concept) is a “social construct” (in spite of his Evolean Tradionalism, which acknowledges the significance of “race” in both its physical and spiritual sense). His position here, though it wavers at times, is like Benoist’s in slighting the racial fundament of what Saint-Loup called the patrie charnelle—the genetic and territorial heritage without which Europeans cease to be who they are.
Dugin, of course, is correct in dismissing “race” as a key social determinant. The white man’s impending demise is spiritual, not biological, in origin. (This, incidentally, is why an American White Nationalism that appeals mainly to race is already a failed project.) Spirit is always primary and the materialist or biological basis of human existence is simply a vehicle of the spirit.
But however “insignificant” as a determinant, race is nevertheless indispensable—in the sense that man’s world is impossible without it. For man is a living, blood-infused being: change his blood (race) and you change his spirit. As it is with being and Being, there is no spirit without blood—the blood distinct to man’s “being-t/here” (Dasein). This doesn’t mean that blood explains or determines anything (at least directly), only that the genetic heritage cannot be dispensed with, without dispensing with the very condition (the “thrownness and facticity”) of human being. Not to see that race, stock, and kinship is an inextricable facet of being is not to see the necessarily embodied nature of Dasein. In fact, Dugin’s is not Heidegger’s Dasein, but an “idealism” (like his Traditionalism).
Dugin’s concessions via Benoist to the miscegenating principles of globalist cosmopolitanism, along with his Turko- and Islamophilia, are evident not just in a Eurasianism that mixes white and yellow, Christian and Islamic peoples in a single polity (instead of promoting the cultural homogeneity characteristic of the West European lands of the High Culture), but also in his stance on the former Faye-Benoist debate on ethnonationalism and communitarianism.
Guillaume Faye is no Vestal Virgin, admittedly, but on the decisive issues—race, culture, immigration, Islam—he has stood against the system’s ethnocidal forces for the sake of European Europe, while Dugin, again like Benoist (who in 2000 publicly denounced Faye as a “racist,” just as the French state had launched a judicial assault on him for inciting “racial hatred”), has repeatedly sought an accommodation with the anti-white forces (which probably accounts for a certain Third-World/Islamic interest in 4PT).
In The Fourth Political Theory, Dugin depicts Benoist as a fellow toiler in 4PT and explicitly identifies him with his project. This follows Benoist’s similar public affiliation with 4PT in Moscow in 2009. In spite of their lingering differences, this collaboration between the Paris and Moscow New Rights in recent years seems aimed at giving their related brands of NR discourse (rechristened 4PT) a larger, more consequential audience. (But here I speculate, given that I no longer read their publications.)
Cui bono? For the “political soldier” (who, Dugin believes, is obsolete), for the white ethnonationalist, and, I suspect, for the Russian nationalist, Dugin’s affinity with Benoist, along with his anti-racist opposition to Faye, must set off alarms, signaling, as it does, Dugin’s allegiance to the most communitarian and ethnopluralist—i.e., the most politically correct and demographically compromising—of the NR tendencies.
The Fourth Political Theory is full of insightful discussions of 1PT (liberalism) and 2PT (Communism), which is another reason for reading it, but, strangely, there is almost no discussion, except in passim, of 3PT (Fascism/National Socialism)—perhaps because this “theory” was itself a negation of theory—and thus a negation, among other things, of the “modernism” Dugin rather simplistically attributes to it.
Just as questionably, he treats National Socialism and Fascism, though obviously different, as closely related tendencies, while at the same time ignoring their common roots in an earlier history of anti-liberal resistance. He similarly neglects the post-1945 extensions of this supposedly moribund “theory,” refusing to accept that 3PT did not die after the war and, more important, that the historical forces which once made it a power in the world (the destruction of meaning and the social-economic dislocations that come with excessive liberalization: think today’s “globalization”) are presently creating conditions conducive to another mass, “fascist”-style, anti-liberal insurgence.
For Dugin, 3PT—let’s call it “fascism” (lower case)—is understood in a way not unlike that of the Communist International following its Popular Front turn (1934). In endeavoring then to rally the democratic plutocracies to a collective-security alliance with the Soviet Union against insurgent Germany, the Comintern used “fascism” as a generic term to describe a multitude of movements, allegedly in cahoots with the most reactionary and militaristic factions of Big Capital, but having little else in common other than their anti-liberal or anti-Communist defense of the nation or the nation’s tradition.
Not just Italian Fascists and German National Socialists, but the KKK and Republicans in the US, Franquistas and Falangists in Spain, the “leagues” and others in France, Catholic Rexists in Belgium, Orthodox Iron Guardists in Romania, and virtually every tendency of the interwar period opposing the nihilistic devastations of “democratic capitalism,” Soviet Communism, or Jewish chicanery ended up tagged as “fascist.” Conceptually, this “fascism” was so vacuously defined that “cognitive control over entry criteria into the class was all-but-lost,” as the term evolved into a form of liberal or Left-wing exclusion—like the term “racism.”
After 1945, both the Left and the Academy continued to follow the Comintern line, using the term “fascism” to describe everything or everyone who might oppose 1PT or 2PT in the name of some tradition or rooted identity (what Dugin calls “Dasein”). There’s nothing “scientific” (i.e., rigorous) here, for the term is expressly used to demonize whomever or whatever opposes the forces of capitalist or Communist subversion—usually because the arguments and claims justifying their practices cannot withstand rational scrutiny, even in their own courts. That Dugin uses the term in the same way suggests something about his own assessment of European anti-liberalism.
The second major problem with Dugin’s treatment of 3PT (specifically Fascism and National Socialism) is that he fails to acknowledge that these “ideologies” originated not ex nihilo in the 1920s and ’30s, but from a half-century long movement that had emerged in opposition to similar modernizing forces propelled by Jewish and speculative interests profiting from liberalism’s ongoing economization of European life. Not seeing or stressing the social-historical crucible out of which 3PT emerged causes him to miss the larger counter-modernist intent of its “Third Way.”
3PT struggles against liberal modernity, already beyond Left and Right, first stepped onto the historical stage in the late 19th century, as elements from the revolutionary anti-liberal wing of the labor movement joined elements from the revolutionary anti-liberal wing of the nationalist movement to resist liberalism’s Hebraic (i.e., usurious) model of state and society—a model which turns the nation into a market, caters to cosmopolitans, and denies it a history and destiny.
In this sense, German National Socialism and Italian Fascism represented continuations of these earlier socialist and nationalist expressions of anti-liberalism, being sui generis mainly in embodying the specific spirit and tenure of their age.
Like our court historians, Dugin cannot define “fascism,” except vacuously. Indeed, it can only be defined vacuously given that “fascism” was an ideological deception, for there was only one Fascism and numerous distinct and particularistic forms of 3PT: anti-liberalism, anti-capitalism, anti-Communism, anti-modernization, anti-Semitism, ultranationalism, etc.—sometimes overlapping with one another, sometimes not—but, in most cases, defending their collective Dasein in terms of a specific land and people.
In a similar stroke, Dugin ignores the historical circumstances that brought Italian Fascism and German National Socialism to power: the profound material and psychological dislocations of the 1914–18 war and the devastating economic crisis that followed in the ’30s. If more attention were paid to this aspect of his subject, he might have noticed that since the crisis of 2008, economic stagnation, predatory confiscations by the Robber Barons, and the hollowing out of European institutions, preeminently the state, have created conditions in which another mass form of 3PT may arise to challenge the ethnocidal forces in command of state and society.
If this should occur, the Third Political Theory (the “anti-liberal” and hence anti-system “ideology”), which arose in rebellion against liberal modernity and corporate capitalism in the 1890s, and was called “fascism” in the 1920s and ’30s, is likely to assume what earlier were the unforeseeable forms of identitarianism, goldendawnism, casapoundism, and whatever other revolutionary nationalist tendency that presently fights the liberal devastation of European life in the name not necessarily of “race,” “state,” or theory (as Dugin has it), but in that of the traditions defining Europeans as a people (i.e., as Dasein and Mitsein—concepts, via Martin Heidgegger, native to 3PT).
Not coincidentally, the tendencies that today represent 3PT are as distinct and different as the “fascisms” of the interwar period, though each belongs to the same epochal rebellion against liberal modernization that was defeated in 1945 and is only now, and still hesitantly, beginning to reassert something of its former oppositional significance.
Anti-liberals are nevertheless indebted to Dugin for giving them the term “3PT”—because they can now refrain (when being forthright) from describing or thinking of themselves as “fascists” (who, to repeat, were part of something born of an earlier European struggle against the rising forces of Jewish modernity) and therefore ought, more accurately, to be seen as expressions of this larger historical movement (3PT), which has had many different manifestations, most of which converged in resisting the ethnocidal forces associated with capitalism, Communism, or the Jews. Beyond that, there was little ideological similarity (“theory”).
However 3PT is characterized—as “fascist” or as a larger anti-liberal movement—it continues to speak to the present world situation, for unlike the timid imputations of 4PT and the apoliteia lingering in its antecedents, it has an indisputable record of fighting the dark legions of the Antichrist—not for the sake of a theory, but for certain primordial identities rooted in blood and spirit, kin and countrymen. Indeed, if Europeans are to survive the 21st century, it seems likely that they will have to fight for something of greater “mythic” significance than the self-effacing, bloodless, theoretical tenets of 4PT.
As it was with Fascism and National Socialism in their time, 3PT in our time is also likely to reject the established political arenas and manifest itself “extra-institutionally”—against the Troika (IMF-ECB-EC) and its Masonic Parliaments, Money Changers, and Judeo-Americanists—as it resists liberalism’s nation-destroying effects and, more generally, the usurious system the US imposed on defeated Europe in 1945.
In the new political arenas it will create (analogous to 2PT’s Soviets), 3PT’s appeal will not be to a party, a theory, or a metaphysical abstraction (Dasein), but to the “sovereign people” (diminished as his term may be in the “society of the spectacle”)—as it (3PT) rallies the opposition against an unreformable system threatening Europeans with extinction.
And like its earlier manifestations, today’s 3PT struggle will create a counter-hegemony anticipating a future in which Europeans are again free to pursue the destiny born of their Gothic “kings and emperors.” It will not promote an “affirmative action” program for international relations or seek to ensure the communitarian integrity of the alien populations occupying their lands.
The third and most significant problem in Dugin’s treatment of 3PT lies in ignoring its postwar extensions and thus in failing to recognize those aspects of postwar “fascist” thought relevant to the current situation, especially now that it has shed its earlier petty-state nationalism, bourgeois (“vertical”) racism, and anti-Slavism.
Dugin and Benoist are both extraordinarily creative forces, from whom much can be learned, but ideologically the project of these “free-floating intellectuals” are closer in spirit to Britain’s “Traditionalist” Prince Charles than to such postwar 3PT figures as the American Vabanquespieler, Francis Parker Yockey, whose so-called “postwar fascism” took the theory and practice of 3PT to a point not yet attained by 4PT or NR thought.
Yockey would know nothing of Dugin’s postmodernity, but by the early 1950s, based on European aesthetic (i.e., Spenglerian) rather than scientific objective criteria and thus with a sort of postmodernism avant la lettre, he had worked out a prescient understanding of what lay ahead, offering both an analysis and a means of fighting whatever postmodern form Satan’s Synagogue might assume. It’s hardly coincidentally that the postwar anti-liberal resistance starts—and culminates—with him.
A revolutionary imperial struggle against the Atlanticist Leviathan (aka the NWO)—the struggle to which Yockey gave his life—revolves around the formation of a Euro-Russian federation to fight the thalassocratic powers: les Anglos-Saxons incarnating the Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism—England and America—whose hedonist dictatorship of “creative destruction” was not the invention of maniacal Jews, but entirely homegrown, given that it was born at Runnymede; came of age with Henry VIII’s sacrileges, which turned Christianity into a religion of capitalism (Protestantism); and triumphed with the Whig Oligarchy that has dominated the Western world since 1789, when its Continental ideologues overthrew the French monarchy, representing a “Catholic” and regalian modernity.
By 1952, Yockey understood that both the liberation and destiny of Europe were henceforth linked to Russia—the sole world power capable of resisting the satanic counter-civilization geopolitically aligned along the Washington-London-Tel Aviv axis.
Resisting the Leviathan, the movement stretching from Yockey, Saint-Loup, René Binet, and others in the 1940s and 50s, to Jean Mabire, François Duprat, and Jean Thiriart in the ’60s and early ’70s, and to the current generation of revolutionary nationalist, identitarian, and other “Third Way” or anti-system tendencies awakened by the golden dawn—attests (I would think) to the continuing vitality of this allegedly moribund “theory,” especially compared to the deedless metapolitics of NR or 4PT discourse.
In contrast to 4PT, there beats at the heart of 3PT the spirit not of theory but of practice. The great 3PT tribunes all followed Pisacane in their conviction that “ideas spring from deeds and not the other way around.” What always is (and has been) most lacking is not ideas, but men to realize them. There are, as such, no metapolitics without politics.
Privileging Evola’s royal way to Guénon’s sacerdotal, the 3PT resistance distinguishes itself today by fighting for socialism against the Left, for nationalism against the Right, and for Europe’s “difference” against the multi-racialist ideologues of 4PT.
After 1945, 3PT’s POWs were exiled to the margins of European society. It is from there, accordingly, that the final assault on the liberal center is being prepared. For the propagandists of the deed—intent on ridding Europe of her usurers and alien interlopers, and thus of resuming her destiny—Dugin’s theory is a detour from the Euro-Russian Imperium offering the one possibility of creating not the utopia of 4PT multipolarity or replicating the vileness of US unipolarity, but of establishing a peaceful world order based on Borean principles.
1. Alexander Dugin, The Fourth Political Theory, trans. M. Sleboda and M. Millerman (London: Arktos, 2012).
2. Thierry Wolton, Rouge-Brun: Le mal du siècle (Paris: Lattès, 1999).
3. Michael O’Meara, “Benoist’s Pluriversum: An Ethnonationalist Critique,” The Occidental Quarterly 5: 3 (Fall 2005); http://toqonline.com/archives/v5n3/53-mo-pluriversum.pdf . Also Michael O’Meara,”Community of Destiny or Community of Tribes?,” Ab Aeterno n. 2 (March 2010); http://www.counter-currents.com/2010/08/community-of-destiny-or-community-of-tribes/ .
4. Dugin’s Identitär Idé IV talk is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7X-o_ndhSVA . On race and Traditionalism, see Julius Evola, Éléments pour une éducation raciale, trans. G. Boulanger (Puiseaux: Pardès, 1984 ); also Frithjof Schuon, Castes and Races, trans. M. Pallis and M. Matheson (Bedfont, UK: 1982 ).
5. Saint-Loup, “Une Europe des patries charnelles,” Défense de l’Occident, n. 136 (March 1976).
6. Michael O’Meara, Guillaume Faye and the Battle of Europe (London: Arktos, 2013).
7. http://www.evrazia.tv/content/alien-die-bienua-o-chietviertoi-politichieskoi-tieorii .
8. George Friedman, “Europe, Unemployment and Instability” (March 5, 2013), http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/europe-unemployment-and-instability .
9. Karlheinz Weissmann, Der Nationale Sozialismus: Ideologie und Bewegung 1890–1933 (Munich: Herbig, 1998); Zeev Sternhell, La Droite révolutionnaire 1885–1914: Les origines françaises de fascisme (Paris: Seuil, 1978); Arnaud Imatz, Par-delà droite et gauche: Histoire de la grande peur récurrente des bien-pensants (Paris: Godefroy de Bouillon, 2002).
10. Pace Dugin, Martin Heidegger remained a proponent of 3PT, evident in his National Socialist critique of Hitler’s regime; see his “second magnum opus,” Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning), trans. P. Emad and K. Maly (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999 [1936-38/1989]).
11. On the essentially “Jewish” character of “modernity,” see Yuri Slezkine, The Jewish Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004).
12. Francis Parker Yockey, The Proclamation of London (Shamley Green, UK: The Palingenesis Project, 2012 ); Francis Parker Yockey, “The Prague Treason Trial: What Is Behind the Hanging of Eleven Jews in Prague” (1952), http://www.counter-currents.com/tag/the-prague-treason-trial/ .
13. E. Michael Jones, The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History (South Bend, Ind.: Fidelity Press, 2008); Steve Pincus, 1688: The First Modern Revolution (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2009).
14. Desmond Fennell, Uncertain Dawn: Hiroshima and the Beginning of Post-Western Civilisation (Dublin: Sanas, 1996).
15. Nicolas Lebourg, Le Monde vu de la plus extrême droite: Du fascisme au nationalisme-révolutionnaire (Perpignan: Presses Universitaires de Perpignan, 2010).
Alexander Dugin on “White Nationalism” & Other Potential Allies in the Global Revolution
Counter-Currents Publishing | June 3, 2013
The following text was compiled by John Morgan from various informal statements that Alexander Dugin posted to his Facebook page over the last year which deal with common themes. The compiler has combined and restructured them in an attempt to reshape them into a single, coherent text, and also brushed up the language somewhat.
There are different tendencies in the new generation of revolutionary, non-conformist movements in Europe (on the Right as well as the Left), and some of them have been successful in attaining high political positions in their respective countries. The crisis of the West will grow broader and deeper every day, so we should expect an increase in the power and influence of our own Eurasianist resistance movement against the present global order, which is a dictatorship by the worst elements of the Western societies.
Those from either the Right or the Left who refuse American hegemony, ultra-liberalism, strategic Atlanticism, the domination of oligarchic and cosmopolitan financial elites, individualistic anthropology and the ideology of human rights, as well as typically Western racism in all spheres – economic, cultural, ethical, moral, biological and so on – and who are ready to cooperate with Eurasian forces in defending multipolarity, socio-economic pluralism, and a dialogue among civilizations, we consider to be allies and friends.
Those on the Right who support the United States, White racism against the Third World, who are anti-socialist and pro-liberal, and who are willing to collaborate with the Atlanticists; as well as those on the Left who attack Tradition, the organic values of religion and the family, and who promote other types of social deviations – both of these are in the camp of foe.
In order to win against our common enemy, we need to overcome the ancient hatreds between our peoples, as well as those between the obsolete political ideologies that still divide us. We can resolve such problems amongst ourselves after our victory.
At the present time, we are ALL being challenged, and ALL of us are being dominated by the forces of the prevailing global order.
Before we concern ourselves with these other issues, we first need to liberate ourselves.
I am very happy that Gábor Vona, whom I have met, and who is the leader of the Jobbik party in Hungary, understands this perfectly. We need to be united in creating a common Eurasian Front.
In Greece, our partners could eventually be Leftists from SYRIZA, which refuses Atlanticism, liberalism and the domination of the forces of global finance. As far as I know, SYRIZA is anti-capitalist and it is critical of the global oligarchy that has victimized Greece and Cyprus. The case of SYRIZA is interesting because of its far-Left attitude toward the liberal global system. It is a good sign that such non-conformist forces have appeared on the scene. Dimitris Konstakopulous writes excellent articles and his strategic analysis I find very correct and profound in many cases.
There are also many other groups and movements with whom we can work. The case of the Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi) is interesting because it is part of the growing (and very exciting indeed) reappearance of radical Right parties in the European political landscape. We need to collaborate with all forces, Right or Left, who share our principles.
The most important factor should not be whether these groups are pro-Russian or not. What they oppose is of much greater importance here. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. It is simple and easy to understand. If we adopt such an attitude in order to appeal to all possible allies (who either approve of us or who do not), more and more people will follow suit – if only due to pragmatism. In doing so, we will create a real, functioning network – a kind of Global Revolutionary Alliance. It is important that we pursue a strategy of uniting the Left and the Right everywhere, including in the United States. We need to save America from its own dictatorship, which is as bad for the American people as it is for all other peoples.
The issue of limited or unlimited government is, as far as I can see, of lesser importance in comparison with geopolitics – it all depends on the historical tradition of the nation in question. Gun ownership is a good thing when the guns are in our hands. Therefore, these two points when taken as a political platform I consider to be absolutely neutral in themselves. Such an American Right can be good or bad, depending on other factors beyond these two points. We need to have a dialogue with those who look deeper into the nature of things, into history and who try to understand the present world order.
I consider the “White nationalists” allies when they refuse modernity, the global oligarchy and liberal-capitalism, in other words everything that is killing all ethnic cultures and traditions. The modern political order is essentially globalist and based entirely on the primacy of individual identity in opposition to community. It is the worst order that has ever existed and it should be totally destroyed. When “White nationalists” reaffirm Tradition and the ancient culture of the European peoples, they are right. But when they attack immigrants, Muslims or the nationalists of other countries based on historical conflicts; or when they defend the United States, Atlanticism, liberalism or modernity; or when they consider the White race (the one which produced modernity in its essential features) as being the highest and other races as inferior, I disagree with them completely.
More than this, I can’t defend Whites when they are in opposition to non-Whites because, being White and Indo-European myself, I recognize the differences of other ethnic groups as being a natural thing, and do not believe in any hierarchy among peoples, because there is not and cannot be any common, universal measure by which to measure and compare the various forms of ethnic societies or their value systems. I am proud to be Russian exactly as Americans, Africans, Arabs or Chinese are proud to be what they are. It is our right and our dignity to affirm our identity, not in opposition to each other but such as it is: without resentment against others or feelings of self-pity.
I can’t defend the concept of the nation, because the idea of the “nation” is a bourgeois concept concocted as a part of modernity in order to destroy traditional societies (empires) and religions, and to replace them with artificial pseudo-communities based on the notion of individualism. All of that is wrong. The concept of the nation is now being destroyed by the same forces that created it, back during the first stage of modernity. The nations have already fulfilled their mission of destroying any organic and spiritual identity, and now the capitalists are liquidating the instrument they used to achieve this in favor of direct globalization. We need to attack capitalism as the absolute enemy which was responsible for the creation of the nation as a simulacrum of traditional society, and which was also responsible for its destruction. The reasons behind the present catastrophe lie deep in the ideological and philosophical basis of the modern world. In the beginning, modernity was White and national; in the end, it has become global. So White nationalists need to choose which camp they want to be in: that of Tradition, which includes their own Indo-European tradition, or that of modernity. Atlanticism, liberalism, and individualism are all forms of absolute evil for the Indo-European identity, since they are incompatible with it.
In his review of my book The Fourth Political Theory, Michael O’Meara criticized it  on the grounds of advocating a return to the unrealized possibilities of the Third Political Theory. It is good that people from different camps present their responses to the Fourth Political Theory, but it uses typically old Right/Third Way racist/anti-Semitic arguments. It is not too profound, nor too hollow. I doubt that we can get anywhere by repeating the same agenda of Yockey and so on. This draws the line between the Third Way and the Fourth Way. At the same time, I consider Heidegger to be a precursor of the Fourth Political Theory, and he was acting and thinking in the context of the Third Political Theory.
Concerning the “identitarians,” I have never uttered the name of Faye in all of my writing – he is not bad, but also not good. I consider Alain de Benoist to be brilliant – simply the best. Those “identitarians” who view the positive attitude toward Islam or Turks as a negative aspect of the Fourth Political Theory do so, I believe, partly due to the manipulation of globalist forces who seek to divide those revolutionary forces which are capable of challenging the liberal-capitalist Atlanticist hegemony.
Muslims form a part of the Russian population, and are an important minority. Therefore, Islamophobia implicitly calls for the break-up of Russia. The difference between Europe and Russia in our attitude toward Islam is that, for us, Muslims are an organic part of the whole, while for Europe they are a post-colonial wave of re-invaders from a different geopolitical and cultural space. But since we have a common enemy in the globalist elite, which is pro-Pussy Riot/Femen, pro-gay marriage, anti-Putin, anti-Iran, anti-Chávez, anti-social justice and so on, we all need to develop a common strategy with the Muslims. Our traditions are quite different, but the anti-traditional world that is attacking us is united, and so must we become.
If “identitarians” really love their identity, they should ally themselves with the Eurasianists, alongside the traditionalists and the enemies of capitalism belonging to any people, religion, culture or political camp. Being anti-Communist, anti-Muslim, anti-Eastern, pro-American or Atlanticist today means to belong to the other side. It means to be on the side of the current global order and its financial oligarchy. But that is illogical, because the globalists are in the process of destroying any identity except for that of the individual, and to forge an alliance with them therefore means to betray the essence of one’s cultural identity.
The problem with the Left is different. It is good when it opposes the capitalist order, but it lacks a spiritual dimension. The Left usually represents itself as an alternative path to modernization, and in doing so it also opposes organic values, traditions and religion, just as liberalism does.
I would be happy to see Left-wing identitarians who defend social justice while attacking capitalism on one hand, and who embrace spiritual Tradition and attack modernity on the other. There is only one enemy: the global, liberal capitalist order supported by North American hegemony (which is also directed against the genuine American identity).
In terms of traditionalism, usually traditionalism is defensive or is considered to be such. What we need is to break this assumption and promote offensive traditionalism. We should attack (hyper)modernity and make the status quo explode, in the name of the Return. I mean “offensive” in all ways. We need to insist.
Politics is the instrument of modernity. I think neo-Gramscism is an important tool. We have to form a historic bloc of traditionalists alongside organic intellectuals of a new type. We have Orthodox Christians (and perhaps other types of Christians as well), Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus who all reject the idea of the “Lockean heartland” (as per Kees van der Pijl) becoming global. We need to attack it together, not by ourselves. And we need to attack in any possible way – everyone as he or she is able – physically, politically, and intellectually . . .
It is time to be offensive.
Soon the world will descend into chaos. The financial system is going to collapse. Disorder, ethnic and social conflicts will be breaking out everywhere. Europe is doomed. Asia is in tumult. The oceans of immigrants everywhere will overthrow the existing order. The present system will be broken and disbanded.
After this transitional period, direct global dictatorship will be implemented. We should be prepared and start to organize the global resistance right now – the planetary network of traditionalists, Conservative Revolutionaries, Heideggerians, the partisans of the Fourth Political Theory and multipolarity, and non-conformists of all sorts – a kind of Sacred Front beyond Right and Left, and consisting of different, older political and ideological taxonomies. All three of the political theories have been phased out of modernity, and also out of conventional and assumed history. We, and also our enemies, are entering absolutely new ground.
Every traditionalist should ask himself (or herself) the following questions:
1. Why have I arrived to be on the side of Tradition in opposition to modernity?
2. What is the reality that makes me what I am, in essence? Where have I got it from?
3. Is my vocation as a traditionalist the result of my socio-cultural heritage (society, family, and culture) or is it the result of some other factor?
4. How it is possible, in the midst of modernity and postmodernity, to be differentiated from them?
5. In which way can I cause the modern world around me real damage? (In other words, how can I effectively fight against the Devil?)
The Fourth Political Theory struggles for the cause of all peoples, but it is not made for the people. It is a call to the intellectual elite of every human society, and rejects hegemony in all senses (philosophical, social, and political). This time, the people cannot help us. This time, we must help the people.
Opposing us is nothing more than an intellectual elite, but it is a hegemonic one. All its material power is nothing but an illusion and a phantasm: its texts, discourse and words are what really counts. Its force lays in its thought. And it is on the level of thought that we have to fight and, finally, win. Everything material that opposes us is actually nothing but pure privation. Only thought really exists.
It is easy to manipulate the masses, much easier than to persuade the few. Quantity is the enemy of quality – the more so, the worse. The capitalist elite thinks differently. That error will be fatal. For them. And we are going to prove it.
We need an open, undogmatic Front that is beyond Right and Left.
We have prepared for the coming moment of opportunity for too long. But now, finally, it is not so far in the future.
We will change the course of history. At present, it is on a very wrong course.
We can only win if we combine our efforts.