When I learned about the atrocities of the Russian military in Bucha, I experienced understandable horror, but not surprise. Why be surprised? After all, I have long been familiar with the views of Alexander Dugin. The same one who in 2014, in connection with the invasion of the Russian army in the Crimea and Donbass, spoke to students: “Kill, kill and kill. There should be no more talk. As a professor, I think so.” Dugin came to my attention much earlier, in the early 1990s, when I was writing a book about the latest trends in Russian thought (it was published in English in two volumes – “The Phoenix of Philosophy” and “Ideas Against Ideocracy”). Among dozens of thinkers of the late Soviet era, Dugin was the youngest and most bloodthirsty. To implement his metaphysical plans, he needed to fill half the globe with blood – the western one. And if the West does not obey, then Dugin planned to blow up the entire globe, since non-existence, in his opinion, is ultimately better than existence. Being separates people, and non-being unites.
The peculiarity of Dugin as a thinker is an open hatred of everything not just human, but living and being, and in combination with a kind of religiosity. His writings are full of such concepts as “Divine subject”, “sons of light”, “mighty spirits”, “dear angel” and so on. This combination of “high spirituality” and world-hatred goes back to the ancient Gnostic heresy (1st century AD), condemned by Christianity. Gnosticism preached that the existing world lies in evil and must be completely destroyed in order to embark on the path of higher spirituality, enter the world of angels and the like.
Dugin is sometimes referred to in the Western press as “Putin’s brain” and has been teaching geopolitics at the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces for many years. He has an impressive set of titles: the leader of the International Eurasian Movement, Honorary Professor of the Eurasian National University named after L.N. Gumilyov and the University of Tehran… Dugin’s books “Fundamentals of Eurasianism” and “Fundamentals of Geopolitics” teach the highest ranks of the General Staff, who translate his slogans into strategies. Dugin names his worldview in different ways: “Eurasianism”, “National Bolshevism”, “integral tradition”, “right revolution”, “fourth political theory”… He finds the clearest embodiment of his theories in Andrei Platonov, whose anti-utopia “and “Chevengur” interprets as utopias to be executed: “Platonov is the embodiment of National Bolshevism in all its dimensions.”
For Dugin, the soul itself is nothing, and the corruption of matter, the emaciation of the flesh, hell on earth, the equality of being and non-being is a national idea.
What kind of revelation, according to Dugin, does Platonov bring? The hysterical feeling of an inescapable, painful, yearning emptiness – this is the message of revolutionary Russia to the world: the secret of self-revealing nothingness. I quote Dugin: “Longing is the bottom content of the Revolution, pressing from within, an unbearable burden. Emptiness in the body, emptiness in consciousness, emptiness in the heart … If a person came from a worm, from an intestine filled only with sticky darkness, then shouldn’t it be like this be its spiritual mediastinum? Namely: the soul, revealing its true aroma of presence, is closest to the empty insides of a hollow, earthy, viscous and meaningless pipe. For Dugin, the soul itself is nothing, a hollow tube, and the corruption of matter, the emasculation of the flesh, hell on earth, the equality of being and non-being is the main national idea.
Surprisingly, this is the last revelation of the Eurasian truth revealed to Dugin. The ultimate goal is the transformation of being into non-being. “A real encounter with the soul is like coughing up grave clay, suffocation, unbearable smells of decaying herbs, merging with the empty consciousness of a worm.” From here we come to the sexual-psychological motives of the violence committed in Bucha. Psychoanalysis, as you know, distinguishes two main human drives: Eros (the drive to life and its generation) and Thanatos (the personification of death in Greek mythology, the desire to restore the primary – inanimate, inorganic – state). In Sigmund Freud, Eros opposes Thanatos. Dugin, who is preoccupied with the Russian national specificity of these categories, Thanatos is Eros: the “Rassian” dispersion of Eros in the world’s void. And here the traces of the bloody voluptuousness that the Russian army left behind in Ukraine are already quite recognizable.
Dugin – the prophet Buchi: “The peculiarity of the Great Russian sex is that it is not directed either at itself or at the other, it has neither libido nor narcissism. The Russian floor breathes through, picking up everything along a confused path – trousers, peasants, comrades, cockroaches, a bloated, ready to burst stale corpse, washed maidens caught under the arm, shot limbs, drooping horses, twisted weeds, gray soils that exposed their cracks, oblique or whitewashed comfortable buildings, the pale and dead Rosa Luxembourg… and the shameless emptiness of the heart, dragging into the moldy well of the heart a huge, upset in its root knots, stolen being.
What eloquence – in the direct and sinister sense of the word! For, according to Dugin, “only the Red Death makes a human object a subject.” This is the global mission of National Bolshevism, or Eurasianism. It is not easy to set one class against another, as happened in Soviet history on the basis of Marxist teachings; this, according to Dugin, is necessary, but it is not enough. And you need to act more broadly, in a popular way, in a Platonic way, that is, together with the hostile classes and their counterfeit culture, destroy everything that lives and breathes separately from non-existence, because only through non-existence can one find the highest unity with everything. Everything else is a barrier. This is exactly how Dugin sees Platonov and honors him as a mentor: “For us, Platonov is a doctrine. We take it upon ourselves and intellectually justify everything up to the direct genocide of alienating classes and rational structures. We accept the Chevengur madness as a dogma … The dead crowded over us, they are crowded and stuffy. History crushes itself with the last nasty noose.
This is the metaphysical conclusion of Eurasianism – suicide, self-hanging history on the “throat” of Russia. Dugin, in the radicalism of his life-denial, goes further than the Grand Inquisitor, who does not believe in a future life, in a heavenly kingdom, but wants to create a paradise of universal satiety on earth. Dugin goes further than Platonov, who believes in building a communist paradise on earth and watches with longing its gradual transformation into hell, compassionate to its victims. Dugin goes further than the heroes of Vladimir Sharov (1952-2018), who are ready to accept hell on earth, rejoice in it and even help Satan create it, in order to break through to the afterlife in order to achieve salvation through suffering. Dugin, on the other hand, simply establishes hell on earth, following his teacher Evgeny Golovin, who in the 1980s headed the Yuzhinsky circle of esoteric-Nazi-Satanists called the “Black Order of the SS”, where he was called the “Reichführer”. “Where we are, there is the center of hell.” Not “We are in the center of hell” (that would be nothing,” but “Where we are, there is the center of hell,” Dugin Golovina comments. This is the last word of the apocalyptic revolution: to spread hell – dying Chevengur – to the entire earth This mission is being carried out today by the country in its metaphysical struggle not only with Ukraine or the West, but, using the language of Dugin himself, with being as such, with the accursed habit of existing.
“The prelude of the New Chevengur, the Last Chevengur is ripening. Heard in absolute silence, portending nothing but midnight and the ocean of Blood, the mysterious kiss of the Bolshevik dawn. We will take everything from you again. Not to have, to be, to leave nothing as it is, in order to abolish all that is separate and bring to the totality of Victory all that is common, one, the Whole” – what an all-encompassing, sophisticated necroeschatology, truly ready to embrace the whole world as it turns into nothing! And this is not just metaphysics, this is a call to action – and it is clear what method of destroying all life Dugin has in mind when proclaiming the imminent end of the world. Why prevent the apocalypse? On the contrary, it is necessary to speed it up by setting the world on fire.
However, the value of life is proved not by dissertations, but by the experience of any living being. Does Dugin himself agree to easily part with life in accordance with his theoretical calculations? Are you ready to prove this beloved thought by betraying your children to the purifying burning? If you demand the end of the world, start with yourself and your loved ones! Otherwise, all this “fourth political theory” serves only to “quarter” humanity for the sake of satisfying the metaphysical taste for cannibalism. Eurasians regularly rehearse the man-made end of the world. One of the programs of the training camp of the Eurasian Youth Union: “The eschatological mobilization of the Eurasians is announced! Everything is nearing completion and resolution. FINIS MUNDI. End of the World.”
Following Dugin’s logic, right now is the time for Russia to fulfill its global destiny, because among all known civilizations it stands out with its conscious will to the end of history, to the death of everything. The voluptuousness of complete destruction – such is this metaphysics of contempt for being, once again rehearsed in Bucha, in Irpen already on the stage of the theater of history. What Dugin has in his dreams – Putin has in his hands, stroking the nuclear button.
Dugin has just announced in his blog that he is finishing “a new work about the Empire and the End of the World, connected with the fate of the Empire. The picture is ominous.” Who would doubt – no one expects a good-natured from Mr. Dugin. The question remains: will the author have time to complete his thousand-page work before the end of the world and will he have at least one reader?
Author: Mikhail Epshtein – Russian and American philosopher and culturologist, 11 May 2022.
Opinions expressed in the section “Author’s Right” may not reflect the views of the editors
Source: Russian service of Radio Liberty (Radio Liberty) – one of the editorial offices of the media corporation Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Photo: The Most Dangerous Philosopher in the World – Kremlin-approved philosopher Alexander Dugin