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Political Theology: Aleksandr Dugin and the Fourth Political Theory

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Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
Political Theology:
Aleksandr Dugin and the Fourth Political Theory
John Cody Mosbey
Introduction
Mikhail Epstein succinctly noted that the “connection between metaphysics
and politics is dictated by the very essence of total traditionalism, which denies the
liberal principle of the separation of powers and specialization of knowledge.” In
1
Fourth Political Theory conceptualization, the political and the theological are
inseparable. Separation of the two, more accurately the near total absence of the
latter, is a dominate presuppositional refrain one finds constantly repeated in
contemporary Western Liberal conversation. While accepting the so-called
separation of church and state presupposition of the West, I will pursue Aleksandr
Dugin’s saturation of politics and theology within his Fourth Political Theory.
Herein I examine the hermeneutics of the Fourth Political Theory. Dugin’s
Theory is constructed upon the basic hermeneutic of Political Theology. Subordinate
to this overarching hermeneutic are among others those of Traditionalism,
interpreting the New World Order as the Collective Antichrist, and interpreting
Russia as the Third Rome and Catechon - that is the Restrainer that holds back
Antichrist. Additionally, Dugin’s views on Eschatology and apocalyptical
perspectives will be acknowledged and discussed.
Theology in Politics
There is a vast gulf between Russian geopolitical understanding and practice
and that of the West. Current events starkly highlight this gulf. Commentary by
Paul Coyer directly addresses the present Russian political/theological tendency
toward syncretism very much in keeping with Fourth Political Theory leanings.
Religious descriptors of this nature would be completely inapplicable if applied in a
Western context.
Because Moscow has portrayed the conflict [Crimea] in the apocalyptic
terms in which it has, religious allegiances have been as important as,
and closely correlated with, political allegiances. This has resulted in the
Russian authorities in Crimea and the pro-Russian forces in eastern
Ukraine conducting a “holy war” against all who are not Russian
1 Mikhail Epstein, “The Russian Philosophy of National Spirit: Conservatism and Traditionalism,”
Emory University for the National Council for Soviet and East European Research, Washington, D.C.
July 11,1994, 18.
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Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
Orthodox, seeing them as enemies of Russia.
2
In 1922 Carl Schmitt first published his Political Theology
. In it he
3
articulated his theory of the State, its sovereignty, and its ability to gain and maintain
“normalcy.” Having recently experienced the First World War, Schmitt attempted to
influence the constitutional construction of the Weimar Republic in ways that would
enhance its ability to establish and maintain order and respond to various
disruptions with authority and effectiveness. Schmitt was very concerned that the
very concept of sovereignty had become corrupted through nineteenth century
tendencies toward secular democratic government.
As a result of his willingness to work within the prevailing governmental
system, be it the Weimar Republic or Hitler’s National Socialist regime, Schmitt was
academically shunned in the West for many years. However, even his detractors
4
recognized his intellectual capabilities and the many valid issues addressed in his
writing. Over time Schmitt’s work gradually found wider acceptance. Dugin can
certainly be counted a member of the present audience.
Schmitt felt that the “sovereign, who in the deistic view of the world, even if
conceived as residing outside the world, had remained the engineer of the great
machine” was pushed aside by political movements that abandoned “theistic and
transcendental conceptions.” Most European and Asian states had been
5
monarchical, but that was changing. Schmitt wrote that, “the development of the
nineteenth-century theory of the state displays two characteristic moments.” These
moments were firstly, “the elimination of all theistic and transcendental
conceptions,” and secondly, “the formation of a new concept of legitimacy.” “The
6
machine now runs by itself,” was his observation, and he found this to be exceedingly
problematic.
The Range of Dugin’s Political Theology
Dugin’s reach across the field of political theology is broad. Dugin developed
his concepts of Neo-Traditionalism as the basis for the anti-Modernism within the
Fourth Political Theory. Evident in his Neo-Traditionalist stance is the
predominance of a theological framework upon which he overlays his Eurasianist
geopolitical worldview.
The active geopolitical overlay moves Dugin’s Neo-Traditionalism
significantly away from the center of Integral Traditionalism perhaps to a point
2 Paul Coyer, “The Patriarch, The Pope, Ukraine And The Disintegration Of The Russian World,”
Forbes
, 20 March 2016,
http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulcoyer/2016/03/20/thepatriarchthepopeukraineandthedisintegrati
onoftherussianworld/print/ 1/9, or http://onforb.es/1WAcKsM, last accessed 19 February 2017.
3 Carl Schmitt, Political Theology
, Trans. George Schwab, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1985.
4 The National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP): Nationalsozialistische Deutsche
Arbeiterpartei
.
5 Schmitt, Political Theology, 48.
6 Schmitt, Political Theology, 51.
2
Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
beyond the pale. With this movement, Dugin mounts extensive forays into
eschatology with an active political theology that Julius Evola may have condoned,
but René Guénon never would.
Grasping the range and thrust of Dugin’s political theology, his interpretation
of history, politics, geography, philosophy, and theology alongside the symbolism
and allegorical aspects he attaches to it are important. His interpretations provide
meaning both for Dugin and Fourth Political Theory advocates. His interpretations
are also important to those who would attempt to predict where and how the Fourth
Political Theory will influence world events. Because Dugin and adherents of Fourth
Political Theory tend to place esoteric narratives to the fore, purely empirical
evidences may well be considered as statements of Western bias against, and
misunderstanding of, the immanent qualities of Traditionalism.
Consider Dugin’s treatment of the Arthurian Narrative, Charlemagne, and
Apollo in one short paragraph. Dugin is in no way attempting to argue the empirical
historic validity of his examples; he is presenting them in esoteric, spiritual, and
heroic terms.
The Russian vision is obvious - it has its roots in our organic Orthodox
tradition and Russian Eurasian Empire. I presume that the future of
Europe lies in the restoration of the Charlemagne heritage and of the
eschatological anticipation of the return of King Arthur. Possibly some
would hope for the new Roman Empire professed by Virgil, who thought
that Apollo would return and this time for eternity.
7
The Metaphysics of Debris
When Dugin lays out the foundation for the ideology to be employed in the
Fourth Political Theory he reiterates that the two failed theories of the twentieth
century, Communism and Fascism, are not contenders for the ideological structure
of the fourth one. But Dugin does dig through the wreckage, flotsam, and jetsam of
the two failed challengers to Liberalism for useful elements that may be collected and
salvaged.
Dugin rejects adopting the “orthodoxy” of either Communism or Fascism, but
does not completely discard either. He contemplates then employs Alexander
Sekatsky’s “metaphysics of debris,” to mine the marginal, discarded, or peripheral
detritus of Communism and Fascism, for useful Fourth Political Theory construction
material. Within the debris of the Second and Third Theories can be found material
8
that, “may, unexpectedly, turn out to be extremely valuable and saturated with
meaning and intuition.” Considering this, Dugin alludes to the concept of the
9
7 Dugin, Interview Against Universalism.
8 Aleksandr Dugin, The Fourth Political Theory
, (London: Arktos, 2012), 22 and 24. Dugin mentions
Alexander Sekatsky (also often rendered “Sekatski” in English. Dugin renders it “Sekatskii” in The
Fourth Political Theory herein cited.) when referring to the “metaphysics of debris” and pointing out
the “significance of ‘marginalia” (see The Fourth Political Theory
, 23).
9 Dugin, Fourth Political Theory. 24
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Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
rejected stone becoming the cornerstone in Mark 12:10 as he contemplates applying
the Metaphysics of Debris to Fourth Political Theory.
10
Have you not even read this Scripture: THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,THIS
BECAME THE CHIEF CORNERstone
11
The positives of Communism may include its anti-capitalist, anti-liberal,
anti-cosmopolitan, and anti-individualist elements. Allowing that Communism
contained strains of materialist and cosmopolitanism, Dugin insists that a mere
recycling of Communism will not do; these taints plus the huge stumbling block of
atheism eliminate Communism from contention for resurrection. As for Fascism,
12
Dugin rejects it as well while at the same time tarring Fascism (the Third Way),
Western, and American flaws with the same brush.
As for the theories of the Third Way - which were dear, up to a certain
point, to some traditionalists such as Julius Evola - there were many
unacceptable elements, foremost among these being racism, xenophobia
and chauvinism. These were not only moral failures, but also
theoretically and anthropologically inconsistent attitudes. Differences
between ethnicities do not equate to superiority or inferiority. The
differences should be accepted and affirmed without any racist
sentiments of consideration...When one society tries to judge another, it
applies its own criteria, and so commits intellectual violence. This
ethnocentric attitude is precisely the crime of globalisation and
Westernisation, as well as American imperialism.
13
The Fourth Political Theory may not be viewed as simply an extension of the
second and third attempts, according to Dugin. Communism and Fascism, the
second and third theories, failed to achieve success over the dominance of the First
Political Theory Western Liberalism/Modernism. Dugin states that neither
Communism nor Fascism is acceptable as “starting points for resisting liberalism.”
14
Dugin makes the case that Communism cannot be the vehicle upon which to
construct or resurrect a Russia that can champion the multipolar world against the
unipolar and Postmodern West. There are those however, who would not be so sure
that Fourth Political Theory is not “a copy of a totalitarian state from Europe’s dark
past, dressed in 21st century clothing.”
15
Dugin identifies Traditionalist elements underpinning both Communism and
Fascism while acknowledging that neither may have consciously realized the
Traditionalist threads of their own heritage. It is the marginal elements in
16
10 Dugin, Fourth Political Theory, 23.
11 Mark 12:10, NASB
12 Dugin, Fourth Political Theory, 195.
13 Dugin, Fourth Political Theory, 195.
14 Dugin, Fourth Political Theory, 23.
15 Rob Garver, “Putin Isn’t Reviving the USSR, He’s Creating a Fascist State,” The Fiscal Times,
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/putin-isn-t-reviving-ussr-101500375.html?soc_src=mediacontentsto
ry&soc_trk=ma, last accessed 19 February 2017.
16 Dugin, Fourth Political Theory, 24.
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Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
Communism and Fascism, not the complete ideologies that are worthy of
consideration in Dugin’s mind. While any trust in either the second or third
17
political theories must be rejected, Dugin advocates examining the “marginal
elements” which remained on the periphery of these two theories for useful material
of a Traditionalist nature.
18
Therefore, Dugin has also mined Traditionalism in keeping with the
Metaphysics of Debris. He partially adorned his adaptation with various elements of
Integral Traditionalism in his own unique expression. “A tradition can give birth to a
product at one stage of its existence which it could not produce at an earlier time,”
says Edward Shils. Using a very similar line of thinking Dugin mines Integral
19
Traditionalism for material that he then uses in his current construction project.
“While traditions work forward in time,” Shils explains, “the construction of a
legitimatory, inspirational tradition is a temporal movement in the reverse
direction.” Viewed in light of Shils, Dugin’s attempts to adorn his
20
Neo-Traditionalism with selected elements recycled from the past and acquired by
mining Integral Traditionalism are more understandable.
Conspirology
Groups, organizations, and associations that are secretive and/or exclusive,
become magnets – magnets that often attract an incredible amount of attention. The
many and varied Masonic Orders, the Rosicrucians, the Illuminati, the Trilateral
Commission, Opus Dei, The Bildenburg Group, and countless others draw attention
across the board from serious scholars in the Academy to strange but equally serious
Conspirology groupies dwelling on the outer fringe of paranoia. The field is at once
graced with limited amounts of serious scholarship and strewn with seriously flawed
diatribes posing as scholarship.
No extended excursions on the entertaining but apparently endless voyage
into the deterministic persecution complex filled regions are planned here.
However, some examination of Dugin’s references to various perceived conspiracies
are in order. This brief look is especially warranted considering Vadim Rossman’s
observation that, “Dugin introduces himself as a ‘metaphysician, conspirologist, and
expert in sacred geography.’”
21
Conspirology per se is not a specific theology. But, oft times Conspirology
involves religious and theological subjects and issues – consider The Da Vinci Code
17 Dugin, Fourth Political Theory, 24.
18 Dugin, Fourth Political Theory, 24.
19 Edward Shils, “Tradition, Ecology, and Institution in the History of Sociology,” Daedalus
, 99, 4,
“The Making of Modern Science: Biographical Studies,” Fall, 1970, 802.
20 Shils, Tradition, Ecology, and Institution, 804.
21 Vadim Rossman, “Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography: The Case of Lev Gumilev,” Russia
between East and West: scholarly debates on Eurasianism
, Dmitry Shlapentokh (ed), International
studies in sociology and social anthropology, 102, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2007, 161. See also:
Rossman, Russian Intellectual Antisemitism in the Post-Communist Era,
Lincoln NE: University of
Nebraska Press, 2002, 38. It is unclear if Rossman has employed a direct quote from a Dugin
self-description or if he has compiled this description from multiple Dugin sources.
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Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
and its legions of knockoffs. In this genre it seems, like in The Da Vinci Code
,
22
religious conspiracy is a favorite subject, especially with topics that present orthodox
Christianity as a falsehood protected out of various and nefarious motives.
23
Some of the most read works of what is considered to be popular literature
happen to be conspirologically based fictions. Even casual research will reveal that
there is an entire genre of both novels and supposed non-fiction devoted to
“Conspiracy Theory.” Here dwell theories as yet unproven and more often
24
unprovable. Conspiracies proven are of course no longer “theories,” they must exit
the genre to take up residence elsewhere.
But, conspirology is not entirely confined to fiction literature and a
“non-fiction” fringe. For my purposes, Traditionalism has some very interesting
conspirological aspects. There exists a decidedly Conspirology-based “hermeneutic
suspicion of historical reality.” Epstein submits that liberal and traditionalist
25
perspectives of things spiritual, political, professional, and economic often involve a
similar “Hermeneutic of Historical Suspicion.” For the liberal each of these
26
particular areas is “governed by their own particular laws.” For the traditionalist
27
“even the most concrete and seemingly arbitrary facts” within these same subject
areas “are conditioned by some underlying principles and therefore testify to an
all-comprehensive determinism.”
28
Because the term “liberal” has become vague to the point of being
meaningless in the contemporary vernacular, Epstein’s use of a Marxist example
allows for a better understanding of his point. “[W]here Marxism, with its
materialist assumptions, speaks about ‘laws,’” Epstein says, “traditionalism, with its
spiritual bias, identifies concealed ‘volitions’ and ‘intentions.’” Thus both subscribe
29
to the Hermeneutic of Suspicion “laws” are suspect in the former and “volitions”
and “intentions” are suspect in the latter. Something beyond events themselves are
pulling the strings. In Epstein’s view, suspension of this something drives the
traditionalist to read and interpret history “in terms of "conspirology," the science of
conspiracies.”
30
The notion of conspiracy presupposes that history is designed according
to some initial plan, so that all particular events wars, revolutions,
natural disasters can be explained as part and parcel of a grand
22 Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code
, New York: Doubleday, 2003.
23 See for example: Hugh J. Schonfield, The Passover Plot
, New York: Bantam Books, 1969.
24 Within the genre is literature that ranges from the trivial and fringe to subjects that have had, or
may have serious consequences. See for example: Svetlana Boym, “Conspiracy Theories and Literary
Ethics: Umberto Eco, Danilo Kiš and The Protocols of Zion,” Comparative Literature
, Vol. 51, No. 2.
(Spring, 1999), 97-122.
25 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 18.
26 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 18. Epstein here refers to traditional and its
variants with the lower case, so it is assumed that he is not referring to Dugin’s Traditionalism per se
.
27 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 18.
28 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 18.
29 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 18.
30 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 18.
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Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
scheme.
31
Epstein’s conclusions regarding Dugin are grounded within the assumption
that, reading history from a Traditional perspective, Dugin naturally gravitates
toward conspirology. Dugin’s own previously mentioned assertion that he is a
“conspirologist” validates Epstein’s understanding. But, besides being a
conspirologist derived at through the general characteristic of his Traditionalist
worldview, Dugin expounds specific conspiratorial themes that Epstein identifies
and explores.
Dugin’s Five Conspiracies
Jewish
Masonic
Bankers
The Poor
Heterodoxes
Figure 1.
32
While five in number, there is evidence of an overarching and permeating
conspiracy evident in Dugin’s mind. According to Rossman, Dugin’s description of
each conspiracy has “more or less pronounced anti-Semitic implications.”
33
Rossman’s position is that Dugin’s adoption of the Jewish Conspiracy “is discerned
as a central and most basic one.”
34
The idea of Jewish conspiracy, undoubtedly, corresponds to deep
unconscious arche-types [sic] of very remote and diverse human
communities. It is most likely that this theory is the activation of
unconscious energies, which constitute the ‘conspirological instinct’ at its
source.
35
Dugin appears to be using gescheft to mean “the way of doing business,” or
“the method of profit,” when commenting on Russian perceptions. Dugin
36
remarked, “speaking of the Jews, their specific appearance and even their
historically revealed proclivity for the subversive and destructive forms of “gescheft,”
are only the excuses for expression of a much more deep, sacred, and well-grounded
mystical and theological hostility of Russian nationalism to the Jewishness in all its
manifestations.
37
31 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 18.
32 Adapted from Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography,
181.
33 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 181. Here quoting Dugin, see: Dugin,
Konspirologiia: nauka o zagovorakh, tainykh obshchestvakh i okkul’tnoi voine
(Conspirology: The
Science About Plots, Secret Societies, and Occult War
), Moscow, Russia: Arktogeia, 1993, 20.
34 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 181.
35 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 181.
36 The emphasis here in quotation marks is my own.
37 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 181. Here quoting Dugin, see Dugin,
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Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
Dugin suspects the entire New World Order enterprise to be part of this
conspiracy. The seriousness of the theological implications Dugin and his colleagues
of the journalistic magazine, Elements
(Elementy
), placed on Bush’s repeated use of
New World Order phraseology immediately took on a conspirological tones with
statements such as,
The New World Order, based on the establishment of One World
Government, as has been candidly admitted by odeologists [sic] of the
Trilateral Commission and Bildenburg, is not simply a question of
politico-economic domination of a certain "occult" ruling clique of
international bankers. This "Order" bases itself on the victory on a global
scale of a certain special ideology, and so the concept concerns not only
instruments of power, but also "ideological revolution," a "coup d’état"
consciousness, "new thinking."
38
Epstein draws links in a connection between various ideologies and
Conspirology through their emphasis on aspects of transmission and reception,
specifically encoding and decoding.
Ideology attempts to mobilize the collective will of society for the
construction of a deferred paradise, while conspirology mobilizes the
nation to oppose the demonic plots which destroyed the original
paradise. Both ideology and conspirology are obsessed with deciphering
the coded messages concealed in the most ordinary and natural things.
39
Epstein is also of the opinion that there are those who have “the idea that
capitalism and communism are two strategies of a single conspiracy, conceived by
Zionists and Masons and designed to crush Russia as the world's last bastion of true
Christian spirituality.” Here one can see evidence, at least from Epstein’s
40
perspective, of the predominance of Dugin’s Jewish Conspiracy over the other four.
In a popular version of conspirology, the plot can be traced to an ancient
Jewish and Masonic attempt to take over the world, and both Soviet
Communism and American Capitalism are seen as participants in this
conspiracy, whose antagonism is merely a simulation concealing their
basic collaboration.
41
Karl Popper studied and wrote at length on conspiracies as social constructs.
His book, The Open Society and Its Enemies
, delves into Conspiracy Theory in detail
“Apologiia natsionalisma,” Den,
38 September 1993, 149.
38 Dugin, “Ideology of the World Government,” 1991,
http://www.4pt.su/en/content/ideology-world-government, last accessed 9 March 2017.
39 Epstein,
“Russian Philosophy of National Spirit from the 1970s to the 1990s,”
Re-ethnicizing
the
Minds?: Cultural Revival in Contemporary Thought,
Thorsten Botz-Bornstein and Jürgen
Hengelbrock, eds., Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi, 2006, 206.
40 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 27.
41 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 18.
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Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
and is widely viewed as an outstanding defense of Liberal Democracy. In this work
42
Popper identified Conspiracy Theory as,
the view that an explanation of a social phenomenon consists in the
discovery of the men or groups who are interested in the occurrence of
this phenomenon (sometimes it is a hidden interest which has first to be
revealed), and who have planned and conspired to bring it about.
43
Popper holds that this view arises from the “mistaken theory,”
that, whatever happens in society—especially happenings such as war,
unemployment, poverty, shortages, which people as a rule dislike—is the
result of direct design by some powerful individuals and groups. This
theory is widely held; it is older even than historicism (which, as shown
by its primitive theistic form, is a derivative of the conspiracy theory). In
its modern forms it is, like modern historicism, and a certain modern
attitude towards ‘natural laws’, a typical result of the secularization of a
religious superstition.
44
In Popper’s theory, belief in supernatural determinism is replaced by a very
human belief wherein the gods “are abandoned,” and replaced “by powerful men or
groups sinister pressure groups whose wickedness is responsible for all the evils
we suffer from such as the Learned Elders of Zion, or the monopolists, or the
capitalists, or the imperialists.”
45
Umberto Eco, no stranger to Conspiracy Theory himself, adopts a John
Chadwick example. “The urge to discover secrets is deeply ingrained in human
nature,” according to Chadwick, and “even the least curious mind is roused by the
promise of sharing knowledge withheld from others.” Eco sees conspiracies gain
46
traction “[b]ecause they purport to offer explanations in ways that appeal to people
who feel they’ve been denied important information.
47
Eco mentions that Massimo Polidoro refers to the 1964 Harper’s magazine
42 Cited in Eco, Theory of Conspiracies, 1. See: Karl R. Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies
,
Complete: Volumes I and II, 1962, Fifth edition (revised), 1966.
43 Popper, Open Society. The Open Society and its Enemies
has been republished several times and in
editions containing only Volume I or Volume II as well in editions containing both volumes (as
above). This quote appears in Volume II. See for example: The Open Society and its Enemies Vol. II
New York, NY: Routledge, 2003, 104.
44 Popper, Open Society, 104.
45 Popper, Open Society, 104-105.
46 Umberto Eco, “A theory of conspiracies,” Trans. Alastair McEwen, Livemint, October 6, 2014, 1,
http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/5lhODHqqZHUCqwOZcw2liL/Umberto-Eco--A-theory-of-conspi
racies.html?facet=print, last accessed 26 July 2016. John Chadwick was one of those who deciphered
“Linear B,” Ancient Greek (Mycenaean) script. See also: Massimo Polidoro, Revelations: The Book of
Secrets and Conspiracies, complete citation. Eco writes that Polidoro is “one of the most active
members of CICAP – the Italian Committee for the Investigation of the Claims on the Paranormal,
and goes on to say that the aforementioned book is just “the latest addition to his vast body of work
devoted to cock and bull stories that circulate in the mass media and among the public.”
47 Eco, A theory of conspiracies, 1.
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Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
article by historian Richard Hofstadter. Hofstadter examined conspiracists using the
psychiatric term “paranoid” and noted that the conspiracy advocate “sees the fate of
conspiracy in apocalyptic terms—he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds,
whole political orders, whole systems of human values.” Given this interpretation,
48
Hofstadter could easily be imagined to be writing with Dugin specifically in mind.
Eco explained that, “Hofstadter used the word ‘paranoid’ not in a clinical
sense, but as a rhetorical device.”
The clinically paranoid person thinks that others are plotting against him
personally, whereas the socially paranoid person believes that occult
powers are persecuting his class, his nation, his religion.
49
Eco continued with his pertinent observation that, “I would argue that the
latter is more dangerous, because he sees his plight as one that’s shared—perhaps by
millions of other people,” Eco wrote that this view of the Conspiracy Theory
50
adherent, “validates his paranoia and seems to him to explain current as well as
historical events.”
51
Dugin, as might be expected, rejects much of Popper’s hypothesis out of hand.
“The neuroses and fears located at the pathogenic core of liberal philosophy are
clearly seen in The Open Society and its Enemies
,” says Dugin. Conspiracy Theory
52
continues to thrive largely because people continue to conspire. What is seen as
paranoia to some is seen as the recognition of a legitimate threat by others.
“Undoubtedly, there is truth in the assertion that traditional American society has
collapsed, being replaced by ‘the open society,’ so named by George Soros and Karl
Popper,” wrote J. R. Nyquist. Given that people do conspire in reality, the difficult
53
task is to accurately determine where their placement on the scale between real
conspiracy and paranoia actually falls.
Commenting on an interview he conducted with Brazilian philosopher Olavo
de Carvalho, Nyquist noted Carvalho’s contention that, “It is Carvalho’s view that the
“open society” concept has been used by the nation’s enemies to destroy “everything
that is good and great in this country [the USA].” Carvalho posits that Dugin and
54
others use the “open society” as a propaganda tool.
[T]he “open society” becomes a pretext for fostering widespread global
hatred against the United States. For the “open society” produces moral
degradation that is subsequently blamed on the American way of life,
48 Eco, A theory of conspiracies 1. Here Eco cites both Polidoro and Hofstadter. See Richard
Hofstadter, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” Harper’s Magazine, November 1964, pp. 77-86.
49 Eco, A theory of conspiracies, 1.
50 Eco, A theory of conspiracies, 1.
51 Eco, A theory of conspiracies, 1.
52 Dugin, Fourth Political Theory, 51. Here Dugin refers directly to Popper’s The Open Society and its
Enemies
, cited above.
53 J.R. Nyquist, “A Philosopher's Warning,” Financial Sense
, February 18, 2011,
http://www.financialsense.com/contributors/jr-nyquist/a-philosopher-warning, Last accessed 9
March 2017.
54 Nyquist, Philosopher's Warning. Brackets added.
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which supposedly demonstrates the special wickedness and decadence of
the American people.
Theology in Fourth Political Theory
Dugin too finds “the machine” that “now runs by itself” to be exceedingly
problematic. Like Schmitt, Dugin suspects that the machine that runs without the
55
power of a sovereign in firm control, especially in times of crisis, will not likely run
for long. And like Schmitt, Dugin finds ample reasons that the State requires in
those crisis times a strong central authority equipped to wield the force of the State.
Finally, Dugin like Schmitt firmly believes in authority that has transcendent
attributes, “society should be created not from below but from above,” says he.
56
While Dugin no doubt believes that the State has the responsibility of
assuring citizens of order and stability,” he does not make this responsibility the
raison d’être of the State, as does Schmitt. “The meaning of the State is its spiritual
57
mission,” Dugin says in more of a proclamation than a statement. Indeed, it is the
58
State and its spiritual mission, the intertwining of the temporal and the spiritual
the fusion of politics and theology, that really makes Dugin and by extension his
Eurasian vision so difficult for the West to swallow.
Dugin agrees with Thomas Hobbes’ assertion that a primary duty of the State
is, “assuring citizens of order and stability.
Thomas Hobbes used biblical imagery of Leviathan the Sea Monster in
his description of a powerful state able to keep peace and provide its
citizens with security across the spectrum from personal to national.
Hobbes was fain to envision the population of Leviathan the State
contracting away most or all power to a single authority be it a single
person or a relatively small authoritative council able to enforce the law
and relieve the security concerns of the masses.
59
Dugin shares much of this Hobbesian philosophy of State power of the, but
adds to it rather blends with it significant elements of theology. No
comprehensive understanding of Dugin is possible if the spiritual dimension of his
complex geopolitical thinking is ignored or even taken too lightly. In an observation
from the Orthodox perspective, Vladimir Moss noted,
55 Re: Chapter 3.2. for the earlier mention of Schmitt’s comments on the “machine that runs itself.”
56 Dugin, “An Interview with Alexander Dugin: Against Universalism,” interviewed by Rémi Tremblay,
Alternative Right
, May 21, 2015,
http://alternative-right.blogspot.com/2015/05/an-interview-with-alexander-dugin.html, last
accessed 7 March 2017.
57 George Schwab, “Introduction,” in Schmitt, Political Theology, xix.
58 Dugin, Against Universalism.
59 John Mosbey, “Putin, Dugin, and the Coming Wild Ride on Leviathan,” Modern Diplomacy, March
11, 2016,
http://moderndiplomacy.eu/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1275:putin-dugin-and-the-c
oming-wild-ride-on-leviathan&Itemid=480, last accessed 24 July 2016.
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In 1999 Dugin became an Old Ritualist; whether he actually joined the
schism or only the yedinoverie (Old Ritualist) section of the official
Moscow Patriarchate is not clear. What is clear is that the Old Ritualist
understanding of Russian and world history has deeply influenced his
thought.
60
Moss then goes on to suggest a way to capture a fundamental element in
understanding Dugin, “it is more fruitful and accurate to see his thought as a product
of a kind of modernized Old Ritualism than as a species of right- or left-wing
politics.” Moss’ observation demonstrates the depth of political/theological
61
syncretism found in Dugin’s geopolitics. It also highlights an area of constant
misunderstanding or lack of acknowledgment on the part of Dugin’s Western
observers that may serve to explain the demonization of Dugin in certain quarters.
“Any belief system especially one which is in part theologically derived and
which makes truth claims is immediately suspect and marginalized,” David
Brannan claims, referring to the predominant Western Liberal perspective. Just so
62
the West is spring-loaded to disregard and marginalize Dugin and his theology laced
Fourth Political Theory. For Dugin does not simply display a religious bend or
tendency, he assigns an active religious attribute to the State and he boldly proclaims
for it a religious ideology. Dugin’s “religious ideology is closely connected with the
geopolitical identity of Russians.” It is an ideology wherein Dugin believes religion
63
legitimizes Russian identity.
According to Vadim Rossman’s understanding of Dugin, the geopolitical
aspects of Dugin’s political theology combine three other major features to produce a
uniquely conception of Russian nationalism. Dugin can be seen carrying over this
conception in its entirety into his Neo-Eurasian construction.
Dugin’s Components of Russian Nationalism
Religious and Messianic
Geopolitical
Imperial
Communal
Figure 2.
64
Dugin’s geopolitical construct under the Fourth Political Theory appears to be
set to default to a metaphysical position. Consider this example where Dugin does
60 Vladimir Moss, “Alexander Dugin and the Meaning of Russian History,”
http://www.orthodoxchristianbooks.com/articles/517/alexander-dugin-meaning-russian-history/,
last accessed 7 March 2017.
61 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History.
62 Brannan, Christian Identity, 20.
63 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 164.
64 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 163-64.
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Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
not hesitate to resort to esoteric metaphysical illustration, allusion, and metaphor in
his descriptions of things Russian:
We Russians are a blessed nation. Therefore all our manifestations
lofty and shabby, comely and terrifying are sanctified by otherworldly
senses, by rays of the otherworldly city, are washed by transcendent
moisture. In the abundance of the national Grace the good and the evil
are mixed, pour from one to another, and suddenly the dark lightens,
whereas something white becomes a mere hell. We are as unknowable as
the Absolute. We are a divine nation. Even our Crime is incomparably
superior to some other‘s virtue.
65
The metaphysics involved in elevating crime over virtue indeed speaks of access to
an incredibly powerful - even terrifying - metaphysical palette.
Expanded to a metaphysical worldview, there are three major
“global-metaphysical systems” into which “the variety of the world's political
ideologies” can be divided, says Epstein of Dugin’s perspective. These systems are
66
Absolute Unity, Transcendental, and Magical Materialism.
For Dugin, there is “no higher metaphysical principle,” than that found in
Absolute Unity” This is the pinnacle of Dugin’s metaphysical fusion with politics.
67
In his 1994 analysis of Dugin, Epstein interprets Dugin as fully embracing the
“esoteric doctrine of immanence.” In Absolute Unity, man “is absolutely free and
68
inseparable from God.” This Gnostic “noblest of all worldviews,” according to
69
Dugin, was “historically realized in the sacred imperialism of the Ghibellines, in the
heresies’ of Cathars and Albigenses, in the teachings of Rosicrucianism, and in
German National Socialism.
70
While prevalence of the “esoteric doctrine of immanence” may have been
characteristic of the Ghibelline supporters of the Holy Roman Empire in its quarrels
with the Popes as Dugin claims, it was certainly familiar to the Cathars and
Albigenses. Rosicrucian acceptance of immanence expressed similarly to Dugin’s
Absolute Unity is no doubt present in its Gnostic approach to religion in general and
Christianity in particular, but mentioning the immanent desires and manifestations
of German National Socialism are especially interesting due, in no small part, to
fairly widespread accusations of Dugin’s Fascist leanings.
The Transcendental classification falls just below Absolute Unity in the
65 Dugin, “Dostoyevsky and the Metaphysics of St. Petersburg,” Trans. by Vladislav Ivanov,
https://archive.org/details/DostoyevskyAndTheMetaphysicsOfSt.Petersburg, last accessed July 22,
2016.
66 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 19.
67 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Tradition, 19. Here Epstein cites, Dugin, “Metafizicheskie korni
politicheskikh ideologii,” Milyi Angel, Ezotericheskoe reviu,
1, 1991, 84.
68 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 19.
69 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 19. Here Epstein cites,
Dugin, Metafizicheskie korni politicheskikh ideologii, 84.
70 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 19.
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Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
hierarchical formulation of the Global Metaphysical System. In this regard,
Metaphysical Transcendentalism is the position articulated by mainstream
Christianity today. It finds adherence somewhat between the “Paradise Principle” of
Absolute Unity of Traditionalism and the irreconcilable transcendence of Judaism.
71
Dugin’s Global-Metaphysical System
Global-Metaphysical
System
Presuppositional
Characteristics
Absolute Unity (between God
and man)
The presence of a Divine Subject
(Hero, Angelic Leader, Sacred
Emperor. Entire world is domain of
Divine Subject’s supernatural
Control – he is at the center, on the
Pole, in the middle of the sacred
cosmos. Paradise-like.
Transcendental (relationship
between the Creator and the
creation)
Common identity of God and man is
destroyed. God is elevated to a
higher realm. Man expelled from
paradise, doomed to dwell in
profane realm of earthly suffering.
Based on faith vice gnosis. Includes
elements of uncertainty and
heavenly aspiration.
Magical Materialism
Humans are totally divorced from
God, immanent or transcendent and
function only as a particle of the
material world. Encompasses
American Liberalism as well as
Soviet Marxism. Belief in progress
of universe's material evolution.
Cultivates empirical knowledge, a
form of agnosticism, Instead of
either gnosis or faith. Denies the
spiritual realm and establishes
effectiveness as the only criterion of
truth.
Figure 3.
72
While Christianity doctrinally recognizes Christ as mediator the intercessor,
that is a bridge between the irreconcilable transcendence of human existence after
The Fall and the present attainability of Paradise, originally it was intended to merge
“God and man in the figure of Christ.” In this departure from original intent,
73
Christianity “was transformed into a religion of sin and repentance,” condemned by
Gnostic teachings, and henceforth viewed “as Satanic and Luciferian.”
74
71 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 20.
72 Adapted from Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 19-20.
73 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 20.
74 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 20.
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Epstein says that in Dugin’s mind the Gnostic teaching condemning the Roman
Catholic Church for corrupting the notion of Absolute Unity “as the true
manifestations of original Christianity,” is the correct view. What Dugin is
75
advocating, as Epstein expresses it, “is the struggle of authentic Christianity against
its Judaic distortions.”
76
Epstein attributes Dugin’s affinity to the Eastern Orthodox Church in large part
“because of its closeness to an ancient, paganist worldview, is more faithful to
original Christianity than Western churches.”
77
Dugin finds affinities between this transcendental worldview and the
Christian democratic and social democratic conceptions that prevail in
contemporary European politics, which promote a view of man as
imperfect, sinful and hence reliant on socially organized charity and state
support.
78
I would expect argument here from the Orthodox Church regarding the
accusation of its inclusion of things pagan. But argument notwithstanding, there is
ample evidence presented throughout this study supporting the contention that
Dugin identifies with various pagan concepts in his Neo-Traditionalist worldview.
Identifying the materialistic element when unpacking “Magical Materialism,”
is fairly easy. Even a casual reader of Dugin quickly picks up on his anti-Western
bias based partially on his vehement condemnation of globalism’s rampant
materialism. Taken too casually, the “magical” element may be seen as almost
flippant. But, it is understandable in the sense of trusting in the seemingly magical
ability of evolutionary humanism to solve all problems. "Where there is the
necessary technical skill to move mountains, there is no need for the faith that moves
mountains,” quipped Eric Hoffer. Ironically, Hoffer seems to rely on faith in a
79
technology that can move mountains prior to actually engaging in any mountain
moving operations. Merely possessing technology is useless absent the faith to put it
in practice. Before any conscious activity aimed at producing a considered outcome
is undertaken, some degree of faith in something is necessarily placed somewhere.
To Dugin the degree of faith required to move mountains through technology
imitates (although poorly) supernatural faith and in part supports his accusation
that Western materialism is false religion. Arthur C. Clarke’s statement that “any
sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” comes to mind.
80
Magical Materialism, as a practical matter, simply elevates scientism into the realm
of authentic religion. Magical Materialism is the category where one may expect to
find atheistic and totalitarian Communism. But, here is also found the American
and other Western models of consumer oriented societies. In places where
Enlightenment inspired humanistic consumerism is the model, “paradise is
75 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 20.
76 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 20.
77 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 20.
78 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 19-20.
79 Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind
, Cutchogue, NY: Buccaneer Books, 1996, 7.
80 Arthur C. Clarke, Profiles of the Future
, London: Macmillan, 1973, 36.
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Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
identified with purely material comfort and technological progress.”
81
Many Dugin readers in the West find it somewhat shocking that he so readily
relegates Protestantism within the same category of Global Metaphysics as he does
Soviet Marxism and American Liberalism, however Dugin does it with no
compulsion.
Russia defended its identity against Catholicism, Protestantism and the
modern West during Tsarist times, and then against liberal capitalism
during Soviet times. Now there is a third wave of this struggle the
struggle against postmodernity, ultra-liberalism, and globalization.
82
Dugin views America, even America based on the liberties embedded with the
Declaration of Independence and Constitution, as unacceptably Protestant.
I am against making of that American Declaration, connected with a
Protestant model of theology, precisely a Protestant political system,
based on particular theses, not applicable to Catholics, the Orthodox, or
all the more so to other religions, to generalize them and to build on that
basis.
83
It is not all that difficult to see why Dugin equates Protestantism with Soviet
Marxism and American Liberalism within the area of Magical Materialism if the
presupposition is that Protestantism is part of an American political system exclusive
of Catholic, Orthodox, and other religions. While this broad brushing of
Protestantism would be rejected by most Protestants, it must be considered within
the confines of Dugin’s antithetical position with Western Liberalism.
Capturing the Hermeneutics of Fourth Political Theory
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
says of hermeneutics:
Hermeneutics as the methodology of interpretation is concerned with
problems that arise when dealing with meaningful human actions and
the products of such actions, most importantly texts. As a
methodological discipline, it offers a toolbox for efficiently treating
problems of the interpretation of human actions, texts and other
meaningful material.
84
81 Epstein, Russian Conservatism and Traditionalism, 20.
82 “Interview with Alexander Dugin, Counter-Currents Publishing, February 2012,
http://www.counter-currents.com/2012/07/interview-with-alexander-dugin/. Last accessed 27
February 2017.
83 Dugin, “Vladimir Posner Interviews Alexander Dugin,” April 21, 2014,
http://www.4pt.su/en/content/vladimir-posner-interviews-alexander-dugin, Last accessed 25
February 2017.
84 C. Mantzavinos, "Hermeneutics", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
(Fall 2016 Edition),
Edward N. Zalta (ed.), (forthcoming 21 September 2016),
http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2016/entries/hermeneutics/.
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Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
From the viewpoint of academic study of hermeneutics as a refined subject
area, Jean Grondin offers the useful suggestion to confine hermeneutics to “theory of
interpretation.” And from a more utilitarian view perhaps better suited to
85
examining Dugin on this point, Alister McGrath defines hermeneutics as “[t]he
principles underlying the interpretation, or exegesis, of a text, particularly of
Scripture, and particularly in relation to its present-day application.” Herein
86
hermeneutics will employ the interpretative aspects cited above, but will apply them
lending a bit more weight to encompass the concepts behind various texts especially
in their “present-day application.”
Dugin applies his hermeneutical approach throughout construction of Fourth
Political Theory and Neo-Eurasian projections. His approach appears as constant
themes or refrains and is sufficiently evident across the spectrum of his written and
spoken works. As is already evident, there is one major hermeneutic evident in the
Fourth Political Theory and throughout his Eurasian construct, the hermeneutic of
Political Theology.
The Hermeneutic of Political Theology
While other hermeneutical elements and themes are present in Dugin’s work,
the the major hermeneutical theme of Political Theology remains as a consistent,
constant, and readily identifiable characteristic. The key to understanding Dugin lie
in first recognizing his major hermeneutical assumption. It is Dugin’s employment of
his primary hermeneutical presupposition that drives the Fourth Political Theory and
all of its associated accompaniments. “The central hermeneutic must be accepted,”
Brannan says, but once that leap is made, everything apparently falls into place.
87
Dugin demonstrates a consistent Hermeneutic of Political Theology; there is a
significant, detectable, and purposeful theme of intertwined or embedded political
intent in his theological presentations. There is also the same detectable emphasis
upon theology as an integral and essential component of Dugin’s political thought.
Dugin persistently displays the Schmittian hermeneutic of “all politics is
theological.” Subordinate to Dugin’s Hermeneutic of Political Theology are several
hermeneutical applications that lend ideological structure and substance to the
Fourth Political Theory. Already mentioned is the Hermeneutic of Historical
Suspicion. Here I will additionally briefly mention the hermeneutics of
85 Jean Grondin, Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics
. Yale University Press, 1994, 18, italics
in original.
86 Alister McGrath, Christian Theology
, Oxford, UK, Blackwell Publishing, 2007, 490. Herein
hermeneutics will employ the interpretative aspects within the citations above, but will apply them a
bit more broadly to encompass the concepts behind various texts. Therefore Dugin’s interpretation of
a particular text or idea and
the way he presents it will be considered to be his description (in whole
or in part) of his hermeneutical outlook.
87 David Brannan, Violence, Terrorism, and the Role of Theology: Repentant and Rebellious Christian
Identity, PhD Dissertation, St. Mary’s College, University of St. Andrews. 2006, 14. When explaining
motivations and rationale behind identity, Brannan is known (from this researcher’s personal
experience) to often suggest that explanations of a particular viewpoint are, “all in the hermeneutics.”
I am of the opinion that this certainly holds true in the case of Dugin.
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Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
Traditionalism, Sacred Space, Anti-Modernism, Identity, Third Rome, the Collective
Antichrist, and the Catechon.
The Hermeneutic of Traditionalism
Dugin styles himself a Traditionalist in the company of René Guénon and
Julius Evola. As a Traditionalist, Dugin believes that there is a consistent,
immutable, and transmitted Truth revealed to the Ancients that exists intact to this
day. Although the essence of the major religions consists of this core of Truth, much
of it has been lost or squandered except by those adepts of an initiated few.
Esoteric and gnostic, Traditionalism is also conservative and decidedly
anti-Modern. Dugin’s anti-Western bend, his rejection of globalism, and his
embrace of cohesive community over Western Liberal individualism are all
attributable to his strong Traditionalist ties.
The Hermeneutic of Sacred Space
Dugin displays a strong propensity to employ the hermeneutic of Sacred
Space as a subset of his hermeneutic of political theology. Woven deeply into his
Neo-Eurasian construct are the hermeneutical imperatives of Messianic Russia,
expressed in Manifest Destiny terms and understandings, and passed on and
expanded as a Messianic Eurasian Mission.
88
Unlike the West as heir to the Enlightenment, Dugin acknowledges a different
inheritance for Russia, a divine blessing that imbues the land itself with a sacred
element. For Dugin, it is not only the Russian people, religion, and culture that are
blessed by God, but the very soil itself. Manifest Destiny for Dugin is much more
than mere expansion, be it political or cultural. The Hermeneutic of Sacred Space
implies a divine mandate to hold and increase the land to preordained limits set by
Providence.
The Hermeneutic of Anti-Modernism
Dugin’s Hermeneutic of Anti-Modernism is expressed as a hybrid
Anti-Westernism. Dugin takes the Anti-Modernism hermeneutic found in René
Guénon’s school of Integral Traditionalism, modifies it with strong elements of
Julius Evola’s political leaning Traditionalism, and produces a hyper-Anti-Western
hybrid.
Dugin is vehemently Anti-Western. This Hermeneutic is evident throughout
his writing and speaking engagements. There is a curious observation of late where
Dugin’s Anti-Americanism has been toned down somewhat. Some Dugin students
and critics attribute this apparent change, if it is in fact real, to Dugin’s support for
Donald Trump. There is some speculation that this support may signal a belief by
Dugin that America under a Trump presidency may step back from the rampant
globalism and One World Government that Dugin so vigorously opposes.
88 See Chapter Five for a more detailed discussion of Sacred Space.
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The Hermeneutic of Identity
Brannan has done extensive research on self-defined “Identity” groups in
America. “Christian Identity
is an American theology,” according to him.
Those from within the movement took Identity
as a name for their belief
system from the idea that they the descendants of White Europeans –
were the literal and true Israel of God. Jewish people were not seen as
descendants of the Old Testament people of God. Rather, the true
“identity” of Israel, was to be found in the British, other European and
American Caucasian people.
89
Brannan highlights this “true identity” as the driving hermeneutic of Christian
Identity. “The understanding or presupposition of Israel being hidden within the
British and their extension elsewhere then serves as the predominant hermeneutic
for their later exegesis of scripture.” Here Brannan’s claims may be applied directly
90
to Fourth Political Theory and the Neo-Traditionalism and Neo-Eurasianism it
engenders as he highlights the centrality of hermeneutical presuppositions.
“If one is willing to accept this all-important presupposition,” that the true
“identity” of Israel is now found elsewhere in Christian Identity “then later
assertions appear to follow a coherent system of thought.” “Without acceptance of
91
the pre-suppositional hermeneutic,” Brannan assures, “the system will fail to
convince. Likewise if Dugin’s hermeneutical presuppositions are consistent within
92
Fourth Political Theory and Neo-Eurasianism they will remain coherent – this is not
to say universally evident, accepted, or correct, but coherent.
In order to attach a theological hermeneutic to the West, Dugin must give the
West a theological identity. Following Brannan, once this identity is established a
hermeneutical process can be assigned to it. Dugin has done this. The West is
assigned the identity of the Collective Antichrist and Dugin derives his collective
concept out of his Hermeneutic of the Third Rome.
The Hermeneutic of Third Rome
Rossman opines that Dugin believes that, “religious ideology is closely
connected with the geopolitical identity of Russians. It legitimates this identity.”
93
Dugin engages in a hermeneutical endeavor that closely involves his ideas of Moscow
(and by extension all of Russia) as the Third Rome. To this, or perhaps from this, he
attaches his ideas of a Collective Antichrist and Russia as the Catechon, the
Restrainer.
89 Brannan, Christian Identity, 14.
90 Brannan,
Christian Identity, 14.
91 Brannan,
Christian Identity, 14.
92 Brannan,
Christian Identity, 14.
93 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 164.
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Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
After the fall of Constantinople, Orthodox Russia became “the last
shelter of Christ’s truth in a world of apostasy” and “the last unspoiled
bulwark of faith and sacredness in a world of evil.” The doctrine of
“Moscow the Third Rome” of the monk Philotheus, Dugin argues,
presupposes that Russia is the Fourth Empire and the “Restraining
Force,” “the catechon” of the second Epistle of Paul to the
Thessalonians…
94
The above Rossman excerpt is loaded with elements of Dugin’s Political
Theology behind Fourth Political Theory. Dugin’s hermeneutical presupposition of
Russia and hence Eurasia as the Third Rome, the Restraining Force, the Catechon of
Paul is foundational to his thinking. Dugin is not about theology as some tangential
aspect of politics, Dugin is all in with the total saturation of politics with Fourth
Political Theory theology. The West is Antichrist and Russia is Third Rome the
Catechon.
Dugin relates that, “before the Great Schism in 1054, the distrust and the
disconnection between the East and West Christians gradually increased.” With
95
the fall the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century, Constantinople became the
seat of Roman power the Second Rome. The Bishoprics of Rome and
Constantinople were nominally equal, but Rome more and more assumed not just
the title of Chair of Peter, but also increasingly claimed the primacy. Eventually,
internal doctrinal fighting led to division of the Church into separate Eastern and
Western entities. Dugin notes that these “two Christian denominations created two
Christian civilizations: Western-European Catholics (later the Protestant, even more
Occidental in some cases, divided from it) and Eastern-European Orthodox.”
96
The Ottomans occupied Greece, formerly under Byzantine protection, after
the fall of Constantinople in 1453. “The Greeks found themselves under the Ottoman
Empire, thus, only Russia remained the carrier of true Orthodoxy not only as the
religion, but also as the Empire,” Dugin writes. In the early sixteenth century, “The
97
Christianization of Kievan Rus' led Russians’ ancestors to the Orthodoxy and the
Eastern Christianity.” According to Dugin, when “the Principality of Moscow took a
98
mission to be a stronghold of the Eastern Christianity,” the Third Rome came into
being.
99
94 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 164. Rossman inserts several quotes
here. While the inference is that they are from Dugin, he does not cite them specifically as such.
Rossman notes, “Dugin refers to the theory of the Old Believers, schismatics who split from the
Orthodox Church in the late seventeenth century. They believed and still believe that the
Antichrist has already come and often identified him with one of the Russian emperors.”
95 Dugin, “Dugin’s guideline,” “Liberal, Post-Modern Europe Is Rotting to Pieces. Strong
Christian Russia Doesn't Need Her,” Frank Gashumba Saturday March 5, 2016, Published on
Russia Insider News
, (http://russia-insider.com)
http://russia-insider.com/en/top-russian-ideologue-alexander-dugin-gives-his-take-recent-meet
ing-between-pope-francis-and/ri13168,
96 Dugin, Postmodern Europe is Rotting.
97 Dugin, Postmodern Europe is Rotting.
98 Dugin, Postmodern Europe is Rotting.
99 Dugin, Postmodern Europe is Rotting.
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Marshall Poe, writing for The National Council for Soviet and East European
Research, agrees that “the writings of the Russian monk Filofei of Pskov in the early
sixteenth century,” gave Third Rome its first recorded appearance. Poe explains,
100
“Filofei, like other clerics of the era, was concerned that the Russian monarchy was
not doing enough to stamp out heresies such as astrology,”
Pursuant to this belief, he wrote a letter to an official in which he argued
that the Muscovite grand prince was obliged to protect the church
because he was the ruler of the "Third Rome." If the Russian ruler failed
in this duty, humanity could not be saved, because, according to "books
of prophecy" that Filofei never identified, there would be no "Fourth
Rome" before the last judgment.
101
In the Executive Summary to his study on Third Rome Poe writes that the
“Old Believers” found Third Rome concepts important enough to ensure that in
claiming the mantle of being the true keepers of Third Rome they could be
distinguished as holding the True Faith.
The "Old Believers," a major sectarian movement of the second half of
the seventeenth century, did adopt "Third Rome." They believed that the
Russian orthodox church [sic] had abandoned the "true" faith and the
obligations of being the "Third Rome." The Old Believers separated
themselves from Russian orthodoxy and claimed their community alone
represented the "Third Rome. "
102
It is important to emphasize, as Rossman does, “Dugin’s appeal to the
replacement theology suggested by the seventeenth-century schismatics and
abandoned by the Orthodox Church.” The theology that Dugin appeals to refers to
103
his belief that the Millennium, the Thousand-year Reign of Christ was realized in
Byzantium. “Dugin believes the schismatics preserved the most authentic aspects
104
of Orthodox tradition. Russia had been bequeathed the “divine presence” from
Byzantium.”
105
Poe’s research indicated that because of the influence of opinions supporting
the Third Rome concept, “several Russian philosophers of the late nineteenth
century developed the thesis that Russia was a "messianic " nation.
106
The idea first became politically significant in connection with the
"Panslav" movement in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The
100 Marshall T. Poe, “Moscow the Third Rome” The Origins and Transformations of a Pivotal
Movement
, National Council for Soviet and East European Research, Washington, DC, October
10, 1997, 2.
101 Poe, Moscow Third Rome, 2.
102 Poe, Moscow Third Rome, 2.
103 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 165.
104 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 165.
105 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 165.
106 Poe, Moscow Third Rome, 2.
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Panslavs believed that it was Russia's duty to protect and unite all
orthodox Slavs in a federation under Moscow's control. They saw "Third
Rome" as evidence that Russia was historically and even divinely
destined to fulfill this task.
107
Poe suggests that by picking up on nineteenth century support for the concept
of Third Rome and Messianic Russia in the 1950s and 1960s, Western
“commentators” connected the origins of Soviet "expansionism" to "Russian
messianism" and thence to Third Rome allusions. More recently,” Poe explains,
108
“Russians have begun to explore "Third Rome" as a way to comprehend what they
believe is their national psychology. Although Dugin would probably not explain it
109
in terms of “national psychology,” more likely preferring a description with
overtones of an inheritance of Divine Presence, he is most certainly one of the
Russians who expound Third Rome as Poe suggests. Because of Dugin’s prominence
as a proponent of Third Rome and given the Third Rome aspects underlying Fourth
Political Theory, it is unfortunate that Dugin’s ideas were apparently not deemed
sufficiently developed to be more thoroughly addressed in Poe’s 1997 work.
110
Poe reached the conclusion that that there is no historical validity to the
contention of advocates of Third Rome, hence there can be no validity for advocates
like Dugin, of the Third Rome contention today. While there is merit in continuing
the debate over the validity of the Third Rome claims, this is not that forum.
However, it should be pointed out that it is not the academic validity of Dugin’s
Third Rome hermeneutic that gives its political theology punch. The power of
Dugin’s Hermeneutic of The Third Rome lies in the significant symbolic messianic
coding applied to it and to its decoding during its reception.
Recent events clearly demonstrate the fact that Third Rome is a living concept
despite any weakness in its empirical historical lineage. Curiously, the 2016 meeting
between the Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill reinforce Third Rome’s conceptual
viability. This meeting “had far more import for geopolitics than it did for the
reconciliation of two long-alienated branches of Christianity,” at least this is Coyer’s
opinion. Coyer stated several Russian outcome goals for Kirill’s participation in
111
the meeting. The first was gaining Francis’s approval (thus the Vatican’s moral
authority) for Moscow’s role in Syria. Russia portrays itself as being in Syria
partially for the important reason of protecting Christian minorities subject to the
violence and under threat by Daesh. Russia, it must be remembered, takes the
112
mission of protecting Christians throughout Southwest Asia as a critical element of
its national historical interests. Secondly, Kirill wanted Russia to gain visibility for
Russian as a “Christian nation.” This goal was achieved by being highlighted in the
107 Poe, Moscow Third Rome, 4.
108 Poe, Moscow Third Rome, 2.
109 Poe, Moscow Third Rome, 2.
110 This is puzzling because Epstein had covered Dugin quite extensively in his work published some
three years earlier as part of the same overall National Council for Soviet and East European Research
project. It seems that Epstein’s work should have been familiar to Poe.
111 Coyer, Patriarch Pope Ukraine.
112 Coyer, Patriarch, Pope, Ukraine. Daesh is an acronym from the Arabic and refers to the
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (often rendered as ISIS or ISIL).
22
Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
meeting’s resulting joint statement. The third goal was most appropriate for this
current study:
A third goal was the blunting of Turkey’s ability to frustrate Russia’s
goals in Syria as Sergey Kholmogorov, a former Russia politician with
strong ties to the Kremlin, wrote, a major Russian motivation for the
meeting was “Third Rome [Moscow], Meeting First Rome [the Papacy],
to Neutralize Second Rome [Constantinople/Turkey].”
113
Kholmogorov certainly connected the Third Rome dots and Coyer quickly
picked up on the fact that he did. Observers in the West often miss the emphasis
that is placed on the homage to heritage practiced by Russians and by extension by
the Russian government. When the emphasis is noted, it is often passed over as
being identical to the civil religion of the West. While certain aspects are similar, the
core essence is vastly different.
The Hermeneutic of the Collective Antichrist
Dugin is vague, even contradictory, concerning the specifics he attributes to
the manifestation of Antichrist. To achieve a clearer understanding of how he
arrives at his accusations of first one then another being Antichrist, a look into
Dugin’s religious background is helpful. At least some evidence exists that Dugin is
an “Old Believer” or at least that he subscribes to the “Old Rite.”
Dugin’s repeated claims that “America is Antichrist,” for example, are in
apparent conflict with the Old Believer doctrine of the already accomplished
appearance of Antichrist in the late seventeenth century. However, Moss does credit
the Old Believers with originating the concept of a “collective Antichrist” to which
Dugin appears to subscribe.
Other background material suggests that Dugin associates Antichrist with
Jewish concepts of Messiah. Rossman says that Dugin claims the Jewish Messiah is
identified in “eternal Christianity” and other traditional religions as the Antichrist.
114
Dugin contends that Judaism and Christianity share common terms regarding
concepts such as eschatology, Messiahship, and demonology but apply sometimes
far different meanings to them.
115
“In the Judaic consciousness the Messiah is not a Divine Hero who comes
down from the Heaven of Principle to rectify the worn cosmos and to save the
degraded human community, as it is for the Christians and for other non-Judaic
eschatologies,” According to Dugin. Dugin writes that Messiah described in Judaic
116
sources “cannot be identified with the direct and triumphal revelation of the
Transcendental.” Therefore he concludes that this Jewish Messiah will not usher in
117
113 Coyer, Patriarch, Pope, Ukraine.
114 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 173.
115 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 174.
116 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 174. Here Rossman is quoting Dugin
“Golem i evreiskaiia metafizika.” Konservativnaiia revolutsiia
, 1994, 257–58.
117 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 174. Here Rossman quotes from the same
23
Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
anything really new no New Heaven and New Earth as in Christian doctrine.
“Judaists believe that both the saving and the saved are this-worldly and immanent,”
as Dugin states it. Therefore,
Judaism does not have the soteriological element common in all other
religions; the Messiah of Judaists does not bring any “good news” and
does not promise the “return” to the original state.
118
Ultimately Dugin arrives at the conclusion that the Jewish Messiah is not on the side
of Light and Truth, in fact just the opposite.
Who or What is the Collective Antichrist ?
Eschewing a strictly individual identification, Dugin applies his Antichrist
label to collective subjects. Antichrist is penned on several subjects in a similar way
to which he applies in a collective sense to America. Rather than allege that
119
America is a monolithic singularity, Dugin appends his Antichrist allegations to its
essence and influence in a collective sense.
120
In comments on Dugin’s Absoliutnaia Rodina
(Absolute Motherland
),
Moss
convicts Dugin of a “hatred of America so intense as to demonstrate that, while he,
with most of his countrymen, may have abandoned the ideology of the Soviet era, he
has by no means been exorcised of its ruling spirit
, its hatred
of the collective
enemy.” America is the “ominous and alarming country on the other side of the
121
ocean.” It is a country,
[w]ithout history, without tradition, without roots. An artificial,
aggressive, imposed reality, completely devoid of spirit, concentrated
only on the material world and technical effectiveness, cold, indifferent,
an advertisement shining with neon light and senseless luxury; darkened
by pathological poverty, genetic degradation and the rupture of all and
every person and thing, nature and culture. It is the result of a pure
experiment of the European rationalist utopians.
122
source as above.
118 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 174.
119 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History. Dugin alternately applies “Antichrist” to America, the New
World Order, the Roman Catholic Church, and Western Culture in general.
120 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History. Dugin alternately applies “Antichrist” to America, the New
World Order, the Roman Catholic Church, and Western Culture in general.
121 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History. Italics in original.
122 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History. Here he is quoting Dugin, Absoliutnaia Rodina
, Moscow:
Arktogenia-tsentr, 1999, 657-58. Absoliutnaia Rodina
is a compilation, edited and somewhat
expanded reprint of three of Dugin’s works: Ways of the Absolute
; Metaphysics of the Gospel:
Orthodox Esotericism
; and Mysteries of Eurasia
. See also, Dugin, “The Green Country,” extracts
from Chapter 6 of Mysteries of Eurasia
(1996 edition) from the collection Absolute Homeland
(Moscow, Arktogeya: 1999)
Trans. Jafe Arnold, posted april 24, 2016, The Fourth Revolutionary
War
,
https://4threvolutionarywar.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/america-the-green-country-alexander-dugi
n, last accessed 7 March 2017. Note: the translation here is slightly different than the Moss quotation
24
Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
Dugin continues his condemnation of America saying that with “its planetary
dominion, the triumph of its way of life, its civilizational model over all the peoples
of the earth,” America sees ‘progress’ and ‘civilizational norms’ only in itself.
123
America refuses everyone else on the planet, “the right to their own path, their own
culture, their own system of values.” and which he applies in a collective sense to
124
America.
125
I strongly believe that Modernity is absolutely wrong and the Sacred
Tradition is absolutely right. USA is the manifestation of all I hate
Modernity, westernization, unipolarity, racism, imperialism,
technocracy, individualism, capitalism. It is in my eyes the society of
Antichrist.
126
Dugin broadly applies his Antichrist accusations. Again applying a concept
that characterizes Antichrist with a “collective” nature, Dugin suggests a “Moshiah of
the World Government,” – an Antichrist that is the New World Order.
127
In the early 1990s, as President George H. Bush began proclaiming the arrival
of a New World Order, Dugin began to proclaim its inherent evil. After the Gulf
War,” Dugin wrote, “almost all mass media outlets in Russia, as well as in the West,
injected into the common speak the formula ‘New World Order,’ coined by George
Bush, and then used by other politicians including Gorbachev and Yeltsin.” Dugin
128
immediately applied theological implications to these New World Order
announcements and claimed that Orthodox Christianity and Islam clearly identify
‘new religiosity,’ New World Order, and Moshiah with the most sinister player in the
eschatological drama, the Antichrist (Dadjal in Arabic.).”
129
Dugin does not spare Western Christianity and directs his scorn at it as well,
Western Christianity today is in difficult situation: the secular atheistic
power, historically appeared after the Masonic and liberal-democratic
above.
123 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History. Here quoting Dugin, see, Dugin, Absoliutnaia Rodina,
657.
124 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History. Here quoting Dugin as above.
125 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History. Dugin alternately applies “Antichrist” to America, the New
World Order, the Roman Catholic Church, and Western Culture in general.
126 Dugin, “Maoism is too Modern for me,” http://4pt.su/en/content/maoism-too-modern-me, last
accessed 27 February 2017. See also: http://4pt.su/en/content/maoism-too-modern-me, March 26,
2015, last accessed 27 February 2017.
127 Dugin, “Ideology of the New World Government,” editorial, Arctogaia
, 1998.
http://pocombelles.over-blog.com/article-37097769.html, last accessed 27 February 2017. Citations
for this editorial are commonly given as http://arctogaia.com/public/eng-ed2.htm, but checking this
site on 27 February 2017 for this piece was unsuccessful although recent past attempts (14 February
2015, for example), were successful. The piece is still accessible through various secondary sources.
See also: http://www.4pt.su/en/content/ideology-world-government.
128 Dugin, New World Government,
129 Dugin, New World Government. Here Messianic mention is more in the vein of traditional
Judaism (still anticipating the coming) than the Orthodox Christian belief in Messiah as an
already accomplished temporal and spiritual fact.
25
Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
reforms, supplanted the Catholicism to the periphery long time ago. It is
no longer the center of power, but only an exhibit in the museum.
130
Making a more specific anti-Roman Catholic charge, Dugin says that, “the Western
Church of Old Rome fell away in 1054, becoming thereafter the cradle of the
antichristian civilization of the West.”
131
Dugin’s application of a collective Antichrist identification with America, the
West, the New World Order, globalism, or other subjects is confusing and difficult to
analyze. However, he is consistent in attributing his Antichrist accusations to things
Westen. Perhaps Dugin has created a collective one level above and even broader
than the Old Believer concept of a collective Antichrist - a collective of the collective
Antichrists.
Other material suggests that Dugin associates Antichrist with Jewish concepts
of Messiah. Rossman says that Dugin claims the Jewish Messiah is identified in
“eternal Christianity” and other traditional religions as the Antichrist. Dugin
132
contends that Judaism and Christianity share common terms regarding concepts
such as eschatology, Messiahship, and demonology but apply sometimes far different
meanings to them.
133
“In the Judaic consciousness the Messiah is not a Divine Hero who comes
down from the Heaven of Principle to rectify the worn cosmos and to save the
degraded human community, as it is for the Christians and for other non-Judaic
eschatologies,” According to Dugin. Dugin writes that Messiah described in Judaic
134
sources “cannot be identified with the direct and triumphal revelation of the
Transcendental.” Therefore he concludes that this Jewish Messiah will not usher in
135
anything really new no New Heaven and New Earth as in Christian doctrine.
“Judaists believe that both the saving and the saved are this-worldly and immanent,”
as Dugin states it. Therefore,
Judaism does not have the soteriological element common in all other
religions; the Messiah of Judaists does not bring any “good news” and
does not promise the “return” to the original state.
136
Ultimately Dugin arrives at the conclusion that the Jewish Messiah is not on the side
of Light and Truth, in fact just the opposite.
Who or What is the Collective Antichrist ?
130 Dugin, Postmodern Europe is Rotting.
131 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History.
132 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 173.
133 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 174.
134 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 174. Here Rossman is quoting Dugin
“Golem i evreiskaiia metafizika.” Konservativnaiia revolutsiia
, 1994, 257–58.
135 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 174. Here Rossman quotes from the same
source as above.
136 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 174.
26
Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
In comments on Dugin’s Absoliutnaia Rodina
(Absolute Motherland
),
Moss
convicts Dugin of a “hatred of America so intense as to demonstrate that, while he,
with most of his countrymen, may have abandoned the ideology of the Soviet era, he
has by no means been exorcised of its ruling spirit
, its hatred
of the collective
enemy.” America is the “ominous and alarming country on the other side of the
137
ocean.” It is a country,
[w]ithout history, without tradition, without roots. An artificial,
aggressive, imposed reality, completely devoid of spirit, concentrated
only on the material world and technical effectiveness, cold, indifferent,
an advertisement shining with neon light and senseless luxury; darkened
by pathological poverty, genetic degradation and the rupture of all and
every person and thing, nature and culture. It is the result of a pure
experiment of the European rationalist utopians.
138
Dugin continues with his condemnation of America saying that with “its
planetary dominion, the triumph of its way of life, its civilizational model over all the
peoples of the earth,” America sees ‘progress’ and ‘civilizational norms’ only in itself.
America refuses everyone else on the planet, “the right to their own path, their
139
own culture, their own system of values.”
140
Dugin’s understanding of Russian history: that the real break in that
history came, not in 1917 but two-and-a-half centuries earlier, and that
the “Eastern Roman Empire” not only did not come to an end in 1917,
but in some mysterious way continued to exist under Soviet power, and
continued to serve God and the True Church by opposing the real
Antichrist – American power
141
Dugin broadly applies his Antichrist accusations. Again applying a concept
that characterizes Antichrist with a “collective” nature, Dugin suggests a “Moshiah of
the World Government,” – an Antichrist that is the New World Order.
142
137 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History. Italics in original.
138 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History. Here he is quoting Dugin, Absoliutnaia Rodina
, Moscow:
Arktogenia-tsentr, 1999, 657-58. Absoliutnaia Rodina
is a compilation, edited and somewhat
expanded reprint of three of Dugin’s works: Ways of the Absolute
; Metaphysics of the Gospel:
Orthodox Esotericism
; and Mysteries of Eurasia
. See also, Dugin, “The Green Country,” extracts
from Chapter 6 of Mysteries of Eurasia
(1996 edition) from the collection Absolute Homeland
(Moscow, Arktogeya: 1999)
Trans. Jafe Arnold, posted april 24, 2016, The Fourth Revolutionary
War
,
https://4threvolutionarywar.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/america-the-green-country-alexander-dugi
n, last accessed 7 March 2017. Note: the translation here is slightly different than the Moss quotation
above.
139 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History. Here quoting Dugin, see, Dugin, Absoliutnaia Rodina,
657.
140 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History. Here quoting Dugin as above.
141 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History.
142 Dugin, “Ideology of the New World Government,” editorial, Arctogaia
, 1998.
http://pocombelles.over-blog.com/article-37097769.html, last accessed 27 February 2017. Citations
for this editorial are commonly given as http://arctogaia.com/public/eng-ed2.htm, but checking this
site on 27 February 2017 for this piece was unsuccessful although recent past attempts (14 February
2015, for example), were successful. The piece is still accessible through various secondary sources.
27
Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
In the early 1990s, as President George H. Bush began proclaiming the arrival
of a New World Order, Dugin began to proclaim its inherent evil. After the Gulf
War,” Dugin wrote, “almost all mass media outlets in Russia, as well as in the West,
injected into the common speak the formula ‘New World Order,’ coined by George
Bush, and then used by other politicians including Gorbachev and Yeltsin.” Dugin
143
immediately applied theological implications to these New World Order
announcements and claimed that Orthodox Christianity and Islam clearly identify
‘new religiosity,’ New World Order, and Moshiah with the most sinister player in the
eschatological drama, the Antichrist (Dadjal in Arabic.).”
144
Dugin does not spare Western Christianity and directs his scorn at it as well,
Western Christianity today is in difficult situation: the secular atheistic
power, historically appeared after the Masonic and liberal-democratic
reforms, supplanted the Catholicism to the periphery long time ago. It is
no longer the center of power, but only an exhibit in the museum.
145
Making a more specific anti-Roman Catholic charge, Dugin says that, “the Western
Church of Old Rome fell away in 1054, becoming thereafter the cradle of the
antichristian civilization of the West.”
146
Dugin’s application of a collective Antichrist identity to America, the West, the
New World Order, globalism, and various other subjects is confusing and difficult to
analyze. However, he is consistent in attributing his Antichrist accusations to things
Westen. Perhaps Dugin has created a collective one level above and even broader
than the Old Believer concept of a collective Antichrist - a collective of the collective
Antichrists.
Catechon (the Restrainer)
Rossman writes that Dugin accepts that, “Russians are the eschatologically
chosen people entrusted with the “mystery of grace” and empowered to prevent the
appearance of the Man of Sin. And, Rossman argues that Dugin presupposes that
147
See also: http://www.4pt.su/en/content/ideology-world-government.
143 Dugin, New World Government.
144 Dugin, New World Government. Here Messianic mention is more in the vein of traditional
Judaism (still anticipating the coming) than the Orthodox Christian belief in Messiah as an already
accomplished temporal and spiritual fact.
145 Dugin, Postmodern Europe is Rotting.
146 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History.
147 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 164. The “mystery of grace” may apply here
to the granting an understanding about the Messiah given to specific prophetic voices throughout the
ages and/or to a blessing upon Russia of the ability to make such understanding known. For an
example of the discussion see George Vandervelde, “The Grammar of Grace: Karl Rahner as a
Watershed in Contemporary Theology,” Theological Studies
, 49, 1988, 445-459. Here Rossman
notes, “Dugin refers to the theory of the Old Believers, schismatics who split from the Orthodox
Church in the late seventeenth century. They believed and still believe that the Antichrist has already
come and often identified him with one of the Russian emperors.”
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Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
Third Rome is the Restrainer, the Catechon.
148
The Catechon is the “one who holds back,” the one who restrains Antichrist.
149
In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, the Apostle Paul warns his fellow Christians not to
become overly concerned even if they get a letter purportedly written by him, even if
a spirit should deliver information that “the day of the Lord has come.” The clear
implication being that such a letter must be a forgery and/or such a message from a
spirit must be from an evil source. The reason such news could not be true is
because such a day cannot come “unless the apostasy comes first.” Before the “day of
the Lord” the “man of lawlessness” will be revealed. This “man of lawlessness” is
spoken of as if he is Antichrist if not, then some type of forerunner or
proto-Antichrist.
1Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
and our gathering together to Him,
2that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by
a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the
Lord has come.
3Let no one in any way deceive you, for
it will not come
unless the apostasy
comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
4who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship,
so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
5Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these
things?
6And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed.
7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains
will
do so
until he is taken out of the way.
8Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of
His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
9
that is
, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all
power and signs and false wonders,
10and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did
not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
11For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will
believe what is false,
12in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took
pleasure in wickedness.
150
Whereas Andreas Umland and Anton Shekhovtsov have focused an argument
criticising the authenticity of Dugin’s Traditionalism, Moss, writing from an
Orthodox perspective, criticises the authenticity of his adherence to Orthodox
Church doctrine.
151
It follows that in order to counter his undoubtedly malign influence on
148 Rossman, Anti-Semitism in Eurasian Historiography, 164.
149 Katechon – κατέχον.
150 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, NASB.
151 See Chapter Two of this Study.
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Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
contemporary Russian thought, it is necessary to elucidate his
eschatologism and subject it to criticism on the basis of the teaching of
the Orthodox Church.
152
Moss is of the opinion that Dugin should be considered in light of his being an
Old Believer, or at least in respect to his positive reception of Old Rite, doctrine.
153
The reforms instituted by the Orthodox Church under Patriarch Nikon of Moscow in
synod convened in 1666 were not accepted by all of the leadership. The Old
Believers (or Old Ritualists due to their holding to the pre-1666 doctrine and
liturgy) split from the Orthodox Church and were held to be schismatic until
anathema was removed in 1971 allowing their restoration to the Orthodox
communion. But many Old Believers have not actually returned. As previously
mentioned, Old Believer doctrine teaches that Moscow is the Third Rome and they,
the Old Believers, fully represent the True Faith in this doctrine.
If Moss is correct, then Dugin accepts that until the fall of Constantinople
“true piety was preserved,” in that the Byzantine emperors were the de facto
Restrainers and “held back the appearance of the Antichrist.” This means of
154
course, that Antichrist should be present in the world today because “in 1453 the
Byzantine empire fell, after which, according to the prophecy, there was no
“restrainer” and the Antichrist should have appeared.”
155
But it seems that Dugin believes that after the fall of Byzantium, Imperial
Russia assumed the mantle of Catechon.
Dugin’s understanding of Russian history: that the real break in that
history came, not in 1917 but two-and-a-half centuries earlier, and that
the “Eastern Roman Empire” not only did not come to an end in 1917,
but in some mysterious way continued to exist under Soviet power, and
continued to serve God and the True Church by opposing the real
Antichrist – American power
156
Here things seem to become a bit contrived. Moss suggests that Old Believers
hold that,
according to the great mercy of God, a kind of “Indian summer” of truly
Orthodox statehood, the “Third Rome” of Moscow, prolonged the
“thousand-year reign of Christ” into the modern period. But only for a
short time until 1656, when Patriarch Nicon introduced the New Rite,
or the council of 1666-67, which placed the Old Rite under anathema, or
the reign of Peter the Great, who removed the patriarchate and gave free
rein to western antichristian influences in Russia.
157
152 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History.
153 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History.
154 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History.
155 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History.
156 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History.
157 Moss, Dugin Meaning of History.
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Working Paper Dugin’s Political Theology 10 March 2017
This creates some obvious problems in calculating the dates for the Millennial
Reign of Christ. For example, in determining if the Antichrist has been loosed since
either 1656 or 1666-67; or until Peter I effectively set aside the Patriarch in 1700 and
attempted to continue his subordination of the Church to State rule.
Attempting to unravel Dugin’s “eschatological ecclesiology is difficult.
However, Dugin employs a three-phase chronology of Church history and in it his
“eschatological ecclesiology” does take on some coherent structure.
Dugin’s Chronology of Church History
Phase
Chronology
Pre-Constantinian phase
From its beginning until the Edict of
Milan in 312
Byzantine phase
312 to the Fall of Constantinople in
1453. This is the Thousand-year
Reign of Christ of Revelation 20.
Post-Byzantine phase
The contemporary phase of Church
history. After the Thousand-year
Reign of Christ. This is the reign of
Antichrist.
Figure 4.
158
Eschatological Perspectives
As Dugin is quoted earlier, “Russians are the eschatologically chosen.” “One
159
approach to the enigma of Dugin,” writes Moss, “is through a discussion of his
little-known ‘eschatological ecclesiology,’” and in particular his understanding of the
role of the Orthodox Church and Russia in the last times.
160
Eschatology figures prominently in Dugin’s theological projections of the
Fourth Political Theory. As an example, Dugin interpreted the fall of Communism as
an eschatological is event. Evident in his remark that, “[t]he victory of liberalism
over communism was the proof in my eyes of its eschatological nature, is the overt
theological nature of the conflict of the theories preceding Dugin’s Fourth Theory
introduction. The eschatological conflict is completely interwoven within the
161
Fourth Political Theory. This interweaving is yet more evidence of the critical
aspects of theology as Dugin’s foundational base that allows for erection of the
superstructure of his theory.
As follows from the very logic of apocalyptic drama,”