Alexander Dugin: Russian orthodoxy is the main source of counter-hegemonic force

I‘ve been thinking about making an interview series on the concept of “conservative revolution” for a while. I wanted to interview people who are known as conservative revolutionaries in the world and their thoughts. I wanted to start with Alexander Dugin as the first name. My aim here was to understand how the concept of conservative revolution shaped Russian politics.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the concept of the West came to mean something else. What is the concept of the “West” in your opinion today and does it have a future? 

So I think that the concept of the West is the concept of a special civilization, western civilization, that pretended and still pretends to be universal. So the concept of the West is the concept of some kind of universalism that is a projection of the culture of the Western part of humanity which is European, west European part, and North American. So the West means civilization but this particular civilization always pretended to be a unique civilization and anything else was considered under civilization: Barbarity, Savagery… So the use of the word “civilization” was singular and the West identified and still identifies itself with humanity. If humanity is not Western enough, it is sub-humanity. Before it was a purely racial and biological sense, now it is an economical or cultural sense.

Everything that coincides that fits into the frame of the modern liberal western culture, and economy and political system is considered to be up to date, progressive, and civilizational… And everything else that doesn’t fit in these limits is considered to be underdeveloped or just emerging markets and so on. 

But this Western civilization obviously has its stages, its phases, its eras. It started with the Christian, Catholic civilization after that western Christianity was split into two parts so they appeared as catholic and protestant versions of Western civilization. After that capitalism and secularism were based mostly on the secularization of a northern European protestant civilization as Max Weber has shown very well in his famous book. Step by step the West identified its culture with Liberalism, with the Anglo-Saxon version of universal globalist Liberalism. 

So if we consider all these stages of Western civilization, they have something in common and something different because the development of Western civilization is directed to the absolutization of individualism. Liberalism meant different things before than it means now. 

So the process of maturing of liberal thought, liberal system and liberal civilization had different moments. Starting from an individualistic understanding of the relations between Man and God in Protestantism, early Protestantism, after the destruction of traditional estates, empire, and the structure of social middle ages, they were introduced to national states, this fell in world order. The next step was destruction, the dissolution of national states used by the same tendency, the same liberal tendency, the realistic tendency in favor of civil society. And this civil society started to become global instead of national statehood. After that, there was a victory of its socialist version of modernity or the victory over communism, Soviet communism. 

And this liberal tendency arrived at the point of the liberation of individuality from the sexual identity that is known as gender politics. When the gender, the sex became optional so that is the next stage of the becoming of the civilization. And we are now on the threshold of the last stages. when this liberal civilization will end humanity because to be human as well as is collective identity. Now we are approaching the last stages of this Western civilization. So there is something common, the Western civilization this ethnocentric universalism at pretension to be the unique civilization and the criteria for any kind of civilization. This cultural racism of the West as well… 

Now when the West identified itself with Liberalism, the Anglo-Saxon liberalism, we have this globalist civilization, western civilization that became global, with the new agenda of the destruction of the traditional families and traditional relations between the genders, between the sexes. And now the final step will be the loss of the human identity. So at any stage of its development, the West meant different things, but there was the core of it and we know very well what the West calls itself: it is progress, the idea of progress of augmentation of the individual freedoms and human rights ideology, progressive development, modernity and post-modernity.

But we can as well cast, look at it from a different perspective from traditional society. Any traditional religion would immediately identify the Western civilization of the last centuries as Antichrist and antichristian civilization, the kingdom of Antichrist… as Dajjal in the Islamic perspective as Kali Yuga in the Hindu perspective or a great disease in the eyes of Chinese culture because the Chinese culture is based on the balance and western civilization from the beginning is something totally unbalanced, paranoic split without any harmony, so conflictological in its essence. So, first of all, o we need to understand that the West is only one of the civilizations to put its limit but as well we also need to take into consideration the different eras, epochs, different stages of the civilization where the very concept of the West changed with the time culturally, politically, socially, intellectually, philosophically and so on. So there are differences and there is unity. 

So the West should be first of all re-analyzed, and put in the limits among the other civilizations and we need to fight not against the West as such but first of all against its pretension to be something universal because it is not universal. There are different cultures and different civilizations around it. And the fight… this fight is called multi-polarity against unipolarity. But in order to understand that first of all, we need to understand the essence of the nature of the West.

Does Russia today have an ethos that can resist the West and “Satanistic capitalism”? Where can the strongest ethos and ideological proposal against the global Western hegemony come from today? For us (Muslims) Orthodoxy is part of Western civilization. Could Russian orthodoxy be a counter-hegemonic force outside the Islamic world?

So first of all, we need to understand that I have already explained in my answer to the first question that the West. We need to regard, to consider a historical perspective, something that the West is now different from what the West meant, what the West was, originally. We had a split between Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Christianity, and Western Christianity at the beginning of the 10th century and long before Charles the Great so that was already a split. So we couldn’t say that Russia is the path of the West because the West had split into Eastern Christianity and Western Christianity. We, from the beginning of our Russian civilization, the heirs, we have inherited in eastern Christianity. It’s incorrect to consider Russia to be the path of the West because Russia was Eastern Christianity in many aspects it is different from Western Christianity. So our Orthodox Christianity, Eastern Christianity, regarding long before modernity, Western Christianity as the fall, as the heresy, as the kind of satanic perversion of the teaching of Christ. So our ethical divergences with the West are very, very old, not just today. Capitalism wasn’t a direct continuation of the Christian Western civilization but was anti-Christian inside of the Western civilization. That was an anti-Christian term, the anti-Christian face of Western civilization, and we need to take into consideration that modernity was secular capitalism was anti-religious from the very start. Capitalism is based only on the earthly life and neglects and puts out any relations to eternal life. So, Capitalism and secularism don’t recognize the teaching of Christ and it is anti-Christian inside Western civilization.

So we, Russians, Christians, and today assist Russia on the revival of traditional ethics, and conservative return to the roots of our own Russian Christian Orthodox Eurasian civilization, not Western. This revival of the ethics of our identity has two or maybe three reasons, three main reasons to reject the West. First of all, I have mentioned already the reason that Eastern Orthodoxy, Eastern Christianity is different and opposite to Western Christianity from the beginning. All our history as a state and culture was based on this difference between us and them. And that was the reason for many anti-Western fights and wars in the past, in the Russian past. So, we ethically have a solid ground to fight against the West and to reject Western civilization already in the Christian stage. So, because we were different branches, a conflictual branch of Christianity considering that Western Christianity has heresy, has something that is not really Christian and that is first. The ethical foundation of rejecting all the West. Second, we reject radically the capitalist, secular anti-Christian Western civilization being now in the return to Christian roots. To be Christian or to be secular they are exclusive to one another position. 

So we reject the West because of its anti-religious, anti-Christian, and Antichrist nature. And the third, our ethical basis is rejection, refusal of the pretension of the modern Western, post-modern Western culture, secular, LGBT, and transhumanist to be universal. So, we have three ethical reasons and causes to reject Western satanic capitalism because including its origins, it was not Orthodox, not correct in our view. Second, it was based on the refusal of traditional Christianity including Western values. Third, in today’s form, Western global liberal LGBT civilization represents a pure kingdom of anti-Christ. So, we have three reasons to reject Western civilization and so to consider Russians to be Western is totally wrong. 

So, you just mistake, you Muslims, a mistake that takes Orthodoxy as part of Western civilization. I have explained why it is a totally wrong opinion. So, Russian orthodoxy is the main source of counter-hegemonic force and I think that’s why we have fighting hegemony, Western hegemony in Ukraine and elsewhere and the Islamic world is not ready to help your Muslim brother in Gaza. Muslim world pretending to be anti-Western power could do nothing against it… 

Today, the real power, the unique power fighting against American hegemony, against the kingdom of the Dajjal and Antichrist is Orthodox Russia, Christian Russia. This is why it would be totally incorrect to identify it as a part of Western culture and civilization. We are different and totally separated civilization from the very beginning being part of Eastern Christianity and doubled with Mongolian, Turanian identity as well that has nothing to do with the West.

 How do you see the geopolitical landscape of the world right now? After the collapse of the Soviet Union, arguments were made that the world had moved from bipolarity to unipolarity. Do you think this process is the pain of transition to a multipolar world?

I think that we assisted different world landscapes during the last hundred years. So there was a three-polar world based on three ideologies in the first half of the 20th century. There was the liberal camp, Communist Russia, and Fascist Europe. So there were three polar worlds if you want. Which are the sovereignty of any nation-state except the main ones? I would say the Anglo-Saxon alliance, Germany, and Soviet Russia. So there were three poles. 

After the end of the Second World War, there was an established bipolar world with two poles: the communist camp and the capitalist camp. After the fall of the Soviet Union, there was only a unipolar world, a unipolar moment that lasted until now. In some aspects, it still lasts because the amount of power gathered by the West is bigger than its possible probable virtual opponent. Nevertheless, we see now the affirmation of new poles in the process of the formation of counter-hegemonic alliance. It is not very well defined not clear but it is the emergence of multipolarity.

We can observe this emerging multipolarity with already two almost fully established poles. Russia, fighting against unipolarity because the fight in Ukraine is the fight of multipolarity against unipolarity. So Russia affirms itself as the pole, the independent pole of a multipolar world. We see China has entered into the conflict mostly in the economic field with the economic hegemony of the West which is a very significant and very real pole. We have a new version of the three-polar world, but we have as well India. India now is the fourth pole almost perfect almost complete but in the process of affirming its independence more and more. We have a potentially virtually Islamic pole but if Islam cannot overcome its inner hostilities and contradictions it could be suspended that quality of new pole. Now we see clearly, that I have already said that there is a Shia pole in the Islamic world radically opposing global hegemony. But with the rest of the Islamic world, there are many problems. But there are some tendencies that inspire the hope that finally Islamic world will finally be as well formed as an independent pole in the context of multipolarity. 

So for example; BRICS could be considered as the structure of the future multipolarity. The fact that in Johannesburg not only Iran, but also Sunni countries Saudi Arabia, Emirates, and Egypt have joined BRICS, is a very good sign. But now you are invited to fight for this ambition and most Sunni countries prefer to be a kind of neutral. That is a kind of big disappointment I think for the real Muslims in the world where the moment comes, the moment to defend its quality of sovereignty and religious and ideological dignity. You are not present at the battlefield that is very sad I think because what Israel and the West are doing in Gaza it is a real crime and genocide and you observe that with dispassion and without reactions. So the polarity of Islam despite its ideological religious pretension is dubious now. So it is not certified, not verified by the facts. 

Africa as well strives to become a pole and Southern Africa and Ethiopia are two countries of the BRICS and Western Africa around Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Gabon, the Central African Republic…They try to construct their independent African pole and it is a very very good initiative but the formation of this Pan-African pole is just in the first stage, in the beginning. And there is Latin America, another next pole. Brazil is present in BRICS. 

So we have a kind of emerging multipolarity with some poles Russia and China fully completed. Some are half or almost fully completed as in India. The Islamic pole is in the process of formation as well as African and Latin America. That is the transition to the multi-polar world but to come to this multi-polar world means to win. We cannot just wait for a multi-polar world when it comes we need to fight for it. Otherwise, it will not come. So if you are not Muslim world, if you not are unified enough, if you cannot and will not be capable of winning the Western coalition. So I think the status of the pole will be suspended for Islam. But this process is inevitable, it is the process of the war.

We have seen the West’s attitude towards Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Is the world being drawn into Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations? Do you think this thesis is still current?

Yes absolutely. So Israel’s occupation of Palestine is the Western hegemony. That is a clash of civilizations when Israel, a very particular special civilization or culture, is used in Western geopolitics and Western globalism against Islam first of all. So we assist the clash of civilizations in Gaza and the Middle East as the war between unipolarity represented by the Western civilization and multipolarity. But this time, the Islamic civilization is put under test. It should prove that it is a civilization, it is the pole capable of preserving its unity independence, and sovereignty. 

So I think we have the other front of the clash of civilizations in Ukraine when Russia fights desperately against the West. I have already many times in this interview emphasized the importance of other Islamic countries joining the battle to accept the challenge because you could not affirm the status of the civilization in present conditions without having victory over the aggressive side. 

This time, the aggressive side is the West which attacks directly Islamic civilizations and kills Muslims only because they are Muslims. I think that it’s time to react. So the clash of civilizations is a correct thesis. Without it, we could not dream of multipolarity. We need to overcome that. We need to pass through this proof, this test in order to create a better world order and more just and more balanced and more harmonious. But without the common victory over hegemony, it is unthinkable.

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