Originally posted April 7, 2014.
Alexander Dugin has Vladimir Putin’s ear. Dugin is perhaps Russia’s biggest promoter of Eurasianism, a philosophy that is powerfully expansionist. Dugin sees Russia much bigger than it is today and is a champion of expanding further in the Ukraine. Dugin’s philosophy is anti-Western, anti-liberal, and totalitarian in nature. Alexander Dugin’s primary enemy—the United States. Foreign Affairs has done all Americans a great service by succinctly laying out the Eurasianism (expansionist) philosophy of Alexander Dugin. Any American laboring under an “it’s business as usual” in Russia is in for a serious wake-up call.
Like the classical Eurasianists of the 1920s and 1930s, Dugin’s ideology is anti-Western, anti-liberal, totalitarian, ideocratic, and socially traditional. Its nationalism is not Slavic-oriented (although Russians have a special mission to unite and lead) but also applies to the other nations of Eurasia. And it labels rationalism as Western and thus promotes a mystical, spiritual, emotional, and messianic worldview.
But Dugin’s neo-Eurasianism differs significantly from previous Eurasianist thought. First, Dugin conceives of Eurasia as being much larger than his predecessors ever did. For example, whereas Savitskii believed that the Russian-Eurasian state should stretch from the Great Wall of China in the east to the Carpathian Mountains to the west, Dugin believes that the Eurasian state must incorporate all of the former Soviet states, members of the socialist block, and perhaps even establish a protectorate over all EU members. In the east, Dugin proposes to go as far as incorporating Manchuria, Xinxiang, Tibet, and Mongolia. He even proposes eventually turning southwest toward the Indian Ocean.
In order to include Europe in Eurasia, Dugin had to rework the enemy. In classical Eurasianist thought, the enemy was the Romano-Germanic Europe. In Dugin’s version, the enemy is the United States. As he writes: “The USA is a chimerical, anti-organic, transplanted culture which does not have sacral state traditions and cultural soil, but, nevertheless, tries to force upon the other continents its anti-ethnic, anti-traditional [and] “babylonic” model.” Classical Eurasianists, by contrast, favored the United States and even considered it to be a model, especially praising its economic nationalism, the Monroe Doctrine, and its non-membership in the League of Nations.