4th Political theory and Post-liberalism
Anatoly Kuzichev: Good evening everyone, this is Radio Kuzichev. Today we have, roughly speaking in journalistic jargon, a mono-topic. And you know that it’s worth it. It’s worth dedicating an entire program to this topic because it is a serious topic and we, unlike our usual practice, don’t want to simply, so to say, bait interest, especially since as much as what our cinematography will allow in the context of what we are going to discuss is rather modest. Don’t be confused by the word “theory” in the title, because in fact this theory has direct relevance or will have direct relevance to our lives. This will be practice. This is such a fascinating paradox. Good evening, Katya.
Ekaterina Arkalova: Good evening, dear listeners and viewers. Today an extremely interesting conversation awaits us on how in this brave new world of globalism, post-modernity, and post-liberalism, Russia’s future can be preserved by way of reconstructing traditions. Listen, watch, and write to email@example.com. This will be interesting. We have a whole hour.
Kuzichev: Yes, a whole hour, thank you very much. I want to introduce our guest…Actually, let’s do it this way, with the topic first: the “Fourth Political Theory.” Our guest, of course, is Alexander Dugin, the editor-in-chief of Tsargrad, philosopher, PhD. Alexander Gelyevich, good evening.
Alexander Dugin: Good evening.
Kuzichev: I don’t know if it is possible and whether we even can, so to say, balance this fine line. On the one hand, I really want to talk about theory as theory - political, of course. But, on the other hand, I want, like Katya just said, people watching us now who are looking around and trying to find signs of post-modernism and neo-liberalism and who can’t, as a rule, find them in everyday life, to take away from our conversation an understanding of the processes underway. Can we?
Dugin: We’ll try.
Kuzichev: We’ll try. First, let’s agree on the terms. If there is a fourth political theory, then according to the philosophical rule of the negation of the negation, it’s obvious that it somehow negates the previous three. So maybe let’s hear a few words about the previous theories.
Dugin: Yes, of course. This is necessary.
In fact, if we closely examine the political and ideological results of the 20th century, then we see that in this century which ended not too long ago, three ideologies fought amongst each other. The first political theory which emerged earliest of all was liberalism, whose roots date back to the 18th century but which in the 20th century acquired full ideological embodiment…
Kuzichev: So you’ll run through the names, and then…
Dugin: Yes. There’s the liberal political theory, and the second arises as an antithesis - communism and socialism, all the versions of the leftist critique, which we call critical theory. This is left, communist, socialist ideology with all its nuances. The third political theory is overall nationalism or fascism, which attempted to provide a critique of the previous ones, liberalism and communism. All of these three political theories - liberalism, communism, and fascism - were locked in a life and death struggle in the 20th century. First liberalism and communism defeated fascism together, then, as we know, the Cold War began between communism and liberalism. Then in 1991, liberalism defeated communism on a global scale.
Thus, the first, liberalism, won in the battle between these three theories. And now we live with liberalism and everything else falls into line based on this conclusion. If we understand the point of this and draw conclusions with enough intellectual clarity and attention so that our listeners and viewers understand what I’ve just said, this means that we have arrived at the possibility of understanding what remains. We can group liberalism, communism, and fascism as three political ideologies, three political doctrines, and if we can apply these three political theories to the history of the 20th century, the world wars, the Cold War, the events surrounding the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the changes in the world system tied to this, then we are already at the threshold of understanding the need for a fourth political theory.
Kuzichev: So we have the first, second, and third - this is a chronology…
Dugin: Yes, in terms of their emergence.
Kuzichev: Ok that’s the first point. The second is that you said that conditional victory - of course, it’s not holding, but in current conditions and circumstances - was claimed by the oldest, the first, liberal doctrine.
Dugin: Absolutely right. We can speak of a chronology of their emergence as well as, in reverse order, their disappearance, because fascism, which emerged the latest of them all, was the first to disappear. Afterwards, communism, the second to emerge, was defeated.
Liberalism, which was the first of the political theories and modernity with which everything began with capitalism, liberalism, Adam Smith, individualism, and civil society, is alive to this day.
Kuzichev: Moreover, as you said, it won, but not a final victory…
Dugin: And this is the most interesting part.
Kuzichev: Wait, let’s hang on to this. We have yet another political scientist with us, Katya. Ekaterina, let’s take what Alexander Gelyevich said about the third, second, and first political theories.
Katya: Yes, the thesis. It’s logical to assign ordinal numbers to these three ideologies, and in this case the sequence matters. The first political theory, liberalism, proclaimed the rights and freedoms of each person to be the highest value and declared them to be the basis of social and economic order. As follows, the opportunities for the church and state to influence the life of society are limited by a constitution. The most important freedoms in modern liberalism are recognized as the freedom of public expression, the freedom of choice and religion, and the freedom to choose representatives in transparent and free elections. Liberalism arose in the 18th century and turned out to be the most stable and, in the end, successfully defeated its rivals in a historic battle.
Communism, like socialism in all of its varieties, is rightly called the second political theory. It appeared later than liberalism as a critical reaction to the formation of the bourgeois-capitalist system whose ideological expression was liberalism.
Communism proposes a social and economic system based on social equality and public ownership of the means of productions. In practice, this system has never existed, but the term “primitive communism” has been used to describe the system of pre-class, tribal society.
The third political theory is fascism. This is the generalized name of extreme right-wing political movements, ideologies, and corresponding forms of rule of the dictatorial type whose characteristic signs are militaristic nationalism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism, xenophobia, revanchism, chauvinism, mystical leader cults, contempt for electoral democracy and liberalism, belief in the rule of elites and natural social hierarchy, statism, racism, and genocide.
Fascism emerged later than the other major political theories and disappeared before them. The alliance between the first political theory and the second political theory and Hitler’s geopolitical miscalculations nipped the third theory in the bud. The third political theory died a violent death, not suffering from old age or natural decay in contrast to the Soviet Union.
With the disappearance of fascism, the battlefield was freed for the first political theory and the second. This took the form of the Cold War and gave birth to strategic geometry in the form of the bipolar world that lasted almost half a century. In 1991, the first political theory, liberalism, defeated the second, socialism. This was the fall of global communism.
Thus, by the end of the 20th century, only one remained of these three political theories that mobilized millions in all corners of the planet: liberalism.
Kuzichev: Yes, thank you very much. From what I understand, Katya said everything right on the classical theories. I have in mind that only one, neo-liberalism, remains of the classical theories, but it is not for no reason that today we are talking about a fourth theory. We’ll come to that in a moment. There’s one thing I want to ask you. You said that it is necessary to rethink the political processes, political history, and political theory of the last century, and that upon understanding such without the standard cliches that are imposed upon us on too simple of a level, on the level of slogans and attempts at explaining these processes to us, then we are taking a step forward.
Dugin: Of course.
Kuzichev: What’s the point?
Dugin: The point is that political theories determine us from within. We think that we are Anatoly, Alexander, Katya, but we are in fact carriers of some kinds of cliches. We are encoded. And we can’t be anything else. We are encoded by politics. When we speak, for example, of the thoughts of the individual in civil society, we define this as something good. It’s not because these are good, but because we are under the influence of this liberal model. When we speak of social justice or equality, about how nice it would be to take and share everything, we are encoded by the communist model, the second political theory, without understanding this. When we feel unpleasant towards another people, such as if I say “those Tatars” or “illegal immigrants coming over”, we are involuntarily the carriers of the third political theory even if we are not conscious of this at all. So these three political theories are inside us. Why is it difficult to imagine all three of them as something abstract? Because to a certain extent we are not free from them. To a certain extent, no single person is free. For example, many liberals from Russia go to Israel and go from being representatives of the first political theory to those of the third. The contexts change and what is most difficult is seeing what determines us, seeing the program, the system in whose framework we work. It’s like when a program is launched, but it doesn’t even know whether it is launched on Windows or Macintosh. It just works.
And we think that we are just ourselves. But in fact, when we are moved to some kind of expression and say that something is good or bad, when we argue around the table or on television, we are moved to say these things in the first place. We’re already coded. In order to clearly understand the course of the political history of the 20th century, it is essentially, in some sense, necessary to stand at a scientific, very difficultly achieved - as a scholar and political scientist I can say this - difficultly re-conquered distance in relation to everything. There is such a rule in psychoanalysis that you can’t psychoanalyze another person as long as you haven’t psychoanalyzed yourself.
Kuzichev: To liberate you from yourself?
Dugin: Unconsciously. You have to investigate yourself. This is the same case, even more difficult, in the sphere of ideology. We need to psychoanalyze ourselves. Are we encoded by one political theory more than another?
Kuzichev: It’s all easier to understand with the psychoanalysis example. If a person is plagued by fears and insecurities, then it is clear that this person wants to get rid of fear and insecurity. Everything that you’re saying is absolutely true. So much so, that it never really came to me earlier that now I am sitting and thinking and, really, we all act in the framework of some kind of cliches, whether ideological, humanitarian, etc. We think that this is good and that it is natural. But it is in fact simulated.
Dugin: That’s ideology. That’s how the coding works in us.
Kuzichev: Here there is some kind of absolute, fundamental value. It’s necessary to be free from the shell, the cliche, and we’ll understand what theory leads to. Only understanding this can we formulate…
Dugin: Look, Anatoly. Here is where science starts. The pragmatic questions, especially fundamental science, are put at the end. In the beginning, what really motivates people and scholars is striving to find the truth, not its application. The interest in science is not in “for what”, but on the first level the interest is in “how” and “why”. People of the next generation who turn theory into practice search for an application to see where it leads to, where it doesn’t. As a rule, it fits to the most diverse ideas. They start to calculate how a rocket engine is arranged with the help of imaginary numbers which don’t exist, which is the square root of minus one, and so on.
Therefore, the scholar is motivated by the search for truth regardless of its application. And this is what must be started with. This is what philosophy exists for. We must look at where the three political theories came from, what their common denominators are, if they were around before the emergence of liberalism or, conversely, why they did not exist before. Then something very interesting arises. From the point of view of philosophy, at a certain moment, Descartes’ notion of subject and object arose in Western European culture. Subject is something that, in fact, no one knew earlier. It’s as if we can say that the philosophers of the modern era invented it or discovered it in the 17th century. Then all three political theories were built on this internal, philosophical division into subject and object. The coding happens on the level of the subject. The subject can be one of three: either the individual in liberalism, class in Marxism, and hence justice and the complexity of the philosophical dialectic, Marxist critical theory, or the state, nation, or race in the third political theory. All of them rely on their subject. But this subject itself, and this seems even more evident, requires coding to reach the very roots of our perception of the world. Then it seems like this subject itself was constructed by someone. This means that we have now reached such a level - if you follow our logic and outline - at which we’ve reached the common denominator of these political theories which boils down to the notion of the subject. It also turns out that this notion is not understandable by itself and that before we realized that we are subjects, we considered ourselves to be something else. For example: God’s creations, the bearers of some kind of mission, the representatives of more complex philosophical constructs or at least others related to the doctrine of Christian anthropology or even more ancient, Platonic understandings. It turns out that man - if we arrive at man - thinks about himself entirely differently at each stage of history. We think that this is something constant, unchanging, but it turns out that these encoding points are latched to man like to some kind of abstraction. In modernity, in Europe, they latched the notion of subject to man as a someone.
Man is a subject. Before him, there is the object. Between the subject and object, there exists a complex set of relations. Man is a subject who thinks about the object, be it nature, matter, or objects that are in front of him, and in this, through this relation, he constructs himself. Politics and political theories are some kind of simplified, reduced versions of this subject.
One of these theories says that you are an individual and you create an individual world around yourself. The second version says that you are a class and you are surrounded by class society.
Kuzichev: and nation…
Dugin: You are a nation, a race…
Kuzichev: It turns out that mathematically, no matter how ridiculous this sounds, the oldest political theory, liberalism, is the most tenacious and, clearly, the most “quantum” so to say. In the others, class and race are a different case of permeation.
Dugin: Exactly. It is the simplest form. In fact, liberalism won because it is the closest of all to this notion of the subject. Of course, this Cartesian notion of the subject as the individual is Descartes’ and is not written into stone in philosophy. Everything is much more complex. There is Hegel’s dialectical notion of the subject which lies at the heart of Marxism. And there’s the application of Hegel not only from the left, but also in fascism, in the theory of Italian fascism, which is also founded on Hegel. But I’ll agree with you that in this model, the subject taken out of these which is easiest and most understandable of all is the individual, even though it’s far from the only one. But the very fact is that in the 20th century we see the world wars which were fought over which among these philosophical models is right or more justified, and we paid for this in millions of lives. For our listeners on the other side of the screen, let’s clarify. Why? Because for none other than these values, for these notions, for these differences in the dialectic of the subject, we sacrificed millions of lives. We sacrifice them today and we will tomorrow. We are sitting here and people are comfortably talking about this, but we are talking about your fate, your children’s fate, who you are…
Kuzichev: And now we’re shedding blood for this?
Dugin: Yes. Why are we fighting in Syria? In Ukraine? All of this is explained by these big, serious, profound things. And when people think that everything is simple, this means that they refuse to look into the matrix at the level of which everything is much more complicated. Simplicity itself is in fact the consequences of these poorly working models. People, humanity, even human stupidity, are very complex in themselves. It’s complex in the beginning, and then there are simplifications. We are all encoded by very complex programs. In order to get to the bottom of this coding…
Kuzichev: Simple answers?
Dugin: Simple answers won’t get there. Therefore, when we say that the simple version is equating the subject to the individual - in order to get to this point, we had to traverse a three-century-long political path, live through two world wars in the 20th century, lose dozens and maybe even hundreds of millions of people and, as a result, destroy such a great country as the Soviet Union in 1991 only to come to this philosophical conclusion that the liberals were absolutely right in identifying the subject of modernity with the individual, developing the system of civil rights, civil society, freedom of movement, freedom of the press, the separation of powers, and the market economy. They proved this by force, mind, propaganda, and information war. So where are we? At the heart of everything lies this most complex philosophical operation, these complex dialectical things which have claimed millions of people. Marxism is so complex, and fascism is complex, but Marxism is more complex. It is a refined dialectic which theoretically is not supposed to be understandable to anyone. Yet half of the world lived only with this for almost a century. States, countries, and civilizations lived this ideology.
Kuzichev: This means that sophisticated, profound philosophy is not enough. What’s needed is for it to be, speaking as a journalist, effectively formulated. This can be done with a captivating, short slogan. It needs to be simplified.
Dugin: As we’ve said, Marxism is an extremely complex thing. But its adaptation gives more or less simple things.
Kuzichev: Let’s not talk about its adaptation now, but hear a last few words about these three theories and where the flaw was. We’ve already established that they lost their appeal, that some died a violent death. Where was the flaw in the two defeated ideologies? In thought itself or in application to reality, where it turned out that the thought, even if beautifully constructed, didn’t withstand the onslaught of gravity?
Dugin: No scientific answer to your question exists. Where there is no scientific answer, there is the ascertainment that this is so. We can look at our history and we can see that this is so. This is sufficiently fair, but when we try to say why, then, in fact, in order to speak about this, we have to take some kind of platform. The liberals will say that this was a deviation from our primordial truth and that this was the influence of additional factors on the ideology of modernity in the application of modernity, in the application of Descartes’ subject, that you didn’t understand or that you tried to dispute that the subject of truth is the individual, that we capitalists and liberals are right, that you tried to build an alternative that was successful for some time but then collapsed. This is what the liberals would say; this is how they explain it. Communists will formulate their own explanation. Fascists will say that it was a conspiracy that conspiratorial liberals agreed upon with the communists to destroy us and then conquered, destroyed the communists. In all of this there is their own kind of logic. But insofar as we are now speaking about this on a deeper level and are trying to find an assessment which is not in itself an ideology, doesn’t stand on one position, and is not understood as an absolute dogma, we can say that we don’t have an answer to this question and there cannot be one. We’re just recording, ascertaining that the first ideology appeared, then the second and third which made mistakes in the 20th century and disappeared in the reverse order. We live in the world of victorious liberalism whether we want this or not. This is also important: liberalism simply won in 1991 and globalization, the End of History, etc., are tied to this. It won in 1991 and then said “now it’s me, the only operating system. You can be right-wing liberals, left-wing liberals, but you can’t not be liberals. You can’t be representatives of the second political theory because Stalin, the Gulag, etc. We’ll arrest you.”
Kuzichev: The third political theory even more…
Dugin: Even more. If you say even a word about how you don’t like another nation, you’re going to jail. In the West, it’s very harsh. If you call a black a black, that’s it, you’re off to jail. It’s very harsh. This means that you can be right-wing or left, you can be of the third or the second theory, but only in the framework of the first theory. And this is where we’re at today.
The first political theory is no longer a theory among others like it was earlier. It’s become part of us. We don’t think of anything outside of liberalism. There is only one theory for us. It’s simply written in the constitution of the European Union that the EU recognizes those states that share the values of the EU, i.e., democratic liberalism.
If a state doesn’t share liberal democratic values, i.e., doesn’t have the separation of powers, a parliament, free press, freedom of movement, then these states become outlaws. People professing ideologies other than the first political theory become outlaws. They’re deprived of human rights.
Kuzichev: This strongly resembles the third political theory, but we won’t need to speak aloud about this. It reminds us of some of the suffering.
Dugin: Absolutely right. This resembles both the third and second political theories because all three of these political theories - and this is most interesting - are totalitarian. All three of them. As for fascism, it’s obvious - concentration camps. It’s totalitarian and it doesn’t hide it - “we are a totalitarian ideology. We’re Aryans and for all who aren’t - death, we’ll intern them.” The Bolsheviks did not call themselves totalitarian ideologues, but of course they acted with purely totalitarian methods. If you don’t like something, it’s the Gulag, a psychiatric hospital. They insisted that being a human means being a communist or not yet a communist, but in the least sympathetic.
Kuzichev: Or “non-party”…
Dugin: Yes, you have to be a communist or just “non-party”, but “non-party” means semi-communist. For a long time, liberals ideologically criticized communism and fascism for this totalitarianism while presenting themselves as the bearers of freedom. They were, but only in relation to fascism and communism. As soon as fascism and communism disappeared, only the liberals remained. And suddenly, interestingly enough, they became the representatives of a third form of totalitarianism. And they say the same as the communists and fascists: if you are liberal, then you have the right to be anyone you want in the framework of liberalism and democracy. If you are outside of liberalism and democracy, then you’re a dangerous extremist, a fanatic, a terrorist…
Kuzichev: Yes, and you will be fought, shot down. Political death, but also even physical.
Dugin: Yes. And now liberalism which, of course, compared to the open totalitarianism of communism and fascism, which didn’t claim anything else - the communists hinted at it and the fascists said “yes, we’re totalitarian - accept us as such” - the liberals won the whole time because they were hidden totalitarians while the others were open. And now that only the liberals remain in today’s global society, we see that liberalism is the carrier of the last form of totalitarianism.
Kuzichev: Global society is maybe another thing, maybe not. I feel that globalism and totalitarianism are connected.
Dugin: They are directly connected.
Kuzichev: You mentioned another interesting point, Fukuyama’s “End of History.” Katya is a big fan of Fukuyama. Katya, will you tell us a few words?
Arkalova: Exactly, even a fan of The Last Man, yes. Francis Fukuyama is a famous American political scientist and geopolitician whose book The End of History and the Last Man was published in 1992 by Free Press. This book’s publication was preceded by the essay The End of History in The National Interest which received wide acclaim in the press and academia. Fukuyama directly pointed out that he is not the author of the end of history concept, but at least developed this idea, the foundation of which was laid by George Wilhelm and Friedrich Hegel, and was then developed in the works of Karl Marx and Alexander Kojeve.
In his acclaimed work The End of History, Fukuyama put forth the thesis that the conflict between two ideologies, liberal democracy and communism, that lay at the heart of the Cold War, had been completely resolved. Communism was defeated in this confrontation, which contributed to the emergence of new prospects for the triumph of democratic principles around the world. Fukuyama comes to the conclusion that liberalism and liberal institutions such as the rule of law, representative democracy, and the market economy, have acquired universal significance. The author theoretically expresses and politically demonstrates confidence in the future after the end of the Cold War. Analyzing the reform process in the Soviet Union and People’s Republic of China, the changes in these countries’ intellectual climate, and noting shifts in other regions, Fukuyama concluded that these changes underway are not only the end of the Cold War or the end of any post-war period, but the end of history as such. Fukuyama translates the “end of history” as the “end of the ideological evolution of mankind and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.” According to Fukuyama’s theory, non-Western societies are merely a projection of Western values. In The End of History, emphasis is put on the exhaustion of alternatives to the West. In the author’s opinion, the West is superior to all others in authority and morality. Therefore, Western values are subject to global dissemination irrespective of whether they are welcomed by other actors in the international system or not. The book, The End of History, which in later years was translated into more than 20 languages, has been subjected to abundant criticism in both the scientific press and journalism.
Kuzichev: Thank you, Katya. I know that you, Alexander Gelyevich, even talked with Fukuyama, yes?
Dugin: Yes, we met and then I published our discussion in the journal Profile.
Kuzichev: We’ve just heard the phrase “universalization” of Western liberal democracy as the end of mankind’s ideological evolution. Now let’s talk about Fukuyama and, before I forget, I wanted to ask you a difficult question, or maybe a simple one. Globalism is a declaration of universality by a theory which is simply, by definition, indulgent of its correctness because it is universal. Remember how Marx’s doctrine is omnipotent because it is true. Whether this is in somebody’s interest or is the natural development of a political theory, globalism itself is an attempt at global, universal application.
Dugin: All three political theories claim universality. All three political theories simply believed themselves to be right and that they would prove this over the course of confrontation, prove their correctness, and defeat the others. This was the essence of the 20th century. This worked out for one but not the rest. We can examine success in the temporal, historical world, on the ground, as proof of truth. But this is far from so. For example, our God was crucified. He lost. He was killed. They eliminated him, condemned him.
Kuzichev: Not in this sense a success, of course.
Dugin: It’s difficult to call this a success. But on this victim is based a 2,000-year culture and our victory. A moral victory is not measured by the volume of success or material acquisitiveness. Bringing up, for example, life after death or higher spiritual premises leaves all notions of success, prosperity, and victory to immediately vanish. Therefore, I would not like to scientifically judge just how universal liberal values are. I would just like to state that this is a totalitarian ideology. Here I completely agree with Fukuyama that in the 1990’s, liberalism claimed victory, making any alternative extremely marginal or irrelevant. Even China, which, conditionally speaking, clings to the position of the second political theory, fully accepted liberalism’s operative system and built all of its successes on opening markets, etc. This defeat was not declared, but ideologically and economically it is a complete defeat. Accordingly, everyone accepted liberalism. According to Fukuyama, this means that it became a global phenomenon, became the only system. I completely agree with Fukuyama on this. We genuinely discussed this in depth and agreed that ideas have meaning. It was the concept of liberalism that claimed victory, simply the concept, no matter whether it appears to be true or scientific. It was ideas that claimed victory and in this case the ideas of liberalism.
Globalization is the process of imposing the affirmation of the totalitarian reinforcement of liberalism as the only inevitable ideology. It can be said that globalization is a consequence or a process.
Kuzichev: Yes, you say that it is a form of liberalism’s existence.
Dugin: Yes, a form of existence. I think this is a long prelude to speaking of the fourth political theory.
Kuzichev: Yes, 20 minutes left. I’ll be silent and won’t re-ask too much. Let’s talk about the fourth political theory. What lies at its heart?
Dugin: At its heart is the understanding of everything that came before which we’ve spoken of. Every word we’ve said has fundamental meaning in order to understand why a fourth political theory. Besides this, at its heart lies at least one thing: disagreement with liberalism, totalitarianism, the doctrine of the individual subject, and disagreement with the world in which we live. It is a rejection of liberal democracy, a rejection of the notion that liberalism is universal…
Kuzichev: Disagreement is a very fragile foundation.
Dugin: A sufficient one.
Kuzichev: Yes? Only you have to propose alternatives, obviously.
Dugin: Disagreement is far from a bad foundation. In fact, if we firmly know what we disagree with and if this disagreement is not simply with something or some kind of annoyance, but if this disagreement, this rejection becomes an opposition and a serious ideological, economic, geopolitical, and cultural object, if we reject this world in which we live, then this is very formidable. Many religions and philosophies are founded on this. There are religions which say ok, we accept everything, and there are religions which say we reject everything. The case is the same in ideology, in the sphere of political ideology. If we fundamentally do not accept the capitalist, liberal, global world today and all of its institutions…
Kuzichev: Then we must propose some kind of other system…
Dugin: Of course. If we seriously and genuinely reject this and if this becomes a part of our lives, just as in America how people rejected Clinton’s globalism and accepted Trump, without even knowing what he specifically stands for. He didn’t say anything in particular, simply “I am not liberalism, not globalism,” and the people said “let him be president, tell us more.” This is a very serious factor. You can say yes, sign onto, and accept liberalism and this totalitarian, victorious, unipolar world. You can include yourself in it, be a part of this coding system. Or you can say no. And with this “no” begins the Fourth Political Theory. If all of it satisfies you, which is almost no one in the forms that it is, not a single person in the world, but many are incapable of reaching a deep analysis of what it is they don’t like. What we don’t like and what we reject turns out to have a philosophical designation: globalism and the first political theory. Today we have confronted it face to face. Today, it has become a domination over our being, and everything that does not satisfy us in our being is liberalism. If Clinton proposed to “blame the Russians” for everything she didn’t like, to blame Russia and Putin, then Trump proposed to change something. You don’t like globalism? Clinton is globalism. Hedge your bets, vote. If we do not like where the world is heading, if we don’t like liberalism, if we don’t like globalization….
Kuzichev: Got it. Even if there is no other proposed direction…
Dugin: And here it gets interesting. When we begin to understand that we don’t like liberalism specifically and we draw this conclusion like half of Americans have - and I don’t think that Americans are so intellectually, deeply immersed in studying Descartes or Hegel, but they understood this, and if even the American people understood globalism can be accepted or rejected and that an alternative can be chosen without even understanding the alternative - then surely Russians can understand this, even with difficulty. And now we move on to the following. If we reject liberalism in the framework of this coding system of modernity in which we live, then we logically are left with going back and saying: communism wasn’t bad…
Kuzichev: That’s what many people are doing.
Dugin: Many people are doing this. This is like a natural reaction or gag reflex. If someone fed us, we think that we’ll go back to this food which didn’t make us sick. Now only liberalism is feeding us and we’re sick from this, and we feverishly remember what was before, we try to grapple with this, and think about how things once were, how we weren’t sickened by this, and how we could get on living. And someone will say: fascism wasn’t that bad at all and it was also an alternative to liberalism. And so on.
So, in fact, herein arises the Fourth Political Theory. If we analyze further what we propose against this globalization and liberalism, if we propose, alas, communism of the second political theory or fascism of the third political theory, then we can’t propose anything more against liberalism.
Liberals themselves rub their hands at the sight of this. As soon as we begin to criticize globalization, they say these are fascists and communists. When they begin to explain that there is something else, they’re told no. “You’re just justifying communism and fascism, you’re just hidden communists and fascists! You’re either hidden fascists or hidden communists.” In this system of the political philosophy of modernity, there is no concept of a fourth. The meaning of the Fourth Political Theory starts with this assumption that there is none, but there should be. It is necessary in order to defeat liberalism without falling into the trap of communism and fascism. Maybe we can once again go along the same path and build a socialist, totalitarian society in which there will be a lack of freedom, and sooner or later the liberals will come and it all happens again. We can build a fascist state somewhere, as is being attempted in Ukraine, until people will understand that they don’t have enough freedom and that racism, nationalism, and chauvinism are repugnant. And then we return to the same liberalism once again.
Kuzichev: What you’ve said is quite right. I’ll take it from the other side. It is clear that the main word which is embroidered in gold letters on the banner of liberalism is freedom. This is their key word.
Dugin: But whose freedom? The freedom of the individual. And freedom from what? Freedom from the state, religion, gender, and from all formalities…
Kuzichev: From moral customs, and so on…
Dugin: From all forms of collectivity; from the state, authority, everything.
Kuzichev: I think “justice” was written in gold letters on the red banner of communism…
Kuzichev: Equality, justice, yes. On the black banner of fascism, there’s “above all” probably written in Ukrainian. The chosen ones.
Dugin: Yes, the chosen ones over others.
Kuzichev: But in the Fourth Political Theory, what will be embroidered in gold letters?
Dugin: You know, that’s passing…
Kuzichev: Only “no” or what?
Dugin: Passing over three centuries of philosophy, Descartes’ development which as we’ve said is at the basis of it all, passing higher mathematics, calculations, we can say that it’s like a hammer with which we can drive in the nail. It will be clear what will be written a lot later, after a long time.
Kuzichev: I understand that for now we have only one understanding. Here we are at the north pole and we need to take a step because any step from the north pole will be south in one direction…
Dugin: We need to take a step in another direction, some other way in the geometry of thinking. We need to find an entirely different approach, leave the coded region, leave the matrix. We have already discovered that it is not so easy to get out of the matrix because if we don’t like liberalism, then the first attempt at rejecting it is choosing something already checked in this matrix.
Kuzichev: Alright. We’ve talked about three centuries of history. But maybe there is something 350 years ago?
Dugin: Here is what I propose to do. In order to escape this coded field of coded thinking, we need to deconstruct all of modernity. If we transcend the borders of modernity, we see a different society, a different notion of man, a different view of the world, a different notion of politics and the state. First of all, we finish the Cartesian subject and see something else. Let’s search for what there is in this other world. In sociology, this is called the transition from modern society to traditional society. The notions of tradition, religion, and pre-modernity already offer us an undoubtedly broader spectrum of alternatives. If we reject the laws of modernity such as progress, development, equality, justice, freedom, nationalism, and all of this legacy of the three centuries of philosophy and political history, then there is a choice. And it is in fact very broad in the least. This is what I have been saying. This is traditional society.
One of the first, simplest movements in the direction of the Fourth Political Theory is the global rehabilitation of Tradition, the sacred, the religious, the caste-related, if you prefer, the hierarchical, and not equality, justice, or freedom. Everything that we reject together with modernity and everything that we completely rework…
Kuzichev: Could be the basis of a new “new time”…
Dugin: Exactly. This is what Berdyaev spoke of: the return to the Middle Ages. Returning to the Middle Ages or turning to them to look for inspiration, and I am not speaking of merely reproducing - that’s impossible to do. But we have stood on the path of modernity. We’ve stood on the path of modern totalitarianism regardless of whether of the first, second, or third theory. We’ve exhausted all of their possibilities, built all three models. We’ve built liberal civilization, communist civilization as part of such an experiment, and we’ve even built fascism. We can now compare everything before us. And if all of this does not satisfy us, this means that the most important mistake was made not in the 20th century and not even in 1991…
Kuzichev: But at the time of the first step?
Dugin: At the first step. This means beginning to move in the direction of the Fourth Political Theory, exiting the confines of these three political theories and, if such pleases, going back further, because the idea of progress, the idea that we only need to move forward - this idea came together with modernity when they justified themselves, imposed such on us for 300 years, and told us that there is no regression, that development is everything, and everything that came before was bad but now everything is good. We are programmed by this totalitarian ideology of progress, development, liberating or improving humanity’s material criteria which, although true, becomes only a restricting factor when we reject the spirit and when everything for us must be here and now. But before Descartes and modernity, people believed in the immortality of the soul…
Kuzichev: So you and I have been saying the same thing, but have not yet formulated the word that should be on the banner. It turns out that this word is “faith.”
Dugin: Faith, Tradition, Religion, but not only…
Kuzichev: Faith, Tradition, Religion?
Dugin: Yes, this is the set embodied in the empire. There’s caste society, hierarchy…
Kuzichev: You know what, wait, I have to think this through for a second. You know, I am looking from the point of view and perspective of a journalist, and I understand that you purposefully use “we” the whole time - what we should realize, we must move, etc. But in order for “us” to be engaged, it needs to be attractive, but not only attractive, and not only interesting as a conversation for our viewers. This is a fantastically interesting conversation, and incredibly simple. I’ll thank fate for bringing me together with Alexander Gelyevich. But in order for “us” to be engaged, people have to be proposed something that they will want to embody. You understand just how strong language is when we speak of returning to traditions. They’ll call you an “obscurantist” and you yourself have mentioned the word “Middle Ages.” This implicitly causes the feeling that this can’t be what Alexander Gelyevich is offering us.
Dugin: You know, you’re rightly speaking of selling and making things attractive. We are already arriving at modernity. Modernity is the cause of merchants, spin doctors, those people who sell and must be sold to…
Kuzichev: You can sell anything, it’s true.
Dugin: Absolutely correct. This is not my cause. I don’t have to advertise anything to anyone. I don’t have to sell to merchants. I’m not a merchant by caste or in my ways. I’m a thinker. I’m a philosopher. From the point of view of Platon, not modernity, philosophers are the human type who should rule.
Kuzichev: Ok, then I propose that…
Dugin: Modernity is meant to serve merchants and shopkeepers, but they are an entirely different function. In modern times, someone sells something…
Kuzichev: Well, alright.
Dugin: As a rule, if someone sells someone something, this means that it is illiquid. I think that when people heavily advertise something, this means that no one needs it. If someone is poisoning something for advertising, this means that he is trying to force upon people something that is not benign. All good people find things themselves, look, and learn that something is really valuable. This, incidentally, distinguishes us from Catholics. We, Orthodox, always believed that we are the bearers of truth who are ready to accept everyone, say everything, welcome, provide shelter, but we don’t have to push this. If you don’t want to listen to us, then don’t listen. You’re free, simply come to us.
Kuzichev: Sure. Alexander Gelyevich is now speaking philosophically. If some advertiser comes to our channel, we won’t chase him off.
Dugin: We’ll accept him like Orthodox accept people.
Kuzichev: Yes, we’ll accept him. Now a few words about “progress.” It has such a pessimistic appeal. The word “progress” has been deeply drummed into us or, according to your terminology, encoded in us to the point that it is a synonym for what is right, good, and is generally synonymous with the right direction. I would like to ask just how deep, in your understanding, is this coding and over how many generations can it be removed from the matrix, even if only linguistically?
Dugin: These are the most interesting things, and responding to your question can only be done with great difficulty because, you know, progress ends together with modernity. If the modern world ends, progress will end as well.
But with contemporary post-modern philosophy, we are arriving at how we can overcome these three political theories not by appealing to tradition and religion, not by going backwards, but by going forwards. It has already prepared the soil for what I am speaking about now and this has become clear not only to Traditionalists, but also primeval conservatives, and not only to believers or representatives of traditional societies which either have some kind of genetic links to the past or have made the traditionalist choice. But modernity itself and liberalism itself are in the process of post-modernity, subjecting to destruction everything they believed in.
Today’s liberalism is so rotten within that it’s easy enough to throw out now, because it itself has recognized progress, freedom, and development to be absolute fictions. Liberalism has recognized that it is a kind of particular totalitarian approach. Behind all these ideas of liberation, freedom, equality, individualism, etc., stands none other than the will to power. The last generation of philosophical thinkers of the liberal West feel within themselves despair, the exhaustion of all the possibilities of modernity, and they have finally showed that this is all a play - progress and development, perfection, and all these so-called moral aspects of modernity were all nothing other than simply a form of political spin doctoring, propaganda, advertising, and sale of some kind of defective product in order to realize the will to power of the greedy, cowardly, cynical, totally racist global elites. And it is not us saying this as conservatives who only need our own and defend traditional values, but the bearers of the Western world, from within this world, who perfectly understand its internal mechanics and who are doing the work of dismantling and decoding these patterns in post-modernism.
Look what kind of progress Tarantino, for example, has, or the progress that Derrida and Deleuze have with their views on the need for schizomass, the progress of Negri and Hardt with their proposal to mutilate people to such an extent that they can be exploited and voluntarily turned into some kind of virtual beings living in computers, or look at the the post-humanists. Today, yes today, what is happening is that the post-modernist who looks at tomorrow from the position of liberalism says that all of these myths by which modernity lived are absolutely unworkable. So they throw their hands up and say there is simply nothing more. They don’t believe in an alternative, in a fourth political theory, but say: “It’s horrible that we live so disgustingly. Well, let’s just perish in this liberalism together with all of its not working, unattractive, inoperative myths.” These myths have become obsolete, but these myths are not traditional, sacred ones, but the post-sacred, anti-traditional myths of modernity.
Kuzichev: Alexander Gelyevich, thank you very much for this discussion. Friends, all I have left to say is not wishes for the New Year, but wishes for the whole next year, 365 days, and sometimes 366 days in a year. Reflect and understand. Sure, this is “just” political theory, but in this case, the word “theory” denotes the most important practice surrounding all of us. Think about this. We and our channel will talk about this further. I hope that we will agree on something.
Arkalova: Thank you, until next time.
Kuzichev: Alexander Gelyevich, great thanks to you.
Dugin: All the best.