Thursday, May 23, 2024

Multipolaristas’ Dugin maneuvers through BRICS contradiction

By Charles Andrews

Aleksander Dugin, a propagandist for Putin’s great-Russian imperialism, has had to maneuver through one of the contradictions within the BRICS association – the unity and contention between China and Russia.

Supposedly a historian and philosopher, Dugin spews reactionary filth going back to feudal times.

Russian society is very special and needs a ‘father’ type of leader (such as a Tsar) who must also provide security assurances to the whole society.”
“Russians should realize that they are Orthodox in the first place; [ethnic] Russians in the second place; and only in the third place, people.” “The nation is everything; the individual is nothing.” (i)
Dugin speaks of an “Orthodox collectivist East” with its ruling center at “Moscow the Third Rome” in opposition to the “rational-individualistic West.” According to his 1997 magnum opus, Foundations of Geopolitics, this entity would include Romania, Macedonia, “Serbian Bosnia,” and eventually Greece. Furthermore, Russia must seek “the territorial disintegration, splintering and the political and administrative partition of the [Chinese] state” and usurp “Tibet-Sinkiang-Mongolia-Manchuria” for security. (ii)

Last July, Dugin asserted this empire has “the right to use against the enemy (which in the present circumstances is the collective West, which seeks to maintain unipolarity at all costs and extend its hegemony) in the event of a direct attack and also for preventive purposes any kind of weapon - up to and including nuclear and advanced development weapons.”

Multipolaristas embrace him

The garbage from Dugin has not stopped multipolaristas from embracing him.  (Multipolaristas are leftists who 1) reduce the fight against imperialism to opposing U.S. imperialism and 2) celebrate the Russian, Chinese, Iranian and other regimes as a positive force simply because they contend for markets and spheres of influence against the dominant but decaying U.S.)

Dugin gave the multipolaristas encouragement in their support for Putin’s aggression against Ukraine. “The Ukrainians are already dancing corpses. This is their choice. Do not count on them coming to their senses, it is unlikely. For those who do not live, there is not even death. Ukraine is a dead life.”
In return, multipolaristas protest exposure of Dugin’s reaction. Max Parry, for example, denounced “commentators on the so-called left… [who] vilify Dugin.” Parry objected when one of them dared to call Dugin a fascist. Ignoring the print on the pages, Parry asserts, “At no point does Dugin advocate Russian revanchism.”

Similarly, a director of the multipolarista Youtube channel ICSS devoted a video session to taking Dugin seriously as a scholar, downplaying Dugin’s reactionary propaganda.
Dugin spreads Chinese butter on his bread

Dugin has not to our knowledge apologized for urging Russia to take territory from China. But he sees where the butter is for his bread. Now he embraces BRICS, an umbrella of China, Russia and, with recent tentative additions, nine other capitalist countries. Dugin wrote last November:
 "The foundations of this multipolar world are becoming increasingly evident, with key players including Russia, China, the Islamic world, India, and potentially Africa and Latin America. These entities represent distinct civilisations, many of which are united within the BRICS group.”
China alone has about 60 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the expanded BRICS. On the other hand, Russia has a higher GDP per capita than China.

Where should Dugin place himself? Perhaps the rate of return for his writings in Russia has fallen. He got himself a position as senior fellow at Fudan University’s China Institute, and he writes columns for Guancha, a self-styled world news website in China. Most recently, early in May 2024 he set up accounts on Weibo and Bilibili, similar to X/twitter and Youtube respectively. These did not go well. It seems that Chinese readers and viewers remember Dugin’s earlier stance. “The gates of hell are waiting for you,” was a typical comment.  Late in May Dugin turned off comments on his posts.

Like most intellectual supplicants of power, Dugin must find a niche with one or another ruling clique. His meanderings reflect that China and Russia have something of an alliance today, but every bond between capitalist powers is charged with tension. Let the multipolaristas trot behind Russia or China or both if they can. In doing so, they exclude the communist analysis and vision from their thought and action – the only solid weapon against all imperialism.

Charles Andrews is author of The Hollow Colossus.

i. Osnovy geopolitiki: Geopoliticheskoe budushchee Rossii. 1997. Moscow: Arktogeya, pp. 255, 257. As cited by John B. Dunlop,  “Aleksandr Dugin’s Foundations of Geopolitics.” Demokratizatsiya 12.1 (Jan 31, 2004): 41.
ii.  Ibid., pp. 346, 360, 363, 383, 389, 393.