[2017] In search of Putin’s philosopher

The person most often identified as Putin’s guru has been so far Alexander Dugin, the Eurasianist and fascist geopolitician. Western experts have mistakenly overstated Dugin’s influence because of his role in popularizing the Eurasianist terminology and neo-imperial projects. However, there is no direct link between Dugin’s neo-Eurasianism and Putin’s Eurasian Union project. Dugin’s ideological repertoire is drawn from the German Conservative Revolution and the French and Italian New Right far more than from the Eurasianist founding fathers of the interwar period. High-ranking Russian officials in charge of the Eurasian Economic Union institutions take their inspiration from Jean Monet and other advocates of a united Europe or from Beijing’s rhetoric of Chinese-style harmonious development, but not from classical Eurasianism. Even as the Eurasian Economic Union takes institutional form, Dugin has failed to acquire any institutional status – he is not a member even of the Civic Chamber and lost his position at Moscow State University during the 2014 Ukrainian crisis – and his theories are too esoteric and philosophical to compete with more mainstream ideological products.
— Read on http://www.ridl.io/en/in-search-of-putins-philosopher/

[2016] One of Russia’s looniest far-right ideologues endorses Donald Trump

Aleksandr Dugin’s neo-imperialist “Eurasianism” provided ideological support for Putin’s Ukraine invasion.
— Read on www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11142048/dugin-russia-trump-endorse

Dugin is no longer relevant to Putin!

But when I met with Dugin’s own allies in Moscow last spring, I found that they were isolated and despondent, and no longer considered Putin an ally — but rather saw him as their enemy.

It turns out that Dugin had been dumped by the Russian establishment in 2014, just as his usefulness ran out. Putin had stopped short of overtly invading Ukraine, infuriating Dugin and other far-right leaders who wanted Russia to take part or all of Ukraine. When those far-right leaders agitated for escalation, using their newfound public influence to pressure Putin, the Kremlin put them down.

In June 2014, Putin formally rescinded an earlier order that had granted Russia legal authority to invade Ukraine — indicating he would not invade overtly. The next week, as part of a larger crackdown on far-right voices, Dugin was expelled from his prestigious job at Moscow State University.

But in spring 2015, when I traveled to Moscow, I found the once-triumphant Duginists and ultranationalists no longer saw Putin as an ally, and even considered him a traitor to the cause. Some had been pressured by security services, which they took as a sign that their views were no longer tolerated. Meanwhile, Putin had largely dropped his grand Eurasianist rhetoric.

In retrospect, it seems likely that Putin’s short-lived embrace of Duginism was opportunistic and superficial.

[2016] ‘Putin’s Rasputin’ has lauded Donald Trump as a ‘sensation’

“I think his influence is greatly exaggerated — in the first place, by himself,” Dr. Daniel Treisman, a UCLA political scientist and author of The Return: Russia’s Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev, told ThinkProgress. “There is a great temptation to find a ‘thinker’ behind every ‘political actor.’ If the ideas of a certain writer correspond to some of the actions of a given political leader, then that is often considered proof of influence. Inconsistencies are ignored. And then, purveyors of extreme political ideologies are often good at self-promotion.”

Dugin may have been one of a litany of radical right wing ideologues supportive of Putin’s annexation of Crimea — but it seems that when Putin stopped needing their backing, he turned on them. In mid-2014 Dugin lost his job at Moscow University, where he headed the sociology department.

Max Fisher, then of Vox, traveled to Russia in spring 2015 to meet Dugin’s cohorts; he said they were “isolated and despondent, and no longer considered Putin an ally — but rather saw him as their enemy.”
— Read on thinkprogress.org/putins-rasputin-has-lauded-donald-trump-as-a-sensation-8de320369bc1/

[2018] Russian and American Far Right Connections: Confluence, Not Influence

(PONARS Policy Memo) The current U.S. debate on Russia is shaped by conspiratorial narratives that see Russia meddling in almost every issue of U.S. political life. This frenzy is reinforced by the fact that Republicans and Democrats now share a relatively similar anti-Russia agenda that is inspired by Cold War “Red Scare” rhetoric. One conspiratorial narrative revolves around connections between Russia and part of the American far right.
— Read on www.ponarseurasia.org/node/9641

Is Russia Really “Fascist”? A Comment on Timothy Snyder

(PONARS Policy Memo) Over the past decade, and even more overtly since the annexation of Crimea, there has been a growing tendency to describe Russia—or at least the Putin regime—as “fascist.” On the political scene, this assessment has been articulated by everyone from Western policy leaders like former U.S.
— Read on www.ponarseurasia.org/memo/russia-really-fascist-reply-timothy-snyder

I have an audio book of his, but it’s on the Russian Revolution. 🤔💭