“Neo-Eurasianism utilizes the methodology of Vilfredo Pareto’s school, moves within the logic of the rehabilitation of the notion of organic hierarchy, picks up some Nietzschean motives, and develops the doctrine of the ontology of power, or of the Christian Orthodox concept of power as katechon. The idea of an elite leads us to the themes of the European traditionalists, who authored studies of the caste system in ancient society and of their ontology and sociology, including Guernon, Julius Evola, Georges Dumezil, and Louis Dumont. Gumilev’s theory of ‘passionarity’ also lies at the roots of the concept of the ‘new Eurasian elite.”
Lots to unpack in that description, from “Eurasian Mission” by Aleksandr Dugin who has become famous since Russia pulled the trigger on ‘new Eurasianism’ with its invasion of Ukraine. Dugin is a self-described National Bolshevik. He, among others, is the intellectual architect of Putin’s imperialism.
Pareto’s school is one of the study of inequality and specifically elites. Dugin emphasizes the importance of elites in his work, although differentiates between the caste elites he is advocating for in his Eurasia and the income elites in the West; with the basic difference being caste elites are cultural elites – nobles. There is much of feudalism in Dugin’s thinking. His work bleeds with the yearning for the days of peasants, nobles and the clergy. Even suggesting cities should be emptied and the fields repopulated.
Dugin has been described as a Fascist, but this is probably in the Italian sense not the German. At least not in the German racial sense – instead in the sense of the communal taking preference over the individual. He rejects all ideas of individual rights, instead bestowing rights upon collectivities as do other socialists – whether national or international.
The roots of his philosophy, however, do smell of the ancient forests of Siberia and the old legends and myths of prehistory. There is a neo-paganism in Dugin’s work; Julius Evola was an Italian student of paganism and the occult who permeated Hitler’s Germany as well with their occultic beliefs in Kali-Yuga and all that. Dugin believes that the katechon – orthodox theologians believe the katechon from Thessolonians is the Holy Spirit but Dugin presents the idea as a physical being who is both good and bad – restraining the Antichrist but at the same time preventing the end of days, which all good Christians yearn for – that the katechon these days is Russia, having been Rome before, and the Holy Roman Empire as well.
Passionarity is a term from Lev Gumilev, son of Anna Akhmatova the famous poet. It is, literally, the Russian ability to endure suffering and hardship and how that ennobles and glorifies the Russians as their special, unique contribution to the preservation of world order. Eurasianism seeks a multi-polar world, which is not a new idea. Four poles, one in Eurasia supervised by Russia; one in the Western hemisphere supervised by the US; one in Europe and Africa supervised by EU and one in Asia supervised by Japan. With no universalities of any kind to link them.
This was a fascinating read, except the end which was basically an Anti-American rant which is tiresome and without nuance. It shines a light into the mind of Putin and his group of Eurasianists and what they are up to. And that is helpful.