Vladimir Putin’s chief ideologist, Alexander Dugin
First question: is Dugin really Putin's "chief ideologist"? What sort of a job title is that?
In 2014, Dugin published a book, "Putin vs. Putin: Vladimir Putin Viewed from the Right
". The publisher's blurb says that in the book, Dugin complains that "Throughout his career as the President of Russia, Putin has attempted to balance two opposing sides of his political nature: one side is a liberal democrat who seeks to adopt Western-style reforms in Russia and maintain good relations with the United States and Europe, and the other is a Russian patriot who wishes to preserve Russia’s traditions and reassert her role as one of the great powers of the world"
and argues that Putin needs to move further to the latter role.
The blurb says that Dugin is "an informal advisor to Putin and a Kremlin insider
". Again, I ask, what kind of job title is that? For all we know, he could be standing "inside" the Kremlin courtyard waving a sign.
The publisher's website includes several links to Amazon websites. But all those links are dead, and a search for all Dugin's books in English comes up dry, apparently at english-speaking Amazon sites worldwide. So Dugin has been purged.
Amazon stands for free speech, and their catalog includes everything available in the world, right? Not anymore.
Second question: is Dugin really a fascist? English Wikipedia
puts it in the very first sentence of the lede, with seven footnotes to prove it, including Anton Shekhotsov and Andreas Umland. Russian Wikipedia
(via Google Translate) doesn't mention fascism at all in the lede paragraph, but in the section on Dugin's political views, it opens by saying: "Anton Shekhovtsov (former member of the ECM ) and Andreas Umland believe that Dugin’s views are close to fascism"
. The remainder of the section is devoted to an exploration of the ways in which Dugin's views are similar to fascism, and in what respects they're different.
The cited paper by Shekhotsov
does indeed argue that Dugin is some sort of fascist. And what is a fascist, according to Shekhotsov? He is working with a definition given by Roger Griffin, who says that Fascism is 'a genus of political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultra-nationalism'. '
Palingenesis' is fancy academic-speak for "rebirth" or "re-creation". So, Dugin is a populist calling for national rebirth, and the shoe fits Trump too. But is the "MAGA" slogan all we need to know, to identify Trump (or for that matter Dugin) as a fascist? Or is it something deeper than that?
Not to worry... Shekhotsov ominously quotes Dugin himself, who wrote:
Fascism - this is nationalism yet not any nationalism, but a revolutionary, rebellious, romantic, idealistic [form of nationalism] appealing to a great myth and transcendental idea, trying to put into practice the Impossible Dream, to give birth to a society of the hero and Superhuman, to change and transform the world.
Sounds like Dugin must be a fascist after all. But let's check the context...
via Google Translate (with some garbled syntax, but hopefully still comprehensible), Dugin said:
In the history of pure, ideal fascism has not received a direct embodiment. In practice, the pressing problems of coming to power and restoring economic order forced the fascist leaders — Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, and Salazar — to enter into alliances with conservatives, national capitalists, large owners and corporate leaders. But this compromise always ended in failure for the fascist regimes. Fanatical anti-communism of Hitler, fueled by the German capitalists, cost the German defeat in the war with the Soviet Union, and believed in the King honesty (representative of the interests just the big bourgeoisie) Mussolini was by him delivered in 1943 in the renegade Bardoli and Chano, dropped out of the Duce into prison and then throwing himself in the arms of the Americans.
Franco managed to survive the longest, and this was at the expense of concessions to liberal-capitalist Britain and the USA and refusal to support the related ideologically regimes of the Axis countries. In addition, Franco was not a real fascist. National capitalism is the internal virus of fascism, its enemy, the guarantee of its degeneration and death. National capitalism is by no means the essential characteristic of fascism, being, on the contrary, an accidental and contradictory element in its internal structure.
It is completely wrong to call fascism an "extremely right" ideology. This phenomenon is much more precisely characterized by the paradoxical formula "Conservative Revolution". This combination of "right" cultural and political orientation - traditionalism, loyalty to the soil, roots, national ethics - with the "left" economic program - social justice, restriction of market forces, getting rid of "percentage slavery", prohibiting speculation, monopolies and trusts honest labor.
In most definitions of Fascism that I've seen, the merger of state power with monopoly capitalism is the essence of the situation. Dugin is trying to come up with something else. And he wrote this in 1997... since then, he's been at least trying to distance himself from the F-word.
And furthermore, Lauren Southern herself assures us that Dugin is no fascist. Yes, I know, that's what they all say.