The Far-Right Philosophy Guiding Putin – Byline Times

In the second of his two-part series on funding Russian oligarchs and far-right disinformation, Sian Norris examines the distorted worldview that inspired Putin’s assault

Vienna, 2014. Far-right European political leaders like Marion Maréchal Le Pen and Aymeric Chauprade of the French National Front, and Hans-Christian Strache of the Austrian FPÖ, mingle with the old aristocracy – Fiat heiress Margherita Agnelli of Pahlen and her husband Count Serge de Pahlen are here, as well as Prince Zurab Chavchavadze and Prince Sixte Henri de Bourbon-Parme.

They gathered in the city to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the “Holy Alliance” between the Tsar of Russia and the Austrian and Prussian emperors. The alliance was formed to remake Europe after Napoleon’s defeat in 1815. Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev, known to US intelligence as “Putin’s right-hand man for political interference operations in Europe” and a major funder of anti-gender causes around the world, organized the meeting. Region.

Through his employee Alexey Komov, who runs the international operations of Malofeev’s St. Basil the Great Charitable Foundation, the bearded millionaire is linked to the US World Congress of Families, Spain’s CitizenGO and Agenda Europe, which reportedly funded the latter two.

The star speaker at the Vienna event was Aleksandr Dugin – a far-right ideologue who champions the idea of ​​eurasism, where “Russia should unite the peoples of the Eurasian continent in a new empire against the West and liberalism”.

The participants of this gathering wanted to reverse history – to return to the empirical vision of post-Napoleonic Europe, where the world was a cake to be shared between the white supremacist powers.

To understand Putin’s actions in Europe today, it helps to know who Dugin is and why he was so welcome in Vienna that day.


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The Eurasian Empire

Maybe it’s the beard. But it’s more likely the influence that led to Dugin being dubbed “Putin’s Rasputin.”

Dugin argues for the creation of the Eurasian Empire – bringing the countries that were part of the Soviet Union back under Russian control. But above all, it is not a question of recreating the former USSR; it is a question of recreating the tsarist empire. In Dugin’s and therefore Putin’s view, the former Soviet nations are not their own countries with their own histories and peoples. Instead, they believe the Soviet Union just took over the borders of a historic union of peoples and ethnicities that had existed since the Russian Empire.

The nationalism that drives Dugin’s worldview positions Russia as a country with a unique culture and destiny. This destiny is to create a center of power straddling Europe and Asia, with Russia ruling everything.

Simply put, Dugin doesn’t believe that countries like Ukraine – or Azerbaijan or Kazakhstan – exist or ever existed. Therefore, in this distorted worldview, invasion is justified. The fascist thinker has been sanctioned by the United States since the annexation of Crimea in 2014 for advocating the murder of Ukrainians.

But it’s not just the land itself – it’s what the vision of this land means. In Dugin’s philosophy, the landlocked Eurasian Empire represents conservatism, traditionalism, and a repudiation of the liberalism and “decline” of the West.

He writes: “We must return to the … New Middle Ages – and therefore to Empire, to religion and to the institutions of traditional society. The whole content of Modernity – is Satanism and degeneracy. Nothing is worth, everything is to be cleaned. Modernity is absolutely false – science, values, philosophy, art, society, fashions, patterns, “truths”, the understanding of Being, time and space. Everything died with Modernity. So it should end. We are going to end it”.

Millions of Russian rubles funded Far-right discord in Europe

The mythical fascist past

Dugin’s credo is ultimately anti-modern. But it’s more than wobbly nostalgia: it’s the concept of the mythical fascist past. Dugin and his supporters want to reverse progress to a “before” era – Russia breaking out of the predicted historical sequence and shifting from communism to capitalism, before returning even further back to tsarist feudal society, or even arguably to the time of the hunter-gatherers.

The ultimate goal is to reverse 250 years of progress, then freeze history to a point where the Enlightenment – and with it the belief in human rights, society, rationalism and science – could not emerge. This was also the goal of Nazi Germany: Goebbels said the day the Nazis came to power was when 1789 (the year of the French Revolution) was “eradicated from history”.

Since Russian forces invaded Ukraine, there have been multiple comparisons between Putin and Hitler – from protest banners putting a mustache on the Russian president’s face to articles analyzing his neo-imperial assault on Eastern Europe. ‘Is.

Like Hitler, Putin wants to create a version of the Third Reich, using Dugin’s Eurasian ideal as a model. It is a world order where there are superior humans (the Russians) and sub-humans, and where the countries neighboring its borders are vassal states. He wants to create a modern empire directed against the West and against progress or liberal ideas. He believes he can achieve this through military aggression and imperial ambition.

Make no mistake, Putin’s war is a fascist war. He thinks the West – that is, Europe – is decadent and in decline. This decline is signaled by its general acceptance of human rights and democracy. But as modernity pulls Europe down, the worry is that it pulls Russia with it. Putin therefore needs a war for a fight between the declining West and Mother Russia.

Within this framework, Russia’s own decline since the end of the Cold War is the fault of the decadent West, which has attempted to impose democracy, LGBTIQ rights and migrant rights on the country in violation of its ” natural law”. Putin sees this as an opportunity to fight back and “make Russia great again.”

This harkens back to Dugin, who preaches that liberalism has been a dead end, not least because of its acceptance of the LGBTIQ community.

According to Putin’s own speeches, the Russian people have not yet “reached their peak”. They will do it through war, because the Russians “have an infinite genetic code”. It is a magical thought, a belief in a Russian mystical force which means that the country has a right to superiority. This was Hitler’s own attitude towards the Aryan race.

What is crucial to understand about Putin’s approach and Dugin’s influence is that he sees Russia’s place in the world as above the decadent West, with its neighboring states subordinated to its empire. And because it wants to roll back progress to before 1789 and, above all, before 1917, this empire reverses history beyond the USSR, to feudalism.

We know this from that meeting in Vienna – organized by his oligarch ally Malofeev who allegedly funded and armed rebels and militias in eastern Ukraine the same year. It was a meeting that brought together those who want to rebuild a fascist model of Eurasia: a white model, a model bound by a strict class hierarchy, and another where pesky things like human rights men – including women, black people and the global majority of people and LGTIQ people – as well as democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, can be eliminated.

Disinformation Wars

Dugin’s warped philosophy — which fueled the far-right conspiracies of QAnon and Great Replacement — isn’t hard to find.

In fact, his rants are still on Facebook, where his posts promote a new book by Viennese organizer Konstantin Malofeev, condemn pacifism as violence, and share posts from the Katehon think tank, which is believed to have been created by Malofeev.

His articles claim that “the modern West is totally wrong. We are witnessing the greatest defeat of globalism. The world should free itself from the modern West” – statements that reinforce his philosophy of the Eurasian empire that had such an influence on Putin.

But Dugin’s presence on Facebook also raises questions about big tech’s role in stemming the flow of conspiratorial misinformation, as opposed to fueling a far-right conspiracy.

In a joint statement by the Polish association “NEVER AGAIN” and the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, the organizations urged: “Tech companies must immediately decide which side of history they are on. They can fulfill their responsibilities as global corporations, on which billions of people depend, and do all they can to prevent further death and destruction, or they can remain complicit in an unlawful act of war. which has already caused hundreds of deaths, half a million refugees, and the massive destruction of towns and villages”.


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