Saturday, July 15, 2017

Alexander Dugin — The Metaphysical Roots of Political Ideologies

In modern political science, sociology, and the disciplines that have become inseparable from them, such as the history of religion, ethnology, and anthropology (all of which have in recent times yielded to statistics and economism), chaos reigns in regards to the most fundamental definitions of such political trends as fascism, communism, socialism, democracy, etc. …
When it comes to such factors as religion, authoritarian rule, national specificity, and ecological cataclysms, then logical structures crumble altogether and any reasonableness in definitions is at times replaced by passion, emotion, and individual and national sympathies, etc.…
In this situation, we propose our own variation of a foundational political scheme which, in our opinion, will help cut the Gordian knot of political contradictions and isolate the main, irreducible ideological complexes or ideological “extremes” whose variations and numerous combinations form the multicolored spectrum of contemporary global politics. 
We by no means claim that our understanding is absolute, for it remains but a scheme and therefore should be taken with rather rough approximation. At the same time, however, we are convinced that no synthetic or holistic picture can be obtained by descending into details and nuances.
On the contrary, applying the principle to the concrete is always an easy and purely technical task.
Moreover, in our opinion, it is the the fear of schematization and commitment to the analytical method that has led political science to the miserable state in which it finds itself today, a state of “luxurious poverty.”
In our study, we will employ diverse spheres of human thought, naturally beginning with religious and metaphysical concepts since it is at this level, whether directly or indirectly, affirmatively or negatively, that the specificities of different political platforms are predetermined.

Metaphysical dogma behind the scenes

We believe that the origins of politics and man’s political self-determination first and foremost stem from certain metaphysical dogmas, and only later do they draw slogans and cliches from the specific social reality through which these dogmas find their direct expression.
Moreover, in most cases these dogmas themselves remain entirely behind the scenes, and not only an ideology’s ordinary representatives but also its exponents or “creators” at times do not even have the slightest idea of such. 
These metaphysical dogmas can take root in a person through either the semantic implication of traditional symbols and signs (the cultural and social factor), through innate psycho-mental attitudes (the psycho-genetic factor), or through man’s existential reaction to Being (the existentialist factor).
In any case, the metaphysical dogmas which predetermine ideology are experienced by man as something internal, unconditional, and as some kind of existential imperative.
Perhaps this is why attempts at identifying this dogma in its pure form are so often abhorrent and draw repulsive reactions.
This can be seen on a more superficial level as well, when the bearer of a specific political doctrine rather often finds it difficult to determine the essence of his principal position (and not some specific position in relation to a given issue), instead identifying his position as something self-evident. 
As a philosopher I am in general agreement with this part of Dugan's analysis. But I would add that it is not limited to modern or contemporary times and conditions. Historically most people have not been philosophically minded or trained in inquiry, so they are unreflective. Most person view their personal and cultural framework that serves a set of criteria and boundary conditions as indicative of "reality" and as being "natural." Consequently, they view those not in agreement with their frame of reference as being ignorant, hypocritical, mendacious, insane, or evil. For they do not believe that anyone who is "rational" can be mistaken about this.

The rest of the article is wonkish for those not trained in philosophy, psychology and Continental sociology. Dugin illuminates what he views as the major religious and metaphysical archetypes influencing social and political thought. 

It is long and probably not of interest to most, especially Anglo-American to whom this type of thinking is alien. But it's worthwhile if you can wade through it, since Alexander Dugin is one of the premier intellectuals and influencers of our time, and he examines some fundamental concepts in this selection.

I would not say it is a matter of his "being right" as much as putting his finger on something of importance about archetypes that influence different mindsets mostly subliminally and have manifested in what Dugin regards that the three primary political stances of our time — fascism, liberalism and communism, which he calls respectively Absolute Right, Absolute Center, and Absolute Left. Here "absolute" denote a rigid frame.

The Fourth Revolutionary War
The Metaphysical Roots of Political Ideologies
Alexander Dugin
Translated by Jafe Arnold
Text written in 1988, first published in the journal Mily Angel in 1990, subsequently published in the book Konservativnaya Revolyutsiya in 1994 and the book Konspirologia in 2005.

1 comment:

jrbarch said...

I think the reality is found by looking at the whole human being, or the whole human race.

Politics (will) is one aspect of a human being, as are religion-philosophy (love-wisdom), and active intelligence. This triplicity in our nature turns up in everything we do. They are ‘energies’ which we express imperfectly, integrate imperfectly, and understand imperfectly. We fragment everything. The Divine is conceived as Spirit at one pole and Matter at the other, with Consciousness as the Child holding both hands - all one.