By Dr. Daria Lebedeva
The Fourth Political Theory
Alexander Dugin. Arktos Media Ltd, 2012. 214 pages.
The Fourth Political Theory is a sketch, a cursory outline on an urgent need to analyze socio-political agenda of present-day world; The Fourth Political Theory is also a food for thought, the invitation to approach critically the legitimacy of such political theories as liberalism, communism and fascism; in this vein this is an introduction to what is predestined to be called the fourth political theory (4PT) after abolishing the status quo of the abovementioned theories, so 4PT is a matter of future .
Still, it is needed to mention that Alexander Dugin masterfully draws a clear-cut critique of post-modern reality we are living in. Yet, we are living in transition, in the ambiguous situation in-between (still carrying the burden of side-effects of the old regimes and at a halt peering into the glimpses of bright light on the horizon). Still, we are in a threshold to leap from modernity to post –modernity, from industrial society to post-industrial society, from liberalism to post-liberalism.
Yet, in closer to Communist Manifesto manner 4PT sets its enemy, describes the ongoing craunch and formulates the solutions. If for Marxism the enemy is a proper class reigning, accumulating the capital on the exploitation of the masses, so for 4 PT the enemy is a proper ideology, still matters and reigns. This is exactly liberalism legislatively advanced in the Western countries, crowned the process of globalization, i.e. spreading/imposing the Western-like standards and ideals throughout the globe. Globalization, thus is a Westernalization in its liberal roots and Americanization in its leading and promoting nation.
Liberalism as enemy: say me who is your enemy and I will say who you are
All three examined theories purported the dichotomy of power and weakness, division for “we-and – they”, exalting the unshakably priority of individual (liberalism), class/proletariat (communism), nation/race (fascism). All three do not overcome the pro-racism biases, i.e. setting superiority of class/nation/race above others. Essentially the liberalism as ideology serves the interest of individual, as a socio-political agenda it intends to satisfy the demands of individual: to liberate him/her from the restrictions of any kind (tradition, religion, cultural habits and etc.) and to construct for individual such political formation as democracy, such economic tool as liberal (neoliberal) capitalism. Fukuyama’s optimistic admiration of triumphant march of liberal ideology in the late 80-90’s of 20th century has ensured him to declare ambiguously (but still hastily) the end of history. In some degree this panegyric praise bestows liberalism with destiny-turn mission to present ideology not free from shortcomings but that is the best for today.
Liberalism – communism – fascism (where the last is devastated at the valuable price of millions of lives): as ideologies are in constant antagonism: where the second and third appeared as direct reaction on the shortcomings of the first, liberalism. The previous theories are debunked, but should not be broken into pieces: the rejected and ignored stones are put in the fundament of new building, the periphery swifts to the centre, “those regions that have been peripheral in classical politics” now need new rethinking. But the point is in what degree and manner to permutate and to redistribute the damaged material as if in kaleidoscope after shaking it the already present- and nowhere vanishing – colored glasses surprisingly show a new and invigorated image.
Still, the point is what must be rejected and what must be remained in the new hermeneutic circle from the ideological corpuses of the previous political theories. From fascism theory Dugin casts off all variations of racism and its such direct consequences as hierarchisation based on religious, cultural, economic grounds. The rising of one race is to be substituted with the concept of ethnos, nation, the very concept neglected by the Marxism theory as well. Marxism failed to predict the future, promoted the controversial idea of progress, i.e. a revolutionarily warranted idea of renewed paradise –communism. What must be borrowed is the capacity to use Marxism’s critical arsenal to oppose against something: against oppressing class, against ideology, against economic formation, in a word, against the observing state of affairs, but without the ambitious goal of remaking the world. And at last, liberalism despite its pillars provoking direct critique still offers the idea of freedom, the value and central point for 4PT. Not freedom from and individual freedom, but human freedom in the widest sense. Ontological support for the central idea of freedom is inspired from Heidegger’s concept of Dasein.
Dasein (There – Being) is subject of 4PT, also as a concept it provides a broad ontological ground. Dugin puts readers attention to weakly known fact that Martin Heidegger in the period between 1936 and 1945 constructed new history of philosophy centred around Dasein. The previous theories alienated Dasein, for their racist component the aspect of complete freedom for all doomed to stay as utopia, (freedom coincided with necessity in Marxism and freedom for individual in liberalism are distant and narrow-centred), when Dasein freedom expands and embraces cultural freedom with social freedom. “The freedom of Dasein lies in implementing the opportunity to be authentic: this is, in the realisation of Sein more so than of da …Yet, in order for ‘Being’ to flow into ‘there’ like a fountain, we must place all of this together –place this entire hermeneutic circle into the domain of complete freedom”.
Globalization as imposed movement: one for all and all for one
“Globalization is thus nothing more than a globally deployed model of Western European, or, rather, Anglo-Saxon ethnocentrism, which is the purest manifestation of racist ideology” Dugin writes. All-spreading globalization (Americanization) in its ambition to penetrate the national borderlines, to delete the unique cultural differences and with Plushkin’s greed to swallow new areas (markets) and to conquer minds (imposing the pro-western ideals to youth) substantially tends to take more and more and such ad finitum and – as Dugin urges – in fact is analogous to monotonic process. Dugin heralds about the dangerousness of such tendency and ( referring to Gregory Bateson’s Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity) suggests that non-stoppable process once has been launched without regulations will reach its deadly point (as a steam engine in mechanics once has reached cruising speed -point of no return- and without regulation the intake of fuel it will burst and destroy itself). As such monotonic process of endless accumulation without sound plan is alien to nature, also it is not met in sociological sphere. It merely echoes the optimism and belief in the progress as the translational motion from worse conditions to better ones as one of grand remnants of Enlightenment, that in postmodern reality is no longer pays off.
Globalization starting from one point covers with one tapis the others points making it seen from bird’s – eye homogenous, flat and smooth, in a word, unipolar. The unipolar world in its disproportion: the West and the Rest implies nothing more than a stretched imposed uniformity, a new world order, a new way of life, an American way of life. “America is due to affirm the American model, the American way of life, as a world order obligatory to all….The entire planet must henceforth become a ‘World America’, ‘World Government’, or ‘World State’ (As if to repeat the characteristical metaphor for immigration and formation of early years of the rise of the USA, so in its decay – as prognosed by Patrick Buchanan – now the melting pot is boiling from the nations of the entire globe, not inside, but outside America. Still, alternative is offered: from singularity to plurality: unipolar world-multi-polar world, universalisation-pluralization.
Post-modern reality-show: multiplying prefixes “post”
There is an increasing crisis in politics, the situation compelled Dugin to declare: that “politics is disappearing”. Still, as everywhere in the book, the solution is offered after the most pessimistic conclusions: to bring political back to life is in capacity of political post-anthropology Dugin argues. Still, what is to criticized and to be overcome is the post-modern reality. Yet, post-industrial progress as industrial revolution has been prepared by the rapidly technical advancement, era of the Internet, social media and mass media and unlimited opportunities of the spreading of information. The worker in the factory is not yet replaced by the machine toll as in industrial revolution, but by robots. The human level of communication is sunk to the exchanging of SMS (texting) and supporting icons, posting photos and commenting news on Facebook and Twitter open to register to everyone: from president to schoolboy. Dehumanization of the values of human relations has not in the last degree determined socio-political roles to become upside-down: work and leisure, politician and voters, private and public spheres. Not urging for the revolutionary devastating changes, but for the correction of the given matters Dugin states: “an alternative to political post-anthropology is also post-anthropology, but different” . The scope of 4PT is to develop this moment as well.
Aut viam inveniam aut faciam
To stop the rushing process, a monotonic process, to click on the stopcock is to refer to the alternatives as the first hope-inspiring steps towards the solutions of the crisis. Whereas stopping is the first measure, saying “no” to the ongoing situation is the second, and to reverse the course of history to the initial origins – the third, the crucial step. Exactly, the conservative approach is about not accepting the imposed ideological monopoly, as foisted items offered by a pushy commercial agent, the items that in fact are not needed and will gather dust on one’s shelve. The very concept of conservatism by the content overlaps with the concepts of traditionalism (position to reject all forms of modern/post-modern life as entirely bad par excellence), fundamental (religious) conservatism (Islamic and Protestant critique of Westernalization), and Eurasianism ( an episteme, a form of conservatism, views Western civilization as a local and temporary phenomenon). The last tendency in relation to Russia nationally and ideologically might be a candidate to continue the work of Slavophiles. Multi-polar vision of the world promotes the idea of co-existing of the various and diverse civilizations, their right to be authentic and unchanged. Not all nations in their spirit and turn in mind are ready to answer the post-modern challenge at a price of rethinking or oblivion century-long history of cultural and spiritual traditions, there is a kind of incompatibility to all ideological thesaurus/ baggage kindly offered by the commercial agents of Westernalization (that perhaps is more than the truth regarding the Russians and the Muslims).
Still, the conclusion is optimistic and challenging: there is a proposed solution for the exit of crisis of postmodern world: turn back the course of history (turn the rivers back) as boomerang to back to the starting point. In fact, it means to transcendent logos, beginning and advanced invention of European philosophy responsible for the rise of logocentric, authoritative, hierarchical order of being and supporting knowledge. The crisis of logos exhausted and discredited itself has been foreseen by Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger. By prolonging this thesis one must state on the wrongness of the path taken by humanity more than 2500 years ago. Albeit, the hopelessness can be erased by a drop of hope: the step back implies the step toward chaos, toward Heidegger’s ‘other beginning’, a new attempt to take new step, this time the right step, and here only external source –chaos – is capable to restore, to modernize, to purify, and to save logos together with humanity. And one more remark – expecting future, the future better then now one whether on personal level of private dreams or on national level of bestowing one particular people with messianic visions and goals has to be deal with this maxim: the future is preparing today as Dugin urges perhaps in the most philosophical chapter of the book. So the argumentation potential of the book applies to the reader from the tomorrow’s perspective, from the alarmed necessity for the alternative voice.