Essential internal reforms must logically begin in Russia. This is required by the Special Military Operation (SMO), which has intensified the contradictions with the West—and with the entire modern Western civilization—to the extreme. Anyone can now see that it is no longer safe to simply use the norms, methods, concepts, products of this civilization. The West spreads, along with its technology, its ideology, which then permeates all spheres of life. If we recognize ourselves as a part of Western civilization, then we must readily agree to this total colonization and even enjoy it (like in the 1990s). But in the case of the current confrontation, which is fatal!—such an attitude is unacceptable. Many Westerners and liberals have already become fully aware of this and have therefore left Russia just when the break with Western civilization had become irreversible. And it became irreversible on February 24, 2022, and even two days earlier—at the moment of recognition of independence of the DPR and LPR—on February 22, 2022.
In principle, everyone has the right to make a civilizational choice of loyalty or betrayal. At least with those who are involved, everything is clear—it is clear now and was clear before. At least they are consistent—after losing liberalism in Russia, they went off to their own.
It is more complicated with those who are still here. I mean those Westerners and liberals who still share the basic norms of modern Western civilization, but for some reason continue to stay in Russia, despite the rupture that has already taken place between it and the West. They are the main obstacle to real and full-fledged patriotic reforms.
Reforms were inevitable, because Russia found itself not only cut off from the West, but also essentially at war with it. On the eve of World War II, the USSR had a sufficient number of important strategic industries created by Nazi Germany. And relations between the USSR and the Third Reich were not particularly hostile. But after June 22, 1941 obviously the situation changed dramatically. Under those conditions, continuing cooperating with the Germans—legitimate and encouraged before the war—took on an entirely different meaning. Exactly the same thing happened after February 22, 2022—those who continued to remain in the paradigm of the hostile (liberal-fascist) civilization, with which we are at war, found themselves outside the ideological space that clearly emerged with the beginning of the SMO.
While the presence of Germany on the eve of WWII in the USSR was specific and single-pointed, the presence of the liberal-fascist Russophobe West on the eve of the SMO was well-nigh total. Western technologies of methodology, norms, know-how, and even, in part, values permeate our entire society. This calls for a radical revision. But who will carry it out? The people who were educated during perestroika? The liberal and criminal 1990s? The people of the 1980s and 1990s who were trained and educated in the 2000s? All of these periods were under the basic influence of liberalism as an ideology, as a paradigm, as a fundamental and comprehensive position in philosophy, science, politics, education, culture, technology, economics, the media, even in fashion and in life. Contemporary Russia knows only the inertial ruins of the Soviet paradigm and everything else is pure liberal Westernism.
There is no alternative paradigm; at least none in power or among the elite, at the level at which the civilizational confrontation should now unfold.
Today, we oppose the West as a civilization against a civilization. And we need to define what kind of civilization we are. Otherwise, no military, political and economic successes will help us. Everything will be reversible. The trend will change and everything will collapse (I’m not even talking about the necessity to explain to Ukrainians, who will henceforth be inside our zone of influence or directly inside Russia) who are we, after all? At the moment there is only the inertia of Soviet memory (“granny with a flag”), Western Nazi propaganda (“vatniki”, “occupants”), our—so far only initial—military successes and complete confusion in the local population. And here the voice of Russian civilization should sound. Clearly, distinctly, convincingly. And its peals must be heard in Ukraine, and on the territory of Eurasia, and in the whole world. It is not only desirable, it is vital, just as cartridges, missiles, copters and bulletproof vests are needed at the front.
It is most logical to begin the reforms with philosophy. It is necessary to form the General Staff of the Russian Logos, either on the basis of an existing institution (after all, not a single humanitarian institution can or will ever do this: liberalism and Westernism still dominate everywhere), or in the form of something fundamentally new. Hegel said that the greatness of a nation begins with the creation of a great philosophy. He said it, and he did it. This is precisely what Russian philosophers need today, not vague and out-of-touch agreement about the SMO. We need a new Russian philosophy. Russian in content, in essence.
And the reform of all other branches of humanitarian and natural science knowledge should start from this paradigm. Sociology, psychology, anthropology, culturology, as well as economics, and even physics, chemistry, biology, etc. are based on philosophy, are its derivatives. Scientists often forget this; but recall what “PhD” actually means, in any of the humanities or the natural sciences. PhD—“philosophiae doctor;” that is, “doctor of philosophy.” If you are not a philosopher, you are an apprentice at best, not a scientist (“doctor” is Latin for “scholar,” “learned”).
This is where the most important internal battle of starting civilizational reforms in Russia itself (as well as in the entire space of our expansion, in the entire zone of our influence) will unfold—the battle for Russian philosophy begins.
And here there is a clearly shaped pole of the internal enemy. These are representatives of the liberal paradigm—from analytical philosophy to the postmodern, to the completely feeble-minded cognitivists and transhumanists, who maniacally insist on reducing man to a machine. I’m not even talking about outright liberals and liberal progressives, proponents of the totalitarian concept of “open society,” feminism, queer studies, and the “queer culture” raised on sorority grants. This is pure “fifth column”—something like the Azov Battalion banned in Russia.
It is very easy to draw a portrait of the philosophical enemy of the Russian Idea and Russian civilization. It is not simply a question of connections with Western scientific and intelligence centers (which are often on quite close terms), but also of adherence to a number of quite formalizable attitudes:
- belief in the universality of modern Western civilization (Eurocentrism, civilizational racism);
- hyper-materialism—up to and including deep ecology and object-oriented ontology;
- methodological and ethical individualism—whence the philosophy of gender (as a social option) and in the limit transhumanism;
- techno-progressivism, the development of Artificial Intelligence and “thinking” neural networks;
- hatred of classical theologies, spiritual Tradition, philosophy of eternity;
- denial or ironic ridicule of identity;
- anti-essentialism, etc.
This is a kind of “philosophical Ukraine,” scattered throughout virtually every scientific and educational institution that has anything to do with philosophy or basic scientific epistemes. These are signs of philosophical Russophobia, since the Russian Idea is built on the basis of directly opposite principles:
- the identity of Russian civilization (Slavophiles, Danilevsky, Eurasians);
- placing the spirit over matter;
- communality, collegiality—a collectivist anthropology;
- deep humanism;
- devotion to Tradition;
- careful preservation of identity, nationality;
- belief in the spiritual nature of the essence of things, etc.
Those who set the tone in contemporary Russian philosophy vehemently defend liberal attitudes and just as vehemently reject Russian ones. Such is the powerful stronghold of liberal Nazism within Russia.
It is precisely this firing-point of the enemy, this high-ground, that we will have to take in the next phase. Moreover, liberal Nazis are defending themselves against philosophy no less fiercely than the Azov Battalion or the desperate Ukrainian terrorists from Popasna. They wage information wars, write denunciations of patriots, and use all levers of corruption and apparatus influence.
At this point, it is appropriate to recall a little—personal, but very revealing—incident about my dismissal from the Moscow State University (MSU) in the summer of 2014 (note the date).
From 2008 to 2014, at the Sociology Department of MSU, together with the Dean and founder of the department, Vladimir Ivanovich Dobrenkov, we organized the rigorous work of the Center for Conservative Studies, where we did just that—undertake the development of a Russian civilizational epistemological paradigm. Without hesitation, we supported a “Russian Spring.”
But, in response, we received a vicious letter from…Ukrainian philosophers (initiated by the Kyiv Nazi Sergey Datsyuk), demanding the “expulsion of Dobrenkov and me from MSU. And most strangely—but then, not very strangely—the leadership of MSU met the demand. Dobrenkov was removed from the post of Dean, and I, frankly, left of my own accord, although it looked like dismissal. I was asked to stay, but on humiliating terms. Of course, it was not Sadovnichy who resolved this issue, but he was rather gracious and open-minded and approved my appointment as the Head of the Department, which passed all voting procedures at the Academic Council of Moscow State University.
But then, something happened. The “Russian Spring” was curtailed. And the question of the Russian world, Russian civilization, and the Russian Logos was removed from the agenda altogether. But it was symbolic—the initiators of the abolition of the Center for Conservative Studies at Moscow State University were Ukrainian Nazis—theorists and practitioners of Russian genocide in Donbass and Eastern Ukraine as a whole. Exactly the same people with whom we are now at war.
This is how liberal fascism penetrates Russia. Or rather, it penetrated a long time ago; but that is how its mechanisms work. A denunciation comes from Kiev; someone inside the Administration supports it; and the next initiative to deploy the Russian Idea collapses.
Of course, you can’t stop me—over the years I’ve written 24 volumes of Noomachy, and the last three are devoted to the Russian Logos. But the institutionalization of the Russian Idea has again been postponed.
My example, of course, is not an isolated one. All or almost all thinkers and theorists involved in justifying the identity of Russian civilization have experienced something similar. We are dealing with a philosophical war. A real one—a fierce and well-organized opposition to the Russian Idea, supervised from abroad, but carried out by local liberals or just ordinary officials, passively following fashion and trends and a well-organized information strategy of direct agents of influence.
We are now at the point where the institutionalization of Russian Discourse is needed. Everyone has seen in our information war how controllable and manipulable the attitudes and processes in society are. But this is a consequence. The most serious clashes take place at the level of paradigms and epistemes. He who controls knowledge, Michel Foucault wrote, is the one who has true power. True power is power over the minds and souls of people.
Philosophy is the most important front line, and its implications are far superior to the news from Ukraine that every Russian is so avidly watching today—how are our people doing? What new frontiers have they seized? Has the enemy wavered? Herein lies the main obstacle to our victory.
What we need is a philosophy of victory. Without it, all will be in vain, and all our successes will easily be turned into defeat.
All true reforms must begin in the realm of the Spirit. And as news from the front is sought in the news—what about the institution of philosophy? Still holding its ground? Has it surrendered yet?
Alexander Dugin is a widely-known and influential Russian philosopher. His most famous work is The Fourth Political Theory (a book banned by major book retailers), in which he proposes a new polity, one that transcends liberal democracy, Marxism and fascism. He has also introduced and developed the idea of Eurasianism, rooted in traditionalism. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitica.
Featured image: “Fireworks on Victory Day,” by Mikhail Bobyshovl painted in 1961.