On the Philosophical Meaning of the Special Military Operation (SMO).
The SMO is inseparably connected with the concept of “the end of history.” And it is not only because Francis Fukuyama (who wrote the famous book, with the same title, The End of History), from the first day of the SMO, actively joined the ideological struggle against Russia and on the side of Ukrainian Nazis and even personally joined the terrorist organization Bellingcat, which tried to hijack a military plane in Russia—though this fact on its own is very telling. The fact is that globalism, which President Putin has openly also said, is an ideology; and “the end of history” plays a fundamental role in its structure.
The fact is that globalism (which is best represented by such international organizations as Klaus Schwab’s Davos Forum with its “Great Reset,” the Trilateral Commission, the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) or George Soros’ Open Society Foundation) insists on a complete unification of humanity under a World Government, with liberal ideology and a system of rules and norms based upon it—including gender politics, LGBT+, extreme individualism and transhumanism—spreading everywhere. And this is the “end of history,” which is clearly premature, but still quite logical and was described back in the early 1990s by Francis Fukuyama. The end of history is the victory of liberalism and the West on a global scale; which implies the abolition of any ideological, geopolitical, economic and socio-cultural alternatives. Fukuyama was writing at a time when the USSR had collapsed and Russia seemed no longer able to rise, and China was obediently following the strategies of Western economic centers as it accelerated into globalization. Fukuyama later admitted, including in a conversation with me, that he had been hasty. But the end of history, no matter what, was and remains, the goal of the globalists.
Russia, under Putin, became an obvious obstacle to the end of history; and after the beginning of the SMO, it challenged this project directly. Hence Fukuyama’s rage—in front of his very eyes the project of the end of history was not only postponed, but had collapsed for good. This also explains the frenzy and the extreme intensity of the rabid Russophobia of Western elites. Putin and the Donbass dealt a blow to the global civilizational plan—the planetary dominance of the liberal West.
However, the concept of the end of history is not the domain of liberals. Moreover, they adopted it quite late.
The philosopher Alexandre Kojève was the first to clearly describe the coming global victory of the liberal West, while Fukuyama only borrowed it from him. But Kojève, for his part, borrowed it from Marx, replacing the triumph of global communism (the Marxist version of the end of history) with global capitalism, a planetary civil society and the ideology of “human rights.” In fact, the entire communist movement, including the USSR, fought for the Marxist understanding of the end of history in the 20th century. In the Cold War, the dispute over the interpretation of the end of history—whether it would be communist or capitalist—unfolded. It is no coincidence that Fukuyama wrote his programmatic-text when the USSR collapsed. It seemed at that time that the question was settled and liberalism had won definitively.
However, Marx himself, for his part, also borrowed this concept from a completely different political ideology—from the deeply conservative monarchist and imperial thinker, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. If we dig even deeper, we will come to Christian and even pre-Christian (first of all, Iranian) eschatology—to the doctrine of the end of times. But this would take us too far. It was Hegel who proposed and substantiated the thesis of the end of history in modern times; and it plays a key role in the system of his philosophy.
According to Hegel, history is the process of the unfolding of the Spirit, which passes through nature, the change of religions and civilizations, until it reaches its climax—the end meets the beginning, the alpha with the omega. Through many trials and dialectical twists and turns, the Spirit that drives humanity will finally incarnate in an Absolute Monarchy, in a world empire that will become the Empire of the Spirit. Its power will be given to a supreme autocrat, an enlightened monarch-philosopher. Capitalism and civil society are only a stage in the unfolding of this process, and scientific materialism will move to an angelic, purely spiritual, science. Hegel believed that this would happen in Germany (the German Empire did not yet exist then) and it would be a triumph of German spiritual culture and philosophy. In the philosophical sense, Hegel was the basis of Bismarck, who created the Second Reich.
So, the authentic interpretation of “the end of history,” by the creator of this concept, is the triumph of the World Spiritual Monarchy. And the Right Hegelians—Russian Slavophiles or followers of Giovanni Gentili in Italy—believed exactly so. The Germans themselves believed in the mission of their Reich. The Slavophiles interpreted it as a prediction of the fate of the Russian Empire, when it would become spiritual and popular. The Italians linked the end of history to the revival of the Roman tradition and the greatness of Italy.
Marx, who turned Hegel’s spiritual dialectic into his historical materialism (significantly perverting the original), agreed that liberal capitalism was only an intermediate stage, but put communism and a materialist worldview in place of the Empire of the Spirit. The eschatology remained—everything the Communists did was directed exactly to the future; that is, to the end of history.
The Soviet victory over the Third Reich in World War II removed the German interpretation of the end of history from the agenda. Left Hegelianism defeated Right Hegelianism. And on another level—the Russian Empire (albeit implicitly) defeated the German Empire.
That’s when Kojève appeared with his liberal interpretation of the end of history. This theory had been waiting in the wings; and after the collapse of the USSR, Fukuyama reminded the West of it; and the globalist centers picked it up and began to put it into practice. The unipolar world order was based on a liberal version of Hegelian eschatology.
And then there was Putin. Putin is a philosophical phenomenon; a turning point in the history of thought, in the complex battle of ideas and worldviews. From his first moment in power, he began to restore Russia’s sovereignty. But this meant postponing the end of history, opposing liberal totalitarianism, globalism and World Government. Putin pursued this line cautiously, often disguising his intentions and plans—as a Chekist and as a staunch realist. Sometimes he seemed ready to meet the globalists; but the next moment it turned out to be just a maneuver once again. Hence the perplexing question, “Who are you, Mr. Putin?”
It wasn’t until February 24, 2022 that the start of the SMO in Ukraine put things in their proper place, with complete clarity. A new era of philosophy had begun. A new phase of world history. Putin challenged the liberal interpretation of the end of history—that is, the main globalist project: World Government. But here begins the most important thing: to refute the liberal reading of the end of history does not mean to reject Hegel. After all, everyone knows that Putin likes to quote Ivan Ilyin, who was a Right Hegelian, a supporter of the Russian Monarchy and the great Empire. The theories of the Slavophiles are also clearly close to Putin. You can’t deny a philosophical idea with reliance on some purely practical, down-to-earth factors, such as purely economic ones. This is not serious. An idea can only be defeated by an idea. And that means….
This means that the SMO as a philosophical phenomenon marks the return of the Empire. The return of Russia to the Empire, the full restoration of our messianic, futuristic destiny. Germany in its present state is no longer a competitor. The German version of the World Reich is irreversibly off the table. The communist project of the end of history has also been abandoned, and in its best aspects could easily be incorporated into a new imperial synthesis (like “right-wing Stalinism”). We are opposed only by Kojève and Fukuyama, who are based on the same sources, which are much closer to us. We are the Orthodox bearers of the Eurasian Empire of the End; they are the usurpers. And if we remember the Third Rome and the role of the Russian Tsars as bearers of the mission of Katechon, the Restrainer, everything becomes even more fundamental than the most orthodox, than Hegelianism read in a Russian (Slavophile, monarchist) context.
This is precisely how the “Solntepec” [flame=thrower] philosophizes.
The SMO is a battle for the meaning of the end of history. A great philosophical battle. It is time to close the page on exclusively materialistic, energetic and economic interpretations—it is not just vulgar, it is fallacious. History is the history of ideas.
People will ask, what does Ukraine have to do with it? It has nothing to do with Ukraine. It does not exist. But it will be part of our new empire. Only there, in the philosophical kingdom of the unfolding of the Spirit, in the empire of meanings, will it revive and flourish. In the meantime, what do we want from a terrorist regime, led by a comedian? But Ukraine itself is destined to become the theater of a fundamental metaphysical struggle. I think it’s all about geography. We are fighting for the return of our historical cradle of Kiev—from under the power of the globalists to the power of the Empire of the Spirit. Kiev is the beginning of our history. And hence the end of it.
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 Geoolitica.
Featured: “The Fall of the Titans,” drawing by Pieter Coecke van Aelst, ca. 1540-1544 (retouched by Pieter Paul Rubens).