International Politics and the Eurasianist vision
Lecture of Alexander Dugin held in the University of Piraeus (Greece), Department of International and European Studies. The lecture took place the 12th of April 2013 in the context of the Russian Foreign Policy course.
Short comment: In his lecture in the University of Piraeus, Professor Dugin expressed his views on International Politics and the Eurasianist vision of the modern world. Rejecting the main implications of the three main IR theories (realism, neo-liberalism and neo-Marxism), he presented his vision of a Multipolar world, a new international order (the fourth Nomos of the Earth) based on the emergence of several poles corresponding to the major civilizations that exist in humanity. After a period following the end of the Cold War during which several Western scholars predicted the coming of a unipolar international system based on the domination of the American hegemony and the global spread of liberal capitalism (a development supported for different reasons by both the neo-marxist and the neo-liberal theory), a new period came in the 2000s when it became clear that the predictions on which such a possibility was based (mainly the unsustainable global economic growth and the split in some major global powers such as China, Russia and India coming as a result of the incorporation of their economic oligarchies in the rich North) proved wrong.
Professor Dugin expressed the view that after all these developments we are coming closer to a Multipolar world where civilization (and not national-state as realism proposes) will be the main actor. Assuming that we are moving in the era of post-modernity (the Arab Spring being a major example of this new direction), he stated that the world is proceeding towards a period during which the Western state-centric modern international system will be replaced by a post-modern one in which several civilizations (and not only one civilization, the Western one) will be recognized as equals by all and will emerge as the main international actor. According to Professor Dugin it is up to the intellectual elites and the peoples of every civilization to decide their future based on the right of the freedom of choice, without any decision being imposed externally.
Claiming that the internal politics of Russia (as well as other countries too) are characterized by a struggle between a pro-American, liberal elite on one hand and President Putin, most of the Russian intellectual elite and the Russian society (whose goal is the conservation of the Russian identity) on the other hand, he described Putin’s Eurasian Union as a major step towards the creation of Multipolar world resisting the American hegemony and consequently preserving the Russian identity. In this context he expressed the view that any attempt by the West to overthrow the Iranian regime (a major ally of Russia also resisting the prospect of a unipolar world) by force will receive a fundamental response from Moscow.
Professor Dugin finally spoke on the role of Greece in today’s Europe claiming that it is much more important if Greececontributes to the recreation of the architecture of Europe by reinforcing the eastern European pole inside the EU than if Greece joins the Eurasian Union.
The transcript and the above comment were prepared by Antonis Skotiniotis, PhD candidate in the University of Piraeus, Department of International and European Studies.
The full text of the lecture (including the Q&A session)
Professor Kotzias (coordinator of the discussion): You are welcome. You may take your seat.
Professor Dugin: Thank you very much for the invitation to speak here in Greece about international affairs, about the role and the place of Russia in the context of the actual contemporary world, about Eurasianism as an idea which is becoming more and more popular not only in Russia but also in the context of the near countries that we are still calling post-Soviet space or Near Abroad. So, I propose that I make a kind of introduction concerning the most important issues of international politics and then maybe we could exchange ideas, questions and criticism, debates if you prefer. So, we need to define time frame. When you feel it is enough you could stop me.
So, the most important point in the actual situation in the international field is the fundamental changes in the architecture of the global politics. There are kinds of international orders that follow one another and to begin to discuss where we are we should make a little survey concerning the international orders that existed in the past in order to understand better what is going on in the present. So, we could make appeal to two concepts, two theories. First of all, we could take Carl Schmitt’s ideas of Nomos (Greek word) of the Earth. According to Schmitt’s German political theories there was a first Nomos of the Earth corresponding to the traditional empires of the pre-modern past. So, it was a kind of pre-modern world order where the actors, the hierarchies, the hegemonies, the balance of powers were completely different structurally from the modernity. It could be defined as the pre-modern international order. To this concept totally corresponds the idea of ancient or classical international system proposed by the English researchers of international relations Barry Buzan and Richard Little. So, these two concepts in sum correspond each other. The pre-modern first Nomos of the Earth (Carl Schmitt) and the classical/ancient international system (Barry Buzan).
So, it is all past but it is the past that has very deep roots in our history and this past continues to be present in the actual world because we are dealing on the periphery of international community with the rests of this pre-modernist in the field of international relations too. So, we could not dismiss too easily pre-modernity in international affairs. It is not accepted as something normal but it exists. For example, Islamic factor. It is not a modern political factor. But, there are huge communities and very strong states that try to construct their policy on the basis of pre-modern values. So, pre-modernity is not only the past. It also has a place in the present. We could not forget it. Because it is a kind of structural approach. The past is not only the past. The past is partly in the present and maybe it will take part in the construction of the future. So, the past is very important. The past as pre-modern order is a kind of the history but also a part of actuality.
The second Nomos of the Earth is known as Westphalian international system based on state-centric vision. It is a kind of modernity, political modernity. It is called second Nomos of the Earth by Schmitt and global international system by Barry Buzan and Richard Little. So, that is the second international order where there is a new actor taken as a normal and unique actor in the normative way. It is the national state based on the model of European modern state that was a kind of law or normative example to be accepted universally after Westphalian Peace Treaty. So, we call it Westphalian world 8:06 where there are the two most important principles: sovereignty which means that above the national state there could be no legal instance that it could limit the absolute freedom of the state to behave in any situation as it wants, in the way that corresponds to its national interests calculated on the basis of egoistic, completely materialistic interests. So, that is the first principle of the Westphalian system. Its actor, its only actor on the international scale is the national state.
And the second is that the principle of sovereignty presupposes anarchy in the international affairs. What is anarchy? It is the logical result from sovereignty because if you are sovereign you should not submit to any will above you. So, if we have really sovereign national states there could not be any instance, any institution that could theoretically impose their will on the sovereign entities. These are the two principles of the Westphalian international order or the second Nomos of the Earth.
So, after the dramatic events of the 20th century, at the end of the 20th century, after the creation of the bipolar world system that was theoretically in the context of the Westphalian system (Organization of United Nations is based on the recognition of this Westphalian principle of sovereignty), the absolute sovereignty of any national state is a kind of normative approach. So, after that in fact there was a bipolar international order that was theorized by Karl Schmitt as the Third Nomos of the Earth that in the realist tradition, the neo-realist American tradition was conceptualized by the ideas of Kenneth Waltz who proposed the idea of balance of powers and who declared that the bipolar system of the world is the most logical and most complete expression of the logic of the development of international affairs. So, what is interesting is that K. Waltz, a very famous international scientist, insisted on the bipolar system, on the eternity of this system just before the disappearance of the Soviet Union. It was interesting that a very acknowledged international scholar affirmed on the eve of the destruction of the Soviet Union that the bipolar system is a kind of telos, a kind of the last end of the international system.
And after that, after the collapse of the Soviet Union there was evidence on the international scale that we have entered the transition to the next kind of international order. So, Karl Schmitt was dead by this time but we could continue his way of thinking and we could talk about the fourth Nomos of the Earth. But Karl Schmitt has not said something concrete about that, so we use strictly this concept, that of the fourth Nomos of the Earth with interrogational sign. It is not something that we know but something that we do not know, a kind of open question, a model for the future international order. From their part Buzan and Little developedtheir views in the course of English school of International Relations and specifically its post-modern version that is known as historical sociology which is a kind of tendency in the post-positivist approach to the international relations. Something very important and interesting: I suggest that you read this author of this historical school of international relations is, John Hobson, who has recently published a brilliant book that is called “The Eurocentric Conception of International Relations” where he affirms that all construction, all theory of international relations known are, actually, absolutely racist, Eurocentric, completely ignoring any other possibility to consider international system if it does not correspond to the Western point of view. It is a kind of theoretical imperialism described by this very interesting English modern scholar.
But, the idea of Buzan and Little concerning the next international system was that of a post-modern international system where we, following Karl Schmitt, ask the question of what is the fourth Nomos of the Earth. Buzan and Little maybe propose a not so concrete, a little bit approximate response that this kind of international system will be a post-modern international system. It is very important how they describe this system. The frame of this description corresponds more or less to what neo-liberals and globalist thinkers affirm or to how neo-Marxists (as I. Wallerstein) describe the world system, the concept of a world system with a completely globalised economical center (the rich North) and the poor periphery. It is a kind of trans-national world order. So, that is a very concrete difference between this post-modern international system and the Westphalian system including its bipolar period.
The main idea of this post-modern international system is precisely the disappearance of the national state. It is a kind of the end of national statehood as the principle of international relations. It is a process, it is not something given, it is not a matter of fact but it is a clearly observable trend that we are now participating in. This idea that the national state ceases to be the unique and universal actor of international relations is a matter of fact but they, in the concept of neo-liberal or neo-marxist approach think the alters of this concept, think that this process is only the beginning of the concrete disappearance of any kind of national state.
Today we are assisting on a multiplication of the actors. While the national state exists, now new actors are emerging. Trans-national organizations as European Union which is not a state, it is a kind of post-state, a new kind of organization of the European civil society on the basis of the governance and not the government in the concrete sense. It is a kind of redistribution of the powers on a very specific scale. That is a kind of the most successful, I think Greeks have some doubt about this, but it is accepted, it is a conventional wisdom, let as put it so, that it is the most successful form of post-modern kind of international order where the state, the national state disappears, precisely because there is the law, there are economical and financial centers which are transcendental in front of the state. So, it is something that transcends absolutely the authority and the possibility of decision of the national state.
But there are the other phenomena, also very important as the role of growth of NGOs in the international politics, when completely non-state actors as the NGO networks could oblige the national government to make a decision. So, they act transnationally, they do not recognize the borders and they could dictate some will on transnational level. In the phenomenon of Arab Spring we are dealing not with the political revolution but with a kind of network strategy that gives in the end a concrete political decision. Disappearance, for example, of legal leaders of revolts. But it is not traditional revolt, it is a kind of post-modern revolt, a twitter revolution where social networks, NGOs and different segments of civil society act transnationally. It is not only Tunisian or Egyptian revolution or Spring, it is a kind of a (very bloody) Arab Spring.
So, this is very important. Arab, not state. Arab is a kind of segment that includes different states which share more or less and with different consequences, the same Spring. We have the same Spring for all Arabs. This is a kind of post-modern phenomenon, it is not a political revolt, the political revolution in one country. It is a trans-border phenomenon.
There are many other. For example, economic globalization which makes dependent different countries and societies upon each other up to the point when the national interests are considered to be less important than the interests of the transnational financial corporations. That is a case you feel on yourself. So, what is Greece in this post-modernity? It is a space of transnational economic field. So it is semi-state and semi-field. It is part of a common economic space and up to a certain point it continues to be a national state with national interests. And what is in the stake now, what are the stakes here in Greece, if creation of this international order limits the national sovereignty? So, where stops the national interest, the interest of the global financial oligarchy, the planetary oligarchy begins.
That is, we are living in the center of the transition from the Westphalian system or the second Nomos of the Earth to a post-modern system. That defines more or less the context in which we are living, in which we are thinking, in which we are acting. But we also need to understand two more concepts, this time more linked to geopolitics, concerning how the new world order, the transnational world order or post-modern international system is being created.
After the end of the Soviet Union, Charles Krauthammer, a very important American scholar has written an article about the unipolar moment. According to him, unipolar moment was the coming of the era of the unipolar hegemony, the unipolar American hegemony that was a confirmation up to a certain point of the concept of Gilpin’s theory concerning hegemonic stability theory. That was called hegemonic stability theory. It was the competitive trend in American neo-realism which was critical against K. Waltz on what he proposed in the seventies and the early 80s. It was the concept that not the bipolar world, as affirmed by Waltz,but the unipolar world is the most complete expression of the international politics in the concrete history. That was the Gilpin’s idea.Charles Krauthammer affirmed it in a way of manifest and in the same time so did Francis Fukuyama, with whom I have met in Washington some years ago. They affirm on the different (Fukuyama more on the civilizational, philosophical level and Krauthammer on geopolitical-strategic level) the same thing. That we are in the end of the Westphalian world, the national statehood and that there will be only one hegemony in the world, the U.S. that will reorganize the other actors of the world politics on the basis of the imperial power.
So, we have a kind of unique world empire whose national government becomes world government and whose national interests become global, universal interests.American way of life is a kind of a universal value for all the people living on the earth. And this hegemony is benevolent as neo-conservative philosophers pretended and, as Gilpin has said, it is a sacrificial hegemony because according to him the hegemony is rationally the base for the irrational behaviorof all dependent parts on it. For, we now recognize the discourse about irresponsibility of Greece concerning the responsibility of the European Union. So, we have the same idea that hegemonies, in this time, the hegemony of the European Union sacrifices its money for the irresponsible behavior of a lesser partner. They could make it in the future but on the exchange of completely taking off any kind of national interest and national sovereignty. Aid in exchange for freedom. It is a kind of “dis-sovereignizational” process that is now very confirmatively observable here in Europe.
More or less the same idea was declared by Charles Krauthammer on the global scale. According to him, unipolar world means that there will be only one pole in the world, the United States or generally the United States with Western Europe, a kind of rich north which will be a global empire that will organize the space, the strategic space according to its interests. Russia was in the 90s very weak and the tendency of democratization, modernization of different states in the world was advancing more and more, it was growing. Liberalism was accepted as unique for the economic way of development and liberal democracy as unique for the political government. And ideology of the human rights was accepted as something universal. All wasprepared, all were ready in the 90s to declare or to affirm that now we are going to deal with this unipolar world. So, the fourth Nomos of the Earth (according to Karl Schmitt) or post-modern international system will be unipolar. That was more or less a kind of evidence in the 90s.
That was baptized as unipolar moment because it was a kind of reality check. All was there to support this idea. Also on the level of neo-Marxist vision of international relations, in the context of I. Wallerstein, that was the same idea concerning world system. According to Wallerstein, all the capital, all the kind of global bourgeoisie is centered in some aspect of space, in the rich North. So, the rich North is a kind a spacialization, territorialization of the capital. The capital becomes global and has concrete manifestation in this space. It is beyond any kind of national borders.
At the same time, according to Wallerstein, there is a kind of periphery, a world periphery, the poor South that is rejected and exploited by the rich North. These two poles create a unipolar system with the North in the center and the periphery around it. So, according to him, in neo-Marxist analysis this will be the most important trend in the future and the concentration of financial powers will proceed in the same way, in only one pole. This pole is the real pole of unipolarity. According to Krauthammer this pole is the United States, according to neo-Marxist analysis this pole is the rich North. But more or less it is the same (NATO, the context of NATO strategically, geopolitically and economically).
So, more or less Wallerstein personally being a Marxist, emotionally or ethically is against capitalism. But he is a continuator of Trotsky’s vision. So, for him global revolution, international revolution is possible only after the global victory of capitalism. So, criticizing globalization, Wallerstein and his anti-globalist tendency is in favor of it at the same time. He criticizes not the fact but the ethical basis. Because it is this evil which according to them creates the possibility of the global proletarian revolution of the poor South against the rich North. But, this revolution should be global. So, up to a certain point they are the global oligarchy, neo-liberals because maybe that was the secret agenda of American neo-conservatives because they were all Trotskists in their youth and they have passed in the completely opposite camp maybe to realize better the hidden agenda to help United States and liberalism to win globally and after that to help to make proletarian revolution. But it seems they have forgotten their initial agenda and are now working helping global capitalism and American imperialism to win and be what they are.
So, that was on the Marxist or the neo-Marxist vision of the new international order up to a certain point confirmation of the revision of the unipolar moment. But, the example of Wallerstein is very important to understand some problems in this prediction that was the reason why in something like twelve years Charles Krauthammer has revised his attitude and has recognized that it was an error, that there was a unipolar moment obviously but it was only a moment and not the form of the new global order. It was a kind of transition. And to understand why he revised his earlier position we need to concentrate our attention on some concept of Wallerstein concerning semi-periphery. Because according to Wallerstein, in his vision of the world system there is a core (that is the rich North), there is a periphery (the poor South) but between them, in the middle there is a belt of semi-periphery that represent modernizing, emerging regional economy (as Latin American countries, Russia, China, India and South Africa).
So, we have BRICS as a belt of semi-periphery according to Wallerstein. Wallerstein, from a Marxist point of view and neo-liberals from the opposite point of view in international relations agreed on the prevision of the fate of the semi-periphery. According to them (together), the semi-periphery belt is destined to be separated in two. The oligarchic regional Chinese, Indian, Russian oligarchy, Latin American should be integrated in the global North, so quitting their lands and representing a kind of agents of the world government in their country 39:14, selling their national interest to the world government. Globalization process would open the possibility of the poor population of the poor South to come to this belt of semi-periphery and also to the core to create the global proletarianism. So, the migration, the great migration of the world-scale should destroy completely national identity of the regional poor. In some time, according to them there will be no more European or Russians or Indians or Chinese. There will be mixed populations because poor will be only poor, without any ethnical identity. And rich will be only rich without any traces of ethnical identity as well. So, that will be a kind of separation of the semi-periphery countries, of this belt, on two camps. On the class basis and not on the civilizational, national or ethnical basis. And Marxists felt that the rich minority will represent absolute critical minority of totalitarian rule, so Marxists felt that liberal democracy is a kind of new totalitarism and that rich international minority would impose their dictatorship on the global scale and this will be the chance for the global proletarian to take over in the process of revolution. But they were in accordance since they supported this kind of international mixture on both parts because in the process there will be international proletariat without any trace of national differences that should appear and should accomplish the revolution.
Liberals insisted that there will be a middle class that will be growing on the global scale and will engulf in itself the richest minority of financial oligarchy and also the developing possibility of the poorest southern populations. This concept of middle class is based on the idea of exponential growth, of the “plus sum game”. That was the most important idea of any liberal. So, any kind of economic activity gives surplus to all society. That is the idea of the liberals. If someone gets richer that means that society gets richer. And free trade gives the possibility of any kind, any part, any actor participating in it. That is the idea of growth.
Realist paradigm in international relations insists on zero-sum growth, that there is a kind of limited resources. If you take some resources you get richer but someone gets poorer. Realism and Marxism correspond, coincide in that attitude. So, it is a zero-sum game. The rich could be richer only if the poor become poorer. There is no other way.
But, the idea of liberal post-modernity or liberal post-modern order is based on the supposition of growth. The absolute exponentialgrowth of the economy.The growth of the middle class, of the normal-neither too rich nor too poor people. This growing sector is a kind of hope, absolute hope and the most important condition to continue this kind of globalization.
So, both ideas were proved to be incorrect in the early years of 2000s. First of all this split of the semi-periphery belt was not confirmed by reality and instead the consolidation and concentration of these countries and the growth of their strategic consciousness were so impressive that they reunited maybe on some pretext on EU previsionsof Goldman Sachs, on the BRICS corporation, in SCO. So, the idea was to give the other answer, not to split in two global classes, integrate global oligarchy in the global North, and integrate poorest proletarian class of national society in the global proletarian, but instead to reaffirm specific national or civilizational identity (and not to split). In our country Russia that was the phenomenon of Putin. It was Putin who stopped development of global, pro-Western, liberal, pro-American oligarchy. Up to a certain point of course since it was not eradicated, it was only a little bit frozen. He stopped the post-modern tendency on the liberal level, he stopped the expansion of NGOs, he stopped the expansion of the split of the Russian society and that was symbolic.
If we now concentrate on China, it was the same situation because by other means, by other procedures, there was a kind of control of the national statehood represented by the Communist Party on the economic, political and social development in China. So, China is partly open. And Russia is partly open. It is necessary to conserve a kind of possibility to be in concurrence with the other powers. But Russia and China insist on conservation of their (maybe relative) cohesion, interior cohesion.
So, we hadanother turn that was completely opposite to unipolar moment. That was a kind of sketch of a possible future multipolar order. So, the problem of the fourth Nomos of the Earth was not decided. It rests open. There is a possibility that this unipolar model, unipolar moment that continues to this moment could survive and could win, but at the same time there is more and more evidence that there is something wrong with this project, that is Multipolarity is near to the door of our international future. And there is the second point that was also the big deception of the neo-liberals as well as the neo-Marxists (to a lesser point). There was no proof of the possibility of any exponential growth. We had the financial crisis of .com and the financial crisis of 2008 which did not stop yet and which is the reason of what is going on now in the European economy and Greece concretely. It is a fact that absolute growth, exponential growth is not the state of thing. There is limitation of many kinds and the financial economy of the overdeveloped third sectors of economy (services in the financial sector of the economy) instead of the delocalized industry of the third world, could not be a magical weapon to resolve all the problems and all economic challenges. So, two myths were maybe not completely dismissed but are put under very important question. Unlimited, infinite growth of the world economy proved not to be so. Now, we are seeing clearly a limitation, certain limits of this growth. Growth is not infinite. All the predictions of global growth of the middle class, the harmonic development of capitalism and globalization are put completely under doubt. So, it is not verified by reality.
So, it is proved to be an error. That fact cannot be recognized by the Wall Street bankers, “banksters” or the global oligarchy but it is evident for all the rest of the humanity who is dealing with concrete economical issues. So, it is very important that limits of the growth are reached. It could stay at the same level or it could fall. But this condition excludes theoretical unipolarity or continuation of the globalization in the same direction. So, this is very important.
And another thing. The split of the regional hegemonies that was predicted was not confirmed by reality. The stability of Putin’s rule, the stability of the Communist Party in China and the growing of the multipolar tendency all through the world is the second very important proof of the possibility of an alternative to this unipolar moment. This is recognized today by all on the level of theoretical research in international relations, by all partisans of the United States 52:28, the opponents of the U.S., the partisans of the West, the opponents of the West, it is the same. What is clear now is that if we have the end of the history (and that was the point I personally discussed with Francis Fukuyama), if there will be the end of the history, if there will be a unipolar world and a hegemonic, imperial, global, oligarchic world system and world government, it will come only after a very critical and very dramatic period of transition that necessarily will bring with itself wars, maybe great scale wars, not regional/little wars as today, poverty, revolution, chaos and anarchy. So, the world government or a really unipolar world is possible only after dramatic and bloody events with unpredictable consequences. It cannot be linearly permissible. Linearly it is impossible. It could advent only after some catastrophic changes.Only after them. Without them it is impossible. What will happen after is under great question because human history is open. So, it is very problematic at least.
And, on the other hand, there is a multipolar world that begins to be regarded as more and more realistic, more and more linear up to a certain point. Because it is based neither on the condition of the infinite growth of the economy nor on the condition of the weakness of the existing regional powers. It is a kind of a completely alternative vision that today begins to be regarded more and more seriously. So, there is a book that I have written recently and which was published in Russia. It is called Theories of Multipolar World. It is translated in English, in Portuguese, in Spanish, in French and other languages and I think it is very important because I have made an academic observation concerning all the factors in presence, all pro and contra concerning Multipolarity.Because there is no theory of Multipolarity. Everybody speaks today about Multipolarity, there are more and more books concerning Multipolarity but there is no theory. And I tried to assemble, to put together different theoretical and conceptual visions of Multipolarity to express something more or less coherent. My book concerning Fourth Political Theory should appear here in Greek but I think that there will be continuation. This is a very important and very actual book, because it concerns everybody, it is not only a question of theoretical constructions.
But what is important in this Multipolarity taken seriously, taken realistically and analyzed theoretically? What is important:first of all, that Multipolarity is not a return or continuation of the Westphalian system. It is not a return to the Westphalian system, to national statehood. National statehood cannot be sovereign in the new balance of power and the new distribution of power. That was the idea of the colonial Europe of the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries and the 20th century up to a certain limit. But in the 21st century national state could not be anymore the first and the only universal actor. That is a very important basis for the multipolar vision. It is not simply a return or a consideration or a conservation of the Westphalian modernity. It is also post-modern. That is important. It belongs to the Fourth Nomos of the Earth, it belongs to the post-modern international system but seen differently from this vision that I have more or less described in general terms.
So, it is a kind of a new actor. What is this new actor? It should be taken as the pole of this Multipolarity. The pole of Multipolarity could not be anymore the national state, too simply because it could not afford real sovereignty in a situation of new challenges.
So, the idea is suggested by the text of Samuel Huntington concerning the Clash of Civilizations. We accept Huntington’s Multipolarist idea that there will be a new actor in the near future. This actor is civilization. So, Arab Spring is a kind of upheaval of the Arab civilization, it is the first court of that, it is only the beginning, an introduction. The most important thing will follow.
At the same time, Eurasian Union is the idea of concrete concept of creation of a civilizational geopolitical entity on the basis of the civilizational community. A community of the values, historical experiences of the past and so on. It is not a reconstruction of the Soviet Union because before the Soviet Union we lived in the same Tsarist Empire. Earlier we lived in different geopolitical entities with Turks, Mongols, Scythians and others very different ethnically groups of population based on the same more or less Turanian concept. So, Eurasian Union of Putin is exactly the project of realization of the pole of Multipolarity. It could be understood only in the context of Multipolarity put into practice. So, it is not only a declaration or nostalgia or economic cooperation for the concentration of the resources as it is put from external views 1:01:16. It is understood as the creation, a very important step towards the creation of a new world order, a Multipolar world order, as a kind of organization of the global space.Because neither Russia nor Belorussia,nor Kazakhstan,nor other countries could afford to be individually taken as a pole. Russia is too small for that, not to speak of other participants and partners and members of this Eurasian Union.
I was recently in Armenia where I met many representatives of the political elite in Erevan. In the beginning, they were more or less hesitating in front of Eurasian Union and they explained why. Because they have fear from the Turkish element in the Eurasian Union and the more important presence of the Kazakhs or other Turkish people. But finally this Eurasian Union it is not Slavic. This idea does not belong to Slavs or Turks or Armenians. It is a kind of geopolitical organization on the basis of community of civilizational values and geopolitical interests. It is also values and interests. As exactly in any form of international relations. But the actor, the subject and the axis of these values and these interests is not anymore the national state. It is civilization, a completely new person in global politics.
We have the same idea, for example, for China which considers itself not only as a country. It is a kind of civilization. And the limits of this civilization and the forms of influence of the Near Abroad for China will be decided in the concrete process of elaboration of the structure of Multipolarity. That is the problem of Taiwan which is very crucial for the Chinese. Because they try to affirm that China is not only the national state. It is something much more and quite different.
The same idea for India. It considers itself not only a national, Hindu state because it is not Hindu. There are so many Muslim populations in India. Hindu is a kind of religion but there are many Indian Muslims that represent a very important percentage of the pan-Indian population. And there are many different ethnical cultures inside India and more or less the same groups outside India. So, India as a civilization does not coincide with India as a concrete political, post-colonial state with the borders made by the colonizers, by Britain. India does not possess Indian borders. Its borders got raised by the foreigners who understood nothing about the Indian culture, the power, the authority, the traditions, the religion, the justice and so on. It is something completely artificial.
So, these are the second and the third pole of Multipolarity. Islamic world could be another pole. And I predict that there will be two poles at least, maybe even three in the Islamic civilization. Because Shia civilization is now confronting very harshly in Syria for example (and also in Lebanon) with Sunni civilization. There are two kinds of transnational societies, There are no unique civilizations. We have Shia civilization and Sunni civilization. At least two civilizations. But also Pakistan, Afghanistan and maybe Central Asian Muslims constitute a third kind of Islamic civilization and maybe Indonesian and Pacific Islam a fourth. But it is for the Muslims to decide how many civilizations they would prefer.
There is obviously the Western European civilization. It is a historical fact and the unification of Europe is regarded by Multipolarists as a positive fact. Because only together could European people afford to be an independent pole, independent in front of the United States as well as us (Russia) for example. Because in this vision we are going not from our Russia-centric point. Our point of departure is more or less consideration of any interest. So, Russia should be safe from United States as the global hegemonic power first of all. And after that in front of us because we were not always so weak and sad as today. Russians knew different stages of historical presence. We could be aggressive, maybe it is our identity, because we possess a particular identity, not a Western European one.
There is a problem of self-determination, self-identification of the Eastern Europe. And Orthodox countries (like Greece), Slavic countries maybe could form a kind of belt, an inter-civilizational beltwhereas/where there could be some kind of neutrality or presenting two-fold identity civilization. It could be discussed all that.
Latin America is another pole and trans-Saharan Africaanother one. So, this vision of Multipolarity is based on two fundamental principles. Civilization as actor and limits of growth as a matter of fact. But the limits of growth and the existence of limits of growth demand that we organize our economy with the resources that we have. A kind of an economy of great spaces from the economic theory of Friedrich List, a German economist that accomplished the German miracle in the 19th century uniting in the Zollverein all German nations. Because economic integration of the Central Europe was the firststepto the historical appearance of Greater Germany.
The same thing today Putin repeats with our Zollverein in the Eurasian Union. All Eurasian countries are part of the unique economic space. That is List’s lesson taken, understood and accepted by Putin. So, we could think about economic integration of Islamic world, of China and India, these two economies are integrated in national limits but in the future that could be more expanded and the economy of Latin America to representan independent from North America economic pole. This is the most important trend in Latin America. I was there some time ago. I could say that these issues are the most discussed among all in Latin America. How to create a Southern/ Latin American cooperation zone.How to unite this zone in order to represent an alternative to North America.To concentrate the forces and to represent and create a new pole of the multipolar world.
So, this is more or less what I presume to be my message. I have tried in a general feature to describe my understanding on what is going on in the international level and the international order, appearing or disappearing… and also it could serve as a kind of introduction of what is going on in modern Russia. Because without this theoretical frame, we cannot understand what Putin thinks or does and what is the interior reaction. We have a very developed network of pro-American liberals that give their vision, unipolar-absolute growth vision of what is going on but this is a kind of opposition of the concept. There is unipolar moment and the partisans of it also in Russia, a kind of glabalists’ network that sometimes make them very important figures, very influent figures. We have the Pro-American, liberal, atlantist, unipolar lobby and there is a main course of Putin personally and the people around him who have a great support from the population- because Putin is popular in the sense concerning the main features of his policies which are shared by all. By the majority. We should destruct from that the liberal network, which is very active in any sense, but that is all. And Putin choosing between the liberal elite and the majority of the simple Russian population, has chosen the simple Russian man or woman. And that was a decisive step in his development and that is why he is Eurasianist, why he is in favor of Multipolarity and why he stays and will stay in power for so long.
Professor Papagiannopoulos: There were some ambivalences in your discussion. First of all there are some differences between countries like Russia or Turkey or Greece in relation to Europe than for example in countries like India or Brazil because the historical contact to Europe was not the same. This means that in the semi-periphery we have a great and historical contact with modernity. As for example we have in India. So, the question is (and you left an ambivalence open when you said that a certain new discovery of pre-modernity could also be seen as post-modern). So, my first question is what is the relation between a new recovery of pre-modern values to a post-modern one. Which means does this presuppose that we in a way internalize the course of modernity or these countries and these cultures we say that modernity has proven to be in a dead end? So we will return somewhere else without moving through a dialectical moving through of modernity. So, this is my first question.
Professor Dugin: Let me respond for the first and after that you can ask the second.
Professor Ifestos: Related to this if you allow me, it is the definition of the post-modern politeia (so to say that we call it polity in the sense that political needs ontological premises). So, a certain polity, the structuralmeans this will be a justice system. Modernism and much more so post-modernism refer to a material state, to a material polity. So, how do you mean post-modernity? Do you mean material polities? Because in the Western world many will say this you know. My colleague meant something else.
Dugin: Very interesting question. I am going to try to respond. First of all, we need to remark that the concept of civilization evoked by Huntington could not be regarded as something modern. It is in itself pre-modernity. Discovering civilization in the plural (not only one civilization). Modernity regards situation as this: there is savagery, barbarity and civilization (in singular). So it is a dialectical, historical movement where any stage is necessary and that is a kind of universalism of modernism and a universal understanding of civilization. When we start to use civilization in plural (civilizations, many civilizations), we accept by this step a kind of rehabilitation of pre-modernity. Because the possibility of different civilizations to exist show that pretention of the Western civilization on its universality, as something that is necessary for any other society as a final (or pre-final) point of its development is put on doubt.
So, the concept of civilizations is a kind of deconstruction of the Western universalism in two senses. In historical sense, the deconstruction, historical universalism of time of the changes from savagery to civilization and thedeconstruction and relativization of the inner-cultural right of the West to impose its values, to be judged as something universal to everybody. So, it is a kind of sense in the space. And that quite logically results from the use of civilizations in plural. So, speaking and thinking in terms of civilization, we rehabilitate pre-modernity. So, pre-modernity is a kind, if it is rehabilitated today and not before, before it was considered as something that should be overcame logically by the West in the colonial practice and by the time in the historical process. It was a kind of axiom, a dogma of the West. But pre-modernity says no. It says that beyond civilization other kinds of civilizations could exist with other time and with other space.
So, Islamic world is a pre-modern world existing in our world. We could say that. We could affront it in two different ways. Either recognize the right of the Muslim world to be Muslim or consider it to be pre-European, pre-modern. So, if we say for Muslim values, if we consider that, we are rehabilitating pre-modernity as a kind of possibility that you could choose in any historical moment. Now, that is the idea of Bruno Latour, a French sociologist, who has written a very interesting book saying that we have never been modern. We have a kind of post-modernity. So, pretention of the modernity to be universal is a kind of provincialism. The West, Europe is only a province (the Western province) of the humanity. It is not the same as humanity. It is not the whole humanity. It is not the end of humanity and not the fate of humanity. The West is a kind of provincial possibility and modernity is a kind of fore of European racism, ethno-centric concept, completely ethno-centric, imperialistic and racist concept. In this situation, if we accept that, that we are not in the pre-modernity that was before modernity when there was a colonial dialogue, an imperialistic dialogue between the West and the Rest but the West in this attitude and the modernity is a possibility inside a larger context of different options and choices.
So, we may reconsider Hindu civilization as something that could exist based on its values and modernization as the free will of them and not a kind of universal law that cannot be obliged to be Westernized or modernized. They could choose that. They could choose modernity. So, the most important here is the understanding of modernity either as the destiny or as the free choice.You could either choose modernity or you could not choose that. But in the Western understanding it is impossible, it is something completely unacceptable to consider the modernity as a matter of free choice. You are obliged to be modernized, modernity is universal. That is the Western mind. It is racist, it is anti-feminist, it is imperialistic, it is Euro-centric, it is a completely colonialist way living and thinking historically. So, history for the European man is the European history. Nothing else. The other is something that will follow. The Rest will be Westernized.
So, post-modernity proposes to us to finish with this Westernism and modernism and universalism. To accept and recognize the plurality of the discourse. In this sense if we accept post-modernity and the possibility of post-modernity, we could freely choose pre-modernity, traditional society, religious values, religious identity or modernity. We could take modernity without its pretention on universalism and on the fact that it is destiny. It is a free modernity. So, post-modernity does not refuse modernity in whole. It refuses only the part.
Professor Ifestos: Can I make a comment on this? For us, for many of us here in Greece, pre-modernity was a more mature civilization than modernity afterwards.
Professor Dugin: Absolutely. Pre-modernity is future.
Professor Ifestos: Except theocracy. Now, second. We have two kinds of pre-modernity. The state system/structure of cities in ancient Greece and the empire phase. There we have Eastern Roman Empire, the Western Roman Empire. All these phases.
Professor Dugin: Alexander’s Empire.
Professor Kotzias: The European Union is empire today.
Professor Ifestos: And there you see a cosmo-systemic structure. You see virtually a big difference between pre-modernity and modernity in afterwards is that they were both material and spiritual pre-modernity. All phases of pre-modernity they have spirit in the polity. In post-modernity they did not want spirit. The others have spirit, I agree with the first colleague, however typologically speaking it is material. Now Greece is materialistic. “I have no spirit, I have no identity”. The Greek state is material. So, we have to make a distinction between a material state or polity, a post-modern structure where you have spirit in politics, which is not what they say in the Western world, and there comes a very big issue. In Eurasian politics or American politics who is the sovereign (according to Schmitt)?
Professor Dugin: Who takes the political decision in an emergency situation… So, it is very important. I consider post-modernism as post-materialism. It could be an open choice. Materialism was in the course of modernity understood as destiny. But it could be a choice. And Greece teaches us that you could be platonic, you could be Aristotelian, and you could be epicurean. It is a kind of choice. And there are three kinds of political vision. You could be materialist, you could be spiritualist, you could be phenomenologist as Aristotelian or in the middle. So, about post-modernity, in which sense our Eurasian attitude is post-modern? It is post-materialist in the sense that mater is not destiny. Mater is a question of choice. You could prefer materialism but a kind of referendum should be made. It is for you Greeks to make a choice between spirituality and materiality. Not for European community. You could be the people of the spirit or you could be the people of the bodies. It is up to you or maybe something you could imagine following your greatest thinkers, something else. So, it is an open question.
And another thing concerning pre-modernity. It is very interesting that there are many pre-modernities. Pre-modernity is not unique as you have explained well. I agree completely. And also, putting aside modernity as the fate, as the destiny, as moira, putting it aside you could choose your pre-modernity. In the pre-modernity it was impossible, you were obliged to live pre-modernity of the polis or the empire. Now we are in a new situation. You choose/take from the pastor beyond the modernity 1:29:58. All that you think is good for you. Nobody could oblige Greece to come to empire, to Alexander the Great, to the polis-state.
Professor Ifestos: Who decides?
Professor Dugin: Sovereignty in our theory of Multipolarity belongs to the intellectual elite of civilization. It is a kind of platonic vision. So, philosopher should be the king, the tsar, the Caesar. Only the person that embodies the spirit of the history, of the culture and not the most prolific, the most effective manager. The decision should be taken by the intellectual elite in dialogue with the people. The people through the intellectual elite. It could coincide in some societies with religious hierarchy, with other society, with political hierarchies, but in some countries in some context it could signify a revolutionary way to decide if for example intellectual elite in gramscian sense and the people are against the choice imposed on the people by some alienated forces. So, the people with the philosophers could make revolt against the status quo. And that is the absolute right of any sovereign, any organic community. To impose its own choice on itself, not on the other. So, I think it is very important, we should revise the concept of sovereignty in the Schmittian sense, it could be neither a president (we know that representive democracy is a fraught, a kind of manipulation), it could be nor a self-proclaimed messiah, nor a charismatic leader. It should be the people through intellectuals So, I think we need, we badly need intellectual revival. And in Greece, in the center of intellectualism, it is easier than elsewhere I think. Because in your language the most interesting, the most profound texts were written, that after that two thousand years and more the rest of humanity with passion studies the Greek words. Many Greek words mean very much for all humanity. So, I think for you Greeks it is a kind of creation of a real intellectual representative circle that should embody the power of the people and the historical identity. And now it enters in the concrete opposition to what is going on. Maybe I am not right here but I see what is going on in Greece as the complete dictatorship of a non-Greek structure imposed on the people, on the society. It is a kind of alienation of the Greek society from itself. So, if you don’t agree, you should revolt. If you accept what is going on you should adapt yourself to what is going on. But I think that finally the concept of sovereign should be revised. It is not only a formal concept. It should be cultural, spiritual and historical concept.
Professor Ifestos: From what it depends this? It depends from the maturity of the societal structure. Because if they transept Periklis for example as a leader, fine. If not then we have an intellectual elite which is not in correspondence with this society. And then we go to pre-classical entities. In classical times we had direct democracy. We had educated citizens and the leader who was corresponding to them. In the pre-classical time we had an elite, we had Solon or whatever. So, you are referring to a pre-classical phase? And I assume that a society is mature, less mature, more mature…
Professor Dugin: All depends on the concrete case. I do not understand Greek society up to the point to make my decision. I regard this from outside. So, it is for you to say to us, to others, to Russians, to Europeans how Greeks consider what is the best for them. And that is all. It could not be imposed or suggested from abroad, from outside. It is an inner problem.
Professor Papagiannopoulos: A similar question. You mentioned the new options, so the question would be whose options? Which means what is the political subject here? It is about the same question. The problem is that when we have a crisis first of all the intellectual have much great a difficulty in deciding who the sovereign is. So when we have a crisis in a society there is a difficulty in defining the unity. So, it is difficult saying that Greece has a certain intellectual elite which really represents the society. In Greece we do not have this kind of unification, of unity in the intellectual level. So, the question is open. Who is the sovereign? Who takes the right from himself to represent the society?
Professor Ifestos: In Russia who are they?
Professor Dugin: I could respond tactically.
Professor Papagiannopoulos: May I also add this. For example in the case of Turkey with Davudoglu. In that case the interesting point is that he does not suppose the unity in Turkish society. He says that the unification of society is the project of such an intellectual and political work. So he does not say that he represents something but will tell it to emerge again.
Professor Dugin: I could respond tactically. So, first of all to define this subject of sovereignty, of the intellectual elite, we need to accept some frame. Because the importance of this subject is becoming actual and really necessary only when we understand the critical situation of our society and when we recognize the necessity for identity. But this is a kind of condition to ask about. If we accept things as they are, we do not have any need to have a special intellectual elite corresponding to the real spirit of the people because we have the technological elite, the modernization elite, the elite imposed on us in a practical and technical way. So, I think in this situation to answer this question we need to make appeal to Heraclitus who affirmed that the world was the father of the things.So, the idea is that intellectual elite should be a warrior elite, that it should fight existing simulacrum of the imposed pseudo-elite in society, the elite that refuses the right of identity, that refuses the possibility of freedom of choice, that refuses the opinion of the people, the real and concrete people. Instead, they speak about civil rights, about immigrants and they ignore, they absolutely refuse the ontology of the people. And that is a common practice, it is not something imagined. It is everyday practice. It is a kind of colonization of the whole humanity by some very specific circles who impose their will, who impose their brains and their practice of thinking instead of the peoples’ traditional or new post-modern elite. And it is impossible to take these elites, the intellectual elites and put them to the power. It should fight for that. It should about auto-creation as you have said about Turkey.
It is not a given fact, it is a kind of will, a kind of process and I think the point or the remark that there is no such elite in Greece is very important but it could mean two things: if there is not yet but should be, who could make it or propose it? You intellectuals and nobody else. Or maybe if it does not exist you choose the other possible solution. You are more or less content with what is going on so you do not need any other elite beyond these technocrats, European masters. Maybe you are glad. In this case you have no need to have some other elite to dispense effort to fight for the really popular, for the real-Greek identity elite. Maybe, I do not know.
In Russia there is the same problem. We have elites of liberals, of technocrats, of pro-American/pro-Western universalist elite. On the other hand we have Putin and the separate case of the persons that represent, that try to create this orgnanic Russian intellectual elite. In our situation there is Putin who listens to the people. That is very important. He personally listens to the people and he tries to listen to the people. He tries to understand the people and to understand the history. History and people.Two things for Putin which are the most important.Russian history and Russian people.
There is a technocratic, pro-Western liberal elite which is completely ineffective and separates Putin from the people. And they play an important role to corrupt and pervert our political system. To make it completely ineffective in the inner and outer policy. And there is intellectual elite growing from the beneath, from the ground of the society that is going to Putin trying to make intellectual generalization of what is the people and what is the Russian history. So, it is a process, it is a fight. A fight between Eurasianists (Russian Eurasianists) and the atlantist network in Russia. That is the sense of any our emission on TV. Debates between the representatives of Russian identity and Russian high-place functionaries who are working against this identity.
What is important: we have Putin as a very important factor because he is on our side. But against us are the majority of the Russian corrupt, liberal pro-American elite that tries to subvert all concrete or positive steps of Putin. We have a special situation. I think that in China we have a completely different collective mind, not person with the people and a kind of strategy of collective body of the Communist Party. In other countries, in other situations, in Turkey I have remarked that there was a very important intellectual movement, for example the Turkish translator of Time and Being of Heidegger has received the national prize for that. It is very significant that Turkey which is not so intellectual or is considered not to be so much intellectual gives a prize for the person who has made such an important work. So, it is a kind of recognition of the importance of their identity.
But there is a very dramatic situation in Turkey because there is a very important network of the same liberals who are working against Turkish interests, against the Turkish identity, against Turkish geopolitical goals and I think that the same situation is more or less repeated. There is a unique global network of liberals struggling for their vision of universalism, playing the part for U.S., for NATO, for the rich North because they want to be a part of it, a part of the rich North and there are different peoples struggling to preserve, struggling to conserve and reaffirm its identity. That is possible only through these intellectual elites.
This elite should be sovereign, it should be the bearer of the will to act and to decide. But this is a kind of revolutionary process because Multipolarism is not something given. It is a kind of risen to fight for. It is a kind of alternative, it is a kind of choice and freedom. And the struggle for the freedom of choice cannot be easy and I think that the problem you experience with Greek intellectuals is considerable, it is very important but there is nothing that could make that for you. It is for the Greeks to bestow their intellectual elite. To create professors and academics. It is your duty.
Student: Let’s suppose that we manage to forge a Eurasian alliance. Which nation will be in the core of this Eurasian alliance? And a second question, if we create a Eurasian alliance can this alliance be an important international actor, an actor with international recognition?
Professor Dugin: First of all I do not think that Greece could suggest in the present state or think real adherence to the Eurasian Union. Eurasian Union is a kind of integration of the post-Soviet space. It has its natural borders. But Greece and the other countries of Orthodoxy and the Eastern Europe countries could play a very important role in the recreation of the architecture of Europe. It could insist not in the sense of Eurasian Union that possesses its own specific identity. It could be an eastern pole of the European identity. It is very important because Greece has exactly the role of two poles of European identity. And it is very important since it could serve to Eurasianism more than in case of Greece’s direct entrance in this context.
Greece could play the role of being the other Europe. The second Europe.The Europe that in the European Union should be based on the recognition of two Europes. There was the Greek, Byzantine, Orthodox part of Europe and part of European culture. And there are many allies in this with Greece such as Romanian Orthodox culture and maybe Serbs, maybe Slavic peoples. It is possible to create a kind of a greater Eastern Europe which should be a part of the future Europe. And it should insist on the double identity. And not Eastern Europe or Central Europe dominate over all these cultural... So, I see the role of Greece as more important in the context of Europe than in the context of Eurasia.
And that is a kind of answer on your second question because maybe the national statehood could rest in context of this kind of integration process. But the creation of civilization as actor does not mean liquidation of national state. It could rest but it should not be considered as the last actor of the international order. It is not the same as to appeal to immediately destroy or liquidate national state. National state could be in the context and Greece could conserve its national identity in the context of Europe but that should be the other Europe, not this Europe. In this Europe of liberal, pro-American dominationit is impossible. So, Greece will pay all the price for being a little bit different. Little bit different from the others. And Orthodox identity maybe is one of the cultural reasons why they treat you so harsh now. Maybe, I do not know. But there is a kind of racist attitude of the Western Europe in front of the Eastern or Southern Europe. And the name of PIGS as they use is quite a humiliating, a racist name. But maybe you have to struggle for the other Europe inside Europe as to struggle for real Greece inside Greece. Not from outside.
Student: In your book “The Foundation of Geopolitics” you mention that Russia should avoid the trap of a regional state or regional integration. However, you now said that Eurasian integration should focus mainly on the post-Soviet states. Don’t you think that this might be the trap as you mentioned?
Professor Dugin: I think that we could consider Eurasia on different levels. So, I proposed in my last works six or seven levels on how to understand Eurasia. So, Eurasian Union proposed by Putin is a concrete step of integration of the post-Soviet Union. We could also speak about Eurasian axis or Eurasian alliance. It is a different thing. Eurasian alliance is theoretically the coordination of the Eurasian unity (as a geopolitical unity) with other important Eurasian powers. So, it goes beyond the regionalist trap as you have put it. So, for example Eurasian alliance is an alliance with India, with Iran (first of all with Iran) and with Turkey (and maybe with Pakistan). It has to balance because all of them are enemies, regional enemies (e-g Turkey-Iran). So, that depends on the different political situation but theoretically Eurasian alliance could be much broader than Eurasian Union.
At the same time, I have never put China in this alliance because it is too great and too active. So, it could be regarded as an ally of the Eurasian alliance. It is a very important player in the creation of Multipolarity but closer relations with China could destroy all this construction. So, finally we could consider the other vision of Eurasia. It is a kind of a continent in the whole where Europe could be considered as a part of this strategic multipolar space. And Multipolarity in this sense has a universal principle. Multipolarity is a kind of paradox. So, we are speaking about universalism of non-universalism.
So, Multipolarism could give the possibility to differences to flourish inside Russian society. Because it is against the nationalistic creation of the same citizens. So, there could be plurality inside Russian unity, inside Eurasian alliance, inside Eurasian continent and also on the other poles and the other civilizations outside of it. This was a termcalled by a Russian philosopher Konstantin Leontiev as “flourishing diversity”. So, the principle that there could be differences and differences represent not a challenge or danger but richness of the culture. 1:56:49
Student: I have some questions about the geostrategic environment of Russia. The first one, I think the most important, is that Iran is in great concern of Russia. Russia is interested about the nuclear arsenal and the position of Iran at the moment in the international system. Having in mind that Russia has facilitated the United States in their war in Afghanistan, what would Russia do now in case of a preemptive attack in Iran?
Professor Dugin: It is a very interesting question. First of all I consider Iran to be the most important regional partner of Russia because of the will of this society to reject American hegemony and the western universalism. I have very good relations on the high-level of the Iranian state and I am an admirer of this intrusion of pre-modernity in the modern society when there is a council of spiritual rationality. So, there is a group of ayatollah that judges intellectually and spiritually if this or that decision goes against the rationality of culture, of the society. It is very interesting.
At the same time, geopolitically we have a common vision regarding any real or probable or possible conflict in the area. We have the same vision regarding the Caspian Sea, we have the same vision (Iran and Russia) of the balance of the forces in the Caucasus. In Afghanistan, we are working together. We have the same options concerning Turkey, concerning Syria, concerning all the problems. That corresponds 100%. And the nuclear weapon does not bother the Russian government because Israel or Pakistan are not so predictable or very rational or pacific players. Since they possess it, why not Iran? So, we do not have neither in the near future nor in the middle term, nor in the long term any possibility of a conflict realistically speaking between Iran and Russia. That is the first point.
The second point, I think that the reaction of Putin after 9/11 and permission to the U.S. to occupy Afghanistan was dictated by a realistic approach because our interests in Central Asia were in danger by the Taliban movement that was growing there and Putin decided to use this situation against a common enemy that was created before by Americans themselves and they have entered in clash.But after that he regretted that because after that American military bases in Afghanistan were a bigger problem than the poor Taliban guerillas.
So, now we consider Iran and Syria (but Iran above all) as a part of our strategic space. So, our reaction on any possible aggression or intervention against Iran from any block or any country will be negative, including nuclear option. I think there is a kind of consensus today. A consensus among Putin, military circles and society that Syria was the last moment. Syria is considered by us more or less as Chechnya. This is our zone of influence and so our support for Assad or any other (it is not personal) - but not a Wahhabi, pro-American, pro-Turkish guerilla-is a kind of strategic and not tactical step. So, we consider Syria to be the last point, the last line. After that I think that the heaviest arguments will be used from Moscow. So, I think that the reaction will be fundamental against a possible attack on Iran.
Student: I would like to ask you about multipolar system and its division in several poles. You said in your speech that this division is going to be based on the civilizations that these cultures have. But what happens when a civilization is completely different by the geographical factors that this state may have? For example what happens with Israel and its position with Arab countries? In which pole should Israel or other states that do not have the geographical part covered will be part of? Thank you.
Professor Dugin: It is very interesting. I think that first of all that the political integration of civilizations we call it by Greek term politeia. It is not a nation, not a state, not the polis, not the city but it is a political entity. Plato used this term before Aristotle. So, politeia is a kind of political entity of no-definitive content and scale. A small society could be a politeiaand an empire also could be politeia. So, we use it expresslyas something not modern, as something not so strictly defined and this is not the weak point but the strong point. The absence of a too exact meaning.
So, we use it not because we did not understand that politeia is not clear enough as a concept but precisely because of that. So, that is very important to answer your question because if we consider the borders of civilizations or the border of its political manifestation inpoliteiaas something not clearly defined, that means that it is a completely different concept than national statehood with the line-borders. We are dealing with belt-borders. That means that we could imagine - and it is a concrete historical situation- two people with different cultures living together in some space without a clear definition from this or that. For example, in Transylvania, on Romanian and Hungarian villages. They could be separated but they are a kind of multicultural spaces.
And in Africa we have this terrible example of the Western colonialism when the same people, the same tribe is living in two or three countries divided by the borders that do not correspond to anything. They are completely factitious and artificial. They killed the people. They put them in different legislation. This is a kind of etho-suicidal borders. So, we need to revise the concept of borders and that means that we should create belts of mixed cultural, mixed civilizational spaces. And any regional hegemonic civilizational pole should take responsibility to treat these special zones with special attention. For example we have some examples of decisions of such attitudes, maybe not exactly such but the direction is more or less this one. So, we could create a kind of a treaty concerning Israel in the Arab world. Or a treaty between Arabs and Europe for example (without the United States).Because the most important is to to put away the U.S. It is a kind of a continuation of the unipolar world which only creates everywhere artificial problems. Israel being considered by Arabs as an agent of the U.S. is in danger precisely because of that. It is the creation of the Greater Middle East project implementation that creates bloody wars. Turkey today is in a trap. Because it acts as the U.S. dictate but at the same time more and more the split of Turkey comes closer the Kurdish factor opened by precisely the U.S. will never end because they will once create the Kurdish state. Modern Turkish politics is a kind of suicidal politics.
And I think that regional problems of this mixed kind of population should be decided on the regional level. Between powers that have influence and all organic interest to harmonize the situation in this or that problem.
Student: Professor, you mentioned before that Russia will have a fundamental response in case the West or the United States invade Iran or Syria. But actually now we have the ongoing Korean crisis and we see that Russia is not taking such a fundamental position against the West, supporting North Korea. So, why do you think that Russia will take a fundamental response in the case of Syria or Iran but it did not do so in the case of North Korea?
Professor Dugin: There is a difference. I think theoretically that Russia should support North Korea but Moscow judges that the political regime of North Korea is too crazy to defend. It is too unpredictable and unreasonable. They judge that we cannot absolutely rely on it. Personally, I think that we should oppose the U.S. everywhere. But in this situation we see the differences between Eurasianist ideological vision and Putin’s Eurasian realism. Putin is more a realist. But Syria for us represents our military base, the strategic space to attack Iran and the cooperation of United States and NATO with the radical Islam that is dangerous for us in the Northern Caucasus (and there are Chechen guerilla fighting against Assad). So, this case is taken seriously from us.
Northern Korea is not so painful for us. But there are points that if you analyze Russian politics you will see a kind of divergence between Eurasianism and Putin’s politics. There are differences that do not concern only the issue of Northern Korea but it is more general. So that is a kind of ideologically Multipolarist Eurasianism represented by our intellectual group and Eurasianist realism professed by Putin who is maybe limited by some diplomatic, some balanced interests, some considerations that maybe we ignore. So, realism is a little bit different from our idealistic or theoretical Eurasian attitude. They are very close and more and more academic and scientific circles in the world remark some homology between Putin’s practice and Eurasian theory but at the same time they do not coincide absolutely. There is a kind of divergence. For example, concerning Afghanistan we were against the possibility the Americans to enter in Afghanistan and although we lost, we were finally right and Putin more or less recognized that because our prestige has very fundamentally fallen in the rise of the Chinese. Chinese have remarked that we let our enemy enter the zone of influence and that was a negative consequence. Now this is more or less recognized.