Alexander Dugin is the man they call Putin’s brain. While some quibble over how influential he is in the Kremlin, according to my information he is highly regarded by Vladimir Putin. This does not mean that Putin calls him daily for advice but his ideas have helped shape how the Russian regime sees global politics.
This two-part podcast and article will be very useful for understanding the mentality behinds Putin’s actions in Ukraine and beyond.
You’ll remember that in the first section of his book, the Foundations of Geopolitics, Alexander Dugin gives us an overview of geopolitical theories he considers critical to understanding the future of Russia and the world. He concludes that the US and Russia will always be in a stand-off and the only way for Russia to endure is to expand its control to the entire continent of Eurasia.
Whereas in the first part of the book he uses the ideas of others, the section we’ll look at today is all about him. The language is different here and the assertions come thick and fast. Dugin spends no time explaining why he is right or the logic behind much of what he says - he is more prophet than educator here.
As in Part 1, we are going to break every rule of storytelling by giving you the punchline first. This means you can listen to the first few minutes of the podcast or read the summary paragraphs to get the critical points. But, what you’ll likely find is that the main points are so shocking you’ll want to subscribe to hear the full story.
A state or group of states on the Eurasian continent will always naturally seek to expand their control to the entirety of Eurasia from Dublin to Vladivostok.
If Russia doesn’t, someone else will and since Russia is the centre of Eurasia if it doesn’t attempt to secure control of the continent whoever does will inevitably want control of Russia.
The Russian saying Dugin quotes to explain this basic rule of geopolitics is “a holy place is never empty”, a way of saying that a good thing will never go unclaimed, if it’s good, someone’s coming to take it.
We should not expect other people to leave Russian lands be out of respect for our sovereignty. Russia must not only rebuild its Empire by recovering its former territories, it must secure alliances with, neutrality of or military control over all of Eurasia.
Even the slightest hesitation about building Russia’s new empire will be taken by our competitors as an invitation to expand into our lands. This will obviously provoke a Russian reaction and lead to a disastrous intra-continental war that would have no positive outcome given that a non-Russian Eurasia will require the annihilation of the Russian people, which, as history has shown, is not just difficult but impossible.
The Russian people have a special mission. They are a messianic, imperial people. To relinquish this would mean spiritual castration. The only way to avoid this disaster is for the Russian people, who have a “special civilisational mission”, to secure control of the entire continent for the benefit of all Eurasians.
That’s the punchline. Now let’s get into the detail: