15 thoughts on “Article of Possible Interest

  1. Pingback: Article of Possible Interest | Neoreactive

  2. Try http://bit.ly/1K1c9Lj or just make the text “review Alexander Dugin’s book” into a link. Get a copy of the URL in your clipboard, then in the Word Press visual editor, highlight that text and click on the “link” icon. Paste the URL text into the “URL” box. The text you highlighted will already be present in the “Link Text” box.

  3. Pingback: Article of Possible Interest | Reaction Times

  4. Bookmarked for later reading! I am going to be reading ‘The Fourth Political Theory’ soon, so good to get an angle on some of Dugin’s other works. It often seems to me that he is not given enough slack by those on the Reactionary Right, but I’m sure my Orthodoxy brings in some bias in favor of the man 😉

      • Perhaps it’s my too long education in Indian philosophy, but I can’t help asking whether or not any particular thinker has the adhikāra, spiritual qualification, for knowing what he claims to know. Heidegger explicates Sein (Being) and Dasein (translate at your own risk) from a position of necessary ignorance. Plato tells us that … [I]t is not permitted to the impure to attain the pure (Phaedo 67b). How, then, could Heidegger have any veridical knowledge of Being without having done his spiritual homework? We can obtain metaphysical knowledge in only two ways: 1) Revelation, or 2) Yogipratyakṣa (direct perception by means of spiritual discipline). I’ve never seen any evidence that Heidegger relied much on either. I will admit that these days I do not believe much European philosophy done after 550CE is worth much, but even studying Heidegger as an undergraduate philosophy student, I believed that his work was the summit of what I like to think of as profound sounding nonsense.

    • “It often seems to me that he is not given enough slack by those on the Reactionary Right, but I’m sure my Orthodoxy brings in some bias in favor of the man”

      Hold up a second.

      What, exactly, do Dugin’s views have to do with Orthodoxy?

      • To clarify what I am talking about:

        I am not saying Dugin has rejected Orthodoxy, but Orthodoxy and his philosophy are two different things. He is clearly pursuing his own philosophical / historiosophical / demagogical / whatever line of inquiry patterned more after Guenon, Heidegger, and similar philosophers. I don’t see what this line of inquiry has to do with the Orthodox teachings, and I don’t see what, exactly, in Orthodoxy would tend to bias a person in favour of this analysis.

        (Similarly Berdyaev is another example of an Orthodox philosopher who has his own line of inquiry — which may or may not be compatible with Orthodox teaching, but is assuredly separate from it — e.g. whenever he needs to refer to someone’s mystical insight, most frequently he mentions Western mystics such as Eckhart, Jakob Boehme, rather than anyone in the Orthodox tradition. Berdyaev is personally more sympathetic to me, but it’s clear to me that there is nothing in Orthodoxy per se that would automatically bias a person in favour of him.)

        If you said something like “I’m sure my Orthodoxy biases me in favour of Plato” I would understand what you were getting at. There is some merit to the claim, say, that Eastern Orthodox thought is founded more on Plato whereas Roman Catholicism is more Aristotelian. But I am still confused where people like Dugin or Guenon come into all this.

        The Guenonist claim seems to be “you should uphold the absolute validity of some exoteric tradition — but it doesn’t much matter which” which strikes me as disingenuous nonsense, and it certainly has *nothing* to do with how Orthodoxy (or any of these exoteric traditions) view themselves. And from what I’ve read of Dugin his Orthodoxy is motivated by the same scheme.

        So, is there something I’ve missed in Orthodoxy that would bias a person in favour of Dugin?

      • Minimally this: That he rejects modernity, except insofar as he embraces Heidegger, who, however reactionary, can hardly be disentangled from the modern moment. Traditionalists need no “index.” We can learn from Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and possibly even Dugin.

      • Allow me to clarify. Dugin does claim to be Orthodox (though an ‘old believer’ if I remember correctly). This does color his work, as would being a Muslim or a Hindu if he was one, and his entire Eurasian movement finds Orthodoxy at the core of a kind of trans-national national identity which goes beyond just Russia.

        http://openrevolt.info/2014/09/01/alexander-dugin-orthodox-eurasianism/

        Guenon is a little different, but I understand his worldview since it is based on an observation I agree with, and one I think Dugin does accept, that all Traditional religions fall under a kind of general ‘category’ vis a vis Modernity to which they all stand in similar contrast.

        I have warmed to Dugin the more I have heard from him in interviews, though I do disagree with many of his ideas still. My Orthodox affinity for his work is similar to perhaps that of Ivan Ilyin whom I admire greatly. I think it is fair to say most Reactionary writing done today is from a Catholic perspective, and so it intrigues me when I do find Orthodox men, past and present, who are writing intellectually on the evils of Modernity.There is brotherhood within any sect, and it is perhaps because of that that I find Dugin to be a rather intriguing man.

  5. @Tom – I made a pretty serious attempt to get to grips with Heidegger a while ago – but the most significant difficulty – aside from his impenetrably dull prose – was that the one thing H was clear about was that unless you were German (or Ancient Greek) then you could never really know the deep truth about things.

    This was so upfront and obvious, I am amazed that more people don’t recognize that for the French, or British, or Americans to regard H seriously is – according to H himself – a pointless, indeed self-refuting activity. By H’s own account, we are not capable of understanding him – so whatever it is that we think we understand, is mistaken.

    This seems like a perfect excuse to ignore Heidegger – because it is simply to take him seriously!

    I also continue to be amazed about the ‘debate’ over whether H was a Nazi, or what kind of Nazi he was, or whether it was some kind of tactical bluff, or maybe just careerism… H was as much of a Nazi as Adolf Hitler – indeed H consideredhimself to be a better Nazi than Hitler, because he understood more deeply the true implications of National Socialism. By any normal standards of proof the evidence that H was a committed Nazi (not just from 1933, but for the rest of his life – since he never publicly renounced it – he was honest enough in that respect) is overwhelming and one sided! Indeed that is what the occupying allies thought because H was banned from teaching after 1945.

    So what is the point of H? Not much, in my view. He was considered, by his german Professorial peers, to be an outstanding scholar – and I think we must accept that.

    As a diagnostician of modernity he was astute – but then that is not at all uncommon – the reallly rare thing is to be able to prescribe some effective treatment for modernity – and in that respect Heidegger offered the same basic solution as Hitler – except that H was on the agrarian (anti-industrialist) side of the party, which of course lost-out to the modernizing milataristic side.

    Let’s say Heidegger was to National Socialism what William Morris was to Communism, or Bernard Shaw to Fabian Socialism – that is, they were major cultural figures; on the idealistic, theoretical, ineffectual sides of their parties – but nonetheless thoroughly committed to their parties.

    • Absolutely, Heidegger was a Nazi. Whether his philosophical meditations are Nazi is another question. I owe a debt to Being and Time, which taught me what it meant when people referred to the genre of “philosophical anthropology.” Now had I started with Kierkegaard, I might not have needed Heidegger, but I only came to the Dane later when I read in Walter Kaufman that the German owed many of his insights about modernity to Kierkegaard’s little book (it’s actually a long book-review) The Two Ages. Heidegger means less to me now than he did when I was twenty-five, but that will never mean that he means nothing to me.

      Again, we Traditionalists need no “index.” We can learn from Martin Heidegger, William Blake, Percy Shelley, Henrik Ibsen, Richard Wagner, Friedrich Nietzsche, Knut Hamsun, and George Bernard Shaw while marking off what seems antithetical to our way of seeing things.

    • Correction – sorry for the typos – these comments are hard to check! But it should read “H was on the agrarian (anti-industrialist) side of the party” [not ‘and industrialist’]

      [Fixed – Kristor]

  6. I recommend this debate between Brazilian philosopher Olavo de Carvalho and Alexander Dugin: debateolavodugin.blogspot.com

    • I found it worthwhile reading. It will take some time to digest and verify de Carvalho’s substantive accusations, namely that Dugin is a functioning court intellectual within Putin’s Russia (a grouping which is part of the problem and not the solution), and that his Eurasian reasoning leads him to want to start World War III for no good or morally excusable reason.

      That these Eurasianist type philosophies are probably just using Orthodoxy as a cover for fairly naked Nietszchean power-worship is a notion I’d been considering long beforehand, so it was really not unexpected to see Carvalho make the same type of argument. You can trace the basic degeneration by studying carefully how various people understand the notion of ‘faith’. (Faith as trust in the benevolence and personal involvement of a higher God in one’s life — with actions proceeding therefrom — or faith as mechanical assent to a set of propositions made to demonstrate the primacy of one’s will to power over one’s reason? Somewhere around Konstantin Leontiev the understanding starts to flip over to the latter.)

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