Dugin's significance

I’ve been aware of Alexander Dugin for a long time. If I had to sum up his intellectual career, I’d say it’s been all about trying to find an ideology that would allow Russia to organize a global coalition against western liberalism and post-cold-war America.

Despite my interest in Dugin, I first heard of his daughter Darya only a few months ago, when she appeared on the Indian TV station Republic (home of prominent journalist Arnab Goswami) as a panelist in a debate about the war in Ukraine. And now she’s dead, killed in Moscow by a car bomb that was probably aimed at her father, who western headlines variously describe as “Putin’s brain” (Newsweek), “major Putin ally” (NPR), and “influential Russian writer” (New York Times, as usual aiming for a Pulitzer Prize in vagueness).

Various western pundits have been talking of Dugin as Putin’s svengali for years; for example, Quillette contributor Robert Zubrin. But it was hard to find actual Russians who shared this view of his importance. It was often said that he was better known in the west than in Russia. John Schindler, formerly of NSA counterintelligence, described him as “flypaper for Western alt-right nutballs”.

If I had to sum up my own impressions, I’d say that:

Within Russia, he was one of many right-wing intellectuals, founder of a distinct school of thought, not one with any popular influence there, but occasionally in favor with the circles of power.

Outside Russia, he was an assiduous networker, and not just in the west. He had contacts and sympathizers all over the world, though never in great numbers. He seems to have done especially well in Turkey.

Then there’s the myth that Dugin is the hidden mastermind of Russian policy. The strongest evidence of this would be his book “Foundations of Geopolitics”, which is said to have been influential in various political and military circles in the 2000s. More plausible is that he has had influence, and recognition as the representative of a particular viewpoint, but only one viewpoint, that is not always in favor. Think of western figures like Fukuyama or Huntington.

Finally, there is Dugin as man of mystery. There may be specific times when his networking has become an asset for the Russian state. He was apparently in Turkey in 2016 on the eve of the coup that almost removed Erdogan. He did appear on the Alex Jones show once; who else might he have talked with, off screen? And then there’s Ukraine.

Before he became an advocate of war against Ukraine, Dugin did try to find allies there, for his vision of Eurasian unity. Oddly, Zelensky has a prominent advisor, Alexei Arestovich, who in his late 20s was attending Eurasianist conferences in Moscow, organized by Dugin, as part of a Ukrainian delegation.

My guess is that this car bomb attack had something to do with Dugin’s covert entanglements, specifically in Ukraine. The number of people who have heard of his “fourth political ideology” is minuscule, and Russian political pundits in favor of the war are the rule, not the exception. And a car bomb is a relatively sophisticated way to kill someone, it reeks of spies and terrorists and partisan warfare, rather than, for example, a contract killing.

In fact, there’s a Russian politician in exile in Ukraine, Ilya Ponomarev, who says a previously unknown “National Republican Army” within Russia has claimed responsibility, saying that all Putin’s officials and apologists are now targets. One may doubt the group’s existence, but I’m sure there are people who will now try to make it a reality.

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The woman who is accused of perpetrating the attack, entered Russia a month ago with her 12 year old daughter, with Dombas car registration plates. She used Estonian registration plates while in Russia and she crossed the Estonian border shortly after the attack, in the same car, with Ukrainian numbers. The car was later put for sale by the brother of the suspect. Estonian authorities refused to share border surveillance videos with Russia.
The suspect woman is an officer in the Azov.

The Russians are suspecting three agencies of cooperating in this attack, Ukraine’s sbu, UK’s MI6 and Estonian intelligence.
The fact they even arranged for some fictitious organization to claim the attack, once again points out to an elaborate planning.

The question remains why chose Dugin, and why not abort when they saw it was not him to be the victim? The logic and purpose of such operations eludes us common folk, that’s for sure.

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Putin’s hits are so much more stylish – novichok or polonium, no need to make a mess in public and the slower death is a nice reminder to his enemies of the consequences of upsetting him.

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Her Telegram channel

“Donald Trump’s fingerprints are all over this assassination attempt…”
Sam Harris

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Thank you kindly for your post, mitchellporter.
Last six months i’ve been watching a lot of Russian TV, and trying to learn the language, making good progress.
Thanks to your post, i looked into Dugin’s ideology a little bit.
Then i watched one of my daily Russian shows, where a university dean in politology was speaking, and it hit me, how influential Dugin’s ideology is in Russia. Was hearing these things before, but i didn’t know it was Dugin’s philosophy.
Now the assassination attempt makes a lot more sense to me.
It’s such a shame that a beautiful and talented young woman had to die because of this.
Looks like nowadays they can’t even do assassinations properly anymore. Back in the day, they were most often going out of their way to spare innocents.

….or his latest to get rid of that evil Western puppet Zelensky: “special military operation”. The man certainly has a flare for the theatrical. That’s on top of his assisted suicide of Europe’s energy system - Putin’s got gas.

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Nice display of whataboutism Whataboutism - Wikipedia
Then there is the issue of using Putin’s name instead of Russia, which is an effective propaganda tool of the media, basically using Putin as a global strawman. For the media that’s a smart move, and also for the rest of us it’s a good indicator of who are the individuals who fell for this propaganda tactic.

This pretty much demonstrates what i said above, and also demonstrates a complete lack of critical thinking.
In the desert you refuse to buy water from me, you die of thirst, my fault. The new western political logic is mind boggling.
Also we are off-topic here.

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I always respected him. Not his ethics mind, but his ability to get things done. Not a fool or a buffoon like so many western leaders. Too bad he’s a criminal like his buddy DJT.

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This demonstrates a complete lack of a sense of humour.

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