Alexander Dugin holding a Kalashnikov and standing next to a tank used by South Ossetian insurgents. June 2008, South Ossetia. Photo: Anton Shekhovtsov
Philosopher and political scientist Alexander Dugin, born in 1962 in Moscow, is a controversial figure in the Russian political landscape. His political biography encompasses different allegiances and ideologies
"Eurasianists were in many ways similar to traditional Russian nationalists. For example, they believed in the corporate/collectivist nature of Russia/Eurasia and asserted that Western-style democracy was foreign to the country's political culture. They also berated the West for its absence of a grand goal and a sense of spiritual messianism. For them, the West was crass, materialistic and, of course, morally rotten. What made the various brands of Eurasianists different from traditional Russian nationalists was their assumption that Russia's spiritual tone was not so much Slavic as Asian in origin."
Dugin, in the same article, is quoted as saying that "a confrontation between the West and Eurasia is inevitable":
"And I was the first to state this. I was the first who made this clear even in the beginning of the Yeltsin era, when everyone was confident that Russia would become a part of the West. Everyone who has stated that Russia will clash with the West took these ideas from me. And what I say is on the mind of the Russian elite."
The author goes on:
"A grand explosion, presumably nuclear, will be the final outcome of this confrontation. … Dugin's hatred of the West is so intense that he regards the flames of mutual self-destruction as a better alternative to that of existence of the West … Recent developments give some credibility to Dugin's assumptions that the Westernism of the present day Russian oligarchy, whether they are ethnic Russians or Jewish, is a fleeting phenomenon, and that they will eventually have to join the Russian nationalists and prepare Eurasia for a showdown with its arch enemy, the United States … Dugin's views, i.e., the sense of hostility to the West, seem to be spreading among the Russian elite, and not only among those who disagree with the government. In a public radio interview, the editor of one of the new Russian magazines stated that Russia and Nato are on a collision course and the Russian elite should strengthen the country's armed forces to be ready for all eventualities."