The Forbidden Writer

Alexander Dugin must be one of the most dangerous writers in the world. Why would U.S. publishers combine to prevent his philosophical books appearing in any American bookstore? No Amazon overnight delivery. No delivery at all. Instead his words can be found only in books critical of him by authors clearly chosen for that purpose. Typical is “The American Empire Should Be Destroyed” by James D. Heiser.

Those inflammatory words were written by Dugin, but don’t really illustrate his more reflective, less impassioned philosophy. He is at pains to explore the contrasting Western and Russian cultures and why they are at odds today. Inevitably, they blend into today’s politics, aggravated by war. The fact that he is held in high regard by Putin may explain some of the animosity.

But does it explain the censorship?  There’s nothing like knowing the mind of the enemy so as to form at least a useful strategy. For example, The Communist Manifesto, definitely subversive, is readily available at Amazon. It has helped us understand some of our great antagonists – Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin among many others. Without it they might have been a blank given mindlessly to violence. Why not give the same attention to Putin, whose favorite philosopher has also written a manifesto, somewhat garbled in this Heiser book. Why not read it in his own words?

In an interview with Tucker Carlson, Professor Dugin explains some of the basic differences between the West and Russia. Foremost is the Western obsession, as he would call it, with individualism at the expense of the collectivism in which people are embodied. Unrestrained individualism liberates itself from one impediment after another until today it even threatens to discard humanity, anything that gets in the way of self. He favours a rising Eurasian society governed by traditional values in which individualism has a place but not a supreme one.

He’s not talking about communism which he opposed at cost in Soviet times. But as Heiser quotes him, he seeks” a golden mean between the hyper-individualism of the bourgeois West and the hyper-collectivism of the socialist east.” He seems to say, without my having read him thanks to censorship, that all ideologies have something to teach us and must take their place in a more uplifting, unifying whole which he calls Eurasianism.  

In the meantime the West has been ascendant since the collapse of the Soviet Union. With this new found power Dugin says it’s trying to erase all national distinctions and impose a similar government from above on a global basis. Heiser and other critics whom he quotes more often he does Dugin call this “paranoid. But Dugin writes that U.S behavior is “an organic part of another civilization alien to Russia. This is well understood in the West where the preference is to see not a prosperous and safe Russia, but a weakened Russia submerged in the abyss of chaos and corruption.” Hence his attack on its center, the American empire.

These days people pay a price for views out of the ordinary. Dugin’s daughter Darya was killed in a bomb blast in her car that perhaps was intended for her father. Reconciliation of cultures still seems a long way off.

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