4th Political Theory & the “Other Europe” – Speranskaya

The Fourth Political Theory and “Other Europe”

By Natella Speranskaya

 

“The Fourth Political Theory is a volitional construction of the tradition based on deconstruction of modernity” – Alexander Dugin

Critique of (Neo)liberalism from “above”

In his book Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss and The Concept of the Political Heinrich Meier states that the world that is trying to refrain from identifying the difference between a friend and an enemy Schmitt clearly shows the world the inevitability of “either or” in order to intensify the “awareness of an emergency situation” and re-awaken the ability that is manifested when “the enemy reveals itself with particular clarity”[1]. Indeed, today we can unmistakably identify our enemy. The ideological (as well as ontological) enemy is a liberal – a supporter of the political theory that defeated the two ideologies of the twentieth century – Communism and Fascism (National Socialism). Today we are dealing with the result of the victory. By saying “we” I do not mean some abstract political entity, rather I mean the representatives of the Eurasian geopolitical tradition or the approaches of tellurocratic geopolitics (therefore, the enemies are determined by their involvement in thalassocratic geopolitics). By commenting on the fundamental work The Concept of the Political Leo Strauss notes that despite all radical critique of liberalism incorporated in it Schmitt does not follow it through since his critique develops and remains within the scope of liberalism.

“His anti-Liberal tendency, – claims Strauss, – remains constrained by “systematics of liberal thought” that has not been overcome so far, which – as Schmitt himself admits – “despite all failures is not substituted by any other system in today’s Europe”[2]. Critique of liberalism is impossible within the scope of liberalism; without definite overcoming (or better to say, “collapsing”) the liberal discourse no substitution is possible.

We are well aware of the fact that all three major political ideologies of the past century – Liberalism, Communism and Fascism (the first, second and third political theories, respectively) – are the products of modernity. A paradigmatic shift to postmodernity necessarily implies the birth of a political theory that is beyond the scope of the preceding three theories (besides, given the political metamorphoses of Liberalism that can be reduced to a single definition – “Neoliberalism” – the need for a well-grounded alternative becomes essential). Only after getting liberated from the bondage of Liberal doctrine it is possible to proceed with its total critique. Moving a step beyond modernity does not mean: a) the attempts aimed at formation of another communist doctrine, b) a possibility of establishing a Neo-Fascist ideology capable of substituting an alternative political theory of counter-liberal essence. We are to make a political choice that will determine the future of the world order being already on the verge of transition to multipolarity, constituted by four poles, where the presence of the Eurasian pole is essential. Besides, the very political choice implies the conscious acceptance of the concept of The Fourth Political Theory enabling the critique of (Neo)liberalism from “above”.

“Other Europe”

“Only few people can actually argue against the fact that today, amid the frightening feeling of crisis and unease that has taken over the keenest minds, the whole European community appeals to the supreme ideal of world culture, culture, within which a new principle is expected to unite the powers and bearers of scattered European traditions”, – claims Italian philosopher Julius Evola in an introductory part of his essay United Europe: The Spiritual Prerequisite[3].

We, the representatives of the Eurasian political philosophy are building strategic relations with the last resistant rebels of Europe, those who even among the ruins maintain the courage to defend supreme, heroic and traditional values. When reflecting on preconditions of the new European unity, Evola highlights an imminent threat both from Russia and the USA. This essay deals with the historical period that has been characterized by a bipolar system of world order; the very model incorporated two poles, the two hegemons – the USSR and the USA. Nowadays, we are dealing with a unipolar model and a single hegemon, the United State of America and, therefore, find ourselves within a victorious Liberal discourse that is going through barely noticeable metamorphoses. Despite all the differences between the two historical periods, the European crisis not only remained an unresolved problem but rather increased significantly. However, what kind of Europe do we discuss? In one of his interviews Alexander Dugin noted that today we encounter “two Europes: “ liberal Europe” (or “Europe-1”) incorporating the idea of “open society”, human rights, registration of same-sex marriages, legalization of the Swedish family, and “other Europe” (“Europe-2”) – politically engaged, thinker, intellectual, spiritual, the one that considers the status quo and domination of liberal discourse as a real disaster and a betrayal of the European tradition. “Many years have passed since when the West became aware what the “tradition” stand for, in its highest sense; anti-traditional spirit has become synonymous with the western one as early as in the Renaissance era. “Tradition” in its full sense is a succession of periods called as “The heroic ages” by Vico – where there was the only creative force with metaphysical roots expressed in customs and religion, law, mythology, artistic creations – in all private areas of existence[4],– states Julius Evola. The last resistant rebels of Europe are the representatives of “Other Europe”.

In his work Europe and Globalization Alain de Benoist pays attention to the fact that “Europe possesses all trump cards that would enable it to overthrow the American hegemony and to become a major world power without any hesitation.” However, Europe restrains itself from making a strategic decision and allows to be thrown into an abyss of helplessness and total extinction by the USA; most of the Europeans have lost their identity, and only a few representatives of “Other Europe” are still faithful to the heritage of the European tradition. The fourth Nomos of the Earth that we have closely approached is characterized as “multipolar” or, more precisely, as potentially multipolar since “the only civilization – the United States of America is hegemonic in six major spheres of power – technologies, economics, finances, warfare, media and culture. De Benoist highlights that the US aims to delay inevitable transformation of Western universum into planetary pluriversum. A radical split from the US would lead Europe to become sovereign, to return its true identity (national, cultural, etc.) and, as a result, would contribute to the decline of the USA status of a world leader.

We would like to point out a need for identifying a principle capable of ensuring unity, mentioned by Evola, that we define as a political doctrine that represents a major alternative to the liberal ideology. The very political doctrine, founded by Alexander Dugin, has been titled as The Fourth Political Theory. Today we must reconsider the historical fate of Russia and Europe. Russia, not as a part of Europe, but rather Russia and Europe as two “big spaces” (Grossraum), two civilizations: on the one hand, given the multipolar model of the world order that incorporates the above-mentioned civilizations as actors, and on the other hand, considering comprehensive analysis of the relations between Russia and Europe that is overcoming the liberal paradigm and provides us with a completely different picture. Alain de Benoist also highlights that Russia, located in the center of Heartland, is not Europe, while Europe belongs to the Eurasian entity. It is noteworthy that the Italian philosopher Massimo Cacciari, ex-governor of Venice and a former Member of the European Parliament (mostly popular in Russia for his work entitled The Geophilosophy of Europe) had a presentiment about the Fourth theory; this is described in Foreword of his geophilosophical work as follows: “…instead of a simplified classical scheme with two poles – left (Marxists) and right (anti-Marxists, conservatives), and the center in the middle, Cacciari discusses approproateness of the political scheme that involves, ar least, four distinctions”.

«Imitation of History»

The Fourth Political Theory is Liberalism’s enemy. However, what the current Liberalism stands for? Our strategic plan aimed at destruction of the hostile ideology depends on the answer to this question. Today we are dealing with “Neo-Liberalism” or “Post-Liberalism”, a non-authentic Liberalism. In his book The Fourth Political Theory A. Dugin establishes the change of status of the Liberal ideology within the transition from modernity to post-modernity, and describes the “scenery (панораму) of post-liberal grotesque”: the “individuum” of classical Liberalism, the former measure of all things, becomes a post- individuum; a man as a possessor of private property – that practically acquired a sacral status –becomes possessed by the latter; the Society of the Spectacle (La Société du spectacle (Guy Debord) occurs; the boundary between real and virtual is blurred – the world becomes a technical supermarket; all forms of supra-individual authority are eliminated; the state is substituted by the “civil society”; the principle – “the economy is our destiny” is replaced by another principle – “the digital code is our destiny”, in other words, everything comes to total virtuality.

“There is nothing more tragic than a failure to understand the historical moment we are currently going through; – notes Alain de Benoist – this is the moment of postmodern globalization”. The French philosopher emphasizes the significance of the issue of a new Nomos of the Earth that is a way of establishing international relations. So, what do you think the fourth Nomos will be like? De Benoist discusses two possibilities: transition to universe (or a unipolar world) which means the USA domination, and transition to pluriversum (a multi-polar world) where cultural diversity will face no threat of total absorption and “melting”. Indeed, the fourth Nomos of the Earth is related to the Fourth Political Theory. Alain de Benoist states that “similar to the three large Nomoi of the Earth within the modernity, there have been three major political theories”. In the era of modernity we have encountered the succession of Liberalism, Socialism and Fascism in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, respectively. And these three ideologies disappeared in the reverse order. So, the latest of the ideologies was the one that disappeared first. (…) The fourth Nomos of the Earth requires the emergence of the Fourth Political Theory. The Fourth Theory cannot yet be defined in detail, – adds de Benoist. – Indeed, it will be critical of the preceding theories. However, it will incorporate valuable ideas from the preceding ideologies. This will be a synthesis as well as Aufhebung in its Hegelian sense.

While elaborating an ideological basis for the Fourth Theory it is possible to analyze positive as well as negative aspects of the other three well-known political theories and adopt those aspects that we find acceptable. This is one of the ways. However, it does not mean that there are no other approaches. We can also propose the issue of “political mimesis” having considered it from another angle.

For instance, contemporary French philosophers Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy offer a new concept of “imitation of history”. They focus on the idea that Europe has tended to be imitation-oriented for a long time, “which, first of all, means imitating the ancients. The role of the antique model (Sparta, Athens, Rome) in the establishment of contemporary nation states and in the construction of their culture is well known»[5].

“Imitation of history” played a fundamental role in the concept of German Nazism (as well as Italian Fascism). It is important to reflect whether political mimesis of classical era is feasible today, and whether or not the need for a new shift towards antiquity has to be discussed. Was not it a mistake of the followers of the third political theory in the form of German National-Socialism (resulting in a defeat) that the imitation of the ancients ignored an important feature: existence of «two Greeces» – Apollonian and Dionysian, Greece of the light day and Greece of the mysteries, Greece of the Law and heroic severity and Greece of ecstatic rituals and sacrifices? And the last is the Russian rather than only European soil feasible for the revival of the spirit of antiquity? In other words, should not we borrow “political mimesis” or “Imitation of history” of more ancient ideologemes rather than those ideological aspects that exist within the political theories generated by modernity? This would be a radical solution for the development of political theory beyond the modernity.

As for Russia, establishment of the Russian school of Neoplatonism clearly indicates the seriousness of our intention and our understanding of Plato’s significant role. “The project of New Russia is to be commenced by Plato’s announcement”, – claims A. Dugin. The fact that Platonopolis, Plato’s Republic has never been founded may indicate that any attempt to establish it involved an initial intention of reducing a distance between modernity and antiquity by approximation of the Greek heritage to «us/them». However, the main point is that we/they are to be elevated to the Greeks. The city of the world must become the city of God and not the other way around.

“Nazism (and in many respects, the Italian Fascism) is characterized by defining its own movement, ideology and the state as a manifestation of some myth or as a living myth. This is what Rosenberg claims: “Odin is dead, but in another way, as essence of the German soul, Odin is resuscitating before our very eyes,” claim P. Lacoue-Labarthe, and J.-L.Nancy. National-Socialism was a synthesis of various myths (rather not quite successful): Apollonian and Dionysian Greece clashed rather than had anything in common within the new political doctrine; even at the early stage, this featured a further defeat in a historical collision. However, besides Greek element (Hitler used to say of himself: “I am Greek”), National-Socialism also incorporated the elements of the ancient Germanic paganism, Medieval and Indo-Aryan tradition. Mussolini’s Fascism, in its turn, represented an idealistic myth of Italy as the heiress of Rome. Julius Evola notes that with the doctrine of the state, Fascism “returned to the tradition underlying the great European states. Besides, it has revived or, at least, attempted to revive the Roman idea as the highest and special integration of “myth” about a new political organism that is “strong and organic”. For Mussolini the Roman tradition was not just a figure of speech, it was rather the “idea of power”, the ideal for upbringing of a new type of a human being who had to take power into his hands. “Rome is our myth” (1922). These words witnessed a proper choice and great courage; they incorporate a desire to bridge the gap over the abyss of centuries, to revive continuity of the only valuable heritage of Italian history”[6]. Nevertheless, Mussolini was never able to truly appreciate a spiritual dimension of Roman symbol and ancient Rome.

Racial Doctrine

A fatal mistake of the German National-Socialism was a distorted understanding of the racial doctrine that recognized only “racism of the first degree” (biological racism).

The first step in this succession was the confusion of concepts of “nation” and “race” that, in Evola’s words, equaled to democratization and degradation of the concept of race. Opinions of a small number of followers of different understanding of the racial theory were not taken into account. As for the Italian Fascism, from the very beginning this ideology was free from vulgar interpretation of the racial theory. In 1941 Evola was summoned to appear in the Venetian Palace where his meeting with Mussolini was planned. Mussolini expressed great interest in Evola’s work titled “The Synthesis of Racial Doctrine”, having discovered “a basis for establishing an independent fascist and anti-materialist racism” in it. Mussolini unconditionally accepted the theory of three races such as spiritual, mental and physical (biological). The very theory has had a direct correlation with Plato’s ideas: the race of body in the state corresponded to demos, the mass, while the mental race and the race of spirit correlated with guards/warriors and philosophers, respectively. However, subsequently Mussolini had come under pressure from the representatives of the Catholic Church who realized a major threat in racial issue being discussed on the level of spirit, and the theory of three races did not get an appropriate support.

Julius Evola used to emphasize that the concept of race (that is beyond its usual understanding as being both an anthropological and ethnic entity) confronts an individual (which is indeed a positive feature of racism). According to the Italian philosopher, one of the practical meaning of racial theory is “the need for overcoming liberal, individualistic and rationalistic conceptions according to which an individual is like an atom, the subject in itself, that lives, making sense only for himself”. Thus, the Italian Fascism with its roots was initially focused on the theory of three races that strongly distinguishes it from National-Socialist doctrine which fanatically professed biological racism.

Nowadays, the word “race” and its derivatives are only perceived in a negative sense; therefore, applying them as the elements of foundation for any ideological structure would be extremely incautious. The Fourth Political Theory categorically rejects racism including its latest, postmodern forms such as a dictatorship of glamour, following the trends of modern information, the idea of unipolar globalization (superiority of Western values). Alexander Dugin claims that the Fourth Political Theory rejects “all forms of normative hierarchization of societies on the basis of ethnic, religious, social, technological, economic and cultural origin. A comparison of societies is possible; however, one should not claim superiority of one society over the others”.

Returning to the issue of «Imitation of history» several questions might be posed: which path to follow when forming the Fourth Political Theory? Should we select “robust elements” from the three political ideologies or should we refer to Plato’s Politeia and pre-modern, traditional society (or combine both approaches)?

What could be a hypothetic transition from logos to mythos within the political ideology? And what is the relationship between the Fourth Political Theory and a myth?

What are the myth of Russia and the myth (or myths) of “other Europe” being incorporated in the Fourth Political Theory as a foundation for a multipolar world?

These questions await answers.

Alexander Dugin believes that Plato sacrificed the truth of the myth to the truth of philosophy. Therefore, Plato’s Republic, from the very beginning, was based on Apollonian principle (strictly rejecting the Dionysian one). Is not it appropriate to sacrifice the truth of philosophy for to Philosophy of the other Beginning that will eliminate the problematics of separation of logos and Mythos? Politeia is only possible when there are two of its constituent principles. The Fourth Political Theory is in need of a Myth, a Myth as a universal Myth, a Myth as paradeigma, within the scope of which the dialogue between Russia and “Other Europe” will mark (mean, become) the transition to a new political reality.

According to its founder, The Fourth Political Theory is a volitional construction of tradition based on deconstruction of modernity. It primarily deals with total rejection of subjects of three theories of the 20th century: rejection of individual, class and race/nation-state in Liberalism, Communism and National-Socialism as well as Fascism, respectively. [Heidegger’s] Dasein (Germ. “being-there/there-being”) becomes the subject of the Fourth Political Theory making it a «fundamental-ontological structure developed in the field of existential anthropology». Besides, The Fourth Political Theory, focused on multi-polarity, goes even further than Heidegger and claims the plurality of Dasein. The Dasein-culture-civilization-big space-a pole of the multi-polar world presents an absolutely different context of political thought. There is no individual as it is abolished by Dasein; instead of individual there is an issue of authentic or non-authentic existence, that is a choice – das Mann or Selbst; that is the foundation of the Fourth Political Theory. A class and a race, as well as a state (at least, a contemporary national bourgeois state) all constitute anthropological and ontological constructs of modernity, versions of Techne, Ge-stell; and we are designing an existential political structure, – says Alexander Dugin.

Thus, all attempts of our liberal opponents aimed at discrediting the Fourth Political Theory as “a new version of National-Socialism” are groundless, and represent just a hostile reaction due to the occurrence of an equal (or a superior) rival and strategic actions aimed at eliminating the risk of the imminent collision with the enemy. Again, we would like to emphasize that the Fourth Political Theory is beyond the scope of the three political ideologies, and a rigid resistance to liberalism can be considered to be the only feature bringing it closer to the second and the third theories.

Notes

[1] Heinrich Meier. “Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss and The Concept of the Political.” The Hidden Dialogue. Moscow: SKIMEN, 2012.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Julius Evola. United Europe: The Spiritual Prerequisite. Tradition and Europe. Ex Nord Lux, 2009.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Julius Evola. Men Among the Ruins. Critic of the Fascist Regime: Right-Wing Views. Moscow, ACT, 2007.

 

——————

Speranskaya, Natella. “The Fourth Political Theory ‘Other Europe’.” Global Revolutionary Alliance News (GRANews), 9 February 2013. <http://www.granews.info/content/natella-speranskaya-fourth-political-theory-and-other-europe >.

Note: See also Natella Speranskaya’s interview with Alexander Dugin: <https://neweuropeanconservative.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/civilization-as-political-concept-dugin/ >.

 

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  1. Pingback: Review of Dugin’s 4th Political Theory – Pistun | New European Conservative

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