Furthest Right

Elements of the New Russian Nationalism (Nikolai-Klaus von Kreitor)

Among the nationalistic publications which have proliferated in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union is a journal begun in July 1992 called Elementy: Evraziiskoe Obozrenie (Elements: Eurasian Review), published by the “Center for Special Meta-Strategic Studies.” Edited by Alexandr Dugin, it lists as a co-editor Viktor Alsknis, the controversial former member of the former Russian parliament. Indicative of the character of this journal is the latest issue (No. 3, July 1993), which begins with an unsigned editorial statement (probably written by Dugin) titled “Auto-da-fe of the Intellectuals . . . Clearing the Way for the Elite.” Uppermost in Elementy’s agenda is the search for a new political orientation for Russia. Thus it is not surprising that this search has engendered an interest, albeit selective, in Carl Schmitt? as well as in some other well known right-wing writers such as Julius Evola, Arthur Moller van den Bruck, and the Austrian General Heinrich Jordis yon Lochhausen.

According to Dugin, who has already introduced Schmitt’s work in Russia,[2] “Schmitt’s writings are especially relevant for Russia because his brilliant analysis of emergency situations and the need tor a decision to preserve the Russian people’s national existence. . . . People exist politically only if they constitute an independent political community and only if, as an entity, they oppose other political entities in order to preserve the cultural specificity of their own community.” Dugin goes on to single out Russia’s enemy — the US — and expose the myth of American democracy and its pseudo-universal claims, while calling for the establishment of a Grossraum on the European continent, based on a coalition of Russia and European powers such as Germany and France — a kind of pax Euroasiatica opposed to the current pax Americana.

The second part of Elementy, headed “Geopolitical Notebooks” and devoted to translations and documents,[3] opens with an article titled “Geopolitical Problems of Neighboring Countries” identified only as “Material Provided by the Center for Special Meta-Strategic Studies” (Dugin’s thinking, however, is clearly discernable). According to this analysis, the New World Order envisioned by President Bush seeks to turn the world into one gigantic Grossraum dominated by the US and orchestrated through the UN to subvert the residual sovereignty of all other countries. This scenario ultimately foresees the UN losing all relevance or becoming merely a legitimating facade for US geopolitical objectives. For Dugin, this emerging New World Order may lead to a further disintegration of whatever remains of national sovereignty. In this respect, the bipolar world obtaining before 1991 allowed much more freedom to countries tailing within the spheres of influence of the two superpowers than is possible today within the new geopolitical framework. As Dugin sees it, the new world situation confronts all countries other than the US, especially the former members of the Warsaw Pact, with two alternatives: either become integrated into the projected “Atlantic Grossraum,” thus forfeiting whatever remains of their national sovereignty, or join Russia in the creation of a new Eurasian Grossraum able to oppose the US and to safeguard national sovereignty and cultural autonomy.[4] Reformulated within Schmittian categories, this essentially amounts to a call for the restoration of the for-met Soviet Empire.

Much of Dugin’s geopolitical analysis is focused on a Pentagon document rifled Defense Planning Guidance, drafted under the supervision of Paul D. Woltowitz, the Pentagon Under Secretary tor Policy. According to Dugin, this 46 page document constitutes a blueprint for world domination, outlines strategies to subvert the UN by substituting for it a US-dominated NATO, and asserts the right of the US to sidestep the UN and act unilaterally.[5] From this he concludes that the former US allies may become its future enemies, i.e., that the immediate US threat to Russia may eventually become a threat to France, Germany and Japan as well.

Two consequences of the New World Order are crucial for Dugin: the new framework of international law being created thereby and its implications for Russia and Europe (as exemplified by the war m the former Yugoslavia). Any analysis of the transformation of international law must focus on the Monroe Doctrine, which has been the basis of American imperialism from its very inception. Here Dugin applies Schmitt’s concept of Grossraum and his critique of American imperialism[6] to deduce the consequences of US policy for Russia and Europe. Thus the war in the former Yugoslavia is viewed as a re-run of the Spanish Civil War (with the US assuming the role of the former fascist powers) and as a general rehearsal for what may happen to Russia in the event the US gains a strategic nuclear superiority. In this respect, what outrages Dugin the most is the US threats of air strikes against Serbian forces.

Dugin also reintroduces Friedrich Naumann’s concept of Mitteleuropa. It is under this heading that he publishes Moller van den Bruck’s old analysis of “Germany Between Europe and the West” as an introduction to Lochhausen’s article, “War in the Persian Gull — War Against Europe.” According to the latter, “the US has understood that in order to maintain its world-wide domination it must position itself against its enemies of tomorrow — Japan and a United Europe. The US hass decided to take firm control of those oil resources on which Japan and Germany will depend in the future. . . . The war in Iraq was such a positioning and was made possible only because the Soviet Union had been eliminated as a player in the world arena. . . . One must remember that the country which controls Arab oil also controls Western Europe and Japan. . . . It is equally disturbing that the US forced Germany and Japan to finance a war which ultimately was meant to weaken and control them in the future.”[7] Lochhausen also claims that the war against Iraq was planned long in advance and that its blueprint was drawn by Henry Kissinger (in 1975 in Commentary and later in Harper’s Magazine) and that US participation in both WWI and WWII was largely parasitic: while the Allies made the decisive efforts, the US eventually reaped the fruits of victory. Dugin complements this analysis with his own “metaphysical geopolitics” articulated in his article on the “Metaphysics of the Continent” — the second part of an ongoing article titled “From Sacred Geography to Geopolitics.” Dugin also calls for a revival of the dichotomy between European Kultur and Anglo-Saxon (read: American) Civilisation. Reminiscent of the Rapallo Treaty, he calls for an alliance between Russia and other European countries, above all Germany and France, to develop a geopolitical strategy aimed at creating a new Grossraum opposed to the pax Americana. This pax Euroasiatica must have an enemy and this enemy is the American Grossraum. Consequently Dugin calls for what he prefigures as a Kulturkampj to challenge American hegemony as a threat to Europe not only as a historical formation but a cultural entity. Clearly, this search for a new political orientation is indicative of the crisis brought about by the collapse of communism — a development which has led Russian nationalists to look to the Right alter the failure of the Lett.


  1. Schmitt’s The Concept of the Political has been translated into Russian and published in Voprosy Sociologii, No, 1 (Moscow 1992).
  2. See Alexandr Dugin, “Carl Schmitt — piati urokoe Rossii,” in Nash Sovremmennik, No. 8 (Moscow 1992), pp. 129, 130 and 135.
  3. Among them there is Carl Schmitt, “Novyi ‘Nomos’ Zemli,” preceded by an editorial introduction.
  4. Dugin cites National Security Council Memorandum 68, which called for a rollback strategy., to hasten the decay of the old Soviet svstem from within through a variety of overt and covert means.
  5. Excerpts from this document have been published in The New York Times (March 8, 1992). The US strategy is summarized as follows: “Our first objective is to prevent the reemergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power. These regions include Western Europe, East Asia, the territory of the former Soviet Union, and Southwest Asia. There are three additional aspects to this objective: first, the US must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. Second, in the non-de-fensive areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. Finally, we must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role. . . . NATO is the primary instrument of Western defense and security, as well as the channel for US influence and participation in European security affairs. While the US supports the goal of European integration, we must seek to prevent the emergence of European only security arrangements which will undermine NATO.” What Dugin does not seem to understand, however, is that Pentagon strategy is not ipso facto US strategy, and that the Pentagon’s Under Secretary for Policy can only make policy proposals, subject to subsequent approval by the Administration.
  6. See Carl Schmitt, Volkerrechtliche Grossraumsordnung mit Interventionsverbot fur raum-fremde Maichte: Ein Beitrag zum Reichsbegriff im Volkerrecht3 (1941), Second Printing (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1991).
  7. Here right-wing and left-wing interpretations of the Gulf War coincide in their anti-Americanism. For Left analyses parallel to Lochhousen, see Dario Da Re, Rossana Mungiello and Dario Padovan, “Intellettuali, Sinistra e Conflitto del Golfo: una lnterpretazione Retrospettiva del Dibattito,” in Altreragioni, No. 2 (1993), pp. 151-174, and Noam Chomsky’s recent work on the subject, such as his The New World Order (New Jersey: Open Magazine, 1991) and Terrorizing the Neighborhood. American Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War Era (Stirling and San Francisco: AK Press, 1991).

[Telos, Summer 93, Issue 96]


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