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Dugin (left) and Geydar Dzhemal in happier times 

In June 2013, the Ukrainian Traditionalist Club organised an 'All Ukrainian monarchical conference' in Kyiv, addressed by, among others, the UTK's Voloshyn, Semenyaka and the monarchist theorist Eduard Yurchenko. Semenyaka spoke in praise of Geydar Dzhemal, who had been one of the original members of the 'Yuzhinsky Circle' in Moscow, the circle which had initiated Dugin into traditionalist teachings. In the first edition of his first book, The Ways of the Absolute (Moscow, Arktogeia,1989) Dugin had called Dzhemal his 'spiritual guide'. This was removed in the second edition, by which time Dzhemal had become an advocate of militant and exclusivist Islam. (10) What Semenyaka admires in Dzhemal is his advocacy of an aristocratic (kshatriya) caste acting in support (but not at the behest) of the mass of the people:

'For G. Jemal, the hero of the Peasants' War of the Reformation era, Florian Heyer , is a symbol of such a union - a nobleman who led grassroots social protests and who was valued by both the left ( Friedrich Engels wrote about him in the work "The Peasant's War in Germany") and the right ( the 8th SS Cavalry Division was named after F. Heyer, as well as a modern intellectual club headed by G. Jemal).

'In this context, O. Semenyaka drew attention to the fact that Ukrainians are particularly lucky with their historical traditions, given that the union of traditional and radical forces has always been natural for Ukrainian society, which is especially clear in the example of the Cossacks, an aristocratic military class that, on the one hand, all the time received support from the Church, and on the other hand, rose to the defense of the lower social strata (peasants) and the Church, performing both military and cultural protection functions. Thus, the Djemalian contrast between the "religion of the prophets", which appeals to the kshatriyas (warriors) who are called to lead the uprising of the oppressed masses, and the "religion of the priests", who conceal the truth of liberation from the lower classes by entering into an alliance with the Vaishyas (merchants), also does not work in the case of the Ukrainian clergy, which has always been on the side of the radicals.' (11)

(10) Jafe Arnold: From Traditionalism and Sufism to “Islamic Radicalism”: The Peculiar Case of Geydar Dzhemal (1947-2016), p.5. The article is dated 2018 but there is no publisher. I have it off Arnold's page where it is described as a 'Paper (rough draft) written for the seminar "Sufism, Islamic Mysticism and Western Esotericism" at the University of Amsterdam, supervised by Profs. Marco Pasi and Richard van Leeuwen.' 

(11) Olena Semenyaka (Ukrainian Traditionalist Club): Account of the Second All-Ukrainian monarchical conference in Kyiv, 10 June 2013 00:02. Accessible at (machine translation)

Following my own reading of Ukrainian history I don't know what clergy she is referring to. On the one hand the West Ukrainian Greek Catholic clergy were supportive of the people, providing for widespread general education and showing some sympathy for the nationalist cause. But they had little to do with the Cossacks concentrated in the 'Wild Fields' to the East and generally Orthodox and hostile to them (to the point of open warfare). On the other hand, I don't see much support for Ukrainian radicalism on the part of the Orthodox clergy. Ukrainian Orthodoxy in the days of the Cossacks did, however, have its own historical importance. The Kiev-Moghila Academy (where Semenyaka was a student) was formed under Cossack patronage to develop the skills necessary to combat Catholicism. At the time, Ukraine was still part of Poland, the Orthodox clergy were still under Constantinople not under Moscow and the founder of the academy, Peter Moghila, was a Moravian nobleman. The academy therefore had a very 'Western' feel to it. The teaching was in Latin, the arguments in favour of Orthodoxy were framed in terms of scholastic theology, and exotic subjects such as 'poetics', which would have been regarded in Russia as unthinkably profane, were part of the curriculum.

When the area East of the Dnieper (including Kiev) was incorporated into Russia, Peter I ('the Great') saw the Kiev-Moghila Academy as a means of westernising the Russian Church, initiating a process the emigré Russian theologian, George Florovsky, calls the 'ukrainisation' of the Russian Church. But this of course also contributed to the cultural merging of Ukraine and Russia and is therefore regarded with disfavour by Ukrainian nationalists. (12)

(12) I discuss this in my essay A church history of Ukraine accessible on my website at See also the ongoing series on Ukrainian history originally published in Church and State, accessible at

Semenyaka's interest in Dzhemal has a slightly ironic twist to it. When she fell out with Dugin she criticised the 'Eurasian' part of his 'Fourth Political Theory' on the grounds that it created a common cultural space with the Islamic and Buddhist parts of the old Russian Empire. She would remain faithful to the 'third way' (the Conservative Revolution - neither Communist nor Fascist) which requires a certain cultural homogeneity. Here we might note in passing a recent speech by Vladimir Putin on the solidarity that the different peoples of the Russian Federation have shown in the present conflict with Ukraine:

'The extent of identification as Russian nationals (where a person primarily identifies as a citizen of Russia, as opposed to a representative of a particular ethnic group), has been growing in recent years in direct proportion to the mounting pressure on our country.

'The stronger the sanctions, the nastier the slander, the higher this manifestation of general consolidation. Over the past five years, this measurement has grown by a third, and by the beginning of 2023, it exceeded 94 percent. According to unbiased statistics, in 2017, 63 percent identified primarily as Russian, and in 2022, 94.2 percent.

'That is, again, the vast majority of people primarily identify as citizens of Russia, putting their national affiliation, and inclusion in Russian society before that of a certain ethnic group.' (13)

(13) Meeting of the Council for Interethnic Relations, May 19, 2023.

But we should perhaps keep in mind Dzhemal's view that Islam is a religion of the Kshatriyas - the warriors - and his contempt for the Brahmins - the priests. In an online discussion that followed Semenyaka's account of the monarchist meeting, she refers, I think approvingly, to 'the "religion of priests" who defend "the immanent truth of being."' I would guess she has Guénon and Heidegger in mind. In an article on the relations between Ernst Jünger and Heidegger published in 2012 (and citing Dugin favourably in the footnotes) Semenyaka indicates her awareness of the difference between them which could be expressed in terms of the difference between the Kshatriya as activist and the Brahmin as guardian of being. She has it that Heidegger's initial enthusiasm for National Socialism was in part at least inspired by Jünger's essays Total Mobilisation (1930) and The Worker, dominance and gestalt (1932) in which:

'instead of the "horizontal" dialectic of the individual and the mass, E. Junger introduces the "vertical" dimension of the metaphysical gestalt of the Worker, which, according to the key formula of E. Junger, mobilises the world by means of technology and the direct "imprint" of which is a new type of person. At this point, the parallelism with the Nietzschean figure of the Overman as "conqueror of god and nothingness" becomes obvious. Thus, the Worker consciously enters into an alliance with the most revolutionary and destructive force - technology, whose "victorious march", in addition to war fires, "leaves behind a wide trail of destroyed symbols"' (14)

(14) Olena Semenyaka: "Across the Line": Ernst Jünger and Martin Heidegger's Dialogue on European Nihilism, published on September 16, 2012 at Machine translation.

Heidegger, according to Semenyaka, saw in Jünger's worker 'a chance for an effective counteraction to nihilism.' However:

'After the hopes for epochal changes associated with National Socialism did not come true, the disappointed M. Heidegger finally joined the conviction about the futility of the metaphysics of the will to power, in which he recognised simply the "will to will". And since the question of authority, domination and legitimation constitutes - in addition to Gestalt metaphysics - the main philosophical line of The Worker, which Martin Heidegger singled out right away, his conclusion that E. Junger's philosophical project is the culmination of Western European metaphysics in all its flaws is not surprising.'

She sees this development manifest in Heidegger's study of Nietzsche:

'in the research literature, it has become a common place to point out the fact that M. Heidegger considered the legacy of F. Nietzsche through the lens of Junger's philosophy. The proof of the latter is that Heidegger's qualification of F. Nietzsche's philosophy was not always so unambiguous. Thus, in his first "Nietzschean" lecture, "The Will to Power as Art" (1936–1937), he assigns F. Nietzsche the diametrically opposite role of a successful fighter against nihilism, returning to the origins of Greek philosophy …' However: 'since 1938, the philosopher adopts a second, different interpretation of F. Nietzsche's thought and surprises consistent and attentive readers with the practical identification of the Nietzschean Overman with the Jungian Worker.'

I single that out because I am one of the 'consistent and attentive readers' who were surprised at the way Heidegger's approach to Nietzsche changes, though I didn't draw the connection with Jünger. As I wrote in my review of Dugin's book on Heidegger: 'Most of the massive four volume book on Nietzsche appears to be written with enthusiasm. We have to get quite far into the third volume before we realise that he really detests what Nietzsche represents in the history of being. He sees it as in perfect conformity with the age in which such huge machinal resources are poured into serving what are essentially only basic bodily needs.' (15)

(15) Peter Brooke: Absolute beginner - a review of Alexander Dugin: Martin Heidegger - The Philosophy of Another Beginning, Arlington VA, Radix/Washington Summit, 2014. Article published in the Heidegger Review No. 3, October 2016, accessible on my website at