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Sadri quotes Fardid as saying:

'Every spring I buy grass seed from the store across the street and cast it in my lawn, but what grows there is just quaint and curious weeds and not what I have put in the ground. The same is true of those who claim my legacy or oppose it. They bear no resemblance to what I have sown.'

We can perhaps understand why he couldn't write. We can imagine him as a man with a 'vision', full of thoughts he could express in spoken words, words that disappear as soon as uttered, but who would always feel that the same words set in the hard form of print fell short of his thought.

It is unlikely that Alexander Dugin would ever have had feelings of that sort. He has no difficulty with writing and never seems to suffer from anything resembling existential doubt. Dugin is very conscious of the Iranian case. In one of his books, published in 2001, he says: 

'To this insightful analysis [Samuel Huntingdon's Clash of Civilisations - PB] can be added the consideration that the majority of outstanding “Westernized” intellectuals, cultural figures, and creative individuals were and are largely nonconformists, anti-system oriented people “of the East” who in studying the geniuses of the West strengthen their own critical positions. A characteristic example of such a path is that of Ali Shariati, the main theoretician of the Iranian Revolution. Shariati studied in Paris, mastered Heidegger and Guénon as well as several neo-Marxist authors, and gradually came to the conviction that a conservative-revolutionary synthesis between revolutionary Shiism, mystical Islam, socialism, and existentialism was needed. Shariati was then able to bring the Iranian intellectual elite and youth to revolution who otherwise would have hardly recognized their ideals in the gloomy traditionalism of the Mullahs. This example is especially important since we are dealing with a successful revolution which ended in the complete victory of an anti-mondialist, anti-Western, and conservative-revolutionary regime'. (18)

(18) This is taken from an article under the heading 'Modernization without westernization' accessible at It is a translation by Jafe [sic] Arnold of a passage from Chapter 7 of Dugin's The Russian Thing Vol 1 (Moscow, Arktogeya, 2001). Jafe Arnold, currently based in the University of Warsaw, is the founding editor in chief of the very Dugin-oriented Eurasianist Internet Archive: He has his own website at Where Michael Millerman is the specialist on Dugin in relation to Heidegger, Arnold is the specialist on Dugin in relation to René Guénon. 

His is the obvious name to evoke when thinking of Heidegger's possible influence on politics in Russia. His enormous output of books, academic papers and journalistic articles includes four books on Heidegger. Michael Millerman, his translator and sympathetic English language interpreter, tells us that 'by his 2011 Heidegger book, the second of four, he is claiming that to master Heidegger’s thought is “the main strategic task of the Russian people and Russian society,” and indeed “the key to the Russian tomorrow” (19)

(19) Michael Millerman: Inside Putin's Brain: The Political Philosophy of Alexander Dugin, independently published, 2022, p.85 (in the Kindle version).

He is probably best known as the architect of what he calls the 'Fourth Political Theory'. The first political theory is Liberalism, the second is Communism and the third is Fascism. Communism and Fascism have, in his view, been defeated - definitively. Liberalism - with its values of democracy, freedom, equality, justice, human rights, enlightenment, progress, science, secularism, reason (all terms I've extracted from Dugin's Theory of a multipolar world (20)) is triumphant. It monopolises our political discourse and we might think that is a good thing - better than Communism and Fascism, surely. But in his book The Fourth Political Theory Dugin says: 

'Liberalism is an equally outdated, cruel, misanthropic ideology like the two previous ones. The term ‘liberalism’ should be equated with the terms Fascism and Communism. Liberalism is responsible for no fewer historic crimes than Fascism (Auschwitz) and Communism (the GULag):  it is responsible for slavery, the destruction of the Native Americans in the United States, for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for the aggression in Serbia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, for the devastation and the economic exploitation of millions of people on the planet, and for the ignoble and cynical lies which whitewash this history. (21)

(20) Alexander Dugin: The Theory of a multipolar world, translated by Michael Millerman, Arktos, London 2021.

(21) Alexander Dugin: The Fourth political theory, translated by Mark Sleboda and Michael Millerman, Arktos, London, 2012, p.65 (in the eBook  - Amazon won't stock it).

In this equation in terms of moral value of the force that triumphed with those it defeated, Dugin resembles Heidegger. I'm not here suggesting influence, just a similarity of outlook. Heidegger has been much criticised because he never apologised for having joined the Nazi Party. No-one who reads his 1930s writings, though, could doubt his progressive disillusionment with the Nazis and in particular the absolute contempt with which he regarded Nazi racial theory. His distress is particularly evident in his book The History of beying when he comments on the invasion of Russia. There can be no doubt about his opposition to Communism, which probably goes far to explaining his initial support for the Nazis. His great hope was that Germany could again become the nation of thinkers and poets - of Meister Eckhart, Kant, Schiller, Hegel, Nietzsche, Hölderlin - and as such help Russia to recover its own cultural essence, liberating it from Bolshevism. Instead what was happening was:

'A great, precipitous, historiographical assault upon Russia, a limitless, ongoing exploitation of raw materials for the intricacies of the “machine.” The danger is not “Bolshevism,” but rather we ourselves in that we impose upon it its metaphysical essence (without comprehending it as such) intensified to the extreme—and deprive the Russian and German worlds of their history.' Thus to 'deprive it of its own concealed essence through renewed and radical implication in the machination to which we ourselves have fallen prey.' (22)

(22) Martin Heidegger: The History of Beyng, Indiana University Press (Studies in Continental Thought), 2015, translated by Jeffrey Powell and William McNeill, p.104 (Kindle version).

The Nazis cannot overcome Bolshevism because they represent the same 'metaphysical essence' as Bolshevism - the Will to Power manifested in machination. And in Heidegger's view the same will to power/machination that drove Hitler and Stalin also drove Roosevelt and Churchill, leaders of the liberal democratic world. Heidegger after 1945 commented that the war, with all the death and destruction it brought about, had resolved nothing. Using Dugin's terms we might say that Hiroshima and the Gulag triumphed over Auschwitz. The core of the problem, however, was machination and in the victory of Liberalism and Communism over Fascism, machination remained untouched.

I don't think Dugin sees the problem in anything like the same way. Dugin, much more than Heidegger (or at least Heidegger after he accepted the failure of his engagement with the Nazis) is concerned with present-day politics, meaning necessarily politics within the metaphysical framework of machination. The war in Ukraine is a war of technologies, a war of sophisticated machines. We might compare Iran, a country in which the revolution which Fardid saw as the revolution of the day after tomorrow, has, necessarily for its own defence in the face of very powerful enemies, developed sophisticated missiles and drones. China's advance as the main rival to the United States is a triumph of machination. But 'machination' does not, so far as I can see, feature prominently in Dugin's thinking.

So where does Dugin see the problem?

It is difficult to be too precise as to the nature of the Fourth Political Theory given that the Multipolar world is central to it and what characterises the multipolar world in Dugin's eyes is the right of the poles to be different, even radically different. He quotes Samuel Huntingdon's The Clash of civilisations listing Western civilisation, Orthodox civilisation, Islamic civilisation, Hindu civilisation, Chinese civilisation, Japanese civilisation, Latin-American civilisation, Buddhist civilisation and African civilisation. All these have radically different histories and different value systems (and, we might add, huge differences within themselves) but where liberalism would like them all to subscribe to a common set of values (democracy, freedom, equality, justice, human rights), Dugin would rejoice in their differences.

Nonetheless there is one thing he might like them all to have in common and that is 'conservatism.' So what does Dugin mean by that?

The answer brings us back to Heidegger. In Dugin's understanding each of the 'political theories' has its own 'subject', its own key player. The subject of liberalism is the individual. The subject of Communism is the working class. The subject of Fascism is the state or, in the case of its Nazi variant, race. The subject of the Fourth Political Theory is dasein.

Dasein is a key term in Heidegger's philosophy and very difficult to translate. Corbin, with, we must suppose, Heidegger's approval, translated it as réalité-humaine. Fardid provided a rather intriguing Persian translation: Havalat-e Tarikhi. Mirsepassi (p.235) explains that Havalat means predestination, or calling; Tarikhi means historical. In its original German, and without what was to become the all important hyphen - da-sein - it has a simple dictionary meaning of 'existence' or 'presence'. 'Da' means 'there', or 'here' and 'sein' means 'being. It refers in Heidegger (and in Heidegger's immediate predecessors in German philosophy) to the way in which we, as human beings, incorporate the world about us. Instead of the cartesian vision of ourselves as subjects (res cogitans) viewing a world that is essentially alien to us (res extensa) we become beings who are essentially situated. We can never be separated from our experience of the world. The world (da) is intrinsic to what we are (sein). And Fardid's Persian version situates us not just in our immediate spatial surroundings with a role to play (havalat) but also in time, in a particular moment in history (tarakhi).

On first encounter one might think that this resembles the liberal individual, though with added emphasis on the Da, the place in which we find ourselves. Dugin tries to draw the necessary distinction in a passage in The Fourth Political Theory:

'Freedom is the greatest value of the Fourth Political Theory, since it coincides with its centre and its dynamic, energetic core. The difference is that this freedom is conceived as human freedom, not as freedom for the individual — as the freedom given by ethnocentrism and the freedom of Dasein, the freedom of culture and the freedom of society, and the freedom for any form of subjectivity except for that of an individual.' (p.52, Kindle edition)

The 'human freedom … given by ethnocentrism.' Dasein, unlike the individual of liberalism, is situated in the context of an 'ethnos'. The 'ethnos' is the world, or at least inseparably part of the world, that is intrinsic to what we are. In the Theory of a Multipolar World Dugin suggests that each people (narod) has its own dasein:

'In the Fourth Political Theory (4PT), the subject is outlined through precisely the existential dimension and is identified with Dasein. The plurality of Daseins corresponds to the plurality of civilisations … Precisely this allows us to connect the 4PT and the TMW [Theory of the Multipolar World - PB] as two aspects of one and the same approach. Here, civilisation can be described through a set of existentials, each of which will be characteristic of only one civilisation … The future of a civilisation will thus consist in its possibility of being authentically …' (p.46).

In his book Ethnos and Society, Dugin outlines a course of human history that passes from an original 'ethnos' (a society completely self sufficient to itself, an entire world incorporating the gods, the dead and the unborn) to a 'narod' (a people, an ethnos or assembly of ethnoi that is aware of and having to deal with forces outside itself - generator of religion, the state, civilisation) to a 'nation' (based on the 'rationalisation and optimisation of economic life') to 'civil society.' Civil society - an assemblage of individuals with no collective identity other than through voluntary associations based on common interests - is the point we have reached in the West. Its further development, through its emphasis on the rights of the individual, necessarily leads to 'globalisation' and the unipolar world:

'The concept of "human rights" is a concrete module of transition from the principle of citizenship in its linkage to the nation (citizenship as a fixed legal, juridicial quality) to citizenship in the sense of membership in global civil society in which each person by the fact of his belonging to the human race possesses intrinsic civil rights … Where there are human rights advocates, the processes of globalisation and the desovereignisation of nation states unfolds.' (23)

(23) Alexander Dugin: Ethnos and Society, translated by Michael Millerman, London, Arktos, 2018, pp.216-7.

But this process is resisted in what he calls the 'semi-periphery'  

'In the countries of the "semi-periphery," "traditional society", i.e. the narod, is preserved in one way or another … structures of traditional society were preserved, together with a significant number of archaic, purely ethnic local groups, untouched by modernisation. So if these societies prove to be sound from an economic, military and political perspective, they can be models for a new phase of reversibility … the process of the establishment of a global society will be set aside for an indeterminate period or removed altogether from the agenda. Instead of a unipolar West-centric world with the "rich North" at the centre, a multipolar world will be built with a few centres equally great in influence but organised differently. There will be neither a "World Government" nor a "United States of the World," nor "human rights." The world will be divided into distinct "large spaces" on the basis of civilisational markers.' (ibid., pp.216-7). 

Dugin, then, wants to roll back the 'nation' and 'civil society' to get back to the narod, which he nonetheless presents as an unstable and tragic society, possessed of a nostalgia for the self sufficiency of the ethnos, projected towards a future (an 'eschatalogical' myth - return of the hidden imam, second coming of Christ) in which the intimate relation the ethnos had previously enjoyed with the divine can be restored. The guardians of this future are prophets and philosophers and the narod is preserved from the hostile forces that surround it by the hero. The 'meaning' of the narod is 'the hero's struggle with fate' (Ethnos and Society, p.152).

But how do we stand in relation to all that? We have undergone a historical evolution which has brought us to liberalism. We are all liberals in the sense that we take certain things for granted that are not taken for granted in other parts of the world: 'democracy, freedom (meaning individual freedom), equality, justice, human rights' for starters. Dugin, however, believes that it cannot stop there. He believes that we are passing from what he calls 'modernism' to what he calls 'post-modernism.' And in this he sees the influence of Heidegger:

'Through Sartre, one of the classic theorists of the New Leftists, the deep influence of Martin Heidegger and the existential problem penetrated into the Leftist movement …

'This led to the reconsideration of the philosophical tradition of modernity with the unmasking of those mechanisms that concentrate the nodes of alienation in themselves. This practise received the name 'deconstruction' …

'And so the New Leftists formulate a vast project of ‘the correct’ future, in which the central place is occupied by: 

The rejection of reason (the call to the conscious adoption of schizophrenia by Deleuze and Guattari); 

The renunciation of man as the measure of all things (‘the death of man’ of Levi, ‘the death of the author’ of Barthes); 

The overcoming of all sexual taboos (freedom to choose one’s orientation, renunciation of the prohibition on incest, a refusal to recognise perversion as perversion, and so on);

The legalisation of all kinds of narcotics, including the hard ones; 

A move to new forms of spontaneous and sporadic being (the ‘rhizome’ of Deleuze); 

The destruction of structural society and government in the service of new, free and anarchical communes. 

The book Empire by Negri and Hardt, in which are given the theses of the New Leftists, can be read as a political manifesto of these tendencies, simplified to the point of primitiveness. Negri and Hardt call the global capitalistic system ‘Empire’ and identify it with globalism and American world government. In their opinion, globalism creates the conditions for a universal, planetary revolution of the masses, who, using the common character of globalism and its possibilities for communication and the wide, open spread of knowledge, create a network of world sabotage, for the shift from humanity (standing out as the subject and object of oppression, hierarchical relations, exploitation and disciplinarian strategies) to post-humanity (mutants, cyborgs, clones, and virtuality), and the free selection of gender, appearance and individual rationality according to one’s arbitrary rule and for any space of time. Negri and Hardt think that this will lead to the freeing up of the creative potential of the masses and at the same time to the destruction of the global power of ‘Empire’. This theme is endlessly repeated in the cinematography in such films as The Matrix, The Boys’ Club, and so on.' (Fourth political theory, pp. 131-3)

But this is more than just an intellectual fashion. It reflects, we might say, the necessary 'end' of the evolving idea of freedom:

'the logic of the transformation from normal liberalism to the liberalism of postmodernity is neither arbitrary nor voluntary; it is written in the very structure of the liberal ideology: in the course of the gradual liberation of man from all that which is not himself (from all non-human and supra-individual values and ideals), one must sooner or later free a man from his own self.' (ibid., p.151)

And there is a part of Dugin which is really attracted by this line of development. After all his own project of turning the clock back to an earlier stage of development is open to a rather obvious objection he himself has made in an earlier stage of the argument when elaborating the views of the 'Conservative Revolutionaries' in Germany in the 1920s:

'You offer to return to a condition when man exhibited only the first symptoms of illness, when there first began the hacking cough. Today this man lies dying, but you speak of how good things were for him earlier. You contrast a coughing man with a dying one. But we want to dig down to discover from whence came the infection and why he started to cough. The fact that, in coughing, he does not die, but goes to work, does not convince us that he is whole and healthy. Somewhere that virus must have nested even earlier…’ (p.95)

Is it not tempting to suggest (as one of Dugin's heroes, Julius Evola, does in his book Ride the Tiger (24)) putting one's foot on the accelerator? To bring about the end of the cycle that began with the domination of what Heidegger calls 'metaphysics' and Dugin (elaborating a Heideggerian theme) calls 'logos'? This helps to explain the emblem of the Fourth Political Theory - a vertical-horizontal St George's cross, combined with a diagonal St Andrew's Cross somewhat after the manner of the Union Jack but with each of its lines terminating in an arrowhead, hence pointing in eight different directions. This is the 'Chaos star' which, so far as I know, made its first appearance in Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot pack. (25) And then there are the final words of the book:

'Only chaos and the alternative philosophy based on inclusivity can save modern humanity and the world from the consequences of the degradation and decay of the exclusivist principle called logos. Logos has expired and we all will be buried under its ruins unless we make an appeal to chaos and its metaphysical principles, and use them as a basis for something new. Perhaps this is ‘the other beginning’ Heidegger spoke of.' (p.211)

(24) Julius Evola: Ride the tiger - a survival manual for the aristocrats of the soul, translated by Joscelyn Godwyn and Constance Fontana, Inner Traditions, Rochester, Vermont, 2003 (Italian original first published in in 1961). My novel, Salome's watch, is, at least in part, a polemic against Evola.

(25) These points are developed in my article 'Third Rome, Third International, Third Reich', Heidegger Review No  1, July 2014. It is accessible in the Politics and Theology section of my website.


So we have a 'left Heidegger' tending towards post-humanity ('the free selection of gender, appearance and individual rationality according to one’s arbitrary rule and for any space of time') and a 'right Heidegger' tending towards conservative values. Very conservative values, as it happens. In November 2022, in the context of the Ukraine war, Vladimir Putin issued a presidential decree: 'On approval of the fundamentals of state policy on preservation and strengthening of traditional Russian spiritual and moral values.'

'4. Traditional values are the moral precepts shaping Russian citizens’ worldview, handed down from one generation to another and forming the foundation of Russia’s national civic identity and the country’s single cultural space, as well as reinforcing civic unity, and they are reflected in the unique and authentic spiritual, historical and cultural development path of Russia’s multi-ethnic people.

'5. Traditional values include life, dignity, human rights and freedoms, patriotism, civic consciousness, service to the Fatherland and responsibility for its destiny, high moral ideals, strong families, productive labour, the primacy of the spiritual over corporeal, humanism, charity, justice, collectivism, mutual assistance and mutual respect, historical memory and the continuity of generations, as well as the unity of Russia’s peoples.'

Dugin has welcomed the document, particularly singling out the list of values outlined in point 5:

'These 14 points should be considered as the semantic nodes of the sovereign ideology. From now on, the state has assumed responsibility for the state of public consciousness, and the social model, alternative to the West, will be based on these 14 points. In a sense, they become sacred …

'A person becomes normative when he has all 14 properties that he accepts as a value. This means that rights and freedoms apply specifically to this full-fledged person. These rights and freedoms should be interpreted in the context of Russian history - Russian law and Russian truth. And one should especially take into account here the Christian idea of life, dignity, law and freedom, which is harmoniously combined with ideas in other traditional denominations.' (26)

(26) Alexander Dugin: 'Decree no 809 - the foundation of a sovereign ideology is laid', posted on the 'Katehon' website, 29th November 2022 - I discuss the Katehon website and Dugin's contributions to it in articles written for Irish Foreign Affairs, accessible on my website at

It is this 'full-fledged person', not the 'individual,' that corresponds to Dugin's notion of dasein, the subject of the Fourth Political Theory.

Dugin goes through the different points and, talking about point number 6 ('Strong Family'), he says:

'This sixth point is of particular importance precisely in the context of the spread of liberal ideology that denies sex, replaces it with an artificially constructed social gender, completely legitimizes homosexual marriages and other forms of perversion, and in fact, abolishes the institution of the family as such. Since the Constitution of the Russian Federation recognizes the family as such only in the case of the union of a man and a woman, and homosexual propaganda is legally enshrined [sic, machine translation. Homosexual propaganda in Russia is legally prohibited, following a law passed in the Russian parliament, unanimously, shortly before the present decree - PB], the declaration of a family cap [sic. Strong family? - PB] as a value already suggests that we are talking about the marriage of a man and a woman. At the same time, it is obvious that abortions and even divorces are morally condemned, since neither one nor the other is by any means a sign of a strong family. A real strong family includes both children and care for the older generation.

'And again, this point directly contradicts liberalism, which, on the contrary, relativizes the family in every possible way and focuses on its complete abolition.'

I single that out partly for personal reasons. I was quite involved with gay liberation back in the 1970s and 1980s - probably the only political movement I was ever part of that actually succeeded in realising its aims. But more importantly we should note that this whole programme, including the affirmation of 'traditional' sexual morality, will be very attractive to large numbers of people - notably in the US but also in the societies that are likely to be the poles in a multipolar world. Referring back to Samuel Huntingdon's list: 'Orthodox civilisation, Islamic civilisation, Hindu civilisation, Chinese civilisation, Japanese civilisation, Latin-American civilisation, Buddhist civilisation and African civilisation.'

Whether one likes it or not, Dugin does seem to have a very good - and very broad - sense of the direction in which things are headed.


A final word should be said about how all this relates to the 'real' Heidegger. Alas, it is a large question and I don't feel able to tackle it now as it deserves. But in broad outline I would suggest that Heidegger's project is totally - almost unrecognisably - different. Despite his flirtation with the Nazis it is not a political project and his writings are not addressed either to the public at large or to anyone with ambitions to join or to form a political élite. It is what he says it is - a discipline aimed at uncovering 'being', the ground of our existence. If Heidegger appears to arrogantly dismiss all other intellectual disciplines ('historiography' for example, or physics or even 'philosophy') it is because he wants to define clearly a discipline he calls 'thinking', which is concentrated on what he regards as the 'one thing needful'. The absolute rejection of 'machination' and the 'will to power' places it outside any immediate practical or political application. It is entirely oriented towards a future that is entirely unknown. It is in my view - together with the work of the painter, Albert Gleizes - the most important intellectual project of the twentieth century.