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I've given you what you may think is a very ordinary story at such length because the atmosphere of it is so radically different from what we find in Dugin. In his book Putin v Putin, Dugin says of his spiritual élite:

'Naturally, the best way to create an adequate political elite is through revolutions and wars. In such cases the strongest, the aristocracy, come to power. A time of peace is usually the time of mediocre leaders or 'sub-passionaries'. According to Gumilev [Lev Gumilev, geographer, son of the poet Anna Akhmatova - PB], there are a hundred sub-passionaries per one true passionary. They are different from the masses in that they want something but cannot achieve it, and they make up a class of the ‘sub-elite’. There is a popular Eurasian slogan: ‘career or revolution’. If one can get a career, he will get on in life. If not, he will opt for a revolution. The only thing that will not be tolerated is obedience. A man of the elite, a man of a ruling type, is not ready to tolerate the rule of someone worse than him. And he will not tolerate it. He will either be integrated into this power and improve it or he will destroy it. No society can exist without an elite class. If a society does not have its own elite, its place will be taken by a foreign one. If we cannot rule by ourselves, somebody else will rule us. Eurasianists believe that a country should be ruled by the best representatives of the society. The basis of Eurasian method of selection is the aristocracy, the passionaries.'

He envisages this élite being formed through a military religious order, perhaps resembling the Templars or Hospitallers of mediaeval Christendom:

'the Italian sociologist Wilfredo Pareto proved that the establishment of entities similar to the oprichnina [the private army formed by Ivan the Terrible with a view to suppressing the power of the feudal aristocracy - PB] is a classic motif in political history. When the ruling elites ‘freeze up’ and are shut down, the important process of elite rotation comes to a halt. In order to bring new blood into the ruling class, it is sometimes essential to create parallel hierarchies. These hierarchies are based on personal qualities, energy, courage, passion, and ideological convictions — in short, on energetic idealism, as opposed to previous hierarchies where noble origin, wealth and clan connections guarantee a high position in the political-administrative system. Therefore, the Russian oprichnina is a textbook example of the law of elite rotation: a cadre revolution from above. The parallel hierarchy is usually created on the basis of special ideologies or even cults. Hence the chivalric orders, mystical Islamic orders (tariqas), Indian Tantric sects, Taoist and Buddhist sects in China and Japan, and so on. Every parallel hierarchy has its sacrality, its symbols, and its charismatic pole located in the centre of the entire structure as the organising element. 


'The centre of oprichnina sacrality was the figure of Ivan Vasilievich the Terrible himself and the symbolism of death that constantly occupied his mind and his imagination. It is known that Ivan personally prepared three Orthodox canons, one of which was dedicated to the Angel of Death, the terrible Angel (and this canon is still widely used by Old Believers). Therefore, the oprichnina was a parallel hierarchy with its own specific symbolism, rituals and purposes. But the oprichnina theorist Ivan Peresvetov (some authors dispute his existence and even claim that ‘Peresvetov’ was a pseudonym for Ivan the Terrible himself) was significantly influenced by Turkish Janissaries, the militant Sufis of the Sublime Porte, another secret order with its own symbolism and rituals.'

At the end of this he complains that 'even Putin himself, contrary to the wailings of his opponents, does not have anything in common with an authoritarian, charismatic dictator. So, only an Order can save the day , along with everything that it entails.'

None of that, despite the appeal to Russian history, has anything to do with Orthodoxy. But it is rather reminiscent of what Evola (Notes on the Third Reich) evokes as the course of action available to Hitler but which he failed to take:

'the idea that could have served as a corrective to Hitlerism was that the state should be based, not so much on a single party, as on something similar to an ‘Order.’ A fundamental task in the Third Reich was the creation of cadres trained by means of a systematic formation of an elite, conceived as the main ‘bearer’ of the idea of a new state and its corresponding worldview. The difference from the earlier, ancient tradition was that in Germany, in addition to qualities of character, physical requirements were taken into consideration, among them the ‘race’ factor, with special emphasis on the ‘Nordic’ type. There were two principal initiatives taken by the Third Reich in this direction. The first initiative was the constitution, backed by the party, of three Ordensburgen, that is, three ‘Order castles.’ It was a question of complexes with edifices of an architecture that was inspired by the ancient Nordic-Germanic style, with large grounds annexed, including woods, fields and lakes, where, after an initial selection, young people were welcomed for a military, physical, moral and intellectual education including ‘worldview.’ Special attention was paid to courage and resolve with rather dangerous tests. Among other things, judicial proceedings were sometimes held in these castles with aspirants, or Junker, who followed the progress of the trial as an audience. Cases were chosen where honour and other ethical values played a role, to test the moral sensibility and natural faculties of judgment of the aspirants in the discussions that followed. Rosenberg supervised all the Ordensburgen and so his ideas served as the principal basis for the indoctrination, which, given the reservations we expressed concerning them, introduced a problematic factor into the system. While the young men were in these institutions, they led a life of a ‘society of single men,’ almost isolated from the rest. When they left, they would be in possession of a special preferential qualification to hold political offices and obtain positions of responsibility in the Third Reich or, it is better to say, in what the Third Reich was supposed to become. Of far greater importance was the initiative represented by the SS' 


'The true organiser of the SS was Heinrich Himmler, who was nominated Reichsführer SS or Führer of the Reich for the SS. Himmler was of Bavarian origin and had a Catholic education. When he was studying agriculture in 1919, he joined a corps of volunteers that fought the Communists. His political tendencies were philo-monarchist and Right-wing conservative, inherited from his father who had been the loyalist instructor of Heinrich, hereditary prince of Bavaria. He was especially fascinated by the ideal of the Order of Teutonic Knights, which we spoke of earlier. He wanted to make the SS a corps that would perform the same function of the state’s central nucleus that the nobility had played with its unquestioning loyalty to the regime, but in a new form. For the formation of a man of the SS, he considered a blend of Spartan spirit and Prussian discipline. But he also had in view the order of Jesuits (Hitler jokingly used to call Himmler 'my Ignatius of Loyola) ....'

After all that, liberalism, I think, begins to look quite attractive.