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Dugin envisages a great future for Russia as the centre of a new 'Empire' - he isn't afraid to use the word, though he also calls it a 'great space': 'Eurasia'. Eurasia broadly corresponds to what used to be the Russian Empire and then became the Soviet Union and then the Commonwealth of Independent States. And Vladimir Putin has been trying to reconstitute it as the 'Eurasian Union.' Interestingly one of the main political advocates of the Eurasian Union has been Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan. Dugin is able to point to a substantial body of theory supporting the Eurasian idea, going back to a group of emigrés in the 1920s centred round the linguistic theorist Nicholas Trubetskoy. Trubetskoy had in mind a Russia facing East and recovering its Asiatic or 'Turanian' character in opposition to the European or Romano-Germanic influence which he saw as disastrous, and which included Marxism (in England, Oswald Mosley and others saw Marxism as an 'oriental' tendency!).

But the Eurasian project also includes the possibility of an alliance between Germany and Russia, bringing the whole Eurasian land mass into a unity in opposition to the 'transatlantic' US and UK. This conflict between land and sea, Rome and Carthage, had been announced in England by Halford Mackinder, supporter of the sea, and was taken up in Germany by Carl Schmitt, supporter of the land. In both Germany and the Soviet Union there were those - they included Heidegger - who saw the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact not as an unnatural short term tactical manoeuvre but as the first stage in changing the geopolitical shape of the world. So far as I can see the slogan 'From Vladivostok to Dublin' was coined by Jean Thiriart, a Belgian political theorist, closely associated with Dugin. During the Second World War Thiriart advocated a European Great Space centred on the German Third Reich. He complained that the project had been ruined by Hitler's narrow German nationalism. From Vladivostok to Dublin was the title of a book he planned to publish in 1987, advocating a union between Europe and the Soviet Union. He expected the initiative to come from the Soviet Union and indeed I remember thinking at the time that Gorbachev's reforms were being conducted with a view to detaching Germany from the West and orientating it more to the East. This perspective was. of course, overtaken by events.