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Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions,

Vol. 9, No. 4, 491–506, December 2008

The Palingenetic Thrust of Russian Neo-Eurasianism:

Ideas of Rebirth in Aleksandr Dugin’s Worldview1

Sevastopol National Technical University

ABSTRACT Applying Roger Griffin’s methodological approach to generic fascism, the

article analyses individual – socio-political, cultural and esoteric – themes within Dugin’s
doctrine, treating them as elements of a larger integral concept of rebirth that constitutes
the core of Neo-Eurasianism. The article highlights the highly syncretic nature of this
ideological core, a direct result of the ‘mazeway resynthesis’ that has conditioned Dugin’s
worldview. It argues that this process has been necessitated by his self-appointed task of
envisioning a new stage of history beyond Russia’s present decadent and ‘liminoid’ situa-
tion, one that he sees only coming about as the result of a ‘geopolitical revolution’. The
variant of Eurasionism that results has the function of a political religion containing a
powerful palingenetic thrust towards a new Russia and new West. In conclusion, it is
suggested that the new order aspired to by Dugin could only be realised by establishing a
totalitarian regime.

‘You are famed,’ he said, ‘for being able to burn a rose to ashes and make
it emerge again, by the magic of your art. Let me witness that prodigy.
I ask that of you, and in return I will offer up my entire life.’2

The phrase cited in the epigraph to this article belongs to Johannes Grisebach, a
doubting would-be disciple of Paracelsus, who asked for a miracle in order to
believe in the great magical powers of alchemy. This fictional story, narrated by
the brilliant Jorge Luis Borges, ended in disappointment for the unaccomplished
pupil, as Paracelsus refused both to accept Grisebach’s lifelong service and to
show him magic tricks. The miracle that Grisebach was begging to be revealed is
arguably one of the most famous alchemic acts, which is known as the palingene-
sis of a rose. This magische Operation, to use Paracelsus’ mother tongue, was
beautifully portrayed by the British scholar Isaac Disraeli in his grand work on
philosophy, politics and literature:

These philosophers having burnt a flower, by calcination disengaged the

salts from its ashes, and deposited them in a glass phial; a chemical
mixture acted on it, till in the fermentation they assumed a bluish and

Correspondence address: Kafedra filosofii i sotsialnykh nauk, Sevastopol National Technical University,
Studgorodok, Sevastopol, 99053, Ukraine. Email:

ISSN 1469-0764 Print/ISSN 1743-9647 Online/08/040491-16 © 2008 Taylor & Francis

DOI: 10.1080/14690760802436142
492 A. Shekhovtsov

spectral hue. This dust, thus excited by heat, shoots upwards into its
primitive forms; by sympathy the parts unite, and while each is return-
ing to its destined place, we see distinctly the stalk, the leaves, and the
flower, arise: it is the pale spectre of a flower coming slowly forth from
its ashes.3

This article deals with a less romantic palingenesis, namely the socio-political
palingenesis of the ‘cultural-ethnic community’ at the core of Aleksandr Dugin’s
doctrine. Though tangibly removed from the magische Operation in both form(ula)
and content, both ideas of rebirth are closely linked in a certain symbolic way,
which will be exposed below.
In the course of several years, the political activities of the International Eurasian
Movement’s leader, Aleksandr Dugin, became the topic of dozens of academic
works.4 Dugin’s writings have become objects of thorough analysis and attentive
dissection, if not deconstruction. Numerous studies reveal Dugin – with different
degrees of academic cogency – as a champion of fascist and ultranationalist ideas,
a geopolitician, an ‘integral Traditionalist’, or a specialist in the history of religions.
This scholarly attention seems justified due to the role that Dugin currently plays
in the socio-political life of the Russian Federation. He came into mainstream polit-
ical prominence in early 1999, when he was appointed a special advisor to the
contemporary Duma speaker, Gennady Seleznev. In 2000, Dugin established his
non-governmental organisation, The International Eurasian Movement, the
supreme council of which included a number of high-ranking officials such as, for
example, Aleksandr Torshev, a vice-speaker of the Federation Council of Russia,
Aslambek Aslakhanov, assistant to the President of Russia, Mikhail Margelov, a
chairman of the International Commitee of the Federation Council of Russia, and
some others. Currently, Dugin is a popular political commentator who seems to
have a significant influence upon public opinion in Russia as he frequently appears
on prime-time political talk shows and publishes in authoritative newspapers.
This paper is not aimed at offering an entirely new conception of Dugin and his
political views, though it will, hopefully, contribute to a scholarly vision of this
political figure as a carrying agent of fascist Weltanschauung.
Many commentators have noted the eclecticism of Dugin’s ideology, which is
seen as a combination of contradictory ideas and conflicting attitudes. Alan
Ingram argues that Dugin’s writings are characterised by ‘contradictions and
obfuscation that make his work somewhat resistant to conventional interpretation
or coherent summarisation’.5 In a recent article focused on Eurasianism and
Russia’s politics, Paradorn Rangsimaporn characterised Dugin as a ‘political
chameleon whose views adapt to the current circumstances’.6 In this article we
resort to a contrary assumption – to be further corroborated – that Dugin’s socio-
political doctrine is, in its own way, consecutive and consistent.
This assumption is theoretically grounded on the idea that if, in the context of
fascism, various – even seemingly conflicting – ideas are purposefully interpreted
within the context of one or more components of the fascist ideological core, then
neither their separate, individual meanings nor their apparent joint discrepancy
matter more than the consistency of the component(s) they enforce. The
well-known Jesuit slogan ‘The end justifies the means’ can be employed here to
figuratively demonstrate that the weakness (irrationality, inconsistency, or plain
silliness) of arguments may not be taken into consideration if the resulting postu-
late they endorse benefits from them as convincing instruments, even if only in
The Palingenetic Thrust of Russian Neo-Eurasianism 493

the minds of adherents of the ‘political religion’ that fascism is.7 This article
pursues a different aim than that of labelling selected elements as ‘unimportant’.
On the contrary, we shall analyse aspects, themes and trends within Dugin’s
doctrine thoroughly, treating them as parts of a larger integral component, viz.
palingenesis, which is part and parcel of any permutation of fascist ideology.

Conceptual Framework
The conceptual framework for the current study is based on the writings of Roger
Griffin, who – although not the first to introduce the idea of palingenesis to the
realm of social sciences in general and fascism studies in particular – was the first
to make the palingenetic myth an essential element of an ideal type of fascism. He
defines the latter as ‘a genus of political ideology whose mythic core in its various
permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultra-nationalism’.8 It might be
worth noting that there is nothing inherently fascist in the palingenetic myth as
such. Elsewhere, Griffin explains that ‘[t]he vision of rebirth, of palingenesis, of a
new cycle of regeneration and renewal growing out of what appeared to be an irre-
versible linear process of decay, dissolution, or death, appears to be an archetype
of human mythopoeia’.9 Examples of the palingenetic myths are well-known, e.g.
the Phoenix, the Second Coming of Christ or the alchemical resurrection of a rose
mentioned above.10 As an archetype, palingenesis is treated by Griffin in its socio-
logical sense: according to fascist ideologues, the members of the nation (race or
any other imagined or actual community) must undergo a process of radical trans-
formation into ‘new men’. Thus, the palingenetic transformation of a community
implies ‘social engineering’ carried out by a totalitarian regime.11
Griffin interprets the concept of palingenesis in a way reminiscent of Immanuel
Kant. A stark critic of revolutions, the German philosopher argued in his 1797
Metaphysics of Morals that palingenesis is ‘the transition to a better constitution
[…], which requires a new social contract on which the previous one (now
annulled) has no effect’.12 For Kant, one of the negative aspects of palingenesis
was that the palingenetic transformation of a society ‘would have to take place by
the people acting as a mob, not by legislation’.13
The word ‘palingenesis’ implies, however, one more important message
besides that of ‘a new beginning’. As Griffin put it, the term is used in the sense of
‘“a new birth” occurring after a period of perceived decadence’.14 Williams, too, set forth
the idea of a phase of decay that precedes the renewal: ‘[T]he birth of a new struc-
ture can only take place with the completed death of the old. In creating this new
form none of the existing structure can be used’.15 Thus, the archetype of palin-
genesis suggests not only a radical new beginning or rebirth, but also a preceding
‘liminoid’ (‘borderline’, see below) stage of decadence, decay, chaos or even death
of the structure to be reborn and renewed.
This interpretation of the concept of palingenesis is the basis of the current anal-
ysis, intended to highlight certain palingenetic moments within Dugin’s doctrine
to be added to the larger palingenetic myth or thrust inherent in Dugin’s fascism.
In order to explain the nature of this aggregation, and thus show the logic behind
the combination and re-combination of seemingly contradictory ideas, we shall
require three auxiliary theoretical concepts, which are thoroughly explained in
Griffin’s latest major book, Modernism and Fascism.16 Two concepts, liminality and
liminoidality, originate from the anthropological theories of Arnold van Gennep
as refined by Victor Turner and Maurice Bloch. According to those authors, every
494 A. Shekhovtsov

change in the social status of a person is accompanied by a rite of passage that

consists of three distinct phases: (1) separation, i.e. withdrawal of a person from
her/his group; (2) liminality, or the liminal phase, when the person’s status is
undetermined, unstable, neither the old nor the new one; (3) incorporation of the
person into her/his new group. This rite of passage is required not for the sake of
the individual, but for the collective society to regenerate itself in a ritualised
cyclic process of births, weddings and deaths.17 The liminal phase can be seen as
the most important in the ritual, as it is exactly the state when persons ‘nourish
themselves with metaphysical energy unavailable in “normal” phases of reality,
and thus refuel society with transcendence on their symbolic return to it’.18
Turner and Bloch distinguished two types of transitional phases: the liminal state
and the liminoid one. If the liminal state refers to an individual who performs a
rite of passage in a process of restoring the society, the liminoid transition refers
to the revolutionary transformation of the society itself, which ‘undergoes a crisis
sufficiently profound to prevent it from perpetuating and regenerating itself
through its own symbolic and ritual resources’.19 Thus the liminal phase is
followed by individuals’ acquisition of new statuses in the same old society to
restore its status quo, while the liminoid phase supports the annulment of the old
‘social contract’ and demolition of the status quo to give way to a new society.
The conclusion of a new ‘social contract’ can be considered an adaptation of
society to the liminoid conditions of a profound crisis. Once the liminoidality of
these conditions is perceived by a given community, its collective Weltanschauung
– or, in Anthony Wallace’s terms,20 ‘mazeway’ – undergoes a radical change. The
community begets a ‘prophet’, i.e. an individual who devises the form and
content of the new society to be realised beyond the liminoid conditions. As the
‘prophet’ cannot create a new order from zero, he or she syncretises different
ideological components – drawn both from traditional and ‘neogenic’ symbolical
apparatuses, and perceived both from liminal and liminoid situations – into a
new mazeway to impose it on the community. This reaggregation of ‘healthy
elements’ of the past and ‘novel inventions’ of the present is called a ‘mazeway
resynthesis’,21 which is our third auxiliary concept. It means a process of recom-
bining different and even incompatible elements into a new Weltanschauung as a
way of an innovative adaptation to the liminoid conditions on the community’s
revolutionary path to the socio-economical and cultural palingenesis supposed to
result in the establishment of a new order.
Exploring Aleksandr Dugin’s mazeway is not an easy task due to the nature of
the intertwined palingenetic ideas permeating through Neo-Eurasian doctrine,
and includes a wide scale of ‘resynthesised’ renewal ideas ranging from purely
the socio-political and ideological to the esoteric and ‘integral Traditionalist’. This
Babylonian confusion seems to be a result of Dugin’s lack of differentiation
between the sphere of human knowledge and obscurantism: ‘Many people keep
telling me […], why politics and metaphysics are required to be mixed. I believe
that the subjects we deal with are not just metaphysical, individual, mystical, or
political’.22 The consistency of this ‘labyrinth map’ is as complex as it is mislead-
ing, to the extent that such a sophisticated scholar as A. James Gregor, who fails to
recognise the fascist nature of the doctrine in question, asserts that ‘Dugin’s ideas
run the gamut from the occult to absurd’, and suggests accepting Dugin’s fascism
only if he is equally termed as ‘a mystic, an occultist, a Sufi wiseman, a Samurai,
and a “neo-Eurasian”, a “new socialist”, and a “conservative revolutionary”’.23
The weakness of Gregor’s approach consists in his isolation of the individual
The Palingenetic Thrust of Russian Neo-Eurasianism 495

themes exploited by Dugin who, however, does not see them as isolated but
as reinforcing each other in the process of creating a new ideological synthesis.
Obviously, no ‘Samurai’ themes would have been present in his works if it had
not been for Yukio Mishima, a Japanese right-wing militarist and the ‘Last
Samurai’ who unsuccessfully attempted a fascist coup d’état in Japan in 1970. That
is also the case of the other terms that Gregor sarcastically applies to Dugin. For
example, it seems obvious that Dugin’s (perfunctory and largely pretentious)
interest in Sufism can be traced back less to the original ‘integral Traditionalist’
teaching of the French Sufi René Guénon than to its re-interpretation (some would
say, distortion) by Julius Evola and the Nouvelle Droite who, like Dugin, used it for
formulating ideologies that, in one way or another, have been classified as
fascist.24 Equally, Dugin’s grasp of conservative revolutionary themes needs to be
seen against the background of Ernst Jünger’s soldierly völkisch nationalism or the
legacy of Armin Mohler’s ‘conceptual framework [which] acknowledge[d] that
Nazism was an integral part of the C[onservative] R[evolution]’25 – something
admitted by Dugin himself.26 One could add to Gregor’s labels that Dugin may be
a ‘psychologist’ or ‘historian of religions’ and refer to Dugin’s eulogies for Carl
Jung, once president of the Nazi-dominated International General Medical Society
for Psychotherapy, and Mircea Eliade, whose biography’s well-known ‘dark side’
includes him being a minor ideologue of the interwar Romanian fascist Legion of
Archangel Michael. Gregor’s eloquent irony and Dugin’s persistent amalgam-
ation of the seemingly discordant spheres of politics and metaphysics prompt me
here, first, to analyse individual palingenetic ideas that form a larger secular
palingenetic myth. I shall distinguish – for heuristic purposes only – between the
political and metaphysical palingenetic ideas of Dugin, highlighting different sub-
currents in each. This approach is not meant to isolate different palingenetic ideas,
but to identify their common underlying message.

The Socio-political Rebirth of Russia

According to Eduard Limonov, in a 1997 lecture called ‘The Philosophic Russian’
and delivered before the members of National Bolshevik Party, Dugin argued
that by means of laborious self-perfection a new type of man must be created: a
‘philosophic Russian’, who would then be able to commence a revolution.27
Dugin’s ‘new type of man’ thesis had a special connotation, far removed from
piety and devotion – nouns that might come to mind upon hearing the phrase
‘self-perfection’. The nature of the ‘new mankind’ is thoroughly revealed in
Dugin’s most important book to date, Osnovy geopolitiki [Foundations of Geopoli-
tics],28 which ran into four editions from 1997 until 2000. In fact, it became so
influential that its second edition included an afterword by General Lieutenant
Nikolai Klokotov, former head of the General Staff Academy of the Russian
armed forces. Grounded upon the legacy of such imperialist geopolitical theorists
as Alfred Mahan, Friedrich Ratzel, Halford Mackinder, Karl Haushofer and
Nicholas Spykman,29 the book both explores and exploits the issue of geopolitics.
If Limonov highlighted the ‘self-perfection’ way of transition to the ‘new type of
mankind’, Osnovy geopolitiki outlined a more pragmatic political and ideological
strategy that would affect the whole world. We will not dwell here on the book’s
ultranationalist theme, although the focus on political palingenetic ideas will
inevitably touch upon the ultranationalist issues, as it is the ‘cultural-ethnic
community’ that is to be revived or renewed.
496 A. Shekhovtsov

In Osnovy geopolitiki, Dugin linked geopolitical thought with the political level,
as was once done by Adolf Hitler’s main geopolitical thinker, Haushofer.
Obviously, Dugin’s work did not deal with the Nazi geopolitical paradigm but a
Russia-oriented one. The main geopolitical enemy is also different: the US and the
whole Atlanticist ‘World Island’ are now ‘the Fiend’, in classic Manichean tradi-
tion. Thus, the planet is roughly divided into three large spaces: the World Island
(principally the United States and the UK), Eurasia (predominantly Central
Europe, Russia, and Asia), and the Rimland (the states between the World Island
and Eurasia). These ideas are not Dugin’s but can be traced to imperialist geopo-
litical theoreticians. He seems to be a follower of a narrow trend in geopolitics,
namely the fascist geopolitics of Haushofer30 and the Nouvelle Droite. Dugin juxta-
poses two ‘Orders’: the U.S.-dominated, ‘homogenizing’ ‘New World Order’
against the Russia-oriented ‘New Eurasian Order’. Based upon the Nouvelle
Droite’s peculiar new racism,31 Eurasia – according to Dugin – is to undergo an
‘organic cultural-ethnic process’ so that ‘Russians shall live in their own national
reality, and there shall also be national realities for Tatars, Chechens, Armenians,
and the rest’.32 The Russian nation – perceived in a wide sense identifying
Russians with Eurasians – is portrayed as immersed in a decadent historical
phase, and Dugin offers a way of treating the ‘problem’:

For the Russian people to survive in these hard circumstances, for the
Russian nation’s demographics to rise, for the improvement of its severe
condition in the ethnic, biological and spiritual sense, it is necessary to
appeal to the most radical forms of Russian nationalism [italics in original].
Without it, no technical or economical measures will yield any results.33

The quote clearly shows that Dugin perceives Russia not in a liminal situation
that – through modernising reforms – could have been followed by socio-political
recovery, but rather in a liminoid one conditioned by the crisis, which is so
profound that the traditional ‘rite of passage’ (reforms) is considered invalid.
While rejecting the idea of the nation state with regard to Eurasian ‘organic
cultural–ethnic’ communities, including the Russian one, Dugin states that the
only way to escape the liminoid phase is ‘[n]ot a path of socio-political evolution,
but a path of a geopolitical Revolution’.34
The idea of ‘a geopolitical Revolution’, or palingenesis, aimed at helping the
Russian nation out of its ‘severe ethnic, biological and spiritual state’, is undoubt-
edly a novel concept within geopolitical theory – or rather, it does not belong to the
geopolitical sphere at all. This idea can be seen as a cluster of Dugin’s restructured
mazeway and the core element of his political ideology outlined in Osnovy geopoli-
tiki. Russia, in his view, is to be reborn in the form of an empire, which will establish
a ‘New Eurasian Order’ in order to oppose ‘the Far Western reign of the dead’.35
Political or ‘geopolitical revolutionary’ transformation should be, according to
Dugin, paralleled by economic transformation. Already the 2001 programme of
the Eurasia movement mentioned the political and economic sides of the
projected empire. The programme promoted the idea of ‘Eurasian centrism’, a
rather confusing notion that mixes ‘social justice and social economy’ and the
‘value conservatism and cultural traditionalism’ of the ‘conservative revolution’.36
That notion can be termed as a combination of left-wing economic ideas with
right-wing policy foundations. If the latter is supposed to be implemented in
a revolutionary way, so is the left-wing economy, as Dugin sees socialism as an
The Palingenetic Thrust of Russian Neo-Eurasianism 497

ultimately revolutionary ideology interpreted within the context of ‘the Third

Way’. In this interpretation, socialism is seen as containing palingenetic features
in order to add finishing strokes to the economic and political renovation envis-
aged in Dugin’s doctrine:

For genuine revolutionary socialism, progress consists of a Leap, a trau-

matic rupture in the even course of social history. Society (Gesellschaft),
‘the old world’, ‘the world of violence’ is, according to genuine socialist
doctrine, not capable of ‘improvement’, but of ‘abolition’, ‘destruction’,
‘demolition’. Instead, ‘a new world’ is to appear, ‘our world’, ‘the world
of Community (Gemeinschaft)’, not the community destroyed by the
capitalist society (Gesellschaft) […] but ‘a New Community’, ‘an Absolute
Heavenly Community’, to which no elements of ontological and social
entropy will have access.37

Concluding the discussion of political palingenetic themes in Dugin’s ideology,

we should mention the important trend – inherent in the overwhelming majority
of new radical right-wing parties and movements – to add the discursive tools of
other ideologies to the radical Right armoury. Griffin outlined this trend when
speculating on the metamorphosis of the modern right-wing extremism that is
trying to adapt to new socio-political circumstances created by a ‘hostile’ liberal
democratic environment. Among other types of threats to democracy that right-
wing extremism poses, Griffin argued that it ‘can corrupt the cogency of Left-wing
critiques of the status quo by hijacking them and editing them so as to corroborate
an extreme-right analysis and agenda couched in metapolitical anti-Western
terms’.38 Perhaps the best example of this strategy in respect to Dugin is his exploi-
tation of ‘neo-Luddite’ issues in the process of rampant ideological synthesising
and recombining. Dugin’s attitude to machinery is outlined in his second doctoral
dissertation Evolyutsiya paradigmalnykh osnovaniy nauki [Evolution of Paradigm
Foundations of Science], where he writes of alienation from nature brought to
humankind by the invention of tools, and praises ‘some radical popular move-
ments of a mystical and anti-bourgeois character, like the Luddites’, who wrecked
machines.39 His positive attitude toward ‘neo-Luddites’ also determines Dugin’s
respect towards John Zerzan,40 an American anarchist and primitivist philoso-
pher,41 who became known to a wider public after the trial of Theodore Kaczynski
(also known as ‘the Unabomber’), which put an end to terrorist acts against
universities and airlines under the slogan of a struggle against technological
In spite of the obvious antagonism and innate conflict between radical left-wing
anarchism and fascism, Dugin does not hesitate to refer to Zerzan because of the
strong palingenetic sentiment expressed in the works of the latter. The idea
behind Zerzan’s anarcho-primitivism is that of the recovery of a ‘Golden Age’ of
natural harmony and simple way of life by ‘dismantling’ the present technology-
based modernity and ‘unmaking of civilization’ itself. Primitivist thought aims at
abolishing such crucial civilisational features as the concepts of time, language,
number and culture, responsible for the present state of ‘dis-ease’. Politically,
however, Zerzan – as other anarcho-primitivists – rejects the establishment of any
form of governmental rule, be it authoritarian, social-democratic, fascist or
communist, as well as any hierarchical society structure in general. Dugin disre-
gards this anarcho-primitivist antithesis to his own doctrine just as he ignores the
498 A. Shekhovtsov

entire essence of anarcho-primitivism, implying that its only ‘healthy element’ is

the idea of an abolition of the liminoid conditions of modernity, diagnosed as
abnormal and malignant, to be followed by the immediate coming of a new
‘Golden Age’, regardless of the political or cultural content of this ‘new world’.
Dugin is not the only extreme right ideologist interested in Zerzan’s legacy. For
instance, there was a short discussion entitled ‘Evola and Zerzan on modern
“civilisation”’ in the Internet forum ‘Stormfront White Nationalist Community’.43
Moreover, the first issue of the ‘radical Traditionalist’ magazine Tyr: Myth –
Culture – Tradition featured a review of Zerzan’s Running on Emptiness: The Pathol-
ogy of Civilization written by American journalist Michael Moynihan,44 who also
happens to be the leader of the countercultural music band Blood Axis.

Exploiting Metaphysics
The first distinctly socio-political organisation Aleksandr Dugin joined before he
engaged in politics was the historical-patriotic association ‘Pamyat’, known for its
Black-Hundred-like anti-Semitism.45 Before this affiliation to Pamyat, his world-
view had been shaped by esoteric and metaphysical teachings he was introduced
to while a ‘member’ of the ‘Yuzhinskiy circle’ – or, in the words of one of its
former members, the ‘intellectual schizoid underground’.46 This circle was
formed in the 1960s around the Russian writer and poet Yuri Mamleyev, who
resided in two rooms of a shared apartment on Yuzhinskiy Lane in central
Moscow. Mamleyev turned his quarters into an illegal literary salon where a
volatile number of Soviet non-conformist artists, samizdat writers, poets and anti-
system intellectuals met for discussions that could have been corpus delicti against
those involved. The Yuzhinskiy circle was evidently anti-Soviet, but it stayed
largely apolitical prior to Mamleyev’s emigration to the United States in 1974.47
A few years after his departure, a large ‘faction’ of the circle fell under the influ-
ence of the mystical writer, poet and translator Yevgeniy Golovin. When Dugin
joined the circle in 1980, he became associated with this very ‘faction’. In the circle,
Golovin was progressively propagating occultism, esotericism, the ‘integral
Traditionalist’ works of René Guénon and other authors and, later, Conservative
Revolutionary and fascist classics.48 Golovin’s ‘faction’ was characterised by ‘a
philosophy of denial of the surrounding reality as something evil, hostile, errone-
ous and artificial’.49 As soon as the modern world was diagnosed as chaotic and
decadent, his followers started asking themselves ‘when exactly the humanity had
“strayed from God”, and what needed to be done to return to “the Golden age”’.50
The combination of the radical rejection of the modern world and the eschatologi-
cal expectations that were typical of the ‘Yuzhinskiy circle’ under the influence of
Golovin led his followers to long for changing reality in a true palingenetic sense.
As one commentator put it, ‘[Golovin’s] disciples […] thought seriously about
the transformation of this sinful world. “If not us, then who is destined to oppose
the global chaos?” – they asked’.51 Due to the fact that Dugin’s affiliation with the
‘Yuzhinskiy circle’ was the first time he participated in a ‘movement’ that
perceived the liminoidality of the present, we can assume that it was within this
‘movement’ that Dugin was encouraged in his own mazeway resynthesis, which
he would impose on his followers and fellow-travellers in subsequent years.
The projected renewal of the modern world required political activism and,
following Golovin’s advice, Dugin joined ‘Pamyat’ and tried to change its course
to that of ‘Traditionalism’ as he saw it. Yet Dugin was soon denounced by
The Palingenetic Thrust of Russian Neo-Eurasianism 499

‘Pamyat’s’ leader as a Zionist and expelled.52 Although Dugin failed to change the
ideological course of this organisation – let alone to transform the modern world
– he never gave up exploiting ‘Traditionalist’ and occult thesauri for his political
cause. Here we shall discuss two currents of metaphysical teachings, namely
‘integral Traditionalism’ (or ‘Perennialism’) and the occult doctrines of Aleister
Crowley and his successors, which are recombined in Dugin’s mazeway and
constitute a considerable discursive element in his ideology.
The American-Egyptian scholar Mark Sedgwick is perhaps the most important
advocate of interpreting the Dugin phenomenon in the light of the ‘integral
Traditionalism’ of the works of René Guénon, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Frithjof
Schuon, and other philosophers. In his Against the Modern World, subtitled in a
conspiratorial-theoretical manner as Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History
of the Twentieth Century, Sedgwick argued that Dugin’s Neo-Eurasianism is a
form of ‘Traditionalism’, although he failed to sufficiently substantiate his identi-
fication of Neo-Eurasianism with ‘Traditionalism’. Sedgwick’s point of view is
indicative of Dugin’s extensive use of the ‘Perennialist’ thesaurus and imagery.
Dugin, however, interprets ‘integral Traditionalism’ not in its original, contempla-
tion-oriented sense. Instead, he uses Julius Evola’s activist approach to exploit
the doctrine for political aims. Again, the concept of palingenesis, doubtlessly
central to ‘Perennialism’, seems to be a major factor behind Dugin’s attraction to
‘Traditionalism’, which he considered worthy of being an element in a newly
invented worldview.
‘Perennialist’ authors believe that there was once a golden era, called Satya Yuga
in Hindu religious tradition, which is now long gone as already three further eras
(or Yugas) have succeeded it. If the world of Satya Yuga is ideal, its perfection
declines when it is superseded by other eras, Treta Yuga and then Dvapara Yuga.
The perfection of life and the world is almost completely absent during the last
era, Kali Yuga (literally, age of vice). ‘Perennialists’ argue that we live in this era of
decadence and decay. Nevertheless, there is nothing lost for the world as, given
the cyclic nature of the succession of eras, a new Satya Yuga, a golden age, will
definitely come. As the Yugas are seen as succeeding each other in a normal
cosmological process, the phase of Kali Yuga can be considered as liminal.
The ‘integral Traditionalist’ doctrine, however, differs from the Hindu religious
tradition, as the ‘Perennialists’ also believe that the golden age was marked by a
‘transcendental unity of religions’ reflected in the idea of ‘a Primordial Tradition’
of divine origin. As the perfection of the eras declined, ‘the unity of religions’ was
also affected, and their transcendental essence can now only be found in their
mystic sub-currents such as, for example, in Islamic Sufism. The mission of ‘inte-
gral Traditionalists’ is to reveal the elements of the ‘Primordial Tradition’ in
modern – and mostly monotheistic – religions.53
Dugin uses the ‘Perennialist’ apparatus for different purposes, and, by doing
so, distorts ‘integral Traditionalism’. For instance, he tends to identify central
‘Perennialist’ concepts with specific socio-political and economical phenomena.
Therefore, Kali Yuga is equated with ‘materialism, democracy, equality, market
economy, humanism, and progress’,54 while the ‘New Eurasian Order’ estab-
lished by ‘new men’ – i.e. ‘the church of the last times’55 – is identified with the
golden age:

Already in the twentieth century, some supposedly modern ideologies

implicitly appealed to the idea of cyclic time, which implies degradation
500 A. Shekhovtsov

to be succeeded by a new golden age. The most striking ideologies of this

kind were National Socialism and Bolshevism. The capitalist bourgeois
regime was perceived as the pinnacle of degradation, and the red and
brown romantics set off brilliant prospects of a New World and the
renewal of the golden age. The active pessimism of the radicals directed
the masses to achieve two objectives: The destruction of the degenerated
(old) mankind and the creation of an ultimately new heavenly civiliza-
tion. Behind the Bolshevik and Nazi purges and bloodshed, there were
hidden mystical motives. This was not an excess of sadism, brutality or
inhumanity. The elites were just confident: ‘Man is indeed degraded!’
The evening hours are inexorably approaching the twilight, but in the
womb of darkness, there is a New Dawn ripening: The new world.56

For Dugin, Kali Yuga is not a liminal but rather a liminoid situation that one just
cannot accept and contemplatively resign to, but should be terminated here and
now at whatever human cost. Taking into account the perversion of the teachings
of the ‘integral Traditionalist’ school – which are a mazeway resynthesis them-
selves – it is only logical that ‘Perennialists’ doubted that ‘Guénon would recogn-
ise himself at all in Dugin’s violent exhortations’.57 Dugin – in a way analogous to
Evola – utilises the ‘Perennialist’ doctrine, or rather its palingenetic themes, in
order to corroborate his own fascist ideology. Traditionalist themes become inte-
grated into a reaggregated secular palingenetic myth, made up of different and
even discordant ideas of rebirth and renewal.
If the ‘integral Traditionalist’ philosophy is distorted and manipulated by
Dugin, the teachings of Crowley are used in a more curious manner. While claim-
ing to be an Orthodox Christian (an Old Believer), Dugin approvingly refers to
the legacy of the British occultist, who once proclaimed himself ‘To Mega
Therion’ (Greek, the Great Beast) and is considered one of the most important
authors of modern Satanism. This oddity, however, does not mean indiscrimi-
nateness on the part of Dubin. On the contrary, the consistency of his agenda
clicks into place if the reason behind his references to Crowley’s doctrine is
revealed. Dugin wrote two essays on Crowley58 and tried to explain why ‘the
Great Beast’s’ ideas are significant to the builders of the ‘New Eurasian Order’. In
these essays, Crowley was presented as a ‘conservative revolutionary’ who
promoted ideas of renewal of the modern world:

[Between the aeons of Osiris and Horus], there is a special period, ‘the
tempest of equinoxes’. This is the epoch of the triumph of chaos, anarchy,
revolutions, wars, and catastrophes. These waves of horror are necessary
to wash away the remnants of the old order and clear the space for the
new one. According to Crowley’s doctrine, ‘the tempest of equinoxes’ is a
positive moment, which should be celebrated, expedited, and used by all
the votaries of ‘the aeon of Horus’. This is why Crowley himself
supported all the ‘subversive’ trends in politics – Communism, Nazism,
anarchism and extreme liberation nationalism (especially the Irish one).59

In fact, Crowley’s political positions are little known.60 We can only conjecture
whether Dugin is aware of the fact that Crowley’s Irish separatist disguise served
him well during World War I to win the favour of German secret service agents,
as ‘the Great Beast’ was a MI-6 agent for the greater part of his life.61 However, it
The Palingenetic Thrust of Russian Neo-Eurasianism 501

is evident that Dugin deliberately associated the palingenetic themes in the occult
doctrine – themes that were obviously not central to it – with Crowley’s virtual
support of ‘subversive’ trends in politics. What can be highlighted in the quote
above is a thesis that the liminoid conditions should be ‘celebrated’ by those who
strive for the birth of a new order, and the votaries of palingenesis should become
agents aggravating the perceived crisis to put an end to the old order.
Occult symbolism plays another important role in Dugin’s ideological imagery.
The eight-arrow star that became an official symbol of Dugin’s organisation had
first appeared on the cover of Osnovy geopolitiki, posited in the centre of the
outline map of Eurasia. Misleadingly identified by Ingram as a swastika,62 this
symbol is a modified ‘Star of Chaos’63 and can be presumed to refer to ‘Chaos
Magick’, an occult doctrine based on the writings of Crowley, Austin Osman
Spare and Peter Carroll.64 It seems appropriate to consider ‘Chaos Magick’ itself a
product of mazeway resynthesis, as the ‘practitioners of chaos magic’ openly
admit that ‘for them, worldviews, theories, beliefs, opinions, habits and even
personalities are tools that may be chosen arbitrarily in order to understand or
manipulate the world they see and create around themselves’.65 The ‘Star of
Chaos’ is one of the symbolic ‘tools’ adopted from Michael Moorcock’s fantasy
books and popularised through role-playing games, especially the Warhammer
40K series.66
Though there is a slight difference between the common ‘Star of Chaos’ and the
Neo-Eurasian symbol (the former being usually depicted in a round form while
the latter is squared), this difference does not prejudice the direct cognation of the
two symbols, as – to cite Crowley’s most famous work, The Book of the Law,
undoubtedly familiar to Dugin – the ‘circle squared in its failure is a key also’.67
The symbolism concerned with the occult teachings of Crowley and the ‘Chaos
Magick’ movement constitutes an important element in the style and imagery of
Dugin’s doctrine.68 Thus, Crowley terms the ‘key’, which is a ‘squared circle’, as
‘Abrahadabra’ and assigns the number 418 as the numerical value of the word. In
an essay on the late Russian musical genius Sergey Kuryokhin, Dugin wrote:

The new aeon will be cruel and paradoxical. The age of a crowned child,
an acquisition of runes, and a cosmic rampage of the Superhuman.
‘Slaves shall serve and suffer’.

The renewal of archaic sacredness, the newest and, at the same time, the
oldest synthetic super-art is an important moment of the eschatological
drama, of ‘the tempest of equinoxes’.

In his Book of the Law, Crowley argued that only those who know the
value of number 418 can proceed into the new aeon […].69

It is hardly a coincidence that an account on Kuryokhin’s rock concert – organ-

ised in support of Dugin’s 1995 election campaign – was titled ‘Koldovstvo 418
proshlo udachno’ [The Sorcery of 418 has been a success],70 as Dugin and his
followers interpret the number 418 in its implicitly palingenetic sense. Dugin’s
‘Chaos Magick’ can be interpreted in the same sense and referred to the perceived
liminoid conditions of modernity, as for him, ‘“chaos magic” is a ritual practice
associated with the change of the aeons’.71 These occult symbolic nodes, i.e. the
number 418 and the word ‘Abrahadabra’72 as well as the focus on ‘Chaos Magick’,
502 A. Shekhovtsov

point to the relevance of interpreting the official symbol (i.e. the ‘Star of Chaos’73)
of Dugin’s Neo-Eurasian organisations as a graphic representation of the palinge-
netic idea that the liminoidality of the present phase of history should be
maximised and brought to the boiling point by those who believe that this phase
will be immediately followed by the establishment of a new order. Seen from this
perspective, Dugin’s Neo-Eurasian organisations must be – or rather are intended
to be – the agents of both the deterioration of the liminoid conditions and the
socio-political-cultural palingenesis in order to establish the ‘New Eurasian

The palingenetic ideas of different nature – be they the socio-political and
economical rebirth of Russia as a Eurasian empire, modernity’s transformation
into the ‘New Heavenly Community’, or the eschatological embrace of ‘the
tempest of equinoxes’ as a premise of the new ‘aeon of Horus’ – which Dugin
resorts to in numerous books, articles, proclamations and speeches, serve him in
two distinct ways. First, they are used to engage new followers. Being psycholog-
ical archetypes, the rite of passage and the myth of rebirth are powerful instru-
ments of mobilisation of those who perceive the liminoidality of a situational or
existential disenchantment with the quotidien. The diversity of palingenetic
themes referred to by Dugin allows him to have high-ranking politicians, a
variety of philosophers, scores of university students, as well as numerous avant-
garde artists and musicians at the Neo-Eurasian ‘amen corner’. Each group can
enjoy a (mostly illusory) possibility of incarnating its own and special myth of
rebirth by contributing to Dugin’s political cause. In contrast to Borges’s Paracel-
sus, Dugin does promise them that.
Second, all the palingenetic themes employed by Dugin are recombined and
reaggregated in his worldview in the process of mazeway resynthesis, condi-
tioned by the perception that the socio-political crisis, which Dugin’s motherland
(be it Russia or the whole Eurasia) supposedly faces, is not a liminal situation
that can be overcome by traditional means of reforms but rather a liminoid state
that the society can only escape in a revolutionary way. The synthesis of differ-
ent ideas of renewal reinforce – directly or indirectly – a larger secular palinge-
netic myth of Neo-Eurasianism. Lying at the core of Dugin’s worldview this
myth functions as a discursive basis, on which the ‘organic cultural–ethnic
community’ is sacralised and comes to be seen as a mythologised historical
subject. Thus Dugin breaks off with the secular interpretation of the objective
reality, and turns his socio-political worldview into a political religion. In its
terms, Eurasia is the ultimate ‘spiritual’ value that – once endangered by a
perceived decadent state – must be saved at whatever cost through a ‘geopoliti-
cal revolution’ which would establish the ‘New Eurasian Order’. To realise this
aim, Dugin’s doctrine requires an embodiment in a political regime that would
totally subordinate the society to the value(s) of the political religion. This
implies that the realisation of the Neo-Eurasian project is only possible under a
totalitarian regime.
Our focus on various ideas of renewal and rebirth aimed at conveying the inte-
gral consistency of Dugin’s doctrine seen as a variety of fascism. In conclusion, it
might be worth adding that Dugin’s Neo-Eurasianism can be interpreted as
fascist not only within the analytical framework of Roger Griffin or the academics
The Palingenetic Thrust of Russian Neo-Eurasianism 503

who subscribe to the ‘new consensus’ in fascist studies,74 but also according to the
model of fascism, constructed by Dugin himself:

Fascism – this is nationalism yet not any nationalism, but a revolutionary,

rebellious, romantic, idealistic [form of nationalism] appealing to a great
myth and transcendental idea, trying to put into practice the Impossible
Dream, to give birth to a society of the hero and Superhuman, to change
and transform the world.75

1. This article is based on a paper presented at the 1st ICCEES Regional Europe Congress, held on 2–
4 August 2007, in Berlin, Germany. My thanks go to Andreas Umland, who organised the panel ‘The
Russian Extreme Right II: The Nature of Alexander Dugin’s Ideology’ and helpfully commented on
the draft of this article. I am also grateful to Roger Griffin, whose methodological advice was
extremely useful. Last but not least, Matthew Feldman provided important support, and Ana Belén
Soage was very kind to do proof-reading. Any mistakes, however, are solely my own.
2. Jorge Luis Borges, Borges: Collected Fictions (New York: Penguin Books, 1999), p.500.
3. Isaac Disraeli, A Second Series of Curiosities of Literature: Consisting of Researches in Literary, Biograph-
ical, and Political History; of Critical and Philosophical Inquiries; and of Secret History (London: John
Murray, 1824), Vol. III, p.16. More on palingenesis and alchemy see François Secret, “Palingenesis,
Alchemy and Metempsychosis in Renaissance Medicine,” Ambix 26/2 (1979), pp.81–92.
4. To list but a few: Andreas Umland, “Der ‘Neoeurasismus’ des Aleksandr Dugin. Zur Rolle des
integralen Traditionalismus und der Orthodoxie für die russische ‘Neue Rechte’,” in M. Jäger
and J. Link (eds), Macht – Religion – Politik. Zur Renaissance religiöser Praktiken und Mentalitäten
(Edition DISS., Vol. 11) (Münster: Unrast, 2006), pp.141–57; idem, “Kulturhegemoniale Strategien
der russischen extremen Rechten,” Österreichische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft 33/4 (2004),
pp.437–54; Alexander Höllwerth, Das sakrale eurasische Imperium des Aleksandr Dugin. Eine Diskur-
sanalyse zum postsowjetischen russischen Rechtsextremismus (Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and
Society, Vol. 59) (Stuttgart: ibidem, 2007); Alan Ingram, “Alexander Dugin: Geopolitics and Neo-
Fascism in Post-Soviet Russia,” Political Geography 20/8 (2001), pp.1029–51; Markus Mathyl, “The
National-Bolshevik Party and Arctogaia: Two Neo-Fascist Groupuscules in the Post-Soviet Politi-
cal Space,” Patterns of Prejudice 36/3 (2002), pp.62–76; Marlene Laruelle, Aleksandr Dugin: A
Russian Version of the European Radical Right? Kennan Institute Occasional Paper, no. 294 (2006);
Stephen Shenfield, “Dugin, Limonov, and the National-Bolshevik Party,” in Stephen Shenfield,
Russian Fascism: Traditions, Tendencies, Movements (Armonk: M.E. Sharp, 2001), pp.190–219.
5. Ingram (note 4), p.1034.
6. Paradorn Rangsimaporn, “Interpretations of Eurasianism: Justifying Russia’s Role in East Asia,”
Europe-Asia Studies 58/3 (2006), p.381.
7. On fascism as a ‘political religion’ see Emilio Gentile, The Sacralization of Politics in Fascist Italy
(Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996); idem, Le religioni della politica: Fra democrazie e
totalitarismi (Rome: Laterza, 2001); idem, “The Sacralisation of Politics: Definitions, Interpretations
and Reflections on the Question of Secular Religion and Totalitarianism,” Totalitarian Movements
and Political Religions 1/1 (2000), pp.18–55; idem, “Fascism, Totalitarianism and Political Religion:
Definitions and Critical Reflections on Criticism of an Interpretation,” Totalitarian Movements and
Political Religions 5/3 (2004), pp.326–75.
8. Roger Griffin, The Nature of Fascism (London: Routledge, 1991), p.26.
9. Roger Griffin, “Fascism,” in Maryanne Cline Horowitz (ed.), New Dictionary of the History of Ideas
(New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2005), Vol. 2, p.795.
10. On the palingenetic myth in religious traditions see first and foremost Mircea Eliade, The Myth of
the Eternal Return, or Cosmos and History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1954).
11. See Roger Griffin, “The Palingenetic Political Community: Rethinking the Legitimation of Totali-
tarian Regimes in Inter-War Europe,” Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions 3/3 (2002),
12. Immanuel Kant, The Metaphysics of Morals (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p.112.
13. Ibid., p.112. In the early twemtieth century context of fascist totalitarianism, whose underlying
driving force was mobilising a secular myth of palingenesis (see note 7), this late 18th century
thesis can be insightfully referred to Hanna Arendt’s famous phrase: ‘Only the mob and the elite
504 A. Shekhovtsov

can be attracted by the momentum of totalitarianism itself’ (Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totali-
tarianism (New York: Harcourt, 1973), p.341). See more on Kant’s views on palingenesis in
Howard Williams, “Metamorphosis or Palingenesis? Political Change in Kant,” Review of Politics,
63/4 (2001), pp.693–722.
14. Griffin (note 8), p.36, italics in original.
15. Williams (note 13), p.700.
16. Roger Griffin, Modernism and Fascism: The Sense of a Beginning under Mussolini and Hitler (New
York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). See, in particular, Chapter 4 (‘A Primordialist Definition of
17. Ibid., pp.102–104.
18. Ibid., p.104.
19. Ibid., pp.104–105.
20. Anthony Wallace, “Mazeway Resynthesis. A Biocultural Theory of Religious Inspiration,” Trans-
actions of the New York Academy of Sciences 18/7 (1956), pp.626–38; idem, “Revitalization Move-
ments,” American Anthropologist 58/2 (1956), pp.264–81.
21. Griffin (note 16), pp.105–106, 108.
22. Aleksandr Dugin, “Ugroza gomunkula,” in Aleksandr Dugin, Filosofiya traditsionalizma (Moscow:
Arktogeya-tsentr, 2002), p.622.
23. A. James Gregor, “Once again on fascism, classification, and Aleksandr Dugin,” in Roger Griffin,
Werner Loh and Andreas Umland (eds), Fascism Past and Present, West and East: An International
Debate on Concepts and Cases in the Comparative Study of the Extreme Right (Soviet and Post-Soviet
Politics and Society, Vol. 35) (Stuttgart: ibidem, 2006), p.496.
24. The issue of Dugin’s instrumentalist use of ‘integral Traditionalist’ themes will be extensively
dealt with in Anton Shekhovtsov and Andreas Umland, “Is Dugin a Traditionalist? Perennial
Philosophy and ‘Neo-Eurasianisn,’” The Russian Review, forthcoming. On Evola see Thomas
Sheehan, “Myth and Violence: The Fascism of Julius Evola and Alain de Benoist,” Social Research
48/1 (1981), pp.45–73; Richard Drake, “Julius Evola and the Ideological Origins of the Radical
Right in Contemporary Italy,” in Peter Merkl (ed.), Political Violence and Terror: Motifs and Motiva-
tions (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1986), pp.61–89. On the Nouvelle Droite see
Tamir Bar-On, Where Have All the Fascists Gone? (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007); Roger Griffin,
“Between Metapolitics and Apoliteia: The Nouvelle Droite’s Strategy for Conserving the Fascist
Vision in the ‘Interregnum’,” Modern & Contemporary France 8/1 (2000), pp.35–53; Alberto
Spektorowski, “The New Right: Ethno-regionalism, Ethno-pluralism and the Emergence of a
Neo-fascist ‘Third Way’,” Journal of Political Ideologies 8/1 (2003), pp.111–30. On Dugin’s fascism
see Andreas Umland, “Fashist li doktor Dugin? Nekotorye otvety Aleksandra Gelyevicha,”, 20 July (2007), available at:
(last assessed 9 January 2008).
25. Griffin (note 24), p.39.
26. See Aleksandr Dugin, Konservativnaya revolyutsiya (Moscow: Arktogeya, 1994).
27. Eduard Limonov, Moya politicheskaya biografiya (Moscow: Amfora, 2002), pp.142–3.
28. Aleksandr Dugin, Osnovy geopolitiki. Geopoliticheskoe buduschee Rossii. Myslit’ Prostranstvom
(Moscow: Arktogeya-tsentr, 2000).
29. On imperialist geopolitics see Gearóid Ó Tuathail, “Imperialist Geopolitics,” in Gearóid Ó
Tuathail, Simon Dalby and Paul Routledge (eds), The Geopolitics Reader (London: Routledge, 1998),
30. On Haushofer’s geopolitical thought see Holger H. Herwig, “Geopolitik: Haushofer, Hitler and
Lebensraum,” Journal of Strategic Studies 22/2–3 (1999), pp.218–41; Günter Wolkersdorfer, “Karl
Haushofer and Geopolitics – The History of a German Mythos,” Geopolitics 4/3 (1999), pp.145–60.
31. On new racism see Viktor Shnirelman, “Rasizm: vchera i segodnya,” Pro et Contra 9/2 (2005),
pp.41–65; idem, “Ksenofobiya, vovy rasizm i puti ikh preodoleniya,” Gumanitarnaya mysl’ yuga
Rossii 1 (2005), pp.6–19. On the link between new racism and the Nouvelle Droite see Pierre-André
Taguieff, “The New Cultural Racism in France,” Telos 83 (1990), pp.109–22; idem, “From Race to
Culture: The New Right’s View of European Identity,” Telos 98–9 (1993–4), pp.99–125.
32. Dugin (note 28), p.258.
33. Ibid., p.259.
34. Ibid., p.212.
35. Aleksandr Dugin’s speech at the Imperial March, April 08, 2007, Moscow.
36. Programma Obschestvenno-politicheskogo Dvizheniya ‘Evraziya’, available at: http:// (last assessed 29 July 2007).
37. Aleksandr Dugin, “Zagadka sotsializma,” Elementy 4 (2000), pp.14–15.
The Palingenetic Thrust of Russian Neo-Eurasianism 505

38. Roger Griffin, “Fascism’s new faces (and new facelessness) in the ‘post-fascist’ epoch,” in Roger
Griffin et al. (eds) (note 23), pp.57–8.
39. Aleksandr Dugin, Evolyutsiya paradigmalnykh osnovaniy nauki (Moscow: Arktogeya-tsentr, 2002),
40. “Aleksandr Dugin: Nastoyashchiy postmodern!,” Dugin’s interview for philosophic miscellany
‘Diskurs-Pi’, available at:
(last assessed 29 July 2007).
41. For John Zerzan’s main philosophic theses see his first collection of essays, Elements of Refusal
(Seattle, WA: Left Bank Books, 1988).
42. See more on Ted Kaczynski in Ron Arnold, Ecoterror: The Violent Agenda to Save Nature: The World
of the Unabomber (Bellevue: Free Enterprise Press, 1997).
43. “Evola and Zerzan on modern ‘civilisation’,” available at:
showthread.php?t=92056 (last assessed 29 July 2007).
44. Michael Moynihan, “Review of Running on Emptiness: The Pathology of Civilization by John Zerzan,”
Tyr: Myth–Culture–Tradition 1 (2002), pp.209–216.
45. On ‘Pamyat’ see William Korey, Russian Antisemitism, Pamyat, and the Demonology of Zionism
(Chur: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1995); Walter Laqueur, Black Hundred: The Rise of the
Extreme Right in Russia (New York: HarperCollins, 1993); Howard Spier, “Soviet Anti-Semitism
Unchained: The Rise of the ‘Historical and Patriotic Association, Pamyat’,” in Robert Owen Freed-
man (ed.), Soviet Jewry in the 1980s: The Politics of Anti-Semitism and Emigration and the Dynamics of
Resettlement (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1989), pp.51–7; John Garrard, “A Pamyat Mani-
festo: Introductory Note and Translation,” Nationalities Papers 19/2 (1991), pp.134–45; John B.
Dunlop, “Pamiat’ as a Social Movement,” Nationalities Papers 18/2 (1990), pp.22–7.
46. Grigoriy Nekhoroshev, “Muedzin pod krasmym flagom,” Nezavisimaya gazeta 12 (2001), available
at: (last assessed 29 July 2007).
47. By his own account, Mamleyev decided to emigrate due to the threat of criminal persecution for
sending a manuscript to a foreign publisher without the knowledge of the authorities. See “Nevi-
dimy mir – eto fakt,” Knizhnoe obozrenie 50 (2006), available at:
news.html?id=133546&cid=50 (last assessed 29 July 2007).
48. Apparently, it was under Golovin’s influence that Dugin translated Evola’s Pagan Imperialism into
Russian in 1981 and then tried to circulate it via samizdat. Later it was published by Dugin’s own
publishing house, see: Yulius Evola, Yazycheskiy imperializm (Moscow: Arktogeya, 1994).
49. Nekhoroshev (note 46).
50. Ibid.
51. Aleksey Chelnokov, “Melkie i krupnye besy iz shizoidnogo podpolya,” Litsa, August 07 (1999),
available at:
jemal_1.html (last assessed 29 July 2007).
52. Aleksandr Sherman, “Vstupim v real’nost’ stol’ udivitel’nuyu, chto malo ne pokazhetsya. Inter-
vyu s Aleksandrom Duginym,” Zhurnal.Ru 2 (1999), available at:
duginsh.htm (last assessed 29 July 2007).
53. On ‘Perennialist’ thought see Harry Oldmeadow, Traditionalism: Religion in the Light of the Perennial
Philosophy (Colombo: Sri Lanka Institute of Traditional Studies, 2000); William W. Jr Quinn, The
Only Tradition (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1997); Frithjof Schuon, De l’unité
transcendante des religions (Paris: Gallimard, 1948).
54. Aleksandr Dugin, “Yulius Evola: Volshebny put’ intensivnosti,” available at:
modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1100 (last assessed 29 July 2007).
55. Aleksandr Dugin, “My tserkov’ poslednikh vremyon,” Zavtra 1 (1998), p.8.
56. Aleksandr Dugin, “Klyanus’ predvechernim vremenem,” in Aleksandr Dugin, Tampliery proletari-
ata: Natsional-bolshevizm i initsiatsiya (Moscow: Arktogeya, 1997), p.139.
57. Arthur Versluis, “Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the
Twentieth Century by Mark Sedgwick,” Esoterica VIII (2006), p.186. See also Xavier Accart, “Against
the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century by Mark
Sedgwick,” Aries 6/1 (2006), pp.98–105; Michael Fitzgerald, “Against the Modern World: Traditional-
ism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century by Mark Sedgwick,” Vincit Omnia
Veritas 1/2 (2005), pp.90–104.
58. Aleksandr Dugin, “Chelovek s sokolinym klyuvom (Alister Krouli),” in Dugin (note 56),
pp.169–76; idem, “Uchenie zverya,” Mily Angel 3 (2000), available at:
crowley.html (last assessed 10 January 2008).
59. Dugin, “Chelovek s sokolinym klyuvom” (note 58), p.173.
60. Marco Pasi, Aleister Crowley und die Versuchung der Politik (Graz: Ares Verlag, 2006).
506 A. Shekhovtsov

61. On Crowley’s connections with the British counterintelligence service see Richard B. Spence,
“Secret Agent 666: Aleister Crowley and British Intelligence in America, 1914–1918,” International
Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 13/3 (2000), pp.359–71; idem, Secret Agent 666: Aleister
Crowley, British Intelligence and the Occult (Los Angeles: Feral House, 2008).
62. Ingram (note 4), p.1038.
63. For the images of the ‘Star of Chaos’ see Wikipedia contributors, “Symbol of Chaos,” Wikipedia,
The Free Encyclopedia, available at:
Chaos&oldid=178585894 (last assessed 29 July 2007).
64. The British artist, Austin Osman Spare, was a pupil of Crowley and a member of one of his many
orders. Though Spare never wrote of ‘Chaos Magick’, his own magic doctrine, Zos Kia Cultus, had
a strong influence upon this occult teaching that seems to have been ‘officially born’ with the
publication of the second edition of Peter Carroll’s Liber Null (Peter J. Carroll, Liber Null (Keighley:
Morton Press, 1981)), where the term was used for the first time. Dugin fallaciously linked ‘Chaos
Magick’ directly to Crowley in Part 6 (‘Magiya Khaosa’) of his Tampliery proletariata (see note 56),
although ‘Chaos Magick’ doctrine was invented a few decades after Crowley’s death.
65. Thelemapedia contributors, “Chaos Magick,” Thelemapedia, The Encyclopedia of Thelema & Magick,
available at: (last assessed 10 January
2008). Versluis confirms the same message: ‘Chaos magic draws freely from whatever traditions
or ideas seem useful to it, from science fiction and quantum physics to Crowley’s writings or
Tibetan Buddhism’. See Arthur Versluis, Magic and Mysticism: An Introduction to Western Esoteri-
cism (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007), p.141.
66. See, for example, Wikipedia contributors, “Black Legion (Warhammer 40,000),” Wikipedia, The
Free Encyclopedia, available at:
Warhammer_40%2C000%29&oldid=179367491 (last assessed 25 December 2007).
67. Aleister Crowley, The Book of the Law (York Beach: Samuel Weiser, 1976), p.47.
68. Here we face another interesting issue that was termed by, among others, Roger Eatwell as the
distinction of the esoteric and exoteric ideological appeals of the radical right: ‘The former refers to
the ideological nature of discussion among converts, or in closed circles. The latter refers more to
what it is considered wise to say in public’. See Roger Eatwell, “Towards a New Model of Generic
Fascism,” Journal of Theoretical Politics 4/2 (1992), p.174. In public, Dugin’s followers prefer to call
their symbol ‘the golden star of Genghis Khan’. See
PHPSESSID=5102c77ee0856aa52bfad68 (last assessed 29 July 2007).
69. Aleksandr Dugin, “418 masok sub’ekta (esse o Sergee Kuryokhine),” in Aleksandr Dugin,
Russkaya veshch. Ocherki natsional’noy filosofii (Moscow: Arktogeya-tsentr, 2001), Vol. 2, p.193.
70. A. Frontov, “Koldovstvo 418 proshlo udachno,” Limonka 24 (1995), p.3.
71. Aleksandr Dugin, “Slepye fleitisty Azatota,” available at:
konsrev/chaos.htm (last assessed 10 January 2008).
72. Note 9 to the Russian translation of Crowley’s Book of the Law, published in one of Dugin’s
miscellanies, states that the word ‘Abrahadabra’ is ‘a word of the new aeon, the aeon of Horus’.
See Alister Krouli, “Kniga zakona,” Mily Angel 3 (2000), available at:
php?name=News&file=print&sid=386 (last assessed 10 January 2008).
73. Revealingly, the cover of the recently published collection of essays by Troy Southgate, Tradition &
Revolution, also features a ‘Star of Chaos’, but in its classical, radiant pattern. See Troy Southgate,
Tradition & Revolution: Collected Writings of Troy Southgate (Århus: Integral Tradition Publishing,
2007). Southgate calls himself a ‘National-Anarchist’, and is usually considered a New Right
thinker and the leader of various fascist groupuscules, including the British Eurasian Movement,
an official Neo-Eurasian ‘mission’ to the UK. See Graham D. Macklin, “Co-opting the Counter
Culture: Troy Southgate and the National Revolutionary Faction,” Patterns of Prejudice 39/3 (2005),
pp.301–26; Roger Griffin, “From Slime Mould to Rhizome: An Introduction to the Groupuscular
Right,” Patterns of Prejudice 37/1 (2003), pp.27–50.
74. See Roger Griffin (ed.), International Fascism: Theories, Causes and the New Consensus (London:
Arnold, 1998).
75. Aleksandr Dugin, “Fashizm – bezgranichny i krasny,” available at:
public/templars/arbeiter.htm#fash (last assessed 29 July 2007). Translated into English by
Andreas Umland and published in Roger Griffin et al. (eds), (note 23), pp.505–510.