Eurasianism as a Non-Western Episteme for Russian Humanities: Interview with Alexander G. Dugin, Dr. of Sc. (Political Sciences, Social Sciences), Professor, Leader of the International Eurasian Movement. Interviewed by M.A. Barannik

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Alexander Gelyevich Dugin is a Soviet and Russian philosopher, political scientist, sociologist, theorist, PhD in philosophy, Dr. of Sc. (Political Sciences, Social Sciences), professor, leader of the International Eurasian Movement. He is Professor Emeritus at Eurasian National University named after L.N. Gumilev and Tehran University, visiting Professor at Southern Federal University, Senior Research Fellow at Fudan University (Shanghai). Alexander G. Dugin is the author of a number of journalistic publications, as well as scientific articles and textbooks on geopolitics and international relations, theory of a multipolar world. He has served as editor-in-chief of the “EON” publishing center, “Dear Angel” publishing house, and the journal “Elements.” Since 1991, he has been the Chairman of the historical-religious Association “Arktogeya.” From 1997 to 1999, he was the author and host of the program “Geopolitical Review” (Radio Free Russia). In 1998-2003, an advisor to the Chairman of the Russian State Duma. Since 2001, Chairman of the Political Council (leader) of the All-Russian Socio-Political Movement “Eurasia.” In 2008 to 2014, Professor, Head of the Department of Sociology of International Relations, Director of the Center for Conservative Research at the Faculty of Sociology at Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov. In 2016-2017, editor-in-chief of “Tsargrad” TV channel. In his interview, Alexander G. Dugin discusses the concept of Eurasianism, its main schools, directions and representatives. Particular attention is paid to the influence of Eurasianism on Russia’s foreign policy and the strategic partnership between Russia and China. The interview deals with the specifics of Eurasian studies in Kazakhstan and Turkey. The leader of the International Eurasian Movement emphasizes that multipolarity is accompanied by the presence of both external and internal poles.

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—  Dear Alexander Gelyevich, in December 2021, the International Scientific Conference Eurasian Ideology and Eurasian Integration in the post-COVID World: Challenges and Opportunities”[1] where you took part was held at RUDN University. There were a lot of foreign guests among the speakers, what testified their interest in this issue. You stood at the origins of the revival of Eurasianism in Russia. In your opinion, how does this direction develop abroad?

—  There are a lot of books, probably hundreds, devoted to the development of Eurasianism. Foreign scientists pay great attention to Eurasianism. There are both historical works (the first direction) and a whole range of materials on neo-Eurasianism (the second direction), which I represent (Dugin, 2002). I have seen about fifty dissertations devoted to neo-Eurasian views of the late  20th and early 21st centuries. It has been created an entire school, huge and influential. This school is also studied very consistently, often, of course, for the purpose of criticism.

Bruno Maçães, Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs (2013—2015), wrote a book about the Eurasian economy (Maçães, 2018), however, it is not about Eurasianism, but about the concept of Eurasia, the shift to the East of the main centers of civilizations, industry, economy. Thus, the third direction is objective Eurasianism, within the framework of which is considered not only the Eurasian ideology of the first wave — the works of P.N. Savitsky,  N.S. Trubetskoy (Trubetskoy, 2014a), and not  so much the works of L.N. Gumilev — an “intermediate,” but very important thinker between the first and third waves (Gumilev, 1993). The third direction is the study of the Eurasian continent, the shift of civilizational trends, and the economy. This is an autonomous sphere of Western and Eastern studies, the authors of which sometimes have only a remote view of ourselves (Russia. — Editor’s note.).

All this together makes up the layer of the so-called “Eurasian Studies” (Eurasian Regionalism as a Research Agenda…, 2020). Moreover, many American Sovietological centers were renamed in the 1990s into the Centers for Eurasian Studies. Strictly speaking, the whole Sovietology is now called Eurasian studies. Just as Sovietology critically studied its opponent during the Cold War, so we, Eurasians, are now being studied by Atlanticists. This fits perfectly into the logic of Eurasianism itself, so there is no need to be surprised at this.

In our opinion, Russian scientists should develop more actively the Atlantic studies, that is, to study our opponents — liberals, Westerners, supporters of global Western hegemony, just as they study us. And there is an asymmetry here. I even think that there are much more works devoted to Eurasianism, both historical and contemporary, in the West and abroad than in our own country. That is, we ourselves do not appreciate our achievements.

—  In your opinion, who can be attributed to the Eurasians? What kind of people are they in terms of their professional activities and political views?

—  The study of Eurasianism is carried out both by representatives of academic science and think tanks. There are a number of researchers of historical Eurasianism, and even among us. These are the historiographers of Eurasianism, as well as representatives of academic science who study L.N. Gumilev. Quite a lot of materials are devoted to neo-Eurasianism, to me, to my followers and supporters. At one time, we were friends with Alexander Sergeevich Panarin, a professional philosopher, a third-wave Eurasian, who developed original approaches (Panarin, 1995).

There are also Eurasians as such, the people who do not just study, but identify themselves with the Eurasian style of thinking, the Eurasian camp. They do not have to be in complete agreement with me on everything, it is absolutely optional, but they share common vectors that unite all Eurasians of both waves — the first and second (like L.N. Gumilev) and us.

What distinguishes a Eurasian from a non-Eurasian is a question of principle. Eurasians consider Russia as a civilization, not a country,  a non-Western civilization — this is the most important thing. Here is the continent Russia, and the Eurasian language union of N.S. Trubetskoy and R.O. Jacobson (Jacobson, 1931).

The second sign is the opposition to Western hegemony, the rejection of the Western system of values in its claim to universality. This is generally a fundamental question. Anyone who does not think so is not a Eurasian.  He can be an interesting thinker, philosopher, scientist, but he is not a Eurasian. Therefore, the rejection of Western hegemony, the non-recognition of the West’s claims to the universality of its civilization is a fundamental Eurasian position.

And the third is an understanding of the integral identity of Russia, which is not narrowly and exclusively built around the Slavic-Orthodox core, but also recognizes the role and contribution of other peoples who, together with us, built this civilization, although, of course, the Russian people have the main and central role in this process. Here is the third point. What  N.S. Trubetskoy has been called “pan-Eurasian nationalism” (Trubetskoy, 2014b), is an awkward word, I don’t like it; I don’t like nationalism in general. But anyway, that’s the core of the idea. With our traditions, historical identities, we are full-fledged successors of this gigantic Eurasian territory, we are its children and we are responsible for it.

These three fundamental points of modern Eurasianism (Russia-Eurasia) can be expressed in science, the expert community, geopolitics. As a matter of fact, the Russian geopolitical school, also created by me (Dugin, 2011), is based on this idea. So, there is Russian geopolitics and it is thinking on behalf of the Heartland, and there is an Atlanticist geopolitics that is thinking on behalf of “sea power.” We have already met something similar in the works of the founders of geopolitics — H.J. Mackinder (1904) and A.T. Mahan (2002), who saw Eurasia as  an entity. We see Eurasia as a subject, and  their common West — as an object. That’s  the difference. Thus, we supplement the “chessboard” with the “chess piece” of Russia, which acts as a full-fledged legitimate actor in world politics, in order not to let them to turn this “chessboard” themselves, not to let them to play both white and black chess pieces at the same time, as they used to do in those periods when Eurasia was weak, having lost its own identity. In other words, this is the Eurasian position. This is a fairly broad concept.

The concept of Eurasianism can also include such practitioners as S.Yu. Glazyev, Member of the Board (Minister) for Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission (Glazyev, 2018). Of course, this is quite far from how the first Eurasians interpreted their ideals, but this is also a modern, applied part of Eurasianism. In addition, the strategy of our military and the self-consciousness of the modern Ministry of Defense since the 1990s is also Eurasian. Now, thanks to the fact that  V.V. Putin also shares many Eurasian ideas,2 military-strategic and political thinking coincided, whereas earlier, in the 1990s, they diverged. Therefore, the influence of Eurasianism as a whole is very multidimensional, multifaceted, covering both the expert community and the scientific, academic, both politicians and the military, as well as economists.

In addition to Russian Eurasianism, we also know about the Kazakhstani” view of this idea, as well as its Turkish” understanding. Where else are there supporters of the Eurasian idea? What are their differences from each other? What are the geographic limits of Eurasianism in general?

—  In fact, the terms “Eurasia” and “Eurasianism” have a very broad interpretation (Bazavluk, 2018). As for Kazakh Eurasianism, I believe that it was an unsuccessful attempt. Initially N.A. Nazarbayev tried to find a place for Kazakhstan as a society with a Eurasian identity in the context of “Great Eurasia”3 and even proposed the creation of a Eurasian constitution. In general, it was a good and correct undertaking. But gradually both he and other Kazakh intellectuals considered that Eurasianism (primarily in my person4) is the ideology of Russian imperialism and decided to build an alternative Eurasianism.5

The combination of Kazakh nationalism with Eurasian theses was a complete fiasco, not taking shape either in theory or in an official position, but playing the role of a simple resentment. One can draw an analogy with the “Right Sector,” armed with the ideology of Ukrainian Nazism. The Kazakh version did not receive its development, although initially  N.A. Nazarbayev sought to find a place for the Kazakhs in the Eurasian context. The same desire was due to the fact that the Eurasian National University was named after  L.N. Gumilev. The Kazakhstani leader was moving in the right direction, but then he got off track, and later abandoned Eurasianism. Now Eurasianism in Kazakhstan is represented residually. In fact, this is an attempt to  create something in spite of the Russians, in spite of me.

In Turkey, things are more complicated. There, in fact, Eurasian sentiments are very strong.6 A number of Turkish Eurasians assert the Eurasian identity of Turkey, and they also reject Western hegemony, they say that Turkey is not part of the Eastern, Western or Islamic world, but a whole special civilization. In this way they are very similar to us. The same circles of Turkish Eurasians often advocate an alliance with Iran, China and Russia. This direction  of Turkish Eurasianism is represented by  the “Homeland Party” (Vatan), headed by  Doğu Perinçek as well as a number of Turkish military.

There is no contradiction in their version of Eurasianism with our Eurasianism. Yes, this is a Turkish view, a Turkic identity, but it fits perfectly into Gumilev’s models. This is that new thing, K.N. Leontiev had dreamed about — a union of two traditional societies (Russian and Turkish), two empires (Russian and Ottoman) in opposition to the liberal, democratic, anti-Eurasian, Atlanticist West (Leontiev, 2010).

However, there is also a second version of Turkish Eurasianism, which, in fact, is closer to pan-Turkism, Turkish nationalism, since it developed under the direct control of the Atlanticist centers. Abdullah Gul, Ahmet Davutoğlu — former associates of R.T. Erdoğan, who promoted this version.

  By the way, 15 years ago I had a polemic with Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party of Turkey. He argued that Dugin was not proposing Eurasia (Avrasya in Turkish), but “Avrusia.” Avrusia is a neologism similar to Eurasia, but instead of Asia there is Russia. That is he, like Kazakh thinkers in his time, tried to get rid of the obvious dominant of Russians in Eurasianism.

At the same time, the ideology of Eurasianism was created by Russians, supported and developed by Russians, and today it is represented at the global level by us, including me and my like-minded people, therefore Russians are the creators of Eurasianism, although the role of E. Khara-Davan cannot  be denied (Dugin, 2002, pp. 448—454),  Ya.A. Bromberg (2002), K.A. Chkheidze in formulating the postulates of the Eurasian ideology.

Thus, there is a place for everyone in Eurasianism — for a Kalmyk (Mongol), a Jew or a Georgian. But, of course, this is predominantly a Russian worldview. And if some Turkish researchers recognize this, willingly join in the development of the concept, and then there are no contradictions, but the other part tries to create their own, Turkish Eurasianism, and this leads to the same fiasco as in the case of Kazakh Eurasianism. Kazakh Eurasianism is an ultra-nationalist version (for example, in its version, Kazakhstan is considered the Heartland, not Russia). The Turks, however, have more conceptual grounds to build their own independent Eurasian model, since they are an imperial people. But such a model has not yet been fully formed, and the one that exists is very reminiscent of our Eurasianism, only there is Turkey in its center.

In other countries, such as Iran, attention to Eurasianism is also growing, as in China, although not as fast as it seemed. However, when V.V. Putin proclaimed the concept of “Greater Eurasia”7 to complement the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, China began to show interest in Eurasianism. I went on lecture tours to Shanghai and Beijing, where huge audiences of Chinese listened very attentively to my discourses on the Eurasian ideology. This is not their concept, Turan is something else, another civilization, but they are discovering different aspects of this worldview with great interest.

In Pakistan and even in the Arab world, which has practically nothing to do with Eurasia, interest in Eurasianism is awakening. Even in Europe, there is interest: some representatives in patriotic circles are saying that Europe should join Eurasia and move away from America. Such concepts as, for example, Gaullism or “The Greater Europe project” are also part of European Eurasianism. Therefore, Eurasianism has many versions, many directions. Some of them complement each other, fit together, and some are completely mutually exclusive. However, there is a main line here — these are all the efforts that have been made by several generations of Russian scientists, from the first Eurasians to us. This has no analogues, and  in some sense, Eurasianism remains our  national idea.

—  Is it possible to speak about an unprejudiced perception of Eurasianism abroad, in particular in the West, in terms of assessments? Do those who believe that the Russian authorities, using the Eurasian theme, rehabilitate Soviet and imperial past of Russia and seek to restore Moscow’s control over territories outside of Russia, dominate?

—  Both the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, and before that the empire of Genghis Khan, the Blue Horde and other forms of statehood, for example, the Scythian empires that existed in this territory, are all different formats of a single civilizational beginning, since Eurasia has very ancient roots, much more ancient than only Slavic or Russian, than Tsarist Russia or the Soviet Union. In this respect, all these forms that unite Eurasia have a certain common style — a special territory that is not integrated into Europe, nor into the Chinese, Iranian, Indian or Semitic civilizations. This territory is a completely separate zone, which united with historically different peoples and under different ideologies. However, it has always been Eurasia or the Great Turan. Turan, by the way, is an Indo-European name, not Turkish, it is mentioned in the Avesta when Turkey did not yet exist. There was no such country, and the Turkish people appeared much later, 1,000 years after the Avesta was compiled. Turan was the name given to the Iranian nomadic peoples of Eurasia. In this respect, in this context, Eurasia is a civilization that has a very long history.

When the Russian authorities today talk about the Eurasian Union or Eurasian civilization, sometimes this coincides with the Russian world, Russian civilization, although Eurasianism clarifies this point, because, for example, Kazakhstan is clearly non-Russian, but Eurasian, like many other territories. Therefore, a reference to Eurasianism is an appeal to a special civilization, the borders of which far exceed the Russian Federation (Dugin, 2002). The Russian Federation is a kind of “stump” of the Eurasian civilization, it is a part, a body, but without arms, legs and head. Of course, it is natural for the Eurasian civilization to restore its historical scope and historical boundaries.

It is also incorrect to talk about the revival of the Soviet Union, since there is no communist ideology in the Eurasian project. It is also impossible to talk about the revival of the tsarist empire, because the restoration of the monarchy is not supposed. We are talking about the revival of a single civilizational space, a single “Great Space” (Großraum) under a new auspice, with new principles and values, or rather, new formulations of ancient Eurasian values. In this sense, we are not talking about the exploitation of the Eurasian states, but about the fact that the Russian government, Russian policy under  V.V. Putin is becoming more and more rational and consistent, historically justified, and the concept of Eurasianism is increasingly beginning to prevail in this policy. This is happening very slowly, since the influence of Atlanticism in the 1990s was very strong. The elite remains liberal, pro-Western, and V.V. Putin can’t or doesn’t want to do anything about it. This factor,  of course, significantly slows down the implementation of Russian ideology into Russian reality, but gradually this process is still going on. I am absolutely convinced that practically the entire post-Soviet space will be integrated (sooner or later) into a single Eurasian Union under different conditions, in different forms and at different times, that is, within the framework of integration at different speeds. However, the integration of the post-Soviet space will take place in any case, and Russia will play a leading role in this. This project does not involve expansion, or a new version of imperialism, or the ideological advancement of Russia’s views. We are talking about creating a brotherhood of peoples, cultures, religions in a single common context. It can be counteracted and even done effectively, it can be delayed, but it cannot be avoided. Geography is destiny, and Eurasia is destiny for all post-Soviet countries. The more some resist this, the more painful it will be for them to wake up one day in the Eurasian Union. No matter how they treat him, it’s inevitable.

—  In your opinion, is it permissible to consider Russian Eurasianism as a non-Western theory of international relations?

—  Russian Eurasianism is a non-Western theory of international relations, as well as a political theory that goes beyond three classic Western political theories: liberalism, communism and fascism. This is the fourth political theory (Dugin, 2009), the theory  of a multipolar world (Dugin, 2013), which  is most closely associated with Eurasianism. Moreover, Eurasianism is a special, universal epistemological canon that has its own view on any humanitarian discipline. Eurasianism has its own approach to everything, and in this respect it is a universal episteme, which has not yet been fully implemented and developed, but it is already contained in the Eurasianism algorithm, so it is quite easy to substantiate it.

I have repeatedly demonstrated how to deploy Eurasian principles into the theory of a multipolar world (Dugin, 2013), the theory of international relations, an ethno-sociological concept or an idea of the sociology of Russian society, as well as anthropology, military strategy or geopolitics. Based on the views of L.N. Gumilev, you can build your own ethnology, on the postulates of N.S. Trubetskoy and R.O. Jacobson — the Cultural Studies, and this was done, which is demonstrated by the Russian school of structuralists, where Jacobson’s thoughts developed.8 Philology and phonology of N.S. Trubetskoy — that is what our linguistics must be based on. As a matter of fact, philology, linguistics, the theory of international relations, the fourth political theory, one’s own view of history, and much more — this all is contained in the nucleus (core) of the Eurasian worldview. In this respect, of course, Eurasianism is a complete episteme.

—  The collapse of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the socialist system led to the fact that Russian researchers made a U-turn towards Western political science theories. As a result, the conceptual ideas of Western authors began dominating in the post-Soviet academic discourse, and domestic socio-philosophical and political thought was pushed to the periphery. Is it possible to talk about overcoming this trend today?

—  If we talk about the domestic modern humanities, then, of course, it does not develop in the spirit of the Eurasian episteme. This fact causes deep regret, since science without ideology is impossible, which was perfectly shown by M. Foucault, T. Kuhn, B. Latour. Soviet science was a projection of the Soviet ideology, and when the Soviet ideology disappeared from society in the 1990s, the science, built on the basis of this ideology also collapsed, because it was impossible to continue using the same methods and principles in the absence of a Soviet, communist, Marxist foundation. The Soviet people did not understand this and continued to teach the new generation what they had learned themselves, what created an absolute epistemological crisis. In fact, it was a kind of “dogmatic dream”: outside the Soviet situation, people continued to reproduce Soviet slogans, which from now on “missed” the target. This primarily affected the humanities, where the influence of ideological models is even stronger and more comprehensive.

Firstly, a return to Soviet ideology is not an alternative to the West. It all just has to die. There is no other way to put it, since this ideology no longer has a vital nourishment and will simply degenerate until it dies at all and releases the void that it fills today.

Secondly, the Soviet ideological model was replaced by liberalism. It existed in our society for 10 years as a political dominant, spoiled a lot of things, but was not systematically implemented in science. Fragmentally, liberalism argued with the Soviet model and ousted patriotism. However, the majority of Soviet people, Soviet scientists and teachers who rushed to use Western sources, strictly speaking, did not understand anything in them. Therefore, a paradoxical situation has arisen: one half of the brain in post-Soviet education thinks in the Soviet way, which no longer corresponds to the existing realities, while the other thinks liberally. It has nothing to do with reality; these two hemispheres are in conflict with each other.

The Eurasian episteme exists extremely peripherally, pointwise. Individual departments are staffed by people who develop it. However, even at the level of faculties, not to mention universities, there is no Eurasian episteme. I spoke with V.A. Sadovnichy, and we even tried to introduce this Eurasian canon at Lomonosov Moscow State University, but everything did not end as expected, and our undertaking “bogged down.”

At the same time, I continue to insist that it is Eurasianism that is the matrix on which it is possible to build science and education in the humanities, to create our national school. It is easy to “throw a bridge” from it to the Silver Age, Russian religious philosophy and Slavophilism — to everything authentic, truly Russian that has existed for the last  200—300 years. But almost no one is doing this now, so the majority remain just such “hybrid” thinking combined the elements of the dying Soviet mentality and the liberal one, which, unlike in the 1990s, is also no longer supported by ideology and is falling apart.

In principle, the modern education system is a kind of monster that cannot transmit anything except fragmentary knowledge. No consistent methodologies, nothing beats each other. The very development of the liberal matrix in the West has recently rotated 180%; even the liberal attitudes themselves have undergone a change. 50—60 years ago there was only one science in the West, but today it is completely different. This process cannot be followed, which adds charm to the consistent degeneration of Russian liberal scientists. Such a combination of insane Western liberals with insane communists creates an atmosphere of complete incompatibility of scientific life. Eurasianism is an alternative, although colleagues who continue to set the tone in our educational field do not want to admit it.

—  In your opinion, can the Eurasian idea be considered as an ideological value basis for Russian foreign policy?

—  This is a very good question. If we talk about where the influence of Eurasianism is maximum, then, from my point of view, this is the foreign policy of Russia under V.V. Putin. Not declarations, worldview or educational process, but foreign policy. Liberal institutions have no effect on the real foreign policy pursued by V.V. Putin himself, independently, and in this policy the objective influence of Eurasianism is very strong. V.V. Putin claims that Russia is not an object, but a subject of world politics, and that says it all. This is a break with liberal ideology, but it is also not a Marxist approach, because Marxist internationalism thinks quite differently. This is the idea of Russia as a sovereign center, a sovereign pole, which reflects the main Eurasian principle: Russia is an independent civilization from the West, and V.V. Putin builds his policy in this way, proceeding from this position, and this is fundamental.

Further, V.V. Putin is increasingly balancing his orientation towards the West with relations with the East: China, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, and India. He implements the integration of the post-Soviet space, perhaps not as quickly, efficiently and brilliantly as we, Eurasians, would like, but he is doing it very consistently, without changing direction. He may slow down along the way, he may do something a little clumsily, but he is moving forward. In this regard, the influence of Eurasianism on the foreign policy of V.V. Putin is the most significant.

Partly V.V. Putin acts like a Eurasian, partly like a realist. One does not contradict the other at all; it’s just that the realist idea is connected with the state, and the Eurasian one with civilization. However, V.V. Putin is increasingly turning to civilization and values, on this basis rejecting neoliberal hegemony, and this is already a purely Eurasian approach, the state has nothing to do with it. At the state level, he asserts sovereignty — this is a realistic model, it does not conflict with Eurasianism. At the same time, there is nothing liberal in the foreign policy of V.V. Putin. Even the desire to have good relations with the West is not liberalism, but pragmatism, calculation, and this is quite acceptable. In general, I believe that in foreign policy, Eurasianism has the greatest influence on the Russian authorities.

—  Do you think that today we are witnessing the process of forming a new bipolarity” with the participation of the United States and China? Is there a transit of global power from the US to China?

—  No, of course it’s not. It seems to me that I know Chinese foreign policy very well, because I communicate a lot with its ideologues, intellectuals, and politicians who build it. I am convinced that China has no thoughts of global hegemony; it does not want to replace the United States. The PRC thinks of itself as a very influential, very powerful, universally attractive civilization, but along with others. When the Chinese talk about multipolarity, that’s what they mean. China does not have the tools to offer all of humanity a single ideology that the Soviet Union or modern globalist liberals had. Still, the Chinese ideology remains purely Chinese. It is also very attractive for the countries of South Asia, and somewhere it can expand its influence, which, of course, is not global, planetary.

I think that we already now, today, live in a tripolar world, where there is a globalist West, bursting at the seams, China and Russia. These are three civilizations, they are different and have different volumes, ideas and guidelines. They are in different relationships with each other. Russia and China, I think, have a strategic partnership, which allows this tripolar world to take place. With the Western pole, which continues to insist on unity and hegemony, the conflict is growing both here and in China. The rest are invited to take their place: either on the side of the West, or on the side of China or Russia. Rather, either on the side of China and Russia, since this is one choice, in favor of multipolarity, or on the side of the West.

As a matter of fact, this is how the problem is solved in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is invited to be friends with Russia and China and reduce its relations with the West, because the West creates problems there. Similarly, for Ukraine, Georgia or Belarus. There is no need to choose between Russia and China — the question is not raised anywhere, practically anywhere. We must choose between the West or Russia and China. There is such a choice, and it really is everywhere.

You need to choose with whom to build your future: in a unipolar global liberal world or in a multipolar world where it is possible to build other poles. If, for example, the European Union leaves the influence of the West, then there will be another pole — the European one and this is wonderful. The Islamic world has every tendency to become an independent pole. Africa, Latin America, India — they might be other poles. Thus, multipolarity is not a closed club of participants. The fact that we live in a tripolar world does not mean that it will always be the same. Russia and China are ready to accept other poles into their multipolar club. And Iranians, Pakistanis, Turks, Indians understood it well. Therefore, everything is much more complicated than the confrontation of individual powers. In today’s tripolar world, the line of antagonism lies between Washington, on the one hand, and Beijing and Moscow, on the other. Intermediate territories, disputed zones, zones of conflict and controversy, are Taiwan and Ukraine.

There is a serious antagonism within the United States between the current administration and almost half of the population. Thus, it must be recognized that the opposition exists in Russia in the person of Westerners-liberals, and in China — in the person of Westerners, as in the United States, so this tripolarity is also accompanied by the presence of internal poles. There is an Atlanticist opposition (elite) in Russia, and an anti-globalist opposition (elite) in the USA. Under D. Trump, we could observe that opposition can even bring its own president to power, and this is very serious.

In China, one can observe some less understandable, less obvious pro-Western tendencies, and N.N. Vavilov discussed a lot about it. There are “Komsomol members,” pro-Western liberal circles who would not mind making an alliance with the United States within the G2. That is, everyone has internal problems, internal poles, so the multipolarity, we are talking about, has both external poles and an internal dimension.

—  Is it possible to say that there is a process of forming a collective non-West” among the countries of the Global South, for which the Western-centric world is losing relevance, attractiveness, and even poses threats and challenges? What place can Russia take in such a balance of power?

—  Yes, it’s right. However, the “Global South” is the term of I. Wallerstein, I don’t really feel sorry for the Marxist (neo-Trotskyist) theorists of international relations, since they clearly underestimate what is called (in their own model) the “second world” (semi-periphery) and believe that this “peace” must suffer the same fate as all the rest, since there is a single pole of development. “Global South” vs. “Global North” is a false dichotomy, so I would be careful not to use the term “Global South” and speak simply about the South.

Within the “Planetary South” itself, we can see several southern regions. Thus, Latin America is less and less satisfied with the position of North America and Europe. This is especially evident in the example of such countries as Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. The same is becoming evident in Argentina and Brazil (both presidents are scheduled to visit Russia in the near future). Of course, Latin America is in search of its own path, and Russia can help here.

In Africa, we can see the activation of Russia in the west of the continent (in Mali, Burkina Faso) and in Central Africa. The Russian presence in Africa, like the Chinese one (which is already very large), will only grow. Thus, Russia and China will help African countries to become an independent pole. Africa is increasingly opposed to the neo-colonial policies traditional for Europe and the United States. Similarly, one can speak of the Islamic world, which is also sometimes included in the South. The Islamic world is also looking for its independence, and again Russia or China come to the rescue, as, for example, in Iraq. Together with China, we must organize this non-Western world, helping it become strong, full-fledged, independent, including independent of ourselves.

We do not want to change dependence on the West for dependence on us. We do not carry an obsessive, obligatory liberal ideology. We do not require others to adopt any paradigms. On the contrary, we help the civilizations of the South (Latin America, the Islamic world, Africa) to develop their own civilizational paradigm, different from both the West and from us or the Chinese. Such an approach will make Russia as influential and respected actor in world politics. We are heading towards this. V.V. Putin understands this, and that is why what he does fits into this picture.

Interviewed by M.A. Barannik


1 Eurasian Ideology and Eurasian Integration in the Post-COVID World: Challenges and Opportunities. International Conference, RUDN University, 10.12.2021. URL: https://www.снг.com/ (accessed: 02.01.2022).

2 Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club // President of Russia [Заседание международного дискуссионного клуба «Валдай» // Президент России]. September 19, 2013. (In Russian). URL: president/news/19243 (accessed: 22.02.2022).

3 Speech by N.A. Nazarbayev at Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov March 29, 1994 // Committee of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation for the CIS, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots [Выступление Н.А. Назарбаева в МГУ им М.В. Ломоносова 29 марта 1994 г. // Комитет ГД ФС РФ по делам СНГ, евразийской интеграции и связям с соотечественниками]. (In Russian). URL: history/148/ (accessed: 02.01.2022).

4 Alexander Dugin: The peoples of Eurasia want a democratic empire // Izvestia-Kazakhstan [Александр Дугин: Народы Евразии хотят демократической империи // Известия-Казахстан]. No. 77 (622). (In Russian). URL: D0%B5%D0%BA%D1%81%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B4%D1%80-%D0%B4%D1%83%D0%B3%D0%B8%D0% BD-%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%B4% D1%8B-%D0%B5%D0%B2%D1%80%D0%B0%D0% B7%D0%B8%D0%B8%D1%85%D0%BE%D1%82% D1%8F%D1%82/ (accessed: 02.01.2022).

5 This issue of the journal contains a study by  A. Vakhshiteh, M.V. Lapenko and A. Mukasheva on the genesis of Kazakh Eurasianism (Editor’s note).

6 This issue of the journal contains an article by Emre Erşen on the Turkish perception of Eurasian integration (Editor’s note).

7 Plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum // President of Russia [Пленарное заседание Петербургского международного экономического форума // Президент России]. June 17, 2016. (In Russian). URL: news/52178 (accessed: 22.02.2022).

8 This issue of the journal contains an article by  A.V. Shabaga dedicated to Eurasian structuralism  (Editor’s note).



About the authors

Alexander G. Dugin

International Eurasian Movement

Author for correspondence.


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