Putin’s Rasputin Helps Spread Fascism in Europe
There is an emerging “new fascist international” — stretching from France, where Marine Le Pen may be the next president; to Austria, where the right-wing Freedom Party is on the Russian payroll; to Poland, where candor about Hitler’s Polish sympathizers is against the law.
In the Russian Federation, much of the ideological inspiration comes from Aleksandr Dugin, whom some call “Putin’s Rasputin.”
Born the son of a KGB colonel-general, Dugin billed himself as a “journalist” who studied French fascism first-hand before latching onto the position of head of the Department of Sociology of International Relations at Moscow State University, where his academic title was largely a front for his role as the ideological apologist for Putin’s nomenklatura.
Dugin’s first party affiliation in the 1980s was with Pamyat, which sought to revive the virulently antisemitic “Black Hundreds” shock troops of Czarist times. In the 1990s, Dugin flirted with both Russian communist and fascist movements, ostensibly distancing himself from Pamyat while championing a “Slavic-Islamic” alliance that is a cornerstone of Putin’s foreign policy. A consistent theme throughout his career is that “the American Empire should be destroyed.”
“The West,” to Dugin, is “the anti-Christ,” whereas Mother Russia — anointed in the sacraments of the Russian Orthodox Church — is the Holy Warrior leading Eurasia’s fight against godless Western individualism and materialism. A cheerleader for Putin’s annexation of Crimea and the subversion of pro-Western Ukraine, Dugin views this battle as the first skirmish in a new Cold War to roll back Euro-American capitalism and vindicate “fascist environmentalism.”
Arguably, the resonating heart of Dugin’s doctrine is a racist occultism that survived World War II, and was analyzed by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke’s book, Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity.
Dugin also fancies himself an environmentalist. Despite the Russian Federation’s internal problems with Muslim minorities, Dugin preaches a geopolitical anti-Western gospel of a natural alliance between the oil-exporting Russian Federation and the oil-rich Middle East. Note Putin’s resurrection of Russia as a Mideast power.
The “greening of Russian fascism” may be less important than its ties to Russian religious traditionalism. Dugin is a close ally of the resurgent Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), to which President Putin belongs. Indeed, it’s hard to distinguish where Russia’s revitalized “old religion” — which was never friendly to Jews — ends, and Dugin’s reborn Eurasian fascist ideology of Russian supremacy begins.
Historian Harold Brackman is coauthor with Ephraim Isaac of From Abraham to Obama: A History of Jews, Africans, and African Americans (Africa World Press, 2015).