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Alexander Dugin explores the philosophical foundations of National Bolshevism, tracing its key influences and potential impact on contemporary political ideas, while highlighting its role as the principal enemy of the ‘Open Society’ and liberalism.

This article is an excerpt from Alexander Dugin’s book Templars of the Proletariat.

Marx Viewed from the Right

We now turn to an elucidation of that which is to be understood, in a strictly metaphysical sense, by the two constituent terms of ‘National Bolshevism.’

The term ‘Bolshevism’ originally emerged, as is well-known, during discussions held by the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party [RSDWP] aimed at proscribing that faction which stood in support of Lenin. We remind the reader that the Leninist line in Russian social-democracy consisted in an orientation toward extreme radicalism, refusal to compromise, accentuation of the party’s elite character, and ‘blankism’ (the theory of ‘revolutionary conspiracy’). Later, ‘Bolshevik’ became a synonym for the communists who had brought about the October Revolution and had seized power in Russia. Almost immediately after the revolution, the term ‘Bolshevik’ lost its limited meaning and came to be seen as coterminous with ideas of ‘the majority,’ ‘universal representatives of the people [всенародности],’ ‘national integration.’ At a particular stage, ‘Bolshevism’ was eventually perceived as a strictly Russian, national version of communism and socialism, standing in opposition to the abstract dogma of classical Marxists, as well as to the conformist tactics of other social-democratic movements. A concept such as ‘Bolshevism’ was in large part characteristic of Russia and almost unilaterally dominated in the West. However, no evocation of ‘Bolshevism’ in conjunction with ‘National Bolshevism’ should be limited only to this historical understanding. Under discussion here is a certain lineage common to all radically leftist tendencies – both of a socialist and communist bent. One could call this the ‘radical,’ ‘revolutionary,’ ‘anti-liberal’ lineage. By this we mean that aspect of leftist doctrines which Popper situates among ‘totalitarian ideologies,’ or among the doctrines of the ‘enemies of the open society.’ In this respect, ‘Bolshevism’ is not only a legacy of the Russian element’s influence on social-democratic doctrine. This is a sort of constantly present component in all leftist philosophy which could only have developed so fully and openly in Russian conditions.

Recently, the most objective historians are constantly asking themselves the following question: “Is fascist ideology really ‘right-wing?’” Naturally, the presence of such doubt suggests the possibility of formulating ‘fascism’ as a much more complex phenomenon, possessing a plethora of typically ‘leftist’ traits. As far as we are aware, a symmetrical question – “Is communist ideology really ‘left-wing?’” – has yet to be raised. But this question is even more crucial and relevant. It must be asked.

It is difficult to deny the presence of authentically ‘leftist’ traits in communism – an appeal to rationality, progress, humanism, egalitarianism, etc. But, together with these, one detects aspects which fall unequivocally into the framework of ‘the Right’ relating to the sphere of the irrational, the mythological, the archaic, the antihumanistic, and the totalitarian. This complex of ‘rightist’ components in communist ideology should also bear the name of ‘Bolshevism’ in its widest understanding.

One already finds within Marxism itself two fundamental components which appear quite doubtful from the perspective of authentically ‘leftist,’ progressive thought. These are the legacies of the socialist-utopians and Hegelianism. Only Feuerbach’s ethics, which lend a terminological patina of humanism and progressivism to the whole discourse, are excluded from the essentially ‘Bolshevist’ ideological construction of Marxism.

The socialist-utopians, whom Marx includes wholesale in the ranks of his predecessors and teachers, are the representatives of a particular mystical messianism – heralds of the return of the ‘golden age.’ Practically all of them were members of an esoteric milieu, in the midst of which a spirit of radical mysticism, eschatology, and apocalyptic portents reigned supreme. This was a world which combined the motifs of sectarianism, the occult, and religion, whose essence could be distilled into the following scheme: “The modern world is hopelessly rotten. It has lost its sacred dimension. Religious institutions have become abominations and have been stripped of God’s grace (a general theme for radical Protestant sects, ‘Anabaptists,’ and Russian schismatics). The world is governed by evil, materialism, deceit, lies, and egoism. But holy men know that the approach of the golden age is near at hand and, by way of their mysterious rituals and occult acts, collaborate with its coming.”

The socialist-utopians projected this motif, common for Western messianic esotericism, onto social reality and imbued the coming golden age with sociopolitical features. Of course, this idea bore a suggestion of rationalizing the eschatological myth, but along with this, the supernatural character of the coming Kingdom, the Regnum, can clearly be perceived in their social programs and manifestoes, in which one catches a hint of the coming miracles of communist society (riding on dolphins, controlling the weather, sharing women, human flight in the air, etc.). It is entirely obvious that this lineage takes on an explicitly traditional character, and it is completely logical to classify such a radical eschatological mysticism not only as a ‘right-wing’ component, but even a ‘far-right’ one.

Now on to Hegel and his dialectics. It is broadly known that the political convictions of the philosopher himself were extremely reactionary. But this point doesn’t get to the heart of the matter. If one carefully analyzes Hegel’s dialectic, the method which underpins his philosophy (and it is precisely the dialectical method which Marx adopts on a broad scale), one will notice a strictly traditionalist and even eschatological doctrine swathed in idiosyncratic terminology. Moreover, this methodology represents none other than an initiatic, esoteric structural approach to the problems of knowledge, as distinct from the profane, everyday logic of Descartes and Kant; these latter rely on ‘common sense’ and gnoseological norms of ‘everyday consciousness,’ whose fervent apologists, we shall note apropos, are all liberals – chief among them being Karl Popper.

Hegel’s philosophy of history is a version of the traditional myth adjoined with a strictly Christian teleology. The Absolute Idea is alienated from itself and becomes the world (we shall recall the formulation found in the Qur’an: “Allah was the secret treasure that wished to be known”). Finding an objectivity within history, the Absolute Idea acts upon people from outside as the ‘cunning of cosmic Reason,’ determining in advance the providential fabric of events. But ultimately, as a result of the Son of God’s Second Coming, the apocalyptic perspective of a totally comprehended Absolute Idea opens up on the subjective level, which then ceases to be ‘subjective’ and becomes ‘objective.’ “Being and thought become one.” Atman coincides with Brahman. And this all takes place in a certain chosen kingdom – the Final Empire – which the German nationalist Hegel identified as Prussia.

The Absolute Idea is the thesis, its alienation within history is the antithesis, and its comprehension within the eschatological kingdom is the synthesis.

It is upon this vision of ontology that Hegel bases his gnoseology. Unlike the usual rationality founded on laws of formal logic, operating only within positivist parameters, and linked by actual, causal relations, Hegel’s ‘new logic’ appraises a particular ontological dimension in tandem with the potential aspect of things, inaccessible to ‘everyday consciousness,’ but actively employed by the mystical school of Paracelsus, Boehme, the Hermeticists, and the Rosicrucians. For Hegel, the fact of an object or affirmation (by which Kant’s ‘everyday’ gnoseology is exhausted) is merely one of three hypostases. The second hypostasis is the negation of that fact, which is not then understood as pure nothingness (as formal logic sees it), but as a certain superrational mode of being for the thing or affirmation. The first hypostasis is the Ding für uns (the ‘Thing for Us’), while the second is the Ding an sich (the ‘Thing in Itself’). But unlike with Kant, this ‘Thing in Itself’ is not to be understood as something unknowable and purely apophatic, as gnoseological non-being, but should be understood as a gnoseological other-being. Both of these relative hypostases are then resolved in a third, which emerges as a synthesis, encompassing both affirmation and negation, thesis and antithesis. If one scrutinizes this thought process with care, one finds that the synthesis follows upon the moment of ‘negation’ as a second negation – i.e., the ‘Negation of the Negation.’ The synthesis embodies both affirmation and negation simultaneously; here, the thing coexists with its own death, weighed upon a particular ontological and gnoseological scale not as a void, but as the other-being of life, the soul. Kant’s gnoseological pessimism, the root of liberal meta-ideology, is turned on its head, revealed to be an ‘insufficiently developed thought [недомышление],’ while the Ding an sich (‘Thing in Itself’) becomes a Ding für sich (a ‘Thing for Itself’). The cause of the world and the world itself are amalgamated in an eschatological synthesis, in which existence and non-existence are mutually present without excluding one another. The Final Earthly Kingdom, governed by a caste of holy men (the ideal Prussia), is conjoined with the New Jerusalem, descending from on high. This marks the beginning of the End of History and the era of the Holy Spirit.

Marx alludes to this eschatological, messianic scenario, applying it in a somewhat different sphere – the field of industrial relations. One is curious to know why he chose such a route. Garden-variety ‘rightists’ will explain this as a ‘deficit of idealism’ or will write it up to Marx’s ‘crude nature’ (if not to his subversive intentions). This is an astonishingly stupid explanation, which, nonetheless, enjoys a wide popularity among certain generations of reactionaries. It is more likely, however, that Marx, in the course of his careful studies of English political economics, was shocked by the correspondences between the liberal theories of Adam Smith, who saw history as a progressive movement toward an open free-market society and a universalization of the material/monetary common denominator, with Hegel’s conceptions related to the historical antithesis, i.e., the alienation of the Absolute Idea within history. Marx ingeniously identified the limits of this alienation of the Absolute from itself with Capital – that societal formation which actively crushed Marx’s contemporary Europe beneath itself. Through his analysis of the structure of capitalism and the history of its emergence, Marx gained a knowledge of alienation – a knowledge of the alchemical formula which governs it. His comprehension of this mechanism, the ‘antithetical formula,’ was the first and most indispensable condition of the Great Restoration or the Final Revolution. For Marx, the coming kingdom of communism was not only the inevitable result of ‘progress,’ but that of an overturning, a ‘revolution’ in the etymological sense of the word. It is by no accident that he refers to the primordial stage of human development as ‘cave communism [пещерным коммунизмом].’ The thesis is ‘cave communism,’ the antithesis is Capital, and the synthesis is world communism. Communism is synonymous with the End of History, the era of the Holy Spirit. Marx’s materialism and his accentuation of economics and labor relations are evidence not of the worldliness of his interests, but of his magical attempt to transform reality – to issue a radical refusal against the compensatory fantasies of irresponsible dreamers, whose inactivity only aggravate the forces of alienation. It is just as easy to accuse the medieval alchemists of ‘materialism’ and a thirst for riches, provided one turns a blind eye to the deeply spiritual and initiatic symbolism hidden behind their discourses on the distillation of urine, the production of gold, the transmutation of minerals into metals, etc.

It was precisely this gnostic line, shared by Marx and his forebears, which was taken up by the Russian Bolsheviks; these latter had been reared in an environment where the hidden forces of Russian sectarianism, mysticism, folk messianism, secret societies, and the passionate, romantic natures of Russian rebels amassed themselves against the alienated, secular, and deformed monarchist regime. “Moscow is the Third Rome. The Russian people are the god-carriers [богоносец]. The nation is the Pan-Human [Всечеловек]. Russia is called upon to save the world.” These ideas saturated Russian life, resonating with esoteric narratives latent within Marxism. But unlike any purely spiritual formulations, Marxism proposed an economic, social, and political strategy – something clear and concrete that even a simple person could comprehend, and which provided a basis for further socio-political moves.

In Russia, it was precisely ‘right-wing Marxism’ which reigned supreme, having been given the name ‘Bolshevism.’ But that is not to say that these conditions were found only in Russia. One can find a similar lineage in communist parties and movements the world over, provided of course they do not degenerate into a social-democracy that conforms to the liberal spirit. In this respect, it is no surprise that, other than Russia’s October 1917, the socialist revolutions have only managed to occur in the East – China, Korea, Vietnam, etc. Once more, this serves to underline the fact that the most traditional, least progressive, and least modern peoples and nations (‘alienated from spirit’), which are, by implication, the most ‘conservative’ and ‘right-wing’ peoples and nations, were able to recognize in communism a mystical, spiritual, ‘Bolshevist’ essence.

National Bolshevism belongs precisely to this lineage of ‘right-wing communism,’ which recedes into the depths of ages, harkening back to ancient initiatic societies and spiritual doctrines. Here, the economic aspects of communism are not reduced or negated, but rather viewed as a theurgical mechanism, a magical praxis, a concrete instrument with which to transform reality. The only thing which should be discarded is the inadequate, historically exhausted discourse found in Marxism, which is informed by accidental themes of a bygone humanist, progressivist epoch. The Marxism of the National Bolsheviks is Marx minus Feuerbach – i.e., minus evolutionism and a less frequently encountered inert humanism.

The Metaphysics of the Nation

The other half of the term ‘National Bolshevism’ – ‘national’ – also requires some elucidation. The very concept of the ‘nation’ is far from unequivocal. One finds at different turns its biological, political, cultural, and economic interpretations. One can understand nationalism with an emphasis both on ‘racial purity’ or ‘ethnic homogeneity,’ as well as on the unification of atomized individuals for the sake of attaining optimal economic conditions within a limited socio-geographical space. The national component of National Bolshevism (to include both its historical and metahistorical, absolutist variants) is completely unique.

Historically, National Bolshevist circles distinguished themselves through a staunch orientation toward imperial, geopolitical understandings of the nation. Ustrialov’s adherents and sympathizers, the Left Eurasianists, to say nothing of the Soviet National Bolsheviks, understood ‘nationalism’ as a super-ethnic phenomenon connected with geopolitical messianism, with ‘local development [месторазвитием],’ with culture, with the state on a continental scale. Likewise, with Ernst Niekisch and his German comrades, we encounter the idea of a continental empire ‘from Vladivostok to Flessingue,’ as well as the idea of the ‘Third Imperial Figure’ (Die dritte imperiale Figur). In both cases, we are dealing with a geopolitical and cultural understanding of the nation, devoid of even the slightest hint of racism, chauvinism, or ‘ethnic purity.’

This geopolitical and cultural understanding of ‘nation’ was based on a fundamental geopolitical dualism, which received its first lucid description in the work of Mackinder, after which it was taken up by the school of Haushofer in Germany and the Eurasianists in Russia. The imperial conglomerate of Eastern peoples, coalescing around the Russian ‘heartland,’ formed the skeleton of a potential continental state, united in their choice of ‘ideocracy’ and in their rejection of ‘plutocracy,’ their orientation toward socialism, and revolution against capitalism and ‘progress.’ It is telling that Niekisch insisted on the foundational potential of a socialist and Protestant Prussia, genetically and culturally bound with Russia and the Slavic world, all the while dismissing the centrality of Catholic Bavaria with its gravitational pull toward the Roman, capitalist model. Niekisch had already prophetically recognized the catastrophe constituted by the victory of Hitler’s Austro-Bavarian, Slavophobic path in 1932, which he went on to express in his book Hitler – Germany’s Evil Fate. It is striking that Niekisch had already managed to foresee the tragic consequences of Hitler’s victory for Russia, Germany, and the idea of the Third Path as a whole.

But parallel to this ‘pan-continental’ version of nationalism, which, by the way, corresponds exactly to the universalist messianic pretenses of a strictly eschatological and ‘pan-human’ Russian nationalism, there existed in National Bolshevism a subtler understanding of the nation that did not contradict the scale of empire, but refined it on a more down-to-earth level. In this sense, the idea of ‘nation’ was analogous to the populist understanding of ‘the people [народ]’ – i.e., as a certain organic, integral being, irreducible to anatomical parts, which possessed its own specific fate and unique constitution.

According to Tradition, each people is assigned a designated angel, a heavenly being. This angel is the historical meaning of a given people, which stands without time and space while maintaining a constant presence in every historical peripeteia of that people. This is the foundation of a nation’s mysticism. The national angel is neither obscure nor sentimental. It is a luminous, intellectual essence – a ‘thought of God,’ according to Herder’s phrasing. One may analyze the angel’s structure within a people’s historical accomplishments, in the social and religious institutions which define it, in its culture. The entire fabric of national history is a narrative text describing the qualities and form of this luminous national angel. In traditional society, the national angel carried a personified expression – in the form of ‘divine’ tsars, great heroes, shepherds, and saints. But in its capacity as a superhuman reality, this angel is completely independent of any human carrier. As a result, after the monarchist dynasties have been crushed, the angel can incarnate in collective form, such as in an order, a class, or even a party.

The ‘people,’ taken as a metaphysical category, is identified not with a concrete mass of individuals sharing the same blood, culture, and language, but with a mysterious angelic being, emerging throughout history. This is analogous to Hegel’s Absolute Idea, but in a minor form. It is a national reason, alienating itself in a multitude of individuals before once more reintegrating (in a self-conscious, ‘recorded [отснятом]’ manner) into the nation’s elite during particularly eschatological periods of history.

Here we approach a very important moment: these two concepts of the ‘nation,’ equally acceptable for the National Bolshevik worldview, share a point of communication – a magical point at which they converge into one. This comes down to Russia and her historical mission. It is telling that German National Bolshevism, in the capacity of a cornerstone, was precisely Russophilic. It was from this affective position that all of their geopolitical, social, and economic views flowed. The Russian (and to an even greater degree, the Soviet) understanding of the ‘Russian people’ as an open mystical society, called upon to provide the world with the light of salvation and truth [истины] during the end of times, lends itself favorably to both the ‘pan-continental’ and ‘historico-cultural’ aspects of the nation. And in this way, Russo-Soviet nationalism becomes the focus of National Bolshevik ideology, not only with regard to Russia or Eastern Europe, but on a planetary scale. The Angel of Russia is discovered to be the angel of integration – a certain luminous being who teleologically strives to unite within itself other angelic entities without defacing their individuality, but rather elevating their individuality to a universal, imperial breadth. It is no accident that Erich Müller-Gangloff, a student and close associate of Ernst Niekisch, wrote the following in his book National Bolshevism: “If the First Reich was Catholic, and the Second Reich was Protestant, then the Third Reich must be Orthodox.” It must be Orthodox and Soviet simultaneously.

In this situation, we are met with quite the curious query. Because the national angels are quintessentially different individuals, the fates of peoples in history and, consequently, their sociopolitical and religious institutions reflect a picture of the disposition of power in the angelic world itself. One is stricken by the degree to which this purely theological idea can be so brilliantly affirmed through a study of geopolitics; one quickly perceives the mutual link between the geographical and topographical conditions in which a people, together with its culture, psychology, and even its sociopolitical preferences exists. Gradually, one discovers an explanation for the dualism between East and West, doubled by an ethnic dualism: the land-faring [сухопутная], ‘ideocratic’ Russia (the Slavic world plus other Eurasian ethnicities) against the island-borne, ‘plutocratic,’ Anglo-Saxon West. The angelic Eurasian horde against the Atlanticist hosts of capitalism. In this scheme, it is easy to guess at the true nature of Capital’s ‘angel’ (as per Tradition, his name is ‘Mammon’)…

Evola Viewed from the Left

Whenever Karl Popper ‘unmasks’ the enemies of the ‘open society,’ he makes constant use of the term ‘irrationalism.’ This is the logical route since the ‘open society’ itself is based exclusively on norms of rationality and postulates of ‘everyday consciousness.’ As a rule, even the most explicitly anti-liberal authors seek to justify themselves by this yardstick and to dispel any accusations of ‘irrationality’ leveled against them. The National Bolsheviks, following Popper’s schema in its negative sign, embrace this rebuke. Indeed, the fundamental motivation of the ‘enemies of the open society’ and its most fervent, fastidious foes – the National Bolsheviks – is entirely alien to the edifice of rationalism. We shall find particular support in this question with reference to the works of the Traditionalists and, first among them, René Guénon and Julius Evola.

Both Guénon and Evola expound a meticulous mechanics of the cyclic process, in which a degradation of the earthly sphere (as well, by extension, as human consciousness) and a desacralization of civilization take place. They analyze modern ‘rationalism’ (with all of its logical implications) as one of the final stages of this degradation. The ‘irrational’ is understood by Traditionalists not as a purely negative and deprecative category, but as a gigantic field of reality, inaccessible to inquiries posed through purely analytical, rational methods. Consequently, the Traditionalist doctrine does not dispute the witty conclusions drawn by the liberal Popper, but rather agrees with them, reorienting his signs into the diametrically opposite position. Tradition is founded on superrational knowledge, on initiatic rituals which provoke a rupture in consciousness, and on doctrines that find their expression through symbols. Discursive rationality bears only a supplementary character and, as a result, holds no definitive sway over meaning. Tradition’s center of gravity lies in a sphere not only of the irrational, but also of the Inhuman, in which credibility is assigned not to intuitive hunches, anticipations, or assumptions, but to authentic experiences of a particularly initiatic sort. The irrational, which Popper defines as a central feature of his doctrine of enemies of the open society, is in fact nothing other than the axis of the sacred, the foundation of Tradition.

If we take this as a given, then all the various anti-liberal ideologies, to include ‘leftist’ revolutionary ones, must align in some relation to Tradition. If in the case of the ‘far-right’ and the hyper-conservatives this seems obvious, then it is rather problematic in the case of ‘the left.’ We have already broached this question in relation to the concept of ‘Bolshevism.’ But we must consider yet another moment: the revolutionary anti-liberal ideologies, particularly communism, anarchism, and revolutionary socialism, call for the radical annihilation not only of capitalist relations, but also such traditional institutions as the monarchy, the church, and all cult religious organizations. How does one reconcile this aspect of anti-liberalism with Traditionalism?

It is instructive to consider how Evola himself denied the Traditional character of revolutionary doctrines and considered them to be the maximal expression of the spirit of modernity, degradation, and fallenness (to a certain degree, Guénon also leaned in this direction. But it is difficult to ascribe such a firm position to him, since he never formulated as unequivocal a relation to ‘the left’ as did Evola, who openly aligned himself with radical conservatives and the far-right). However, in the personal fate of Evola, there were periods – his earliest and latest – during which he took up almost nihilistic, ‘anarchistic’ positions in relation to the surrounding reality, proposing that his followers should do no more and no less than ‘ride the tiger’ (i.e., make a compact with the forces of decay and chaos in order to overcome the critical point known generally as the ‘decline of the West’). But we do not only concern ourselves here with Evola’s historical experience as a political figure. We assign immensely greater importance to the fact that, even in his works of the middle, ‘high-conservative’ period, one notes his constant accent on the necessity of adopting a particular esoteric tradition; to put it lightly, such an esoteric tradition is far from inscribed in the monarcho-clerical models so characteristic of the politically European conservatives, whom he held in such high regard. In this respect, we should consider not only his anti-Christian sentiments, but also his consuming interest in tantric traditions and Buddhism, which, in the context of traditional Hindu conservatism, are considered quite heretical and subversive. Moreover, Evola’s sympathy for figures such as Giuliano Kremmerz, Maria de Naglowska, and Aleister Crowley, whom Guénon numbered unequivocally among the ‘counter-initiators’ (the negative, destructive tendency in esotericism), was an utter scandal. In the work of Evola, who constantly spoke of ‘Traditionalist orthodoxy’ and chastised the subversive tactics of ‘the left,’ one frequently encounters direct appeals to open heterodoxy. It is still more telling that he considered himself to be among the esoterics walking the ‘left-hand path.’

It is at this point that we approach the metaphysics of National Bolshevism. In this esoteric current, it is not simply the political antipodes (the ‘right’ and the ‘left’), not the apparently mutually exclusive philosophical systems (idealism and materialism) that are paradoxically fused together; rather, it is the two threads found in Traditionalism itself – the affirmative (the orthodox) and the negational (the subversive) – which are combined. And in this sense Evola is an exemplary author of the highest order, although between his metaphysical doctrines and his political views one detects a definite dissonance, predicated in our view on certain inertial prejudices proper to the ‘far-right’ circles in the Central Europe of his day.

In his magnificent book on the tantric Yoga of Power, Evola describes the initiatic structure of tantric organizations (kaula) and their attendant hierarchy. This work’s descriptions of tantric sects are surprisingly reminiscent of trends in European eschatology, Russian schismatic thought, the doctrines of the Khlysty and… ideas held by revolutionary organizations! This is a hierarchy which rises vertically in relation to the equally sacred hierarchy of Hindu society. It is as though the Tantra (like Buddhist doctrine) and one’s participation in its traumatic initiatic experiences alters the entire system of everyday life, affirming the maxim that “those who walk the short path require no external support.” In the tantric chain, one’s status as either a brahmin (the highest class) or a chandala (the bottom class of untouchables) is absolutely irrelevant. All that matters is the success one finds in carrying out a set of complex initiatic operations and the reality of that transcendent experience. This is a kind of ‘left sacrality,’ based on a convicted belief in the inadequacy, degeneration, and alienation of the usual sacred institutions. In other words, ‘left esotericism’ sets itself in opposition to ‘right esotericism,’ not through pure negation, but rather as a result of a certain paradoxical belief in the authenticity of experience and the concrete nature of transformation. Both in the case of Evola and in that of mystics grouped near the sources of socialist and communist ideologies, we undoubtedly find ourselves regarding the reality of ‘left esotericism.’ The destruction of the churches is not simply a negation of religion – it is a specific ecstatic form of the religious spirit that insists upon absoluteness, concreteness of transformation ‘here and now.’ The phenomenon of self-immolation with the Old Believers or the ecstatic rites of the Khlysty belong to the same category.

Guénon himself, in his article entitled “The Fifth Veda” dedicated to tantra, writes that during those certain cyclical periods immediately preceding the end of the ‘iron age’ (the Kali-Yuga), many ancient traditional institutions lose their vital force and, in order to reach metaphysical realization, one must adopt unorthodox paths and methods. Therefore, he declares the study of the Tantras a “Fifth” Veda, despite the fact that there are only four of them, canonically speaking. In other words, commensurate with the degree to which degeneration has wracked traditional conservative institutions (such as the monarchy, the church, the social hierarchy, the caste system, etc.) the more relevant and necessary these specialized, dangerous initiatic practices – associated with the ‘left-hand path’ – become.

Traditionalism, which is integral to National Bolshevism in the most general sense, is without a doubt a form of ‘left esotericism,’ reproducing through its fundamental features the principles of the tantric kaula and the doctrine of ‘destructive transcendence.’ The individualist variants of rationalism and humanism, operating from the inside, have defeated even those organizations of the modern world which bear a nominally sacral character. It is impossible to affirm Tradition to its true extent by gradually improving the state of society. This ‘right-hand path of esotericism’ is doomed in advance by its eschatological surroundings. Furthermore, any appeal to evolution and gradualism can only ever play into the hands of liberal expansion. Therefore, the National Bolshevist reading of Evola places an accent on the moments directly related to ‘left-hand’ doctrines – a traumatic spiritual realization sustained through concrete revolutionary and transformative experience, beyond the pale of convention and habit which has lost its sacred justification.

National Bolsheviks understand the ‘irrational’ not as ‘un-rational’ but as an “aggressive and active destruction of the rational,” as a struggle with ‘everyday consciousness’ (and ‘everyday behavior’), as an immersion into the raw elements of the ‘new life’ – of the magical existence of a ‘differentiated man’ who has cast off all externally imposed norms and prohibitions.

Third Rome – Third Reich – Third International

Among the innumerable doctrines of the ‘enemies of the open society,’ only two were capable of securing a temporary victory over liberalism: these are Soviet (and Chinese) communism and central-European fascism. Nestled between them as a unique and unrealized historical possibility, as a subtle stratum of political seers, we can observe the National Bolsheviks, who were forced out of necessity to act on the fringes of fascism and communism and whose integrative ideology and political activity was condemned to obscurity. In German National Socialism, the abortive Catholic-Bavarian strain was fatefully dominant, while the Soviets stubbornly refused any open admission of their ideology’s latent mysticism, thereby spiritually exsanguinating and intellectually castrating the Bolshevik movement. The first to fall was fascism, and then it fell to the last anti-liberal citadel – the USSR – to do the same. At first glance, it would appear that 1991 marked the final page of an epic in which a geopolitical entity had stood up against Mammon, the demon of the Atlanticist West and the perverted ‘angel of cosmopolitan Capital.’

But by the same turn, it is growing crystal clear that National Bolshevism is not only a metaphysical verity, but has also been vindicated by its founders’ absolute historical prescience. The only political discourse of the 1920s and 30s that has maintained relevance to this day is to be found in the texts of the Russian Eurasianists and the German ‘Left’ Revolutionary Conservatives. National Bolshevism is the last refuge of the ‘enemies of the open society’ if these latter wish not to insist upon their obsolete, historically inadequate, and utterly ineffective doctrines. If ‘far-leftists’ refuse to be mere appendages of an opportunistic and prostitute social-democracy, if ‘far-rightists’ want to avoid serving as a breeding ground for the extremist wing of the liberal repression apparatus, and if those people who are possessed by a religious feeling find no satisfaction in the squalid moralist surrogates with which the priests of insipid cults and primitive neo-spiritualists regale them – they are left with only one way out: National Bolshevism.

Beyond ‘right’ and ‘left’ is a unified and indivisible Revolution: it lies in the dialectical triad, “Third Rome – Third Reich – Third International.”

The rule of National Bolshevism, its Regnum and Final Empire, is a complete realization of the greatest Revolution in history, continental and universal. It is the return of angels, the resurrection of heroes, the revolt of the heart against the dictatorship of reason.

It is the Final Revolution – the mission of the Acéphale, who is the headless carrier of cross, hammer, and sickle, crowned by the eternal swastika of the sun.

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Translated by Charles Ybdis

Dr. Alexander Dugin

Alexander Dugin (b. 1962) is one of the best-known writers and political commentators in post-Soviet Russia, having been active in politics there since the 1980s. He is the leader of the International Eurasia Movement, which he founded. He was also an advisor to the Kremlin on geopolitical matters and head of the Department of Sociology at Moscow State University. Arktos has published his books The Fourth Political Theory (2012), Putin vs Putin (2014), Eurasian Mission (2014), Last War of the World-Island (2015), The Rise of the Fourth Political Theory (2017), Ethnosociology (vol. 1–2) (2018, 2019), Political Platonism (2019), The Theory of a Multipolar World (2021), and The Great Awakening vs the Great Reset (2021).

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Brecht Jonkers
Brecht Jonkers
11 months ago

This is without a doubt one of the most profound analyses on political theory I have read in years. The combination of metaphysical and philosophical search for deeper truth with concrete political revolutionary demands is quite simply brilliant.

The concept of true Communist activism as not only a revolutionary movement but also a return to fundamental traditional human values in particular, is something that has been sorely lacking in political analysis for a very long time.

1 year ago

Dugin is so much more powerful when a skilled translator delivers his words.

Translating Dugin in a compelling way requires someone who understands his weltanschauung, as much or more so, as the technical ability to convert Russian to English.

Five-stars to Arktos here!

How does this photo of Dugin with Degrelle make you feel?

d and d.PNG
Last edited 1 year ago by Wagnerian
11 months ago
Reply to  Wagnerian

One struggle

1 year ago

This is some of Dugin’s best work.

The gnostic Dugin who was both transgressive and apocalyptic was much more interesting and fun than the tamer professor philosopher.

He is returning to old form but the catalyst for that change isn’t something to be anything but deeply sad about.

11 months ago
Reply to  Atlantean

It would be useful to see his old work all compiled in one place.

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