Last War of the World-Island: The Geopolitics of Contemporary Russia
Author(s): Alexander Dugin
Alexander Dugin traces the geopolitical development of Russia from its origins in Kievan Rus and the Russian Empire, through the peak of its global influence during the Soviet era, and finally to the current presidency of Vladimir Putin. Dugin sees Russia as the primary geopolitical pole of the land-based civilizations of the world, forever destined to be in conflict with the sea-based civilizations. At one time the pole of the seafaring civilizations was the British Empire; today it is represented by the United States and its NATO allies. Russia can only fulfill its geopolitical mission by remaining in opposition to the sea powers. Today, according to Dugin, this conflict is not only geopolitical in scope, but also ideological: Russia is the primary representative and defender of traditional values and idealism, whereas the West stands for the values of liberalism and the market-driven society. Whereas Russia began to lose sight of its mission during the 1990s and threatened to succumb to domination by the Western powers, Dugin believes that Putin has begun to correct its course and return Russia to her proper place. But the struggle is far from over: while progress has been made, Russia remains torn between its traditional nature and the temptations of globalism and Westernization, and its enemies undermine it at every turn. Dugin makes the case that it is only by remaining true to the Eurasian path that Russia can survive and flourish in any genuine sense – otherwise it will be reduced to a servile and secondary place in the world, and the forces of liberalism will dominate the world, unopposed. 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. In addition to the many books he has authored on political, philosophical, and spiritual topics, he is the leader of the International Eurasia Movement, which he founded. For more than a decade, he has been an advisor to Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin on geopolitical matters, and was head of the Department of Sociology at Moscow State University. Arktos has also published his books, The Fourth Political Theory (2012), Putin vs Putin: Vladimir Putin Viewed from the Right (2014), and Eurasian Mission: An Introduction to Neo-Eurasianism (2014).
As this reviewer has noted in previous reviews of Dugin’s books — Putin vs. Putin and his Fourth Political Theory — Aleksandr Dugin views the confrontation between the United States and Russia in no less than apocalyptic terms and has sought to frame the contest between the two countries as the latest phase in an ancient war between the "powers of the Sea" and "powers of the Land." One of Dugin’s most recent books to be translated into English is Last War of the World-Island — The Geopolitics of Contemporary Russia, and in this book, the author continues to advance this apocalyptic theme. In Dugin’s words, “This geopolitical meaning remains, on the whole, unchanging in all later stages of Russian history: from the Muscovite Czardom through the Romanov Russia of Saint Petersburg and the Soviet Union to the current Russian Federation. From the fifteenth to the twenty-first century, Russia is a planetary pole of the 'civilization of the Land,' a continental Rome.” Dugin attempts to give a scientific cast to his categorizations by declaring the "civilization of the Land" to be a tellurocracy, while the “Anglo-Saxon world … ‘the civilization of the Sea’” he deems to be a thalassocracy. Dugin’s Eurasianist distinction between these two categorizations thus replaces all other ideological distinctions across the whole sweep of the modern era; in his Eurasianist ideology, the enduring conflict is not national or economic, but a battle between ideological agendas framed by the "Land" and "Sea." In Dugin’s assessment, Russia's role as the "civilization of the Land" has “preserved a verticle, hierarchical, ‘messianic’ structure of government." Whatever the ideology, for Dugin, “Russia moved toward world dominance”:— James Heiser, The New American
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