The New American: A Review of Dugin’s “Last War of the World-Island”

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”: