By Eric Vandenbroeck and co-workers

According such articles like among those in Foreign Affairs and The New European they have decided who is the most dangerous man in the world. And Andrew S. Weiss vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment, where he oversees research in Washington and Moscow on Russia and Eurasia referring to Aleksandr Dugin wrote an investigative article titled; With Friends Like These: The Kremlin’s Far-Right and Populist Connections in Italy and Austria.

Already in January 2020, the Italian weekly L’Espresso revealed that one of the three Russian individuals who met, in 2018, with the functionaries of the Italian Lega to discuss financial support for the far-right party was an actual intel officer Andrey KharchenkoKharchenko is also closely connected to Russian fascist Alexander Dugin, which means that Russian intelligence services are overseeing Dugin's activities.

 

Putin's brain or simply the poster boy of populism and the radical right?

Whereby Foreign Affairs called him "Putin's brain" at the launch of the neo-Eurasian movement we are about to explain, it is true that the then-Russian deputy foreign minister, Victor Kalyuzhny, and the deputy speaker of the Russian senate, Alexander Torshin, were listed as members of its higher council we have to see these matters in a differentiated manner. 

Aleksandr Dugin with a Kalashnikov in front of a tank of the South Ossetian insurgent army, June 2008:

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Der Spiegel reported how Alexander Dugin had set thirty army tents housed his 200 attendees undergoing paramilitary training.

To place this in a larger context, Russian geopolitical thinking with deep roots in history has always influenced its foreign policy - under the Soviet regime, it was disguised. Only after August 1991 was geopolitics officially accepted as a political doctrine. Neo-Eurasianism became the most important and influential version of it. This anti-Western theory had its roots in Eurasianism, a theory introduced by Russian émigrés. It was based on two conceptions: the Russian view of a declining West and its conspiracy theory. The first-mentioned view has its precursors even in the West in Oswald Spengler's writings as well as in the national socialists' worldview.

However, the above view of the decrepit West has always been combined with the so-called conspiracy theory. The West is a hotbed of evil forces conspiring against Russia. In plain language, all misfortunes and shortcomings in Russia's history can be explained as caused by the West dominated by Jews and Masons...

While more than the older Slavophiles, Dugin's intellectual forebears are often Western New Right thinkers such as the Belgian neo-Fascist Jean Francois Thiriart and, most importantly, Julius Evola

It is known that during his time in Vienna, and upon his return to Italy, Julius Evola's plan was that of creating a political movement bound more firmly (than had henceforth been the case; i.e., with Fascism and Nazism) to the principles of aristocracy and honor, which are the foundation of traditional power. This idea was shared by some Fascist intellectuals, whereby Evola himself pointed out in the postwar period, it was a mat­ter of forming elites of young people who knew how to resist modernity and the false temptations of populism, but above all of being able to complete the Fascist and Nazi revolutions on a supranational level by conferring them with cultural meaning. 

The issue of esotericism was also relevant in the context of Evola's collaboration with the German Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service) and Abwehr (Military Intelli­gence Service) because his relationship with the German military secret services took place given the preparation of a model of man and society that was not intended for everyone but rather only for the "initiates” who were capable of demonstrating an in­ner equilibrium and knowledge superior to others.1

For Dugin, “Fascism has nothing in common with extreme nationalism, a nationalist radicalism at the border of chauvinism and racial hate. Despite the existence of a racist and chauvinistic aspect in German National-Socialism, this element was not defining the core of the ideology.” According to him. The Ahnenerbe, the main institution in charge of elaborating Nazi esoteric myths and rituals, was the model of this nonracist Nazism. It welcomed cooperation with non-European peoples from Asia and the Middle East. They were considered part of a shared Aryan genealogy, Only the Atlanticist line of Nazism advanced by Bavarian circles and by Hitler himself promoted theories of racial destruction. In contrast, the Russophile Eurasianist line, led by Reinhard Heydrich, was open to non-European peoples.

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In one of his first trips to Europe, in 1993, Dugin also met Leon Degrelle just before the latter passed away. Degrelle, founder of the Fascist Walloon party Rexism that supported total collaboration with the Nazis, became Volksführer of Wallonia and the leader of the Walloon contingent of the Waffen SS, which was sent to the Eastern Front.

One of Dugin’s disciples, Nina Kouprianova, is married to white nationalist leader Richard Spencer. Kouprianova has translated Dugin’s works which were published by Spencer’s publishing house, the Washington Summit Publishers. Spencer himself, before he came to the public eye, has been hosted on RT regularly as a commentator. More recently, Aleksandr Dugin has also been platformed on Infowars [archive], run by far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones

We covered Richard Spencer in reference to the great replacement conspiracy theory (when he marched chanting 'Jews will not replace us’), whereby he rejecting being a neo-Nazi and said that he perceived himself closer to the tradition of Alain de Benoist, Dugin, and the French New Right. 

However throughout, Spencer increasingly became associated with white nationalist websites and groups, including Andrew Anglin's Daily Stormer, Brad Griffin's Occidental Dissent, and Matthew Heimbach's Traditionalist Worker Party. In 2015 it attracted broader public attention, particularly through coverage on Steve Bannon's Breitbart News, due to the above-noted support for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, he was interviewed on CNN.

 

The extreme right in East and West

More than other political cultures, the culture of the extreme right is a highly segmented ecosystem of groups or factions, movements, blogs, websites, and publishers and magazines that simultaneously collaborate and compete. Far-right groups tend to overstate their numbers, influence, and connections to position themselves as part of a structured international movement. Moreover, their networks are difficult to analyze open sources may be lacking. Discussions may be underground. Rumors can spread from one source to the other without reliable documentation. Personal friendships can be more important than ideological commitments. Additionally, identifying a connection between two movements does not necessarily reveal any direction of influence. Ideological stimuli are more often a matter of cross-pollination than a unidirectional dynamic.

Contacts between far-right movements in Europe and Russia existed before the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, even though they were rare because the Russian groups were strongly anti-Western and insisted on Russia’s distinct path (Sondenveg). However, the same ideologies were circulating in both the European and Eurasian spaces; this can be seen on the byways of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which provided the doctrinal foundation for many anti-Semitic movements. And more recently, those whose ultranationalist rhetoric mirrors Dugin’s own call for genocide the Ukrainian, echoing Nazi ambitions against Europe’s Jews.

To this belonged the Kremlin-backed annual Foros Forum convenes in Crimea, a majority ethnic Russian region in Ukraine, and aims to "shape a new generation of young Russian politicians," according to one of the organizers Duma deputy Sergei Markov. A selection of young activists from Kremlin-created youth groups like Nashi and the Youth Guards join the leaders and activists of Ukrainian pro-Russian movements to listen to lectures by the likes of Aleksandr Dugin, a leading light of the Eurasia movement, which preaches a Russian-led power block as an alternative to the West. "People gather to support our fraternal Ukrainian nation, which is groaning under the pressure of NATO," says Gennady Basov, leader of the nationalist Russian Bloc Party, a pro-Moscow pressure group based in Crimea.

There was also an emotional defense of the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine. Its authors were descendants of some of the most powerful Russian aristocratic families that fled the country after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.

"Knowledge of the recent past, namely the past of the pre-revolutionary Russia, gives us the opportunity, and with it the duty, to expose the obvious historical falsifications that led to the current drama in Ukraine.” Titled “Solidarity with Russia,” the letter went on to criticize Western “aggressive hostility” toward Moscow: “Russia is accused of crimes, without a priori evidence it is declared guilty.” The authors said that they could no longer accept the “daily slander against modern Russia … its leadership and its president,” who, they write, subjected to sanctions and dragged in the dirt against elementary common sense.

The letter was penned by Prince Dmitry Shakhovskoi, a well-respected Slavic scholar who lives in France. His wife, Tamara, was signed by more than 100 princes, counts, and others whose names ranked among the most storied tsarist Russia, Tolstoy, Pushkin, Sheremetev. These families maintain a tight-knit community across Europe sustained by galas and black-tie reunions.

Contradictory as it may seem, however, support for the Kremlin among White émigrés and their descendants is hardly new. It goes back almost to the revolution when the new Bolshevik secret police first began actively recruiting Russians living in Europe. Some believe that Shakhovskoi’s letter represents the Kremlin’s latest attempt to exploit the émigré community. And, in that, it sheds light on what exactly Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to accomplish with his new Cold War with the West.

Collaboration between the White émigrés and the Kremlin goes back to the 1920s. The Bolshevik secret police began actively recruiting members of the so-called first wave of émigrés soon after settling abroad. Other sympathizers changed their minds about the Communists after World War II when many believed Stalin saved the motherland from the Nazis. Deceived about his rule, many émigrés returned to the USSR only to be sent to the gulag.

Over the following decades, other émigrés and their children and grandchildren settled across Europe, the United States, and elsewhere assimilated into Western society. However, many maintained informal ties to the USSR, attending Soviet embassy receptions and Kremlin-organized cultural events and traveling to the Soviet Union. 

Although White émigré descendants’ formal relations with Russia’s new authorities warmed after the Communist collapse in 1991, they remained brittle, as some exiled families tried in vain to reclaim former property. 

A young billionaire named Konstantin Malofeev is also believed to provide an important conduit to the White émigré community. The founder of an investment firm named Marshall Capital Partners, who calls himself an “Orthodox businessman,” has been the subject of at least two criminal investigations into theft from state-controlled banks. However, the probes were dropped around the time he’s believed to have begun playing a central role in financing and directing the separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine, which Moscow has fueled with arms, troops. The whipping up of propaganda espousing a radical Russian Orthodox-based nationalism. Novaya Gazeta, one of Russia’s few remaining independent newspapers, reported that Malofeev was behind a memo to the Kremlin proposing the annexation of Crimea and part of eastern Ukraine even before the country’s old pro-Moscow government had collapsed. He is also close to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, who helped draft a new law for censoring the Internet.

Malofeev’s connections to the émigré descendants include, according to Kirilenko and others, a close friendship with Shakhovskoi’s son, who works in Moscow and is married to the daughter of Zurab Chavchavadze, a Georgian prince who is one of the representatives of a wing of the Romanov family in Russia. Malofeev also heads foundations that advocate Russian Orthodox values and funds a private Orthodox school of which Chavchavadze is the director. Although Malofeev’s star in the Kremlin is believed to have waned since last year, it’s clear he remains one of a small group of like-minded insiders who carry out useful roles for the Kremlin.

Viktor Moskvin, the director of another state-funded cultural group in Moscow called the Alexander Solzhenitsyn House of Russia Abroad, said it was his idea to approach Russian media about publicizing the letter after Shakhovskoi told him about it during a White army celebration in Paris. His group, which is chaired by the widow of the famous dissident writer and strong Putin supporter and was founded to collect an archive of émigré documents and relics, also provides a direct conduit for Moscow’s ties to Russian émigrés. Moskvin insisted that Shakhovskoi’s letter is important because its signatories represent the cream of Russia’s historical elite. “They are representatives of the oldest and most illustrious Russian families, who played a huge role in the Motherland’s history,” he told the government’s official paper of record, Rossiiskaya Gazeta. “Today, they include professors of leading universities, scholars, doctors, successful entrepreneurs, and journalists. They support Russia and the Russian people with their souls.”

 

Cooperation with European extreme right-wing parties

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Putin isn’t aiming to galvanize the support of only émigrés. The many hundreds of social media comments supporting Shakhovskoi’s letter included French and other Europeans who said they were swayed by the idea that the writers had special authority to understand the Kremlin’s actions. “I find here a taste of Free France, where the monarchists rubbed anarchists,” read a comment on a French translation of the letter.

Moscow is encouraging such sympathies among both far-left and far-right groups to help split Western opinion. That’s an old game for Moscow: European Communist parties and other groups acted the same way during the Cold War. Now the Kremlin is quietly cultivating radical parties across the continent, including some openly neofascist, united by the common goal of undermining the European Union.

Despite the paradox, many far-right parties across Europe, including France’s anti-immigrant National Front and the Dutch Freedom Party, are voicing loud support for Putin. Russia also has ties with Hungary’s nationalist Jobbik party, Slovakia’s People’s Party, and Bulgaria’s anti-EU Attack movement. National Front leader Marine Le Pen recently praised Putin, saying that “he proposes a patriotic economic model radically different than what the Americans are imposing on us.” Her party went to take out a loan worth more than $10 million from a Russian bank owned by a Kremlin ally. Last year, both the National Front and the United Kingdom’s anti-EU UK Independence Party won 24 seats in the European Parliament, an institution they want to sideline.

Kremlin allies and insiders have been busy hosting conferences to rally support groups in Serbia, Switzerland, and elsewhere. Yakunin, the billionaire who organized the Tunisia-Sevastopol cruise for a new generation of White Russians, is co-chair of an organization called the Franco-Russian Dialogue Association. Putin and former French President Jacques Chirac set up in 2004 ostensibly to improve economic and cultural links. Last summer, at the group’s annual assembly, held at the Russian embassy in Paris, Yakunin railed against Washington for inciting European countries to enact new sanctions.

In Austria last May, Konstantin Malofeev organized a meeting of European right-wing politicians. Alexander Dugin headlined the event. With members of the National Front and Austria’s Freedom Party in attendance, “it looked like a congress of anti-European forces,” Kirilenko says. “They paint themselves as supporters of traditional values that are under attack in the West to mobilize public opinion that Russia is the genuine home of spirituality.”

Contacts between far-right movements in Europe and Russia existed before the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, even though they were rare because the Russian groups were strongly anti-Western and insisted on Russia’s distinct path (Sondenveg). However, the same ideologies were circulating in both the European and Eurasian spaces, particularly the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which provided the doctrinal foundation for many anti-Semitic movements. 

While the political relevance of right-wing populist challenges to liberal democracy is widely recognized, the theoretical bases of right-wing populism are rarely the targets of sustained analysis. Yet what Alberto Spektorowski writes about the New Right perhaps applies also to right-wing populisms more generally: their importance “lies . . . in [their] theoretical innovation.”2

Despite these attempts to “excuse” fascism from its racist elements, Dugin is certainly not indifferent to racial theories.

Like Julius Evola, one of his main sources of inspiration, he believes in spiritual races that separate peoples into two major categories: subject races and object races. It goes without saying that the choice of terminology, subject and object, borrowed from twentieth-century philosophy, is a way of implying superiority and inferiority without the consequent legal condemnation.

The third line of argument anchors fascism into a discursive framework, nationalism, that enjoys more positive connotations in some parts of Russian public opinion. To do this, Dugin plays with words and blurs terms to make them interchangeable. According to him, the concept of National Socialism sounds negative, even though the two words that comprise it are positive. Therefore National Socialism should be understood as no more than “German socialism” because fascism is a proletarian regime “whose central figures are the peasant, worker, and soldier.”

The Franco regime, for instance, would not qualify as fascist because it promoted a “national capitalism” that is actually the enemy of authentic fascism. Similarly, “Russian Fascism can be described as Russian socialism.” At the same time, Marxism-Leninism was lost in a sterile doctrinal rigidity, according to Dugin.

Russian National Socialism would be “more peasant than the proletariat, more communitarian and cooperative than statist, more regional than centralized. From Dugin’s perspective, fascism would thus be no more than a “leftist nationalism.”

Dugin deploys the words “nationalism” and “fascism” interchangeably. He starts his article “Leftist Nationalism” by stating, “The twentieth century knows only three forms of ideology: liberalism, communism, and nationalism.’ In “Fascism without Borders and Red,” he included a very similar sentence but replaced nationalism with fascism. He proclaimed that “Russia [had] passed two ideological moments, the communist and the liberal. . . . Fascism is the remaining one.”

However, to develop a more solid narrative that would make fascism adequate to Russian political traditions. Dugin has gone further. He has invested himself in revamping the German Conservative Revolution tradition to foster fascism's reintegration into the “politically correct” realm by rebuilding its intellectual genealogy.

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Offshoots and further sources

The Eurasian Movement has an offshoot, the Global Revolutionary Alliance (GRA). Its manifesto, dated April 1, 2017, espouses an apocalyptic vision that humanity is at the verge of an end to “capitalism, resources, society, nations, peoples, knowledge, progress.” The GRA downplays the significance of wider social transformations and places the blame for these processes, rather conveniently, on the “global Western-centric world” and “the ruling class of globalism.”

The GRA calls for a global revolution: “liberalism … must be destroyed, crushed, overthrown, obsolete.” It brands the United States as the “country of absolute evil,” vowing to partner with any anti-US, anti-Western, anti-NATO, and anti-liberal countries in their revolution. At its core, the GRA manifesto synthesizes conspiracy theories about a “deep state,” globalization, mutants, cyborgs, the sinister meaning of the Statue of Liberty, and so on. What is unsettling is that the manifesto does not read at all like a conspiracy theory. Instead, it is framed as reality, aiming to unite people worldwide to safeguard their “normal” way of life in collectives and railing against the freeing individualization and “atomization” of the West. At the foundation of the GRA ideology is so-called neo-Eurasianism. As Dugin explains, triumphant liberalism moved out of the political realm to metamorphose into “biopolitics,” absorbing flesh and blood to become a lifestyle. He asserts the need for an ideology to defeat neoliberalism. If it is not defeated, the only remaining option is a “dissolution” into triumphant liberalism, its lifestyle, and its global world. Dugin offers a solution that he believes is powerful enough to strike down neoliberalism and its lifestyle.

This is where neo-Eurasianism strikes, offering what Dugin sells as a complete package: a cause, an ideology, and a strategy for a revolution to reclaim one’s identity and tradition. In essence, Dugin proposes “an alternative model of a conservative future.” Neo-Eurasianism includes such conflicting notions of “fundamental conservatism (traditionalism), social-conservatism and conservative revolution.” Such palingenesis in Dugin’s ideas intertwines with the as seen above ideas of Julius Evola, an Italian fascist traditionalist, who venerated traditional society and considered modernity as corruption.

Dugin systematically refers to  the main representatives of this Conservative Revolution: the Jungkonservativen, with Arthur Moeller van der Brack, Oswald Spengler, Carl Schmitt, Othmar Spann, and Wilhelm Stapel; the National Revolutionaries, mostly Ernst Jiinger and Franz Schauwecker; and the German National Bolsheviks around Heinrich Laufenberg and Ernst Niekisch. Dugin points out the tensions between these movements and Hitlerism and emphasizes several contradictory points: Hitlerism was further to the right than the Conservative Revolution, Hitler was a Russophobe. In contrast, the others were Russophile, and Hitler was a racist while the others were non-xenophobic nationalists.

To rehabilitate fascism, Dugin thus needs to dissociate the Nazi regime from the Conservative Revolution. However, he largely fails at convincingly articulating this crucial distinction. For example, lie affirms that “Fascism is the Third Way,”!] that “the most complete and total (although also quite orthodox) incarnation of the Third Way was German National Socialism,” and that “National Socialism undoubtedly took and realized the impulsion coming from the conservative revolutionary ideology. In this usage, the three terms,  Nazism, Fascism, and Conservative Revolution, largely overlap, and Dugin's demonstration of their differences and contradictions fails to be conclusive. Last but not least, although Dugin seeks to promote fascism that diverges from Nazism, his major philosophical references have all directly inspired the Nazi regime: Julius Evola, Carl Schmitt, and Martin Heidegger.

In an interview in 2014, Dugin definitively renounced what he calls the second and third political theories (communism and nationalism/fascism, the first one being liberalism) and stated that the fourth proposes a full break with the first three because it no longer seeks to accommodate modernity, but instead denies it in its entirety. Whereas in the early 1990s, he claimed that Russia had tested liberalism and communism and had to turn to a third choice, fascism/nationalism, twenty years later, he proclaimed, “Liberalism, communism, and fascism, ideologies of the twentieth century, are finished. That is why it is necessary to create a new, fourth political theory.

But despite pedantic declarations of novelty, Dugin had merely rearranged the doctrines in which he has always believed. He states that of all forms of conservatism, the most interesting is that of the Conservative Revolution, which he defines by repeating the formula of Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, “Conservatives who have preceded us have sought to stop the revolution, we must take the lead of it.” 

National Bolshevism and Eurasianism are the two ideologies that are closest to the fourth political theory. Dugin himself, therefore, offers the keys necessary to decipher the falsification of his “novelty.” He recognizes that the drama of the fourth political theory is "that it was hidden behind the third (Nazism and fascism). Its tragedy is to have been overshadowed historically by the third, and being allied with it, given the impossibility to conduct an ideological war on three fronts (against liberalism, communism, and fascism/Nazism). Nothing thus changed, except the window dressing, and Dugin today, as twenty-five years ago, continues to give voice to what fascism is a la Russe.

Ideologically. Eurasianism is the Russian version of the European far-right. The founding fathers of Eurasianism, living as emigres in European capitals in the 1920s and 1930s, were impressed and inspired by the German Conservative Revolution and its combination of “nationalism" and “conservatism." They associated its main thesis, the need for a Third Way between capitalism and communism, with a belief in Russia as the Third Continent between Europe and Asia. While they renounced Nazism, which they regard as pure racism, they followed very closely Italian fascism, in which they saw the inspiration for a future Eurasian Russia. Today, Alexander Dugin, the main ideologue of neo-Eurasianism since the collapse of the Soviet Union, has played a key role in mediating far-right theories in Russia. His definition of Eurasianism entirely overlaps with the Conservative Revolution a la Russe. Yet, contrary to the founding fathers of Eurasianism, Dugin borrows from the whole spectrum of far-right doctrines and does not limit himself to the Third Way theories. So-called Esoteric Nazism directly inspires him, and his metaphorical language calls indeed for violence. He also borrows from some of the New Right theories. He thus offers a complex doctrinal spectrum that is always in intimate dialogue with movements coming from Western Europe.

Eurasianism in Russia and the far-right in Europe share more than doctrinal principles inspired by fascist traditions. Their beliefs push them to interpret the international order with similar toolkits. In both cases, the enemy is identified as the United States (both a country and a civilization) and liberalism (both political and moral, and sometimes, but not always, economic) as its ideological backbone. In their worldview, resistance to this international order can emerge only from countries or regions where anti-Enlightenment values are well preserved and cherished. Europe should be one of them. This statement is aspirational: the Europe they dream of does not exist. On the contrary, both Eurasianism and the far-right complain about the construction of the European Union, which is viewed as a bureaucratic, dehumanized machine that serves U.S, interests and liberal values, the accepted or implied objectives of which are the destruction of authentic European values and the underlying identity of the continent.

Today neo-Eurasianism holds the view that Europe’s real nature is to ally with Eurasia to form the Heartland, a continental mass able to resist maritime powers such as the United States, its subordinate, the United Kingdom, and their allies on other continents, thanks to an extreme ideology directly inspired by fascism. Thus neo-Eurasianism is not anti-European, but instead anti-Western, anti-Transatlantic, and anti-liberal, and it believes in the common destiny of European and Eurasian peoples.

A majority of the European far-right shares this vision of a united continent. Their enemies are the same, especially the European Union, as are their hopes for a pan-European future for “white” or “Christian” peoples in which Russia would have a role. This is not only a result of recent evolutions linked to European construction. Many of the Conservative Revolution theoreticians of the 1920s and 1930s were impressed by the messianic forces unleashed by the Bolshevik Revolution and sought a strategic partnership with a phoenix-like Russia. During World War II, the Nazi regime and its allies searched for a pan-European idea that would catalyze nationalist energies toward a common goal without triggering fratricidal conflicts. Fascist groups revived and updated this idea in the 1960s, as they sought to abandon Nazi ideology on German exceptionalism in favor of a pan-European phenomenon. Their movement. Young Europe (YE) was named after the 1942 Third Reich journal of the same name. One of YE‘s main ideologists. Jean-Franco is Thiriart, who served in the Waffen-SS and defended collaboration with the Nazi regime, advanced the slogan of a Europe "from Reykjavik to Vladivostok,” thus inviting Soviet Russia to join this new political construction. In the 1980s, Thiriart reaffirmed his pledge: “If Moscow wants to make Europe European, I preach total collaboration with the Soviet enterprise. I will then be the first to put a red star on my cap, Soviet Europe, yes, without reservations.”

This shared aspiration of what Europe’s future should be, unified, detached from the trans-Atlantic world, and turned toward its continental neighbor, Russia, also provides a common ground for the current honeymoon between European far-right parties and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. But the toolkit for analyzing this agenda is far more complex than the one needed to comprehend the contacts between Dugin's neo-Eurasianism and his far-right counterparts in Europe. Contrary to frequent media statements, Dugin’s theories are not the direct inspiration for Putin's regime and its quest for great powers. The Kremlin has not made official any new state ideology inspired by the Conservative Revolution, even if it borrows some themes. However, in Europe, the Kremlin has recently acquired more or less the same allies that Dugin has cultivated for more than two decades. As seen from the Kremlin, those who denounce Brussels’ technocrats and their submission to U.S. interests are potential friends of Russia. In addition to this geopolitical orientation, the European far-right shares with the Russian regime a similar anti-liberal narrative that denounces economic and political modernity, individualism, the destruction of so-called traditional values, and the imposition of external cultural standards.

But although Dugin and the European far-right belong to the same ideological world and can be seen as twins, the alliance between Putin’s regime and the European far-right is more a marriage of convenience than one of true love.

This brief sketch outlines how Eurasianism in Russia and the far-right in Europe share many beliefs, principles, and common geopolitical aims. This volume aims at untangling this puzzle by tracing the ideological origins and individual paths that have materialized in their permanent dialogue. The historical roots of this exchange have only been partially studied. The mutual influence between the founding fathers of Eurasianism and the German Conservative Revolution remains largely unexplored, as do the poorly understood relations between postwar far-right movements and the Soviet Union. This volume focuses on the contemporary situation, with regular references to history, to provide the keys to analyze s in Europe.

 

Julius Evola

Evola’s work has recently seen a transnational renaissance. It has influenced the alt-right movement in the US, the Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, and the Hungarian nationalist Jobbik party. Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former chief adviser, is also attracted by Evola’s traditionalist and anti-modernist philosophy, his anti-liberal aristocratic elitism, his spiritual racism, and his male-dominated worldview. These groups and individuals use Evola’s work to call for a Christian-dominated Western world that must be defended against all immigrants, Muslims in particular. Such calls ignore the fact that Evola was highly critical of Christianity and regarded Islam as the more spiritually advanced and thus more traditional religion, a classic example of cherry-picking during Evola’s initial adoption by Italy’s far-right 1970s. Nevertheless, Evola’s growing popularity among the radical right today calls for a deeper understanding of his teachings and philosophy to better understand the present transnational right-wing extremist and terrorist scenes.

Even though his heterodox ideas were not always well received by the Italian ruling class of the time. They earned him the suspension of some publications by the PNF and Germany's suspicion of the Nazi hierarchies.3 Evola contributes to the dissemination in Italy of important European authors of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: Bachofen, Guénon, Jünger, Ortega y Gasset, Spengler, Weininger, translating some of their works and publishing critical essays. The complexity of his thought gave him, even after the end of the war, a large following in the Italian and European conservative circles, from the most radical ones of neo-fascism (Franco Freda, Pino Rauti, and Enzo Erra of the New Order Studies Center) to those represented by members of the more moderate right (Giano Accame, Marcello Veneziani). Evola was also considered one of the main ideologues of the terrorist far right during the Years of Lead 4 and his works are also appreciated by some fringes of Islamic fundamentalism 5 Evola is also a popular author, largely due to his metaphysical, magical, and supernatural beliefs, including belief in ghosts, telepathy, and alchemy. His works are translated and published in Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Greece, Switzerland, Great Britain, Russia, United States, Mexico, Canada, Romania, Argentina, Brazil, Hungary, Poland, Turkey.6 

When Evola’s ideas are undergoing a revival, topics like these take on more than academic significance.7 The entwinement of biological and spiritual beliefs about race is not a thing of the past, no minor concern in light of the porous boundary between putatively extremist ideologies and the cultural mainstream.8 Evola’s project may have failed in its era. Still, the resentments that animated it has by no means disappeared. Critical scholarship on allegedly ancient racial myths and their modern implementation can help clarify our understanding of a history that has lost little of its relevance. Opaque as they may seem to contemporary observers, Evola's theories espoused in a fateful interchange between Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy deserve renewed attention today.

 

Enter Steve Bannon

In an article titled "how a mystical doctrine is reshaping the right" Steve Bannon, Russia’s Alexander Dugin, and Brazil’s Olavo de Carvalho are united by their affinity with a spiritual movement that fundamentally rejects modernity. 

The same as also in Austria and other countries worldwide Alexander Dugin met with members of the National Front and Austria’s Freedom Party.

Near the end of this investigation, I also was able to read the book by Benjamin R. Teitelbaum of which the Sept/Oct 2021 issues of Foreign Affairs reports that: Seeking to understand the roots of Bannon’s eccentric post-fascist beliefs, Teitelbaum (a music professor who also studies radical populists) convinced him to sit for 20 hours of interviews. Teitelbaum sets out to find the leaders of Bannon’s underground “spiritual school” committed to “Traditionalism,” a secretive ideology that rejects modernity, the Enlightenment, materialism, and globalization. They include a bearded supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin who promotes “Eurasianism” as an alternative to the rotten West, the former leader of a Hungarian nationalist and anti-Roma party, an Iranian American author peddling plans for a eugenic purification of Persians, a Brazilian philosopher active on social media and close to Brazil’s current populist government, and a Briton with obscure corporate and political connections and the code name “Jellyfish.

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Teitelbaum, who kept an exact diary of all of his meetings with Bannon inclusive pictures taken with both him and Bannon on it, focuses particularly on the year 2018. He also describes going to a bookstore with Bannon where the latter bought a copy of H.P. Blavatsky's Occult primer "The Secret Doctrine," a book we have actually already had extensively covered in our extensive archive of older articles here.

Teitelbaum also mentioned that 'Steve told me, he connected with Uni­versity of San Francisco philosophy professor Jacob Needleman: a scholar knowledgeable, as Teitelbaum mentions, of Rene Guenon. It is widely known that Dugin’s worldview fuses a revived pan-Slavism (the ideology that helped trigger Europe’s fratricidal explosion in 1914) with more cosmopolitan fascist currents, particularly the so-called Traditionalism of René Guénon and Julius Evola.  In fact, Guénon’s main disciple was indeed Julius Evola the leading inspirator for Dugin's Eurasianism, which various news sources mentioned was cited by Bannon including the NYT with Steve Bannon Cited Italian Thinker Who Inspired Fascists.

War for Eternity joins the dots between this newly influential philosophy and leading personalities from the global right. In 2018-9 Teitelbaum spent 20 hours talking to Bannon. He spoke to Dugin and met with Olavo de Carvalho, a one-time journalist and astrologer who advises Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro.

Dugin and his many accolades to which according to the well-researched book by Teitelbaum, thus attempt to pursue a multiform strategy on the fringe of the classical electoral political spectrum. He develops a geopolitical discourse aimed at a large public, a concept of Eurasia as the basis for a new ideology of Russian great power for the Putin establishment, and Traditionalism and other philosophical and religious doctrines restricted to small but influential and consciously elitist intellectual circles.

As we have seen above, the simplest way into Traditionalism is to think of it as the fourth quadrant on a political compass where the other three are fascism, liberalism, and communism. Traditionalism rejects all three rivals on the same grounds that they are modernist, they’re competing for the chance to modernize the world; and they’re materialist: communism and liberalism are both obsessed with money, fascism with bodies.

And though Teitelbaum begins and ends with Bannon and Dugin, we can see this hunger for the end of the world far beyond the bounds of his book, in the spiritualized contrarianism of Peter Thiel; in the neo-reactionary movement, which calls for the end of democracy; and in the watered-down religious traditionalism of pop gurus such as Jordan Peterson, whose dragon-slaying rhetoric and imagery hearken back to a mythic, imagined time of heroes and demigods: primal figures free of the atrophy of modern urban society.

US President Donald Trump (L) congratulates Senior Counselor to President Stephen Bannon during the swearing-in of senior staff in the East Room of the White House on January 22, 2017, in Washington, DC:

The drama of War for Eternity culminates in the meeting of Bannon and Dugin in Rome only a few blocks from Evola’s former apartment, where Bannon solicits the Russian’s opinions of Heidegger before attempting to persuade him to join some united global Traditionalist front. “We were born into nothingness, Mr. Bannon,” the Russian reflects. “And yet we each found our way to it,” Bannon responds. “The Tradition.”

In the end, however, Teitelbaum's book is good on Bannon but weak on Dugin's wider background including missing is Russian history and its relevant political inclinations during the various time periods we instead have detailed in the above earlier part of this by now extensive investigation. 

In his recent book The Decadent Society, Ross Douthat identifies the fundamental problem of our age not as libertinage but as disaffection: Ours is a world in which the political landscape has been reduced to “a kind of digital-age playacting in which young people dissatisfied with decadence pretend to be Fascist and Marxist on the Internet, reenacting the 1930s and 1960s with fewer street fights and more memes.” If this is so, then the Duggins and the Bannons of the world are the biggest play-actors of all: reenacting the twilight of the gods, just with more memes.

Even if Dugin’s institutional presence in Russia and all the countries we mentioned, including the USA, is based on groupuscules, the influence of his personality and his works must not be underestimated. Despite his rhetorical radicalism, which few people are prepared to follow in all its philosophical and political consequences, Dugin has become one of the most fashionable thinkers of the day. Using networks that are difficult to trace, he disseminates the myth of Russian great power, accompanied by imperialist, racialist, Aryans, and occultist beliefs expressed euphemistically and whose scope remains unclear, but that cannot remain without consequences. Dugin’s role as an ideological mediator will probably be an important point to consider in any long-term historical assessment: he is one of the few thinkers to engage in a profound renewal of Russian nationalist doctrines, repetitive in their Slavophilism and their czarist and/or Soviet nostalgia. His originality lies precisely in his attempt to create a revolutionary nationalism refreshed by the achievements of 20th-century Western thought, fully accepting the political role these ideas played between the two world wars. Therefore, in his opposition to American globalization, Dugin unintentionally contributes to the internationalization of identity discourse and the uniformization of those theories attempting to resist globalization. He illustrates that, although aiming for universality, these doctrines are still largely elaborated in the West. This is a paradoxical destiny for a Russian nationalist, whose self-defined and conscious “mission” is to anchor a profoundly Western intellectual heritage in Russia and to use it to enrich his fellow citizens.

And not to mention that he is a charmer Russian President Vladimir Putin danced arm-in-arm with Austria's foreign minister, Karin Kneissl:

Ein Bild, das Person, draußen, Personen enthält.

Automatisch generierte Beschreibung

 

Germany ueber alles?

One must note the paradoxical absence of Germany. While German thought from the early twentieth century and the interwar years comprises one of the core tenets of Dugin’s doctrine, he has few allies in Germany, compared with his deep interactions with the Francophone world and the Mediterranean. His German acquaintances have only very recently been cultivated, namely with the journal Zuerst, launched in 2010 as the successor of the neo-Nazi Nation and Europa to promote right-wing thought in Germany. Zuerst! prominent journalist Manuel Ochsenreiter, has interviewed Dugin several times. Thanks to this network, Dugin was invited to join the March 2015 conference of far-right thinkers and activists organized by Dietmar Munier, who owns the two biggest far-right publishing houses in Germany, Arndt and Lesen and Schenken, Although Dugin has read and sometimes cited Armin Mohler, a disciple of Ernst Junger and Swiss-born far-right political writer and philosopher, known for his works on the Conservative Revolution and associated with the Neue Rechte, the two men do not appear to have met.

 

But France Yes

Back in 2011, Marine Le Pen acknowledged admiring the Russian president and supporting Russia: ‘"I can only be concerned when I see that our president [then Nicolas Sarkozy], at the instigation of the Americans, is turning his back on Russia. Following the Americans, the French media demonizes Russia.'] The FN insists on several positive components of the Russian regime: authoritarianism (the cult of the strong man), anti-American jockeying (the fight against U.S. unipolarity and NATO domination), defense of Christian values, rejection of gay marriage, criticism of the European Union, and support for a “Europe of Nations.” With Russia's international condemnation after the Ukrainian crisis, Marine Le Pen has turned out even greater praise: “Mr. Putin is a patriot. He is attached to the sovereignty of his people. He is aware that we defend common values. These are the values of European civilization. ”[] She, therefore, calls for an “advanced strategic alliance” with Russia, which should be embodied in a continental European axis running from Paris to Berlin to Moscow. Regarding the Ukrainian crisis, the FN totally subscribes to the Russian interpretation of events and has given very vocal support to Moscow's position. The party criticized the Euro-Maidan revolution, thinks that the EU “threw oil on the fire” by proposing an economic partnership with a country in which half the population looks to the East, states its preference for a federalization of Ukraine that would give a broad autonomy to the Russian-speaking regions, and supports Russian proposals for solving the Donbas conflict.

The FN has become increasingly active in its relations with Russia, including several trips by high-ranking leaders: Marion Marechal-Le Pen, Marine’s niece, and France's youngest MP, traveled there in December 2012; Bruno Gollnisch, executive vice president of the FN and president of the European Alliance of National Movements (AEMN), went in May 2013; and Marine Ee Pen and FN vice president Louis Aliot both went in June 2013. During the second trip in April 2014, Marine Le Pen was received at a high political level by the president of the Duma, Sergei Naryshkin, the head of the Duma’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Aleksei Pushkov, and the deputy prime minister, Dmitri Rogozin.

Several Russophile figures surround the president of the FN and have enhanced the party’s orientation toward Russia. The most famous is Aymeric Chauprade. an FN international advisor and European deputy who is close to Konstantin Malofeev. Next comes Xavier Moreau, a former student of Saint-Cyr, France’s foremost military academy, and a former paratrooper, who directs a Moscow-based consulting company, Sokol, and seems to play a central role in forming contracts between FN-friendly business circles and their Russian counterparts. Fabrice Sorlin, head of Dies Irae, a fundamentalist Catholic movement, leads the France- Europe Russia Alliance (AAFER). The FN also cultivates relations with Russian emigre circles and institutions representing Russia in France. The FN’s two MPs, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, and Gilbert Collard are both members of a France-Russian friendship group. Marine Le Pen seems to have frequently met in private with the Russian ambassador to France, Alexander Orlov who chairs the board of Gazprom-Nord Stream. These alliances weakened during the Ukrainian crisis, given Chancellor Angela Merkel’s leading role in condemning Russia. But some new friends emerged among Die Linke, a powerful post-communist party in former East Germany.

In addition to the political networks, there is a powerful and well-structured net of “civil society” organizations and think tanks that promote Russian interests. The most well-known among them is the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation (IDC), led by Natalia Narochnitskaya, a high priestess of political Orthodoxy since the 1990s and former member of parliament (MP) in the Russian Duma. John Laughland, the Eurosceptic British historian and frequent commentator on the Russian-funded television network RT, is director of studies at the IDC, which is funded by Russian “charitable NGOs” (non-governmental organizations). The Russian government makes use of the long-established cultural institutions associated with the presence of an important Russian diaspora in France that dates back to the 1920s and the Soviet period. It contributes to a myriad of Russian associations such as the Dialogue Franco-Russe, headed by Vladimir Yakunin, who was head of Russian Railways and a close Putin adviser until August 2015, and Prince Alexandre Troubetzkoy, representative of the Russian emigration. Paris is also home to the largest Russian Orthodox Church in Europe, which opened in fall 2016 in the center of Paris. The Moscow Patriarchate’s close relationship with the Kremlin helps project Russia’s “soft” power in Europe.9

 

Russia’s Calibrated Tools

Today Russia is successfully manipulating the asymmetrical soft power tools. It has joined lip with new allies that no longer represent the same ideological values as those from the Soviet years.

Adept at realpolitik, Moscow plays the game it thinks is best adapted to Russia’s current situation. It has cultivated the distinct interests of some EU member states to weaken the European construct, reduce Europe's attractiveness to the peripheries that Europe and Russia share, and create new allies among the most fragile or disgruntled countries within anti-mainstream movements.

However, the partial overlap of the European networks of Dugin, for some of them built more than twenty years ago. Those elaborated by the Kremlin since the mid-2000s are cause for significant concern. s are those of the European New Right, rooted in barely concealed fascist traditions. Some assumed intellectual and individual affiliations with the Nazi ideology and post-Nazi elusive transformations. On the contrary, the Kremlin has progressively created a consensual ideology with ut doctrine, founded on Russian patriotism and classical conservative values: respect for hierarchy, established social order, authoritarian political regime, the traditional family, etc. At first glance, classic conservatism and a far-right inspired by a fascist heritage share little in common. Classic conservatism does not reject Enlightenment values but seeks more gradual social and political evolution and an end to the cult of progress and individualism at any cost; far right is thoroughly anti-Enlightenment, calling for the return to medieval orders and make inequality among men one of its founding principles.

The Kremlin seeks to establish a brand for Russia that depicts it as a torchbearer of European traditions and as a power challenging the post-war liberal-democratic status quo. It hopes for a mythical Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis. However, it has not extensively recruited in classical conservative circles (e.g.. the CDU/CSU in Germany, the UMP in France, and the Conservative party in the UK) except in Hungary with Fidesz, but rather among the more extreme fringes. Despite an ideology of stability, the Kremlin cooperates with twilight ideologies. Does this mean that Russia could not find any allies in conservative European circles and had no choice but to consolidate ties with the only groups ready for a tactical alliance with Moscow, i.e., the far-right? If so, how were the contacts made? The parallels between the networks of Dugin and the Kremlin are not systematic, but they are prevalent. For example, almost all European observers who validated the referendum in Crimea can be placed on the extreme right of the political spectrum, whether or not they have been in direct contact with Dugin before. In the Malofeev-sponsored meeting in Vienna, s and those of the Kremlin appear to form a single ecosystem.

Who is thus mimicking whom? Who usurped the contacts of the other? Is Dugin directly “feeding” the Kremlin with contacts with European far-right circles? His European acquaintances predate those of the Kremlin. Still, this explanation seems short-sighted, knowing that Dugin is not well connected to the presidential administration, contrary to what Western pundits tend to assume. Dugin is no more than one among many other mediators who can offer the Kremlin some bridges to European fellow travelers, and some are better connected than he: Natalia Narochnitskaya in Paris; Dmitri Rogozin, Russia’s former ambassador to NATO and current deputy prime minister, whose Rodina party has been very Westward-looking in terms of ideological inspirations; and Konstantin Malofeev, who is linked to the Church’s networks in Europe around abortion and anti-gay slogans.

The fact that s and those of the Kremlin overlap are not sufficient to prove that they are being articulated by the same forces, according to unidirectional, top-down dynamics. This more logically demonstrates that Putin had few friends in Europe and fewer since the events in Ukraine. This limited pool

This has facilitated the overlap between different networks built by groups with originally diverging sensibilities and ideological agendas. The Russian presidential administration targets more populist and mainstream parties, while Dugin’s contacts are more radical and marginal.

The reasons for this honeymoon between Russia and European far-right circles are primarily ideological. Both seek allies against the mainstream and identify themselves as outsiders challenging the “center,’' or what they often name “the system.” Their enemies have clearly been identified.

 

Conclusion

Traditionalism is a radical doctrine, so radical that scholars of the far-right had often dismissed it as an obscure curiosity devoid of high-level political consequence. Some of its early right-wing adherents believed a race of ethereal Aryans once lived in the North Pole and advocated establishing celibate patriarchy of warrior-priests in place of democracy. It often sounds more like make-believe than politics; Dungeons and Dragons for racists, as a former student of mine once put it.

But dismissing Traditionalism is no longer an option, now that Dugin and his ilk are gaining exceptional influence throughout the globe. These ideologues infused a major political party in Hungary, Vladimir Putin’s government, and later Donald Trump’s and Jair Bolsonaro’s administration through figures like Steve Bannon and Olavo de Carvalho, a renegade astrologer and philosopher who advises the Brazilian government on foreign and domestic policy.

Milo Yiannopoulos and Allum Bokhari, in a 2016 Breitbart article titled “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right,” introduced the alt-right as a subversive movement borne out of the internet. Yiannopoulos and Bokhari present alt-right activists as “intellectuals.” Nothing falls from the sky: There must be functional roots to such an intellectual movement, and there must be an active, stable nucleus that develops and deploys its ideology to galvanize followers and sympathizers.

Yiannopoulos and Bokhari also mention Julius Evola, among others, as a thinker who inspired the origin of the alt-right. Dugin, however, was fascinated with Evola long before the alt-right. As Dugin admits in an interview, Evola’s “readings changed my life.” The early roots of Dugin’s fascist ultra-nationalism can therefore be found in the late 1960’s French political movement, the Nouvelle Droite, or the New Right. Aleksandr Dugin and his contemporary Aleksandr Panarin had close ideological ties with the European New Right.

In their article, Yiannopoulos and Bokhari highlight the alt-right assault on Western liberalism and democracy. In its place, the alt-right wants “natural instincts, tribal psychology, and identity politics: the preservation of tribe and its culture.” This overall idea can be found in Dugin’s work: “liberal individualism is destructive and criminal. It separates individuals from their collective identities.” According to Yiannopoulos and Bokhari, the alt-right aims to build “homogenous communities to preserve traditional identities: a separation from liberal cultures.” Dugin’s outrage over neoliberalism underlines all of these ideas.

What we have seen in the course of the above article is that particular elements of the far right-sided with Russia, and then explores how the far-right pro-Russian attitudes developed in the West during the Cold War, as well as pointing out that Soviet Russia was often prone to use the Western for the right for its own political benefits. They facilitated and contributed to the deepening of the relations between Russian pro-Kremlin actors and the Western far-right when more favorable conditions arose in the second half of the 2000s. And how particular elements of the Western far right embraced it including openly pro-Russian activities that European far-right movements and organizations have carried out in their national contexts. This included far-right politicians on high-profile discussion platforms in Moscow and at sessions of the European Parliament in Strasbourg and Brussels.

The relative obscurity of Dugin’s work in Western countries may have kept these links vague, but the fingerprints of Eurasanism are visible. Dugin celebrated the union between Italy’s far-right League party and the populist Five Star Movement, claiming that Matteo Salvini’s government was the first concrete expression of his visions. To understand the wider ideological context of the contemporary radical right, it is imperative to identify the shadowy hand of the Global Revolutionary Alliance. A suitable signpost can be, “Beware of preachers of Duginism.”

Russia’s network of influence has reached far beyond the vulnerable states of post-socialist Europe. Western countries and political leaders are not immune from the Kremlin’s efforts. While there is no single formula for how Russia seeks to exert and project its power in Europe’s core, the goal of the Trojan Horse strategy is the same: to build a web of allied political leaders and parties who will legitimize Russia’s aims to destabilize European unity and undermine European values. Ironically, while the Ukraine crisis has united Europe and the United States around a cohesive sanctions policy on Russia, it has also incentivized Putin to intensify efforts to infiltrate European polities by cultivating Trojan Horses in an effort to weaken Europe’s resolve.10

What can also be said is that the various non-Russian Western and Eastern sources of “neo-Eurasianism,” as well as the flexibility of its geographic orientation and practical implications, are among the reasons why Dugin and his various organizations have been able to develop especially far-reaching international ties in Europe and Asia. In recent years, Dugin & Co. have actively participated not only in creating contacts between various radical nationalists in Western and East-Central Europe, on the one side, and Russia, on the other. As indicated in, among other investigations, Anton Shekhovtsov’s seminal 2017 monograph Russia and the Western Far Right, Dugin’s extensive networks in the West have also played a certain role in establishing links between representatives of the Putin regime (politicians, diplomats, propagandists, etc.) with far-right forces in the EU, United States, Turkey, and other countries.

 

1. For details of this period see Julius Evola: Un filosofo in guerra. 1943-1945 di Gianfranco de Turris, 2017.

2. Alberto Spektorowski, “The Intellectual New Right, the European Radical Right and the Ideological Challenge to Liberal Democracy,” International Studies 39, no. 2 (2002): 169.

3. Gianfranco De Turris, La corrispondenza tra Julius Evola e Gottfried Benn, su centrostudilaruna.it, 2008.

4. Payne, Stanley, A History of Fascism, 1914-1945, University of Wisconsin Pres., 1996, ISBN 978-0-299-14873-7. 

5. Diego Gambetta, Steffen Hertog, Engineers of Jihad: The Curious Connection Between Violent Extremism and Education, Princeton University Press, 2016, pp. 88, 97. 

6. Gianfranco De Turris, Profilo di Julius Evola, in Julius Evola, Rivolta contro il mondo moderno, 4ª ed., Roma, Mediterranee, 2008. ISBN 978-88-272-1224-0 Bibliografia.

7. On Evola’s current influence cf. Andrea Mammone, Transnational Neofascism in France and Italy (Cambridge2015), 62-78, 84-90, 167-71; Charles Clover, Black Wind, White Snow: The Rise of Russia’s New Nationalism (NewHaven, CT 2016), 158-60, 173-79; Jason Horowitz, “Steve Bannon Cited Italian Thinker Who Inspired Fascists” New York Times (12 February 2017); Jean-Yves Camus and Nicolas Lebourg, Far-Right Politics in Europe (Cambridge, MA 2017), 144-49; Thomas Main, The Rise of the Alt-Right (Washington, DC 2018), 216-21.

8. For perceptive reflections on this dynamic, see David Roberts, ‘How not to Think about Fascism and Ideology, Intellectual Antecedents and Historical Meaning,’ Journal of Contemporary History, 35 (2000), 185-211; FrancescoGerminario, Argomenti per lo sterminio: Stereotipi dell’immaginario antisemita (Turin 2011), 282-306; AristotleKallis, ‘When Fascism Became Mainstream: The Challenge of Extremism in Times of Crisis’, Journal of Comparative Fascist Studies, 4 (2015), 1-24.

9. Andrew Higgins, “In Expanding Russian Influence, Faith Combines with Firepower,” New York Times, September 13, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/14/world/europe/russia-orthodox-church.html?_r=0.

10. Russia’s network of influence has reached far beyond the vulnerable states of post-socialist Europe. Western countries and political leaders are not immune from the Kremlin’s efforts. While there is no single formula for how Russia seeks to exert and project its power in Europe’s core, the goal of the Trojan Horse strategy is the same: to build a web of allied political leaders and parties who will legitimize Russia’s aims to destabilize European unity and undermine European values. Ironically, while the Ukraine crisis has united Europe and the United States around a cohesive sanctions policy on Russia, it has also incentivized Putin to intensify efforts to infiltrate European polities by cultivating Trojan Horses in an effort to weaken Europe’s resolve.

 

 

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