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The End of the Present World

William Blake, "The Casting of the Rebel Angels into Hell," 1808

William Blake, “The Casting of the Rebel Angels into Hell,” 1808

1,825 words

French translation here

The End of the Present World conference was held on October 12th, 2013 at a prestigious London venue. The three speakers were all luminaries of the European New Right: Laurent James, Alain de Benoist, and Alexander Dugin. The conference was themed around the idea of the waning of American power and the rise of a multipolar world.

Laurent James

The first speaker was Laurent James, and his talk was entitled “Eurasianism and Spirituality.” He described the western, post-modern condition as being the nadir of evolutionary achievement.

He sees the inauguration of post-modernity occurring in 1945 with the first nuclear attack by America on Japan. This was the act par excellence of the anti-Traditional forces, demonstrating their utter contempt for humanity and their nihilistic urge for universal dominance. This has created the conditions we live in today where man is worse than Satanic, where in fact, “Man dirties Satan.”

Spirituality is non-existent in post-modernity because a screen has been erected between man and the sacred. Due to liberalism, finance, and journalism there are no longer hierarchical relationships that are capable of putting man in touch with the sacred. There is instead a chaotic leveling of all men so that equality becomes an equality of meaninglessness and estrangement.

For James, there can be no possibility of rehabilitation within the present system. The existence of democracy (the tool of plutocracy) is itself sufficient to ensure the corruption of all political elites. So it is not so much a revolution of the political system that is in order as a revolution within the souls of the political elite itself. Exoterically, this needs to be expressed in a clear division between spiritual and temporal rule, the latter being the “vassal” of the former.

James sees a form of Celtic Christianity as the essential spiritual orientation for Eurasia. To re-engage with this current is to continue the work of the Knights Templar who, “constituted a powerful link between Celtic Europe, Rome and the Near-East.” The Templars are seen as a model, initiatory, society which acted against the rise of modern nation states and which established a supra-national brotherhood. James sees the Templars as purveyors of a form of Celtic Christianity but also receptive to the other traditions they came across in their exploits through Eurasia. Their heirs will similarly follow a Celtic form of Christianity and recognize the legitimacy of other spiritual traditions: “This Kingdom will be blessed by the inner circle of Priests, this Cenacle of Priests, the guides of the main religions which irrigate all the Continent in the manner of burning pulmonary veins: Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Hyperborean and Celtic spiritualities, all of them deeply animated by a similar celestial rhythm whose dominion is the cosmic coronation of the Supreme Goddess Mother, the Blessed Virgin up in Arms, the founding Mother of the deep spirituality of the heartlands of our continent.”

The distinct use of “Celtic Christianity” is presumably intended to point to its European identity in contradistinction to Catholic Christianity. In his recently published Dharma Manifesto, Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya makes a similar distinction between Pauline Christianity and Paleo Christianity, with the Pauline version being associated with the anti-Dharmic, Abrahamic forces, and the Paleo version being a Dharmic-aligned type of Gnostic Christianity.

These sorts of distinctions demonstrate the pressing need for a new and vigorous form of European spirituality to arise at the present time. Any spiritual formulation that hopes to escape the nullity of post-modern assimilation should return to the originary foundations of European spirituality for its source. Whether such a spiritual awakening can be accommodated within Christianity, however renewed it might become, remains to be seen.

My concern would be that in the same way that democracy corrupts the political elites (as James perceptively pointed out) Christianity would be a corrupting force on the spiritual elites. The liking of the Eurasian movement for forms of Orthodox Christianity is pronounced but it is far from clear that those religious forms are intrinsically free from the sort of decline that has undermined other Christian sects.

Alain de Benoist

Next to speak was Alain de Benoist whose talk was entitled “Geopolitics Today.” He argued that taking a geopolitical view of world affairs allows deeper imperatives to emerge into the field of consideration. In particular, he focused on the distinctions between sea powers and land powers. This focus is intended to illuminate the geographical constraints that apply to political powers and so to allow for an analysis that runs deeper than the ideological, economic, or sociological level. The geopolitical perspective is used to delineate genuine constraints rather than presupposed constraints.

The present global order is defined by the dominance of America as the great sea power, a position once occupied by Britain. As such, America is the pre-eminent exponent of free trade and the concomitant erosion of borders and identities that goes with it. By contrast, the Eurasian landmass is the locus of the great land power and is characterised as a place of borders, distinctions, and politics. These characteristics are seen as properties of the respective geographical situations. A sea power’s natural character is dictated by the rootless, free flow of the sea, and Benoist identifies this character with postmodern globalisation. The American situation is such that it naturally tends towards a state of flux and exchange, whilst the Eurasian situation tends to rootedness and centeredness. These tendencies are deep properties that exist beneath the level of conscious political action but have a direct influence on it.

America’s primary aim continues to be the suppression of a Eurasian bloc that might challenge its unipolar dominance. This aim is pursued largely through America’s attempted containment of Russia. Benoist notes that the ongoing “color revolutions” supported by CIA fronts should be seen in this context.

He concludes by stating, “There are now only two possible positions: either being on the side of the American sea power or being on the side of the Eurasian continental power. I’m with the latter.”

Alexander Dugin

The final speaker was Alexander Dugin, author of The Fourth Political Theory, and his speech was entitled, “The End of the Present World — Eurasia: the perspectives of multipolarity and Fourth Political Theory.”

Citing Heidegger, Dugin argues that the world is present only to human beings because only humans can conceptualise death, and such foreknowledge is necessary for Being to be authentic. Authentic Being exists in the presence of the sacred, in full knowledge of the presence of death. Post-modernism refuses to acknowledge the sacred and hides from death. It thus refuses to bring the world into presence, and delivers a purely inauthentic being. This enervation of being renders the world absent to us and replaces it with the simulacrum of the virtual. With virtuality the absence of the world is not readily apparent because the void is filled with inauthenticity, and the end is never experienced as finality but only as a lapse. At this point Dugin’s philosophical remarks become almost Gnostic, with the pseudo-world of the virtual resembling the demiurge’s realm. This demiurge is opposed not by the real, but by the sacred. The virtual is below the real, the sacred is above it.

He goes on to argue that the collapse of the United States is inevitable because the toxic debts that would have destroyed the banking system in 2008 were taken on by the American state. So, while the collapse of the banking system has been deferred, the debt has passed to the state which will not be able to service it. The United States is doomed because it has become saddled with the debts generated by the billionaire global oligarchs. “The future is already sold and eaten.” With the collapse of the US, other countries will follow suit, even those rising economies that may seem to be in a position to benefit from such a collapse. All of the growing economies have been infected with capitalism, and the collapse of the US will be their undoing as its effects spread through the globalised financial markets.

The death of the US equates to the death of (post) modernity. What will come after it? Dugin posits the Fourth Political Theory as the new political philosophy that will be able to completely transcend modernity. The Fourth Political Theory recognises Dasein as the fundamental political agent. The three preceding political theories of modernity (Marxism, Fascism, and Liberalism) all defined their political agency in ways that Dugin sees as rooted in modernity: respectively, class, race, and the individual. He regards class, race, and the individual as being conceptualised notions, and therefore embedded within the virtual simulacra of modernity. In Dugin’s view, Dasein is a non-conceptual agent that will be able to facilitate the re-emergence of the sacred. So, the collapse of America is seen not primarily as an economic or political event, but rather as the emergence of the possibility of a new political metaphysics.

Common Threads

Despite the diversity of the subject matter, it is interesting that all three speakers chose to delineate the spiritual bankruptcy of post-modernism and to place this deficiency at the heart of their critiques of America. For Laurent James post-modernism is a screen that divides man from the sacred and thus destroys the possibility of hierarchical relationships. We are all in the gutter but none of us are looking at the stars. For Alain de Benoist, the dominance of the sea power necessarily erodes borders and distinctions and, through the importance of free trade for such a power, it becomes the engine of globalization and the destroyer of all distinctions. For Alexander Dugin the virtuality of post-modernism is a negation of Being, a dead time in which we are estranged from the sacred.

Three facets of the same problem. When this is taken into consideration it becomes clear that the Eurasian idea (as expressed here) is not primarily focused on the aggrandisement of a new Russian Imperium at the expense of a declining America. While it is true that a strong Russia is good for taming some of America’s wilder foreign adventures there is a deeper aim to the Eurasian project. And this deeper aim is the victory of the sacred, of life itself, over the negating involution of the American Moloch.

It is certainly the case that Eurasianism and the Fourth Political Theory are viewed with some suspicion by elements of the Anglophone world (see Greg Johnson’s cautionary tale and Michael O’Meara’s championing of the Third Political Theory, for example). And the nebulous interpretations that could be applied to the notion of Dasein as a political agent would seem to invite a plurality of manifestations that seems . . . well, quite post-modern. But it is surely still the case that Dugin’s Fourth Political Theory remains one of the best articulated arguments for a non-totalitarian, identitarian political theory that seeks to position itself beyond the redundant ideologies of the 20th century.


  1. rhondda
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    There were a few things I noticed when I read Dugin. I am not trying to say I am qualified to debate him. However, in his geopolitical theory, he does not realize that North America is a land mass. When Nafta first came out, I thought it might be a political alliance, instead it turned out to be economic only. So, do we just accept his frame and who he says we are?
    The other thing I noticed is that today it is not about land and sea so much, but air and space. As much as technology is abused, it also is what determines outcomes in war. The smart use of it, that is and not dependence upon it.
    There is another layer of guilt put upon Americans and that is the bomb and deep down I think many Americans feel it. However, we are all smarter now, are we not?

  2. Jim
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    While my sympathies are with the sentiments of the speakers, I find I can agree with their diagnosis more readily than their prescriptions.

    For one thing, while it is tempting to identify the U.S. with post-modern alienation, and post-modern sub-cultures and fragmentation are dominant here, the U.S. is by no means the only culture marked by it. Japan, for instance, could be argued to have an even more advanced case of post-modern syndrome than the U.S. does.

    Any prescription advancing Christianity is suspect. Why? Because Christianity was the dominant spiritual paradigm in the West while the decline of the White race began and accelerated. I’m as sentimental about “Christian Europe”, stained-glass windows and Grail Legends as anybody, but if the canonical Bible is still to be the primary text, we know already how it’s Judaic origins and New Testament mysteries will stand us in a racial context. We have already been down that road, and the Christian tradition did not help us with our Jewish, black, or brown problems. On the contrary.

    The Dasein concept: “is a non-conceptual agent that will be able to facilitate the re-emergence of the sacred.” If we want to found a small (very small) nation-state of philosophers this might work….though even then I have my doubts. This “option” is just too elusive to get too worked up about. We need a philosophy and or religious world view that means something to the common man; if there are esoteric layers to it, fine for those that need them, but the underlying common value needs to translate easily to the regular working guy, or it ends up as just more intellectual debate fodder.

    • Justin Huber
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      I tend not to pay much attention to these intellectual types. The audience at this conference was probably other intellectuals. I have zero faith that people like this can lead whites out of their current state of decline.

  3. Lew
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I do not understand why CC continues to publish favorable material about Alexander Dugin. In his those recent comments where he failed to back a break up of Ukraine on the Czech-Slovak model, he exposed himself as intellectually inconsistent at best or dishonest at worst. If he is not willing to support his own ideas about autonomy in a concrete situation where applying those ideas makes sense, why should anything he says be taken seriously? There are many other problems with Dugin and his somewhat incoherent thought. The case against this man has been made here many times in the comments and also as noted in the article by people who matter (Johnson the O’Meara). If the developments in Ukraine deal a setback to the “Eurasianism” approach by pulling a chunk of Central Europe West rather than East, then there will be at least one silver lining in the outcome.

  4. Peter
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    I am starting to view everything I thought I knew about history differently. I am now aware of the central role Jews played in WW I and WW II, especially WW II. I now believe WW II was largely a war between Germany and World Jewry, with Great Britain and USA as Jewry’s proxies (as they are today).

    I say this for several reasons.

    1) First, in order to understand this you first have to cut thru all the lies that were told for so many years about Germany wanting “to conquer the world.” Hitler continuously attempted to make peace with England and had no designs on the west. In private conversations Hitler spoke of his admiration of England and his desire for peace with them. Germans in Poland were the issue and possibly a war with the Soviet Union
    2) the role Jews had in financing Churchill and his close friendship with Jews like Chaim Weizmann. Churchill became the Prime Minister as a result of Jewish finances and he was beholden to them. He was close friends with many of them and Jewish authors acknowledge this, although they would like to overlook their financing him, as it could provide an explanation for Germany’s increased animosity toward Jews
    3) Churchill’s role in the destruction of the British Empire. It was bankrupts already in 1940 and he continued the fight while Germany sought peace with England. He could have preserved the British Empire and instead he chose war, knowing it would destroy Britain (while his financiers got a country called Israel)

    With Vladimir Putin stating last year that 85% of the first Soviet government was made up of Jews, you could say the Soviet Union was a Jewish state. Now, despite years of lying about it in the western media we know the expression “Jewish Bolshevism” is accurate.

    Although Germany and it’s enemies each still had its own interests (regardless of Jews), there was no good reason for them to go to war. It benefited neither England, Germany nor France all of which lost their Great Power status as a result of the war. It did benefit the USA, but they only took advantage of Europe’s self-destruction.

    Because the war was between Germany and World Jewry, it took on a vicious character. I know the Jews have convinced much of the world of the holocaust, although they have to put historians in jail to preserve the lie. Jews suffered greatly in the war, but their holocaust claims have no basis in fact once their evidence is examined closer. It is exclusively eyewitness evidence and much of it has been exposed as false.

    Jews would like to say Germans were the vicious ones, but I think this is backwards and I think many know it. For the first time in history, at the end of WW II the leaders of the losing nation were all murdered.

    Napoleon Bonparte wasn’t murdered, nor were the leaders of France in their loss to Prussia in 1871 nor in any other war as far as I know. The German Jewish patriot Emil Rathenau said Jews were especially aggressive and that was his explanation for their great success in commerce. I recently read an article about how Germans after WW I criticized German Jews for their strong hatred they displayed toward the British during WW I and the Germans said this was a Jewish characteristic (although other Jews showed hatred toward Germany; Einstein stated openly in letters during the war his hope Germany would lose). Although, the British were their enemy Christians feelings were more moderate towards the British according to some.

    Hitler said during the war to his people he would be gracious towards Churchill and FDR after they were defeated. He was going to let Stalin continue his “social experiments” further east and he would send Churchill off somewhere where he could paint (one of his pastimes). During the war when all the Jews were supposedly being “murdered” in gas chambers, the French Socialist leader Leon Blum (who pushed for war against Germany) lived in a a concentration camp and was released at the end of the war. If only the NAZIS were treated so well.

    Goebbels referred to Jewish “old testament” hatred. He spoke of it when the Jew Theodore Kaufman wrote his book with a plan to extinguish the German race thru mass sterilization. In all the anti-Jewish propaganda in Germany before or during the war, no such thing as this was openly published.

    I think the atomic bombing of Japan was similar, although far fewer people died in Hiroshima or Nagasaki than Dresden. The hatred displayed in this war was like no other in modern history and I believe that could be the Jewish element.

    At the end of WW II several American leaders including Joseph McCarthy complained of two things 1) Jews prominence in the Nuremberg trials and 2) the mockery of justice the trials were with the beatings and torture the Germans were administered. All now overlooked by our Jewish media which claim the trials were an example of how fair they were and how justice should be administered.

    Now every time a nation is conquered the leader is murdered (Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi). We know live in a Jewish run world and the evidence for this is overwhelming.

    • Peter
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Correction: I wrote “Hitler said during the war to his people he would be gracious towards Churchill and FDR.” I meant to write Churchill and Stalin.

  5. Greg Johnson
    Posted March 1, 2014 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    I agree with Christ Pankhurst’s point at the end of this essay about Dugin: the idea of a Fourth Political Theory is basically an attempt to articulate a post-totalitarian New Right philosophy, which is what I attempt to do in “New Right vs. Old Right.” But Pankhurst is also correct that I do not really agree with Dugin’s vision, basically because he rejects racial nationalism as part of the Third Political Theory, offering Heidegger’s idea of “Dasein” as an alternative.

    Race, we are told, is too abstract and modern and scientific a concept. We need something concrete and crunchy, like Dasein. Of course, the truth is that race is not an abstract concept, but a concrete reality–an extended family, a community of blood extending back tens of thousands of years. And without a sense of greater European kinship, we fall into petty nationalisms. And without a sense of the otherness of Europeans and other races, we fall prey to colonialism and empire building.

    Dugin, however, is precisely an ideologue of Russian imperialism, which means that he is a de facto advocate of multiracialism and multiculturalism, which apparently can be embraced in the idea of Dasein (including a concrete historical reality like the Russian empire) but which is threatened by a genuine racial nationalism, which implies racial separatism and nationalism for all nations.

    • ChristopherP
      Posted March 2, 2014 at 6:04 am | Permalink

      Supporters of Dugin might reply that racial nationalism is fine if its effect is to damage liberalism. If its effect is to strengthen liberalism by creating internecine conflict between European nations then it is to be condemned. The priority for 4PT is to destroy liberalism. It seems to me sensible that White Nationalism should not automatically be seen as the solution to all problems. I’m happy for North American White Nationalists to boldly and assertively promote White Nationalism in North America, I’m uneasy about them promoting it to ALL other European situations. My concern is that it can come across as a weird form of American Exceptionalism. I see White Nationalism as compatible with 4PT, though and John Morgan’s compilation of Dugin’s statements on the subject can be found here on CC.

      • Lucian Tudor
        Posted March 2, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        I think you have misinterpreted Greg Johnson’s notion of “racial nationalism” or “white nationalism”, which by his own definition, means respecting the territorial rights of other peoples and races (a concept akin to the New Right/Identitarian idea). Not all forms of “nationalism” (a term with conflicting definitions to begin with) in history are chauvinistic and imperialistic, and European nationalists are in fact in the process of growing out of petty chauvinist attitudes. So, there is really no reason that the Fourth Political Theory should be advocated over nationalism when one could simply advocate non-chauvinistic nationalism. In this regard, I think it is also clear that white nationalism is not necessarily American-centered and it is an idea that can be adopted by any white people in the world, depending on how you define it.

        I also want to point out the the European New Right and Identitarian movement advocate an ethnic and racial separatism which involves respect for the rights and identity of regional as well as larger ethnic-cultural groups (for local identities as well as a pan-European solidarity). It also advocates cooperation between the White-European race and non-European races as well. Some call this concept a form of “nationalism”, but they reject this term because of its association with national chauvinism and imperialism. This is the standard New Right position advocated by thinkers like Sunic and Benoist (and it is my position as well).

        Now, I think it is clear that the New Right/Identitarian position is different from Dugin’s 4th Political Theory or Eurasianism. Dugin is ambiguous on the matter of ethnic and racial separatism, and he tends to support Russian imperialism rather than a true respect for the rights of different ethnic groups. I also personally do not see why Dugin’s group should be supported at all, because it is very unpopular outside of Russia and even among Right-wing Russians it is incredibly insignificant. I have already criticized Dugin’s ideology in my comments on Johnson’s article “North Americanism”, so there is no need to go in further depth on the matter here. So, like other commentators on this article, I do not see why Dugin is even still being discussed here.

        • ChristopherP
          Posted March 3, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

          Good points, Lucien. I remain ambivalent about 4PT but I still think it is worthy of serious discussion.

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