The People Behind Russia’s Dangerous Intentions for the US and Europe
The world order as we have known it may shift in 2017. Russia is moving to end the European Union, end NATO, and place the United States and the United Kingdom into an inward-facing alliance.
To understand better, we should look past Trump and Putin and at the people and philosophies shaping their actions. They are aligned around sparking a populist uprising across the US and Europe that would install “traditionalist” governments — potentially after the collapse of modern society and a bloody war.
Dugin has been described as “Putin’s Rasputin,” and “Putin’s Brain,” and there are many profiles available on him. You can find his background information easily. The thing to know: he believes that the modern political establishment is both morally and financially bankrupt and believes it needs to be replaced with nationalist, traditionalist governments that would aim to, in his eyes, “preserve cultures and identities.”
Dugin has been credited with providing a coherent geopolitical strategy for Putin, and it consists of these major ideas:
- End NATO. Dugin sees NATO as fundamentally antagonistic to Russia’s sovereignty, and rejects it along with Western secular norms. By forcing the US and NATO out of the Eastern European region, Russia would regain effective control over territories where it has long had economic hegemony: the Baltics, Belarus, and Ukraine.
- Destroy the EU. While the European Union has been viewed as a fragile but important experiment by many, Russia believes it is time to end it and promote nationalist governments across the continent. Dugin would aim to end the EU and the Euro, and also terminate the Schengen free-movement zone. Instead, Russia would aim to put Germany in effective control of much of Europe (promoting an alliance between France and Germany).
- Promote the formation of “Eurasia,” and place the Arabian peninsula under Turkey’s sphere of influence. Russia would aim to form a single zone called Eurasia that would even include Greece and Japan, while most of the Arabian peninsula is assigned to Turkey’s control. Iran would also be under Russian (Eurasian) influence. Israel’s future is indistinct. (This likely explains why Dugin himself brokered a peace deal between Turkey’s Erdogan and Putin.)
- Place the US and UK in an alliance. Promoting inward-facing nationalism in the US and UK, Russia would aim to isolate the US and UK by focusing them on domestic concerns and dramatically rolling back their influence around the world, but especially in the Eurasian sphere.
There are clearly other implications of Dugin’s map (including placement of much of southern Asia into China’s sphere of influence), but the immediate issue is how this plays out in the Eurasian sphere. Indeed the moment of reckoning is upon us: elections over the next few months in Europe will determine whether this map can be made real.
Surkov was Putin’s chief propagandist but lately has been largely responsible for the machinations of the Russian war in eastern Ukraine. By using a combination of truth, lies, uncertainties, and dramatic events (such as the downing of MH17), he has proven to be a pioneer in developing new kinds of propaganda techniques.
Rather than simply spreading falsehoods, Surkov’s propaganda aims to destroy the ability to process information entirely. Around the time of the beginning of the Ukraine war, he published a short story called “Without Sky” that gives some insight into his mindset and intentions, including the concept of “nonlinear war” (or, war without sides). He has published under the pen-name ‘Natan Dubovitsky’, which is the masculine form of his wife’s name.
To get a sense of what Surkov’s aims are, watch this short video by BBC documentarian Adam Curtis, “Oh Dear.” (Curtis’ longer film Hypernormalisation has more detail still.) Surkov is credited with helping to establish Putin’s high popularity ratings in Russia, and he has been widely cited as an influence on the American alt-right movement—and on Stephen Bannon in particular.
In the US, Stephen Bannon remains of particular concern. In addition to Surkov, Bannon has been influenced by obscure Italian fascist philosopher Julius Evola. He has also been in touch with “Neoreactionary” thinkers Curtis Yarvin (a.k.a. Mencius Moldbug) and Nick Land.
Bannon has asserted that he aims to initiate a major world war (a “Fourth Turning”, as described by pop-historians William Strauss and Neil Howe, in their pseudohistory text), and use that as an excuse to initiate a “traditionalist” (read: white supremacist) new order very much along the lines of what Dugin and Surkov have supported.
Expect Bannon to push for a collapse of the current global order and to act in concert with the plans set forth by Dugin and Surkov. Dugin’s principal translator is Nina Kouprianova, wife of Richard Spencer (of Nazi-punching fame). Make no mistake: the alt-right and Russia are deeply aligned in their objectives.
If we expect to preserve pluralistic western democracy, we must immediately reject and thwart the intentions of this loosely-knit cabal. They are aiming to target elections in the Netherlands and France next, and if those democracies fall to populist anti-EU leaders, the world order proposed by Dugin is not far off.