|The End of History?|
According to Professor Dugin, there have been three distinct ideologies since the dawn of the modern age – Liberalism, Marxism, and Fascism – and we are now moving into the era of the Fourth Ideology. Dugin clearly hopes that he can influence how this turns out, but this is a paradoxical belief because underlying Dugin's ideas is the notion of a kind of natural progression of ideologies.
This deterministic pattern is apparent if we consider the subjects of the three ideologies, which are, in ascending order, the Individual, the Class, and the Nation/Race. Dugin's hope is that the subject of the Fourth Ideology will be Heidegger's concept of Dasein, which, in its essence, is almost a kind of animism in that it is a rejection of the hyper-connectivity and hyper-standardization of modernity.
This ideological subject represents a break with the sequence of the three earlier ideologies.Another important difference is that, while the preceding ideologies were each expressions of modernity, his Fourth Ideology is anti- or a-modernist at a time when humanity en masse is giving in to the various temptations of modernity.
Also, the ideological space that Dugin is mapping out with his Fourth Ideology is not uncontested. In some respects, Dugin can even be viewed as something of a "claim jumper" in that the ideological territory in question may even have other as yet unacknowledged occupants.
Even before Dugin came along it was clear that we had been moving well beyond the ideological space described by any of the earlier political theories. The world we now occupy is neither Fascist, Marxist, or Liberal, although, as with examining a pool of vomit, we can clearly discern various chunks of each of these.
Independent of Dugin's attempt (based as it is on the work of Benoist) to define The Fourth Political Theory, a fourth political reality has apparently already clearly been coming into being for a long time. Dugin's work should be viewed as an attempt to catch up with that fact and to perhaps counter it.
Also, Dugin's theory, such as it is – he acknowledges that it is a work in progress – is prescriptive rather than descriptive, along the lines of "wouldn't it be nice?" Yes, compared to what is in effect taking place, it definitely would be nice.
So what exactly is taking place? We can get a clear insight into this if we assume there is some overarching symmetry and pattern in the established progression of the three earlier ideologies, and from this infer the ideological character of what we are now undergoing, and attempt to match it up with the empirical evidence that is readily available.
In the progression individual–class–nation, ask yourself what naturally comes next. The best fit would be world/humanity, from this we can infer that the Fourth Ideology must, by this law, be globalist, universalist and have a pan-humanistic focus.
Now, consider the basic functions that each ideology performs. These are to create unity and define competition.
Liberalism creates the unity of the individual, or, to use inverse definition, it destroys the preceding unities of traditional society that interfere with the creation of the autonomous individual. Liberalism also defines competition as a struggle between individuals and this is the essence of its progressive nature.
Marxism creates unity within a specific socioeconomic class and defines competition as that between different socioeconomic classes.
If we follow the idea that this inherent fourth political ideology/reality is in fact globalist, then we can see that it tends towards some kind of all-inclusive global unity, but that, by doing so, it creates a system that destroys the competitive principle that previous ideologies had – individual against individual, class vs. class, nation vs. nation – as there cannot be two humanities. The only competition for the fourth political ideology is with previous ideologies.
Every ideology competes against preceding and succeeding ideologies. It also competes against various geopolitical inequalities, such as Liberalism's fortuitous acquisition of easily defensible homelands (the UK and the USA) and control of the World's oceans. Such geographical accidents have a major distorting effect on ideological evolution.
An ideology also has internal enemies, those in its chosen subject group that lag behind or cling to the previous reality/ideology – and, of course, every ideology has ways of dealing with them, but having confused and isolated recalcitrants is very different from having opposing entities. If we are now living in the world of the fourth political reality, then it is logical to assume that the competitive principle is in the process of being extinguished.
Progress, in the sense of moving from lower to higher and more transcendent forms of life and organization, needs to be driven by competition that favours the best. When this is gone, the wheels effectively come off. This explains many of the facets of our contemporary world, such as our dysgenic demographics, the mass colonization of the First World by the Third, fiat currency, welfarism, consumerism, cultural dumbing down, bankster economics, etc. These are all expressions of a hidden Fourth Political Theory that is not in the hands of Dugin.
Viewed from a world historical perspective, all ideologies have been attempts to create increasingly potent and powerful entities, and the various ideologies have all grown by 'parasiting' on earlier systems and creating the conditions of their future rise. We can see this by briefly reviewing the history of the various ideological subjects:
- The Liberal individual coexisted with the old aristocracy and powered the rise of the mercantile states of the 17th and 18th centuries, creating the conditions for the ideology of Liberalism.
- The Proletariat, directed by Liberalism, created the great industrial economies of the 19th century that gave rise to the class politics of Marxism that superseded pure Liberalism.
- The Fascist State was immanent in the competing industrialized economies of the late 19th century, created by the subjects of the two previous systems, and emerged in the global war(s) of the early to mid 20th century and the disguised Fascism that much of communism mutated into.
- The globalized, hyper-connected, anti-nationalist world we are now living in has its roots in the total and global wars of the 20th century, and the Cold War, created by the previous systems.
Monopolizing the Ideological Subject
The essence of this Fourth Political Reality is the removal of competitiveness, especially ascendant competitiveness. While individuals, classes, and nations can all compete – sometimes with certain dangers – universal humanitarianism has nothing to compete with except the stars. With no real competition to motivate it in the building of space rockets, it is unlikely to find a focus even there.
All it seeks is ever greater and less judgmental interaction between all the blobs on planet earth.It is the triumph of "horizontalism" over "verticalism" and therefore an essential degradation in the human condition.
Dugin's invocation of Dasein in his Fourth Political Theory, as well as the "we just want to be left alone" ethos that permeates much of the so-called Far Right, with its dreams of a pristine White homeland, is a reflection of this anti-competitive essence of the emerging fourth political reality.
From a world historical perspective, all earlier ideologies were designed, in league with the technological breakthroughs of the day, to create ever more powerful and potent entities, but the evil strength of the fourth political reality is that it seeks a monopoly position of the ideological subject, i.e. humanity itself, allowing no alternatives or out groups. Those that seek to remain outside the undifferentiated mass are simply demonized as non-human. It also seeks to stop the clock by declaring history at an end.
This too seems to have some substance in the empirical evidence available.Once this incipient fourth political reality and its attendant ideology has achieved its purpose, through materialism, economic globalization, democratization, and social atomization, then the way is clear for an infinite decline aided by technology, insincere elites, and the baser sides of our human natures. This evidence of this is already all around us.
1st February, 2014
(A version of this article was published at Alternative Right on 8th November, 2013, under the title "Know Your Enemy: A Meditation on the Fourth Political REALITY," under which title it was also published at Alexandr Dugin's 4PT website.)