The Condensed Dugin: A Review of Alexander Dugin’s The Great Awakening vs The Great Reset,

The Great Awakening vs The Great Reset
Alexander Dugin
London, Arktos Media, 2021

The Book

If you are curious about the analysis of the Russian geopolitical philosopher Alexander Dugin, but do not want to tackle his Foundations of Geopolitics[1] or The Fourth Political Theory[2] you might consider this slim volume. The Great Awakening vs The Great Reset is the condensed Dugin. It is also the topical Dugin in that he discusses developments in America 2020–21. In fact, this book seems to be aimed at an American audience. I certainly do not want to discourage anyone from reading the above-mentioned longer works because even when he is vague and contradictory Dugin is interesting. Even when you disagree with his thinking, his writing is engaging.

A segment of the Western Right has long been intrigued by Dugin. The war in Ukraine, along with the outrageous assassination attempt on his life that killed his daughter Darya Dugina in August 2022, has made his writing even more relevant.

Alexander Dugin, born in Moscow in 1962, was a dissident from an early age. His politics and ideology have evolved over time. He was a youth member of Pamyat, dabbled in national socialism, was a cofounder of the National Bolshevik Party, and is now a leading advocate of Neo-Eurasianism. Along the way he obtained a largely autodidactic education becoming an accomplished linguist. He was sanctioned by the U.S. in 2015 for alleged involvement in the Donbas conflict.

Dugin begins The Great Awaking vs The Great Reset by explaining the book’s title. The term Great Reset comes out of the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and is the plan for the completion of the globalist project. Globalism is not a new idea or phenomenon, but now “globalism is entering a totalitarian phase” (4). The Great Awakening represents the forces opposing the Great Reset.

Next the author gives a brief ideological history explaining how we arrived at our present situation. He goes all the way back to Willian Occam. The fourteenth-century English philosopher and theologian is often credited with laying down the foundations of nominalism. According to Dugin, nominalists view humans only as individuals without any collective identities. Collectives are mere abstractions. Later, Protestantism helped destroy the collective religious identity of the West, while bourgeois capitalism destroyed the guilds and estates. In the twentieth century, nominalism/liberalism was challenged by communism and fascism. But fascism was militarily defeated in 1945, and Euro-communism collapsed in 1989–91 leaving the field open for liberalism to enter its third (final?) phase in which it deconstructs ethnic, sexual, and even human identity. “After all, the human is also a collective identity” (13).

The globalist ideology requires a world government to replace nation states. But Russia, China, the Islamic states, as well as populist movements in Europe and North America, stand in the way of this plan. Turning his attention to the populist movements in the U.S., Dugin believes that “Trump’s removal as president of the United States was a matter of life or death” for the globalists (15).

While supportive of Trump, Dugin sees major deficiencies in Western right-wing populism. Principle among these shortcomings is that they draw on “the same liberal ideology—capitalism and liberal democracy” as their opponents (19). In addition, Trump did not have a coherent agenda nor a strategy to achieve one. As the author puts it: “it is clear that he was not and is not an ideological figure” (21).

Dugin is interested in the Q Anon movement “which couched its criticism of liberalism, Democrats and the globalists in the form of conspiracy theories.” The Qs intuitively understood the sinister nature of post-modern liberalism and were able to articulate that “at the level of the average American and mass consciousness, which are hardly inclined towards in-depth philosophical and ideological analysis” (22). Conversely, this was also their weakness. By distorting reality, the Qs made it easy for liberals to refute their allegations. The author believes liberals are as wicked as the Q people portray them, just not in the way the Qs believe.

In the next section Dugin continues his critique of populism which offers “resistance,” but without “strictly defined worldviews” (28). At present “the Great Awaking is spontaneous, largely unconscious, intuitive and blind.” Its reliance on conspiracy theories “is an infantile disease,” yet “it is the beginning of a fundamental historical process” (28). For now, the response by the Right appears completely inadequate. The global elites control world finance, the US military machine, intelligence services, academe, mass culture, mass media, medicine and social services. But, “the Great Awakening is just the beginning. It has not even begun yet” (30). It “does not yet have an ideological basis” (31). One could say that the raison d’être for the Occidental Observer website and the Occidental Quarterly journal is to formulate an ideology for this awakening. Dugin believes such ideology must overcome “the boundary between the Left and the Right.” That would involve “combining the demand for social justice and the preservation of traditional cultural identity” (35).

Not surprisingly the author sees Russia’s mission as being “at the forefront of the Great Awakening” (39), But, “even today’s Russia does not have a complete and coherent ideology that could pose a serious challenge to the Great Reset” (40). Though not solidified, an essential component of the Russian ideology is imperialism, and here is the rub! Russia’s “revival is inconceivable without returning to the imperial mission laid down in our historical destiny” (41). Despite having by far the largest land mass of any state on earth Russia cannot be great until it assumes the limits of the Soviet empire, or the czarist empire? In 1914 the Russian Empire stretched from Helsinki and Warsaw in the west, to Baku in the south, all the way to Vladivostok and the Sea of Japan in the east. Now is not the time to digress into a discussion of the Ukrainian conflict, but I will point out that Finland and the Baltic Republics, formerly part of the Russian Empire, do not share the cultural, linguistic, ethnic, and historical connections that Ukraine has with Russia.

The second half of the book is in the form of appendices starting with a 2021 interview by the German magazine Deutsche Stimme. Here Dugin reiterates his opinion that Trump and his supporters are only trying “to stay with yesterday’s version of modernity, of liberalism, of democracy” (47). This strategy is inadequate to oppose the Great Reset. Yet the establishment sees Trump as a threat that must be defeated at all costs including “election fraud—the stolen election” of 2020, (51) and, of course, continuing lawfare.

A bit later in the interview Dugin drops a bombshell. “I hate analytical philosophy, positivism, and the natural sciences of Newton or Galileo, which were pure catastrophe and a lie about nature and humanity” (56). One wonders how Dugin’s beloved motherland could produce precision munitions without reference to those hated natural sciences. It appears that the author is rejecting all of modernity. At times in The Fourth Political Theory Dugin makes a distinction between modernity and post modernity. I prefer to see modernity as largely positive, especially science and technology on a human scale, products of Western genius. Current social policies which attack all authentic collective identities are products of late-modern degeneracy which, hopefully, will clear the path for a Western instauration.

Next, in an essay entitled “The Great Awakening: The Future Starts Now,” Dugin makes a series of observations: The 2020 US election was “a coup d’état accomplished by a conspiracy of illegitimate elites. . . . A color revolution . . . at home” (61). Concerning political unrest in America: “If you start to use violence, you should expect the same in return. Antifa and BLM started the riots. Capitol Hill [i.e., Jan. 6] was the logical response” (62). In fighting for his cause, Dugin sees the “[t]he main struggle is now clearly international.” Do Russian imperial ambitions make this international cooperation more difficult?

In the last essay the author explicitly addresses his ideology—the Fourth Political Theory (4PT), the other three ideologies being communism, fascism, and liberalism. Dugin believes that “communism and fascism have a common basis with liberalism: Materialism—Atheism—Progressivism—a purely materialistic approach to the human being” (66). I would disagree that the revolutionary Right is “purely materialistic,” but in any case, the 4PT is an invitation to critique and fight liberalism, and “to search for the alternative.” (67).

Dugin is variable in his support of national identities. The “globalists are using some Muslims in order to destroy European identities. . . . [T]hey use some ethnic identities (for example Uyghurs, Ukrainians) in order to destablise the alternative poles” (69). True, the globalists who back Ukrainian nationalists are “cynical hypocrites” who care nothing about the Ukrainian people. But Dugin is selective in his advocacy of nationalism depending upon its compatibility with his Eurasian project. Tragically the Ukrainians find themselves pawns in a global power struggle.

At one point the author almost seems to echo the Jewish social critic Susan Sontag who infamously wrote: “The white race is the cancer of human history.”[3] For Dugin, “the West is the name of the disease on the body of humanity” (74). But wait, “we shouldn’t blame the West—we should blame the modern West” (75). I wish he had written “the post-modern West” or perhaps “the late-modern West.” But what is this Western disease? It is “a new barbarism” called cancel culture. “This cancel culture (which includes LGBT+, Black Lives Matter, and feminist tendencies) is like a call to cancel all other kinds of culture. It is genocide of the Western culture” (77).

As noted above, Dugin can be ambiguous and opaque. He explains all at the end of this short book. He claims that “The Fourth Political Theory is not dogmatic—it is totally open. It is just theorising. It is a process” (86). But those who have read his longer works know that these statements are not entirely accurate either. And assessing Dugin’s ideology must be done within context of his other writings.

Evaluating 4PT and Neo-Eurasianism

It is understandable why there is a Russophile component within the American Right. Russia is a majority White, Christian country that has eschewed the worst manifestations of sexual perversion prevalent in the West. In contrast to the feminized West, many perceive Russian culture to be masculine, its people physically tough, and stoic in the face of deprivation. Americans with these sentiments usually support Russia’s war in Ukraine. But a reality check is in order: Despite government support for traditional social values, the country has a very low birth rate, high rates of crime and substance abuse, and widespread corruption within business and government. Of course, these problems are not unique to Russia, but neither do their presence recommend this society as a model to emulate.

There is disagreement on the extent of Dugin’s influence on Kremlin policy. But he is a strong supporter of Vladimir Putin, and there appears to be considerable overlap between the goals and policies of the two men. So it is not unreasonable to assume that Putinism is the real world application of Dugin’s ideology. To simplify, we can conflate Putinism, 4PT, and Neo-Eurasianism. Two questions for the American Right: Are any of these ideologies applicable to the West? And can Russia and America be future allies?

The fundamental problem with 4PT/Neo-Eurasianism is that it is organized around multi-ethnic empires or civilizational poles with a particular emphasis on the interests of the Russian Federation, while the Western Dissident Right seeks to organize around ethno-national states. So while 4PT and the authentic Western Right have similar opponents—the economic, political, and cultural global elites, they have incompatible goals.

It appears that Neo-Eurasianism differs significantly from pan-Slavism or the ideology of Czarist Russia. During the Russian Empire, in order to be a subject in good standing one embraced autocracy, Orthodoxy, and mother Russia. Now all that is required is political loyalty to the Russian Federation. One can be a Christian, Jew, or Muslim, a Chechen, Ugrian, or Tatar it does not matter. In The Fourth Political Theory Dugin writes, “we must definitively reject all forms of racism . . . including biological and cultural.”[4] When Putin states he is fighting Nazis in Ukraine, he is fighting ethno-nationalists who oppose his imperium. The fact that much of the Ukrainian leadership is Jewish and the Zelensky regime is supported by the globalists muddy the waters considerably. Kadyrovite fighters go into battle against Orthodox Christian Ukrainians shouting “Allahu Akbar.” Of course, Muslims have always been part of Russia since the days of Muscovy, but under the Eurasian doctrine it seems their numbers and influence have increased.

The Dugin/Putin Eurasianism can be seen as the equivalent of American civic nationalism to the extent that both ideologies seek to assimilate multi-ethnic populations into a political entities—empires each in their own style.

The ideal situation from an ethno-nationalist view perspective would be for the eastern Slavic population of Russian to concentrate on solving their demographic crisis and developing their vast natural resources while serving as a bulwark against the Muslim and Mongol peoples to the south and east. Thanks in large part to Washington, the possibility of a Russian-Western alliance seems a pipe dream.

Following the Neo-Eurasian path means that Russia will go its own way, but there remain congruent interests between Russian and the West. As Henry John Temple, the nineteenth-century British Prime Minister remarked, “Nations do not have permanent friends or enemies, only interests.” Charles de Gaulle put it, “No nation has friends, only interests.” It should be possible for some sort of compromise partnership with Russia to emerge that preserves the political and cultural integrity of eastern European nations while addressing Russia’s political and security concerns.[5] The result would be short of an East-West alliance, but rather a peaceful coexistence with selective collaboration.

As for Alexander Dugin’s 4PT, his message is a bit seductive, for he is an articulate critic of globalism and cultural degradation. But his vision for the future is not ours and his ideology will not be the foundation for a Western renaissance.

[1] Alexander Dugin, Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia (1997) English Edition Independently Published, 2017. Available online

[2] Alexander Dugin, The Fourth Political Theory (2009) English Edition, Arktos Media, 2012.

[3] Susan Sontag, “What is Happening to America?” Partisan Review, v.34, #1 (1967) 57-58.

[4] Dugin, Fourth Political Theory, 43-44.

[5] A case for small nation nationalism has been made in such diverse sources as: Raymond Cattell, Beyondism: Religion for Science, Praeger, 1987.Wilmot Robertson The Ethnostate, Howard Allen, 1992.

6 replies
  1. Tom Carberry
    Tom Carberry says:

    I agree with Dugin’s rejection of Galileo, Newton, positivism, and analytical philosophy. Rejection of these does not mean the rejection of technology. People tend to conflate technology and science but they have distinct linguistic and cultural origins. Technology gives us things like bikes, cars, cell phones, and computers. Science gives us mostly BS wrapped in a religious-like aura. The state wants us to “believe the science,” much like the Inquisition wanted obedience. Engineers and tinkerers give us technology. It either works or it doesn’t. Science gives us things like pharmaceuticals, which we must “believe,” even when they cause irreparable harm. Government “science” openly mocks the sheep, such as the new Pirola virus, or the cock virus, its meaning in Galician. Definition # 1 in Wiktionary: “(vulgar) dick, cock (penis).”

  2. Lady Strange
    Lady Strange says:

    Thank you for this intelligent critique of Dugin’s ” self-made ” ideology. Without stigmatizing his escapes into unorthodox thinking (no pun intended), nor accepting all his individual fantasies, and not letting be influenced by the situation in Ukraine.
    In Europe, Dugin may not be considered a charlatan, but he is still considered an often incoherent self-taught man. And I don’t think his thinking will stand the test of time. That’s a pity. In his early days, he promised better. Personally, despite my humble level, I wouldn’t recommend reading his work. Not serious enough, too biased. Imo, he will soon be forgotten.

  3. Weaver
    Weaver says:

    I appreciate this article. Some non-“Russians” online have told me they are wary of ethnic Russian Slavic pride.

    Others have told me Ukrainians see themselves as pure Nordics, see Russians as mixed. I doubt there’s much genetic difference between them, but this is what some Russians say. So, they sound like Celtic “nationalists” who hate the English but don’t love Celts. Putin’s son is part Tatar.

    Some Russians have described the war as a sort of civil war. Some have remarked that it’s odd how the US Right sides with Russia, just assume we’re reacting against the US. (They expect us to side with Ukrainian nationalists.) In the US, it’s Russia that is portrayed as nationalist. Both sides list ideological nationalism as the enemy.

    However, I’ve also seen Russians argue that Ukrainians and Belarusians are their brothers. Putin obviously wanted to join Europe but was rejected.

    It’s a confusing war. Left and right vs. left and right.

    Russia is a riddle. It sometimes looks as if Russians serve lords out of loyalty, not out of nationalism. Both Putin and Orban fell for the vax. What do they truly value at heart?

    Russia seems in need of high quality, skilled workers -and, currently, conscripts.

  4. Jaime Jonas
    Jaime Jonas says:

    The key citation in this article is about the Great Awakening/Populous movements like Yellow Jackets, MAGA, have not evolved from personalization, caudillismo to a Political Superstructure capable to harness the power of the MASSES. This grass roots movements lack central/hierarchical/ideological foundations. As the deep state drives Trump into jail, this is the best time to double down with MAGA RALLIES/CONVENTION/PLATFORMS/DEBATES..NOMINATIOS A CORRESPONIDNG MEDIA/FINANCIAL STRUCTURES.

  5. Weaver
    Weaver says:

    I assume Ukraine, as a nation, is imperiled, not due to Russia.

    A nation is defined by its reproductive age members. The rest exist but to serve them. Ukraine has lost (due to permanent injury or death) many to the war and many to emigration

    New people are likely to move in, eventually. And many Ukrainian women will have children with nonUkrainian men.

    So, peace was the best option from a real nationalist perspective. Even if Ukraine were to win in some capacity, it might already have lost.

    Russia might be similarly imperiled due to foreign immigration.

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