Staunton, July 20 – Eurasianism, which has acquired enormous influence in the Kremlin, is playing “a destructive role” in relation to Russian society and its real culture and on the political level is rapidly evolving toward “Russian fascism,” just as Berdyaev, Likhachev, and Solovyev warned, according to Moscow commentator Maksim Kantor.
In a wide-ranging 5200-word essay on the Polit.ru portal last week, Kantor notes that Russians find this hard to recognize this because they believe that since they defeated fascism in World War II, they are “immune” to it.” But there are good reasons for thinking that “this is not entirely so” (polit.ru/article/2014/07/18/eurasia/).
As he points out, “fascism is formed on the basis of revanchism, a longing for empire, the unity of the nation and the ruler, and the unity of the people achieved by oppressing those who disagree. But the main thing is out of a mystical mission. Namely, a mystical mission of the nation, its enigma and its ‘primordial calling’ is the condition for the rise of fascism.”
All those things are tragically in evidence in Vladimir Putin’s Russia now. All of them have been prmoted by Eurasian ideologists who have exploited the envy many Russians feel toward the West: “Why can they do something and we aren’t allowed?” “America bombs and we want to bomb something too.”
Opposition to those desires is described by those who feel them by the term “Russophobia,” which Kantor suggests, “describes the feelings of ‘a Eurasian’ who suspects that they aren’t taking him seriously.” And this envy will remain “forever because the romantic conception of Eurasianism does not correspond to history.”
“There will not be a battle between civilizations” in this case, Kantor says, because while “Atlantic civilization exists … Eurasian civilization does not. There is no such civilization. Russia exists but Eurasia does not, and neither does Eurasian civilization.” But there can be a war between those who believe otherwise and those who know better.
And that is precisely the problem now: the only basis for the existence of a Eurasia is military conquest, Kantor says, and he says explicitly that while Dugin, Prokhanov and Limonov are leaders in self-described “Eurasian ‘struggle with fascism,’ … alongside of them stand Molotov and Ribbentrop.”
The Moscow commentator devotes most of his article to a discussion of Russia’s alternating view of itself as part of the West and the West’s liberator to part of the East and the West’s gendarme, to the ways in which Russian Eurasianism contributed to the rise of German Eurasianism and Nazism, and to neo-Eurasianism’s sympathetic attention to the latter.
Kantor’s arguments are especially suggestive about how the this latest evolution of Russian thinking is a product of Russian perceptions of being mistreated by the West and how for a long time Dugin has been drawing on the words of Nazis and fascists and openly praising those on the extreme right of the political spectrum, something many have neglected to notice.