Trading Places: Aleksandr Dugin’s Putin vs Putin — Guest Post by Ianto Watt

Trading Places: Aleksandr Dugin’s <em>Putin vs Putin</em> — Guest Post by Ianto Watt

I used to subscribed to The Jerusalem Post. Then I realized that I could get the real news a lot quicker by buying subscriptions to the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal. Those two publications represent the real heart of the Labor/Likud dichotomy that governs Israel, and much of the rest of the world. After all, there is a war going on within the heart of Israel. A war that has been going on since Masada in 73 AD, and then Simon Bar Kokhba in 132 AD. And all of it started with the golden calf of Aaron in the Sinai desert.

This war has been going on ever since. The war between Rabbi’s Hillel and Shammai. Between the liberal version of the Talmud versus the conservative (for want of a better word) edition of the Talmud. This is a war of words. A war of meanings. A war of technique. But at heart, they both agree, because the stated goal of both sides is Tikkun Olam, i.e. ‘the repairing of the world’.

Both sides have always agreed that the way to ‘repair’ the (Gentile) world is revolution (war). Therefore, the real issue between Hillel and Shammai has always been, what’s the proper dosage? War, or more war?

Now you’re probably wondering what this has to do with anything today. And especially as it relates to Emperor Donald. And especially to my claim, in my first post on 21 July 2016 that Donald would win. And that he would then deliver the keys of the Empire to Vladimir Putin, the Emperor-in-waiting.

We know Donald won, of course. But is he actually trying to deliver the Empire to our ‘enemy’? And what does this have to do with Hillel and Shammai? Everything, Komrade.

Once Mosaic Judaism died with the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, it was replaced in the hearts of the remaining (that is, un-repentant) Jews with the disputations of the remaining Rabbi’s. These disputes (friendly or otherwise) between the Rabbis (exemplified by Rabbis Hillel and Shammai) were later codified into what we know as the Talmud. The Old Testament was replaced by the Oral Tradition. OT, replaced by OT. Here’s the beginning of the semantic twists that have befuddled the world unto today. The world where the Talmud corrects the Torah. Funny thing, that’s exactly what the Koran purports to do as well. But that’s another story.

These Talmudic disputations are played out before our very eyes still today, on the opposing op-ed pages of the NY Times (Hillel) and the Wall Street Journal (Shammai). Each side claims it will ‘repair the world’. Each side says “If only I ruled the world things would be better”. And this logic always leads to war. This dialectic clash is at the heart of the Talmud. The heart of every Empire.

Both sides, Neo-Con and Still-Left, agree on the root of the problem: Russia. And both sides are pushing for a war to eradicate ‘the problem’. The problem of Russia.

Let’s make a few basic assumptions and see if they can lead us to somewhere besides where we are today. And where we have been for a few thousand years. I’m not just speaking to the West. I’m speaking to the East as well. Both sides have been locked into their respective Imperial paradigms for at least a thousand years, and far more so in the West. The question now is this: must there be a war?

Can we agree that there is an actual Evil Empire? Let’s make assumption (as I have done in my book) that at this time in history there are actually two evil empires. This would not be unusual. Any quick review of history will show that there have been plenty of instances where there have been two (or more) empires at a given time. Rome and Parthia, for example.

If empires are made up of formerly independent kingdoms, then ’empire’ is another word for subjugation. Thus, according to my thinking, any empire is in this sense evil, as it is a negation of the freedom of subjected nations. Subjection to the rule of the Emperor, who has no particular care for the rights of his subject nations. Nations are legitimate entities. Empires are not. But that’s not to say God can’t use them for His purposes. Which, by the way, generally involves chastising errant nations. Like Israel. Like us?

Next, in spite of the MSM, let us assume another seemingly startling possibility, that the people of one empire are not necessarily hostile to the people of another empire. I’m referring to the little people, not their rulers and their apparatchiks. Do little-guy American really want to kill little-guy Russians? Do little-guy Russians really want to kill all Americans? No, but can they be led to do this? Yes, unfortunately, they can.

How does this unfortunate situation occur? Well, let’s make a further assumption, that there can be good men on each side who have been blinded to the difference between Man and God. In the West, let’s take Pat Buchanan as an example of a good man who faithfully served Emperor Nixon (although in all fairness, Pat has awakened to the duality of evil). Everything Pat said in the past about the Western Empire’s nemesis (Russia) was veritably true. His problem was that (until recently) he never looked into the proverbial mirror.

Let’s assume Buchanan has an Eastern counterpart. Let’s call him Aleksandr Dugin. And let’s attribute the same accomplishments (and failings) to him. He is, after all, the apparently close advisor to Vladimir Putin, the Eastern Emperor. Dugin is a man who has unfailingly pointed out, in his many books and articles, the hypocrisy of Western Emperors. Again, like Buchannan, almost all that Dugin says about the Western Empire is also very true. But he too is averse to mirrors.

Here is a funny thing about these two advisors to the opposed Emperors: they both embrace the true faith. Neither of them will shrink from the words ‘one, holy, catholic, and apostolic’. At least, as long as we don’t capitalize all four of these words. Alexander won’t go for that yet. But three out of four ain’t bad, eh? So far, at least.

Having said that, I think it behooves us to look more closely at Aleksandr Dugin. Because he has not had his epiphany yet. I’m not sure he will. Nevertheless, he is right in many ways as he tells the story as seen through Eastern eyes.

What is this story that Mr. Dugin recounts to Vlad? Never mind that the basic core of the story is true. And never mind that Vlad listens only because it satisfies his desire. His desire for Russia to rule all the world. Regardless of whether you believe Vlad sees himself as Tsar or Commissar, the result would be the same. Hegemony, writ large. Yes, this is the same desire any Western Emperor has. But I’m not yet convinced Donald really wants to be an Emperor. Plenty of his henchmen do. Likewise his political opponents.

The primary tale Dugin recounts is one that was first sung by a Westerner, Sir Halford Mackinder, the father of Geopolitics. The man who saw that all of Imperial history has been the struggle of the Sea People versus the Land People. Coastland versus Continent. Mackinder saw that the struggle between the two would be waged in the intermediate ‘Rimlands’ that separate the two. Think of Germany as it tried to fight both Empires in WWII.

Dugin, to his credit, understands this theory, and applies it to the historical perspective that he serves up to Vlad, in his attempts to get Vlad to act decisively in response to Western pressure. My only question here is this: is Vlad the freshman, or is Dugin? It will become clearer in time. In my mind, Vlad is no puppet of Dugin. Maybe somebody else’s puppet, but not Dugin’s. Vlad’s no saint either. Not yet, at least.

If you accept these thoughts of equally-evil Empires, served by equally devout good men who don’t realize they have been blinded by the evil of their opponents, you will have no friends left. But you will have an ecumenical gathering of enemies. And isn’t that what today is all about, Komrade—ecumenism? For a good example, look at how the mainstream Republican and Democratic operatives have all, in unison, denounced Donald for his refusal to call Russia ‘our enemy’.

Let’s look a little closer at Dugin, and his portrait of Vlad in his book Putin vs Putin. Focus on Dugin’s portrayal of Vlad as a man who is (or has been) indecisive. Yes, you read that correctly: indecisive. I know it’s a ridiculous assertion from a Western perspective. But bear with Dugin as he makes his uniquely Russian case.

Look back at Mackinder’s epiphany about the Land and the Sea, and the peoples thereon. Where else does this comparison occur in history quite a bit farther back in time? Well, pilgrim, who are the original Land people? And who are the original Sea people? Look no further than your Bible. For all of the ancient Fathers have taught that the Jews were the people of dry land, while the inchoate (Red) sea was representative of the Gentiles. The continent, versus the incontinent. The restrained versus the libertines. In the mind of all little Russians, who would Israel be today?

In this we see something interesting. Something that coincides with Dugin’s claim that Orthodox Russia has “been chosen by Divine Providence for a special mission. I do not draw a clear distinction between Orthodox messianism and the spirit of the Russian people; they are two sides of the same coin” (p. 61). Simply put, Russians like Dugin see Russia as the New Israel. Just as Buchannan used to see America as the new Israel.

Is Dugin unique to Russia? After all, he claims on the same page that “I am personally a strictly observant Orthodox Christian and wish you to be the same”. Earlier in the book he claims that Vlad was rumored to be (like himself) an Old Believer. That is, one whose beliefs are congruent with the times before Peter the Great. Who was, by their reckoning, the Anti-Christ. At least, as far as Russia was concerned. I contend that Dugin is correct: most (little) Russians see Putin as a man sent from God, to fulfill the Russian messianic role of saving all mankind.

What does Dugin say that ‘indecisive’ Putin must do in order to save Russia from the West? He says that Putin must quit dallying with social liberalism (from a marketplace perspective). And that he must fully embrace ‘traditionalism’ in both the values he espouses as well as the markets he rules.

Now we know all about the values Vlad touts. Pro-family, anti-gay. Pro-nationality, anti-cosmopolitan. Pro-local, anti-global. Pro-communitarianism, anti-individualistic. (No, I didn’t mean to write ‘pro-communism’. Vlad and Dugin both see communism as an aberrant Western form of individualism imported by Western revolutionaries. Starting with Peter the Great and ending with the Bolsheviks.)

Dugin sees Vlad as someone who has, indecisively, tried to straddle the fence, allowing the Church to flourish again (by promoting the values stated above), while still allowing a modicum of decadence and corruption in the marketplace. Clearly, to Dugin, these are antithetical positions. Dugin wants to see Vlad stop that silliness. And to stop it now.

Dugin understands that Vlad has been forced to straddle this fence because it is impossible to eradicate corruption and venality overnight. He says Vlad has decided to attack outside (Western) sources of corruption first, and then clamp down on internal sources later. Yet Dugin keeps harping that Vlad must do this sooner rather than later, or risk losing the people’s support. For the little people, after all, support all that Vlad has done. From Chechnya to Crimea to Ukraine. Why do they support him? Because he’s Making Russia Great Again! Sound familiar?

How does Dugin propose that Vlad should accomplish this task of unifying his message and his policies? Dugin, of course, is the apostle of ‘Eurasianism’. He says Vlad has embarked on the task of eradicating the uni-polar world he inherited from Yeltsin by creating a multi-polar world that frees Russia (and everyone else) from the globalist grip of Liberalism. In other words, from the grip of the Western Empire. And the way to do this is by turning Russia (again) towards the East. To China. To India. To Iran. To Turkey. To anything east of Jerusalem. That is what his Eurasian Union proposal is all about. He intends to establish marketplace power in markets that the West cannot dominate. In return, Russia will offer its partners preferred access to Russian energy and mineral wealth, and just as importantly, to her arms. Her loving arms.

Just as importantly, Vlad sees the advantage of making these same offers to the ‘Rimlands’ of Central Europe. A good example is the NordStream-2 gas pipeline that will increase Germany’s addiction to Russian gas. The price of the gas goes down as European resentment of Donald’s demands go up. The eventual goal is to establish one Eurasian power, from Lisbon to Vladivostok. While Russia is singing the song of ‘multi-polarity’ today, it is easy to see how this song might have a new refrain added as things progress. But forget that for the moment. Ask yourself this: if Vlad wants the headache of running the Eastern Hemisphere, why not let him?

Here’s how Dugin puts it: “Putin’s nuclear Russia is a great island…it is perfectly suitable for waging external revolutionary struggle. It is a wonderful base for training people who need to promote eschatological revolutionary activities on a global scale” (p280). Do you see the problem, Komrade? See those two words? Revolutionary and eschatological? We’re talking something much bigger than Communist grandiosity here, my friend. We are talking about the End Times, in the eyes of the Russians. Equally frightening is the apocalyptic vision of the Neo-Cons, (Hillel and Shammai both) in the now-atheistic West.

We’re approaching the showdown of the Empires. There’s only one way out of this looming confrontation. It takes two to tango, no? So if the existence of two antithetical Empires leads inexorably to an armed clash, the logical (and merciful) answer is simple. Subtract one Empire. Before they clash, that is.

Is this what Donald is seeing? Is this why he is willing to tell Europe Adios, amigos? Why he’s willing to refuse to risk nuclear war for new NATO members like Montenegro? Why he’s willing to tell Angland to choose between European sterility and American fecundity? Why he’s willing, even eager, to tell all of those who have ridden the American gravy-train for free for 75 years to start paying up or to get off at the next stop? And why he wants to defuse the artificially generated animosity between the peoples of Russia and America? Is this what he senses?

Let’s agree that indeed this is what Donald sees and desires. What then is the cost of subtracting one Empire from this equation of confrontation? What price must be paid? We know, based on the messianic writings of almost every Russian of note, from Monk Nestor over a thousand years ago, to Aleksandr Dugin today, that Russia truly sees herself in a messianic role as the savior of mankind. They will not yield in this vision. It is we who must withdraw if we are to avoid the clash that will most certainly involve the possibility (if not probability) of a nuclear confrontation.

Let us confront the true cost of Empire: pride. We must shed ourselves of this grandiose vision of American Exceptionality that has led us to the subjugation of all that is not Eurasian. The current Western attempt to subdue Eurasia, that is Russia, represents the last step in our downward march towards destruction. Are we really willing to make that move?

What then is the alternative? How do we lay down this Imperial burden without laying down our lives? It’s simple, my friend. Let us simply be a nation. Let us be strong, but not be an Empire. A nation fortified, a nation satisfied, a nation gratified. Fortified with the strength we currently possess. Gratified with the knowledge of the blessings God has bestowed upon us, in spite of our past hubristic pride. And satisfied with the astounding resources He has already given us. What more do we really need?


  1. True Faith

    Well, Ianto Watt (is that your real name?), I am a person of little formal education and though I read a lot I also forget a lot and tend rarely to have facts at my fingertips so I am no judge of the truth of what you say but as I was reading your words my eyes popped wide open and something in me that was waiting stood up. What this means I don’t yet know. However I will buy your book and attempt to read it slowly.

  2. Shecky R

    p.s…. follow the (laundered) money.

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