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Introduction - Is the Fourth Political Theory the new 'Russian Idea'?

Now that the US political establishment has decided to launch a new cold war against Russia - using Ukraine for the purpose - the question is posed: Is there a Russian Idea?

The old Cold War was supposedly directed not against a nation but against an idea, Communism. But the experience of Solzhenitsyn is interesting in this respect. When he went to the US he soon found that many of the people he thought were his allies in his struggle against Communism in fact saw the Soviet Union as a cover for Russian Imperialism. Their real enemy was Russia as a great power and they were reinforced in this by other exiled dissidents in the US notably Western Ukrainians who, having been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire destroyed by Britain and the US in the First World War, found themselves incorporated against their will first into Poland then into the USSR.

We could discuss whether or not Soviet Communism was, as Nicholas Berdiaev thought, an authentic development of a Russian intellectual tradition or whether, as Solzhenitsyn thought, it was an alien imposition, that Russians were as much victims as Ukrainians, Latvians, Georgians; but unquestionably in the imagination of the world, 'Russia' was identified with an idea, an idea capable of inspiring an enormous degree of sympathy, intellectual effort and self sacrifice throughout the world. Could this be true of the new Cold War?

Alexander Dugin makes the enormous claim that his 'fourth political theory' is, precisely, such an idea - that it is equal to, indeed necessarily superior to, the three previous political theories that fought each other through the course of the twentieth century - Liberalism, Communism, Fascism. There is a possible contradiction here. As a rival to Liberalism, Communism and Fascism, the Fourth Political Theory is offered as a universal idea, capable of mobilising people throughout the world, not just in Russia or in the former Russian Empire/Soviet Union. Yet one of the basic and most attractive tenets of the theory is a refusal of Universalism, an insistence that the different peoples of the world have to rediscover and rejoice in their own very diverse cultures in opposition to the spread of a uniform North American or 'Atlanticist' civilisation.

The Fourth Political Theory tries to bring together all those who for one reason or another - often mutually contradictory reasons - are discontent with this North American or Atlanticist New World Order. This includes elements of both the political theories which Dugin sees as irredeemably broken, the second and third - Communism and Fascism. Dugin first came to the attention of the world in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union with the emergence of the 'National Bolshevik Party'. Its symbol was a white circle against a red background. But instead of the expected swastika the white circle contained a hammer and sickle.