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Guénon's basic argument is that society should be constructed on the basis of a religious idea. All the great religions as we encounter them are 'exoteric' forms of a hidden 'esoteric' teaching known only to an élite which learns it not through book learning but through a process of initiation. In the West this idea has been almost completely lost and, through the effects of Western influence, it is fast disappearing in the East as well. In France (Guénon was French) the authentic exoteric forms are Roman Catholicism and, in some of its branches, Freemasonry. Guénon himself lived in Cairo and was initiated into a Muslim Sufi order. His own writings, however, are very orientated towards Hinduism. His English admirers include the Orthodox theorist Philip Sherrard and the Buddhist Marco Pallis. They were both involved in the formation of an inter-religious discussion group, the Temenos Academy, under the patronage of Prince Charles.

It isn't immediately obvious how all this translates into politics. Guénon wrote two powerful and influential polemics against modernism - La Crise du monde moderne and La Règne de la quantité. But by 'modernism' Guénon means everything - the whole of industrial society. He wants a return to a society based on agriculture and manual crafts. In laying out this ideal he is not concerned with practical politics. He is simply declaring the principle, the truth as he sees it, and measuring how far removed from this truth our society is.

Dugin, however, is concerned with practical politics. He wants Russia to be a great power that can defy the American 'liberal' Empire. But it is impossible to imagine how one can be a great military power without being a great industrial power.

It happens, though, that there is something of a bridge between Guénon and practical politics in the person of the Italian, Julius Evola. The sub-title of Dugin's book, Putin v Putin - 'Putin viewed from the right' echoes the title of Evola's book Fascism viewed from the Right. Evola translated some of Guenon's writings into Italian and visited him in Cairo but it seems to me improbable that Guénon was very aware of his political activities. The main thing Evola was known for in Italy was trying (unsuccessfully) to persuade Mussolini to suppress the Roman Catholic Church, which, we remember, Guénon saw as an authentic exoteric religious form, and re-establish Roman paganism (which I think goes largely unremarked in Guénon's writings). But for me the complete disconnect between Evola's position and Guénon's is revealed in the fact that he supported the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, flagrantly a case of a 'modern' society destroying one of the very few societies left in the world that Guénon might have regarded as 'traditional'.

I see very little of Guénon in Dugin apart from the polemic against modernism which, since it is not a polemic against industrial production, seems to me to be largely rhetorical.