Alexander Dugin is one of the foremost philosophers and political thinkers of Russia today. He is a "conservative" in the sense of conserving tradition, in this case the traditional Russkiy mir (Russian World). He views contemporary Western culture as decadent. Dugin has been sanctioned but the West.
Liberalism is a nihilistic ideology. It insists on liberty from any kind of collective identity, but never suggests anything positive. When in competition with the totalitarian ideologies of the past, communism and fascism, liberalism appeared to be concrete and attractive because it negated such totalitarianism while positing itself as a real alternative. But when the totalitarian competition was overcome, the nihilistic nature of liberalism came to be fully revealed. It can only negate things, and cannot affirm anything constructive. It is not the ideology of positive freedom, but of negative liberty. Although yesterday this might not have been so explicit, today it is clear.…
Liberalism has turned totalitarian. There is no liberty to not be a liberal. One must be a liberal. You can choose to be a left liberal, a right liberal, or a center liberal and, in the extreme case, you can be a far left or far right liberal, but you must always be a liberal.
If you are judged to be illiberal by liberals, then you are finished, labelled as an extremist, terrorist, and so on. The liberals can only tolerate liberally tolerant people. If you are not tolerant in the liberal sense, you are intolerable.…This is central to the paradoxes of liberalism. Anything that arises from the strict application of liberalism as negative freedom (freedom from external constraint) is regarded as being "natural."
Can this be corrected with the addition of positive freedom (freedom for actualizing potential)? This depends on agreement over human nature, which is disputed.
See Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Positive and Negative Liberty, introduction:
Negative liberty is the absence of obstacles, barriers or constraints. One has negative liberty to the extent that actions are available to one in this negative sense. Positive liberty is the possibility of acting — or the fact of acting — in such a way as to take control of one's life and realize one's fundamental purposes. While negative liberty is usually attributed to individual agents, positive liberty is sometimes attributed to collectivities, or to individuals considered primarily as members of given collectivities.
The idea of distinguishing between a negative and a positive sense of the term ‘liberty’ goes back at least to Kant, and was examined and defended in depth by Isaiah Berlin in the 1950s and ’60s. Discussions about positive and negative liberty normally take place within the context of political and social philosophy. They are distinct from, though sometimes related to, philosophical discussions about free will. Work on the nature of positive liberty often overlaps, however, with work on the nature of autonomy.
As Berlin showed, negative and positive liberty are not merely two distinct kinds of liberty; they can be seen as rival, incompatible interpretations of a single political ideal. Since few people claim to be against liberty, the way this term is interpreted and defined can have important political implications. Political liberalism tends to presuppose a negative definition of liberty: liberals generally claim that if one favors individual liberty one should place strong limitations on the activities of the state. Critics of liberalism often contest this implication by contesting the negative definition of liberty: they argue that the pursuit of liberty understood as self-realization or as self-determination (whether of the individual or of the collectivity) can require state intervention of a kind not normally allowed by liberals.
Many authors prefer to talk of positive and negative freedom. This is only a difference of style, and the terms ‘liberty’ and ‘freedom’ are normally used interchangeably by political and social philosophers. Although some attempts have been made to distinguish between liberty and freedom (Pitkin 1988; Williams 2001; Dworkin 2011), generally speaking these have not caught on. Neither can they be translated into other European languages, which contain only the one term, of either Latin or Germanic origin (e.g. liberté, Freiheit), where English contains both.Liberalism is at the front of cultural change in the world today. I regard myself as a libertarian of the left who views negative liberty as a necessary condition for mature liberalism and positive liberty also as necessary. A concept of liberalism that is both necessary and sufficient must include the individual, social and spiritual aspects of freedom and its purpose.
Alexander Dugin puts forward a point of view different from my own, but one to which he is entitled. The contribution he makes is several fold. First, he brings in a view of liberalism from outside liberalism. Secondly, he presents a powerful strain of thought in the Russian world today. These are the most important. There are others. Regardless of one's opinion of his views, his views are important as cultural force to be reckoned with. sanctioning Alexander Dugin is not going to make his ideas go away. If fact, doing so is illiberal.
Dugin: What is wrong with Europe?
Alexander Dugin, Katehon
Edited by J. Arnoldski
Edited by J. Arnoldski