So Dugin is Putin’s adviser, Mr. Kincaid?

by Don Hank

Folks, I feel sorry for people who fancy themselves Russia analysts but have never spent time in Russia, never studied the culture and literature, do not know the language and therefore are incapable of reading the Russian media, which is no longer monolithic and even sometimes severely berates Putin and Kremlin policies.

Cliff Kincaid is one such would-be ‘analyst.’

Just one passage illustrates Kincaid’s profoundly embarrassing ignorance of the Russian political scene and of Putin’s psychological make up. Kincaid struts his ignorance thusly:

As we have noted, Putin adviser Aleksandr Dugin is the leader of the “International Eurasia Movement,” which includes a “strategic alliance” between Iran and Russia.

If I weren’t so busy crying over the abysmal foreign affairs ignorance that is plunging our nation into war after war as a result of such blatant displays of mindless drivel, I would laugh at this absurd notion that Dugin is an “advisor” to Putin — a notion on which much of the trashy neocon ‘analysis’ of Putin’s mentality is based.

I was recently asked about the relationship between Dugin and Putin and here is what I said:

Many people here in the Western world have been told by anti-Russia critics that philosopher Alexander Dugin is a “mentor” of Putin. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Dugin is a clever man who wants power for himself and has made desperate attempts to ingratiate himself with Putin by dissecting his behavior and synthesizing a philosophy based thereon. Thus, he is not particularly creative or original and his ideas are not his own, just amateurish attempts to translate Putin’s actions into an ideology. Here is the key point: Putin is not a follower of Dugin’s but rather Dugin is a follower of Putin’s, as I will attempt to show.

Here is an example from a recent Russian language interview (which Kincaid, who parades as an authority on Russia, would not have been able to read). Back in the day, Lenin worshippers used to mouth the phrase:

Lenin lived, Lenin lives, Lenin will live. (Ленин жил, Ленин жив, Ленин будет жить, or in transliteration: Lenin zhil, Lenin zhivet, Lenin budet zhit’)

When I was studying in Leningrad, they flew banners on main streets there with the above worshipful message. Well, as I said, Dugin never was very creative. He took this sentence as a model and created the even cornier saying: Putin is everywhere, Putin is everything, Putin is absolute, Putin is irreplaceable.

Dugin also took a concept directly from Tolstoy as if it were his own.

Unfortunately, Dugin never really understood Putin. After Dugin made that crazy speech in a televised interview urging people to “kill, kill, kill” (the Ukrainians), many Russians demanded that Dugin be fired from his post as professor. Indeed, he was fired, and significantly, Putin did not object to this or defend Dugin in any way. Significantly, Putin has repeatedly said in public interviews that the Russians and Ukrainians are brothers. He wants conciliation and he wants Russians to respect other peoples. Thus, despite his show of erudition, Dugin was naive to call for the killing of Ukrainians ands it reveals his utter lack of comprehension of Putin’s mind set. Dugin later foolishly blamed Putin for not coming to his aid. Obviously, this man is an egotist who sought aggrandizement by associating himself with Putin’s ideas, but has no influence on Putin whatsoever, and I doubt he ever did.  Putin was recently interviewed by Russian media and was asked what his ideology was. Putin said he had no guiding ideology at all and that he was a conservative and a pragmatist. Any keen observer of Putin (one not blinded by racist Russophobia) would say the same thing. This was a strong signal to the public that Putin was not in any way tied to Dugin and would not be swayed by his ideology of ‘Eurasianism’ (or anyone else’s for that matter. Russia was almost destroyed by an ideology. The Russians are gun shy when it comes to nice sounding ideologies of the Western ‘progressive’ or ‘liberal’ type. Dugin had his place in the sun. Now he is out, and I am convinced that Putin is saying to himself ‘good riddance.’

Here is one of many examples of why any analyst who wishes to criticize Russian affairs really needs to have a good reading knowledge of Russian. (I am not suggesting that anyone who wants to understand Russia is hopelessly hamstrung by a lack of Russian language knowledge. I am only saying that a person with limited knowledge of Russian culture, literature and language is skating on thin ice when he struts expertise in things Russian only to mouth the officialist cold war viewpoint). It is obvious from Cliff Kincaid’s rants that he knows nothing and wants to portray himself as a patriot by bashing Russians, preying on the residual suspicion and hatred for Russians — a form of racism not significantly different from anti-Semitism — that many older cold warriors and aficionados of Sylvester Stallone movies still nurture in their hearts.

If only they could see themselves for the clownish amateurs they are.



  1. That Putin does not follow Duguin in everyday political decisions does not mean that he has not subscribed to the Eurasian Empire project in general lines. Relations between politicians and their philosophical mentors are always complicated, and often not very profitable for the philosophers.

  2. I can not speak Russia – but I know many people who can.

    And I know enough to understand that anyone who sides with Mr Putin is no good.

    Ditto anyone who pushes pro Putin stuff – such as Sean Gabb.

    Mr Putin is a vicious criminal with a pathological hatred of the West (as anyone who has seen his television station “Russia Today” knows). the effort of Mr Bush,. Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton to make friends with Mr Putin was pathetic – they (Bush, Obama and Clinton) crawled on their bellies like worms (and Putin just laughed).

    The idea of an alliance with Mr Putin against the Islamists (an idea pushed by “Tony” Blair and other genius types) misses the point that Mr Putin is actually quite happy when Islamists (both Sunni and Shia) attack the West – he just does not like it when they attack Russia (and even that is complex – sometimes he does like it, when it gives him an excuse to act to strengthen his own regime).

    The attacks on such countries as Georgia and the Ukraine by Putin are well known – but Putin’s true victims are the Russian people themselves.

    The promises of trial by jury (made under Yeltsin) have been forgotten, as has the end of conscription – instead elected State Governors swept away, , opposition radio and television stations hit, and dissenting businessmen have had their companies confiscated and been thrown into camps, dissenting journalists are often murdered (the Putin regime controls both sides of the law – senior members of security organs control large scale Organised Crime in Russia).

    A similar situation in the United States would be as follows…..

    Opposition State Governors removed – no more Rick Perry and so on.

    Major opposition media outlets hit – an end to Fox News and the Wall Street Journal (as well as mass talk radio – no more Rush L. or Glenn Beck).

    The confiscation of natural resources in dissenting hands and the imprisonment of dissenting businessmen – the Koch brothers and Jon Huntsman (senior) sent to some camp in Alaska.

    And the murder of journalists and writers who tried to expose the crimes of the President.

    Now Mr Obama may WANT to do these things (I do not deny it) but he has not done them, he does not have the power to do them.

    Mr Putin does haver the power – and has done these things. Because Mr Putin has destroyed the checks and balances of the infant civil society that was emerging from the Soviet nightmare.

    Mr Putin is no Marxist (!”true believers” were regarded as idiots in the KGB of his day – indeed the nickname for Westeners who actually believed the nonsense about “capitalists” and “corporations” was “shit eater” – a fact that Sean Gabb knows very well, but which does not stop him pushing the same KGB style “shit” on this site).. but he does regret the fall of the Soviet Empire – and he honours the memory of the monsters who (for example) murdered tens of millions of people in the Ukraine from 1917 to the end of the Soviet Empire.

    To push pro Putin stuff is a disgusting thing to do.

  3. Samuel Johnson was quoted by Boswell as saying to a fool “I would never engage in a battle of the wits with a man who is totally disarmed.”
    In that vein, I will ignore the Lilliputian arrows and go straight to the bottom line:
    In 5-10 years, the corrupt Washington government will no longer be in a position to impose sanctions on anyone. It will be lucky not to have to pay them to someone else, most likely to someone in Asia.
    The US has a now-unpayable debt way in excess of 100% of GDP and is running on the strength of a Ponzi scheme propped up by a Fed as the main bond buyer. This is cheating and is immoral by anyone’s standards because in essence it forces the rest of the world to pick up its bar tab.
    China has no debt and even has a healthy surplus. Russia likewise has a debt that can still be paid down or even off.
    This is sound practice. Asians don’t need a fancy sounding ideology. They imbibe thrift with their mothers’ milk.
    So who is evil? (I am now reading articles in Asian language journals, which dare to say what no Western media outlet will say, and, Lord willing, I will be publishing an article on the exponential growth of the rmb globalization index–or in other words, on the dedollarization of world trade. Are you ready? That is an issue that will make all the Russophobic prattle irrelevant).

  4. If you, “Paul Mark” or whoever may be you, were talking only about Bush, perhaps you could be right. But Clinton was socialist and Obama is a hard-core Marxist. Putin’s opposition to these two cannot be so bad. In fact, you seem also unwilling to call Clinton and Obama criminals. You are just an ultra-nationalist extremist. As to your other talks and blah, blah, blah and blah, they are so legitimate as is your identity.

  5. […] 3—However, there are hotheads in Russia (such as Alexander Dugin) who are guided by emotions, and the implementation of their ideas could sabotage the Putin plan, leading to war. (Obviously, Dugin is Putin’s polar opposite in his position on the Ukraine, even though there are Russia-bashing writers who insist that Dugin is Putin’s “mentor,” as I pointed out here). […]

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