segunda-feira, 28 de novembro de 2016

The publication of the debate between Carvalho and Dugin in Romania: the need to defend a nation

(Cover of the Romanian publication.)

For the first time the debate between Olavo de Carvalho and Alexander Dugin will be published in another language than Portuguese and English. It´s an initiative of the publishing company Humanitas, from Romania. The publication is, therefore, in Romanian language, and will be released on November 20th this year.

(Horia-Roman Patapievici)

In an interview given to a television channel of his country, the philosopher, essayist and former chairman of the Romanian Cultural Institute, Horia-Roman Patapievici, spoke about the book´s publication (here and here for those who know Romanian). Patapievici was asked why publishing in Romania a book with Dugin´s ideias because of the hostility inspired by his philosophical thought and the Eurasian Movement. In the text below, reproduced in Portuguese in Olavo de Carvalho´s profile on Facebook, there are the Romanian thinker´s answers:

"Interviwer: Why publishing company Humanitas publishes Alexander Dugin?
Horia-Roman Patapievici: Because we have to know our adversaries well, and Dugin is author of a well-articulated theory, that recovers the totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century, but also the Russian messianism idea, to proporse an Eurasianism theory.  The Western Liberalism is, for him, absolute evil. The hate - de-legitimized by liberal political practice - against modernity a postmodernity must lead, after all, to the annihilation of the West and it´s values system.
Interviwer: Then, is it not harmful the spread of his ideas in the Romanian space? 
Horia-Roman Patapievici: No, because the retort of the Brazilian professor Olavo de Carvalho is a brilliant retort. Olavo de Carvalho is the complete opposite of the institutionalized intellectual idea, as is the Dugin´s case. He has exiled himself from his native Brazil to a farm in the US, where he has an online philosophical "garden" with 3000 students. He opposes to the Dugin´s emotional rethoric the argumentation delivered from Western-type rationality. Therefore, Humanitas publishes this book, firstly, to know an extremly pernicious ideology, against the values we believe in and even against our statehood, but also to have access to a counter-argument, a brilliant retort, that mobilizes the best in the Western society, to show that Dugin´s ideology has no root in the Western philosophy, thought, culture and religion.
Interviwer: Why is Putinism dangerous to the Romanian stability?
Horia-Roman Patapievici: Because the Eurasian plan relies on the Asia´s division between Russia and China, turning Europe to be entirely of Russia. In this plan, Romania has no future. It has to be part of Russia. It´s unnaceptable, not only from the Romanian point of view, as also European.

Without going into debate´s merit, two points at the Patavievici´s responses deserve attention. The first is the cultural war waged by Dugin against values that politically and socially support the West. His war isn´t restricted to the field of ideas: it enters into politics. In his complex trajectory as philospher, ideologist, founder of cultural movements and advisor to political leaders, the Russian thinker has already openly stated that his intention isn´t act as a politician, but to acto behind the scenes to influence it. When creating the political movement Evraziia, on April 21st 2001, Dugin stated: "Our goal is not to achieve the power, nor to fight for power, but to fight for influence on it." According to professor Marlène Laruelle, the movement was intended to formulate a "national idea" for Russia. Dugin leaved Evraziia in September 2003, just over a year after it´s transformation into political party and two months after it´s merger with the Rodina Bloc, whose ideological profile he desagreed with. But he continued his trajectory as adviser to other Russian MPs and professor at Moscow State University (where he left in 2014), releasing a series of books and texts on the internet, as on Forth Political Thoery and the newly founded Katehon.

(The mastodontic Palace of the Parliament - 365.000 m² - build by dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu, in Bucharest: communist experice helped put Romania into the EU and NATO.)

The second point is the geopolitical dimension of the Neo-Eurasian thought. In June I´ve made a brief analysis on the Dugin´s vision on Brexit based in an interview with the think thank Katehon (of which he´s member of the Supervisory Board) under the title "Brexit: Europe is falling into abyss" and in the debate with Olavo de Carvalho. The Russian thinker states that the European decline would be due the "ultraliberal ideology" in the continent, and puts in check the Western leadership in the world. On the other hand he shows preference for the rival alternative, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), whose two main members are Russia and China. "Brexit is the collapse of the West and it is a victory for humanity", Dugin says, which after completes: "And the flagship of the mankind is the SCO, Russia, the current sovereign free multipolar Russia led by Putin, and those who are in the Eurasian Club".

The cultural war and the geopolitical consequences of Neo-Eurasianism are at the core of the Patapievici´s warning. In a world shaped by the Eurasian Movement and led by the SCO will be little or no space for opposition from smaller countries such as Romania. After the experience in the Communist bloc, this helps explain the country´s choice for the European Union and NATO. In addition, Russia and China has a long-term estrategic alliance (like the multibillion-dollar Russian gas supply agreements in 2014), being China the attraction pole of all Eastern Asia and Russia the frontline of the Eurasianism expansion with it´s onslaughts in Europe and even in the US in the political, cultural and military fields. In a world were multinational powers (whether Eurasian or Western) grow excessively, it´s necessary to know where the greatest danger lies to know to situate itself more consciously and less unconfortably among great powers. In the Romania´s case this accomodation is strictly necessary, since the country is situated in Eastern Europe with Moldova and Ukraine, countries under Russia´s direct action.

 (Third and second editions of "The Garden of Afflictions", by the philospher Olavo de Carvalho: defense of inner freedom against the modern state´s intrusion. In the third edition, the philosopher corrects some distortions of his essay and supplements it with a brief analysis of the Dugin´s Neo-Eurasian plan.)

Finally, here is what Patapievici commented on the Brazilian philosopher: "Olavo de Carvalho is the complete opposite of the institucionalized intellectual", whose reply to Dugin he defined as "brilliant". This is keeping with I wrote in the text on Brexit: Dugin doesn´t understand Carvalho´s thought, he can´t see him out of an ideological frame, and for this very reason he feels confused in the debate he had with the Brazilian. For the Russian it was inconceivable that his adversary were an opponent of the Eurasian plan and also the Western globalist plan. It happens that Carvalho think as an individual and not within ideological schemes, however complex they may be. It´s this inner freedom that Patapievici also wants to preserve, because the nation´s freedom depends upon it. This last sentence isn´t a passionate, emotional defense of freedom: it´s the pillar of Olavo de Carvalho´s though, as the final chapter of which I consider the best of his book, The Garden of Afflictions (p. 307, 2nd edition) shows:

In the absence of spiritual power (...) power is the sole judge. Democratic or oligarchic, communist or capitalist, monarchical or republican, social-democrat or neoliberal, it will always be the Caesar´s power, with an incoercible propensity to self-divinize. And as long as we don´t understand these things we´ll continue to bet on this or that political system, not seeing that the merits of any political system depend essentially that it knows to respect the limits imposed by the people´s religious conscience, vivified by the presence of spiritual authority and based on values that precede from long the very birth of this system and the very society it governs; that precede, maybe, from eternity."

* Published in Portuguese on November 18th 2016.

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