ALEXANDER DUGIN'S SPEECH AT THE FIRST SIBERIAN FORUM OF THE WORLD RUSSIAN PEOPLE'S COUNCIL: "WHAT IS TRADITION"?
Alexander Dugin: What is tradition?
Law 809, which has been talked about a lot today, is a turning point. We are generally living in a new era. This new epoch in Russia began on February 24 after the start of a special military operation, which entailed enormous transformations in the positioning of our country in the global context. The law "On Approval of the Principles of State Policy for the Preservation and Strengthening of Traditional Russian Spiritual and Moral Values" is a point of principle, the announcement of a new ideology of Russia.
It is not a state ideology. It is constitutionally forbidden in our country. It is the sovereign ideology of our society. This is what unites representatives of all parties at the World Russian People's Sobor, which took place recently in Moscow. Representatives of all Duma parties spoke. And the creation of the "Cultural Front" is the same, leaders and representatives of all parliamentary parties. Everyone is united: maybe political views differ a little, but we are united about this sovereign ideology, about the fact that we swear an oath to tradition and traditional values. This is a kind of meta-ideology: it unites parties, representatives of government, society, the people, the Church, and traditional confessions. That is what traditional confessions are, that they hold traditional views on values. First of all, of course, it is the Orthodox Church, but also other traditional confessions.
In this situation, of course, it requires a much more serious approach to why these values are called "traditional" and what is "tradition"?
Sociologists surely know that society is divided in sociology into several types, representing not just temporal, but anthropological, sociological constructs: it is traditional society, characterized by the superiority of the spiritual over the material, strong families, the value of life, morality and continuity of generations. Traditional society is a society that prioritizes the sacred. Konstantin Valerievich [Malofeev] said very correctly about the estates: the spiritual, the military estates are placed on the highest level not because they are strong or rich, but because they sacrifice, they serve, and in their service they go to the end, to the limit. It is a sacred thing because, as the ancient Romans said, "Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori" - "It is sweet and beautiful to die for the motherland. And this is the truth of traditional society, of Empire, of religious society. This is the truth of true patriotism. That is what Russia swears to today.
Traditional society is one of the types in sociology: what is the opposite of traditional society? And here is the most interesting thing. Sociologists say that traditional society is the opposite of modern society. And here begins the most interesting thing: it turns out that the pair - thesis and antithesis - when defining "tradition" oppose it to "modernity" (i.e., Modernity). Hence, in sociology, in cultural history, this pair of notions: traditional society and non-traditional society. Modern society is a non-traditional society (just as orientation is non-traditional). In traditional society, orientations are traditional: a strong family, the spirit is higher than the matter, but in modern society (European Modern) it is vice versa. This is a society where everything traditional is considered outdated, everything traditional must be overcome. And these traditional values of European Modernity, starting from the bourgeois revolutions, from the age of great geographical discoveries from the end of the 16th century, are methodically beginning to be eliminated. The history of the last five centuries of Western Europe, with which we are now at war, has been a movement against Tradition in favor of modernity. And the more modernity, the less tradition. At some point, the dogma of progress was put forward, the opposite of all religious teachings, all traditional confessions (supposedly, humanity used to live badly, was "idiotic," followed some "traditional values," and now it is being liberated - from God, from the Church, from the nation, from culture, then also from family, from gender, and then - from the human species).
This is progress, this is Modernity (or modernity). Modernity says: we are moving away from traditional values, we are losing our collective identity, we are overcoming and redrawing one traditional value after another, and affirming the opposite. This is what Modernity is all about. If we want modernization, if we want progress, if we want development in this mainstream Western vein - be kind enough to destroy the Churches, abolish sacred institutions, marginalize or destroy the priesthood, denigrate warriors, put merchants, the oligarch in charge, atomize society, destroy families, plant an individualistic identity in our children so that they disappear as quickly as possible, dying of drugs or AIDS, to be replaced by artificial cyborgs. A hundred years ago this was science fiction, but today it is the program of modern liberal progressivist parties, in the US and Europe, green, transhumanist, genderist. This is already the ideology of the West.
We are at war with it today in this state, but it all started out as a pretty good idea: to liberate man, to unleash his potential, to build material conditions of comfort, to live better, to build cars - but to do this you only need to forget God. Because God demands effort from us, the Church demands discipline from us, not only rights, but also duties. Tradition, state, empire, ministry require sacrifice. And our whole traditional culture was built on this. And family is not only joy, but also sacrifice. And love is a sacrifice. When we not only enjoy, but also serve, and have great commitments that sometimes seem almost unbearable or hard, like service in the Church, monasticism, the feat of warrior. Also the feat of building a family and raising children.
Tradition is the opposite of Modernity. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia at the meeting of the World Russian People's Council very accurately identified the source of evil: he called it the term "secularism. And secularism is the transition from traditional to modern society. From the spiritual to the material, or anti-spiritual, secular, and secular. If we abandon the leading role of the spiritual institution - the Church for Russian Orthodox people, the Islamic tradition for Muslims, the Jewish tradition, the Buddhist tradition - then we move to a secular order, as if freeing man from God. Man is left alone. This is what Modernity is all about. Originally, Modern meant God-fighting: it was man's rebellion against God, earth against heaven, matter against spirit. That is what modern society is all about. And when we talk about progress, about perfection, about the fact that humanity develops - from the point of view of religion, it is the opposite. If we look at the last 500 years through the eyes of a religious person, we will see not progress, but degradation. We will see not the improvement of man and his morality, but on the contrary: its complete atomization, atomization, degeneration, which is accelerating more and more.
And here an interesting point arises: the whole Modern, the whole modern society, opposing the traditional society, is in conflict with those values which today are approved as the basis of our state policy. This is the global conservative turn of Russia for the first time in 100 years. Both communist and liberal ideas are progressive secularist ideologies. Tradition sees the Soviet examples and the terrible 1990s as the ultimate form of rejection, as a perversion. This is precisely the triumph of the material over the spiritual. That is, we have actually already made a conservative turn, which requires a rediscovery of Tradition, a new comprehension of the basics of religious worldview, which is seen not as some supplement - "ritual services" - but in its entirety, starting from the creation of the world, cosmogony. We must take from the Church not only morality, but all of its teaching, because that is the essence of Tradition. About the world, about man, about angels, about the resurrection of the dead, about the Last Judgment. "How unconventional that sounds," you might say. Of course, gay pride or the mockery of man in all his forms, his fusion with a plastic bag (as "dark ecologists" or object-oriented ontologists believe) is "progressive. But the noble, lofty idea of Adam, of Cain, of Abraham, of our Lord Jesus Christ, who came to save us, seems "uncontemporary. Well, yes, it is not modern. More than that, it's anti-modern. It is not modern at all, because it is the truth. It is truth in eternity. Tradition is on eternity. It's a joke to us, "What's eternity? Is it very long?" . No. Eternity is what was, is and will be at the same time.
This is what it is now, it is another dimension, vertical in relation to the movement of time. In modern society, everything is horizontal. Eternity is a vertical that runs here and now, through our hearts. And in this is the freshness of eternity. That's the incredible vitality of the spiritual worldview, because the Church is not about what it used to be. And our religion is not about what once happened there - it is about what is happening here and now. And at the Divine Liturgy, the transubstantiation of the holy gifts takes place, here and now - which means eternity. Eternity does not mean "much time." On the contrary, it is the removal of time into supertime.
There is another important point: when sociology considers the concepts of traditional and modern societies, it highlights another phenomenon: the so-called Postmodern. What happens in the transition from Modern to Postmodern? First of all, we will not understand it if we do not take Tradition into account. Tradition is the affirmation of sacred, upright, spiritual values. Modern is the rejection of spiritual values. But in rejecting God, Modern also rejects the devil (he says, "There is no God, but there is no devil"). He puts a man in that place, who will constantly evolve, reveal himself and gradually transform.
And Postmodern is an interesting twist on Modernity, which says, "Yes, there is no God, that's right - we killed Him - but there is a devil. Postmodernity is the discovery of Modernity's satanic plan. That secularism, about which His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia spoke carefully and accurately. He summed up in his speech that the result of secularism as an ideology against the spirit, the hidden motor, is precisely him, the devil, and his messenger, the Antichrist. And this coincides with Postmodernism, because postmodern authors are already openly turning to the devil, to demonic textures, to the decay of human consciousness, to the creation of posthuman species. And in fact, our President, in his speech on the recognition of the four new entities of the Russian Federation, called Western civilization "satanic." This is not a metaphor: this is the essence of the traditional man's view of what Postmodern is. When in the beginning there is neither God nor the devil, and then there is still no God, but the devil is there.
This is the devil that we are dealing with in the SMO today. We are at war against him. Not against Ukraine, we have emphasized this many times. We are at war against the devil. And of course, in order to fight him effectively, we need a deep, traditional system of values. Because if technically the enemy can be defeated, the spiritual, metaphysical enemy, the immortal fallen angel cannot be defeated. If it is a satanic civilization, that changes everything.
We have come to the end of history, but with a different perspective. It is not progress, development, improvement, improvement, comfort, material provision - it is plagues, pandemics, war, famine, death and doom. We are dealing with a civilization of hell. And how can we fight it if we ourselves are part of it? If we fight it the same way, if we ourselves are secularists, progressives, comfortists, liberals - how can we defeat the collective West with which we are at war? Our society may have been ready-our people exist because of loyalty to traditional roots-but the political system was certainly not ready to fight something whose existence has long been denied.
The law on traditional values, our President's speeches, which are becoming more and more definite in terms of Russia's traditional identity, are becoming more and more specific, clearer, with clear formulations we are getting closer to formulating who we are today. But what we are today in terms of Tradition is who we have always been, who our ancestors were, our founding fathers, our saints - those who laid the foundation of our Russian Church, our Russian statehood, our Russian family, and our Russian civilization. We must find this dimension of Russian eternity through our Russian tradition. A dimension in the spiritual battle. To do this, we must not just win: we must change, we must change internally. We must win this spiritual battle in our society itself, in ourselves - in our state, in our people. This is why the people are united today: both with those warriors fighting in our Western territories against the enemy, the collective West, and with the power that has challenged this global Leviathan.
Today we must be united, but we must change: in the state we are in today. Being fundamentally zombified by the elements of Modernity and Postmodernity, we will not win this war, because this war is sacred. This war is truly mortal. It is our last battle.