The Great Reset and the Great Awakening (Interview with Alexander Dugin on “the Great Reset.”)
In the following interview with the Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin on 2 January 2021, conducted for the German magazine Deutsche Stimme (‘German voice’), we were discussing the new globalist strategy called “the Great Reset.” Since it is embedded in the political framework of liberalism, we also discussed its philosophical framework, as well as object-oriented ontology and the latest philosophical theories of Professor Dugin regarding the radical subject.
Deutsche Stimme: Dear Professor Dugin. The global elite is discussing a strategy called “The Great Reset”, which calls for a reset of capitalism and the post-liberal system after its failure during the Corona crisis. For this purpose, capitalism shall be made more sustainable in order to keep the Open Society alive, but also more repressive, in order to gain even more control over everyday life, and install a system of mass surveillance. What do you think about this new project, which is intended to save globalism?
Alexander Dugin: I think that this is precisely not a new strategy, but a new term of the globalists. In the history of globalization, the term reset is a very interesting concept. The content is the same as was the New World Order, globalization, One World, End of History, the promotion of ultra-liberal values. The content of the Great Reset differs not too much from the content of globalization, but we need to understand that globalization is not just a technological, geopolitical or political process but also an ideological process that unites different levels. For example, this means that every country and every society is transformed into the West. That is very important.
Westernization was a great part of this globalization — because that is a projection of Western values and Western society on all of humanity. So, in globalization, the West is taken as an example. The second level of globalization is a projection of modernization onto Westernization. That means it is a more and more updated version of Western values — not the same Western values as they were yesterday. This is an ongoing process of some special transformation, a change of the Western values and paradigm. And this is important — it is a double process to update the West itself and project an updated version. This is a kind of postmodern combination of the Western and modern.
Modernization should not only be applied to non-Western societies, but modernization is also a domestic process in the West. So, globalization is modernization as well. The next level should be an ideological shift inside liberal globalization because liberalism is also a process. It’s not just a belief in something eternally stable, but it is the idea to liberate the individual from all forms of collective identity.
Deutsche Stimme: From what must the individual be liberated?
Alexander Dugin: That is an historical process. It started with the liberation from the Catholic Church. After that, it was the liberation from the estates and from the belongingness to some society of the Middle Ages, and after that it was the liberation from the nation-state and from all kinds of artificial collective identities in the 20th century. And after the defeat of Nazism and Communism followed the next step — the liberation of man from collective gender identity. That was the mark of transition to a new kind of liberalism. So, gender politics is essential. It is not just secondary — it is something essentially embedded in this logic of development of liberalism.
So globalism is essentially and naturally associated with gender politics. That is extremely important. That is part of this modernization of the liberal society itself. And the next point is the exchange of the human collective identity with the post-human collective identity. That is the political agenda for tomorrow that starts today; that is the main logic of globalization; that is not just the opening of the borders. That is a very profound and multi-layered process of globalization.
Deutsche Stimme: But what is new about the idea of the Great Reset?
Alexander Dugin: New is the fact that the previous stages created oppositions of different kinds in non-Western societies, especially in the not-too-much Western, not-too-much modernized societies of Russia and China. Some aspects of the conservative features of these societies reacted against globalization, and the defense of their sovereignty indicates that the great nuclear power Russia and the big economic power China have become obstacles in this process. At the same time, there appeared civilizations that have tried to react against the imposition of liberal, modernist and postmodernist values. That was an organic and natural reaction of civilization against this ideological agenda.
At the same time, there were some economic errors and strategic defeats in geopolitics, like in the creation of the “Greater Middle East” project and the promotion of color revolutions in the Arab world, which didn’t deliver the successful results the globalists expected. So that was a chain of failures — failure after failure, and the last failure was the appearance of Trump.
So that was the revolt of American society that rejected this agenda. For example, they expressed their will to stay with yesterday’s version of modernity, of liberalism, of democracy. They rejected the process of ongoing modernization and update. So that was a kind of challenge from within — not from Putin, not from the rise of populism in Europe, but from a kind of split in American society itself.
All that put the globalists in a very special position. They tried to promote their agenda, which was based on the liberation of the individual from every kind of collective identity. They still wanted to project Westernization; they still wanted to achieve stronger and stronger modernization and thus achieve the destruction of every kind of identity in the West. But they encountered so many obstacles that they could not proceed in a normal way, so that is a kind of emergency signal that went off because there was an accumulation of the alternative powers and actors of different layers — civilizations, as well as sovereign, ideological, cultural, geopolitical, economic, but also political elements, which created a kind of front represented by Trump, Putin, growing Islam, Iran, China and in an economic way the Belt and Road Initiative, the wave of populism in Europe, a kind of split inside NATO, triggered by the independent and sovereign politics of Erdogan.
Everything went out of control. And there was a kind of growth of all these obstacles on the road to globalization. So, that was a disaster, a catastrophe in the course of the last two decades, starting from 2000. This led to the end of the unipolar moment and a growing defeat. The globalists lost their positions everywhere, in every camp, and the final blow was delivered by Trump. So the American people joined this battle against the global agenda.
Deutsche Stimme: So, Donald Trump was a disaster from the viewpoint of the globalists?
Alexander Dugin: Yes. Now they’re in a critical position. When they speak about reset, that means the drastic and violent return to the continuation of their agenda. But it is not, as it seems, some kind of natural process of development of progress. Everything seemed almost granted twenty years ago, and now they have to fight for every element of this strategy because everywhere they encounter a growing resistance. So the globalists can’t implement their strategy with the same means and the same methods anymore. And with that they mean three words: “Build Back Better.” This is a kind of slogan, a keyword. Build back — back to before the anti-globalist moment — return to the 90s and be in a better position than back then.
Deutsche Stimme: So they want to go back in time in order to correct the errors made on the way to the New World Order?
Alexander Dugin: Yes. This is a kind of call to arms to mobilize all the globalist forces in order to win the last battle on all the fronts, in order to break through everywhere. Defeating Trump is the first goal. They want to destroy Putin, kill Xi Jinping, change the government in Iran, poison Erdogan, discredit all varieties of European populism, finish the Islamic resistance, destroy all anti-globalist tendencies in Latin America! Not in a peaceful way, but by attacking with totalitarian means.
So, the Reset as a concept has the same content, but it presupposes totally new tools to implement the agenda, and I think the tools are now openly totalitarian. They try to impose censorship, they try to impose political pressure, concrete police measures against all who are on the other side. The Great Reset is the continuation (a kind of desperate continuation) of the failed globalist strategy against all this accumulation of obstacles. They couldn’t accept their failure. It is the agony of a wounded dragon that is going to die, but can still kill because it’s still alive. BBB — Build Back Better — that is the last cry of the dragon. “Kill all the enemies of the Open Society. The enemies of the Open Society should be killed — tortured if they win through the democratic process. We should abolish democracy,” roars this dragon. “Destroy every obstacle. Humanity — let us destroy it. Put the poison in the vaccines. Let’s do it!” That’s the kind of eschatological fight — the last battle of globalization.
And now we see that they use in the Great Reset all the means which were unthinkable in the previous stage. So, to finally answer the question “What is the Great Reset?” — it is nothing new. It is the same agenda of globalization, the same ideology, the same values, the same process, but with totally new means. It is now clearly and openly totalitarian. Censorship, political repression, killing, fighting, demonization of the enemy, denouncing all those who are against that as fascists, as maniacs, as terrorists and dealing with them precisely in that way.
First of all, they view all their enemies as fascists. After that, they begin to kill them because they are fascists. Nobody investigates anything. That’s just Bolshevism, just like in the Bolshevik Revolution or in the French Revolution. Everybody who is declared an enemy of the revolution should be exterminated. So that is extermination, and we see in the United States of America the first stages of this Great Reset. “The globalists have lost the elections? Let’s destroy the elections! Kill all the protesters! Let’s look at all those millions of people demonstrating as a small mob of maniacs and fascists!” So they destroy all kinds of reality checks. No more reality checks. Welcome to the totalitarianism of the Great Reset!
Deutsche Stimme: During the protests at the Capitol in Washington, you used the term “Great Awakening” as an antithesis to the Great Reset. What do you mean by that?
Alexander Dugin: The Great Awakening is a term used spontaneously by American protesters, with Alex Jones and all the others. That was a concept that was born just recently, when the American people became more conscious of the true demonic nature of the globalists. That concerns first of all Americans that were under the illusion that everything was going more or less well, and that Democrats and Republicans inside the United States represented two wings of the same liberal democracy. The Great Awakening for them was the discovery that behind the mask of the Democratic Party was something totally different — a kind of coup d’etat orchestrated by globalists, maniacs and terrorists.
They are ready to apply all kinds of totalitarian measures against the American people. That had been inconceivable and impossible before. It started with Trump during the four years of his presidency and climaxed in the election fraud — the stolen election, which was a clear picture of what is the Great Awakening. It is the understanding of the real nature of the Reset, of the globalists. The American people were hidden inside the American system, and now there are two completely different things — the American population (Trumpists, or normal Americans) and globalist America. And that is exactly the dividing line between the Great Reset and the Great Awakening.
Deutsche Stimme: Does the Great Awakening only have meaning for American patriots or also for us?
Alexander Dugin: Whereas it is foremost about American patriots on the wave of the growing protests in the United States, we could compare the universal meaning of the Great Reset with a possible universal meaning of the Great Awakening, because the Great Reset is the summary of many civilizational tendencies that had been prepared in previous centuries. It is not just the evil will of some group of idiots — no, it is the accumulation of negative results and stages of modernity. That is the negation of human nature: the creation of technical tools that become step by step the masters, and stop being tools. So, when the tool becomes the master, that changes everything; that is the singularity moment — this alienation and the loss of human identities step by step, starting with the religious identity, with this ongoing nominalism, which pretends to destroy all kinds of collective identity. Now it is approaching the loss of human identity. You are still allowed to be human; it is optional. Tomorrow, being human will mean the same as being Trumpist or fascist, and so on. This is a very serious process, and that is the Great Reset.
The Great Awakening should be as universal as the Great Reset is. It should not be just a reaction of the American people, finally understanding the cultural identity of the ruling Democratic elites and the globalists in their country, because if the content of the Great Reset is so rich with meaning, if it is inscribed in what it is called Seinsgeschichte by Heidegger, and the destiny of history — the ontological aspect of history — the Great Awakening should be an alternative. But it should be on the same level and not superficial. We are attacked by something which is globalization, and globalism with something that is very deep metaphysically. It is technical, which is liberal, which is the modern and postmodern. There is a philosophy behind the globalists, and in order to fight this philosophy — which is almost fulfilled on a global scale, but experiencing more and more problems and failures — we need to capitalize on the alternative. For example, we need to revise the relations of the West against the East, or West against the rest. We need to consolidate the rest from Asia to Europe against the domination of this unique West. It will be the shift from uni-polarity towards multipolarity, and the West should find its place inside this multipolar structure.
We need to destroy this Eurocentric/Western-centric attitude. We need to accept the plurality of civilizations, and that will be one of the many features of the Great Awakening. Secondly, we need to revise geopolitics. We need to elaborate multipolar geopolitics. Not only Western sea power against Eastern land power, but we need to identify sea power and land power in the West as well. The United States of America are a clear example of this new geopolitics. When there is the land power represented by the red states and by Republican Trumpists, there are coastal zones that represent sea power. That is a complete change of geopolitical vision. More than that, we need not only to fight against gender politics or dehumanization, post-humanism or postmodernism. We need to revise, to return to what we have lost at the beginning of modernity. We need to re-appropriate the philosophical treasure of those authors and philosophers and metaphysicians and schools of thought that we have abandoned, and leave behind modernity. I think this is also a feature of the Great Awakening — the return to Plato; the return to Antiquity; the return to the Middle Ages; the return to Aristotle; the return to Christianity; the return to traditional religions — all traditional religions. That is traditionalism.
The Great Awakening should be also an understanding of what we lost with modernity. So it should not be just a continuation of modernity or post-modernity. It should be a revision of modernity, a critical revision from the Left and from the Right. We need a complete revision of modernity itself. The Great Awakening is a kind of philosophical and metaphysical program — a manifesto that deals with the Great Reset as an absolute evil. It’s a crystallization of opposite value. It’s not just a defense of Republicans against Democrats in the United States. It’s a much deeper concept, and I think we’re challenged now to create the common global front of the Great Awakening, where American protesters will be one wing and European populists will be the other wing. Russia in general will be the third; it will be an angelic entity with many wings — a Chinese wing, an Islamic wing, a Pakistani wing, a Shia wing, an African wing and a Latin American wing.
So we need to organize this Great Awakening by not only basing it on one dogma. Next step, different identities, and we need to find a place for them. This eschatology of the Great Awakening we find in Christian tradition. We find some special figures for that second return of Christ for an apocalyptic fight against the Antichrist. The same in the Shia tradition of Islam, the same in the Sunni tradition of Islam, and there is the Indian tradition of Kali Yuga, the narrative about the end of Kali Yuga and the fight of the Tenth Avatar against the Demon of Perverted Time.
So we need another tradition, another understanding, another figure and other images for this Great Awakening, and everything coincides now. It shouldn’t be just a political or economic rejection of the Great Reset. We need to understand the Great Reset as the biggest challenge. The Great Reset is a kind of conceptual chariot of the Antichrist, and in order to fight against him, we need to have a spiritual weapon, not only a technical one. Material as well, but first of all spiritual. I think the Great Awakening should be an awakening of the spirit, an awakening of the thought, an awakening of the culture, an awakening of our almost lost roots, of our European, Eurasian, Asian or Islamic tradition. So I understand the Great Awakening, which has just begun, as the process of formation, creation and manifestation of this new spiritual understanding of history, and present and future, as well as organization of the radical criticism against all of modernity, Western centrism, technological progress, and revision of the concept of time.
Deutsche Stimme: You mentioned the important topic of transhumanism, and you also wrote many articles on the object-oriented ontology of Reza Negarestani. Where do you see the danger resulting from these developments?
Alexander Dugin: I think that object-oriented ontology is rather an enclosure, disclosure and manifestation of the real goal of modernity. It’s a kind of final terminal point before which modernity had acted in the name of the man, and with object-oriented ontology we arrive at the point of the reality of the real goal, which was not the liberation of humanity but the annihilation of reality, the destruction of man, because after the death of God followed logically the death of man, and that was the hidden agenda that now is evident in object-oriented ontology. So, Reza Negarestani, Nick Land and Miaso and Harman, they invite us to quit, to leave humanity to get to the things themselves, to the object without the subjects. That is sort of the real agenda of materialism. So materialism was inspired by this object-oriented ontology that appeared at the end of materialism, not at its beginning. This is the logical consequence that they could have received earlier, but the things are as they are, and in the history of Dasein, in the history of philosophy, object-oriented ontology came last. And so that is precisely the invitation, as Nick Land puts it, to destroy all of humanity and life on Earth. Before, it was just a black caricature of traditionalists against progressivists, because progress always affirmed that we are fighting for the liberation of humanity, for life on Earth, or human beings and freedom. Now appear a group of more progressive, more modernized, more futurist thinkers. “No, not at all. To be human is fascism. To be human is to impose the subjects on the objects.” We need to liberate the objects from the subjects, from humanity, and, what is more interesting, explore the things as they are without man, without being a tool of man, without being at hand, in Heideggerian terminology.
They have arrived on the other side of the object. Where, supposedly, should be the void of nothing, they are discovering another subject. They are called the idiot gods of Lovecraft — the Old Ones — the figures that are beyond the objects, but at the same time inside of them. So the objects are liberated from the human subject, from humanity, and they open their hidden dimension, which is the real Devil. Object-oriented ontology is a kind of premonition or foreseeing of the advent of the philosophical Devil. So the philosophical Devil is here on the other side of the objects, and he appears little by little in academy, in gender studies, and that is the next step after analytical philosophy that has prepared the territory for this non-human way of thought — artificial intelligence that could exist without humans and without life on earth.
So with object-oriented ontology, we’re dealing with the real truth, not with a lie. For the first time, modernity has told the truth about itself. What was before was a lie of modernity. Modernity lied to everybody. “Oh, we’re in favor of humanity. We’re in favor of life. We are trying to liberate human beings and nature from the transcendental fascist God.” That was a lie and not in favor of humanity but against humanity and God. The main idea was to liberate the Devil from the chains with which he was fixed in Hell. This was the liberation of the Devil, not of man, and now comes the moment to liberate the Devil from humanity and life. And that is object-oriented ontology that clearly, openly, explicitly affirms that, and they are object-oriented philosophers. They are closer to us traditionalists because we always saw in modernity this devilish, demonic aspect.
So for traditionalists, modernity was not neutral. Modernity from the very beginning was a satanic creation, and that is the main traditional line. Now there appear among the most progressivist philosophers schools of thought that say the same, but in favor of Satan. It is not Aleister Crowley or black masses or LaVey — the real black magic is modern science and modern culture. Modern civilization is a kind of preparation for the advent of the Antichrist, and Islamic tradition identifies it as Dajjal. Christians see it as the Antichrist. I think that this appeal to Lovecraft, to black magic and to the extermination of mankind and nature is disclosed by Nick Land as the real nature of science and modernity as well, and this is why it serves the Great Awakening.
Object-oriented ontology is the other side of the Great Awakening, when our consciousness is awakened to the fact what progress in reality is. It mobilizes our spiritual power, which awakens the rest of our human dignity, and that is the real fight. But it is much better to deal with people who tell the truth about their negative purposes and principles than with liars. So, inside of the lie, there appears the most radical truth about life. That is why I could not condemn it the same way that I hate analytical philosophy, positivism or the natural sciences of Newton or Galileo, which were a pure catastrophe and a lie about nature and humanity. For example, I hate Biden and Kamala Harris, but I could not hate Reza Negarestani or Nick Land or Harman who are real and conscious Satanists. So better to deal with the reality as it is than with all these lies. If, for example, a progressivist in the United States would declare that they serve Satan, and Satan should return, it’s much easier for us to deal with him. So I always prefer the truth, even when the truth is very dark and very terrible, I always prefer the truth to the comfortable lie that try to seep into our thoughts. The evil helps to awaken because it’s terrible, and I think that what Americans are now experiencing with Kamala Harris and the Democrats is the real horror. The more horror, the better, I think.
Deutsche Stimme: This leads us to the conference you organized just recently, called Wozu Philosophen in dürftiger Zeit? (What are philosophers for in a destitute time?) There you presented the concept of the radical subject, which was born of the thought of Aristotle and Johannes Tauler. Please explain to our readers what it is all about.
Alexander Dugin: This is the most important point because in the radicalization of the Great Reset against the Great Awakening, the concept of the subject is in the center of the battle. Conservatives are trying to save the human subject, and the progressivists are now openly trying to destroy it in favor of post-human/non-human artificial intelligence, technological cyberspace — cyber-ontology. So the problem of the subject is in the center, because the partisans of the radical object are not satisfied anymore to define human beings as masters of their bodies. They try to regard man as measure. That is why they try to decipher the genome, why they try to improve the DNA. They treat humans as measure. That is modern medicine, modern vaccines, modern technology and so on. That is the main point — that man is some kind of measure, and he is not the perfect measure. And the main point of this conference was that radical self is precisely the idea that we could not save and defend if we accept the manner in which it was understood and presented, during the modern age and modern philosophy. It was already a mutilated subject, which was an insufficient subject. The subject cut from its root, and in order to save the secondary peripheral subject, we need to restore this subject — return it to its roots. What was not inside, but even more inside the inner world — it’s a kind of inner transcendence where we should arrive in order to save the subject that was abandoned and destroyed completely. So that is a very important thing that we have forgotten. We have forgotten one of the segments of this way inside ourselves to consider what is inmost — homo intimus in Latin. We consider our intellect as something which Aristotle considered as passive intelligence. We have forgotten our active intellect, starting from the Middle Ages with the Scholastic tradition. My idea — a return to, or to restore, this radical subject. That is important. This active intellect, in order to radically fight against all those who challenge all subjects. In my opinion, we could not defend and save the non-radical subject, which is still here, without the restoration of the radical subject which disappeared many centuries ago from the field of philosophy. So, the rediscovery of active intelligence inside of our souls and inside of our heart is much the same as a rediscovery of the absolute spirit in Hegel and Schelling, or Fichte, with the “absolute I.” I think that this is the way to decipher — through German classical philosophy, which was perverted by left Hegelianism, by Marxism and some other application of it. We need to rediscover the dignity of philosophy as such with Heidegger, first of all, as well as with other German philosophers. We should rediscover Aristotle using phenomenological methods. We need to re-evaluate modernity in philosophy as the stages of the loss of this radical subject, starting from appending this instance of image in St. Augustine, Dietrich von Freiberg and philosophers such as Tauler, Meister Eckardt or von Suso, as well as Paracelsus and Jakob Böhme. All of them had a clear understanding and experience of this radical self, and I think this is not just a special branch of philosophy, not something arbitrary. It is in the center, it is inevitable, it is the main problem. So, the main problem, in order to save humanity, is to save the radical subject that was, for many hundred years, forgotten and marginalized in philosophy. Only with this rehabilitation of active intellect could we be prepared to bring the final battle to object-oriented philosophy and progressivism. So, the main theoretical weapon of the Trumpists in the Great Awakening should be philosophy. German philosophy, Greek philosophy, traditional Western philosophy — they are fighting for the West. They are fighting for Indo-European culture. Therefore, they should know the principles of it. Otherwise, the fight is lost from the very beginning. So, I think that without this layer of radical subject, we could not dream about victory.