Professor Aleksandr Dugin is Head of the Centre of Conservative Researches at the Faculty of Sociology at Moscow State University and leader of the International Eurasian Movement.

What is perhaps initially most appealing about this publication – aside from the promise of an offer of a fresh, viable alternative to the present stagnant political void, this “end of history” in which we find ourselves – is the comprehensive critique of the prevailing liberal ideology from a perspective which neither wholly aligns itself with the traditional positions in opposition to liberalism, nor stations itself against these.

The principal aim of Professor Dugin's work is not simply to deconstruct the previous failed political theories, which he lists as fascism, communism, and liberalism, but to fashion a new fourth theory, utilising what may be learnt from some of the previous models after their deconstruction rather than dismissing them outright on the basis of particulars worthy of rejection. That is not to say that the Fourth Political Theory is simply a synthesis of ideas that in their singular form have seen their day. Dugin is conscious of the necessity to bring something new to the table, with one of the principal of these novel ideas being the rejection of the subjects of the old ideologies, such as class, race, or the individual, in favour of the existential Heideggerian concept of Dasein (roughly Being or being-in-the-world. Literally da – there; sein– being) as the primary actor.

Arguably this is the greatest difficulty in Professor Dugin's book. Whereby the subject of class or race may be conceived of on the scientific, quantifiable level, the metaphysical idea of Dasein as the cardinal actor in the Fourth Political Theory is significantly more difficult to grasp in an age which overvalues the scientific method. This said, the title of the book itself serves to suggest that the contents will not be free from abstract concepts. This is, after all, a work of theory.

Those hoping for a comprehensive outline of a route to salvation will be disappointed. At least initially. The Fourth Political Theory does not seek to form a rigid ideological structure founded on an exhaustive set of axioms, but rather to serve as an invitation to further build upon what is an initial guiding framework.

Traditionalists who ascribe to a more conservative world view need not be put off by Dugin's avant-garde approach towards historically enemy ideologies. His boldly honest examination - unhindered by any concern of how he will be received - of the previous political theories is illustrative of the principle which is prevalent throughout his work, namely the opposition to the sort of reflexive reaction that stems from ingrained preconceptions, and advocating instead a willingness and ability to acknowledge the positive parts within an overall negative whole.
With this in mind, it may serve to benefit any to cast aside suspicions and scepticism towards this Russian thinker and to refrain from dismissing this innovating work on the basis of the presupposition that seemingly disagreeable notions act as principle maxims within the Fourth Theory.

Regardless of where one stands in relation to this seminal work, the Fourth Political Theory is a valuable contribution to the alternative political discourse and, I suspect, will be quick to gain even greater momentum.

Copies of Aleksandr Dugin's The Fourth Political Theory can be purchased from ARKTOS