Global Liberalism in Crisis

Global Liberalism in Crisis

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 allowed liberalism to emerge as the undisputed, dominant global ideology. Over the past several years, however, the ideology’s future has come increasingly under question. Populist upheavals in the United States and Europe exposed growing discontent with the inability of liberal institutions to cope with foreign policy and economic failures. At the same time, new emerging powers such as Russia, China, and India among others have begun to put forth their own ideological alternatives.

Dugin said that liberalism had no solutions for the problems it helped create – a fact that is implicitly admitted by the ideology’s own supporters. Liberalism’s only path forward, he warned, was to double down on its mistakes.

“If we consider the futuristic vision in the cinema and the art made by the Liberal West, we don’t see a single positive scenario. Everything is a 'Mad Max', everything is Armageddon – atomic catastrophe, atmospheric catastrophe, or ecological catastrophe,” he said. “So, there is no other possible vision of the future in the modern Western liberal civilization outside of global decay. That offers a revelation of liberalism’s inner void because liberalism started as an individualistic version of humanism, but now it is approaching anti-human, transhuman individualism.”

“That is precisely the political agenda of [Joe] Biden, of Kamala Harris, of modern day progressives in the United States that are openly post-human,” he added. “They are trying to destroy history, the family, the sexes, and all kinds of traditional institutions. It is just a kind of imperative, political imperative of destruction of humanity. So, that is the catastrophe [of liberalism].”

Rise and Fall of Liberalism

Dugin argued that liberalism was a “disguised path to the abyss” from the very beginning due to its intrinsic desire to tear down all forms of collective identity, such as religion, family, and nationality, in the name of individualism. The Russian philosopher insisted that it was only a matter of time before the ideology began trying to deconstruct the very concept of humanity.

“The last thing [liberals] needed to accomplish on their way is to liberate individuals from their human identity – precisely because it is the last form of collective identity,” he said. As evidence of liberals’ increasingly “anti-human” worldview, Dugin pointed to the growing popularity of transhumanism, a movement that advocates for the use of emerging technologies to remake human beings, and radical environmentalism among Western elites.

According to the Russian philosopher, liberalism began its rapid degradation following the end of the Cold War. He explained that during the 20th century, liberalism’s ideological competition with communism and fascism forced it to win over potential supporters by promising them more freedom and higher standards of living. However, the eventual collapse of its two main rival ideologies granted liberalism with a global monopoly over the intellectual marketplace and removed any incentive for it to offer its proponents a better future.

“We now see that without these political alternatives, modern global liberalism becomes a pure dictatorship – a totalitarian system that imposes on all of humanity the necessity to be liberal,” Dugin said. “If you are not liberal, you are doomed, totally destroyed. So, with liberalism now showing its totalitarian nature, it stops trying to be attractive. It insteads imposes itself universally without explaining why.”

Dugin has experienced the totalitarianism of Western liberalism firsthand. Mainstream media outlets have spent years smearing him as “the most dangerous political philosopher in the world.” Dugin has been deplatformed from YouTube, Gmail, and Amazon – just to name a few. The United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions against him for his writings. In August 2022, Dugin’s 29-year old daughter Darya was murdered in a car bombing attack orchestrated by Ukrainian security services.

“I'm considered to be a public enemy of the West and it is not difficult to understand why I am so demonized, criticized, and blamed,” he said. “The liberals could not afford to go for a real dialogue with myself. They prefer to kill me, as they have killed my daughter. When you kill your opponents that means you have no serious arguments against them because violence is the weapon of the stupid and the weak.”

Debunking Liberal Myths

Proponents of liberalism contend that whatever its shortcomings, their ideology has no rivals when it comes to promoting economic and technological progress. No other ideologies can boast of the high standards of living achieved by 21st century liberal societies, they insist.

Dugin offered two responses to this argument. First, he noted that all of liberalism’s economic “successes” were accompanied by regression in other key areas – namely “the destruction of social ambiance in Western societies, the growing devastation of the human minds, and the reduction of the human intellectual culture to simplistic reactions.” He argued that these costs outweighed any economic benefits achieved by liberalism since it is impossible for a society to have a sustained prosperity without a robust social fabric.

Secondly, Dugin pointed out that Western liberalism’s claims of economic superiority were demonstrably false. Since the late 1970s, China has experienced rapid boom all the while maintaining a highly “illiberal” political model. By contrast, many developing nations that have followed the recommendations of Western-led international financial institutions have muddled through several decades of economic stagnation.

“When Western civilization proudly declares that it is the richest society in the world, it simply isn't true because there are other countries with high quality of living,” he added. “If you consider the capital of Russia, big cities of China, or some eastern Islamic capitals, then you will see that their standards of living are not so less than in the West. At the same time, you can find places in the Western Europe or the United States that are in a terrible state. For example, Detroit – the total decay of the entire society, drug addict populations living in the streets.”

Multipolar Revolt Against the Liberal West

Dugin contended that liberalism is gradually losing its global ideological dominance and Russia is helping to spearhead the process. He explained that although Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine to protect civilians in the Donbass and halt NATO’s eastern expansion, the conflict quickly evolved into a larger struggle against Western geopolitical supremacy. The pursuit of victory, Dugin argued, has forced Russia to make a complete break with the “deep nihilism and toxic nature of Western liberal system” and to rediscover its “real civilizational identity.”

“It is not against the West as such we are fighting. We are fighting against the pretension of the West to be universal, to be the measure of things,” he said. “We are fighting against the refusal of the West to consider that Russian culture, political system, and society can be built on totally different principles. The West doesn't accept any alternative to its principles and so long as it still follows this line of kind of behavior, we have no chance to stop the war.”

“But we are not alone in this fight because the Chinese, sooner or later, will confront the same situation. The African and the Islamic worlds are already half-awaken against this threat of the Western racism. Latin America and India as well,” he added. “We are humanity, we are the global majority fighting not against the West, but against Western racism, hegemony, and pretension to be universal. As long as this Western pretension to be universal exists, our fight will go on.”