Alexander Dugin: Visegrád Group as the Project of the Greater Eastern Europe

Interview with philosopher Alexander Dugin about the Central European region and Visegrád Group. Photo: wikimedia commons
Interview with philosopher Alexander Dugin about the Central European region and Visegrád Group. Photo: wikimedia commons
27.04.2018

Interview with philosopher Alexander Dugin about the Central European region and Visegrád Group

-Which countries, in your opinion, belong to the Central European region? What makethem different from Western or Eastern Europe?

-First of all, this concept of Central Europe (Mitteleuropa) was introduced by Friedrich Naumann as the part of the German vision of the European geopolitical space. Germany considers itself to be a pole of attraction for other countries, a sort of special power that is clearly differentiated from Western Europe. But at the same time, the Germans understood that there are many differences between some of these counties – between Poland, Romania, and so on. And they introduced the concept of Central Europe, which should be considered as essentially a German zone of influence.

So, the term “Central Europe” was coined by the Germans in order to prepare a great space, but it was never fully politically and geopolitically united. But at the same time, it was considered as something to be united, which should be united. The German philosopher Carl Schmitt formulated a theory about “great spaces” (Grossraum), which is the first stage of political integration. When we speak in terms of a great space, we mean a potential geographical and geopolitical unity (such as the Monroe Doctrine), a zone of influence, that should be integrated step-by-step into some political entity. On the one hand, Central Europe was the concept linked to the Greater Germany project, and it described Germany’s zone of influence as distinguished from Western Europe – as, for example, from France on the one hand, as well as from the zone of Russian influence that could be labelled “Eastern Europe” in a narrower sense on the other. This was the historical and geopolitical reason to introduce the notion of Central Europe.

Let’s look at another conception of this region: Eastern Europe (Ost Europa). This term is usually applied to those countries which are situated to the east of Germany and to the south of Austria, with Germany and Austria themselves being considered as an integral part of Western Europe, where they are joined with France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Great Britain in the Roman-Germanic space (using the terminology of Nikolai Danilevsky). In this view, Eastern Europe is the zone between the West and Russia (Eurasia). Eastern Europe has always been important for Russia, but also for Western Europeans, and above all for Anglo-Saxon geopoliticians, because they considered Eastern Europe as a kind of cordon sanitaire between Germany and Russia. This idea was developed by Harold Mackinder.

We can’t draw strict delineations that separate Eastern from Central Europe, because there are overlapping zones. For example, Eastern Europe can overlap with Russian (Eurasian) space, or with Central Europe. In geopolitics, the use of these terms depends on one’s point of view.

-What do you think about the Visegrád Group and its perspectives?

- I think that the Visegrád Group is a very interesting and revolutionary idea for uniting some of the Eastern European powers, namely those which perceive to an increasing degree their differences from the rest of the Europe in regard to values, social standards, and the traditional orientation of their societies. This is the kind of particular identity that is proper to the Eastern European countries, but in relation to their specificity: Polish identity, Hungarian identity, Czech identity, Slovak identity, and so on. These Eastern European countries have a special geopolitical mission, a special history, and a special role to play within the European context. 

The Visegrád Group is a new attempt to give a form of sovereignty to the Eastern European space – not only on a geographical basis but as a kind of special civilization, or sub-civilization within European civilization. The main point of separation that is now passing between the Visegrád Group and the rest of EU is a step towards a possible Eastern European exit from the EU.

Brexit was a farewell to the EU from its westernmost segment, the Anglo-Saxon pole. The Englishmen felt uncomfortable with the EU’s bureaucracy, the laws it imposed on the traditionally independent British society, and the burden of euro-idiotism. The same could happen with the Visegrád Group, considering the growing dissatisfaction and disappointment with the EU in those countries. The mission of the Visegrád Group is to demand real sovereignty, to call for the defense of its civilizational identity, and to undertake efforts to provide for its correct geopolitical expression. 

-What is the main particularity that distinguishes the Visegrád Group from the EU?

- I think this mainly occurs in the form of conservatism and a certain degree of archaism. For example, in Poland there is a strong Catholic tradition, the Czechs are proud to be Czechs, and of course there is a unique Hungarian identity as well based in its history and which has been hurt by the ultra-liberal dissolution of all national values. This dissolution is being promoted especially by George Soros and the NGOs funded by him. The philosophical disagreements between the concepts behind the Open Society Foundations and those of traditional society is the main driving factor behind the clash between Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who is strongly supported by the great majority of Hungarians, and Soros.

Every member of the Visegrád Group is trying to defend its traditional identity. But the mainstream political line and essential ideology of the EU is trying to dissolve these identities. The so-called ideology of human rights inherently refuses to recognize any kind of collective identity, including that of nationality and citizenship. Hence, we see provoked and uncontrolled migration, refugees, European self-hatred, and so on. Multiculturalism destroys society from within. The Visegrád Group refuses to accept all that. 

- Is there a possibility for an independent CentralEuropeanfederation/state/alliance?

- I think that the Visegrád Group is the beginning of the creation of a very interesting structure. We can call it Greater Eastern Europe project. There are already some ideas and notions about how it should be built. This project is conceived as being a more traditional and conservative vision of Europe. So, the Eastern European Grossraum (I prefer to use the term Eastern Europe and not Central Europe, for reasons I have already mentioned) could be a pole by itself in the broader context of multipolarity. On the one hand, it could represent Europe, but an alternative Europe, with clear European features, values, and culture, but more conservative, perhaps closer to early modern or even pre-modern Europe. It could be regarded as an alternative version of the development of European history – in other words, not in the direction of radical liberalism and postmodernity. Greater Eastern Europe could be a kind of unity based on the traditional values, culture, and episteme of the stage preceding the postmodern ultra-liberal dissolution: a solid and solidary society instead of a liquid society (as per Zygmunt Bauman). It could be the part of Europe which chooses an alternate orientation. And the more we observe what Viktor Orbán and the other conservative leaders of the Visegrád countries say and do, the more we see this Greater Eastern Europe manifesting herself as a real alternative. It should not be unconditionally pro-Russian – it should rather be European, but neither pro-Western European nor atlanticist.

The Visegrád Group could become the center of an alternative Europe and could perhaps eventually include Bulgaria, Serbia, the Balkans, and also Austria. Austria, with its firm will to defend its neutral status and traditional values, and wishing to strongly control immigration and so on, is a logical candidate for this emerging alternative Europe. Greece, which is also unhappy with the EU, could also join it, and in the future maybe even Italy or Switzerland. The Visegrád Group could become the center for the total reorganization of all European space.

I think that Russia could play a positive role in this process. Such a Europe could be a neutral Europe, or perhaps a finlandized Europe (if we remember, during the Cold War, Finland tried to be independent from both Moscow and Washington simultaneously). So, we can consider this Visegrád Group within the context of the Greater Eastern Europe project, and it could be the geopolitically neutral, ideologically traditional, and politically conservative pole of Europe. This process will develop step by step, but I think it will transpire in the not-too-distant future. There are many factors that will facilitate the acceleration of this project. The EU will necessarily continue the same politics of immigration, promoting transgenderism, transhumanism, postmodernity, and so on. Germany will continue to insist on its economic domination of all of Europe. But on the other hand, we will also have the growing geopolitical sovereignty of Russia. All that will give greater urgency to the development of a new alternative. 

-We see that Brussels is putting great pressure on these countries. A good example is Orban`s recent electoral victory – after the elections, all of the Western media is talking about his “dictatorship” and “lack of democracy.”How could these countries resist and fight?

- First of all, it is very logical that the eurocrats are putting pressure on the Visegrád Group. I think they will try to impose their rules and agenda by means of color revolutions and network warfare, using the NGOs that have been planted everywhere by Soros and other globalist structures. So there will be – and there already is – huge pressure: political, economic, diplomatic, and so on. It’s completely natural.

However, I think that there are possibilities for them to find support. Russia is also interested in reinforcing the Visegrád Group – not because Russia wishes to retake its traditional zone of influence (it’s not possible, anyway), but because we’re interested in it as something that could be independent of Brussels, and which could weaken the presence of globalist structures in Europe. Russia will support neutrality and the growth of independence in Eastern Europe. I think that the majority of conservative and populist movements in Europa and America could support such an initiative. The same is true for socialist, anti-capitalist tendencies.

- What kind of relationship is possible for this region with the US, Russia, and China?

- I think that Russia is now the natural ally for the Visegrád Group. Partly, this is because of Orbán. In Poland, there`s a lot of russophobia. But this is a question of historical memory, and there are also actual national interests and rational calculations involved. I think that for modern Poland, Russia represents a new opportunity rather than an old enemy. In earlier times, Russia spelled doom for Poland, and the Polish people had many reasons to hate Russia. But today, once we look beyond all that, cold, rational calculations show that having good relations with Russia today could be an important issue for conservative and traditionalist Poland. Russia could be a key partner.

I think that China could also play a positive role. China is far away, it’s very unique, and it promotes its own interests. In the context of the creation of a multipolar world, China has all the resources to assist the Greater Eastern Europe project.

If Trump would become the real Trump and not a simulacrum, America could also play a positive role, but not now, because presently it is not Trump’s America but rather an aggressive neocolonialist and interventionist country. It seems that Trump has been hijacked by neocons and fanatical groups of military officers, who are trying to start a global war. So, in the present situation, the United States can’t be an ally of Eastern Europe. Nowadays, American politics is a mixture of far-Right globalism along with destructive Leftist and far-Left ideologies (big business along with Cultural Marxism, which is a deadly alliance).

Anyway, I think that Eastern Europe has to find its allies everywhere. In this situation, Russia and China would be its main supporters. 

-What's your opinion of the Three Seas Initiative?

- I think it is a consequence of previous tendencies in Eastern Europe, from when it was being used by globalists in order to destroy Russian and Soviet influence in Europe. It emerged from the idea that Russia is the main enemy, a kind of continuation of the Cold War mentality. In political terms, this was realized in terms of integration with NATO and the EU. As a result, there is a contradiction between the continuation of various projects that are intended to destroy Russian influence and the ideology of the Visegrád Group. I think it is now time for it to realize its common interests with Russia – to let Russia organize energy supplies to Western Europe with the participation of Eastern Europe. But Eastern Europe should secure its own profits and not sabotage these initiatives. The revival of its cordon sanitaire status is contradictory to the growth of its sovereignty. But now the existence of the Visegrád Group shows that a turn in a completely new direction is beginning. The integration of Eastern Europe as the space between Three Seas should be determined by civilizational choice and by the defense of its traditional values.