Alexander Dugin and COVID-19

Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson looks at Dugin’s predictions and contrasts them with his own.

Alexander Dugin wrote in April of 2020: “The outbreak of the Coronavirus epidemic has been a decisive moment in the destruction of the unipolar world and the collapse of globalization.” Dugin might be a little optimistic about the strength and significance of this virus. Like me, Dugin understands that the capitalist world has been in damage control mode since at least 2008, and a trillion dollar bailout of the country’s irresponsible oligarchs needed to be justified and marketed to a bewildered population.

So far, there’s good reason to believe that the high infection and death predictions are highly faulty. Infection rates are presumed from a small sample, which overstates their numbers. Dugin doesn’t agree. He does say that the post-virus world will see the rise of a new regional order. People will associate the virus with open borders and free trade. I think this is a stretch, but his argument isn’t that people are making this association, but that a dying, globalized system failed to stem the tide of this virus. Its the association that will be created in the popular mind.

He also states that  “At the same time, the universal model of liberal capitalism will likely collapse. This model currently serves as the common denominator of the whole structure of unipolarity.” The connection here is difficult to make. Russia and Belarus are hardly affected, but Iran, as closed as all the rest, is damaged to some extent. China has lifted many of its travel restrictions, meaning that the virus isn’t being under-reported there. If the numbers remain small overall and small businesses demand to be opened in a few weeks, the mass mind will be unaffected. If the system wants a war with China to make up for the hollowed out economy, then Dugin is dead wrong. Ideologically, Dugin is right of course, but not for the reasons he claims.


Matthew Raphael Johnson

Matthew Raphael Johnson is a scholar of Russian Orthodox history and philosophy. He completed his doctorate at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1999. He is a former professor of both history and political science at the University of Nebraska (as a graduate student), Penn State University and Mount St. Mary’s University. Since 1999, he was the editor (and is presently Senior Researcher) at The Barnes Review, a well-known renegade journal of European history. Dr. Johnson is the author of eight books. Six are from Hromada Books, "Sobornosti: Essays on the Old Faith;" "Heavenly Serbia and the Medieval Idea;" "Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationality: Lectures on Medieval Russia;" "The Ancient Orthodox Tradition in Russian Literature: "The Foreign Policy of Mass Society: The Failure of Western Engagement in the Middle East;" and "Officially Approved Dissent: Alasdair MacIntyre’s Strategic Ambiguity in His Critique of Modernity." And two published by The Barnes Review, "The Third Rome: Holy Russia, Tsarism and Orthodoxy;" and "Russian Populist: The Political Thought of Vladimir Putin."