The attack on Dugin's daughter is an attack on dissidents around the world
23 augustus 2022 | John Laughland
The bomb which so brutally killed Daria Dugina, a beautiful and intelligent young woman, on Saturday evening was meant for her father, Alexander Dugin, the prominent political commentator and philosopher. But it was also aimed at anyone in Europe who takes a dissenting view on the Russian-Ukrainian war – and that includes many people in FVD, from the leadership downwards.
Terrorism is designed to create terror. Its targets go way beyond the actual murder victims. This is what distinguishes terrorism from assassination. Dugin is not a man of power. He has never held any government or elected position. He is a man of ideas. It was in his capacity as a thinker that someone tried to kill him.
Little influence in Russia, increasing popularity in the West
More precisely, he is a thinker who had started to gain considerable traction in the West. He is regularly referred to as “Putin’s brain” in the Western gutter press but this is rubbish. Dugin is simply a public intellectual and regular TV talk show guest. There are many people in Russia who have far more influence on the leadership than he does and whose thinking feeds directly into policy. In any case, Putin does not need a brain - he has one of his own.
The Decadent West vs Resistant Russia
Instead, with his fluent English and his mystical Russian appearance, Dugin was a lucid exponent and influential embodiment of the belief that the current conflict is between a decadent West and an at least partly resistant Russia. This is a very Russian creed which probably goes back to the split with Western Christianity in 1054 but which enjoyed a revival under Soviet Marxism. Dugin also argues that it is a continuation of the conflict between land powers and sea powers which has characterized human history for millennia: today Russia versus America, yesterday Rome versus Carthage. He believes that the Russo-Western war is an irreconcilable ideological conflict and I think he is right.
Dugin has been known in various Western circles for decades but, in the light of the current conflict, there have been plenty of Western news outlets, mainly dissident ones, which have wanted to interview him. His videos and articles started to be shared widely on social networks. At the debate on Ukraine organized by FVD in July, at the RAI Congress Centre in Amsterdam, Joost Niemoller devoted a whole lecture to Dugin.
Western interest in Dugin is what made him a target. This terrorism is nothing but the logical armed consequence of the hideous anger of ‘cancel culture’. Just imagine if Alexei Navalny had been killed or his wife blown up. The Western media would immediately have pointed the finger at Putin and howled for his blood. The sentimentalism would have been intense.
Contrast this with the cold-hearted reports of the Western papers about Daria Dugina’s appalling murder, some of which even appear to justify the attack by calling Dugin as ‘fascist’ (The New York Times). The adviser to the Ukrainian president described the dead woman as ‘a propagandist’ without offering a word of sympathy for her murder. We get the message: you either agree with us or you deserve to die.
Anyone who takes the ‘Russian’ side in this war will now surely wonder if he or she is next. A generation after ‘dissidents’ were hailed as heroes who brought down totalitarianism, dissidence is today attacked as disinformation and propaganda to be outlawed, cancelled or (in this horrific case) physically eliminated. Thierry Baudet re-tweeted on 19 August an admission by the UK Ministry of Defence that it is waging an information war against Russia – a war the West claims to be winning. ‘What does this information war involve?’ Thierry asked in his Tweet. Maybe we are starting to find out.
We keep going
FVD stands for the opposite of this. It wants to be the voice of dissidence. We did this with the conference on Ukraine in July and we will do it again on 25 August with the symposium on China. Dialogue is what FVD is all about – and using it to find solutions.