Dugin, Bannon, and the New Middle Ages

My Millerman Talks video response to the Washington Post article about Alexander Dugin, Steve Bannon, and the New Middle ages.

The Washington Post ran an article on April 16th called “Why far-right nationalists like Steve Bannon have embraced a Russian ideologue” arguing that Alexander Dugin and Steve Bannon use a mythologized version of the Middle Ages to stoke white nationalism, promote Islamophobia, and further other hateful far-right goals.

A few people have asked me to comment on the article because of my work on Dugin. As I see it, it is worth paying attention to how the author mischaracterizes Dugin’s views in the course of his argument. The errors don’t depend on the author’s knowledge of the Middle Ages, but on his lack of knowledge about Dugin and his hatred for the political right. Hatred for the right is not uncommon, nor is its distorting effect on the analysis of authors and ideas on the right. Yet if this was just a lame journalistic hit piece I might not feel inclined to spend much time correcting the inaccuracies. But I saw that a former Chief of Russian Operations at the CIA tweeted the article out, recommending it as a good, quick overview of Dugin’s thought, which makes me think that some smart and influential people may be led astray by the inaccurate, easily refutable ideologically-motivated reporting, or are misinformed about basic facts.

In my opinion, it is worth examining some of the errors about Dugin in the article, not primarily to exonerate him from criticism, but to set a higher standard for the analysis of obscure, yet politically relevant matters, so that our journalists, intelligence agencies, academics, and other circles don’t become accustomed to taking cheap ideological distortions as the final word on these things. [For the rest of my remarks, watch the video].

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