I didn’t even know that was a word until just today, reading Robert Zubrin’s column on Vlad Putin’s imperial ambitions, but it’s a word with a history:
The roots of Eurasianism go back to czarist émigrés interacting with fascist thinkers in between-the-wars France and Germany. But in recent years, its primary exponent has been the very prominent and prolific political theorist Aleksandr Dugin.
Born in 1962, Dugin was admitted to the Moscow Aviation Institute in 1979, but then was expelled because of his involvement with mystic neo-Nazi groups. He then spent the Eighties hanging around monarchist and ultra-right-wing circles, before joining for a while Gennady Ziuganov’s Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF, a neo-Stalinist group partially descended from, but not to be confused with, the previously ruling Communist Party of the Soviet Union, CPSU), after which he became a founder and chief ideologue of the Eurasianist National Bolshevik Party (NBP) in 1994.
The core idea of Dugin’s Eurasianism is that “liberalism” (by which is meant the entire Western consensus) represents an assault on the traditional hierarchical organization of the world. Repeating the ideas of Nazi theorists Karl Haushofer, Rudolf Hess, Carl Schmitt, and Arthur Moeller van der Bruck, Dugin says that this liberal threat is not new, but is the ideology of the maritime cosmopolitan power “Atlantis,” which has conspired to subvert more conservative land-based societies since ancient times. Accordingly, he has written books in which he has reconstructed the entire history of the world as a continuous battle between these two factions, from Rome v. Carthage to Russia v. the Anglo Saxon “Atlantic Order,” today. If Russia is to win this fight against the subversive oceanic bearers of such “racist” (because foreign-imposed) ideas as human rights, however, it must unite around itself all the continental powers, including Germany, Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet republics, Turkey, Iran, and Korea, into a grand Eurasian Union strong enough to defeat the West.
What it reads like to me is 19th Century German geopolitics with a Russian accent — the Eurasian core countries of today melded with Mackinder’s “World Island.”
The risk isn’t that Putin will form his Eurasian alliance and take over the world. The danger is the West looking weak enough that he’s tempted to try. That kind of risk-taking in the face of Western fecklessness has lead to two world wars already.