This is the topic page for the school of thought known as Traditionalism, which also called Perennialism. Version @ 2023-01-05

Much of what we see from Russia (and in the alt-right in the West), makes sense if you accept that a form of “Traditionalism” has had a profound ideological impact globally.

Once Traditionalism is reoriented away from Hinduism and Sufi Islam toward Orthodoxy, it is an almost perfect complement to this Eurasianism. The Atlantic bloc can easily be identified with the kali yuga, modernity, absence of true spirituality, and the democracy of the most base which Evola so detested. Russia, on the other hand, is the repository of a vast and powerful initiatic tradition and has the finest possible spiritual and metaphysical justification for its inevitable struggle against the powers of darkness, incarnate in the Atlantic alliance. Whereas once the historic mission of the Soviet Union was to bring Communism to the world, it has now become the sacred mission of Russia to bring Orthodox Traditionalism to the world. In Dugin’s own words, “the Eastern Church must accomplish her mission in the planetary context.”

Traditionalism via Evola and then Dugin. The latter’s ‘Fourth Political Theory’ and Rage Against Postmodernism is a particularly interesting attempt of synthesising a theoretical framework of modern illiberal populism.

a system of ideas defined by its hostility to the existing ideologies of the 19th and 20th centuries, including liberalism, socialism, and fascism… demolish modernity’s focus on individualism and its denial of mysticism and tradition, as well as the fetishism of capitalism.

Communism failed, he argues, because of its obsession with class structures, its wanton regard for religion, and the flawed expectation of unidirectional progress. Fascism was doomed as it was based on racial superiority and worship of the state. Liberalism’s placement of the individual at the center of economic and political life leaves people weak and disconnected. “Having left the limits of individuality, man can be crushed by the elements of life and by dangerous chaos. He may want to establish order,” writes Dugin. For Dugin, the main tenants of the Fourth Political Theory are social justice, national sovereignty, and traditional values. Social justice represents the brotherly “one world” qualities that were native to the ideology of socialism. Nation-states are important to enforce this, on an equal basis with each other. And the need for religion and traditional values is paramount. He sees it as a new, better form of socialism, sometimes referred to as National Bolshevism. “If we free socialism from its materialist, atheistic and modernist features, and if we reject the racist and narrow nationalist aspects of the Third Way doctrines, we arrive at a completely new kind of political ideology. We call it the Fourth Political Theory,” he writes.

“National Bolshevism” is a reference to an equally fascinatingly (now defunct) dodgy political grouping that Dugin once belonged to. They are worth studying both as a commentary on post-cold war party politics, and their use of aesthetics.

“It is a postmodernist aesthetic project of intellectual provocateurs (in the positive meaning of the word) in which many bright and nontrivial personalities like Eduard Limonov, Aleksandr Dugin, Sergei Kurikhin, and [analyst] Stanislav Belkovskii were involved,” Ponamarev said. “It was an effort, and, a quite successful one, to mobilize the most passionate and intellectually dissatisfied part of society (in contrast to the Communist Party, which utilized the social and economic protests of the leftist electorate). For this mobilization, the NBP used a bizarre mixture of totalitarian and fascist symbols, geopolitical dogma, leftist ideas, and national-patriotic demagoguery.”