This excerpt from Alexander Dugin’s The Fourth Political Theory was featured in the latest issue of Adbusters. Adbusters #130 takes an in-depth look into the disturbing philosophical roots of the growing Alt-Right movement. Alexander Dugin is a Russian political scientist known for his fascist views. Read Part One here.
The sociologist Herbert Spencer claimed that the development of human society was the next stage of evolution in the animal species, and that there was a connection, and a continuity between the animal world and social development.
And, therefore, all the laws of the animal world leading to development, improvement, and evolution in the animal world, within Darwin’s framework, can be projected onto society. This is the basis of the famous theory, ‘Social Darwinism’, of which Spencer was a classic representative. If, according to Darwin, the driving force behind the evolution of the animal kingdom is the struggle for survival and natural selection, then the same process must take place in society, argued Spencer. And, the more perfect this struggle is for survival (inter-species, intra-species, the struggle of the strong against the weak, the competition for resources, pleasure), the more perfect our society becomes. The question is how to aid this process of selection. According to Spencer, this is the central theme of the liberal model, and is the meaning of social progress. Therefore, if we are liberals, in one way or the other, we inherited this ‘zoological’ approach to social development based on the struggle against and the destruction of the weak by the strong.
Spencer’s theory contains an important point that must be elaborated upon. He argued that there are two phases of social development. The first phase occurs when the struggle for survival is conducted crudely, by force; this is characteristic of the ancient world. The second occurs when the struggle is carried out more subtly through economic means. Once the bourgeois revolution takes place, the struggle for survival does not stop. According to Spencer, it acquires new, more advanced, and more efficient forms; it relocates into the sphere of the market. Here, the strongest survive – that is, the richest. Instead of the most powerful feudal lord, a hero, a strong person, or a leader, who simply seizes all that is up for grabs around his community, taking away all that belongs to other nations and races and sharing it with the ruling ethnicity or caste, now comes the capitalist, who brings the same aggressive animal principle to the market, the corporation, and the trading company. The transition from the order of power to the order of money, according to Spencer, does not mean the humanization of the process, but only underscores greater effectiveness. That is to say, the struggle in the market sphere between the strong (meaning rich) and the weak (meaning poor) becomes more efficient and leads to higher levels of development until super-rich, super-strong, and superdeveloped countries emerge. Progress, according to Spencer, and, more broadly speaking, according to liberalism, is always the growth of economic power, since this continues to refine the struggle for survival of the animal species, the warfare methods of strong nations, and the castes within the framework of pre-capitalist states.
Read the rest in our upcoming issue, available on newsstands worldwide Feb 21. Preorder now.