“Though this be madness, yet there is method in it.”
Polonius in Hamlet
STOCKHOLM / ROME, Mar 18 2019 (IPS) – EU Parliament elections happen each fifth yr and votes have steadily been reducing. In the final 2014 election, the overall turnout was 42.54 % of these entitled to vote, in some nations it was just around fifteen %. However, results won’t solely be eagerly awaited by pro- and anti-EU activists, but in addition by ideologist from non-member nations. Particularily vociferous amongst such individuals are Steve Bannon, who needs to “Make America Great Again” and Aleksandr Dugin who needs to “Make Russia Great Again”.
Bannon, former Chief Strategist within the Trump administration, has identified “EU globalism” as his foremost enemy, “if I drive the stake through the vampire, the whole thing will start to dissipate.” To that end he has in Brussels based The Motion to help right-wing populist groups opposing the EU. Nevertheless, the initiative has up to now not been particularily successful. It’s exhausting to unite nationalistic secessionists. Marine Le Pen´s right-wing social gathering Rassemblement national constitutes the most important part of Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF), a EU parliamentary group comprising far-right parties from across Europe. Regardless of agreeing with most of Bannon´s ideas Le Pen doesn’t want his help: “He is an American, not European and can thus not play a leading role in a nationalist drive to save the real Europe.” She would in all probability state that neither can a Russian like Aleksandr Dugin.
Describing himself as the one “ideologue” Donald Trump listens to, Bannon may however be a useful ally for European far-right wingers. He has his tentacles everywhere in the world and did for instance tell Brexiter Nigel Farage: “You’re going to have to fight to take your country back, every day. Whether it’s Italy, France, England, or the United States. If we quit, they [the Liberals] are going to be in control.””
Even if he has been referred to as Putin´s Rasputin, Dugin has in all probability not the identical hold on his President as Bannon has on Trump. But, after criticizing him for “ignoring ideas and history”, Dugin later turned satisfied that Putin had improved and now declares that the President´s later speeches are impressed by Dugin´s ideology and he hails Putin as an incarnated tsar:
- There are not any opponents to Putin’s line and in the event that they exist, they are mentally ailing and ought to be clinically examined. Putin is all over the place. Putin is all the things. Putin is absolute. Putin is irreplaceable.
Bannon may agree, since he repeatedly has acclaimed Putin´s intelligence and identified that the Russian President shares his views of traditionalism and nationalism: “Putin is very, very, very intelligent. I can see this in the United States where he strongly reaches out to social conservatives with his message about more traditional values.” Bannon would in all probability additionally agree with Dugin when the Russian “philosopher” exposes opinions like:
- The so-called ideology of human rights inherently refuses to acknowledge any type of collective id, including that of nationality and citizenship. Hence, we see provoked and uncontrolled migration, refugees, European self-hatred. The EU will necessarily continue the same politics of immigration, promoting transgenderism, transhumanism, postmodernity, and so on. If Trump would turn into the actual Trump and not a puppet, America might play a constructive position, though presently it isn’t Trump’s America, however moderately an aggressive neocolonialist and interventionist country. Trump has been hijacked by neocons and fanatical teams who’re making an attempt to start out a worldwide warfare.
Is an ideologue like Dugin really capable of influencing European politics? Perhaps. Lately, the Italian weekly L´Espresso offered an example of Russian alleged covert help to a nationalistic social gathering.1 By following tracks left by the Russian oligarch Igor Rotenberg, who had prevented paying off large Italian debts, L´Espresso unveiled a sophisticated pattern of suspicious bank accounts in tax havens and well-known banks. Igor is the son of Putin´s close good friend and judo instructor Arkady Rotenberg. Arkady and his brother Boris gained billions of rubles by means of lucrative state contracts; like a brand new highway between Moscow and Saint Petersburg, large building tasks in Sochi, a bridge between Kertj on Crimea and Krasnodar Kraj, which with its 18 kilometres is Europe´s longest. The Rotenberg brothers also spend money on real estate abroad. Because of their economic help to the conflict in Ukraine they have been blacklisted by the US and the EU. Like many different oligarchs they have discovered numerous means to circumscribe the sanctions, one is covert help to European populist parties.2
The Rotenberg family has pursuits in Gazprom, Russia´s largest, mainly state-owned company, though it’s also supported by oligarchs near Putin, among whom we find Konstantin Malofeev. He isn’t only a rich man providing financial help to the annexation of Crimea and the struggle in Donbass, he has a life mission as nicely – preventing “moral disintegration” within the form of atheism, liberalism, feminism, abortion, immigration and homosexuality. Malofeev supports a number of European fringe teams, as well as established xenophobic political events.
In July 2018, Italy’s Supreme Courtroom ordered the nationalist get together Lega Nord to repay 49 million euros misappropriated from the Italian State, whereas freezing 1.5 million euros deposited in Lega Nord’s financial institution accounts. The ruling is perhaps withdrawn and the social gathering belongings released if Lega Nord begins to repay the embezzled funds. In line with L´Espresso Matteo Salvini, leader of Lega Nord, in addition to Italy´s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Inside has with Konstantin Malofeev worked out a scheme which means that Lega Nord will obtain a four % commission from the sale of three million tons of diesel administered by Malofeev´s Avangrad Oil & Fuel.
Aleksandr Dugin is assumed to have played an necessary part in the deal. His influential basis Edinenie, Unity, is headquartered on the similar tackle as Konstantin Malofeev’s firm. Dugin is a frequent customer to Italy and serves as a contact with Malofeev. His involvement is extra ideologically than financially motivated. He considers Italian tradition to be against “detrimental influences” from the US and has declared that “Italy will be at the forefront of a great populist revolution that will change the world.” What Dugin in all probability refers to is Lega Nord`s “achievements”, like turning away immigrants and asylum seekers. He additionally appreciates that Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte from the start of his time period has promoted a overseas coverage characterized by an growing rapprochement of Italy with Russia. He has advocated termination of international sanctions, which in accordance with him is damaging to Italian financial system and has provided Russia a strategic partnership within the struggle towards Islamist terrorism.
Bannon can also be an incredible pal of Italy and as a conservative Catholic he would in all probability agree with Dugin´s declaration that:
- We nationalists need a robust, secure state. We would like order and healthy households, constructive values and a strengthening of the influence of religion and the Church.
Nevertheless, Bannon´s piousness and earnest perception in “family values” is perhaps questioned. He has been married and divorced 3 times and his ex-wives have accused him of misdemeanour, home violence and battery. Bannon considers Pope Francis’s affect as detrimental to the “true” Catholic Church and has in Italy joined ranks with ultra-conservative Catholics who actively oppose Pope Francis, amongst others Istituto Dignitatis Humanae, a faction that inside the Catholic establishment makes an attempt to undermine the Pope’s position with the hope that he’ll resign.
Whatever we might consider Dugin´s and Bannon´s affect over the leaders of their respective nations and their nutty ideas, based mostly on ultra-nationalistic nativism, fascist ideologies, Oriental mysticism and conspiracy theories, it cannot be denied that they in Europe, Russia and the US are influencing nationalist and xenophobic movements. An effort to counteract these dangerous notions can be to vote within the upcoming EU Parliament elections.
1 L´Espresso No. 9, anno LXV, 24 febbraio.
2 In 2018, Forbes Journal estimated Arkady Rotenberg´s private wealth to 2,7 billion USD.
Jan Lundius holds a PhD. on History of Religion from Lund College and has served as a improvement professional, researcher and advisor at SIDA, UNESCO, FAO and different international organisations.
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