Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2020) “Derrida” (Part 1 of 5)

0001 A chapter on Derrida appears in Michael Millerman’s Book (2020) Beginning with Heidegger: Strauss, Rorty, Derrida and Dugin and the Philosophical Constitution of the Political (Arktos Press), pages 135-166.  This fourth chapter considers the writings of the French Jacques Derrida (1930-2004 AD) concerning the German Martin Heidegger (1889-1976).

Millerman’s book consists of a long introduction, followed by chapters on Martin Heidegger, Leo Strauss, Richard Rorty, Jacques Derrida and Alexander Dugin.  The latter chapters discuss what the other philosophers say about Heidegger.  The method sounds like a doctoral dissertation.

My interest, of course, is to associate features of the arguments to purely relational structures, such as the category-based nested form or the Greimas square.

0002 Here, I look only at chapter four entitled, “Derrida”.  Derrida comments on Heidegger in two notable incidents. First, Heidegger is mentioned in an essay comparing deconstruction to negative theology.  Second, Derrida writes an essay entitled, “Heidegger’s Ear”.

Millerman approaches the first incident with caution, asking (more or less), “Is it possible to see how Derrida locates himself in a different place than Heidegger?”

Locates himself?

In slang, the question is, “Where is he coming from?”

0003 Where is Derrida coming from?

The first incident of note is an essay by Derrida in a book, Derrida and Negative Theology, edited by Harold Coward and Toby Froshay (Albany: SUNY Press, 1992). The title of the essay is “How To Avoid Speaking: Denials”.  Here, Derrida responds to claims that deconstruction resembles negative theology.  He says no.  Apophatic mysticism is hyperessential.  Deconstruction is all about the machinations of language.

0004 Hyperessential?

In order to appreciate this comment in terms of purely relational structures.  I associate the above accusation and responseto Peirce’s category of secondness, the realm of actuality.  The category of secondness contains two contiguous real elements.  For Aristotle’s hylomorphe, the two real elements are matter and form.  I label the contiguity, [substance].  The nomenclature is matter [substance] form.

For apophatic mysticism, the form is the human, as a vessel, having emptied “himself” of all matters.

For deconstruction, I follow Ferdinand de Saussure’s (1857-1913 AD) definition of language as two arbitrarily related systems of differences, the spoken word (parole) and the corresponding thought (langue).  Parole corresponds to matter.  Langue corresponds to form.  [Arbitrary relation] serves as the contiguity.

0005 Here is a picture.

Figure 01

0006 Essence is substantiated form.

Derrida claims that negative theology is hyperessential.  This makes sense because the essence, {[emptiness] vessel2f}, has no corresponding esse_ce (a play on the Latin term, esse, representing [matter2m [substantiating]}.  As soon as matter appears in the slot, —-2m, then the contiguity becomes very difficult (if not impossible) to maintain, and something passes into the vessel, against all mystical admonishments saying, “Keep the vessel2f empty.”

Here is a picture of how esse_ce and essence play out in the realm of actuality2 for hylomorphism, apophatic mysticism and deconstruction.

Figure 02

Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2020) “Derrida” (Part 2 of 5)

0007 Derrida claims that apophatic mysticism… and also deconstruction?… is like a secret.  Secrets have the character of actuality.  A secret contains information known only to us.  There are two real elements, depending on the normal context, such as the speaker and the hearer, everyone else and us, the whispered statement and the information it carries, and so on.  That means the substance changes with normal context.

Here is a picture of a secret entering into the slot for actuality2 in a category-based nested form.

Figure 03

0008 For deconstruction, a secret2 occurs in the normal context of speech-alone talk3.  An utterance is parole2m.  The information that it carries is langue2f.  Langue2f and the information2f are rapidly and intuitively constructed.  Meaning, presence and message1 spontaneously come to mind.  So, the secret requires a certain conspiracy.  Each party must speak the same mother tongue.  If the parties do not speak the same tongue, then they cannot whisper a secret to one another.

Of course, deconstruction knows how to shake the wheels of any secret2 just enough that the possibilities inherent in meaning, presence and message1 begin to… um… go out of whack.  The conceptual apparatus1 breaks down.

That is the game that Derrida plays.

0009 Here is how deconstruction considers secrets.

Figure 04

0010 For apophatic mysticism, a secret2 is like a gift given from one to another.  The gift extends a trust.  The recipient is not to betray the giver.  So, the normal context of the secret is a pact3.  A pact3 binds one person to another.

Theologically, the pact3 is between the Creator and the created.  Preparation is necessary.  The preparation ensures that the adept knows that “he” is an empty vessel, a creature, who cannot create “himself”.  Indeed, the adept has already received the gift of natural life.  Now, the goal is to receive the gift of supernatural abundance.

0011 And, what is supernatural abundance?

Well, superabundance is all about the potential of ‘meaning, presence and message’1, but not in a way that is vulnerable to Derrida’s deconstruction.  How so?  The apparatus1 is not conceptual.  The apparatus1 is inceptual.  And, this is where Heidegger comes in.  Heidegger’s philosophy promotes inceptual thought, along the same lines as apophatic mysticism.  That means, the normal context3 and the potential1 are outside of explicit abstraction and its conceptual apparatuses.

Figure 05

A secret contains information known only to us.


Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2020) “Derrida” (Part 3 of 5)

0012 Derrida says that deconstruction is not the same as negative theology.

Millerman isolates three themes that Derrida uses to characterize apophatic mysticism.  These are (A) hyperessentialism, (B) presentation and (C) spatialization.

So far, I associate (A) hyperessentialism to the essence of the actuality2 of negative theology.

I associate (B) presentation with the esse_ce of the actuality2 of negative theology.

The two states of apophatic mysticism represent preparation for and reception of a secret, defined as information known only to us, the Creator and the created.   Later, Millerman discusses Heidegger’s term, Walten, defined as a space of strife and accord.  One nested form contains two, disparate, actualities.

Perhaps, Walten looks like this.

Figure 06

0013 That leaves (C) spatialization be visualized.

Millerman notes that Derrida goes out of his way to avoid spatializing metaphors.  Derrida’s avoidance is so obvious that Millerman starts his chapter with a question, asking (more or less), “Is it possible to see how Derrida locates himself in a different place than Heidegger?”

The spatialization of apophatic mysticism is obvious.  The adept becomes an vessel that is consciously emptied of all matters, in preparation for a gift from the Creator.  That gift, at first, is like a secret, known only to the Creator and the adept.  So it is very important for the adept not to be fooled by just anything that enters the vessel that is “himself”.  The adept must ask the gift, “Where are you coming from?”

0014 So, why does Derrida avoid spatial metaphors?

After all, if spoken language consists of two arbitrarily related systems of differences, then it seems that there would be plenty of opportunity for spatial metaphors.  For example, I may say that deconstruction destabilizes cognitive spaces.  What are these “cognitive spaces”?  They are placeholders in systems of differences.

0015 Spoken words have two ways of being.

In the first way, a definition3 brings a spoken word2 into relation with the possibilities inherent in meaning, presence and message1.

In the second way, an uttered word (parole) occupies a position in a system of differences.  This fact forces the corresponding thought (langue) to occupy a position in a system of differences.

A question arises, “Is there a purely relational structure that spatializes word-positions in a linguistic system of differences?”

The answer must rely on the first way, even though it is not the same as the first way.

The Greimas square is a purely relational structure that satisfies the prerequisites of the second way, while relying on the first way.

0016 Here is a picture of the Greimas square.

Figure 07

What are the rules?

The spoken word under consideration is (A) the focal term.

B contrasts with A.

C contradicts B and implicates A.

D contrasts with C, contradicts A and implicates B.

I use the terms “complements” and “implicates” interchangeably.

I also confound the terms, “contradicts”, “speaks against” and “stands against”.

0017 I know from the previous discussion that deconstruction and negative theology share the word, “secret”.  A secret is information known only to us.  Each tradition focuses on different features of what a secret is.

So “secret” can be a focal word (A)

0018 For deconstruction, an utterance (B) contrasts with secret (A).  

Figure 08

I find it strange to think of an utterance as a style of conspiracy.  But it is.  Only people who speak the same tongue can whisper secrets to one another.  The information (C) speaks against the whisper (B).  If asked, a person sharing a secret will tell others, “I was only whispering.”  The information (C) is filled with concepts that express explicit abstractions.

0018 Explicit abstractions?

A Primer on Explicit and Implicit Abstraction, by Razie Mah, is available at smashwords and other e-book venues.  I think that, for the purposes of this blog, I can boil down that discussion into the following.  “Concepts” associate to explicit abstraction.  “Incepts” associate to implicit abstraction.  Explicit abstraction requires speech-alone talk.  Implicit abstraction characterizes hand and hand-speech talk.  Explicit abstraction is evolutionarily recent.  Implicit abstraction in evolutionarily ancient.

0019 So, here is the last item in Derrida’s Greimas square for the word, “secret”.

A conceptual apparatus (D) contrasts with the information of the secret (C), speaks against the secret itself (A) (because it exists before the secret) and complements the utterance (B), in the same way that langue [implicates] parole.

0020 For Heidegger, a pact (B) contrasts with the secret (A), which is really a gift from the Creator.

Figure 09

Awareness of the presence of a gift (C) in an incept (C).  Perhaps, it is a feeling, a motivaction, an insight, or whatever spoken word that one wants to use.  The awareness (C) stands against the pact (B) and complements the gift delivered by a messenger (A).  Finally, the incept (C) congeals into a conviction (D), a meaning, presence and message, that may or may not be articulated in speech-alone talk.

0021 The conviction (D) contrasts with the incept (C).  It (D) speaks against the secret (A, the gift) because every human vessel is flawed in our current Lebenswelt.  It (D) implicates the pact (B) that comes through an angel to the one who has be waiting.


Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2020) “Derrida” (Part 4 of 5)

0022 Do the Greimas squares for Derrida and Heidegger equate to topolitologies?


“Topos” is Greek for place.  “Polito” sounds like politics.  “Logos” is Greek for “the study of” or “the word”.

0023 Well, I suppose the term, “topolitologies”, may have value.  But, how do the knowable word-places of politics, the topolitologies, express themselves?

They express themselves in two fashions, as explicit and implicit abstractions.

0024 To me, Derrida’s topolitology for the word, “secret”, describes a knowable-landscape of explicit abstraction.

According to the first way of being for the spoken word, a secret2, the following nested form applies.

Figure 10

0025 Deconstruction relies on concepts.  One concept is a secret2, that manifests as the actuality of utterance2m [carries] information2f.

Now, I want to move to the second way of being for the spoken word.  Elements in the category of secondness associate to and modify Derrida’s Greimas square, as follows.

Figure 11

0026 Derrida explores the topolitology of explicit abstraction, characteristic of our current Lebenswelt.  The concept (C) stands as form to the utterance (B) as matter.  Also, the concept (C) stands as langue (C) against the utterance (B) as parole (B).   Finally, the contiguity between utterance (B) and information (C) contrasts with information (C), speaks against the secret (A) and implicates the utterance (B).  However, “carries” (D) is mechanical, turning on the operations of a conceptual apparatus (D).

0027 To me, Heidegger’s topolitology for the word, “secret”, describes a knowable-landscape of implicit abstraction.

According to the first way of being for the spoken word, “secret”, the following nested form applies to apophatic mysticism, as well as to Heidegger’s project.

Figure 12

0028 For the second way of being for the spoken word, elements in the category of secondness associate to and modify Heidegger’s Greimas square, as follows.

Figure 13

Heidegger explores the topolitology of implicit abstraction, characteristic of the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.  The incept (C) stands as form to the matter of a pact between the one who signifies and the one open to signification (B). Because implicit abstractions cannot be discussed using hand and hand-speech talk, the presence of an incept (C) is recognized by others who witness behavior that suggests a pact (B).  The realness of the pact (B) is validated by actions corresponding to openness and reception (D).  Reception (D) is like the contiguity between what is known only to us2mand the person as a vessel recognizing something2f.  Openness (D) is like the contiguity between —-2m (the preparation for a pact (B)) and a human vessel2f (who strives to achieve a union with God (C)).

Yes, openness (D) and reception (D) are two sides to one coin.  Plus, this is very hard do describe because the pact (B) is also —- (B) and the human striving to serve as a vessel by emptying “himself” (C) is also the incept (C).

0029 Now that I have confused even myself, I want discuss a very awkward point.

Whereas Derrida’s formulation applies to our current Lebenswelt, Heidegger’s formulation does not quite apply to the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

How so?

Heidegger writes in our current Lebenswelt and our current Lebenswelt is not the same as the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

Here is another way to say it.

Heidegger’s formulation is riddled with explicit abstractions because that is that nature of speech-alone talk.  Heidegger figures out that the arc of Western philosophy, starting with the ancient Greek schools (around 800 BC) and continuing to Nietzsche (around 1900 AD), has failed because it followed a particular path of explicit abstraction.  So, Heidegger wants to leap forward… or maybe, backward… to a world less differentiated, so that we may… um… receive secrets from God.

Meanwhile, his German national socialist bosses strive to obtain secrets from the ancient gods of old.

0030 Yes, this sounds like the American superhero movies of the early 7800s, where the evil Nazis pursue the secrets of ancient demiurges, in order to obtain magical tokens conveying supernatural powers.

After watching a number of these visual and auditory spectacles, Heidegger’s conclusion becomes obvious.

Our conceptual apparatus is dead.  May we be filled with inceptual beings.


Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2020) “Derrida” (Part 5 of 5)

0031 What about the second incident (point 0003)?

The next essay that Millerman reviews is titled, “Heidegger’s Ear”.

Here, Derrida waxes on a snippet in Heidegger’s book, Being and Time, that mentions the voice of a friend whom every Dasein carries with it.

0032 To me, if Heidegger’s leap really opens a vista into the Lebenswelt that we evolved in, then Heidegger would have used the word, “gesture”, rather than “voice”.

Or, maybe, the word, “voice” is okay, since, before the first singularity, humans practice hand-speech talk.  Two modes of talking co-exist.  Cultural tradition determines which mode is more appropriate for any particular social situation.

0033 Derrida reads German.  So, he has an ear for Heidegger.  German (B), like all spoken languages, carries a conceptual apparatus (D).  So, Heidegger must allow Derrida into his pact (B), concerning openness to an inception (C), that is like a concept, but is not a concept, because it complements a secret (A) that makes us present (Da-) to being itself (-Sein) (D).

Because Derrida speaks German, he must be a “friend”.  But, Derrida finds that naive, because he can also be an enemy.  Derrida figures out that, if you speak the same language, then you can share secrets.  Heidegger says “friend” in the most naive way, as if the word reflects a state before the duality of friends and enemies.  It seems to me that Derrida could be a real enemy who infiltrated behind the defenses of an opposing camp. And, he knows it.

Derrida is a dangerous philosopher.  Everyone respects Derrida.  Everyone fears deconstruction.  Derrida approaches Heidegger as a “friend”, who speaks the same language.  Derrida knows that the fraternal order of philosophy has splintered.  First, everyone is a companion (or a compatriot).  Then, everyone is either a friend or an enemy.  Heidegger marks this transition with a German word: Geschlect.

0034 According to Derrida, Geschlect is a “mark”, a sign of division, a yellow patch for some and no patch for others.  Well, maybe the patch can be sex, race, species, genus, status, genealogy or community.  The yellow/no patch dualityrelies on concepts (that is, explicit abstractions).  Yet, certain phenotypic and physical tags are inceptual (that is, implicit abstractions).  But, explicit abstractions end up justifying these implicit abstractions.

0035 Here, I can see the threat of Derrida’s genius.  Concepts, as utterances2m [carrying] information2fare manifestations of Saussure’s definition of spoken language, parole2m [arbitrary relation] langue2f.   This implies that the apparent mechanical substance corresponding to [carry] is really grounded in the slippery substance of [arbitrary relation].  This is the nature of sensible construction in speech-alone talk.

Here is how Derrida’s Greimas square manifests as sensible construction.

Figure 14

0036 What does Geschlect do?

Geschlect traverses the topolitology of secrets.  In the city of Geschlect, there is a factory, turning pre-political feelingsinto conceptualized divisions among people.  Today, that factory is called “modern politics”.  It is run by, for and of the government.  But, it claims to be by, for and of the People.  Compatriots become friends and enemies.

0037 The voice of the compatriot, Heidegger’s “friend”, is embedded in the constitution of the human.  Prior to the first singularity, hand-speech talk relies on manual-brachial gestures.  Solidarity is guaranteed by one’s gaze.  Someone who word-gestures a falsehood is immediately exposed as one’s enemy.  How so?  Manual-brachial gestures are defined by what they picture or point to.  Word-gestures do not define their referents.  They picture and point to them.

In contrast, spoken words do not picture or point to anything.

0038 After the first singularity, spoken language relies on our innate sensibilities until… labor and social specialization starts to spin explicit abstractions, like threads on a spool, and speech becomes something like a secret.  You have to know the relation between the utterance and the information, in order to be a member of the club.  So, the arbitrary relation between parole and langue slowly, irrevocably, weaves the threads into conceptual apparatuses.

Everyone who speaks the same language starts as a compatriot.  But, two parties emerge, ones who are in tune with the conceptual apparatus and the ones who still imagine that our words picture and point to their referents.

0039 Derrida discovers a secret within the secret.  The conceptual apparatus is mechanistic.  And, like all machines, it can be constructed differently.  So, deconstruction is a technique to shake the conceptual apparatus, in order to expose the arbitrariness of its relations.  Concepts divide us. Deconstructed concepts unnerve us.

Heidegger discovers the foundation of the secret.  The secret is a pact, where information is known only by us, and that pact cannot be articulated in speech-alone words.  Instead of a concept, where the utterance is a conspiracy, Heidegger proposes an incept, where the pact manifests as inspiration.  An incept draws us into one inspiration.

0040 Heidegger has a word that is translated as “both strife and accord”.  I suppose that strife labels the struggle to keep the vessel empty. I suppose that accord is the happy moment when the vessel is full.   The word is “Walten“. 

Or perhaps, Walten is the originating unity of two real elements.  Perhaps I can imagine that these elements are 2m and vessel2f.  So the unity or the contiguity is [empty].  But also, imagine the unity of …known only to us2m and vessel2f.  The contiguity is [fill].

Either way, the originating unity of two real elements is inceptual.

Figure 15

No one can open someone else to an inception.  Inception is where the seed of conviction germinates.  No political philosopher has a recipe for an inceptual institution of the theologico-political domain.  No one, except for Jesus, has torn the veil woven by explicit abstraction.  In contrast, many theologians and politicians have quested for a magical token that empowers the veil and strands us in the domain of conceptual apparatuses.

0041 In our cutthroat world of concepts, people cling to their worldviews, ridicule other worldviews, and fail to notice that their conceptual apparatuses have closed them off from their inceptual heritage.  Concepts pose as things that bring us into organization.  But, is organization all there is?

Of late, the United States of America has a humorous tradition in this regard.  They name legislative decrees with the conceptual apparatus that they are going to replace.  For example, in 2001, the so-called “Patriot Act” is legislated and signed into law.  Twenty years later, a surveillance-oriented bureaucracy identifies members of the “make America great again” movement as “domestic terrorists”.

Yes, the utterance of “domestic terrorists” institutes a concept that identifies patriots as enemies of thier surveillance state.

0042 What does this imply?

Is Walten like a secret, that is, information known only to us?

Then, as fast as I can say, “Geschlect.”, there are two parties.  One party focuses on information.  One party focuses on the “known only by us” business.

How can companions come together after established nomenclature turns everyone into either friends or enemies?  As politics invades all aspects of society, each person asks, “Which worldview do I belong to?”  Cognitive machinations hustle propaganda and apologetics.  Some people get carried away.  The last thing they want is to be cut from the pact.  No one wants to get cut.  Plus, true believers are willing to sacrifice others to their cause.

How does a people become a people?

I suppose that theologico-political topolitologies are required.

Plus, it seems as if the secret allows me to visualize the topolitology of a Walten, an originating unity of two realities.

Here is one reality, corresponding to “information…”.

Figure 16

0043 Here is the other element, corresponding to “…known only by us”.

Figure 17

When does a Walten solidify its current theologico-political domain?

An accord, seeking to be filled with a conceptual apparatus (D), leads to calcification and total domination.

When does a Walten liquify its current theologico-political domain?

A struggle to be open to being filled by God’s meaning, presence and message (H) leads to revelation and new life.

0044 To the extent that Derrida reads German, Derrida is Heidegger’s companion.

What does Derrida see?

Heidegger’s “friend” can speak as either friend or enemy.  Geschlect says, “You are either friend or enemy.”   Walten says, “Please, remain a companion.”

0045 In one fashion, Derrida’s and Heidegger’s theologico-political constructions mirror one another.

I suspect that Derrida stays his desconstructive hand in recognition of this reality.

In another fashion, these two theological-political constructions derive from a single, undifferentiated, realness, to which we, in our current Lebenswelt, can never return.

We need deconstruction to combat our march towards death by a totalizing conceptual apparatus.  

We need inception to seed the fields of our open minds.

In the chapter on Derrida, Millerman finds good reason to start with Heidegger.

Recognize the possibility.


Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2022) “…Dimensions of Dugin’s Populism” (Part 1 of 9)

0001 In late 2022, Americans loathe the Russian civilization because the Soviet Union was a existential enemy during the Third Battle Among the Enlightenment Gods: The Cold War Among Materialist Ideologies (1945-1989 AD).

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, not much has been done to alter Americans’ fears, even though lots of water has passed beneath the bridge of history.  Indeed, much has been done expressly to conceal those waters, full of greed, ambition, illusion and delusion.  The modern intelligensia is guilty of sins of omission.

0002 Here is a brief remediation of that sin, which, unfortunately, may itself be a transgression.

When the Cold War ends in 1989, many difficult to comprehend events follow.  Boris Yeltsin supervises a firesale of Russian state property.  Maybe, “firesale” is not the right word.  “A mind-bending transfer of ownership” may be better.  Soon, oligarchs corral entire industries and markets.  Russian GDP falls like no tomorrow.

Then, before the wholesale transfer of Russian commodity wealth is fully consummated, Vladimir Putin steps from under the wings of Yeltsin’s weakness and corruption.  Following a series of explosive events, Putin manages to secure leadership of the listing ship of the Russian State.  He rights the boat, sending many overboard (so to speak).

The predatory wolves of the American Empire do not forget.  They lick their wounds.  They plan their revenge.

0003 Oh, so that is the reason why nearly every mouthpiece of the American Regime denounces Russia, as if it is still the Soviet Union of old.  When the Americans win, they want total surrender.  So, the American citizen remains informed that the Cold War never really came to a conclusion.

Just as America once looked to the East and saw an “iron curtain”, Russia now looks West and experiences a “word curtain”.

0004 Of course, this brief transgression into history is required to introduce the tragic philosopher, Alexander Dugin.  From 1989 on, Dugin formulates and proposes new ideas concerning the fact that Russia did not totally surrender to America’s empire religion.  His struggles culminate in a book that finally breaks through the Western word-curtain about how bad Russia is.  That book is titled, The Fourth Political Theory.  First published in Russian, an English translation comes out in 2012.

Three years later, Razie Mah electronically publishes Comments On Alexander Dugin’s Book (2012) The Fourth Political Theory.  This commentary is available at smashwords and other e-book venues.

0005 Simultaneously, as well as more amazingly, Michael Millerman decides to make the philosophical work of Alexander Dugin the topic of his doctorate in philosophy.  Oh, that does not go well.  How dare this young intellect challenge the current narrative.  Dugin should go into a box.  He is a fascist.  Or rather, a communist.  Or something similarly unsavory, like a Eurasianist.  Yes, that box should never be opened.

0006 Michael Millerman, like Pandora, opens the box.  And the last monstrosity to emerge is hope.

He actually graduates with his doctorate.

The subsequently blacklisted Millerman starts his own school.  The cancelled Millerman publishes the book that I currently examine: Inside Putin’s Brain: The Political Philosophy of Alexander Dugin (2022: Millerman School).  Yes, Millerman starts a school.  Look and see.

0007 In these blogs, I comment on chapter two, titled, “The Ethnosociological and Existential Dimensions of Dugin’s Populism”.  This chapter is originally published in Telos (Winter, 2020).

In order for the reader gain an acquaintance with the Greimas square, I recommend blogs appearing at www.raziemah.com for January 2023.  These blogs include Looking atAlex Jones’s Book (2022) The Great Reset and Notes on Daniel Esterlin’s Book (2020) 2045 Global Projects At War.


Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2022) “…Dimensions of Dugin’s Populism” (Part 2 of 9)

0008 Okay, I am looking at chapter two of Inside Putin’s Brain, titled “The Enthosociological and Existential Dimensions of Dugin’s Populism”.

Does this title explain my blog’s title?

Obviously, there are two dimensions to Dugin’s view of people.


Yeah, like “We, the People…”

0003 The ethnosociological dimension addresses the question, “What is a people?”

The existential dimension addresses the question, “Why is there a people?”

0004 Now, I move to a purely relational structure, the Greimas square.

Here is a picture.

Figure 01

0005 A is the focal term, “people”.

B contrasts with the focal word, “people”.  Here, I will put “person”.

C speaks against (the transliteration of “contradict”) B and complements A.

Right away, I see a technical term that Dugin uses. “Narod” is a Russian word that means “people”, in an us-versus-them sort of way.  Narod is distinct from individual, class, state and race.

0006 I ask, “What if narod goes into C?”

Figure 02

0007 Once I put the word, “narod”, into C, the term, “person” in B, appears convoluted.

According, to Dugin, the narod contradicts individual, class, state and race.  Plus, when I recall about how modern academics classify each person, they tend to do so according to easily observable and measurable features.

Plus, these classifications fit into a Greimas square.

Figure 03

0008 Obviously, the most phenomenal feature of a person is that the person is an individual.   Liberalism models the phenomena of the individual.  The individual is the subject.  The phenomena of individuals give rise observations and measurements, that end up in models that liberal experts use.

Class contrasts with the focal word, “individual”.  Class terms include “bourgeois” and “proletariat”.  Working personsself-identify as the latter.  Owners of various means of production are accused of being the former.  The pattern extends into culture, by associating “class” with a person’s chosen identity.  Technically, class is a style of righteousness that calls persons into organizations.  Communists model observations and measurements of social phenomena on the basis of distinctions among classes.

The state contradicts (or “speaks against”) class.  To appreciate the contradiction, replace “class” with “state” in the above technical definition.  The state is also a style of righteousness that calls persons into organization.  The state is an institution that is in charge of keeping peace among institutions.  Class is tied to a feedback loop between institutions and persons.  When, the state replaces class, the state confounds righteousness and social order.

State-based fascists model observations and measurements of social phenomena according to the state as arbiter of order and righteousness.  Fascists consider individuals to be citizens.  The state (as subject) takes priority the individual (as subject).

Finally, what happens when “race” substitutes for “class” as a style of righteousness that calls persons into organization?

Well, once the subject is “race” then the state decides who is free and who is a slave.  That implies that there are two classes, “free” and “slave”.  Certain races are free and the other races are slaves.

Oddly, the assignment of “free” or “slave” is not necessarily based on phenotypic variation among populations.  But, it is often enough the case.  Members of the free “race” are regarded as citizens.  Members of the slave “race” are not.  Thus, race-based fascism fixates on who is a citizen and who is not.

Race-based fascists model observations and measurements of social phenomena according to the state serving as arbiter of who is free and who is slave.

0009 What does this apparent digression have to do with “the person” in slot B?

If the narod, the Russian word for “people”, goes into slot C, then the person in slot B is the person as the subject of inquiry, according to a modern science-inspired ideology (B).  The result may be depicted by a Greimas square for the three political theories preceding Dugin’s proposed fourth political theory.

Here is a picture.

Figure 04

Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2022) “…Dimensions of Dugin’s Populism” (Part 3 of 9)

0010 The previous discussion yields the following Greimas square.

Figure 05

0011 A is the subject of Dugin’s populism, the people.

B contains objectifications of the subject, according to modern political theories.  These theories claim to be rooted in science.  Yes, trust the science, even as each theory goes on to first order the people, then destroy the people on the altar of its own construction.  Isn’t that what science does?  It discovers the order of nature, a facet of God’s creation, then ambitious technologists use that discovery in order to create a weapon?

The pattern is ancient.  But, premodern theories are not based on modern science.  They are based on idolatries.

0012 This permits me to introduce a tangent not in Millerman’s text.

To me, the following strange association from the gospel of Matthew 16:13-20 mirrors Dugin’s approach, as rendered above.

Figure 06

0013 Here, the people (A) are those capable of ideating who Jesus is.

In Dugin’s approach, the people (A) are those capable of theorizing who they are.  To me, this theorization requires speech-alone talk.

Speech-alone talk?

Consider Razie Mah’s short e-work, The First Singularity and Its Fairy Tale Trace, or the lengthy (and much more dramatic) An Archaeology of the Fall, available at smashwords and other e-work venues.  Speech-alone talk defines our current Lebenswelt.

0014 Returning to the strange association, I ask, “How does B contrast with A?”

Here, B is how the people, who have no idea of what is really going on, regard Jesus in terms of contemporary political theologies.  Who formulates these theories?  Well, the Sadducees and Pharisees are self-anointed experts and they intend to remain that way.  Indeed, they remain so until the second temple, and later, most everything else, is destroyed by the Romans, who are sorely pissed off by the rebelliousness of the province.

In Dugin’s approach, the people, who may or may not have any idea of what is really going on, embrace one or other political theory.  These political theories exclude one another in the same way that sociology excludes biology and biology excludes chemistry and chemistry excludes physics.  Even though the noumenon of the narod remains the same, the phenomena observed and measured by each political theory differs according to the way that the subject is objectified by each political discipline.  Liberalism observes and models the individual.  Communism observes and models the class.  Fascism observes and models the state and race.  Race is a special application of the state.  “Race” is state imposition of the condition of “free” or “slave” on the basis of established criteria.  How special is that?

0015 What about C in the strange association?

C contradicts B and complements A.

0016 Obviously, Jesus as an objectified subject of political theologies (B) is not who he is (A).  Admission of that realitydefines (C).

So, Jesus asks a second question, where “you” (C) complements “people” (A), because “you” encompasses those living with Jesus.  Indeed, it encompasses the Church as the Bride of Christ, the helper to the New Adam.

Also, the second question asks “you”, the disciples, to put the answer into spoken words.

0017 In Dugin’s approach, the narod is not the people as constituted in response to political theory, but the people as constituted by lived experience.  The narod is personal.  The narod is like a bride to her groom.  Marriage is more than what spoken words can describe.  The groom belongs to his bride.

0018 The narod (C) is the subject of the fourth political theory.

The narod cannot be understood by political science.  Yet, political sciences have had their day.  The people need a new political not-science.  The people need a fourth political theory that is theoretical in the same way that the hermeneutical interpretation of the gospel according to to Matthew 16:13-20 is theoretical.

To this end, Dugin turns to the philosophy of Martin Heidegger.


Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2022) “…Dimensions of Dugin’s Populism” (Part 4 of 9)

0019 Dugin offers an entirely new discipline of political philosophy, based on the term, “narod”.  He calls this discipline, “ethnosociology”.  Ethnosociology is not a science.  Indeed, ethnosociology stands as a noumenon in contrast with its phenomena.  Phenomena are observable and measurable facets of a noumenon.  The distinction between the noumenon and its phenomena is developed in Comments on Jacques Maritain’s Book (1935) Natural Philosophy, by Razie Mah, available at smashwords and other e-book venues.

Ethnosociology (C) contradicts the first three political philosophies of the modern West (B).  Ethnosociology (C) complements the people (A), the topic under consideration.

0020 The first three political philosophies of the West (B) objectify phenomena of the narod, that is, the person in community.  Liberalism, communism and fascism operate as empirio-schematic judgments, where disciplinary languagebring mechanical and mathematical models into relation with observations and measurements of phenomena.

Dugin’s use of the term, “subject”, applies to the suite of phenomena that contribute to observations and measurements of one particular -ism.  Substitute the word, “person” for “subject” and one gets the person as individual, class, citizen and role-bearer.


Yes, free or slave.

Or maybe, accepted or rejected.

Or maybe, pure or defiled.

Whatever the state decides.

0021 This brings me to the existential dimension, as related by Millerman.

First, the fact that the subjects and the -isms constitute a Greimas square serves as a nexus for existential concern.

Each -ism excludes the other.  Liberalism excludes communism and fascism.  Communism excludes fascism and liberalism.  Fascism excludes liberalism and communism.  Surely, the implications are existential.

Second, the fact that -isms constitute political scientific disciplines that engage sovereign power in order to exclude one another reinforces slot B as a nexus of existential concern.

Does that suggest that the fourth political theory will grasp for sovereign power in order to exclude the prior three political theories?  No and yes.  No, all three prior political scientific disciplines have already ruined themselves through incredible and mind-boggling failures. Yes, the fourth political theory must interpret the historic catastrophes of the prior scientific political theories in order to guide sovereigns in avoiding future cataclysms.

0022 Here is a diagram of how the two dimensions of Dugin’s populism radiate out of two slots of the Dugin’s Greimas square.

Figure 07

Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2022) “…Dimensions of Dugin’s Populism” (Part 5 of 9)

0023 Here are my associations, so far.

Figure 08

0024 The Greimas square for the term, “people”, slowly manifests.

A is the focal word, “people”.

B is the objectification of the subject (the person) by various -isms.  Each -isms strives to exclude the other.  In this regard, they are like normal contexts.  -Isms are empirio-schematic.  Social behaviors serve as phenomena.  Observations and measurements of phenomena permit explicit abstractions.  Explicit abstractions initiate sensible constructions of existential significance.  The fourth political theory aims to interpret that existential significance.

C is the narod, encompassing both the person and the community.  The narod is a noumenon.  Only philosophy can address noumena, because a noumenon cannot be objectified as its phenomena.  As such, the term, “narod”, reminds us that people in community cannot be understood as phenomena.  The narod cannot be distilled into individuals, classes, citizens and so on.  The narod is an actuality that philosophy struggles to articulate, but cannot, because spoken words fail.  Nevertheless, the articulation must be made, because the question is posed. Who do we say that we are?

Every people faces an ethnosociological question.

D is what remains.

0025 What goes into D?