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Alexander Dugin (b. 1962) is one of the best-known philosophers and public intellectuals of post-Soviet Russia. While his geopolitical views are well-researched, his views on Russian history are less so. Still, they are important to understand his Weltanschauung and that of like-minded Russian intellectuals. For Dugin, the ‘Time of Troubles’ – the period of Russian history at the beginning of the seventeenth century marked by dynastic crisis and general chaos – constitutes an explanatory framework for the present. Dugin implicitly regarded the ‘Time of Troubles’ in broader philosophical terms. For him, the ‘Time of Troubles’ meant not purely political and social upheaval/dislocation, but a deep spiritual crisis that endangered the very existence of the Russian people. Russia, in his view, has undergone several crises during its long history. Each time, however, Russia has risen again and achieved even greater levels of spiritual wholeness. Dugin believed that Russia was going through a new ‘Time of Troubles’. In the early days of the post-Soviet era, he believed that it was the collapse of the USSR that had led to a new ‘Time of Troubles’. Later, he changed his mind and proclaimed that the Soviet regime was not legitimate at all and, consequently, that the ‘Time of Troubles’ started a century ago in 1917. Dugin holds a positive view of Putin in general. Still, his narrative implies that Putin has been unable to arrest the destructive process of a new Time of Trouble.
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