A1 Journal article (refereed)
Radical conservatism and the Heideggerian right : Heidegger, de Benoist, Dugin (2022)

Backman, J. (2022). Radical conservatism and the Heideggerian right : Heidegger, de Benoist, Dugin. Frontiers in Political Science, 4, Article 941799. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpos.2022.941799

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsBackman, Jussi

Journal or seriesFrontiers in Political Science


Publication year2022

Publication date16/09/2022


Article number941799

PublisherFrontiers Media SA

Publication countrySwitzerland

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/83279

Publication is parallel publishedhttps://philarchive.org/rec/BACRCA-7


The paper studies the significance of Martin Heidegger's philosophy of history for two key thinkers of contemporary radical conservatism and the Identitarian movement, Alain de Benoist and Aleksandr Dugin. Heidegger's often-overlooked affinities with the German “conservative revolution” of the Weimar period have in recent years been emphasized by an emerging radical-conservative “right-Heideggerian” orientation. I first discuss the later Heidegger's “being-historical” narrative of the culmination and end of the metaphysical foundations of Western modernity in the contemporary Nietzschean era of nihilism and of an emerging postmodern “other beginning” of Western thinking, focused on historical and cultural relativism and particularism. In Heidegger's work of the 1930s and 1940s, we find attempts to apply this historical narrative to interpreting contemporary geopolitical and ideological phenomena in ways that connect Heidegger to certain central ideas and concerns of the conservative revolutionaries, especially Carl Schmitt's geopolitical particularism. De Benoist, the key name of the French Nouvelle Droite and a founding figure of contemporary Identitarianism, is particularly inspired by Heidegger's reading of Nietzsche as the culmination of the “metaphysics of subjectivity” dominating Western modernity. For de Benoist, this modern metaphysics is the root of the “ideology of the Same” underlying the liberal universalism and individualism that he opposes in the name of a cultural ethnopluralism. De Benoist's Russian disciple Dugin bases the pluralistic geopolitics of his radical-conservative “fourth political theory” on the legacy of the conservative revolution, the key intellectual model of which Dugin discovers in Heidegger's notion of the “other beginning”.

Keywordsconservatismradicalismphilosophersphilosophy of historyideologiesgeopoliticsnationalist ideologyright wing movements

Free keywordsradical conservatism; Heideggerianism; conservative revolution; ethnopluralism; Martin Heidegger; Aleksandr Dugin; Identitarianism; Alain de Benoist

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Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 21:46