Reading on Tuesday 14 February

Another aphorism for you all, this time it’s Chivers’ law – “If you can go online and call your government a fascist regime, then you are not living under a fascist regime”.  Now, I think he has confused “fascist” with “totalitarian” here but the general point stands.

Speaking of fascism, or certainly something in the same family, the name of Alexander Dugin is not one that is recognised by many but he has had an influence on many events in the last few years.  Described by Breitbart news, back when they weren’t on the same side, as “Putin’s Rasputin” (generally I detest Breitbart but that is actually a great line), Dugin’s philosophy of pan-Eurasianism has had a major influence on Putin.

I have said many times before that Russians don’t think the way we do, having as they do a pre-enlightenment culture.  The neo-reaction movement in the West (essentially an anti-enlightenment movement who want to see a return to monarchy and aristocratic rule) would get on well with Dugin’s outlook on geopolitics.  This is a good blog by Tyler Cowen giving his thoughts on Dugin’s book Eurasian Mission.

Why do we need to understand the thinking of this neo-reactionary Russian thinker/journalist?  Because he has been a major influence on Vladimir Putin.  Putin has, it seems, made use of Dugin in an informal capacity which, of course, has maximum deniability.  Dugin was instrumental in orchestrating a rapprochement between Russia and Turkey and clearly sees Erdogan as an ally in his ideological war against liberal internationalism.

I have written before about corporate reputation, here and here.  This article, on CapX, highlights some research that shows that staying politically neutral can be bad for business, if it contradicts your brand message.

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