C-Star vs E-Star: a quick rundown
This is a short piece from 2022, that used to be on the now-defunct chaosmagick.com site.
For the last few years I’ve been aware of Dugin’s Eurasianist star glyph, via pictures of Russian nationalists standing in front of what looked a bit like a chaos star, the familiar eight arrows radiating out from the centre, though minus a circle and forming a square shape.
My chaos friends and I were a bit concerned about this similarity, because some people don’t look closely at things, and online reputation is a volatile thing. However, it wasn’t until recent months that the issue suddenly seemed to be all over social media. On top of this, a chaos magician friend in Sweden mentioned that there is a public perception over there of our beloved chaos star being associated with the political far right.
So what is this Eurasianist star? It’s an invention of Alexander Dugin, a Russian nationalist who supports far right positions. His thinking is complex and (deliberately) confusing - a stew of ideas with carefully-selected ingredients, a broad scattershot. He's doing mix and match, saying what will draw a variety of people in - the basic shtick of what is often called populism these days. There’s enough ‘traditionalist’ conservatism to please the sort of simpleton who wants the right to beat his wife and not get arrested for it, enough postmodern arbitrariness to say anything he wants without generating enough coherence to be pinned down too easily, and enough anti-materialism to please even people like me! He defines his movement chiefly by what it isn't - not modernist, not progressive, not egalitarian.
One of chaos magick’s core insights is that we can use belief as a magickal technique. We look for ways to change our beliefs to enable magickal results. This is a utilization of PoMo’s extreme relativism. The far-Right have weaponized that relativism in their ‘post truth’ world, and so has Dugin with his ‘Russian truth’ idea.
Dugin’s approach integrates well with the confusional strategy of Vladislav Surkov, Putin’s (ex-) publicist, (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od4MWs7qTr8 ) in his use of confusion and multiple meanings to spread uncertainty among the folk. Either they did this together, or one was influenced by the other. The sequence goes: Put out confusing or even apparently confused messages, support opposing factions, destabilize people's belief systems, then keep on doing it, always staying at least one step away from coherence, to dazzle the punters, to induce a kind of trance similar to that of religious conversion. No time to criticize, no encouragement to think, just 'wow, look over there, that's better than the West ... or that is, or that is…..'
We can see the toxic effects of such concerted nonsense in so-called ‘conspiracy’ thinking, such as QAnon. (I use quote marks because there really are conspiracies in the world, it’s just that they aren’t hidden, they’re right out there in full view). Much of that QAnon-type drivel is no doubt spread by Russian bot farms to destabilize the West.
I think the destabilization of ‘democratic’ cultures goes hand in hand with a kind of edgelord nihilism (whether it's disguised as ‘Traditionalism’ or whatever) because that kind of thinking goes down well with people who have never lived in a functioning liberal democracy. I did, when UK had one from about 1963 to '79. A couple of chaoists from Eastern Europe I know seem to be getting into QAnon type foolishness, basically because they've never seen a government that is clawing back cash and dignity from the billionaire caste, never seen a government that is any better than the tiny group of giga-rich it enables.
Dugin is I think best understood as a cult leader. He has absorbed enough magickal knowledge to draw on the sinister glamour of the occult. He delivers stuff his political audience will never understand, having no genuine interest in esotericism, but it all enhances his mystery and charisma.
His cult is presumably centred on the Russian military elite, judging by the obvious magickal thinking that went into their cathedral (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Cathedral_of_the_Russian_Armed_Forces#/media/File:Ceremony_of_consecration_of_the_Main_temple_15.jpg) The floor is made of meled WW2 German tanks. Imagine the buzz that a true believer would get from standing in this structure.
So, back to the C-star and the E-star. The appearance of the two figures is different. The E-star doesn't have a circle, it's just arrows, denoting imperial expansionism. I suspect this similarity-but-difference is deliberate, and the E-star is not meant to be a C-star, but rather to refer to it. This then borrows from chaos magick, or rather early chaos magick, in its radical relativism and edgelord swagger. And of course serves to sow confusion in the folk so more people will cry out for ‘strong’ leadership.
People construe what they will from the symbols they’re presented with. I for one don’t want to spend my life correcting the misconceptions of others. But maybe it’s worth mirroring our nihilistic public influencers, and telling a truer story than the Russian Nazis do: