WASHINGTON — The white nationalist think tank the National Policy Institute is holding a conference in October in Hungary that will feature Alexander Dugin, a Russian nationalist thinker who is increasingly popular in Kremlin circles.
Richard Spencer, the president of NPI and a former writer at the American Conservative, said the conference, which will also feature figures from the ascendant European far right, would be the first of its kind for NPI outside the United States. It's part of an effort to reach out to "European traditionalists" all over the world, he said, and the relationship with Dugin is just beginning: a publishing arm attached to NPI will publish a book this fall by Dugin, who this week called for Ukraine to be "cleansed" of the Ukrainian "race of bastards."
"I think there are a lot of things happening in Europe that I think would excite people like me and people who want to go to the conference, and would excite Americans who care about their European identity," Spencer said.
Apart from Dugin, the conference will also host Márton Gyöngyösi, a leader of Jobbik, Hungary's extremist far right political party.
This is not the first time that figures from the fringes of the American conservative movement have built bridges with the right in Europe and Russia. Pat Buchanan has publicly expressed support for Vladimir Putin's policies, as have others. But this is the first time that Spencer's crowd of white nationalists, who are no longer welcome in the mainstream U.S. conservative movement, have so publicly joined themselves to their Russian and European counterparts.
Spencer's thoughts on the Ukraine crisis hew closely to Moscow's.
"I think to a large degree the Maidan revolution was organized and funded by outside powers, I don't think that's a controversial statement," he said. "I certainly understand the position of Ukrainian separatists and nationalists. I think that to a very large degree they are supporting a geopolitical policy of Washington and I myself am more sympathetic towards Russia as a major power entering the world stage. Russia has the opportunity, to put it bluntly, to make the world a better place."
"I'm sympathetic toward Putin in many ways," he said.
Spencer is a great admirer of Dugin's, whom he says he knows personally, and will be publishing a Dugin volume about the German philosopher Martin Heidegger this fall titled Martin Heidegger: The Philosophy of Another Beginning under the Radix Journal imprint, which is part of NPI.
"We're certainly honored to have him at our conference," Spencer said.
"I think the fact that we're inviting Dugin is expressive of the fact that we want to have a real healthy dialogue with the major currents of Russian conservatism," Spencer said.
h/t Adam Holland
Rosie Gray is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Gray reports on politics and foreign policy.
Contact Rosie Gray at email@example.com.
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