Philosophers and Totalitarian Ultranationalism — Psychohistorical Reflections on the support of Martin Heidegger for Adolf Hitler and Aleksandr Dugin for Vladimar Putin [Ken Rasmussen]


This paper will examine the nexus between philosophy and psychology and the psychohistorical dimension of philosophical thought, and in German philosophy, the lamentable and shocking support for Hitler and Nazism by one of the most brilliant thinkers in 20th century philosophy–Martin Heidegger. With Putin’s brutal assault on Ukraine, attention has been directed at his embrace of an anti-Western Eurasian ultra-nationalism that has been popularized by the Russian philosopher Aleksandr Dugin. Dugin, who has integrated Heideggerian concepts into his overall perspective, has exercised a great influence within the inner circle of Russian geopolitical strategists and even been called “Putin’s brain.” This paper will explore the psychohistorical and psycho-biographical links that can made for both these thinkers and that can help illuminate their attraction to a totalitarian and fascist/ultra nationalist ideology that, in the 1940’s (and now in the 2020’s) has and continues to inflict such horrendous consequences upon humankind.