The anti-liberal Russian philosopher and geographer Alexsander Dugin and a leading promoter of Eurasianism (that some have called Russia's unofficial ideologydid not wait for the coronavirus to promote the relevancy of the German legal philosopher Carl Schmitt, a scholar who joined the Nazi party in 1933, and wrote a defense of the 1934 Enabling Act that transferred dictatorial powers to Adolf Hitler. He invoked Schmitt already back in 1992 and embraced Schmitt's theory of "exceptional circumstances" or Ernstfall where decision making "can no longer be regulated by conventional legal norms.
Dugin believes that the coronavirus has vindicated his ideas. The need for physical survival has led states to abandon liberal law-based and transnational approaches and return to the nation state and national borders. Authoritarian states have proven most adept at coping with the crisis with China serving as the prime exhibit (although to sustain this thesis Dugin has to fudge to issue of where the virus originated). Even if the coronavirus is tamed, there is no going back to globalism, and we have entered a multipolar world where authoritarianism – even in the United State – will set the tone.
Below is Dugin's article. The text has been edited to provide clarity.
Aleksandr Dugin (Image: Izborsk-club.ru)
This Coronavirus Epidemic Represents The End Of Globalization
"… Today I would like to talk about those indisputable consequences of the global coronavirus spread, which, it seems to me, have already become apparent.
"I am deeply convinced, and this is confirmed by most sane experts both in our country and on a global scale, that this coronavirus epidemic actually represents the end of globalization. All the institutions, all the mechanisms that should both have prevented the spread of the pandemic, and provided a swift response in order to somehow localize or neutralize, or cure; all these institutions on which humanity could count upon and rely on by default in conditions of a global united world with open borders, with the ideology of human rights and with a common vision of full transparency of all societies; all this failed in a completely shameful way.
"Globalization could do nothing against the coronavirus. In the beginning, the attempt to leave everything as is, not to change anything and not to respond to the virus, gave catastrophic results, and all societies, including the most open ones, the most liberal, most globalist: European and American [alike] - were eventually forced to just close their borders, implement government control, [declare] a state of emergency and to actually backtrack far, far away from these global institutions that have demonstrated their complete ineffectiveness, inability to respond to any problems and to delegate authority to nation states.
"Actually what happened in France with Macron, in the United States with Trump, in Germany with Merkel, and even with Boris Johnson in the UK is a return to nation states, imposition of the state of emergency and, as Carl Schmitt said, the establishment of a state of emergency is necessarily followed by instituting dictatorship. A sovereign is the one, says Carl Schmitt, who makes decisions in emergency circumstances - Ernstfall. Coronavirus brought us the need for Ernstfall, i.e. emergency circumstances and in these emergency circumstances, the ultimate authority which make decisions, the sovereign instance are nation states and their leaders. Here we are!
The Virus Did Not Necessarily Start In China, But China Was The First To Confront The Epidemic
"In other words, as soon as globalization collided with something that represents a real threat for human lives, all spells about open borders, about technocracy, about Elon Mask, flights to Mars, driverless Tesla cars, Greta Thunberg, all globalist projects and spells disappeared in one moment. In fact, we see how, by contrast, China is acting effectively. Why is China, which was the first victim of the pandemic spread, although, perhaps, the pandemic in other countries: US, Europe and Italy existed before, it just wasn't detected. China turned out to be the first country where this pandemic was identified as an epidemic of coronavirus. And then other countries have discovered coronavirus but it’s quite obvious that the scale and the scope that the spread of coronavirus has acquired in Europe or US means that this virus existed there for a long time, it just was not diagnosed as such. So, China, which was the first to collide to the full extent, on a pretty terrifying scale, with this epidemic, and managed to cope with it only thanks to its restrictiveness.
Coronavirus Is Incompatible With An Open Society
"Due to the fact that China maintained a political structure governed by the Communist Party, because it was and remains a disciplined, disciplinary society that was instantly closed, instantly implemented isolation mode, closed Wuhan, closed other provinces, blocked people, forbade movement, imposed a state of emergency on a part of its territories, and in such a way localized the virus and suppressed it. This strict coordinated action of the Chinese model gave an example of how to work with coronavirus. And in the beginning England, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, America said: well, just not the Chinese variant, tried to be ironic about the Chinese, but as soon as trouble reached Europe, then it turned out that the measures applied by the Chinese are the only effective way to fight coronavirus.
"Some figures being very convinced fanatics and globalists like Giorgio Agamben or Bill Gates still try to convince us that the best way to fight coronavirus is to quickly get infected for everybody, leaving open borders, keeping completely the entire system of globalism, well, in some sense the upshot of this was to merely die quickly. Boris Johnson also tried during the first week that the virus spread in the UK to move in this liberal-globalist direction but in under the impact of circumstances and the terrifying scale of the tragedy, very quickly rejected this, and was compelled to implement the same national isolation regime, closure of borders, isolation of people, quarantining, as he too faced extraordinary circumstances. And now today's world is for those who wanted to close their societies, their borders and their people, wanted to impose a state of emergency and to transfer the authority to national state as the highest instance of sovereignty or didn’t want it, but still ended up in an exigency faced with the pandemic, since everyone around acted the same way: closed borders closed people and the transfer of power from supranational authorities to national.
"What do we have as a result? We mean that when the epidemic started, before the spread of coronavirus, we dealt with open society, and even if this society was not completely open on worldwide scale, all elites, the entire leadership of all countries: Russia, and China, even Iran, to a large extent, aside from Western countries, recognized by default that we live in open society that open society is if not something accomplished, as in Europe or America, then an aim to strive for, in other territories as well , and therefore in reality nobody basically called into question that anyway liberal democracy and open society is the goal to which all of humanity is moving. No one questioned this. And then the coronavirus came, and it turned out that this goal, this orientation is a completely failed one.
"This is a chimera that cannot respond effectively to none of the challenges with which it collided. And after that we see the total collapse of open society, because coronavirus is incompatible with open society, inasmuch as we have to choose between either coronavirus or open society. And in the beginning those who still tried to say: ‘Better open society and death’, have lost all support because everything, absolutely everything, and even western liberal societies in which this openness has already penetrated in the depth of their unconscious and even they had to instantly break up with it, shouting: No, if closure is the choice of life, then we choose a closed society."
Even When We Exit This Pandemic, A New Post-Global Reality Is Here To Stay
"Here's what happened: we see the closing of open societies and transition from transnational authorities and approaches to economic, social and political processes to national standards. In fact, welcome to the multipolar world! Coronavirus closed open society, completely eliminated the process of globalization, undermined (well, we will talk about it separately) the globalist economy, and returned the peoples to national borders. And many will tell me: ‘Well, these are temporary measures, now everyone will cope with it, invent a vaccine, move away’ ... This is a mistake. First, the epidemic will last quite a while. Even the most optimistic forecasts announce a term of six months or even of a year. Many say that all humanity will have to get over it, and there are relapses of this disease. Someone says that synchronously to this virus (firstly, we do not definitively know about its consequences, how serious and terrible it can be), there may be relapses, there may be different strains, but in principle, such a precedent already provides evidence as to the complete failure of the globalist project.
"If a serious problem can be effectively operated by humanity solely in the context of closure, in the context of national borders, it means that globalization has come to an end and that we enter the post-global world. Accordingly, from an ideological point of view, it is nowadays that we are experiencing a transition from an open society to a closed one, and the longer this fight will last in conditions of a closed society, and only in such conditions it can be conducted, the deeper the institutions of this post-global order will take root. We entered the coronavirus epidemic as an open society, as a global world and we will emerge from it as a multipolar world with nation states as the highest instance of sovereignty. That's what this pandemic has already accomplished. And day after day the irreversibility of this process will become ever more apparent.
"Those who believe that everything will come back, are deeply mistaken: there is no way back, totally new horizons are ahead, the new world order which is different from the previous one is ahead, naturally different from the bipolar one which collapsed in the 1990s, and from the unipolar one. This multi-polar world, in which China, Russia, strong closed states - even the United States of America - can survive with state of emergency, with Trump, with the imposition of curfew time with troops patrolling American cities with closure, and the actual suspension (‘suspended democracy’), of democracy and temporary abrogation of civil rights and freedoms or, at least, restrictions - this regime is henceforth dominant in that world order which will take shape faster and faster with every day. So, during coronavirus we are changing one world order: open society, global system for another: for a closed society, a multipolar world with completely different priorities, other value systems and other structures of political governance.
"The state of emergency, Ernstfall, it is very very serious, and one who is in power in such a situation, is unlikely to relinquish it voluntarily to anyone. This is, let's say, the positive side of the epidemic in which we now live. Of course, it’s important to deal with it, it’s important to survive, but you can’t reduce everything to solution of purely technical issues, it is essential to think about the future. And upon exiting this pandemic, a completely new post-global reality awaits us."
 See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1491, Contemporary Russian Thinkers Series – Russian Anti-Liberal Philosopher Alexander Dugin Articulates Russia's Unofficial Ideology: Eurasiansim, December 2, 2019.
 Agamben is an Italian philosopher, who fears that the virus has given government excessive powers that it will try to preserve after the crisis is over: "What is worrisome is not so much or not only the present, but what comes after. Just as wars have left as a legacy to peace a series of inauspicious technology, from barbed wire to nuclear power plants, so it is also very likely that one will seek to continue even after the health emergency experiments that governments did not manage to bring to reality before: closing universities and schools and doing lessons only online, putting a stop once and for all to meeting together and speaking for political or cultural reasons and exchanging only digital messages with each other, wherever possible substituting machines for every contact — every contagion — between human beings". See: Bookhaven.stanford.edu/2020/03/giorgio-agamben-on-coronavirus-the-enemy-is-not-outside-it-is-within-us/