Email: Russia’s False Dichotomy Between ‘Nationalism’ & ‘Neo-Nazism’! (5.7.2022)

Dear Gillian

The following is interesting – this is the auto-translation to save time: 

What Neo-Nazis Movements can be Found in Europe? 

All the categories are correct. I have no issue whatsoever with the analysis of far-right groups in Europe – and the fascist groups that were allowed to run riot in Russia between 1991-2002 – before Putin banned them all. The problem begins near the bottom of the text where the author states that ‘Nationalism’ is separate and distinct from ‘Neo-Nazism’. I believe this is a deliberate fabrication designed to accommodate modern Russia’s ‘Nationalism’ as expressed as racism, homophobia, prejudice and discrimination – and distinguish it from ‘Neo-Nazism’ – a false dichotomy in my opinion.  

A modern Russian can be ‘racist’ and ‘homophobic’ claiming that these attributes are part of his modern ‘Slav’ identity (‘Nationalism’) – whilst simultaneously asserting that these viewpoints are ‘separate’ and ‘distinct’ from Hitler’s ‘National Socialism’ and any post-1945 versions of it (that is ‘Neo-Nazism’)! This is wrong. It is an assertion even contradicted in the text itself, which readily admits that the Hitlerite ‘Combat 18’ (Neo-Nazi) is the military wing of the ‘British National Party’ (a Party in the UK that prided itself on it ‘English’ Nationalism)! I notice that even within general Russian language discourse, ‘Neo-Nazis’ in the Ukraine are often referred to as ‘Ultra-Nationalists’ – with the Neo-Nazi Battalions are acknowledged as forming the Hitlerite ‘National Guard’!  

This misconception arises out of the fact that the Russian author is misinterpreting ‘Conservativism’ and (falsely) claiming that ‘Conservativism’ strives to ‘keep things the same’. In fact, ‘Conservativism’ (and ‘Conservatives’) harks back to a ‘real’ or ‘imagined’ (idyllic) past that does not exist in the present, but which ‘Conservatives’ claim to be the ‘Custodians’ (as in the ’embodiment’) of everything that is believed to be ‘preferable’ about it. British ‘Conservativism’ has its roots in the world prior to Charles I, for existence, whilst Hitler preferred the imaginary world of the ‘Aryan’ race (which never existed)!  

Those who subscribe to ‘Conservativism’ reject any form of progressive ‘change’, and are hostile toward the existence (and presence) of any agent that they believe would initiate the wrong kind of ‘change’ – such as people of different skin tone, language, religion, culture and political outlook, etc. This hostility extends to any social, cultural, political or religious vehicle that would protect, strengthen or otherwise progress these threatening entities! Conservative hostility often develops into the overt ‘attacking’ of anything deemed ‘threatening’ to the perceived status quo – or the process of ‘regressing’ the present toward the preferred ‘idyllic’ ‘Conservative’ version. Therefore, ‘Conservativism’ (as ‘Nationalism’) ‘attacks’ any form of ‘difference’ deemed threatening to ‘keeping things the same’ or ‘regressing’ current society back to a ‘racialised’ mythological variant. ‘Conservativism’, whist looking to the past with a ‘limited’ perspective, looks to the present with a malicious existentialism, as ‘Conservatives’ believe they are protecting the future by ‘attacking’ the agency of the wrong kind of ‘change’ in the present. 

Therefore, not all ‘change’ is bad for ‘Conservatives’ – only that ‘change’ which would deviate society to toward the political left and away from everything a ‘Nationalist’ holds dear (racism, homophobia, misogyny, ableism, ageism, bigotry, prejudice, discrimination and sexism, etc). Neo-Nazism, however, is nothing less than the extreme edge of ‘Counter-Revolutionary’ Conservatism writ large! Neo-Nazism is the ‘attacking’ tendency of ‘Conservativism’ expressed in its most honest capacity! Modern Russians are thoroughly ‘bourgeois’ and are lumbered with the 74-year history of a USSR that just happened to have produce one of Russia’s greatest military victories – which happened to have been over Hitlerism! The fact that it was the ideology of Marxist-Leninism that enabled the ‘Soviet Union’ (and not just ‘Russia’ as is the usual post-1991 ‘myth’) to gather and direct all the material resources of that society toward this victory – is just ‘ignored’! 

Modern Russians want to keep the current bourgeois system in place, and this is the purpose of their ‘Conservativism’ and ‘Nationalism’ – they are one and the same! Now, the Russians want their cake and eat it. Modern Russians want to hold and express far right-wing viewpoints that are commonly found within Neo-Nazism ideology – whilst claiming these viewpoints are separate and distinct from Neo-Nazism and are inherent attributes of an ancient ‘Slavic’ identity that predates the USSR and Czarist Russia, and which are believed (falsely) to have actual historical roots within Scandinavia thousands of years ago. This predates Hitler, but here is the contradiction. This ‘Slavic’ Nationalism was exactly the motivation behind why thousands of Scandinavian men were motivated to join Hitler’s Volunteer ‘SS’ Divisions during WWII with the expressed purpose of confronting and destroying the USSR! This Slavic ‘Nationalism’ aligned itself with Hitlerism as an ally in the battle to confront and destroy Marxist-Leninist Socialism!  

The ‘Nationalism’ of Slavism was rejected by Marx and Engels as feudal, bourgeois, reactionary and politically backward! The USSR rejected this ideology for the same reasons. Hitler, on the other hand, allowed much of the Slavic mythology to inform and mould is own theory and thinking! Therefore, Hitlerism and Slavism are inherently linked and not separate in any way. I am not suggesting that all Russians are ‘Nationalists’ – but there is a definite accommodation of the far-right misrepresented as legitimate ‘culture’ – when Russian people have so much more history and culture to be proud of even if they no longer prefer or support Socialism! I have witnessed Russians expressing the same racist and homophobic views as the average member of Azov – with the only difference being that one admits being a Hitlerite, whilst the other claims to be opposing Hitlerism! This is just one symptom of the collapse of the USSR – which began with Khrushchev’s betrayal of Stalin in 1956 – and finished with Gorbachev’s finishing the job that Hitler began in 1941! This is all a specific aspect of the broader cancer of Trotskyism which Stalin fought to expose and eradicate!  

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