National Bolshevism

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National Bolshevism

Post by RedSun on Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:06 pm

Hey there; I'm new to the forum, having arrived here through my newfound interest in National Bolshevism. I'd like to hear from anyone who can show me where to learn more about NatzBol or has an opinion about it they'd like to share (I hope for a more reasoned discussion than the one I saw on RevLeft).
I hear a lot of bad press about the NatzBols in Russia, but since I don't speak Russian I don't know much about their interpretation of NatzBol. I came to National Bolshevism through the blog of the National People's Party in the UK and some archived writings by a now defunct American National Bolshevik Party, so I feel a bit uninformed about this ideology. Regardless, it seems to me to be consistent with this forum's philosophy of left-wing nationalism and revolutionary socialism.
So. Thoughts?
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Red Aegis on Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:00 pm

Nazbols are pretty much just nazis from what I know. I may be wrong.

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by no-maps on Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:53 pm

Hello RedSun. I've discussed this topic extensively with the admin, and the conclusion is that racist positions are not tolerated here. Since Nazbol ideology is as coherent as a See 'n Say, I suggest you learn more about Nazbol by using Burroughs' cut-up technique on a copy of Mein Kampf, and throw in some Marxist phrase-mongery for good measure.
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Admin on Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:30 pm

National Bolshevism has come to describe a diverse plethora of political movements throughout the past century. Its earliest [significant manifestation] traces itself back to Ernst Niekisch — a German political figure, who had been prominently involved with the Bavarian Soviet Republic. (Prior to this, there existed small groups of self-proclaimed Russian National Bolsheviks, who had come to view Sovietism as a potential means of preserving the Russian Empire.)

After resigning his membership in the SPD in 1926 — due to an internal opposition to his views regarding German nationalism that arose within the party — Niekisch joined (and became a leading figure in) the Old Social Democratic Party of Saxony (ASP). During these years, he wrote for the ASP's party newspaper, Der Volksstaat, and the National Bolshevik journal (he founded), Widerstand. I suppose you could ascribe several ideological pillars to his National Bolshevism. Among these include an emphasis on national liberation comparable to Mussolini's 'proletarian nation' theory and Maoism-Third Worldism — wherein the German nation itself was collectively regarded as a 'proletarian' entity (exploited by foreign capital) that could only liberate itself through global conflict with the oppressor nations. Another central aspect would be an economic platform best described as state socialist in essence (largely in the model of the USSR under Stalin). (It was for this latter reason that Niekisch became of vocal opponent of Nazism — which he regarded as a disingenuous expression of German capitalism — and found himself on the receiving end of the Third Reich's 'special' brand of oppression.)

I have also read that Niekisch heralded certain reactionary concepts under the rubric of National Bolshevism, such as antisemitism and opposition to socialist internationalism (though this could arguably be a misinterpreted opposition to cosmopolitanism). However, I will reserve judgement on these particular dimensions of Niekisch's brand of National Bolshevism, as I have not yet encountered a detailed accounting of them.

Now, the most popular expression of National Bolshevism is, without question, the modern Russian 'NazBol' movement — started in the early 1990s by Eduard Limonov and Aleksandr Dugin. In the early years, the 'movement' could be described as a political manifestation of Russian fascism. The ideology, during this period, was very imperialistic and chauvinistic, with a conspicuously flawed (reactionary) conception of economic justice. (The economic substance of the Russian NazBols was exemplified by the simplistic policy they called "progressive nationalization". Said policy would leave businesses employing up to 54 employees private, while mandating the collectivization of enterprises employing 55-554 laborers and the nationalization of enterprises employing at least 555 laborers. This demonstrates an acceptance of petit-bourgeois capitalism as an integral aspect of the 'National Bolshevik' economy.) For more information about the early ideological substance of the Russian NazBol movement, read The Essence of National-Bolshevism (1995).

In recent years, internal differences amongst Russian NazBols resulted in a split within the movement — leaving one faction (the National Bolshevik Party) under the leadership of Eduard Limonov and the other (the National Bolshevik Front) functioning in a far more disorganized and less (politically) relevant capacity. From what I understand, the former faction has made certain ideological adjustments — which have been interpreted positively by certain left-wing political groups in Russia — whilst the latter has remained loyal to the original ideological framework of the movement. I honestly do not know if the NBP evolved enough for one to consider it an actual revolutionary organization (as I lack sufficient information regarding this question), but I would personally consider the NBF a reactionary group.

Given National Bolshevism's history and diverse interpretations, it cannot automatically be regarded as ideologically consistent with the principles of revolutionary socialism and left-wing nationalism. (In fact, if one's opinion were based solely on most of the associated information, he or she would invariably arrive at the opposite conclusion.) As such, further information regarding what your conception of 'National Bolshevism' entails would be used to determine how compatible it is with the ideological foundation of the forum. In any case, the forum is not entirely closed to those maintaining opposing viewpoints, if you happen to find yourself outside of the aforementioned ideological parameters.


Last edited by Admin on Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:56 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by RedSun on Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:25 am

As I said, my understanding of NatzBol is partial, and certainly does not include racism. Here is where I get my understanding from:

nationalpeoplesparty.wordpress.com/about/
mauryk2.wordpress.com/category/national-bolsheviks/

On the second link, the statement of ideology by the now-defunct National Bolshevik Party USA specifically states:
'Worldwide capitalism is creating a single world culture through its lowering of the barriers between countries. The borders of a county are sacred in that they provide a reference point for the Ideal which the people are to unite around. While nationalism is often defined as loyalty to one’s race or ethnicity, National Bolshevism places more importance on geopolitics and the respecting of sovereign states’ rights. We wish to see a world of many cultures, and will also respect the many cultures which exist within the United States itself, promoting the tolerant elements of our heritage.'

Again, I have no racist beliefs, and though the links above portray an ideology which I find extremely reasonable, if I can find enough evidence to suggest that NatzBol at its core tends more towards Nazism, the existence of this forum proves that I can find an expression of my beliefs somewhere else.
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Red Aegis on Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:43 pm

Well said, and good on you for keeping an open mind.

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Red & White on Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:33 pm

no-maps wrote:Hello RedSun. I've discussed this topic extensively with the admin, and the conclusion is that racist positions are not tolerated here. Since Nazbol ideology is as coherent as a See 'n Say, I suggest you learn more about Nazbol by using Burroughs' cut-up technique on a copy of Mein Kampf, and throw in some Marxist phrase-mongery for good measure.

Seem a bit sure of yourself, telling other posters what is acceptable here, seeing as you're a total newbie!

But seeing as how you think this is acceptable behaviour, I'll equally over-step my mark by giving you a piece of unasked for advide.

This forum is for left-wing nationalists, not cosmopolitans. We are socialists, but we are equally nationalists. Attitudes like "no maps" are out of sync with the general tone of the forum, as is toeing the cosmopolitan line of equating any nationalist sentiment with "racism", whatever that loaded and pointless word means these days.

Just so you know.
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by no-maps on Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:49 pm

Red & White wrote:Seem a bit sure of yourself

Two of the moderators here have called the movement reactionary, which would make it an opposing view. If they would like to change their position that is their business.

"racism", whatever that loaded and pointless word means these days.

You call yourself "white" as if it were your claim to fame and not a false identifier. It speaks volumes.
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Red & White on Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:42 am

no-maps wrote:You call yourself "white" as if it were your claim to fame and not a false identifier. It speaks volumes.

So what are your feelings about the nationalist part of what this forum espouses, left-wing nationalism?

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by no-maps on Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:17 pm

My opinion is that I will wait for the RSF to publish its platform before I form any conclusions about its nationalism. It has already been made clear that the RSF conception of a nation is different than traditional nationalistic positions.
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:33 pm

RedSun wrote:Hey there; I'm new to the forum, having arrived here through my newfound interest in National Bolshevism. I'd like to hear from anyone who can show me where to learn more about NatzBol or has an opinion about it they'd like to share (I hope for a more reasoned discussion than the one I saw on RevLeft).
I hear a lot of bad press about the NatzBols in Russia, but since I don't speak Russian I don't know much about their interpretation of NatzBol. I came to National Bolshevism through the blog of the National People's Party in the UK and some archived writings by a now defunct American National Bolshevik Party, so I feel a bit uninformed about this ideology. Regardless, it seems to me to be consistent with this forum's philosophy of left-wing nationalism and revolutionary socialism.
So. Thoughts?

When studying National Bolshevism, it's important to bear in mind is that the term itself is often misused by historians and commentators. Appropriately defined, National Bolshevism refers to the political ideology formulated by Ernst Niekisch. Niekisch, a heterodox Marxist, not only took a decidedly more nationalistic approach to the National Question than is common in socialist and communist circles, but he also theorized an entire socialist philosophy characterized by dictatorship, a centrally planned economy, and militarism—"Sparta-Postdam-Moscow" was the slogan of his movement, meant to allude to their advocacy of Spartan-like military discipline, Prussian cultural values, and state socialism à la the Soviet Union.

The popular misuse of the term 'National Bolshevism' can mainly be attributed to Nikolay Ustryalov, a Russian and former White Guard, who called himself a National Bolshevik. Ustryalov was of the opinion that the Soviet Union would inevitably become nationalistic due to the alleged ideological weaknesses of Marxian theory, and rise to ultimately fulfill the traditional objectives of Russian nationalism. Unlike Niekisch and the German National Bolsheviks, Ustryalov didn't believe in class struggle, nor in the desirability of a fully socialized economy. Many advocates of the 'Conservative Revolutionary' ideology—a political tendency originated in Weimar Germany—are "National Bolsheviks" in the vein of Ustryalov, which is to say, they're little different from typical fascists.

Another use of the term 'National Bolshevism' traces back to Karl Radek and the KPD's use of nationalistic rhetoric during the Weimar era to take advantage of the growing nationalist sentiment in Germany. Several commentators at the time (including Lenin) scornfully referred to that, and various other instances of 'social patriotism,' as being expressions of "National Bolshevism."

In contemporary Russia, there are many political groups which claim to be representatives of National Bolshevism, the most notable of them being Eduard Limonov's National Bolshevik Party (NBP) and Aleksandr Dugin's National Bolshevik Front (NBF). Limonov's group is ideologically incoherent, while Dugin's is basically a form of Russian Strasserism which emphasizes a bizarre Eurasian geopolitical theory conceived of by Dugin.

Some modern National Bolshevik groups espouse a form of racism bordering on Hitlerian, while others are staunchly anti-racist. Ustryalov, to my knowledge, wasn't racist; Niekisch had written a few racist passages during his lifetime, but didn't place any particular emphasis on race, and most certainly was not antisemitic—in fact, one of his closest colleagues, Karl Otto Paetel (head of the Group of Social Revolutionary Nationalists) was Jewish.


Last edited by Celtiberian on Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:10 pm; edited 5 times in total

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by RedSun on Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:15 pm

There doesn't appear to be a place in that definition to fit my ideology (which I explained through those links). Do you think the beliefs of the National Bolshevik Party USA and the National People's Party in the UK therefore 'count' as NazBol? Why or why not? If not, what would you call them?

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Red Aegis on Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:43 am

If you ask me, you shouldn't say that you subscribe to a particularly controversial ideology (or any other for that matter) unless you're absolutely sure that you agree with it's platform. I chose a generic "tendency" for just that reason. You're free to do what you wish though Smile.

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by RedSun on Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:07 am

Like I said, I found out about NazBol ideology through various people who aren't Eduard Limonov. But what else would I call a combination of left-wing nationalism and revolutionary socialism? National Socialism? I thought I was picking the less controversial name. Smile Besides, I haven't seen another name yet that encompasses those ideas as handily.
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:17 pm

RedSun wrote:There doesn't appear to be a place in that definition to fit my ideology (which I explained through those links). Do you think the beliefs of the National Bolshevik Party USA and the National People's Party in the UK therefore 'count' as NazBol? Why or why not? If not, what would you call them?

I can't comment on the National Bolshevik Party USA, as I don't know what their political platform consists of. As for the National People's Party, they seem to espouse an ideology reminiscent of National Bolshevism, though they are apparently influenced by the reactionary 'Conservative Revolutionary' philosophy and adhere to Aleksandr Dugin's ridiculous geopolitical theories. From what I've read on their site, I can't discern where they stand with respect to vital issues such as governance or how their particular post-capitalist economy would function—they thoroughly discuss the exploitative nature of finance capital and the need to replace it with nationalized banking institutions, but little else. I presume they're a National Bolshevik group based upon their claiming to be influenced by the ideology's leading figures, but I can't determine that conclusively until I read where they stand on economic and political organization.

But what else would I call a combination of left-wing nationalism and revolutionary socialism? National Socialism? I thought I was picking the less controversial name. Smile Besides, I haven't seen another name yet that encompasses those ideas as handily.

Unless you happen to believe in Nordicism, militarism, imperialism, and/or corporativism, it's advisable to abstain from using the term 'National Socialist' to refer to your views. (I'm aware of the fact the term precedes Hitler's adoption of it, but it's worthless attempting to rehabilitate it at this point.) A few names you could consider using are: 'Socialist-Nationalist' or 'National Communist'; though, in my opinion, it's unnecessary to incorporate 'national' or 'nationalist' in title or your tendency.

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"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by RedSun on Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:20 pm

I think it's a good idea to incorporate some indicator of nationalism in my tendency to distinguish it from the Dreaded Cosmopolitans. Or are you implying that left-wing nationalism should be an implicit part of socialism?

Here's the National Bolshevik Party USA: mauryk2.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/national-bolshevik-party-usa-ideology/

I agree that the National People's Party needs to state their stance on governance.
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Red Aegis on Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:24 pm

He just means that having the word national in your tendency name the way you have it carries a lot of unavoidably connotations that cannot be easily remedied by a lay person. It's simply a matter of perception by the general public at this point. As to your question of nationalism being implicit to socialism, it's not in my opinion. It's just an optional branch of it.

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:29 pm

RedSun wrote:I think it's a good idea to incorporate some indicator of nationalism in my tendency to distinguish it from the Dreaded Cosmopolitans. Or are you implying that left-wing nationalism should be an implicit part of socialism?

I think it should be implicit, but I understand the desire to make your stance on the matter known as well.

Here's the National Bolshevik Party USA: mauryk2.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/national-bolshevik-party-usa-ideology/

Based on that document, the National Bolshevik Party USA doesn't follow in the vein of Niekisch's ideology. They wish to merely collectivize the "commanding heights" of the economy (thereby leaving the petite bourgeoisie intact), as opposed to implementing a fully planned economy, and they eschew Marxism for no logical reason.

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"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by RedSun on Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:01 pm

I think it's important to be honest about my stance. I'll have enough to deal with identifying as a nationalist without being accused of dishonesty or having something to hide.

You have a point about the NBPUSA, Celtiberian. I should've read that last paragraph more closely. I'll have to think about this. Certainly 'National Bolshevism' seems to be an extremely broad term by this point.

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:08 pm

RedSun wrote:You have a point about the NBPUSA, Celtiberian. I should've read that last paragraph more closely. I'll have to think about this. Certainly 'National Bolshevism' seems to be an extremely broad term by this point.

Indeed. Unfortunately, the term has been misused to the point it no longer has any meaning.

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"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by RedSun on Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:29 pm

Much as I like the rest of that ideology statement and much of the writings of the NPP in the UK, I think it's time for me to reevaluate my tendency.

Also, Celtiberian, here's a broader platform statement by the NPP in the UK: nationalpeoplesparty.wordpress.com/the-u-k-peoples-manifesto/

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:57 pm

RedSun wrote:Also, Celtiberian, here's a broader platform statement by the NPP in the UK: nationalpeoplesparty.wordpress.com/the-u-k-peoples-manifesto/

Their 'People's Manifesto' is interesting, though I don't feel it goes far enough. The first half of the program is very reformist, though the latter half advocates the implementation of institutions which would bring the UK towards a socialist market economy. I actually favor a form of market socialism as well (in which the workers democratically control the means of production, and investment, in a competitive market setting) as a transitional stage, following the proletarian revolution. Unlike the National People's Party, however, I favor the complete expropriation of the bourgeoisie, with the means of production thereafter coming under collective control, as opposed to their gradual phase-in of cooperative institutions. Following the aforementioned market socialist transitional period, the people would be free to establish a participatory planned economy.

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"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by RedSun on Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:36 pm

This may be shifting away from the original topic (which I think is done), but how would the shift from market socialism to a participatory planned economy be accomplished? How would people know when the transitional stage is done?

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:20 pm

RedSun wrote:This may be shifting away from the original topic (which I think is done), but how would the shift from market socialism to a participatory planned economy be accomplished? How would people know when the transitional stage is done?

Personally, I believe the ideal time to transition from a socialist market economy to one which is planned in a participatory manner is when the workers are experienced in- and comfortable with- self-management. After that occurs, and they are simultaneous tired of the vicissitudes and inequality of the market, they can democratically phase-in planning with the aid of the state. It would be great if the transition could be accomplished within a single generation, but there's no telling how this sort of thing will work out in practice.

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"The dogma of human equality is no part of Communism . . . the formula of Communism: 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs', would be nonsense, if abilities were equal."
—J. B. S. Haldane Hammer Sickle

"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
—Mikhail Bakunin Red Star
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Celtiberian
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by RedSun on Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:15 pm

Well, I'm trying a new tendency: Revolutionary Volk-Socialist. I think it encompasses what I want to say without uttering the dread 'NS', though I know it'll be a while till I stop getting shit for identifying as a nationalist (perhaps more so now I'm using the word 'Volk').

Goddamnit Hitler! Why'd you have to go and take the simplest name to describe this ideology?
Although interestingly enough, when the German Workers' Party's name was changed to the National Socialist German Workers' Party, it was against the wishes of Hitler, who wanted it to be the Social Revolutionary Party. So perhaps it's better this way.

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'Make the question of the people a question of the nation; then the question of the nation will become the question of the people!'
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Re: National Bolshevism

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