National Bolshevism

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Celtiberian on Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:25 pm

RedSun wrote: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')

The term "volk socialist" sounds somewhat redundant to me, as "volk" literally translates to "people," and socialism is an economic system which represents the will of the people. In other words, it's already implicit in the word 'socialism' that it's for the people. I know that you're hoping the term will help people recognize that the form of socialism you espouse is of a national variety, but I don't think "volk socialist" conveys that well.

Moreover, since the word 'volk' is German, it will immediately raise concerns in the minds of the people you explain your political philosophy to. (They'd likely ask themselves, "why is a non-German using that word to describe his views?") Worse, some people may attempt to link your views to the fascistic 'völkisch movement.'

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by RedSun on Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:53 pm

Firstly, having Alsatian, Mennonite, and Frisian ancestry, I feel free to use Germanic terms, and identify at least partly with the German nation.

Secondly, much as I dislike voelkisch ideology, I was admittedly appropriating their use of the term Volk to suggest not just 'people' but 'a people', a distinct ethnic and cultural entity.

Agh. Back to the ideological drawing board.

EDIT: Screw it-- left-wing nationalism is implied in 'revolutionary socialism' till I can think of a better term.


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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Nationaal-Syndicalist on Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:38 am

RedSun wrote:Well, I'm trying a new tendency: Revolutionary Volk-Socialist.

Celtiberian wrote:The term "volk socialist" sounds somewhat redundant to me, as "volk" literally translates to "people," and socialism is an economic system which represents the will of the people. In other words, it's already implicit in the word 'socialism' that it's for the people.

The term was already used by Otto Strasser who at some point called his ideology "Volkssozialismus". In Germany and the Netherlands I think most people will associate it with Strasserism and other forms of leftwing Nazism of the Freikorpsen and some SA divisions.
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by RedSun on Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:13 pm

Well, I like Strasserism too. If I'm going to be associated with the term 'leftwing Nazism', what exactly does it mean?

Also, I am currently corresponding with Peter Wilberg, the leader of the National People's Party in the UK, and we are discussing the issue of the misuse and methods of rehabilitation of National Bolshevism. So I might get to be a NazBol yet!

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Nationaal-Syndicalist on Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:04 am

RedSun wrote:Well, I like Strasserism too. If I'm going to be associated with the term 'leftwing Nazism', what exactly does it mean?

It can mean a number of things. One of the most well known examples is Strasserism. But also the "Elberfeldse" group of Karl Kaufmann, Helmud Elbrecher and Joseph Goebbels (the last one who later oppertunistly became reactionairy), later on the "Arbeitsgemeinschaft Nord-West" and other leftwing National-Socialist fractions in North and West Germany had their own radical Socialist visions (like the Bamberg program of 1926). Some regional elements within the "Sturm Abteilung" converted to National-Bolshevism and strived for a "querfront" (collaboration front) with Communists. And some people also see S.A. leader Ernst Röhm as a leftwing Nazist because he strived for a second revolution to create a Socialist Germany (one of the main reasons for his execution ordered by Hitler and the reactionary fraction).

But there where much more left wing fractions which are connected with the "NSDAP" and "Stahlhelm". You also had some "Freikorpsen" who are linked to the rightwing conservative organisation "Stahlhelm" like the ("National-Revolutionär kampfverband für Front Krieger") "Der Wehrwolf" of Fritz Kloppe, who wanted to work together with the Sovjet Union to establish a National-Revolutionairy Germany. They arranged meetings together with Communists to discuss their politics instaed of fighting them on the streets. Later on parts of that organisation joined the NSDAP.

So there are a lot of different views within the leftwing Nazism. In German language there is a lot of information available about this subject, but in English almost none.
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Admin on Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:44 pm

When it comes to the question of "left-wing" Nazism — in its historical manifestations — I find it pertinent to note that, in most cases, the 'leftism' in question is relative. That is to say that there are components of Strasserism, (various expressions of) National Bolshevism, etc. that fail to meet the criteria of revolutionary socialism and left-wing nationalism.

Many of these movements were/are based upon flawed conceptions of social- and economic justice, that were/are fundamentally petit-bourgeois in essence. That's to say nothing of the imperialistic, chauvinistic, and/or theocratic elements inherent to a number of them.

What served to alienate so many of these movements from the PNF and the NSDAP proper was the fact that those parties sacrificed a plurality of their promises to the petit-bourgeoisie and working class, in order to strengthen their ties with their domestic bourgeoisie, nobility, military, and religious institutions.


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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Nationaal-Syndicalist on Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:24 pm

Admin wrote:When it comes to the question of "left-wing" Nazism — in its historical manifestations — I find it pertinent to note that, in most cases, the 'leftism' in question is relative. That is to say that there are components of Strasserism, (various expressions of) National Bolshevism, etc. that fail to meet the criteria of revolutionary socialism and left-wing nationalism.

Do you have any concrete substantian to support that remark on a ideological basis? And what are according to you the criteria of "revolutionary socalism" and "left wing nationalism"?

Many of these movements were/are based upon flawed conceptions of economic justice, that were/are fundamentally petit-bourgeois in essence. That's to say nothing of the imperialistic, chauvinistic, and/or theocratic elements inherent to a number of them.

One could say that's a prejugment considering the USSR incorperated more than 14 different sovereign Nations into their Socialist empire. One could state that's also a form of imperialism. Most of the "left wing nazist" only wished the reunion of the German empire that was divided after WO I with the Versaille Treaty (with the mass murder of Sudeten Deutscher in the Eastern Bloc as sequential).

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by RedSun on Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:44 pm

From the FAQ:
For purposes of this forum, revolutionary socialism is defined as a socialist tendency based upon a fundamental commitment to the complete abolition of capitalism — this being contrasted to conventional Social Democratic and corporativist models, based upon the partial or complete maintenance of the capitalist mode of production — and the construction of a workers' state.

Note: In this context, no distinction is drawn between literal revolutionary socialists, Blanquists/Vanguardists, democratic socialists, anarchists, etc.


Left-wing nationalism is a unique variety of nationalism that is both thoroughly anti-capitalist and anti-reactionary. As such, this variety of nationalism inherently rejects the theories and tendencies associated with most other expressions thereof — e.g. ethnic chauvinism, economic exploitation, and imperialism.
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Nationaal-Syndicalist on Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:19 am

In my opinion this socialist tendency does fit a lot of the groups i described before. I think it's much too easy to bring everything back to Otto his vision of "Strasserism" (volkssozialismus), because there where very much different revolutionary fractions with very different views that can be linked to the NSDAP.
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by RedSun on Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:57 am

I think it's possible to draw inspiration from the ideologies of left-wing National Socialism while avoiding their reactionary elements.

Returning to the issue of National Bolshevism, I'm corresponding with Peter Wilberg, founder and leader of the National People's Party in the U.K., about this topic. He had difficulty navigating this forum and posting a response, so here it is:

Peter Wilberg wrote:The National People's Party in the U.K. offers a new political-economic focus and a new spiritual-philosophical foundation by which to more clearly define National Bolshevism: as Social Revolutionary Nationalism, National Marxism and National Communism - anti-capitalist, anti-fascist, anti-racist, anti-Zionist – but above all directed against the domination of all nations by the international banking and monetary system and its political puppets.
Read: National Bolshevism - its roots, essence and contemporary relevance
See also A People's Monetary Manifesto. Its central message belongs also to the very essence of National Bolshevism as 'Social Revolutionary Nationalism' - namely that the class struggle has once again become a national struggle against the international banking system: which denies the sovereign right of nations to issue their own interest-free money without having to borrow from the money markets and private banks - thus subjecting them to debt-slavery and even direct rule by unelected bankers. For this truth is now becoming clear to millions of people in Europe and the U.S.
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Rev Scare on Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:47 am

I don't understand why international finance and monetary systems are to receive the brunt of the ire for our present situation. Finance capital is no more exploitative than industrial capital, and both are about equally pernicious.

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Admin on Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:17 am

Rev Scare wrote:I don't understand why international finance and monetary systems are to receive the brunt of the ire for our present situation. Finance capital is no more exploitative than industrial capital, and both are about equally pernicious.

Indeed. I would also like to note that there is nothing of substance to be gained from the so-called radical (ideological) elements of 'left-wing' Nazism. I have always found their criticisms of capitalism sophomoric and unbalanced. (Not surprisingly, their critiques often share the same sort of fixation over finance capital found in the NazBol statement you responded to). That's to say nothing of their proposed 'solutions' to the problem.

As I have said before, theoretical Nazism and fascism, along with their "radical" deviations, all share a common petit-bourgeois premise. (And I needn't remind anyone that the practical applications of Nazism and fascism were far more reactionary in essence.) Their respective proposals may differ, but they are virtually all incapable of transcending this common flaw. Consequentially, a principled socialist would be ill advised to humor such inadequate (and disingenuous) theories, in the hopes of arriving at a genuine conception of social and economic justice.


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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Admin on Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:14 am

Nationaal-Syndicalist wrote:Do you have any concrete substantian to support that remark on a ideological basis?

Certainly. This issue has been addressed numerous times, in numerous threads. In fact, in this very thread (post #4), you will find that I have provided a concise analysis of the primary currents of National Bolshevism.

Strasserism and other heterodox interpretations of National Socialism and fascism have also been explored in threads and their reactionary elements underscored. If you are interested in those assessments, I recommend that you browse through the forum a bit. They are not difficult to find.

And what are according to you the criteria of "revolutionary socalism" and "left wing nationalism"?

See the official FAQ and feel free to browse through our (the ECRSF's) numerous statements on the matter — found throughout the forum.

One could say that's a prejugment considering the USSR incorperated more than 14 different sovereign Nations into their Socialist empire. One could state that's also a form of imperialism.

I have no interest in defending Soviet expansionism. However, no one can deny that there was a strong element of self-defense inherent to Soviet foreign policy — before and during the Cold War. The Third Reich, on the other hand, did not face the sort of isolation and outright belligerence the USSR faced by the international (capitalist) community, by virtue of its mere existence. (In fact, the only thing the frivolous Nazi-apologists can point to, in order to justify Hitler's imperialism and responsibility for WWII, is some inconsequential boycott that was reasonably launched by a number of Jewish-owned businesses.)

Most of the "left wing nazist" only wished the reunion of the German empire that was divided after WO I with the Versaille Treaty (with the mass murder of Sudeten Deutscher in the Eastern Bloc as sequential).

Employing force to annex territories, simply because they were annexed by competing bourgeois states, does not justify the pursuit. The unification of nations and partitioning of territories should be based on the democratic consent of the people that would be affected by such changes.


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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Nationaal-Syndicalist on Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:15 am

Admin wrote:Certainly. This issue has been addressed numerous times, in numerous threads. In fact, in this very thread (post #4), you will find that I have provided a concise analysis of the primary currents of National Bolshevism.

I will take some time to explore the forum for these threads.

Strasserism and other heterodox interpretations of National Socialism and fascism have also been explored in threads and their reactionary elements underscored. If you are interested in those assessments, I recommend that you browse through the forum a bit. They are not difficult to find.

I think one could say that in Germany left-wing Nazism and National-Bolshevism are somewhat the same, with a lot of crossovers and collaboration between the two movements. To state that German leftwing Nazism always has to be "reactionairy" would be the same as stating German National-Bolsjevism is always reactionairy. I certainly don't share that opinion.

I have no interest in defending Soviet expansionism. However, no one can deny that there was a strong element of self-defense inherent to Soviet foreign policy — before and during the Cold War. The Third Reich, on the other hand, did not face the sort of isolation and outright belligerence the USSR faced by the international (capitalist) community, by virtue of its mere existence. (In fact, the only thing the frivolous Nazi-apologists can point to, in order to justify Hitler's imperialism and responsibility for WWII, is some inconsequential boycott that was reasonably launched by a number of Jewish-owned businesses.)

Ofcourse, but none the less is it's imperialism and in no way justifiable. Ofcourse one could always say that there is a difference in theory and practice; utopia don't exist. But pragmatism usually ends in the betrayel of the ideals and the corruption of the ideology.

Employing force to annex territories, simply because they were annexed by competing bourgeois states, does not justify the pursuit. The unification of nations and partitioning of territories should be based on the democratic consent of the people that would be affected by such changes.

The Soviet expansion wasn't a democratic expansion either; it may not have been a bourgeois State, but that still doesn't justify what happened.
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by RedSun on Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:15 pm

Admin, could you go into a bit more detail on why you think the NPP's criticisms and solutions are faulty, and on how even left-wing Nazism starts from a petit-bourgeois premise?
I agree that National Bolshevism needs to work against industrial capital as well as international finance, but I'm not sure how that makes their existing criticisms invalid.

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Admin on Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:50 pm

Nationaal-Syndicalist wrote:I think one could say that in Germany left-wing Nazism and National-Bolshevism are somewhat the same, with a lot of crossovers and collaboration between the two movements.

There is far too much ideological heterogeneity inherent to the movements that fell/fall within those fluid rubrics (particularly National Bolshevism) to arrive at such a conclusion.

However, one could certainly argue that specific expressions of 'National Bolshevism' — especially those groups that are cut from the same proverbial cloth as the Russian National Bolshevik Front (NBF) — can be regarded similarly to various "left-wing" Nazi groups.

To state that German leftwing Nazism always has to be "reactionairy" would be the same as stating German National-Bolsjevism is always reactionairy. I certainly don't share that opinion.

Due to the aforementioned heterogeneity that exists between groups that expropriate these labels for themselves, I would agree that judgement should be reserved and each group/individual should be assessed on a case by case basis. At the same time, however, I must say that any "Nazi" group that maintains an ideological premise that is congruent with the principles of revolutionary socialism and left-wing nationalism is more than just a little aberrant. In fact, I would argue that any such group is a political paradox.

Ofcourse, but none the less is it's imperialism and in no way justifiable.

It may not have been justifiable, but it was rational, given the position the USSR was in.

Let me be clear, I am not suggesting that Soviet foreign policy was some sort of quintessential political manifestation of left-wing nationalism. That being said, I have no problem acknowledging that Lenin's positions on national self-determination can largely be regarded as congruent with left-wing nationalist principles.

Ofcourse one could always say that there is a difference in theory and practice; utopia don't exist. But pragmatism usually ends in the betrayel of the ideals and the corruption of the ideology.

Well, I don't think that 'utopia' has anything to do with it. Lenin's proposals on national self-determination were extremely practical (and, in my view, indispensable to a post-capitalist international environment). However, I do agree with you in that various 'pragmatic' decisions can often jeopardize the integrity of a revolution. This is especially problematic when it comes to (socialist) state policies undertaken in an international political climate characterized by bourgeois hegemony.

The Soviet expansion wasn't a democratic expansion either; it may not have been a bourgeois State, but that still doesn't justify what happened.

I never said that it did. My point concerns the "left-wing" Nazi position on the reunification of the 'German Empire'.

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Nationaal-Syndicalist on Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:33 am

Admin wrote:There is far too much ideological heterogeneity inherent to the movements that fell/fall within those fluid rubrics (particularly National Bolshevism) to arrive at such a conclusion.

I agree. That's also the reason why I don't agree that every form of "left wing Nazism" is necessarily reactionary. "Leftwing Nazism" is much more than only Strasserism, there where more ideological visions in the NSDAP/Stahlhelm camp.

However, one could certainly argue that specific expressions of 'National Bolshevism' — especially those groups that are cut from the same proverbial cloth as the Russian National Bolshevik Front (NBF) — can be regarded similarly to various "left-wing" Nazi groups.

Russian National-Bolshevism and Weimar National-Bolsjevism are two very different things. In Weimar Germany the National-Bolshevists and Nazi's greatly influenced each others ideas. And both these old ideological manifestations have very little to do with the modern "National-Bolsjevism" of Limonov and Dugin in my opinion.

But what to say about "leftwing Nazi's" like Richard Scheringer who's S.A. division joint the ranks of the KPD, where he later on became a important executive of the KPD untill the late 50's (when the party was officially banned by the goverment). Or the elements within the Freikorps structures of Stahlhelm with "Der blick nach Osten" view, who wanted collaboration with the Soviet Union to fight the Western Capitalism. Or the renegade RAF activist Horst Mähler who left the Communist camp to join the ranks of the "far right Nationalists". The post war "Nazi Maoist" manifestations and so on. One could state that the border between reactionary/revolutionary - Nazi/Commie was very narrow in Weimar and post-war Germany.

Due to the aforementioned heterogeneity that exists between groups that expropriate these labels for themselves, I would agree that judgement should be reserved and each group/individual should be assessed on a case by case basis.

I fully agree.

At the same time, however, I must say that any "Nazi" group that maintains an ideological premise that is congruent with the principles of revolutionary socialism and left-wing nationalism is more than just a little aberrant. In fact, I would argue that any such group is a political paradox.

I think that's different in each nation, ofcourse the situation in countries like Germany or France with a long heterodox Nationalist and Socialist tradition is probably very different from countries as the USA who don't know such a tradition. "National-Socialism" in the US is more about "white supremecy" than the original doctrines and the conservative revolution they grew out of.

It may not have been justifiable, but it was rational, given the position the USSR was in.

Don't get me wrong or take this as an insult, but to me that's about the same excuse as Nazi-apologists use if they talk about the throttling Treaty of Versailles and the annexation of German territory. From their viewpoint it's completely rational and for that part i can agree.

However, I do agree with you in that various 'pragmatic' decisions can often jeopardize the integrity of a revolution. This is especially problematic when it comes to (socialist) state policies undertaken in an international political climate characterized by bourgeois hegemony.

I agree, pragmatism can be a neccesity and a stumbling block.

My point concerns the "left-wing" Nazi position on the reunification of the 'German Empire'.

"German Empire" can mean a number of things; for some it was only claiming back the territory that was annexated from Germany ("Das Kaiserreich") after World War I. Most of the people who lived in these territtories where etnic Germans who became a minority after the annexation that was endangered by pogroms. In my opion a very legitimate demand.

That's ofcourse something completely different than the imperialist strive for "lebenraum" and the aspirations for a pan-Germanist Third Reich (modelled after the Sacrum Romanum Imperium) by Hitler and other reactionaries.
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Celtiberian on Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:21 pm

Peter Wilberg wrote:The National People's Party in the U.K. offers a new political-economic focus and a new spiritual-philosophical foundation by which to more clearly define National Bolshevism: as Social Revolutionary Nationalism, National Marxism and National Communism - anti-capitalist, anti-fascist, anti-racist, anti-Zionist – but above all directed against the domination of all nations by the international banking and monetary system and its political puppets.

Like others, I'm perplexed as to why Mr. Wilberg has placed such emphasis on international finance capital. I agree that private financial institutions in general are exploitative, but fixating on international finance capital, in my opinion, is a poor tactic for any political party that aspires to amass a decent following. The fact of the matter is, currency manipulation, exchange rates, etc. are of little interest or concern to average working people, as they possess neither the time nor inclination to learn about such issues—and, frankly, I don't blame them, as it's an extraordinarily dull history. People do, however, care about the issues immediately facing them in day-to-day life: the increasingly precarious nature of employment, the transparently unfair method of remuneration for work, the authoritarian structure of capitalist workplaces, exorbitant interest rates, the inability to afford the necessities of life, etc.—all of which stem from private ownership of the means of production, wage labor, and the market system of allocation. In my opinion, it makes far more sense for organizations to stress the injustice of those features of capitalism, since they resonate more with the concerns of ordinary people.

Its central message belongs also to the very essence of National Bolshevism as 'Social Revolutionary Nationalism' - namely that the class struggle has once again become a national struggle against the international banking system: which denies the sovereign right of nations to issue their own interest-free money without having to borrow from the money markets and private banks - thus subjecting them to debt-slavery and even direct rule by unelected bankers.

The class struggle has always been a national struggle, since it's ludicrous to assume that the proletarian revolution could ever occur simultaneously across the globe. Serious revolutionaries understand this; cosmopolitans, on the other hand, do not. We needn't emphasize international finance capital to get people to understand that revolutions are invariably national in orientation.


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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by RedSun on Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:53 pm

I think Mr Wilberg is emphasising finance capital as a way of showing the relevance of National Bolshevism for repairing the current economic difficulties, especially in Europe, by replacing the private banks with national ones. I'd agree, however, that it's not a message which will spread easily among most people.

As for a national orientation in revolutions, considering the difficulty we've experienced with idiots such as those at RevLeft, I think he's aiming his message at cosmopolitans instead of 'preaching to the choir'.

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by RedSun on Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:25 am

I asked Mr Wilberg for a response to your comment, Celtiberian, and he pointed out firstly that Hitler and the German Communist Party suffered no loss of popular support for focusing on international finance capital, and to dismiss it would be ignorant given its applicability, say, to the people of Greece right now.
"Unfair renumeration of work" and "the precarious nature of employment": he responded that not only wages but jobs are being cut in order to bail out banks.
"Inability to afford the necessities of life": on average 30-40% of the cost of everyday products goes entirely towards paying interest to the banks
"Interest rates": currently at their lowest level, aside from those imposed by international banks on entire nations or the interest the banks have to charge even on ordinary people with overdrafts on credit cards or accounts.
Mr Wilberg's own son has a steady paying job but lives below minimum wage because most of his salary is owed to banks. Many people are experiencing great difficulty in getting even small loans, at least without being charged exorbitantly, because the banks are currently attempting to hoard 3,000,000 Euros in order to protect themselves from their own greed.
He essentially states that international finance capital not only privately owns the entire monetary supply of nations, but essentially owns the means of production-- and is now profiting from destroying them because bankers can make billions by betting on a company failing. For further reading, he suggests you more carefully read both his 'A National Bolshevik Alternative' at nationalbolshevism.blogspot.com and the writings of Marx and Lenin regarding 'fictitious capital' and the parasitism of finance capital on industrial capital.

I apologise for parroting Mr Wilberg's response instead of formulating my own, but I'm still working out where I stand, and I think he makes good points.
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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Celtiberian on Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:04 pm

RedSun wrote:As for a national orientation in revolutions, considering the difficulty we've experienced with idiots such as those at RevLeft, I think he's aiming his message at cosmopolitans instead of 'preaching to the choir'.

In my opinion, it's a waste of time attempting to explain to the cosmopolitan left that the proletarian revolution will be national in orientation, they're simply too indoctrinated to acknowledge that. What the National People's Party, and every other socialist or communist organization for that matter, should be engaged in right now is reaching out to average working people. The cosmopolitan left is a fringe movement, consisting of a meager support base; it's really not worth the effort.

Hitler and the German Communist Party suffered no loss of popular support for focusing on international finance capital, and to dismiss it would be ignorant given its applicability, say, to the people of Greece right now.

The NSDAP's support primarily came from the recently proletarianized petite bourgeoisie and certain state sector workers (many teachers for some reason). The hyperinflation caused by the Treaty of Versailles was obviously an enormous concern to the petite bourgeoisie, as it lowered them to the status of unemployed workers. For this reason, the 25 Point Program was specifically designed to present the NSDAP as the potential saviors of the disenfranchised petite bourgeoisie.

Every communist party of significance has acknowledged the detrimental effects of finance capital. What they don't do, however, is emphasize private financial institutions as being the only negative element within the capitalist mode of production—as fascists frequently do.

With respect to Greece and the current Eurozone crisis, international finance capital is certainly at fault, but not exclusively (for an excellent explanation of the crisis, see Yanis Varoufakis's recent lecture at the Brecht Forum). The financialization of capital witnessed over the past few decades has been the direct result of the contradictions of capitalism itself. The fact of the matter is, the profitability of manufacturing goods and services has been in significant decline since the end of post–World War II economic expansion, thereby compelling the bourgeoisie to invest less in industrial capital and more in finance—I recommend reading Paul Sweezy and Paul Baran's work on monopoly capital.

"Unfair renumeration of work" and "the precarious nature of employment": he responded that not only wages but jobs are being cut in order to bail out banks.

By "unfair remuneration" I was referring to the unjust distribution of income under market systems.

State sector work is definitely being cut, but that's because of the diminishing tax revenue affecting states' budgets, due to the current predicament of the private sector, e.g., mass unemployment caused by insufficient consumer demand. The taxpayer bailouts of the banks, while obviously contemptible, were merely a response to a crisis which was just as much "Main Street's" fault as it was Wall Street's.

"Interest rates": currently at their lowest level, aside from those imposed by international banks on entire nations or the interest the banks have to charge even on ordinary people with overdrafts on credit cards or accounts.

I was referring to the interest rates of consumer credit.

He essentially states that international finance capital not only privately owns the entire monetary supply of nations, but essentially owns the means of production-- and is now profiting from destroying them because bankers can make billions by betting on a company failing.

Corporations are owned by shareholders, some of which are indeed financial institutions. The sole task of a corporation's board of directors, however, is maximizing short-term profit in order to stay competitive—they accomplish this by way of automation, offshoring, supporting policies which increase the size of the labor market, advertisement, planned obsolescence, etc. The reason we've witnessed so many business failures over the past four years is because there simply isn't adequate aggregate demand to absorb the amount of goods and services being produced, which inevitably leads to overproduction. This is very much a structural crisis of capitalism, because the system is fundamentally incapable of reconciling increases in productivity with the market forces which compel employers to minimize labor expenditures.

he suggests you more carefully read both his 'A National Bolshevik Alternative' at nationalbolshevism.blogspot.com and the writings of Marx and Lenin regarding 'fictitious capital' and the parasitism of finance capital on industrial capital.

I've already read his website, and Marx and Lenin's writings on finance capital.

I apologise for parroting Mr Wilberg's response instead of formulating my own, but I'm still working out where I stand, and I think he makes good points.

No need to apologize. Wilberg does raise valid points, I just disagree with certain aspects of his economic analysis and the tactics he's pursuing in the National People's Party.


Last edited by Celtiberian on Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:28 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Rev Scare on Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:09 pm

RedSun wrote:He essentially states that international finance capital not only privately owns the entire monetary supply of nations, but essentially owns the means of production-- and is now profiting from destroying them because bankers can make billions by betting on a company failing. For further reading, he suggests you more carefully read both his 'A National Bolshevik Alternative' at nationalbolshevism.blogspot.com and the writings of Marx and Lenin regarding 'fictitious capital' and the parasitism of finance capital on industrial capital.

While Celtiberian has already treated this matter sufficiently, I would simply like to interpolate. The fact that financial institutions own large shares of major companies should come as no surprise to anybody who comprehends the basics of capitalism's laws of motion. All capitalists seek to expand (or "valorize") the value of their capital: that is the "nature" of capital accumulation. This is no less true for industrial capitalists as it is for financiers, merchants, renters, etc. Simply put, all capitalists are "unproductive" (all are parasites) in the common sense of the word, in that only labor actually produces; what differentiates industrialists from other capitalists is their employment of wage labor in the production process.

"Fictitious" capital is merely an ownership title to future production, but the extent to which financial capitalists are involved in (i.e., own) the production process does nothing to alter the social relations that govern the way capitalism operates. Volume III of Capital expounds fictitious capital, but it hardly sets forth a justification for decrying finance capital as some exception to the rule.

As an end note, truly beginning around the 1890s, significant corporate mergers have existed as a continuous phenomenon, and this process has accelerated quite dramatically over the last few decades, as evidenced by the formation of spectacular conglomerates. The political ramifications of this economic feature cannot be overstated, as major political investment blocs often integrate and destabilize along such lines. This invariably influences government policy to suit whichever investment bloc happens to prevail (whether it be composed of industrialists, financiers, merchants, etc., but usually some combination thereof).

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Once more on finance capitalism, National Bolshevism - and why the time is ripe for an organised Socialist Phalanx!

Post by natbol on Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:46 am

I still think that Celtiberian and many others have still not grasped the sheer extent and historical significance of the global financialisation of capitalism.

It’s as if anything that goes a little beyond what I’m afraid I can only see as old-fashioned socialist platitudes is seen as in some way threatening. Not that there is anything wrong about pointing out the innate contradictions of industrial and productive capitalism as Marx understood them – here there is no disagreement at all.

The point however, is that capitalism has been attempting to use the massive expansion of fictitious capital and financial credit as a last ditch attempt to prevent these contradictions coming to the boil. For example if workers can use such means as credit cards to pay for commodities, demand is maintained, even whilst real wages stagnate or decline. That is why in Britain domestic debt to the banks now amounts to 106% of GDP, whilst in the U.S. credit card debt alone amounted to $886 billion in 2010.

I strongly agree that “…the financialization of capital witnessed over the past few decades has been the direct result of the contradictions of capitalism itself. The fact of the matter is, the profitability of manufacturing goods and services has been in significant decline since the end of post–World War II economic expansion, thereby compelling the bourgeoisie to invest less in industrial capital and more in finance.."

Yet the result of this is now a wholly different type of contradiction and crisis of capitalism - yet one with the most dire economic implications not for the people of nations such as Greece (which is now recognised as taking on the scale of a humanitarian catastrophe) but also for the nature of the whole capitalist political system.

“I recommend reading Paul Sweezy and Paul Baran's work on monopoly capital.”

I read this excellent work many decades ago. The point of Wilberg and others that clearly needs repeating however is that today ‘monopoly capital’ takes the form of a complete monopolisation of the money supply of nations by the private banking sector, thus allowing those nations to be blackmailed by the banks to accepting debtocracy, fiscal fascism, austerity terrorism - and debt penury.

So I would also recommend reading the article in Monthly Review on the financialisation of capitalism - see http://monthlyreview.org/2008/04/01/the-financialization-of-capital-and-the-crisis

As for Yanis Varoufakis, what about Aris Hatzistefanou and his film Debtocracy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKpxPo-lInk )
For here is a Greek economist who clearly sees a need not only for Greece to default on its debt and leave the Euro but also to nationalise the banks.

“The hyperinflation caused by the Treaty of Versailles was obviously an enormous concern to the petite bourgeoisie, as it lowered them to the status of unemployed workers. For this reason, the 25 Point Program was specifically designed to present the NSDAP as the potential saviors of the disenfranchised petite bourgeoisie.”

I beg to differ! The idea that the period of hyperinflation in Germany affected only the petit bourgeoisie, is I’m afraid simply patent nonsense to anyone who actually lived through that period – as did my own father (1900-1979) before he became active in the thirties in the longest surviving anti-Nazi underground resistance party.

“Every communist party of significance has acknowledged the detrimental effects of finance capital. What they don't do, however, is emphasize private financial institutions as being the only negative element within the capitalist mode of production—as fascists frequently do.”

Why is it then, that the Communist Party of Russia – by far the biggest CP in the world today – does acknowledge that surrender to international finance capitalism (for example through Russia’ entry to the WTO) is the principal threat to the Russian workers and farmers right now?

And the fact that unelected ‘debtocrats’ are now simply installed as rulers of countries such as Greece and Italy (the fount of ‘fascism’) under pressure from the European banks and international financial markets - and that countries such as the U.S. are using police-state tactics against the Occupy Wall Street movement is a clear sign of a new type of ‘fascism’ emerging – one explicitly aimed at defending rather than fighting international finance capitalism.

It also seems strange to me to suggest that Wilberg’s National Bolshevism is an attempt “to explain to the cosmopolitan Left that the proletarian revolution will be national in orientation”.

I do not think that the Greek, Spanish and Portuguese people need anyone to “explain” to them that their struggle is a national one as well as a social and class one.

Yet the media – themselves controlled by financiers – are constantly blackmailing them by warning of the effect of defaulting on their debts or leaving the Euro - telling them that they wouldn’t be able to receive their wages or even get money from cashpoints. The message is always the same – namely the Big Lie that there no alternative to the creation of money than through borrowing from private and international banks - and that the only solution is yet harsher ‘austerity measures’.

What the people do need is a precisely a new ‘Socialist Phalanx’ – whether under this name or that of ‘National Bolshevism’ – one that exposes this Big Lie, makes it clear that there is an alternative – and explains exactly what that alternative is.

This is the aim of the newly written manifesto at www.nationalbolshevism.org set outs, with its program for the establishment of new National People’s Banks and new National People’s Assemblies - elected by regional, municipal and enterprise-based workers councils – the aim of the National Communists post-Versailles Germany.

Yet it could be argued that at no time in history has finance capitalism become a more central issue than today, and with it one the central planks of the Communist Manifesto itself: namely “the centralisation of credit in the hands of the state.”

What the ‘Old-Marxist Left’ does not seem to want to understand – but what I am sure would in no way have gone unnoticed by Marx himself -is that a new creditor class has gained the upper hand over corporate capitalists, getting them on board through such incentives as allowing them to award themselves huge bonuses from shares in their own companies and to speculate freely with these shares.

Indeed totally fraudulent, unregulated ‘insider trading’ on the part of corporate CEOs is occurring on a massive scale right now – and going totally unpunished.

But by far the most important reason for the emphasis on finance capitalism is that what is happening in Europe and the U.S. today is pointing us to what is effectively an Endgame or ‘Plan B’ of the 1%’ – one that is right now being prepared and enacted in anticipation of the final collapse, not just the Euro or industrial capitalism but of capitalism as such.

In a way that would have made perfect sense to Marx, this ‘plan B’ is essentially to roll back history and effect a reactionary return to a type of two-class system of global neo-feudalism based on debt peonage i.e. a system by which debtors are bound in servitude to their creditors until their debts are paid.

As socialists we need to be ‘ahead of the game’ – not least this ‘endgame’ plan of the ruling class - and not lag behind it!

Similarly we need to reverse the old Nazi game of seeing Communists as easy prey for ‘conversion’. Instead, we need as much to convert the nationalist right to renewing their focus on finance capitalism as convert the left to social nationalism - and in this unite 'right wing' nationalists and 'left wing; socialists under the old slogan of National Bolshevism:

TOTALLY LEFT! TOTALLY RIGHT!

To summarise: ‘National Bolshevism’ as Wilberg presents it can be seen and bold and deliberately provocative way to openly and proudly proclaim a new and organised Socialist Phalanx – one that can not only put forward a clear practical program of immediate action for countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy – but that also sees through and stays ahead of the game being now being enacted by the ruling creditor class of today.

Now is the time stop just dreaming or talking about ‘socialisation of the means of production’ but to seize the day and seize the hour, recognising - as more and more movements and people are doing all over the world - that the first step towards socialism must be the replacement of the international monetary and banking system by National People's Banks, and the replacement of so-called ‘sovereign debt’ (i.e. debt slavery) by truly sovereign money’ or ‘social credit’. The idea of 'social credit' is of course is one which the ‘Old-Marxist’ and Trotskyist ‘international socialists' movement simply dismiss out of hand as un-Marxist. In reality - albeit as understood through the Marxist lens of National Bolshevism - it is Marxism at its best and most powerful i.e. applied with ruthless precision to understanding the nature and significance of historical changes in political-economic systems - in this case the capitalist system itself.

So I suggest you look again at the new www.nationalbolshevism.org site, but also perhaps at the articles of Ellen Brown (www.webofdebt.com) on public banking, the program of the 'Positive Money' movement in the U.K. (www.positivemoney.org.uk ) and the new proposals being advanced by die Linke in Germany for public money creation.

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by TheocWulf on Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:39 pm

Ive just read through this thread,Ive got nothing to add at this time but this is what (in my opinion) this forum is all about reasoned debate about real time issues by both parties who have the intrest of the workers at heart.

Ill be watching this thread closely as its given me alot to think about.

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Re: National Bolshevism

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:10 pm

natbol wrote:It’s as if anything that goes a little beyond what I’m afraid I can only see as old-fashioned socialist platitudes is seen as in some way threatening.

I resent the suggestion that my economic analysis amounts to mere "old-fashioned socialist platitudes."

The point however, is that capitalism has been attempting to use the massive expansion of fictitious capital and financial credit as a last ditch attempt to prevent these contradictions coming to the boil.

Capitalism isn't a conscious being, capable of picking and choosing how it will express itself at any given moment. It's a mode of production wherein economic actors adjust themselves according to the internal dialectics of the system. If technology has reached such a point where investment in production is no longer profitable, the relative strength of finance will inevitably increase for a time. That produces its own set of contradictions, but it's ultimately reducible to the anarchic nature of capitalism itself.

Yet the result of this is now a wholly different type of contradiction and crisis of capitalism - yet one with the most dire economic implications not for the people of nations such as Greece (which is now recognised as taking on the scale of a humanitarian catastrophe) but also for the nature of the whole capitalist political system.

Whether one adheres to traditional Marxian crisis theory or the more contemporary left-Keynesian/Marxist synthesis will determine whether they view this crisis as yet another crisis of accumulation (the former) or a new manifestation of crises in inadequate aggregate demand (the latter). Personally, I'm undecided on the question. Nevertheless, it's inaccurate to claim crises of financialization are anymore "dire" than more traditional crises in production. The consequences of any economic crisis are going to be horrendous now due in large part to the manner in which populations have expanded and diversified, and because of the political and technological changes (e.g., globalization, European integration, new mechanisms of social control, etc.) which have transpired over the last century.

So I would also recommend reading the article in Monthly Review on the financialisation of capitalism - see http://monthlyreview.org/2008/04/01/the-financialization-of-capital-and-the-crisis

I'm an avid follower of the Monthly Review, and I read John Bellamy Foster's The Great Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences a year ago, which is basically an elaborated version of the article you linked to. He incorporated financialization into the Sweezy-Baran monopoly capital model quite well.

As for Yanis Varoufakis, what about Aris Hatzistefanou and his film Debtocracy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKpxPo-lInk )
For here is a Greek economist who clearly sees a need not only for Greece to default on its debt and leave the Euro but also to nationalise the banks.

I'll be sure to look into Hatzistefanou's work.

Like all socialists, the nationalization of financial institutions is a policy which I've advocated on behalf of for years, so I fully understand its importance. However, the transformation of banks into public utilities, while undoubtedly beneficial, will not solve the crises of capital, nor will it represent a complete abrogation of bourgeois social relations. Consequently, to structure a party program almost entirely around the nationalization of finance, as the National People's Party does, is, in my view, reformist rather than revolutionary.

I beg to differ! The idea that the period of hyperinflation in Germany affected only the petit bourgeoisie, is I’m afraid simply patent nonsense to anyone who actually lived through that period – as did my own father (1900-1979) before he became active in the thirties in the longest surviving anti-Nazi underground resistance party.

I didn't write that hyperinflation "only" affects the petite bourgeoisie, but rather that they are disproportionately affected by it. Since they tend to have much of their wealth in savings, as opposed to tangible assets, hyperinflation quickly proletarianizes them—which, in turn, radicalizes them and prompts them to search for parties promising to rehabilitate their social class. Individuals on fixed incomes, and especially finance capital, are also negatively affected by hyperinflation. Proletarians generally have little to no savings, and those who are heavily indebted actually benefit from hyperinflation, since it suddenly becomes possible for them to pay the debts owed to their creditors with ease. Proletarians only significantly suffer from inflation when wage increases aren't accompanied by said inflation, and the state and capital take measures to combat the inflation, e.g., mass unemployment to discipline labor, allowing real interest rates to rise, etc.

Why is it then, that the Communist Party of Russia – by far the biggest CP in the world today – does acknowledge that surrender to international finance capitalism (for example through Russia’ entry to the WTO) is the principal threat to the Russian workers and farmers right now?

As I said, there is not a single socialist or communist party which denies the negative impact finance capital has on the proletariat. No one, least of all me, is suggesting we "surrender to international finance capitalism." What we do emphasize, however, is the importance of not missing the proverbial "forest for the trees."

It also seems strange to me to suggest that Wilberg’s National Bolshevism is an attempt “to explain to the cosmopolitan Left that the proletarian revolution will be national in orientation”.

It wasn't I who claimed that Wilberg is making an overture to the cosmopolitan Left. That suggestion was put forth by RedSun, who happens to be in correspondence with Wilberg.

I do not think that the Greek, Spanish and Portuguese people need anyone to “explain” to them that their struggle is a national one as well as a social and class one.

I don't think they do either.

What the people do need is a precisely a new ‘Socialist Phalanx’ – whether under this name or that of ‘National Bolshevism’ – one that exposes this Big Lie, makes it clear that there is an alternative – and explains exactly what that alternative is.

I agree. However, I believe the "Big Lie" which most needs to be debunked is the notion that there's "no alternative" to capitalism in toto.

Similarly we need to reverse the old Nazi game of seeing Communists as easy prey for ‘conversion’. Instead, we need as much to convert the nationalist right to renewing their focus on finance capitalism as convert the left to social nationalism - and in this unite 'right wing' nationalists and 'left wing

The last thing we need to do is to divert time and resources to a moribund far Right, which is steadfast in its opposition to anything even remotely associated with communism or socialism. Likewise, we needn't convince the cosmopolitan Left of the legitimacy of the socialist nationalist position. They're both numerically insignificant. Instead, what we need to focus our political attention on is the mainstream working class. I'm not suggesting we don't engage with those on the cosmopolitan Left or fascist Right in general, only that we do so on an individual basis and not as part of a political project.

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