Blame Canada? Limonov & National Bolshevism

Now this is odd. Fred Weir is a reporter at the Christian Science Monitor, and he’s on the job (July 6 edition) and on the trail of Eduard Limonov…

Meeting Eduard Limonov: Correspondent Fred Weir says that he’s followed Russian politician Eduard Limonov’s career since he returned to Russia in the early 1990s. But this was the first time he’s interviewed him (see story); very few journalists seem to actually make the effort to do that.

“He was extremely amused when I told him about the Canadian anarchist blog, which cleverly quotes a slew of Moscow-based journalists defining him as everything from one end of the political spectrum to the other,” says Fred.

He cleared that up: He’s a classical left-winger, at least nowadays.

“He’s by far the most colorful character on the Russian political landscape, and I suspect he owes that to the years he spent in New York and Paris,” says Fred. “He obviously learned the value of political street theater as a way of attracting attention, even if his activists pay a high price for it. He has a way of talking in quotable sound bites, where most Russian politicians are unbearably long-winded and circuitous. And he was quite mild and likeable, not at all the fire-breathing monster he’s depicted to be in some quarters.

Which may well be the case. But as to the Canadian anarchist blog… I’m not positive, but I think that this may in fact be a reference to my own, and a post I made in April, on the subject of Bolsheviks. National Bolsheviks. In it I quoted from a number of media sources, sources (including Fred) which enabled me (perhaps cleverly) to summarise Limonov as follows: “a little enigmatic irreverent ultra-nationalist radical leftist Russian Slavophilic insect and ex-punk rocker with a provocative sense of political theatre and a militant, gangster-worshipping mentality who writes existentialist pornographic novels”.

As for the political complexion of the party which he leads, of note in this context is the work of Kevin Coogan, who makes a number of references to ‘national bolshevism’ in his biography of (good) fascist thinker Francis Parker Yockey called Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International. According to Coogan, the term ‘national bolshevist’:

was first used to describe a wing of the early German Communist Party, which supported the Russian Revolution but did not want to be under the total diktat of Moscow. It was later applied to those elements of the German right who wanted to pursue a foreign policy orientation to the East. For a discussion of national bolshevism, see Klemens von Klemperer, “Towards a Fourth Reich? The History of National Bolshevism in Germany”, in The Review of Politics, No.13, 1951.

Chapter 55 of Coogan’s biography, ‘The Mysterious Book of Vles‘, goes into some small detail regarding contemporary Russian fascism:

The most virulent fascist movement in Europe today [Coogan’s valuable work was published in 1999] exists not in Germany but in Russia. The collapse of the Soviet Union has led to a “Red-Brown alliance,” a strange ideological coalition that has united many of Russia’s fascists with powerful elements inside the old Communist party elite and Soviet national security establishment. The Red-Brown alliance has also been encouraged by Euroright supporters of Jean-François Thiriart. In August 1992, just three months before his death, Thiriart and Michel Schneider, the editor of the now-defunct national bolshevist publication Nationalisme et République, visited Moscow for talks with high-ranking Soviet officials, including current [and continuing] Russian Communist Party boss Gennadi Zyuganov.

The Red-Brown axis is supported by former GRECE member and Thiriart disciple Christian Bouchet’s group Nouvelle Résistance (publisher of Lutte de Peuple) [1991–1997] and the Milan-based journal Orion. In 1991 Bouchet helped found a new European Liberation Front in honour of Yockey. These same circles assisted Alain de Benoist in arranging his March 1992 trip to Moscow…

In Australia — not Canada — ‘national bolshevism’ finds resonances in the theoretical work of Australia First fuehrer Dr. James Saleam; both he and Holocaust denialist Welf Herfurth are attempting to popularise the work of writers such as Yockey and de Benoist, and the Sydney Forum over which both reside proclaims itself to be ‘beyond left and right’. But while Saleam is attached to a highly reactionary form of Australian nationalism, Herfurth in particular is keen to appropriate more contemporary radical imagery in order to pursue his own brand of fascist politics. In a recent article for the far right groupuscule New Right Australia/New Zealand, Herfurth writes that “The face of today’s leftism is not the hammer and sickle, and the proletarian working-man in overalls and a cap, but the black outfits of the anarchist radicals at the 1999 WTO conference in Seattle (the ‘Battle of Seattle’) or the demonstrations against the G-20 [sic] summit [in] Rostock, Germany in 2007.”

Tsk tsk.

Appendix

    ‘The Red Brown Scandal’
    REFLEXes international
    No.1 (part 2/3)
    1994[?]

    Republished in Humeurs Noires, a publication of the Humeurs Noires group, a member (1987–1998) of the French Anarchist Federation.

    __________________________________________________________________

    Earlier this year, a major scandal erupted in France over the exposed links between communists and the extreme right. Known as the Red-Brown scandal, these links sought to build the politics of national-bolshevism in France.

    The term national-bolshevism joins two very precise political concepts. “National” is of course a reference to nationalism, that is to say an over-valuation of national characters, national independence, the unity of the nation, eventually integrating racial characteristics etc. “Bolshevism” refers to two different ideas; the first, strictly meaning the majority faction (Bolsheviks) of the social-democratic workers party in Russia. Thus bolshevism refers to Leninism, or a possible interpretation of the works of Karl Marx and the organisational conclusions that the ideology draws, particularly in Lenin’s major works; the necessity of a structured and disciplined party representing the avant-garde of the proletariat and leading it during a revolution. But more generally, bolshevism refers to a political and economic system established after the taking of power by the Bolsheviks in October 1917, thanks to the progressive elimination of the workers’ council system to which they were fundamentally opposed.(1)

    Logically, these two terms do not appear to have much in common, apart from being two bourgeois ideologies from the 19th century. However, European political evolution has seen national-bolshevism become a dominant movement. Thus in Germany, national-bolshevism designated the movement led by the Strasser brothers, and represented the left-wing of the NSDAP (Nazi Party). Gregor Strasser, a trainee chemist, joined in the post-WWI period first the DAP, then the NSDAP. His first years as a militant were deeply rooted for him in the themes that he would develop later; social inequality, extreme misery after the war, the humiliation of Germany, revolutionary fervour…

    At the end of June 1993, following an enquiry by the journalist Marieue Besnard and the novelist Didier Daeninck, the French satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine revealed links that united communists and right extremists, notably concerning the collaboration of certain journals such as L’Idiot International and Le Choc du Mois.(2) The relative failure of the attempt by the new right to infiltrate the classic right, the evolution of a section of members of GRECE(3) who joined the Front National, political chances (the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of communism, the liberal consensus in Europe) led to new orientations; in 1989 Robert Steuckers(4) estimated that “the new right finds itself faced with a challenge — to renew its discourse, to monopolise the new intellectual paths (Foucault, Deleuze, Guattari, Gusdorf, Peguy etc), to create a transplant between the new ideological language and its existing body”.(5)

    The Belgian new right were the first to study the German national-bolshevik Ernst Niekisch. Following that, one saw a flourishing in the new right press of references to philosophers and leftist writers, and the sometimes pure and simple theft of libertarian slogans criticising the consumer society and the ideology of work, for example.(6) This with the aim, of course, of affirming ideas of inequality, of separate development, behind leftist terminology, but also of erasing the left-right opposition and making appear new “peripheral convergences fighting the world of merchandise and all the power of economic reason”.(7)

    On May 12, 1993, Alain de Benoist, of GRECE, pleaded for the abandonment of the left-right distinction, with him preferring the notion of a “centre” and a “periphery”, the first being composed of a “dominant ideology”, the second “regrouping all those who do not accept this ideology” (this being an adapted version of analyses on links between centre countries in the northern hemisphere and peripheral countries in the southern hemisphere). This speech would have been unremarkable if it had not taken place at a conference organised by Franceue Lazare, a member of the executive council of the French Communist Party. No one in the communist ranks found fault with any of that.(8)

    A week later, the magazine Elements (published by GRECE) invited Marc Cohen, Communist Party member and editor of L’Idiot International, to come and speak there about the “recomposition of the French intellectual landscape”. Edward Limonov,(9) editorial consultant at L’ Idiot, also collaborated on Revolution, a weekly Communist Party magazine aimed at intellectuals; like Le Choc du Mois, the extreme right monthly, it is modern, swaggering and intellectually aggressive.(10) Finally, last May, L’Idiot published the article ‘Towards A National Front’ by Jean-Paul Cruse. This communist, a trade unionist and journalist on the daily leftist newspaper Liberation, proposed “an authoritarian politics of redressment for the country” which would rally “people of spirit against people of things, civilisation against merchandise — and the greatness of nations against the balkanisation of the world… under the order of Wall street, international Zionism, the Frankfurt exchange and the dwarfs of Tokyo”.(11) Decidedly, a conspiracy theory. Because for Cruse “the destruction caused by the old left opens nothing new in the field”. It would be necessary therefore “to forge a new alliance”, a “front” to “regroup Pasqua, ll Chevenement,(12) the communists and ultra-nationalists” a new front for a “violent burst of industrial and cultural nationalism”. The national office of Cruse’s trade union responded in a press release by affirming Cruse’s right to freedom of speech and condemning his position, recalling that “these ideas are not those of the CGT” and that it fought them “with all its might”. Not by opportunism but by deep conviction.(13)

    Anti-Americanism has always been in France a value shared for different reasons by most of the political forces. From Gaullists to Communists via the extreme right and extreme left, America finds itself accused of not being a true historical nation, of taking without understanding the principles of the Lumieres(14) and the universal values of the French Revolution, and of wanting to dominate the whole of the planet. The collapse of communism and the Gulf War have revived this feeling. As Daeninck noted in his enquiry. there are strong convergences with nationalist-revolutionaries on anti-Americanism, the exaltation of nationalism, a radical critique of social democracy and the rejection of liberalism.

    It is thus certain that a current of national-bolshevism exists in France, fighting the consumer society, America, “international Zionism” and social democracy, but it is nothing new. Previously, in the 1970s, the organisation Lutte du Peuple, founded from a split in Ordre Nouveau, called on the spirit of national-bolshevism and used “a vocabulary copied exactly from that of the extra-parliamentary left, notably in its critique of capitalism and the bourgeoisie”.(15) Today, the movement Nouvelle Resistance(16) is the political expression of this line and attempts to “implement a strategic line” for the “anti-system front”. The friendships of Nouvelle Resistance with different groups which call on the spirit of national-bolshevism in varying degrees in Russia are there to prove it. In their magazine Lutte du Peuple, they often make mention of different groups and alliances with themselves.

    The “hatred” of the West, and Yeltsin who is “selling off” Russia to the profit of capitalism, serve to spearhead a rapprochement between former communists and conservatives. One can cite Alexander Dugin (deputy leader of the National Bolshevik Front), one of the correspondents of Nouvelle Resistance in Russia, who congratulates himself on the “current Russian revolution where respectively the neo-communist nationalists represent the left wing and the neo-monarchists represent the right wing”. This was also seen by Jean Thiriart(17) and Michael Schneider (editor of the magazine Nationalisme et Republique(18) during a trip in August 1992 of which the objective was to make links with the opposition to Yeltsin. At the beginning of 1992, Alain de Benoist praised the birth of the magazine Dien (Today) which, following the example of Krisis in France, introduced “non-conformism and radicalism in the red-brown world and has as a slogan the search for a Russian and national third way”. Regarding the anti-Semitism of this magazine, it is necessary, according to de Benoist, to not exaggerate the content of it. One can also find this type of discourse in the former official communist publications. On demonstrations it is not unusual to see red flags and Tsarist flags side by side. Today, the opposition is structured, supported not least by the army. Stalin has been rehabilitated and one can seen in the different publications of the extreme right (Lutte du Peuple, and the Italian magazine Orion) articles that refer to the “little father of the people”.

    Following the example of Jean-Paul Cruse, the French Communist Party has often developed a clear anti-Americanism .The great American devil on the one hand, the great Soviet brother on the other… The “communist collective of media workers” (the French cCommunist Party) complained in a communique of July 8, 1993 about the witch hunt being made against one of its members (Marc Cohen) and which aimed “to block all political debate linking the question of national sovereignty against American hegemony, and the historic values of the international workers’ movement”. It is well known that countries in eastern Europe have ardently defended these values.The red-brown rapprochement is a remake from the 1930s. Let us remember Jacques Doriot, the national-populist who split from the Communist Party in order to found the Parti Populaire Francais and went on to become a Nazi collaborator. As at this time, there is today a current inside the heart of the French communist Party which promotes a nationalist and populist discourse.

    Those who put so much effort into denouncing the convergence between reds and browns often forget the ideological wanderings of their own circle. Through the magazine Krisis many contacts have been established between intellectuals of the new right and those of the left. During the summer of 1988, Krisis, edited by Alain de Benoist, broke the intellectual isolation of the new right and established its ideological hegemony. Leftist thinkers were as much involved as the ideologues of GRECE. The beginning of this exercise was marked by manipulation, then the magazine published articles that had already appeared elsewhere, without the permission of the authors. But Roger Garaudy (also involved with Nationalisme et Republique), Jean-Michel Palmier, Andre Comte-Sponville, Jean-Francois Kahn, Regis Debray, Jacques Domenach, Jacques Julliard, Bernard Langlois or even Claude Karenooh (who pretends to be a libertarian)(19) all work with de Benoist, and have participated without batting an eyelid at the magazine. Alain Decaux, former minister of the socialist Government, doesn’t feel in the least bothered about siding with people like Jean Mabire, Jean-Jacques Mourreau and Pierre Vial, all three of whom who have passed through GRECE to the Front National.

    The ideological confusion due to a loss of political landmarks and referential marks on the left has [?] the appearance of such contacts and placed it in that of reactionary ideology. In France today, the task of the left and indeed the anti-fascist movement must be to make a clear separation of the two ideologies of nationalism and bolshevism, and to expose those members of the left who seek to make alliances with the extreme right. A new political discourse of the left needs to be created to take up this challenge. Otherwise, our next fuehrer might be wearing a red shirt.

    Notes

    1. The Soviets Betrayed by the Bolsheviks, Rudolph Rocker.
    2. The first was founded by Jean-Edern Hallier. Le Choc is a monthly fascist magazine.
    3. A new right think tank led by Alain de Benoist, who is linked to all the key fascists in France.
    4. Steuckers is a multi -lingual lecturer and has played the role, since the departure of Guillaume de Faye in 1986, of deputy leader of the new right on the intellectual plain. He edits the magazine Vouloir.
    5. Robert Steuckers, Vouloir, No.52-53, February-March, 1989.
    6. Elements pour une culture europeenne, Winter 1992, No.75.
    7. Elements pour une culture europeenne, Spring 1992, No.74.
    8. Rene Monzat, a left-wing investigative journalist who was present in the room, was the only one to speak out against this and was put in his place by Francette Lazare.
    9. Limonov has been since May 1993 the president of the National-Bolshevik Front in Moscow.
    10. A magazine for the radical and national right in France.
    11. The hardline right wing interior minister in the current [sic] French government.
    12. Socialist Minister for the army during the Gulf War, he was nevertheless opposed to this war, he resigned and left the Socialist Party. Afterwards, he made a campaign against the Maastricht Treaty. Known for his nationalism and fervent patriotism.
    13. ‘A propos d’un article publie par L’Idiot International’, communique of the SNJ-CGT, June 25, 1993.
    14. The Lumieres were the key French thinkers and philosophers before the revolution, such as Voltaire, Montesqueiu and Rousseau.
    15. A radical nationalist right wing group in France.
    16. The main Third Position group in France today.
    17. A Belgian fascist and wartime collaborator who adapted nationalism-bolshevism during the ’50s and ’60s into a philosophy which he called national-community Europeanism.
    18. No longer published today, Nationalisme et Republique attempted to be a magazine of critical support for Jean-Marie Le Pen and the Front National. Towards the end it evolved towards a position very close to Nouvelle Resistance.
    19. All key intellectuals on the French left.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2020 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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8 Responses to Blame Canada? Limonov & National Bolshevism

  1. Chrisius Maximus says:

    With all due respect, a lot of this is very out of date. For instance, Dugin, who was the “right” face of the NBP, hasn’t been part of it for almost a decade and Limonov says that the “right” part of the ideology left with him. (Dugin’s thoughts have themselves changed, with him dropping his fascoid rhetoric and becoming something of a centrist with some very odd ideas on geopolitics and pop culture, heavily influenced by the way by Psychic TV of all people. Until recently he wrote a music column for the Russian edition of Rolling Stone.)

    This is one of those subjects that it is impossible to write about adequately without knowledge of the Russian language, as people like Limonov and Dugin don’t get translated.

  2. @ndy says:

    G’day Chrisius,

    It’s by way of background. And yr right, a knowledge of Russian would be extremely handy. I don’t have that, but I’ll ask a mate who does to do some further exploration on my behalf. Generally speaking, I take my cues from comrades.

    http://www.avtonom.org/index.php?sid=5

    As for more contemporary references, and aside from ideological differences, the treatment Limonov’s mob gives Russian antifa suggests that they’re full of shit, whether ‘left’ or ‘right’.

    http://www.exile.ru/2006-February-24/scared_skins.html

    On Limonov himself, I think the following is interesting:

    Monumental Foolishness: The decline and fall of a man who once seemed poised to become the next great émigré writer.
    Keith Gessen
    Slate.com
    February 20, 2003

    http://www.slate.com/id/2078955/

    “…Yet something about Limonov still haunts the mind. He is, without question, a real asshole—he called for press censorship during the first war in Chechnya, he struck the British writer Paul Bailey in the head with a champagne bottle at an international writers conference, he declared that what Russia’s liberals needed was a dose of the gulag. He is not himself an anti-Semite, but, as the anti-Semites used to say, some of his best friends are. His arrival at this low point was certainly large parts stupidity, confusion, and just plain inferiority complex—Solzhenitsyn once called him “a little insect,” and how do you get over that? But there’s more than foolishness here. All his writing is shot through with a curious mixture of self-pity and self-regard—the self, the self, the self. Perhaps every memoirist is already something of a fascist, the politics a logical extension of the idea that your life is more than other lives…”

    Also:

    Anti-Fascism: Russian Style
    Olesya Rudenko
    The Krai
    March 29, 2006

    http://www.thekrai.com/articles/March 06/Anti-Fascism, Russian Style.htm

  3. Chrisius Maximus says:

    Oh, Limonov certainly is an asshole. His writing is redolent of extreme narcissism, although he can be a very good writer in my opinion when writing about his personal experiences. My ex-girlfriend’s late husband was a nationalist poet (I’m in Moscow) who moved in those circles (in the late 90s), and so she’s met him, and according to her he has to be the center of attention at all times.

    Anyway Weir is the kind of guy who twists his articles to fit an agenda (as in, he doesn’t like the current Russian government, so he exaggerates everything bad about the country). I’m thinking in particular of a recent CSM article in which he wrote about the anti-immigrant riots in Kondopoga late last year. In this article he wrote that three people died “in the course of the riots.” In fact nobody was killed during the riots — the riots were a reaction to the deaths of three ethnic Russians in a brawl. Sigh.

  4. Great post – the rise of fascism in Russia and Europe is a matter of some concern, and should get far more attention than it does.

    For the French intelligentsia, I think Alain Badiou does a pretty good job of incorporating leftist approaches into philosophy, and attacking both the Conservatives and the Le Pen-type figures.

  5. @ndy says:

    Yo Chrisius,

    Here’s what some Russian compas say:

    ===

    19.09.2006 | Kondopoga – a popular uprising turned to a pogrom

    Mass rioting took over city of Kondopoga in Carelia for a number of days. Everything began 29th of August as a row in a local cafe Chayka between drunken local youth and Chechen criminal group, which was controlling the cafe. Mafia brought in additional force of 10-15, which jumped on Russian youth, shouting “Allah Akbar”. A number of passers by, who had nothing to do with the original conflict, suffered as well. Altogether mafia killed 2 and wounded 8 persons, one of the killed got his ears cut. These events shook the whole city. During few days much of the adult population of the city, 2000-3000 people gathered in the central square of the city.

    In Kondopoga, as in majority of Russian cities, inhabitants consist of waged workers and unemployed. Besides these, there is a number of traders in marketplaces. Unfortunately, a spontaneous uprising adopted a resolution with fascist tendencies in a meeting. Main demand of the local people was “to clean the city up of blacks during 24 hours”.

    As a result of a conscious manipulation of the people by mass media during last 15 years, opinion that social problems have national solutions has become widespread in the society. Nobody seemed to figure out, that in case Chechen mafia is kicked out from the city, Russian mafia will take their place. We have never heard anything about prospering of Dolgoprudniy, Sverdlovsk or other regions where Russian mafia is on top. Everything is the same there – misery, unemployment, alcoholism – industries, schools, hospitals and housing in disarray. Everywhere, or almost everywhere in Russian province destruction is widespread, due to bandits of all nationalities, who are controlling local markets, companies and banks.

    In Kondopoga, local bourgeoisie and traders had a certain influence to meeting. Often one heard calls to buy products only from Russian traders. This resulted in a collective demand of denying Caucasians all places of trade in the city. During meeting one also heard complaints about bad treatment of Russian workers by Chechen employers – apparently these had some basis. But unfortunately no-one reminded of countless cases of brutal and humiliating treatment of Russian employees by Russian employers: wages unpaid for years, work during freezing winter in unheated shops, electricity blackouts in housing, schools and hospitals, industries bought by Russian bandits dismantled, resulting in millions of people laid off.

    During events, a group of young people burned cafe Chayka. One must pay attention to total disinformation about the events in the mainstream media. For example, mainstream media is silent of police brutality. Some quotes from a participator of events:

    “Still alive… but ache everywhere.. for just standing by but touching nobody… they just fucked us up completely… police bastards… I am beaten black and blue… I love my country – cops were beating girls and women… about lads I do not even talk about… 3 of my friends are in a hospital with brain crashes and bones broken – this is how we are protected by police…”

    “Yesterday police arrested everyone indiscriminately, even lads peacefully sitting at a bus stop, beat them up with batons and stomped on them with their feets, then stuffed them to a bus and took to a police station. They were kept in jail whole night. Today in the morning judge Nosova gave everyone a fine of 100 rubles (3$) or a jail sentence from 1 to 15 days.”

    “OMON was beating up not only lads but also girls who were there. We took part of all that and stepped up for girls and were beaten up with batons.”

    “Then cops with armours and democratizators (this means batons – trans.) went running through yards and beat up everyone who were in one kilometer range from the notorious Chayka… I saw a lad pulled over to asphalt, he was beaten up with batons from nose to feet, while they were shouting BEAT IT I GET HIS BALLS.. guy could not even protect himself anymore… totally trashed… my friend was jumped with batons from behind… I tried to rise my hands to protect myself, they almost broke my fingers… all my hands in blood…”

    Perhaps needless to say, that these cops were mainly of Russian nationality. Allthough in Kondopoga there is an opinion, that they have been bought by Chechen mafia. But even if it was so, does someone really believe that cops would not act just like that, if people did not like behavior of Russian mafia and began attacking its premises and homes? Would not cops run to trash people just like this for Russian mafia as well? And what about police in any time of the year – are they so fresh and so clean? Is there someone who does not know how Russian cops beat and mangle Russian (and other) people? Cops may be nice in movies, but who has not seen how they treat people?

    In Kondopoga we saw an attempt of people to set up an organ of self-governance, a regular meeting of people who would make resolutions, which according to opinion of the people authorities should fulfill. But riots became nationalist ones. So if the initiative of the inhabitants will be a success, people will not gather anymore (as there is no more reason for meetings). Thus power will remain in hands of the people to whom it belongs now – to officials, who spit on the people and who, as we know very well, are only interested about stealing and filling their pockets from the people. What more? Some trading spots will perhaps move from hands of Chechen bandits to Russian bandits. This is the goal of local Russian bourgeoisie and bandits.

    Is this movement ordered or initiated by fascists or local traders? No, that claim is a lie by mainstream media. It was a popular riot, of working people, which developed to a nationalistic direction, safe for authorities – partly due to events themselves, partly due to initiative of local traders. 90% of the inhabitants of Kondopoga gain nothing from fulfilling of the demands of the popular meeting. If before, it was Chechen bandits looting, exploiting and killing people, now this will be done by Russian bourgeoisie and bandits. This is all the difference. One may wonder is it so much better to have ones throat cut and daughter or sister raped by Russian bandit, and not a bandit of some other nationality.

    These events could have been more useful for working people of the city only if they were directed not only against the Chechen bourgeoisie, but against bourgeoisie in general. Popular meeting would have concentrated to its hands making of all main decisions, and it could have gathered for example once or twice a month. They could have expelled the local government, who had sold out for the bourgeoisie. It would have been possible and necessary to elect a local council, consisting of trusted people, to work on administrative questions, with a right to immediately recall these people in case they do not fulfill responsibilities passed to them by the general meeting. In the end, all companies of the city should have been passed to workers collectives, and they should have formed together a collective to fulfill all necessary needs of the city inhabitants. It would have been also necessary to shut up all babbling from mainstream news – they may only lie, and support the bourgeoisie.

    As long as these measures are not taken, nothing makes sense. From nationalistic actions, only innocent people from both sides will suffer, whereas bandits will hide. And life will go on as before, it will not become no better, nor more just.

    http://www.avtonom.org/index.php?nid=340

    ===

    Hey Happy,

    Dunno much about Badiou. But I was in Readings the other day, and briefly examined his latest work in English… ‘Polemics’ maybe? ‘Metapolitics’? Anyway, I did what I usually do with books of this sort, and looked up ‘anarchism’ in the index. I think there was maybe one ref, in an essay on the nature of contemporary left-wing politics or some such. Basically, after recapitulating what is I think a fairly orthodox critique of the (failures of) the Marxist project in the 20th C, he wrote that we shouldn’t make the mistake of falling into anarchism, I think ‘cos it’s idealistic or something. In my exp, this (irrational?) hostility to @ is entirely unexceptional for almost all of the leading revolutionary and progressive thinkers of the post-Communist era.

  6. grumpy cat says:

    Hi all.

    I am a bit obsessed with Badiou at the moment. I got into him because he is very opposed to those i normally read – especially Negri. Also an anti-state anti-party post-Maoism is going to grab my attention anyday.

    The manifesto of the Collectif Malgre Tout which he was a participant in is a good introduction to his politics. Find it here: http://www.gtrlabs.org/node/106

    As for Red-Brown fusion it seems to be similar to many of the reactions of political formations to the development of late modernity and the collapse of many of the reference points of Leftist theory. From anarcho-primitivism to the postmodern populism of Paul Piccone a reaction to global liberal capital was the promise of a seemingly authentic and organic past. I think Hakim Bey\’s Millennium was criticised for doing the same. In Australia the much milder version was a green-brown politics of environmental nationalism – which is still kicking around. I think the wind fell out of its sails with the late 1990s revival of the radical left…

    It seem weirds to me that the worry in Russia is the fascism to come when Putin is already in power. But then again how often does the fear of fascism as the extra-ordinary rule of capitalist politics work to blunt the critique of actually existing capitalist politics?

    rebel love
    Dave

  7. Chrisius Maximus says:

    My understanding of the Kondopoga events is that:

    Kondopoga, like a lot of towns, has a large ethnic Caucasian (as in, people from the Caucasus, not people with white skin) Mafia and business presence. (To some extent this is an ethnic stereotype, and to some extent it is true). The Chaika (Seagull) was part of this. The was some kind of verbal altercation in the restaurant with some ethnic Russian clients (probably drunk) with some ethnic Chechens (probably Mafia), possibly over a girl. The bartender — variously identified as a Chechen and an Azerbaijani — went to get backup in the form of the local Chechen “defense squad,” which proceeded to bust up the clients in the restaurant, leading to the deaths of 3.

    The following day (?) the local (ethnic Russian) community, or at least a large part of it, gathered and demanded that since the police and authorities were not protecting them, they would get rid of the problem themselves and proceeded to destroy Caucasian-owned business and demanded that all Caucasians leave the town — IIRC there were about 100. This was aggravated because the Movement Against Illegal Immigration was using the Internet to whip up anti-immigrant sentiment and get people to travel to Kondopoga to participate in the riots. Eventually the police escorted the Caucasian population to a neighboring city, the name of which I can’t remember. I do not know if any have since returned.

    PS. The Russian word “pogrom,” unlike its English equivalent, refers to any large-scale mass violence, whether they be “classical” 19th-century style pogroms, race riots, or even students in France. The student unrest in France was referred to as a pogrom in the Russian media, for instance.

    PPS. I think there is next to no chance fascism will come to power in Russia. These people have no support.

  8. Michael Kerjman says:

    My attempts of deploying Limonov’s books to learn New York failed because too many changes occurred locally.

    However, mix of personal attitudes and experiences towards the West with simply Soviet-era background and approaches hardly allows this talented writer to stand over the crowd of Kondopoga’ s revolters of whose hatred of non-natives very much on incapability to purchase as much vodka as these patriots would wish to.

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