An Investigation Into Red-Brown Alliances: Third Positionism, Russia, Ukraine, Syria, And The Western Left15th January 2018 written by ARoamingVagabondNote for safety purposes: this post will contain links to far-right pages for documentation and sourcing purposes, and any link to such a page will be in bold and italic, such as this.
This post started as an investigation about the Left and Syria which I started after I read the Sol Process blog’s publicati0n of three posts concerning shady pro-Assad sources used in leftist circles (which can be read here: part I, part II, part III), and which later expanded into a more extensive investigation.On Some Obscure Strains Of Fascism
I will first provide some historical context by exploring the history of some lesser known forms of fascism which, unlike the majority of Western fascists who supported the United States’ anti-Communism during the Cold War, instead actively supported and rallied around the Soviet Union.
German National Bolshevism
The very first National-Bolsheviks were Heinrich Laufenberg, a former member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) who had been President of the Council of the Workers and Soldiers in Hamburg during the German Revolution, and Fritz Wolffheim, an ex-member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) who was then living in Hamburg, and who were both leaders of the Hamburg branch of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) during the 1910s. In 1919 they submitted to Karl Radek their policy of having the working class ally with the bourgeoisie into a nationalist dictatorship of the proletariat which would fight a national liberation war (a position which would strangely be adopted by various Marxist-Leninist and Maoist groups in the late 20th century) against the Allies occupying Germany following WWI. Laufenberg’s and Wolffheim’s proposal was rejected by Radek and labelled as an absurdity by Vladimir Lenin himself, and they were soon expelled from the KPD. Laufenberg and Wolffheim later helped the Communist Workers Party of Germany (KAPD), but were soon expelled from it as well because of their National Bolshevism, their expulsion being Radek’s condition for admitting the KAPD to the Third Congress of the Comintern.
The French occupation of the Ruhr resulted in rising nationalism in Germany, especially among the working class, and threatened the Soviet Union’s cooperation with Germany laid down in the Treaty of Rapallo of 1922 and the Soviet-German Military Pact, which allowed Germany to circumvent the limitations on it imposed by the Treaty of Versailles and under which far-right German paramilitaries of the Schwarze Reichswehr (which included Freikorps formations) were permitted to train in Soviet territory and provide training for the newly created Red Army, and for Germany to give credits to the Soviet Union while German firms were allowed to establish factories for the production of war equipment in Soviet territory. The Comintern subsequently pushed for cooperation between the Communists and the ultra-nationalists, and Radek gave a speech to the Enlarged Executive Committee of the Comintern praising Leo Schlageter, a far-right Freikorps member who together with his unit joined the NSDAP in 1921 and engaged in sabotage against the French forces occupying the Ruhr before being executed by them. This was a followed by a period of cooperation between the KPD and the Nazis against the Versailles Treaty during which KPD member Ruth Fischer infamously attacked “Jewish capital”, and the KPD’s newspaper reprinted articles by members of the German far-right while its rank and file members were fighting against fascists on the streets. This second National-Bolshevik wave died off during the period of growth Germany experienced from the mid- to late-1920s, though following the Comintern’s “social fascism” turn (itself partly a reaction to the SPD using Freikorps units to crush the Spartacist uprising, during which revolutionaries Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknicht were murdered) the KPD cooperated again with the NSDAP in an attempt to bring down the Social Democratic Party-led government of Prussia in 1931, again with support from the Comintern, which wished to end diplomatic talks between France and Germany, and participated in a strike together with the NSDAP in 1932, while again rank and file Communists instead engaged in street battles against Nazi brownshirts. This strategy, also based on the flawed accelerationist idea that the fascists’ policies would lead to a proletarian revolution and summed by then leader of the KPD Ernst Thälmann’s slogan “After Hitler, Our Turn!”, actively helped the rise of the Nazis, and the KPD refused to form a United Front with the SPD and preferred directing its attacks against the social demorats even after the Nazis seized power and unleashed their violence on the German Left.
The third period of National-Bolshevism came with Ernst Niekisch, a former member of the SPD who was expelled for his extreme nationalism after which he joined the Old Social Democratic Party of Germany, which he pushed towards a more nationalist direction and called for a “Prussian-Slavonic bloc” from Vlissingen to Vladivostok. Niekisch saw the Russian Revolution as a national form of class struggle,advocated for a nationalist form of Communism and joined the Consortium for the Study of Soviet Planned Economy (ARPLAN), which aimed to establish cooperation between Germany and the Soviet Union, which he saw as the only way of opposing the Treaty of Versailles. Niekisch was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Nazi regime in 1934 and was released after the Second World War, becoming an orthodox Marxist and moving to West Germany following the suppression of the 1953 workers uprising by the German Democratic Republic with Soviet support. Among those influenced by Niekisch was Otto Paetel, who formed the Group of Social Revolutionary Nationalists, which opposed the Versailles Treaty, supported close cooperation with the Soviet Union and saw anti-capitalism as the means to free Germany from Western occupation. Unlike Niekisch, who was staunchly anti-Nazi, Paetel attempted to work with the Hitler Youth and many members of his organization also belonged to the “left wing” of the Nazi party of Gregor and Otto Strasser.Gregor And Otto Strasser
Stresserism was a form of National-Socialism advocated by the brothers Gregor and Otto Strasser, both German veterans of the First World War who later served in the Freikorps which destroyed the socialist Bavarian Soviet Republic. Gregor took part in the Kapp Putsch of 1920 which attempted to overthrow the Weimar Republic and replace it with a reactionary authoritarian state while Otto joined the Social Democratic Party and opposed the coup.
Both Gregor and Otto later joined Hitler’s Nazi party and Gregor helping Hitler organize and grow the Nazi party all across Germany. The Strasser brothers led a left-wing faction of the Nazi party which advocated for nationalizations and a mass action, worker-based and anti-capitalist while still extremely anti-Semitic and anti-Communist form of Nazism, with Otto interpreting Stalinism as a Russian form of National-Socialism and advocating for cooperation with the Soviet Union. Hitler’s faction of the party instead sought to ally with industrialists, and this as well as rivalry between Gregor Strasser and Hitler led to clashes between the two, and during the Night of the Long Knives which followed Hitler’s rise to power Gregor was killed and his faction of the Nazi party was purged, while Otto would form the Black Front after being expelled from the Nazi party in 1930 and later went in exile before later returning to West Germany after the Second World War, where he remained active among neo-fascists.Francis Parker Yockey
As Anarchist researcher Kevin Coogan details in his book, Francis Parker Yockey was born in Chicago, Illinois in the United States, where he briefly flirted with Marxism in his youth before soon abandoning it for fascism. He came under the influence of Carl Schmitt, Karl Haushofer and Oswald Spengler, members of the German reactionary movement known as the Conservative Revolution (many of the ideologues of the Conservative Revolution supported an alliance with the Soviet Union), especially their ideas on culture elites, geopolitics and support for anti-colonial struggles.
Yockey would later associate with fascists during the Interwar period and during the Second World War including Charles Coughlin, the German-American Bund, the National German-American Alliance, the Silver Shirts, the America First Movement, among others. During WWII, Yockey would enlist in the US army despite opposing the entry of the US in the war, disappearing for two months after pro-Nazi saboteurs with ties to his family were arrested by the FBI (the FBI suspected Yockey himself was on an espionage mission for Nazis in Mexico) before returning and being honorably discharged after a mental breakdown in 1943. Yockey soon applied for a post at the Office for Strategic Services but was refused a job there because of his Nazi sympathies.
The defeat of the Nazi regime did not weaken Yockey’s commitment to fascism and he instead became more active in pro-fascist activity, becoming dedicated solely to reviving fascism. However many of these groups were anti-Communist and therefore would refuse to work with Yockey, with George Lincoln Rockwell of the American Nazi Party and his allies spurning Yockey and calling him a “neo-Strasserist” due to the idea of an alliance between the Left and the Right and working with anti-Zionist Communists being central to Yockey’s ideas.
In 1946 Yockey obtained a position in the US War Department as attorney for the Nuremberg Trials, undoubtedly to help some of the Nazi war criminals being tried. In Germany Yockey would spend his time forming ties with German fascists operating underground against the Allies and agitating against the US occupation of Germany and against what he perceived to be the “biased procedures” of the trials, causing him to be fired from his position the next year.
Following this he fled to a small village in Ireland where he wrote his heavily Spengler-influenced book Imperium with the aim of reviving fascism. In Imperium he rejects the biological racism of the Nazis and opts for a cultural racism instead, though he still defended the Nazis by denying the Holocaust in his book (while privately acknowlegding the existence of the Holocaust and praising the Nazis’ atrocities) which he dedicated to Hitler, being one of the very first Holocaust deniers ever, and considered the rise of the Nazi regime as an “European revolution”. Yockey being an avowed anti-Semite, the crux of the ideology laid out by his book was that Europe was being eroded by liberalism, which he saw as a “Jewish plot to undermine European culture”, and was occupied by the United States and the Soviet Union ,and that therefore Europe had to eschewing nationalism and nation-states and instead unite into a fascist superstate which would “rejuvenate European culture” and be capable of opposing the two superpowers of the Cold War.
Shortly after writing Imperium, Yockey lived in London, UK, where he worked for a short time for the European contact section of fascist Oswald Mosley‘s Union Movement, allowing him to form ties with an underground fascist network throughout Europe, including Alfred Franke-Gricksch, a former SS official and the leader of the neo-Nazi Bruderschaft organization. Following Yockey’s falling out with Mosley, he formed with the support of baroness Alice von Pflugl and help of former Mosleyites the European Liberation Front, whose aim was to “liberate” Europe from the US and the USSR.
Yockey’s perception of the United States was itself negative in that he considered it to be little more than a bastardized colony of Europe which had devolved from the influence of non-European minorities and had “come under Jewish control”, and he therefore considered the impact of American capitalism as more destructive than Soviet repression for European culture and thus considered Soviet control as preferable to American domination of Europe. Hence he urged fascists to not collaborate with American anti-Communism during the Cold War and unlike most fascists who collaborated with US intelligence during the Cold War, Yockey’s European Liberation Front instead remained neutral and had a pan-European approach of geopolitics, with Yockey praising Soviet policy in Germany and seeking to secretly organize neo-Nazis in West Germany who would then collaborate with the Soviet military against American occupation. His aim was of course to form the European fascist superstate whose designs he laid out in Imperium.
Having lost his political ties in the United Kingdom, Yockey instead entered West Germany clandestinely, with army documents stating Yockey was “promoting a National Bolshevist movement” and contacting ex-Wehrmacht and ex-Nazi officers, among whom the Socialist Reich Party, a Strasserist party whose founder the ex-Wehrmacht member Otto Ernst Remer praised Imperium. Remer attacked Konrad Adenauer as an American puppet, denied the Holocaust and dismissed the Nazi regime’s atrocities as “Allied propaganda”, and agitated against the Allied occupation of West Germany while never criticizing East Germany and the Soviet Union, instead saying that he would “show the Russians all the way to the Rhine” should a conflict erupt between the US and the USSR, with Remer’s SRP receiving funding from the Soviets in the early 50s, something the Communist Party of Germany with which the SRP temporarily worked against Adenauer did not receive.
Yockey then traveled around Europe, distributing copies of his book to prominent neo-fascists, including French fascist Maurice Bardèche (himself one of the very first post-war Holocaust deniers like Yockey) and Julius Evola.
In Europe, Yockey participated in a conference by the Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI), Europe’s first neo-fascist party founded by veterans of Mussolini Italian Social Republic, which was also attempting to form fascist networks. The conference amounted to little due to the aims of the various fascist groups involved present being at odds with each other and with internal strife within the MSI itself over whether to adopt an “Atlanticist” strategy and align with NATO and the West or a pan-European “Third Position” strategy opposed to both the Americans and the Soviets, with the anti-Communist MSI eventually allying with NATO and the US who were more concerned with opposing the Italian Communist Party instead of punishing fascists in these early days of the Cold War. Yockey’s advocacy of allying with the Soviet Union did not find very receptive audiences among these fascists, with many pan-European fascists including Julius Evola, who had erstwhile praised Yockey’s book, being skeptical his ideas.
Returning to the USA, Yockey worked with infamous anti-Communist US senator Joseph McCarthy and with H. Keith Thompson, an American fascist who was the American representative of the Socialist Reich Party and worked for the defence of Otto Ernst Remer. Thompson defended Hitler and the Nazi regime and would remain in connection with Yockey until his death. In 1950 he would give a speech at a conference by far-right preacher Gerald L. K. Smith’s Christian Nationalist Party where he would call the Nuremberg Trials a “sham” and claim the supposed existence of “global Jewish conspiracy”.
In the early 1940s Stalin initially adopted a pro-Zionist foreign policy (despite Lenin himself having condemned Zionism as a reactionary bourgeois movement) with the hope that Israel would be a socialist bulwark against British hegemony and supported the UN plan for the Partition of Palestine (and by extension endorsed the ethnic cleansing of Palestine) and the subsequent creation of the colonial Israeli state, the Soviet Union being the second state to recognize Israel after the United States. But after Israel emerged as a Western ally, the Soviet bloc did a foreign policy volte face and threw its support behind Arab nationalist movements. However, far from being merely anti-Zionist and in opposition to Israel only, Soviet policy in Stalin’s later days became outright anti-Semitic and the Eastern bloc faced a wave of anti-Semitic purges in the 1950s which included the Night of the Murdered Poets and the Doctors’ Plot. It is in this context that Yockey, visiting Europe again, found himself attending the 1952 show trials in Prague during which eleven Jewish members of the Czechoslovak Communist Party including its secretary general Rudolf Slánský were executed on charges of being Zionists, Trotskyists, Western imperialists and Titoists (Slánský was, on the contrary, staunchly anti-Zionist). Yockey considered this to be the end of American hegemony in Europe and thought it “foretold a Russian break with Jewry”, which he saw as “a favorable development in the fight to liberate Europe”. For Yockey, the wave of anti-Semitic purges was a “declaration of war by Russia on the American-Jewish leadership” and he therefore cooperated with Soviet bloc intelligence and became a paid courier of the Czech secret services who themselves worked for the KGB, and he started advocating for a tactical alliance between fascists and the USSR to end the American occupation of Europe.
Back to New York, Yockey’s report on the Soviet bloc anti-Semitic purges led James Madole of the National Renaissance Party, an American Nazi party, to endorse the campaigns against “rootless cosmopolitans” and “Zionists” (which here is a coded anti-Semitic term referring to Jews rather than to the actual colonialist ideology of Zionism). Madole declared Communism as a mask for Russian nationalism following the triumph of Stalin over Trotsky, whom they saw as the leader of the “Jewish internationalist faction”, thus in his eyes transforming what fascists consider to be “Jewish Bolshevism” into National Bolshevism. The National Resistance Party itself started praising the Soviet Union and had portraits of Hitler and Stalin on its wall, attracting both Communists and Nazis, and certain American fascists started praising the Soviet Union as result.
Dissatisfied with the anti-Communism of the majority of the US far-right who was not very receptive to his National Bolshevik ideology and was at odds with his sympathy for the Stalinist USSR and for Third Worldist movements, Yockey traveled around the world, clandestinely going to East Germany and possibly to the USSR, writing propaganda for the Egyptian Information Industry and meeting Egyptian president Abel Gamal Nasser, under whom thousands of Nazi war criminals (including Yockey’s collaborator Otto Ernst Remer) fleeing Europe found refuge in Egypt.
Yockey spent some weeks in Cuba shortly after the Cuban revolution where dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown, seeking to form new ties again though his attempts failed, before being arrested by the FBI in 1960 and imprisoned. In jail, Yockey is recorded to have lamented the capture of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann and praised Hitler as a hero. Yockey eventually committing suicide in jail by swallowing cyanide, allegedly to protect his contacts.
Before his suicide, Yockey was visited in jail by Willis Carto, who would then become one of the main advocates of Yockey’s ideology in North America, although Carto rejected Yockey’s own rejection of biological racism and his anti-American and pro-Soviet position. Carto’s organization, the Liberty Lobby, distributed Yockey’s writings through its newspaper Spotlight, and its publisher Noontide Press republished Imperium.
Therefore Yockey’s core ideology could be seen as consisting of: a cultural rather than biological racism, rejection of nationalism in favor of a European superstate, and support for pro-Soviet and Third Worldist forces against American hegemony and liberal democracy, which he considered to be a “Jewish plot”.
Yockey’s ideology has been very influential among post-war neo-fascists and his book is distributed among Nazis and white supremacists, with former leader of the neo-Nazi British National Party John Tyndall praising Imperium, and is influential among far-right neo-pagans and occultists.The European New Right
Yockey would become the ideological predecessor of the Third Position and the European New Right, among whose prominent members are Jean-Francois Thiriart, Alain de Benoist and Aleksandr Dugin. A main feature of the European New Right is its criticism of American imperialism and of the “economism” of liberalism and its attempt to form alliances or infiltrate far-left opponents of Western imperialism and globalization.Jean-Francois Thiriart
Jean-Francois Thiriart was briefly a leftist in high school before joining the National Legion and the Association of the Friends of the German Reich, two far-right organizations, later serving in the Waffen-SS for which he would be imprisoned after WWII. After his imprisonment he would retire from political life until the 1960s when he re-entered politics due to his belief that Europe was losing its status as a cultural center, especially after the independence of the Congo and the Algerian Revolution during which he organized in favor of Belgian settlers who wanted Belgium to reconquer the Congo as well as support for the French Secret Army Organization seeking to maintain Algeria as a French colony through a brutal and bloody campaign of massacring Algerians.
Thiriart saw the Belgian and French loss of the Congo and Algeria as pan-European affairs rather than in purely nationalist terms and he founded the organization Jeune Europe with the aim of creating a united Europe which would have its own nuclear arsenal and would be independent of the USA and the USSR whom he considered were dominating Europe and had turned it into a battlefield, thus echoing Yockey in his pre-1952 days, though Thiriart himself had never apparently known or read Yockey. Like Yockey, Thiriart also despised parliamentary democracy and instead advocated for an anti-egalitarian totalitarian state.
Thiriart would also try denying being a fascist and distancing himself from his Nazi past, instead calling the Left-Right division as outdated (in typical fascist rhetoric) and advancing a philosophy called Communitarianism which claimed to transcend the division between the Left and the Right though Jeune Europe had open ties with Nazis and used openly fascist imagery. Thiriart from then on advocated for a union of Europe and the Soviet Union, which he considered to be more Russian than Communist as from the early 50s, into a “massive white power bloc from Brest to Vladivostok”. Here he was echoing Yockey again.
Following the Sino-Soviet Split, Thiriart started advocating for supporting China against the Soviets in an attempt to make the latter lose its grip on Europe to pave the way for a rapprochement between Europe and Russia, as well as supporting revolutionaries in Latin America and the Black Power movement in the Unites States to end American hegemony on Western Europe. He would further restructure Jeune Europe along the line of a Leninist vanguard party, drop the open Nazi imagery of his organization and repudiate his earlier positions on Algeria and the Congo.
From then on, Thiriart moved towards a “National-Communist” perspective which was significantly influenced by Nicolae Ceaușescu’s adoption of an ultra-nationalist National Communism as state ideology, no doubt the result of Romania’s inclusion of former Iron Guard fascists within its intelligence apparatus, and Romania’s break with the Soviet Union and shift towards the People’s Republic of China. In 1966, Thiriart himself met Ceaușescu who contributed an article to Thiriart’s publication and would then help Thiriart met Zhou Enlai, from whom Thiriart attempted in vain to obtain Chinese support for Jeune Europe.
Thiriart worked with Argentine politician Juan Perón, who saw his own views of Latin American unity and integration as tied to Thiriart’s ones on European unity and who saw Fidel Castro and Che Guevara as heroes just like Thiriart did (for which obviously neither Castro nor Che themselves should be blamed), during the latter’s exile in Madrid where he also courted many members of the European far-right (Norberto Ceresole, who was for a time a close advisor of Hugo Chavez, was an associate of Perón. This red-brown tendency of Ceresole was also reflected by his association with Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson and with Roger Garaudy, a Holocaust denying Communist).
Thiriart would adopt a policy of forming ties with the Left from now on, praising Ho Chi Minh’s struggle against America which he saw as an inspiration, and visited many Arab states trying to obtain support for a potential armed organization who would fight “American occupation” in Europe, and speaking at a Ba’ath party conference and meeting with Saddam Hussein, who was then only a colonel in the army. However receptive the Ba’ath party was to Thiriart’s proposal, it scrapped this project following the Soviet Union’s refusal to support it. He also attempted to form ties with Palestinian resistance organizations during this period. Thiriart retired again from public life after his failure to obtain significant support, though his few public appearances would keep on being vehicles for his anti-Americanism.
[Note: During Thiriart’s retirement, one of his followers, Renato Curcio, would go on to found the Red Brigades radical leftist organization which was active in the 70s and 80s in Italy. Another disciple of Thiriart, Claudio Mutti, would form the Italian-Libyan Friendship Organization after Muammar Gaddafi took power in Libya and later took part in organizing a “Nazi-Maoism” movement with the help of pro-China student groups, forming the Lotta Di Popolo organization, and would later meet Aleksandr Dugin in the 90s before arranging for Thiriart to visit Russia. Some Italian militants influenced by Thiriart would even adopt Hitler, Mao, Gaddafi and Juan Perón as heroes, and had slogans supporting a “fascist dictatorship of the proletariat” and praised both Hitler and Mao together.]
The collapse of the Soviet Union encouraged him to start working with the National-European Communitarian Party (PCN) a small party made up of former Maoists and neo-fascists, and run by Luc Michel, who identified himself as a National-Communist and acted as Thiriart’s secretary. In 1992, Thiriart would lead a PCN delegation of National-Communists to Russia to meet fascists who were now able to operate openly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Thiriart met Yegor Ligachyov, who was receptive to Thiriart’s idea of a union between Europe and Russia against America.
Ligachyov suggested it should be in the form of a revived Soviet Union, which Thiriart accepted, paralleling Yockey’s post-1952 National-Bolshevik positions.
Thiriart died from a heart failure in late 1992, his followers setting up a second European Liberation Front to continue Thiriart’s project. The European Liberation Front kept contacts with the Russian coalition the National Salvation Front and supported the National Salvation Front during the 1993 crisis opposing it to Boris Yeltsin in Russia.Alain de Benoist
Among the neo-fascists to come out of Thiriart’s ideological orbit is Alain de Benoist, who has exerted a substantial influence on the New Right. In his teenage years, De Benoist joined Thiriart’s Jeune Europe out of sympathy for the French occupation of Algeria in the late 50s and would later be a member of the editorial board of Europe-Action, a successor organization of Jeune Europe after the latter was banned by the French government.
During this period De Benoist was a standard mainstream neo-fascist opposed to Communism, defending apartheid and supporting the American imperialist war in Vietnam. Dissatisfied with the then state of the far-right and its inability to challenge the Gaullist French state, De Benoist would instead opt for giving up on the biological racism and conspiracy theories of the far-right and instead favor a more intellectual approach and founded the think tank GRECE (which is the acronym for Groupement pour Recherches et Etudes pour la Civilisation Europeenne, the French translation of Research and Study Group for the European Civilization). Inspired by the theories of Italian Marxist theoretician Antonio Gramsci on cultural hegemony (for which the by-then long deceased Gramsci should not be blamed), De Benoist would advocate for fighting an ideological war to influence mass culture as foundation for political change, a theory called “metapolitics”. GRECE consequently published material rehabilitating fascists such as ideologues of the Conservative Revolution and supporters of National-Bolshevism such as Ernst Niekisch.
De Benoist’s ideological evolution was also marked by a shift towards hostility to Christianity, which in his view had “colonized” Indo-Europeans by force, and support for a revival of pre-Christian European polytheism, which echoed Julius Evola. Accompanying this shift was an increasing anti-Americanism of De Benoist, who hated the “American way of life” and “it’s inane TV serials, chronic mobility, ubiquitous fast food, admiration of the almighty dollar and its quiescent, depoliticized populace”. He opposed free-market capitalism, appropriating left-wing critiques of liberalism by decrying it as an ideology reducing every aspect of human life to purely economic value, thus producing a totalizing consumer society which was inescapably totalitarian.
Paralleling Yockey and Thiriart before him, De Benoist came to consider American imperialism and liberal democracy as more dangerous than Soviet Communism, writing “Better to wear the helmet of a Red Army soldier than to live on a diet of hamburgers in Brooklyn” in 1982 (which would be repeated by Richard Spencer, a prominent figure of the American fascist “Alt-Right” movement in 2017), supporting Third World struggles while condemning NATO and voting for the Communist Party in the French elections of 1984.
Against accusations from other neo-fascists of having defected to the New Left, De Benoist would just like Thiriart before him claim he was out of the Left-Right spectrum and instead supported “a plural world grounded in the diversity of cultures” against a “one-dimensional world”. This concept, called “ethnopluralism”, meant that De Benoist had gone from a white supremacist to a supporter of separate ethnic and cultural identities and regionalism against what he was as a “homogenizing global market”, putting him at odds with the vision of a pan-European superstate of Thiriart.
This concept of “ethnopluralism” would find its way among wider far-right circles, with Jean-Marie Le Pen re-using it in his xenophobic declarations and neo-fascists adopting it to ‘soften’ their racist rhetoric.
The end of the Cold War signified the end of the Left-Right divide for De Benoist and following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, he would visit Russia in 1992, months before Thiriart’s own delegation, where he would meet many figures of the opposition to Boris Yeltsin and proclaim that politics consisted of anti-system forces against the “establishmentarian center”, effectively advocating for a Left-Right coalition against liberal democracy.Third Positionist Fascism
Among the movements close to the European New Right is Third Positionism, a strand of fascism which stands in opposition to both capitalism and communism and has its origins in “classical” fascism and in the Strasser brothers.
Following the Movimento Sociali Italiano’s adoption of an electoral course during the 50s and 60s, a number of neo-fascist offshoots of the MSI who preferred extra-parliamentary methods and sought to replace parliamentary democracy with a fascist dictatorship.Terza Posizione
Among these were the Evola-influenced Ordine Nuovo and the Avanguarda Nazionale which would be dissolved by the Italian state in 1973 because they were attempting to revive fascism, which was illegal in Italy post-war constitution. Following their dissolution, many of their ex-members along with members of Mutti’s Lotta di Popolo would come together to form Terza Posizione, whose ideology was based on Julius Evola’s work one of the “pioneers” of post-war Third Positionist fascism. Following the 1980 Bologna massacre in which a suitcase blew up in a train station in Bologna, Italy, killing 85 people and wounding 200 others, the group would come under investigation as prime suspect behind the attacks and two of its prominent members, Roberto Fiore and Massimo Morsello, fled to the United Kingdom.The International Third Position
In the UK, Fiore met Nick Griffin and Derek Holland, former members of the far-right National Front who had formed a Third Positionist faction within the NF called the Political Soldier wing, which opposed to the NF’s own electoral politics. In 1986, dissensions within the NF led Griffin and Holland to break away from the NF and form their own organization named the Official National Front (ONF). Unlike the National Front, the ONF supported ethnic regionalism in the UK and praised Ayatollah Khomeini, Muammar Gaddafi and Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam.
Following a further split in the Official National Front, Griffin, Holland and Fiore would become the founding members of the International Third Position (ITP) while Patrick Harrington later founded the National Liberal Party, the party and later think tank Third Way, and Solidarity-The Union for British Workers.
The ITP would itself undergo multiple splits, with Griffin leaving in 1990 and later joining the British National Party (BNP), and later succeeding John Tyndall at the party’s head. Another member, Troy Southgate, left in 1992 to later form in 1998 the “National-Anarchist” National Revolutionary Faction, hich again true to Third Positionist habits appropriates left-wing imagery and aesthetics for a reactionary, fascist ideology. “National-Anarchism” cannot be considered a legitimate form of Anarchism since only did it not develop out of any existing Anarchist thought, but Anarchists themselves have been at the forefront of opposition to fascism for many decades.The Tricolour Flame, Forza Nuova and CasPound
The Movimento Sociale Italiano would rebrand as a supposedly more moderate conservative party (though it maintains its fascist imagery and does not repudiate the party’s ties to Mussolini’s regime), leading its hardliner fascist faction to form Tricolour Flame, a Third Positionist fascist party.
A pro-Fiore and pro-Morsello faction within Tricolour Flame would grow while they were in “exile” in the UK and later split from Tricolour Flame and become an ultra-Catholic fascist party of its own named Forza Nuova, and when Fiore and Morsello returned to Italy, they were made the leaders of Forza Nuova. Once allied to the Ukrainian far-right Svoboda party, Forza Nuova later shifted to a pro-Russian and pro-Donbass position after the Euromaidan, with one member even going to, ironically, fight against “Kiev fascists”.
An ally of Forza Nuova is CasaPound, named after fascist and anti-Semite Ezra Pound, which also grew out of Tricolour Flame whose members call themselves the “Fascists of the Third Millennium”. CasaPound is virulently xenophobic and anti-immigration, and has been behind many attacks against leftists and refugees in Italy while also adopting the New Right concepts of “ethnopluralism” and of metapolitics, and appropriating leftist methods such as squatting and occupying buildings, criticizing globalization and austerity, supporting workers and running social centers. Among CasaPound’s affiliates is Solidarites-Identites (Sol.ID), an “ethnopluralist” NGO which is active in Syria, Burma, Kosovo, Palestine and South Africa.Red-Browns in RussiaRussian National Bolshevism
The origins of Russian National Bolshevism differ from interwar German National Bolshevism and have their roots in the Russian Civil War which followed the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent counter-revolutionary power grab by the Bolshevik Party, when Lenin made concessions to Russian nationalists to stabilize the newly formed Soviet Union and many Tsarist White movement members and defectors from the proto-fascist Black Hundreds switched sides and joined the Bolsheviks. Among former White movement supporters who joined the Bolsheviks was Nikolai Ustrialov, who saw the Bolshevik Revolution as the way to reestablish Russia as a great power, called for the end of the Russian Civil War and for Russian nationalists to collaborate with the Bolsheviks, which Ustrialov and Russian emigres in Prague published in Smena Vekh while adopting the “National Bolshevik” name after Ustrialov read Niekisch. The Soviet government subsequently subsidized Smena Vekh, which became influential in the USSR and though Ustrialov himself initially praised Stalin before being executed during his purges, a number of Smenavekhites became influential ideologues in the Soviet establishment. Following Stalin’s victory in the power struggle which followed Lenin’s death, the mixture of nationalism and Marxism-Leninism of the Soviet Union developed into some kind of National Bolshevism as result of the USSR’s adoption of the “Socialism in One Country” policy in 1925 (which was also partly motivated by the need to maintain the Treaty of Rapallo) after the failure of the Spartacist uprising.The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Another period of Red-Brown collaboration followed the crisis resulting the failure of the Western powers’ appeasement policy towards Hitler when he violated the Munich agreement (from which the Soviet Union had been excluded) by annexing Czechoslovakia, leading Stalin to openly negotiate a potential alliance against Hitler with Britain and France, while also secretly negotiating with Germany. To the shock of Western powers and Communists around the world, in August of that year the German-Soviet Credit Agreement and the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact were signed, followed by about five hundred German Communists who had previously sought exile in the Soviet Union being deported by Stalin back to Germany. These treaties were accompanied by secret protocols dividing Eastern Europe into Soviet and Nazi spheres of influence, and the next month the Nazis and the Soviets invaded Poland, with the Soviet and Nazi troops holding joint parades at Brest-Litovsk and Lvov.
: When Jean-Francois came out of retirement in the 80s, he praised the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and declared that it made the Soviet Union the geopolitical heir of Nazi Germany.]
When Britain and France declared war on Germany in reaction the invasion of Poland, the Comintern instead suspended all anti-fascist activity and forced Communist parties to condemn the war as imperialist and oppose war credits, causing the collapse of the anti-fascist Popular Fronts. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed another economic agreement in 1940 whereby the USSR sold raw material to the Nazis, who would provide the USSR with war equipment, helping Germany circumvent the sanctions imposed by Britain, and unresolved talks about the possibility of the USSR joining the Axis ensued. The agreement ended only when Hitler violated the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, prompting the USSR to enter the war on the side of the Allies, during which Stalin used nationalist rhetoric about fighting the “Great Patriotic War” to mobilize the Red Army.
This nationalist policy was continued by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union throughout the ensuing Cold War, where it made use of both Russian nationalism and Marxism-Leninism for mobilization, and the nationalist factions of the Soviet ruling elite tolerated and supported National Bolshevism, especially through the Communist Youth League and the Red Army.Post-Soviet Fascism
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, numerous fascist and ultra-nationalist movements emerged, culminating with the formation of the National Salvation Front, the alliance opposed to Yeltsin composed of far-right Russian ultranationalists and communists, especially Gennady Zyuganov, who had previously taken part in discussions with Alain de Benoist and Jean-Francois Thiriart during their visit to Russia in 1991 and later founded the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF), which despite its name is an ultranationalist and reactionary organization which opposes “cosmopolitanism” and called for banning Jewish organizations in Russia together with fascist party Rodina in 2005. Following Yeltsin’s decision to dissolve the Russian parliament in 1993, the National Salvation Front attempted to form a shadow government and wrestle power from him during the following crisis, resulting in a showdown opposing Yeltsin to a red-brown alliance including the National Salvation Front and Aleksandr Barkashov (the founder of the neo-Nazi group Russian National Unity) in front of the Russian White House. The co-chairman of the National Salvation Front was Aleksandr Prokhanov, who was also the editor in chief of Dyen, the mouthpiece of the National Salvation Front and which published the vilest anti-Semitism such as excerpts of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and expressed support for Western neo-Nazis. Among the Red-Brown neo-fascist groups also involved in the National Salvation Front was also the National Bolshevik Front of Eduard Limonov and Aleksandr Dugin, who was published in and helped edit Dyen .Aleksandr Dugin
Aleksandr Dugin was born in the Soviet Union in 1962 and joined the Moscow Aviation Institute in 1979 before being expelled from it because of his associations with the esotericist Golovin Circle, for which he translated Julius Evola’s works. Following the Demokratizasiya under Mikhail Gorbachev, Dugin joined Pamyat, an anti-Semitic organization which blames a “Zionist Masonic plot” for the Russian Revolution and for all of Russia’s ills. Dugin became a member of Pamyat’s Central Council in 1988 before being expelled it in 1989 for attempting to introduce new ideas to the organization, after which he traveled to Western Europe where he met Alain de Benoist and Jean-Francois Thiriart, who strongly influenced his anti-Americanism and his support for Russian traditionalism.
Dugin then returned to Russia and founded Arktogaia, which published material expressing support for a conservative social revolution in Russia which would lead to the creation of a traditionalist, authoritarian and spiritual society. Around this time Dugin proposed to Limonov (who was also regularly published on Matt Taibbi’s and Mark Ames’ The eXile in the later part of that decade) to form the National Bolshevik Front, which was materialized in 1993, as part of the process of uniting the various anti-liberal tendencies in Russia which culminated in the National Salvation Front, and Dyen itself was associated with Arktogaia.
In 1997, Dugin wrote The Foundations of Geopolitics as a lecturer at the Academy of the General Staff with the help of Leonid Ivashov, a Russian colonel and former Soviet military officer who was the head of the International Department of the Russian Ministry of Defense from 1996 to 2001. Dugin however left the National Bolshevik Party in 1998 after being dissatisfied with it and sought to increase his contacts, writing the program of the KPRF, and becoming advisor to Gennady Seleznev, the Speaker of the Russian State Duma, while also praising figures of the NSDAP and Nazi Germany and calling for a “fascist fascism”.
Around this time, Dugin combined his National Bolshevism to the Eurasianist ideology of white émigrés who saw Russia as a non-European entity which had been saved from modernization by the Bolshevik Revolution and aimed to turn the Soviet Union into a an Orthodox Christian state. In 2001, he formed the Eurasia Movement and the Eurasia Party and in 2005 he formed the Eurasian Youth Union while claiming to be an anti-fascist (though he still remains in effect a fascist) around that time, and has since then chosen a metapolitical strategy to realize his fascist goal. While Dugin’s influence in Russia is exaggerated, such as when he is called “Putin’s Rasputin”, he nevertheless is influential within sections of the Russian establishment (the head of United Russia’s ideological directorate and deputy culture minister in charge of the film industry, Ivan Demidov, is an Eurasianist close to Dugin) and military and used to be the head of the Department of Sociology of Internal Relations at the Moscow State University until thousands petitioned for him to be fired after he made calls to mass murder Ukrainians in 2014. Dugin has been hosted [archive] and promoted [archive] by Russian state television RT, formerly known as Russia Today, which now tries to downplay Dugin’s influence and distance itself from him. However Duginists like Mark Sleboda, Manuel Ochsenreiter and Tiberio Graziani are regularly hosted as experts on Russian state-owned international media, especially Sputnik International (formerly RIA Novosti and The Voice of Russia), the radio broadcaster owned by the Russian state.
The European New Right and Third Positionists became more influential following the collapse of the Soviet Union, which meant the loss of the Communist bogeyman against which the majority of Western fascists had agitated throughout the Cold War, and the neoliberal counterrevolution started under Reagan and Thatcher in the 1980s accompanied by globalization meant that the new bogeyman for fascists was “globalism“, an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory whereby a tiny secret elite was working to undermine national sovereignty to form a “One World Government” and uses immigration for these ends. A common fixation of these conspiracy theories is philanthropist billionaire George Soros, who is regularly blamed for being behind every sort of social movement. In Europe, the far-right rebranded itself by co-opting leftist causes such as LGBT rights and secularism and anti-establishment politics abandoned by the old left-wing parties which caved in to “Third Way” politics and using them for their own reactionary cause, and went from opposing Communism and supporting the United States to opposing the United States and what their anti-Semitic conspiracy theories call the “Zionist lobby” and instead rallying around the Russian state, especially after the rise to power of Vladimir Putin and his brand of authoritarian right-wing politics.