Vitrenko`s Fascist Friend
Vitrenko, the premier representative of radical anti-Westernism in Ukraine, has been officially allied to a well-known Russian propagator of the West`s worst invention: fascism.
The Strange Alliance between Ukrainian "Progressive Socialism" and Russian "Neo-Eurasianism" (on Aleksandr Dugin`s ideology)
One of the worrying results of the March 2006 elections to the Ukrainian parliament, Verkhovna Rada, was that the so-called "Popular Opposition" bloc led by the head of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, Natal`ya Mikhailovna Vitrenko (b. 1951), managed to come, with 2.93% of the official turnout, close to passing the 3%-barrier and thus almost entered the Rada.
Vitrenko is the premier representative of radical anti-Westernism in Ukraine; she has also made herself known with her frequent invectives against Ukrainian politicians whom she does not hesitate to call "natsisty" (Nazis). Both of these circumstances are ironic in as far as Vitrenko has been for some time officially allied to a well-known Russian propagator of the West`s worst invention: fascism.
Vitrenko, along with former UNA-UNSO and current "Bratstvo" leader Dmitro Korchinski, entered in 2004, and is now listed in the directory of members of, the Highest Council of the International Eurasian Movement There was also an announcement in 2005 that Vitrenko and Korchinski were going to enter the Highest Council of the Eurasian Youth Movement, the International Eurasian Movement`s youth section with branches in, among other countries, Ukraine. Both of these organizations, the International Eurasian Movement and Eurasian Youth Movement, have been created by, and are entirely devoted to the ideas of, a certain Aleksandr Gel`evich Dugin (b. 1962). Dugin has become famous in Russia during the last years and is more and more present in Russian mass media, but has not (yet) been broadly noted in Ukraine. He has, in Putin`s Russia, made himself known as a "neo-Eurasianist" and fanatic anti-American. Dugin also occasionally describes himself as a "national bolshevist," "traditionalist," "conservative revolutionary" or "Guenonist" (with reference to the founder of West European "Traditionalism," Rene Guenon). As the latter terms indicate, Dugin`s world-view is not only determined by indigenous Eastern Slavic ideas. Rather his ideology is, to a large degree, a variation of a number of ideas that had their origins in pre-war Western Europe. While Dugin poses as a radical anti-Westerner, his major concepts, in fact, are derived from Western theories.
That Vitrenko has entered the ruling body of an organization fundamentally inspired by non-Slavic (and, sometimes, even anti-Slavic) Western sources might make Slavic anti-Westerners think.
There is more. In spite of his dubious sources, Dugin finds himself today in the company of a whole number of highly placed Russian political and social figures such as Minister of Culture Sokolov, Federation Council Deputy Speaker Torshin or Presidential Aide Aslakhanov who, like Vitrenko, Korchinskii and other post-Soviet figures, have entered the International Eurasian Movement`s Highest Council. This circumstance makes it even more intriguing that, in the past, Dugin has made many, to say the least, unorthodox statements n world history. In particular, Dugin gave some unusual assessments of West European fascism. To be sure, Dugin has harshly criticized German, Italian and other fascisms, for instance, in his article "Fascism - red and borderless" which is a chapter of his book "Tampliery Proletariata" (The Knight Templars of the Proletariat, Moscow: Arktogeya, 1997; an English translation of this article is appended below). Yet, what Dugin blamed the fascist regimes and parties of inter-war Europe for was that they were too moderate, too incoherent, too soft, and not truly revolutionary. Fascism, such seems Dugin`s view, is, in principle, an excellent idea. Unfortunately, in Dugin`s opinion, it has, however, never been consistently implemented. That shall be different after the break-up of the Soviet Union. In Russia today, finally, there will emerge a truly "fascist fascism." (For further amplification of this thesis, see the appendix below.) In previous books published in the early 1990s, Dugin had already elaborated why exactly he thinks fascism is a good idea, the SS was an organization with positive characteristics, the break-up of the 1939 alliance between Hitler and Stalin constituted an unfortunate event, etc. See for instance his essay collections "Konspirologiya" (Conspirology, Moscow: Arktogeya, 1992) and "Konservativnaya revolyutsiya" (The Conservative Revolution, Moscow: Arktogeya, 1994).
That Vitrenko has used terms like "Nazi" or "fascist" with a seemingly negative connotation is only to be welcomed. However, Vitrenko might, perhaps, before using liberally these for labeling her political opponents, first check whether her own close political allies fall under these categories. As far as Dugin is concerned, Vitrenko has, by entering the International Eurasian Movement`s Highest Council, it appears, officially accepted intellectual leadership from somebody who has not hesitated to formulate repeatedly and explicitly a deep attraction to fascism.
A final note on Dugin might be worth adding in view of Vitrenko`s recent frequent posing as a Ukrainian patriot. Dugin is not only notorious for his debt to Western radical anti-democratic ideas. He has, furthermore, made himself known by statements on the future of Ukraine not less extravagant than his statements on fascism. In his major book "Osnovy geopolitiki" (Foundations of Geopolitics, 4th edn. Moscow: Arktogeya, 2000), Dugin, for instance, writes that "[t]he sovereignty of Ukraine represents such a negative phenomenon for Russian geopolitics that it can, in principle, easily provoke a military conflict." (p. 348). Apart from a other similar statements about Ukraine as a whole ("Malorossiya" and "Okraina," p. 799), he, in "Osnovy geopolitiki," noted, with reference to Southern Ukraine, that "[a]n absolute imperative of Russian geopolitics on the Black Sea shores is the total and unlimited control by Moscow of [these shores] over their whole stretch - from the Ukrainian to the Abkhaz territory" (p. 349).
Similar sentences can be found in "Osnovy geopolitiki" and other publications by Dugin. In view of the above and many comparable statements, it is bizarre that Dugin has managed to link himself institutionally to a whole number of top actors of the government, parliament, mass media, and civil society of Russia - a country that defines itself, even more than Ukraine, by its victory over fascism, is proud of its anti-fascist credentials, and claims to have brotherly feelings for Ukraine. What is equally ironic is that, while Vitrenko has not been successful in her plan to force herself into the Verkhovna Rada through a re-count, her "Popular Opposition" bloc has had
considerable success in the elections to Ukraine`s Eastern and Southern oblast, city and discrict
councils that took also place on 26th March 2006.
Thus, a Russian imperialist grouping, the International Eurasian Movement, led by a sworn enemy of Ukrainian independence and fanatic apologist of fascism can, via Vitrenko`s membership in this movement`s Highest Council, claim to have acquired about 1,000 official representatives in Ukraine`s regional and local parliaments.
By Andreas Umland German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Lecturer National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyïv
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Lecturer
National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyïv
Appendix: "Fascism - borderless and red" [Translated from Russian by Andreas Umland]
"Fascism - borderless and red"By Aleksandr Dugin
[Translated from Russian by Andreas Umland]
There are, in the 20th century, only three ideologies that have managed to demonstrate that their principles are realistic in terms of their political-administrative implementation - these are liberalism, communism and fascism. As much as one may like to - it is impossible to name another model of society which would not be one of the forms of these ideologies and [which], at the same time, existed in reality. There are liberal countries, there are communist [countries] and there are fascist (nationalist) [countries]. Others are absent. And are impossible. In Russia, we have passed two ideological stages – the communist and the liberal. What remains is fascism.
1. Against national capitalism
One of the versions of fascism which, it seems, Russian society is today ready (or almost ready) to embrace is national capitalism. It is almost beyond doubt that the project of national capitalism or "right fascism" constitutes an ideological initiative of that part of the elite of society which is seriously concerned with the problem of power and feels acutely the power of time [velenie vremeni]. Yet, the "national-capitalist," "right-wing" variation of fascism does by no means exhaust the nature of this ideology. Moreover, the union of the "national bourgeoisie" with the "intelligentsia" on which, according to some analysts, the coming Russian fascism will be based constitutes a glaring example for what, actually, is entirely alien to fascism as a world-view, as a doctrine, [and] as a style. "The domination of national capital" - this is a Marxist definition of the phenomenon of fascism. It does absolutely not take into account the specific
philosophical self-reflection of fascist ideology [and] consciously ignores the fundamental core-pathos of fascism.
Fascism - this is nationalism, yet not any nationalism, but a revolutionary, rebellious, romantic, idealistic [form of nationalism] appealing to a great myth and transcendental idea, trying to put
into practice the Impossible Dream [sic], to give birth to a society of the hero and Superhuman [sic], to change and transform [preobrazovat` i preobrazit`] the world. On the economic level, fascism is characterized rather by socialist or moderately socialist methods which subordinate personal, individual economic interests to the principles of national welfare, justice, [and] brotherhood. And finally, the fascist view of culture corresponds to a radical rejection of the humanistic, "excessively humane" mentality, i.e. of what represents the essence of the "intelligentsia." The fascist hates the intellectual [intelligent] as a type. He sees in him a masked bourgeois, a pretentious philistine, a chatterbox and irresponsible coward. The fascist loves the brutal [zverskoe], superhuman and angel-like, at the same time. He loves the cold and tragedy, he does not like warmth and comfort. With other words, fascism despises everything that makes up the essence of "national capitalism." He fights for the "domination of national idealism" (and not "national capital") and against the bourgeoisie and intelligentsia (and not for her and not with her). The fascist pathos is accurately defined in the famous phrase of Mussolini: "Rise, fascist and proletarian Italy!" "Fascist and proletarian" - such is the orientation of fascism. [It is] a labor and heroic, militant and creative, idealistic and futuristic ideology which does not have anything in common with securing additional governmental comfort for the traders [torgasham] (even if a thousand times national) and sinecures for the socially parasitic intelligentsia. The central figures of the fascist state, [and] fascist myth [are] the peasant, worker, [and] soldier. On the top, as the supreme symbol of the tragic fight with destiny, cosmic entropy [is] the god-like leader, Duce [duche], Führer [fyurer], superhuman who realizes in his supra-individual personality the extraordinary tension of national will for feat. Of course, somewhere, at the periphery, there is also a place for the honest citizen-merchant [grazhdanin-lavochnik] and university professor. They too put on party badges and go out to ceremonial meetings. But, in fascist reality, their figures are fading, getting lost, [and] move into the background [otstupayut na zadnii plan].
Not for them and not by them is the national revolution done.
In history, clean, ideal fascism did not experience a direct incarnation. In practice, the urgent problems of assumption of power and establishing economic order forced the fascist leaders - including Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, as well as Salazar - to forge alliances with conservatives, national capitalists, big owners and corporation heads. Yet, this compromise always ended deplorable for the fascist regimes. The fanatic anti-communism of Hitler warmed up by the German capitalists cost Germany the defeat in its war with the USSR while Mussolini - trusting into the honesty of the king (articulator of the interests exactly of big business) - was delivered by him to the renegades Badoglio and Ciano who put the Duce into prison and threw themselves into the embrace of the Americans.
Franco held out the longest, and even that because of the concessions of liberal-capitalist England and USA and because of [his] rejection to support the ideologically related regimes of the Axis. Moreover, Franco was not a real fascist. National capitalism is the inner virus of fascism, its enemy [and] guarantor [zalog] of its degeneration and perishing. National capitalism is in no way an essential characteristic of fascism as [national capitalism] is, on the contrary, an accidental and contradictory element in its inner structure.
Therefore, in our case, in the case of the growing Russian national capitalism, one cannot speak about fascism, but of an attempt to preliminarily pervert what is not to be circumvented. Such pseudo-fascism can be called "preventive," [or] "precautionary." It hastens to make itself known before an authentic, real, radically revolutionary and consistent fascism, a fascist fascism is, in full measure, born and becomes strong in Russia. National capitalists – these are former [communist] party leaders who are used to boss around [vlastvovat`] and humiliate the people and who subsequently, out of conformism, became "liberal democrats," and who, now that this stages is over, are, equally zealously, venturing to cover themselves with national clothes.
Having democracy transformed into a farce, apparently, the partocrats, together with the obliging intelligentsia, are, decidedly up to foul and poison the nationalism that is advancing into society.
The nature of fascism [is] a new hierarchy, a new aristocracy. The novelty lies in that the hierarchy is based on natural, organic [and] clear principles - dignity, honor, courage [and] heroism. The dilapidated hierarchy which is trying to carry itself over into the era of nationalism is, as before, based on conformist abilities: "flexibility," "caution," "a taste for intrigues," "toadyism," etc. The obvious conflict between two styles, two human types, two normative systems is inescapable.
2. Russian socialismIt is absolutely unjustified to call fascism an "extremely right-wing" ideology. This phenomenon is much more precisely characterized with the paradoxical formula "Conservative Revolution." It is a combination of a "right-wing" cultural-political orientation - traditionalism, faithfulness to the soil, roots, national ethics - with a "left-wing" economic program - social justice, limitation to the market forces, deliverance from "credit [protsentnogo] slavery," prohibition of stock market speculation, monopolies and trusts, [and] primacy of honest work. In analogy to National Socialism which was often called simply "German socialism," one can speak of Russian fascism as "Russian socialism." The ethnic specification of the term "socialism" has, in this context, a special meaning. What is meant is formulation of a socio-economic doctrine, from the beginning, not on the basis of abstract dogmas and rationalistic laws, but on the basis of concrete, spiritual-ethical and cultural principles that have organically formed the nation as such. Russian socialism - that is not Russians for socialism, but socialism for the Russians. In distinction to rigid Marxist-Leninist dogmas, Russian national socialism proceeds from an understanding of social justice which is characteristic exactly for our nation, for our historical tradition, for our economic ethics.
Such a socialism will be more rural than proletarian, more communal and cooperative than administrative [gosudarstvennyi], more regionalistic than centralistic - all these are requirements of Russian national specificity which will find its expression in the doctrine and not only in practice.
3. New people
Such a Russian socialism should be build by new people, a new type of people, a new class. A class of heroes and revolutionaries. The remains of the party nomenclature and their ramshackle order should fall victim to the socialist revolution. The Russian national revolution. The Russian`s are longing for freshness, for modernity [sovremennosti], for unfeigned romanticism, for living participation in some great cause. Everything that they are offered today [is] either archaic (the national patriots) or boring and cynical (the liberals). The dance and the attack, fashion and aggression, excessiveness and discipline, will and gesture, fanaticism and irony will seethe in the national revolutionaries - young, malicious [zlykh], merry, fearless, passionate and not knowing limits. They [will] build and destroy, rule and fulfill orders, conduct purges of the enemies of the nation and tenderly take care of Russian elderly and children. Wrathfully and merrily will they approach the citadel of the ramshackle [and] rotten System [sic]. Yes, they deeply [krovno] thirst for Power [sic]. They know how to use it. They will breathe Live [sic] in society, they will shove [vvergnut] the people into the sweet process of creating History [sic]. New people. Finally, intelligent and brave. Such as are needed. Who take the outer world as a strike (in the words of [Evgenii] Golovin [a Russian mystic and teacher of Dugin - A.U.]).
Immediately before his death, the French fascist writer Robert Brasillach voiced a strange prophecy: "I see how in the East, in Russia, fascism is rising – a fascism borderless and red."
Note: Not a faded, brownish-pinkish national capitalism, but the blinding dawn of a new Russian Revolution [sic], fascism - borderless as our lands, and red as our blood.