Forward to the past 11

What does a conservative in the US most want to conserve? We would say: A commitment to liberty, the founding principle of his country. American conservatives may differ from each other on questions of religion, foreign affairs, entitlements and the economic “safety-net”, homosexual marriage and abortion, even on defense, but if they are not loyal to the Constitution and the idea of individual freedom that it enshrines, they are not true conservatives.

In Britain too, conservatives are dedicated to the defense of the traditional and hard-won liberties of the people.

In Russia, being a conservative means something different. The very opposite. What Russian conservatives want to conserve is their long and almost completely unbroken tradition of tyranny. The quarrel within their ranks would now, in post-Soviet times, be chiefly over whether they want a return to the Red Tyranny of Bolshevism, or the older tradition of Tsarist oppression, where cause for national pride may more confidently be found.

Owen Matthews, author of  Stalin’s Children, writes in the Spectator (UK) about a conservative Russian military leader:

Strange times throw up strange heroes — and in Russia’s proxy war with Ukraine, none is more enigmatic than the Donetsk rebel leader Igor Girkin, better known by his nom de guerre of Igor Strelkov.

In a few short months, Strelkov has gone from being an obscure military re-enactor to the highest-profile rebel leader in eastern Ukraine. But at the same time Strelkov’s fame and outspoken criticism of Vladimir Putin for failing to sufficiently support the rebels has earned him the enmity of the Kremlin. Moreover, Strelkov’s brand of sentimental ultra-nationalism, extreme Orthodoxy and Russian Imperial nostalgia offer a frightening glimpse into one of Russia’s possible futures.

In the West, we are used to seeing Putin cast as a dangerous adventurer and nationalist. But to Strelkov, and to the millions of Russians who have come to admire him, Putin isn’t nearly nationalist enough.

Within weeks of his arrival in eastern Ukraine in May this year, apparently on his own initiative, Strelkov quickly became the highest-profile rebel leader thanks to his discipline and military bearing. A veteran of wars in Bosnia, Transnistria and Chechnya, Strelkov is a reserve colonel in the Russian army and a former (and possibly current) officer in Russia’s military intelligence service, the GRU. With his clipped moustache, pressed fatigues and careful charm, Strelkov styles himself on a pre–revolutionary Tsarist officer. In May he mustered a 2,000-strong local defence force in Slavyansk, banned his troops from swearing and ordered two of his own men to be summarily executed for looting.

He wrote a manifesto calling his troops “an Orthodox army who are proud that we serve not the golden calf but our Lord Jesus Christ” and declared that “swearing is blasphemy, and a Russian warrior cannot use the language of the enemy. It demeans us spiritually, and will lead the army to defeat”.

Russian state television built Strelkov up as a hero. The nationalist writer Egor Prosvirnin praised him as the “Russian God of War” who “rinks the blood of foreign mercenaries to the last drop, and then asks for more”. …

And then, in mid-August, Strelkov mysteriously resigned his post as “defence minister” of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic — along with two other Russian citizens who had been the civilian heads of the rebel Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. All three rebel leaders were replaced by Ukrainian citizens.

The most obvious explanation for the reshuffle is that Moscow is preparing a negotiated settlement where the Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine — or Novo-Rossiya, “New Russia”, in Russian nationalist parlance — will be given some degree of autonomy within Ukraine. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary — from young soldiers’ Instagram selfies tagged to locations inside Ukraine to the Russian regular soldiers taken prisoners of war on Monday by Kiev’s troops — Moscow has also continued to insist that it is not a combatant in Ukraine. Clearly, having Russian citizens at the helm of supposedly autonomous rebel republics and their armed forces was a diplomatic inconvenience to the Kremlin which needed to be fixed — and pressure was put on Strelkov and his cronies to quit.

But there’s another, deeper meaning to Strelkov’s fall from favour. Though he’s often portrayed as a stooge of Moscow, Strelkov has in fact been consistently critical of the Kremlin’s failure to act decisively to annex eastern Ukraine as it annexed Crimea in spring. “Having taken Crimea, Putin began a revolution from the top,” Strelkov wrote in June. “But if we do not support [this revolution] now, its failure will sweep aside both him and the country.”

Strelkov’s close associate Igor Ivanov, the head of the rebel army’s political department, has also furiously denounced the “Chekist-oligarchic regime” of Vladimir Putin and has also predicted that Putin will soon fall, leaving only the army and the church to save Russia from chaos.

This mix of militarism, religion and a mystical faith in Holy Russia’s imperial destiny to rule over lesser nations has deep roots. Ivanov was until recently head of the Russian All-Military Union, or ROVS, an organisation originally founded by the White Russian General Baron Pyotr Wrangel in 1924 after the victory of the Bolsheviks in the civil war. Its guiding motive was to preserve the Tsarist ideals of God, Tsar and Fatherland. For much of the 20th century, ROVS was the preserve of elderly emigré fantasists — before a new generation of post-Soviet nationalists like Ivanov breathed new life into the organisation as a home for Russian ultra-nationalists who hate Putin’s brand of crony capitalism.

A similar outfit is the Narodny Sobor, or People’s Assembly, which describes itself as an “Orthodox-Patriotic organisation devoted to fighting ‘liberasts’ and western values, to promoting Orthodoxy, and to preserving the traditional family”, according to a recent study by Professor Paul Robinson of the University of Ottawa. In Russia, the Narodny Sobor has, along with the Russian Orthodox church, successfully campaigned for a tsunami of conservative legislation to be passed by the Duma, from banning swearing on television and in films to prohibiting the spreading of “homosexual propaganda”. The head of the Narodny Sobor’s Ukrainian branch is Igor Druz — a senior political advisor to Strelkov who has denounced the Kiev government as “pederasts and drug addicts”.

On the face of it, Strelkov and his ilk and Putin should be on the same side. They share a nostalgia for a lost Russian greatness — indeed Strelkov has a degree in history and was until recently an enthusiastic military re-enactor, playing White Guard and second world war officers. And this year, in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis, Putin has abandoned years of hard-edged pragmatism and economic prudence and moved towards the kind of mystical, Orthodox nationalism so beloved of the ROVS and Narodny Sobor crowd.

Yet as Putin prepares to sign off on some kind of compromise peace deal with the Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, there will be millions of Russians brainwashed by months of state television’s patriotic propaganda who will agree with Strelkov that Moscow is selling the rebels down the river.

Strelkov himself has little chance of becoming a serious opposition figure to Putin; he is too stiff and too weird for public politics. But Putin’s main challenger, when he comes, will be someone of Strelkov’s stamp.

We tend to think of Vladimir Putin as being most politically vulnerable from the left — from the liberal, western-orientated professionals who came out in their hundreds of thousands on the streets of Moscow and St Petersburg three years ago to protest at Putin’s third term. But in truth Putin’s real vulnerability is from the right — from the racist football fans who rioted unchecked through central Moscow in 2010; from prophets of a Russian-led Eurasian empire such as Alexander Dugin, who was in the radical nationalist opposition to Putin before falling temporarily into step with the Kremlin in the wake of the Crimea campaign; and from militaristic ultra-conservatives on the Russian religious right.

So for the countries of Eastern Europe emancipated from Russian servitude barely a quarter of a century ago, there is not only the growing threat of re-subjugation, but the probability that it will be applied according to the whims of a madman, a religious fanatic living out fantasies of Tsardom and limitless imperial expansion by military means.

  • To readers and commenters: We are letting this latest entry by the White Supremacist Dale Jensen stand in case anyone wants to make any further comment. But we will not allow him the use of our space again to propagate his repulsive views.

  • Dale Jensen

    I see my comment didn’t go over too well. But think of this. In the 1950s if you were to tell any normal American that in 60 to 70 years America would be losing its white majority, 15% of marriages would be interracial, Hispanics would comprise 17% of the total population with demographic projections of up to 50% by mid century, that black on white violence was epidemic including the constant rape of white women, that the culture would promote promiscuity as a badge of honor, that white people especially white male were routinely demonized and that a black Marxist Muslim occupied the White House, they would not believe you. After all, we beat the Nazis didn’t we. All was saved. No.

    The point is this, your brand of “conservatism” believes that conserving race doesn’t matter, which is why I say it is not conservatism. You are advocating for what Larry Auster used to call “the proposition nation” view of America; ie that America as JUST a list of principles but that its historic founding stock means nothing; that you can take Asians, Hispanics, Blacks, Muslims, East Indians and Whites and then put them all in the same geographic area and they will all come to respect the political principles of dead White Northern Europeans from the 18th century. As you see, its not working out.

    I’m not advocating Nazism but only the position that would have been uncontroversial up to the 50s; that nations should be racially homogeneous. Is Japan a Nazi regime? Or South Korea? Last time I checked, Japan was 99% Japanese. Imagine what the Fukashima incident would have looked like if Japan were 60% Japanese, 20% Hispanic, 15% Black and 5% Muslim. Do you think Japan would have had the high trust culture and solidarity that they have now? Or do you think it would have looked like Katrina and New Orleans? The question is obviously rhetorical. Now imagine if America were 99% European with the majority being from British and German backgrounds and there were no blacks and no Hispanics. That United States would be a utopia compared to what we have now, even if there were disagreements.

    Russia looks like it is moving in the direction of preserving its racial stock. That will give it a strength for whatever future catastrophe is coming. What do you all think is going to be the fate of Whites when they are the minority and there is the equivalent of a Black African Republic in the middle of North America (ie when you get whole territories that resemble Detroit) and the Mestizos start unifying around anti-white sentiments? Throw Muslims in the mix and what will you get? All with the Left demonizing non-Leftist Whites as the cause of every ill.

    Conservatives need to start considering the racial causes for the dystopia we are seeing. But most resist which leads me to believe that whites in the West will just never think racially despite the fact that EVERY other race will. The knee jerk, Leftist-like responses from this site are depressing. The lack of any white consciousness among Euro-American Whites has got to be the most tragic development in all of world history. It is symptomatic of simultaneous racial and civilizational suicide. Depressing to say the leas.

    • liz

      I think you are mis-identifying the true problem, which is not race.
      It’s the Left. They have been, as you say, demonizing non-leftist whites as the cause of every ill and fomenting racial hatred for decades. They are causing the utter destruction of this country from within. If left to ourselves, we COULD have “all come to respect the political principals of dead white Northern Europeans from the 18th century.”
      Statistics show that blacks were making progress and would have integrated into American society until the left started “helping” them.
      The same is true for every group the left has hijacked and “liberated”.
      Because of the left’s lies, these principles have been distorted and mutilated, society is breaking down, and race relations are regressing.
      You are seeing race as the problem, when in fact it’s only a symptom..

    • REALBEING

      I know you. There are thousands of ‘you’ out there…….so certain that you are correct in your illusion, now aren’t you, sir?

      If you were black, you would be making your case for how blacks are gonna save the universe.

      If you were yellow, you’d be making your case on just how the oriental race is gonna save the universe.

      If you were brown, you’d be making your case on just how the brown race is superior, above the other races.

      If you were red, you’d make your case for the red man, and his magnificent superiority.

      Green……magenta……orange……..purple……..the entire rainbow. If you were any color imaginable, you could make a case for how your color is superior to any other color in the rainbow.

      Yes, sir…………you are just another cheap shot artist. Nothing but another veneer-loving, bullsh-t salesman…….

  • Dale Jensen

    What I am about to say is controversial. But…Russia may be the last hope for the white race. I sense in the development of Russia a growing defiance of Western liberalism. By that I mean that mushy mix of Leftist egalitarianism, watered down right liberalism and mainstream Conservatism. The United States looks likes its heading for serious racial Balkanization and possibly even open hostility against whites; especially if the Mestizos should eventually come to be the majority. The growing hatred against whites by essentially ALL non-whites (especially blacks) is growing evidence of the hell-on-earth that might await North American white people.

    Europe is heading for a showdown with Islam. The European Left would love to outbreed whites and create a multi-racial egalitarian paradise. All they will do is pave the way for the Islamic conquest of Europe. Russia has never accepted Classical (right) Liberalism or Cultural Marxism (ironic). As much as I don’t like Putin, it doesn’t matter. I am the type of Conservative (a former libertarian) who believes that if you are not trying to conserve racial stock then what the hell are you trying to conserve? Russia looks to be going down the road to nationalism. It very may well embrace Christianity again. But because it is outside the confines of either Leftist multi-racial egalitarianism or Right-Liberal individualism, Russia may very well end up explicitly championing the white race; ie the Nordic evolutionary line.

    If you have ever seen the beauty of Balkan women with their fair skin and light eyes, they are like angels; the paragon of beauty. It is a crime against nature to dilute that beauty. I would rather a Christian, neo-nationalist but nevertheless Nordic Russian homeland than a multi-racial “America”.

    Individualism is dangerous. If it were possible for it to exist in its purest sense; ie Randianism or Austrianism that would be nice (and imo unless right liberalism is pure it is dangerous). But that will probably never be possible. IQ matters, biology matters, common culture matters. Genetic relatedness matters. Russia may end up preserving the Nordic genetic legacy and thus providing the possibility of a white homeland; which means the possibility of a peaceful existence for whites away from black, hispanic and Muslim dystopia. America should have been that white homeland (and one could argue that it was until the 1964 immigration act). Conservatism without race, blood, soil and common culture is not Conservatism. Russia may end up being the only European truly Conservative country in existence. If that is the direction it goes in, ie a white homeland, then I don’t care if its Christian so long as its white.

    As I said, controversial.

    • liz

      Interesting perspective. But these Russian nationalists sound a lot like Nazis to me.

      • Don L

        I wonder if this guy is related to that other idiot who wanted us to leave America because we wouldn’t kowtow to the christian majority? LOL. 2 wackos from the east…all in one week! LOL

    • C. Gee

      Not “controversial”. Not interesting. Absurd. And like all irrational puritanisms, based on a fundamental perversion of science.

    • Yes, controversial indeed. In 1939 the view you propound was so controversial that the two sides of the controversy went to war over the issue, and the side your comment reminds us of took quite a beating.

    • Don L

      Dale Jensen you’re an offensive person…plain and simple. As a white person…you embarrass me and all other thinking white, or any race, persons. Your parents ought be taken out and shot for having allowed you to live. Wow…you’re a real sicko! And, a danger to humanity.

    • REALBEING

      “What I am about to say is controversial. But…Russia may be the last hope for the white race.”
      What you call “controversial,” most thinking folks would call ridiculous!!
      WHAT A BUNCH OF ROT!!
      I needn’t go any further. To me, “white race, “black race, “red race,” “yellow race,” etc. is simply your response to what lunacy runs amok inside your tiny little brain!

      One suggestion, if I may……….GROW UP AND BE AN ADULT HUMAN BEING!