The National Bolshevik (NatsBol) meeting was at the Monument to the Heroes of the Revolution of 1905-1907, festooned with the black-red flags of movement, though the chiliastic chic of Limonov’s monthly rant was somewhat checked by the Mickey D. golden arch and the skyscrapers of the Moscow financial district in the background.
Eduard Limonov is a most idiosyncratic figure. A dissident Jew (or maybe not; it’s unclear) who emigrated to New York and spent the 1970-80s doing drugs and having trysts with powerful Negro studs, Eddie returned to Russia in the 1990s where he took up the banner of the red brown alliance – with far more punk, homosex, and an unusually good female-to-male ratio by 1488 standards.
He published the book Another Russia in 2001, calling on youth to dig into the bunkers and wage a total war against the bureaucrats, businessmen, and assorted bugmen of the modern world. Unlike other nihilist philosophers, who are a dime a dozen, he actually proceeded to follow up his words with actions, attempting to foment a Russian insurrection in north Kazakhstan, for which he did a stint in jail.
After spending the 2000s in rabid opposition to Putin, after the reunification with Crimea and the war in the Donbass he finally learned to love the Leader.
Clearly a most “passionary” fellow, so I thought it worthwhile to come check out what he had to say.
The introductory slogans were simple: “Stalin, Beria, gulag.” “Confiscate and divide.”
Unlike your typical kremlinoid bugman, who speaks of rossiyane citizens or even “inhabitants of Russia,” Limonov is unafraid to speak to and about ethnic russkie. (In general, the russkie/rossiyane ratio is a good proxy for how based a Russian politician is).
Re-Ukraine. He seems to identify the Russian World with the geographic areas where the Russian language is predominant – that is, the eight oblasts of prospective Novorossiya. The rest of the Ukraine he proposed to divide with Romania, Poland, and Hungary – in a process also detaching them from the EU, which is “sending them nothing but migrants.” The latter reflects a rather serious detachment from reality. Romanians were unenthusiastic even about their lost Wallachian provinces, i.e. Moldova, to say nothing of territorial ambitions in the Ukraine. As for the EU, it sends all of those countries the yearly equivalent of more than a thousand Euros’ worth of welfare payments per capita; in return, all they ask of them is to take in some token number of refugees, who all proceed to go on to the richer gibsmedats pastures of Germany and Sweden anyway. Seriously, I doubt even a dozen of the recent Syrian immigrants ended up permanently settling in any of those countries. In the meantime, they get to entertain themselves by sticking a middle finger to the Eurocrats.
More geopolitical comments. Trump and his $110 arms deal with the Saudis – Russia can’t compete with that kind of money, because its not rich enough, because of its cold climate (past instances of “confiscate and divide” obviously not mentioned as contributory factors).
He is a big fan of Kurdistan, thinks Russia should support it more actively. Wants a bigger military contingent in Syria, including ground forces. Very boomer mindset.
Macron is fat, but “fancies himself a D’Artagnan” – original line of attack, if a somewhat strange one (is Macron actually fat? Never noticed). Claims that he was owned by Putin. My impression was that it was rather the other way round – Macron received Putin at the Palace of Versailles. The last foreign dignitary to be given a reception there was Gaddafi in 2007 under President Sarkozy, who in a few more years met a sticky end thanks in large part to Sarkozy himself. The impression that this was a deliberate slight was reinforced by the post-reception press conference, where Macron called RT and Sputnik journalists propagandists to Putin’s face and said that France would bomb Syria if it were to use chemical weapons again. But no matter – according to Limonov, Putin subdued Macron, and made him “respect” him, laying the foundations for improved relations with France. So much so that perhaps in the near future Russians “will be able to go France to help beat up immigrants.”
Now I am personally not a fan of beating up immigrants. Document checks and deportations seem to be the more civilized and effective policy. Still, if you are a nationalist of some sort, and want to beat up immigrants, shouldn’t you prioritize the ones in your own country? E.g., the up to 10 million illegals in Russia?
I mean, I don’t want to be too tough on Limonov, who at least is red-pilled on race (in another part of his speech, he said the US has a lot of Negroes, “half of whom are on welfare”). This alone places him far closer to the American Alt Right than Greater Turkestan proponent Dugin. Even so, this tendency to notice “problems” in Western countries while studiously not extending the same analytical framework to their own country seems to be a defining feature of the Russian nationalist boomer mindset. Is this due to a generational cognitive blind-spot, a concern about alienating their audiences, or fear of possible legal repercussions?
This is something I’m trying to figure out myself.
Re-Navalny. If he were to die today, and the oligarch Usmanov (with whom Navalny is currently feuding) were to die tomorrow, Limonov would “not be sad.” Skeptical about whether the Americans are financing him, but that said, he does ask where does the money for Navalny’s extensive network of regional election HQs come from? Complains about state persecution of nationalists, citing one “Yura” who got three years for non-violently defending a female journalist from the police, while Navalny is walking free despite having two suspended sentences. The unspoken implication is that Limonov thinks the Kremlin is in cahoots with Navalny.
At this point Limonov wraps up the lecture, everyone claps, and a few people go up to him to have books signed and to discuss things further (including the American fan of Limonov and Unz Review reader who brought me out there).
The next speaker was some NatsBol activist with a boring jeremiad about “economic justice” and the “social lifts of Soviet society.” Limonov, inane as he often is, is at least entertaining. Those activist ideologue types never are, so we left.