There is a huge amount of misinformation and disinformation about what is and what is not Russian nationalism.
As a ROG agent and evil Russian oppressor, it’s incumbent on me to set the record straight.
Sputnik and Pogrom’s vision of “Russia for Russians.”
Platform: The 3 Principles
Western commentators love to designate every single frothing at the mouth bearded Russian maniac into the ranks of “Russian nationalists.” Even many Russians whose only sin is to oppose replacing ICBM parades with LGBT parades in Moscow qualify.
In their world of the ROG conspiracy, Putler is the “godfather of extreme nationalism.”
In the world of reality, however, the term “Russian nationalist” has much more precise boundaries and connotations, at least within Russia itself. It can be narrowed down to loyalty to a set of common principles, of which perhaps the three most critical ones are:
- The cessation of political prosecutions for “hate speech” under Article 282.
- An end to mass immigration from Central Asia.
- The regathering of the Russian lands, including Belorussia, North Kazakhstan, Novorossiya, and Malorossiya.
To be sure, just like the Alt Right in the West, we do have our own internal debates and disagreements on all sorts of issues – on Putin, on Navalny, on the Syria adventure, on whether Orthodoxy is part of implicit Russian identity, on whether Pussy Riot should be locked up, on the optimal levels of gun freedoms, even on whether or not some aspects of SJW culture should be accomodated for. It is a wide tent that is open to people from a wide variety of ideological and religious backgrounds, and you do not have to be an ethnic Russian to join in.
But we do not waver on those three big principles. Those who do, such as Anatoly Nesmiyan (El Murid), who in recent months started writing positively of a united Ukraine, get excommunicated.
What Russian nationalism is not about is dismembering Russia, transforming it into “Little Russia” around its old Novgorod heartlands, etc. This misconception centers around the frequently repeated propaganda trope that Russia is a multi-ethnic empire, which Russian ethnic nationalism will break apart. Only political prosecutions of nationalists and infinity Moslems from Central Asia can avert that.
Reality: 81% of the Russian population are ethnic Great Russians, and 83% are Slavs. This is far higher than the percentage of White Americans in the US, but for some reason the US survives just fine without any ethnic minority republics with special privileges. It is also hard to square with the very hardline positions of Russian nationalists on the Ukraine question, which match word for word the publicly stated positions of traditional Russian conservatives such as the anti-Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn and the political philosopher Ivan Ilyin.
Incidentally, the reincorporation of the lost territories of the triune Russian nation will raise the percentage of Slavs in Russia to close to 90%, making problems with Muslims even less of a consideration.
People: Who’s In? Who’s Out?
Russian nationalists do include the following:
- The “Committee of January 25″ (K25) movement under Igor Strelkov and many of the people who were or are at associated with it, such as Konstantin Krylov and Eduard Limonov. Its US equivalent might be something like Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute.
- The flagship magazine of Russian nationalism, Egor Prosvirnin’s Sputnik and Pogrom. Its Western equivalents would be higher tier Alt Right publications such as Radix Journal, Counter Currents, and Occidental Observer
- Possibly Konstantin Malofeev’s Tsargrad TV, especially after Dugin’s recent ouster and replacement with Egor Kholmogorov. That said, it is more conservative than nationalist, with more than a passing resemblance to Breitbart.
Russian nationalists do not include the following:
- Eurasianists, such as Alexander Dugin, a Warhammer 40k cosplayer who wants to replace Russia with Greater Turkestan.
- Soviet nationalists, such as Alexander Prokhanov and Sergey Kurginyan, who want to resurrect the Soviet Union and its suppression of Russian identity.
- Liberal nationalists, such as Alexey Navalny, who want to make Russia into a ZOG colony.
- Ukrainian nationalists, which is what most liberal nationalists and Neo-Nazis functionally are.
- Putin personality cultists, such as Nikolay Starikov and the (now defunct) Nashi youth movement.
- Orthodox fundamentalist nutjobs such as Vsevolod Chaplin, who wants to legalize FGM and to replace Russia with Central Africa.
Putin: Putler or Putlet?
Attitudes towards Putin amongst Russian nationalists range from moderate support to outright hatred.
The more conservative and Orthodox elements of Russian nationalism tend to support him, while the more socially liberal, atheist, and/or racialist ones tend to oppose him. The most fervent Putin fans tend to be “patriots” (“putzriots“), they are not Russian nationalists, except in the loosest sense of the word. Their foreign equivalents would be the personality cults that have formed around “strong” charismatic leaders such as Trump and Erdogan.
Realistically speaking, Putin deserves neither the uncritical adulation nor the frothing condemnation of Russian nationalism. As I pointed out in my earlier article on whether or not Putin is “the godfather of extreme nationalism,” Putin is neither /ourguy/ nor (((theirguy))); he is a politician who needs to carry out a complex balancing act between various political-economic blocs and ideological strands in Russian society.
Let’s just briefly consider how Putin stacks up against Navalny and some Western politicians on the Three Principles:
(1) Russian nationalists do get imprisoned for hate speech, sometimes on remarkably spurious and illegitimate grounds. On the other hand, 282 is also wielded against Russophobes and Islamic extremists, which has made the Council of Europe very sad, so the situation here is perhaps not quite as bad as in the more “cucked” European countries. Still, its worth noting that Richard Spencer himself managed to get deported from Orban’s Hungary of all places, so there are few true nirvanas in this respect. Navalny would probably be an improvement on Putin here, assuming he does move to repeal Article 282; many of the Echo of Moscow liberals, who form part of his constituency, are big fans of it, and were instrumental in legislating it in the first place. On the plus side, there is far less political correctness in Russia than in Europe or the US, though this has little-to-nothing to do with Putin per se.
(2) Putin is very weak on immigration, though at least there are considerably fewer Third World immigrants per capita than in the UK, Germany, or Sweden; not exactly a high bar to clear, of course, but it’s still worth keeping in perspective. Navalny would almost certainly be an improvement, at least if he follows through on his platform. Putin is somewhat like American Republicans theorizing that socially conservative Latinos would be a solid support base for conservative politics, except that in Russia, this theory actually “works” – ethnic minority republics and Central Asians vote 90% for United Russia. Putin is also no match for Trump (2016 edition) on this question, though as we have recently seen, the Current Year has brought many unwelcome surprises on the God-Emperor’s true agenda.
(3) While Putin did not realize Russian nationalist aspirations to the extent that many hoped he would in the spring of 2014, it is difficult to imagine any other (viable) politician going as far as he did by bringing back Crimea and helping the LDNR survive. With Navalny, the Donbass will be left to the tender mercies of a vengeful and very Russophobic regime in Kiev, and even the long-term status of the Crimea will be put under question. On the other hand, Putin’s growing fondness for adventures in the Arab world – first Syria; soon, perhaps, Libya – is also a source of concern in some quarters of the Russian nationalist movement, who view it as a way of deflecting attention from the plight of Russia’s co-ethnics in the Donbass.
What is to be Done?
The only major political force in Russia that, at least on paper, satisfies all Three Principles is Zhirinovsky’s LDPR. It is against Article 282, against Central Asian immigration, and has a very strong line on Ukraine. However, there are many questions over both its competence and its independence from the Kremlin, so most Russian nationalists vote for it not so much out of ideological considerations as to move the Overton window in the right direction.
Russian nationalism as a political force is in a somewhat ironic situation. Theoretically, a good 80% or so of Russians are “vatniks” (whereas only perhaps 40% of Americans are “deplorables”), and more than half agree to some extent with the implicitly ethnonationalist slogan “Russia for Russians” (which makes half the Russian population either idiots or provocateurs, according to Putin himself). On the other hand, the main demands of Russian nationalism are either accomodated for or subverted by the Kremlin just enough to prevent a strong independent nationalist movement from emerging. For instance, Igor Strelkov, a potential figurehead for such a movement, was blacklisted by the MSM soon after his return from Ukraine.
There is currently no unity on strategy. The bulk of K25 advocates cautious cooperation with the Kremlin. Sputnik and Pogrom is more overtly oppositional. Tsargrad TV are basically regime loyalists who want it to take a harder line on the pursuit of Russian national interests, like America’s Breitbart or China’s Global Times.
My own modest aims are twofold. First, I want to help introduce the Alt Right to Russian nationalists, and vice versa. Second, I am trying to place Russian nationalism on a firmer, more scientific ideological footing, by importing useful concepts developed primarily in the West and applying them to Russian realities, such as IQ/HBD-realism.
Russian nationalism is extremely underdeveloped on these issues, thanks in part to the Soviet “blank slate” legacy, as well as to Eurasianism’s destructive promotion of “traditionalist” obscurantism (Dugin in particular denies the concept of race, period, which perhaps explains why he is so open to Central Asian population replacement). Moreover, to the extent that race is discussed at all amongst Russian nationalists, most of it happens amongst Neo-Nazis who unironically subscribe to Nazi era pseudoscience on the matter. (That said, it’s worth pointing out that European nationalisms aren’t much better. This is not surprising, since something like 80% of psychometrics and evopsych research takes place in the US, while European nationalists obssess over the intellectual miasma that is continental philosophy/Heideggerism).
This is a very sad and very stupid state of affairs – but it also represents some very low-hanging fruit. To this end, I and a couple of my friends here, Kirill Nesterov and @pigdog, have recently started up a podcast to discuss Russian politics from an Alt Right and HBD/IQ-realistic perspective in /pol/’s irreverent and semi-ironic style.
If you understand Russian, or are learning the language, you can check it out at ROGPR.com.