European National Socialism: Identification Problems

A three quarters of a century after the violent destruction of Nazism in World War II, Europe faces the problem of this criminal practice being revived. If earlier Nazism was a pronounced anti-Semitic, now it turned out to be aimed at destroying and annihilating the Russian nation, both inside Russia and outside of it – by dispersion. However, the ruling Russian elite still does not define the Russophobia of some European elites as a Nazi practice.

The reason for this political infantilism of the ruling Russian elites, to a large extent, is the uncertainty that reigns in domestic social science.

Nazism in its works took into account quite a large number of scientists. From the Soviet ones it is enough to name the names A. Galkin, O. Plenkov, V. Shambarov, and from western ones – K. Heiden, R. Evans, T. Masson, R. Griffin, D. Mayer, D. Moss, H. Link, R. Lemke. In modern Russia, the topic of Nazism, unfortunately, is considered mainly by historians.

Researchers give many definitions of Nazism, but all of them are limited to listing its main characteristics: traditionalism, nationalism, anti-liberalism, extremism, anti-communism, etatism, populism, anti-Semitism, militarism, chieftainism, racism, and a number of others. All these, really important, characteristics are considered as set apart, i.e., unrelated in an essential way. This allows to freely introduce or exclude any of the said characteristics from the general scope of the concept, and makes the definition of Nazism extremely vague and unsuitable for practical application. There is no clear distinction between the concepts of Nazism and fascism among specialists.

The lack of clarity in understanding the nature of Nazism and fascism leads to the introduction into scientific circulation, and into public consciousness as a whole, of concepts bearing a similar sense: neo-Nazism, integral nationalism, racism, ethnic discrimination, xenophobia, totalitarianism. This creates further confusion to the assessment of the negative social processes currently developing in Europe.

In our view, the main feature of fascism and its kind of Nazism is the forced division of members of the bourgeois nation into higher and lower strata along ethnic lines, i.e. the existence of an ethnic hierarchy in society.

For pre-capitalist modes of production, the existence of an ethnic hierarchy was entirely natural. Slaveholders and feudal lords usually belonged to one, and slaves and serfs to another (others) ethnos (ethnicities). Ethnic exploitation was an integral part of non-economic exploitation.

Developed capitalism legislatively equates all members of society, regardless of their ethnic origin. This is a condition for the effective functioning of capital and the market economy serving its needs. The division of members of capitalist society into higher and lower strata is based on the principle of capital and other forms of wealth, and is exclusively social in nature.

Liberal capitalism develops on the basis of private capital competition. In the sphere of superstructure, it is characterised by political competition – democracy. It includes freedom of conscience and speech and assembly, as well as the right to elect the personal composition of the ruling elites. A large, usually titular in name, ethnos in the context of liberal capitalism dominates and forces small, non-titular, ethnos to assimilate not through violence, but through effectively functioning social institutions – mass schools, universities, theatres, museums, libraries, media.

However, in the early stages of the development of liberal capitalism, ethnic inequality continued to serve as an additional source of income for the bourgeoisie. This was the period of initial capital accumulation. This period lasted a couple hundred years. Extra-economic exploitation of ethnic groups, which were at a pre-capitalist stage of development, brought particularly great profits to the bourgeoisie. In order to organize the exploitation of foreign tribes, nationalities and peoples, the bourgeoisie captured their countries and turned them into colonies. Low social status was established for the population of the colonies and received known lower incomes than the population of the metropolitan area. Political rights, freedoms, and democratic procedures did not apply to the population of the colonies. If necessary, the native population was driven from the places of permanent residence, thus doomed to extinction, if not simply physically destroyed.

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The nations that were the first to take the path of capitalist development and managed to create their colonial systems we will call hypothetically “old”. These are English, French, Belgian, Dutch, Danish.

Some nations took the path of capitalist development much later than the “old”. Let’s call them, also hypothetically, “young” bourgeois nations. These are Germans, Austrians, Hungarians, Romanians, Italians, Bulgarians, Romanians.

The bourgeoisie of “young” nations sought opportunities for the initial accumulation of capital, and wanted to establish their own colonies and profit from them. However, all “free” territories on Earth were occupied by “old” nations by this time.

The “young” European nations tried to redivide the territory of the world in their favour and launched the first World War. However, they failed to defeat the “old” nations.

The winners punished the “young” nations by dividing and annexation part of their territory, forcing the payment of large reparations, imposing restrictions on the maintenance of the armed forces. This order was recorded in the Versailles system of the post-war structure of Europe.

The bourgeoisie of “young” nations after the defeat in the war could not provide its workers with work and acceptable income. They started to revolt. A series of revolutions broke out, during which wage workers supported the communists in their demand to nationalise private capital and thereby solve the problem of employment and equitable distribution of income.

After Europe’s territorial re-establishment, national minorities, formerly subordinate to large titular ethnic groups, started to lay claim to a fair share of income. The bourgeoisie of “young” nations has not yet managed to establish effective social institutions and to assimilate their national minorities peacefully. These minorities were actively included in the unfolding social revolutions.

The bourgeoisie of the “young” nations under these conditions was unable to perform the functions of the ruling class on their own and attracted the help of the elite, who were ready to perform the functions of suppressing the dissatisfaction of the working classes and national minorities. These new elites were called fascists.

Upon coming to power, the leadership of fascist parties gained the status of a state bureaucracy. It brought with it into politics old, essentially feudal, methods of non-economic exploitation of workers and terrorist methods of suppressing their political activity.

In multi-ethnic societies, the fascists rejected the claims of small ethnic groups to be equal in relations with the dominant large ethnic group. The fascists forcibly kept foreigners in obedience, removed them from high social positions, subjected them to increased exploitation, and tried to assimilate them forcibly. This policy of destroying collective ethnic identity in modern scientific literature has been called ethnocide.

The result of the action of the fascist regime was the formation of a hierarchical structure in the capitalist society: the title ethnic group – at the top of the social ladder, foreigners – at the bottom of the social ladder. The social hierarchy underwent a strong modification despite the preservation of the bourgeoisie class and wage earners. Now the income and wealth of the bourgeoisie depended not only on its success in capital management, but also on its ethnic origin.

As a result, fascism has become not only a special form of exercise of political power, but also a special form of social reproduction. Let us call it the fascist form of reproduction of the bourgeois nation.

The fascist method of social reproduction was based on the active intervention of the state in the distribution of income (freezing of the personal income of employees and the bourgeoisie, forcing the latter to accumulate capital); suppression of social conflicts (corporate and labour dispute management); regulation of all social activities (totalitarianism); the widespread use of propaganda to manage human behaviour; forced assimilation of national minorities.

In the 1920s-1930s, almost all “young” European nations chose a fascist mode of reproduction: Germans, Austrians, Italians, Romanians, Hungarians, Bulgarians, Spanish, Portuguese, Finns, Balts.

The “old” nations – English, French, Belgian, Dutch, Danes – were able at this time to preserve the liberal-bourgeois way of social reproduction.

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In cases where the fascist regime did not allow the problems facing the nation to be solved, it started to change and turned into a more radical one by the instruments of domination of the ruling elite – the Nazi regime. The Nazi regime is characterised by a policy of open terror against ethnic minorities, robbing them, and ousting them from the country.

The Nazis determine serf dependence or enslavement for the remaining aliens in the country. Members of foreign ethnic groups who are resistant and unable to work are destroyed. The ethnic hierarchy became dominant in society. The Nazis call this hierarchy racial.

In the case when the masses of the dominant ethnic group accept on a permanent basis the status and material benefits that are taken away from national minorities, a national-socialist version of the fascist method of social reproduction is formed.

The fascist mode of social reproduction in general and its national-socialist modification in particular are not economically effective. This forces fascist and Nazi elites to pursue external expansion. The capture of other countries allows them to obtain additional territories of economic activity, to rob the ethnic groups living in them, and to convert these ethnic groups into serfdom or slavery. The “excessive” population of acquired colonies is ruthlessly destroyed.

National socialism was born in Germany. In 1933 the National-Socialist German Workers’ Party came to power. It established a fascist regime of governance and started to carry out the fascisation of the German nation. From the beginning of its rule, this party persecuted and discriminated against Jews, Gypsies, Kashubs, Lusatia Serbs, and other national minorities. They were denied the right to preserve a collective ethnic identity, robbed, and forced out of the country. Then they started to be imprisoned in concentration camps and enslaved. Finally, national minorities started to be physically destroyed. The fascist regime of government transformed into a Nazi one. A system of racial hierarchy was being established.

The bulk of Germans accepted and supported Nazi policies and enjoy material and status benefits that are taken away from national minorities. This makes it possible to talk about the transition of Germans to the Nazi modification of the fascist model of national reproduction.

Since 1939, German Nazi elites have taken a course for territorial seizures in Europe. Italian, Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian, and Finnish fascist nations took part in the German aggression. They became Germany’s anti-communist axis allies. World War II started to unfold.

The Nazis and fascists seized the initially continental European countries, turn them into colonies, robbed and enslaved conquered liberal bourgeois nations, and pursued a policy of ethnocide and genocide against them.

European Nazis and fascists then attacked the communist USSR. They also pursued a policy of looting, ethnocide, and genocide against the Soviet nation.

The USSR, Great Britain, and the United States form a political alliance – the United Nations. This alliance defeated Nazi Germany and its fascist allies in a difficult war. The winners were punished by members of the axis nations. Nazi and fascist ideologies and practices were prohibited. The Potsdam system of post-war structure of Europe started being formed.

Currently, a number of “young” Eastern European countries, at the suggestion of Anglo-Saxon elites, are pursuing a line to demonise the Russian nation. This is how it is necessary to interpret their accusations that Russian athletes use doping en masse, the Russian military is guilty of launching a missile at a MH-17 passenger plane over Donbass, the Russian security services organised the poisoning of the Skripal family, and Russian hackers interfere in the election of Western presidents and parliaments. All this is psychological preparation of the population of European countries for the creation of a new ethnic hierarchy in which the Russian nation will be given the lowest place. The Russian ethnic group is being prepared for dismemberment, deprivation of collective identity, and a radical reduction of numbers in a violent way.

The Anglo-Saxons already apply strict economic and political sanctions against Russians living in Russia, i.e., they conduct ethnic discrimination against them.

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In Ukraine, in the Baltic republics, in Georgia, and in Moldova, the Russian population is subject to ethnic persecution and forced assimilation. This is expressed in the ban on the use of the Russian language in the public sphere, as well as in the elimination of Russian schools, technical schools, institutes, and universities. Russians are denied the right to preserve their culture through theatres, museums, galleries, libraries, radio, and television, although they pay money to preserve them. A ban has been imposed on Russian media broadcasting. Cultural monuments significant to the Russians are being destroyed. Topographical names that are related to Russian history are being eliminated. Russian names are distorted. In Latvia and Estonia, most Russians are deprived of citizenship, and through this their political, economic, and social rights are restricted. Foreigners are not allowed to be officials, heads of state enterprises, or representatives of intellectual professions.

Thus, the ruling elites of the mentioned countries built hierarchies with titular ethnos at the top and non-titular ethnos, especially Russians, at the bottom of the social ladder. This was done in order to obtain additional material benefits and social statuses for the titular bourgeoisie and the titular political elite.

At the same time, the political, economic, and intellectual elites of the foreigners of these Eastern European countries need emigration. Moreover, the most active part of the non-titular elite is subject to criminal prosecution.

All of this suggests that we are dealing with the creation of an ethnic hierarchy, with the ethnocide of a non-titular population, and that the liberal way of reproducing the bourgeois nation in the countries under consideration has not developed.

Often the ruling elites of a number of “young” Eastern European countries use Nazi methods of domination – genocide – against national minorities. So in 1992 a part of the Moldovan ruling elites acted against Russians in Transnistria. This was done in 1991-1992, 2004, and 2008 by some of the Georgian ruling elites against the Ossetians in South Ossetia and 1992-1993 against the Abkhaz in Abkhazia. Such a threat arose in 2014 from part of the Ukrainian ruling elites against the Russian population of Crimea, and this threat was implemented against the Russian population of Donbass. In all these cases, Russia was forced to intervene in ethnic conflicts in order to prevent the genocide of the Russian and complimentary population.

The identification of a number of practices in Europe as fascist and Nazi is carried out not only by the author of this article. For example, on October 5th 2018 the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the states of the European Union to ban the activities of neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups, which the authorities are turning a blind eye to. Poland, Greece, Germany, as well as Latvia, are mentioned in the list of countries that allow such incidents in connection with the annual march of remembrance of Latvian legionaries.

The resolution notes the need: “to effectively prohibit neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups and any other foundations or associations that glorify and glorify Nazism and fascism.”

The European Parliament, in its resolution, mentions “depressing reports” of collusion between political leaders, political parties, and law enforcement bodies of individual member countries and neo-fascists and neo-Nazis. The resolution also calls on the states of the union to “openly condemn and sanction” hate crimes, hate speech, and for the search for perpetrators (among minorities) to be carried out by politicians and public officials, as they directly make hatred and violence the norm and enforce it.

Unfortunately, these European Parliament guidelines are only of a advisory nature and cannot change the current situation. In addition, Russian minorities living in the Eastern European countries we are considering are not classified by European parliamentarians as victims of ethnocide and genocide. So, the Russian ruling elites need to determine their own assessments and tools to prevent the revival of Nazism and fascism in Europe.


Aleksandr Gaponenko

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