About the release of the new work of Aleksandr Gaponenko.
Recently, the Moscow publishing house “Book World” released a book of the famous Latvian human rights activist, scientist and permanent author of the RNL (Russian People’s Line) Aleksandr Vladimirovich Gaponenko “European fascism: the problem of its identification and prevention”. We publish a conversation with the author about his new work.
Aleksandr Vladimirovich, why did you decide to turn to the analysis of the problems of such a political movement as fascism, after all, it was defeated more than 75 years ago during the Second World War and is currently legally prohibited in all countries of the world?
“Fascism, indeed, was defeated on May 9, 1945 and banned everywhere. For a long time, its revival was hindered by the USSR, but after its collapse, fascism quickly acquired new forms and revived all over the world. Existing laws prevent the spread of external manifestations of fascism: symbols, texts, veneration of specific significant political figures and the movement itself. But the social relations characteristic of fascism were restored, and in a number of European countries they became dominant. This explains the relevance of the undertaken research.”
What do you mean by fascism?
“Thousands of serious research works have been written about fascism, but no author gives an answer to the question of what fascism is. In the course of my work on the book, I came to the conclusion that fascism is a kind of way of building a nation, which is characterised by: the domination of the titular ethnic group over non-titular ethnic groups; the appropriation of material resources created by non-titular ethnic groups by the titular ethnic group; the establishment of an ethnic hierarchy in society, in which members of the titular ethnic group are at the top of the social ladder, and members of non-titular ethnic groups are near its base.”
So, then how does fascism differ from other types of nation-building?
“Fascism is the domination and exploitation by one ethnic group of the another ethnic group. I have conditionally defined these social relations as a ‘brown’ kind of construction of such a form of ethnic community as a nation. We can talk about the existence of a ‘brown’ project, since fascism is a man-made thing.
The bourgeoisie resorts to the ‘brown’ project when it cannot develop itself within the framework of the liberal-democratic political form, which I conditionally define as the ‘white’ project. The ‘white’ project assumes political and social equality of all ethnic groups within one nation.
The ‘brown’ project is opposed by the ‘red’ project, which is aimed at limiting private capital that seeks to self-grow in any way, including through ethnic exploitation. The ‘red’ project does not allow one ethnic group to exploit others, it is international.
Lastly, we can talk about the existence of a ‘black’ project. Under it, the dominant ethnic group turns the subordinate ethnic groups into slaves, goes to the physical destruction of those who do not bring surplus value. This nation-building project is commonly referred to as Nazism.”
What conclusions can be drawn regarding the development of the situation in Europe in the early-mid-20th Century when applying the methodological approach to understanding the nature of fascism proposed by you?
“The German, Austrian, Italian, Hungarian, Romanian and Bulgarian nations entered the path of capitalist development later than the English, French, Dutch and Belgian nations. The ‘young’ nations tried to redistribute in their favour the colonies from the ‘old’ nations, but were defeated and punished at the beginning of the 20th Century. This closed the opportunity for them to develop themselves within a ‘white’ project.
Wage workers in the ‘young’ European nations tried to implement the ‘red’ project, but were defeated in the battles with the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie began to develop the ‘brown’ project of nation-building.
The ‘brown’ project assumed the preservation of private capital, but at the same time the establishment of state control over the personal income of capitalists and the accumulation of capital, the creation of new jobs and the establishment of a guaranteed level of remuneration for all employees. The dominant ethnic group had to obtain material resources for the initial accumulation of capital and for its social development by robbing ethnic minorities and imposing restrictions on their economic and social activities. As a result, the society established an ethnic hierarchy with the titular ethnic group at the top and non-titular ethnic groups at the bottom of the social ladder.
The carriers of the ‘brown’ project were primarily the fascist parties, which developed from below and in which not only the bourgeoisie, but also the peasants, wage workers, and employees took part. At the head of the state was the head of the party – the Fuhrer, the Duce.”
However, fascism was not always the product of fascist parties?
“Indeed, in the 1920s-30s in Germany and Italy, new fascist elites came to power who relied on mass fascist movements. They have strongly moved the bourgeoisie and the bureaucracy into power.
In Austria, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, the ruling bourgeoisie, with the support of the landed gentry, formed itself mass parties from above, which were completely under its control and performed the functions of suppressing and robbing ethnic minorities. At the same time, the bourgeoisie relied on the existing state apparatus, and gave extraordinary powers to kings or dictators-regents. The bourgeoisie of the nations in question did not allow the fascist parties created from below to come to power, and even persecuted their leadership as a dangerous competing political force. The social institutions in these ‘young’ nations propagated not classical fascist ideas, but conservative ones that were drawn from religious doctrines. There was no complete totalitarian control over all members of society in these countries.”
What other “added” value appeared as a result of the undertaken research?
“It became possible to make a division between Fascism and Nazism. As a radical way out of the social crisis, the bourgeoisie proposed a ‘black’ project. Its bearer, as noted, was the Nazi parties. The Nazis, unlike the fascists, proposed not only to rob foreigners, but also to enslave them. Those who resisted or were unfit for work had to be exterminated. This project required external aggression as the main source of material resources and slaves.
The ‘black’ project began to be implemented in Germany and Austria after 1938; at the end of 1943, the Nazi order was established in the Italian Social Republic. At the end of 1944, Nazism was established in part of Romania (the regime of H. Sima) and in part of Hungary (the regime of F. Szálasi). In all these cases, fascism was transformed into Nazism under the external pressure of the Germans.
Nazism had already as its result the establishment in society not of an ethnic but of a racial hierarchy, i.e., under it, the titular ethnic group received the status of the highest race, and all other ethnic groups received the status of the lowest race. The inferior race in this context is all aliens who are targeted by the policy of enslavement and extermination. Within the framework of the racial hierarchy, it is impossible for individuals to move from lower social positions to higher ones, even if they accept spiritual values and faithfully serve the dominant ethnic group.”
Do you think that the “brown” projects existed only in the countries you mentioned?
“No. The German Nazis put the local fascist elite at the head of some of the European nations conquered during the war. In the research literature, this elite is referred to by the neutral term – collaborators with the occupiers. However, the new ruling elites were fascist in their actions. These elites transformed their nations into fascist ones. This type of fascism, it occurred to me, was defined as ‘induced’, i.e., introduced into the nation by force from outside.
As the study of the facts of the construction of such ‘young’ nations as the Croatian, Czech and Slovak ones shows, the fascism, ‘induced’ in them, served, first of all, the interests of the German Nazi nation. Because of this, the nations under consideration of ‘induced’ fascism became ‘satellites’ of the German Nazis in the implementation of the foreign policy’s aggression of the latter.
The satellite nations supplied the Germans with their products, including military ones, sent their members to Germany for forced labour, fought against the opponents of the fascist regime in their country, supported the Germans with the armed forces, and sent volunteers to the Waffen SS troops. They participated in the extermination of Jews and Gypsies objectionable to the Germans.
In return, the satellite nations received certain benefits from the Germans: the right to preserve or even create their own statehood; the right to preserve their ethnic identity; the right to discriminate, rob, deport, and destroy their own ethnic minorities. The Germans did not endow satellite nations with colonies in the occupied territories. Nevertheless, the resulting status and material benefits allowed the ruling fascist elites to attract a part of the masses to their side and form ‘induced’ fascist nations from them. At the same time, some part of the masses in the nations under consideration remained under the influence of liberal-democratic and communist elites operating in the underground.”
What other conclusions do you draw in your book?
“Part of the European nations conquered during the war by the German Nazis were initially condemned to complete or partial assimilation, enslavement, partial or complete destruction. Statehood or even self-government was not preserved or granted to them. However, among these ethnic groups, the German Nazis found elites who agreed to serve them for obtaining at least some social status in the established racial hierarchy, for a small income. These elites acted with fascist methods, but not at all for the sake of their own ethnic group. On the contrary, they destroyed their liberal and communist elites, intellectuals, destroyed their social institutions, their culture. I designated these people as servile fascist elites, since the Germans assigned them only the role of military servants. In Soviet journalistic literature, these fascist elites are most often referred to as Nazi ‘henchmen’ or ‘accomplices’.
The Germans found ‘henchmen’, both among the conquered ‘young’ nations, and among the members of the Soviet nation. They participated in the implementation of the ‘black’ German project and helped to put their own peoples at the service of the Germans. The Germans did not provide these elites with the opportunity to implement their own ‘brown’ projects.”
Thank you very much. And where can we buy your book?
“The electronic version of the book will be distributed freely on the Internet, and I will provide it to the RNL. I want as many readers as possible to get acquainted with it.
However, it is quite difficult to read almost 800 pages of a rather complex scientific text online. Therefore, ‘Book Edition‘ will sell the typographic version in the Russian e-commerce network. There is already, for example, my historical-adventure book for young people ‘The Battle of Molodi’.”
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