Sunday, 12 December 2010

Rats on the Sinking Ship

Neo-liberals tend to have a very limited number of historical reference points: Hitler and Stalin are pretty much the only historical figures to cut it, but boy, do they like using these metaphors. Chavez in Venezuela, Ahmedinjad in Iran, Putin in Russia: Hitlerstalins all of them.

The thing is there actually is a bloke in Russia who admires Nazism and Stalinism: his name is Eduard Limonov and Western neo-liberals are surprisingly indulgent towards him. His party's flag is on top of this page. Hardly something you'd imagine the self-righteous Putin-hating Graun to be very indulgent toward.

But just read this piece of drivel about the 'possible future leader of Russia' (who would be lucky to get 5% of the vote).

The interview was carried out by Marc Bennetts. I know very little about Marc Bennetts, but I do know he's the sort of person that makes me embarrassed to be British; a sub-David Mitchell awkward square, albeit one who desperately wants to show his street cred. In just a few paragraphs he writes: 'Limonov may insist that his pogo-ing days are far behind him, but when I ask him if he believes he has a real chance of becoming president there is something distinctly punk rock about his answer' and 'I can't help but point out.' Can't you actually? But don't worry Marc, you is one cool dude, what with your reference to

'Sex Pistol-era Johnny Rotten's use of the swastika to unnerve middle England also springs to mind, but neither musician has yet to enter politics'

Being honest, I actually felt modestly impressed by Limonov's dismissal of his 70s experience of New York popular culture. Perhaps, unlike many middle class squares in Britain, he realises that the days pop culture had any power to shock or rebel are long past. Just look at how his tirade affects a compatriot of The Beatles:

"In Russia, fortunately, the people still have some barbarian spirit. But Europeans and Americans are just dying, sick invalids." He looks across the table at me for a reaction. I sympathise with what he is saying: while life in Russia may not be easy, it is, at least, never dull. But something stops me agreeing with him, and instead I voice an ironic, "Thanks."

This really sets out the Jekyll and Hyde duality of our political class. On one hand, they are feeble and flinching, unable to offer more than weak sarcasm in response to a tirade. On the other hand, they seem to have a weakness for 'barbarians'. Just think of all the public schoolboys who fawned over 'macho' George W Bush because he lived on a farm and declared war on Iraq. By contrast most Russians are happier with their dwarfish lawyer President than with a Nazi-Bolshevik.

Perhaps the saddest thing is how Garry Kasparov's coalition which involves both Limonov and Yeltsin's crew of economy wreckers overshadows real dissent in Russia. According to some reports Anna Politkovskaya (a real heroic dissident) suspected that many of the liberals were actually in league with the Kremlin. If the United Russia party really wanted an ideal strawman, they couldn't do better than Limonov. But then, The Guardian would probably be kinder to the Fascist-Bolshevik strawman than to an authoritarian but popular and patriotic leadership, seeing him as 'Putin's worst enemy' rather than 'Putin's dream opponent'.


  1. Great post. Most of the media still agrees with Margaret Thatcher’s TINA (“There Is No Alternative”) argument about neoliberalism. Despite the fact that we are in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, we still can’t have even mild reformism like meaningful bank regulations. Neoliberalism might be bankrupt intellectually but it is still powerful because it is a system that benefits the right people who pour money into institutions to keep them in line. I know it may sound a bit tinfoil hat, but I think it is actually true.

    As for the Eduard Limonov story, it is a reminder of how journalists often treat the fringes of politics. In the United States, you can argue for all kinds of insane things like blowing up Iran or secretly murdering Julian Assange and still be taken seriously as a thinker but if you criticize Israel or remind people that we never did find those WMDs in Iraq, you must be a secret Taliban mole! Fellows like Eduard Limonov are useful for neoliberals and neocons because they can use them to smear all critics of neoliberalism and neoconservatism as crazy.

  2. Limonov, Putin's worst nightmare? The title made me not read the piece. As you say, the entire Western backed opposition lacks legitimacy.

    Actually with Politkovskaya, I have read that the liberasts made her a martyr for their cause posthumously, they had no actual love for her while she lived. The same with Kashin, Kashin in fact blasted liberast figures on numerous occasions.

  3. The BBC is also very keen on the National Bolsheviks, whose flag perfectly suits the alliance of those who have never recanted their support for and by various Nazi-harbouring regimes in Latin America and a South African regime which built a monument to Hitler, with those who have never recanted their support for and by the Soviet Union, if they did not maintain the Trotskyist distinction without a difference.

    Such is Britain's Political Class in Post-Postmodernity, the heirs of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, the heirs both of Imperial Japan and of the Marxist intellectuals who cheered her on as she swept across Asia and the Pacific, the supporters both of neoconservatism and of its Islamist allies in Bosnia (where the Islamists are also Nazis), in Kosovo (where they are also simultaneously Nazis and Maoists), in NATO and putatively EU Turkey, in Chechnya, in Xinjiang, in the form of Jundullah in Iran (where they also back the Ba'athist PMOI), unleashed by the removal of Saddam Hussein, and elsewhere.

  4. According to some reports Anna Politkovskaya (a real heroic dissident)


    She is total embed with the NWO crowd with her reporting on Chechnya who she never visited once during the 97-99 period unlike Peter Levelle and a handful of others or visiting and speaking to the people of Dagestan uses primarily NED funded sources with not one word of criticism towards Chechen militants even denying there was any significant terrorist sponsorship or presence which is not hard to prove most of which are run out of Britain with the help of British intelligence like the original 9/11 operation.
    In fact the propaganda levelled against Russia in Chechnya exactly matches that of those levelled at the Serbs in the Balkans most noticeably the changing death toll and the ever present charge of “genocide” totally debunked given census data actually show a population increase when the overall Russian population plummeted from the 89 to the 2002 Russian national census.

    Not really surprising given that the same people involved in the Balkans are involved in the North Caucasus.

    Her book Putin's Russia was co-written and "researched" which most in the book could be attributed to the rule under Yeltsin and the Oligarchs was mostly gathered by an AEI affiliate writer.
    At least I think it was a co-writer or maybe he just helped compile all the information for her to use in her book.

  5. Dugin used to be part of the NB movement with Limonov.

    Here’s Limonov speaking with Karadzic in the Balkans.

  6. Putin-haters and Kremlin-baiters, with your beloved National Bolsheviks fighting on the streets of Moscow against your beloved North Caucasian Islamist separatists, for which side are you cheering, and why?

  7. @John
    Thanks for your comment. I think that something a bit more sinister is at work, which is that the neo-liberals couldn’t care less about Limonov’s fascist/Stalinist background: they would support any coup that would see the Oligarchs back in power.

    Great to hear from you; hope your studies are going well. I’m not surprised by what you say about Politkovskaya. They would probably have felt awkward over her criticisms of the oligarchs.

    @David Lindsay

    Thank you for your comment and quoting me on your blog, of which I am a regular reader. I agree entirely with what you said about Geert Wilders a while ago; the neo-liberals will happily play the brutal Islamophobe card as a populist measure, but their real target is Apostolic Christianity and Classical Europe. Similarly they write fawning nonsense about Russia’s 'liberal coalition' of Nazis, Islamists and Stalinists (which as you said about the KLA is ironically what the Tea Party accuse their President of being) because it also hates the good things about modern Russia and by extension Europe. If they got any power (which they wont of course), radical Islam would probably grow in the Caucuses.