Communism Is Not Conservative
By Zoltanous and Momcilo Nevesky
Thanks to the insanity of the internet, a new phenomenon of “Conservative Communism” (formerly known as “Patriotic Socialism”) is now a thing. Frankly on face value this is just so ridiculous it shouldn’t even be addressed. Unfortunately there are personalities like Infrared (Haz) who have managed to grow a large following, who believes in a highly warped Frankenstein version of Marxism.
We now have to contend with political retardation, conservative communism or as he calls it, “capital C-communism.” One of the key tenants to this monstrosity of “capital C-communism” is the insane idea that communism is inherently conservative, patriotic, and even traditional for that matter.
Anti-Conservatism In Marxism and Historical Marxian-Socialism
To start, to engage with this we would have to start off on the foundational basis of traditional philosophy and compare it to the Marxist philosophy. In the case of traditional philosophy it’s often metaphysically grounded in philosophical idealism or Platonism.
When we take Marx on face level, we have a philosophy that mixes idealism with materialism therefore being incoherent, but this is not the place for that argument (see Momcilo’s article here or the video here). But when Vladimir Lenin came along later (relying much more off the mature Engels than the young Marx), he essentially detached Marx from his elements of idealism.
For instance in Lenin’s 1909 book Materialism and Empirio-criticism, a book that would later be mandatory reading in higher education in the Soviet Union, he rewrites Marx’s sense-idealist side and says this:
“Materialism, in full agreement with natural science, takes matter as primary and regards consciousness, thought, sensation as secondary, because in its well-defined form sensation is associated only with the higher forms of matter (organic matter), while “in the foundation of the structure of matter” one can only surmise the existence of a faculty akin to sensation.”
“Sensation depends on the brain, nerves, retina, etc., i.e., on matter organized in a definite way. The existence of matter does not depend on sensation. Matter is primary. Sensation, thought, consciousness are the supreme product of matter organized in a particular way. Such are the views of materialism in general, and of Marx and Engels in particular.”
Violating Marx’s opening line on the Theses on Feuerbach, Lenin sees sensation, thought, and even consciousness (apparently having solved the hard problem of consciousness!) as simply, “matter organized in a particular way” even going as far as to say this is the particular view of Marx himself. Meanwhile, Marx says that his philosophy is a correction of classical (ie. “vulgar”) materialism which wrongly sees sensation as “only in the form of the object or of contemplation,” the exact way Lenin sees sensation as merely organized matter.
So Lenin builds off of dialectical materialism, in turn he also extends it into materialist physicalism, that is to say everything is reduced to simply being matter. Consciousness is matter i.e. biology, religion is not real (Darwinian evolutionary theory and Feuerbach), and everything is reduced to the plane of materiality. From here we can properly understand the “capital C-communists” or Marxist Leninists (MLs) as also following physicalism.
Now, just from this point you already have a complete departure from conservative or traditional philosophy. Traditionalist metaphysics is based on idealism, often some form of Platonism, which says that consciousness is separate from matter and often holds to an absolute prior consciousness, a God. Traditionalism completely rejects any form of materialism. This means all of creation including matter is dependent on prior consciousness. This is a fundamental contradiction between materialism and traditionalist philosophy that can never be reconciled with materialism.
Anti-Conservatism Under Stalin and Mao
Building off this point, we can look to the Communist Manifesto and can see what was the communist attitude to religions or other types of idealism.
“All religions so far have been the expression of historical stages of development of individual peoples or groups of peoples. But communism is the stage of historical development which makes all existing religions superfluous and brings about their disappearance.”
We can see the logical extension of this in the actual policies of the Soviet Union to which many of the “Conservative Communists” might counter by citing Stalin’s opportunist revival of Christianity during World War II as a rallying cry to mobilize his nation (because men will not die for class). But after WW2, Christianity again became persecuted in the USSR. Even more hilarious is that when Stalin used the Orthodox Church, he basically mirrored Alfred Rosenberg’s defunct heretical idea of the National Church in Nazi Germany.
Additionally, there is no actual evidence that Stalin ever seriously read or studied any traditional Russian, or conservative texts. One of his intellectual biographers, Dr. Erik van Ree, went through his massive personal library and came to this conclusion in his book The Political Thought of Josef Stalin:
“Most of these thinkers can be put into the broad category of materialists, socialists and “forerunners of Marxism.” Strikingly, the collection of books contained nothing written by Slavophiles, pan-Slavists or other Russian conservatives (other than literary figures and historians). For all his admiration of Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great, Stalin seems to have been uninterested in the systems of thought that old Russia produced.… The library reflects a serious lack of interest in traditions other than Marxism.”
The USSR, the first country to have on demand abortions, from its inception advocated the destruction of all religions, and to achieve this goal, it officially denounced all religious beliefs as superstitious and backwards. The USSR destroyed churches, synagogues, and mosques. They ridiculed, harassed, incarcerated, and executed religious leaders, flooded the schools and media with anti-religious teachings, and it introduced a belief system of “state atheism.”
Lenin demanded that communist propaganda must employ militancy and irreconcilability towards all forms of idealism and religion. This was called "militant atheism,” "militant" because it was an uncompromising attitude towards all religions. Militant atheism became central to the ideology of the Communist Party and a high priority policy of all Soviet leaders. Soviet authorities forbade the criticism of atheism and agnosticism or of the state's anti-religious policies until 1936. Even during Stalin’s tenure the anti-religious attitudes increased, as the posters below demonstrate.
"God’s slaves and Soviet Masters of life". A man holds the Constitution of the USSR in his hands. Poster by Konstantin Yeliseyev, USSR, 1940
Soviet anti-religion propaganda, more specifically anti-Abrahamic propaganda, dated 1924
Cover of Bezbozhnik in 1929, magazine of the Society of the Godless. The first five-year plan of the Soviet Union is shown crushing the gods of the Abrahamic religions
Before & After. Anti-religion poster depicting the difference between Tsar's Russian Army and Proletariat's Red Army. 1930
"It can be seen both from the ground and from the skies: there is OPIUM OF THE PEOPLE inside this temple" Soviet anti-religion, anti-alcohol poster, 1980s
"The essence of his character is clear: it operates on two levels. Up above, he's showing off his paper, down below, he's true to Muhammad." Newspaper title: Women's emancipation. Soviet anti-religion poster, 1977
The state also sought to control the activities of religious bodies and interfere in their internal affairs, with the ultimate goal of making them disappear. To this effect, the state sought to control the activities of the leaders of different religious communities. Widespread violence by members of the Red Army against Christians was not openly supported by Lenin, but high-ranking Soviet officials like Yemelyan Yaroslavsky claimed responsibility for these killings. It was documented that the Soviets cut up unarmed prisoners, scalped people and tortured believers, shot priests' wives and even children, and many other acts were even recorded in the documents of the Red Army.
By 1930, 31 bishops, 1,600 clergy, and 7,000 monks were murdered by the Soviet Union. According to statistics available for 1930, they were then confined in prisons, under starvation conditions, 48 bishops, 3,700 clergy, and 8,000 monks and nuns. The "International League against the Third International" at Geneva issued statistics on August 6th 1935, showing that in Russia 40,000 priests had been arrested, banished, or murdered.
Also you have the Laws on Separation of Church and State in 1929. Under the 1929 laws, religious ministers could be charged from 5 to 10 times the rent that would be required from workers for the same property.
In the USSR there were various anti-religious campaigns that took place, the worst being Stalin’s "Atheist 5 year plan". Churches were destroyed and many Christians like the Old Believers were subjected to genocide.
Even in Maoist China, everything that was traditional about Chinese society was destroyed, so radical were the calls for iconoclasm that they even eventually turned on Mao and other senior leaders of the CCP because of apparent compromises. For a deeper look at this see Zoltanous’ video on the subject.
I don’t need to completely go in depth on this because it’s been talked about before but just starting from the surface level analysis it’s frankly ridiculous to claim they were conservative or traditional. The communists held an atheistic materialistic worldview that was essentially modernist and anti-national in every way. Again quoting the Communist Manifesto:
“In bourgeois society, therefore, the past dominates the present; in Communist society, the present dominates the past.”
Marxism therefore is revolutionary with regards to every facet of life and doesn’t care about preserving anything. It is a philosophy of becoming and not a philosophy of being. This makes it one of the most modernist positions. So then what does traditional or conservative philosophy say about modernism? If we look into one of the most known representatives of traditional philosophy. Julius Evola paints a picture of a constant spiritual regression and degeneration which is related to the highest, spiritual element of mankind, and not merely a superficial and materialistic one.
While Marxist historiography, borrowing from Enlightenment philosophy, preaches an unending linear view of progress from primitivism to slave societies to feudalism to capitalism and then socialism leading to communism. This philosophy of "progress" is rooted entirely in a materialistic, and bourgeois framework. Largely building off of the Enlightenment ideas that predated Marx himself.
Even the contemporary Marxist writer, Chris Cutrone admits as much:
“But such consciousness of history [as the story of human freedom] was not at all original to Marxism but rather had roots in the antecedent development of the self-conscious thought of emergent bourgeois society in the 18th century, beginning with Rousseau and elaborated by his followers Kant and Hegel. The radicalism of bourgeois thought conscious of itself was an essential assumption of Marxism, which sought to carry forward the historical project of freedom.... Rousseau wrote that while animals were machines wound up for functioning in a specific natural environment, humans could regard and reflect upon their own machinery and thus change it. This was Rousseau’s radical notion of “perfectibility” which was not in pursuit of an ideal of perfection but rather open-ended in infinite adaptability . This was the new conception of freedom, not freedom to be according to a fixed natural or Divine form, but rather freedom to transform and realize new potential possibilities, to become new and different, other than what we were before.”
We even see this, for instance, in the fact that Marx and Lenin praised the Jacobins (who Haz somehow sees “as the real patriots”).
“Bourgeois historians see Jacobinism as a fall ("to stoop"). Proletarian historians see Jacobinism as one of the highest peaks in the emancipation struggle of an oppressed class. The Jacobins gave France the best models of a democratic revolution and of resistance to a coalition of monarchs against a republic. The Jacobins were not destined to win complete victory, chiefly because eighteenth-century France was surrounded on the continent by much too backward countries, and because France herself lacked the material basis for socialism, there being no banks, no capitalist syndicates, no machine industry and no railways. “Jacobinism” in Europe or on the boundary line between Europe and Asia in the twentieth century would be the rule of the revolutionary class, of the proletariat, which, supported by the peasant poor and taking advantage of the existing material basis for advancing to socialism, could not only provide all the great, ineradicable, unforgettable things provided by the Jacobins in the eighteenth century, but bring about a lasting world-wide victory for the working people.”
In summing up Marx’s views on the French Revolution, Jay Bergman writes:
“In short, Marx apotheosized the French Revolution for the same reason Edmund Burke loathed it—because it was the result of human agency that caused an entire country—or at least a significant percentage of its inhabitants—to reject the accumulated experiences, traditions, and patterns of life that had existed for centuries.”
I would also recommend checking out a lecture by Professor Harry Oldmeadow, called Tradition Betrayed. The idea of infinite progress lies at the core of Marxism.
As some would know monarchy, including the aristocrats that comes with it, was the most traditional form of government. But in revolutionary France, the Legislative Assembly voted to abolish the monarchy and establish a Republic. The measure came one year after King Louis XVI reluctantly approved a new constitution that stripped him of much of his power.
The makeup of the old social organizations of feudalism were replaced for democratic structures, thus overturning all of the traditions. The most radical of these fanatics being the Jacobins. From this point, many representing the old traditional order were promptly executed by the revolutionaries in France.
Lenin, who admired these revolutionary Jacobins, implemented many of the same measures they took against the monarchy. The Russian Empire had a revolution which toppled the entire institution of the monarchy and church, followed by a second revolution against that government in October of the same year that executed Tsar Nicholas and his family. Many aristocrats were killed or driven into exile. Many who stayed behind – the "former people", as the Bolsheviks called them – perished in the purges or survived by concealing their origin.
Similar measures were taken up even by communist China which is a testament to the iconoclastic elements of Marxist-Leninism. See for example the CCPs attempt under Mao to have the Emperor of China Puyi executed. This is the case because the existence of a monarchy implies the division of society into classes. Even if the monarch is a mere figurehead, as in the case of the last Emperor of China, the figurehead is a symbol of reaction. Meaning that communism is inherently iconoclastic and revolutionary in the sense that it overturns old social traditional orders of the feudal system.
The last Queen of Mongolia, moments before she was executed by the USSR, 1938.
Something else to add here is that, like in China, the Soviets after establishing themselves as a functional government over Russia proceeded to abolish the entire system such as the laws, institutions, and even structures left over from the Russian Empire. This means there’s no direct continuity at all with the Russian Empire or the USSR. This is another example of political iconoclasm within the Soviet Union.
Frederick Engels in The Origin of The Family, Private Property and The State puts forward the idea that the role of property is the creation of the traditional family and as such modern civilization. In essence, the family is a bourgeois construct according to Engels. So what is to happen to the family under Communism? Looking at the Communist Manifesto:
“[Communism] will transform the relations between the sexes into a purely private matter which concerns only the persons involved and into which society has no occasion to intervene. It can do this since it does away with private property and educates children on a communal basis, and in this way removes the two bases of traditional marriage – the dependence rooted in private property, of the women on the man, and of the children on the parents.”
This was seen, for instance, in studies of the modern Chinese family by Zeng Yi at Beijing University. He found that the shape and structure of families had changed radically under Communist rule.
This is something Caleb Maupin, and the Infrared Collective would probably deny, but the family size became much smaller; fewer generations lived in the same household, and the divorce rate rose. Zeng Yi attributes this to the policies of the cultural revolution and the Maoist iconoclasm that took part in China, which assaulted the age-old tradition of family piety and Confucian family structures.
In the Soviet Union, the goal was to gradually phase out the family as well. Alexander Goikhbarg, one of the leading legal jurist, considered the family unit to be a necessary but transitive social arrangement that would quickly be phased out by the growing communal resources of the state and would eventually “wither away.” The jurists intended to maintain protections for women and children until a system of total communal support could be established which would totally abolish the traditional family.
The 1936 legal code, headed by Stalin, emerged along with an eruption of pro-family propaganda. This included restrictions on abortion and imposed fines and jail time for any that received or performed the service. The code also enacted a bevy of laws aimed to encourage pregnancy and childbirth. Insurance stipends, pregnancy leave, job security, light duty, child care services, and payments for large families.
In another drastic move, the code made it more difficult to obtain a divorce. Under the code, both parties would need to be present for a divorce and pay a fine. There could be harsh penalties for those who failed to pay alimony and child-support payments. The wider campaign to encourage the family unit elevated motherhood to a form of Stakhanovite labor. During this time, motherhood was celebrated as patriotic, and the joys of children and family were extolled by the country’s leaders.
These reforms could be interpreted as a form of conservatism, but this is actually not the case. In the early 1920s, with the weakening of the family, combined with the devastation and dislocation caused by the Russian Civil War, prompted senior Bolshevik Party officials to conclude that the State needed a more stable family life to rebuild the country's economy and shattered social structure.
After Stalin's death in 1953, the government rescinded some of its natalist legislation. In 1955 it declared abortions for medical reasons legal, and in 1968 it yet-again declared all abortions legal. The state also liberalized divorce procedures in the mid-1960s. Maoist China would similarly follow a path like this.
Abortions in the USSR from 1954 to 1990
So, to the extent that Communist countries were “conservative” it is when they went against Marxist theory because political reality demanded that they do it in order to maintain their social orders.
Which again brings us back to the topic of opportunism. Whenever the opportunity arises these communist countries again would assault traditionalism only when it would not disrupt stability. These countries were not as conservative as some think but instead were much more reactionary in the sense they reacted to every problem they faced on a utilitarian level. Whenever they could they would accelerate the logic of capital and attack traditional institutions, as Marxist theory dictates, but when faced with reality they would reign some of its excess when, for instance, they needed to win a World War. For at the end of the day “For the Motherland” is a much more invigorating battle cry than “For Dialectical Materialism.”
Reactionary Socialism vs Marxist Socialism
Oswald Spengler, one of the seminal traditionalist philosopher-historians, was intrinsically anti-capitalist. He and others saw in capitalism, and the rise of the bourgeoisie, the agency of destruction of the foundations of traditional order, as did Marx. The essential difference, however, is that the Marxists regarded it as part of a historical progression, whereas the traditionalists like Spengler regarded it as a symptom of decline.
Western Civilization prides itself on being the epitome of “progress” through its economic activity, it is based on the illusion of linear evolution. Perhaps few words have more succinctly expressed the antithesis between the modernist and the traditional conservative perceptions of life than the ebullient optimism of the 19th century biologist, Dr. A. R. Wallace in The Wonderful Century:
“Not only is our century superior to any that have gone before it but . . . it may be best compared with the whole preceding historical period. It must therefore be held to constitute the beginning of a new era of human progress. . . . We men of the 19th Century have not been slow to praise it. The wise and the foolish, the learned and the unlearned, the poet and the pressman, the rich and the poor, alike swell the chorus of admiration for the marvelous inventions and discoveries of our own age, and especially for those innumerable applications of science which now form part of our daily life, and which remind us every hour or our immense superiority over our comparatively ignorant forefathers”
Like Marx’s belief that Communism is the last mode of human life, capitalism has the same belief. In both worldviews, there is nothing other than further “progress” of a technical nature. Both doctrines represent the “end of history.” The traditionalist, however, views history not as a straight line from “primitive to modern,” but as one of continual ebb and flow, ocean tides, or cycles.
As Alexander Dugin put it:
“Instead of growth, progress, and development, there is life. After all, there has been no proof offered yet to show that life is linked to growth. This was the myth of the Nineteenth Century.… There is no life without death. Being-towards-death … is not a struggle with life, but, rather, its glorification and its foundation.”
While Marx’s “wheel of history” moves forward, trampling over all tradition and heritage until it stops forever at a grey, flat wall of concrete and steel, the traditionalist “wheel of history” revolves in a cycle on a stable axis. Spengler writes of the later era:
“. . . And now the economic tendency became uppermost in the stealthy form of revolution typical of the century, which is called democracy and demonstrates itself periodically, in revolts by ballot or barricaded on the part of the masses. In England, the Free Trade doctrine of the Manchester School was applied by the trades unions to the form of goods called ‘labour,’ and eventually received theoretical formulation in the Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels. And so was completed the dethronement of politics by economics, of the State by the counting-house . . .”
Spengler calls Marxian types of socialism “capitalistic” because they do not aim to replace money-based values, “but to possess them.” See, for instance, how Marx speaks of free trade:
“Generally speaking, the protectionist system today is conservative, whereas the Free Trade system has a destructive effect. It destroys the former nationalities and renders the contrast between proletariat and bourgeois more acute. In a word, the Free Trade system is precipitating the social revolution. And only in this revolutionary sense do I vote for Free Trade.”
For Marx, capitalism was part of an inexorable dialectical process that, like the progressive-linear view of history, sees humanity ascending from primitive communism, slave societies, through feudalism, capitalism, socialism, and ultimately – as the end of history – to a millennial world of Communism. Throughout this dialectical, progressive unfolding, the impelling force of history is class struggle for the primacy of sectional economic interests. In Marxian economic reductionism history is relegated to the struggle:
“[The struggle between] freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed . . . in constant opposition to one another, carried on uninterrupted, now hidden, now open, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary re-constitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.”
Marx accurately describes the destruction of traditional society as intrinsic to capitalism, and goes on to describe what we today call globalization. Those who advocate free trade while calling themselves conservatives might like to consider why Marx supported free trade and described it as both “destructive” and as “revolutionary.” Marx saw it as the necessary ingredient of the dialectic process that is imposing universal standardization; this is likewise precisely the aim of Communism.
Elaborating on the dialectical role of capitalism, Marx states that wherever the bourgeoisie “has got the upper hand he has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations.” The bourgeoisie or what we might call the merchant class – which is accorded a subordinate position in traditional societies, but assumes superiority under modernism – “has pitilessly torn asunder feudal bonds”, and “has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest,” and “callous cash payment.” It has, among other things, “drowned religiosity and chivalry in the icy water of egotistical calculation.” “It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom – Free Trade.”
The conservative doesn’t per se oppose Marxist’s view of how capitalism functions, the conservative must oppose Marx’s high appraisal for this system as both inexorable and desirable. Marx condemned opposition to this dialectical process as “reactionary.” He saw the constant need for the revolutionizing of the instruments of production as inevitable under capitalism, and this in turn brought society into a continual state of flux, of “everlasting uncertainty and agitation,” which distinguishes the “bourgeoisie epoch from all other ones.”
The “need for a constantly expanding market” means that capitalism spreads globally, and thereby gives a “cosmopolitan character” to “modes of production and consumption in every country.” In Marxist dialectics, this is a necessary part of destroying national boundaries and distinctive cultures as a prelude to world socialism. It is capitalism that establishes the basis for internationalism.
Marx writes of the manner by which the rural basis of the traditional order succumbs to urbanization and industrialization; which is what formed the “proletariat,” the rootless mass that is upheld by socialism as the ideal rather than as a corrupt aberration. Traditional societies are literally rooted in blood and soil. Under capitalism, village life and localized life are, as Marx said, made passé by the city and mass production. Marx referred to the country being subjected to the “rule of the towns.” It was a phenomenon – the rise of the city concomitant with the rise of the merchant. Traditionalists like René Guénon see this as a symptom of the decay of a civilization in its sterile phase, where money values rules.
Marx writes that what has been created is “enormous cities”; what Spengler calls “Megalopolitanism.” Again, what distinguishes Marx from the traditionalists in his analysis of capitalism is that he welcomes this destructive feature of capitalism. When Marx writes of urbanization and the alienation of the former peasantry and artisans by their proletarianization in the cities, thereby becoming cogs in the mass production process, he refers to this not as a process to be resisted, but as inexorable and as having “rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life.”
The peasantry is therefore condemned to the proletarian dispossession until it recognizes its historical revolutionary class role, and “expropriates the expropriators.” This “peasant class” can either emerge from purgatory by joining the ranks of the proletarian chosen people, become part of the socialist revolution, and enter a new millennium, or it can descend from its class purgatory, if it insists on trying to maintain the traditional order, and be consigned to oblivion, which is why the Bolsheviks massacred peasants or forced them into the cities. This also applies to the middle class.
Marx points out in the Communist Manifesto that reactionaries view with “great chagrin” the dialectical processes of capitalism. The reactionary, or the traditionalist conservative, is the anti-capitalist par excellence, because he is above and beyond the zeitgeist from which both capitalism and Marxism emerged, and he rejects in total the economic reductionism on which both are founded upon.
Both the conservatives and Marxists recognize the destructive, and revolutionary nature of capitalism. For the conservatives this is a detriment, but for the Marxists this is a good thing since it makes a more global world which can serve as a substrate to facilitate Communism. It leads to progress and for this reason Marx and his acolytes view his ideas as completing the project of the bourgeois, liberal society. Capitalism, for Marx and Marxists is merely a betrayal of the bourgeois promise of freedom which it seeks to enact. A more detailed critique on the failure of communism to critique capitalism by Momcilo can be found here.
As Rudolf Jung reminds us:
"Socialism and materialism are, after all, simply incompatible, because the former is the highest altruism, while the latter is the most flagrant egotism. And so socialism built upon materialism again ends only in individualism!"
Ethnos: Marxist Revolt Against The Nation
Marx devotes Section Three of his Communist Manifesto to a repudiation of “reactionary socialism.” He condemns the “feudal socialism” that arose among the old remnants of the aristocracy, which had sought to join forces with the “working class” against the bourgeoisie. Marx states that the aristocracy, in trying to reassert their pre-bourgeois position, had actually lost sight of their own class interests in siding with the proletariat.
An alliance of the dispossessed professions into what had become the so-called proletariat, with the increasingly dispossessed aristocracy, is an organic alliance which finds its enemies as much in Marxism as in capitalism. Marx raged against the budding alliance between the aristocracy and those dispossessed professions that resisted being proletarianized. Hence, Marx condemns “feudal socialism” as “half echo of the past, half menace of the future.”
It was a movement that enjoyed significant support among craftsmen, clergymen, nobles, and literati in Germany in 1848, who repudiated the free market that had divorced man from Church, State, and community, “and placed egoism and self-interest before subordination, commonality, and social solidarity.” Max Beer, a historian of German Socialism, stated of these “reactionaries,” as Marx called them:
“The modern era seemed to them to be built on quicksands, to be chaos, anarchy, or an utterly unmoral and godless outburst of intellectual and economic forces, which must inevitably lead to acute social antagonism, to extremes of wealth and poverty, and to a universal upheaval. In this frame of mind, the Middle Ages, with its firm order in Church, economic and social life, its faith in God, its feudal tenures, its cloisters, its autonomous associations and its guilds appeared to these thinkers like a well-compacted building . . .”
It is just such an alliance of all classes – once vehemently condemned by Marx as “reactionary” – that is required to resist the common subversive phenomena of free trade and revolution. If the conservative wishes to restore the health of the cultural organism that is predicated on traditional values, then they cannot do so by embracing economic doctrines that are themselves antithetical to tradition, and which were welcomed by Marx as part of a subversive process to destroy tradition.
In fact this is what Lenin says regarding this matter:
“Although the alliance which has come into being in the Balkans is an alliance of monarchies and not of republics, and although this alliance has come about through war and not through revolution, a great step has nevertheless been taken towards doing away with the survivals of medievalism throughout Eastern Europe. And you are rejoicing prematurely, nationalist gentlemen! That step is against you, for there are more survivors of medievalism in Russia than anywhere else!”
Organizationally, the traditionalists use guilds or corporations which were seen as manifestation of the divine order which. With the destruction of the traditional societies, they were replaced by trade unions and professional associations that aim only to secure the economic benefits of members against other trades and professions, and which seek to negate the duty and responsibility one had in being a proud member of one’s craft, where a code of honor was in force. Julius Evola stated, like the corporations of Classical Rome, the medieval guilds were predicated on religion and ethics, not on economics.
“The Marxian antithesis between capital and labor, between employers and employees, at the time would have been inconceivable.”
The Italian Fascist Alfredo Rocco stated this about the Guilds:
“The Corporations [guilds], which were overthrown by the individualism of the natural rights philosophy and the egalitarianism of the French Revolution, may well live again in the social ideals of Italian nationalism… In the corporations we have not an absurd equality, but discipline and differences. The corporations all participate in production, being associated in a genuine and fruitful fraternity of classes.”
It was precisely this convergence of traditionalist ideas within Fascism that would motivate traditionalists like Evola to become collaborators with the Axis Powers. Evola, like many other traditionalists, saw an opportunity to use Fascism to revive traditionalism. Regardless of the modernist or more nominalistic aspects within Fascism, it included an organic conception of the development of nations and ethnic identity with spirit, provided by the guild model. This never occurred with Marxism, as Fascism’s understanding of the Hegelian dialectics overlapped with the traditionalist schools' understanding of monism.
Marx himself repudiated Hegel’s dialectics, whose concept of the “Idea” seemed of a religious character to Marx, who countered this metaphysical “Ideat” with the “material world”. Hegel, on the other hand, wrote about how the historical dialectic worked on the “national spirit,” his philosophy being a part of the Rightist doctrinal stream that was receiving an important impetus from the German thinkers in antithesis to “English thought” based on economics, which imbued Marx’s thinking and hence mirrored capitalism.
Hegel wrote, for example:
“The result of this process is then that Spirit, in rendering itself objective and making this its being an object of thought, on the one hand destroys the determinate form of its being, on the other hand gains a comprehension of the universal element which it involves, and thereby gives a new form to its inherent principle. In virtue of this, the substantial character of the National Spirit has been altered, – that is, its principle has risen into another, and in fact a higher principle.
It is of the highest importance in apprehending and comprehending History to have and to understand the thought involved in this transition. The individual traverses as a unity various grades of development, and remains the same individual; in like manner also does a people, till the Spirit which it embodies reaches the grade of universality. In this point lies the fundamental, the Ideal necessity of transition. This is the soul – the essential consideration – of the philosophical comprehension of History.”
This “National Spirit”, according to both Marx and Engels, was an epiphenomenon of bourgeois society and they denied any ontological priority (or any other metaphysical rootedness) to nationalism. This was taken up by other Marxists like the Jewish historian Eric Hobsbawn who argued that national identity is an outgrowth of bourgeois society:
“Nations exist not only as functions of a particular kind of territorial state or the aspiration to establish one … but also in the context of a particular stage of technological and economic development.”
Something which flies in the face of Haz and The Infrared Collective’s assertion that (starting around 6:50):
“The objectivity of the nation including its rights rituals and the national spirit defining a people is something which communists should strive to authentically express rather than ignore. The realities of the nation cannot be wished away.”
Contrary to what Haz and his associates state, Marxism has always emphasized that the global workers movement is greater than national interest and dispute the notion that “the realities of the nation cannot be wished away” for this is exactly the Marxist assertion.
For instance, Marx and Engels wrote that:
“The nationalities of the peoples associating themselves in accordance with the principle of community will be compelled to mingle with each other as a result of this association and thereby to dissolve themselves, just as the various estate and class distinctions must disappear through the abolition of their basis, private property.”
We see this continued by Lenin, emphasis our own (note at this time “Social-Democrat'“ meant Marixst-Lenninst):
“The party of the proletariat emphatically rejects what is known as “national cultural autonomy”, under which education, etc., is removed from the control of the state and put in the control of some kind of national diets. National cultural autonomy artificially divides the workers living in one locality, and even working in the same industrial enterprise, according to their various “national cultures”; in other words, it strengthens the ties between the workers and the bourgeois culture of their nations, whereas the aim of the Social-Democrats is to develop the international culture of the world proletariat.”
“It is our duty to teach the workers to be “indifferent” to national distinctions. There is no doubt about that. But it must not be the indifference of the annexationists. A member of an oppressor nation must be “indifferent” to whether small nations belong to his state or to a neighboring state, or to themselves, according to where their sympathies lie: without such “indifference” he is not a Social-Democrat. To be an internationalist Social-Democrat one must not think only of one’s own nation, but place above it the interests of all nations, their common liberty and equality.”
“Petty-bourgeois nationalism proclaims as internationalism the mere recognition of the equality of nations, and nothing more. Quite apart from the fact that this recognition is purely verbal, petty-bourgeois nationalism preserves national self-interest intact, whereas proletarian internationalism demands, first, that the interests of the proletarian struggle in any one country should be subordinated to the interests of that struggle on a world-wide scale, and, second, that a nation which is achieving victory over the bourgeoisie should be able and willing to make the greatest national sacrifices for the overthrow of international capital.”
“One such idea is refined nationalism, which advocates the division and splitting up of the proletariat on the most plausible and specious pretexts, as for example, that of protecting the interests of “national culture”, “national autonomy, or independence”, and so on, and so forth. The class-conscious workers fight hard against every kind of nationalism, both the crude, violent, Black-Hundred nationalism, and that most refined nationalism which preaches the equality of nations together with ... the splitting up of the workers’ cause, the workers’ organizations and the working-class movement according to nationality. Unlike all the varieties of the nationalist bourgeoisie, the class conscious workers, carrying out the decisions of the recent (summer 1913) conference of the Marxists, stand, not only for the most complete, consistent and fully applied equality of nations and languages, but also for the amalgamation of the workers of the different nationalities in united proletarian organizations of every kind.”
For a traditional understanding of nations I would recommend this video by Keith Woods called The Origins of Nations.
So obviously Haz contradicts Marx and Lenin here:
“The objectivity of the nation including its rights rituals and the national spirit defining a people is something which communists should strive to authentically express rather than ignore. The realities of the nation cannot be wished away.”
Then what exactly was the traditionalist understanding of the nation that was in conflict with Marxism? Well we can look to Nikolay Yakovlevich Danilevsky, a Russian philosopher. Danilevsky distinguished five categories of historical-cultural activity:
For this he used biological and morphological metaphors in the comparison of cultures. Danilevsky compared cultures and nations to biological species, denied their commonality and argued that each nation or civilization is united by its language and culture, which it cannot pass on to any other nation. He stood in opposition to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and for a theory of historical-cultural types.
Lev Nikolayevich Gumilyov, another Russian historian, builds off of Danilevsky to describe the genesis and evolution of ethnic groups and therefore the creation of nations. This was seen as passing through the stages of birth, development, climax, inertia, convolution, and memorial. This would create nations as ethnogenesis. Ivan Ilyin, another Russian traditionalist philosopher would in turn continue this hypothesis, extending it into a spiritual conception of nations:
“And that is why the “motherland” is for us not an object of everyday addiction, but a genuine religious shrine. While fighting for the motherland, we are fighting for the perfection, and strength, and freedom of the Russian spirit; and for its flourishing, we need both territory and state power. And therefore—our domestic motto has always been for us not religious, but religious meaning: all for the motherland, all for the motherland.”
Another traditionalist on this, Charles Maurras:
"We are our Ancestors, our masters, our elders. We are our books, our painting, our statues, our landscapes."
This would obviously show direct contradiction to the insanity promoted by the atheistic and materialistic analysis of the communist aspirations of an internationalized borderless world with no national identity.
Furthering our point that the traditionalist and conservative understandings of the world are not compatible with the modernist ideas of communism. Just from this the conclusion is clear, communists are not conservatives Haz especially if your ideas are built upon democratic ideas.
“Aristocracy', […] taken in its etymological sense, means precisely the power of the elite. The elite can by definition only be the few, and their power, or rather their authority, deriving as it does from their intellectual superiority, has nothing in common with the numerical strength on which democracy is based, a strength whose inherent tendency is to sacrifice the minority to the majority, and therefore quality to quantity, and the elite to the masses.” ~ René Guénon
To properly understand traditionalism we must take Frithjof Schuon as our example as he is the best representative of traditionalism. For Schuon modernity is characterized by rationalism, which denies the possibility of a supra-rational knowledge, materialism, according to which only matter gives meaning to life, psychologism, which reduces the spiritual and the intellectual to the psychic, skepticism, relativism, existentialism, individualism, progressivism, evolutionism, scientism and empiricism, without forgetting agnosticism and atheism. All of which can be found inside Marxism as a philosophy.
Regarding modern science, in spite of the scale of its discoveries on the physical plane, Schuon reproaches it for being "a totalitarian rationalism, which eliminates both Revelation and Intellect, and at the same time a totalitarian materialism, which ignores the metaphysical relativity of matter and the world; it does not know that the supra-sensible, which is beyond space and time, is the concrete principle of the world, and that it is consequently also at the origin of that contingent and changeable coagulation called 'matter.'"
Thus, still according to Schuon, the contradiction of scientism is to "want to give an account of reality without the help of this initial science that is metaphysics, thus ignoring that only the science of the Absolute gives meaning and discipline to the science of the relative". This conception of a universe which ignores as much the principle of "creative emanationism" as much as that of the "hierarchy of the invisible worlds", has engendered "that most typical offspring of the modern spirit", the theory of evolution, with its corollary: the illusion of "human progress".
Duginism Is Against Bolshevism
But to get the full traditionalist context on nations, I think Alexander Dugin can help us, a figure who Haz poorly understands and who has even claimed in his writing that Dugin’s Fourth Political Theory is materialistic and Maoist. As when Haz rhetorically asks “what if this ‘Fourth Political Theory’ is none other than Marxism-Leninism itself?” Insinuating that Dugin’s Fourth Political Theory is a secret ML since “Not only the adoption of a fourth, but a fifth, sixth, seventh, etc. political theory are already integral to the constantly self-revolutionizing, self-reforming and self-restructuring nature of Chinese Communism [or, Maosim].” While it is no secret I have written that I believe that Dugin’s Fourth Political Theory is basically a form a Russian Third Positionism (or at least more than he lets on), this is reasonable given that Dugin himself has written in Eurasian Mission that the his Neo-Eurasianism is “akin to traditionalism or the Third Position” and that “From the European Third Way to the [Fourth Political theory] is only one step”. (Also explains his connections to Nazi-Maoist Franco Freda and former Waffen SS member Jean-François Thiriart.)
Moreover, Dugin’s basis for his geopolitics is twofold in Heidegger’s Dasein and Carl Schmitt concept of Large Spaces. Ignoring the question of Heidegger’s affinity with German Third Positionism, Schmitt idea of Large Spaces, as Brendan Simms, Hitler’s preeminent Intellectual biographer writes stems from Hitler himself:
“Hitler’s idea of a German Monroe Doctrine–which he had first mentioned more than a decade earlier [in 1923]–was picked up by the lawyer Carl Schmitt, who elaborated it into an entire theory of ‘large spaces.”
So one of two main prongs of Dugin’s geopolitical philosophy comes from the mind of Adolf Hitler himself, with the other prong having a complicated, at best, relationship with the Third Reich.
“Mao was right affirming that socialism should be not exclusively proletarian but also peasant and based on the ethnic traditions. It is closer to the truth than universalist industrial internationalist version represented by trotskyism. But I think that sacred part in Maoism was missed or underdeveloped. Its links with Confucianism and Taoism were weak. Maoism is too Modern for me. For China it would be best solution to preserve the socialism and political domination of national-communist party (as today) but develop more sacred tradition – Confucianism and Taoism. It is rather significant that ideas of Heidegger are attentively explored now by hundreds of Chinese scientists. I think Fourth Political Theory could fit to contemporary China best of all.”
In the same interview Dugin is also quick to make clear that is “not communist nor Marxist because I refuse the materialism of any kind and deny the progress. So much more correct to describe my views as Fourth Political Theory and traditionalism.”
Haz further betrays his lack of understanding of Dugin when he reads a vulgar materialistic metaphysics into Dugin:
“As a discipline of Heidegger, Dugin was able to recognize the material and objective reality of Russian civilization and geopolitics beyond ideology.”
“Dugin’s writings confine themselves to their real material premises (i.e., in the form of geopolitics, the unconscious realities of Russian civilization, etc.)”
“Dugin, following Heidegger, recognizes the fundamental and latent ambiguity of material being.”
Dugin is not a materialist. This is honestly ridiculous that I have to explain this. Here is Dugin stating it explicitly in an interview with one of his English translators [starting around 1:17:00]:
“In order to get to such understanding of the mystical dimension of the thought, we need to sacrifice materialism ... we should recognize this kind of alternative sovereignty of the thought, of the spirit, of the subject. And that is very important. But for me, not being a materialist, that is quite easy.”
Dugin isn’t about recognizing the “material and objective reality of Russian civilization”, as a follower of Hediegger and to an extent Husserl he has (which is clear from a cursory reading of the Fourth Political Theory) a very phenomenological approach as compared to a materialist approach. Dugin very explicitly rejects any form of materialism (whether is be vulgar or dialectical) for a more immaterial, phenomenological, mystical, and idealist approach to philosophy. As he writes in Putin vs Putin:
“The Fourth Political Theory can be attributed to the fields of phenomenology, structuralism, existentialism, ethno-sociology and cultural anthropology.”
So, whether or not there is an actual material basis of the Russian folk or narod is irrelevant, for, as is laid out in his ethno-sociological theory (which can be found most explicitly in his book Ethnos and Society) it is not about shared genes that define a people but a recognition of common origin, along with shared language and traditions. It is not about finding some material basis to ground a people in.
Dugin and the Fourth Political Theory doesn’t see nation as an “objective reality.” In Volume II of the Fourth Political Theory in the last appendix he makes it clear that the nation is a “subjective reality” and contrasts it to the third political theory which (he claims) sees the nation as an “objective reality”. Moreover, his phenomenological and ethno-sociological approaches should make it clear that he isn’t concerned with a material reality of some group of people.
Dugin even attacks Vladimir Putin for being concerned too much with the material reality of Russian and Eurasian civilization:
“In my opinion, even Putin’s approach to problems is purely corporeal, much like Epicurus. He sees the population as an aggregate of material objects that one must feed … This is all materialism. Putin suggests uniting the post Soviet landscape in the same way — on a materialistic basis. … I think that it’s necessary to move on to the politics of spirit.”
And a simple read from Dugin’s book A Theory of a Multipolar World disproves that he is approaching multipolarity from any sort of materialistic perspective:
“This leads to the most logical conclusion: the economic model of the multipolar world must be based on the rejection of economic-centrism and the reduction of economic factors to a lower level than social, cultural, religious and political factors. … Without the relativization of the economy, without the subordination of the material to the spiritual, without the transformation of the economic sphere into a subordinate and secondary one in relation to the dimension of civilization in general, multipolarism is impossible.”
Moreover his book lays out that his geopolitics is based on idealism + holism, and it rejects the Material + holism of Marxism, the materialism + individualism of realism, and the idealism + individualism of liberalism. Saying:
“Idealism highlights the decisive importance given to concepts (theories, ideas, points of view, texts) when compared to “matter” (the empirical field, considered as secondary and derivative). Holism, in turn, calls attention to the fact that we are talking about a whole system, before the allocation of its individual atomic actors, not being possible for them to exist on their own.”
Going further, Dugin’s civilizational and geopolitical theory is ontologically based on Carl Jung’s Collective Unconsciousness, and the Monad from arch-anti-materialist Leibnitz. A topic talked about by Momcilo Nevesky in his video on Alexander Dugin - The Theory of a Multipolar World (which Dugin himself syndicated).
And for Dugin the narod or the volk is not, as Haz claims Dugin says, “material and objective reality” but rather, as Dugin himself actually explains:
“What we call ‘the body of the narod’ or the economy (Wirtschaft) and production causes in this case to be a separate domain, defined by the material factor. Henceforth is is the domain of care … but that just is Dasein which cannot but be concerned.”
Of all the takes on Dugin, the idea that Dugin is actually a materialist and is actually talking about Marxist-Lenninist-Maoism is the most absurd position. Especially given that Dugin has time and time again in his writings and speeches very explicitly rejected Marxism and all forms of Materialism.
The idea that a devout Orthodox Christian who is heavily steeped in his tradition is, as Haz puts it “too materialistic, that is, vulgarly and one-sidedly materialistic and not dialectical” is very insulting to his intelligence, and betrays the fact that Haz has no idea what he is talking about when it comes to Dugin’s philosophy.
Dugin also essentially takes the same critique that Momcilo made in his video attacking Haz and the “Patriotic Socialists” (which made him so mad that in watching it he literally punches his camera).
For instance, Dugin doesn’t see the historically self-called Marxist regimes to really be Marxist at all. Rather they are forms of what he calls “National Communism” of which, he writes in The Fourth Political Theory , “ themselves reckon themselves as being ‘simply Communists’ and ‘Orthodox Marxists,’ strictly following the teachings of the Communist classics.”
In seeing how these regimes took certain nationalistic, patriotic, and various traditionalist trappings (however superficial) he notes in Volume II of The Fourth Political Theory:
“In communist regimes, Marxism was not what it proclaimed to be, but was rather a model of exogenous modernization in which Western values were adopted only partially and were tacitly combined with local religious-eschatological and messianic tendencies. On the whole, this procedure of specific modernization -- alter-modernization along the socialistic (totalitarian), but not capitalistic (democratic) path -- served for the defense of the geopolitical and strategic interests of independent states, which were striving to repel the colonial attack of Europe and (later) America.”
In regards to Joseph Stalin Dugin notes, in Last War of The World Island, that as late as May 1924 Stalin took the orthodox Marxist (sometimes derogatorily called “Trotskyism” by tankies) line of denying the possibility of “socialism in one country” and only by the end of 1924 did he break with orthodox Marxism and start the project (although rather implicitly) of “National Communism.”
Marxism is the epitome of bourgeois ideology and Marxism is looking backwards into history to project forward into the future a bourgeois-centric worldview, tied up with notions of class, progress, etc. In short, Marxism conceives of 'communism' as a higher form of bourgeois society as pointed out in The Worker by the German conservative Ernst Jünger.
We can only conclude from this that those who push this idea of “conservative communism” like Haz are trying to fool the Dissident Right for a communist revolution. This is a opportunistic pragmatism and this is the real threat of Haz and his project. The Marxist critique of Haz pushing things into a right wing direction is obviously wrong.
This is more of a means to siphon off support from the right which is basically to castrate any right wing or nationalistic alternatives. Some communists look at him thinking he’s a secret Fascist and I fell for this in our debate, when I appealed to a “Red-Brown” one struggle idea but this is not his goal. His political satanism is a means to an end, a bourgeois worldview, a red specter of terror. Haz is the left wing version of the right wing low-cow grifter Nick Fuentes for this reason.
Final words by Father Seraphim Rose:
“The beginning of religious awakening in Russia is invariably accompanied by a loss of trust and faith in Communism—Communism not first of all as a political and economic system, but as a faith. This is natural, because the first article of Communist faith is atheism, the "state religion" of the USSR, which makes sense only as a substitute for faith in God. Belief in God naturally is bound up with disbelief in atheism and Communism, and that is why the religious awakening in Russia today is not merely something personal, but takes on the character of a national movement.”
Another final quote by a traditionalist, who influenced Dugin and was a true Khan of the Mongolian’s unlike Haz:
"I do not care about doctrines. Bolshevism is what others in Europe call Americanism. Commissar and merchants are the same." ~ Baron Roman Ungern von Sternberg