On “Nationalism and Class Struggle”

Bogumil,

The National Bolshevik perspective on the “Class Struggle” is insightful on making distinctions between it and the concept of “Class Collaboration” as promoted by Corporatism. The classical definition of Class Struggle in the Marxist sense has often meant a conflict between a “working class” and an “upper class.” These terms are only applicable in a nation where the Proletariat and the Bourgeoisie control two separate social structures, the latter exerting immense political, economic, social, and financial power over the former. What National Bolshevism dares to advocate is something that has become sort of unthinkable in these times: recontextualize the Class Struggle in terms of “Proletarian Nations” and “Bourgeois Nations.” The Class Struggle becomes a “National Struggle for Liberation”–National Liberation.

But before the Class Struggle can become a National Struggle for Liberation, the development of Class Consciousness must yield National Consciousness. A Proletarian Way of Life has to become the predominant lifestyle, supplanting and suppressing the Bourgeois one that defines most Liberal Capitalist regimes. If the most obvious manifestation of the Bourgeois Way of Life is economic, whether we are talking about Kapital and Schuld or Private Property-as-Wealth, there has to be political, social, and financial characteristics.

The Market/Mixed Economy, even though most economic organizations operate as privatized commercial firms, coexists alongside a Fractional-Reserve Banking System and a Parliament. The Fractional-Reserve Banking System provides the Kapital and Schuld to the Market/Mixed Economy, the Parliament pivots both toward the goal of creating more Kapital and Schuld. Once it becomes clear that the Market/Mixed Economy and the Fractional-Reserve Banking System, the Bourgeois economic and financial, are connected to the political and social vis-à-vis Parliament, only then does the Bourgeois Way of Life makes itself known.

Georg Osten understood this throughout his writing. He knew that while a Proletarian Nation is democratic, it does not mean that its political and social lives are governed by a Parliament. It is a common misconception in Political Science to assume that Parliamentary Democracy is the only version of Democracy. The other viable model is Council Democracy, which is what Osten was advocating as part of the promotion of the National Struggle for Liberation.   

There is another misconception in Political Science made readily apparent in Osten’s writing. In Political Science, there is the flawed notion that Nationalism is a “Right-Wing ideology,” which is meant to be juxtaposed by framing Internationalism as a “Left-Wing ideology.” Thus, the concept of a “Left-Wing Nationalism” is about as foreign to Political Science as the concept of a “Left-Wing Conservatism.” If a Left-Wing Conservatism–what deserves to be called “Conservative Socialism”–is sensible enough for certain political parties to adopt at various times throughout the previous century and even this one as trends continue, why not a “Socialist Nationalism?”

As you were able to point out, Bogumil, it is a three-fold issue that stems from “Nationalism” in the Socialist Nationalism proclaimed by National Bolshevism.

The political claims proclaimed by one Nationalism can be easily opposed by the political claims of another Nationalism. Not in the sense of a “German Nationalism vs. French Nationalism,” but “Prussian Nationalism vs. Austrian Nationalism,” “West German Nationalism vs. East German Nationalism,” “Czechoslovakian Nationalism vs. Czech and Slovakian Nationalisms,” “Yugoslav Nationalism vs. Bosnian and Croatian Nationalisms,” and so forth. Nowhere is this contradiction readily apparent than in America, where one will find various “Nationalisms” with opposing definitions of America.  

In the context of Osten’s article, there is “Proletarian Nationalism” vs. “Bourgeois Nationalism.” Is the source of conflicts involving Nationalism more internal than external? Osten, in contrast to the Bourgeois interpretations of Nationalism that I encounter often in the West, argued that true Nationalist conflicts are not between nations but among a nation’s Nationalists. After all, the goal of every Nationalism is to create and define the National Consciousness of the Totality. Even in this century, the National Consciousness remains relevant insofar as it is bound to values like culture, language, history, heritage and ancestry.   

Another problem related to Nationalism, which Osten also alluded to, is how to distinguish between “Patriotism” and “Chauvinism.” Can there be a “Just Irredentism” in the same sense that certain philosophers of war have already done when advocating for “Just War?” Political Science and International Relations by extension would like to claim otherwise, but somehow certain schools of thought within the philosophy of war appear to suggest otherwise.

These two problems, while not well-understood or well-known by Marxist-Leninists here in the West, are correlated to a more fundamental problem which they have somehow become unable to grasp in the 21st century. This problem is of course their inability to realize that “Proletarian Internationalism” should never be mistaken for the “Bourgeois Internationalism” that Osten was writing against in reference to its Imperialist and Cosmopolitan tendencies.

Western Marxist-Leninists ought to realize that “Proletarian Internationalism” does contain a Nationalistic element, a “Socialist Patriotism” that gives the Totality of any Proletarian Nation its National Consciousness. Its relevance may not seem important now, but it certainly will in a world where most countries are Proletarian Nations and there is no Bourgeois Nations to speak of. Without realizing that, is it any wonder how the term “Social Imperialism” from Maoism has been taken out of historical context or why Pan-Arabic Socialism (which still has adherents in parts of the Middle East) does not receive as much controversy as Pan-Germanic Socialism?     

All of my questions point toward one conclusion that I know is relevant for anyone who thinks National Bolshevism and Pan-Germanic Socialism are still relevant in the 21st century. In essence, there needs to be versions of Nationalism and Internationalism that are completely divorced from the Neoliberal conceptions. He who opposes Bourgeois Internationalism is a Proletarian Nationalist; he who opposes Bourgeois Nationalism is a Proletarian Internationalist. If we can grasp the idea of a Council Democracy professing a National political life, a Socialist economic and financial life, and a Conservative social and cultural life, we should also envisage a Unity of Opposites between Proletarian Nationalism and Proletarian Internationalism.

Signed,

-DAH   



Categories: Philosophy

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