Sergey Kurginyan

Interview for the project

Fascism-XXI at your door

December 30, 2012.

What are the fundamental differences of the USSR and Communism from the Nazi Germany and Fascism? What role and which place were assigned to man in both cases (ideologies)? What was the purpose of human and what kind of human was created in both cases?

Video part 1


I’d say there are three main aspects: the first one is an attitude towards history. Within Fascism the historical process is, so to speak, a bad process, a vile one. Speaking of the deep roots of Nazism, they are, of course, occult, and the key moment is an idea of a Primordial Tradition1 - the human race permanently deviates from it, everything is getting worse, worse and worse...

In this sense, all the movements may be, so to speak, internally separated into two types: pro-historical and counter-historical. There is counter-historical Christianity and pro-historical Christianity, there is counter-historical Judaism and pro-historical Judaism, there is counter-historical Islam, and so on.

Fascism is a counter-historical movement. It venerates the Primordial Tradition, worships some ideal initial state that deteriorates more and more.

The second aspect is culture ... Yes, and also ... the Soviet Union, communism, and everything else with its Marxist principles - no matter who, even if it’s not Marx then Lenin, if not Lenin then Stalin - still history and progress is deified within this movement, this is a pro-historical movement: history is goodness, we are moving away from a very bad reality, we’re going to a better one; and there are conflicts and the tragedy of this historical path. Well, and finally, “from the realm of necessity - into the realm of freedom”2.

"Into the realm of freedom we’ll pave the way with might and main."3 We are moving into a new better realm. This is the aspect of history.

The second aspect concerns culture. "When I hear the word 'culture', I reach for my gun."4 So, the Soviet project worships culture. It is based on the fact that the culture is supreme, that we have to create high culture. We have created it.

In this regard, it is very interesting what was created by fascism and what was created in the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union created fully fledged, considerable, great culture. And even those, who deny it, realize it now, because they are constantly showing on TV Soviet films, and even after 20 years of anti-Soviet propaganda and everything else, these movies are in demand and admired. All sorts of Soviet films.

This is what was created in the USSR. And speaking of individual examples produced by fascism. I do not mean that fascism could not create anything but what it gave: first of all, it was not outstanding.

Several writers who have joined in but they were not the writers brought up by fascism. Hamsun5 and others. They were writers, somewhat charmed by fascism, but their works were not created during the Nazi era.

But the main thing is ... let’s take a look at "Leni" Riefenstahl. 6

Well, she's a good documentary film maker, but it's such a glamorous documentary, that presents special aesthetics of the body and that sort of things. This is not art; it does not portray a human on the screen - it is such continuous poses, sculptures and all that jazz.

This is very important to realize, what the foundation of such art was. Fascism does not recognize the high classic art, because, let me emphasize the third important aspect, humanism does not exist for fascism. Fascism hates humanism.

But for communism there is, so to say, new humanism. Ergo, we have history, culture and humanism. These three qualities do not just separate the Soviet Union from the Nazi Germany, but they directly oppose the Soviet Union to the Nazi Germany. Anyone, who equates them, does it because neither power had a democracy. So what? There were plenty of counties without democracy, for example … the kingship of Xerxes, Saudi Arabia. What does it have to do with the subject?

The crucial question is about the foundation. The foundation has these three cornerstones: culture, history and humanism. Those are the measure of everything.

Once again, this is new humanism, and therefore this is going to be a new human announced by communism, such human relied on history and humanism as supervalues. You may not look at the “new human” in isolation. There is always a trinity: “new human”, “new humanism” and “history as supervalue” - this trinity defines the nature of communism.

Fascism glorifies anti-humanism and anti-culture and hates history.

Within such conception there was talk of “human beast”7, “The Blond Beast” 8 etc. Such discussions about “human beast” had nothing to do with humanistic new projects implemented by communists. It was their antithesis9.

Finally, I want to emphasize once again, that we are not discussing the different editions of the same phenomenon. Say, one edition is fascism and another edition is communism. We have two antipodes: from one side we have certain order of things and from another side we have something directly opposite.

What was the role of the USSR in the counterstand against fascism in the broadest sense of the word? What was and what is the alternative to fascism, who implemented such alternative or is capable of implementing it in the future?

Video part 2


We all know the role of the USSR – the Great Patriotic War10. If the Soviet Union had not existed, the whole world would have been at the feet of fascists.

All the talks, that America could have done something from beyond the ocean, are ridiculous. America would have done nothing. It might have been able to protect itself with a powerful Navy and, utilizing industrial potential, avoid the major threats. However, powerful missiles have already existed back then; Wernher von Braun11 and his team would have been able to create even more powerful ones.

The nuclear weapons also would have been around in a couple of years. Some speculate that America would have come out even. I wish! The Germans would have swept them out of Europe with dirty besom right away.

We know, so to say, the reaction of Americans to the Ardennes Counteroffensive12. They were just fleeing the battlefields in mass. British and American leaders begged Stalin to begin the operation on the Eastern Front, so that – God forbid – the Western Front would not face a total wallop.

So this means they would have been thrown back, missiles would have been created, the submarine fleet would have been very powerful and I believe America would have been destroyed as well. Britain would have been mercilessly, completely annihilated. It would have been a scorched desert.

This is why the only country that won the Great Patriotic War was the Soviet Union. I don’t want to diminish the role of the French Resistance13, although one cannot forget how quickly the French Army capitulated. The pace of capitulation was historically unprecedented, it was shameful. So there was resistance in Italy, in France, rather strong pockets of resistance in Greece and in Yugoslavia.

All this did exist, but was just dribs and drabs. There was one great army, one great industry, one great nation who bore all this on their shoulders. And everyone realized this.

It was all arrogantly re-evaluated for the purposes of the “Cold War”14, and it was actually hard to start this re-evaluation in 1946-1947. But gradually they concocted an idiotic concept of totalitarianism, Nazism and fascism15.

This idea has no relation to history or political science. You may call it any way you want – any absence of democracy is totalitarianism. So what? How does it explain anything? What is the meaning of human life?

Looks like they seriously believe that entire life revolves around property ownership: to own or not to own?

Does it really matter where and what was going on with property rights?

It is obvious that the Soviet Union won. Any other version is simply disgusting. Moreover, it was the communists who won. Germans admitted that they did not account for the fact that the ideas of bolshevism gave the Russians incredible enthusiasm.

Communist “Red Russia”, the Soviet Union, was victorious over the “black Reich”. If you do not realize this, you have no understanding of the history of the XXth century, no understanding of our future.

Is there some kind of third option, an alternative path of development for humanity - neither global fascism nor global communism - the new red project?

Video part 3


Who could do this tomorrow? Who would be able to stop this? Only someone who opens a new road into history. Because if the road is closed and history is pronounced dead people would say: since history is dead it does not make sense to hold onto it. There is no more culture, just consumption. What is left? - Humanism. “It has been the skeleton of our nature”16  as Strugatskiy17 said. It has been, but melted away.

Everything relies on these three cornerstones, these three issues, namely their absence will lead to fascism, in an altered form – no matter which form – neo-fascism or neo-neo-fascism. It will come because there will be no history, no culture, there will be no new humanism, and the old one will pass away.

And then, on the cadaver of history, culture and humanism, this vile creature of fascism will arise.

To take the alternate path history must receive a new momentum from somewhere, a new cultural movement must begin, a new humanism must have a say.

The Soviet Union has died. Today’s Russia, to my deep regret, is in no way a country which waves the flag of humanism, history and culture, but it possesses a huge potential to become such country. There is a chance to go this way, if not, if the momentum does not come from there, I don’t know where it might come from.

It is clear to me that such momentum will not come from China and India. It is obvious that Europe is spiritually dead. So is the United States. What is left? Not Africa, probably Latin America could do something, but I don’t know it so well.

So despite the horrific situation in Russia, the hope is that Russia will recuperate, that the Soviet Union in some new form will be recreated and once this happens, it may generate the momentum capable of crushing the fascist threat. I reiterate it may not be purely an anti-fascist momentum, because fascism will be seriously modified. This needs to be a positive momentum of history, humanism and culture.

If these three components come together and create a powerful momentum, giving a new push forward to this process, then fascism will retreat. It might turn to some kind of military actions, in terms of world conquest, but it would not be the most dangerous aspect. An adequate response to these actions will be found.

But if history, culture and humanism just die, then there is nothing we can counter with. Then fascism is the inevitable future of humanity. Of course, I reiterate, it will come in a modified form.

Footnotes.



1 Primordial Tradition is a philosophical, historical-cultural and social doctrine, based on the Gnostic roots. According to the teaching of Rene Guenon, the original content of spirituality, "initially a coherent set of knowledge of transcendent origin", that broke into different spiritual traditions. Primordial tradition associated with the northern region of Hyperborea. Traditional supporters criticize Christianity for lack of traditionalism.

To quote Rene Guenon - Truths which were formerly within reach of all have become more and more hidden and inaccessible; those who possess them grow fewer and fewer, and although the treasure of ‘nonhuman' (that is, supra-human) wisdom that was prior to all the ages can never be lost, it nevertheless becomes enveloped in more and more impenetrable veils, which hide it from men's sight and make it extremely difficult to discover. This is why we find everywhere, under various symbols, the same something which has been lost – at least to all appearances and as far as the outer world is concerned – and that those who aspire to true knowledge must rediscover.
 

2 It is humanity's leap from the realm of necessity into the realm of freedom.” Friedrich Engels, Anti-Duhring. Reproduced in Emile Burns, ed., A Handbook of Marxism (New York: Random House, 1935), pp. 279

 

3 Russian revolution song, lyrics by poet-revolutionist L. Radin (1897)
 

4 Albert Leo Schlageter (12 August 1894 – 26 May 1923) was a member of the German Freikorps. His activities sabotaging French occupying troops after World War I led to his arrest and eventual execution by French forces. His death created an image of martyrdom around him, which was cultivated by German nationalist groups, in particular the Nazi Party. After 1933 Schlageter became one of the principal heroes of the Nazi regime. Hanns Johst, the Nazi playwright, wrote "Schlageter" (1933), a heroic drama about his life. It was dedicated to Hitler, and was performed on his first birthday in power as a theatrical manifesto of Nazism. The line "when I hear the word culture, I reach for my gun", often misattributed to Nazi leaders, derives from this play. The original line is slightly different: "Wenn ich Kultur hore ... entsichere ich meinen Browning," "Whenever I hear of culture... I release the safety-catch of my Browning!" (Act 1, Scene 1). It is spoken by a character in the play named Thiemann in conversation with the young Schlageter.
 

5 Knut Hamsun (August 4, 1859 – February 19, 1952) was a Norwegian author, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920. During World War II, Hamsun expressed his support for the German war-effort on several occasions and met with Hitler.
 

6 Helena Bertha Amalie "Leni" Riefenstahl (22 August 1902 – 8 September 2003) was a German film director, actress and dancer. Her most famous film was Triumph of the Will, a documentary film made at the 1934 congress in Nuremberg of the Nazi Party. Her films (primarily "Triumph of the Will", "Victory of Faith" and "Freedom Day! - Our Wehrmacht!") praise the National Socialist ideology in a suggestive and symbolic manner and also legitimize it in an effectively aesthetic way.

 

7 The Human Beast (La Bete Humaine) is an 1890 novel by Emile Zola.

 

8 On the Genealogy of Morality (Zur Genealogie der Moral, 1887) by Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). “At the centre of all these noble races we cannot fail to see the beast of prey, the magnificent blond beast avidly prowling round for spoil and victory; this hidden centre needs release from time to time, the beast must out again, must return to the wild…”

 

9 Antithesis (Greek for "setting opposite", from ἀντί "against" + θέσις "position") is a counter-proposition and denotes a direct contrast to the original proposition.

 

10 Great Patriotic War” is the war of Soviet Union against Nazi Germany from June 22-d 1941 to May 9-th 1945.

 

11 Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr von Braun (*1912 Prussia; †1977 USA) - rocket scientist, aerospace engineer, space architect, and one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology in the Third Reich, and since the end of the 1940s - in the United States. Since 1938 - a member of the Nazi Party. He was an SS officer in the rank of Sturmbannführer.  In co-operation with the Luftwaffe center developed rocket engines with fuel oil, take-off jet boosters for aircraft and ballistic long-range missile A-4 (V-2) using prison labor camps. Later it turned out that more people died building the V-2 rockets than were killed by it as a weapon. On May 2, 1945 von Braun surrendered to American allied forces.

 

12 Ardennes Counteroffensive aka the Battle of the Bulge (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945) was a major German offensive launched through the densely forested Ardennes mountain region of Wallonia in Belgium, and France and Luxembourg on the Western Front towards the end of World War II.

 

13 The French Resistance (La Résistance française) is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II.

 

14 The Cold War was a global geopolitical, military, economic and informational confrontation between the Soviet Union and its allies on the one hand and the U.S. and its allies on the other, which lasted from 1946 to 1991.

"Operation Paperclip" was the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) program used to recruit the scientists of Nazi Germany for employment by the United States in the aftermath of World War II (1939–45). It was conducted by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA), Although the JIOA's recruitment of German scientists began after the European Allied victory (8 May 1945), US President Harry Truman did not formally order the execution of Operation Paperclip until August 1945. Formally, the anti-Hitler coalition still existed but there were deepening contradictions between the Soviet Union and its Western partners. When Churchill delivered his Sinews of Peacespeech (5 March 1946 at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, USA), the crisis reached the highest intensity, and President Truman even threatened to use nuclear weapons against the Soviet Union. There was even a plan «Boiler» prepared – an attacks on 22 major cities of the Soviet Union. (Time. N. Y., 1980. January 28. Vol. 115. № 4. P. 10.)

J. V. Stalin Interview to “Pravda” Correspondent Concerning Mr. Winston Churchill’s Speech at Fulton March, 1946

 

15 Most likely S.E. Kurginyan meant Nazism and Communism. One of the first to use the term "totalitarianism" in the English language was the Austrian writer Franz Borkenau in his 1938 book The Communist International, in which he commented that it more united the Soviet and German dictatorships than divided them. Isabel Paterson, in The God of the Machine (1943), used the term in connection with the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. Also Hannah Arendt in “The Origins of Totalitarianism” equated Nazi regime with communist system. The political scientists Carl Friedrich and Zbigniew Brzezinski were primarily responsible for expanding the usage of the term in university social science and professional research, reformulating it as a paradigm for the Soviet Union as well as fascist regimes.

 

16 Hard to be a God” published in Russian in 1963, 1973 – in English.

 

17 The brothers Arkady (August 28, 1925 – October 12, 1991) and Boris (Бори́с; April 14, 1933 – November 19, 2012) Strugatsky were Soviet-Russian science fiction authors who collaborated on their fiction.