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The working nation holds every commanding height of the economy firmly under its control.

Karl Otto Paetel

While, inevitably, forerunners will exist in a number of historical movements, the first known uses of the term ‘National Bolshevik’ can be traced to the years after World War I, attributed by Communist leader Karl Radek to dissident members of the workers movement who believed in the revolutionary potential of the nation state and by the German press to lawyer Paul Eltzbacher who called for post Versailles Germany to form a political alliance with Soviet Russia.

Heinrich Laufenberg and Fritz Wolffheim rose to Comrade Radek’s challenge, agitating within the German Communist Party (KPD) for a German approach to the class struggle beginning with a rejection of the Versailles settlement which they saw as an imperial project designed to subjugate Germany. During the mid twenties the left Social Democrat Ernst Niekisch used his journal ‘Widerstand’ (Resistance) to develop the idea of a class based revolutionary nationalism.

Among sympathisers drawn from the nationalist tradition, Karl Otto Paetel called upon social revolutionaries in the National Socialist movement to reject the reactionary anti communism of the NSDAP and embrace, as the central organising principle of the nation, a council based system designed to eliminate class preference. His alternative ‘National Bolshevist Manifesto’ was published on the day Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany.

Similar trends within Russian society during the civil war drew members of the White Russian community, notably Nikolai Ustryalov, into alliance with the Reds. Although politically conservative, Ustryalov, who saw Bolshevism as the only means of regenerating Russian society, ‘borrowed’ the moniker ‘National Bolshevik’ from the ideas of Niekisch. Supporters of the modern Russian ‘National Bolshevik Party’, banned in 2007, are sometimes referred to as ‘NazBols‘.

Where its activity is redirected towards the social needs of the people rather than the empowerment of ruling elites, National Bolsheviks see the nation as a liberator. They believe the primary obstacle to the ability of nations to build just, peaceful societies is the influence over political life of the international banking system.

Misrepresented in the West and misunderstood in the East, National Bolshevism is neither ‘backward’ nor ‘despotic’ nor is it ‘fascism’; viewed originally as a revolutionary concept of nationhood rooted in social justice, its ideals are yet to be truly realised in any political setting. Described by Peter Wilberg as ‘monetary nationalism’ springing from the economic analysis of Marx, a National Bolshevik system would fund nationalised public services with interest free money managed by National People’s Banks. With national self determination as its ruling principle, National Bolshevism rejects all forms of cultural, political and financial imperialism.

It is for these reasons National Bolshevism (NatBol) is set apart from the racial, supremacist ‘nationalism’ of the right and the ‘identity politics’ of the ‘internationalist’ left, both of which are tied historically to the aggressive instincts of international finance.

In its recognition of the debt slavery of nations as the next and ultimate stage in the development of capitalism, National Bolshevism is the ONLY truly revolutionary idea. 

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