When It Rains It Pours

Woooooow! What a day! It all began this morning when a friend abroad sends me a link to a 5,000-word article on the cancer-AIDS site Russia Inisder, written by its editor Charles Bausman. What exactly inspired Bausman to write 5,000 words? What topic drove him to expound at such length? Why it’s the “Jewish question,”  of course! Or to use Bausman’s words, the “Jewish problem.” Seriously, check out this excerpt:

Discussion of the Jewish problem (and ‘problem’ is the right word here) is obviously not going to be the focus of Russia Insider – we try to be primarily about Russia, but I am willing to give space to this issue, and not just as it relates to Russia. I invite all writers, including from the Alt-Right, to get in touch with me directly at charles@russia-insider.com with article ideas, proposals, or anything else, and yes, we will publish articles which use (((echoes))).

And because this is Bausman, that paragraph soliciting for articles is followed by:

It is my great regret that we are not in a position to pay authors for articles. If anyone reading this is in a position to help provide funding to pay writers on this important subject, that would be helpful, because it immediately raises the quality and depth of the writing. If you are interested, please get in touch with me directly.

Bausman’s “coming out” was apparently cheered by the pedantic neo-Nazi pseudo-intellectual Anatoly Karlin, whose own article was also published on Russia Insider. Using his incredibly high IQ, Karlin deduced that Russia watchers of Jewish descent reacting negatively toward an anti-Semitic screed must be strong evidence in favor of that screed’s central thesis. Imagine that- people of Jewish descent reacting negatively to something openly attacking them! Of course he also totally ignores the reactions of non-Jewish Russia journalists when making that point, but who are we to question the logic of such high-IQ individuals? And while it is not central to Duh Russophile’s piece, I have to quote the bizarre passage where he cites himself, if only to demonstrate how laughably fucked up these people are.

In my view, the reasons are ultimately psycho-sexual. Male Jews nowadays have it good in Russia, with many Slavic girls attracted to their wealth, intelligence and impeccable charm (if not their looks). But the position of Jewesses is the inverse. They find it hard to compete with those same Slavic chicks who tend to be both hotter and much more feminine than them; nor, like Jewish guys, can they compensate with intelligence, since it is considered far less important for women.

Well there’s a fine line between genius and madness, right?

Another Russia Insider contributor with a really creative alternative version of history published a warning to Bausman, approving of the discussion of the “Jewish problem” so long as he remembers to use nice language. He also reminds him to make sure to scapegoat some other nationalities for the “Russophobia” in the West, because of course nobody ever has a justifiable criticism of Russia. They’re all just irrational haters.

It should come as no shock that the site hasn’t taken down their numerous articles ranting about neo-Nazis and alleged anti-Semitism in Ukraine.

russiainsider

Do a search for “Ukrainian Nazis” and strap yourself in for the ride! 

Gee, Charles, what’s your beef with those neo-Nazis in Ukraine? They just shed that “Jewish taboo” as you call it, right?

In all seriousness, however, long-term Russia watchers know there’s no real contradiction here. Russia’s regime is far right, and it caters to the far right. More importantly, in the bizarro-world D&D game that is Russia’s propaganda narrative, being a neo-Nazi has nothing to do with holding Nazi beliefs but rather whether or not you support the Kremlin and its foreign policy goals. If you’re a far left Marxist (*ahem*) but you oppose Russia’s actions in Ukraine, you’re a “Nazi,” whereas if you are a literal fascist or neo-Nazi but you support those goals, you are not only not a fascist but you can even portray yourself on Kremlin media as an “anti-fascist!”

Of course this is something I’ve routinely pointed out dozens of times, and apart from Bausman’s foray into full-on Nazism being a great opportunity to say “I told you so” to some people on the left,  neither this piece nor Russia Insider is the real reason for this post. After this post blew up a tiny portion of Twitter, a follower introduced me to this link, which is basically a massive catalog of collaboration between the far-left and far-right. More specifically, it is a thorough investigation of so-called “red-brown alliances,” laying the foundation with a historical examination of the ideological background of such collaboration, then proceeding with a thorough examination of contemporary examples of this far-right/far-left collaboration.

If this sounds like “horseshoe theory,” it’s not. In fact, many rank and file leftists are totally unaware of these connections and would never work with some of the people named in this investigation if they knew what they were really about. But that’s just the thing- modern far-rightists often conceal their political identities, and instead latch on to some populist cause that also happens to animate leftists. They may present themselves as “anti-establishment,” “anti-capitalist,” “anti-war,” and the far-right entryist’s favorite cover, “anti-Zionist.”

Two things bear mentioning about this list before you check it out. First of all, it is packed with links and archived versions of said links. You can’t accuse the author of not backing up their claims- that’s for sure.

But more importantly, especially for leftists, is to note the common thread that is tying nearly all these people together- Russia, and most notably, Alexander Dugin and his Eurasianist movement. While Dugin’s actual influence in the Russian government are often overestimated, his influence in Russia’s foreign propaganda efforts is well-established. I would not be surprised to find that many of the Dugin-linked groups in the West reached out to him and his “philosophy” rather than vice versa.

This investigation only hammers home the point that the Western left (hell, any left) needs to take Russian influence operations seriously. Not only because this association with far rightists could be used by the establishment to discredit leftists, but first and foremost on principle alone. There is no legitimate reason why leftists should be forging alliances with the far right anywhere. We should not be sharing a platform with them or repeating the talking points and advancing the foreign policy goals of an imperialist, colonialist, reactionary regime that openly supports our enemies in our own homelands. Obviously we cannot stop such groups from claiming the same position as us on certain issues, but that doesn’t mean we need to embrace them or their benefactors- instead we should call them out wherever we catch them.

Moreover, the left needs to expose parties that engage in red-brown alliances in the name of “anti-imperialism.” Apart from the fact that many such organizations are in fact pro-imperialist so long as the empire in question is not American, it’s been my observation that those who embrace these connections with the far right or with reactionary regimes only end up going further in that direction instead of staying on left territory.

I’d suggest bookmarking that link and even downloading a copy of it should the site ever go offline. Hell, here it is again just in case you haven’t opened it yet. The key to fighting red-brown alliances is proper political education, but the first step is knowing that they exist, have been around for quite some time, and are an ever-present threat to revolutionary progressive politics.

 

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8 thoughts on “When It Rains It Pours

  1. NonDenominationalLeftist

    Just to clarify, Russia Insider is independent from the Kremlin, right? Or are there actual financial ties? I think if the Russian government itself started directly promoting this kind of anti-semitism that would be a dramatic escalation in the “information war” and imo would warrant significant retaliation.

    Reply
    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      Russia Insider, despite being 146% pro-Kremlin, is indeed independent as near as anyone can tell. There’s some evidence that Bausman tried to get funding from Kremlin-linked oligarch Malofeev, but no confirmation if he ever received the money. Since he still can’t pay writers and depends largely on reprinting stuff (often without permission), it’s entirely likely that he never received significant funding (or perhaps just pocketed what he got).

      If you want a more brazen example of state-sponsored anti-Semitism, there’s this recent case: https://meduza.io/en/feature/2017/11/30/federal-investigators-have-reopened-the-tsar-nicholas-ii-murder-case-and-the-russian-orthodox-church-wants-them-to-consider-a-notoriously-anti-semitic-conspiracy-theory

      A lot of the anti-Semitic material is not officially endorsed by the state, but rather promoted by outlets or social media accounts that just happen to always advocate for pro-Kremlin goals. This is where the “zhydobanderovets” meme comes from, for example- numerous pro-Kremlin trolling accounts and social media pages spread claims that Ukraine’s leaders, as well as the leaders of various Ukrainian nationalist organizations, are Jews.

      Reply
  2. Emperor of Ice Cream

    I only skimmed Bausman’s article, but noticed a lot of errors. Charles Portal wasn’t Jewish, his family was French Huguenot in origin. Ed Lucas isn’t Jewish either. Neither is Timothy Snyder. Both Lucas and Snyder have been accused of whitewashing Nazi collaborators, which seems like an odd thing for a Jew to do. Jeff Bezos, owner of the Washington Post, isn’t Jewish.

    Karlin’s self-quoted article was a comic-satirical classification of Russian-Americans, published in 2012. It was entertaining at the time, the sort of thing the eXile might have done in its heyday. Since then, he’s moved back to Russia and gotten involved in weird nationalist circles, and apparently now takes this stuff seriously.

    Reply
    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      No surprise that he labels people who aren’t Jewish as Jews. Anti-Semites do this all the time. If someone is “1/16th Jewish,” they’re a Jew according to them. If they can’t conceivably call them Jewish, they’ll find a Jewish spouse or a Jewish relative, and that’s used as “evidence” of a conspiracy. What’s really funny is when American White Nationalists get in a spat with each other, and try to call each other Jews. Some WN forums have numerous fights where people are calling each other Jewish. And if they don’t do that, they’ll accuse each other of “acting Jewish.”

      August Bebel called anti-Semitism the “socialism of fools,” but nowadays it seems to be the general ideology of losers.

      I think I know the Karlin article you refer to. Maybe it was intended satire but it didn’t work too well because of the strawmen. I find the thing about “Jewesses” in Russia amusing because in my experience many Russian women with Jewish heritage are indistinguishable from the Slavic Russian women. And Masha Gessen is of course a lesbian so it’s kind of doubtful she was jealous of all those Slavic girls catching rich men.

      Reply
      1. Emperor of Ice Cream

        There’s also “under Jewish influence,” which is how he gets Samantha Power and Nikki Haley, neither of them at all Jewish, into his bill of indictment.

  3. akarlin

    I am no mere Neo-Nazi. I am the resurrection of Mecha-Hitler from Wolfenstein 3D. Even Ben “Race War Now” Garrison quails before my stats in the hate and extremism skills trees.

    This doesn’t preclude me from having excellent relations with the Jews. I will even be voting for one of the very best Jews on March 18.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Russia Insider Anti-Semitism Is On The Radar – To Inform is to Influence

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