The ideology claims a direct link to Hegel, whom it presents as the father of idealism. It is fiercely anti-capitalist in tone and sympathetic towards certain national forms of communism and socialism, defending Stalinism and Strasserism. It is also highly traditionalist in the mold of Julius Evola. Economically, the National Bolsheviks support a mix of the New Economic Policy of Vladimir Lenin and fascist corporatism. Influenced heavily by the idea of geopolitics, current Russian National Bolshevism movements propose a merger between Russia and the rest of Europe in a union, to be known as Eurasia. The National Bolshevik Party is currently banned in Russia, but the less National Bolshevik Front continues.
Amongst other influences claimed by the movement are Georges Sorel, Otto Strasser and José Ortega y Gasset (although this last influence is largely because of his rejection of left and right labels which is also a feature of National Bolshevism).
Today Russia is considered to be the center of National Bolshevism, and almost all of the National Bolshevik parties and organizations in the world are connected to it. Amongst the leading practitioners and theorists of National Bolshevism are Aleksandr Dugin and Eduard Limonov, who leads the unregistered National Bolshevik Party in Russia. National Bolsheviks participated in demonstrations against the G8 in St Petersburg. Other groups, such as the Franco-Belgian Parti Communautaire National-Européen also share the desire for the creation of a united Europe (as well as many of its economic ideas) with National Bolshevism, whilst French figure Christian Bouchet has also been influenced by the idea.
There are National Bolshevik groups in Israel and all over the former Soviet Union, but they are tied to the Russian National Bolshevik Party. Lately there rose an opposition to the efforts of Eduard Limonov to find allies even if they are Pro-western Capitalists, and some even left the original National Bolshevik Party and formed the National Bolshevik Front.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn vs Eduard Limonov
The term National Bolshevism has sometimes been applied to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and his brand of anti-communism. However, Solzhenitsyn cannot be labeled a National Bolshevik since he was thoroughly anti-Marxist and anti-Stalinist, and he wished a revival of Russian culture that would see a greater role for the Russian Orthodox Church, a withdrawal of Russia from its role overseas, and a state of international isolationism. Solzhenitsyn and his followers, known as vozrozhdentsy (revivalists) differed from the National Bolsheviks, who were not religious in tone (although not completely hostile to religion), and who felt that involvement overseas was important for the prestige and power of Russia.
There was open hostility between Solzhenitsyn and Eduard Limonov, the head of Russia's unregistered National Bolshevik Party. Solzhenitsyn had described Limonov as "a little insect who writes pornography", and Limonov described Solzhenitsyn as a traitor to his homeland who contributed to the downfall of the USSR. In The Oak and the Calf, Solzhenitsyn openly attacked the notions that the Russians were 'the noblest in the world' and that 'tsarism and Bolshevism ... [were] equally irreproachable', defining this as the core of the National Bolshevism to which he was opposed.
Eurasianist / Neo-Eurasianist associated views
The term "National Bolshevism" has often been applied to certain anti-liberal ideologies/movements supporting some form of cooperation between the Soviet Union/Russia and (parts of) Europe/Asia, often in opposition to liberalism claimed to be associated with England/America. In this sense, there are various associations with Eurasianism.
In the postwar period, the term has been applied to certain pro-Russian ideologies/movements, notably the National Bolshevik Party and certain views associated with notably Aleksandr Dugin and Neo-Eurasianism.
Other senses / terms
The term has sometimes been applied to Joseph Stalin's alleged policy of "socialism in one country". See also Soviet offensive plans controversy. The term has sometimes been applied to (some) of the view of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. There is also the similar term "national communism", which has been applied to, for example, Yugoslav Communism, which aimed to have a form of Communism independent from the Soviet Union.
- The Anti-Hitler Underground within the German Conservative Revolution
- Lenin and Mussolini by Paul Johnson
- G. Hosking, A History of the Soviet Union, London: Fontana, 1990, pp. 421-2
- A. Solzhenitsyn, The Oak and the Calf, 1975, pp.119-129