There seems to be pretty good evidence that Russia exploits the extremes of our modern US political system in order to damage the establishment center (“playing both sides“) in ways which reciprocally advance Russian political and military interests. In a nutshell, this dialectic model of conspiracism forms the basis for my working theory of so called “active measures”.
I present to you that we should look to parallels in history to see this has quite likely happened before — specifically in the case of German fascism and Western antifascism.
First, let me emphasize that my position as writer of this blog is that the Nazis were held accountable after WW2, but the Soviets were not held accountable for their crimes. Between famines, warfare, work camp deaths, and executions, Stalin’s clique was obviously responsible for a similar number of deaths as Hitler’s.
As an observer of history around the pre-WW2 period of propaganda — and antifascists like Orson Welles, who were closely aligned to the communist-inspired Popular Front movement, I am also well aware that prior to Stalin’s alignment with Hitler and the Molotov-Ribbentrob pact, most Hollywood figures who were sympathetic to communism were opposed to Hitler (see the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League, promoted by Russian agent Otto Katz). It seems also that the very term ‘antifascism’ was coined by Stalin.
Following the war, most people only remembered that Russia ended the war as America’s ally. They forget that Russia started the war in a non-aggression pact allied with Germany. In this sense, they seem to see antifascism as a linear counterpoint to fascism which aligns with the victorious moral high ground in WW2. But does an entity like Russia which objectively played both sides and committed many provable atrocities against her own people (not to forget Ukrainians, Polish people, and later against Europe in general) — truly deserve such a positive post-war appraisal from an ethical perspective?
Tellingly, when the Nazis aligned with the Soviets and Poland was divided between them, the communist-aligned figures in the US had ceased their antifascist activities (surely many on the left were disillusioned; but the historical record shows that the movement went along with the early alliance between Germany and Russia). When Germany attacked Russia however, these figures once again (along with the Communist Party line) were antifascist.
The hypocrisy is palpable, and also shows the clear control the Comintern must have had on the positions taken by Hollywood antifascists.
But what about in Germany?
My research has raised weird questions about what Russia may have done there from a propaganda and cultural influence perspective in the years leading up to WW2 to promote fascism itself!
Firstly, as a researcher of the concept of Nostradamus as a Russian influence tool, one of the easiest references to find linking supposed Russian spies to Nostradamus is by the occult philosopher Helene Blavatsky, founder of Theosophy. Blavatsky was a strong advocate for the predictive powers of Nostradamus. (Theosophy is also noted to have a distinctly anti-Semitic flavor.)
“Present events fully vindicate Nostradamus, who has been so much ridiculed by our skeptics. ” – Helene Blavatsky
The blue-blooded Blavatsky was called out by British intelligence agents in India as a Russian spy and there is strong evidence to suggest it was the case that she was an agent of the Okhrana, or Tsarist secret police. (Other practitioners of Theosophy, like the mystical artist Nicholas Roerich are also strongly suspected of having been agents of Russian influence (see ‘scandalous‘ connection to Henry Wallace).)
What do the Theosophists have to do with the Nazis? Quite a bit actually.
There is considerable evidence that Nazi theories on race were influenced by the theosophists. (Theosophical ideas also directly influenced the Thule society which in turn affected Himmler.)
The swastika was also a symbol brought into the popular consciousness in Germany by Theosophists; Blavatsky called it “the most sacred and mystic symbol in India.”
As previously blogged at N01R, “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” emerged also from the Tsarist secret police in alliance with the state-controlled Russian Orthodox Church. It turns out that it was a theosophist associate of Blavatsky — and also Russian agent — Yuliana Glinka who was instrumental in spreading The Protocols in the press. The effects of this text on the diseased Nazi/fascist mind cannot be understated in terms of their impact on the Holocaust (which predominately affected Russian Jews).
Modern Russian Orthodox figures like Metropolitan Ioann of St. Petersburg had advocated favorably in terms of German fascism, and German anti-Semitism, as much as they have also preached against Bolshevism. Figures like these hold Germany in contempt primarily for abandoning Christianity and for the attack on Russia when the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact collapsed. (Though in this sense, it would also be ironic in this theoretical framework that it was in part anti-Christian mysticism (e.g. Theosophy and Nostradamus) plausibly spread by Russia which seems to have contributed to this abandonment of Christianity which Ioann laments.)
It is not only an advocation of fascism though by modern Russians. There was in fact considerable evidence to support that it was in large part pro-Tsarist Russian emigres to Germany who fostered the very seeds of fascism which eventually seized the country. As Ioann said:
“The merit of the Germans consisted in the fact that they looked to the Russians as their cultural teachers and accepted their accounts of the bestiality of Bolshevism and the conquest of Russia by the Jews as a threat to their own existence, and as a great world danger which threatened all Christianity, civilisation and culture.”
Thus I think that it is very plausible, from both the standpoint of symbolism and philosophy, that the Russians were primary influences on the formation of fascism in Germany, as well as the more accepted view that antifascism is the product of Russian influence as well.
This could be interpreted in a couple of ways. Firstly, it could be seen as the efforts of pro-Tsarist figures to return a similar kind of rule to Russia in the wake of the Bolshevik revolution. But it might also be seen as an effort to create conditions for political and conventional warfare favorable to Russia through an influence campaign similar to what we are seeing today with Russia “playing both sides“. It is indeed objectively true of the great powers that only Russia was a member of both the Axis alliance and the Allied alliance, and it seems indisputable that in the midst of this relationship with Germany they caused the cessation of antifascist activities as at that time it was favorable to their politics.
This is far from a complete thesis, but there is enough ‘there’ there to warrant further research as to how fascism and antifascism are plausibly complementary in light of present circumstances when they are considered as components of a dialectic of conspiracism.