National Bolshevism in a New Light
…its relation to the individual, identity, community and the state
Fascism is worship of the national capitalist or imperial state. Yet the nation is not the state. The nation is its people, and people are individuals.
Yet there has long been what appears to be a universal stream of ‘anti-individualism’ in both the ‘Old Left’, ‘New Right’ and also many so-called ‘National Bolshevik’ manifestos and ideologies.
This ignores the fact that the first ‘National Bolshevik’ groupings were nothing more or less than free and informal associations and relations of individuals who did not ‘fit in’ in to any organised political parties.
More importantly, this ‘anti-individualism’ is also a sign of a total failure to challenge and transcend purely egotistic notions of ‘individuality’ and ‘individualism’ of the sort that Marx already criticised – and is thus effectively a concession to wholly capitalist concepts of both individuality and identity.
Bourgeois-liberal and capitalist ideology however, identifies the individual self simply with his or her ego – treating identity itself as the private property of an individual or collective.
In the West neither Left nor Right, atheists or religionists have any concept whatsoever of the individual as anything more than an atomic ‘ego’ or ‘subject’ of consciousness.
They certainly have no concept of the individual as an individualised portion, expression and embodiment of a universal consciousness or subjectivity – one that though not itself a being, nevertheless manifests as all beings, all worlds and all things – as all that is.
Being English or French, German or Russian, being white or black, male or female, Christian or Jewish, Islamic or Hindu, socialist or nationalist, conservative or revolutionary etc. may be a valid and even creatively dominant part of who an individual is – an important part of their identity – but it is neither their whole identity (their ‘whole self’) nor its essence.
Therefore to identify solely with being anything – whether German or Russian, white or black, male or female, Christian or Jewish, Islamic or Hindu, nationalist or socialist - is a diminution and impoverishment of our self as a whole – our ‘soul’ – and its many and mixed dimensions of identity.
‘Individuality’ is what uniquely combines both the distinctiveness and ‘in-divisibility’ of the countless identities that make up our whole self.
To identify with a particular race, colour, ethnicity or nationality is, similarly, a diminution of our whole self – which embraces many possible and actual identities.
Limited and limiting identifications are what lead far-right nationalists to racism and to the fascist ideal of total identification of the individual with the state.
Fascism simply substitutes the individual ego with the state or nation as collective ego and its leader as ‘super-ego’.
Fascist ideology identifies the self with its religion or ethnicity, the nation with the state, and the ego with the leader of the ‘nation state’.
The biggest mistake of nationalists and socialists has been the identification of the individual, the people and the nation with a particular identity represented by the state.
The greatest mistake of socialist and communist parties is the identification of individual, communal people’s or worker’s power with state power.
The aim of socialist and communist parties should therefore not be to seek to attain state power through elections or seize it through revolutions.
It cannot be the aim of socialist or communist parties or organisations to ‘represent’ or act ‘on behalf’ of the people, let alone to take and exercise power ‘for’ them - for this runs directly counter to the aim of communism i.e. freeing people from all power over their free and autonomous power to.
For Marx the Paris Commune was the model for ‘Communism’ – a model in direct contradiction to the state in all its historic forms.
“After every revolution marking a progressive phase in the class struggle, the purely repressive character of the state power stands out in bolder and bolder relief.
The centralized state power, with its ubiquitous organs of standing army, police, bureaucracy, clergy, and judicature – organs wrought after the plan of a systematic and hierarchic division of labour – originates from the days of absolute monarchy, serving nascent middle class society as a mighty weapon in its struggle against feudalism. Still, its development remained clogged by all manner of medieval rubbish, seignorial rights, local privileges, municipal and guild monopolies, and provincial constitutions. The gigantic broom of the French Revolution of the 18th century swept away all these relics of bygone times, thus clearing simultaneously the social soil of its last hinderances to the superstructure of the modern state edifice raised under the First Empire, itself the offspring of the coalition wars of old semi-feudal Europe against modern France.
During the subsequent regimes, the government, placed under parliamentary control – that is, under the direct control of the propertied classes – became not only a hotbed of huge national debts and crushing taxes; with its irresistible allurements of place, pelf, and patronage, it became not only the bone of contention between the rival factions and adventurers of the ruling classes; but its political character changed simultaneously with the economic changes of society. At the same pace at which the progress of modern industry developed, widened, intensified the class antagonism between capital and labour, the state power assumed more and more the character of the national power of capital over labour, of a public force organized for social enslavement, of an engine of class despotism.
In a rough sketch of national organization, which the Commune had no time to develop, it states clearly that the Commune was to be the political form of even the smallest country hamlet, and that in the rural districts the standing army was to be replaced by a national militia, with an extremely short term of service. The rural communities of every district were to administer their common affairs by an assembly of delegates in the central town, and these district assemblies were again to send deputies to the National Delegation in Paris, each delegate to be at any time revocable and bound by the mandat imperatif (formal instructions) of his constituents. The few but important functions which would still remain for a central government were not to be suppressed, as has been intentionally misstated, but were to be discharged by Communal and thereafter responsible agents.
The Commune was formed of the municipal councillors, chosen by universal suffrage in the various wards of the town, responsible and revocable at short terms. The majority of its members were naturally working men, or acknowledged representatives of the working class.
The Commune was to be a working, not a parliamentary body, executive and legislative at the same time.
The Paris Commune was, of course, to serve as a model to all the great industrial centres of France. The communal regime once established in Paris and the secondary centres, the old centralized government would in the provinces, too, have to give way to the self-government of the producers.
The unity of the nation was not to be broken, but, on the contrary, to be organized by Communal Constitution, and to become a reality by the destruction of the state power which claimed to be the embodiment of that unity independent of, and superior to, the nation itself, from which it was but a parasitic excresence.”
Marx also saw in the uniqueness of the Russian rural commune as the potential basis for a direct transition to communism – and saw its protection as the task of a Russian revolution.
“And the historical situation of the Russian “rural commune” is unparalleled! Alone in Europe, it has kept going not merely as scattered debris such as the rare and curious miniatures in a state of the archaic type which one could still come across until quite recently in the West, but as the virtually predominant form of popular life covering an immense empire. If it possesses in the communal ownership of the soil the basis of collective appropriation, its historical surroundings, its contemporaneity with capitalist production, lend it all the material conditions of communal labour on a vast scale. It is thus in a position to incorporate all the positive acquisitions devised by the capitalist system without passing through [it].”
For Marx the Commune as the basis for a new organisation of the nation also stood in direct contradiction to all actual or would-be ‘empires’ which “professed to unite all classes by reviving for all the chimera of national glory.”
For in reality empire was “the only form of government possible at a time when the bourgeoisie had already lost, and the working class had not yet acquired, the faculty of ruling the nation.”
“The direct antithesis to the empire was the Commune.”
This insight seems to have been totally lost to many of the ‘National Bolsheviks’ of Russia today - who merely amplify to a deafening degree the rhetoric of Russian national and imperial glory and persist in worship of the state.
National Bolsheviks are ‘National Communists’ in the sense of ‘National Communardists’. That means they are opposed to the state in principle - both one-party and multi-party states, not to mention monarchical, autocrartic or imperial states. It also means that:
Instead communist political parties, like all political parties and all forms of social organisation should serve only to cultivate, disseminate and debate ideas i.e. new potentials for individual, group and communal action – and leaders capable of articulating those ideas.
Their aim as parties should not be to fight for but - in John Holloway’s terms - “against and beyond” state power – for the state which exercises “power over” people in a way which expropriates the autonomous power of the people and their autonomous “power to”.
The autonomous power of the people is their innate power to – a power to act according to their own desires and their own innate creative potencies, possibilities or potentials of action.
Resistance to capitalism means resistance to all forms of expropriation and all exercise of power over people’s innate power to i.e. their creative and productive activity or “labour power” in Marxist terms.
The overcoming of capitalism on the other hand, is the exercise of complete freedom of the individual in the way they exercise and fulfil their innate potentials of creative and productive activity – their innate power to.
Capitalist enterprises and corporations exercise power over the people by directing the way that individuals use their innate potentials for action (their “labour power” or “power to”), expropriating its products, and also determining its value for society solely according to its exchange value or ‘market value’.
‘Wage-slavery’ is the not just the economic expropriation and exploitation of the individual’s labour power but its enforced yet totally unfree exercise – its ‘employment’ in a way that bears little or no relation to each individual’s unique creative potentials or power to - thus leaving these creative potentials unemployed – whether or not the individual ‘has a job’.
From this point of view it is absurd, for example, for socialists to demands ‘jobs’ and ‘full employment’ – for that is a demand for as much wage-slavery as possible, rather than its opposite – the freedom of individuals, groups and communities to exercise their individual and collective ‘power to’ in the way they choose – but without it being appropriated by an elite who control, direct and exercise power over it.
Communism as Marx defined it is a society in which “The free development of each [i.e. the free cultivation and exercise of their innate creative potentials and power to] is the condition for the free development of all” and not the other way round.
Through these words Marx clearly offered an understanding of communism as a state of authentic and fully developed social individualism - one that facilitates authentic self-actualisation through free association and relation with other individuals.
Yet the idea that this can be achieved by either a one-party state or a multi-party state is fundamentally flawed.
Communism means “the withering away of the state” (Marx). Thus the attainment of communism cannot be achieved through first establishing a people’s or worker’s ‘state’.
Indeed there is not, never has been and cannot be any such thing as a people’s ‘state’ or worker’s ‘state’. For the modern ‘nation state’ (as opposed to feudal monarchies) arose with and must disappear with capitalism.
The modern ‘nation state’ in other words, is capitalist in principle – for it is ruled by the banks and corporations - who use the pretence of exercising state power ‘on behalf’ of the people (whether though ‘representative democracy’ or dictatorship) to exercise power over them.
The nation as ‘state’ needs to be replaced by the nation as a free association of sovereign individuals in the form of non-feudal and self-governing economic enterprises, educational institutions, communities and municipalities based on direct democracy – not dictatorship or ‘representative’ democracy.
Protection of national sovereignty therefore, is not protection of the nation as a state but of the nation as a sovereign people – as a direct and truly democratic community of communities made up autonomous and sovereign individual.
The modern nation state however, like capitalist corporations, is undemocratic in principle – turning both free individual and collective power to into an object of its own power over.
The word ‘state’ itself is of Latin origin and refers to system of autocratic or monarchical government based on the power of the ruling classes, elites or ‘estates’.
The Greek ‘polis’ was based on an economic system of slavery, as was the Roman ‘republic’.
Medieval ‘city states’ were established and ruled by merchants.
Marx saw the modern capitalist state as "a committee for managing the common affairs of the bourgeoisie”.
Today it is the international banks that rule nation states, parliaments, political leaders - and even capitalist corporations - not just through wage-slavery but through neo-feudal debt-slavery.
Debt-slavery both destroys jobs and reinforces people’s dependence on them – on wage-slavery.
Yet freely chosen, creative, productive, individually fulfilling and socially valuable activity or ‘labour’ is not the same as ‘employment’ in the form of wage-slavery. Instead it is activity that expresses the innate qualities and fulfils the values and potentials of the individual. It therefore constitutes a form of work or labour whose value cannot be measured in purely quantitative and monetary terms.
Wage-slavery creates a vast separation between active and productive work or labour on the one hand and from pleasure on the other - turning pleasure itself into nothing more than an industry whose commodities serve to make up for a basic lack of pleasure in labour itself – in the free exercise of power to.
Wage-slavery, reinforced by debt-slavery is essentially ownership, exploitation and control of the individual’s time. Therefore the single most importance form of resistance to capitalism is the exercise of all means possible to re-appropriate our own time - allowing us to use time to freely choose the way we exercise and fulfil our individual creative and productive potentials - our ‘power to’ or ‘labour power’.
This means creating and expanding time-spaces in our lives – indeed even in our jobs - in which our activity or labour as individuals is in one way or another freely chosen, freely conducted, and above all engaged in in our own time.
Taking our time increases the quality of the time we give to an activity or task – thus adding to its qualitative value rather than reducing its value purely to the quantity of time put into it.
Through taking our time we can release and fulfil new and pleasurable ‘powers to’ rooted in our own innate and unique qualities and potentials as individuals.
Exercising these unique powers to - by acting in our own time and in our own unique way - allows us not only to pleasurably fulfil our individual values and potentials but thereby also to make a unique contribution to society as a whole.
Capitalism measures and rewards the clock time of our labour and its purely quantitative value.
And yet despite its claims to hi-speed efficiency, productivity, wealth and prosperity this form of measurement and valuation of labour time has resulted in nothing but universal time poverty and and a complete failure to provide for the basic needs of the vast majority of the world’s population.
“The working hours of a modern white-collar worker or factory ‘employee’ are longer than the annual or daily time spent on social reproduction by any pre-capitalist or non-capitalist civilisation inside or outside Europe. Such traditional production was not devoted to efficiency, but was characterised by a culture of leisure and relative ‘slowness’. Apart from natural disasters, those societies were able to better provide for the basic material needs of their members, in fact even better than has been the case for long periods of modern history or as is the case in the horror slums of the present world crisis.” (Die Krisis Gruppe).
Communism replaces payment according to the social status, market value and quantitative time of an individual’s labour with payment according to an individual’s quality of work, the quality of time put into it and its qualitative value for society as a whole.
Resistance to capitalism then, means above all resisting all pressures to reduce subjective time to a constricted quantity of ‘objective’ clock time.
Subjective time is awareness time – the time we give to being aware of all that we do, thereby enabling ourselves to do it from a qualitatively deepened, enriched and expanded awareness.
Awareness transcends both action and identity. For by its very nature, the awareness of any activity or identity transcends that activity or identity, whilst at the same time also embracing countless alternate or possible activities and identities.
Identity itself is essentially the result of an act of identification i.e. is itself a form of activity.
Conversely, any given form of activity is at the same time the enactment of a specific identity.
Freedom is the gift that awareness grants to choose between different activities and identifications, whilst at the same time not regarding them as mutually exclusive – as either totally the same or totally different – but rather as simferent.
If any two things or people were totally the same they would not be two things at all but one.
Similarly, if any two things or people were totally different there could be no relation whatsoever between them.
Essentially then, identity is neither sameness nor difference but ‘similarity-in-difference’ or ‘simference’.
Simference is a wholly new understanding of all forms of identity – linguistic, religious, political, cultural, behavioural and even biological.
No one ‘inherits’ exactly the same nose, mouth or eyes as a parent or grandparent for example. There may be a distinct similarity, but one that is also inseparable from an element of difference. The two noses are neither exactly the same nor completely different – instead they are simferent.
‘Simference’ is not merely a banal recognition that things and people may be exactly the same in certain respects ‘and’ different in others. For again, both absolute sameness or identity and absolute difference are impossible in any respect.
Instead simference is the understanding that both things and people are different in the very ways in which they are similar and similar in the very ways they are different.
Simference is that understanding of identity that Wittgenstein called ‘family resemblance’ rather than absolute identity or sameness.
Both families and communities are founded on identity understood as simference and not as sameness.
Identification with others strives for identity with others in the form of sameness and negates identity as simference. In negating the essence of identity as simference it also negates the essence of individuality as simference.
Identity understood merely as sameness defines itself by difference. Thus to ‘be’ a Protestant or Orthodox Christian for example, is essentially to differ from being a Catholic one.
Identity as mere sameness in other words, cannot do without difference. Its only recourse then, is to turn difference into some form of foreign or alien ‘otherness’ - an otherness to which it nevertheless remains eternally bound through either hatred or indifference - albeit at the expense of true identity and selfhood, which is neither sameness nor difference but simference.
No two Russians, Germans, Arabs or Jews are German, Russian, Arab or Jewish in exactly the same way - or in a totally different way. What unites them is their simference.
The same relation of simference applies to two or more family members, to two or more members of a racial, cultural, ethnic, religious community, to two or more people sharing what appears to be the ‘same’ ideology or worldview – or to two or more people seemingly sharing the ‘same’ identity in any respect whatsoever.
Why is this important? Because it allows us to distinguish National Bolshevism from any form of Hitlerist biological racism and any notions of race purity – whilst at the same time both maintaining and refining the whole concept of communal or common ‘identity’ through the notion of simference.
Genetics alone of course, has long shown that the notion of biological race purity is nonsense – for the fact is that a so-called ‘pure’ white ‘Aryan’ may share less genes in common with another ‘pure white Aryan’ than with a black African or Jew.
Nevertheless the wholly false identification of psychical value commonality with biological race purity persists.
So also however does the false identification of community or commonality (cultural, ethnic, religious or political) with mere sameness or difference - as opposed to simference.
The state and its institutions puts people in categorical boxes that imply mere sameness – asking them to tick their sex, principal language, religion, colour, ethnicity, nationality etc.
But what then is a ‘nation’ in contrast to a state? This is a basic question if we are to properly understand what the word ‘National’ in ‘National Bolshevism’ refers.
The nation as such is its people, whose ethnic variety and diversity cannot be reduced to mere categorical boxes, mere similarities or differences.
What brings individuals together as ethnic communities - and in turn brings those communities together as a ‘nation’ - in the sense of a geographically bounded ‘country’ or ‘commonwealth’ of communities - are neither similarities nor differences but simferences in their respective root values, religion, cultures and languages.
In Europe, tribal, ethnic, linguistic and cultural simferences that constituted the German people or Volk were the basis of successful resistance to the rule, firstly, of the Roman empire and secondly the Roman Church and its creed (itself a creation of the Roman emperor Constantine - who turned the Christianity into an creed that sanctified imperial wars, thus reducing the original Christian value of ‘peace’ to a mere state of mind - rather than a philosophy of non-violence).
So much for the word ‘National’ in ‘National Bolshevism’ - although it is no less important to remember that the root meaning of this word is the Latin nasci – meaning a capacity to be born.
A ‘nation’ in this sense is not some fully born and already established social or state entity but one whose essence remains still unborn or nascent.
But what about the term ‘Bolshevism’?
The word ‘Bolshevism’ simply means ‘the majority’ – and is therefore still a term with relevance in a world ruled by a tiny plutocractic minority – the ‘1%’.
The slogan of the Bolsheviks was ‘All Power to the Soviets’ i.e. not to bourgeois parliaments but to autonomous, self-governing councils - and to industrial and agricultural communes. Any notion of a one-party Soviet state ruling over its own Soviets is therefore not Bolshevik.
‘National Bolshevism’ then, strives not just for a non-party state as opposed to a one-party or multi-party state but for a stateless society i.e. communism in the Marxist but also wider sense - understood as the free association of individuals in self-governing communities and communities of communities – owned and ruled over by no one and ruled instead by their own simferent values, and power to realise them.
Both the words ‘National’ and ‘Bolshevism’ seem to look backward historically.
On the one hand this can be seen as unfortunate - making the term ‘National Bolshevism’ seem ‘out-dated’ in modern, post-modern and liberal terms.
On the other hand an important further dimension of simference is a linguistic one – communication is meaningful not just because it allows people to use the same words to speak of the same ‘things’ but because they can use them to say something similar but at the same time different – simferent.
Thus what is conserved in my use of the term ‘National Bolshevism’ is, paradoxically, something new and revolutionary – the possibility of unified multi-ethnic nations that are not divided by ethnicity (the aim of both multi-culturalism and its enemies) but united by simferent spiritual and cultural values - all of which stand against the global empire that now rules all nations as political states.
This is the Empire of Money i.e. “the devaluation of all values” by the pure abstraction of monetary ‘value’ - and with it, the crass commodification, degradation and destruction of the true spiritual wealth of different peoples and their historical national cultures.
Along with this goes the reduction of language itself to a mere instrumental currency of existing social relations, one which reinforces these relations rather than serving as a means to their transformation.
The language of all deep human and spiritual values is loaned out on a massive scale to serve the advertising industry in its symbolic identification of these values with branded commodities.
Thus a cosmetics firm tells you to buy its products because ‘You’re worth it’ – and the fast-food industry turns ‘love’ into a feeling aroused by eating at McDonalds.
This the entire language and symbolism of brand marketing and advertising is the creation of a currency of fictitious values and an exercise in ethical ‘credit fraud’ on a massive scale – directly serving ‘the total devaluation of values’.
Meanwhile the languages of the sciences present their own purely quantitative, mental, mathematical and wholly immaterial concepts as more real than the qualitative, sensuously experienced phenomena they are used to ‘explain’.
Our experience of colour and sound is reduced by science to mere quantitative wavelengths of light and frequency of mechanical vibration.
Indeed not only God but everything we actually perceive in the world is explained as a mere phantasm projected outward by brain ‘science’ – even though these very same phantasms are at the same time supposed to be real ‘objects’ – the very source of sense-data for the brain.
This is the fraudulent accounting that funds the contemporary fashion for ‘brain science’ and turns science itself into a new religion.
‘National Bolshevism’ as a spiritual worldview is also the rejection of the language and religion of all so-called ‘empirical’ or ‘objective’ sciences - and the affirmation instead of the innate validity and meaningfulness of subjective experience in all its dimensions.
It rejects also all religious theisms – whether Judaeo-Christian monotheism or pagan polytheisms – for all such ‘–theisms’ imply that God is either a single supreme being or a multiplicity of beings. Instead it adopts from both ‘primitive’ animism and the most sophisticated realms of Indian religious thought the recognition that God IS consciousness. This is a consciousness that is not the private property of any being or beings - pre-human, human or divine – but the divine source of them all.
Politically too, the term National Bolshevism speaks of something which is not only of the past or in decline – the nation state - but also of something essentially of the root of the word ‘nation’ i.e. something pregnant (prae-gnasci) or ‘nascent’ (nasci) – something that is coming towards us from a still indeterminate and undecided future.
It belongs also to the essence of a nation as a people therefore, for individuals to freely decide its future. Yet to prepare for this future means rejecting the whole preconception of the ‘individual’ human being as a mere egoistic ‘subject’ of consciousness - ‘owning’ a body and identity and confronting a world of insentient or unaware ‘objects’. It is this preconception – so far totally unchallenged in the entire history of Western philosophy, science and religion, that must first and most decisively be overcome.
Then the understanding can arise that the true locus or realm of revolutionary change is indeed a ‘Third Realm’ or ‘Third Reich’ – albeit of a sort that is not essentially geo-political but relational. That is to say it lies neither in the ‘Ist’ realm of the individual nor in a ‘2nd’ realm of nations, societies, groups or ‘communities’ but rather in the realm of immediate relations between one individual and another within any group, community or social institution.
This principle follows Martin Buber’s insight that, like a family, a community, people or the nation itself is made up of units of relation (see the section on ‘Relational Revolution’ in my work entitled Rudra’s Red Banner – Marxism and Moksha ).
In simple terms, revolution is essentially authentic relationship – a deepening and transformation of the way individuals relate to other individuals within a group or community, enterprise or institution. For just as people can live in families or have long-term ‘relationships’ in which no actual, aware or deep relating occurs whatsoever - so also can communities, institutions or whole societies exist in which relations between human beings are reduced to relationships between things (Marx), between ideas, ideals or ideologies ( as in academia and political groups) or simply to a single ‘vertical’ relationship to the community, society, nation or state ‘as such’ – denuded of its basic units, which are not atomic individuals but units of relation (see Martin Buber’s book ‘Between Man and Man’).
‘Revolution’ then – and that in all dimensions of social action and interaction - is something that can essentially be achieved above all by a new art or ‘yoga’ of relating – in particular by the cultivation of specific relational practices by which individuals (a) learn to deepen and enrich their relationship to other individuals, and (b) deepen and enrich their relation to the divine - understood as that which embodies and individualises Itself, in and as both Self and Other, as an ‘I’ and as a ‘You’.
Only in this way can individuals themselves overcome, through new ways of relating to one another, the totally de-humanising, de-individualising and dis-ensouling essence of capitalism as Marx first understood it i.e. the transformation, through enforced wage-slavery, of relations between human beings into relations between things – commodities – and the resulting alienation of individuals: their alienation from themselves and each other, from their own selves and their own bodies, from their own time and space - and from the free exercise, in and through relationship - of their own divinely endowed individual potentials and the power to actualise them.
Only in this way too can a ‘multi-polar’ world arise in which free relations and association between nations give rise inter-nationalist blocs which challenge and undermine the mono-polar and imperial hegemony of particular nations such as the U.S.A. – itself but an agent for the rule of international finance capitalism.
Yet so long as the basic financial equation of capitalism rules – namely that time is money - and not a basic relation of human beings both to their innermost being and that of others, today’s culture of manic busy-ness will continue to prevail – the dictatorship of money exercised through wage-slavery and clock time – resulting in a dehumanising division of creative and productive labour time from creative and productive leisure time.
So long as the innate pleasure of fulfilling, creative and productive labour or ‘work’ is replaced by ‘employment’ – the pain of wage slavery – ‘leisure’ itself will remain associated only with the idle pleasures of passive consumption.
That is why it is crucial to the current campaign of capitalist class warfare on so-called ‘welfare benefits’ to recognise human creative labour or activity as ‘work’ only if it takes the form of wage-slavery or ‘employment’ - and why the innate human capacity for creative labour is identified with what in essence is its very opposite - the capacity for exploitation as a wage-slave whose body and mind, labour power and labour time are prostituted to capitalism.
Capitalism is the enforced prostitution of individual’s body and time to the demands of capitalist production. Revolution in this context does not mean ‘claiming’ the streets but getting off ‘the street’ - finding ways of meeting basic human needs for food and shelter that do not depend on selling our labour power and labour time to corporate employers.
“If we hypocritically claim that the employment system is a moral system and that man must be kept at work, rather than choose work, we are sealing the doom of this civilisation.”
Clifford Hugh Douglas
The demand for a basic living wage for all, irrespective of whether they are or are not in ‘employment’ can be easily fulfilled through a new economic system based on direct public money creation and distribution and by-passing private banks. Only in this way can the sovereign right of nations to issue their own interest- and debt-free money - without having to borrow from the private banking system – be assured.
The relevance of National Bolshevism today lies in affirming the sovereign right of each and every nation to issue its own currency without borrowing from private banks – thus offering a way to free all nations from debt-slavery and political subordination to the international banking system and its puppet states and politicians.
The principle of sovereign public money creation is also the key to replacing the ever-diminishing wages paid for labour and the ever-reduced ‘benefits’ doled out by the capitalist ‘welfare state’. Indeed it is central to the essence of human dignity – human beings’ ownership and control of their own time and the resulting capacity to employ it – alone and in free association with one another - in a creative and fulfilling way. For only in this way will society and nations benefit from the divine and unique creative potentials of individuals – actualised and exercised in free and aware relationship with one another.
The identification of ‘work’ with ‘employment’ and its separation from leisure time or ‘free time’ are two central myths upon which capitalism is built. Yet freedom as such means nothing if not ‘free-time’ - freedom to choose which way we creatively and productively employ our own time – our innate potentials and power to. These potentials, and the realisation of a society based on individual value fulfilment - cannot be actualised however, merely through old or new political ideology - under whatever name. They can only be actualised through an entirely new way of thinking - one that cannot simply be reduced to a new world-view or political-economic theory.
Today’s global ‘financial crisis’ - and its ruinous effects on national economies and their peoples – is ultimately but a symptom of a profound philosophical crisis. For as Martin Heidegger recognised, philosophy has effectively come to an end, creating a situation in which pure financial calculation on the one hand and mere scientific and political theorising on the other have replaced all deep meditative thinking. Such a thinking is no mere matter for intellectuals or academics – for it has to do with each individual’s relation to their own innermost being and that of other beings, indeed with their ‘existence’ in the deepest sense – understood as a primordial relation to Being as such.
Peter Wilberg, 2012