The problems with Limonov and National Bolshevism

Eduard Limonov (picture) set up the National Bolshevik Party (Russia). As in many former Eastern Bloc countries, this party is difficult to discuss in simple left-right terms. Eduard Limonov was once an important dissident writer in the Soviet Union. He left Russia but went back later to receive more press. He had a column in the English-language paper in Moscow called The eXile, which was a paper for the English-speaking people who came to Russia to grab what they could after the fall. He then also got involved with some of the ties between the Russian mercenaries who fought on the Serbian side during the Balkan wars.

Limonov looks to the era of Stalin as a period of social stability within the Soviet Union, and this is the part about National Bolshevism.

Peter McNally on the National Bolshevism of Eduard Limonov (the interview was published a few days ago):

Well, for him all this was a logical extension of where to push Russian nationalism, especially with the older folks, who might not have liked Stalin at the time, and it was not a stable regime, but it was a point of Russian dignity, et cetera. So that’s sort of where Limonov comes from.
And another thing about Limonov is that he attracts a lot of people on the cultural margins. And in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, because of punk rock, Oi and so on, you have the beginnings of what we’d now call Russian skinheads, in the sense of a worldwide skinhead movement, or a grouping of people who are aping right-wing skinheads in Britain. So you have people who are in punk bands, industrial bands or whatever, and he courted that because he was a marginal cultural worker and was sympathetic to those aesthetics and hyped them up. And these days he heavily recruits within the Goth and black metal scene, which is probably the central cultural scene for the more avant-garde, out-there far right – the bands, the graphic art houses and so on are serious cultural players there.