RussiaDecember 5 2022, 10:25 am

Ayn Rand Institute Calls National Conservative Support of Ukraine “A Fraud”

The Ayn Rand Insti­tute pub­lished an arti­cle in late Sep­tem­ber argu­ing that the recent Nation­al Con­ser­v­a­tive move­men­t’s sup­port of Ukraine is “a fraud.” The arti­cle, titled “Putin’s War Embod­ies Nation­al Con­ser­vatism’s Ide­ol­o­gy,” argues that the col­lec­tivist ideals of Nation­al Con­ser­vatism are actu­al­ly embed­ded in Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladamir Putin’s jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the war:

Sep­tem­ber 28, 2022 “Nation­al Conservatism’s” cheer­ing of Ukraine is a fraud, because this movement’s anti-indi­vid­ual ideas are embod­ied in Putin’s war. “Ukraine has made nation­al­ism cool again” — “Nationalism’s finest hour” — “Ukraine shows we live in a nation­al­ist world.” Arti­cles with these provoca­tive titles began to appear short­ly after Russia’s inva­sion of Ukraine. All were authored by promi­nent advo­cates of “nation­al con­ser­vatism.” They con­tin­ued to press the theme in March at a Nation­al Con­ser­vatism con­fer­ence in Brus­sels, where a series of speak­ers cham­pi­oned the cause of Ukraine. And since then, they’ve spo­ken out against Putin’s war. But in cel­e­brat­ing Ukraine and try­ing to con­nect their ide­ol­o­gy with its fight, nation­al con­ser­v­a­tives protest too much. The ugly truth is that it’s Putin’s aggres­sion — not Ukraine’s self-defense — that actu­al­ly embod­ies their nation­al­ist ideas. What makes the nation­al con­ser­v­a­tive sup­port for Ukraine’s resis­tance look semi-plau­si­ble is the ambi­gu­i­ty of the term “nation­al­ism.” Col­lo­qui­al­ly, this term sim­ply means loy­al­ty to one’s nation and its inter­ests as against those of oth­ers. Ukraini­ans are fight­ing against the odds to save their nation against an invad­ing for­eign pow­er. So it’s unsur­pris­ing that some peo­ple might sup­pose that Ukraine’s fight is an instance of nation­al conservatism’s “nation­al­ist” ide­ol­o­gy. But nation­al con­ser­v­a­tives mean some­thing much more spe­cif­ic — and shock­ing­ly dan­ger­ous — by “nation­al­ism.” In the work of this movement’s lead­ing philoso­pher, Yoram Hazony, “nation­al­ism” is a sub­stan­tive moral-polit­i­cal ide­ol­o­gy. Para­mount is not the indi­vid­ual, but the nation, its needs, its uni­ty, its “col­lec­tive self-deter­mi­na­tion.” Hazony thinks states should be formed exclu­sive­ly along nation­al lines, where a nation is under­stood as “a num­ber of tribes with a shared her­itage, usu­al­ly includ­ing a com­mon lan­guage or reli­gious tra­di­tion, and a past his­to­ry of join­ing togeth­er against com­mon ene­mies.” Moti­vat­ing this is a view of human nature accord­ing to which our trib­al and nation­al iden­ti­ties are “an inte­gral part of our­selves,” so much so that most of our respon­si­bil­i­ties derive not from any indi­vid­ual choic­es but from this col­lec­tive iden­ti­ty. But these are the exact ideas Putin has explic­it­ly drawn upon to jus­ti­fy his war. Rus­sia is being “impe­ri­al­is­tic,” which some­how pre­cludes also being nationalistic.

Read the rest here.

The Glob­al Nation­al Con­ser­v­a­tive (GNCA) alliance is described in a GIOR report as follows:

Russ­ian Pres­i­dent PUTIN has expressed an inter­est in Rus­sia becom­ing the ide­o­log­i­cal cen­ter of a new glob­al con­ser­v­a­tive alliance, and Euro­pean far-right lead­ers have tak­en pro-Russ­ian posi­tions based on a sim­i­lar ide­ol­o­gy. Hun­gary is at the cen­ter of a devel­op­ing alliance between Euro­pean far-right nation­al­ists and Amer­i­can con­ser­v­a­tives that Rus­sia could poten­tial­ly exploit for use in infor­ma­tion war­fare. This alliance oper­ates under the rubric of “Nation­al Con­ser­vatism,” cen­tered on nation­al sov­er­eign­ty, cul­tur­al iden­ti­ty, and oppo­si­tion to glob­al insti­tu­tions and rep­re­sent­ing a poten­tial­ly rad­i­cal change for the US con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment away from long-held Rea­gan-era philosophies.

Read the full report here.

The GNCA has become the cen­tral focus of GIOR cov­er­age of Russ­ian influ­ence operations.


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