Russian President Vladimir Putin has long been known for his desire to become the ideological center of a Global National Conservative (GNCA) alliance described in a Global Influence Operations Report (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.
On the 12th of this month, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán delivered his annual state of the nation speech in Budapest, where he both promised to keep relations with Russia and, in his comments on LGBTQ issues, mirrored the positions of Putin on the subject. Nine days later, Putin delivered his own state of the nation, where he criticized Western culture and morality, claiming the West was promoting the “destruction of families,” “perversion,” and “abuse of children” as normal. He specifically mentioned pedophilia as an example of how Western society had degenerated.
Now comes John Laughland, a leader in the Dutch national conservative party, the FvD., who has written an astounding defense of Russia and its invasion of Ukraine in which he invokes some of the central tenets of National Conservatism and supporting Putin’s desire to place Russian at the center of the GNCA. Laughland’s central claim is that Russia is the “repressed shadow self of Europe, in the sense that she appears to embody everything Europe is trying not to be.” Laughland sees this shadow self in a variety of areas:
- He sees the EU as ‘post-historical” in contrast to Russia, which is “deeply rooted in her history—warts and all.” He points to recent Moscow moments to “both the victims of Stalinist repression and to St. Vladimir the Great who baptised the Kievan Rus” and complains, “It is impossible to imagine a statue of Clovis being erected in France in our day.”
- He says that the EU is based on “de-personalised, ‘horizontal’ and supposedly consensual power structures (the European Commission and Council) while “Russia appears to epitomise vertical power where everything is decided by Vladimir Putin.” He complains that “Europe promotes feminine or even effeminate values (tolerance, peace) and sees only aggressive virility in the Russian president.”
- He sees Europe as “studiously post-Christian” in contrast to Russia which has “re-established the central place of Christianity in its public life and discourse in a way which is unthinkable in a Europe.”
- He views Russia as a “modern society” unlike “post-modern: Europe. <“He writes that post-modernism is obsessed with rejecting “categories and fixed” norms, citing the
Laughland is a British national and conspiracy theorist with close ties to Russia who is director of the Forum for Democracy International, an arm of the Dutch far-right, populist political party known as the FvD. As GIOR has reported:
- In July 2022, Laughland was scheduled to deliver a keynote at a pro-Russian propaganda event sponsored by the FvD, where the Russian ambassador to the Netherlands was expected to participate.
- In September 2022, the FvD posted “A petition for affordable energy in the EU.” seeking an end to EU sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
- In October 2022, Laughland published an article titled “The Americans Did It,” attempting to cast doubt on the idea that the Russians were likely behind the suspected sabotage of the Nordstream 2 gas pipelines.
In October 2022, FVD leader Theirry Baudet professed his support for Putin and said he hoped he would win the war in Ukraine.