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Look East

Yockey’s obsessive antisemitism increasingly lead to a distinctive anti-Americanism and an increasingly pro-Russian position. He felt that, as a former European colony, America did not have ‘the spiritual profundity and continuity of the Mother-soil of the Culture’150 and therefore had ‘lower organic resistance to Culture-Disease’.151 As such America was more susceptible to Jewish subversion. It, ‘succumbed more deeply to retarding influences’,152 and ‘the entire continent of America passed into the control of the Jewish Culture-State-Nation-Race-People’ in 1933.153 As the Cold War got underway and the world became increasingly polarised, Yockey progressively shifted to a more pro-Soviet stance stating that:

My policy, and the policy of the European Liberation Front aims at the unconditional liberation of Europe’s soul and Europe’s soil from American-Jewry and from Russia. America-Jewry controls 90% of Europe’s soil; Russia controls 10% ofEurope’s soil. Elementary political tactics reveal from whom Europe can gain power over its own Destiny once more.14

His 1953 book Der Feiud Europas explicitly called for an accommodation with the Soviet Union:

In their political relation to Europe, however, the two extra-European powers widely and fundamentally differ. Owing to the presence of a European inner America, the Washington regime is able to establish or maintain in every European country: Culture-distortion, petty-statism, finance-capitalism, democracy, economic distress, and chaos. Regardless of its intentions, Russia produces a spiritual aversion throughout Europe. If America, deliberately or otherwise, relinquished to Russia the whole of Europe, Russia’s occupation would have to be based either on terror or large-scale concessions to procure collaboration. Both occupation policies would end in the domination of Russia by Europe, either through a peaceful inner conquest or a series of Liberation Wars that Europe would wage as a unit against Russia. Barbarian Russia can only awaken Europe’s sterner instincts. The American-Jewish Symbiosis, composed of fellah-Jews and American colonials who are at once primitive and over-civilised, appeals to the lowest stratum of Europe and to the lowest stratum in every European, the stratum of animal instincts, laziness, cowardice, avarice, dishonour, and ethical individualism. America can only divide Europe - no matter what its policy. Russia can only unite Europe - no matter what its policy.155

However, Yockey’s biographer Coogan rightly states that his pro-Russian stance should not be reduced to mere ‘Machtpolitik’ but should be viewed as part of an intellectual movement called ‘Eurasianism’, also favoured by Spengler and with its origins among the intellectuals of the exiled White Russians.16 Yockey was not alone on the far right in shifting his gaze Eastwards. Around the same time the German radical right group Sozialistische Reichspartei [Socialist Reich Party] was calling for a pro-Eastern neutralist Germany, becoming something of a cousin party to Yockey’s ELF.157

Importantly however, it was his rampant antisemitism that provides the best explanation for his increasingly pro-Russian stance. The Prague Trials and the increasingly antisemitic attempts to combat ‘rootless cosmopolitanism’ in the Soviet Union caught the eye of Yockey, who lauded their prejudice and felt it further divided East from West. The Trials marked a landmark moment for Yockey as he took them to be a declaration of war by the Soviets on the Jews of Eastern Europe and he went as far as to argue that Stalin was ‘following in the footsteps of Hitler’.158 In his view the increasing antisemitism of Russia meant:

The European fascist elite can emerge more and more into the world affairs, and will force the leadership of American Jewry to render back, step by step, the custody of European Destiny to the people of Europe. If the Jewish-American leaders refuse, the new fascist leaders of Europe will threaten them with the Russian bogey. To us in Europe, the Prague Trials are welcome.15

Yockey’s increasingly pro-Soviet position led some, such as the leading American Nazi George Lincoln Rockwell and Arnold Leese in Britain, to describe Yockey as a Strasserite.160 Michael O’Meara, a modern sympathiser, argues that this is ‘not entirely off the mark’, summarising Yockey’s ideology' as a, ‘fascism of the left: socialist, revolutionary, euronationalist, pro-Russian, anti-American, anti-Zionist, anti-capitalist, and anti-colonial’.161 However, while those statements are true to varying degrees (anti-colonial?) Yockey and Strasser had little in common, with the former’s shift towards the Soviet Union being motivated in large part by antisemitism rather than any Strasserite concept of a worker-based Nazism, thus undermining attempts to describe Yockey’s ideas as a ‘fascism of the left’. In addition, it is worth noting Otto Strasser’s strident opposition in the postwar period to any calls for a united Europe:

We Europeans are sick unto death of hearing this idiotic demagoguery about how “necessary” it is for Europe to “unite” ! ! . . . The moment in which Europe allows herself to be forced, for practical considerations, into one great hodgepodge unit. . . will be the moment in which Europe relinquishes her meaning and her mission.162

Thus only with many caveats can one attempt to compare Yockey’s postwar ideology with Strasserism.

Yockey’s turn towards Russia can look paradoxical, not least because Russians fall outside his understanding of the European race. However, his concept of race is perhaps more flexible than one might first imagine as he doesn’t completely equate cultural unity with racial uniformity. Yockey seems to have accepted the Spengle-rian idea that a race was not solely a specific biological type but rather formed the character of a society and embodied a psychic ethos. A strong race was said to have the capability to absorb new blood. He even went as far as to accept that some Jews ‘had acquired Western rhythms and have thereby acquired Western race’. Yockey’s supporter John Gannon described his leader’s notions of race as ‘horizontal’ rather than ‘vertical’. He wrote:

If one could rely upon the FACT that every blue-eyed, fair-haired human being was a FRIEND, and that the others were probably ENEMIES how simple and predictable life would be, and have been . . . believe me, I will go along the VERTICAL line for esthetic [sic] reasons, and certainly exclude non-Europeans from our Imperium (our colonials, excepted, of course), but for all the rest it is all quite absurd when taken to the lengths of determinism! FPY postulated that RACE is what a man DOES.163

While Yockey’s belief in possible assimilation of peoples into the Western race was a marginal aspect of his thought when compared to the emphasis he placed on Western exclusivity, it was more than enough to draw criticism from ‘vertical’ racists. Arnold Leese abused Yockey in his literature because of this difference and accused him of being ‘all sorts of a mongrel’.164 Guy Chesham and John Gannon once met with two of Leese’s collaborators to see if cooperation between them and Yockey’s group was possible, but this issue made any union impossible.165

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