Neither Washington nor Berlin

By D. J. Webb

The old Trotskyist chant, regularly rolled out on posters at demonstrations some of us can remember, was “neither Washington nor Moscow”. I’m going to argue that in the present day the real task is to avoid alignment with either Washington or Berlin, and that, in fact, an alliance with Moscow is in the interests of our country.

We like to imagine that we are America’s top ally in Europe, and indeed in the world. This belief is somewhat lazily founded on the ethnic relationship between the Anglo-Saxons of America and Britain, but national policy in both countries is (foolishly) explicitly aimed at removing that Anglo-Saxon cultural and demographic foundation and replacing it by a “multicultural society”. If we needed any hint that America’s foreign policy is not based on Anglo-Saxonism, it is there in plain sight: for decades, an anti-Anglo-Saxon hysteria has seized hold of US politics, indicating that our alliance with them has dragged and can only drag us further into actions that contradict our national interests (such as mass immigration, to replicate the ethnic problems of America).

I would not argue that US policy is well-thought-out, but it seems that Germany is the main lynchpin of US policy in Europe. This is based on the “Western Alliance” idea that underpins both the EU and NATO. I wouldn’t object to a Western Alliance that sought to preserve European nations and identity but this is not the aim at all. The Achilles’ heel of the US-German alliance is that a military rise of Germany would challenge the US role in the world. As, for the moment, Germany is not contemplating a military rise, the Western Alliance aims to function as a kind of United West on the world stage, under the economic and military hegemony of the United States. This was made clear by the former US ambassador, Louis Susman, a few years ago who, in an astonishing outburst, told the UK government “all key issues must run through Europe”. This is a neo-conservative view of the world, but it is one that the US “deep state” seems determined that the Trump administration should not drop. It seemed briefly as if America would rethink this, but now Trump has shrivelled as a president, and the neo-cons seem to be effectively in control again.

How else, other than through the prism of the US-German alliance, are we to interpret US intervention to topple the Yanukovich government in the Ukraine in the so-called Maidan? The US government (in the person of Victoria Nuland) admitted to having invested US$5bn in political networks in the Ukraine, and there is growing evidence that the Maidan protests were co-ordinated by the CIA. During the protests, the CIA director, George Brennan, was present in Kiev, an unusual presence if the US were not directly involved. The Ukraine is a key national interest of Russia, given that the Ukraine is the very battleground where Nazi Germany’s armed forces were defeated and thrown back. The neo-cons were clearly attempting to detach the Ukraine from the Russian sphere and influence and add it to the EU.

I can flesh this out a bit. While a student in Voronezh (within Russia, but not far from the Ukrainian border) in 1994, I noticed a plaque in the park there: in that park in the 1940s—I forget which year—there assembled the Voronezh regiment, and that regiment launched a counterattack against the Germans. That regiment did not stop until they got to Vienna. Can you imagine the toll in Russian lives? At the Battle of Stalingrad, further to the south, where the Russians simply refused to give up the city even while they held only the riverbank, the average life expectancy of a Russian soldier was 24 hours. The Second World War was an amazing waste of life, and a toll that amounted to around 30m Soviet lives, far in excess of the number of Jewish deaths in the war it could be added (although I will agree that all deaths are tragic and we must not play competitive numbers here; I merely point out the Russian death toll has been forgotten). I watched a video on Youtube today where Peter Hitchens pointed out that that Russian sacrifice at Stalingrad and in the wider war cannot be repaid. The continent would be under Nazi rule without it. I suggest we bear that in mind. Mr Hitchens spoke of a house in Kalingrad (which was Königsberg in East Prussia before the war) where he saw Russian graffiti from the war period: “why, if you were living so well in such nice houses, did you Germans need to come into our country and destroy us?” The Russians genuinely could not understand why what had happened happened.

It seems the anchor of the US-German alliance is anti-Russianism. Playing up Russia as a threat helps to keep Berlin and Washington on the same side. However, I am not sure we need to be a pawn in this sort of great power game. At the least, we have our own interests and must not be dragooned into supporting American or German interests and kidding ourselves they are our interests. I find German treatment of Greece and Ireland during the bail-outs repulsive. If the Greek drama plays out again, I would encourage the UK government to extend a £10bn low-interest-rate loan to Greece to help them get out of the euro without tragedy and pay for the printing of a new currency and the minting of new coins. It would be a cheap way of opposing German geopolitical strategy.

Opposing Russian policy in the Ukraine drags us into a German worldview. But if the souring of great power relations continues, who eventually will our allies be against Germany? Russia is sure not to wish to be a German satrapy. Countries like Poland and the Baltics are making an uneasy one-way bet on Germany. Sure, alliance with Germany is a more economically vibrant bet than alliance with Russia, offering trade and investment links with a more advanced European core, albeit one locked into low growth and mass immigration from the Middle East. But those countries cannot be sure of German intentions over the longer term. I think countries like Hungary are wise not to wish to be seen to be too anti-Russian. I believe the Slovaks are uneasy too. The way the EU is trying to foist migrants on Eastern Europe shows clearly that those countries are no more in control of their destinies than were the Warsaw Pact countries under communism.

So I believe political, economic and military alliance with Russia to be our best option. I agree that the US and Germany are much richer and can offer better trade opportunities than Russia, but their insistence that we follow anti-national policies is quite problematic. We must seek to get out of the Washington-Berlin axis. I propose a European Alliance, for all countries, including Germany, that follow the basic principle of seeking European survival and non-intervention in domestic policy.

The euro must go. The acquis communautaire must go. We could start with Britain and Russia: a free-trade agreement with joint recognition of product and qualification standards, zero tariffs and a preference, where necessary, for European immigrants from each other’s countries. I mean Britons of British descent would have easy access to Russia; Russians of Russian descent (not Chechens) would have easy access to Britain. Belarus could join: we would make clear we have no intention of freezing countries out. If Greece leaves the euro, they could join. Hungary and others could be urged to join. If Australia and New Zealand wanted to sign up, they could. Germany could join after the collapse of the EU, but would have to accept that, with Russian membership, they would never be the largest country in the alliance. Countries that allowed Middle Eastern migration would not be entitled to apply to join. While the US would be welcome if it qualified, its current ethnic policies point to its becoming a part of Latin America this century and hence no longer an ally of Europe, and thus not in a position to apply to join the alliance. Our European Alliance would be a better alliance for European survival than the current pro-multicultural Western Alliance.

The EU without Russia makes no sense: by encouraging the Eastern European nations to join, we have merely furthered German foreign policy, which aims to see Mitteleuropa under German influence. Similarly, the way France insisted on the creation of the euro as the price for German reunification has merely furthered German dominance. We must have a Europe of nation-states, which means the EU must go and be replaced by something better. Russia must be part of that. Finally, if we fall out with the Americans, I would welcome Russian military bases on British soil. I’m sure MI5 and MI6 would play a similar role to the CIA and FBI in the US in destabilising a future nationalist British administration. We must think about that in advance, but in the end, we must allow neither Washington nor Berlin to dictate our future.


  1. I have long considered it a peculiar form of insanity for the West to promote such hatred of Russia. Ok, Putin may not always do things the way we would like, but he is a sane man in an increasingly insane world, and I feel that we desperately need him as an ally. Instead, we go out of our way to make an enemy of him. Russian policy in the Ukraine was in response to the EU’s overtures in that region. What did we expect Putin to do when the EU tide was lapping against his back door?
    I agree that we owe Russia an immense debt of gratitude for their sacrifices during the last War. As you say, without the sacrifice of so many Russian lives, we would be conducting this correspondence in German, or more accurately we would not be conducting it at all. The way this sacrifice is overlooked is shameful. You say 30 million dead – I have always heard 23 million. Still what’s a few million dead Russians between friends?
    You mentioned Stalingrad, but you did not mention the super-human feats of endurance by the inhabitants of Leningrad in defiance of all the hardships the Master Race could inflict upon them.
    Anything we can do to promote friendship with Russia gets my vote.

    • [quote]”As you say, without the sacrifice of so many Russian lives, we would be conducting this correspondence in German, or more accurately we would not be conducting it at all.”[/quote]

      This, I believe, is a complete myth. Russia did not save us from the Nazis. Britain had no direct stake in the continental war. Nazi aspirations were focused on the East, including western Russia, which is why the Russians had to make these sacrifices. The Nazis regarded Slavish culture as inferior and wanted to Germanise the Slavic nations. Britain did not come into this. The explicit intention of the Nazi regime was to ally with Britain or otherwise keep Britain out of the War.

      If Germany had won the War and dominated the Continent, the most likely outcome for Britain would have been a post-War relationship with Germany similar to that which we had with the United States in the real timeline, though that would depend on the precise attitude to Germany. In any event, Britain would exist as an independent sovereign, English-speaking nation, with its own maritime empire. We would not have been speaking German.

      • I agree that we had no vital interest in war in 1939. This being said, I would have preferred the same sort of Cold War with Germany as we had with Russia – but with the Empire and without the bloody Americans in charge. We had no reason for war with Germany, but none either in close cooperation. If Hitler had been mad enough to got to war with Russia in 1940-42, I’d have screwed him mercilessly.

        • Yes, I think we need to start remembering Lord Halifax. But in any case, I can’t be sure of German intentions. I don’t think they want to physically conquer the UK – but they do want to destroy our banking sector and a few other things, and so I would think we would have more points of direct conflict with them today than in 1914 or 1939, given the more globalised nature of the economy. That said, I’m dubious of the supposed vital nature of trade, and think that if (eg) we could not longer export cars to Europe, then our car industry would supply our needs instead. There would be a loss of competition, which libertarians believe has positive effects, but the economy would survive… So maybe we need to get out of the globalised economy, as dependence on a niche role in global financial services is an unsustainable niche that is always vulnerable to foreign policy manoeuvres. In any case, we must always be ready for war and not just assume it can’t happen, and — look at the map — Germany will be the enemy and Russia the ally.

          • [quote]”Germany will be the enemy and Russia the ally.”[/quote]

            The basic objection I have to this is that it intrudes us into a conflicted relationship between two foreign countries. Why not just maintain neutrality and let them get on with it?

            I agree that in future, Germany will be the more expansionist of the two countries, but I think that is only because of the lack of nationalism in Germany and its inability to confront Russia on its own terms, instead supported by NATO, which is a legacy of a now-defunct Transatlantic ideological dispute. Remove that artifice and establish a fully post-ideological situation, restoring a nationalist Germany, and I believe the relationship between Germany and Russia under modern conditions would be much more in equilibrium, provided that the geopolitics of the United States are excluded. A nationalist Russia (under Putin) does not wish to dominate Continental Europe, but does wish to maintain a secure Russosphere, that NATO (a projection of American power) threatens. Conversely, a nationalist Germany would provide a precautionary redoubt against further incidences of extraordinary Russian irredentism and further Russian intrusion, but without the distortions of U.S. influence, fighting proxy wars as necessary. That’s the way I see it. Under those circumstances, I think it would be a grave mistake for Britain to ally with either country (or any country outside a CANZUK military alliance) or offer any entreated security guarantees.

            I’m a great fan of Swiss-style strategic neutrality in concept, as I think it could work well for Britain, with modifications. As a neutral actor, we can establish relationships and partnerships at state and sub-state level with these and other countries as necessary, and permit fruitful social and economic exchanges between businesses and individuals as they arise under normal conditions. In practice, I would favour a ‘friendship’ or ‘understanding’ (but not formal alliance) with Germany along the lines of Britain’s 19th. century policy, in order to promote a state of strategic complementarity, whereas I would have no defined relationship at all with Russia other than what arises organically between the two peoples in their normal everyday transactions.

        • Yes, you’re right, it could also have worked out that way. It would have depended on who was in power in Britain under those circumstances. There was always a strong pro-German element in Britain, going back to Salisbury, but there is also a strong anti-German element too. I’m not entirely sure which camp Churchill fell into, if any, since he has always seemed to me more of an opportunist than anything else.

          To me, there is greater complementarity with Germany than any other country (apart from the obvious ‘British’ nations: Canada, Australia, and New Zealand). The simple point is that their aspirations appear to be land-based (to the East), whereas ours are maritime and global. Germany also has the capacity to keep in check whatever eastern power emerged following Soviet defeat in check, thus stopping any westward expansion and making Europe more secure in the process, while also providing necessary order on the Continent. I don’t pretend that the Germans would have entirely left us to it in, say, Africa. Though Hitler did make noises to that effect, I accept that this was purely for diplomatic purposes and could not be relied on.

          So, maybe the outcome would have been something of a hybrid of our positions: a complementary relationship, but with tensions that could have sparked a proxy war or two – perhaps at the instigation of the Americans, who might have aligned with Germany and schemed against us. Who knows? It would make an interesting subject for an alternate history novel.

    • This puts the scale of the tragedy in perspective; the fact that there can be a discrepancy of 15 million-odd deaths – so many of them non-combatants too. America, by contrast, suffered I believe three deaths on her home soil – a woman and two children stumbled across an explosive device on the beach in Seattle that the Japs had somehow got there. I know I should just ignore it, but I can’t help getting annoyed with Hollywood’s portrayal of the War. I love America, and I wouldn’t want to down-play their huge contribution to the War, but compared with what Russia went through, they don’t know the meaning of hardship and suffering.

      • Russia is a country that, if it had to, would knuckle down to hard conflict – even at the expense of millions of its youth. You have to admire that, although in WW2 they had no choice, they were fighting for survival. It puts the Ukraine thing into perspective. And it also shows that the post-war USSR was different – it was a much more female society, for one thing. I can’t believe they gave up Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – the very approaches through which Leningrad was attached – in the vain hope we would allow them to join the West!!!

        And, think! Some Baltic cities were heavily Jewish before the war: Vilnius was Jewish, and the Lithuanians helped the Germans kill the Jews. Who liberated it? The Russians? And so it falls into Lithuanian hands today. Daugavpils in Latvia – heavily Jewish, with Yiddish and Russian spoken before the war. The Latvians helped the Germans kill the Jews, and the population there today is exclusively Russian-speaking. Who liberated it? The Russians? And who gets control of it today? Latvia. Maybe someone can explain that to me. If I were Gorbachev, I would have said, “hang on a moment!….”

  2. [quote]”We could start with Britain and Russia: a free-trade agreement with joint recognition of product and qualification standards, zero tariffs and a preference, where necessary, for European immigrants from each other’s countries. I mean Britons of British descent would have easy access to Russia; Russians of Russian descent (not Chechens) would have easy access to Britain.”[/quote]

    This exposes a significant fault-line between us, both culturally and economically. I believe the priority of a British government should be the protection of domestic industries (and I also think that should be the priority of the Russian government). I don’t understand the knee-jerk belief in free trade, a theory that appears to me to be based on certain myths, such as assumptions of capital immobility and nationalistic altruism. In reality, import exposure depresses wages and destroys the employment base for the working class when capitalists realise they can shift their production base to the cheaper economy (in this case, Russia). The proposed solution for this from free trade liberals is re-training and re-skilling, but what that means in reality for most people affected is a shift into low-skilled service sector employment: i.e. call centres, fast food businesses, and so on. I believe this country should have a large industrial base, as a national strategic priority. It also occurs to me that Russia’s vast natural resources would create an imbalance between the two economies, allowing Russian industry to mature and dominate the British economy. All of these factors, when considered together, destroy any comparative advantage that might exist in a free trade situation between the two countries.

    In view of Russia’s recent exposure to harsh liberal capitalist structural reforms, it could also be argue that any free trade arrangement could regress the Russian economy, which needs to develop much more and should do so under the cover of protectionist policies.

    If we are going to have ‘free trade’ in the sense of zero tariffs, then let us have it internally between nations that have an ethnic affinity to underpin such relationships. That, I believe, is what the United Kingdom is for. Free trade between England and Scotland makes sense to me. Between Britain and Russia? Less so.

    There is also the question of the ethnic composition of Russia. Are present-day Russians ethnically Rus to any significant degree? Are they even white? If we allow them freedom of movement here, what will be the social, cultural and economic consequences? Do you really imagine that significant numbers of British people would wish to move in the other direction, under any circumstances?

  3. New alliances will shortly be formed as the United States becomes bankrupt and the EU is destroyed by it’s own hand. Russia would be a powerful influence over the European continent and would likely fill in the gap. Nature abhors a vacuum.

  4. I haven’t read any overly long replies above, I’m afraid. If the point isn’t got to within two sentences, I read no more.

    By the way, I’ve changed my profile photo to a random one I found on the Internet, as I found that whenever I comment on any discussion thread on the Internet, my real photo gets added, although I’ve never given it to google. It seems that any blog profile you set up that has your gmail linked to is then raided by google automatically to get your photo and add it in to all their Google services. But there are some sites I don’t want my picture appearing on.

  5. I think you write warmongering claptrap, in your main piece above, Mr Webb. A union with Russia would be as silly as the EU, that the UK has just decided to pull out of. The state is not a firm, and it needs to keep out of economic activity. The LA was set up to try to roll back politics and the state in the 1970s and that seems to be about the best thing we can try to do.

    You are right that intrinsically mad Political Correctness [PC] aims to destroy the Britishness of both the USA and the UK of course. It is the greatest single enemy of liberty as well as of Britishness. But it is typical crass politics and Mrs May, with her publication plans this week on pay, is typically PC.

    Pristine liberalism is anti-politics and anti-state. But it is not anti-nation [though most nationalists are also statists too].

    • [quote]”Pristine liberalism is anti-politics and anti-state. But it is not anti-nation [though most nationalists are also statists too.”[/quote].

      Could you please outline how this would work or refer me to a source that explains this?

  6. Well, there is _The Machinery of Freedom (1973) David Friedman, Tom. There is also _For A New Liberty (1973) Murray Rothbard and _Escape From Leviathan (2000) J.C. Lester.

    • Thanks – I’m always open to different ideas, so I will try to obtain and read those, and if I have time, will let you know what I think.

    • Thanks David.

      Well I’d rather critique than criticise, and I expect there will be very little in the way of intellectual flaws in the arguments. A lot of this is down to preference. I do find libertarianism appealing, but it’s a bit like Marxism in that it does take time for it to ‘sink in’, because the society envisaged is so different (even alien) from the current social order. I remember maybe 20 years ago when I was first ‘learning’ about Marxism/socialism, looking back I can now see that before you can understand it you first have to make an imaginative mental leap of recognising capitalism as a ‘system’ and looking at it systematically ‘from the outside’. The imaginative challenge here is much the same and is probably one of the barriers to wider appreciation of the concepts and ideas.

      By the way, which of the books would you recommend I begin with?

  7. Thanks for your reply, Tom.

    I would begin with the Friedman book. We once had about 200 copies in the Alternative bookshop and the Executive Committee of the LA decided to make it the official book of the LA.

    The use of the word “critique” usually means only criticism, well, since about 1980, but in Kant’s books, and most of use of “critique” in philosophy before about 1980, the word was reserved for the discipline of keeping to the terms the book being criticised introduced, thus a critique of pure reason attempts to only use the terms we might use in discussing pure reason, and not to go wider, as we might in a more normal criticism. It used to be a technical term!

    The economic calculation argument [see _From Marx To Mises (1992) D.R. Steele; the best book on Marxism, I think, and by an LA member, who used to be a Marxist] shows the idea of socialist revolution to a new economic system to be very unrealistic. Liberalism accepts money as a means of economic calculation and thus it accepts current economic society but with a very limited state or with no state at all. The alliance cited in the LA is between pristine liberals and anarcho-liberals.

    I hope that we can discuss the books after you have read them.

Leave a Reply