Volume 6, Issue 2, 2015
The Liaison of Nationalism, Conservatism, and Leftist Ideology within Rodnoverie
Previous studies of contemporary Slavic Paganism in Russia—Rodnoverie—agree that nationalism is one of the central features of the movement. While in the West nationalism and conservatism are often assumed to be predominantly linked to right-wing politics, in Russia they also manifest themselves in in the framework of leftist political thinking. This article introduces several case studies of Rodnoverie groups and thinkers that illustrate the myriad ways in which conservative nationalism and leftist ideology are amalgamated into the movement. Some Rodnovers identify as leftist, but promote flagrantly nationalist and ultra-conservative ideas. Others—who draw sharp divisions between “us” and “them” on a national or ethnic basis, subscribe to conservative and pro-authoritarian ideas, and distinguish themselves from the political left—may still resort to such traditional leftist themes as social justice and economic equality. The analysis demonstrates that Rodnoverie societal thinking reflects the Soviet legacy, but also resembles contemporary European populism.