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Richard Spencer's Views on Russia - an Exclusive Interview With an Alt-Right Leader

"I grew up as a child of the Cold War, watching all those fantastic movies, reading Ian Flaming’s From Russia With Love .... I just had this expectation that the Russians were really great masterminds. ... the Kremlin, at this point, is, to be honest, rather amateurish. I suspect there was some kind of meddling, I’m just not very impressed with it."

This post first appeared on Russia Insider


Nikolai Petroff: Richard, what is your opinion on the separatism within Western countries?

Richard Spencer: We cannot have any more brothers’ wars, fighting between white peoples and I think generally speaking, this negative identity that you see among French Quebecois or Western Ukrainians, who define themselves as against Russians, this should actually be criticized. It is a kind of resentment identity, you see this in many cases, Irish being another one. I don’t think this is a foundation for the future, to simply being “I am NOT that”.

N: So, you cannot define yourself by something you’re not, which does not sound like a constructive idea.

R: Right, those mean old Anglos. I don’t think that is a foundation for a proper identity.

Scottish independence and Catalonian independence movements have been utterly silly, in my opinion. Basically, these are more or less left liberal movements and they’ve been kind of “end of history” type movements.

The Scottish, and this is an interesting thing that I don’t think that many picked up on it, they want to achieve independence and join the EU. They want to be out of the UK but into the EU, the Catalonians as well. They did not want to gain independence in terms of what is real sovereign independence: having a military, being able to have a foreign policy.

You can tell whether a state is independent or not. It is really dependent upon whether or not it actually has a foreign policy. I’m sure I am  going to ruffle some feathers here, but Canada is not really a sovereign state. Well... kinda, sorta. It is certainly, in its description of itself, but can Canada really oppose the United States in the realm of geopolitics? The answer is no. It might criticize here and there, but could it really chart an independent course? No.

Western and central European states? Germany for example is not really a sovereign state. Germany effectively lacks any constitutional ability to question the Washington-led order.

Now is Russia a sovereign state? Yes, absolutely Russia is a sovereign state. This is why Russia is demeaned and attacked in the American media, why it is viewed as an enemy. Precisely because it has its own view, it has its own foreign policy, that foreign policy opposes the US in many cases. So it is truly sovereign. China is sovereign as well.

N: For the past year that Donald Trump has been president, there has been a lot of accusations of collusion with Russia, all manner of noises being made. Do you think that there’s a there-there, or is it just Democrats running interference and trying to make his life hard?

R: You mean, do you think that there was actual Russian meddling in the United States election?

N: Basically, yes.

R: I am sure that there was some. I mean, there seems to be evidence that there was this… Internet Information Service or... I can’t remember the name of it at this point. That there was some group that was connected to the Kremlin, based in St-Petersburg.

N: Allegedly financed by Putin’s former chef.

R: Right. That was buying Facebook ads and spreading some fake news apparently. I was retweeted twice by this group. But then, at the same time, this group was also furiously retweeting anti alt-right and anti Richard Spencer tweets. So make of it what you will. I think it might very well have been there to spread division.

N: Sow political chaos?

R: Yeah. To be honest and I know this might sound kind of funny thing to say, but I’m rather disappointed in the Russians.

I grew up as a child of the Cold War, watching all those fantastic movies, reading Ian Flaming’s From Russia With Love or John le Carré novels. I just had this expectation that the Russians were really great masterminds. Smiley’s nemesis in the Soviet Union was Karla, this brilliant man of towering intellect.

Apparently the Kremlin, at this point is, to be honest, rather amateurish. I suspect that there was some kind of meddling, I’m just not very impressed with it.

The other thing we have to ask, is why are they doing this? The fact is, the United States openly views Russia as an arch-enemy, despite the fact that Russia has really done nothing to the United States since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. I can’t really point to a time when the Russians have actively aggressed against the United States.

Indeed, in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia was Washington’s bitch, to put it crudely. Washington was rigging elections, Washington was raping the country of a lot of wealth, it was a chaotic time. It is understandable to a degree that these things would happen. Russia was just some kid that you could kick around.

With Putin, Russia has regained sovereignty. Again, show me a point at which Russia has aggressed against the United States. Ukraine is Russia’s natural sphere of influence and it’s not the United States’ natural sphere of influence. The Monroe doctrine only applies to Western Hemisphere, it doesn’t apply to Central and Western Europe.

N: A follow-up question on that. What is your view on Crimea, arguably annexed by Russia.

R: I’m not really sure Crimea was annexed by force, but I don’t blame them if it was indeed so.

Ukraine, Kiev, lie at the heart of the creation of the Russian state, they are effectively tied to Russia. I don’t blame Russians for wanting to maintain this territory and maintain a buffer zone against NATO. So it is what it is. I don’t have a strong opinion either way, but I understand Russia’s desire to maintain this territory and I understand why they would be very worried when you have these Soros and Washington-led efforts in western Ukraine, these colour revolutions and various nationalisms.

It is just not really our business. The United States can deal with Russia either way. I don’t really believe in a Westphalian concept of little sovereign nation-states. I just think it’s all nonsense. Large powerful states control the world. Geopolitical blocs create geopolitics and the little states exist within these blocs. It’s a natural way of things. I think it is natural for Russia to have sovereignty not just over Russia proper.

N: Over a sphere of influence, basically. 

R: Yes, a sphere of influence. That it is an empire effectively. Yes, the United States has that. It’s called the Monroe Doctrine and it’s called NATO.

N: Vladimir Putin is being memed a lot in the Alt-Right. Is that something genuine, is he genuinely popular or is it just something like an edgy meme, to trigger conservatives and Democrats?

R: I think it’s a little bit of both. There is a kind of jokey quality to it, but I do think that there is genuine admiration.

Obviously I don’t think Putin is an alt-right leader. I believe Putin does have some identitarian qualities to him. You can see it in some of his statements. Putin was speaking on some discussion panel and he mentioned the decline of the white Christian West. He actually used those terms. White Christian, as opposed to just saying German Protestant or Russian Orthodox.

Clearly, maybe not on a totally articulate level, possibly on an emotional level, Putin understands what’s going on in terms of the demographic transformation of the United States and to a lesser extent Western and Central Europe. Even his own demographic challenges.

However I don’t think he’s reading the French New Right or reading my works.

N: Maybe he has an instinctive understanding?

R: Maybe. Look, at this point maybe he’s more aware of who we are and our ideas than he was two years ago. 

N: What is the Alt-Right’s view on Russia? What is  Russia’s future? Is it a common future with Europe? Is it a country that has to chart its own course? How does the alt-right view Russians in general?

R: Well, it’s a prickly question. I don’t think anyone will question that Slavs are part of the extended white race. We don’t have any racial animus towards Slavs or Russians whatsoever. Quite to the contrary, we wish them the best.

That being said, there are these East-West divides that seem rather profound and whether we truly could have an ethno-state, as Guillaume Faye formulated, from Vladivostok to Lisbon, I’m not so sure.

Could we have, possibly in the future, separate states but a general goodwill and brotherhood between Western and Central European Empire or North American Empire and Russia? I certainly hope so and I certainly think that’s possible. Faye’s dream of a double-headed eagle State that stretches across the continent, is very inspiring. It is certainly inspiring to me.

Do I think that we could ever really overcome that East-West divide? I’m not sure.

N: Do you see anybody who can legitimately challenge Putin politically or do you think he is, at least for now, the undisputed leader of Russia?

R: Well, he seems from my vantage point to be the undisputed “world champion”. I am, by no means, an expert on internal Russian politics. I’m a mere observer, so I couldn’t really answer that question in more detail.

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