In the early 1930s, VOKS – the All-Union Society for Cultural Ties Abroad, an international organization for the promotion of Soviet cultural diplomacy – wielded influence in Germany partly through its covert direction over an institution named ARPLAN. ARPLAN was a diminutive for Arbeitsgemeinschaft zum Stadium der Sowjetrussischen Planwirtschaft, the Society for the Study of the Soviet Russian Planned Economy, a group which ostensibly existed to educate interested Germans on the mechanisms of the Soviet command economy. ARPLAN today is perhaps most notable for the diversity of its membership – it attracted not only communists and Marxist-friendly liberals, but also a sizable coterie of fascists, radical conservatives, national-revolutionaries, and national-bolshevists. ARPLAN acted as a kind of cross-section of German radicalism, an intersection of those members of society, right or left, disenchanted with the sacred foundations of bourgeois modernity – liberalism, capitalism, humanism, parliamentarism.
ARPLAN the blog is intended to be the same, a place where “Left meets Right, East meets West,” where attention is drawn to the often blurred lines between socialism and nationalism, between traditionalism and conservatism, between communism and fascism. Fascism especially in today’s world is frequently painted as an intellectually barren pseudo-philosophy, an ideology supposedly bereft of cultural foundations, theoretical substance, and a truly grounded economic worldview. It is hoped that ARPLAN will be able to help demonstrate that in many cases this perspective is a misconception – that in fact the theoretical roots of fascism and of similar ideologies were more extensive, and their ideas more complex, than is commonly assumed. Whatever value judgements can be made about them, ARPLAN hopes to establish that their ideals are worthy of being evaluated seriously and soberly, on their own terms.
That said, it should be noted that this not a fascist blog, nor a communist blog – merely a blog about fascism and communism. Essays and articles posted here, except those written by myself personally, are not representative of my own personal opinions. They are presented for the purposes of education and illumination, to dispel misconceptions, not as an endorsement of any particular political philosophy. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or criticisms about the material presented here, please click on the ‘Scuttlebutt’ tab above and contact me directly.