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Derzhavism (Russian: Державизм, About this sound pronunciation) is a political theory with economic, military, and esoteric elements that was developed in the early 20th century. It is characterized by authoritarian nationalism and a powerful dictatorial state, from which the name of the ideology derives in Russian. The ideology became the most prominent on a national level in Russia, France, and Portugal during the 20th century, with smaller movements existing in other European and Anglo-American countries, and to a much lesser extent in other parts of the world.

The core beliefs of Derzhavism include ethnic nationalism and a strong powerful state that is totalitarian. It rejects the ideas of egalitarianism, classical liberalism, and democracy from the French Revolution and the Enlightenment, believing that the individual is only a representative of a larger collective, the nation. An individual cannot exist outside of or without the state. The nation is best represented by the state, and the state and people work together for the nation's greater interest. In that sense Derzhavism is totalitarian and the derzhavist state, a synthesis and unity of all values, develops and advances the lives of the people. The Enlightenment notions of individualism and democratic government were considered by Derzhavism to be decadent and harmful to the nation, and that the best form of government is one led by a powerful dictator that would create national unity and order. In economics, the ideology favored a mixed economy, under which the economy existed to serve the state, but with capitalism allowed under the state's oversight, corporatism.

While Derzhavism borrowed from some elements of older pre-Enlightenment European societies, it was not reactionary but revolutionary in nature. Many early Derzhavist intellectuals did not have a favorable view of Christianity or the absolutist monarchical system of government, and instead replaced reverence for religion and God with the all-powerful state. The state is considered to be at the center of spiritual life. But in practice, in many cases Derzhavist governments existed under monarchies and with large Christian populations, mainly Catholic or Orthodox. The ideology also developed esoteric elements due to the importance it placed on race and ethnicity and its different view of spirituality, including theories about the origin of the European peoples and the promotion of traditional European paganism – ethnic religions that were widespread before the conversion to Christianity. Derzhavism in Europe calls back to the ancient history and religions of Proto-Indo-Europeans, trying to synthesize the modern era with their heritage.

The ideology became prominent in Europe after the Revolutions of 1917–1923, with Russia eventually becoming the first derzhavist state by the mid-1950s. Derzhavism inspired similar movements in Anglo-America and Asia. In Sierra, the Approbatio period of the Sierran Cultural Revolution has been described as "quasi-derzhavist", and this strain of derzhavism appeared in neighboring Astoria and Brazoria as well. It gained traction in Portugal and France from the 1930s, which increased following Great War I. Derzhavist governments fell in France and Russia after the defeat of the Axis powers during Great War II. Since the end of the war in 1965 few political movements have identified themselves as derzhavist though sometimes the term is used to refer to authoritarian right wing political groups.

Etymology and symbolism[edit | edit source]

The derzhavist symbol of the eagle and orb on a black standard

The Russian term Державизм (derzhavizm) is derived from Держава (transliterated as derzhava) meaning "state" or "power". This name was adopted by late 19th-century Russian nationalists who formed political organizations similar to guilds or syndicates. Stately power at the time was associated with the Russian tsar and proto-derzhavist movements were heavily monarchist. The globus cruciger (also known as the scepter and orb) was the traditional symbol of authority for European monarchies, including Russia, and was later adopted by the Derzhavists to symbolize their affinity for a powerful state and authority figure. As the Derzhavists refined their ideology, they became increasingly skeptical and critical of absolute monarchies and Christianity. Esoteric elements of pre-Christian European paganism, as well Greek and Roman romanticism led to the replacement of the cross symbol with the Roman eagle.

History[edit | edit source]

Derzhavist Russia[edit | edit source]

Derzhavist France[edit | edit source]

Derzhavist Portugal[edit | edit source]

Quasi-derzhavism in Anglo-America[edit | edit source]

Post-Great War II[edit | edit source]

Tenets[edit | edit source]

Nationalism[edit | edit source]

Nationalism, as expressed in the form of ultranationalism, is a concept which is fundamental to derzhavism. Although derzhavist nationalism is often ethnic or racially-based, it can also be civic or religious in nature.

Derzhavists view the nation as the basis of the state and represents the natural, organic unity shared among people of the same ancestry or heritage. It seeks to revitalize society by bringing forth a millenarian national rebirth which exalts the nation or race above all else. It heavily emphasizes the concepts of honor, purity, strength, and unity. Although some variants of derzhavism include a racial element to the nation, not all do. However, derzhavism is generally in favor of imperialism, expansionism, and Social Darwinism, stemming from the belief that weaker societies are deemed inferior and must be replaced or dominated by stronger ones.

Totalitarianism[edit | edit source]

Derzhavism promots the establishment of a totalitarian state and both rejects and opposes liberal democracy. In both Russia and France, the derzhavist regimes in both nations also opposed multi-party systems favoring to establish a one-party state in order to allow their derzhavist parties to better sythesize with the nation as a whole. In the Derzhavist Manifesto, it writes how a derzhavist state must be "all-powerful and all-reaching; outside of it there can be no human or spiritual values, morality and beliefs that contradict or undermine derzhavism. In essence, derzhavism is inheritly totalitarian". In The Rebirth of a Nation, a derzhavist state is described as both totalitarian and one that holds no limits to its reaches or powers.

Derzhavist states pursue indoctrination through propaganda in the media and education in order to promote the state's ideology and policies. Educational ciriculum is designed to promote derzhavist values such as the "New Man" and the proletariat nation, the latter of which is used to describe the nation as a whole. Such methods also promote values such as militarism and strict gender roles in order to influence the youth of the nation into accepting and continueing the values and beliefs of the derzhavist state.

Economics[edit | edit source]

Society[edit | edit source]

Variants[edit | edit source]

Brazilian Derzhavism[edit | edit source]

Brazorian Derzhavism[edit | edit source]

Colombian Derzhavism[edit | edit source]

French Derzhavism[edit | edit source]

Russian Derzhavism[edit | edit source]

Sierran Derzhavism[edit | edit source]

Derzhavism was popular in Sierra during the 1920s and 1930s, prior to its association with the Russian and French varieties during Great War II. During the Sierran Cultural Revolution, there was a significant movement that pushed for derzhavist values and elements, including a strongman form of government, ultranationalism, corporatism, and anti-Landonism. The Sierran government under the late reign of Louis I has widely been regarded as a form of "quasi-derzhavism" as a police state emerged. The rise in power of the Purpleshirts and other similar forces coincided with a period of politically motivated arrests, civil rights violations, state-sponsored violence, political executions, and other forms of persecution against political and religious dissidents. This period is now known as the Approbatio and lasted until the ascension of Louis I's son, Louis II.

National Landonism[edit | edit source]

Neo-derzhavism[edit | edit source]

Veracruzism[edit | edit source]

Criticism[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]