Neo Nazis in Mongolia miss concept of Aryanism

Pic of Tsagaan Khas (‘White Swastika’) by Dan Chung, Guardian

Oh, bloody brilliant! That’s all we need in east Asia: non-Aryans doing that turkey-voting-for-Christmas thang and celebrating a ideology that would send us all to a most unpleasant end.

Tania Branigan writes in the Guardian:

It is, by any standards, an extraordinary choice. Under Hitler, Soviet prisoners of war who appeared Mongolian were singled out for execution. More recently, far-right groups in Europe have attacked Mongolian migrants.

A case of if you can’t beat them, join them?

A certain unfamiliarity with the history means the lads are unaware that it was the hordes who swept out of Mongolia that conquered and united China in the early 13th century (Genghis and Kublai Khan), giving it the foundations of its modern identity. And there’s an element of confusion around race that is almost endearing:

Enthusiastically shaking hands, he says: “Even though you are a British citizen, you are still Asian, and that makes you very cool.”

Perhaps some book-learning and a Nick Griffinesque rebranding is on the cards?

He says the younger members have taught him to be less extreme and the group appears to be reshaping itself – expelling “criminal elements” and insisting on a good education as a prerequisite for membership. One of the leaders is an interior designer.

So the uniforms should be pretty even if the wearers aren’t.

Tsagaan Khass say it “works closely” with other organisations and is now discussing a merger. “Some people are in complete denial … [but] we can no longer deny this is a problem,” said Anaraa Nyamdorj, of Mongolia’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Centre.

All together, now … It’s Springtime for Genghis in Ulan Bator, tra, la!

Watch out for a make-over by the West and sympathy for an interesting source of China destabilisation with identity politics as the gloss. They come over ‘ere …

Madam Miaow says … visit Anna Chen’s website here:


Anna’s food blog here:

18 thoughts on “Neo Nazis in Mongolia miss concept of Aryanism”

  1. WTF!!!????

    But fascism actually suits all cultures really it's not just for "ayrans" it's for any racist, homophobic, sexist dickhead who want to promote their small minded agenda.

    There are big issues about culture and race in Mongolia – well for a population of 2.5 million in the 14th biggest country int he world particulary in regards to the Kazaks (who are also identified as muslims). There are big economic problems (as everywhere) in Mongolia particualrly in Ulanbaatar.

    I don't think it's fair to call Genghis Khan a fascist though he really did promote the "collective"

  2. I don't think anyone was calling Genghis a fascist — he'd have to be pretty premature, by 6 or 7 centuries.

    Yes, with the 14th biggest bit of real estate on the planet, it's not as if they're struggling for liebensraum. Weird.

  3. I should also point out that Mongolian anti-Chinese sentiment was also helped along by the Russians, who encouraged anti-Chinese views in order to keep Mongolia onside when it was virtually a Soviet republic.

  4. I have no sympathy for Mongolian neo-Nazis, but I don't think Madame Miaow has presented the full picture here.

    Mongolian nationalism today is essentially the nationalism of a rump state (a piece left over after continued encroachments by invading neighbours) and it's aggressively defensive. The neo-Nazis in Mongolia are an extreme manifestation of this. It took Mongolia half a century to get China to recognise its right to go on its own way, and even after the Chinese recognised their independence, they continued to agitate with the Russians to get it back. Without Russian help, Mongolia would be in the same boat as Tibet and Xinjiang today. China unfortunately has an imperial tendency to regard all territories conquered by the last "dynasty" (more accurately characterised as a pre-modern empire) as belonging to China, and a racist tendency to regard the so-called 'ethnic minorities' as backward people who require Chinese (i.e., Han Chinese) leadership and eventual conversion to Chinese ways.

    Inner Mongolia is historically Mongolian territory, but thanks to a secret treaty between the Japanese and the Russians failed to be reunited with Outer Mongolia. Having stayed with China, thanks to massive immigration by (Han) Chinese in the past century, it is now overwhelmingly Chinese. (We are talking about immigration that is even more recent than the settlement of white imperialists around the world. Chinese settlement in Inner Mongolia is a very recent phenomenon, largely since WWI). The Chinese have swamped Inner Mongolia racially, culturally, and economically. The Chinese don't bother to learn Mongolian. Why should you if Inner Mongolia "belongs" to you? So if you are a Mongol and want to send a letter to an address to another Mongol in Inner Mongolia, you must address your envelope in Chinese — the post office won't accept Mongolian. That is the extent of Chinese dominance in Inner Mongolia. The current territory of Inner Mongolia foreshadows what is happening in Tibet and Xinjiang.

    Again, I don't excuse the vicious racism of neo-Nazis, but I do think that the larger picture of Mongolian defensive nationalism needs to be presented.

  5. I'm afraid I don't see any of the above as an excuse to target ethnic Chinese and mixed race couples, Joseph K. That's quite a dangerous line to go down. One could argue more powerfully that oppression by a larger entity should have bred a strong democratic resistance instead.

    Far from co-operation on the issue of Mongolia, I recall (albeit blurrily) fierce competition between the two communist powers over control of Mongolia, complicated by the existence of a Mongolian communist party and an overall aim to change feudal society for the better.

    There was a figure I remember that when the USSR opened canning factories in Mongolia, such was the rip-off that ordinary Mongolians couldn't afford to buy their own product. Each tin of meat cost the equivalent of four animals.

    It would be scandalous if it has all degenerated into neglect and inferior status for the dominated region. Doesn't China give it economic support?

  6. Sorry, JK, just noted your second point. Yes, I remember that. It was quite shocking. There were various territorial flashpoints between the USSR and China in the 1950s and 60s, including Zhenbao/Damanskii Island on the Ussuri River. Vladivostock was another sore point as the Tsars had nicked it from China and Stalin had promised to return it to Chinese rule if the communists won.

  7. I would take issue with use of terms such as "swamped" as used by Thatcher and present day racists in Britain when they refer to Asian areas of immigration in the UK.

    Human history is one of migration. Are you saying that the Chinese alone in the world have no right to migrate?

    Your argument about the conquering of Mongolian territory since the 17th century (it has been ebb and flow since the 13th C and Genghis and Kublai Khan) could equally be applied to any nation state. This is an interesting question as to what a nation state actually is but not a debate I have time to go into here.

    Much more recently, the US was created on the back of the indigenous native Americans (as well as black slave labour and Chinese coolie labour). You could argue that this is another region in the world that has been "swamped" by a migrant population. Not to mention South America, Australia …

  8. Madam Miaow, I certainly don't excuse extreme racism on the part of anyone, including the Mongolian neo-Nazis.

    When I use the word 'swamped', I'm not talking Thatcherism. The population of Inner Mongolia is now 80% Han Chinese, 17% Mongol. That is what 'swamped' means. In Tibet, Han Chinese only account for 6%, but it is recent and growing, and will only be helped by the construction of the railway from China to Tibet. In Xinjiang, the percentage of Han Chinese grew from 7% in 1949 to 40% at present (Wikipedia).

    Maintaining the right of the Chinese to migrate like anyone else is fine, but it falls into roughly the same category as Europeans migrating to (and 'swamping') the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, and Siberia. Whether you think this was a good or bad thing I guess depends on your politics. But it certainly doesn't sound like a matter of 'Chinese rights' to me. It's more a matter of 'Chinese power'.

  9. It's a global problem with some groups dominating others to the point of extinction, although that's been more effective in Europeanised areas than with Chinese national cultures (US native Americans, Australian Aborigines).

    But it should not be happening anywhere. I'm opposed to attempts to snuff out culture whether it's in Wales, Cornwall, the US or Chinese minorities.

    "Swamped" is a very loaded term in the UK, with accusations that whole boroughs and the schools are being dominated by outsider groups. Where are you, JK?

  10. Incidentally, if you have been to China you will be aware of a very strong feeling amongst many Chinese that Mongolia should rejoin China. Whether expressed politely ('We would welcome them to come back') or arrogantly ('We should take Mongolia back'), the sentiments expressed are widespread and remarkably imperialistic for a peaceful socialist country. Needless to say, this kind of Chinese thinking doesn't inspire great affection amongst the Mongolians, who don't want to see their country going the way of Tibet — which, incidentally, has a long historical relationship with the Mongols.

    I don't think your comment "fierce competition between the two communist powers over control of Mongolia, complicated by the existence of a Mongolian communist party and an overall aim to change feudal society for the better" is a very accurate portrayal of Mongolia's situation. When the Qing dynasty fell, the new republic wanted it to be part of China. The Mongols, on the other hand, proclaimed their independence. They maintained that they were part of the Qing domains; they'd never been part of China. The Chinese invaded. It was basically thanks to the Russians that the Chinese were driven out and Mongolia managed to maintain its independence (theoretically its 'autonomy', since even the Russians admitted that it was 'part of China'). The years under Russian domination were marked by the slaughter of the monks and of the old upper class on Stalin's orders. Russia imposed its brand of socialism, communist party control, and its script (Cyrillic) on the Mongolians and forbade any attempts to resurrect the memory of Chinggis Khan. The Chinese continued to maintain that they had sovereignty over Mongolia, just as they do over Tibet, Xinjiang, and Taiwan, but eventually Mao recognised Mongolian independence. As I said, however, he continued to agitate for its return. Even today many Chinese are angry that Russia stole Mongolia from them.

    In all of this, you will notice that the Chinese don't care what the Mongolians want. They see them only as inhabitants of a piece of territory that the Russians took from them.

  11. You obviously know a lot more about Mongolia than I do, JK.

    I shall pass on your good wishes for the Chinese people to Uncle Mao next time I pop over for the weekend.

  12. I'm in Ulaanbaatar, but I lived in China for a long time. As with all kinds of nationalisms, there are varying degrees of ugliness, and I've discovered that most of them are ultimately distasteful.

    On a global scale, the Chinese are perhaps underdogs, but in the old territories of the Qing empire (which they claim in their entirety) they are not underdogs at all. They are systematically trying to assimilate the many peoples under their control and make them into Han Chinese, or failing that, outnumber the natives on their own territory.

    There is a very interesting distinction between Chinese nationalism, which is very expansive and tries to push the boundaries of 'Chineseness' (Chinese territory) to places that were never really 'Chinese', and Mongolian nationalism, which is very narrow, exclusive, and defensive, and even often tries to exclude the Mongols of Inner Mongolia and Buryatia from the definition of 'Mongolness'. It is very sad what both Russian and Chinese policies have done to this part of the world.

  13. You wonder how much of an influence the memory of Baron Roman von Ungern Sternberg has in Mongolia. He was the White Russian [and, bizarrely, Buddhist] psychopath who brought the pogrom, among other horrors, to the place during the Russian Civil War.

  14. Roual, while Vogel is entitled to his overall views, his attack on an individual in this piece hasn't been backed up by evidence. It looks like a personal attack rather than good solid journalism. This piece has nothing to do with my blogpost.

  15. Asian countries have adopted many aspects of Western ideologies that have greatly advanced society. Unfortunately along with that also bundled with a lot of negative and destructive elements that have caused wars and sufferings over the past 100 years.

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