Putinism represents triumph of ‘feudal traditionalist reaction,’ Skobov says

Some of the former KGB and Komsomol operatives at the top of Putin regime: Moscow Patriarch Kirill (secular name Vladimir Gundyayev, alleged KGB agent), Chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko (former Komsomol official), Russian President Vladimir Putin (former KGB operative), Chairman of the State Duma Sergey Naryshkin (former KGB operative). Image: Sputnik

Some of the former KGB and Komsomol operatives at the top of Putin regime: Moscow Patriarch Kirill (secular name Vladimir Gundyayev, alleged KGB agent), Chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko (former Komsomol official), Russian President Vladimir Putin (former KGB operative), Chairman of the State Duma Sergey Naryshkin (former KGB operative). Image: Sputnik 

2016/09/14 • Analysis & Opinion, Politics, Russia

Many commentators suggest that what Vladimir Putin is doing is restoring Sovietism, but they are mistaken, Aleksandr Skobov says. What is occurring is the final triumph of the ideas of what has been called “the Russian Party” that existed within the KGB and the Komsomol in late Soviet times.

Aleksandr Skobov (Image: kasparov.ru)

Aleksandr Skobov
(Image: kasparov.ru)

The Moscow commentator’s observation in this regard was prompted by a remark Yevgeny Ikhlov made in a recent article. Ikhlov argued that “the communist restoration did not happen because instead of moves toward revanchist communism, [Russia] moved in the direction of fascism.”

Ikhlov continued: 

“In 2000, came to power an intra-Soviet counter-elite, the very same ‘Russian party’ from the Komsomol and KGB about which historian Nikolay Mitrokhin has written. It should have won in 1986-87, but Gorbachev, Yakovlev, Sakharov and Yeltsin gave [Russia] 14 more years just as Weimar secured 14 years between the kaiser and Hitler.”

Skobov says Ikhlov’s comment “shows precisely how pathetic and inadequate any suggestion that the Putin system is ‘a revenge of sovietism.’” Because in fact the KGB and Komsomol-organized “Russian Party” was never “a party of communist fundamentalism” with “a cult of ascetic anti-bourgeois attitudes.”

Instead, the ideology of the Russian Party was a synthesis of Stalinism with good old fashioned pre-Soviet imperial-monarchist nationalism” which dispensed with all that was genuinely communist. Skobov argues that “Stalin himself went along this path, but it was completed only by the ‘great’ Prokhanov.”

The Russian Party’s ideology was “in the first instance an ideology of state worship.”

It had nothing against social inequality and was only awaiting its time to come out. Consequently it is “no accident” that it was the KGB and the Komsomol nomenklatura whose members were the first to engage in primitive capitalist accumulation after the end of communism.

As for its “anti-bourgeois” quality, Skobov continues, this was hardly the anti-bourgeois attitudes of communism but rather “classical feudal anti-bourgeois” views.

And now under Putin one can see all “the ornaments” of this set of attitudes: “nationalism, xenophobia, aggressive anti-Westernism and ‘third empire’ messianism, religious obscurantism and so on.”

The Russian Party was and is “a party of ‘authoritarian capitalism,’ which conservative statists oppose to the Western liberal model” and believe can promote “’authoritarian modernization.’” Many deluded people supported this idea until the Russian Party “threw off its mask” and revealed its Stalinist and fascist nature a few years ago.

Skobov continues:

“Today we observe, the drama of the completion of the most grandiose authoritarian-modernization experiment in history. It is ending in just the same way all such experiments end by a return to the archaic past. It is time in fact to say there will not be any authoritarian modernizations.”

Many who don’t like what the Russian Party is doing think that it is promoting the return of Sovietism, having completely failed to see that the Russian Party has no interest in that but rather in restoring “the monarchy of Alexander III and Nicholas I. This is a revenge not of Lenin and Trotsky but of Uvarov, Pobedonostsev, Katkov, and Konstantin Leontiev.”

Back to Feudalism! (Image: Velica via deviantart.com)

Back to Feudalism!
(Image: Velica via deviantart.com)

Liberals on the right keep fighting the wrong enemy, the return of communism, even as they are held by the throat by “traditional Russian autocracy.” Communism at least, however mistaken and destined to failure, at least was “a modernization project, an attempt at the realization of the most radical variant of humanist and enlightenment ideology.”

Having dispensed with all this, the Russian Party in its victorious Putin form has nothing left but “ordinary fascism, which is an extreme form of feudal traditionalist reaction. That is what the KGB-Komsomol ‘Russian Party’ has been putting in place.”


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • anonymous

    The Russian government is not socialist, communist, fascist, or any other ideology. It is a criminal organization. To cast it in any other light is to swallow the propaganda machine which supports the criminals who are the Russian government.

    • Turtler

      The problem with this is that criminal organizations can have ideologies, and ideological terrorists and groups can have their tentacles in organized crime. The early Bolsheviks and National Socialist German Workers’ Party were terror groups that bought their supplies off the black market and ran money laundering and petty cash schemes to keep themselves in rifles and bull whips.

      I can’t speak for the entire Kremlin Kleptocracy now, but Putin is using funds from the criminal enterprises to fund a private army and sponsor propagandist justifying imperial expansion.

      I think it is a serious danger to underestimate the way crime can fuel ideology and ideology lead to crime.

      • anonymous

        It would be more likely that an ideology may follow to criminal acts. Criminality is a viewpoint on life and not an ideology. Criminals (other than the mentally ill) have two goals; take all they can and never be punished. If that can be called ideology, then let it be written down somewhere. The problem with politicians is they cannot understand and deal with a criminal government; they just keep looking at the propaganda and not the real underlying motives above.

        • Turtler

          “It would be more likely that an ideology may follow to criminal acts.”

          A fair point. Though that still dovetails back to my hesitany about saying Putin has no ideology.

          “Criminality is a viewpoint on life and not an ideology.”

          This might raise the question: what separates a view on life from ideology, and an ideology from a view on life?

          “Criminals (other than the mentally ill) have two goals; take all they can and never be punished.”

          Agreed, though several categories of the mentally ill do fall under that. Psychopaths in particular.

          “If that can be called ideology, then let it be written down somewhere. ”

          A fair point.

          “The problem with politicians is they cannot understand and deal with a criminal government; they just keep looking
          at the propaganda and not the real underlying motives above.”

          A fair point, but I am not sure. A lot of politicians are involved in criminal governments. Heck, most of the world still lives in woefully corrupt nations, as you can see by who does or doesn’t pay NYC parking tickets in the UN.

          Though I certainly agree, people have not tried to understand Putin much. And particularly the selfishness he often stoops to.

          • zorbatheturk

            Putin’s criminality goes far beyond not paying a parking ticket.

          • Turtler

            Of course. And I would argue that things like his war crimes also are an aspect of his criminality.

            But I would be hard presed to say they can’t or don’t serve ideological ends a lot of times.

          • zorbatheturk

            A perverse sense of Russian ultranationalism drives Putin, plus simple egoism and lust for power, more than any political ideology. A leopard can’t change its spots, and without the KGB and the Russian state Putin would be a nobody.

          • Turtler

            That’s basically my feeling as well. At least most of the time. Say what we will about Lenin, Stalin, and Peter the Great but they all suffered quite terribly for their ideology (the former two living underground, being under arrest, doing bank robberies.. and the last one risking civil War).

            I find it hard to believe Putin would ever give up the chance to eat fine caviar again for any cause beyond survival.

          • zorbatheturk

            Stalin will be suffering in hell right now if there is any basis to the Buddhist belief.

          • Turtler

            Stalin will be suffering in hell right now under well beyond just Buddhist belief.

          • zorbatheturk

            Not sure the devil wants any competition down there…

          • Turtler

            Of course not, but then that’s where the part about it being Satan’s punishment comes to.

          • zorbatheturk

            Gotcha.

    • Scradje

      It absolutely is a criminal organisation, beyond the slightest shadow of a doubt. But it is also an almost textbook definition of a fascist government: creepy personality cult built around the leader, overwhelming sense of entitlement, never ending grievances, emasculation of parliament and judiciary, weaponising of the church and media, extreme militarism, use of brute force to resolve disputes, persecution of minorities, scapegoating of foreigners for own failings, no respect for borders, land theft, mass murder, lying, cronyism, Goebbels-like approach to propaganda; all driven by an imperialistic, race-supremacist philosophy coming from the likes of Alexandr Dugin and others.

  • Turtler

    Calling Putin’s abomination “feudal” is frankly an insult to the actual feudal states and people. After all, the cornerstone of feudal society was a set of rights, duties, and obligations between vassal and overlord. The King/Emperor/Whoever had to answer to the peasants in the fields in at least some ways.

    It also isn’t Fascism, Please Stop Saying That, it’s Damn Annoying. Does ANYBODY here read what Mussolini or Hitler ACTUALLY wrote about their philosophy before using it?

    Putin really is closer to a neo-Tsarist and Soviet hybrid, combining absolutism with racial bigotry.

    • zorbatheturk

      Fascism: a political system headed by a dictator in which the government controls business and labor and opposition is not permitted.
      Putin qualifies on all counts.

      • Turtler

        “Fascism: a political system headed by a dictator in which the
        government controls business and labor and opposition is not permitted.”

        So the Ming Dynasty was Fascist?

        The medieval Archbishop of Mainz?

        Franco? The rump Republican government Franco even overthrew?

        No, I would argue that is too generalized. though I would certainly argue that essentially all Fascist regimes do fall udner what you describe, so it serves a purpose.

        What also tends to get missed is how thoroughly Populist and nationalist Fascism is (the latter is something Putin is, the former… less so). Among other things.

        “This definition seems as good as any.”

        I respectfully disagree, though it is certainly not the worst.

        This is why I emphasize wading through Mussolini’s bilge, where he lays out a fairly in depth philosophy of what Fascism is and is not, and what separated it from the kind of run of the mill dictatorships that had come before him in places like Hispanic America, or Absolute monarchs like the old Austro-Hungarian Empire.

        “Putin qualifies on all counts.”

        On that much I agree.

        “Of course he has also made himself a very rich fascist. Most of his money is hidden in Switzerland and Lichtenstein.”

        This is the other thing that makes me doubt it.

        Because if there is one thing I can say about the Ur-Fascists (Hitler, Mussolini, and the like), they did not bother hiding their money.

        Sure, they were corrupt. They did steal a lot. But they generally didn’t take it out of the country. Partially because of ear that it would be seized, but mostly because they were so busy spending it both on creature comforts and bribes, but also on ideological projects like Hitler’s architectural commissions.

        In that sense I would argue Putin is acting much more like the average third world autocrat or musical chair dictator than a Fascist. Someone who does not have that much of an overriding objective in holding power and who just wants to rob the till as much as he can in the time he has.

        • zorbatheturk

          The Nazis stole gold and art treasures by the truckload. They had plenty stashed in Switzerland too. Anybody who opposes Putin, or who tries to investigate his crimes, or of his cronies, is terminated. In or outside Russia. But Putin doesn’t want to simply sit in the sun and be a billionaire. Total power is what drives him. He is far more of a classic Jakes Bond villain than types like Mobutu, Idi Amin, or Mugabe. Those clowns had no global agenda. Putin does.

          • Turtler

            “The Nazis stole gold and art treasures by the truckload. ”

            Yes, they did.

            But you know what Hitler and most of his legitimate true believers didn’t do?

            Hide them in offshore accounts. The famous Swiss accounts werem ostly by those of people like Goering who were looking out for number 1 and wanted to find a place to stash the stuff for a rainy day if everything went South.

            Hitler and his allies kept their stuff in areas he controlled, particularly the Reich itself. They invested everything into the idea that their ideology and empire would last for a thousand years and when it became obvious it wasn’t they generally said they would bequeath what they didn’t destroy back to the state if it were even possible. (See: Hitler’s last will and testament).

            Compare/contrast to Putin and his allies buying up as much or even more real estate abroad in enemy countries (like the UK) than they have in their own.

            “They had plenty stashed in Switzerland too.”

            See above.

            There’s also the fact that Hitler actually had a fervent hatred of the Swiss and intended it to basically be squeezed into the Reich by pressure, under the twin threats of starvation and invasion by overwhelming force.

            “Anybody who opposes Putin, or who tries to investigate his crimes, or those of his cronies, is terminated. In or outside Russia. ”

            Which indicates we’re dealing with your usual thin skinned tyrant. Unfortunately that in and of itself isn’t ideologically determining.

            The Ming Emperors were absolutely savage about dissidents or those who even Questioned or Criticized the Emperor, even in mild terms or to try and get him to improve. But they were cut from a significantly different philisophical cloth from Hitler, Putin, or Che.

            “But Putin doesn’t want to simply sit in the sun and be a billionaire. Total power is what drives him.”

            Agreed.

            However, people who usually prize total power above all usually tend not to extensively hide money abroad (like Putin has). They tend to keep their finances and assets close to hand, in places they have direct power over.

            Not saying that makes this analysis not true, but it is at least somewhat irregular or against type.

            “He is far more of a classic Bond villain than types like Mobutu, Idi Amin, or Mugabe. Those clowns had no global agenda. Putin does.”

            Eh, agreed to a large degree, though Mugabe certainly says things that indicate he views himself in a Cold War world, and as a loyal ally of the PRC( like he was of the USSR) against the West.

          • Quartermaster

            Much the problem in this argument is you don’t understand what Fascism is. Mussolini did not define fascism. It incorporates a spectrum of ideology. The primary characteristic is the centrality of the state and the leader. This fact caused Stalin to hold Hitler in high regard – they spoke the same basic language.

          • Turtler

            “Much the problem in this argument is you don’t understand what
            Fascism is.”

            I am not interested in hearing what I don’t understand from someone who could not even do enough research to realize that Fort Sumter was not the last Federal government held position in the South at the time.

            Or someone who insisted in perfect earnestness that an ideology formed in the 19th century (Communism) was a subset of an ideology formed in the 20th century (Fascism).

            Whatever the imperfections in my understanding of Fascism, they are not as great as yours.

            “Mussolini did not define fascism.”

            The problem is that yes, he did.

            By defining the party he split off from the Italian Socialist Party as the National Fascist Party and writing extensively on what his new ideology was and what it is not, he did define it.

            One can make the legitimate argument that he did not Solely define it, that is he was not the end all to be all of it or the only one defining it. And I would be sympathetic to that. After all, his concept of Fascism was limited almost exclusively to Italians and Italian colonial subjects.

            But any definition that does *not* include Mussolini or his views is sorely lacking.

            “It incorporates a spectrum of ideology.”

            Sure, but most ideologies do. For instance, the great bloody conflict between Stalinism and Trotskyism on the insane boondoggles of the ideological Left.

            However, the difference is that these are feuding children of the same ideological parent. You can pretty easily trace their lineage and shared beliefs back (like how both Stalin and Trotsky were disciples of Lenin, who in turn went back to Marx and Engels) and see what they have in common as well as what they hold differently.

            I would be more than willing to listen to anyone who wants to group the ideological and philosophical characteristics Putin and-say- Mussolini and Hitler have. And I do think they can be done. But until then I am skeptical.

            “The primary characteristic is the centrality of the state
            and the leader. This fact caused Stalin to hold Hitler in high regard –
            they spoke the same basic language.”

            Agreed.

            However, the centrality of the state and the leader is not unique to Fascism or Communism or even totalitarianism. It has popped up to blight the world time and time again, from the Qin of ancient China (a bureaucratic autocracy that existed millenia before Fascism existed), to Paraguay in the 19th century (which was basically a palatial estate with borders), to even- for a democratic example- Charles de Gaulle’s Fifth French Republic (though unlike the others that was at least theoretically counterbalanced by legal protections).

            And it’s pretty damn obvious that while Fascists could speak the same basic language as other statist dictatorships, they were unsparing in their criticism of them ad insistent o how they differed. Just look at how both Mussolini and Hitler gloried in the downfall of the Habsburgs.

          • Quartermaster

            You’re hilarious. The level of your ignorance extends far beyond American history and into political philosophy. You wish to be an ignoramus, go right ahead. I’ll still call you an idiot no matter where we both post.
            Mussolini did not define fascism. He was simply the one that brought the term into modern history. Fascism has been around for millennia, and has taken many forms. Lincoln, for example, was a fascist, but in your ignorance, such things don’t bother you.
            learn some history, and political philosophy, then come argue with me. I won’t argue with you. I’ll simply call you what you are.

          • Turtler

            “You’re hilarious. ”

            Glad you think so.

            “The level of your ignorance extends far beyond
            American history”

            …blah blah blah blah.

            The fact of the matter is that you’re the one who misidentified the first Confederate capitol as Richmond, and you forgot the likes of Fort Jefferson existed.

            I am the one who got the factual details right, you are the one who got them wrong.

            So you are the one who was ignorant of American history. Or if I’m more generous, those very specific details of them.

            ” and into political philosophy. ”

            If you want to talk about political philosophy, why are you so hesitant to quote or analyze the actual Works of political philosophy?

            That is the writings of various people- including collectivist psychopaths- expounding on what their political philosophy was?

            I’ve spent precious hours of my life grinding through the utter Bilge of Marx, Engels, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Putin, and the like. I read their speeches and their literature. i can pull out quotes to slap around the idea that they were “Right wing” as some jerkwads think, like this.

            And I can use their own statements to get a decent-ish idea of what their beliefs were and who influenced them. Such as how Mussolini was influenced by Marxist Socialism.

            Can you say anything of the same?

            “You wish to be an
            ignoramus, go right ahead.”

            No, you wish to be an ignoramus.

            You apparently debated the Civil War for decades and yet you remained ignorant enough to type this.

            “”All the other forts on Confederate were either already vacated or in the process of it.””

            Key West and Fort Jefferson prove you were wrong.

            ” I’ll still call you an idiot no matter where we both post.”

            Which will merely be you digging your grave deeper.

            You want to call me an idiot for the crime of knowing that there were plenty of forts other than Sumter that were not vacated or in the process of it?

            Go right ahead.

            It just confirms my point.

            That you don’t know much about the facts, don’t care about details, and thus make yourself an idiot.

            “Mussolini did not define fascism. He was simply the one that brought the
            term into modern history.”

            The term “Fascism” never existed before modern history. Check it out if you don’t believe me.

            Mussolini was the first one use the term and posit a meaning about what it was.

            As such, he did indeed define it. Even if you assert that the idea or concept existed- and indeed had done so multiple times- and we accept it for the sake of the doubtful argument, that doesn’t mean he didn’t define it.

            It just would have meant he applied and defined a term for a pre-existing concept.

            And even that falls through because of the exact quirks and stances of his brand of Leftist, Collectivist totalitarianism.

            “Fascism has been around for millennia, ”

            No, it hasn’t been.

            Again, Fascism wasn’t even used as a term before the the 20th century.

            Mussolini defined the term.

            “and
            has taken many forms. Lincoln, for example, was a fascist, but in your
            ignorance, such things don’t bother you.”

            Still butthurt about the fact that you can’t define what “reduced” means or come up with a single example of an unarmed supply ship being an act of war I see? Figures. Pettiness and intellectual dishonesty are unbecoming.

            But again, repeating a dishonesty does not make it true. He was specifically castigated as a Liberal (a term you should be happy about) by Hitler, Gentile, Mussolini, and the rest.

            And no Fascist would have accepted things like the neutrality of Kentucky as Lincoln did.

            ‘learn some history, and
            political philosophy,”

            I have, dingus.

            I’m the one who knew where the Confederate government was based during the siege of Fort Sumter.

            I’m the one who knew what forts in the South remained under Union control throughout the Civil War.

            I’m the one who can quote from works of political philosophy.

            You’re not.

            ” then come argue with me. I won’t argue with you.
            I’ll simply call you what you are.”

            Translation:

            I’m a hypocritical historical illiterate who can’t honestly argue that Fascism- as the term was understood by actual Fascists- predates Mussolini or that the Confederate government had control of Fort Jefferson. So I am going to use an Ad Hominem as a substitute for an actual argument in spite of the fact that this is a textbook logical fallacy.

            ” Fascism is
            therefore opposed to all
            individualistic abstractions based on eighteenth century materialism; and it is
            opposed to all Jacobinistic utopias and
            innovations. It does not believe in the
            possibility of “happiness”
            on earth as conceived by the economistic literature
            of the XVIIIth century, and it therefore rejects the
            theological
            notion that at some future time the human family
            will secure a final settlement of all its difficulties.”

            (But hey, Lincoln- who leaned more heavily on materialist advantages and the idea of racial reconciliation as his life went on- must fit there!)

            http://www.worldfuturefund.org/wffmaster/Reading/Germany/mussolini.htm

            But what are mere WORDS- words by piddly primary sources who merely existed at the time in question and termed it- to your glorious *Assertions* of something on an internet forum?

            If tens of millions turned to Mussolini as he revealed his definition of Fascism and only a few have turned to you for your analysis on it, that is merely proof that your genius is such that it has never been recognized!

          • Quartermaster

            I have no trouble with humiliating morons like yourself, but I don’t do it in venues like this because it does not belong to me. Your ignorance, however, is palpable. The more you post, the more you show your ignorance.
            By the by, Fort Jefferson was irrelevant. It was stupid to build the place to begin with. The confeds rightly ignored it.
            Once more, you have no idea what a metonym is. I’ve been to the original Confed white house. An uncle lives in the same city and has for most of my life.
            Putin is a fascist, as was Lincoln, and many others before and since.

          • Turtler

            “I have no trouble with humiliating morons like yourself, ”

            Obviously that isn’t true, because you’ve attempted it but haven’t succeeded.

            You also humiliate yourself by exposing your biases and particularly your ignorance of several facts while making assertions.

            “but I don’t do
            it in venues like this because it does not belong to me.”

            Again, that isn’t accurate, because it hasn’t stopped you before.

            In any case, your justification is as weak as your understanding of the facts. The entire reason why these venues have comments is so that people can pitch in. And if Euromaiden Pres s allows Putin apologists to do their swill that more than clears the way for the two of us.

            So why not take your best shot?

            “Your ignorance,
            however, is palpable. ”

            Then prove it nimrod.

            Prove it isn’t the other way around.

            The funny thing about your choice of words is the definition of palpable.

            Fort Jefferson is able to be touched, including the locations where Union Sentries kept watch on the rest of Florida throughout the war. Mussolini’s writings are able to be touched.

            And yet you insist that your ignorant assertions- which have ignored both of them- are somehow less ignorant because they are “truer”, in spite of those pesky details?

            “The more you post, the more you show your
            ignorance.”

            Then it should be easy to prove.

            In the same way that it was easy to prove you were “conveniently” scrubbing the timeline of the Civil War when you claimed the Confederate Government was based in Richmond during the siege of Fort Sumter, and that all other Federal forts on Confederate soil were abandoned or in the process of it.

            But the thing is, you haven’t. On virtually every specific detail you have bothered to address, you have admitted I am right. Including where the Fasces came from.

            So you are just pounding away with unsupported assertions.

            “By the by, Fort Jefferson was irrelevant.”

            Well, neither side thought it was irrelevant, since both sides wanted to have it.

            But even if we concede this… .The fact is that it *existed.* No matter how irrelevant it was.

            And by existing along with maybe a half dozen other forts, it put a lie to your Confederate apologist claims that they had all been abandoned or were being abandoned.

            But hey, I suppose you’re going to pretend a provable, objective fact doesn’t matter so long as you allege it was ‘irrelevant”?

            “It was stupid to build the place to begin with.”

            Eh, not so sure. Especially given its’ role in the coastal infrastructure.

            But we can debate that. What cannot be debated is that it existed.

            And Fort Monroe can’t even be dismissed like that.

            ” The confeds rightly ignored it.”

            Not really, they just could never spare enough troops to consider taking it, especially with Union naval support present.

            As they outright mentioned. Like Fort Monroe.

            “Once
            more, you have no idea what a metonym is. ”

            I am well aware of what a metonym is.

            But I am also well aware that shouting “IT’S A METONYM IT’S A METONYM!” is no defense for when your Metonym in a given statement sucks.

            The fact of the matter is that the orders for the Confederates in the Sumter Siege never came down from Richmond, Richmond wasn’t even part of the Confederacy at the time.

            So writing it is objectively Wrong.

            “I’ve been to the original
            Confed white house. An uncle lives in the same city and has for most of
            my life.”

            And this gives you the justification to insist I am ignorant while displaying your own?

          • zorbatheturk

            Interesting comment. Mugabe is likely getting to the dementia stage. Mugabe breathes rare air. Like Hugo Chavez, he is one of the few men who can say he has totally destroyed a once prosperous country.

          • MichaelA

            And racism becomes part of the ideology
            just read what any russian troll writes

        • zorbatheturk

          I tend to call Putin a fascist for effect and as an insult, since the kremtrolls continually spout nonsense about the ” fascists ” in Kiev. I do not expect Putin to become a professor of Fascist Studies. But absolute power is what drives him. And his regime has many parallels with Nazi Germany. Putin has nukes and an annual revenue stream of $350 billion from oil and gas sales, which Hitler didn’t. Hitler was trying to blitzkrieg his way to Azerbaijan to get the oil. He failed. Germany had to turn coal into gasoline.

          • Scradje

            This is a great tragedy for Russian people and the world. Yeltsin wanted Boris Nemtsov to succeed him. Putler pressured him into choosing himself instead by threatening to expose his (Yeltin’s) corruption and simultaneously guaranteeing to protect the extended Yeltsin family from prosecution. Once in power he persuaded the oligarchs to switch allegiance to him using the same crude carrot and stick method. As for the ones who did not….

          • Turtler

            “I tend to call Putin a fascist for effect and as an insult, since the
            kremtrolls continually spout nonsense about the ” fascists ” in Kiev. ”

            A fair point, and a legitimate use then. Especially since he is backed by so many legitimate Fascists.

            I guess it’s just that I’m anal about the terms, and what it is.

            “I
            do not expect Putin to become a professor of Fascist Studies. But
            absolute power is what drives him. And his regime has many parallels
            with Nazi Germany. ”

            Agreed, absolute.y

            “Putin has nukes and an annual revenue stream of $350
            billion from oil and gas sales, which Hitler didn’t. ”

            Agreed, though to be fair he also has a crippled population demographically and far less actual industry.

            “Hitler was trying
            to blitzkrieg his way to Azerbaijan to get the oil. He failed. Germany
            had to turn coal into gasoline.”

            Agreed. And beg their Romanian butt buddies for what feeble amounts of stuff they had.

            “As for kings and emperors, they are born
            to their almighty roles. Sure, there had to a first emperor, usually a
            warrior type. Putin we can agree was not born to anything. He has
            usurped power in Russia. Yeltsin made a boo-boo.”

            Agreed, absolutely. That is why I do think the defining moment of his career was the speech he made when first appointed as VP, if not the little snippet he made when he decided not to back the totalitarian coup in Soviet Moscow in 1991. Basically for his job.

            On some level I think he has never moved beyond that. Being the petty clerk who is so instinctively hostile to reform and freedom he would sympathize with the likes Yanayev but too craven to put his neck and creature comforts on the line for it.

          • zorbatheturk

            Possibly the ideological debate about Putin being a fascist is misplaced. Better perhaps to say Russia has morphed into at least a semi-fascist State. Putin controls the media, most strategic industries including armaments, and the Russian people are fed a constant stream of Goebbelesque propaganda, being basically lies and complete nonsense, fake children being killed in Ukraine, re. MH17, America demonized, and so on. This is the kind of stuff expected from North Korea or Turkmenistan. Repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it. For a supposed G20 country, it is unacceptable.

    • MichaelA

      putin is a fascist
      couldnt be clearer

      • Turtler

        I disagree.

        It couldn’t be clearer that Putin is a totalitarian monster who has robbed the world of lives, wealth, and peace aplenty. However, I am not convinced his brand of monstrosity is Fascist in the specific sense.
        And if there is one thing that gets my goat, it is how we have used “Fascism” as a catchall.

        Take a look at this.

        http://www.worldfuturefund.org/wffmaster/Reading/Germany/mussolini.htm

        How does Putin compare to Mussolini’s view of the spiritual, material, and philosophical?

        He will certainly kvetch about the “decadent/materialist West” and raise his Puppet Patriarch, but he spends orders of magnitude more time hiding funds in overseas accounts than writing manifestos on Neitzsche.

        Both men are tyrannical, corrupt, vain, and fond of shirtless photo ops, but that alone does not make them the same.

        • Quartermaster

          Putin is a fascist to his core.

    • zorbatheturk

      Putin cannot allow any serious challenge to his power. After all, he has no real charisma. He is a KGB drone who got lucky. Yeltsin groomed him. Putin cannot allow a color revolution, an Arab Spring type uprising, or a younger charismatic or intelligent political type to emerge as a threat. Racism and nationalism go down well with Putin’s constituency. Yes, all the elections are rigged, but he still needs popular support to keep him and his cronies in power. Anything like a war in Ukraine, demonizing NATO and the West, helps to deflect attention from Russia’s lousy economy and lack of political freedom.

      • Turtler

        “Putin cannot allow any serious challenge to his power. ”

        On some level I get the feeling that he kind of has. Especially with how his client regime in Chechnya is evolving and how he’s had to carefully time some major internal moves.

        “After all, he has no real charisma.He is a KGB drone who got lucky. Yeltsin groomed
        him. ”

        Sure, agreed. But I do think he has a sort of cunning and audacity. The ability to act blatantly and daringly in the face of people and groups that could squash him like a bug or cause trouble for him, but won’t. While being able to avoid conflict with those that are willing to.

        “Putin cannot allow a color revolution, an Arab Spring type
        uprising, or a younger charismatic or intelligent political type to
        emerge as a threat.”

        Agreed. Which I think is a large part of the reason why he has reacted so hysterically to Maiden. He wants to say it was an evul Western/Turkish/Jewish/whatever plot that endangered the independence of the world. And maybe he believes it. But the truth is that it was the all too predictable result of him pushing Yanukovych to commit political suicide in the face of not just his hardened enemies but what was previously his natural constituency.

        That could be easily how Putin ends his reign if not life. After all those keeping him in power turn.

        “Racism and nationalism go down well with Putin’s
        constituency. Yes, all the elections are rigged, but he still needs
        popular support to keep him and his cronies in power. Anything like a
        war in Ukraine, demonizing NATO and the West, helps to deflect attention from Russia’s lousy economy and lack of political freedom. ”

        Agreed. That and I also think he needs in some way to claw off as much ethnically/culturally Russian populations as he can to offset the way they just conk out. And since doing that involves doing things that help feed into the former stuff he does. But it feeds back into the problem of it being brinkmanship with a force he really Cannot afford to confront.

        “Russia will stagnate until Putin goes, and after too unless a viable two-party state with genuine rule of law emerges and the power of the security services is downgraded by at least 50%.”

        Agreed, and even then I think it will be in for a rough time. It’s going to be hard to do things like tie Chechnya to the “Federation” or manage relations with China when you are so poor, bankrupt, corrupt, dwindling in numbers, and otherwise troubled.

        • zorbatheturk

          Euromaidan freaked Putin out completely. Chechnya is a future flashpoint. Ramzan the Bad’s father was assassinated, and somewhere there is a bullet with his name on it too.

  • zorbatheturk

    Most senior posts in Russia are now filled by ex-KGB staff. Russia is a purely totalitarian state run to enrich the security services elite. As for Vladimir Putin, he was born a fascist.

    • Scradje

      Anna Politkovskaya researched it heavily and believed it to be true. So did Alexander Litvinenko and we know what happened to them.

    • Vlad Pufagtinenko

      Absolutely right

  • zorbatheturk

    Putinism = fascism without swastikas. Or maybe invisible ones…