The globalization of Putinism

Demonstrators march during a protest rally in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. Thousands of protesters marched across downtown Moscow and St. Petersburg on Saturday in the first major rally in three months against President Vladimir Putin, while defying the Kremlin's ongoing efforts to crackdown on opposition. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Demonstrators march during a protest rally in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. Thousands of protesters marched across downtown Moscow and St. Petersburg on Saturday in the first major rally in three months against President Vladimir Putin, while defying the Kremlin's ongoing efforts to crackdown on opposition. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky) 

2016/09/14 • Analysis & Opinion

The year 2016 will go down in history as a turning point. Whatever happens during the second half of the year will not alter that fundamentally, it may only make the significance even bigger. A possible further incursion of Russian troops into Ukraine, of course under the pretext of protecting civilians against the fascist Kyiv regime that has now resorted to “terror”, and in November the possible election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, these are issues that only add on to the already sufficiently troubling picture that emerged during the first half of the year.

A new style of political leadership has emerged, and all the signs indicate that this will have a long-lasting presence.

In fact this development started already quite a few years ago, very much symbolized by the painfully long leadership of Silvio Berlusconi over Italy. Berlusconi, a brazen and fundamentally amoral businessman and politician, bent democratic rules in any direction he saw fit and used his wealth and business contacts to remain at the top. He considered an independent judiciary as a menace and a “threat to democracy”, He was for many observers a laughing stock with his many face-lifts, ostensibly dyed hairs in the most unnatural looking color, and his bonga bonga parties with sometimes under-aged girls. All these factors made it hard to take him serious. However, at the same time he served as an example to other political leaders who suffered from the same complexes as he did, and who gratefully enjoyed the hospitality of “their good friend Silvio”. While the world laughed or watched with amazement, fellow politicians in other countries saw him as an example, a person who could do as he saw fit.

Among them was also Vladimir Putin, who over the years increasingly compensated his limited length with Berlusconi-type of macho extravaganza. Most Western observers and politicians had a difficult time believing and accepting that with Putin a new type of political leader was born, one that outdid Berlusconi at almost all fronts, whose political ascent was based not only on a complete disregard of basic principles of democratic rule but also and especially on criminal behavior, completing the merger of political and criminal life in Russia into one solid entity of a gangster state. George W. Bush looked into his eyes and “saw a man he could do business with”; other politicians admired the way in which he seemingly ended the all-encompassing corruption that reigned in post-Soviet Russia. The fact that democracy had to suffer some setbacks here and there was only considered logical and necessary for the time being.

Few people understood that with Putin the KGB-mafia had taken control of the country, stopped corruption by adversary groups only to replace it by even bigger corruption by their own clan, and gradually turned Russia into their personal fiefdom where anybody who dared to object or oppose was either sidetracked or simply killed.

This stubbornly positive image of Putin only changed with the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which even today many continue to believe is merely an internal conflict and a “logical” civil war between the deeply divided Ukrainian and Russian speaking parts of the population. It is not Putin who created the crisis: it is the West that could not stop meddling into the internal affairs of Ukraine and forced Putin to defend the “natural” interests of Russia and the Russians. The arguments used are almost identical to those used during the 1970s and 1980s, when the crumbling Soviet Union was actively supporting and courting Western “experts” and political movements who uncritically repeated the Soviet claims that it was surrounded by hostile countries, traumatized by the enormous losses in human lives during the Second World War and that we should understand why more than a dozen countries were subjugated to Soviet dominance as a “buffer” against NATO and other warmongers.

One can take articles from these years, replace “Soviet” with “Russian” and the texts are basically the same. And also now false claims propagated by Moscow are parroted in the West.

At the same time, however, we see that Putinist politics has become quite popular outside Russia’s borders as well. Time will tell to what extent the Russian secret service prepared the grounds during the years that the West was nicely asleep, but fact is that Russia suddenly found many friends among extremist parties in Western Europe, most of them right-wing and anti-European Union. There are clear indications that Russian emigrants, who over the years settled within the borders of the European Union, play an active role in destabilizing countries, in particular in Germany where part of the population was raised and educated in the Communist DDR. How many of them are moles that have been activated by the Putin regime is hard to say, what is clear is that destabilizing the European Union has become one of Putin’s priorities.

In short, his goal is to trigger the disintegration of the European Union before the disintegration of his own country becomes a fact. It is a race against the clock, and all possible means have been set in motion.

In Europe, populism has become mainstream and virtually all countries now have rightwing political movements that are fundamentally anti-Islam and anti-EU. Referenda in The Netherlands and the United Kingdom were won on basis of false claims and lies, making use of the fears of citizens for a rapidly changing world in which globalization has fundamentally altered the spectrum and made issues that were considered steady and certain quite suddenly redundant and obsolete. Inward-looking nationalism has now firm ground in many of the countries, and the smell of fascism has returned to the European continent.

Yet Putinist politics is not limited to Europe alone. In Turkey an authoritarian leader used a failed coup to rid his country of anybody suspected of opposition and rapidly turned democratic rule into a farce, in a way that must have made Vladimir Putin very happy. Within weeks the country that had been dubbed an archenemy of Russia only a year ago suddenly turned into a “friend” and a fellow opponent of American imperialist politics. In America itself the impossible became possible, and a person whose whole business career has been based on failures and bad deals, on extortion and blackmailing of competition and the outright refusal to pay bills, was propelled by very conservative and often fundamentally racist voters into becoming a serious candidate in becoming President of the United States. If that were to become reality Putin will not only have a “friend” in Washington, but also a colleague who shares his political culture, has an irresistible urge to speak half-truths and makes outrageous statements about anybody who dares to stand in his way.

Most people still believe Trump will not become President, but in my view that is more a matter of wishful thinking and ostrich behavior.

In March 2014 we also couldn’t believe that Russians and Ukrainians would be shooting at each other, and now it has become a daily reality and the hatred between the two nations has become firmly rooted at both sides. One better start to believe that Putinism has gone viral and is becoming a global phenomenon. It is a scary thought, but very much a realistic one. Future generations will probably be taught that 2016 was the turning point that altered the political constellation once and for all.


Related:

Edited by: A. N.
Source: nv.ua

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  • Roman Serbyn

    Robert van Voren writes: “Inward looking nationalism has now firm ground in many of the countries,
    and the smell of fascism has returned to the European continent.” Russian communism was always imbued with the smell of fascism. Fascism was not just “inward looking”, it was also always “outward expnasionist”. So was Communist fascism practiced by Stalin and now Putin. This is the crucial difference between Putinism and the far right parties in Europe: putinism is imperialistic in territorial expansion; Western fascists are not.

    • Quartermaster

      Communism is a type of fascism. Many communists have enjoyed denigrating fascism when they themselves hold a fascist ideology.

      • Turtler

        Only if we assume Fascism is synonymous with generic evil, which is something I reject. Both are certainly totalitarian ideologies and both are evil, but they are distinct.

        One key problem with Communism being a type of Fascism is that Communism well predates Fascism, since Communism was an established ideology by the mid 19th century under Marx while Fascism was formulated by Mussolini in the early 20th. So if anything it would be Fascism that is the offshoot of Communism.

        And then there are the highly different facets. Communism was radically futuristic, contemptuous of tradition, paranoid of the idea of great individuals, and viewed independent nations as being a form of false consciousness that would be swept away by the workers’ revolution. In contrast Fascism was proud of tradition (as it defined it), nationalistic, and exalted the idea of great individuals in the form of things like its’ idealization of the Duce.

        Both were Leftist, totalitarian, evil, and collectivist, but they were different within that threshold.

        • Quartermaster

          No such assumption is necessary. All forms of fascism place the state/collective at the center and reduces the value of the individual to what they can contribute to the whole.

          The symbol of Fascism, the Fasces, harks back to Imperial Rome. The term may be recent, but the various realizations have been around for a very long time.

          The problem you have is you’re overthinking it.

          • Turtler

            “No such assumption is necessary. All forms of fascism place the
            state/collective at the center and reduces the value of the individual
            to what they can contribute to the whole.”

            Lots of things other than Fascism do that (though the new qualifier does not include the Fifth Republic of De Gaulle- at least in my opinion)

            Absolute Monarchy. Communism (which again, well predated Fascism). family dictatorships (like Paraguay under the Lopez and Nicaragua under the Somozoa before the Communists overthrew the last Somozoa and managed to make things even worse) and strongman states from Ezzelino da Romano to Genghis Khan have all evinced those characteristics (and indeed, Ezzelino was much beloved among the original Fascists and some of their sympathetic detractors like Evola).

            Statism and the reduction of the individual are a core part of Fascism and characteristic of it, but they are not enough to define it.

            “The symbol of Fascism, the Fasces, harks back to Imperial Rome. ”

            No, it doesn’t.

            It harks back to *Republican* Rome, where the lichtors that bore the Fasces actually had a legitimate role in a government of checks and balances that inspired people like the Founding Fathers. Up until the likes of Sulla and the Caesars eroded the vitality of the Republic and it was ultimately gutted by Augustus. Who basically killed the republic but then propped its’ corpse up to avoid being strung up as a new King.

            “The term may be recent, but the various realizations have been around for a very long time.”

            Firstly, if the classical Fasces are a symbol of the “realization” of Fascism before Mussolini, we’re going to have to list everybody all the way back to the Founding Fathers. Ever see the Mace of the House of Representatives?

            Secondly, even Imperial Roman autocracy- and it could get very savage ad arbitrary indeed, since it was basically the father of European absolute monarchy- did not resemble Fascism in plenty of ways. Chief among them being that essentially every Fascist you can name rejected the idea of a blood dynasty as being corrupt and classical Rome’s rejection of Autarky.

            Among other things. Mussolini did share the typical European- and particularly Italian- admiration for Rome, its’ Republic, and its’ Empire and wanted to remake a Mare Nostrum for the new Italy, but he was under no illusions that Augustus would have approved of him.

            And finally, I am skeptical about looking back in history to see “realizations” of specific ideologies that existed millennia before their core texts were written.

            It is about as sensible a s calling Lenin or Marx a Stalinist.

            “The problem you have is you’re overthinking it.”

            Well, somebody’s got to. Because the consequences of not doing so were seen as early as Orwell’s day (damnable socialist that he was).

            If we can’t identify the specifics of hostile ideologies, it puts us in danger. And does anybody here think we won’t suffer from misunderstanding Putin like so many bigwigs have over the past years?

          • Quartermaster

            I referred to Imperial Rome because that was the latest the symbol was carried. You are correct as to the extra time distance however.
            The systems you list are all fascistic. And, you are overthinking it, and not in a good way. Things are far simple than you wish them to be, apparently. Putin is a fascist no matter how much you wish to try to dance around the fact.

          • Turtler

            “I referred to Imperial Rome because that was the latest the symbol was
            carried.”

            Ehhh.. more dubious. It was carried into the Byzantine era (which may or may not count as Imperial Rome) and some of the “Barbarian” successor kingdoms (we know that the Frankish mayors of the Palace had it styled on some of their residences).

            And the reason I mention it is to counter the

            “The systems you list are all fascistic.”

            On what basis?

            Mussolini and virtually all the people who actually called themselves Fascist and delineated what it was to be Fascist disagreed. And I am at least moderately inclined to consider the stance of the people who literally did Define the word.

            If we’re talking about it as being Fasces-like, of many one, bundle of sticks put together, etc, that might be Somewhat more fitting. Somewhat. Since they were generally Communalistic.

            But this ignores the fact that the Fasces was instinctively an anti-monarchist symbol made after the Roman revolt against Etruscan monarchy. It is a revolutionary symbol, not one of the status quo. Mussolini did try to downplay this during much of his time in power since he had to appease the monarchy, but this never worked very well and when it finally collapsed in 1943 he went back to his roots.

            “And, you are overthinking it,
            and not in a good way. ”

            So thinking about what the term and symbol actually means is not good?

            “Things are far simple than you wish them to be,”

            Once again, you suck as an internet psychic.

            And I truly do wish things were much, much simpler. So simple there would be no doubt a single sentence definition would fit and be understood by all.

            But we don’t live in this world. And I believe undue simplification can screw us over. Just look at the Left’s use of the term Fascist.

            “Putin is a fascist no matter how much you wish to try to
            dance around the fact.”

            Asserting a claim does not make it so.

            If you want to make that claim, then prove it.

            Give a single quote of Putin identifying with Fascism or its’ doctrines. Or if that is unreasonable, compare how his ideology gels with Mussolini or Hitler’s declared one.

            Because it doesn’t get much simpler than looking to the original definition. So now it’s your turn.

          • Quartermaster

            The Fasces did not have quite the same importance to the Byzantines.
            You keep trying to shift the terms of argument in a direction you would like it to take. I refer to fascism by its characteristics, you keep trying to bring it into a totally modern context in a way that excluded from every other. That is what marks you as a man of limited intellectual attainment.
            So, rave all you like. I will waste no more time on you.

          • Turtler

            “The Fasces did not have quite the same importance to the Byzantines.”

            Agreed.

            “You keep trying to shift the terms of argument in a direction you would
            like it to take.”

            You write that as if you aren’t. You think most people wouldn’t view the attempt to label Communism as Fascism as a shift in the terms?

            The difference is that I do so with an eye to what the primary sources said. They aren’t just the terms that I would like, in fact I would prefer we never had to discuss these terrible human beings again.

            But they are terms that scumsuckers like Mussolini- who again, Defined the term Fascism-would have recognized. And since he’s the primary source and a ruthless partisan for it I am obliged to try.

            “I refer to fascism by its characteristics,”

            No, you refer to it by general characteristics of statist despotism. Which is much more generic than Fascism.

            You don’t want to refer to Fascism by all of its’ characteristics, partially because you don’t now what all of them are (and that is fair, after all they tended to be somewhat vague and wishy washy on the margins) and because it would hurt your attempt to claim that Fascism is almost everything you don’t like.

            “you keep trying to bring it into a totally modern context in a way that excluded from every other.”

            Gee, you wonder why?

            Because that is exactly how the PEOPLE WHO COINED THE TERM FASCISM posited it. As a modernist, “Third Way” leftist rejection of the free world in favor of romantic despotism. In which they would at least try to be different from anything that came before.

            This was the words on the mouths of those who actually called themselves Fascist.

            “That is what marks you as a man of limited intellectual attainment.”

            It is what marks me as the descendants of survivors. People who survived Mussolini’s thugs and recorded what they said and did.

            But I suppose using primary sources (that don’t agree with what Quartermaster says) is a mark of limited intellectual attainment?

            The fact is that I can define Fascism fairly tightly.

            I can also define “define”, so that I can judge whether Mussolini or someone else did or did not define it.

            Can you?

            “So, rave all you like. I will waste no more time on you.”

            Yeah, right. We’ll see about that.

          • MichaelA

            but you arent making sense
            putin is a classic fascist

      • Wally Wally

        (Because AmericanThinker has banned me from commenting, for some odd reason, I’m forced to respond here to a comment you made for the following article:mainstream conservatives and the altright)

        You said:

        What Taylor is pointing out, alas, are simple facts and it is no longer close to being debatable.

        Taylor uses hyperbole and data manipulation to support a rationale for the re-segregation of the races(black & white). For example, in his recent revision of the “Color of Crime”, Taylor proudly lists the disparate rates of crime committed in NYC by blacks and whites, with blacks outstripping the whites by a significant amount. In fact, Taylor notes: “the crime rate in NYC would fall to less than 5% if blacks were removed from NYC”. But Taylor doesn’t say why the comparison between blacks and whites in NYC is apples to oranges.

        Low class people commit significantly more crime, especially violent crime, than mid to upper class people. Check the economic profiles of your prison populations for verification. NYC is populated with low class blacks and mid to upper class whites. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to predict which population is going to dominate the crime stats for NYC. Taylor doesn’t mention this fact when supplying yet another reason for eliminating black people from the USA. He prefers to prime his readers with the standard race realism reason for disparate crime rates between blacks and whites: genetics.

        And BTW, drop a group of mid to upper class blacks into a low class community of whites and watch the crime rate ratio shift, significantly.

        • Quartermaster

          Sorry to hear Thinker banned you. I have no idea why, alas.

          I don’t agree entirely with Taylor’s conclusions as to the basic source being genetics. However, it is not debatable that low class blacks commit crime at rates overwhelmingly large even compared to low class whites. Low class white usually victimize themselves more than outsiders, just as low class blacks do. I have had no fear walking through low class white neighborhoods, but have been strongly warned off walking through low class black neighborhoods. Even middle class blacks will stay out of low class black neighborhoods, while they have been more than willing to walk through those same white neighborhoods I have.

          I think the source is mainly from lack socialization. Young black males rarely have fathers in the house. Without that link to the past,a nd the discipline that affords a kid, they grow up feral. There is no substitute for the love of a father. Only a loving father has the social capital to provide that to a boy so that he becomes man rather than just a feral male.

          These are things that do not come from manipulated statistics (which I have never seen Taylor do, by the way). the statistics Taylor use comes from the FBI and other law enforcement and can be verified. Taylor’s purpose is not served by lying about something so easily checked. Race Realism also is more than just genetics. That’s true even for Taylor.

          Some people point to Africa and it’s social problems, and then point to the US inner cities, and they have something of a point. However, if you look at a country like Botswana, say, and compare it to say Rhodesia, which Mugabe made a mess of, you see the same sort of trash the so called civil rights leaders in this country pull in Rhodesia, but you don’t see a tithe of the same problems in Botswana. The difference is Christianity. Botswana is dominated by Christians, and Rhodesia is dominated by criminals who promised everything to the population because they were going to take it from the evil white man who had robbed them.

          Botswana is rising, while Rhodesia has failed. Botswana may never rise as high as the US has, but it will rise much higher than the rest of Africa because who most of the leaders have given their allegiance to.

          By the by, I refuse to call Rhodesia by the name Mugabe gave it. The man is a criminal who should be in an unmarked grave for his crimes, not allowed to complete the derogation of what had once been the Jewel of South Africa.

          • Wally Wally

            However, it is not debatable that low class blacks commit crime at rates overwhelmingly large even compared to low class whites.

            The bulk of crime being committed in inner city neighborhoods is being committed by blacks involved in the drug trade, and that crime is being committed between black gangsters, protecting the obscene profits generated by the black market enterprise: DRUGS. The same phenomena existed during prohibition, when white gangsters were committing crime against each other at exorbitant rates, protecting the obscene profits generated by another black market enterprise: ALCOHOL. White communities, where low level crime is being committed, don’t suffer under the same crime generation parameters (extremely profitable black market enterprise). Highly profitable black market enterprises are always accompanied by high levels of violence.

            Taylor’s purpose is not served by lying about something so easily checked. Race Realism also is more than just genetics.

            Did you understand the point I made about low vs mid to upper class crime rates, and how low class people are always going to outstrip mid to upper class people when it comes to generating crime? Yes, Taylor’s NYC stats are correct, but they’re not correct for the reason he’s implying: genetics. If you’ve read alt-right web sites for any length of time, you know that genetics is at the top of their list of excuses for black dysfunction.

          • Quartermaster

            I didn’t miss your point. I, in fact, responded to it. The drug trade is simply a symptom of the much larger problem I pointed out. It gives rise to the rest. Taylor is correct about the statistics, but looking to genetics is wrong. I also pointed out my disagreement with that conclusion.

            Even among low class whites, who are also deeply involved with drugs and alcohol, you don’t see the crime rates you do among blacks.

          • Wally Wally

            The extent of the drug trade, the environment(rural vs urban) the trade is being conducted in, and other variables are different for the two communities(black and white); it’s an apples to oranges comparison.

  • zorbatheturk

    Comrade Putin is suffering from an acute case of schizophrenia. He seems to believe he is Adolf Hitler.

    • Quartermaster

      The Gulag has a similar cure rate. Last I looked, it was slightly more effective. More along the lines of 100%.

  • Turtler

    Once again, something that insults my common sense and abuses my intelligence.

    Where do I start?

    How about with this?

    “Whatever happens during the second half of the year will not alter that
    fundamentally, it may only make the significance even bigger”

    Don’t be so sure. Of all the things that this year calls for, overconfidence is just about the last possible thing.

    “and in November the possible election of Donald Trump as President of
    the United States, these are issues that only add on to the already
    sufficiently troubling picture that emerged during the first half of the
    year.:

    Ah yes, the obligatory Donald Trump bashing. God in Heaven, you make me defend this particularly soup bowl turd too often.

    The possible election of Donald Trump as President of the United States is an issue that only adds to a sufficiently troubling picture. The possible election of Hillary Clinton- someone who has appeased Putin in ways Trump never has, publicly has lied to the American people with fatal consequences, and who has engaged in Putinesque law breaking- is absolutely no problem. All Sunshine and Daisies.

    Ferchristsakes.

    “In fact this development started already quite a few years ago, very
    much symbolized by the painfully long leadership of Silvio Berlusconi
    over Italy. Berlusconi, a brazen and fundamentally amoral businessman
    and politician, bent democratic rules in any direction he saw fit and
    used his wealth and business contacts to remain at the top”

    In before complaining about Berlusconi about being brazen and fundamentally amoral (which I am not so sure about, he is certainly a corrupt hack but he has never struck me as someone who would willfully murder people) businessman while ignoring- again- Hillary acting as even more of one.

    I am not a fan of Berlusconi, but of all the things I can call him (and I can call him an Awful Lot Of Things) Fascist is not one of them.

    Compare to the actual Mussolini in contemporary Italian politics or Grillo.

    Are we now demonizing everybody to the right of freaking Lenin as a Fascist?

    “Among them was also Vladimir Putin, who over the years increasingly
    compensated his limited length with Berlusconi-type of macho
    extravaganza.”

    Agreed, no contest.

    “Most Western observers and politicians had a difficult
    time believing and accepting that with Putin a new type of political
    leader was born,”

    Probably because that wasn’t the case. There is little new under the son and egotistical, insecure tyrants do not count as such. Just ask Darius, Demetrius Poliorcetus, Ivan the Terrible, Fernando VIII, Santa Ana, Shaka Zulu, andIcouldgo on.

    Putin is troubling and has his own unique spin on the old formula, but this does not translate into a new formula in and of itself.

    “one that outdid Berlusconi at almost all fronts,”

    Probably because Berlusconi- for all his flaws- was never an authoritarian politician while Putin is.

    “whose political ascent was based not only on a complete disregard of basic
    principles of democratic rule but also and especially on criminal
    behavior, completing the merger of political and criminal life in Russia
    into one solid entity of a gangster state.”

    Political and criminal life in Russia has been one since the Thieves’ World was crushed by Lenin. So Putin does not deserve credit for this.

    Otherwise agreed.

    “George W. Bush looked into his eyes and “saw a man he could do business with”; other politicians admired the way in which he seemingly ended the all-encompassing
    corruption that reigned in post-Soviet Russia. The fact that democracy
    had to suffer some setbacks here and there was only considered logical
    and necessary for the time being.”

    Uhuh.

    And of course, not a single mention of the people who did most to appease Putin in the White House.

    “This stubbornly positive image of Putin only changed with the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War,”

    BZZZZT

    BS BS BS BULLLLLSCHEEEEIT.

    This positive image of Putin COLLAPSED with the Russo-Georgian War of 2008 and was already falling through earlier. Though of course this was promptly ignored after Bush stepped down and a new White House leader thought that his predecessor had caused this.

    So please, drop the parochialism. It’s annoying.

    Much of hte rest i actually agree with wholeheartedly, so I’ll skip down.

    ” but fact is that Russia suddenly found many friends among extremist parties in Western Europe,:

    Wait, Suddenly?

    Did Van Voren’s knighting ceremony go terribly awry and leave him in a coma for the past several years? Putin’s always been terrifyingly popular among the various nutjobs and fringe groups in Europe and elsewhere. Just because you didn’t notice it does not make it so.

    “most of them right-wing”

    ……………….

    This is the same site that did so well to show how Putin has recruited an army of Left Wing psychos to help his right wing psychos eat away at the middle?
    “There are clear indications that Russian emigrants, who over the years settled within the borders of the European Union, play an active role in destabilizing countries,”

    Those that aren’t refugees trying to escape this exact nonsense. Would you say Litvinenko was also destabilizing Britain

    “in particular in Germany where part of the population was raised and

    educated in the Communist DDR.”

    Agreed.

    “How many of them are moles that have been
    activated by the Putin regime is hard to say, what is clear is that
    destabilizing the European Union has become one of Putin’s priorities.”

    Again, *Become.*

    This is news to you?

    Putin stated his hostility to Western organizations from his very first speech ascending as Yeltsin’s VP.

    “In Europe, populism has become mainstream”

    *LE GASSSP*

    Electoral pandering targeted at the popular voter is popular!

    Call the guards! Declare a state of emergency! Only martial law can prevent this horrible threat to freedom!

    … seriously, I am not someone who routinely acts as an apologist for stuff people refer to as “populist”, and I am no idol worshiper of the Trump train, and even less when it comes to scum like Zeman and the like. But the utter Antipathy shown towards appealing to the common voter by self styled elites turns me off even greater than this.

    “and virtually all countries now have rightwing political movements that are fundamentally
    anti-Islam and anti-EU.”

    Firstly: every country has typically had that, the exceptions are generally limited to the likes of North Korea.

    Secondly: “Anti-Islam.” Which is a nice way of conflating hesistancy to take in a massive invasion by hostile migrants like something out of the crossing of the Rhine Lime with religious bigotry. Have you not noticed that Sweden is now the rape capitol of Europe and that thousands of people- INNOCENT PEOPLE- have been violated and murdered because of the inability of law enforcement and governments to send off one of the greatest threats to their territorial integrity and civic peace?

    If you want to know why a scum like Orban is so popular, Stuff Like This Is Probably Why. Stop this issue from being the sole purview of people like him and you would cut the legs out from under this by stopping people who do not want to wear Burkhas and have their family members be raped from supporting him.

    But will you do it?

    *Crickets.*

    “Referenda in The Netherlands and the United Kingdom were won on basis of false claims and lies,”

    Yes! false claims and lies! Absolutely all false claims and lies!

    There is nothing to see here! There was no good reason for this at all! The majority of the population in these democratic, free countries were just such BIG DOO DOO HEADS that they couldn’t see how smart we were.

    Oh, those leagues of fishermen who held a maritime demonstration over EU economic regulations costing them employment and backlash over the curvature of the banana? LIES! ALL LIES!!!!

    And suddenly the reason why those referenda were lost becomes that much clearer to me.

    Dude, if you’re going to condemn millions of moderate, reasonable people (along with the admitted nutjobs and psychos) as crazy conspiracy theorists for objecting to a draconian regulation over how curved a banana can be and the outlaw of traditional customs like the pint, it isn’t going to be surprising that they might make common cause with actual nutjobs.

    I cannot excuse them for this, I think it is a sad blow to the West. But I certainly will sympathize with them more than egotistical gits who are so unmoored from reason that they cannot accept Any decency or reason in the opposite side.

    “making use of the fears of citizens for a rapidly changing world in which globalization
    has fundamentally altered the spectrum and made issues that were
    considered steady and certain quite suddenly redundant and obsolete. ”

    Somebody left their buzzword generator on.

    Let me try and break this down bit by bit.

    “”making use of the fears of citizens for a rapidly changing world ”

    True. But yo uever ask yourself just how that is changing? And whether misgivings about it are totally unjustified?

    You think the Swedes are unreasonable to fear the skyrocketing sexual violence?

    “In which globalization in which globalization has fundamentally altered the spectrum”

    Look! I am throwing big words at you! Big Words! Go away! yield to my superior intellect!

    Sorry, but if you actually look at the meaning behind the big words, this doesn’t wash. Globalization has been around for centuries now. The current e-wrlld has been hooked up for decades. During which time it has had ample time to alter the spectrum and indeed alter it it has.

    The idea that people are suddenly flipping their schiesse NOW because of this is so stupid and clueless only a self proclaimed intellectual could believe it.

    “and made issues that were considered steady and certain quite suddenly redundant and obsolete”

    Again, more attack of the big words.

    Sorry, but it doesn’t wash.

    Because things like national security, sovereignty, the economy, and self defense are not suddenly redundant and obsolete because somebody managed to get half a continent to agree to one currency. They are the bread and butter that people rely on to live before they can indulge in anything else like noble trans-Atlantic or trans-Continental union. Real people that is, Mr. van Voren.

    “Inward-looking nationalism has now firm ground in many of the countries,”

    OOOOHH LOOK AT THE SCARRRYYY!

    I’m sorry, but no.

    Firstly, Nationalism and Patriotism are inherently inward looking, because they are first and foremost concerned about what is going on in one’s country rather than what is going on outside it. Because again, most people live their day to day lives in their country and rise or fall with its’ fortunes.

    I don’t like it when it is too inward looking, and I do think that it can co-exist with a healthy appreciation for other countries and internationalism. But I think those who try and make nationalism a bad thing because of itself are not only misguided, but doomed to fail.

    “and the smell of fascism has returned to the European continent.”

    *Sigh.*

    And here we have the obligatory mention of the other F-Word.

    Look: the smel didn’t “return’ to the European continent. It never left. I would now, my family suffered at the hands of the actual, non-rhetorical, self-defined original Fascists. Blackshirts beat up both parts of my family tree. So this does make me more invested in preventing it.

    But I do know when someone is trotting out Mussolini’s naked arse in an attempt to dog whistle those who dare disagree with him. And this is it. because again, has he ignore dboth Putin himself and his many supporters from before?

    “Yet Putinist politics is not limited to Europe alone. In Turkey an
    authoritarian leader-”

    Firstly, Erdogan is not an example of Putinist politics, or at most is vaguely influenced by them.

    He’s the bastard child of Ottomanist and Kemalist politics. A latter day Sultan who wants to bring about the return of the last caliphate. And he was active well before Putin took power.

    “and rapidly turned democratic rule into a farce,”

    Democratic rule in Turkey was already a farce. Attaturk was a dictator who helped pave the way for the final genocide of the Pontic Greeks and criminalized telling an accurate account of what had happened at the turn of the 20th century.

    “in a way that must have made Vladimir Putin very happy. ”

    Eh, maybe.

    “In America itself the impossible became possible,
    and a person whose whole business career has been based on failures and
    bad deals, on extortion and blackmailing of competition and the outright
    refusal to pay bills, ”

    ……………Seriously?

    I am not a Trump cultist. I personally dislike him, and I certainly believe he is nowhere near as successful as he has painted himself out to be. But *WHOLE* Career?

    Are you bloody kidding yourself? Obviously. Because the man would not have lasted this long if it was. He wouldn’t have run The Apprentice as long as he had if he hadn’t.

    “was propelled by very conservative and often
    fundamentally racist voters”

    This is a new low, even for you and this site.

    You’re going to condemn the one party that stood AGAINST Putin the firmest as being fundamentally racist?

    I come from California, that utopia of Left wing, Liberal dreams. I have done volunteer work. I have SEEN some of the effects of the illegal immigration and crime that plagues our border. Victor Davis Hanson- who unlike me has decided to remain in the state- has detailed it.

    So now we’re RACIST for wanting a secure border?

    “If that were to become reality Putin will not only have a “friend” in Washington, but also a colleague who shares his political culture,”

    Will somebody please tell me when Trump entered the KGB? Because I (and critical analysts like Neo-Neocon, Ace of Spades, and Michael Totten) must have missed that.

    If you’re going to dumb down being a totalitarian secret policeman with an instinctive contempt for freedom and reform like this, you have no respect for what this threat really means.

    “has an irresistible urge to speak half-truths and makes outrageous statements about anybody who dares to stand in his way.”

    Conceded.

    However, I will also note that if you want to kvetch about Trump doing this, you have to apply the same metric to Clinton.

    Which is even more damning because I have yet to see a serious claim that Trump was responsible for real deaths.

    “Most people still believe Trump will not become President, but in my view
    that is more a matter of wishful thinking and ostrich behavior.”

    Firstly, ostriches don’t behave like that. It’s a tired meme.

    And secondly… Wishful Thinking?

    It’s either Trump or Clinton. So please tell me what kind of person would WISH someone who is responsible for one of the most damning intelligence leaks in US INTELLIGENCE HISTORY for it?

    “In March 2014 we also couldn’t believe that Russians and Ukrainians
    would be shooting at each other,”

    Speak for yourself, bub.

    I was wargaming this years before, and I wasn’t the only one (as the Steel Panthers: Main Battle Tank community would know). Especially after Georgia.

    I just didn’t want to be right.

    “and the hatred between the two nations has become firmly rooted at both
    sides.”

    It was already the case. Russian imperialism has always declared Ukraine to be imaginary, a province of the greater Rossiyan Imperium that could only entertain delusions of separation because of the insidious influences of NATO/Poland-Lithuania/Prussia/Napoleon/Charles XII/InsertNameHere.

    It is just that Putin has had to asser that by force now.

    “One better start to believe that Putinism has gone viral and is
    becoming a global phenomenon. It is a scary thought, but very much a
    realistic one. ”

    Once again, you’re a decade late, a dollar short, and have absolutely no sense of perspective about how it happened.

    “Future generations will probably be taught that 2016 was
    the turning point that altered the political constellation once and for
    all.”

    The political constellation is altered permanently on a day by day basis, much like how one never steps into the same river twice. The benefit is that it might recover. It might change again for the better.

    But it will not be when egotistical gits who claim to uphold the banner of freedom but have abject contempt for those who practice it continue sleep walking towards the abyss of Putinism, Jihad, and ultimate civilizational collapse.

    So van Voren, what is your answer; To Be or Not To Be?

    • Quartermaster

      Too many thinking non-thinkers refuse to realize that communism is just one fascist ideology. The idea that fascism is of the “right” is simply studied ignorance.

      • Turtler

        “Too many thinking non-thinkers refuse to realize that communism is just one fascist ideology”

        Totalitarian sure, though not (usually?) Fascist.

        I think one of the greatest victories of the Left was how it associated Fascism first away from itself, and then with generic evil.

        It didn’t work like that. Of all the many sins the Moose and Hitler were guilty of being generic was not one of them. This would jump out at people if they actually read their stuff.

        “The idea that fascism is of the “right” is simply studied ignorance.”

        Agreed absolutely.

    • Oknemfrod

      Quite an essay, Mr. T, quite.

      • Turtler

        Thanks. Hope you enjoyed.

        • Oknemfrod

          That’s the sense in which I used “quite”.