Staunton, July 8 – In the past, Aleksandr Skobov says, some followers took from Stalin ideas about equality and justice, however hypocritical the Soviet dictator’s support of them was. But now, Aleksandr Skobov says, the Stalinism of the Putin era has been stripped of such positive content by the Kremlin and rendered identical to fascism.
The Russian commentator says that Stalin worship has always been “a form of traditionalism and a manifestation of archaic consciousness,” but “part of the traditionalists can speak out together with ‘modernists’ against authoritarian-oligarchic regimes,” something that happened in Russia in 2011-2012 (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5D23658652248).
But the Kremlin found it all too easy to “destroy” such an emerging “alliance” by making “a sharp turn to ‘conservative-traditionalist consolidation,’” which was completed by the launching of aggression against Ukraine, Skobov argues. And its success in that regard led to “a definite evolution” in the deification of Stalin.
That evolution has not been in the direction of cleansing Stalinism of its “fascist and cannibalistic” aspects but rather in exactly the opposite direction, toward its “final cleansing of Stalinism from everything except its fascist qualities and cannibalism.” As a result, “all nuances of ideological differences between Stalinism and fascism have been removed.”
“Today’s Stalinism is the black hundreds ‘Orthodox Stalinism’ of Prokhanov.” All the rhetoric of Stalinisms of the past about freedom, equality and brotherhood “have been forgotten, the commentator says. What remains is “only the cult of naked, unlimited state power, cruelty and unthinking imperial self-assertion.”
That of course means, Skobov says, that efforts to get supporters of Stalin to turn away from him because of his crimes are counter-productive. Stalinists of today are pleased by any and all evidence of the crimes their idol committed. Actions that horrify normal people only give such Stalinists another reason for pride.
It is not the case, he continues, that “under other circumstances,” the situation could not have worked out differently. Rather it is to face up to the fact that this is the situation as it exists in Russia today and “to recognize that Russia will not become free if it does not subject to destruction ‘the Stalin myth’” now being put about.
The Stalinism now on offer under Putin is simply fascism, and it must be rejected if Russia is to have a decent future, the commentator concludes.