Wednesday, August 7, 2019

New Moscow has Made Cult of Force the Only Real Religion in Russia, Pastukhov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, August 5 – Russia is headed toward a revolution or a counter-revolution, two phenomena which are “in essence one and the same,” but the stylistics of the Moscow powers that be now are those of Leni Riefenstahl and reflect a cult of force for the sake of force, Vladimir Pastukhov says.

            The London-based Russian analyst says that in “the form of ‘the police cyborg’ has been found the incarnation of the dream about a new superman. Before us is a visual meme of our time, its cryptogram, whose interpretation must be given over not so much too political experts as to specialists in psychoanalysis” (

            The events of Saturday show that the old Moscow has passed from the scene. “Sobyanin’s aesthetic has replaced the civilian suit with the military tunic. The new Moscow has been formed in the stylistics of Leni Reifenstahl – and this picture is already one that cannot be eliminated by painting over it, Pastukhov continues.   

“Why is this important?” the London-based analyst asks rhetorically. “Of course, beauty saves he world. One can’t argue with Dostoyevsky. But it also kills it. Beauty is like water in the Russian tale: it is alive and dead. The beauty of present-day Moscow is dead” because it is all about raising in a “sado-masochistic” way force into a cult.

According to Pastukhov, “the cult of force is the only genuine religion of contemporary Russia. It is a divinity before which bow all from the least to the greatest; it is a faith which combines those on top with those on the bottom. Those who ordered and designed” the uniforms of the Russian Guard from something out of “Star Wars” captured this brilliantly. 

The meaning of Saturday’s display of force decked out in this way and of the innumerable cases which will “inevitably” follow is all about “the service to this new cult of force. If the goal of poetry is poetry, then the goal of terror is terror. It has no other ‘practical’ goals,’ the analyst continues.

“This is a ritual which now will be carried out by the new Russian religious sect, ‘the order of the siloviki.’ And like any ritual, it long ago lost any connection with reality: it has no clear applied meaning: it has only sacred significance and it is self-sufficient in that way. Therefore, there is not and cannot be any ‘whys’ and wherefores.”

Pastukhov argues that “this is force for the sake of force, force as a goal in itself, force as substitution therapy, crowding out fear from the subconscious and compensating for it by aggression. This is the highest and last stage of ‘the dictatorship of law,’ the dictatorship of the law of the jungle, that is the law of the zones of the prison camps.” 

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