Saturday, April 21, 2018

What Matters is Not How Putin and Hitler are Different but How the Two are Alike, Skobov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 21 – Kseniya Sobchak is only the latest in a long line of politicians and commentators who point to small differences between Putin and Hitler in order to reject completely the idea that “Putin is the Hitler of today,” Moscow commentator Aleksandr Skobov says. 

            In this, he says, they are repeating the same mistake that many in the Western democracies did in the 1930s, focusing on secondary issues while ignoring the fundamental ones in the hopes that this would keep the situation from getting worse and that some agreement or other with Hitler could be reached (

            It is certainly the case, Skobov continues, that “between Hitler and Putin, there are differences. Up to now, Putin has kept his regime from beingn transformed into a classical fascist one-party model in which any opposition (even decorative) is prohibited and punished” in the most severe way.

            Moreover, the Kremlin leader, unlike Hitler, despite all those who are pushing him to do so, has refrained from the kind of hysterical speaking style of the Nazi leader, although the question of how much Putin has borrowed from the Nazi propaganda state could serve “as the subject of an interesting academic study.”

            But those differences are not fundamental, Skobov says; “For the world what is important are not these nuances but the commonality which unites Hitler and Putin.” Both of them have pushed the world into a situation in which their commitment to the notion that might makes right is pushing the world toward war.

            Both the one and the other, the commentator continues, “are purposefully destroying the limitations on deception, force and cruelty that have been developed by civilization.” And for both of them, “obscurantist reaction and an unrestricted drive toward the archaic that destroys the achievements of humanity in the area of humanism and human rights” are the highest goals.

            For these essential reasons, Skobov concludes, “Putin is the Hitler of the Current Period.”  Like Hitler, Putin has put the world on the path toward war with his illegal annexation of Crimea; and no focus on the marginal differences between the two can be allowed to obscure that fundamental reality.

            “It remains to us only to choose sides and for a time to forget about nuances.” Those who don’t want to give up the focus on nuances should stand aside “and not interfere.”  There will be time to discuss such things in the future “but only after the Kremlin monster dies in his bunker,” not before.

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