Staunton, October 28 – Putinism today is a parody and a remake of Stalinism, Igor Eidman says, something that can be easily seen if one considers what the basic “myths and fixations” of Stalinism were and then updates the vocabulary to reflect the different environment. That shows, that the essence of Putinism remains that of Stalinism.
To make his point, the Russian sociologist and commentator for Deutsche Welle takes a passage from émigré political writer Roman Redlikh’s 1971 classic, Stalinism as a Spiritual Phenomenon, inserting present-day terms with the original Stalin-era terms in parentheses (facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2088050997924535&id=100001589654713).
The following paragraphs show just how right Eidman is, however much many in Russia and the West have resisted recognizing this point:
“The notion that Russia (the USSR) is the most correct (advanced) country in the world is not (simply) a fiction but a myth. Despite its obvious absurdity visible to every Russian (Soviet man), it remains a psychological reality because it creates an illusion … that compensates for the experience of incompleteness.
“The myth appeals to national self-love and among people who are constantly and cruelly denigrated it proves extraordinarily vital. This myth raises the self-consciousness of the Russian (the Soviet man) …
“There exist two psychological factors which feed the myth about the hostility of the West (the capitalist encirclement): one conscious and the other unconscious. The conscious factor is the perfectly understandable striking of the powers that be by means of propagandizing this myth to mobilize the population for a fight with the West.
“The unconscious factor is rooted in the persecution mania which Putinism (Stalinism) is obsessed with. Precisely as a result of this mania, the myth about the hostile West (the capitalist encirclement) is to be found in the immediate entourage of Putin (the Politburo) and even more among workers of the security services as a subject of faith …
“The myth in the first instance hold that the USSR bears on its shoulders the main weight of the second world war, that it alone is the genuine victor in this war, and that the military role of the Western allies was minimal. And t insists that Russia and its army (Soviet power and the Soviet army) were the liberators of the peoples of Eastern Europe from the fascist yoke …
“Alongside this is the myth about the approaching last and decisive struggle of Russia (the countries of the socialist camp) with countries under the rule of the US (‘the sharks of Wall Street’). This myth is the logical conclusion of the myth about the hostile West (capitalist encirclement).
“Russian (Soviet) propaganda constantly stigmatizes the Ukrainian authorities (American government circles, Germany statehood, and English laborites) as ‘fascists.’ This is a game of definitions which cannot withstand any criticism and which contradicts itself at every turn.”
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