Monday, November 19, 2018

Putin has an Ideology and It is Squarely within the Russian Tradition, Eidman Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 19 – Many people believe that Vladimir Putin and his system do not have an ideology and point to the “schizophrenic” combination of opposites the Kremlin promotes as evidence for their conclusion, Igor Eidman says. But in fact, “there is nothing new in this” as far as the Russian ideological tradition is concerned.

            Putin appears to lack an ideology only because he appears to be inconsistent when he promoted both “a cult of Nicholas II and the glorification of Stalin,” for example. But the Russian sociologist who does commentaries of Deutsche Welle says that has been typical of a certain strain of Russian nationalist thought (

                The White Emigration, for example, came up with a number of ideological trends “which attempted to combine sympathy for bolshevism and national conservativism, sometimes in the form of monarchism and clericalism. Among these were the National Bolsheviks, the Eurasians, and especially the Young Russians.”

                Despite differences, they shared in common, as does Putin’s ideology, “imperialism, anti-Westernism, anti-liberalism, hurrah patriotism, authoritarianism, and faith in a special path for Russia. For them it was not that important what the empire was called. What mattered is that it lives, develops and successful opposes ‘the eternal Western enemy.’”  

                In the interwar period, these ideological trends were much affected by fascist ideas. Indeed, Eidman says, “one may call them para-fascist.” Putinism, which continues this very same tradition, has become a form of neo-fascism.

            “The Eurasians (especially the left wing of that trend) and the Young Russians were active sympathizes of Stalinism. It is no accident that some of them became Cheka agents, for example, the husband of Tsetayeva, S. Efron). Their ideas have continued up to our time and influence the views of the Russian elite.”

            According to the Russian commentator, “Eurasianism in the versions of L. Gumilyev and A. Dugin are popular among Russian siloviki. The church milieu became the preserver of the inheritance of the Young Russians. Their leader Kazem-Bek returned to the USSR at the end of the 1950s, worked in the foreign relations department of the church and was an editor of the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate.”

            Indeed, at an earlier stage of his career, the current patriarch, Kirill said that “one must not only remember Kazem-Bek: one must study him.”

            A totalitarian ideology, Eidman continues, can be an important support “for systemic corruption. That was very much the case, for example, in corrupt fascist Italy.  The corrupt higher ups need a state ideology in order to hold the population in obedience to itself” – and this is why Putin pushes this ideology ever more frequently in the media, schools and the military.

No comments:

Post a Comment