Thursday, November 7, 2019

‘Putinism’ Simply the Latest Copy of Bonapartism Not Something New, Rarog Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 2 – Many of Vladimir Putin’s supporters are suggesting that his form of rule justifies the introduction of a new term, “Putinism,” and many of his opponents have accepted that idea. But both are wrong, Yury Rarog says. Putin’s form of rule is nothing new and there is no reason to seek “deep meaning” in it or fail to see that it is simply “primitive copying.”

            What does Putin offer? the Ukrainian commentator asks. “An authoritarian regime which relies on a military-police-state bureaucracy and primarily oligarchic capital distinguished by an aggressive foreign policy, militant nationalism (in the form of Russism), demagogy about ‘traditional’ values including the ‘correct’ church” (

            For two centuries, regimes of this type, which have been perhaps most often found in Latin America, have been called Bonapartist; and Putin’s should be as well, however much he and his acolytes want to suggest otherwise.  There is no need to seek “deep meaning in what is no more than primitive copying,” Rarog continues.   

The Ukrainian commentator says that something similar can be said of Stalinism, a system which was built according to the model Leninism offered before NEP – “a military-bureaucratic dictatorship with the party at its core, lightly ‘democratized’ by the garland of ‘soviets’ and the economy being ‘one big factory.’”   

“Lenin later turned away from this destructive and utopian idea. Possibly life itself taught him or led him to recall Engels’ warning that one must not administer an economy from the center.”

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