Staunton, Sept. 30 – Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu has attracted widespread attention with his call for building new cities east of the Urals. Now, his advisor, Andrey Ilnitsky, has outlined a broader program for the future of Russia. He calls for creating a corporate state there, one that one commentator says sounds like Hitler’s “ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Fuehrer.”
In a manifesto published in Parliamentskaya gazeta, the Shoygu advisor argues that the world is moving rapidly toward a crisis and to preserve its leadership, Russia must return to autocracy, a system of rule that would resemble but not be identical to monarchy and would unite all classes together under a powerful leader (pnp.ru/politics/vremya-bolshikh-resheniy.html).
Ilnitsky says that Russia must return to a planned economy like the one which existed in Soviet times and promote the nationalization of elites on the basis of the principle that “he who is not with us is against us” and involve the confiscation of property from those who are found to be in the latter category.
In this state, he continues, state control over all spheres of life must increase and the military and the military-industrial complex must be the core of the society around which all other groups would coalesce in order to form a united people and as far as values are concerned take their lead from.
It is not clear how close Ilnitsky’s words are to what Shoygu actually believes let alone hopes to impose; and it is of course possible that this is simply a trial balloon to test public reaction to such a militaristic, corporate and quasi-fascist arrangement. But his argument has attracted widespread attention and criticism as something both absurd and frightening.
Among the critics is political commentator Konstantin Semin who points out that earlier in his career, Ilnitsky was known for his “proto-socialist” views. Now, he is approaching socialism from a nationalist perspective, with the combination of nationalism and socialism an indication of where he wants Russia to go (nakanune.ru/articles/117669/).
Indeed, Semin says, most of what Ilnitsky proposes appears to echo the kind of state formations which existed in Italy, Germany and Spain in the 1930s and Argentina, Brazil and South Korea in subsequent decades, a state with one state, one people and one leader, an agenda that echoes Hitler’s goals, more familiar in German as “ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Fuehrer.”
Ilnitsky’s agenda and thus quite possibly Shoygu’s too, the commentator continues is “nationalization under conditions of capitalism” and that means “this is about ‘the nazification’ of the country,” a goal that may attract some Russians but one that is certain to alienate many others.