I think I have to give another heads up regarding the coming dearth of new material in the next few weeks. In addition to working on my first book, I have also recently joined a fitness club and thus must develop an obsession about repeatedly lifting heavy objects and putting them down again. This is a big change from my typical exercise routine of running around the park listening to 80’s montage music and silently judging the young mothers and fathers pushing their baby carriages while they smoke and drink beer at midday.
Aaaaaaaanyway, I thought one article deserves your attention, and it’s another Adomanis piece. Now yes, I admit that his position on Syria is craptastic, but I didn’t start reading his work for his Middle East commentary. As is often the case, Adomanis hits on something I’ve been saying for some time, but whereas I tend to be more concerned with how Russia relates to the international left, Adomanis makes a good point about how Russia’s recent actions have turned off the European right as well. He’s caught on to something very important, but he’s only scratched the surface.
When you have the kind of knowledge of the far right that I do(don’t ask), it’s easy to see that Russian propaganda has one major flaw that they haven’t managed to get around just yet. The current regime hasn’t managed to find a way to totally reject and denigrate the Soviet legacy, particularly the victory in WWII. They are quite adept at pissing all over the Soviet Union’s accomplishments in science, literacy, life expectancy, and industrialization with their fairy tales about 1913 and Stolypin’s reforms, but they still haven’t managed to find a way to go balls-out anti-Soviet. Of course they have a couple ways around this. One is to simply bastardize the Soviet Union; turn it into a re-branded Russian empire and make Stalin into a Russian nationalist. Nationalists and anti-Communists the world over are happy to affirm that characterization, though they of course see it as a bad thing. The other tactic is to do what the Russian establishment always does, which of course means presenting two mutually exclusive concepts and insisting that people regurgitate them or be labeled as Russophobic, gay, or Hitler.
This inability to go full-on Russian empire and roundly condemn the entire Soviet experiment is a problem for a government whose lackeys reach out to far right parties in Europe. Take the right-wing Jobbik party of Hungary, for example. They split with the Ukrainian Svoboda party over the usual Eastern European bullshit reason #437, aka “THEY ARE OCCUPYING OUR SACRED, HOLY LAND!” To be honest I can’t remember the details, but then again I probably couldn’t explain why an enclosure full of chimpanzees might suddenly explode into fanatical, screeching, shit-flinging violence. Given the connection between Jobbik and groups close to the Kremlin, it seems only logical that they’d ditch the genuinely Russophobic Svoboda party. The problem, of course, is that ideologically these two parties are far more suitable allies. After all, Stepan Bandera and Hungary’s fascist Ferenc Szalasi were just two misunderstood “freedom fighters” who were really fighting against Stalin and Hitler! It’s just that the latter’s military forgot to record any of that. Hungary’s right wing draws on the lost pro-Axis state, the more ideological Arrow Cross party, and of course the anti-Communist struggle during “occupation,” most notably the uprising in 1956. You think this party is going to be a solid ally of a government which still insists that Eastern European governments maintain Red Army memorials and monuments? Your average Hungarian nationalist isn’t going to give a flying fuck as to the “Eurasianists'” rationalization as to why the Soviet Union was really a conservative Russian empire; as far as they are concerned they were occupied by that “empire” against their will. Not to mention the minor but still significant fact that Russia still espouses pan-Slavism and Hungarian nationalists hate Slavs.
This is why the struggle between Russian nationalists, Ukrainian nationalists, and the middle-of-the-road Nazis like Praviy Sektor would be hilarious were it not for the fact that people have actually died because of this bullshit. Russia preaches Slavic unity and brotherhood, then disrespects and makes fun of Ukrainians until most of them end up going over to the nationalist camp. Some Russian nationalists in Russia believe that Putin is controlled by the Jews, ergo he’s purposely favoring Kadyrov in Chechnya and bringing in the Central Asian immigrants. Their sympathy is with groups like Praviy Sektor. On the other hand, some believe that the wily entity known as “the Jews,” is actually behind the Ukrainian government, which consists entirely of gay, Jewish Neo-Nazis, who are bad only because they don’t want to be part of a new Russian empire. Honestly this couldn’t get any more ridiculous unless all sides went to battle dressed as clowns. But like I said before, actual human beings have been killed in this deadly live-action role playing game.
As for the left, I think I’ve said enough about that in the past, but to sum it up briefly it’s essentially a bait-and-switch tactic. Many progressive-minded people are attracted to RT and Russian media, even seeking employment in some cases, only occasionally realizing that they’ve been tricked. Honestly I can’t feel bad for them. It’s not hard to do a little research and find out that RT is full of conservatives or right-wing populists. On one occasion I actually warned one of these naive individuals that they were associating themselves with a particularly caustic, fascistic individual and this person ignored my warnings. The left doesn’t need naive, lazy people like that as far as I’m concerned, but I don’t want to get into a rant here.
As for the article’s assertion that an “American RT” wouldn’t help anything I have to agree. Russians tend to assume anything that doesn’t fit in with their sources must be American propaganda anyway, so having an actual American propaganda network is going to do dick, beyond wasting tax money and embarrassing the country.