So You Live in a Dictatorship Part II- No Ideology

Click Here for Part I of this series.

Welcome to the second part of my series geared towards Americans about to experience the Trump regime. Drawing from my experience both living and traveling in 21st century authoritarian “soft” dictatorships, I’m doing my part by giving you a preview of what you have to look forward to.

In the previous installment, I talked about how the basic frames of discourse will change so that it’s no longer a matter of regime supporters seeing your dissenting views as misguided or wrong,  but rather the very idea that you sincerely hold any beliefs will be challenged. You’ll be called a shill or a “disinfo” agent. You actually know that those opinions you’re expressing are wrong or immoral, but you’re just online saying them because you are being paid to do so, because you just want to destroy America by any means possible, or at best- you’re “virtue signaling” in hopes of getting praise for beliefs you don’t even really hold.

Does that sound bad? It gets worse. Way worse.

Many thinking folks have noticed a number of glaring inconsistencies within what we might call conservative values (yes, we see many among “liberal” or “progressive” values as well, don’t get triggered, conservative readers). For example, many conservatives are die-hard opponents of abortion and call themselves pro-life. But once you’re out of the womb- piss off! “I don’t wanna spend muh tax dollars feedin’ yer kid! No affordable housing, no healthcare, no food stamps, no education! What’s that? A trillion dollar fighter plane that blows stuff up? Sure!”

I could go on but you get the idea. At least you should, because this isn’t going to be one of those “conservatives say they believe this, but they support that” articles. I’m sure you can find dozens of those on Alternet, Salon, or some equally insipid site where liberals pat themselves on the back for being so educated and enlightened. This series is about going deeper and looking at more subtle aspects. It’s not about pointing out how people often have inconsistent values, but rather how in the new type of authoritarian state like Russia, the very idea of trying to have a consistent worldview or ideology is discarded.

Let’s go back to the conservative analogy and compare George W. Bush to Donald Trump. Admit it, liberals, you’re starting to get nostalgic, aren’t you? But seriously, look at them. Both did very well with fundamentalist Christians. The difference is that Bush in many ways at least projected the image of the evangelical Christian ideal, whereas Trump is the opposite.

Both Trump and Bush are very rich men who benefited from daddy, but Bush lived in Texas on a ranch. He wore cowboy hats, dammit! He cultivated an image of a down-home cowboy that “you’d like to have a beer with.” He didn’t deny a hedonistic rich-kid lifestyle in his past- instead he embraced it as part of a “come to Jesus” moment. In fundamentalist Christian circles this is often referred to as a “testimony.” Let me tell you, those fundamentalist Christians love them some testimonies.

Even behind the scenes, Bush seemed sincere about his Christian beliefs. He did open cabinet meetings with a prayer and he held Bible study sessions in the White House. In spite of the reality of his policies, if you were a Christian voter who cherishes “family values,” Bush basically walked the walk. Voting for him would be logical and ideologically consistent.

Trump is another matter entirely. He’s a slick-talking east coast businessman with a solid record of leaning liberal, paling around with various liberal celebrities including the Clintons. He doesn’t talk about religion, he never admits even the slightest mistake, and rather than projecting an image of humility, he flaunts his own hedonism. He rails against the elite but he obviously is one of the elite. Trump is so anti-Christian that he almost resembles a character in some Christian movie. The arrogant, decadent businessman who worships money and fame, but then either has a near death experience that leads him to Jesus, or dies and finds out that money can’t buy his way out of eternal damnation in hell. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

And yet- fundamentalists voted for the man in droves, well, white ones, at least. If you dig a little deeper it gets a little more complicated, but we’re still talking about a large portion of Christians voting for a man whose behavior practically screams “I don’t give a damn about your beliefs.” To be fair, there were rumors circulating in the fundie community about Hillary being a literal witch even in the early 90’s (clearly spread by time-traveling RT operatives from our time; this explains their massive budget). Still, I doubt that can explain why so many white evangelicals would vote for a man who is practically a character from a Left Behind novel.

This isn’t just about Christians either. Take a look at the neo-Nazis backing Trump such as David Duke. Trump’s already made it clear that he’s going to be staunchly pro-Israel. Trump’s son-in-law is Jewish and is set to take an important position in the White House. A man like Trump, based on where he lives and the business he does there, has to have or had at least dozens of Jewish friends, partners, employees, and acquaintances. And yet the neo-Nazis, for the most part, still rally behind him. And if you think it’s because Trump doesn’t have enough Jewish contacts I can tell you right now you don’t know neo-Nazis. They can take any social phenomenon that upsets them, any event whatsoever, delve deep into it until they find one person involved whose wife is “1/16th Jewish,” and PRESTO! That whole thing is just another part of the massive global Jewish conspiracy and “ZOG” (Zionist Occupied Government).

And what about the alt-right? I think that movement’s way to nebulous and small to explain Trump’s victory, but I do see it as a potential model to give you an idea of what the future of American politics are going to look like- no coherent ideology, just trolling of perceived outsiders. Most alt-righters look like the type of people who would last maybe ten minutes in a group of real Nazi skinheads before getting heart-checked and stomped into the pavement. And I know evangelical Christians wouldn’t want to personally associate with people who spend a great deal of their time online requesting anime porn. Yet both of those groups found themselves in a coalition with those “deplorables” and nobody seemed to stop and ask “what the hell are we doing with these guys?” Ideology, just didn’t seem to matter. All that mattered was supporting Trump and opposing Hillary.

Back to Russia. Contrary to the speculation of many Western commentators, Putin’s regime doesn’t really have a concrete ideology- it is pragmatic and survival based. More importantly, even to this day it does not promote any ideology beyond a vague “patriotism,” which means supporting Putin or at not rocking the boat, and of course hating those who fail to do either for being “traitors” and puppets of the West. If the Putin regime had tried to enforce any one ideology, even if it wasn’t terribly consistent, they would paint themselves into a corner like the Soviet Union did. Instead, the system is far simpler. Believe what you want, just don’t rock the boat.

Of course there are certain key concepts the Kremlin wants to drill into people’s heads. Russia is surrounded by enemies that conspire against it. Russia is exceptional  and must make its own path. Russia needs a strong leader to be stable, etc. As long as you are publicly espousing such values, not opposing the state, and preferably advancing the state’s interests in some ways, you’re welcome to take on any ideology you want. You can call yourself a Communist and support alliances with ultra-right reactionaries if not espouse far right-wing beliefs yourself. You can be a monarchist and talk about how Stalin ruined Russia. What matters is only loyalty and usefulness to the state.

There’s a perfect example of this if you look at the way Russian propaganda associates Ukraine with Nazism.

Suppose you’re a radical leftist who supports progressive causes, opposes the far-right in Ukraine the same way you do anywhere in the world, openly denounces the cult of Stepan Bandera and its attempts to distort history, openly criticize genuine problems with the government in Kyiv, but you also support Ukrainian independence and territorial integrity without compromise and staunchly oppose Russian aggression there. Or in other words, suppose you’re like me.

Well I’ve got bad news for you- that last bit about supporting Ukraine makes you a Nazi or at least a Nazi sympathizer. It doesn’t matter than your political views are diametrically opposed to those of neo-Nazis or the far right. Unfair? Wait- it gets even better.

Imagine on the other hand you’re actually a literal neo-Nazi who hates Jews and other races. You literally believe in eugenics, deny or minimize the Holocaust, and think that the US was on the “wrong side” in WWII. But you admire Putin and support Russia because you stupidly think it “opposes world Jewry” or some such nonsense. Therefore you support Russian aggression in Ukraine and express that support on the internet.

If that’s you, there’s good news! You’re not a Nazi! I’ve encountered these characters dozens of times. In some cases they espouse beliefs that are literally identical to the actual German Nazis, and in the same incoherent rant they’ll refer to Ukrainian Nazis (whom they sometimes accuse of being “controlled by Jews”). Hell, one of RT’s “political analysts” who’s reported from Russian-occupied Ukraine on numerous occasions was actually the editor of a neo-Nazi magazine in Germany. I’ve been told he’s still cited as a political expert by other Russian state media. And he’s by no means the only far right reactionary who gets a platform at RT, let alone other Russian state media. So much for tirelessly struggling against fascism.

If all that seems confusing to you, it’s because you’ve misunderstood the term fascist or Nazi. See in the Kremlin parlance, fascism and Nazism have nothing to do with those actual ideologies. It’s rather a question of do you support or oppose Russia’s foreign policy in Ukraine. In Syria failure to support Russia and the Assad regime might make you a “terrorist apologist,” “ISIS supporter,” etc. It doesn’t matter if you abhor both of those groups and hope for a peaceful, secular Syria. Support the regime or terrorist.

At the same time look at what’s happening from the outside. While Russia has in some ways rehabilitated the Soviet Union and practically turned the Soviet victory in 1945 into a national cult, they make the most headway abroad among far-rightists, many of whom openly proclaim themselves to be die-hard anti-Communists and who refer to the “United Socialist States of America” or the “European Soviet Union.” Bring up these inconsistencies with either those right-wingers or their comrades in Russia and you won’t even faze them. The very concept that someone involved in politics should make an effort to have consistent ideological values or a coherent ideology is simply unknown to them (to be fair, I’ve encountered the same behavior with some far leftists).

The recent warming of conservative Republicans toward Russia is a perfect example of how even the bare minimum of a coherent ideology is starting to slip in America. Many conservatives still see Russia as “the Soviet Union,” the “commies.” And here its president is an ex-KGB employee (I’m sorry, I’m not going to dignify him anymore by calling him an agent) and yet they’re starting to praise and defend him because he says flattering things about Trump and he makes Obama and Hillary mad. It wasn’t like this under Bush. Under Bush, the Russian government was still espousing bullshit about safeguarding “traditional Western values” and partnering with the US in the “War on Terror,” yet Putin criticized the Iraq War (and benefited from it) so he was just another America-hater. Foreigners didn’t get to criticize anything America did. It’s also worth noting that the same people would later erupt in violent rage after Obama “apologized for America” in his Cairo speech.

So that’s the next thing to be on the lookout for- the disappearance of ideology in favor of a very rudimentary tribalism. Ideological coherency will be degraded, principles discarded. All that matters is being in the right coalition, the right side of the fence. Trump will never try to promote a particular set of values or ideology, partially because he is simply too stupid and disconnected from reality to even contemplate such a thing, but his PR people won’t either. When you start setting values, principles, ideology, etc., you’re bound to have splits and conflict. Furthermore, people with principles can organize, give and receive solidarity, and make a stand on those principles instead of being bought off- all very dangerous to power. Better for them to be atomized and have a simple us vs. them attitude. As long as they’re fearful, angry, and most importantly- at each other’s throats, power, and that includes the Democratic establishment as well, is quite safe.

What do I recommend? Start with yourself. Continually reexamine your own values and beliefs and try to explain them. Strive for consistency. Do not avoid debate with those who are willing to argue in good faith. Seriously challenge yourself. Weed out those beliefs or behaviors that smack of hypocrisy to the best of your ability. Even many of the most conservative Americans have far more respect for integrity and sincerity than they ever will for the ultra-edgy, hyper-alienated losers whose only joy in life consists of trying to make people “mad” on the internet and long sessions of masturbation to increasingly perverted fetish porn.

What’s at stake? American political life. Once the cynicism reaches a certain point, people stop caring out of sheer apathy or the daily struggle to survive. They start ticking the boxes. Politicians take note and start doing far less to appeal to the electorate since the electorate doesn’t care. Politics becomes reality TV, as it has been for quite some time in Russia.

 

 

 

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37 thoughts on “So You Live in a Dictatorship Part II- No Ideology

  1. Asehpe

    I nit-pick, you nit-pick, he/she/it nit-picks…

    I assume you meant “glaring inconsistencies” rather than “glaring consistencies”?

    Reply
  2. Asehpe

    ” no coherent ideology, just trolling of perceived outsiders”

    That’s what I see coming, too. In fact, in many ways, it’s already here, and is not moving into the mainstream. That TV reporter who looked flabbergasted and didn’t know what to say when that Trump supporter said “Yes, I think millions of illegal immigrants were allowed to vote in California — that’s why Trump lost the popular vote!” — she didn’t know she’d have to deal with people who don’t give a damn about plausibility or verossimilitude, they “just know” and don’t accept any arguments they don’t like. I see that scene repeating itself in the future.

    In your Russian experience, what’s a normal person to do? And what can the ‘honest’ media do — in a world where people care less and less about your arguments and more and more about whether or not you are “one of them”? Is there a way to change the tide, in your experience?

    Reply
  3. Mr. Hack

    Your description of the rapid degeneration of world political trends seems to be the result of a modernist relativism that permeates all forms of intellectual intercourse that may indeed lead
    to ‘long sessions of masturbation’ (with the possible enhancement of erection stabilizing pills). The Russians have taken a Shakespeare quote and made it all their own:

    ‘Весь мир бардак, все люди бляди’ 🙂

    Reply
  4. AndyT

    Recently, I’ve been reading some interesting stuff about the French Religion Wars in 1562-1598 – and, believe me or not, I’ve found a lot of interesting analogies.

    For example:

    1) French ultra-Catholics being ready to support the King of Spain against their own Country, as long as he supported their anti-Huguenot crusade;

    2) German Lutheran princes willingly borrowing their infamous Reiter armies to the French kings fighting against French Protestants, as long as they could get money and fiefs.

    Does this strike a chord?

    Reply
    1. Sohryu_L

      >1) French ultra-Catholics being ready to support the King of Spain against their own Country, as long as he supported their anti-Huguenot crusade;

      Sounds like Ukrainian ‘patriots’ being ready to support Putin against Ukraine, as long as it brings down Poroshenko.

      Reply
      1. Mr. Hack

        Sounds like you’ve got things backwards, including your family crest. Putin the ‘savior of Ukraine’, eh? Maybe he’ll reinstate the enlightened humanitarian Yanukovych again??..

  5. Sohryu_L

    >Sounds like you’ve got things backwards, including your family crest.

    Yet I didn’t.

    >Putin the ‘savior of Ukraine’, eh? Maybe he’ll reinstate the enlightened humanitarian Yanukovych again??..

    Please. Mind the huge quotes around ‘patriots’, people who do nothing but blame the government for their troubles and wax nostalgic about the good old times when dollar was 8 UAH apiece. No common sense, responsibility or understanding there.

    >Sounds like juicy gossip! So who is it this time? Is it another one of these mysterious 3rd Maidan groups or a more established one?

    10000003rd Maidan is smalltime, we have ‘independent anticorruption crusaders’ like Sir Leshchenko telling us Yanukovych was better. Nobody paid attention to Sir Leshchenko’s $900 000 anticorruption chateau smack dab in the center of Kyiv back in the Yanukovych days, that’s for sure.

    Reply
  6. Mr. Hack

    >Sounds like you’ve got things backwards, including your family crest.

    Yet I didn’t.

    Mazepa’s crest is depicted here, just the reverse of how you exhibit it:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Mazepa

    As you appear to be a fan of Putin’s and Yanukovych, why would you choose such a moniker anyway? Wasn’t Mazepa the first of a long line of ‘Nazi, Banderite, fascistic Kyivan’ leaders?

    Reply
      1. Mr. Hack

        I admit that I find him and his positions difficult to understand. Don’t know if it’s because there’s a certain sarcasm of his that I’ve been unable to crack, or if it’s because he’s just plain hard to understand. Most likely my reading comprehension skills are just starting to wane….:-)

  7. Sohryu_L

    Also, is WH making statements that sound like they belong to late Yanukovych/early 3rd term Putin?

    Jesus H. Christ I did not for a moment think the world would come to this.

    Reply
      1. Black_Rose

        Because I am against the banning of the Communist Party and Soviet symbols.

        I am against “Holodomor” denial laws.

        I am for more federalization in Ukraine.

        I am against fascists such as Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych.

      2. Jim Kovpak Post author

        The “decommunization” laws are problematic, but the “Communist”Party of Ukraine was an abomination.

        Ukraine is carrying out a program of decentralization. But “federalization” must be real federalization and not a scheme to maintain Russian control for the Russian capitalist class and its interests in the Donbass.

        As for Bandera and Shukhevych- this is not what Maidan was really about. In fact, most of those things you mentioned were reactions to Russian policies and propaganda. The groups that advocate these things were helped immensely by Russia’s intervention.

      3. Black_Rose

        I really don’t know if there is an agenda of depolarization. Many people in Eastern Ukraine see the Soviet Union positively and their preference for Russia partly reflects admiration of the Soviet Union (while also having Russia relatives and other social ties).

        They play into Russia’s hands because the West is so anti-communist. For instance, the EU try to associate the crimes of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany by proclaiming them as “totalitarian regimes” (there is no such thing as “totalitarianism”; it is primarily used to equate the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany). Some people, such as Dovid Katz, who are not communists, oppose this, since they correctly regard it as obfuscating the nature of the Holocaust.

        If I were sympathetic to communism, I would choose association with Russia over the West since Russia is much more accommodating to it. I would also be respecting the legacy of those who have fought against Nazi Germany and fascism.

      4. Jim Kovpak Post author

        “I really don’t know if there is an agenda of depolarization. Many people in Eastern Ukraine see the Soviet Union positively and their preference for Russia partly reflects admiration of the Soviet Union (while also having Russia relatives and other social ties).”

        You never answered my question as to whether you are Ukrainian or spent any significant time there, because it really doesn’t sound like it.

        I also strongly disagree with the “double genocide” theory (I’ve read some of Katz’ work), but the key thing here is that those elements in Ukrainian society have been helped by Russia’s propaganda and aggression. It has enabled them to equate their far-right views with patriotism, and of course when a country is under attack and it really had no army, people aren’t going to scrutinize the politics of those willing to fight for it.

        But as for Russia- if you were truly sympathetic to Communism you’d run the other way from Russia, which is one of the most rapaciously capitalistic nations in the world. Don’t be fooled by the symbols and the constant invoking of WWII. They do the latter mainly because they have no accomplishments to point to.

      5. Black_Rose

        Yes, it is hard to believe Russia changed. When I first heard about the protests in Ukraine, I really had no opinion. I thought Russia was some corrupt oligarchic state. It is hard for one to believe that it changed due to Ukraine.

        I became firmly against the Maidan when I realized there was a Western agenda behind it. I was disgusted that the Western media made nary a mention of the violence and far-right presence of the Maidan. I don’t have to believe everything Russian media says, particularly the claim that the Ukrainians shot down MH17.

        Regardless of whether the Putin regime is truly communist, it is still a more accommodating environment than Ukraine. Regardless of geopolitics, most of the protestors on the Maidan cheered the demolition of statues of Lenin and some participated in the defacing of a Soviet flag.

        It would seem that some people in Eastern Ukraine and especially Crimea would welcome more Russian influence. They regard the events of February 2014 as a coup, where the far-right and pro-Western forces took power (as opposed to Russian influence galvanizing the far-right since Russia reacted to the Maidan events). One who is nostalgic for Soviet times would prefer Russian influence over the decommunization of their Oblasts.

      6. Jim Kovpak Post author

        It’s not hard to believe if you know anything about Russia. It’s a right-wing, reactionary regime with staggering wealth inequality due to corruption.

        “Regardless of whether the Putin regime is truly communist, it is still a more accommodating environment than Ukraine.”

        No, it’s really not. Russia is a dictatorship and you can adopt any political view as long as you don’t rock the boat. Step out of line and you will be disciplined. Ask Sergei Udaltsov how Communists are treated in Russia. Oh wait- you can’t because he’s in prison for protesting the regime.

        “Regardless of geopolitics, most of the protestors on the Maidan cheered the demolition of statues of Lenin and some participated in the defacing of a Soviet flag. ”

        Do you have any idea how any people were involved with Maidan?

        In any case I couldn’t care less about statues. Ukrainians smashed some statues, but Russia corrupted the ideas.

        They’ve never shown anything close to a majority wanting to join Russia or split off from Ukraine in the east. They rule on bayonets, period. This is apparent every time the Ukrainian army takes back territory. No guerrilla resistance, no sniping, IEDs, etc.

  8. Sohryu_L

    Actually I’m 100% sure that were we ever to liberate occupied parts of Donbas -on our terms-, they are going to turn into Ulster overnight.

    Or perhaps not.

    Did you hear about the Illya Ponomarev interview? I mean, Ponomarev is a fag but most of what he says there is at least -plausible-.

    Reply
  9. whatdoIknow

    I feel that even when I may disagree with some of your views your post is worthy read.

    I particularly wish more people would follow this piece of advice
    “What do I recommend? Start with yourself. Continually reexamine your own values and beliefs and try to explain them. Strive for consistency. Do not avoid debate with those who are willing to argue in good faith. Seriously challenge yourself. Weed out those beliefs or behaviors that smack of hypocrisy to the best of your ability. Even many of the most conservative Americans have far more respect for integrity and sincerity than they ever will for the ultra-edgy, hyper-alienated losers whose only joy in life consists of trying to make people “mad” on the internet and long sessions of masturbation to increasingly perverted fetish porn.”

    Sadly I feel increasingly pessimistic

    Reply
      1. whatdoiknow

        That may be true. But with the appropriated tools (basically massive unchallenged propaganda and uncritical people) you may manipulate endless people.

        You claim to live in Russia. Let me then ask you a question. Is there any hope? And if there is who should we be looking at? Who may change things?

      2. Jim Kovpak Post author

        That’s a tough question. Russia’s kind of passed a point of no return. People may argue about the exact time that happened or what the supposed alternatives were, but it’s been pretty clear since 2012 that we’re screwed.

        I think the most basic thing I can say in America is keep fighting- resist everything. Get involved in politics at every conceivable level. The far right in the US had a lot of success largely because they realized the usefulness of running on school boards, for state legislatures, etc.

        But back to resistance- what did we see recently? A big protest for the inauguration and then the women’s march. Now the latter brought out 3 million people but so what? What does it matter if it’s just one day?

        People need to learn from Maidan and organize so they can have sustainable protests. Also they need to be clearer about demands, goals, and red lines (as in who doesn’t get to participate). This is to avoid the embarrassment of Occupy.

        Anyway I think with me being abroad so long that’s about all I can offer- broad strokes.

        But again- never stop fighting. Oppose them at every possible opportunity.

  10. Black_Rose

    Did you watch this?

    To oppose Maidan is to oppose fascism, subjugation, and brutality. Maidan is the antithesis of human dignity and progress.

    If I were in Crimea, I would say the reunification of Crimea is the greatest blessing. It certainly is preferable than living in post-Maidan Ukraine.

    Reply
    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      First of all it’s clear you’ve never been to Ukraine and know nothing about it. I don’t give a shit what you watch on Youtube- I’ve talked to plenty of people who were at Maidan and some of them were organizers. Do you even know how small Pravy Sektor was at that time? They weren’t in charge of shit, except in their own minds and the minds of the idiots who make propaganda documentaries like that.

      You’re basically telling people you don’t even know that they should accept corruption and impoverishment just because a few right-wing organizations, some of which had ties to the regime, opportunistically threw in their lot with the protesters.

      Maybe you hadn’t heard, but neo-Nazis were also involved in the anti-Iraq War movement and the Occupy Movement. Did you oppose those too?

      Reply
      1. Black_Rose

        I am just curious about your opinion on the documentary.

        I do think it is depicts the violent nature of the Maidan and how many of the activists towards the end of the Maidan had training and equipment specifically to confront the police and to take buildings. The far-right were the ones that had the guns to take over buildings and even caused Viktor Yanukovych to fear for his life and flee. There were agreements before the “revolution” that Yanukovych has going to cede some power and call for early elections, but the radicalized Maidan did not accept that.

        Well, if you oppose the reunification of Crimea, it means the people there have to accept a Russophobic, anti-communist milieu. Regardless of Russian propaganda, it is clear that Ukraine is anti-communist.

        Ukraine is still impoverished. Whatever concessions the IMF gives to Ukraine would be crumbs to prevent them from being completely dejected. They did not show similar consideration to Greece.

        I didn’t see many far-right activists seizing government buildings and attacking police forces on the behalf of Occupy Wall Street and the anti-war movement.

        I would find it acceptable if Russia gave back Crimea, but Ukraine has to give up decommunization and allow greater federalization. NATO membership would be prohibited. It may give the Eastern Ukraine, Southern Ukraine, and Crimea the autonomy to join the Customs Union.

      2. Jim Kovpak Post author

        Ukraine is a sovereign country and should be able to do as its people please.

        As for violence on Maidan, it broke out only a few times, and the first incident of violence was initiated by the police. Maidan started out completely peaceful, without far-right groups. It was mostly students.

        Russia is every bit as anti-Communist as Ukraine; they just appropriate the symbols from time to time. Symbols and external trappings do not make a socialist society- the concrete economic facts do.

        And as for violent right-wingers at Occupy, it’s irrelevant. By your logic Occupy is anti-Communist and wrong.

        I can also point out that recently people have been trying to delegitimize the anti-Trump protests simply because some people broke windows and engaged in violent behavior. Do your rules apply there too?

      3. Black_Rose

        You are mostly right.

        I do not think one could credibly argue that Russia is “communist”. They embraced Soviet nostalgia (which relating to the subject of this post is not an ideology) because they believe it is conducive to producing conformity among the population and is amendable to demonization of the West.

        The nostalgia reflects one true fact: the Soviet Union for the most part provide its citizens enough of a material livelihood to live in peace and dignity. Regardless of Putin’s pragmatism and insincerity, a regime that embraces Soviet nostalgia is a much lesser evil than one that constantly demonizes the Soviet Union. One who is sympathetic to communism cannot tolerate that aspect of history to be effaced.

        Half of the population did not support the Maidan (and it cannot be said that the “revolution” reflected the will of people, especially because it did not occur through an election, but because of threat of force as Yanukovych vacated his position due to threats of violence). The people of Crimea were genuinely fearful of the new regime in Kiev. If I were in Crimea, I would have voted for reunification with Russia, and I could not condemn Russia and the citizens of Crimea for their position.

      4. Jim Kovpak Post author

        “The nostalgia reflects one true fact: the Soviet Union for the most part provide its citizens enough of a material livelihood to live in peace and dignity. Regardless of Putin’s pragmatism and insincerity, a regime that embraces Soviet nostalgia is a much lesser evil than one that constantly demonizes the Soviet Union.”

        Wrong on both counts. For one thing, what Russia does is even more insidious because it deliberately associates Communism with right-wing, fascist ideals.

        Also remember that nostalgia isn’t about memories. It’s basically a false image of the past based on very selective remembering. Soviet nostalgia will never lead to a revolution anywhere.

        “and it cannot be said that the “revolution” reflected the will of people, especially because it did not occur through an election, but because of threat of force as Yanukovych vacated his position due to threats of violence”

        By that logic the United States, the USSR, and many other countries are essentially illiterate.

        Yanukovych was preparing to leave even before he signed that agreement. The idea that he feared for his life is ridiculous. If so much of the country was on his side and anti-Maidan, why didn’t he just flee to Donetsk? He couldn’t feel safe there?

        Also if the people of Crimea were in fear of the new government, it was only because of the bullshit they were hearing from Russian media. Had they stayed in Ukraine along with the Donbas they would have been a major voting bloc.

  11. gbd_crwx

    Jim, an OT-question but just a little bit. In his claim to “drain the swamp” Trump jist forbid former government workers to lobby for goreign govs. Any similarities to the Russian foreign agents thing?

    Reply
  12. Mr. Hack

    Having difficulties in locating the Maidan protest video listed above. Can somebody try reposting it. Thanks.

    ‘www.youtube.com’s server DNS address could not be found.

    Reply

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