[Marxism] Paleocons for Putin - The Daily Beast

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jan 13 07:10:31 MST 2014

The paleocons’ esteem for Putin’s Russia goes deeper than mere 
admiration for his standing up to what they see as a bullying, 
interventionist America. For the paleocons, Putin evokes the values that 
made America great, before the disasters of multiculturalism and 
cosmopolitanism wreaked their havoc on American society.  Writing in the 
current issue of the American Conservative, the magazine Buchanan 
founded, William Lind faults Americans for not failing to take off their 
Cold War goggles and realize that Russia no longer presents a threat to 
the Western way of life; if anything, Lind argues, it is Russia that 
today embodies the traditional values forsaken by a post-Christian West. 
We simplistically conflate Russia with the Soviet Union, Lind alleges, 
“forget[ing] that Tsarist Russia was the most conservative great power, 
a bastion of Christian monarchy loathed by revolutionaries, Jacobins and 
democrats,” a rather clear repudiation of democracy itself. Democrats 
had ample reason to loathe Tsarist Russia, of course. Not only was it a 
country that carried out frequent pogroms against Jews (something which 
probably doesn’t bother Lind, who at a 2002 Holocaust denial conference, 
spoke of a plot seeking the “destruction of Western culture” carried out 
by “guys” who “were all Jewish), it was one of the most unequal 
societies on earth, bounded by a tiny, noble aristocracy at the top and 
a vast peasant class at the bottom. Indeed, it was Tsarist Russia’s 
punishing inequality and its refusal to reform that sowed the seeds of 
the Bolshevik Revolution. That Lind, Buchanan, and other paleocons would 
romanticize such a backwards, agrarian society is hardly surprising, 
given their wistfulness for the antebellum, pre-industrial American 
South, a “humane and decent civilisation [sic],” in Larison’s words. 
“The defeat of the Confederacy, though the Confederate political 
experiment does not exhaust the richness of Southern culture and 
identity, was a defining moment when the United States took its steps 
towards the abyss of the monstrous centralised [sic] state, rootless 
society and decadent culture that we have today.”


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