[Marxism] Smoke and Mirrors: The Roots of Russian Revanchism | The Smirking Chimp

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon May 5 06:00:11 MDT 2014

This is the rotten foundation upon which the increasingly ugly regime of 
Vladimir Putin is built. A culture, a country, a people savaged over and 
over through a century of unprecedented upheaval and violence were once 
again subjected to a firestorm of chaos that killed 3 million innocent 
people and left millions more stripped of hope, of opportunity, of 
meaning. Now Putin, who emerged from the dark nexus of power blocs that 
saved Yeltsin, fills this moonscape with empty symbols that play upon 
the fears and resentments of a battered people: hysterical nationalism, 
cartoon history, blustering machismo, fake religiosity, and "traditional 
values" more aligned with American Tea Party tropes than anything that 
has actually existed in Russian culture. He rails against the West but 
he rules a mirror image of it: a violent, militarized crony-capitalist 
pigsty that degrades and deceives its own people while directing their 
anger and confusion toward outsiders. In many ways, it's the American 
Cold Warriors’ dream come true: we have finally turned the Russians into us.


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