[Marxism] Russia's Nixon

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri May 16 06:38:53 MDT 2014

By exploiting Russian disgust for Pussy Riot and equating the opposition 
movement with Pussy Riot, Putin was able to conflate the liberal 
opposition with a decadent, alien art troupe whose purpose seemed to be 
to humiliate Russia and mock their culture. Nixon couldn’t have dreamed 
up a more perfect symbol of his opponents.

The Nixon Strategy also explains why, after all these years, Putin 
suddenly targeted Russia’s gays for a vicious culture war campaign. In 
the Russian Red States, the violent, cruel state-managed homophobia — in 
which a leading TV anchor told his audience that gays’ hearts and organs 
should be burned and buried deep underground — was red meat, an 
acknowledgment at last that Russia’s Silent Majority matters. And the 
more Moscow yuppies and Westerners berated Russia for attacking gays, 
the more the Silent Majority identified with the Kremlin.

And that brings me to Putin and Ukraine. It goes without saying that 
Putin didn’t plan this crisis to happen — he already had his man in 
power in Kyiv. But Putin did exploit the situation, turning a major 
humiliating defeat in February into a massive political victory within 
Russia by doing what the Silent Majority would’ve wanted Putin to do: 
Redress grievances, air out resentments nonstop against the West and 
against west Ukraine fascists, and screw whatever the West thinks.


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