[Marxism] Ivan Ovsyannikov: Putin as the Mirror of the Russian Counterrevolution

Thomas Campbell avvakum at gmail.com
Sat Jan 23 05:13:17 MST 2016

Published at:

Ivan Ovsyannikov
Putin as the Mirror of the Russian Counterrevolution
January 22, 2016

I spoke recently with a radio journalist from Cologne. A pleasant woman,
she was one of those western leftists who try and “understand” Russia. She
just could not believe that the Putin regime’s ideology was anti-communist
and was based on condemnation of all revolutions, whether the October
Revolution or the French Revolution.

“How can that be? We are walking here on Insurrection Square. Monuments to
Lenin are not demolished in Russia as they are in Ukraine. And you tell me
the regime is anti-communist?” she said.

I hope that after Putin’s remarks that Lenin planted an atomic bomb under
Russia and was responsible for the Soviet Union’s collapse, my companion
will see the light. I no longer have such hopes for Russian liberals who
believe that under Putin we are living through a new edition of the Soviet

In fact, Putin has been very consistent albeit historically ignorant. The
1917 Revolution is as hateful to him as the collapse of the Soviet Union,
as hateful as any other subversion of Power with a capital p, which in the
eyes of the people should remain sacred if only because it is Power, and
all power comes from God. From the viewpoint of legitimists like Putin, the
destruction of monuments to Lenin or the renaming of streets is a break
with the mystical continuity of Power and thus almost a revolutionary

In Putin’s eyes, Lenin and the Bolsheviks really were devils incarnate, for
they radically asserted the right of the masses to revolt and abolished
continuity with the past, thus demolishing the mystique around the notion
of the state.

During the Stalinist period, however, the Bolshevik Revolution itself was
incorporated into the national myth. It is in this bronzed, mythologized
form that attempts have been made to adapt all things Soviet to the needs
of the new oligarchy, who have imagined themselves the successors of the
Rurikids, the Romanovs, Stalin, Yeltsin, and all manner of saviors of the
Fatherland and guardians of stability. Fortunately, this stunt does not
work with Lenin and never will.


Ivan Ovsyannikov is an activist with the Interregional Trade Union Workers
Association (ITUWA/MPRA) and the Russian Socialist Movement (RSD).
Translated by the Russian Reader. See my previous post on this topic,
“Crumbling Down`"(

More information about the Marxism mailing list