[Marxism] Fwd: Russia and the Left | New Politics

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jan 10 06:09:43 MST 2017

In terms of Islamophobia and anti-LGBT repression, Russia makes the 
United States look like Paradise. Male life expectancy in Russia is six 
years less than in Brazil and a decade less than in Mexico; its spending 
on education as a share of GDP is 80 percent that of Mexico and less 
than three quarters that of Brazil.11 In terms of the size of the public 
sector, Russian government spending as a percent of GDP is smaller than 
that of Japan, Greece, the UK, and Spain (and its military spending is a 
far greater share of its overall government spending than any of these 
countries).12 Neither in practice nor in inspiration nor even in 
rhetoric does current-day Russia reflect left values.

So why then the left enthusiasm for Russia?

For some, no doubt, it’s simply nostalgia. The U.S. Peace Council, a 
slavish Moscow tool during the Cold War, fondly recalls the Soviet 
alliance with the Baathist regime in Syria under Hafez al-Assad, and so 
perhaps it’s a simple move to glorify Russian support today for the 
successor to the Assad dynasty. (And thus the Peace Council’s awful 
propaganda trip to Damascus and subsequent participation in 
Syrian-government sponsored propaganda events.13)

But wistful longing for the glory days of the Soviet Union doesn’t 
explain most left attachment to Russia. Instead it’s the pernicious 
doctrine of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” that unfortunately has 
permeated large sectors of the left.

full: http://newpol.org/content/russia-and-left

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