[Marxism] Russia Without Putin | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Dec 28 10:06:30 MST 2018

For the longest time Vladimir Putin has assumed the role of an Ian 
Fleming super-villain in the imaginations of both liberal and 
neoconservative pundits. Like one of those well-worn set pieces in a 
James Bond novel, he sits opposite our British super-spy in a chess game 
with the world hegemony awarded to the winning side. Or in the case of a 
draw, multipolarity.

Any book on Putin and Russia that departs from these stereotypes would 
be most welcome. When it turns out to be a first-rate Marxist analysis, 
it should be added to your must-read list for 2019. The good news is 
that book has arrived in the form of Tony Wood’s Russia Without Putin: 
Money, Power and the Myths of the New Cold War, a ground-breaking study 
that departs from the lurid personality-driven narratives that are the 
stock-in-trade of MSNBC or the Washington Post. Additionally, for those 
on the left whose ideas are shaped by Stephen F. Cohen’s pro-Putin 
apologetics, the book will serve as a wake-up call to return to a class 
rather than a chess analysis. If Rachel Maddow is for the chess-master 
playing white, there is no reason to uncritically root for who is 
playing black. In keeping with the palette analogy, it is worth 
recalling Lenin’s citation of Mephistopheles’s words from Goethe’s Faust 
in his 1917 Letter on Tactics: “Theory, my friend, is grey, but green is 
the eternal tree of life.”

full: https://louisproyect.org/2018/12/28/russia-without-putin/

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