[Marxism] Is Russia Really “Fascist”? A Comment on Timothy Snyder | PONARS Eurasia

David McDonald davidbyrnemcdonaldiii at gmail.com
Sun Sep 9 09:09:48 MDT 2018


I think the author is trying to assert the general prerogatives of
academics to do the analyzing of fascism so there is an element of turf
battle, and not a small one, in Laruelle's critique.

It appears that she nails Snyder on the issue of over-promoting Ivan Ilyin
as the ideologue of Putin's fascism, as well as just plain catching him
lying on several occasions. But over-promoting one specific brand of
fascism does not in itself refute the general charge of fascism. I believe
the analysis put forward by whoever wrote Ravings of a Radical Vagabond
(not an academic platform, I can assure you) shows in great detail that
Putin is aligning with all manner of fascist-minded people, not excluding
people we used to regard as sort-of comrades. Of course this does not prima
facie make him a fascist.

There were innumerable different brands of fascism grouped together in the
Nazi party. Hitler famously refused to have any discussion of the NSDAP's
original 1923 program of 25 points, stating that a bad program was better
than a discussion of program. Behind that statement was the reality that
major currents in the NSDAP supported "left" elements of that program,
including the nationalization of industry, the suppression of interest on
loans, the absorption of the SA into the Reichswehr and other items about
which Hitler either did not give a shit or was totally opposed to. They
were allowed to co-exist because Hitler found them useful, as opposed to
politically correct. When no longer useful, such people and their
particular and peculiar takes on what fascism ought to look like were
simply exterminated, as happened in the Night of the Long Knives.

So, although she nails Snyder, I don't think she makes her case. I would
have to read a bunch of her stuff to figure out more about this. I may find
this site useful as I try to find critiques of Arendt. If anyone gets this
far in this piece and knows of such material, I would appreciate a citation.



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