This is the second part of my analysis of Putinist Russian imperialism, dealing with political and ideological aspects. I will attempt to show that Putin’s regime warrants the term Neo-Tsarism. That what some people with a very poor grasp of Marxism interpret as a „return to Soviet era” is in fact a return to the TSARIST epoch, except on a corporatist economic base, with more active economic imperialism than in the time of the Tsars (as Tsarist Russia had nowhere near the large-scale export of capital, i.e. economic imperialism, we see in today’s Russia).
1. The rehabilitation of Tsarist symbols, denial of Tsarist crimes against the peoples of Russia and the world, endorsement of Tsarist policies etc.
a) Even politically blind people can see that Putin’s Russia RETAINS the Tsarist flag and coat of arms that Yeltsin, the predecessor of the Neo-Tsar, had restored 24 years ago. Even such politically blind people can see that Putinist Russia has the flag and coat of arms of TSARIST Russia, except they don’t know what to make of them, unfortunatelly.
b) The rehabilitation of Tsarist murderers. Case in point, Denikin, the most infamous of all White generals who took up arms against the Soviet Power, decisively defeated by the Red Army in late 1919. Not only did Putin permit his remains to be repatriated some 10 years ago, and interred with public honours in the Donskoy Monastery, but a CULT of this Tsarist, Anti-Semitic and Anti-Communist murderer has begun to emerge as well, with plenty of endorsement from Putin himself. Putin openly called Denikin „a legendary army commander”, along with monsters of the same type. Here’s exactly what he had to say: „Russian officers gained immortality on the battlefields of the war, while the names of such LEGENDARY army commanders as Brusilov, Alekseyev, Kornilov and Denikin take a rightful place in the history of national military art”. Here’s what Putin had to say on a MONSTER, a Tsarist butcher who killed tens of thousands of Communists and Communist sympathizers and tens of thousands of Jews. How do you like that, ye apologists of Putinist aggression in Ukraine? A man who points the finger at Ukrainian Antisemites and yet rehabilitates a RUSSIAN Antisemite! How do you like that? So let’s have this fact well-marked: it’s not an overt Antisemite who rehabilitates Denikin but a man who points the finger at Ukrainian Antisemites and calls himself the leader of a „multiethnic state”! If anything, it’s Putin, a concealed Antisemite, who is more Antisemitic, not the over Ukrainian ones!
Here’s the source of that Putinist speech in which Denikin is depicted as a „legendary army commander”, http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/46078
Not that Brusilov, Alekseyev or Kornilov were better than Denikin, they too committed horrific crimes both against Russian workers and peasants and against people of different nationalities.
As a matter of fact, so Antisemitic Denikin was, so much innocent Jewish blood did his thugs spill that even Churchill, the then-leader of British Anticommunists, felt embarassed about it and warned him his Antisemitism could jeopardize his being backed by wealthy Jewish capitalists in Britain. True, Britain did provide Denikin with tanks and even chemical weapons but the Jewish lobby resisted his being granted more.
c) Persistent denial of the Circassian Genocide, one of the most horrific genocides of the 19th centuries, in which more than 500 000 mainly West-Caucasus Muslims lost their lives. Also persistent denial of the Tsarist genocide against Native Siberians which really was NO DIFFERENT from the White Anglo-Saxon Genocide against Native Americans or the White Anglo-Saxon Genocide against Australian Aboriginals. Siberia is exactly what North America or Australia, STOLEN LAND, land took by force by White settlers from Non-White Natives. Dispossesion, massacres and ghettoization were the thing that accompanied the Russian conquest of Siberia, to the point a great number of Native Siberian peoples have suffered a serious depletion in numbers. The Chukcis for example have been reduced to only 10% of the population of their native land, and this even after decades of Soviet special protection granted to them. But what can be the result of genocide-denials against peoples that were in the Tsarist times and still are oppressed by Russian imperialism? Only one this result can be, namely the building of mistrust towards anything Russian among these peoples, which will affect workers’ solidarity as well. To deny the genocides against Circassians and Native Siberians is to INSULT the Circassian and Siberian peoples, and to insult them is turn them against Russian as a whole, which can only undermine class solidarity against Russian, Circassian and Native Siberian workers.
d) The rehabilitation of Anticommunists liars and slanderers of all sorts. We are dealing here with the rehabilitation of that undisputed King of Anticommunist lies and slanders we know as Solzhenitsyn.
People, you should know that if you say Stalin killed 40 million innocent you are to be called a „patriot” by none other than Putin himself! Here’s the proof: „Alexandr Solzhenitsyn drew attention to the problems of our society NOT because he was hostile. On the contrary, he was a PATRIOT, he wanted to keep his country from falling apart, but it did fall apart because back then we did not pay attention to the things he focused on.”
So Solzhenitsyn warned the Revisionist leaders of the Soviet Union during the Brezhnev era that the Soviet Union might break apart if overt capitalism and Russian Nationalism were not allowed and Putin says he was right all along. And if you say the October Revolution was a „Jewish plot” to destroy Russia that ain’t no big thing either. Yes, Solzhenitsyn was an ANTISEMITE so Putin’s rehabilitation of Antisemites is not confined to Denikin.
Putin’s infatuation with Solzhenitsyn begins when the notorious Anticommunist slanderer returns to Russia. Sensing that Putinist Russia has moved from recognizing American hegemony to challenging it Solzhenitsyn returns to Russia and starts heaping praise on Putin. We’re gonna have an Empire, we’re gonna have an Empire, Putin good, Putin good! Putin gets the message and by 2007 he presents the Anticommunist-Antisemite liar with flowers. By the time of his death in 2008 national funerals are organized in his honour. Putin becomes fond of quoting the Anticommunist-Antisemite liar, saying he was opposed to Russia being dominated by the West (the West really was and is interested in such thing but Russia is itself imperialist, so any sane Russian should be more concerned with Russia dominated the countries within the CIS or the Eurasian Union) and even that he himself is implementing policies consistent with Solzhenitsyn delirious views. „Vladimir Putin drew the writers’ attention to some policies being implemented today that are, to a large extent, HARMONIOUS with Solzhenitsyn’s writings”, see http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/40495. He even decides that the 100th birth anniversary of Solzhenitstyn in 2018 should be officially observed throughout Russia, see http://en.kremlin.ru/acts/news/46089.
e) Endorsment of Russia’s imperialist participation in the imperialist World War One
Putin doesn’t agree with the Bolsheviks’ analysis of Imperial Russia’s participation in World War One as imperialist but hey, nobody expects him to agree with it. What is unacceptable, though, is the blindness of „Communists” who see that he disagrees and yet still uphold this SLANDERER. Here are Putin’s actual words from a meeting with oligarchic youth groups in 2014: „The Bolsheviks openly wished their motherland be defeated in the First World War. When heroic soldiers and officers were shedding blood at the fronts of WWI some people were rocking Russia from the inside and this rocking caused the country to engineer its own defeat. It was a nonsense, a delirium, but it did happen. It was a betrayal of national interests.”
Well, folks, our impression is more that Putin himself is delirious from Lenin not allowing the Tsar to get his hands on Constantinople, Austrian Poland and Turkish Armenia (basically the Kurdistan of today), back in 1917. We who are acquainted with History know the Tsar entered WWI because, among other things, he had been promised by Britain and France with the right to annex those territories from Austro-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, which probably would have entailed the annexation of Northern Persia, Mongolia and Xinjiang as well. But we can’t help but being MORE outraged with Putin’s „Communist” backers than with Putin himself. Putin is who he is, he doesn’t claim to be Bolshevik. The Zyuganovites DO, however, claim allegiance to Bolsheviks, they see Putin insulting the Bolsheviks and yet still ramble about how Russian imperialism is „not really” what it is, imperialism.
f) Putin’s close ties with the Neo-Medievalist nut Dugin
The Neo-Tsarist and Neo-Medieval ramblings of Dugin are well-known or, perhaps, not so well known. He not only supports the „leading role” of ethnic Russians within Russia but also espouses the strange and very divisive idea of the „union of four faiths”- Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism. Not only there is insult in this union- a supporter of Antisemite Tsars and Tsarist butchers pays lip allegiance to Judaism being „part of Russia” (see http://eurasia.com/ru/eng_manifest.html) but also DISCRIMINATE against people who profess none of these „four Russian faiths”, such as Atheists, Agnostics, Catholics in Western Ukraine (which used to be in the Russian sphere until 2013) and Western Belarus (still a part of the Russian sphere), Armenian Christians (many of whom live as economic immigrants in the large Russian cities) or Shamanists in Siberia.
2. But is Putin’s regime a simple return to the days of the Tsars?
No, it cannot be said that it is. A mechanical return to those days is impossible. I’m aware that I once posted on facebook that Putinism is Tsarist imperialism with thousands of nuclear weapons and this slogan was and still is appropriate in dealing withe the broad masses. But for people who are advanced in learning Marxism this cannot be sufficient. In reality Putinism is not only Tsarist imperialism plus thousands of nuclear weapons ( a tremendous destructive potential that the former Tsars never dreamed of having at their disposal) but also Tsarist imperialism with multinational corporations, Tsarist imperialism with large export of capital, such as the former Tsarism never had outside its technical borders, and also Tsarist imperialism which makes a very clever and devious use of Soviet symbols!
Because, you see, there is the rub. Putinists are, by and large, people who conceal themselves. They DO NOT openly say that they oppose everything during the Soviet period! They insult Lenin but also pride themselves in preserving Lenin’s monuments and Lenin’s Mausoleum WHILE ALSO placing Lenin alongside Denikin and Solzhenitsyn! They pose as great „reconcilers”, they pose as people who bring warring factions together, which is EVEN MORE dangerous than toppling Lenin’s statues. Toppling Lenin’s statues is to spit on Lenin without distorting Lenin’s ideology but placing Denikin, Kornilov and Solzhenitsyn alongside Lenin is to BOTH spit on Lenin and STEAL Lenin’s soul. Lenin, a symbol of class struggle and OPPOSITION to Russian Nationalism and Russian imperialism is transformed into a man who sometimes made gross mistakes but still deserves a place in Russian History and that’s WORSE than toppling his statues for it is tantamount to DISTORTING Lenin’s teaching, to STEALING LENIN’S SOUL!
Nor, as I have said, are the Putinists overt Antisemites or racists against Circassians and Native Siberians. They say they are opposed to Antisemitism and yet them INSULT Jews by rehabilitating Antisemite butchers such as Denikin or Antisemitic ideologues, such as Solzhenitsyn. They say Russia is multi-ethnic and all ethnicities must be respected and yet foster hatred against all things Russians among Circassians and Native Siberians through denying Tsarist genocides against these people.
So the term Neo-Tsarism is much more appropriate than Tsarism per se, it is a good way to describe a regime that is Tsarist in ESSENCE and wishy-washy but still Tsarist-leaning in words.