Monday, February 23, 2015

One leader

Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine many have been drawing parallels between the prelude to WW2 and the current Russian-driven crisis. What's really funny is how oblivious the Russians themselves are to these parallels (even while desperately trying to draw their own), making a whole bunch of historical ironies possible. Useful idiots who consider themselves anti-fascists were rallying behind Vladimir Putin in Moscow a few days ago with banners saying Putin, People, Russia. You can't make this stuff up: they're actually using one of the best-known Nazi slogans (ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer) to rally against fascism (or, rather, "fascism"). A common misconception in Russia is that "fascists" staged a coup in Kiev and that these "fascists" are supported by the West. Now, in Russia the word "fascist" doesn't quite mean what it does in the rest of the world. Communists (both in the Soviet Union and elsewhere) used to call anyone who disagreed with them a fascist, kinda like some modern feminists call anyone who disagrees with them a misogynist. That meaning of the word seems to have survived to this day and thus anyone who disagrees with Kremlin is automatically branded a fascist. The irony here is of course that Putin himself has been pursuing fascist policies for years now, concentrating more and more power into his own hands. There's nothing out of the ordinary about that really, not in Russia; the Soviet Union was one of the best examples of fascism taken to its extreme. 

 Everyone in the West of course knows all this. But Russians don't, and with the Russian media increasingly in the hands of Kremlin, they'll become even more ill-equipped to make informed decisions, believing the West is out to get them just for the fun of it.