The New York Times published an op-ed by Yale University professor and historian Timothy Snyder titled “We Should Say It. Russia Is Fascist.” In his opinion, Nazi Germany was defeated on the fronts of World War II, but not the ideology of fascism. Its essence can be summed up as “cleansing violence,” and so far the most vivid association of this ideology has been Hitler and the Holocaust.
Russia is waging a real fascist, destructive war against Ukraine. Today’s Russia meets most of the criteria that make up fascism.
– The cult of one leader (Vladimir Putin);
– The cult of the dead for something great (victory in the Great Patriotic War);
– The myth of the former greatness of the empire and the desire to return this greatness;
– Powerful propaganda machine;
– Visual symbols as a sign of belonging (Z and V);
– Mass events in support of the leader;
– Hate speech towards a specific group of people.
The similarities between Nazi Germany and Putin’s Russia are striking. No matter how difficult it may be for many to accept, Russia repeats this path, sowing suffering and destruction around itself. It is a mistake to think that a country that once defeated the Nazis cannot itself be one. Until a certain point in history, fascism did not arouse particular hostility in the Soviet Union, which follows from the allied treaty between the USSR and Germany concluded in 1939.
I don’t share Snyder’s position, and here’s why. The existing political anomaly should be defined as rashism, not fascism (or national socialism). In general, there is a substitution of phenomena at the expense of concepts. To call the Putin regime fascist is to give it an unreasonable modernist significance, to flatter the “guarantor” (yes, it flatters him). And the main thing is to try to live a new historical experience at the expense of others (the experience of the 20th century).
It is worth emphasizing that the current Russian Federation is also an under-dictatorship. Because dictatorship can take place only with the full support of the population. But this is not the case here. And because terror against its citizens is not equal even to Stalin’s.
Similar generalizations-simplifications speak of intellectual laziness and a crisis of competence, which we observe, alas, everywhere. Why write op-eds like this? For checkmarks. It is strange to look for deep meanings and secret signs in all this. Sanctions instead of a thousand words.
Those who oppose the term “rashism” are radically mistaken. This is precise “rashism”, and not fascism and (or) national socialism. I will repeat this for as long as it takes. Calling what is happening fascism, you level the current crimes of the authorities, as well as all the crimes of the red period, marking them as some kind of abstract evil. Fascism, which has gone into historical non-existence, has become an abstraction. Which does not negate the fact that the secret dream of every socially insecure Soviet person was precisely National Socialism, literally sung in the Soviet series “17 Moments of Spring.”
The cargo cult, whose name is “rashism,” was inspired by several basic constructs. It was based on religious and mythological stories adapted for the area about the supposedly “common ancestors” of all Slavs, their advanced culture, and glorious past. To this was added the current at that time cultural phenomenon of the new age, truncated for autochthonous perception.
Having laid mythology and culture as the foundations, they started polishing the entire resulting remade matrix. As external images and attributes, they decided to use the National Socialist aesthetics, specially adapted for Soviet people in a cinematic vein.
Thus, the “Russian” spring” began long before it blossomed with the blood-brown flowers of evil in 2022. Namely, in 1973, when the “17 Moments” was filmed. Where for the first time the “terrible enemy” was shown as highly intelligent, sophisticated, and disciplined. What was it if not a secret compliment, veiled under agitprop criticism? That very ostentatious Germanophilism, in fact, the envy of everything German and the inability to endure oneself without becoming a German himself.
But they failed to become Germans. Therefore, instead of all this “death of the blue-eyed gods”, we will see an armed collective farm on rusty tanks and the death of Eurasian suckers with the faces of Givi and Motorola. Moreover, it is worth noting that the Soviets loved everything left in fascism, and in many ways, it was formally a leftist movement. Mein Kampf is pure Anpilovism. However, from the point of view of aesthetics, organization, and any internal consistency, for the Soviets, the Reich turned out to be an unattainable ideal. Which is illustrated by the final episode of the film “White Tiger” directed by Shakhnazarov, who became famous for his extremely ridiculous statements.
Infantilism, inertia, and doom exist here together, in some kind of monstrous synchronicity. A person is just born and immediately begins to grow old, literally backing into death. Speaking of the power of the gerontocracy, we must understand that we are dealing with an infantile and weak power, which it would be more correct to call not even the power of old people, but the power of old women. Hence cheap show-offs and hysteria – demonstrative sitting on the throne (of course, a normal ruler does not need a throne, but a fetishist needs it. The current symbol of rashism – a hunched old woman with a red flag – is an ideological and aesthetic mutant. The transformation of “Motherland Calls” into “Motherland-Death.”
We should finally admit that humanism a la Erich Fromm is a sham. It does not contain anything humane but simply speaks to the mass unconscious. Such humanism is anti-individual and anti-subjective. It offers universal values to the “common man”. But the common man does not exist. It is a myth. Throughout the 20th, and now even the 21st century, we stumble over the “common man” like a dead horse. And now this horse has come to life again, and even turned out to be extremely dangerous! From the point of view of rationality, morality is enough. If we understand morality as nothing more than social expediency, a form of civilizational agreement. But there is also good news. Wikipedia has an article “Rashism” in which the pseudo-philosopher and ideologist of the current government, Alexander Dugin, is called a “fascist”. Although I insist on the term “rashism” in both cases.
Why is it still not necessary to call rashists fascists? Because it flatters them. It adds that imaginary “greatness” that they wanted to acquire through the new fake and stolen ideology. Who are rashists? First of all, the marginals. Fascism for the 21st century is an exclusively marginal phenomenon, deviance. As a political phenomenon, it ended in the twentieth century.
Rashism is a social and psychiatric phenomenon. The totality of phenomena that we call the “ideology” and “politics” of Putin’s Russia. We use the term rashism to avoid terminological confusion and not to stick labels of fascism and national socialism to what is happening. A more precise and academic term will be coined later.
However, it is worth noting that the “charm” of fascism has a place to be and spreads in the most strange way. The existentially lost layman subconsciously likes the idea of fascism, because fascism, any ideologized dictatorship in general, is complementary to it. They put a person with his ideas and thoughts at the center of the universe, albeit in an uncomfortable position, or even just crucify him. But the modern civilized world seems to them indifferent, a kind of “god-official,” impassively looking through them. Does it look like digging under the foundations of anthropocentrism? Are we digging deep? Deep. But otherwise, it is impossible to understand what happened not only to Russia but also to the world in general.
And actually, it is worth reminding dear viewers that the victory over fascism, among other things, ended with the strengthening of the red project on 1/6 of the Earth’s land. Thus, the second victory over already fake fascism can end, if not with global red revanchism on the entire planet, then at least with the strengthening of socialist and leftist positions. Let’s just remember the “new proletarians” – BLM and others like them, going off-scale political correctness and body positivity as a trend that legalizes poverty (universal equality, equality of results, not opportunities).
Therefore, it is necessary to fight with what really is and not with what you want to see. Namely, with Putin’s militaristic policy, with a political mutation, which we conditionally call rashism. That is, it is more than important to define the terminology, just to do the right thing. Tactically and strategically. And fighting “fascism” is about the same as building communism. Maybe it is the same fight.
And here’s your proof. Only recently I saw a post by a publicist, Maxim Shevchenko, saturated with leftist agitprop heresy, and thought that this was a systemic signal. Maybe unconscious. In less than a few days, the Federation Council of the Russian Federation called for the denazification of all of Europe. Bolshevism crawls out of the grave. Before our eyes, they are trying to re-enact the opposition of Bolshevism to Nazism (“fascism”). Only now on a global scale.
That is, they want to return the world to its former matrix, to the situation of the late 30s, and early 40s of the XX century. Where indeed, if you call a spade a spade, was the battle between Bolshevism and fascism (National Socialism). Which at the same time were essentially similar, albeit aesthetically disparate movements. In fact, it was a big battle between two collective farms. Do you still want to go back to the modern?