The Paradox of Putin


President Putin lives in a bizarre world of capitalist paradox and inconsistency.  On the one hand, he is the product of the Soviet (Communist) System (culminating in his service in the KGB), whilst on the other, he is the repeated elected ‘President’ of capitalist Russia.  He is on record as criticising the Soviet System (that that gave him every ‘free’ educational and cultural advantage), whilst simultaneously eulogising the ‘freedom’ that capitalism has given a minority of people in Russia to be obscenely rich (whilst the majority have been plunged into various degrees of impoverishment). He has agreed to allow the Russian military to carry the old Soviet Flag, and to continue to respectfully remember the Soviet victory (and terrible sacrifice) over Nazi Germany during the Great Patriotic war (1941-45), and to keep the Russian ‘eternal flame’ burning at the grave of the Soviet ‘unknown soldier’.  Lenin’s tomb remains sacrosanct (and continuously guarded), whilst being occasionally ‘opened’ for the general public to peer inside.  The Russian Communist Party has around 70 to 80 seats in the elected Stare Duma (out of around 220), and Communism and Soviet nostalgia remains very strong amongst the Russian people. Russia Today (RT) – the Russian multimedia news service – continues to broadcast around the world, usually supplying a counter-narrative to the Western anti-Russian racism, and deliberate misreporting of events global-wide.  This reality of an intense anti-Russia offensive (led by the USA and the EU) has seen the Nazification of Eastern Europe, and a ‘Cold-War-like’ rhetoric emanating from the White House of President Barack Obama.  RT works to expose these lies, whilst still pursuing a ‘pro-capitalist’ agenda that sees a steady stream of anti-Soviet propaganda, and a reduction of all the great achievements of the Soviet era to mere stats. RT has also openly criticised Lenin and Stalin, and has hosted the likes of George Galloway and Ken Livingston, both recently criticising the memory of the Soviet Union – particularly of Joseph Stalin – when the British Labour Party got into hot water over allegations of anti-Semitism.  At the moment, capitalist Russia has been forced to re-assess its Soviet past in the light of Western anti-Russian racism, but Russia remains ‘capitalist’ nonetheless.  If the West had not embarked on this recent anti-Russian drive, one gets the distinct impression that ‘capitalist’ Russia would have firmly left all the Red Flags in the past, and expunged Soviet history from the school texts books – as indeed the immediate post-Soviet era period of the middle to late 1990’s saw. However, since that time, the Russian State has moved back to a position of fully recognising the relevancy of the Soviet-era, whilst actively encouraging its now impoverished citizens to view their disempowerment as ‘freedom’.  It is interesting to note that the breakaway republics of eastern Ukraine have invariably declared themselves ‘Soviet’ or ‘People’s’ Republics, and have embraced the old Soviet Red Flag, and been financially and militarily supported by Russia in their fight against Western-backed neo-Nazism in western Ukraine.

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