Saturday, January 17, 2015

So is Putin then a moderate anticommunist? And, if so, what does it spell for Novorossiya?

Alexander Mercouris  recommends Gordon M. Hahn's piece, "Myths about Putin's Ideology Refuse to Die," as one of the best on the subject and certainly outstanding. The subject is what Putin's political ideology and allegiance is in reality. Gordon M. Hahn's stated (exoteric) finding and conclusion is that Putin is "a moderate Russian nationalist." On whether this is good or not so good, Hahn says on his part that Putin's "moderate nationalism" is "dubious" when it comes down on what foundations Putin is basing his heart and mind (did Alexander Mercouris read this part too?): "While it is dubious in my and most Westerners’ view that a stable, non-corrupt, legalistic order can be built relying so extensively on religious traditions and with limited incorporation of Western liberal democratic values, it cannot be excluded that the effort could function as a transitional stage between communism and the chaos of post-communism, on the one hand, and the broader adoption of Western values in the mid to long-term."

However, should one ask some academic with some spare time on his hand on Saturday evening, what the key word is that connects three key thinkers (Berdyaev, Solovyev, and Ilyin) confirmed and identified by Hahn as essential for identifying Putin's "political ideology" then it is not so much "religious traditions and limited incorporation of liberal democratic values," but the common thread of anticommunism, which links together the three supposed ideological authorities adopted by Putin.

The word "anticommunist" is the one glaringly uniting bond tying Berdyaev, Solovyev, and Ilyin together. In terms of importance Ivan Ilyin's (anti-Soviet) anticommunism comes on top for, as Hahn says, Ilyin "is perhaps the closest of the three to Putin’s heart, if not his mind."

Like wikipedia and some others, Hahn too claims that Ilyin "opposed Nazism and was forced flee from Germany to Switzerland ..." This claim, which needs to be at some point looked more closely into, can be compared to a similar myth of Leo Strauss "fleeing Germany as a refugee." Instead of departing before Hitler came to power thanks to a personal recommendation of Carl Schmitt.

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