Sunday, January 11, 2015

Time to meet Putin's (and Saker's) favorite philosopher and ideologue (anticommunist Ivan Ilyin)

Pro-Putin liberals and lefties in the West somehow tend to see Vladimir Putin as a crypto-socialist or an improved version of a social democrat. Yet the fact is that Putin's stated "conservatism" evokes none of the socialist thinkers, ideas or principles. But he has never evoked Dugin, a Russian leading anticommunist theorist either. Instead, Putin repeatedly evoked and keeps promoting Ivan Ilyin, the principal Russian anti-communist ideologue.

This makes Putin securely anticommunist. And what does anticommunism mean in relation to fascism?

Paul Robinson writes in Russia Insider:

"Although Ilyin initially hoped that the Nazis would prove to be allies for the Russian exiles against the Soviet regime, he was soon disabused on this notion and fell foul of the Nazi authorities after refusing orders to include anti-Semitic propaganda in his lectures at the Russian Institute in Berlin."

From the same article:

"In his speech to the Russian parliament on 4 December, Vladimir Putin quoted philosopher Ivan Ilyin, who died 60 years ago today. Putin supervised the repatriation and reburial of Ilyin’s body in 2005, and has laid flowers on Ilyin’s grave.

He has quoted him several times before. Ilyin’s Our Tasks (Nashi Zadachi) was one of three books distributed by the Kremlin as recommended reading to regional governors and senior members of the United Russia party in early 2014.

And on December 22nd of this year, members of the Duma, Federation Council, and Presidential Administration will meet in Moscow for a round-table discussion of his work.

If Putin has a favourite philosopher, Ilyin seems to be the man."

In his follow-up post, Paul Robinson translated Ivan Ilyin's short piece "Against Russia" (1948).

One commentator responded: "Predicting the future of Russia with such stunning accuracy, decades in advance, ...seems like Ivan Ilyin had a 'prophetic vision' when he was writing this essay." Another exclaimed: "Written in 1948, but describes today just as well as it would 200 years ago. Great and seems timeless analysis."

I will pass the fact that Ilyin writes off the Slavs such as Czechs from the center of Europe. He says that the Slavs there were conquered and slaughtered. So nothing to see there and hence, without living with the Slavs side by side, (Western) Europe cannot, therefore, understand too distant and alien Russia.

Politically and strategically, at this moment, is how the beginning of Ilyin's article ties to its end. So this what this Putin's favorite philosopher and ideologue says at the beginning and at the end:

" ... only the United States is instinctively inclined to prefer a united national Russia as a safe counter-pole and as a loyal and solvent consumer of its goods. ...

Politics is the art of knowing your enemy and rendering him harmless.

Whoever is unable to do this should stay out of politics."

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