Paul Goble writes: Had Vladimir Putin accepted the Maidan’s ouster of discredited Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and agreed to accept the results of the upcoming elections, nothing that has occurred in Ukraine since that time would have happened, according to a Ukrainian commentator.
“Thousands of people would not have suddenly discovered in themselves an unconquerable desire for federalism,” Dmitry Litvin says. “Thousands would not have learned the meaning of ‘legitimacy,’ a term they had not been acquainted with. [And they] would not have suddenly decided they could not live … without state status for the Russian language and constitutional reforms”.
“If in short one man by the name of Putin had not decided that Ukrainian affairs are his affairs, then we now would not have to be catching terrorists and burying dozens of victims of resistance.” But that reflects an even deeper problem, one with which Russians, Ukrainians, and the world must deal.
That one man could do this is the clearest illustration of the Fuherprinzip, “the principle of the vozhd [great leader],” Litvin says. That principle, he continues, is “the central element of the state system under fascism.” Whatever the leader does or thinks must be what the entire society does and thinks.
To that end, the Ukrainian commentator continues, “the information milieu in Russia has been cleansed in such a way that outlets disseminate the worldview of the leader, his relation to people and events –and nothing more, except for entertainment.”
A second element of fascism in Russia requires is the articulation of “an historical mission,” something for which the leader “’was called’ to power” to realize. As defined by Putin, “Russia’s mission today is not distinguished from the mission of other fascist states – the defense of genuine traditional values from the influence of ‘destructive elements.’”
To be sure, Litvin continues, fascism “at the time of its first appearance in Europe” during the interwar period “declared ‘Judaism’ as the source of the destruction of genuine values and harshly rejected all forms of non-classical relations to life, art, labor, and science,” blaming these on the Jews.
Now, in fascism’s “second appearance in Europe,” the source of such destruction is Americanism. The Russian media under Putin’s direction is portraying Americanism as the primary enemy in just the same way Nazi media portrayed Jewishness and demanding that Russians do everything they can to fight against Americanism and its agents. [Continue reading…]