Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Russia Rediscovers a World View

Moving forward to the past. The phrase fits a number of current philosophies but La Russophobe finds the sentiment specifically active in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Their lengthy editorial argues that Anti-Western ideology is the official perfume being used on the unearthed corpse of Soviet Communism.

The Neo-Soviet State: The Russian political elite has long dreamed of finding a national idea capable of rallying the people. … President Vladimir Putin came to power under the unofficial slogan: "Let's put an end to the Yeltsin-era chaos." Now the elite is pushing a new national idea to rally the nation. It can be stated as follows: "We will protect the country from external enemies and establish a new global order to replace the one that so humiliated Russia in the 1990s." To put it more simply, Putin's motto is: "Russia is back!"

Searching for enemies and casting the West in the role of the principal foe has turned out to be the most successful method for rallying the people. … The arguments supporting the new national idea are plain and simple: "The West is interfering in our domestic affairs and attempting to weaken Russia. By promoting democracy, the West is really advancing its own interests." … Being pro-Western in Russia today is not only unpopular, but also dangerous because it necessarily means being anti-Russian.

What is behind the new national idea? Anti-Western ideology has become an important factor that legitimizes the highly centralized state. The Kremlin has to offer some kind of explanation for the concentration of authority in so few hands, the elimination of political pluralism, the expansion of the state's role in the economy and the redistribution of property. The search for enemies and the cultivation of a "siege mentality" have always been used to justify "iron-hand" regimes in Russia.

The Russians are in the process of claiming a huge portion of the Artic Circle and they know no power on earth is willing to stop them. On their southern border, Publius Pundit comments on Georgia claims that Russian jet fighters fire a missile that lands inside their borders without exploding. The Kremlin denies any wrong doing but the situation between the two countries is tense, to say the least.