One day, I looked up from my writerly bunker to discover that it was a really new and awful day: The American right wing was suddenly defending "nationalist" "Christian" "populist" "statesman" Putin, that Chiang Kai-shek and Ataturk, all rolled up into one "freely elected" leader, Vladimir Putin.
When, how did that happen? It was all a bit Rip van Winklian in that I felt I had missed some big connecting step. There we were, say, roundabout 2010, watching that very intriguing sleeper cell of undercover Russian intelligence agents rolled up and Obama-sped out of the country -- one of the Russian undercover agents, it was credibly reported, was getting "too close" to Secretary Clinton. In 2012, Obama was telling Medvedev to tell "Vladimir" he would be "more flexible" after his last election ... and now this. And this. And lots more besides.
This quite heated "thaw" on the Right -- a weird mirror image of historical Kremlin deceptions such as "detente," and "peaceful coexistence" -- seems to have gotten underway a few years ago, back when Putin got himself widely noticed for putting himself forward as a sort of savior of the Western world in his noted Valdai speech of 2013. Well, no one else was doing it -- and his efforts, jarringly ersatz as I read them now, received not only notice, but plaudits from conservatives, who perhaps heard the parts of the speech that they wanted to hear and -- their Kremlinologist-antennae (prematurely) mothballed in 1991-- no more.
For example, when Putin said in 2013 the following, traditionalists across the dying West heard not the sounds of old-fashioned Soviet-style-disinformation mixing lies and truths in a pro-Moscow concoction, but rather the brave, new chords of some sympatico Pied Putin.
We can see how many of the Euro-Atlantic countries are actually rejecting their roots, including the Christian values that constitute the basis of Western civilisation.
He's right, you know, was the reaction, all consciousness of Moscow's long terrible war on those same Christian values erased -- which Putin himself, of course, didn't bother to point out. I say "of course" -- but someone who had genuinely broken with such a past would make some point of acknowledging it, would he not? As Kruschchev "broke" with Stalin, even --?
But no. Putin, innocent bystander, continued:
They are denying moral principles and all traditional identities: national, cultural, religious and even sexual. They are implementing policies that equate large families with same-sex partnerships, belief in God with the belief in Satan.
Yes, yes, "they" are, conservatives hungrily agreed ... forgetting that denying morality and tradition is the very basis of Communism itself, as directed and fostered and inspired by Moscow since 1917. Indeed, what we often discuss as "cultural Marxism" became Communism's most lethal weapon against the West. In the long haul, for example, military occupation of the "Eastern bloc" countries turns out to have been less effective against church and tradition than all of those tweedy legions of Marxist professors tenured across the West.
The excesses of political correctness have reached the point where people are seriously talking about registering political parties whose aim is to promote paedophilia. People in many European countries are embarrassed or afraid to talk about their religious affiliations.
Excesses of PC, so true ... the Kremlin's destruction of the Russian church, the murder its priests, its infiltration, subversion of all churches throughout the West, the dissemination if not weaponization of what we generically label "PC," all of it and more, totally removed from the postmodern (which itself is Marxian) listening context.
Putin even added:
Holidays are abolished or even called something different; their essence is hidden away, as is their moral foundation.
How certain Putin must have been that no one would remember, in those sadly pleasing echoes of "moral foundation," that it was Lenin himself who said: "All Chekists have to be on the alert to shoot anyone who doesn't turn up to work because of [St Nicholas Day]; or that it is Putin himself, as explained at some length below, who continues to maintain Lenin, quite satanically, in his embalmed state at the dead heart of Red Square.
And people are aggressively trying to export this model all over the world.
The nerve ...
Putin had just catalogued the poisonous fruits of seeds sown in the French Revolution, cultivated by Marx and his followers, and weaponized by the Bolsheviks and their own international legions of death to mow down Judeo-Christian civilization -- but who, in the wastelands of Marxism-Leninism (socialism/Alinksyism/progressivism et al) that we inhabit today, even realized it? Perhaps it was all too distracting, seeking our lost "values" and "bases" of Western civilization, clinging to those shards of our "moral principles" and "identities," to remember they had been shatterd in the wrecking ball of Marxism-Leninism, aimed at creating what was once upon a utopian time, called the "new Soviet man."
Now he lives next door, upstairs -- but not, it would seem, in Russia. Which is noteworthy.
Maybe that helps with this latest deception: KGB Col. Putin as Western-ish Christian nationalist -- which increasingly is how Putin is perceived on the American Right, even as the American Left depicts Putin as the mechanism of Trump's election, thus making them together the dual mortal threat.
Is there not some way to appraise Putin for what he is and where he comes from outside this narrow and constricting frame? There is much "misreading Putin" -- which is the title of a new and extremely interesting essay by J.R. Nyquist, which I have reposted from his website below, in which he astutely grapples with this growing phenomenon.
by J.R. Nyquist
“Vladimir Putin is a powerful Ideological symbol and a highly effective ideological litmus test. He is a hero to populist conservatives around the world and anathema to progressives. I don’t want to compare him to our own president, but if you know enough about what a given American thinks of Putin, you can probably tell what he thinks of Donald Trump.”
– Christopher Caldwell (1)
“But now liberals are hopping mad with Putin. They could never forgive Russia for giving up communism.”
– Ann Coulter (2)
Ann Coulter has compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to former nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek and South Vietnam’s President Ngo Dinh Diem. Christopher Caldwell, of the Weekly Standard, likened Putin to Ataturk. In making these comparisons, Coulter and Caldwell reveal their ignorance; for Putin is not a nationalist, neither is he anti-communist. He was, by his own admission, a communist by choice. As the Russian president admitted last year, “I’ve always liked communist and socialist ideas.” [Newsweek 1/25/16]
The context of Putin’s statement is rather curious. He had previously said that Lenin was responsible for the fall of the Soviet Union. And that is true, in a sense. For it was Lenin who taught the communists to take “two steps back,” and pretend that “communist ideology was dead” to gain economic concessions from the West. This policy was famously known as NEP (or the New Economic Policy). Of course, Putin would never directly touch on this subject. To communicate to his fellow communists within the establishment, certain elliptical formulations are used to baffle Western journalists. Yet, even so, a misunderstanding arose so that Putin found it necessary to directly confess his faith. And this confession, which might be dismissed as rhetoric, has long been seconded by deeds.
Therefore, Ann Coulter and Christopher Caldwell are seriously mistaken when they imply that Vladimir Putin is a Russian nationalist or a Christian. The fact is, Vladimir Putin cannot be a nationalist and he has never been a Christian. For more than seventeen years, Vladimir V. Putin has kept and preserved the corpse of Vladimir I. Lenin, which lies in state at the center of Moscow.
Coulter and Caldwell have some explaining to do. Why has Vladimir Putin (a so-called Christian!) kept Lenin above ground?
Lenin was a militant atheist, an enemy of Christianity, an opponent of nationalism. In an article titled “Socialism and Religion,” Lenin wrote: “Religion is opium for the people. Religion is a sort of spiritual booze….” Lenin further stated, “Our program is based entirely on the scientific, and moreover the materialist, world outlook. An explanation of our program, therefore necessarily includes an explanation of the true historical and economic roots of the religious fog. Our propaganda necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism….” Lenin also wrote, “Unity in this … struggle of the oppressed class for the creation of a paradise on earth is more important to us than unity of proletarian opinion on paradise in heaven.” He further wrote, “…it is essential for us to combat the inconsistency of various ‘Christians.’”
In a Soviet era communist textbook by K.H. Sabirov, (What is Communism? Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1987), we read: “The theory of cultural revolution, devised by Lenin, is a component part of his plan for building socialism. It was first put in practice in the Soviet Union, then later in other socialist countries.” This is the model by which devout religious people were murdered and tortured, imprisoned and persecuted throughout the communist world. And Putin knows this very well. The men who trained Putin were Stalin’s creatures. They were the destroyers of Christianity in Russia. According to Sabirov, “It is compulsory for all nations making the transition to socialism [to establish] … traditions of a progressive national culture.” A progressive national culture is one that “critically revises the cultural heritage of the past and eliminates the ideology of the exploiting class [which includes religion] and … establishes a new, socialist culture.”
Therefore, Putin spoke deceptively when he said, in an interview, that the “basic postulates of [communist ideology] were taken from major religious groups.” That is a lie and Vladimir Putin knows that communism inverts the terms of Christianity. Yet he says that communism derives from Christianity and other religions. According to Putin, “[Communism] is the same as looking into the Bible, or Quran: ‘thou shalt not steal,’ ‘thou shalt not kill,’ ‘thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife’ – all of this is prescribed there, you see, all of this is taken from there.”
Here Putin misrepresents the teachings of communism. Lenin was not a follower of the Ten Commandments! Lenin ordered thousands of executions. He ordered the confiscation of property. He did not respect divine or human law. Putin, therefore, is lying about Lenin’s ideology (communism). Putin is covering up the truth, the scandal, that communism was at war with Christianity from the beginning. Therefore, it is a terrible thing that Coulter and Caldwell have failed to notice how Putin’s talk of religion has always been deceptive. His supposed nationalism is also deceptive.
When Putin was asked about Lenin lying in state at the center of Moscow, he made the following curious statement: “Some even say about the [Lenin] Mausoleum … that it doesn’t correspond to tradition. What exactly doesn’t correspond to tradition?” Then he said that the communists had “intercepted tradition.” They did this, he claimed, in “accordance with the needs of that time.”
What does it mean to “intercept” a tradition? What does it mean to use this interception “competently” in accordance “with the needs of that time”? This is a Leninist way of talking. Putin is saying, in effect, that communism has captured (or intercepted) religion, and now uses religion for its own ends. It is sufficient that the Pope proves to be a socialist and is no longer a Catholic. It is sufficient that the Protestant Churches have fallen away from the old teaching and are edging toward a communist conception of society. Under current conditions Putin has every reason to say that religion and communism are the same thing. His agent networks atop all the major religions are pushing socialism. Why shouldn’t he add fuel to the fire?
Yet, this does not mean that Putin is himself a Christian (as implied by Coulter and Caldwell). And this admission about Lenin, which is also deceptive, does not vindicate Putin as a nationalist. In fact, Putin’s nationalism is an obvious mockup. It is a counterfeit nationalism used to placate the Russian people during a period in which the communists have gone underground (in order to become more strategically effective, especially in the West). Lenin, whose mummified corpse stands at the center of Putin’s capital, signifies the opposite of nationalism. For Lenin damned nationalism as “the division and splitting up of the proletariat” to the advantage of the bourgeoisie. “The class-conscious workers fight hard against every kind of nationalism,” wrote Lenin. “both the crude, violent, Black-Hundred nationalism, and that most refined nationalism which preaches the equality of nations….” (See “Corrupting the Workers With Refined Nationalism,” by V.I. Lenin).
A man who refuses to bury Lenin cannot be a nationalist. And further proof of this is found in Putin’s foreign policy; for it cannot be denied that Putin supports communist regimes everywhere. Putin supports Angola, where the communist government won its civil war with Russian help. Putin supports China and North Korea where Russia has sent advanced weaponry and military scientists. What sort of nationalism is it, then, that arms communist states? A 2014 Xinhua News report out of Managua states, “Nicaragua modernizes military fleet with Russia’s help.” The ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front, under Daniel Ortega, pretends to be a social democratic party. But the Sandinistas have always been Marxist-Leninists. And the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, was also a Marxist-Leninist – while pretending to be a left-of-center populist. In fact, many communist leaders have pretended to be something other than communist. Go as far back as you please: Mao pretended to be “an agrarian reformer.” Stalin was our “Uncle Joe.” We have been told, time and time again, that Ho Chi Minh and Castro were only communists because the evil Americans pushed them into Russia’s arms – yet another lie.
How quickly we forget the deceptions of the past. In country after country, on continent after continent, communist power is building. It is arming. And we are completely blind. We do not think there are communists anywhere. Our pundits, our “experts,” our strategists, have been fooled. Let’s not mince words. When the price of this is ultimately paid, and the dead are counted, and the material losses can no longer be reckoned, mankind itself will view the current malpractice of our writers and experts as unforgivable.
And so I have to ask: Have you forgotten, dear Ann Coulter, who our real enemy is? Clearly you did not pay close enough attention in 1991. You missed those telltales, when the angry mob in Dzerzhinsky Square somehow abstained from smashing that statue of Iron Felix; instead, a crane appeared to carefully remove the Father of the CHEKA, and deliver him safely to storage – from whence he may one day return. You evidently didn’t notice when the KGB failed to cut off the food and water and electricity from the Russian White House during the August 1991 Coup. You neglected to read Yevgenia Albats, Anatoliy Golitsyn, Vladimir Bukovsky and Alexander Litvinenko. Worse yet, you missed the Great Reversal: the colonization of the U.S. federal government by conscious agents of the international communist conspiracy – facilitated by the motherland of socialism. You failed, as well, to protest the Cuban colonization of Venezuela, the communist takeover of mineral-rich South Africa, the takeover of the Congo, and of Nepal; the subversion of Brazil through the Workers Party, and of Bolivia by Evo Morales, and of the West generally through the façade of social democracy and the alt-left conservatives. You only saw “liberals” as the enemy. You did not seem to realize that Stalin became a liberal so that liberals could become Stalinists; therefore, you do not now realize that Putin has become a conservative so that conservatives can become Putinists. Did you ask yourself, dear Ann, if the Berlin Wall came down to spread freedom to the East or Communism to the West?
Turning to Christopher Caldwell, I do not think he ever cared much for truth in these or any other matters. His career has been based on the repetition of the plausible for the sake of the expedient. By teaching the students of Hillsdale College “how to think about Putin” instead of telling them “what to think,” he offers up a distinction without a difference. To say that Putin is not a politically correct leftist or feminist fails to acknowledge that Putin is the leader of the Soviet successor state; and the policy of that state has always been to cripple the West’s military and economic potential by spreading nonsensical ideas through agents of influence. One must therefore see that political correctness was never meant to infect Russia or China. It was designed to infect the Main Enemy, the West. In failing to see this, and in fruitlessly insisting that Putin agrees with conservatives in the West, Caldwell is inadvertently helping Putin. Even worse, Caldwell’s depiction of Putin as an “elected” leader is a misrepresentation of fact. As in the case of Hitler, Putin first came to office by appointment and not by election. And given the closed nature of the Russian system, the killing of journalists, the muzzling of the press, the nomenklatura’s dominance of all the major political parties, corporations, banks and government institutions, it would be inaccurate to say that elections in Russia are free. To compare Putin with Ataturk is also nonsense; for Mr. Caldwell does not really know what Putin has done in Russia, or what Putin plans to do; so he cannot competently compare him with anyone. Failing to see that Russian politics has been a puppet show since 1991, he also fails to see that Boris Yeltsin’s “reckless opportunism” was indispensable to the communists, not to those who sought freedom for the Russian people. And then to blame Western capitalists for stealing Russian natural resources – which they paid for, by the way – is even more bizarre.
According to Caldwell, the West loaned money to the Russian oligarchs so they could rob the Russian people. But this is idiotic. The communist oligarchy in Russia has been robbing the Russian people since 1917. They don’t need loans from the West to do this! These loans serve an entirely different role, which Lenin once spoke of when he explained that the West will sell the Bolsheviks the rope by which the world bourgeoisie will be hanged. For as it stands now, absurd as it might be, the West has finally loaned the communists the money with which to buy that rope – that is, the tanks, bombers, submarines and missiles needed to prevail.
It is also worth noting, in this regard, that the Russian oligarchs – who were part of Moscow’s grand puppet show – were all recruited agents of the KGB. They did not earn their billions. They did not even steal their billions. They were given nominal control of large businesses. They were given bank accounts, and they were asked to read from a script. This script was prepared, long in advance, by secret Communist Party structures. It is common knowledge within Russia, among the upper levels of the KGB and nomenklatura, that Russia’s oligarchs were chosen and elevated by the Soviet state; for once the communist edifice was taken down, a new façade had to be erected in order to fool the West. The oligarchs were the appointed face of capitalist Russia, beholden to orders from the Communist Party Soviet Union underground. The purpose of this grand deception strategy was touched on by KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn in 1995, who wrote: “The final objective of this strategy is Sino-Russian world domination….” [Perestroika Deception, p. 223]
To have such persons as Ann Coulter and Christopher Caldwell writing erroneously on this particular topic, without the least understanding of the underlying reality, is dangerous because people are now more likely to fall for Moscow’s next set of lies. Please do not mislead our people. This is hurting the country. This is putting our existence at risk.