Monday, 10 March 2014

Anti-fascist fascism

Putin has a habit of demonstrating his anti-fascism in strikingly fascist ways. (Of course, when Putin talks of anti-fascism he is simply reheating Soviet rhetoric, e.g. the Berlin Wall was an "anti-fascist barrier").

As far as I’m aware, the anti-fascist smear campaign was first mobilised against Ukraine after the 2004 Orange Revolution panicked Putin into fearing similar protests might arise in Russia. To stop "the kidz" being perverted by such evil Orange ways, Putin had his minions create the Youth Democratic Anti-Fascist Movement, better known as "Nashi" (Ours). Nashi emerged from a previous experiment in adolescent management, Walking Together. In 2002 Walking Together had publicly destroyed copies of the Russian satirist Vladimir Sorokin's novel Blue Lard, throwing the torn-up books into a huge toilet erected outside the Bolshoi Theatre. This helped earn them the nickname "Putinjugend".

Putin’s own PR machine seems to have taken a couple of leaves from Mussolini’s book. Few politicians have shown such a penchant for being photographed topless (unless you count Cicciolina), with two notable exceptions:
In August 2007, the Kremlin’s official website featured a photograph of Putin fishing – topless – during a trip to the Republic of Tuva. Comparable images are extremely rare. Prior to this instance, photographs showing a country’s leading political figure naked from the waist up had appeared in the media on only two occasions: in 1937, Italy’s fascist government published a photo of a shirtless Mussolini; in 1966, the Chinese press released pictures showing Mao swimming in the Yangtze River as part of a campaign to show that the Chairman remained vigorous and capable of leading China. (Helena Goscilo Putin as Celebrity and Cultural Icon)
Another of Putin’s favourite publicity stunts is close encounters with big cats, most famously his (faked) run-in with a Siberian tiger . This is some old footage of a shirtless Mussolini playing with a toothless lion cub.

No comments:

Post a Comment