Yulia Latynina has a new column in Yezhednevny zhurnal (translated by RFE/RL) taking a look at the innovative idea of having the security officials of SVR and FSB secret police agencies put down the wiretaps for a moment in order to start studying history … and to enforce the new commission in charge of making sure that nobody falsifies these important narratives. Latynina highlights the case of Aleksei Olesinov, an activist who was arrested and sentenced to a year in prison for alleged hooliganism, but more likely was targeted for his anti-facist activities. From there, she takes on a discussion of the new forms of facism and anti-facism, or at least the presence of these terms by nearly every political movement out there.
We are usually extremely wary about any article which attempts to place 1930s Germany next to today’s Russia, and generally consider the F-word to be one of the most misleading, misunderstood, and abused terms out there. It carries the instant onus of undebatable evil, and its direct use to describe any contemporary government usually reveals a less than creditable agenda. That said, Latynina’s discussion here puts forward interesting ideas about the widespread appropriation and uses of anti-facism by disparate and opposing groups.
In my view, a new form of fascism has appeared in the world. It is a completely international ideology, just like fundamentalist Islam or communism, and it has been adopted by dictatorial regimes whose leaders do not want their countries to open up to the world or who are afraid their countries might develop independent businesses and a middle class and escape from their control.
Take,for example, Hamas. Members of Hamas don’t call themselves fascists. Onthe contrary, Hamas and its allies have urged a United Nationsconference to label Israel fascist and to call their struggleantifascist. They tell Western intellectuals they are fighting forfreedom and aren’t afraid to tell CNN’s cameras that theirunderstanding of freedom means the destruction of Israel and all theJews living in their homeland. (…)
Of course, if you look closely at themuch-hated West, it turns out that Sergei Brin, who emigrated to theUnited States, became a billionaire there by co-founding Google. AndAleksandr Rybak, who left Belarus for Norway, has become the darling ofhis adopted land. And you see that our passionate defenders against theforeign enemies are buying up mansions in London from our Britishenemies who blame us for the death of former FSB Colonel AleksandrLitvinenko. And they are registering their companies in the maliciousSwitzerland, which refused to freeze the bank accounts of MikhailKhodorkovsky.
Fascism is the exclusive propaganda weapon ofnations that want to remove other nations from the Earth. And how theylabel those other nations — “Jews,” “Untermensch,” or “fascists” — isjust a matter of convenience. But the ideology our authorities areleading us toward — the ideology of hatred against open society, theideology of struggling against “internal enemies,” the ideology ofstruggling against “those who would rewrite history” — (all of whichso perfectly described by George Orwell in “1984”) is becoming more andmore frightening.