A number of people have been saying for a while that Putin is trying to rebuild the USSR. Or at least, “Mother Russia”, whatever that means.
I agree with that. It seems obvious.
But I’ve been saying something else—that his sway is more like Hitler’s than anyone else’s. I’m no expert on World War II, but what I see is a people who are beaten down, who have had their pride stomped on, and who are rallying behind someone who promises to get it back for them.
Someone who is military in nature. Someone who is looking to grow in strength, and expand his country’s borders.
Fascists sought to unify their nation through an authoritarian state that promoted the mass mobilization of the national community and were characterized by having leadership that initiated a revolutionary political movement aiming to reorganize the nation along principles according to fascist ideology. Fascist movements shared certain common features, including the veneration of the state, a devotion to a strong leader, and an emphasis on ultranationalism and militarism. Fascism views political violence, war, and imperialism as a means to achieve national rejuvenation, and it asserts that stronger nations have the right to expand their territory by displacing weaker nations.
On a tangential note, I find it fascinating that most people on the far right don’t realize how close they come to holding fascist views. Let’s walk down the list:
- Veneration of state (Mericuh!)
- Devotion to strong leader (Let Mitt show them who’s boss!)
- Ultranationalism and Militarism (see the defense budget and it’s defense on the right)
- Seeing war as a way to rejuvenate the country (weaker match)
- Having a right to expand into weaker countries (weaker match)
The top 3 are definitely present in the GOP, and in Putin. Perhaps that’s why the GOP hates him so much—it’s like they’re competing in the same business venture.
Fascism is terrifying because of its power. We’re seeing it in Putin’s new Russia, and we see it in our own GOP. And in both cases we need to be both aware and cautious of it.