Quotations, quotations

I don’t like to keep returning to the same topic, but The New York Times leaves me little choice. A few months ago I wrote a piece denouncing a lecture by historian Timothy Snyder which, roughly speaking, proposed the following thesis: Vladimir Putin has quoted philosopher Ivan Ilyin; Ilyin was a fascist; ergo Putin is a fascist. Today Snyder repeated his thesis in an op-ed entitled ‘How a Russian Fascist Is Meddling in America’s Election’. In this he argues that, with Ilyin as his philosophical guide, Putin is trying to ‘discredit both elections and their observation’ and thereby ‘bring down democracy everywhere’.

According to Snyder, ‘Mr Putin has relied on Ilyin’s authority at every turning point in Russian politics’. This is clearly an enormous exaggeration given that Putin has quoted Ilyin a grand total of five times in the 16 years that he has been in power. Furthermore, Snyder’s description of Ilyin’s views is decidedly one-sided. He writes, for instance, that ‘Ilyin believed that individuality was evil’. Now I confess that I haven’t read everything that Ilyin wrote, but I’ve read a reasonable amount, and I have yet to come across anything which would suggest such a conclusion (see the quote below about soldiers being individuals). Moreover, Snyder errs in saying that Ilyin’s critical views of formal democracy could justify undermining democratic procedures in foreign countries. Ilyin was actually of the view that in some countries, such as Switzerland and the USA, formal democracy worked well. He made it clear that, even if he didn’t want Russia to follow their example, he was very happy for other countries to do things the way they did. The political system of each country had to match that country’s specific form of legal consciousness, he insisted.

But Snyder’s errors on those points are not what I am most interested in challenging. Rather, what exercises me is the assumption underlying his argument, namely that if someone quotes somebody who at some point said something else which was distasteful, then the person doing the quoting obviously shares that distasteful opinion in full.

To show why this is wrong, let us consider somebody else Putin has cited: the Slavophile thinker Konstantin Aksakov. Does Putin share all Aksakov’s views on everything? Surely not. There is the Konstantin Aksakov who supported centralized state power. But there is also the Konstantin Aksakov who was something close to an anarchist. There is the Aksakov who backed autocracy. And there is the Aksakov who opposed serfdom and was a fierce proponent of free speech. Which Aksakov is Putin?

Take some other examples. Martin Heidegger was one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century, but he was also at one point a member of the Nazi Party. Many philosophers continue to cite him and make use of his ideas. It would be ridiculous to claim that they are all Nazis. The jurist Carl Schmitt has become increasingly popular in academic works in the past decade. He too was a member of the Nazi party. But it would be preposterous to call all the legal scholars who cite him fascists.

So, let us look at which of Ilyin’s sayings Putin has actually referred to. There are as follows:

25 April 2005:

The great Russian philosopher Ivan Ilyin wrote that, ‘State power has its limits … The state cannot demand from its citizens faith, prayer, love, goodness, and convictions. It cannot regulate scientific, religious, and artistic creation. … It musn’t interfere in moral, family, and everyday life, or except in extreme necessity restrict economic initiative.’

10 May 2006:

The well-known Russian thinker Ivan Ilyin said that the calling of soldier is a high and honourable title and that the soldier ‘represents the national unity of the people, the will of the Russian state, strength and honour’.

23 January 2012:

It is this special quality of Russian statehood that was outlined in Ivan Ilyin’s works: ‘Not to eliminate, not to suppress, not to enslave other people’s blood, not to stifle the life of different tribes and religions – but to give everyone breath and the great Russia…to honor all, to reconcile all, to allow everyone to pray in their own way, to work in their own way, and to engage the best in public and cultural development.’

26 June 2013

As the famous philosopher Ivan Ilyin said, ‘The Russian army will never forget the tradition of Suvorov, which maintained that the soldier is an individual’.

4 December 2014:

I will cite here Ivan Ilyin: ‘Whoever loves Russia should desire freedom for it; first of all freedom for Russia itself, its international independence; freedom for Russia—as the unity of Russian and all other national cultures; and finally, freedom for Russian people, freedom for all of us; freedom of religion, the search for justice, creativity, labor, and property.

Professor Snyder thinks that these quotations make Putin a fascist. I cannot imagine what definition of fascism he is using to draw this conclusion. In 1990 the New York Times admitted that Walter Duranty’s reporting was some of the worst it had ever printed. Given what the newspaper is publishing nowadays, Duranty is facing some stiff competition.

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45 thoughts on “Quotations, quotations”

  1. Breaking news! Propagand outlet spreads propganda!

    Really, Professor? Are you surprised that in our age of the West vs Russia confrontation handshakable rags, whose raison d’etre in much simpler, happier (for some) era of the Cold War was spreading lies, distortions and whatever else their paymaster deemed worthy publishing, now would “behave itself”?

    As for why there is no qualms at quoting Heidiger et al – because, all things said and done, Nazis and everything connected to them to lesser or bigger degre is much more acceptable (“handshakable”) than filthy commies (who are deemed by the general population of the Blessed West as either capitalism hating monsters or just a bunch of Jews anyway) or sub-human Russian “thinkers”, who are not known to the general public in the West because they are, well Russia. Therefore any lie will work absolutely fine – there is no one to contest it. Or do you want to be black-balled as someone who “understands Putin”?

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    1. I haven’t checked, but think that all the quotations are from ‘Nashi Zadachi’. You can find the relevant Putin speeches (and in one instance, article) with the quotes as follows:

      Speech to the federal assembly, 25 April 2005: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/22931

      Speech to the federal assembly 10 May 2006: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/23577

      Speech to the federal assembly 4 December 2014: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/47173

      Article entitled ‘The national question’, published in Nezavisimaia Gazeta, 23 January 2012: http://www.ng.ru/politics/2012-01-23/1_national.html

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I realised that I had made a mistake, and there are in fact 5 quotations not 4 as originally stated. I had thought as much but had had problems finding the fifth. I have now located it, and have therefore amended the post accordingly. The 5th quote can be found here:

        Reception in honour of graduates of military academies, 26 June 2013,: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/18410

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    1. I do what I can. Sadly, just a few hundred people will read this blog post, whereas possibly tens of thousands will read Snyder’s piece in the NYT. I can’t help thinking that it is a losing battle. Nevertheless, I will keep on trying.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You might post the translated quotations plus the links in the article’s comments section on the NYT page – they might catch someone’s attention.

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      2. Comments are closed on the NYT page, but I have emailed a letter to the editor with the exact quotations. We shall see if it is published!

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      3. “Comments are closed on the NYT page, but I have emailed a letter to the editor with the exact quotations. We shall see if it is published!”

        IMO, your rebuttal would have better chances of getting published in some of the NYT rivals – like, I dunno, The Politico or the Nation. The New York Times is too handshakable to allow any sort of dissent against its own narrative.

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  2. I wouldn’t get discouraged. Sure, lots more people will see the NYTs. But their intellectual sloppiness has become pretty obvious by now, and I think readers are starting to realize that words have become little more than weapons over there — not really about expressing thought.
    That is also true of much of what Snyder produces lately.

    If and when people decide that it actually is necessary to try to be constructive, the presence of people like you who are thoughtful and measured in their analytical work — who at least respect that standard as the ideal — will prove very important indeed.

    If on the other hand the War is Peace, Propaganda is Truth movement lasts for many decades, all the more important that the idea of scholarship be somewhere preserved! (Sort of an academic Benedict Option, as Rod Dreher keeps going on about.)

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  3. Snyder has been working hard to rehabilitate nazism, by framing it as a natural and understandable reaction to the horrific asiatic bolshevik menace… And now you quoted Snyder… For the second time… Oh dear…

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    1. “Snyder has been working hard to rehabilitate nazism, by framing it as a natural and understandable reaction to the horrific asiatic bolshevik menace…”

      He is not alone in this approach. That’s why I said that among certain circles it could be considered mainstream – if not THE mainstream of the West. E.g.:

      “У СМЕРШ не было красивой формы, но это, пожалуй, единственное их отличие от войск СС. Впрочем, есть еще одно – боевых частей у СМЕРШ не было, СМЕРШ специализировался только на борьбе со шпионами и внутренними врагами – в атаку они не ходили. Я не знаю, скольких они расстреляли, скольких отправили на смерть в наши лагеря? Я не знаю, сколько среди этих расстрелянных и арестованных было совсем ни в чем не повинных? Много. Не сомневаюсь, при этом, что и в СМЕРШ были честные солдаты. Вот только случилось так, что служили они в структуре, не менее преступной, чем СС. И само это слово – СМЕРШ – должно стоять в одном ряду со словами «СС», «НКВД» и «гестапо», вызывать ужас и отвращение, а не выносится в название патриотических боевиков.”
      – Leonid Gozman.

      There is a reason the people like him and Snyder are called абажурналисты

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    2. That the violence of Nazism was a response to the threat of Bolshevik asiatic hordes was of course what the Nazis themselves said about their policies and their justification for turning the war in the east into a war of extermination. Given this, it would hardly be unfair to describe Snyder and his fanboys as Nazi sympathisers, a new wave of Nolteites

      The more interesting issue however is that, as Lyttenburgh pointed out, this is hardly an isolated phenomenon. In Greece, the German historian Heinz Richter was brought to trial on the basis that claims made in his book on the Battle of Crete were in breach of the country’s hate speech laws. I am unsure as to what came out of the legal case, but what caused the furore were Richter’s claims that German paratroopers were motivated by romantic ideals of knightly behaviour and that Nazi attrocities on the islands were cause by the fact that Cretan irregulars (namely, the resistance) did not observe the Geneva convention, killing the hapless knights wherever and whenever they could. Before Crete, the Wehrmacht had waged a more or less ‘clean war’.

      Neither Snyder nor Richter are Nazis. They are probably very pleasant people who abhor violence and are made uncomfortable by extremist views, your average academics who enjoy an intellectual conversation over a good drink. But they seem pretty sympathetic to people who locked up folks in buildings and burned the whole lot. So what is going on?

      The rehabilitation of Nazism is a logical consequence of the decades long attempt to equate it to communism and assign moral equivalence to Soviet and Nazi violence. There are both logical-theoretical and historical reasons to this. When the Cold War intellectuals invented the comical concept of totalitarianism, they were in effect trying to exorcise Nazism from its place in Western historical development. People like JL Talmon came up with an intellectual and political history that attributed mass repression to a certain strand in political philosophy with origins in Rousseau and Jacobinism. This could be conveniently counterposed to the Anglo-American liberal tradition – which was good, peaceful, gradualist, individualist and opposed to tyranny – and therefore fit nicely into the new Cold War realities. Constitutionalism and democracy on the American side, the violent tradition of totalitarianism on the Soviet. At the same time people like Brzezinski were coming up with their silly models which, devoid of any empirical basis, created a conceptual framework where the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were basically the same thing.

      But wait a minute, if USSR=Nazi Germany then surely, we can’t possibly treat Nazism as a monstrosity that should be banished beyond the pale of civilisation. Scholarly treatment must afford it at least the same amount of dignity that it does to the USSR. Once people realised this, it only became a matter of time until they also realised that perfectly rational and respectable people came to support Nazism because they saw it as the best way to protect things they held dear, like their ‘romantic knightly ideals’ and of course, their class privilege. All of these things are also held dear by modern day Western liberals. Ernst Nolte caused a storm when he argued along these lines a few decades ago. Today, there are just less people who think that ‘defending’ the Western way of life over piles of corpses is not ok (Bernard Henri-Levy published an article in the ‘progressive’ Guardian yesterday in which he says that intervention in Libya was a failure but was still the right thing to do). As the Western way of life still needs ‘defending’ from a world that is becoming increasingly unwilling to subsidise it, there is nothing odd in the fact that the most resolute of its defenders is finding new sympathisers.

      The liberal rehabilitation of Nazism is just ruling class ideology getting to know one of its long lost relatives.

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    3. It must be a case of Snyder-Robinson syndrome (https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/snyder-robinson-syndrome)

      ‘Snyder-Robinson syndrome is a condition characterized by intellectual disability, muscle and bone abnormalities, and other problems with development. It occurs exclusively in males. Males with Snyder-Robinson syndrome have delayed development and intellectual disability beginning in early childhood. The intellectual disability can range from mild to profound.’

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      1. As a rule, I tend not to appreciate jokes about serious medical conditions, but I must admit that this was quite funny.

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  4. The comparison of quoting Ilyin to quoting Heidegger is, sorry, a bit silly. Heidegger’s Nazi Party membership was not central to who Heidegger was as a person and philosopher. Ilyin, on the other hand, was a far right 1930’s thinker with strong sympathy for fascism (though he was certainly not a Nazi). Ilyin was no Hitler, but he could probably be compared to Franco.

    Given Ilyin’s near-fascism, it is notable that Putin has quoted him publically five times. Had some world leader quoted Franco publically five times in a positive way (even if the quotes were all non-controversial in themselves), describing the source of his quote as a “Great Spanish leader,” would this not be notable? How is Putin’s positive quoting of Ilyin different, other than Ilyin being much more obscure than Franco? So it seems Snyder is not too off-base in mentioning Putin quoting Ilyin.

    For interested readers, here is a taste of Ilyin’s writings (for non-Russian speakers, use googletranslate):

    http://iljinru.tsygankov.ru/works/vozr170533full.html

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    1. This is a pretty poor analogy. Franco was not an intellectual writing about things. He was the leader of the nationalist mutiny against the Spanish Republic and the ruler of the fascist state that succeeded it.

      Moreover, to suggest that Heidegger’s Nazism was not a central part of who he was requires a very charitable reading of his death obsessed philosophy. Carl Schmitt is not even worth arguing about.

      One may wonder however why concerned liberals are so worried that Putin has quoted a reactionary nationalist who was ok with fascists but don’t seem to mind the fact that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs intends to propose to UNESCO that 2018 should be the year of another reactionary nationalist who was ok with fascists.

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      1. I chose Franco because he seems to be roughly in the same place on the ideological spectrum as Ilyin, and is very well-known. This makes for a decent analogy, I think. Quoting Ilyin and saying nice things about him is comparable to quoting Franco and saying nice things about him. The actual quote is not so relevant, given the source.

        Regarding Heidegger, a “death obsessed” philosophy is not enough to make it Nazi-like. His thinking has roots in that of his mentor, the Jewish philosopher Husserl (whom Heidegger threw under the bus in the 1930s). At any rate, Ilyin was much more of a pro-fascist right-wing political theoretician than Heidegger was a Nazi, so this blog’s analogy was a rather inaccurate one.

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      2. I chose Franco because he seems to be roughly in the same place on the ideological spectrum as Ilyin, and is very well-known. This makes for a decent analogy, I think.

        Portugal joined NATO during the rule of Salazar as an authoritarian corporatist right-wing state (i.e. fascism with better PR). Ergo NATO and its constituent countries are fascist states.

        This makes for a decent analogy, I think.

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    2. What exactly is that even supposed to prove? A high percentage of European conservatives were totally cool with Hitler in 1933 as a bulwark against Bolshevism (which had, unlike Nazism, already well established its totalitarian “credentials” by that point).

      The “fascist” Ilyin even went so far as to condemn the “oppression” of ethnic minorities in the USSR, whereas a staple of actual Russian nationalist narratives on the USSR is the disproportional influence of ethnic minorities – especially the Jews – for its totalitarian and “anti-Russian” nature. In fact, in this respect, one could argue Ilyin is far less anti-Semitic than the (Jewish) historian Yuri Slezkine.

      If you want a bona fide Russian fascist, you would have to look to Rodzaevsky. But be careful doing that in Russia, since his works are banned and you might be locked up for extremism under Article 282 (a law introduced by Russian liberals due to their well known fondness for freedom of speech).

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      1. Portugal joined NATO during the rule of Salazar as an authoritarian corporatist right-wing state (i.e. fascism with better PR). Ergo NATO and its constituent countries are fascist states.

        This is the same type of error that the blog author made with his silly Heidegger analogy: turning something peripheral into something central. If Portugal had a position within NATO that the USA had, you would have a point. But it did not. If Nazism was a central aspect of Heidegger’s thought and life, the blog author would have a point. But it was not.

        Far right near-fascism was Ilyin’s ideology. Did you read his essay I linked to? He largely describes his ideas as a uniquely Russian counterpart to those espoused by Mussolini and Hitler.

        The “fascist” Ilyin even went so far as to condemn the “oppression” of ethnic minorities in the USSR,

        So? Fascism is not necessarily national chauvinism. Did Franco not rescue large numbers of Jews? Did his doing so make him not a fascist?

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      2. We can argue about whether the Heidegger analogy was ‘silly’ as you put it, but I note that you didn’t challenge the Schmitt analogy. There have been hundreds of citations of Schmitt in law review journals in recent years. Are all those hundreds of legal scholars ‘far-right near fascists’?

        The ‘far right near-fascism’ label is one that the Ilyin scholars I know would strongly dispute, given his strong emphasis on the rule of law and the development of legal consciousness, as well as his belief in limited government, freedom of expression, etc. One needs to look at much more than one essay.

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      3. “I note that you didn’t challenge the Schmitt analogy.

        Schmitt was more of a Nazi than was Heidegger. This analogy was more accurate.

        There have been hundreds of citations of Schmitt in law review journals in recent years. Are all those hundreds of legal scholars ‘far-right near fascists’?

        1. I think it depends on the type of citation. Do these legal scholars emphasize, as Putin did with Ilyin, how great Schmitt was in their citations? Or were they merely quoting some particular legal point he had made?

        2. More importantly, with Putin, quoting Ilyin so positively was not the only evidence that he is a fascist (according to Snyder). It is a part of pattern involving authoritarianism and militarism.

        Personally, I don’t like using the term “fascist” to apply to Putin. He seems to be more of 21st century (thus milder) version of a 1930s-style semi-democratic authoritarian strongman, of the type that ruled almost every country between Germany and the USSR prior to World War II. His citing Ilyin supports that impression. But Snyder isn’t as ridiculously far off as you imply him to be.

        “The ‘far right near-fascism’ label is one that the Ilyin scholars I know would strongly dispute

        Here’s more from Russian wiki:

        “В 30-е годы в соавторстве с Адольфом Эртом, высокопоставленным нацистским функционером, который до 1938 года возглавлял антикоминтерновское отделение геббельсовского Министерства пропаганды, Ильин издавал книги под немецкими псевдонимами. У нас об этом практически никто не знает. Он пользовался псевдонимами „Юлиус Швейкерт“ и „Альфред Норман“. У этих книг были такие замечательные названия, как, например, „Снятие оков с преступного мира“. Подразумевается, что оковы с преступного мира сняли именно большевики. Или „Большевистская великодержавная политика: планы Третьего Интернационала по революционизации мира по аутентичным источникам“. Там Ильин объяснял всем желающим, какие ужасные евреи и славяне населяют большевистскую Россию — раз они допустили ликвидацию монархии и высылку за границу его, Ивана Ильина, и, конечно, что фюрер должен вбить их в землю, раз и навсегда показать всем, что с такими негодяями полагается делать”

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      4. Far right near-fascism was Ilyin’s ideology. Did you read his essay I linked to? He largely describes his ideas as a uniquely Russian counterpart to those espoused by Mussolini and Hitler.

        Yes, I did, and I have read many dozens of Ilyin’s other articles.

        As I mentioned that was 1933, not The Current Year or even the postwar period.

        Ilyin and other White Russians of his generation had been traumatized by their experience of the Russian Revolution and forced exile abroad. Their self-evident wish that the Russian government had acted far more decisively against the revolutionaries was entirely understandable then (note that Mussolini’s Italy under the fascists executed a total of nine people and imprisoned 6,000 for political reasons between its taking power and 1940; that is, on particularly bad weeks, the USSR killed more actual Communists than Italy ever even imprisoned). So given the understanding of fascism as the repressive but necessary and not especially violent system that was then most strongly associated with Italy at the time, is there a single argument in Ilyin’s essay that would have been particularly out of place for a standard European conservative rationalization of Nazism c. 1933?

        Moreover, this argument remains understandable even today. After all, a classic defense that is made to this day of US foreign policy during the Cold War was that helping prop up various right-wing regimes that might not have been entirely savory and killed dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people but prevented the emergence of Communist regimes that were orders of magnitude more violent.

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      5. “You are making autlandish claim here – the burden of proof inupon you.

        I make no “claim”, least of all an outlandish one. I point out that Ilyin praises Franco and Salazar, stating that they recognized fascism’s errors and try to correct them. This is, obviously, praise.

        The outlandish claim is that Ilyin did not praised fascism. And Lyttenburgh has failed to prove it.

        Ilyin wrote an essay about fascism, praising some aspects of it and condemning other aspects of it. He pointed out that Franco and Salazar were correcting fascism’s mistakes.

        No, he didn’t.

        Here is an English translation of Ilyin’s “On Fascism.” As is obvious, Ilyin both praises and condemns fascism:

        https://souloftheeast.org/2013/12/27/ivan-ilyin-on-fascism/

        The commentator Lyttenburgh chose to only write Ilyin’s criticisms, and not his praise of fascism, presenting a false picture of Ilyin’s attitude. To balance Ilyin’s quotes against fascism, here is Ilyin’s praise of fascism:

        “Fascism arose as a reaction to Bolshevism, as a concentration of power guarding sovereignty from the Right. As leftist chaos and totalitarianism advanced, this was a healthy phenomenon, as well as necessary and unavoidable. And such a concentration will come about henceforth, even in the most democratic states: in an hour of national danger the more vigorous forces of the people will always rally to the defense of sovereignty.”

        “Standing against leftist totalitarianism, fascism was correct, as it sought just socio-political reform. This quest could be successful or unsuccessful: solving such problems is difficult, and first attempts might not have made any headway. But to meet the wave of socialist psychosis- through social and consequently anti-socialist measures- was imperative. These measures had long been imminent, and waiting any further was out of the question.”

        “Finally, fascism was right since it derived from a healthy national-patriotic sensibility, without which a people can neither lay claim to its existence nor create a unique culture.”

        Does the above sound like praise?

        Ilyin: “Franco and Salazar recognized this and are attempting to avoid the aforementioned errors.”

        Does the above sound like ” pointed out that Franco and Salazar were correcting fascism’s mistakes.”?

        In his criticism of fascism, Ilyin wrote: “Fascism could have not created a totalitarian system: it could have satisfied itself with an authoritarian dictatorship sufficiently strong to a) uproot Bolshevism and Communism, and b) provide religions, the press, academia, art, sectors of the economy and non-communist parties freedom of judgment by virtue of their political loyalty ” [emphasis mine]

        So no to totalitarianism, but yes to an authoritarian dictatorship that allows certain freedoms contingent upon political loyalty.

        It should be noted that Ilyin wrote this in 1948, when fascism was utterly discredited. Even then, as we see, he showed some ambivalence. His writings from the 1930s were considerably less critical. As has been noted, at that time he compared his own ideas to those of Hitler and Mussolini, different in that they reflect a uniquely Russian way of doing things.

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    3. I doubt that userperson “the visitor” really read Ilyin at any considerable lenght, or that zir is arguing at good faith, given all the effort to distort and mangle evidence in the name of proclaiming Ilyin (and Putin) as fascists and to defend darling Snyder.

      In his “Our Tasks” (volume 1), he ennumerates the fatal flwas of the fascism:

      1. Anti-religiosity.
      2. Right-wing totalitarism.
      3. Party monopoly, giving rise to corruption and demoralisation
      4. Radical nationalism and jingoism.
      5. Combination of social reforms with socialism, which combined with the totalitarism makes all economy state-run.
      6. Idolatory and ceasarism.

      He writes: “Русские “фашисты” этого не поняли. Если им удастся водвориться в России (чего не дай Бог), то они скомпроментируют все государственные и здоровые идеи и провалятся с позором”

      AFAIK, Ilyin was not a holy prophet – neither he claimed such a thing. No one (Putin included) views his body of works as a new Bible, to be taken literally and worshipped.

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      1. Your forgot this part from Ilyin, after describing fascism’s mistakes he had this to say:

        “Franco and Salazar recognized this and are attempting to avoid the aforementioned errors. They do not call their regime “fascist”.”

        So Ilyin seems to be a Franco-ist (as I correctly implied) rather than strictly a fascist. A near-fascist.

        How did akarlin describe Salazar’s state? “. “Fascism with better PR.”

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      2. “So Ilyin seems to be a Franco-ist (as I correctly implied) rather than strictly a fascist. A near-fascist.”

        Where did he (except your imagination, of course!) PRAISED or othervise endersed in no uncretain terms Franco and his regime, so that he won’t be “seen” (by you and other easily excitable people, ready to screech “Fascism!” at no provocation) but truly considered “Franco-ist”?

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      3. “Where did he (except your imagination, of course!) PRAISED or othervise endersed in no uncretain terms Franco and his regime

        When, after pointing out facism’s flaws (after previously praising certain aspects of fascism – you “conveniently” forgot to mention that part), Ilyin added “Franco and Salazar recognized this and are attempting to avoid the aforementioned errors. They do not call their regime “fascist.”

        This is certainly praise. Full essay in Russian:

        http://www.paraklit.org/sv.otcy/I.Iljin/I.Iljin-Fashizm.htm

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      4. ” Ilyin added “Franco and Salazar recognized this and are attempting to avoid the aforementioned errors. They do not call their regime “fascist.””

        I have my copy of Ilyin’s “Наши задачи”. And, no, this is not a praise. You just repeated what you said earlier. Try again – this time harder.

        You know what would be a praise? What His Holiness Pope Pius XII did in 1939 – he in no uncertain terms congratulated Franco with his victory. “Lifting our hearts to God,’ ran Pope Pius XII’s message of congratulation to Franco, ‘we give sincere thanks with your excellency for the victory of Catholic Spain”. Later – on April 14 – His Holiness produced this:

        “With great joy We address you, most dear children of Catholic Spain, to express to you our fatherly congratulations for the gift of peace and of victory, with which God has deemed worthy to crown the Christian heroism of your faith and charity, tried in so many and so generous sufferings…

        The designs of Providence, most beloved children, have once again dawned over heroic Spain. The Nation chosen by God as the main instrument of the evangelization of the New World and as an impregnable fortress of the Catholic faith has just shown to the apostles of materialistic Atheism of our century the greatest evidence that the eternal values of religion and of the spirit stand above all things…

        …As a pledge of the copious graces, which the Immaculate Virgin and Saint James the Apostle, Patrons of Spain, shall obtain for you, and which the great Spanish Saints have merited for you, We bestow upon you, Our dear children of Catholic Spain, upon the Chief of State and his illustrious Government, upon the zealous Episcopate and their selfless Clergy, upon the heroic combatants, and upon all the faithful Our Apostolic Blessing.

        PIUS XII”

        That was symbolic – given his election to St. Peter’s see only a month and a half earlier.

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      5. I have my copy of Ilyin’s “Наши задачи”. And, no, this is not a praise

        Your saying it is not so, does not make it not so.

        Ilyin wrote an essay about fascism, praising some aspects of it and condemning other aspects of it. He pointed out that Franco and Salazar were correcting fascism’s mistakes.

        The Pope’s even greater praise of Franco (focused, however, on Franco’s victory over Communism and not as in the case of Ilyin’s praise, on Franco’s politics), of course, has nothing to do with this discussion. Is it a failed attempt at whataboutism? Red herring?

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      6. Your saying it is not so, does not make it not so.

        No, it’s your baseless claim that it is so, doesn’t make it so 🙂 You are making autlandish claim here – the burden of proof inupon you.

        Ilyin wrote an essay about fascism, praising some aspects of it and condemning other aspects of it. He pointed out that Franco and Salazar were correcting fascism’s mistakes.

        No, he didn’t. Again – where in some not uncertain terms does he claim that “Franco and Slazar are corecting fascism mistakes”? Btw, what is the difference between, say Latin American juntas (e.g. Pinochet) and those 2?

        The Pope’s even greater praise of Franco (focused, however, on Franco’s victory over Communism and not as in the case of Ilyin’s praise, on Franco’s politics)

        Only Franco didn’t “won” over Communism. He won in the Spanish Civil War against the Republic. And His Holiness was referring to Franco and his cohorts, when he called them “most dear children of Catholic Spain” and praised (yes, praised) their “faith and charity”. He calls forward (in his capacity as the Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church) the blessin upon the “the Chief of State and his illustrious Government” (that’s, if you are still guessing, Franco and his regime). Indeed, this is nothing like nonexistant “Ilyin’s praise”.

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      1. Obama isn’t compared with Hitler in Russian ‘patriotic’ discourse. So it is objectively not true.

        Russians in general do not like to compare people to Hitler because they experienced Hitler firsthand in all his glory. Jews probably do not compare people to Hitler much too.

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      2. “Russians in general do not like to compare people to Hitler

        On this comment section: “Given this, it would hardly be unfair to describe Snyder and his fanboys as Nazi sympathisers, a new wave of Nolteites..”

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      3. My claim is that Snyder et co are Nazi sympathisers who are comparable to Nolte. The comparison therefore is between one scholar of a previous generation and scholars of the current generation. I do not compare intellectuals to statesmen because their activities are not comparable, they do different things.

        I am also not Russian.

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  5. This piece does a good job answering the flaws of analogy that I saw with Snyder’s piece. I really think that Dr. Snyder was stretching it with Ilyin, Putin, and fascism.

    But I think his read about what Russia is trying to do w the US elections is spot on.

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    1. “But I think his read about what Russia is trying to do w the US elections is spot on.”/

      Pray tell me, what *Russia* is trying to do with the US elections?

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      1. Oh Jeez! You are so ignorant. Russia is manipulating US elections to make Trump win.

        How Russia does it is beside the point, more important is that Russia is doing it!

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      2. “Oh Jeez! You are so ignorant. Russia is manipulating US elections to make Trump win.

        How Russia does it is beside the point, more important is that Russia is doing it!”

        Joel Wasserman, is this true? Huh.

        Listen, I have an old anecdote for you:

        “Rabbi Altmann and his secretary were sitting in a coffeehouse in Berlin in 1935. “Herr Altmann,” said his secretary, “I notice you’re reading Der Stürmer! I can’t understand why. A Nazi libel sheet! Are you some kind of masochist, or, God forbid, a self-hating Jew?”

        “On the contrary, Frau Epstein. When I used to read the Jewish papers, all I learned about were pogroms, riots in Palestine, and assimilation in America. But now that I read Der Stürmer, I see so much more: that the Jews control all the banks, that we dominate in the arts, and that we’re on the verge of taking over the entire world. You know – it makes me feel a whole lot better!””

        P.S. Oh, and while we are at it – Putin made Angelina Jolie divorce Brad Pitt. True story! (c)

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  6. I think it would be useful to define ‘fascism’ for the purpose of this conversation. ‘Fascism’ could mean many different things; different aspects and manifestations could be emphasized and assumed essential — or superficial. I think one of the definitions might describe a communitarian ideology, where varuious classes and segments of society find and maintain a compromise beneficial for and commonly accepted by all (or nearly all) of them. Something like the Scandinavian or Swiss model…

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