Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, December 27, 2010

Vladimir Putin and “Managed Nationalism”

Vladimir Putin came to power in Russia — and has maintained that power — through the use of Managed Nationalism.

Just like the USA, Russia has millions of outraged citizens who relieve their frustration and anger by lashing out at other ethnic groups. Racist/nationalist skinheads and soccer hooligans are the two main anti-foreigner groups. (How do you say “redneck” in Russian?)

These racist groups are a potent weapon for government power brokers; and some of these groups are “unofficially” affiliated with government VIPs. Recently a gang of hooligans had a “spontaneous” gathering where they attacked a group of environmentalists.

But sometimes a potent weapon can backfire. Recent race riots have shown that “managed nationalism” is getting out of control and isn’t being too well “managed.” (Here's another link in case the Financial Times link doesn't work.)

On December 11th, six thousand skinheads demonstrated near the Kremlin. Some of the demonstrators assaulted non-Russian passers-by who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A member of one of the anti-immigrant groups said: “This is a massive political wave, and no one can stop it.”

The same person also said Vladimir Putin is in roughly the same position as the Polish government after the fall of Communism (they gave up power) and/or Nicolae Ceausescu, the Romanian dictator who had an unhappy ending in 1989. Grim choice.

55% of all Russians agree with the nationalist/skinhead slogan “Russia for the Russians.” And sales of baseball bats are through the roof. Betcha didn’t know baseball was such a popular sport in Russia. And you were right. For every baseball that gets sold, four bats are sold. Hmmm…thousands of violent skinheads on the rampage, millions of Russian citizens who agree with them, baseball bats selling like hotcakes…what could this mean?

The linked Financial Times article compares Russia’s racial tensions to Germany in the 1930s. The author doesn’t make any comparisons to American demagogues, teabaggers or racist gangs. However…


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9 Comments:

Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Alas, the Russians still have a lot of growing pains to get through, and some growing up to do. Plus, hard times breed hard feelings.

I suspect part of what you're seeing here is too many strong, educated young men with limited, very uncertain future prospects for making a good living. That's a series of wastebasket fires in a dynamite factory. As we saw with 1920s-1930's Germany, it can blow up, to everyone's grief.

December 28, 2010 at 12:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like well orchestrated riots by the governmnet playing the class warfare game.
See how well it works?

December 28, 2010 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: "A series of wastebasket fires in a dynamite factory" -- excellent description. Germany in the 1920s - 30s is a very valid comparison. Our own teabaggers and KKK-type groups are less comparable, but it's still a danger that needs to be watched.

Lisa, er, I mean "Anonymous:" Either you didn't read the post and the linked article very closely, and/or you just have to spew out "class warfare" at every possible opportunity.

December 28, 2010 at 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

S.W. Anderson said...
Alas, the Russians still have a lot of growing pains to get through, and some growing up to do. Plus, hard times breed hard feelings.

I suspect part of what you're seeing here is too many strong, educated young men with limited, very uncertain future prospects for making a good living. That's a series of wastebasket fires in a dynamite factory. As we saw with 1920s-1930's Germany, it can blow up, to everyone's grief.

December 28, 2010 12:58

_______________________________________


Hmmm.... Sounds sort of familiar.


Once again is seems to be, "a case of chickens coming home to roost" ?

December 28, 2010 at 9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Firs they take over every ethnic group in the continent and became the Soviet Union then they split up and want to become xenophobic.

The Brits learned this lesson as well then their former Indian and African subjects moved into their neighborhoods.

Erik

December 29, 2010 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: The U.S. is having that same problem. The dimwits who were so gung ho about the Vietnam War are now unable to grasp that the Vietnam War is the reason we have so many Vietnamese and other Southeast Asians "taking over" our country. Ditto for the Iraqi and Afghani immigrants whose numbers will be increasing.

December 29, 2010 at 1:45 PM  
Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

The Russian dynamic has awhile to play itself out yet. Interestingly, it looks like a good number of Russians continue to hold the enforced Soviet attitudes towards minorities, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

One of the most interesting things about the skinheads, IMHO, is that a lot of them are simultaneously racist and pro-Soviet (praising the Georgian, Stalin, is a common theme among a lot of the groups.) There's a hell of a dichotomy there.

December 29, 2010 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

JR: You're right, that's ironic -- racist Russians idolizing Georgian Josef Stalin.

It'll be interesting to see how this ultimately plays out.

December 29, 2010 at 9:19 PM  
Blogger Beekeepers Apprentice said...

If this economy doesn't pick up, we'll be seeing similar things here. Wait, we already are - gun sales have gone through the roof, and gun stores can't keep ammo on the shelves. I was in Big Bass Pro Shop recently looking for a hunting knife. Yeah, I know, it was a couple of days after christmas, but still - the shelves were empty. I ended up settling for a 4" Remington...the cheapo one.

Yes, it was for me... ;)

January 2, 2011 at 1:55 PM  

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