Friday, September 23, 2016

Putinism like Communism in the Past an Even Graver Threat than Kremlin Leader Himself

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 23 – That Vladimir Putin represents a threat to the countries around Russia’s periphery and to the principles on which the international order has been based no one disputes, but some both in Russia and the West are beginning to recognize that Putinism as a manner of rule is an even greater threat than the man himself.

            Like Soviet communism, Putinism includes both what the leader wants for himself and his country and seeks in various ways covert and otherwise to promote  and what may emerge in other countries because of problems there and the wish of some to emulate the Kremlin leader’s approach even if he is not directly behind what they do.

             On the Odnako portal, Viktor Marakhovsky says that most analysts who dismiss the notion that Russia under Putin has a very specific set of ideas are wrong and that Putinism consists of a remarkably elaborated ideology that is enormously attractive to others (

                In an essay entitled “On the Prospects of Worldwide Putinism,” he picks up on ideas offered by Jennifer Walsh, a professor at the European University Institute in Florence, in a new book entitled “The Return of History” (ISBN: 9781487001308) that was released a week ago and which directly addresses the existence of “Putinism.”

            Putinism, the Canadian scholar on international relations writs, “hardly offers a competitive system of thought or economic principles.” But that is not the source of its power. Rather that is to be found both in itself and in its “analogues” in other countries with their “decisive rejection of the liberal-democratic international order.”

            “The Putin-style rejection of pluralism and democratic openness now as never before is in demand by the political leaders of Western countries,” she writes; and consequently, they are picking up on Putinism whatever they may say about Putin himself – in much the same way many in the Third World took up communism a half century ago.


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