Putin's Philosopher

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By RAFAEL GALVÃO DE ALMEIDA*

Bucha shows the true face of anti-globalist discourse

When I was a teenager, I read a lot. media without mask, Olavo de Carvalho, books by ex-communists, ex-Satanists, and other conspiracy sites – in fact, I learned English because the content in Portuguese was not enough. I remember to this day the phrase of the ex-Communist philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, “Apply socialism in any country and you will have a gulag at the end". I remember several bizarre arguments, from the classic that microchips they were the mark of the beast until a particularly strange one said gravity didn't exist, just look at the water level and that it was actually an agenda conspiracy gay. All these conspiracies had in common was the fact that they were fighting the New World Order and Cultural Marxism, represented by the globalism of George Soros.

After going to college and realizing that most of those people didn't know what they were talking about,[I] I focused on other things and thought I would never have to deal with it again and hear the term “globalism” again. Big mistake.

The rise of the new conservatism made these discourses propagate. Soon, various people began to fight against “globalism”. In the biggest economics Facebook group, almost every week there was someone posting about George Soros, how he was funding a globalist movement. Gradually, anti-globalist discourse began to spread. Churches, in particular, increasingly began to talk about cultural Marxism through seminars. Today, these things are openly discussed in politics.

This started to happen in several countries, besides Brazil: in the United States with the movement QAnonin Germany with its Lateral thinker, between others. The pandemic has revealed many of them, with their conspiracy theories. Practically every country in the world has its conservative movement based on these theories.

But it can be said that Russia was one of the most successful. Devastated by the Western-sponsored post-Soviet economic disaster, conspiratorial ideologies have found fertile ground in Putin's Russia. As demonstrated by Benjamin Teitelbaum, in war for eternity, an ambitious occultist named Aleksandr Dugin rose to power in Putin's Russia, with its Eurasian ideology, bolstered by Russian imperial ambitions.

In a normal world, Dugin was supposed to be an eccentric who would survive by defrauding people who believe in astrology in some obscure corner of the country, much like Olavo de Carvalho and Steve Bannon. But he became one of Putin's leading philosophers because, for Capital, an eccentric is essentially a no-risk asset: if it doesn't work out, one can simply deny any relationship or perform some low-cost performative act (like a note to press announcing cut ties), but if it works, you have a perfect organic intellectual/ideologically motivated soldier by your side.

Dugin speaks nice things to Russian elites. He looks into the glorious past of a pure Russia. Russia took a turn to the right, with social repressions and supported by the focus on supplying raw materials to Europe and, with that, grew and expanded militarily. After interventions in Chechnya, Georgia, Syria, Russia invades Ukraine, supported by Eurasian ideology.

Initially what was thought to be a quick war turned into a quagmire for the Russian army. Russian soldiers with no experience were pitted by their commanders against a much more motivated Ukrainian army that was becoming increasingly supported by the West. With that, the Russians retreated from Kiyv and are now trying to hold territory in southern Ukraine, increasingly isolated by the international community.

This is a deep blow to the Russian worldview. The sinking of the cruiser Moscow it was a heavy blow. But attention should be paid to Russian rhetoric towards Ukraine. It's not just the false accusations of Nazism, but the idea that Russia must lead a crusade against the "Satanic New World Order". This is written in your officers' textbooks. A Russian Orthodox Church blesses the war and at this point it is nothing more than a Russian government propaganda department. She also promotes anti-globalist and anti-cultural Marxist discourse..[ii]

And it gave what it gave. With the objective of conquering Kyiv abandoned, Russian forces retreat, revealing the extent of war crimes. Indiscriminate killing, rape, kidnapping of Ukrainian citizens, burning of Ukrainian books, suppression of the Ukrainian language. A terrible case was when a call was intercepted from a wife of a Russian soldier giving her husband a license to rape.

Still, despite the offensive having failed in its main objective of installing a puppet regime in Ukraine and the sanctions, the approval of Putin by the Russians still high. The Russian state media keeps spreading stories that the Bucha massacre was a hoax, that the Russian army is winning and it's part of master Putin's plan – the Ukrainians deserve what's happening, because the enemy of NATO is too terrible and they must be incorporated into Russia by force. If that isn't imperialism, I don't know what is.[iii]

An enemy like globalism and cultural Marxism is too terrible an enemy. They want to destroy the family and the world, practice their pedophilia with impunity and take their adenochrome forever. And because it's too terrible, the worst crime you can commit is to remain inert. Thus, one enters a divine MMA. That is why the anti-globalist discourse is a fundamental part of the Russian war machine. This same discourse is part of the political machinery of conservative governments.

A good portion of conservatives support Putin. Until the start of the war, Donald Trump, whose support base he shares with the QAnon movement, had always praised Putin, even at the beginning of the war – only when he realized that Putin was taking too many casualties did he now he has a more critical posture, which is part of your theater[iv]. Fox News, also showed near-unconditional support for Putin, with Tucker Carlson – the network's most popular anchor – casting doubt on the Bucha massacre.

Marine Le Pen promised support Putin if elected. Against the majority of the European Union, Hungarian President Viktor Orban demonstrated sympathies with Putin. The American Christian right found itself with affinities with the Russian Orthodox Church and Pastor Franklin Graham, one of the most tenacious culture warriors of this wing, never hid his sympathy for Patriarch Kiril, becoming a servant of politics instead of God, dishonoring the legacy of his father, Billy Graham. And of course, the Bolsonaro government refuses to condemn Russia.

Speaking of Brazil, in the same week that the massacre in Bucha was discovered, Eduardo Bolsonaro mocked Miriam Leitão, as if her suffering was worthless – or worse, that she deserved it. Now I ask, beyond obviously the scale, is there a difference between Eduardo Bolsonaro's intention and the action of Russian soldiers committing war crimes? They are of the same ilk, the tendency is for Bolsonaro to envy the absolute control that Putin has in Russia, since in Brazil there is a better articulated opposition.

Conservatism is an academic failure, because what conservatives want to conserve, as Corey Robin aptly put it in The reactionary mind, are not traditional values ​​and practices, but a structure of privileges which they deem worthy. Therefore, he needs to resort to conspiracy theories, to indoctrination speech[v] and, obviously, the anti-globalist discourse.

It needs to instill fear in the population, the fear of loss of privileges that are mainly targeted at older people, the fear that they will lose the benefits they fought so hard to conquer. Perhaps the reader has already heard of the phrase “if you are not a socialist before 25, you have no heart; if you're a socialist after 25, you don't have a brain” and its variants, but seeing this war I can finally understand the logic behind it: the fear of losing benefits and privileges – which were often obtained through structural exploitation, such as the French right being heirs of the French expelled from Algeria who commercially exploited the colony for years and had to leave with independence – is what guides this type of logic.

This is because they will usurp what is right for these people. And they can be anything: Ukrainians, immigrants, leftists, Jews, Indians, blacks, whatever is convenient. They are too terrible an enemy to deal with cleanly, so any action against them is justified. That's why Russian propaganda convinced a good part of the Russian people to support the war. That's why the American right is in a battle to ban textbooks from schools. That's why if Israel starts a campaign of total extermination of the Palestinians, American and Brazilian evangelicals will celebrate it as the work of God[vi]. This is how the anti-globalist discourse evolves from obscure internet forums into a political force and brings all its plagues with it.

Anti-globalist discourse creates an all-too-convenient enemy. Fighting this enemy sanctifies any action against him, from slander to murder and rape. In the end, to paraphrase Lévy above, apply this conservatism to any country and in the end you have Bucha, Srebenica and, ultimately, Auschwitz.

*Rafael Galvão de Almeida holds a doctorate in economics from UFMG.

 

Notes


[I] I don't know if this will make sense to non-Christian readers, but this occurred when I got to the last two pages of one of these ex-Satanists' books: he wrote that when he was suffering because of Satanists, he cried out to God and God replied to him that he should not complain, for Jesus also suffered at the hand of demons in hell. I knew this was wrong doctrine, but when I read it, I almost dropped the book on the floor. The author was saying that God was confirming an erroneous doctrine. From that day on, I read everything more carefully.

[ii] Orthodox theologians denounced the theology of the "Russian World" as heretical and imperialist.

[iii] This is why the left must resist the temptation to side with Russia against the United States. Russia has always been an imperialist country, something perceived by Lenin, and it was like that during the Soviet Union era. You cannot fight imperialism with more imperialism.

[iv] Several conservative leaders, on the other hand, have united against Russia, such as Boris Johnson, Andrzej Duda and Recep Erdoğan, which demonstrates the frivolity of a “Conservative International”: the moment they become an inconvenience to domestic politics and the “traditional values” of each nation they are willing to sacrifice for each other.

[v] When movements like Escola Sem Partido complain about indoctrination, they are actually complaining that indoctrination is not done their way.

[vi] I say this from experience regarding the level of support that I find premillennial theology too unconditional for Israel. I remember when I had Facebook, a Brazilian missionary among the Palestinians wrote that the Israeli government also discriminates against non-Islamic Palestinians, including evangelical Palestinians, and she was called the most vile things by other Christians for not giving unconditional support to the Israel.

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