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FTR #118 Russian Fascism?

Lis­ten: One Seg­ment [1]

The hypoth­e­sis [2] was advanced in 1992 that Rus­sia and per­haps oth­er republics of the for­mer Sovi­et Union might turn to fas­cism. Events that have tak­en place since sug­gest that that unap­pe­tiz­ing prospect remains a dis­tinct pos­si­bil­i­ty. This pro­gram ana­lyzes the polit­i­cal land­scape in Rus­sia in 1998. Just as nation­al humil­i­a­tion over defeat in World War I and the extreme eco­nom­ic hard­ship that Ger­many expe­ri­enced in the 1920s and ear­ly 30s helped to dri­ve the Ger­man peo­ple into the arms of Hitler, eco­nom­ic pri­va­tion and nation­al humil­i­a­tion over defeat in the Cold War threat­en to pro­pel the Russ­ian peo­ple in a sim­i­lar direc­tion. On the 57th anniver­sary of Ger­many’s inva­sion of the Sovi­et Union in World War II, Russ­ian pres­i­dent Boris Yeltsin warned of the grow­ing dan­ger of Nazism in Rus­sia. (A por­tion of the text of his address is read into the record in this pro­gram.) One of the pri­ma­ry ele­ments in the rise of Russ­ian fas­cism is the so-called “Red-Brown Alliance,” a polit­i­cal union of resid­ual hard-line com­mu­nists and neo-fas­cists, who share a com­mon bond of extreme nation­al­ism and anti-Semi­tism and who exploit the social tur­moil pro­duced by the eco­nom­ic hard­ship cur­rent­ly beset­ting Rus­sia. Many Rus­sians are open­ly dis­cussing the pos­si­bil­i­ty of inter­ven­tion in the coun­try’s polit­i­cal affairs by the impov­er­ished Red Army and sev­er­al for­mer gen­er­als are emerg­ing as poten­tial lead­ers, notably gen­er­al Alexan­der Lebed (an admir­er of the social poli­cies of for­mer Chilean dic­ta­tor Augus­to Pinochet). (See also RFA#36 and FTRs 94 and 95, avail­able from Spit­fire.) (Record­ed in Decem­ber of 1998)