Of course, the Western New Left is not responsible for Trotsky’s red terror. But it is fighting with soft means for a world in which the ‘Oedipal’ decay of civilisation will occur. By doing so, it is providing fuel to Stalin’s heir, Putin.
Every country has a distinct historical memory. The case of Joseph Stalin (soon, on 5 March 2023, it will be 70 years since his death) is one example of this. While in Poland and many other parts of the world this politician is regarded as a murderer, in Russia he is seen as at least an ambivalent figure.
To find out the difference, it is enough to delve into the Kremlin’s interpretations of the past. In turn, they can be summarised as follows: it is true that Stalin caused many citizens of the USSR to suffer terrible repressions, but at the same time he was an outstanding state leader, thanks to whom the Third Reich was defeated, so the Poles should be grateful to him. This assessment of the bloody dictator has been perpetuated in Russia for more than two decades, a period marked by the four terms of Vladimir Putin’s presidency.
Earlier, especially in the late 1980s and early 1990s, hopes were alive that Russians, in bidding farewell to the ’empire of evil’, would not relativise the Stalinist era and unequivocally reject its legacy. The issue of accountability was present in Russian public debate at the time. But even then, after all, there was no shortage of voices in defence of Stalin. And among his advocates were not only communists, but also people such as the philosopher and Moscow University professor Alexander Panarin, who died in 2003.
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Those promoting the thinker’s work in Russia claim that he was a perennial oppositionist: during the Soviet era, he positioned himself as a liberal dissident (even though he made his academic career in institutions disseminating the official doctrine of the Soviet state), and later became a ‘patriot’ convinced of Russia’s separate, because Orthodox, identity and speaking out against Western globalism.
Father of the Russian nation
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Stalin’s death, Panarin published an essay in the left-nationalist weekly “Zawtra”, entitled “On the Sovereign-Father and the liberal bearers of the ‘Oedipus complex”. This text is an expression of the author’s disapproval of those Russians who condemn the ‘Great Linguist’ as a bloody tyrant. But what is intriguing and original is that Panarin reached for arguments not from Marxism-Leninism, but from… psychoanalysis.
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– Filip Memches