This was James’ idea and I’m off this week. It’s a good topic for the obvious reason that Russia is an important country and more and more analysts are using the F-word to describe both Vladimir Putin and the political system he is creating.
A second reason James’ idea matters is because far-right political parties are a bit on the march these days in Europe and in a few others countries, too. Several openly fascist parties have done well in elections in the years since the continent’s economy went into the toilet. The recent immigrant crisis has provided additional impetus. Far-right parties have gained strength in the Netherlands, the U.K. and France, just to name a few off the top of my head. People are worried all over Europe an outside of it, too.
Gee, we sure are lucky that no crypto-fascist politician is surging in American politics these days, amirite?
The articles linked to below discuss all of these issues and more. Enjoy the meeting, everybody, except the Trump abomination. I hope we can save that topic for our meeting in two weeks on fear-mongering as a a political strategy, which I will be back for.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS –
It’s James’ meeting, but I was thinking some obvious questions are
- WHAT: What is fascism in the 21st century of globalized economies, open borders, internet networks, etc.? How would it differ from, say, Mussolini’s version?
- In what ways is Putin’s Russia fascist, as opposed to a garden variety authoritarian government?
- WHY: Whose fault is this? What elements of Russian society support this swing to fascism; e.g., elites like the military, oligarchs, and the Orthodox Church hierarchy?
- EFFECTS: Who’s harmed by Russia’s fascist drift, besides Russians?
- Its neighbors, like Ukraine?
- U.S. interests? ** Is Russia’s threat to us exaggerated? **
- Will Russia turn back or plunge into full-blown fascism?
- Will fascism spread to other parts of Europe via far-right and anti-immigrant political parties? Why?
SUGGESTED BACKGROUND READING –
- A good definition of modern fascism. Recommended.
- Is Putin’s Russia fascist?
- Is Russia a threat?
- Is fascism returning to the rest of Europe?
- CivCon 5/14 mtg: Are we in a new Cold War with Russia?
Next Week: Fear-Mongering as a U.S. political strategy.