Anyone who deludes themselves that it hasn’t restarted, and it isn’t ideological, needs to read this:
Mr. Prokhanov, who speaks in rich, metaphorical Russian and has the slightly disheveled look of a beat poet, contrasted the present government with that of Boris Yeltsin, the president in the 1990s. “In Yeltsin’s time I was seen as a monster by the regime, a character out of hell,” he said. “I was under threat of arrest, and now I am regularly invited to Kremlin events.”
Though he said he had met the president only a handful of times, “The intelligence officers around him pay much more attention to ideology, and for them it is clear that ideological war is an important instrument.”
If Mr. Putin himself decided to make an ideological change, Mr. Prokhanov said, it was in December 2011, when tens of thousands of urban liberals, angry over ballot-stuffing and falsification in parliamentary elections, massed on a city square, Bolotnaya, chanting, “Putin is a thief!” and “Russia Without Putin.”
“During the time of Bolotnaya, he experienced fear,” Mr. Prokhanov said. “He felt that the whole class which he had created had betrayed him, cheated him, and he had a desire to replace one class with another. From the moment you got back from that march, we started a change of the Russian elite.”
Another person who has been swept into the mainstream is one of Mr. Prokhanov’s former protégés, Aleksandr G. Dugin, who, in the late 1990s, called for “the blinding dawn of a new Russian Revolution, fascism — borderless as our lands, and red as our blood.”
Virulently anti-American, Mr. Dugin has urged a “conservative revolution” that combines left-wing economics and right-wing cultural traditionalism. In a 1997 book, he introduced the idea of building a Eurasian empire “constructed on the fundamental principle of the common enemy,” which he identified as Atlanticism, liberal values, and geopolitical control by the United States.
“Left-wing economics and right-wing cultural traditionalism.” Gee, where have we heard of things like that before?
And note that classical liberalism aka libertarianism and individualism, which the modern left calls “right wing,” bears no resemblance to any of this.
[Update a couple minutes later]
“Putin is no Hitler, but Hitler would recognize his moves“:
Adolf wanted to tear up the Treaty of Versailles. Putin is attempting to rip up the post-Cold War settlement in Europe and Central Asia. Like Hitler’s Germany, Putin’s Russia is much weaker than its opponents, so it can’t achieve its goal through a direct military challenge against its primary enemies. Like Hitler’s Germany, Putin’s Russia must be clever until it grows strong, and it must play on its enemies’ hesitations, divisions and weaknesses until and unless it is ready to take them on head to head.
“Keep them guessing” is rule number one. Nobody was better than Hitler at playing with his enemies’ minds. For every warlike speech, there was an invitation to a peace conference. For every uncompromising demand, there was a promise of lasting tranquillity once that last little troublesome problem had been negotiated safely away. He was so successful at it (and Stalin, too was good at this game) in part because his opponents so desperately wanted peace. French politicians like Leon Blum and British leaders like Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain were as hungry for peace (it was the Depression after all, and both countries had suffered immensely in World War One) as Barack Obama and Francois Hollande are today. Commendably and properly, they wanted to fix their domestic economies, create a more just society at home, repair their infrastructure and cut their defense budgets. They were not in the mood for trouble overseas, and so a cold blooded con man found them to be easy marks.
I think if you look up “easy marks” in the dictionary, you’ll see pictures of Obama and Kerry.