In this article, I explore the interconnection between Putin’s politics of re-Stalinization, historical memory, and a specific version of the post-Soviet neo-medievalism. I show that re-Stalinization is a mass movement that is grounded in the unprocessed memory of Soviet crimes and atrocities. The popular myth of the “Great Patriotic War” and the myth of Stalinism as the Golden Age exploited by Putin’s memory politics became a gold mine for Putin’s kleptocracy. I argue that re-Stalinization and the Kremlin-sponsored ideology of Eurasianism represents two interrelated trends of a complex ideological process. Eurasianism combines Soviet denial of individuality with the idea of a state-dependent patriarchal society and Russian historical messianism. It glorifies the reign of Ivan the Terrible and Stalin. The ‘medievalist’ discourse of Eurasian ideologists, which advocates a return to the medieval society of orders, on the one hand, and the Gothic monsters populating post- Soviet film and fiction, on the other, creates a political language that expresses new attitudes to people in post-Soviet Russia. They depict a new social contract that reconsiders the modern concept of citizenship, and creates a social basis for the criminalization and militarization of Russian society.
Research Article| February 04 2016
Triumphant memory of the perpetrators: Putin’s politics of re-Stalinization
Communist and Post-Communist Studies (2016) 49 (1): 61–73.
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Dina Khapaeva; Triumphant memory of the perpetrators: Putin’s politics of re-Stalinization. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 1 March 2016; 49 (1): 61–73. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.postcomstud.2015.12.007
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