Nazism and russia

First of all, I’d like to say that xenophobia is a natural state of human beings introduced by evolutionary mechanisms (you never knew what to expect from a stranger after all) so it takes some nurturing to overcome it and teach you that you should not fight any unknown person right at the spot. It’s like there’s nothing wrong with defecating per se but you’d normally do it only at designated areas for a variety of reasons, most of them being social and neither being physiological. The problems with racism start where the society not merely abandons the duty of telling why you should not hate people that are different from you but rather starts encouraging hating certain groups of people.

Back in the day it was perceived as normal (and even helped to define the state): we are the beloved children of our god/land/world and any foreigners are just pathetic beasts not worthy of living here. Later it was discovered that foreigners might be useful for something (like trade or providing the skills your people lacked). A millennium or two later a good deal of people finally accepted the idea that all people are equally worthy of something, a couple of centuries later people even agreed that slavery is a bad idea. And yet less then a hundred years ago Germany showed that it’s not something that should be taken for granted and that people are easy to believe in their exclusivity. The lesson has not been learned at all, not even by Germany.

The term “Nazism” comes as an insulting shortening of “National Socialism” but it was socialistic in the name only. People forget that that in Bavaria the favourite first name for males was Ignaz with a diminutive form being… So “Nazism” sounds “an ideology of Bavarian peasants” which is an appropriate thing for self-entitled superhumans. In reality this ideology was based on an idea of racial superiority (and you should know which race was considered superior) and a need to “resolve the problem” that certain “impure” races still exist. And you know what? The chief ideologue, Alfred Rosenberg, came from russian empire when he was over 25 years old (and completing his studies in Moscow). So how was it there at that time?

russian empire was rightfully called the prison of nations (and Soviet Union was not much better either) as it spanned very large territory with many very different nations and they all had various limitations imposed on them (some sources claim that at some moment about 80% of the empire were serfs, after 1861 emancipation reform hardly anything changed for the majority of the population). And it had the famous Pale of Settlement: in the end of XVIII century as large territories (of modern Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and Lithuania) were captured, the empress decided that Jews from those territories should not be allowed to move to the other parts of the empire; that ruling remained in action until the dissolution of the empire. And of course russian language gave the world the word pogrom. What’s interesting there is that those actions against them were not driven by any previous events—there were not so many Jews living in russian empire before to blame them for anything and expel (like it was common in Medieval Europe). In Ukrainian history there’s a sad episode that many Jews were massacred during Khmelnytsky uprising but it was not because they were hated just because they existed but rather because they often were the people hired by Polish nobility to run their estates and businesses and thus they were representatives of the oppressor (it was still wrong to kill them anyway). But whatever happened in russian empire was some ideological anti-Semitism and finally it was exported to Germany as well…

Of course after 1945 Soviet Union pillaged Germany and they took the enriched ideology back (giving such nice examples as “rootless cosmopolite”). Meanwhile the Soviet ideology praised the Soviet man as (ideologically, not biologically) superior to anybody else (and for some mysterious reason it was usually synonymous with russians, just look at the first stanza of the Soviet Anthem), while in reality there was some kind of racial hierarchy with russians on top and various East and Middle Asian nations at the bottom. There’s a rather famous chastushka (a short verse often with a comical meaning):

It’s good that Yuri Gagarin
Is not a Jew, nor he’s a Tatar
Not some (pejorative term for Middle Asians)
But rather he’s our Soviet man.

And it was a common practice to appoint some russian (or, for the lack of those, some Ukrainian or Belarusian) as the second party secretary in each Soviet “republic” so that he could oversee the actions of the first party secretary appointed from the titular nation (I wonder why that term was used almost exclusively in socialist countries).

In the eighties there was a rather curious society called Pamyat formed in Soviet russia. While normal nationalist organisations wanted to have their countries freed from the Soviet yoke, this one wanted to free russia from “Ziono-Masonic plot”—and it kept existing in more or less open form until the dissolution of the USSR. Not a reassuring sign.

In the (formally) post-Soviet russia the structure remained about the same from the Soviet times: there’s Moscow and St. Petersburg that are the only decent places to live, there are regions where common folks live and there are immigrants from Caucasian region and Middle Asia that should not be allowed, especially to Moscow. The longest-running mayor of Moscow is mostly remembered by his hate for those people and introducing special restrictions for people wanting to move to Moscow. A lot of what currently passes for politicians in russia had nationalistic ties as well, for example the former head clown of russian space agency made a political advertisement back in the day with a motto “Clean our cities from trash” alluding to non-russian people.

And of course since the war with Ukraine started they showed their true colours. Top people saying good things about Hitler and Goebbels, using the same terminology as NSDAP like “traitors of the nation”—and that’s between 2014 and 2022 when the war was in the cold phase. After the second phase had started, the whole country was starting to use accidentally created half-swastika everywhere, various writers started praising the war with suspiciously familiar words (one writer actually praised their dictator as the true successor to Hitler who should finish the eternal struggle against the Anglo-Saxon world by winning at last against them). And if you look what they do at war it’s not just genocide of Ukrainians in various ways (massacring Ukrainians, destroying Ukrainian culture at occupied territories and deporting Ukrainian children to russia to raise them in russian “culture”) but it’s also a genocide of various minor nations living in russia. From the statistics I saw their losses were over eighty people from Dagestan and over hundred people from Buryatia to one man from Moscow region (which has larger population than those two regions combined). People from the puppet states at occupied territories of Donetsk and Lughansk regions are also used as cannon fodder and they complained that despite having the same culture and being very closely related to russians (a lot of those people there are descendants of russians moved there in Stalin times) they are treated as inferior to them.

And yet russia accuses other countries of harbouring Nazism and having Nazi population (including Israel). If you look at the tell-tale signs of Nazism you’ll see only two countries conforming to it: russia and Hungary (though Hungarian prime minister said after his speech on Hungarian racial purity that Austrian chancellor thinks the same). So how do you explain the discrepancy between observed Nazism of russia and the countries that russia called so? The answer is simple: russia holds the trademark on it so it decides to whom it shall apply. After all, whom should you believe—your own eyes or their claims?

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