Putinism’s Authoritarian Allure

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A surprising phenomenon is increasingly apparent in Western Europe: Far-right parties are moving away from their traditional anti-communist and anti-Russia ideologies, with many expressing admiration – and even outright support – for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Given Putinism’s uncertain ideological roots, this turn toward Russia might seem puzzling. After all, Putinism is characterized less by what it endorses than by what it opposes – the West and Western-style democracy, liberalism, communism, and individualism.

Putinism presents a model of authoritarianism within modern Europe’s sociopolitical constraints – one that Western Europe’s extreme right seems keen to emulate. Let us hope that these forces do not make common cause with Europe’s more unscrupulous mainstream political leaders.

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/putinism-as-a-model-for-western-e…

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