Best of 2016: The Return of Stalinism. Stephen F. Cohen. NYU. Princeton University.

Jun 01, 2016, 03:11 AM

05-31-2016 (Photo: The Party of Lenin and Stalin, the Battle-Hardened Vanguard of the Soviet People, the Inspiration and Organiser of Our Victory”. 1950.) Twitter: @BatchelorShow The Return of Stalinism. Stephen F. Cohen. NYU. Princeton University.

“…Valery Solovei, a political analyst and professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, is convinced that "when people say that they like Stalin, this does not at all mean that they would like to live under his rule. Everyone wants Stalin for his or her neighbor, but not for himself."

“Statistics confirm Solovei's words. Levada's survey showed that despite the large number of Stalin sympathizers, only 23 percent of Russians would personally like to live and work under such leadership.

“Modern Russian Stalinism, experts believe, is in many ways a form of protest.

"The image of Stalin is one of a leader who is modest in life, walking around 'in one overcoat.' With the corrupt elite everywhere many people see Stalin as an example of honesty," added Makarkin. Solovei agrees: "The expression of one's love for Stalin is a symbolic protest, the desire for a strong arm that will create order."…

“…Pal Kolsto and Helge Blakkisrud edited “The New Russian Nationalism” (Edinburgh University Press, 2016), which examines the survey results. Here are some of the main findings. “Ethnic Russian nationalism has been growing since the fall of the Soviet Union, along with attempts by the regime to commandeer it — what Emil Pain terms “imperial nationalism.” On the one hand, Putin and his administration recognize the leading role of the ethnic Russian people in forming the Russian state. On the other, naked ethnic nationalism could provoke separatism in a multiethnic country such as the Russian Federation. Imperial nationalism offers a middle ground. Putin can present the country as a great power and tie a desire for ethnic greatness to the greatness of the state. “Imperial nationalism is tied to Russians’ belief that Russia represents a Europe different from the one supposedly dominated by American-led liberalism. “The figure below demonstrates that more Russians in all four of the survey cities identified Russia as being either its own civilization or a mixture of “European/Asian civilizations. Fewer respondents considered Russia basically part of European civilization — a notable finding, since the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, saw the Soviet Union as part of a “common European home” that stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific.