Russia’s Totalitarian Dictatorship: Is There A Reason To Talk About Fascism? – Analysis


The emerging features of the Russian authoritarian regime, which has finally shifted to a totalitarian dictatorship and is moving further toward the pole of aggressive tyranny, bring it closest to the fascist type as a type of totalitarian dictatorship.

Here it is worth recalling the meaning of the terms. Any sociopolitical arrangement where power is not a managerial group chosen by society but an unconditional domain is an autocracy. In an autocracy, power is the beneficiary of the results of social activity, uncontrolled by society, who distributes the benefits in his own interest and at his own discretion beyond public control. The two main forms of autocracy in the modern world, as uncontrolled and dominant dictatorships over society, function in the modes of authoritarianism and totalitarianism.

They differ in the following characteristics.

In the regime of authoritarianism, the irremovable public will retains certain types of economic, individual, ethical and other civil liberties as a factor of its public legitimacy and sustainability. The beneficiaries of an authoritarian society – the power elites and the domain – model public opinion and support through comprehensive propaganda of political narratives, responding to or shaping public demand. At the same time, authoritarian power uses repressive mechanisms to control public sentiment selectively and purposefully, while maintaining the imitative functioning of some basic democratic and liberal institutions to convince society of its legitimacy.

For authoritarian power, the optimal regime is uncontrolled by society and indefinite enrichment with reduced and controllable risks of public discontent and political protest activity. To this end, the authoritarian power group builds a functional and informational system of state structure, which provides it with maximum public support and minimizes the risks of public demand for a change of power and a change in the political vector as a prime factor of public welfare.

Totalitarianism is a form of autocracy essentially derived from authoritarianism in the face of growing risks to it. An authoritarian regime influences society in a limited way and as needed to maintain political stability and an acceptable level of social loyalty. With growing public discontent and the risks of its own stability arising from deteriorating economic, social, and other conditions for the population, authoritarian power overwhelmingly shifts to a regime of tightening control over public individual preferences and neutralizing protest risks and the demand for political change. A regime of totalitarian dictatorship emerges, replacing the informational manipulation of total propaganda and restrained repressive pressure (the goal of which is persuasion) with the enforcement of unconditional acceptance of any decisions by power and its political narratives through total control of public and individual preferences under increasing pressure from repressive mechanisms.

The peculiarity of the differences between authoritarian and totalitarian regimes of the political dictatorship of the ruling dominant group lies in the following main aspects.

First of all, ideology, as a functionally significant mechanism for combining social preferences, is nominal in an authoritarian regime and is more or less scattered attitudes and statements, the strength and concentration of which depend on the actual interests of power at a particular moment or period. On the whole, authoritarian regimes imply the avoidance of a coherent and developed political ideology, which is an important factor of acute public emotion and mental community.

Any strong public feeling or preference that involves as many individuals as possible in the respective community is a spontaneous risk to the sustainability of mercantile authoritarian power. In other words, universal political engagement and public ideologizing are replaced by public depoliticization and the motivation of individuals to concentrate on personal interests and personal gain. In this case, public loyalty is achieved by promoting the functional successes and positive outcomes of power for each individual and sub-group. In this regard, most authoritarian regimes pay considerable attention to economic issues of development and the functionality of the institutional framework as bases for their own sustainability.

Authoritarian regimes encourage individual goal-setting and the maximization of personal gain, but they also discourage cooperativism, the expanding cooperation of individuals with different personal goals to achieve them through synergy and the optimal mutual exchange of benefits and costs. Cooperativism leads to the creation of more complex and technological products, which implies a growing demand for the expansion and globalization of institutional freedoms and rights, and thus an increase in civic engagement. Civic activism cannot be tolerated by authoritarian power, since it constitutes a basic existential threat to the sustainability of authoritarianism.

Totalitarian forms of authoritarianism have different foundations and strategies. A totalitarian regime finds its support in a collectivist majority, which under authoritarianism, i.e. the irremovability of power and its absolute dominance in relation to society, can only be formed by a developed ideology and its total, including violent, indoctrination into the entire society. The ideologized active political majority for totalitarian power, unlike for authoritarian power, is a boon and a basis of stability. Moreover, the more part of the population involved in ideological gluing and political inspiration by the ideological attitudes and actions of power, the better, since the part that resists or hesitates is incorporated into the majority by the totalitarian regime by force and repression, which in general is overpowering for power. This is why the regime prefers to constantly maintain a high level of ideological tension and signal preventive violence.

In a totalitarian regime of political structure, unlike in an authoritarian regime, power is not based on the individual preferences of society, trying to simulate these preferences in its favor and thereby achieve the loyalty of the majority of the population. Totalitarian power dictates its terms of the social contract, according to which power dominates society absolutely, justifying it by the presence of sacral truth and the unquestioning ideology necessary for the total and ubiquitous assertion of truth.

In order for ideological attitudes to be effective in emotionally and cognitively engaging the majority of the population, totalitarian regimes appeal to the most atavistic inclinations of the individual as a social subject and develop them in their favor through a series of ideological narratives. These include aggressive national exceptionalism – the uniqueness and dominance of ethical and cultural traits over those of other peoples and cultures, the permanent physical and ethical threat from a hostile outside world with “pseudo-human” liberal values, the rejection of any individual identity that differs from the ideological doctrines and ethics of the formed collectivist majority, the actual justification of violence and physical domination to exclude other sociocultural and personal preferences.

Another important feature of authoritarianism as a separate form of autocratic regime, and often a form preceding the form of totalitarian dictatorship, is that violence and the right to its concentrated and voluntaristic use by power is limited by a number of conditions.

First, there are partially functioning civic and democratic institutions that ensure the functioning of the economy and the stability of a positive social mood.

Secondly, it is the very goal-setting of authoritarian power: maximum social stability and political passivity are the optimal and least costly environment for the realization of the interests of authoritarian elites and their groups.

The maximization of social loyalty and political passivity presupposes, in addition to ensuring a certain growth of the population’s welfare through an elastic redistribution of public resources, a state monopoly on information as the main tool for promoting the successes of power, and doses of purposeful violence to curb outbursts and concentrations of political activity. In other words, violence is a non-ideologized instrument of securing the interests of authoritarian power, limited by the power’s goal-setting and the mechanisms of social and state institutions that somehow work in the interests of observing the basic rights of the population.

The situation is quite different in the concentrated regime of totalitarian autocracy. Here violence is the basic institutional and ethical norm on the basis of which the functional mechanisms of state administration and social control are built. Individual will and evaluation of the world around us are forcibly suppressed in favor of accepting the collective opinion of the majority, which, in turn, is shaped by ideological propaganda and fear of the use of brutal violence by the authorities.

In order to keep the collective majority in the necessary modus operandi and to mediate the necessary social behavior, totalitarian power is forced to maintain a high level of violence and repression against those who refuse to comply as a steadily functioning signaling system. Individual rights and freedoms are neutralized by laws and regulations that correspond to the interests of totalitarian power, or by the tendentious and directed application of laws and regulations that nominally ensure individual rights and freedoms.

Thus we can see that violence, as a basic ideological, ethical, institutional and legal norm, is the most important feature of totalitarian dictatorships as autocratic regimes, distinguishing them from authoritarianism.

This raises the question of fascism and its distinctive features as a form of totalitarian dictatorship of some contemporary political regimes, for example, in Russia, and the extent to which such actively tightening regimes can be categorized as actually fascist. In order to attempt to answer this question, it is necessary to consider the characteristics of fascism as a form of political regime and its functional bases.

All researchers of authoritarianism and totalitarianism – two types of modern autocratic regimes of sociopolitical structure – note that fascism, as a type of autocratic state, is a specific historical phenomenon, which is associated with some socio-cultural historical context. It originated during the democratization of European society in the early 20th century and began to develop intensively at a time of civilizational failures and exacerbations of the diseases of growth inherent in the democratization of the first half of the 20th century.

Such negative externalities of political shifts include the First World War and its socio-economic consequences, most notably significant economic decline and social instability. Extreme unsettlement and negative expectations of a large part of socio-economic agents formed corresponding social and ethical preferences, which dictated a certain demand for “order” and national revanchism. Such a demand could be satisfied by two ideologies – fascism and communism, which had a significant number of similarities, the basic one being the construction of social collectivism from an atomized social state based on an aggressive ideology under a leader as a person with absolute and autocratic power.

In such a regime, collectivist society, total ideology, and the leader are bound together in a mutually directed relationship. The population is bound together in a collectivist mass by certain ideological values, where individual rights and interests are reduced to negligible limits and replaced by the total priority of public interests determined by ideology and power norms. The individuals who make up the collectivist society that has emerged agree to an exchange in accordance with their initiative request: we agree to the unconditional priority of ideological and collective interests over individual rights and freedoms with the obligation to submit to the leader and his dominant group in exchange for increased prosperity, social protection and the restoration of a sense of national greatness, that is, revanchism.

The elite group and the dictator, offering an aggressive ideology and laying down their terms in response to the corresponding social demand for growth of well-being, order and national pride, proceeded to the rapid construction of a repressive-dictatorial system of political structure and corresponding mechanisms of state administration on the basis of the mandate actually received from society.  

Thus, in such regimes, the collectivist majority supports power, and power relies on the support of the collectivist majority: the collectivist majority accepts an aggressive political ideology and gives power a mandate for dictatorship – the unlimited domination of its rights and opportunities. Power stimulates society to collectivist cohesion in approving its actions and satisfying its interests, and society, by its approval of power’s actions or non-resistance, motivates power in developing an established ideological and procedural discourse.

Such a holistic model of totalitarian dictatorship makes it possible to universalize in some way the parameters inherent in, among others, fascist-type dictatorships. The main thing that unites such regimes is the effective approval and support of the collectivist society for a chieftainly repressive dictatorship based on an aggressive or militant ideology, in any case normalizing violence as a moral norm. In this respect, despite the various individual peculiarities of the arrangement, all the totalitarian dictatorships of the first half of the twentieth century can be attributed to such a model: Germany, Italy, Japan, the USSR, Romania, Croatia, etc…

Nevertheless, in order to talk about the similarity of totalitarian dictatorships of the fascist type of the first half of the 20th century with modern tyrannies, for example, in modern Russia, which emerged under conditions of a different technological, informational, economic and even ethical-moral order, it is necessary to consider more detailed parameters that unite such regimes as a whole.

First of all, it is worth mentioning that in fascist-type regimes the concepts of state, people, and power are merged together in a formula with the equality of all three of these elements. They are accepted in this form both on the side of the leader and on the side of the population. Power is personalized by the leader; the state is understood as a certain sacred community of power, territory, and population, rather than as a system of management of public resources and legal provision of social processes.

The identification of these components – the leader, the people and the state – means that existence outside such a paradigm is illegitimate. An individual cannot be considered part of the people if, for example, he is dissatisfied with the preferences or behavior of the people: this automatically means that he is dissatisfied with both the leader and the state as a whole. If the individual is dissatisfied with the chief, he is simultaneously dissatisfied with both the people and the state, etc. At the same time, the leader also identifies himself with the state and the population in the sense that he considers them his unconditional resource and binds them and himself together: he is the state and he is the people. As a result, loyalty to the state automatically implies loyalty to the leader: a person cannot be part of the people if he does not support the leader.

This implies an aggressive rejection and rejection of any alternative position, viewpoint, or request that contradicts the accepted norm or approved value. In this way there is a division into us and them, where everything alien and contradictory is aggressively rejected in one way or another, usually in a violent way.

Further, it should be noted that a fascist-type regime, i.e. the equality of the above three elements “state = people = leader” and the aggressive ideology binding them together with the moral normalization of violence, emerges in the conditions of the so-called mass society, after which it transforms society into a form of collectivist society.

Mass society is a painful transitional social condition that emerges in the process of breaking the established paradigms of previous social formations and searching for new forms of social structure. It is a multitude of fragmented, isolated individuals who have lost their habitual way of life, with broken social ties, without personal self-identification, with elastic ethical and moral values and negative personal reflection.

Such separation occurs as a result of a change in the forms and destruction of the way of life of large social groups, such as the parish community, professional communities, some elite subsociety, etc.  That is, people who have lost the opportunity to live as before and for whom the changes around them do not fit into their stable picture of the world find themselves in the position of a lost lonely personality with accumulating and growing negative reflections. This causes a potential desire for the return of some kind of cohesion, which for them is a form of the most comfortable existence and positive self-affirmation.

Under conditions of social atomization, the desire for self-assertion is transferred to the political plane, to the national and public level: political interests become deeply personal and take the form of sublimation. The acceptance of common interests on the national or state level as a personal priority forms the aggravation of any political processes, which have two dynamic forms: cooperation and conflict. Then any political conflict becomes a personal priority and the main personal interest of a multitude of disparate and personality-separated individuals, which greatly aggravates the conflict and complicates the possibilities of its rapid completion with the least cost.

Accordingly, this state of society exacerbates political struggle and allows competing political elites to minimize the rules to gain their own advantage. And this means that to gain the greatest support in a heated atomized society it is possible to put forward the most extreme ideologies, including those outside the generally accepted moral and ethical civilizational discourse.

Exactly this happened in Europe and Russia in the early 20th century and led to exceptional geopolitical heat and domestic political turbulence. It is precisely this kind of socio-political chaos that becomes a fertile ground for the emergence of dictatorial tyrannies. In countries where civil institutions were in their infancy, the transition to a capitalist economy and industrialization was accompanied by significant social erosions: maximum mass atomization and social separation took shape. These countries obviously included Germany, Russia, Italy, Japan, etc.

The lack of new horizontal social ties, stable civic institutions, positive dynamics of welfare growth, and humane ethical values that stimulate creative interest pushed such atomized societies to adopt extreme or extremist political agendas and ideologies.

However, the emergence of a totalitarian dictatorship of the fascist type is also possible in a country with a more or less successful authoritarian regime. Here the institutions of the capitalist economy are stable, social clusters are formed and have well-established ties within themselves and with each other, and the level of well-being is acceptable for maintaining civil protest passivity.

This kind of socio-economic substratum for the rise of a fascist dictatorship is special and is accompanied by other processes, the main feature of which is fascization from above. Elites choose fascization as a strategy for maintaining and consolidating their dominance under the influence of the risks they assess, despite the absence of acute social and economic shifts and crises. For this purpose, the authorities and the dictator purposefully indoctrinate and try to incorporate in the public consciousness false grounds for approving violence as a method of political management and retention of competitive advantage.

It should be noted that fascism, as a system of values and a paradigm of functional processes, aims to eliminate atomization and transfer society to a different state – aggressive collectivism.

Collectivist society is characterized by the fact that individual consciousness is subordinated to social consciousness, and individual efforts are aimed at minimizing individual costs in achieving social benefit instead of maximizing individual benefit. This motivation is achieved by affirming the public benefit as the only possible and legitimate one, while at the same time tightening the costs of trying to prefer the individual benefit to the public benefit.

In a collectivist society, the individual seeks to get the most out of the overall result, but to expend as little effort as possible in achieving that result. At the same time, the individual prefers to get less from the overall result than to get more, but from the individual result. Here people concentrate on minimizing costs.

In collectivist cooperation, the product is the same for everyone, and everyone participates in its creation in order to distribute it later according to different parameters. Obviously, in a collectivist society, where there is no motivation in the form of maximizing individual gain depending on the effort put in, no one is willing to voluntarily admit that someone else deserves a larger share because he worked harder. At the same time, if someone has the power to determine to whom and how much should be given from the final product, he will do so first for himself and his friends, then for those who have promised to share with him, and then for everyone else.

Collectivist societies are primitive in their motivations because their arrangement involves the creation of a simple product, whereas a complex product requires more complex incentives and conditions involving individual freedom, rights, and cooperation. Collectivist society is organized hierarchically and vertically, with an obligatory domain-chief and vertical subordination and loyalty as the most efficient way of obtaining the greatest amount of goods. This construct, which determines the incentives and ways of exchanging goods according to the will of the superior dominant member of society, also determines the ethics and setting of social relations.

When the actual effort has no effect on the final personal reward, there is a stowaway effect-the desire to receive the same or greater benefits than other group members receive, but at a lower cost than they do or not at all. This leads to intra-social tensions – a prior distrust and aggression if cheating is detected, as well as an incentive to find shorter and more protected ways to get a larger share of the total product. It becomes profitable to develop a vertical hierarchy and to develop primitive violent domination. This is the first factor determining the violent and aggressive nature of collectivist societies.

The second factor is a strong ideology, necessarily characterized by primitive and simplistic dogmas, and indoctrinating the “enemy” – any individual or society that comes into conflict with the accepted ideologemes. Such atavism is a rational way for the beneficiaries of a collectivist social system, when there are no personal productive incentives, to maintain the cohesion of community members in their interests.

This is all the more relevant in the inevitably increasing stratification of social groups in the vertical hierarchy arising from the growing competition for access to a social resource: on the one hand, it is necessary to constantly keep the lower members of society in subordination and force them to fulfill their duties, on the other hand, to compete for holding a dominant position or obtaining a higher one.

Thus, collectivist society is characterized by a social modus operandi of aggressiveness and violence as an ethical norm, both in relation to intra-social competition and to the outside world. Aggressive and militant ideology is a social glue to control, model and direct social preferences and efforts in favor of the dominant group and to ensure the mobilization and activity of the atavistic bases of human social nature.  

Returning to totalitarian dictatorships as collectivist societies and specifically fascist-type dictatorships, the degree of saturation and development of their ideologies varies from concentrated and developed, such as the ideology of Nazism in Germany, to the absence of any coherent ideology, such as in contemporary Russia, where fragmentary narratives are artificially lumped together into a set of more or less interdependent dogmas.

Nevertheless, the fundamental basis of any fascist ideology is the normalization of violence as an ethical value and the main method of competition in an unconditionally hostile world. It is this ideology and its effective implementation that distinguishes fascist regimes from other dictatorships.

The ethical frame of reference in fascism, as a form of totalitarianism, is that the surrounding world is identified as an environment of permanent aggressive competition, where any measures are good for winning, tactical or strategic. Utilitarianism takes its extreme forms in fascist ideology and ethics.

This primitive “naturalization” of the processes of human interaction leads to a world and its processes being felt as a ceaseless war. At moments when members of an atomized mass society perceive themselves as defeated, abandoned, or humiliated, the natural urge for revenge, which is already potentially aggressive in itself, is picked up, used, and developed by fascist ideology.

Force and violence, as a value and method in social competition, become the dominant and accepted ethical and ideological norm. Such a doctrine rejects humanitarian progress as a vector: the necessary must be taken by force, and asserts preventive violence as a strategic advantage: one must use force before it is used on one.

When we speak of the fascist ideology’s rejection of humanitarian progress, it should be remembered that its important basis is the rejection of the idea of constructive cooperation of individuals and the expansion of inclusive satisfaction as a way of sustainable and optimal existence of individuals and societies.

Giovanni Gentile, one of the main Fascist philosophers and ideologues, in his texts speaks directly about the insignificance of happiness as a concept that characterizes the goal state of the individual. The purpose and meaning of human activity is survival at the expense of violent advantage, since the environment is always hostile and does not imply a stable positive equilibrium allowing for progressive creation in a mode of benevolent cooperation or humane nonviolent competition.

It should be noted that similar ideas and similar statements can be observed in the public rhetoric of today’s Russian dictator, regime functionaries, and propagandists regarding international relations, civilizational perspectives, and the current humanized ethics of the Western world.

Hence the formation of an aggressive and inherently hostile individual and social consciousness, which determines the behavior of society, the formation of its ethical and moral norms and, accordingly, its preferences.

Thus, the fundamental basis of fascism is the normalization and necessity of using violence as the optimal and most winning strategy in a world of incessant aggressive struggle and war, where all other participants are ascribed the same thoughts, properties and intentions.

Violence for survival is essentially the universal ideology of fascism, regardless of the context that various totalitarian regimes of the fascist type attach to their ideology.

An important feature of full-fledged fascist regimes and the societies under them is total mobilization: everyone must be, willingly or forcedly, fully involved in the implementation of the dictator’s decisions. This was achievable in one way or another in the case of “endogenous fascism,” as I mentioned above, when the social preconditions became the stimulus for the emergence, acceptance, and approval of the fascist doctrine and political regime by mass society.

In the case of exogenous fascism, which we observe in Russia today, the contemporary Russian society, while accepting most elements of the fascist universal ideology, is much more restrained in its actual actions. This is vividly illustrated, among other things, by the difference in the support of the majority of the population for the Russian dictator and simultaneous unwillingness to directly participate in the fighting in the war with Ukraine.

The population in reality hardly accepts the tightening mechanisms and methods of management of the Russian regime, in contrast to its ideological unstructured, but primitive and loud political slogans, which the population willingly accepts through total fascist propaganda.

The explanation for this divergence seems quite obvious. The possibility of a multidimensional view of the world around us is incommensurably greater than it was in the first half of the 20th century, simply because of the increased speed and inclusiveness of information. Western humanitarian ethics has proliferated into all aspects of people’s daily lives around the world to some extent on a conscious, and for the most part on an unconscious level, manifesting itself in everyday behavior, consumer preferences and opportunities, range of  cultural aspects.

In addition, the very notion of the world as an environment of continuous war and violence as an optimal strategy has no biological or natural scientific basis: any conflict in nature is simply a way of achieving non-conflict interaction or cooperation as an optimal state for all parties involved in the interaction.

The basis of fascist ideology is the most vulgar and obscurantist interpretation of competition, focusing on private tactics involving violence as the winning action, elevating these tactics to the rank of a holistic strategy and then passing it off as a kind of sacred and true knowledge. Moreover, this idea ignores the biological fact that most competing individuals in nature try to avoid physical conflict or to signal their superiority in advance in order to avoid physical confrontation and violence as the most costly method of competition. Even in the process of physical conflict, individuals try to end it as quickly as possible by damaging the opposing side as quickly as possible and defeating it or by surrendering and fleeing.  Finally, higher primates, such as chimpanzees, despite occasional forced physical confrontation, exhibit ferocious cruelty in order to induce the opposite party to cooperate as soon as possible, when violence is almost reduced, giving way to mutual grooming and cooperative activities with mutual benefits.

The strategy of artificial fascization of society from above, chosen by the Russian regime in the person of the dictator and his affiliates, is defeated by definition. It is possible to organize lonely, unhappy, poor, angry and lost individuals into a general aggressive mass and lead them to war: their estimated benefits from war are greater than their expected costs or benefits of not participating in the war. But how to convince a somehow established and integrated, though archaic, society, which receives ample opportunity in a more or less comfortable environment of creation and consumption, to go to war and use violence without obvious physical threats or actual attack?

The success of such an event, even with total propaganda irradiation and the creation of appropriate simulacra of threats and dangers, would be tactical at best, with clearly traceable strategic ineffectiveness.  

The forced, artificial, exogenously-stimulated degradation of social processes and connections, ethical attitudes and material opportunities will inevitably contradict the logic of the emergence and development of totalitarian dictatorships and any autocracies. This logic is simple: hard regimes, like any political tightening in principle, emerge where the population lives badly or significantly worse than yesterday and actively declares this in various ways and voices. There was nothing like this in Russia at the beginning of 2022.

What the Russian regime is doing now is artificially creating fear, threats, and the expectation of physical attack to justify the absolutization of its power and the legitimization of violence. The Russian regime does this through the ordering of ideological attitudes, their aggressive propaganda, institutional tightening and increasing repressive pressure on society, or rather, on its parts that do not accept fascism, and through the gradual total mobilization and inclusion of all members of society in the implementation of its atavistic and criminal decisions.

I will conclude with Umberto Eco’s famous list of parameters of fascism, which says that if a regime falls under any 7 of the 14 points, it can be considered fascist. This parametrization obviously does not claim to be scientifically accurate and detailed, but it nevertheless allows us to see quite clearly the plane in which society and power are situated in relation to the coordinates of freedom and violence.

As far as contemporary Russia is concerned, we can confidently speak of the relevance of most of the above-mentioned attributes.  

  1. The cult of tradition and cultural syncretism, which implies the denial of contradictions and abstractions in the content of sacred religious texts and the truth asserted in them, translates into obscurantism and cultural staticity, where there is no place for new knowledge and the only thing left is to interpret the truth proclaimed.
  1. A rejection of modernism, a dogmatic irrationalism.
  1. A cult of “action for action’s sake,” a distrust of intellectual and global scientific knowledge.
  1. Rejection of skepticism: doubt is interpreted as betrayal.
  1. Xenophobia, racism.
  1. Bourgeoisie, a reliance on the middle class. This point can be transformed into the assumption that the regime can rely on the largest social stratum, which is the most receptive to the proposed narratives.
  1. Nationalism; obsession with conspiracy theories, cultivating a sense of being under siege.
  1. The enemy is portrayed as extremely powerful so that followers feel humiliated, and at the same time weak enough to be defeated.
  1. Life is understood as continuous warfare, and pacifism is understood as cooperation with the enemy.
  1. Elitism, contempt for the weak. The doctrine of “suckers don’t belong here,” a hypertrophied cult of social and material success.
  1. The cult of heroism and the cult of death. Death for the homeland, death for the idea is the worthy meaning of human life.
  1. Machismo, sexism, rejection of non-standard sexual behavior.
  1. “Electoral populism”: individuals are perceived as a single monolithic People, whose will is expressed by a supreme leader. Rejection of parliamentarianism. The concepts of “people,” “leader,” and “state” are merged. The concept of individuality is insignificant.
  1. Use of new jargon.

One thing remains to be recognized: there is every reason to wonder whether today’s Russia is a totalitarian dictatorship of the fascist type.

Paul Tolmachev

Paul Tolmachev is an Investment Manager, Economist and Political Analyst. He is Certified Professional in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE Program), Duke University. Paul is serving as a Portfolio Manager for BlackRock running $500 million assets under personal management. He also is a visiting research scholar at The Hoover Institution (Stanford University), where he researches political economy and social behavior, specializing in the analysis of macroeconomics, politics, and social processes. Paul is a columnist and contributor to a number of international think tanks and publications, including, Mises Institute, Eurasia Review, WallStreet Window, The Heritage Foundation,, L'Indro, etc.

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