“Fascism was right since it derived from a healthy national-patriotic sensibility, without which a people can neither lay claim to its existence nor create a unique culture.”
It’s a quote from Ivan Ilyin, Putin’s favorite philosopher.
I was born a few days before the fall of Berlin wall. They thought at that time that if we ever got over the socialism/capitalism contradiction, we’re going to live in peace. What we’ve seen in fact is the rise of inequality, empowerment of oligarchs here and there, threats to public education and health care, serious environmental crisis. All of this has caused radical distrust in mainstream politics.
These dissatisfactions are now being used by right-wing, nativist, opportunist, corrupted, cynical political players. The same ones who helped create and stoke all of this now offer salvation. That’s their game. It’s the same strategy as defunding the program or regulatory agency they want to get rid of, then holding up it’s resultant ineffectiveness as evidence.
First, create inequality and structural violence. Second, scapegoat the “others” as an explanation. Third, offer nativism and more privileges for the privileged as a solution. That’s how we got Trump, Brexit, Le Pen, Orban, etc.
Putin’s playing these games too: he plays on the complex of rage, pain, and impoverishment of the Russian people that was caused by the Machiavellian privatization and deregulation that happened in the ‘90s. “Do you want to go back to the ‘90s?” ― it’s his main trick. The same old story: using fears to get the power and the money.
Look, if nationalist aggression, closed borders and exceptionalism really worked for society, North Korea would be the most prosperous country on Earth.
After the collapse of Soviet Union we bought the myth of an “end of history.” “We lowered our defenses, constrained our imagination, and opened the way for precisely the kinds of regimes we told ourselves could never return. History of the 20th century shows us that societies can break, democracies can fall, ethics can collapse,” writes historian Timothy Snyder. The danger is real, and the erosion of institutions that can protect us is very real.
In every country I visit, local activists tell me that everything has never felt so fucked up. I feel like they have a competition: my Russians claim that it’s us who are in the deepest ass; Americans think that they are; while Hungarians, Finns and Brits are all sure that it’s they who have won the competition of being fucked; and this list is not complete. We’re in global trouble.
We need to start to create alternatives, and we needed to do it yesterday. We should consider evolution from a “wealth of nations” model of economic life to a one-world model, and from today’s international economy to an ecologically sustainable, decentralized, multi-level one-world economic system.
I do believe that we live in a global world, but I’d rather see a global world of solidarity and care for each other. I don’t support the globalization of greed and fear of the other. I don’t support the globalization of finding a scapegoat or a witch to burn at the stake. I know what I’m talking about, I was that witch during Pussy Riot’s trial.
As a citizen of the world, I don’t care about borders, but borders do seem to care about me. They told me in Britain that Theresa May thinks that “citizens of the world” like me are “pieces of shit.” Well, I’m happy to be this piece of shit, because it’s not just me ― it’s a movement of those who think that a human being is more important than nationality, religion, passport or skin color.
Isn’t it idiotic that those who want to close borders are all part of the elite bubble of privileged people who have never stood in line at a visa center for hours. I did. And I was detained at the American border for six hours ― it’s not fun. But for that fraction of 1 percent who lead nativist movements, borders have always been open.
I’m suspicious about all kinds of limitations that have been imposed on me. Sex, nationality, race, hair color, the timbre of my voice, the way I fuck or brush my teeth, what else?
Where am I from? I’m from the most polluted city on the planet, I’m from the Milky way, I’m from Russian literature and Japanese theatre, I’m from every city where I fought or fucked, I’m from jail and I’m from the White House, I’m from punk records and from Bach’s inventions, from my obsession to turquoise, coffee and loud music.
There is an eternal opposition between the courageous community who speak truth to power and those who abuse power for personal benefit. There is no promised land though until you build it with your own hands. I say to myself: engage in politics or suck Putin’s, Trump’s, May’s, and Le Pen’s dicks.