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Fri Mar 10, 2017, 11:39 AM

The Pathetic Lives of Putin's American Dupes.

By Jonathan Chait

A tragically large number of left-wing Westerners in the 20th century deluded themselves about the horrors of Soviet communism. As awful and unforgivable as it was, the process by which they made themselves into dupes was at least explicable: They loved socialism, and one country in the world was implementing socialism, so they persuaded themselves, and for a while, it was working.

Today’s Russia dupes are a smaller, more pathetic lot. Above all they are just plain weirder, because they lack a clear ideological motive for their stoogery. Soviet Russia not only commanded a vast propaganda network, but embodied a doctrine with international appeal (and which had originated outside of Russia). Vladimir Putin’s Russia follows no model except Russian nationalism. To the extent it employs a non-nationalist philosophy, its main idea is that gays have weakened Europe. And yet the dupes still come.

The most prominent intellectual apologist for Putin is Stephen F. Cohen, Princeton professor, Russologist for the left-wing Nation. Cohen is a septuagenarian, old-school leftist who has carried on the mental habits of decades of anti-anti-communism seamlessly into a new career of anti-anti-Putinism. The Cohen method is to pick away at every indictment of the Russian regime without directly associating himself with its various atrocities. Is Putin persecuting gays? Well, Cohen wants us to know that various Ukrainians nationalists dislike gays, too. And also Barack Obama’s claim to snub Sochi because of gay rights is probably not on the level. Is Putin bullying and killing journalists? Eh, says Cohen, “Every time a journalist breaks a leg, they say the Kremlin did it.” Accidents happen.


The primary hub of Russian propaganda in the West is Russia Today, an English-language Kremlin-funded propaganda outlet. Joe Pompeo reported last fall how RT has actually acquired a devoted following in the West, in part through relentless viral YouTube sharing of its reports. Cohen, of course, appears regularly on RT. (Is RT biased? Well, he says, so is CNN: “I’m highly suspicious about the narrative I’m getting on CNN. It seems to be the flip side of RT.”)


*SNIP*

The demise of communism has left a void in the place where socialist fervor once animated the Soviet dupes. In the absence of any positive motivating force, Putin’s Russia, which has positioned itself as America’s main rival, has sponged up whatever motley collection of outsiders it can find. Russia is not the vessel for their ideological fantasies, but merely a placeholder for their accumulated discontent.


Article from 2014 that's still relevant since Cohen is still at it...

11 replies, 1292 views

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Reply The Pathetic Lives of Putin's American Dupes. (Original post)
JHan Mar 2017 OP
Eyeball_Kid Mar 2017 #1
ck4829 Mar 2017 #2
JHan Mar 2017 #3
KittyWampus Mar 2017 #4
Coventina Mar 2017 #5
JHan Mar 2017 #7
JHan Mar 2017 #6
KittyWampus Mar 2017 #11
Blue_Tires Mar 2017 #8
bettyellen Mar 2017 #9
Cha Mar 2017 #10

Response to JHan (Original post)

Fri Mar 10, 2017, 11:44 AM

1. Thanks for posting

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Fri Mar 10, 2017, 11:44 AM

2. I think a lot of it has to do with binary thinking

One can be critical of the American media and military industrial complex AND say that the Putin regime is a band of thieves and killers who are dragging Russia down.

It seems as though too many people fail to see this though.

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Response to ck4829 (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 10, 2017, 11:47 AM

3. Yep.

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Fri Mar 10, 2017, 11:50 AM

4. It's important to realize what Cohen has posted in the past because he has a platform

 

to spew pro-Putin crap. And he is using it.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 10, 2017, 11:53 AM

5. Yes, now in "The Nation"!!!

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Response to Coventina (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 10, 2017, 01:11 PM

7. I routinely avoid his articles for that reason.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 10, 2017, 01:11 PM

6. Yep, good to know his track record ( and others)

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Response to JHan (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 10, 2017, 09:26 PM

11. thanks for bringing this to our attention. I have to say it appear the Left

 

has some people in its midst that are not what they seem.

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Fri Mar 10, 2017, 01:32 PM

8. epic kick

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 10, 2017, 04:42 PM

9. Kicking your kick!

 

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Fri Mar 10, 2017, 08:37 PM

10. KR

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