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Moreover, they were targeting a Russian disease — corruption and unfairness — that makes everyone feel sick. Their leader is Alexei Navalny, who, though only 40, has been on the scene as an anti-corruption crusader against what he depicts as "the party of crooks and thieves" for several years. The Kremlin and its show courts have invoked every cooked-up charge imaginable to keep Navalny off the ballot in Russia, especially since his one campaign in — for mayor of Moscow — displayed his political gifts.
Technically, Navalny is prohibited from participating in the election for president by a phony conviction for fraud sentence suspended; it was just to shut him down, not lock him up, though he is now in jail for 15 days for having organized Sunday's protests without a permit. He's not criticizing President Vladimir Putin for his brazen and presumptuous meddling in the United States the coverage of which Russians have been enjoying.
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Everyone in Russia is a nationalist. But though he is a nativist Russo-centrist if you are not, you are politically dead , Navalny is far from an "ultra-nationalist. He is savvy, tough, and very brave. For this craftily set up focus on corruption, he targeted Prime Minister and ex-stand-in President Dmitry Medvedev. Navalny's operation produced a 50 minute YouTube film that showcased Medvedev's recently acquired mansions one garishly ostentatious McMansion was a gift from an oligarch with state business , yachts, and even a vineyard in Tuscany.
He didn't target Putin because the president is still running at over 80 percent popularity. Medvedev made for an easier target because his mansions are visibly real and "belong" to him as opposed to the state. Russians don't buy the unsubstantiated Western accusations that Putin has billions and billions salted away in Zurich — they know he has everything he could conceivably want right at home.
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As opposed to U. The language of Marxism was a universal code, a mediator.
Criticism of the Soviet project was also conducted in the language of Marxism. First, it was considered as a withdrawal from the principles of Leninist theory and politics. Then, a critical discourse formed around the theory of Termidor and the domination of bureaucracy. Everything that happened there helped Western leftist thinkers even if they were not in agreement with its ideology. And now that it has collapsed, Russia has turned into an extremely mysterious country. The question about the cultural translation of post-Soviet experience is interwoven with the problem of its theoretical interpretation.
So then, what theoretical languages can we find or invent for the analysis and expression of the cultural, social, and political experiences that have arisen after the end of the USSR? All of them, to a different degree and in different ways, have some Marxist background and genealogy. Thus, at the first glance it is a kind of global mapping in which the contemporary world is divided into three big zones.
In the s and s this division, geographically, partly corresponded to the division into the First, Second and Third Worlds. After three key events — decolonization, deindustrialization and the disintegration of the USSR and the Eastern Bloc — it has in theory been turned into a grand transition to the three discourses about which we talk. Their relations are quite difficult.
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All three appeal to a sort of universality. As we will see, postcolonial researches aspire to show a postcolonial moment present almost everywhere even in the USA and Canada , and now — in connection with migration — in Europe. But the post-Soviet condition also, undoubtedly, has a global effect, which it is necessary to conceptualize. Preliminarily, it is possible to speak here of a visible crisis of the Leftist parties, movements, Marxism etc. That was a precondition for the contemporary neo-liberal ideological hegemony, after a weakening of resistance to its doctrine and practice, limited before by existence of the USSR and the countries of the Eastern Bloc.
So we cannot naively discuss simple geographical mapping with separate discourses corresponding to each zone. But even at this level post-Soviet differs from the postcolonial and post-Fordist: if the colonial and the Fordist are marked equivocally negatively the rigid disciplinary organization of the industrial Fordist organization of labor, colonial as the oppression and exploitation of nations , the Soviet seems more ambivalent.
Just take early Soviet revolutionary politics and culture with its emancipatory promises, which have made a huge impact on intellectuals and politicians worldwide. These questions, of course, demand further extensive analysis. Let me just remind you briefly that postcolonial studies as systematic area of research and as common terminology appeared in s, and have now developed into an ambitious set of critical devices and accumulated knowledge, especially in the Anglo-American academic world.
Postcolonial studies created a generation of radical and insightful authors like Gayatri Spivak, Homi Bhabha, Aijaz Ahmad and others. In the former Soviet republics, the postcolonial approach comes across certain anomalies referring to our idea of singularity. In the last decade postcolonial studies had an interesting academic reception in some ex-Soviet republics the Baltic countries, Ukraine , Belorussia. In these countries this reception was complicated by questions of national identity as politically and ideologically opposed to the state of affairs under Soviet regime.
In this context postcolonial discourse was treated rather in identitarian terms. Toward a Global Postcolonial Critique.
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