Scratch a Russian “liberal” who fetishes the West and below the surface nearly every time you will find bigoted ethnic nationalism & racism.
Russian liberals as a rule have nothing but contempt & loathing for Russia’s 188+ ethnic minorities and other Eurasian peoples.
Russia’s liberals see the Eurasian minorities & immigrants as a weight holding Russia, and themselves personally, back from their longed-for Western aspirations & assimilation. They despise them for this. Russia’s inner-Orient provoking a self-loathing Orientalism. They see the West as “Civilization” (singular, capital “C” ) and Russia’s Eurasian peoples as the barbarian “Other”.
Ex. The near universal reaction of Russia’s liberals I personally know to the building of the Cathedral Mosque in Moscow was a very visceral horror & outrage – directed against Putin.
This curious phenomenon is at its most obvious in the liberals adoration of the neoliberal-ultranationalist Alexei Navalny and their seething hatred of Ramzan Kadyrov.
– Mark Sleboda
Petri Krohn: The driving force of all forms of “Euro integration” and Color Revolution is a racist belief in the racial superiority of West European whites. “Liberals” believe that by “democratization” and “integration” they can make themselves more European, more white. What they most yearn for is acceptance as “equals” by White Anglo-Saxons and their ecclesiastical class in Hollywood.
Is Navalny part of a larger movement or is the movement merely Navalny? What about his nationalism? This last question has generated the most reticence toward Navalny. Even some Western commentators are urging caution. Recently, Anatol Lieven warned that Navalny’s “Russian ethnic chauvinism,” “anti-immigrant sentiment” with its “distinctly anti-Muslim edge,” and his connections to extreme right-wing Russian groups make him “closer to Geert Wilders, the far-right Dutch populist, than to the hero of some western imaginings.” Navalny is a right-wing populist. No doubt. But I would submit he’s more of an American variety than a European facsimile. His xenophobia comes with an anti-elitist élan tinged with a libertarian distrust of big government. If Navalny ran in a US election, he’d find common cause with the Tea Party. He’d make an excellent Fox News pundit if he added flamboyancy to his abrasiveness. And this greater affinity with American rather than European rightwing populism is visible in another, but much less discussed, aspect of Navalny’s politics: his neoliberalism. Navalny’s terse statements about social and economic policy speak to a faith in a world in which individuals with unfettered access to information set in a marketplace will allocate resources rationally and efficiently. Peppered throughout this base philosophy is a litany of neoliberal buzzwords: transparency, competition, openness, accountability, choice, and access. In sum, markets are the most efficient mechanism for governing social life.