Beware the Rise of 'Putinism'

Fareed Zakaria sees a troubling trend out of Russia
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2014 12:48 PM CDT
Russian President Vladimir Putin.   (AP Photo//Maxim Zmeyev, Pool)

(Newser) – Welcome to the age of "Putinism," writes Fareed Zakaria at the Washington Post. By that he means a generally repressive governing ideology that Vladimir Putin has created over the years to sustain his power. The worrisome thing to Zakaria is that elements of Putinism already can be seen spreading to other governments, notably Hungary and Turkey. Meanwhile, far-right leaders all around Europe are "openly admiring of Putin and what he stands for."

So what does he stand for? "The crucial elements of Putinism are nationalism, religion, social conservatism, state capitalism, and government domination of the media," writes Zakaria. "They are all, in some way or another, different from and hostile to, modern Western values of individual rights, tolerance, cosmopolitanism, and internationalism." Whether Putinism flourishes into a wider movement might well depend on what happens in Ukraine. If Putin succeeds in bending that nation to his will, look out. If he fails, instead of leading a movement, he "might find himself presiding over a globally isolated Siberian petro-state." Click for the full column.

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