Several authors argue that either Putin’s Russia is already a fascist state or Putin is building one. Some of the most recent articles arguing along this line can be found here:
Alexander J. Motyl: Is Vladimir Putin a Fascist?
Rob Garver: Putin Isn’t Reviving the USSR, He’s Creating a Fascist State
Here I post a few comments from Professor Roger Griffin, the world’s leading expert on fascism and the founder of the New Consensus school within Fascism Studies.
Griffin: From a technical point of view (on paper) Russia is not a single party state using mass organizations to create a New Russian and seeking to forge an alternative modernity in the spirit of political modernism. Thus technically it is not fascist and it does not help discussions to get bogged down on whether this word should be used or not. There are many ways human rights and democracy can be undermined and assaulted, not just by fascism. It seems to me that it is an immature parliamentary democracy corrupted by the forces of oligarchy and plutocracy, populist prejudices against non-Russian ethnic minorities and homosexuals, the influence of the church, and pursuing geopolitical ambitions to unite all ‘ethnic’ Russians shaped by a mixture of nostalgia for the Soviet empire, populist hypernationalism, and geopolitical ambitions fed by dangerous Eurasian fantasies fueled by a curiously Russian form of New Right culturalism which does have affinities with fascism. So can we just leave fascism out of the discussion and concentrate on the uniqueness of the contemporary Russian state’s corruption of democracy and the dangers it poses to world peace with its expansionism and alliances, and not waste time on neo-scholastic disputes about terminology.
If he is a pragmatist without a utopian totalitarian vision of a new type of modern state based on an anthropological and temporal revolution Putin IS NOT A FASCIST. But why this mindless obsession with whether he is a fascist or his state is fascist: ENGAGE WITH REALITY AND NOT CONCEPTS and the debate will move on: question: what is unique about Putin’s Russia? Is it a threat to international peace and internal democracy? TALK ABOUT REALITY NOT CONCEPTS.
Question: What does Putin’s Russia need to be classified as a fascist state?
Griffin: To abolish the structures of separation of powers, civil freedoms, and plurality of parties and drench state rhetoric in the promise of creating a new order inhabited by new men in the name of a national destiny and supremacy.
Andreas Umland: Is Putin’s Russia really “fascist”? A response to Alexander Motyl