I saw a little blurb on the NYTimes.com website on Friday about a former Soviet intelligence officer recently jailed for organizing a coup of ultra-nationalists against the Russian government and assassination plot against the architect of the market reforms in 2010. I thought it was interesting that Russia maintained this tradition of revolution, especially those stemming from a small group like the Blosheviks, even in the present day.
I researched a little about Russian nationalism in the modern world to find that it contains a resurgence of the “Russia for Russians” movement that aims to reverse some of the equality granted to citizens under the Soviet program. Despite its super negative connotations, I was surprised at my ability to draw a parallel to a similar anti-immigration movement taking place in the United States in the wake of the financial crisis. Without the insurance of a socialist program in Russia, some people are just as concerned as Americans about the threat immigrants pose to the already suffering domestic job market.
It is especially understandable for this to be the case in Russia, where the Soviet government forced a change and reorganization of national identities on its people. The re-emergence of the nationalist party is possible an attempt to preserve the glory of Russia as its long-ago status of empire, but it is frowned upon with the same disdain that any attempt to convey national pride in England is, for example. The fear of holding one’s country as supreme after the fall of imperial policy makes national pride for the larger power moderate and makes the national pride of the “victims” heightened. Having grown up in America and having spent my fall semester in England, I was surprised to find that so many parallels could be drawn between these two western European countries and a “fallen” eastern empire that is always portrayed as the antithesis of the western ideals.
Here is the article: