Oct. 28, 2014 by Darius
Yesterday, I attended a very interesting talk by Yale University professor Timothy Snyder entitled “Russia’s War, Ukraine’s History, and the West’s Options.” I’ll share Snyder’s remarks more fully over the next day or two, but today I’ll share one of his incisive bits of analysis that is a preview of things to come.
According to Snyder, Russia is currently trying to push a postmodern approach to information, suggesting that there is no objective “truth” or “authority.” Some truly Orwellian contradictions have resulted. The following are messages that are being put forward in the Russian media and by official Russian government members at the same time.
- There is no Ukrainian state. But it is repressive.
- There is no Ukrainian nation. But all Ukrainians are nationalists.
- There is no Ukrainian language. But Russians in Ukraine are being forced to speak it.
- Russia is a great power. But Russia is a small power being pushed around by the US and Europe.
- Russia is saving Europe from fascism. But fascism isn’t all that bad.
Snyder’s is an unusual, provocative, and thought-provoking analysis of what’s going on with Russia today, an analysis informed by having spent much of the last two years in Europe and by a close scrutiny of Russian media, propaganda, and official statements. Stay tuned.