Nashi – doing it for Russia 12

Nashi (“Ours”) is a government-funded youth movement in Russia. It is to Putin what the Hitler Youth was to Hitler and the Young Pioneers to Stalin. It claims to have 10,000 active members and 200,000 participants in its events.

It adulates Anders Breivik, the mass murderer. See the video in the post immediately below, Putin Youth.

In summer Nashi members go to procreation camps where they procreate for Russia, in a desperate effort to preserve their nation, which is halving with each new generation.

Edward Lucas writes:

Couples move to a special section of dormitory tents arranged in a heart-shape and called the Love Oasis, where they can start procreating for the motherland.  …

This organisation – known as “Nashi”, meaning “Ours” – is a youth movement run by Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin that has become a central part of Russian political life.

Nashi’s annual camp, 200 miles outside Moscow, is attended by 10,000 uniformed youngsters and involves two weeks of lectures and physical fitness.

Attendance is monitored via compulsory electronic badges and anyone who misses three events is expelled. So are drinkers; alcohol is banned. But sex is encouraged, and condoms are nowhere on sale.

Bizarrely, young women are encouraged to hand in thongs and other skimpy underwear – supposedly a cause of sterility – and given more wholesome and substantial undergarments.

Twenty-five couples marry at the start of the camp’s first week and ten more at the start of the second. These mass weddings, the ultimate expression of devotion to the motherland, are legal and conducted by a civil official.

Attempting to raise Russia’s dismally low birthrate even by eccentric-seeming means might be understandable. Certainly, the country’s demographic outlook is dire. The hard-drinking, hardsmoking and disease-ridden population is set to plunge by a million a year in the next decade.

Summer sex might be the best part of belonging to Nashi, but the organization’s chief purpose has less to do with embracing in dutiful pleasure  and more to do with tightening the grip of the state.

But the real aim of the youth camp – and the 100,000-strong movement behind it – is not to improve Russia’s demographic profile, but to attack democracy.

Under Mr Putin, Russia is sliding into fascism, with state control of the economy, media, politics and society becoming increasingly heavy-handed. And Nashi, along with other similar youth movements, such as ‘Young Guard’, and ‘Young Russia’, is in the forefront of the charge. …

Like the Hitler Youth and the Soviet Union’s Young Pioneers, Nashi and its allied movements offer not just excitement, friendship and a sense of purpose – but a leg up in life, too.

Nashi’s senior officials – known, in an eerie echo of the Soviet era, as “Commissars” – get free places at top universities. Thereafter, they can expect good jobs in politics or business …

Nashi and similar outfits are the Kremlin’s first line of defence against its greatest fear: real democracy. … Nashi supporters drown out protests by Russia’s feeble and divided democratic opposition and use violence to drive them off the streets.

In July 2006, the British ambassador, Sir Anthony Brenton, infuriated the Kremlin by attending an opposition meeting. For months afterwards, he was noisily harassed by groups of Nashi supporters demanding that he “apologise”. With uncanny accuracy, the hooligans knew his movements in advance – a sign of official tip-offs.

Even when Nashi flagrantly breaks the law, the authorities do not intervene. After Estonia enraged Russia by moving a Soviet-era war memorial in April, Nashi led the blockade of Estonia’s Moscow embassy. It daubed the building with graffiti, blasted it with Stalin-era military music, ripped down the Estonian flag and attacked a visiting ambassador’s car. The Moscow police, who normally stamp ruthlessly on public protest, stood by.

Nashi fits perfectly into the Kremlin’s newly-minted ideology of “Sovereign democracy”. This is not the mind-numbing jargon of Marxism-Leninism, but a lightweight collection of cliches and slogans promoting Russia’s supposed unique political and spiritual culture. …

The Kremlin sees no role for a democratic opposition, denouncing its leaders as stooges and traitors. Sadly, most Russians agree: a recent poll showed that a majority believed that opposition parties should not be allowed to take power.

Just as the Nazis in 1930s rewrote Germany’s history, the Putin Kremlin is rewriting Russia’s. It has rehabilitated Stalin …  And it is demonising Boris Yeltsin, Russia’s first democratically-elected president. That he destroyed totalitarianism is ignored. Instead, he is denounced for his “weak” pro-Western policies.

Edward Lucas speaks of “a new cold war”.

It does seem that Russian leaders are waging a new cold war, but American leaders are – or choose to behave as if they are – blissfully unaware of it.

As the new cold war deepens, Mr Putin echoes, consciously or unconsciously, the favourite weapon of Soviet propagandists in the last one. …

For the east European countries with first-hand experience of Stalinist terror, the Kremlin’s rewriting of history could hardly be more scary. Not only does Russia see no reason to apologise for their suffering under Kremlin rule, it now sees the collapse of communism not as a time of liberation, but as an era of pitiable weakness.

Russia barely commemorates even the damage it did to itself, let alone the appalling suffering inflicted on other people. Nashi is both a symptom of the way Russia is going – and a means of entrenching the drift to fascism.

If tens of thousands of uniformed German youngsters were marching across Germany in support of an authoritarian Führer, baiting foreigners and praising Hitler, alarm bells would be jangling all across Europe. So why aren’t they ringing about Nashi?

Putin Youth 1

As this is an Al Jazeera video, the reporter stresses the “nationalist” – ie anti-Muslim – aspect of Nashi, and suggests that it is “extreme Right”, by which he means to imply Nazi-like. In fact, of course, Nazism and Communism are alike in all important respects. Both are collectivist ideologies – as is Islam.

Posted under Collectivism, Russia, Totalitarianism by Jillian Becker on Saturday, August 6, 2011

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