Social justice warriors in the modern West are no different that the Bolsheviks of the old Soviet Union says Russian Leader Vladimir Putin. He should know.
The comparison is apt. Speaking at the Valdai Discussion Club, Putin laid bare the parallels between the old oppression of the Soviet past and the now oppression of the woke progressives in the modern West.
He calls out the erasure of the great works in art and literature:
“Looking at what is happening in a number of Western countries, we are amazed to see the domestic practices, which we, fortunately, have left, I hope, in the distant past. The fight for equality and against discrimination has turned into aggressive dogmatism bordering on absurdity, when the works of the great authors of the past – such as Shakespeare – are no longer taught at schools or universities, because their ideas are believed to be backward. The classics are declared backward and ignorant of the importance of gender or race. In Hollywood memos are distributed about proper storytelling and how many characters of what colour or gender should be in a movie. This is even worse than the agitprop department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.”
Citing Martin Luther King, Putin call out the obsession among the left in dividing people on racial lines:
” Countering acts of racism is a necessary and noble cause, but the new ‘cancel culture’ has turned it into ‘reverse discrimination’ that is, reverse racism. The obsessive emphasis on race is further dividing people, when the real fighters for civil rights dreamed precisely about erasing differences and refusing to divide people by skin colour.”
Putin also cites the parallels between modern progressive ideologies on sexuality and gender and those of the old Soviet Union:
“Zealots of these new approaches even go so far as to want to abolish these concepts altogether. Anyone who dares mention that men and women actually exist, which is a biological fact, risk being ostracised. “Parent number one” and “parent number two,” “’birthing parent” instead of “mother,” and “human milk” replacing “breastmilk” because it might upset the people who are unsure about their own gender. I repeat, this is nothing new; in the 1920s, the so-called Soviet Kulturtraegers also invented some newspeak believing they were creating a new consciousness and changing values that way. And, as I have already said, they made such a mess it still makes one shudder at times. Not to mention some truly monstrous things when children are taught from an early age that a boy can easily become a girl and vice versa. That is, the teachers actually impose on them a choice we all supposedly have. They do so while shutting the parents out of the process and forcing the child to make decisions that can upend their entire life.”
It has often been said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Putin’s discussion of the parallels between the old Soviet Union and modern Western progressive ideologies is a good one. One question remains. Is it that modern progressives have failed to learn from the old Soviet Union or it the case that they are using the old Soviet Union as a “how to” manual?