Putin’s lgbtq anti-“wokeness”?

a mystical möbius — curating facts, ideas, text, and media to create a contemplative space.



Proximate context – stoking “culture wars”

I’m writing this piece today in response to Kansas U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, who waded into the culture wars [again] yesterday [5/4/22] and essentially demanded the right to discriminate, i.e., requesting changes to television ratings so parents could “shield their children from LGBTQ representation” in TV shows. The KC Star story, “Kansas senator demands TV rating update so parents can shield kids from LGBTQ characters” describes Marshall’s request. The Star writes:
“‘I was sent here to protect Kansas values,’ Marshall declares in first major Senate speech”
Apparently, Marshall means to “protect [some] Kansas values,” but, obviously, not the values of all Kansans. Protecting those who support values like decency, fairness, justice, equality, and inclusion obviously aren’t part of Marshall’s plan.
Anita Bryant’s hateful anti-LGBTQ “Save our children from homosexuals” trope from the 1970s lives on in Marshall’s compassionless, insensitive suggestion [cf. Slate podcast story: “Anita Bryant’s War on Gay Rights“].


Russian philosopher Ivan Ilyin (1883-1954) lives on in Marshall’s vulgar outrage, too. So, let’s turn to Ilyin and how he lives on in Marshall’s hyper-cynical, *political technologies* ployi.e., Marshall’s ‘cultural grievance’ fund-raising tactics (cf. Grievance grift parts 1-10).

Putin’s (anti-LGBTQ) brain trust?

Previously, we’ve talked a little bit about one of Putin’s intellectual guides, e.g., Alexander Dugin. We’ll come back to Dugin in a bit, if there’s space. First, let’s take a peek at another very influential philosopher in Putin’s view, i.e., Ivan Ilyin.

Yale history professor Timothy Snyder offers us a brief introduction to Ilyin:



[Note: We talked last week about Putin’s hyper-contrived expression of the intersection of race with his denazification plan in Vladimir Putin’s ‘wokeness’?]

Ivan Ilyin’s bizarre-sounding ideas

—Note, Ilyin’s sexually vulgar way of expressing his political ideas is pretty bizarre. 

In his book, The Road to Unfreedom, Timothy Snyder unpacks the influence that Ilyin has been on Vladimir Putin. Here, Snyder writes that in the 2010s, with regard to what he calls the “politics of eternity”:

Ilyin was a politician of eternity. (pg. 18)

The oligarch-in-chief, Vladimir Putin, chose the fascist philosopher, Ivan Ilyin as a guide. (pg. 16)

According to Ilyin, communism had been inflicted upon innocent Russia by the decadent West. One day Russia will liberate itself with the help of Christian fascism. (pg. 20)

Ilyin’s thought began with a contemplation of God, sex, and truth in 1916, and ended a century later as the orthodoxy of the Kremlin and the justification for war with Ukraine, the European Union, and the United States. (pgs. 26-7)

Snyder gives several examples, such as this one:

Leonid Brezhnev’s permanent enemy, the decadent West, had returned: but this time the decadence would be of a more explicitly sexual variety. Ilyin had described opposition to his views as “sexual perversion,” by which he meant homosexuality. A century later, this was also the Kremlin’s first reaction to democratic opposition. (pg. 51)

The result, for instance:

“. . . two years after the protests in Moscow, Russians leaders applied the same tactics to Kyiv: the homosexualization of protest to evoke a sense of eternal civilization, and then the application of violence to make change seem impossible. In late 2011, when Russians protested faked elections, their leaders associated the protestors with homosexuality. In late 2013, confronted with the Maiden in Ukraine, the men of the Kremlin made the same move.” (pgs. 131-2)

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov began to claim that the Russian government had to take a stand against homosexuality to defend the innocence of Russian society. (pgs. 51-2)

Malofeev [military intelligence officer] was expressing the orientation of Russian policy: to present Europe as a civilizational enemy, homosexuality as the war, and Ukraine as the battleground. (pg. 135)

According to Zaldostanov [“Night Wolves” supreme leader], the slogan of the [2014] war against Ukraine should be “death to faggots.” (pg. 141)

*political technologies*

We’ve talked about Putin’s *political technologist* Vladislav Surkov in previous missives (here and, especially, here). . . . 

His [Putin’s] propaganda master Vladislav Surkov adapted Ilyin’s ideas to the world of modern media. (pg. 18)




I suggest that while racial injustice is actually the deeper root-cause of our society’s brokenness in the U.S. (and fault line in our history), with Putin (and, indirectly, Ivan Ilyin), we use *political technologies* to exploit anti-LGBTQ issues — framed as moral decadence and as an existential threat to traditional society — as a primary political wedge.



For instance, Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) is busy grooming anti-LGBTQ bigots to be loyal voters as he has picked-up Anita Bryant’s ignorant/hateful “homosexuals are after our children” torch.

[5/10 edit] Here’s an NPR story on the use of the term “grooming” as *political technologies* . . .




Next week: “White” replacement? [this post ~775 words (3 minute read)]  

Your thoughts? 




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