Russian “democracy”

November 12th, 2003 – 10:38 pm
Tagged as: Uncategorized

There’s a great piece over at New York Press about the latest round of gangsterism in Russia, and how the media in the West seems determined to paint one of Russia’s biggest crime lords as some sort of martyr for democracy:

There is big news brewing in Russia this week, and America is being sold a line of goods about what’s happening there. The coverage of the arrest by the Vladimir Putin administration of “businessman” Mikhail Khodorkovsky has featured such grossly, shockingly transparent propaganda that it could hardly have been worse during the Cold War. What’s more, some of my old friends—they know who they are—are participating in it.

This story, about the politically motivated arrest of Khodorkovsky, the Croseus-rich tycoon who heads the oil company Yukos, is in fact an important story for the ordinary American. The clash between two of the world’s baddest gangsters—Putin and Khodorkovsky—is also a great symbolic battle, each side representing one of the two great remaining pretenders to global rule.

Putin represents the past, which also happens to be the American present: the fictional democracy, in fact a ruthless oligarchy of corporate interests, with the state as the castrated referee.

Khodorkovsky represents the future: no referee. Which is why our media establishment has chosen to take up arms for him. They are making his case into an open referendum on the neo-con revolution that until now has been fought in a largely clandestine manner here at home.

It’s well worth a read, both because of its analysis of the news about Khodorkovsky’s arrest and its no-holds-barred take on the neoconservative crimes that have been perpetrated on the Russian people.

[via Ken MacLeod’s The Early Days of a Better Nation]

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