Eurasian Federation, 2049.
Half a year ago I wrote about the absurd legal case against Dmitry Bobrov, a Russian nationalist who was sentenced for using extremist terminology such as “the great Russian people.”
No, I am not even exaggerating, here is the formal conclusion of the court’s “linguistics expert,” Galina Melnik (who is also a professor at Saint Petersburg State University and a published author in American scientific journals):
Linguistic terms are used that constitute evidence of propaganda of the exclusivity of the white race and ethnic Russians. For instance, there are epithets that positively characterize ethnic Russians – “The great Russian people,” “Russians are the most prospective white people,” “planetary significance,” as well as phrases, that negatively characterize other races – “Non-white peoples,” “races of a second order”; various exaggerations; writing words with capital letters so as to give a specific meaning to concepts – White people, Russians, Russian Popular Socialists, Russian Socialism [AK: The names of ethnicities are uncapitalized according to standard Russian grammar]; phrases such as that some peoples “have a phase of obscuration, degradation, and disorientation,” while others are experiencing a “steady growth in the national consciousness.”
I assure you that this sounds as deranged in Russian as it does in English. Apparently, the phrase “great Russian people” is propaganda of exclusivity, the phrase “white people” demeans non-whites, and violating the standard grammatical rules of capitalization in the Russian languages constitutes the most outrageous sort of extremism. American SJWs are nervously smoking in the corner.
The only possibly questionable phrase in the quoted paragraph is “races of a second order.” However, in the article that got Dmitry Bobrov into trouble, “Racial Doctrine of the National Social Initiative” (which is blocked in Russia), it is explicitly stated that the phrase refers to subraces, as opposed to implying a racial hierarchy.
The combination of evolutionary and historical processes led to the fact that now a large White race consists of several subraces, or races of the second order.
Evidently, Galina Melnik did not feel the need to give this vital piece of context in her summary.
This Orwellianism echoes the arguments of another contributing “linguistics expert,” Rezeda Salahutdinova (who has a degree in the joke subject of “Scientific Communism” from Kazan University):
In particular, she declared that the phrase “white race” just by itself fans the flames of hatred, because “they don’t talk like that in modern science” and that the expression “non-white people” is extremist, since it attacks the national dignity of other peoples.
It is heard to describe this theater of the absurd under the guise of a law court. When she was asked, “What specific racial, national, ethnic, social, or other groups were insulted?”, she replied: “All those groups, that are not identified with whites.”
Even though Dmitry Bobrov, representing himself, absolutely destroyed the arguments of the prosecutors’ pocket linguistic experts – court transcripts show even the judge becoming annoyed with their incompetence – he still ended up getting sentenced to 2 years in a penal colony.
In the event, Bobrov went missing on the day the verdict was set to be announced and is now considered to be on the run. Hopefully he is safe in a foreign country.
And to top it all off, citizens of Country 282 have to listen to lectures from Hillary Clinton about how Putler heads the global white supremacist movement and read Washington Post op-eds by affirmative action Kremlinologists on how Russia “disparages black people” and “centers the Russian slav.”
This Kafkaevschina finally motivated me to run a guide on avoiding Russia’s hate speech laws at my Russian language blog: Руководство по Избежанию 282
Here is a summary in English.
1. Strictly avoid any Nazi symbology.
That includes “ironic Nazism” of the sort that the Alt Right likes to play around with.
But all rules have exceptions.
If you are sufficiently close to the Kremlin you may well write articles along the lines of “Hitler did nothing wrong” (at least up until 1939). You can also organize conferences for foreign Neo-Nazis freaks, such as the International Russian Conservative Forum in 2015; some Galatic Brain in the Kremlin even came up with the idea of inviting German Neo-Nazi Udo Voigt, with his entirely non-ironic demands to return Kaliningrad to Germany.
2. Don’t insult Caucasians.
All countries have differential racial hierarchies for the permissibility of insulting different racial and ethnic groups.
Handshakeworthy anti-Russian racism from /r/politics.
For instance, ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper thought nothing of saying that Russians are “almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique” in a meeting with NBC journalists – one wonders how long somebody who said anything remotely similar about Jews would last in his job (actually we don’t have to wonder at all). Clearly, Jews, Blacks, the gay race, and the fat race are at the top, while white rednecks and Russians are at the bottom.
In Russia, there is a similar Great Chain of Racial Privilege.
One Russian nationalist, Konstantin Krylov, got convicted under Article 282 for his considered and entirely mild-mannered position on the issue of federal transfers to the Caucasus: “It it time to do away with this strange economic system.” In contrast, Holocaust denial only became illegal in 2014, and authors such as Israel Shamir with a reputation for anti-Semitism haven’t encountered significant problems (unlike his French language publisher, who was faced with a ban of the book he had translated and the prospect of three months in jail). On the other hand, you can’t relax too much: The Stalinist singer Alexander Kharchikov had one of his songs, consisting entirely of folk sayings about Jews, banned for extremism in 2012.
In fairness, Russia does also jail the most cartoonishly extreme Russophobes, such as Boris Stomakhin, who called for terrorist actions against Russian civilians to fight against “Chechen genocide.” In the West and amongst Russian liberals, Stomakhin is considered a prisoner of consciousness, because in their world, supporting terrorism against Russians is far more handshakeworthy than waxing lyrical about “the great Russian people.”
3. Don’t be an oppositionist.
This is so obvious that it hardly needs an explication – but that doesn’t make it into a rock-solid defense either.
For instance, just a few weeks ago, the police searched the offices of the Institute of Russian Civilization, a bookshop that focuses on republishing historical works – not Mein Kampf or Last Will of the Russian Fascist, but entirely mainstream texts in the Russian conservative and theological tradition, many of whom Putin has himself cited in his speeches (e.g. Berdyaev, Danilevsky, Ilyin, Karamzin, Pobedonostsev, Soloviev, Trubetzkoy, Khomyakov).
Apart from blocking the oppositionist Sputnik i Pogrom, Russian censorship authority also blocks the website of the Russian Imperial Movement, even though it is Orthodox-monarchic and entirely non-racialist in character, and even went to the trouble of advancing Russia’s geopolitical goals by sending a batallion to the Donbass in 2014.
4. You can’t be pro-Ukrainian.
You can if you’re a liberal – in that case, that’s actually expected of you – but you can’t if you’re a nationalist, especially with respect to the Crimea, for which there is a “separatism” clause on the lawbooks.
5. Don’t appear on law enforcement’s radar.
Possibly what really did Bobrov in is that he has a previous (and justified) conviction from back in the 2000s, when he headed the Schulz-88 Neo-Nazi gang that beat up immigrants. The current conviction is unjust, not only because this time round he literally did nothing wrong, but because the state is essentially sending violent Neo-Nazis a message: Regardless of whether your active is legal or illegal, violence or non-violent, we are still going to lock you up the same.
But let’s assume you’re not already “marked” by dint of previous legal troubles.
Here’s something you should bear in mind: The various Russian silovik agencies are not staffed by especially bright or conscientious people – in the case of Roskomnadzor or “Center E” (police anti-extremism division), their priorities are to fulfill their monthly quotas for finding “extremists” and get their bonuses for doing so. As such, they spend much of their time in the rich and easily accessible hunting grounds of VKontakte, which remains Russia’s most popular social network. As such, it would do well for “politicals” to limit their VKontakte posting to cat memes, while maintaining the bulk of their “meaningful” presence on Facebook and Twitter.
NSFR (Not Safe For Russia): What got Andrey Voronin in trouble just a few days ago.
Incidentally, this applies likewise for Westerners. Since nationalism is an almost purely “export” product so far as the Putlerreich is concerned, The Daily Stormer has been able to maintain an uninterrupted presence on VKontakte – even as Russians on the platform get in legal trouble for reposting historical illustrations that happen to feature a swastika.
6. Pay your mite to ZOG.
Liberals have an admirable tendency to stick up for each other, thanks to their higher IQs and levels of trust.
Nationalists are the opposite.
Whereas a liberal in Bobrov’s position would have gotten no end of attention from (predominantly liberal) human rights organizations, hardly any nationalist website anybody apart from Sputnik i Pogrom even bothered to highlight his case.
This problem is a very hard one and frankly the dearth of human capital is the single most crippling problem for conservatives and nationalists well nigh everywhere.
It is ironic that if anybody is going to seriously represent and advocate for you if you get in trouble, it will likely be a liberal with an idealistic commitment to free speech.
Therefore, the least that you can do is to pay at least symbolic fealty to ZOG – for instance, by affirming your commitment to free speech and human rights – so that when you do get sent off to the Gulag, the liberal sphere – which has at least ten times as much media influence as the nationalists – can’t just dismiss you by saying that this sort of world is what you were fighting for anyway.
7. Don’t listen to all this advice.
Doing so will just make you a mindless Kremlin propagandist. They’re a dime dozen anyway, and you probably won’t get rich even if you stand out, since all the most lucrative positions have long been carved up anyway.
Besides, as the host of our ROGPR podcast Kirill Nesterov acerbically noted, at the rate the wheels are coming off the Kremlin’s prosecution machine, it won’t be long before people start going to jail for justifying the return of the Crimea – and we’re not even entirely sure that this will happen after Putin loses power.