Credit where credit is due – Navalny has come out against Trump’s deplatforming. (He posted the same thing in Russian).
The brighter Blue Checks RT’ed this, saying, OK, good points, though I respectfully disagree.
Some of the duller Blue Checks and Russiagaters in the replies attacked Navalny, calling him a Russian nationalist, expressing “disappointment” in him, or even insinuating he works for Putler.
Another suggestion was that it was some principled commitment to freedom of speech? Doubt. Navalny’s position on this, as on most things, is highly situational. From his “nationalist” days in the 2000s:
An alliance of lower-tier Kremlin propaganda, leftist “Western Russophiles”, and “based” Western racialist nationalists portray Alexey Navalny as a nationalist based on a few racially charged comments he made a decade ago. It is therefore highly ironic that he was the architect of Tesak’s first prison sentence. In 2007, Tesak barged into a club hosting a debate between the a couple of journalists, the pro-Putin Maxim Kononenko and the pro-Western Yulia Latynina. The moderator, who happened to be Navalny, agreed to give him a word. Tesak used the opportunity to ask them if they agreed that Russia would be better off if it killed all democrats, and then started to throw up his hands and “Sieg Heil” with his followers. Navalny, along with fellow liberal Ilya Yashin and Masha Gaidar (the daughter of the late Egor Gaidar, the principal ideologist of Russia’s 1990s economic reforms; incidentally, she has since given up her Russian citizenship and emigrated to Ukraine), wrote a complaint to the Prosecutor-General asking to raise a case against Tesak. As a result, he was imprisoned under Article 282 for three years. Once you’re convicted once under Article 282, it becomes increasingly likely you will be imprisoned under it time and time again, even if you subsequently “moderate” your message (see my Rule 5). So it’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that none other than Navalny was a key architect in Russia’s most prominent Neo-Nazi spending most of the rest of his life in prison.
Has he since seen the light? Maybe. Maybe not. Who cares.
The actual answer is that this is the only correct position for someone who clearly remains intent to appealing to at least some segment of the Russian electorate.
First, while one may quibble with many of those points, #10 is undoubtedly correct. This “unpersoning” of Trump in response to trespassing cosplayers is a huge hit on the credibility of American rhetoric on democracy, freedom of speech, etc. It is going to give sovereignist states scope to impose greater restrictions on the operation of American social media in their own Internet, as well as to promote their own native social media apps. After all, consider this from Russia’s position. The US social media giants are going all out to suppress supporters of a fake coup against USG. Are they going to ban Navalny should he hypothetically give the command to storm the Kremlin? To ask the question is to answer it.
This is going to happen regardless, nor is it even going to be confined to “authoritarian” states like Russia, where Putin recently signed on a bill to block or slow down Western social media that restricted the free speech rights of Russian citizens and media:
A law is due to be passed in Poland that would fine Big Tech firms $2.2 million every time they unconstitutionally censor lawful speech online.
Under its provisions, social media services will not be allowed to remove content or block accounts if they do not break Polish law.
— Visegrad 24 🇨🇿🇭🇺🇵🇱🇸🇰 (@visegrad24) January 10, 2021
However, when it does, Navalny can in all honesty deflect charges of hypocrisy. No, I did not support deplatforming Trump.
Second, while Navalny’s potential electorate may be pretty marginal, it does exist. The corruption theme may be all played out, but freedom of speech could become another one. Libertarianism is trendy amongst Moscow zoomers. Not dominant, but the subculture is bigger and more memetic than the nationalist one. (I am personally a nationalist, not a libertarian, so this is not a biased assessment). This new outgrowth of libertarianism incongruously combines social and market liberalism with some elements of Men’s Rights Activism, freedom of speech, Dawkins atheism, Polonophilia/limitrophilia, and some elements of Trumpism. Pepes are a thing in that crowd. (Funny how memes drift and mutate over time and borders).
This position, at least, appeals to that potential (future) electorate.
Because let’s take it, cringe takes don’t even have an audience amongst Moscow’s libertarian zoomers:
Dear English-speaking colleagues, you may get the wrong impression from the last few days that Russian opposition is pro-Trump. It is not. At least significant part isn't. I'm confident that we'll be able to explain to others who simply lag the understanding of the events in U.S.
— Vladimir Milov (@v_milov) January 9, 2021
They are only interesting to the most self-hating Russian liberals (who would support Navalny by default) and “English-speaking colleagues” in American NGOs and the State Department.
(Vladimir Milov is a “democratic activist” who is a Navalny ally and regularly makes his disdain for Russia felt even by the standards of the democratic opposition).
So at least so far as Navalny’s position is concerned, it is higher IQ than the “significant part” of the Russian opposition that supports Twitter’s defenestration of Trump.
If you want to use state power to control private companies because you don't like the decisions they make, *you* are the greater danger to a free society.
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) January 10, 2021
Some more Russian language examples, including Maksim Kats and Lyubov Sobol.
Which of these “wings” of the Russian opposition will win out – the strategically pro-free speech for everyone Navalny or the Katses and Kasparovs who don’t bother to conceal that this is a privilege only for the “liberal”, pro-Western handshakeworthy?
Historical experience suggests it’s the former:
It was these same, multi-national liberal elites that signed the “Letter of 42” demanding the suppression of nationalists and Communists in the wake of Yeltsin’s 1993 assault on the democratically elected Russian Duma.
Incidentally, Americans might want to know that this is how an actual coup against the people’s representatives looks like:
Western leaders applauded Yeltsin as a great democrat when he sent tanks vs. popularly elected Duma which opposed his reforms in 1993. Hundreds of Russian patriots from Left and Right were martyred. This is what an actual assault on a "sacred temple of our democracy" looks like. pic.twitter.com/xpNhM02tr7
— ANATꙮLY KARLIN 🤔 akarlin.com (@akarlin88) January 8, 2021
It was these same people who demanded Russia implement Article 282 hate speech laws in the 2000s, which they supported until the prosecutions under it went so haywire and out of control by the mid to late 2010s that ironically the more Russophobe liberals also started suffering under it – they had been fine with it when it was only used to prosecute Russian nationalists for saying things such as “it’s time to do away with this strange economic system” [of subsidies to the Caucasus]. (Putin decriminalized 282 it a couple of years ago).
It was these same people who, by and large, attacked people like Assange, Snowden, and Butina just for daring in some real or imagined way to upset their spiritual masters.
So, given just this historical precedent, we can expect a liberal pro-Western Maidan in Russia to result in the repression of Russian nationalists to a much greater extent than is the case today. Given their open and incessant cargo culting of the West, in which SJWism is assuming an increasingly totalitarian nature, it will indeed likely become impossible to even talk honestly about things like national IQ differences in the context of immigration policy. Likewise, leftism will only be permitted in the context that they restrict their activism to shutting down Russia’s nuclear complex and campaigning for #BLM and gay marriage.