When the USSR represented an authoritarian version of the left, he was a leftist; when the party line of the successor Russian state changed to right-wing authoritarianism, he obediently tacked right—a circumstance which shows that “left” and “right” are often arbitrary categories, particularly when considering the fringes.
Marine Le Pen’s National Front requested a 27-million euro loan from Russia, according to the party’s own treasurer. Nigel Farage, the former UK Independence Party leader and Brexit engineer, has appeared on RT, the Russian government-subsidized media empire (it spends more on foreign broadcasting than any other entity except the BBC).
Throughout the Cold War, Moscow subsidized the leftist fringe in Western Europe. Now it does the same with right-wing parties there—same tactics, different ideological players.
a curious phenomenon: The resurgent far-right parties in numerous Western countries, which harp incessantly on the sovereignty, independence, and world-historical uniqueness of whichever country they happen to live in, have self-organized into a transnational alt-right “comintern” that appears to be more effective than the leftist comintern of the Soviet era.
Washington has made numerous preventable errors as the result of sacrificing a stable long-term relationship with Russia on the altar either of domestic electoral expedience or empire-building by the NATO bureaucracy.
Putin may not fully realize just how much he has raised the geopolitical stakes in the growing Cold War 2.0 between the U.S. and Russia by taking sides in the most polarized domestic election since the Civil War.