from Russia with bias

Nashist International

with one comment

Their world is monochrome – divided into “us” and the enemies. They treat criticism as betrayal, they reject otherness as subversion. They attack in packs, but when left on their own, they are pathetic. Their span of attention is extremely short, which means their heroes can instantly turn into enemies and visa versa. When they argue, they put words into your mouth, then proceed with deconstructing the arguments they’ve invented themselves.

This is of course people who comprise the core of Putin’s regime – but many others, too. This psycho type is not endemic to Russia, so you find same people in the Ukrainian “couch battalion” – people who “fight” Russia by posting xenophobic comments in social networks, as well as among hawkish tea party right-wingers in America and terrorist-loving left-wingers in Europe.

There is no commonly used word for them, but there are two well-known Russian words that describe them best. One is Bolsheviks – “people of the majority”. The word emerged during the split in the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party. Lenin’s faction was in fact a minority, but it claimed to be the majority, so they dubbed themselves Bolsheviks and the other side – Mensheviks, people of the minority. The Bolsheviks slaughtered the Mensheviks in the Civil War and during the subsequent years of terror.

Another good term is Nashists and it was coined quite recently. The word “nashi” literally means “ours”, but it is best translated as “our guys” or simply “us” – as opposed to “them”, alien people. The main idiom, which contains that word is “nashikh byut”, which means “our guys are being attacked”. If you feel yourself like one of “nashi”, then upon hearing this battle cry you are supposed to run and join the fight, no matter whether “our guys” are right or wrong.

“Nashi” became a political term in the early 1990s, when journalist Aleksandr Nevzorov produced a film, which glorified Riga riot policemen who clamped down on the pro-independence movement and killed several unarmed civilians.

Even though Nevzorov grew into a critic of Putin, the word was later used by Kremlin spin doctors when they were creating the most potent pro-government youth movement. Nashi became Putin’s version of Hitlerjugend and the word Nashism was coined by Russian democrats instantly after the movement emerged.

This word comes very handy in a variety of political situations outside the Russian context. I find it extremely useful.

Written by fullofbias

December 26, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Very nice description of the mindset.

    I have often met (”сталкивался”) with such people, and was immediately struck by how close-minded they are, how impervious to outside influences. It is almost (or maybe completely) impossible to argue with them in a civilized manner, since their behavior is rooted on emotion and not really accessible to dialogue. They just shut down and look at you as “the enemy.”

    What can be done with these people? Just leave them alone? Fight them physically, perhaps militarily? Ignore them, hoping life will change them? What is the best option?


    December 26, 2014 at 7:56 pm

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