Mankind's only alternative 27   NOV.   22  
Mankind's only alternative
War Nerd RSS

The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

Kids, Meet Your President A website for Russian kids to learn all about President Medvedev's passion for school, sports and family.
May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

Proof That Genetic Memory Is Real! Sure, the Ottomans shut down the Istanbul Slavic slave markets centuries ago...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Russia's Orthodox Church Youth Outreach Program The priest is going, "Father Sansei is very impressed with grasshopper Sasha’s...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Club Photos w/Russian Dyevs We took the Pepsi Challenge here...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Blogs RSS feed

Feature Story April 22, 2004
Lord of the Swine
Censorship in Russia: Revenge of the Disenfranchised By Mark Ames Browse author Email
Page 7 of 7
This kind of two-faced hypocrisy is exactly why most Russians could give a shit once the Tregubovas started to squeal. Indeed, those squeals sounded good, as good as the squealing that came from the oligarchs whom Putin also brought to heel.

Alexander Budberg of Moskovsky Komsomolets said it exactly right on page 277 of her book when he described the purpose of Putin's press strangling this way: "You don't understand: Putin is creating a new elite of journalists." This new class of journalists today is far less overtly arrogant, far more humble about its role as mere PR conduit. It knows its place. And if you're one of the 80 percent of Russia's have-nots, that's not a bad gift from the president.

Putin may not have redistributed the stolen property; but at least he made some grotesquely arrogant elitists cry. And that's more than most presidents have ever done.

It was only later, when I put the book down for several hours and my spleen settled to more normal levels of bile production, that I remembered the context of this appealing dramatic resolution. The fact is, the free press under Putin really has been destroyed, to the extent that the oligarchical press was "free." One has to remember that on some tangential, accidental level, freedom of speech and democratic values really were victims of this grotesque battle between vile elites. But since this freedom only served a tiny elite, it hasn't been missed as much as it should have.

In this context, the results of December's Duma elections become that much more understandable. Chubais and the liberals ran on commercials showing them zooming around the country in private jets, tapping away on their elitny notebook computers, expecting everyone to fall on their feet for them...but instead, they got booted out of power for good.

Kremlin Administration chief Dmitry Medvedev's op-ed piece in the Financial Times this week blamed exactly this attitude, as well as the liberals' lack of a social conscience, for their loss. Whatever his motives, he's obviously right. Not that there's a lesson to be learned. It isn't as if tomorrow the SPS elitists are suddenly going to discover the narod. If they're smart, they're applying for green cards, so they can take their pafosny act on the road for good.

I will cite one last example. Tregubova writes that she and Masha Slomin argued often over Chubais; Tregubova supports him unquestionably, not the least because he always gave her access and complimented her on her looks, while Slomin, according to Tregubova, "being a British subject, transferred to Russian politics her innocent delusion of a satisfied, stable and noble Europe the idea that the more intellectual you are, the more you should support the Left. Simply out of a feeling of harmony -- because one should always support the weak..." Here is Russian elitist liberalism, the liberalism of the Yeltsin intelligentsia, summed up in a sentence. Tregubova cannot even imagine that her best friend arrived at her politics based on idealism rather than on crude, superficial clannishness. To support the weak is naive, innocent, almost sad. To be liberal, in the mold of Tregubova and Chubais, is to be elite and to enjoy all of the elite's trappings. The free press was a good thing because Tregubova led an interesting elitny life. Period. Nothing more.

SHARE:  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit
Browse author
Email Mark Ames at

Your Letters :
Babushka Dezhurnaya
Field Guide To Moscow: Dolor Recto :

Party Players :
Putin-era condom
Reklama Review: Late-Putin Era Puritans : Where's the sex?


Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...


    MAIN    |    RUSSIA    |    WAR NERD     |    [SIC!]    |    BAR-DAK    |    THE VAULT    |    ABOUT US    |    RSS

© "the eXile". Tel.: +7 (495) 623-3565, fax: +7 (495) 623-5442