The frightening civilisational counter-revolution of the Brown International in the making
by Yorgos Mitralias
With interest focused – rightly so – on the war Putin is waging against Ukraine and its people, one often forgets to recognise the fundamental “character traits” of Putinism, which make it the jewel in the crown of a nascent Brown International. [NOTE: a “Brown International” refers to Hitler’s infamous “Brown Shirts”.] And yet, these same ultra-reactionary “character traits” of Putinism explain not only its own war-mongering tendencies but also the reasons why the hardest wing of the international far right is supporting its Ukrainian war. And this at a time when, despite the major electoral defeats it has just suffered in Brazil (Bolsonaro) or in the United States (Trump), this Brown International in the making continues to represent the greatest and most immediate threat to democratic and social rights and gains throughout the world!
The first lesson to be drawn from these findings should be that international support for Putin’s war is neither accidental nor ephemeral but is very strong because it corresponds to the deep ideological “elective affinities” of its authors. Thus, the apparent ‘mystery’ of the more than close collaboration between two totally dissimilar regimes, such as secular Russia and theocratic Iran, dissolves when one takes into account the fact that they share the same liberticidal and obscurantist ‘values’ and practice the same profoundly repressive and undemocratic policies.
Seen from this angle, both Putin’s Ukrainian war and the threat of the “Brown International in the making” acquire a much more concrete and scary meaning and content, because this content outlines the contours of a real programme of anti-democratic civilisational counter-revolution for the whole of humanity! For, as we wrote in a previous article, these ultra-reactionary autocrats and their regimes that make up this Brown International “are united by their racism, xenophobia, authoritarianism, islamophobia and anti-semitism, their open rejection of parliamentary (bourgeois) democracy, their misogyny, their adoration of fossil fuels and climate skepticism, their militarism, their contempt for democratic rights and freedoms, their police conception of history and their belief in conspiracy theories, their hatred of the LGBTQ community, their obscurantism and their visceral attachment to the triptych “Family-Fatherland- Religion”
Hatred of Women
Of course, it is no coincidence that hatred of women and of all that is different permeates the ideology and practice of all these leaders. From the Iranian ayatollahs to Trump and Orban, from Bolsonaro and Erdogan to Putin, from India’s Modi to Spain’s Abascal (Vox) and France’s Zemmour, all these far-right leaders harbour visceral contempt and hatred bordering on misogyny for women who do not accept “their traditional role” and for all those who challenge the aggressive masculinity that they themselves ostensibly profess and display. Thus, the very Trumpian Supreme Court of the United States has put its sights on the right of abortion, attacking it head-on, while Putinism limits itself for the moment to banning “any form of advertising for abortion”, while it goes as far as to resurrect Stalin’s idea of rewarding with the title of “Mother Hero” and a substantial sum of roubles women “who give birth to and bring up at least 10 children”. Moreover, it is not by chance that practically all these leaders excel in sexism and vulgarity and do not hesitate to publicly praise… rape. From Bolsonaro telling a congresswoman that she “didn’t deserve to be raped by him“, to Trump (who has been accused of two dozen rapes or sexual assaults) saying “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”, and to Putin who says he is “jealous” of the dozen or so rapes for which the ex-president of Israel, Moshe Katzav, has been convicted, and who made the following telling rude remark to Ukraine, which resists him: ‘Like it or not, my dear, you’ll have to endure it’. [Note: This was a reference to raping a woman.]
Religious hierarchies and homophobia
It goes without saying that this whole avalanche of horribly crude and aggressive sexism is blessed by the most retrograde churches, such as the Evangelicals in the case of Bolsonaro and Trump, and the Russian Orthodox Church in the case of Putin. The same churches that are so puritanical when it comes to defending the “traditional family” and harshly repress what these leaders call “non-traditional sexuality”. So here is the oligarch and former secret service agent, Russian Patriarch Kirill, saying that the war against Ukraine has a metaphysical significance as a struggle for divine truth against sin, that supreme sin being… homosexuality which the decadent West would like to impose on the Russians! And Putin goes on to call Europe… “Gayropa”, while coming out with the following aphorism in defense of his beloved “traditional values”: ““Do we want our Russia not to be our homeland anymore? ? Do we want our children to be perverted, to be told that apart from men and women, there are other genders? Such a denial of the human being is like open Satanism”. As for Vladimir Soloviev, the first propagandist of Putinism, he proclaims that the war against Ukraine is only a “counter-attack” launched in response to the “genocide of those who refuse LGBT-nazi-transgender values”!…
Fortunately, today’s Russia is not (yet?) Hitler’s Germany and Putin is limiting himself for the moment to banning “LGBT propaganda” and to multiplying the harassment of Russian homosexuals. However, this is not the case everywhere in the Russian Federation, because in Chechnya, his jihadist vassal Ramzan Kadyrov professes and practices the physical liquidation of homosexuals, whom he equates with “Satan”… with Putin’s stunning tacit assent!
There are two reasons why we have focused on the policies of the leaders of the emerging Brown International regarding women and LGBT communities: firstly, because these policies are highly representative of their ‘ideology’ while they concentrate in them almost all their ‘traits’, from the systematic violation of the most basic human rights and the pronounced obscurantism of their ‘ideology’, to their conception and implementation of the undemocratic and repressive police state. And secondly, because wherever these leaders are in power, from the ayatollahs’ Iran to the United States of Trump, and from Putin’s Russia to Bolsonaro’s Brazil, it is women and feminist and LGBT movements, often mass movements, that are leading the most effective and radical resistance. So it’s no surprise that Western commentators and other “analysts” of Putin’s war are focused on it on our TV screens, talking all day long about the continuity between Putin’s liberticidal and barbaric policies and those of the…Bolsheviks.
Bolsheviks and rights of women and LGBTQ people
The lie is enormous and the historical truth diametrically opposed. Putin cannot be the “heir of the Bolsheviks”, not only because he keeps repeating that he… hates those Bolsheviks more than anyone else, (2) but above all because he is doing the exact opposite of what those Bolsheviks did in their time. Abortion rights? Putin and his friends are nibbling away at it or even abolishing it, when the Bolsheviks were the first in human history to decriminalise it and to establish its practice “in hospital and free of charge”, several decades before the other so-called “civilised” countries (the United States did so only in 1973 and France in 1975!) The same goes for women’s right to vote, legal equality between men and women and divorce, which were instituted well before Western countries. It is no coincidence that the first female head of government (Yevgenia Bosch in Ukraine) and minister (Alexandra Kollontai) in world history were… Bolsheviks!
But where the enormity of their lie is staggering is when they refer to the treatment of the LGBTQ community. Putin is repressing and abolishing their existing (meagre) rights when the Bolsheviks were the first in the world to decriminalise homosexuality, only weeks after the October Revolution! And on top of that, they allowed transgender people to hold public jobs and serve in the army, as well as allowing them to change their gender on demand through a simple administrative formality. That is, they granted rights that continue to be unavailable in most countries, even in the West, more than a century later! And all this in a backward and ruined country, governed by a (Bolshevik) party several leaders of which (e.g. Lenin) and a large part of its members still considered homosexuality as a “disease”. This did not prevent the young Soviet state from having, from 1918 to 1930, as Minister (Commissioner) for Foreign Affairs, an outspoken homosexual , Georgi Tchitcherin. (3)
Putinism vs. Bolshevism
This being said, the apparent “paradox” of the unanimous acceptance by the right and by a certain left of the assertion that Putinism has its roots in Bolshevism, appears for what it is: a monumental swindle that serves the interests of both sides. Why is this so? Because both sides have a vested interest in distorting the historical truth in order to be able to equate the Bolsheviks, who first instituted all these democratic rights and freedoms, with Stalin, who suppressed them… together with their authors.
Our epilogue is undoubtedly alarming: Yes, we are faced with a very real, direct and nightmarish threat posed to our democratic and social rights and freedoms by this Brown International in the making, which has its roots in both fascism and Stalinism, all that was most monstrous in the past century. All the more so, as it seems to be increasingly armed with a real program of so many cataclysmic crises…
3. Sex and the Russian Revolution: https://