Zakhar Prilepin and his party: God, Motherland … Fuhrer?
The Constituent Congress of the new Party “For Truth” was held in Moscow
On February 1, the constituent congress of “For Truth” party was held in the center of Moscow. The party founder and leader is the patriotic writer Zakhar Prilepin. He has already stated the challenge of “expanding the Russian civilization” and emphasized that Russia should be getting more “right wing” in foreign policy. The slogans at the rostrum were: “There is God”, “There is one Homeland”, which sounded reminiscent of Nazi Germany slogans. This new political project, backed up by the presidential establishment, will perhaps become a new weapon against the growing popular movement.
For a better understanding of the new party essence, let’s take a look at the political history of its founder. Since 1996, Zakhar Prilepin was a member of the National Bolshevik Party (NBP), which is known for its right-wing views, social rhetoric, and pseudo-Nazi aesthetics. After the NBP was banned in the country, Prilepin became a member of the successor organization – the “Different Russia” party. In 2010-2012 he took part in protest actions against the Putin regime, but after the accession of the Crimea he changed his views. In 2018, Prilepin was expelled from “Different Russia” party for his lack of principles. Eduard Limonov said the reason was Prilepin’s entry into the pro-Kremlin “All-Russian People’s Front” (ONF):
“After Zakhar Prilepin joined the United People’s Front, he put the “Different Russia” party in a peculiar position… If we have all been putting up with his political stunts of a spoiled media figure before, this time we will definitely have to react… We do not consider Zakhar Prilepin to be our party friend anymore… If Zakhar Prilepin thinks he can afford to be unscrupulous – well, we cannot”.
Since then, Prilepin has maintained close contacts with the authorities. Vladimir Putin even introduced him to the Constitution change working group. According to many commentators, Prilepin is creating his party with the sanction of the Presidential Administration.
Prilepin’s speech at the founding congress of the party provides a lot of food for thought, given his political past. For example, the populist saying “Russia needs the children of Russian people”, it would seem, indicates a constant population decline in modern Russia, but then Prilepin continues in an unexpected tone: “Anything that contributes to the expansion of Russian civilization IS civilized”. Then he added: “Expansion – diplomatic, cultural, political, linguistic, and in extreme cases, military – is normal …”
As you know, in the 20th century there were already “expanders of civilizations” who were actively looking for “living space” for their nation. This ended in millions of victims, including terrible losses among the “expanders” themselves.
However, this analogy with the Nazis does not end there. “There is God”, “There is one Homeland”, Prilepin said. Not only this statement, but the whole spirit of his speech is very reminiscent of the famous Nazi “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer”. And although Prilepin sensibly did not mention the “leader”, he was unanimously elected the “leader” of his party. There was only one candidate.
Prilepin’s populism also touched on domestic politics. He said that “Russia must go to the left in the domestic economy and go the right in foreign policy”. At the same time, “getting left” should obviously be carried out by the current government itself, which has been lobbying many antisocial reforms in recent years. Therefore, Prilepin’s statements are just “left” populism in the domestic arena, like the ideas of Otto Strasser, the “left” theorist of the Hitler party. His concern for the formation of “an organization capable of ensuring the preservation of Russia as a political, territorial and cultural integrity” can also be attributed to this. How can this noble goal be combined with the support of the Russian government, which is distributing Russian lands and resources to China, Norway and other neighbors? There is no honest answer and there cannot be.