Laruelle, Marlene. “Mirror Games? Ideological Resonances between Russian and US Conservatism.” in Contemporary Russian Conservatism: Problems, Paradoxes and Perspectives. Suslov, Mikhail and Dmitry Uzlander ed. Brill: Boston, 2019.

Extract

In 2015, Aleksandr Prokhanov (b. 1938), one of Russia’s oldest and most famous conservative ideologists, who has been writing since the 1970s, described the United States as an example to follow. He indicated that Russia should reconcile its “Red” and “White” factions the same way that the United States has united competing Northern and Southern narratives inherited from the Civil War under a metanarrative on American values. Such an invitation to Russian citizens and leaders to look at the American model as worthy of emulation—even if only in this one respect—is rare enough to be noteworthy. From the other side, in summer 2017, American white supremacists were heard singing, “Russia is our friend” during the racist violence in Charlottesville, an equally rare stance in American culture. There are other, similarly unexpected cases: Aleksandr Torshin (b. 1953), a former Russian senator and deputy speaker of the Russian parliament for more than a decade, is, for instance, a lifetime member of the US National Rifle Association (NRA), the ultrapowerful American gun lobby, and was an international election observer in Tennessee during the Obama-Romney presidential contest in 2012.