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Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures in travel, style, and food. Hope you have a nice stay!

Fascist Lite

The Economist has a fascinating briefing on Putin's Russia. The newspaper, as it likes to refer to itself, depicts a country that has become increasignly authoritarian. Whether or not Putin is in charge this time next year is irrelevant. The fact is that the FSB - Russia's KGB succesor - has tightened its control over the media, state-owned enterprises and the tax departments of government. Like its predecessors dating back to the Bolshevik Cheka, the FSB has assassinated (poisoning journalists), intimidated (forcing hostile businessmen to hand over control), silenced (Anna Politskaya murdered in her elevator) and imprisoned (by sending businessmen to Siberia) anyone who questions the organisation's right to take over.

In Communist times, the party controlled the state and the spies operated a state within a state. Now, the secret service "has become the state itself". Yet these spies are not only interested in power, which was arguably all Stalin's people wanted, but also money, which certainly was true of Hitler's. While the FSB appears uninterested in mass killings of the likes of the Nazis, the comparison nevertheless applies. Call it Fascism Lite, if you will.

Standing up for our Human Rights Act

They drink different whiskey