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Republican Putinism

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I know that there’s nothing particularly new about regimes using state power to reward supportive oligarchs and corporations while destroying opponents. But the current “global patrimonial wave” — and its relationship to democratic backsliding — tracks back not just to Orbán but, ultimately to Putin.

So we should call it what it is: “Putinism.”

Greg Sargent writes:

Some on the right, particularly the new nationalists seeking to build a post-Trump Trumpism, actually do believe the state should be weaponized to fight the culture wars as aggressively as possible. Fox News’s Laura Ingraham is urging Republicans to use every tool of government possible to break corporations economically — as a weapon of retaliation against excessive wokeness.

It’s sometimes said that Republicans are turning against large corporations in a fundamental shift of economic ideology. But that’s mostly nonsense. Republicans have mainly threatened retaliation for corporate transgressions such as standing up for African Americans’ voting rights, trying to protect customers and workers with vaccine mandates, cooperating with a congressional investigation into Trump’s insurrection, and now, speaking up for LGBT people.

Indeed, one prominent right-wing activist explicitly told Michelle Goldberg that attacks on Disney are all about teaching it “the lesson” that “they should stay out of politics.” The goal is to wield state power to dissuade corporations from empowering the enemy known as social liberalism.

Remember when some leftists were cheering on Trump’s efforts to retaliate against Bezos for unflattering coverage in The Washington Post? They were confusing schadenfreude with progressive outcomes.

The Putinist Right doesn’t actually oppose oligarchy and corporate power, it opposes oligarchs and corporations that refuse to toe the line.

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