Nettime mailing list archives

<nettime> An image of a communist
Oleg Kireev on Thu, 27 Nov 2003 07:06:30 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> An image of a communist

Communist party of RF runs to elections equipped with PR and IT technologies

(a material distributed by Getto.ru within the "Against all parties" preelectoral campaign, Nov.'03)

It became already usual for the leftists post-Soviets-wide to attack not the power, but the official opposition first of all. They state, power and opposition are one and the same system, opposition is fully integrated and it's not in its interests to change anything. "SVOI 2000" movement organized 1st May demos jeering on the pathetic seriousness of official protests, belorussian comrades from "Navinki" newspaper produced a film "A case with a guy" where the official opposition's leader is a hidden agent of a president. Even National-bolsheviks - though we count them a radical but not a leftist party - made an "Uncle Zu's <Zuganov> funerals" action on November, 7. Besides that, as an article "Last deputies' last elections" (www.getto.ru/pvp, Russian) states, "power is for a long time already openly cynical therefore it can be only smashed, the opposition is at the same time ultimately pretentious therefore it has to be exposed to derisions first".

But this autumn all the resourses and all the provocations of power's party are directed against CPRF (Communist Party of RF): the toy Glazev's party had been artificially constructed in order to steal 2-3% per cent from CP; TV had proclaimed to Zuganov a full boycotte; according to human rights defender Lev Levinson, even Khodorkovsky's arrest and other "threatening" actions of power are exercised for the use of preelectoral campaign and directed against CP to show how they in Kremlin can "manage the situation" with the oligarchs themselves.

We even start feeling a bit warmer about it. Dmitry Kostenko said at the summer "Leftists' Future" Forum that many young people already presuppose CP's rout with joy remembering all their opportunisms and conformisms but this joy will not lead to anything good because all other smaller leftist forces will be inevitably routed right after CP.

The party evoked disrespect and rage all during 90s because it hadn't been justifying its high-tension rhetorics with any concrete actions. While protesting against Gaidar's reforms it refused to support street struggle at October'93, while anaphematizing privatization it voted for the governmental budgets in Duma. But, as the political consultants from the "PRopaganda" agency (www.prcom.ru) state, "in mid 90s at the regional electoral campaigns communists were compensating lack of an administrative resourse with a strong division between "friends" and "enemies" clear and understandable for the mass voter what according to famous German politologist Carl Schmidt, is the main criterium for the very political space existence".

But something had seriously changed since summer. Now CP is quickly becoming more and more up-to-day. There're not only antiglobalist books and reports on "new leftists" on its site (www.kprf.ru - first position in political parties' Top 10), not only revolutionary songs "Comandante Che Guevara"-like, but even a "Special action of KPRF.ru: Zuganov reads "Cruiser's sonata" by Prokhanov". CP gathers radicals to "Leftists' Future" Forums, organizes a symbolical cruiser "Aurora"'s shot on Kremlin, and launches five aerostats with visual agitation to skies before the November, 7th demo. The more sensational is that informational and technological break the less we expected it from the recently most gloomy and old-fashioned "party of the pensioners". Then the actions go which only artists-actionists could commit before: at November, 7th during the communist column's march along the Duma a young party member infiltrates to its roof and raises there a red flag instead of a "three-co!

Doubtlessly, this rapid modernization is programmed by a 28-years old director of CP's Center for Information and Technologies, a former IT manager in a notorious oil company YUKOS Ilya Ponomarev (www.kprf.ru/ponomarev). He says in his interviews, the party's personnel will be renewed, the image will be altered, and in 2008 or 2012 it will definitely come to power. And besides that - "We have to perfectly learn all those propagandist methods which are being used by our Kremlin adversaries. Opposition needs bourgeois specialists!"

We know that PR agents' functioning is based on a presupposition that an image of a  person (party, institution, state...) is separable from its direct activities and can be constructed autonomously. Society of the spectacle wants to consume these images or - as the last Pelevin's novel heroine states - these "consumer identities". So CP managers now agree to follow these rules, though Ponomarev says that "we still can't force Gennadiy Andreevitch <Zuganov> to let someone work with him". But does it mean the party politics will now become more radical and definitive?

Absolutey not! Going to the level of a symbolical competition of images, CPRF becomes a spectacular party. It starts cooperation with the capitalist forces on the field of a symbolical power sharing. What had started as an appropriation of Che's face in advertising continues as an appropriation of at least 25% national electorate.

Now we have a new argument for an advanced critic of an opposition.


#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net