denounced him to the watchdogs ofrnideological purity. Zhirinovsky lets thernpeople know he is one of them. He is arnman who makes visceral connectionsrnwith his audience when he tells them:rn”For decades you have been deceived,rnmade fools of and stuffed full of variousrndogmas. . . . I shall represent you . . ,rnthose of you who received, and still receivernin these terrible years, only 200rnrubles and live in two-room apartments.rn. . . You are made to do nothing butrnwork—work so that those at the top getrnrich.”rnAs Zhirinovsky has suffered at thernhands of jealous plotters and fools whorncould not see his potential for leadership,rnso Russia has suffered at the handsrnof a world that not only does not appreciaternher greatness and the historic rolernshe plays in world history (Russia savedrnthe world from the Mongols and thernTurks, from Napoleon and Hitler, butrnthe world is not grateful) but that alsornactively seeks her subjugation. In Zhirinovsky’srndiscourse, external enemies (usuallyrnJews and Western capitalists) havernallied with internal collaborators (Jewsrnand the current Russian government) inrna plot to turn Russia into a Westernrncolony, a colonization that may well resultrnin the ultimate extinction of thernRussian people. “Nobody will help Russia,”rnwrites Zhirinovsky. “Gorbachevrnand Yeltsin made all kinds of concessionsrnto the West, the United States,…rn[and] Israel. And what did they get forrnit? Nothing.”rnAs Russia’s humiliation is linked tornZhirinovsky’s own personal humiliation,rnso the restoration of the Russian Empirernand the consolidation of her gainsrn(which will be reflected in the restorationrnof jobs and security through a revitalizationrnof the military-industrial complexrnand a new era of prosperity to be realizedrnfollowing the drive to the south) arerncontingent on Zhirinovsky’s personalrnpolitical fortunes. Indeed, he has oftenrnwarned the Russian electorate, “If I dornnot win the elections, I will not be thernloser. You, the inhabitants of Russia,rnwill be the losers.”rnThough Zhirinovsky’s vision of therndrive to the south is his own specific prescriptionrnfor healing what ails the Russianrnbear, the worldview he subscribesrnto is widely held among red-brownrnpartisans. In the July 3, 1993, edition ofrnSovetskaya Rossiya, a bastion of nationalrnbolshevism among Russian newspapers,rnRussian Communist Party ChairmanrnLIBERAL ARTSrnnrn:H=^rnZHIRINOVSKY, VLADIMIR ZHIRINOVSKYrn”Vladimir /hirinovsky roams over a map of the world using a f>en light. This is arnminiature version of tfic terrihlc ‘Klipton’ weapon with which the chairman of the LiberalrnDeinficratic ftrty is friglilening the world. The ballpoint-pen-like instrument hasrnthrtre buttons. If you pres.s the fii^t button, the laser beam acts as a pointer. If you pressrnthe second, the other person will collapse unconscious on the floor within three seconds.rnIf you press the third button, you can remove your target from the land of thernlivingrn[Zhirinovsky says:J ‘It is my personal weapon. It completely destroys buildings andrnpeople, not by fire, but with a laser beam that destroys all targets Of course [I canrndestrcn’ the world with this weapon], but I do not want to. It is important that we possessrnsuch a weon. If an danger threatens us, in the case of extreme necessity therernis nothing strange about us using it in certain regions—for defense.'”rn—from uii interview with Zhirinovsky conducted by a CHASArnMoscou’ news corresporuient.rnGennady Zyuganov published a lengthyrnarticle entitled “The Russian Question,”rnin which he discussed the developmentrnof an “ideology of national rebirth” as arnmeans of “snatching the [political] initiativernout of the hands of those whornhate Russia.” Zyuganov wrote of the necessityrnof explaining to the “masses” justrn”who is destroying Russia, how this isrnbeing done and why.” The answer wasrnpredictable: ” [The West] is afraid of ourrnmight as a world power. It has a selfinterestrnin weakening, dismembering,rnand, if possible, enslaving Russia.” Thesernefforts to enslave Russia, “over a periodrnof more than a thousand years,” arernthe “maniacal” work of “secret politicalrnsocieties, religious sects, and mysticalrndogmas.” Sovetskaya Rossiya once ran arnfront-page photo, mocked up in the bestrnNational Enquirer manner, purportingrnto show Boris Yeltsin in Masonic regalia.rnOne of the genetic characteristics ofrnthe particular brand of nationalism thatrnZhirinovsky and Zyuganov represent isrnits dualism. If Russia represents the apexrnof world historical development, and thernRussian nation (this is often posed inrnracialist terms) the highest stage of humanrnevolution—with an historical missionrnto fulfill, a mission that may entailrnthe subjugation of inferior nations—rnthen it stands to reason that the evilrnforces of inferior Western civilizationrnwould seek to undermine and destroyrnher.rnZhirinovsky’s nationalism is the nationalismrnof victimology, the nationalismrnof scapegoating, the self-pityingrnnationalism of those who blame everyonernbut themselves for the troublesrnof their country. It is a nationalism forrncowards, for people whose identity canrnbe defined only in terms of victimhood.rnThis brand of nationalism is not specificrnto Russia, anymore than its preoccupationrnwith conspiracy theories is. Thernlitany of scapegoating, of self-pity andrnself-glorification, of conspiracy theoriesrnand grand millennial schemes is redolentrnof Hitler’s speeches, of the puffed-up,rnposturing quality of Mussolini’s diatribes,rnof the paranoia of Stalin’s witchhunts,rnand of the hate-mongering onrnour own shores, from the wild Afrocentristsrnand Jew-baiting black nationalists.rnRegardless of whether Zhirinovsky becomesrnRussia’s leader, the worldviewrnevident in The Last Drive to the Southrnreveals much about our potential saviorsrnof the world, who are all too abundant inrncontemporary Russia. frn30/CHRONICLESrnrnrn