Putin and Emptiness: The Place of Satire in the Contemporary Cult of Personality

Johnson, Emily D.

Scholars of earlier Soviet-era Russian and East European cults of personality have tended to understand these complex cultural structures as the result of the confluence of several distinct cultural trends: conscious top-down efforts to produce a new mythology of power and spontaneous expressions of reverence for Party leaders that are, even if self-interested, largely uncoached....I believe that, at least in the case of the Putin cult, but potentially also other cults that reached their zenith in the years following Khrushchev's secret speech, another factor may also be in play: the satiric impulse. What came first, the Putin cult per se or the scandalous accusation that such a cult might be in the process of emerging?

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The Harriman Institute, Columbia University

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Harriman Institute
The Harriman Institute, Columbia University
The Harriman Review
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January 7, 2021