Staunton, July 10 – Vladimir Putin’s regime is often compared with fascism, Igor Eidman says; but there is a significant difference between what fascist leaders did and what Putin is about. And it is this, the Kremlin leader is no conservative revolutionary but instead simply a defender of the traditional customary rules or “adat” of Russian society.
“Unlike Mussolini, Hitler or Ayatollah Khomeini, Putin was never a revolutionary, a radical or a leader of the popular masses,” the Russian commentator say. Instead, he was “a minor spy and then a corrupt official” and thus is “incapable of heading any revolution even a conservative one” (aboutru.com/2016/07/30253/).
His goal, Eidman says, is “not a conservative revolution but the support of the archaic qualities which have never ceased to be part of the life of Russian society.” That is a source of his strength because as long as this system of values is alive – and he takes from Eduard Limonov the Muslim term “adat” for it, “nothing serious will be changed in the country.”
Adat refers, as Keat Gin Ooi has pointed out, “the customary norms, rules, interdictions, and injunctions that guide individual's conduct as a member of the community and the sanctions and forms of address by which these norms and rules, are upheld” (Southeast Asia: a historical encyclopedia (Santa Barbara, 2004), p. 124).
This term is typically used to describe traditional arrangements in Muslim societies outside of the Arab world and especially in the North Caucasus, arrangements that often conflict with formal Islamic law or shariat. But it has been used in the case of other cultures to explain the vitality of archaic forms.
In 2003, Russian nationalist Eduard Limonov said “Russia lives according to ‘adat,’ according to understandings developed out of the habits of its ancestors … [It] only tried to give the appearance but in fact never in essence lived according to socialism and now does not live according to capitalism let alone democracy” (ng.ru/ng_exlibris/2003-02-27/2_limonov.html