Tolerance and Intolerance in Eastern and East Central European Countries- Diachronic and Synchronoc Aspects- In collaboration with Karsten Senkbeil
Edited By Beatrix Kreß
Is there a totalitarian language in non-totalitarian states?: Beatrix Kreß
Is there a totalitarian language in non-totalitarian states? Beatrix Kreß 1 Introduction In the following paper I will discuss a certain kind of self-display, image or style used by the former Russian president Dmitrij Medvedev in his external presenta- tion on his official website http://news.kremlin.ru/ and in his blog as well as on the websites of some other Russian politicians and political institutions. Before describing a range of verbal devices and metaphors that seem to be prototypical for Russian politics and its media presentation, I need to make two preliminary remarks: On the one hand, it still seems to be unclear –at least to me – whether the question I pose in the title of my paper is merely rhetorical. Although at first sight one might argue that the answer is clearly yes (especially when we bear in mind Putin’s speaking of As much state as necessary, as much freedom as pos- sible), the picture does not remain so clear when we take a closer look. And that leads to my second preliminary remark: I am still not sure whether the phe- nomenon I am trying to describe should be labeled totalitarian language or whether another notion might be more precise. 2 Totalitarian language If we understand totalitarian language as a language which not only interferes with everyday life, but is used naturally in this sphere, as Rathmayr (1995: 195) claims that it was under the Soviet regime, the picture of contemporary Russia remains rather vague. If we adopt this...
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